Looking Back at 2017 and Forward into 2018

A year later, let’s see what happened in 2017 and what I’m looking at for 2018.

Looking Back at 2017

2017 has been an interesting year to say the least. My productivity has definitely been hampered by what’s been going on in Washington D.C. and Trump’s presidency. I know I shouldn’t let it affect me as much as it has, but at the same time, I can’t say that it hasn’t. So many of his actions have made my blood boil to the point that I become distracted, and in some cases, full of despair. Not that I can use this as an excuse for things I didn’t accomplish, but like other people, I can’t always throw current events to the back of my mind.

I wish I could say I was successful at accomplishing my goals for 2017 that I laid out previously. At the end of the day though, I didn’t completely hit any of them. Despite this, 2017 was not a bad year.

2017 Goals Post-Mortem

Getting Into Shape

This one I did make progress on. I didn’t really make much progress on the weight-front, but I was able to get my strength and conditioning up. My core lifts have gone up, I feel like I have more “umph” when skating and running. I was also able to run Broad Street (The popular 10 miler) in May, finishing with a time of 1 hour, 34 minutes which was just under my goal of 1:35.

Reading More Books

Last year I ended up reading 13 books which was below what I was hoping for, but it did end up being more than 2016. A couple of years ago when I could read over my lunch break did wonders for increasing the amount I read. I feel like I kind of shot too high, too early.

Enjoying the Outdoors

Yeah, I failed at this one. Didn’t do anything towards this one. Maybe this year.

Getting Back into My Side Projects

This one I can sort of say I’ve done. I haven’t gone full bore into it, but I’ve been slowly reading into React and Node.js trying to learn their basics for my next project. Javascript isn’t so much an issue as much as wrapping my head around some of the newer methods of doing things. I learned PHP using OpenVoter, so hopefully I can have similar success with this.

Writing More

Sadly, this is another one I haven’t done all that much of. I’ve had a bunch of ideas for posts that I started, but I never ended up finishing them. Maybe this year I can re-visit some of them or actually follow through more of my ideas.

Becoming More Involved in Politics

Yeah, didn’t do much on this either. I attended one meeting of the local Democrats in January or February, but never really followed up. I’m still interested, but I also need to beat back my cynicism and my feelings of just being jaded.

Disconnect a Little

I moved away from Facebook. I haven’t deleted my account yet, but I don’t really visit it anymore. I culled who I follow on Twitter and have tried to avoid too much politics within my feed. It’s not completely free of politics, but I do generally find it more enjoyable.


Onward to 2018

Goals

I think I’m going to keep it a little more simple this year and focus on only four goals.

Losing the Weight (Finally)

This has got to be one of the biggest time honored traditions. People committing to losing weight January 1st, and then forgetting about it February 1st. I’m hoping to continue with this goal this year. Unfortunately, this did hit a little bit of a snag 2 weeks in as I ended up breaking the tip of my finger at the gym with a 55 lb. dumbbell…oops! Fortunately, it wasn’t as bad as I had feared and only ended up missing 2 hockey games and 2 weeks of strength training.

My gym routine has been tweaked some more and you can view it, as well as my progress here. I try to keep it updated as much as possible given that I’ve been known to tweak it from time to time. I think part of that is me always wanting to try new things.

Reading

This year might be a little bit more of a challenge as well because I ended up re-subscribing to The Economist which is a fantastic source of news, but very in depth and not exactly a fast read. I’m trying to keep a balance between reading my books and the magazine. My reading list has been a little more focused on non-fiction lately and probably will for the near future. I love a good story, but have been enjoying learning more about history, the world, and other people’s experiences.

Side Projects

I’m going to continue to work on my new project using Node.js & React. I’ve spent a decent chunk over the last week or so, so hopefully this will continue. Despite me knowing Javascript, I’ve found that Node.js has proven a challenge for me. I’m hoping that with more focus, I can get my head around some of the new concepts and really start to make progress. I have a lot of ideas for the project and would love to be able to start to implement them and get the site off the ground.

Write More

Let’s try this one again. I’m kind of hoping that given my separation of politics away from this blog and onto it’s own site that I might be more willing to write what’s on my mind without inundating this blog. Plus, maybe that will help me with some frustrations of what’s going on in the government. I’m currently working on another 1,000+ word post on getting back into gaming with a review of DOOM. So keep your eyes peeled for that.

Everything Else in 2018

All too often last year, I felt like I was too busy or that I had too much going on. I’m hoping that this year is a little more calm. That said, the first month of the year hasn’t exactly lived up to that, and my schedule for February and March isn’t getting much calmer.

Some of the other things I’ve been working on and will continue to work on include:

  • Homebrewing: After Christmas, I started brewing my first beer. I just recently bottled it, so in about 2-3 weeks, I’ll find out if it’s any good. I’m hoping to continue brewing from time to time.
  • Video Games: My Steam backlog alone is huge. I’m planning on trying to play through a bunch of them and mark them as beaten. I might even write a post here and there about some of the newer, better ones.
  • House Projects: My plan is to keep up with the multitude of projects around the house. Buy a house they said, it will be fun they said. All jokes aside, while it can be a pain in the ass sometimes, it’s nice to have a house to call my own and have a yard.

Here’s to a better 2018.