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2017 in Review: Looking Forward

Some hopes and (tentative, as ever) plans for 2018.

December 26, 2017Filed under blog#2017-review#family#fitness#podcasting#productivity#software development#writingMarkdown source

As I do every year, I’ve been making some goals for myself for 2018. I’m breaking these down into three big categories this year, having learned from the experience of summarizing my goals for last year:

  • Standing aims: things that I can’t exactly check off as done, but which are extremely important to me.
  • Goals: things I can mark as done.
    • Primary: the most important of my goals—the ones I’ll count myself as having failed in some way if I don’t accomplish them over the course of the year (barring major unforeseen goings-on, which are, well… impossible to foresee).
    • Flexible: other goals, which I’d like to get to, but which it won’t bother me if I don’t get to them.

Standing aims

  • Integrate well into our new church—including finding specific ways and places to serve regularly, joining a small group, and making some good friends.
  • Spend more, better, and more consistent time with my family.
  • Work hard at Olo.



  • Podcasting:
    • Ship a minimum of 3 episodes of New Rustacean per month January—October.
    • Publish Winning Slowly Season 6.
  • Writing:
    • Publish at least 4 medium-length (2,000–3,500 words) at Mere Orthodoxy.
  • Software:
    • Get ember-cli-typescript “finished”—i.e. with full support for addons and fast incremental builds.
    • Ship a responsive, progressive version of a major application I work on.
  • Read, or finish reading, the following books:
    • Resurrection and Moral Order, Oliver O’Donovan (started in 2017)
    • Theology and the Mirror of Scripture, Kevin Vanhoozer and Daniel Treier (started in 2017)
    • How Buildings Learn, Stewart Brand (started in 2017)
    • City of God, Augustine
    • The Technological Society, Jacques Ellul
    • The Meaning of the City, Jacques Ellul
    • The Ethics of Freedom, Jacques Ellul
    • Blasphemy: A Radical Critique of our Technological Culture, Ivan Illich
  • Fitness:
    • Run a half marathon.
    • Finish the Courage Classic with my dad.
    • Get back to my target/healthiest weight.


  • Publish one essay at a larger publication (for money, if possible!).
  • Archive static versions of the prior versions of my website.
  • Improve the page load performance of this site (e.g. with progressive font-loading).
  • Make meaningful progress on Lightning November–December.
  • Lead a book club at Olo.
  • Get up to 20 consecutive pull-ups and 100 consecutive push-ups.
  • Print hard copies of at least one year of my website archive.

That seems like plenty to go after this year. One thing that isn’t apparent here is that a fair bit of this is aimed at goals that extend past this year. There are things I want to do in the first half of my thirties if possible, of which some of these are a part. I don’t have those kinds of things written down (and when I write them down, I probably won’t publish them here!) but as I come into the broad swath of life that is just “adulthood”—not young adulthood or old age—I am increasingly mindful of the kinds of things I want to do that take more than a single year to accomplish. Some of these move the needle substantially in that direction, so hopefully I’ll get there!