I haven’t tracked my, “Am I happy with…” goals in some time. I think they were losing some value as my December depression melted away, and as I put more effort into improving my day to day behavior and life. I’m still focused on improvement, though, and goals help. But perhaps more simple reflection is the better approach.


On my goal of improving interpersonal skills, I started reading How to Win Friends and Influence People, although I have only read a little more than half of it to date. It has taken me a while to get through it for a few reasons. Firstly, I’ve been very busy with happy personal life developments (we moved). Secondly, I took Mr. Carnegie’s advice and have read each chapter twice, going through the second time more slowly, and taking notes (albeit with the Kindle’s hightlight feature).

It has been eye opening and inspirational, not least because of its absolute simplicity. ████████████ told me that it’s on a list of “great American grimoires,” and I think I see the meaning. The first half of the book’s advice on how to win friends and influence people may be summed up as, “recognize the other’s personhood.” Every man and woman is a star. Namaste.

Get up earlier each day, especially to help L with the girls.

This has gone better, especially in our new house. I’ve been making a point of going to bed early and getting up early. It’s feeling more and more natural.

Play fewer video games. Play more board games.

I still haven’t made board games a priority, but I think the first part of the goal was more in line with my intentions; the latter is more about still indulging gaming interests while trying to be more social.

Somewhere in the last two months I started playing Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. I haven’t played it a lot, but it scratched an itch for a while. I haven’t been drawn to it since moving. I did start playing Guild of Dungeoneering on the phone, which is my first phone game in quite some time (not counting trialing little free games for 5 minutes before deleting them).

At this point, I don’t think any gaming habits are out of whack. They are occasionally serving as a means of relaxation and mental diversion, but my productivity is still high.

I suppose we’ll see what happens in May when the original Dark Souls’ remaster is released.

Watch less TV and allow less TV. Read more.

We’ve done very well overall on TV, and I’ve done alright on reading as well. Although I haven’t finished Mr. Carnegie’s book, I did take a week to read Ready Player One. I did not enjoy it as much as some of my colleagues, and I found the movie to be terrible (also unlike most reviewers).

Eat out less. Cook more.

This was hard with the move, but we are back to cooking more now that we’re settling in.

Create a budget and stick to it.

I’ve taken a lot of time in the past month to put together a family budget. We’re still working on the best strategies to manage it all, but I think we’re in the best budgeting shape we’ve ever been in.

Write more of everything: blogs, prose, code for my game or another side project.

I’ve written a bit here, and I’ve written a bit for my new game engine. It’s been nice to have something to hack on as desired.

My plan for April is an unrelated project, but one that satisfies a need I’ve identified for years and have been using spreadsheets to manage. It additionally will help me learn some of the technologies we use at work.


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Find time for more exercise. At least walk the dog.

Oh boy. I haven’t found any extra hours, and I stopped biking to work since we moved to the new house. We also haven’t been walking the dog, which is a double shame now that we live in dog walking central.



Next steps

I am not even going to consider tracking the individual “Am I happy with…” goals anymore. And I am going to abandon some goals altogether. The remaining ones I will continue to reflect on regularly. And I am going to start working on some more concrete goals.

To abandon:

  • Eat out less. Cook more. Eating out is now part of our budget, so as long as it stays within that, we’re fine.
  • Write more of everything: blogs, prose, code for my game or another side project. I am going to turn these into concrete goals.
  • Play fewer video games. Play more board games. I don’t think this is an issue right now.
  • Watch less TV and allow less TV. Read more. I don’t think this is an issue right now.
  • ███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████ Not an important thing to track right now.
  • █████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████ No longer relevant.

To continue to reflect on:

  • How well am I getting up in the mornings to help with the girls?
  • How well are we sticking to our budget? Review regularly!
  • Am I exercising? Are we walking the dog?

New goals for April:

  • Launch a new micro-app built with the technologies we use at work.
  • Finish reading How to Win Friends and Influence People. I think a goal for May will be to put together a PDF for eash refreshing on my notes.