Goals for 2019

Goal 1: Learn German

I’ve tried learning languages before. I speak a little Spanish and last year I took German lessons in preparation for my trip to Europe. The problem is that when I get back from whatever trip, I lose motivation and don’t ever make it past the basics. I really enjoyed learning German last year and want to take this year to try and commit to learning it. Being bilingual would be awesome, and I want to make a real commitment to moving in that direction this year.

365 Day Duolingo Streak

Duolingo might not be the best or most efficient way to learn a language, but it is the easiest I have found to stick with. For that reason, I’m making that my base. I will complete my daily goal in Duolingo (30xp right now) every day for an entire year.

German Journal

I like the idea of the 5-minute journal, but it’s another thing that I have never actually done. So this year I’m going to kill two birds with one stone and try to do it in German. They sell a German version of it on amazon.de, but I couldn’t get it here in the US. I reached out to the company and they were nice enough to send me a German version for free to try out! I think this will be a great way to force myself to use German every day.

More iTalki Lessons

iTalki is the best method that I have tried to learn a language. I took German lessons last year and learned exponentially more than I have from any other medium. Speaking to someone in real life makes you internalize a lot of what you have learned. Since I don’t know anyone who speaks German and wants to spend their free time helping me learn, this is the closest I will get.

Goal 2: Get in Shape

Ah, the universal new year’s resolution. The one everyone has and nobody keeps. Honestly, I hate putting this here just because it’s so cliche. On the flip side, it also needs to happen. A few years ago I really got things together health-wise and it’s slipped the last couple. Now I want to make it a priority again.

Maintain a healthy weight

I’ve lost, and gained, and lost weight again for years. This year I want to get to a better weight, and then focus more on maintaining it.

Find a reliable way to exercise at home

I work from home twice a week, which I really love, but I’ve struggled to find a way to make working out happen.

Goal 3: Morning Routine

This is the one goal from last year that completely eluded me. Mornings are not my strong suit. I’d like to try and get a more structured routine that involves all of these things. Even if I don’t stick with all of them, I think trying them all for at least a month at a time will give be something to go from:

  • Wake up at the same time every day
  • Morning Exercises/Stretching
  • Keeping a Journal
  • Eating a Healthy Breakfast
  • Walking Maya (my dog)

Goal 4: Meaningful Free Time

I wasn’t really sure how to word this. It seems odd to make goals about your free time. But the fact is, I really like some of my hobbies, and they are things that relax me. It also turns out that thing everyone says about having kids taking up a lot of your free time is mostly true. So I guess the goal here is to optimize my free time by making more conscious decisions about how I spend it. I like to flip on Netflix as much as the next person, but these things are better ways for me to unwind.

Beer Making

  • Make 5 batches of beer
  • Make one all grain batch


  • Turn 24 Bowls (2/month)
  • Make four other projects

Programming (outside of work)

  • Make at least 2 contributions a month to open source software
  • Make at least three new websites


Well, that’s it, a little ambitious maybe considering it’s already February 😉

2018 Goals Review

I’ve put off writing this for a while, I would say this is about the fifth attempt. I had a lot happen in my life last year, and writing a post like this makes it seem like it was just another year, when it really wasn’t. When you put goals like this up against losing someone you love or adding of your family, they seem really insignificant.

Acknowledging that, yearly goals and their corresponding update are a tradition I wish to keep up with, so I think this year I will just keep it short and sweet.

Finish one woodworking project a week

I didn’t finish 52 projects but I did make a dresser and maybe 25 other things, mostly on my new lathe. I would say about 10 to 12 of which were worth keeping, I was even able to use a few as Christmas presents.

Brew 6 times

I made two batches this year, but both turned out well. I made an English Mild and a Dunkelweissen. I used a kit for the English Mild and made the recipe for the Dunkel. I’d link to the recipies, but this site I used to store all my brewing info shut down, I’m still looking for a replacement.

5 Web Projects

In the past year, I made:

Eat out less

This went well. It took a little to get consistent. For the second half of the year though, I would say I ate out once a month at the most.

Write/Post three things a month

I started up at teageek.blog again this year like I wanted and between there and here have 24 posts total.

Solidify a morning routine

Well, they can’t all be winners right? Didn’t really make any progress on this at all.

A Quick Trip to Toronto

I just got back from a few days in Toronto that I spent attending some web conferences. I had a great time, so I thought I’d share my thoughts.

Full Stack Toronto

Full Stack Toronto was the conference I had traveled in for and it was a reallty good conference. Especially if you work for a non-profit since they have a discount which made the conference ticket around $75.  I would say if you are close and can make it it is worth your time, even at full price. Specifically, Jenn Creighton’s talk on flexible React components, Joe Carlsson on React performance and Rachael McQuater’s talk on TypeScript (Yay Grand Rapids!) were really good.  There also was clearly a big push for diversity in speakers by the organizers which I really appreciated.

