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A Mid-Year Check-in on my 2020 Goals

At the beginning of each year, I release a public list of my goals and rules for the upcoming 365 days. Here’s a mid-year review of the 24 goals I set myself for 2020.

  • Publish 52 blog posts ⚠️
    Behind target: I published 23 articles since the start of the year. I’ll have to carve out more writing time in the next few months to get to my end-of-year goal.
  • █████ ██ ███████ ██ ███ ✅
  • Read 20 books
    On track: I completed 12 books so far.
  • Watch less TV
    Failed: I spent 125 hours watching TV last year. This year I’m already at 120 hours (74 hours of which are The Sopranos).
  • Swim a total distance of 120km ⚠️
    Behind target: Due to covid-19 I only swam 36km so far this year. I’ll have to swim at least 3.3km per week from now on to still hit my target. Unlikely.
  • Go for a swim at least once a week
    Failed: Covid-19 broke my 183 week swim streak.
  • Back exercise every second day
    On track: Completed exercise on 70.16% of all days so far.
  • ██████ ████ ████ ✅
  • ████████ ████ ⚠️
  • ██ ████████████ ❌
  • Ship a redesign of this blog ⚠️
    Behind target: Started working on first wireframes.
  • Finish work on my daily uniform ⚠️
    Behind target: Not started.
  • Conduct a 2020 Quantified Self Project
    On track: You can see my current setup here.
  • Publish my 2019 Quantified Self Report before end of Jan
    Failed: Finished about 40% of the work and still aim to publish the report before the end of the year.
  • Build a Personal CRM system
    Removed: My idea was to build my own personal CRM system, but I’ve since discovered Clay.
  • Limit meat consumption to 24 days
    On track: I ate meat on 12 occasions this year so far.
  • No alcohol if I have to work the next day
    On track (with 2 or 3 exceptions).
  • Visit 1 country I haven’t been to before ⚠️
    Behind target: Covid-19 makes it unlikely that I’ll achieve this goal.
  • Explore more new places ⚠️
    Behind target: 25% of my Swarm check-ins should be places I’ve never visited before. Due to covid-19 I’m currently slightly behind that target (~20%).
  • Keep phone screen time below 1h per day
    Failed: My average phone screen time is currently way above 2h per day.
  • Meditate 1h per week
    Failed: I keep failing to make meditation an actual habit.
  • Do a 3 day silent retreat ⚠️
    Behind target: Unlikely to happen due to covid-19.
  • █████████ ████ ████████ ⚠️
  • ██████████ █ ✅
Jul 12, 2020  ×  Hamburg, DE

Review of my 2019 Goals

I set myself 15 goals for 2019 and completed 9 of them, which is a slightly higher success rate compared to my 2018 list (60% vs 56%).

  • ███████ ██████ ██████ ███████ ✅
  • Go for a swim at least once a week ✅
    Like in 2018, I didn’t miss a single week this year. My swim streak is now at 171 weeks.
  • Swim more than in 2018 ✅
    I barely managed to achieve this goal: I swam 132km this year, compared to 129km in 2018 (+2.3% YoY)
  • Back exercise daily ❌
    I did my back exercise training on just 29.6% of the last 365 days. My average perceived back pain increased to 2.45/5 (up from 1.45 in 2018). For 2020 I have set myself a 50% exercise goal.
  • ██████ ███████████████████ █████ ❌
  • Spend less time on social media ✅
    I definitely spent *at least* as much time on Twitter this year as in the year before.
  • Read 20 books ✅
    I started reading 34 books but finished only 19 of them.
  • Get a Switch and play Breath of the Wild ✅
  • Write 50 blog posts ❌
    I shipped just 25 blog posts and many of them weren’t what I would consider real articles. I’ll try to make writing a bigger priority in 2020.
  • Write 365 tweets ❌
  • Limit meat consumption to 24 meals ❌
    2019 was the first year I failed to achieve my meat consumption goal ever since I started tracking this in 2012.
  • Limit alcohol consumption to 2 days / week ❌
    I failed to hit this goal. I reduced my beer consumption by 47% YoY, but had more cocktails and glasses of wine.
  • Improve my cooking skills ✅
    Learned how to make sourdough bread, how to brew coffee with a Chemex and perfected my Old Fashioned skills, among others.
  • Explore more new places ✅
    I measure this in form of Swarm check-ins to locations I haven’t been to before. My 2019 goal was to make every 4th check-in a new place (25%). In the end 43% of this year’s check-ins were at new places (777 out of 1806).
  • Visit a country I haven’t been to before ✅
    Traveled to Japan and Finland.
Jan 02, 2020  ×  Berlin, DE

Review of my 2018 Goals

I set myself 18 goals last year and completed 10 of them:

  • Improve my swim skills
    While I hit my other swimming-related goals (see below), I failed this one. Thinking about getting a coach this year.
  • Go for a swim at least once per week
    I made it to 119 straight weeks last Monday and hope I can keep the streak alive for another whole year.
  • Swim more than in 2017 (101km)
    Total distance 2018: 128.5km – a 27% YoY increase
  • Meditate at least 5 times per week
    I meditated 99 times last year (~20h), but wasn’t able to make it a habit. This has been the fourth year in a row of me failing at reaching my meditation goals.
  • Finish and launch prototype of monote
    I launched monote in March last year. I stopped working on it full-time shortly after I launched, but it remains a side project with a couple hundred MAUs.
  • ███████████████ ❌
  • ██████████████ ✅
  • Read at least 15 books
    I ended up reading 18 books (11 non-fiction, 7 fiction). My favorites were The Elephant in the Brain, Finite and Infinite Games and Bad Blood
  • Read/watch more Manga/Anime
    (Need to figure out what books/movies/series are the best to get started)
  • Write 12 long-form blog posts
    While I did post more than 12 long-form articles, the majority were my monthly media consumption updates. I don’t really count those as writing which was the actual goal.
  • Update design of this blog
  • Move to Berlin
  • Do a total of 10950 push-ups
    Did these almost daily until around July, then stopped completely (not sure why).
  • Watch 50 movies from the IMDB Top-250 list
    Realised that a lot of the movies I hadn’t seen yet are actually really boring …
  • Eat less sugar
    (Need a way to better quantify sugar consumption)
  • Limit meat consumption to 24 meals
  • Write more lists
  • Visit a country I’ve never been to before
    Traveled to Poland (Warsaw) in May last year.

My list for 2019 contains 15 goals. I will review those in a year from now.

Jan 02, 2019  ×  Berlin, DE
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