Clean Slate

02 January 2018 | 5 mins

Over the course of the last year, it has felt like a lot has changed. A couple of big shifts in lifestyle, and also just my outlook and mentality. And if I’m honest, before I sat down to write this post, I could barely remember what I’d decided to focus on this time last year.

To be honest, as I’ve gone through a bit of a life-altering event over the last couple of months (that I’m choosing not to write about), these goals may be completely at odds with the actual direction my life takes this year, but I’m okay with that. If nothing else, these annual posts are a snapshot in time of who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do when I wrote them, and I’m completely fine with that.

Health and Fitness

2017 Results

Exercise four times per week (three running or gym sessions, and five-a-side on a Monday).

Yes, I think I’ve done well enough for this one. Sure, there has been weeks when I’ve not hit a full four days, but for the most part I’ve been running regularly since last January (and writing about it). I’ve been saying for a while that I need to get back into the gym though, just for stability work if nothing else as my only real exercise this year has been running.

No alcohol outside of social situations.


No cigarettes.

Nope. I’ve not exactly regressed into a full-time smoker, but I’ve had a dozen or so throughout the course of the year, mainly when I was in Munich for the weekend and back in the hostel.

Return to 10k level fitness (sub-55 minute 10k).

Smashed it. Current personal bests:

  • 5k - 00:20:13
  • 10k - 00:45:32
  • Half marathon - 01:48:48

2018 Goals

My main fitness goals will be running based this year, given how much I’ve enjoyed it over the last 12 months. I don’t know if they’ll be within my reach in under a year, but what’s the point of easy goals?

  • Run a 5k in under 19 minutes
  • Run a 10k in under 40 minutes
  • Run a half marathon in under 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Run a marathon in under 4 hours
  • Strength train once a week


2017 Results

No negative months.

Skin of my teeth at times, but yes, I just about managed to increase my net worth (however slightly) each month this year.

Increase emergency fund by one month (£1500).

No, I didn’t really come close to that.

Hit travel savings target (£3500).

Yes, saved and again subsequently spent above this, almost half of which I spent in Seattle and Vancouver

Continue tracking finances, in YNAB or otherwise.

Yes, although not as religiously as I have in previous years. I’m still not sold on the newest version of the software, but the version I’m using is starting to feel a little stale.

2018 Goals

2017 wasn’t a great year for me financially if I’m honest, but probably not quite as disastrous as it honestly could have been. I’m going to stick with similar targets, as I’m still in a bit of a readjustment period right now anyway.

  • No negative months.
  • Increase emergency fund by one month (£1500).
  • Hit travel savings target (£2000).
  • Continue tracking finances, in YNAB or otherwise.


2017 Results

Continue writing and improving my little eco-system of sites.

Nope. Honestly, I did want to do more, I just struggled to find the motivation to do so since starting my new job. When I come home from work these days, writing even more code is one of the last things I’m wanting to do!

Complete one small [side-project][projects-subdomain] every quarter.

Nope. As above, lack of inspiration / motivation. I’ve barely done any self-driven development over the last few months, but I’ve somehow still managed to learn a lot of new stuff. I just need to actually apply it somehow…

Increase my writing to an average of one blog post per week.

Well, this started out positively, and for the first five months I was easily on track with this, but as I wrote about a few months ago, writing in this blog has not been a big priority for me, and actually last month (December 2017) was the first month since I started writing that I didn’t post a single new piece. I’m still planning to continue writing, but on a more infrequent basis; I don’t want writing to become a chore, I want to enjoy it.

2018 Goals

For 2018, I’m going to change the ‘development’ category to ‘self’, and use it as a miscellaneous category of things I want to do:

  • Complete two small side projects.
  • Write at least once a month.
  • Be more sociable.

That last one is a bit vague, but I guess I feel like I’ve lost touch with a couple of people this year that I really would rather not lose touch with. Part of that is inertia, so I want to make myself more accountable in terms of being actively social rather than passively floating along.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I feel like this is a bit of a transitional period in my life, so if I miss all of these goals, I’ll not be too upset, as long as I still feel like I’ve had a good year.

Recent "goals" posts

Seventh 31 Dec 2021
Reflecting 31 Dec 2020
Avaloq 01 Oct 2019

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