Personal goals publicly stated in response to the arbitrary incrementing of the solar year for this star-system

The solar year is the period of time for the ecliptic longitude of the Sun to increase about 360 degrees relative to the perspective of the Earth. It’s not precise, since it varies from year to year depending on the days each seasons’ equinox occurs, but it’s an adaptation upon which my species (Humans) has come to depend.

In many cultures, this event is celebrated in different ways:

– A “party” – one of the greatest inventions of Humans
– Promiscuity and other mating behavior
– Depression
– Temporary modification of ones mental and physiological parameters via “drugs”
– Declarations, usually public, of various changes you’d like to make to your own life, coinciding with the new solar/tropical year.

It’s the latter tradition that I now employ; I’m going to claim I’ll do some stuff, even though it’s proven that doing so actually harms your ability to complete the task.1

To be more specific, these are things I’m already doing, but will do better.

1. Volunteer more efficiently

As the line goes – I’m spread thin. Several of these efforts are things that can be done by others just as well – there’s nothing of benefit that’s specific to me being the particular asset. I aim to engage others to take over in my stead.

Like too little butter over too much bread.

Bilbo Baggins

2. Allow failed projects and experiments to die an early, noble death.

I have a real problem letting go. It’s a very good thing when I’m debugging code, or memorizing music, or learning a new skill – that of “deep work” from the famous book of the same name.

But it’s bad at scale. When I’ve tried something, given it my best, and I’ve still failed, I hit replay. Whether conversation, code, music, electrical engineering – it doesn’t matter.

Because I’m involved in many seemingly disparate things, it means I fail a lot. Outwardly, it can even seem shiftless, since few would know the common goal tying it all together.

There’s a monolithic chant in the professional culture of which I’m incidentally a part…

failure is super great wow we love failure mmm good stuff omg, so much learny time.


That’s fine if you let go, apply what you’ve learned, and move on. Not fine if you circle back to it, trampling the problem into a nebulous mud of exasperated debugging and over-analyzation.

3. Shutting up even more: remain silent about larger pursuits.

I’ve found this works well for me. Last year I decided not to speak at conferences for the foreseeable future (context). I’ve been working on a few bigger projects the last few years, and have so far resisted the urge to share or announce anything prematurely. I aim to continue that.

That’s really it. Thanks for reading my blog.