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2018 Year in Review (With Metrics)

TL;DR: 2018 was a pretty exciting year for me. I finished my undergraduate degree, moved to Denver, and started a new job. All of these things were huge wins but they took up a lot of time and energy ultimately distracting me from some of my 2018 goals.


Approach: I am a big fan of the quantified self movement and data-driven self-improvement, I think it offers an objective and reflective view on one’s life. The idea being, if you can more objectively examine and understand the past you might be able to better prepare, predict, and quantify future behavior and goals.

So, what were my stats in 2018 compared to the previous year?


Table of Contents

  1. Goals
  2. Reading
  3. Sleep
  4. Fitness
  5. Weight
  6. Time Tracking
  7. Travel
  8. Expenses
  9. Writing
  10. Closing Thoughts & Next Steps

Goals

I completed 14 of 26 of my 2018 goals. This comes out to be a 53.8% completion rate. I think this is pretty low. I believe there are two reasons I had such a low completion rate. One being the quality of the goals themselves, some of them were simply unmeasurable and very unspecific. I am going to use the S.M.A.R.T. criteria in the future to avoid this problem. The second being an execution problem on big, long term tasks, for example running a half marathon and completing a century on my bicycle. These are tasks that take a lot of time and energy over long periods of time. And I simply didn’t execute well enough on them in order to get them ultimately completed. My main takeaway, the goals I achieved were really important and am proud of myself for doing them, but my completion rate was low due to tasks I easily could have completed with better long term time management.


Reading

I use the goodreads platform to track my reading.

photo photo photo

I read 14 books in 2018. My goal was to read 24 books. I really fell short on my goal, maybe it was too unrealistic? But then again 24 books in a year is only a book every two weeks which is more than attainable if made a priority? Reflecting back on my completion number I should have known that my undergraduate capstone, job search, and new job where going to take up a lot of mental energy and that shooting for 24 books was a bit unrealistic. Having read 13 books in 2017, I believe I made it 24 knowing it was a stretch goal but it didn’t really work anyways, so I now know that the stretch goal approach doesn’t really work with me related to reading. This year I will try and make the number of books I want to complete much more realistic.

I am a bit concerned with the amount of higher rated books I had in 2017 compared to 2018. It tells me that I need to be picker about the books I read in the future. Another thing worth mentioning is that I read much more consistently in 2018 compared to 2017. I think this is simply due to me transitioning away from being a student(with free time during the holidays) and becoming a full time worker.

Either way reading 14 books in 2018 compared to 13 books in 2017 is an improvement of 7.7%. All things considered it’s a great win, if I can do that sort of improvement year over year I am confident it will pay off.


Sleep

I am still coming up with a good way to capture and analyze my sleep. I am currently using my iPhone and don’t have sleep data from 2017. I am debating buying the Oura ring but it’s pretty expensive.


Fitness

I use strava to track my running and cycling distances.

2018 & 2017 Totals: photo photo photo photo

To be honest this was a very off year for me fitness wise.

While I did cycle more in 2018 than I did in 2017, I have cycled 2k+ years in both 2015 and 2016. It was simply that 2017 was so bad mileage wise that it was easy for me to beat it.

Also I ran much more consistently in 2018 than in 2017 but the reason the mileage was lower in 2018 than in 2017 is due to the fact that I did a 50 plus mile hiking trip on the Milford Track in 2017 that I marked as runs and not as hikes.

My Strava year in review video: video

125 active days means I was active 34.24% of the time in 2018. My goal was 50%. I bet I can hit that next year.


Weight

I use the Withings body cardio scale to automatically track my weight and body composition. photo

As you can tell this year was my biggest year in terms of weight fluctuation. I cycled a ton this summer with my Dad and that’s why I lost all that weight. I cycled a lot less when I moved to Denver in September and slowly gained all that weight back, plus some. I am looking forward to cycling more in 2019.


Time Tracking

I use Rescuetime to track my screen time. Unfortunately there isn’t a Rescuetime IOS application as Apple doesn’t allow screen tracking so only my desktop behavior for 2018 was able to be captured.

photo photo photo

What I learned from this is that I watched way too much Entertainment in 2017. Unfortunately, I am only learning this after the fact but it helps me be cognizant of this behavior in the future. I also learned how much time I spend doing email and inside my company’s salesforce database. This helps me know that communication and data entry is taking more of my time than conducting analyses which I would much more prefer.


Travel

I use kayak to capture my travel data. I also drove across the country this summer with my girlfriend (see picture of us at the grand canyon below).

photo

Kayak Travel stats:

I think some of the data might be messed up (look at days on road versus flights). I think kayak might be picking up the times when my girlfriend forward’s me her flight info to my email. I simply will have her text it to me from now on. Either way, 20 flights in 2018 is pretty cool and I am super fortunate to have been able to travel so much in 2018.


Expenses

I use mint to track my financial data. I then threw that data into excel and made a quick pie chart. photo I am spending way too much money on rent and food, plain and simple. Very much typical millennial behavior. I am only making fun of the situation because it is something I am really trying to work on in 2019. I can’t do much about my rent but I can spend less money out on food and drinks.


Writing

I only wrote 7 blog posts in 2018. I wanted to write 52 (one per week). I really failed at that goal and will make a much more realistic goal for 2019.


Closing Thoughts & Next Steps

This has easily been my longest blog post. It has really helped me reflect on this previous year and enabled me to make more informed goals in 2019.

Moving forward, this is the first year I have a year’s worth of automated data about myself. I want to potentially conduct some analyses on this data in an effort to better understand my behaviors and metrics, as well as their various relationships over time.


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