2023 a Year in Review

What a wild year. What a wild January. Join me in a exhilarating reviewing of 2023 right near the end of February. That’s a terrible attempt at a procrastination joke. Well, there wasn’t any procrastination, it was perfectionism. All things to work on in 2024. You can find my 2022 blog post here.

Reflecting On 2023 Goals

In 2023, I aimed to write more, read more, and become more mindful.


2021 Blog Posts: 5
2022 Blog Posts: 4
2023 Blog Posts: 8
Posts at Work: 44 posts (26,199 words)

A new record of posts written! The number of words written at work almost matches 2022’s count of 26,855. Spooky. Writing causes less apprehension, but still does not come easy. Perfectionism has the wonderful quality of slowing progress.

Some articles hone in on the quality of writing, some don’t. Part of my writing automation needs to better incorporate that decision from the start. I will continue writing in 2024 with better intention of not worrying about perfection. Or worrying how to rewrite every sentence in the active voice.

Reading More

2023’s reading list:

- Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures
- The Staff Engineer's Path: A Guide for Individual Contributors Navigating Growth and Change
- The Pragmatic Programmer: Your Journey to Mastery
- Mattimeo
- How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question
- The Yellow Wallpaper
- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
- Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
- Tender is the Flesh
- Mossflower
- Beyond Order: 12 More Rules For Life
- Thinking, Fast and Slow

I cannot remember the last year of my life that had this much reading. Goodreads helped in two big ways:

  1. The “Reading Challenge” that keeps track of your progress. Nothing like a little social peer pressure to keep you accountable. Knowing my pace helped choose books of an appropriate size. Sometimes the longer books look more enticing, but, can’t neglect the short books.

  2. The “Want to Read” shelf for keeping track of what to read next. Having this list makes it easy to pick up the next read and keep track of recommendations.

For this year’s reading challenge I chose 14 books to match last year. Beating metrics matters less to me than building a sustainable habit.


How do you even begin to measure this? Screen time provides some insights. What it comes down to, for me, is managing my energy. While some of the books on the list above helped, the most help came from HBR’s 10 Must Reads: On Managing Self. The book comprises of HBR’s most read online articles, so yes, you can read it for free. Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time helped the most.

Just like a day only has 24 hours, you only get so much energy. Empty the bucket at work? No energy for home. Not recharging at home? An empty bucket for work.

If you want to keep your bucket full, you must be disciplined and consistent. Old habits die hard. The fuller the bucket, the higher the chance you’ll make bucket emptying decisions. Skip a workout, stay out late, burn out too much on work. The sacrifice never goes away, you’ll have to get better at saying no.

2024 Goals

Continued Leadership Work

This overlaps a bit with the mindfulness. Maybe emotional intelligence would work better as a title. Near the end of 2023, I took part in a leadership course offered by Automattic, while also reading The Staff Engineer’s Path. There course and book overlapped quite a bit.

One reading from the course, Managing Your Manager, provided great insights into leadership values. The article contains six value spectrum’s to better understand your manager. To better understand our own styles, we measured our own values. One person in my entire cohort leaned towards “Deliver Outcomes”, me. Makes sense for someone trying to go the Staff Engineer route. Never hurts to understand your strengths as well as your blind spots. With the course finished, I’ve turned to reading Emotional Intelligence Habits at a chapter per week. My “want to read” list on goodreads has a couple other books related to these topics.


If the idea of staying healthy for the long term sounds intriguing, read Outlive. Dr. Peter Attia explains the current state of understanding on a variety of topics revolving around longevity. My exercising solely serves to extend my time on this earth. The problem with my exercising, not having a goal. Time to replace exercising with training. Before reading this book, my idea of healthy for the long term would have left me unprepared for the later years of life.

Peter provides a fitness measuring 101 primer to help you gauge your fitness. For myself, I like riding my peloton, but have placed strength training on the back burner. A proper routine requires cardio, strength, and mobility training. You also need to make sure you get enough protein (spoiler: I wasn’t). Time to start training for the centenarian decathlon.

To start training you need starting metrics:

  • 2.60 watts/kg
  • 40 vo2 max (as measured by apple watch)
  • 61 BPM RHR

What does a reasonable goal look like for these numbers? No idea. Part of the journey will consist of figuring that out. The one guarantee though, they will go up.

Returning to calisthenics will provide a good base for strength training. Not that I don’t enjoy lifting weights, just need more room. Stability comes first.


Happy with the way things went. Excited to see where things go.