A summary of things I have accomplished, failed at, and plan to do (or try again) this year.

What I planned to do in 2017 and how I did:

  1. [5/5] Playing piano for 10 minutes a day every weekday
    By far, the most successful project I had this year
    – For the first 6 months, I didn’t play with sheet music just composed
    – Recorded all of my piano sessions
    – By year end I had composed two full songs and many more short pieces
    – Second half of the year I started improvising on top of songs I learned many years ago
  2. [0/5] Learn either Spanish or French to be able to have a conversation in a coffee shop
    Stopped this goal after a few months of shotty focus
    – I wasn’t particularly passionate or driven to achieve this
    – I didn’t establish a good routine
    – Note to Self… Next time book a trip to that part of the world to give it a real incentive/deadline.
  3. [3/5] Set up my investments properly
    It took until December to do this but I did it!
    – Set up automatic deposits into a TFSA sheltered index fund robo investor
    – Started actively seeking out companies to invest in and build my own portfolio with a small side amount of cash
    – Currently seeking a fiduciary to manage my RRSP – if you know a good one shoot me a message!
  4. [4/5] Read/listen to 1-3 books per month (focus on quality, not quantity)
    This year was loaded with some of the best books I’ve ever read!
    – I read at least one book per month (thanks Audible subscription!)
    – Best Non-Fiction: The Denial of Death (Ernest Becker)
    – Best Fiction: The Book of Negroes (Lawrence Hill)
    – Read Numerous Times: The Alchemist (Paulo Cuello)
    Check out the master reading list for more
  5. [1/5] Establish meditation as a daily practice
    Turned this into something I used when stressed as opposed to a daily ritual
    – This is definitely an activity that benefits from practice
    – Had positive outcomes from the mediation I did experiment with
    – Used mostly as a deliberate action to take time and breath during times of stress
  6. [4/5] Seek side income/new business ideas
    Shut down non-profitable projects (UTP), rebranded site into new web development company
    – After nearly 2 years of trying to build a community that provided articles/courses for young engineers, I decided to shut down the project
    – Why close it down? First, I felt ethically wrong about the whole premise of maybe making money off of it. Second, it was a terrible market segment to try and target.
    – Now I use the site/business to provide web services (design/analytics integration/SEO) for small businesses.
    I even managed to get some clients at the tail end of this year!
  7. [5/5] Travel on my own for 2 weeks
    Went to Dublin, Munich, Paris, and London
    – Made some new friends along the way (shout out to Gemma, Oz, Kyle, Steph, Mathieu, Elliot and the rest of Natasha’s house). You’re all always welcome to crash at my place in Canada!
    – Snapped some great photos (without my dSLR…)
    Also managed to take a trip to L.A., Vancouver, Ohio, Ottawa, Quebec, and New Jersey
  8. [4/5] Focus on two pillars at a time (Work/Friends/Health/Partner) to really find improvement in those parts of my life
    What I learned, it’s not easy to succeed in more than 2 of these at a time
    – I kept friends as a constant focus for the past year (1 or 2)
    – I made being in committed long term relationships a low priority this year (3 or 4)
    – Depending on the point of the year Work and Friends or Health and Friends were my primary focus

What I plan to do this year (as of January 2018):

  1. Read 2-5 quality books a month. See out books from other people.
  2. Dance Salsa/Bachata/Kizomba weekly
  3. Write blog posts more often (1 per month on something I find interesting)
  4. Increase the amount of learning I do in my job every week (set aside two 3 hour blocks per week to learn about a new element of process engineering)
  5. Play music every week day (10 min minimum)
  6. Spend 1 hour a week learning music theory and applying it that week to the practice sessions
  7. Book a trip to South America (Mexico?) and learn conversational Spanish before I arrive
  8. Maintain a minimum of 3 times per week at the gym (to keep my body injury free)