In a previous post I evaluated my 2016 goals. Now it's time to look towards this year. I want my goals this year to be a little more specific so I achieving them feels possible and I'm a little more motivated. But I still like the idea of having themes for the year. So my goal setting is going to be a little something like this:

  • Select 2-4 "themes" for the year. A theme can be any sort of general word or concept that I want to focus on for the year. They aren't achievable, but they are things I want to constantly keep in mind as I make decisions.
  • Set 5-10 goals with specific, measurable requirements. While the themes will guide my decisions more generally, the goals get down to the nitty gritty. They are the specific things I want to do. I will consider my year a success [1], if I'm able to accomplish these specific items.

First let's talk about my themes for 2017...


One of the things I'm unsatisfied with in my life is my connection with other people. This is both in my existing relationships and with new people. I want to spend more time connecting with my friends this year. Talking with them about struggles and successes. And I want to reach out more to new people. I want to get to know more people in my church and in the local Knoxville tech community.


This theme has two parts to it. The first part of sustainability is my use of physical resources. I want to reduce my footprint on the earth. That means reducing my waste and producing more of what I'm using. I'd like to use less energy and reuse more. Two of the things I badly want to do in this vein that won't be official goals this year[1:1] are to buy an electric car and install solar panels in our house.

The other part of sustainability is creating habits that I can keep. Think carefully about how I can carve out time to read more and achieve more of my goals. Getting more specific in this list is step one to making improvements a little more sustainable.


Not long after Charlie was born last fall I had a small scare with my heart health. I was having some intense irregular heartbeats and chest discomfort which was likely stress induced[1:2]. I'm working to get myself in better shape through running. I also want to play more tennis and basketball because those are great workouts that are fun (and let me interact with people). I've also got some tooth issues despite my best efforts to brush frequently. Past Chris was an asshole who didn't like to take the time to brush his teeth enough and now I'm literally paying for it.

Okay, so those are the general themes of my year. Those are the things I want to focus on in 2017 on a macro scale. But now I want to share the specific goals I have. These should be at least tangentially related to the themes, but they don't have to be.

I'm giving myself a pass on January, since I'm just now getting this out. At the end of this year I'd like to do more planning for my goals in December. This past year I was swamped with launching Outshape, so this got pushed back.

Anyways, onto the goals!

  1. Read 15 books
    I read more last year than I have in recent years. I want to improve on that. I'm always inspired by Ryan Holiday's reading and while I'll never read that much, I think this is an achievable goal. I just need to get myself through A Dance With Dragons [1:3]
  2. Run 2 5Ks
    I've started a running plan in Runkeeper to get myself back in running shape. I ran a 5K last year. I think I can run at least 2 this year. I'd like to maybe run a 10K as a sort of stretch goal.
  3. Play basketball or tennis once each month
    I love to go shoot hoops alone. It's incredibly therapeutic for me (unless I'm shooting poorly). But I also love that basketball and tennis involve working out with other people.
  4. Go camping once
    I can't remember the last time I went camping which is sad. Talked about doing this with friends several times in 2016. But I always came up with a reason not to. I'm gonna change that this year.
  5. Read 500 chapters of the bible
    If you read my post about my 2016 goals, you know my pursuit of God is one of the things I'm least satisfied with. Connecting with folks at church is a great way to improve this. Another way is getting into the bible and reading and absorbing His word.
  6. Write on my blog twice a month
    I want to share my thoughts more frequently. Also taking the time to write forces me to be more introspective and think critically about myself in various ways.
  7. Create a garden with at least 5 vegetables and herbs
    This falls in the sustainability camp. I'm happy with the little mint plant we have and the basil we've grown. I'm going to expand on this when we move into the new house.
  8. Attend some kind of tech meetup once every month
    I need to get to know more folks in the local tech community. One of the things I've long thought of trying to do is organize a Startup Weekend in Knoxville. My experience with it in Orlando was one of my favorite things ever. I'm not making that a goal for this year, but I want to meet more people and make contacts that could help me pull that off.

  1. My ability to achieve this goal is dependent mostly on George R.R. Martin's ability to release Winds of Winter this year ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