Monthly Review: April 2016 (And 2016 Goal Checkin)

Each month, I publish a monthly review, a sort of public accountability report, looking at goals, reading, habits, etc. You can find all previous months here.

April was a pretty fantastic month. I took a trip down to Austin to hang out with Sparta, the Happiness team I’m on at Automattic. We ate some great barbecue, listened to some live music, and even managed to get some work in. Our home renovation project was started (and almost completed). I felt relatively productive all month.

Since we’re a third of the way through the year, I’m going to tack on a little extra this month and review the previous month’s goals as well as how I’m doing for my yearly targets thus far.

A quick look at 2016 so far

Back in January, I laid out some goals for the upcoming year while reviewing 2015. My three big focus areas were:

  1. Sharing what I’m learning.
  2. Working less.
  3. Continuing to push myself to learn.

I’m still pushing hard in the learning category, but I’m falling short in both sharing what I’m learning and working less. For the sharing piece, this month will be a big step forward both in writing and getting up on stage as I’m presenting at SupConf. For the working less goal, I need to be more mindful of when I’m working and when I should truly be disconnected. My weeks are about to change back to normal (moving from Sat-Wed to Mon-Fri), which should help. If you have tips or tricks that have helped you with work/life balance, please drop them in the comments!

What were my goals for April?

March was a big fail in the goal category. I was a bit too ambitious with the goals I set back in February, which led to an 0/5 month. April turned out much better.

Grade: 2/3

Success: 6 Pull Requests to Calypso

I finished up the month with exactly six including some minor fixes to documentation and some more involved changes to the Contact page for that aren’t merged quite yet. More important than the overall total number of commits, I learned an absolute boatload over the past month including bits about Flux/Reflux and unit tests with Mocha.

Fail: Publish 4 Blog Posts

There’s not much to say here other than that I fell laughably short. However, expect that to turn around in May. I updated the look of the blog here, which is something I’ve been meaning to do for awhile, and I’m in the process of moving the site over to SiteGround hosting. I’ll be reinvesting more time in writing in May.

Success: Read 3 Books

I was able to refocus my time more on reading, particularly in the evenings before bed. My favorite book this month was Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions. Ariely’s writing is right up my alley. Speaking of reading, if you’re looking to read more over the next month or so, my friend Belle recently dropped some tips over on her blog.

What habit did I focus on?

For April, I focused on staying off my computer on the weekends. I have mixed feelings on my results. I failed quite miserably to be honest. Just this past weekend, I was on my computer for an hour or more on both my “Saturday” and “Sunday” (really Thursday and Friday). For the most part though, I was working on things I wanted to be working on like pull requests to Calypso so it didn’t add any stress to my day. I’m not quite sure where to land on this one.


A screenshot of my homescreen for April


I had a relatively solid month of reading in April. As mentioned above, Predictably Irrational was my favorite of the bunch.

Looking Forward to May

I’m going to stick with the manageable list of three items for the next few months.


  • Publish 10 blog posts here on this blog
  • Create 6 pull requests to Calypso
  • Read 3 books


  • Meditation! It feels like I’m going back to step #1 again. I haven’t meditated in probably 25 days or so despite having the Calm app on my homescreen. My goal is to meditate 15 days out of the month.

Photo Credits: Teams Sparta and Athens in Austin from Andrew Spittle

6 thoughts on “Monthly Review: April 2016 (And 2016 Goal Checkin)

  1. Dan Ariely cam to speak to my business school in college. I repeatedly go back and re-read that book!

    I’ll meditate if you meditate?

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