Monthly Review: August 2017

A photo of Ao Nang bay near Krabi, Thailand from our trip in January.

I publish a monthly review of habits, work, etc. You’ll be able to find them all here.

August was a kickass month. Once again, we were traveling a good bit. First, we headed to Chicago for some family celebrations. Then, I headed up into the mountains for the Ragnar Relay out here in Colorado. As a 11-person team, we covered close to 200 miles running from Copper Mountain to Snowmass. It’s one of my favorite events of the year!

Work-wise, I was able to accomplish everything I wanted to without feeling super stressed. Drink for Pink also started to ramp up. We’ve already raised over $2,000, and our main events haven’t even started yet! Really excited to see where we end up this year.

Before I forget, if you haven’t yet, definitely sign up for “If we grabbed coffee…” It’s a monthly newsletter where I send out my favorite links from around the web. I also give away one free book each month marked up with my favorite highlights and chapters.

Here’s a full recap of the books, habits, etc that I tackled in August along with what’s up next for September.

Continue reading “Monthly Review: August 2017”

Monthly Review: July 2017

I publish a monthly review of habits, work, etc. You’ll be able to find them all here.

First, before we get started, I just sent out the latest edition of my monthly newsletter. It’s called “If we grabbed coffee…” and it’s just that—articles, books, and ideas I would discuss with my best friends over coffee. I try to keep it super personable, and I also give out a free book each month. You can sign up here if you’re interested.

Some awesome things happened in July! First, we travelled to Banner Elk, North Carolina for a wedding. We were able to get some hiking in around the mountains while we were up there. It’s an absolutely gorgeous part of the country. Glad I was able to get back there!

Second, I completed my first GoRuck Tough event over the Fourth of July. It was tough indeed but a great experience all around. I’m already looking forward to the next one (perhaps doing the GoRuck Heavy—24 hours!).

Third, I met Lance Armstrong on the streets of Boulder while he was gearing up to do a recording of his Stages podcast. I’m a big Lance Armstrong fan so it was a pretty cool experience. He’s a really nice guy, and his podcast is worth listening to.

Here’s a full recap of the books, habits, etc that I tackled in July along with what’s up next for August.

Continue reading “Monthly Review: July 2017”

Monthly Review: June 2017

I publish a monthly review of habits, work, etc. You’ll be able to find them all here.

June was a pretty kickass month. Summer in Colorado is in full swing meaning we have some nice temps and little rain. It’s very tempting to spend all day every day outside in the sunshine by the pool or in the mountains. Here’s a snippet of my June highlights:

  • My wife and I took a trip up to Breckenridge with some family in town. We went on a short hike on an absolutely gorgeous day.
  • I completed Ragnar Trail Snowmass and my first GoRuck Tough event. Lack of sleep pervaded both events!
  • I traveled to San Francisco for a few days of learning at the True University.

I’m looking forward to July as we have a vacation planned to North Carolina and more friends visiting.

Here’s the full breakdown of books, goals, etc from the month of June and what I’m working on in July.

Continue reading “Monthly Review: June 2017”

Monthly Review: May 2017

I publish a monthly review of habits, work, etc. You’ll be able to find them all here.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these monthly reviews! The last one was probably my 2016 retrospective (and November 2016 before that). The past few months have been exceptionally busy so blogging took a backseat. I’m excited to get back at it particularly with these monthly reviews as I think there’s something really special about setting public goals.

As for May 2017, it was an awesome month both at work and at home. I was able to set aside a solid portion of time for development-oriented work, and I learned some new concepts while tackling issues in Calypso. At home, I competed in my first CrossFit competition in awhile and joined a marathon relay team. We also had family and friends visiting us in Colorado. A packed month for sure! Here’s a full breakdown of books, goals, etc and what I’m working on in June.

What did I read?

Looking ahead to this month, I’m going to read MoneyballThe Undoing Project, and Permission Marketing.

Time Spent Coding

31 hours

I was able to block out some significant chunks of time (mainly in the early morning and late evening) for coding in May. This is probably the most time I’ve spent working on code-related projects ever. I suspect this number will decrease in June as I have some other items to work on, but May was a ton of fun. I’m excited by the progress I made working on Calypso and attempting to fix new bugs.

Goals For June

Looking ahead to June, I have two fitness-related events (a GoRuck event and a Ragnar Trail relay) alongside some vacation and some work travel. As a result, I’m going a bit conservative with the goals I set.

  • Complete Wes Bos’ ES6 course (#)
  • Make progress on the Treehouse PHP course
  • Read 3 books
  • 8 pull requests to Calypso
  • Publish 5 blog posts here on the personal blog

2016 Retrospective

Previously: 2015

Each year, I set aside some time to think about the previous 365 days, everything that went right and what can be improved. Overall, I’m really proud of what I was able to accomplish in 2016. My wife and I were fortunate enough to take some awesome vacations together. I continued to grow in my professional life and tackle difficult and rewarding projects. We doubled our yearly donation at Drink for Pink.

Here’s a full rundown of what went well and what I’m going to focus on for the next year.

What did I do right? What am I proud of?

I learned a ton and shared with others.
This year, I invested a lot of time in reading and learning particularly on leadership. I finished 35 books, listened to quite a few podcasts, spoke at a conference, and blogged a lot (every weekday since October). I’m really happy with my progress over the past year, and I’m going to double down on reading and sharing over the next year.

