2019: A Year in Review

Well, and just like that, 52 weeks are over. Here's how I did...

1. 52 people interviewed

48% completed.

As mentioned before, I reformulated this goal. Here's the breakdown of these sub-goals:

Total: 25. So yeah, not too hot.

2. 52 songs recorded with Sizable (Brad Harris, Patti Harris, Eric Bohle)

100% completed.

This was the most satisfying goal, and I'm so happy we did it.

I'm so proud of our journey. A year ago, we sat around a table, conceived, and planned this whole project: to produce 4 Sizable albums. And almost to a tee, we hit our deadlines and made the albums we wanted to make. And all for $3,206.56! Infinite thanks to Brad, Patti, and Eric for sharing the tenacity to get this thing done.

3. 52 updates via this blog

100% completed.

Although most of these were strictly updates, I did spend more time to craft some posts like Why I Left Carfax, The Tinnitus Story, or The Last Shakes Shift. What I learned with this goal is that I enjoy writing from time to time, and when I put in the effort, I can communicate something effectively.

4. 52 weeks with every minute tracked.

100% completed.

You can view the raw data here.

I stopped tracking my time last night. I felt so many urges to log my time today, but I joyfully ignored all of them.

5. 5.2 hours a day working on passion projects (mostly coding-related)

35% estimated completion.

Technically, I could figure just how far I was off by adding tags to the raw data above and then running some calculations, but that would take a lot of effort that I do not want to expend at this time.

With the time that I did spend on this goal, I made a few sites (https://papio.io/ and https://bestsoundboard.com/). I wrote a GraphQL library. I produced a few songs for friends on the side (one publically released: Wadiyon Mein). I also made a lot of experimental podcast content with Caleb. Finally, I spent a fair amount of time working on passion projects for Carfax and EquipmentShare.

6. 5.2 hours a week exercising (biking to work + Rho / Crossfit)

30% estimated completion.

As I previously explained, I ditched this goal a while ago.

I don't remember why I made this goal. Exercise has never been my thing, and frankly, I don't think it's that essential (unless you are training for something extraordinarily physical). My Grandpa is 92 years old, and I'm fairly sure he never exercised a day in his life. I think it's important to be active and eat well, but I tend to do those things naturally.

If I had the chance to go back in time and rewrite this goal from the beginning, I would've written something along the lines of "3 hours of yogo/meditation" per week. That would've been a more achievable goal, and it's something that actually makes me feel more comfortable with my body.

7. 5.2 hours a week working at Shakespeares Pizza (Downtown)

93% completed.

I'm a little surprised that I fell short on this goal. I worked almost every Friday until the end of November. I worked a handful of Saturdays too. But when I asked management for my total hours worked in 2019 yesterday, that number fell slightly short of the 52 * 5.2 figure that I had planned to hit.

Regardless, it was mostly fun to be back at Shakes for 2019. The only downside was that I seem to have developed an allergy to excessive amounts of flour at some point last year. I probably would've kept working at Shakes, but overall, it was a good time to quit. Also, I am happy to have my Friday nights back.

8. Misc.

Although I never mentioned these in my writing, I completed these two trivial goals:

  1. Bed was made every day.
  2. Shakespeares T-Shirts were worn every day (except for a two hour period on Sept 28th when my shirt for the day got soaked in the rain from Roots & Blues)

Summing it up

While I am somewhat disappointed in myself for missing the mark on a lot of these goals, I also admit that I set myself up for failure -- the time commitment goals weren't at all realistic. Before I started 2019, I calculated all the "free time" that these goals would allow, and I came up with 2 hours per week split between spending time with family, hanging out with friends, going on dates, find better jobs, etc. To accomplish that, I would've had to put many aspects of my life on hold. I eventually realized that I wasn't willing to do that to achieve goals that I was beginning to feel uninspired by.

However, despite not doing that well, I still had one of the most productive years of my life. So I'm mostly okay with it.

What's next?

Although I never explicitly mentioned it, my biggest motivation in making these extreme goals was to run hard in a few different directions and see at the end what really mattered to me. At this point, I can confidently say that expressing myself mainly through music is what I truly care about. It's the only thing that I would completely regret on my death bed if I ignored my compulsion to write music.

Therefore, my 2020 goals are to produce at least four albums this next year. At least two of these will be solely my own material. And I'm working actively on writing that music now.

In the more immediate future, I want to take some time around the house to tweak my environment. I will be coding in my free time too, but more to the point of helping to make music life simpler and more productive. Also, I want to update my site as well.

As for interviews, I would like to do that more someday, but for now I won't direct my energy to that.

Finally, I'll be writing more posts here, but they'll probably be more focused on a single topic on a whenever-I-feel-like-it basis. So until then...