2018 Resolutions Review and 2019 Resolutions

2018 was my first time documenting, and in many ways even creating, yearly resolutions. To start 2019, I want to look back and see how I did and make some goals for 2019.

My first resolution was to stick to a budget. As I mentioned in my mid year review, after proposing, budget tracking became a team sport. I think we did really well this year. We reached our savings goals and gathered a lot of data about how we spend money. Our 2019 budget includes a few new lines that take some of the miscellaneous purchases like gifts and gives them their own trackable budget.

I did cook more and eat out less this year, but there is still room for improvement. I think this goal will be a several year process. One challenge is our desire to try many local Baltimore restaurants while still cooking for ourselves and sticking to our budget. Late this year we decided to make a dedicated date budget that we had to use each month to make sure we take the time to go on dates, even when our schedules get particularly busy. That budget item has helped us explore our city a bit more.

Here is a graph of my weight loss in 2018.

I use Happy Scale to track my weight loss

As you can see, the second half of the year was really great, and around the holidays I tailed off. I didn’t reach my goal of dropping 24 pounds, or 2 pounds every month, but I did lose 20 and am very happy about that. As we discussed in the latest episode of Overanalyzed, I experienced some injuries near the holidays and overall lost my rhythm, but I am making strides towards continuing with this goal in 2019.

I mentioned in my mid year review that I was no longer going to focus on creating an iOS app this year but I was doing some iOS development at work that was scratching an adjacent itch. Unfortunately, that effort simmered out shortly after posting as other more pressing things were put on my plate. I’m not sure how iOS will fit into the 2019 plan.

Overanalyzed is doing well and I’m excited to see how it will grow in 2019. We are on iTunes and releasing regularly.

Now onto 2019. In the spirt of Cortex I have decided to give 2019 the theme of Creativity. I want to create more in 2019, be it music again or continue to expand Overanalyzed. This goal will really kick into gear after I finish my masters degree in May. I’ve really enjoyed the last month or so of not having coursework to worry about and am excited with what I can do with that new found time.

  1. Finish the year with a weight that starts with a 1. Currently I am at 215 and the lowest I was in 2018 was 212. I can’t wait to see a 1 in front of that number. 199 would honestly satisfy me immensely, but I think losing 20-25 pounds again would be the true goal. Weight is really just a number; how I feel is the most important metric.
  2. Bike 3 new trails this year. I’d like to do a whole lot more than 3, but I want to bike more and experience more areas.
  3. Release 24 episodes of Overanalyzed. I’d love to really do 26 and never miss a fortnight, but I acknowledge that might not be possible. I am allowing for 2 vacations to satisfy this goal.
  4. Play the bass again. I’m not sure if a band is going to be realistic, but I do want to get my chops back and be ready if the opportunity presents itself.
  5. Accelerate debt payoff. In the 2019 budget there should be some extra money and I want to use that to pay off our student debts at a faster rate than just the minimum payments we’ve done thus far. The end goal is to be “debt free” by 2022.
  6. Learn more about photography. I feel like I know the fundamentals, but I really want to learn the nuances of the art in 2019. I’d also like to get better with my editing skills. I’ve always contemplated taking a picture a day for the whole year, but that is a lot of overhead. A weekly shot or so would be far more achievable and a place to start. I think the biggest transition is getting in the mindset to shoot more.

Really happy with how this episode of Overanalyzed came out. We discuss Maryland’s recently passed bill focused on bringing Computer Science education to all schools in all zip codes. After that, we discuss our holiday and goals for the podcast and ourselves in 2019.

I couldn’t tell you the last time I listened to Genesis’ Duke all the way through, but I can tell you it was too long ago. 🎵

If I could buy any tech gadget right now, it would be a wireless pair of noise canceling headphones with tremendous sound quality, low latency, and easy pairing like AirPods. Sadly, they don’t exist.

As I was trying to figure out my top albums of 2018, I started to realize that a lot that I have been listening to was from the last two years. Guess I’m slow on the discovery these days. For simplicity sake, I’ll probably make the list New to Me in 2018.

My kind of Christmas Eve. Not much is better than watching a concert movie in surround sound.

Call me a homer but I think the Ravens can give anyone a run for their money with their style of play.

Just saw a naked matte black iPhone 7 in the wild and was reminded how beautiful of a finish that was.

While I am critiquing iOS, does it drive anyone else batty how iPad’s volume down interaction instantly goes to zero after briefly holding down the button, completely inconsistent with iPhone’s behavior?

A Modest Undo Proposal

Earlier today I posted that the iOS Shake to Undo feature needed to improve. When @martinfeld challenged me to suggest a better way, it got me thinking.

First of all, I don’t think this proposal has to replace Shake to Undo. It was a novel solution to a hard problem that many users now know and use. I also don’t think that a system-wide option means apps shouldn’t have an Undo button or custom gesture. But I do think a single, consistent, works-in-every-app option needs to exist that isn’t picking up your 12.9 inch iPad and shaking it.

In short, here is my proposed solution.

Control Center is a huge area of unused space, and I think a useful landing spot for an Undo button. As I later mentioned in the thread, I could see this button revealing a list of previous states to revert to, even a clipboard manager!

I hope iOS 13 has many new user interactions and the designers at Apple have come up with a better solution than tacking on a button in a relatively inaccessible, niche location like Control Center. But I do think its a reasonable approach given iOS’ current mental model and that a good bit of customers know about the area because of commonly used features like media playback control as well as brightness.

What do you think?