The Goals. 2021

The human mind always makes progress, but it is a progress in spirals.

Baroness Stael-Holstein

Personal Goals

More Plants!

Renee and I continue our move towards becoming vegetarians.

Healthy Workouts

For me, that means running three or four miles five days a week. Plus upper body conditioning.

Cut back on Alcohol

I say as I start our tradition of dry January!

Consistently Meditate

A good habit that needs to become more ingrained.


Plan better. I do this reasonably well in my professional life. But I want to get better at this in my personal life. That doesn’t mean “unstructured” time is to be avoided, but too much of it leads to not getting anything done.

Relational Goals

Weekly Date Nights

Fridays or Saturdays. Consistent through the year.

1 on 1 Walks with the Kids

I started this a bit last year. We’ve discovered that these walks bring out the talkative and contemplative sides of us all. A time for mentoring and growth. I want it as a habit with my rapidly growing children.

Grow and Build Deep Friendships

An extension of last year’s goal. And a bit more challenging given the particulars of society at the moment. But needs to be done.

Hike and Be

My family loves to hike. I want to expand this to friends as well (relates to grow and build friendships).

Professional Goal

Grow and increase the success of Abre. I know that reads simple (it’s not, it’s arduous work), but it remains true. We have big picture ideas and visions of what Abre can become. Chris and I (and really, the entire team) want to bring us into 2022 healthy, growing, and able to achieve these ideas and visions.

Writing Goals

Beyond Abre (which does consume much of my writing), I have a few particular growth areas.


This is a project I’ve slowly worked on in 2020 and intend to launch this year. It’s a deep dive into open source software and open education resources. I will examine OS and OER from the perspective of K12 education. Definitely a hobby project, but a way to scratch an itch.

Write More Edlighten Posts

As usual. And more aphorism project posts.

Start Some Creative Writing

For the past 5 years, I’ve had a story brewing in my mind. Enough pieces are in place for me to start working on a draft. Plus, it will be a good area of growth as creative writing is an area I rarely attempt.


Goals really don’t happen without habits. One of the better books I read in 2020 was Atomic Habits by James Clear. I loved the book because it really presented a practical guide to achieving goals. I’ll be using much of his framework for 2021.

What About Last Year’s Goals?

Were they, in fact, achieved? 2020 was a challenging year to anticipate (which is likely its own bit of wisdom). My focus changed a bit, given the reality of COVID-19. That said, I’d rate the past year’s goals as so:


  1. Get healthier (I kept my body active despite the chaos!).
  2. Write More. And Better. (I definitely wrote a TON in 2020. Not sure on the better part.)
  3. Started good habits with “The Aphorism Project”.

Somewhat Achieved

  1. Being a goofy father. Far more growth is needed here.
  2. Focused marriage. I mean, we were together a lot this year! And while I do think the year carried a lot of intentional, supportive, and growth invoking conversations with Renee, the romance was so so.
  3. Listen Better.
  4. Grow Abre. (But not so much the open-source roots). We may not have grown as much as I wanted this past year, but this year was hell for startups. I’m proud of what we did accomplish.

Not Achieved

  1. Grow meaningful friendships. I have a few close friends I grew with (especially given this year), but my intent was to grow a larger circle of friends and experiences. COVID shut that down.
  2. Give thoughtfully. Sadly, I did not learn more (and give more) about effective altruism. An area of growth for 2021.

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