Where did 2023 go?

And just what did I do?


Alex Johnstone


December 31, 2023

Here we are, the evening of the last day of the year (at least when I started writing this, took me a few more days to finish!) and I wonder what did happen? I also wonder what will come next year? This time last year I did make a list in dynalist of what I wanted to do in 2023, and I thought I should probably look back on it before I (blindly) make 2024’s list. I also decided to rank myself red, yellow, green on what I achieved. Doesn’t seem like it’s been that great, with five red, four yellow and only one green. I also have one blue.

Let’s start with the good and work down. The only one I gave myself a green was for journaling. This consists of the family journal in DayOne, my idle chatter blog, and this site. I wasn’t perfect by any means, and I’m only 140 DayOne entries for this year, which is about 40% of the year. However, the weblogs were reasonable. I think a good target for 2024 would be 50% of the year but otherwise continue has I’ve been. I do have a few draft posts for this site I’ve yet to write, so maybe something more specific for next year, like 1 post per month, would be a good target.

On to the yellows. The four in this category are sleeping, reading, working and spending. Where the objective was to do more, more, smarter, and less respectively. I’m more of a night person, but with young kids I’m always awake at 6-6:30am every day, so if I go to bed by 10pm and read, I’m usually okay. It’s the nights where it’s 11 or later that I go to bed and then by the time I fall asleep it could be midnight or later. I usually feel pretty poor the next day. I scored myself yellow as sometimes I’m good but other times I’m very bad. Reading follows sleeping in that most of my reading is done before I go to bed, but if I stay up too late too often then I’m too tired to read. The area I’m lacking for reading is with some of the non-fiction books I have. Many are sat on the shelf and have been for several years, and I wanted to read them. I don’t, however, want to read them in the evening when I’m going to bed as I won’t remember them and I also want to take a few notes from them. I’d just never pick sitting and reading a book in the evening vs. all the other things I want to do.

Working is all about being more organised, tracking actions, managing notes, spending less time “multitasking”, checking emails etc., and get more things done. This is mixed and I know I have areas to improve.

The final yellow is about buying less stuff. I’ve got a bit addicted to looking at hotukdeals, and it has probably led to buying more things - although great deals! One thing that hasn’t helped, is taking up amateur radio. This has led to buying more things, which I wouldn’t have, but it’s a fun hobby so I just need to keep it sensible. Definetly seen the impact of inflation this year, and not spent the time to work out the summary of this year’s spending…hopefully it’s less than what we earnt!

Now to the reds. 🚨

First up, is exercise more. In my defence I cycle to work each day, so I don’t do nothing, but I bought a rowing machine in 2022 and haven’t used it in about 16 months, and I told myself I’d use it this year. Laughably, I set my target as three times a week.

I wanted to print more photos and to write more letters to people, ideally combining both and potentially using the typewriter. Did a pretty poor job of those.

Now these two are funny ones, on one hand I wanted to spend less time on the computer but on the other I wanted to play more computer games. What I really meant was spend less time on the computer doing nothing. e.g. browsing the web, looking at hotukdeals, watching youtube, researching things I’ll never do, etc. I knew it would be hard to break the habit of sitting down on the computer and so I thought a good counter to that would be to actually play some computer games. I like playing computer games too. They often have good stories or challenging puzzles to figure out, and I enjoy playing multiplayer with my friends as we chat whilst playing them. Also, I have so many games that I’ve bought over the years but never played…thank you Steam sales.

Finally, I gave myself a blue badge. This was for my “projects” section, which originally had ideas for various websites, or uses for all these SBCs and accessories that seem to be lying around. I didn’t actually do any of them, however, as I ended up getting my amateur radio licence I built a lot of things related to that. So I did some projects - quite significant ones for me - but none of the original list. This didn’t fit with how I categorised green and yellow so blue it is.

Now that I’ve looked back, let’s turn around and look forward and try and learn from what happened. Easy said than done.