I established better work boundaries.
For several months in a row, I had a goal of logging off from work on time each night and setting clearer boundaries between work and non-work. This has been going really well. I rarely touch work on the weekends or my off days. I’m still far from perfect, but it has been a big improvement.

Alongside these items, I’m really excited about the opportunities I was fortunate enough to tackle last year and my relationship with my wife continued to grow.

What are my biggest opportunities for growth?

I didn’t launch as many projects as I had hoped.
I set out a pretty ambitious goal of shipping four projects in 2016. Of that list, I ended up only getting one live and online. I also failed at getting a regular newsletter out the door. I’m honestly not disappointed in the lackluster performance here. I couldn’t get excited about any of the projects on that list, and my main areas of work (Automattic and Drink for Pink) did really well this past year.

Drink for Pink fell short of our goal.
We raised $8,500 for breast cancer research in the state of Colorado this past year. That represents double what we raised in our first year, but it’s still a good bit short of our $10,000 goal. This is still a huge success, but I want to see us break $15,000 in 2017.

Looking forward to 2017

I’m going to continue narrowing my focus for 2017 and set even fewer goals that I can knock out of the park.

Learn more and share knowledge with others.

Action #1: Finish 40 books and continue to publish book notes.

Action #2: Read alongside the awesome folks in the remote book club we started up. Our first focus is on marketing. We’ll be diving into a stack of books during the first part of the year.

Action #3: Blog every weekday. This simple habit has become incredibly important to me. It pushes me to learn, think, and share more.

Work less.

Action #1: Refrain from starting any new projects in 2017. Focus on excelling at everything I already have in motion.

Action #2: Track the days I take off in 2017. I don’t have a specific number in mind, but I would like to see how many actual days I take off in a year.

Action #3: Take off for several impromptu weekend adventures with my wife.

Raise money with Drink for Pink

Action #1: Hit $15,000+ in donations for all of 2017.

Learn JavaScript deeply

I got sidetracked by some other projects towards the latter half of 2016 that detracted from my coding work.

Action #1: Complete 30 pull requests in 2017 to Calypso.

Action #2: Complete the SQL and PHP courses in Treehouse.

Action #3: Apply to the JavaScript Wrangler position at Automattic.

At the end of each year, I try to remind myself that the most important part is to keep moving forward. We routinely underestimate what we can accomplish in a year and overestimate what we can accomplish in a week. Keep your head down and keep putting on foot in front of the other.

Monthly Review: November 2016

A photo from our trip to Lake Tahoe

I publish a monthly review of habits, work, etc. You’ll be able to find them all here.

I really can’t believe December is already here! November was a pretty fantastic month filled with a bit of travel to Lake Tahoe (featured pic) and Chicago and an awesome Thanksgiving. I’m excited to decorate the house for the holidays and spend whatever time I can with family and friends. I hope you had a wonderful month as well!

Continue reading “Monthly Review: November 2016”

Monthly Review: October 2016

I publish a monthly review of habits, work, etc. You’ll be able to find them all here.

October starts my favorite time of year. We’ve had a relatively warm October thus far, but I still had my fair share of pumpkin everything (beers, lattes, Halloween, etc). October was also filled with some amazing Drink for Pink events and a quick trip to Chicago, which made for a pretty busy month. I was still able to hit 2/3 of my goals and make great progress on the habit I focused on.

Full recap of habits, goals, books, etc below!

Monthly Review: September 2016

I publish a monthly review of habits, work, etc. You’ll be able to find them all here.

September was a pretty amazing month! I had a chance to get together with all of my amazing coworkers in Whistler, BC for the Automattic Grand Meetup; I took a few days off to hang out with my wife and watch her crush her first CrossFit competition; and I stayed consistent with my workouts even on the road.

For habits and goals, it was a mixed bag as you’ll see below. I am really happy with the progress I made on the habit of shutting down by 5pm.

Speaking of monthly reviews, Belle B. Cooper, who inspired me to do these in the first place, is putting together a collection of monthly reviews from across the web. It’s going to be a really cool project. I would encourage you to check it out and contribute if you write a monthly review (you should).

See below for everything I worked on in September!

Full recap of habits, books, etc below!

Monthly Review: August 2016

I publish a monthly review of habits, work, etc. You’ll be able to find them all here.

August was a pretty amazing month. I was able to fly down to Florida and visit family and friends for a long weekend. When I got back to Colorado, I teamed up with some friends from the gym for a 200-mile Ragnar Relay from Copper Mountain to Snowmass. It was a ton of fun, and I can’t wait to do the next one.

As for goals and habits, I made progress from July. My reading was a big success in particular. Here’s a full breakdown and list of what I’m going to focus on in September.

Full recap of habits, books, etc below!

Monthly Review: July 2016

A snapshot of the mountains from

I publish a monthly review of habits, work, etc. You’ll be able to find them all here.

I really dropped the ball on these reviews in May and June. I was fortunate enough to attend SupConf in San Francisco in May, a meetup in Durham, North Carolina in June, and a camping trip plus a trip to Vegas in July. The travel combined with family coming to visit meant that blogging slipped down my priority list. Now that things have calmed down (a tiny bit), I’m hoping to get back at it starting with a recap of all the awesomeness in July and what I’m focused on for August!

Full recap of habits, books, etc below!