I set goals at the beginning of each year, to help keep some direction and track my progress. In this post I'm going to evaluate how I went for 2017 while setting new goals for the next year.

Looking back on 2017

  • Travel to at least one new country - Not achieved - I went to America and Japan again but nowhere new.

  • Read a book per week - Achieved! if you include books read for Japanese study.

  • Blog post at least once per month - Achieved - I published 14 posts last year so I scraped over the line here. I plan to keep up at least the same pace this year.

  • Read a book written in Japanese from cover to cover - If you include books written for a primary school level, I got there. Expecting more was probably unrealistic and I'm going to count this as achieved.

  • Save $$ - Achieved - I hit just over double my goal for the year.

Goals for 2018

  • Travel to Japan again and two new countries - I'm making it two this year to make up for the fact it's the only thing I didn't achieve last year. Not sure which countries yet.

  • Read a book per week - I still feel it's important to keep learning constantly, and want to maintain this level.

  • Blog at least once per month - This was a much more realistic pace over the last year and I'm going to try to keep the same pace. Why is it that I didn't have as much content to write about in 2017? Most of my waking hours were monopolised by work and Japanese studies. I don't feel I have much interesting to say about my job that hasn't already been said by people in similar situations[1], and the time spent on Japanese studies came with an opportunity cost - no time for lots of thought-provoking/blog-provoking reading.

  • Japanese - Pass the N2 - Keeping up the studies here for at least the duration of 2018. Whether I feel 'fluent enough' to stop intensive studies at the end of this year is an open question but it will definitely take at least a year.

  • Save $$$ - New goal set - Boring but necessary.


In general I had a pretty good 2017. I didn't travel as much as I would have liked, but on the whole it was a year of a lot of learning. Outside work, I kept up with reading, writing, learning Japanese and saving, and inside work there was a lot of change and learning as well. A year ago I was focused solely on coding and now I'm managing a team, which only rarely involves touching code. It has been a humbling and rewarding experience so far and I'm looking forward to what 2018 brings.

And if you're reading this - Happy new year and best wishes for your own journey this year!


  1. Comment below if you have any requests, but be warned that the obviously interesting ones like 'How does Amazon work?' aren't ones I can talk about beyond the details you can already google for yourself. ↩︎