So 2016 has come and gone, it’s time for some post-mortem / retrospective and dive into the wonderful world of 2017. I must say that this post is the perfect example of what I should avoid as I started it roughly mid december and I realize that January is mostly gone and this is still not published (and becoming less and less relevant).
The world is more and more scarily broken. I feel sad just thinking about it, not that there is much I can do. Extreme right wing, religion, terrorism, war, genocides, I think most of the tick box can be checked, sadly.
It pains me to see how the future is shaping more and more like the grimiest forecast of the 60s science fiction and less and less like a happy fantasy. Even when the future is coming (google self-driving car, I’m looking at you), it gets boring.
On the other hand, it could have been worse. Austria chose greens instead of extreme right wing, we had no major nuclear incident, Switzerland is still a wealthy and mostly safe place to live.
That said, 2016 was an awful year for arts: Carrie Fisher, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie…
In summary, bad year, better forgive about it and hope for better.
Me and myself
I had a few resolutions last year and it’s time for a retrospective
Post on blog
I wanted to post at least once a month: I posted ~18 blog posts (of different quality, true) over last year, with an emphasis on begin of year and big gaping holes in some months (november, september). Currently, blog is read mostly by people I know / friends and has very low traction. Most of the external traffic is in French for HR related stuff I posted ~10 years ago.
Not too bad on this topic (70%?), but some clear axis of improvement:
- More engagement, post twice per month seem to be a good cadence, ideally at fixed time/day
- Finish stuff that I started : I have ~5 blog posts in various state of draft that could have easily filled the gaps I had provided I gave them a bit more log
- Post at least once a month something technical, this can be a tutorial, a thing I realized, either soft or hard. lower bar would be typically building lego. In case of big projects, any significant milestone should be an independent post and count. Should be in english.
- Stretch, post once a month on non-technical stuff, in french or english depending on the topic.
Do technical stuff
I wanted to do a technical hack per month. Scope and exact definition of technical were purposely left fuzzy.
I clearly did a lot of technical stuff and posted quite a bit of them, so a clear improvement on the topic. Especially, I got the feeling:
- I clearly improved and learnt stuff in mechanical design / tinkering: learnt to use fusion 360, to do parametrical design, first 3D printer usage, lots of complex lasercutter designs that I mostly posted
- Had some lego, not really technical but fun-ish and good with kids
- Did some human-size furniture for the birds
- Broke and repaired my drone
I also failed on various other stuff:
- almost no electronic work. The stuff I tried stayed on breadboard and never really worked
- got pwned on a server
- couldn’t not really keep up with advent of code
- broke an RC car
Overall, I’m super happy on the topic, I have identified a few axis of improvements:
- When doing stuff, start a log (picture, video) early as backtracking the history is painful. Start early by defining goals follow up with pictures for any interesting step (better to have too many than too few). Start writing early and publish even if it’s a failure.
- definition of technical is super fuzzy and covered stuff which is only technical as a stretch
- no formal logbook
- Do the technical things to feed the blog 🙂
- Some stuff I would like to do will have to be postponed due to constraints, so focus on things which are achievable (I want a forge, but living in a flat, that does not sound realistic)
I read 32 out of the 20 books I had pledged to read, so clear achievement (details in goodreads challenge). However quality is still quite dubious.
Most of the books I read are teenagers’ books, of very low interest from a literacy stand point. There are however a few outliers that stand out:
- Imriel’s trilogy is a dense, complex set of books
- Slingshot has been written by a former colleague of mine and is dense and complex SF
- You’re never weird on the internet is a biography that helps put things into perspective
- Des femmes dans la mafia gives a different view of iIaly and woman position in mafia, it’s a documentary
The things to improve is obvious here: read more of the outliers and less of the other (as in aim for quality, not quantity)
- Well, let’s restart goodread challenge for 20 books, but aiming at at least 5 books which are neither heroic-fantasy nor science-fiction.
Being 36, I’m putting weight. Reasonably, but even so, it’s quite noticeable. I wanted to restart sport and get more healthy habits. This topic has been a complete failure:
- I exactly commuted 0 time by bike and ~4 times using rollerblades
- I started twice YAYOG and never went past the first week
- I’ve been exactly once at the fitness room at work (while it’s free)
- I’ve steadily gain weight, despite not tracking properly
- I’m still eating candies (too many, in the evening), drinking too much beer and whisky and having too many snacks
- I’ve tried counting calories and failed, I’m obviously getting way too many
I managed to partially:
- cut on caffeine: I’ve managed to go to 2 coffee a day, no coke or other source of caffeine
- get sleep habit under control: managed to sleep more and better, at least over some period of time
So, complete fail on that one, need to tune it a lot for next year
- Train twice per week, even some light training (going to work rollerblading or skiing rover WE)
- Improve overall fitness and reduce weight (aiming at back to 68kg?, which would be minus 5 stabilized)
For 2017, kids are getting bigger and we can have more and more shared activity:
- Focus on better splitting couple / kids / family / personal time and keep enough for each bucket.
- [family] go skying, ice-skating, hiking, biking…
- [family] schedule summer vacation for family, ideally some eastern / fall break as well
- [couple] Get 2 week-end for us, without the kids or work
- [kids] Build lego with the kids, involve in projects
Overall, having these “personal” targets helped me focus and prioritize over the last year. I’m trying to go one step further this year and actually make them public, hoping it will help me focus on them. Let’s see how it goes, I aim at reviewing this on a quarterly basis
One thought on “from 2016 to 2017”
I found that using Beeminder for making sure I stick to my goals is very effective. Last year I paid to them about 60$ for derailing on some of my goals. This year I hope to spend less and so far I’ve been doing more exercise and learning more German on my own :))