WordCamp Toronto

I’de never been to a WordCamp before, but have recently been spending some more time with WordPress and the new Gutenberg editor. I knew that the 5.0 release would be a few days before this WordCamp when I registered for it, so I thought it would be interesting to time to check it out. (It ended up being a few days later – today!)  This was interesting in that it was not at all who I thought would be attending. I guess I expected a group similar to who I had been at Full Stack Toronto – full-time developers, already up to speed on everything WordPress. If I had to guess that would only be about 50-70% of everyone there, with a lot more casual WordPress end users – people who use it to make websites but develop heavily. It was an interesting perspective and I am glad that I went. I knew there was some concern about page builders and Gutenberg, but even then I was surprised by the number of times it came up. 

The City

Even though I live only a few hours away, I’ve never been to Toronto before. To be honest, I knew it was a big city, but I didn’t know it was as big as it is (4th largest in North America!)  For its size it was super clean, something I really appreciate. I stayed right downtown in a super nice condo through Airbnb. It was super nice but the owner must not have been permitted to rent it out because the check-in instructions were “Walk right past security, if they stop you, tell them you are here visiting Susan” Besides that, super nice, even had a gym I could use. The Chinatown area was my favorite part, great food, tea, and fun to walk around. the Chinatown seemed more authentic, with less of the super-touristy stuff like in New York or San Francisco. The art museum was cool and free every Wednesday night. The other thing I did was head to St. Lawrence Market for a Toronto specialty – the “Pea-meal bacon sandwich.” I thought it was odd they called it bacon since it was more like ham to me, then had the embarrassing realization of why we sometimes call ham “Canadian Bacon.” 

Goals for 2018

I used to post yearly resolutions here, but haven’t for a few years and wanted to get back into it. I’ll call these goals because resolutions start at the beginning of the year and it’s….later.

Finish one woodworking project a week

I got a wood lathe as a Christmas present this year, and I would like to get decent at it. I’ve also wanted to do more work with the other tools I have. Practice makes perfect and all, so the goal is to finish at least one woodworking project a week, even if it sucks.

Eat out less

Specifically, lunch. I used to NEVER eat lunch out, then at some point I got in the habit of it and if I’m honest it’s only ever gotten worse since. So this year I’m going to try to do a better job prepping lunch the day before work so I can try to break that habit.

Brew 6 times

I started brewing beer two years ago, and the results were decent, but I haven’t given it the time that I wanted. So this year I would like to make at least 6 batches. I drink most of the beer I make, and 6 full batches would be around 30 gallons. So, I’d also like to start looking into smaller one-gallon batches. That would be cool because then I could try all grain brewing without needing any more equipment. 

5 Web Projects

I already have a few side projects lined up and have a few of my own ideas that have been percolating. I’m hoping to get at least five of them live this year, including at least a face-lift for this site.

Write/Post three things a month

 This kind of goes along with the last goal. I’ve had some sites that have languished on without updates for far too long. This is the year they either make the cut and I start posting again, or they go away. Here you will see more about my web projects and foray into woodworking. You might even witness the long-awaited return of the teageek… 

Solidify a morning routine

I’m a natural night-owl. It’s actually 11:53 p.m. as I write this. Last year though, I started getting up about an hour before I normally do. It was really great to have some time in the morning to cook a real breakfast and not rush around. I want to expand on that and make a little more structured daily routine. Hopefully, that will solidify the habit and set up some time in the morning. I’ve read a little about journaling and meditation recently and would like to try it out.
 Well, there you have it, my goals for (the rest of) 2018.

November: 6:00 AM Wakeup

The return of the monthly challenges!

So this month I decided, somewhat randomly, to try a monthly challenge again. I’m not sure what brought it about, but I decided to try getting up at 6:00 every morning. Now, this may not seem like it is that challenging, but to a night owl like me, it was a serious shift in habit. I usually would roll out of bed around 7 and then get ready during the week, but the weekends were fair game for a 9:00 am wake up call. So this month, I will try and get up at 6:00 every morning.

Update: 12/3/2013

Well this has been a busy month, and a few times, I cursed myself for deciding to do this whole challenge thing this month. Overall though, after the first few days it wasn’t so bad. There were a few mornings I didn’t quite make it; usually on the weekend if I was out late, but other than that it went pretty smooth. Will I keep doing it? Maybe, I just bought a house so I have been busy and getting up that early has helped me still get to the gym, but we will see how long that lasts!