Reflecting on my 2023 goals

October 11th, 2023

Initially I thought I'd do monthly updates on my 2023 goals, but that was certainly too ambitious.

Nevertheless, it's now been more than half a year since the last update and my goals have changed a lot since then, so it felt valid to check up on them.

In this post I'll just do an update, but I hope to reflect on the changes I made to my goals and what lessons to take away from this in a future post.

Important context

A lot has changed since I first wrote these goals, particularly when it comes to the fitness-related ones. I was on a bulk phase and getting stronger, on track to achieve what I'd set out to do, and then I got food poisoning and lost 4 kilos in a few days. Right after this I went on a work trip where I was unable to train properly, and upon coming back I rediscovered climbing, which threw me in a completely opposite direction.

As of now I'm lighter and, in powerlifting terms, weaker, but my training has completely shifted towards climbing-specific goals and managing climbing-related injuries (e.g. my ulnar nerve entrapment on both elbows).

These sound like excuses, but in reality all I'm actually saying is I changed my fitness goals, so most of those listed here have been thrown out of the window. Nevertheless that's something I'm quite happy about as climbing has brought a lot of joy into my life.

And another thing - I quit my job after three years. I didn't end up writing a post about this (or actually I did, but never published it) but some context can be found on the homepage of this site.

Above all

I wrote that above all the other goals I'm seeking tranquility and to be more myself, and I'm happy with how things have been on this end.

As for what has helped, I think the main things were actually getting established in one place (I properly moved back to my hometown Belo Horizonte after 10 years abroad), doing therapy, and doubling down on both the relationships and interests that brought me the most energy and joy.

"Join" the 1000lb club (dropped)

This went out of the window completely, despite me getting so close. I got up to around 970lbs with my PRs, but might have even actually gotten strong enough to pass 1000 were I to have tested my PRs before getting food poisoning.

It's a number I might still be interested to hit in the future but not currently seeking out as it doesn't align with my climbing goals.

Get to a 1500 rating in rapid chess on (dropped)

Chess was apparently just a phase for me (I suspected it might have been) so I stopped playing not long after my last update.

I still really love chess and would like to get better at it, but for now my interest has waned a little bit.

Read one book per month

As I'm writing this I believe I've mostly kept up with this one.

Let's see - this year I've read: Exhalation, On Time and Water, Eleven Rings, Flashboys, Letters to a Young Poet, O conto da ilha desconhecida (not really a book book but I read it four times), and some book about bubbles that I forgot the name of. I'm also currently halfway through Brasil: Uma História. So that means I'm a bit behind.

Quitting my job helped improve my reading initially and I went through the first 300 pages of Brasil: Uma História quite quickly but then went into an intense two month trip where I didn't have much time to read. I'll hopefully catch up in these remaining months.

Write a post per month on this blog

I'm also a bit behind on this - I'm seven posts in, and three are about my goals, which is a bit meh. Although I did publish two new poem collections though, which I'm happy about.

Deadlift 5 plates (dropped)

Gone along with the 1000lb club.

Hold a back lever for 5 seconds (half dropped)

I'm not training for this but as I pick up a bit more calisthenics through climbing I might actually make some progress here.

Do 11 good muscle ups (half dropped)

Same as above.

Do a week-long hike (done, kinda)

I'd consider this done, although I didn't do a week-long hike. Instead, I accomplished the sentiment of this goal, which was to disconnect and do cool stuff in nature for a longer period.

I initially phrased it as a week-long hike because that's the type of stuff you can squeeze in when you're working, but instead I quit my job and spent three weeks out in the Alps doing a lot of climbing, hiking, and camping, including a few periods of several days during which I fully disconnected.

I've also shifted a bit more towards climbing and alpinism rather than just pure hiking.

Become very comfortable with databases (done)

The goal is a bit vague, but I'd consider it done. My six months of work at PostHog this year were largely focused around our database and I spent my last month there working on HouseWatch, a tool for monitoring and managing ClickHouse. As a result, I became more well-versed in dealing with databases, particularly ClickHouse.

Build out a multi-week project (done)

HouseWatch was mostly a solo effort that spanned multiple weeks, so I'm happy with this. It was very energizing to work on.

Dabble with machine learning

I started to actually use GPT and read a bit more about machine learning, which is minimal progress. The goal was nevertheless not particularly ambitious, although I think I'm still failing.

Rewrite Teeny in Rust (dropped)

I don't much care for this at this exact point in time to be honest.