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2016 Goals

I’ve previously written about how much I dislike new years resolutions. This is mainly because people usually make what I refer to as new years wishes: I want to have more money, I want to be more fit, I want to be less fat, etc..

Because these things are usually not specific enough, actionable or measurable, they get abandoned and usually wished for on the next new years day again.

monkey-year_3551486aHaving said that, having goals is a useful, so I figured I’d write down some of mine. Because of the horrific start to the year we’ve had, we decided to go with the Chinese new year, so my 2016 will only start next Monday.

My goals are roughly broken up into work related stuff, personal improvement, experiences I’d like to have and things I’d like to do.

There’s a lot here and some of these are not specific enough, but I’m going to treat this as an initial dump from which I can refine actionable items over the next week or two.


Spend more time doing meaningful things with my family.

  • Sunday breakfast: Have a skottel breakfast with my family every Sunday.
  • Spend time with Lucas every day: Spend at least 30 minutes every day doing something of his choosing with Lucas.

Work / Career:

From a work and financial perspective, I’m pretty happy with where I am. Some good decisions, cutting expenses, negotiating a bigger raise and some circumstances outside my control has conspired to make us pretty financially comfortable.

My main focus this year will be on figuring out a better work-life balance and addressing my RSI. Both of these were negatively impacted by the amount of overtime I worked… I just did a quick calculation and was astonished to find that I worked around 450 hours overtime (unpaid) last year

Some goals I am actively working towards:

  • Working less overtime: Last year, on average I work more than 8 hours overtime every week. This equates to working about 2 and a half months extra over the year! This is unpaid time that I could have spent with my family. My goal is to work only 40 – 45 hours a week.
  • Setting up a better workspace: I’ve been suffering with RSI for about 5 years now, and in the last year I did not pay enough attention to it. It is perfectly manageable if I pay attention to my setup and posture, take enough breaks and use the right keyboard / mouse.
  • Become better known in the Android community: I plan on doing this by talking at a couple of conferences during the year and blogging at least twice a month. I’m also trying to be more active on social media.


  • At least 1 international trip this year. Probably to Australia around mid-year.
  • At least one camping trip per quarter. The first one will be to the Clarens beer fest at the end of the month 🙂

Self improvement:

The two main items I want to focus on is fitness and health.

  • Lose weight: I’m currently nearly 20kg overweight, so I need to lose some of that. I’ve been focusing on eating better, by making small changes. I’ve tried to have less refined carbs (especially bread), but the main thing I’ve done is to make sure that I have a breakfast with some  protein and no refined carbs every week day. Doing this, I’m losing about half a kilo a week.
  • Eat better: I’m trying to eat supper without any refined carbs 6 days a week. This is very much a work in progress…
  • Exercise more: I’ve already upped my average daily step count from about 5000 steps to 8000 steps. The next step is to go cycling once a week. No matter where, how long, how fast – To start with, I just need to leave my yard on my bike once a week.
  • Make time for mindfulness and reflection: I’m trying to be more present and to spend some time reflecting on what’s working and what needs improvement. To this end, the plan is to start a 5-minute journal.


Experiences I want to have this year. Some of these will be alone, some with my family and some with friends.

  • Knife making / Blacksmithing
  • Glass blowing: Start with 4-hour taster and take it from there
  • Survival courses: Boswa offers everything from half day intro’s to weekend long extreme survival experiences
  • Archery: Do an intro class and then probably sign up for monthly membership.
  • Scuba diving: Go on at least 1 dive this year.
  • Learn to play guitar: I’ve enjoyed Rocksmith – Just need to make the time to play more. Maybe try to find 15-30 minutes every second night.

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