2023 Review and 2024 Goals

My 2023 was defined by making things, leaning further into the creative identities I’ve been cultivating. I danced all through the year, began taking weekly house and hip-hop classes in August, and completed my 100 freestyles project. I published 2 essays at the beginning of the year, Keep Moving the Goalposts and Reaching Out. I then shifted my focus to willsite development: I redesigned the homepage and built two new areas of the site. Other artistic outlets included writing poetry and drawing in my sketchbook. I also got my own art tattooed for the first time, fulfilling a longtime desire.

Outside of creative projects, I’ve been having a great time! I visited family in Texas several times throughout the year. Over the summer I traveled to Japan and had a blast at Bonnaroo. In the fall I backpacked in Olympic National Park and attended my first Indian wedding in Washington DC. My live music highlights included Tourist, Skrillex, Kendrick Lamar, Odesza, Vulfpeck, STS9, and Flume. I skied a little bit and played a lot of pickup and 11v11 soccer. I enjoyed many sunsets and put my hammock up during the warmer months.

At the end of the summer, my girlfriend and I moved in together after over 2 years of long distance! We’ve been loving life in our cozy little apartment, going hard on interior design, cooking, puzzling, board gaming, and whittling down our backlog of movies and television. We made a bunch of new glass bead strands to add to our window-hanging collection and give to family.

I spent much of the year online—thinking out loud and talking with people on Twitter, attending Interintellect salons, jamming over at 3rdspace, and writing with Foster. With every person I meet and connection I make I get more inspired, both to keep investing in the internet and to work harder on my own projects.

Here’s a summary of how my goals for the year went.

2023 Goals

Daily Creativity — 9/10

I’m happy to report that I hit my targets for daily creativity (95.9%, target 95%) and daily dance (85.7%, target 85%), improving upon my 2022 goals. I initially had a daily blogwriting goal (28.8%, target 85%), but I let that go in the spring when I pivoted my attention to site development.

Dance Freestyles — 10/10

I quickly revised my dance goal from posting a weekly freestyle to posting 100 freestyles in 2023 (on TikTok and Twitter). I smashed it, posting #100 on New Year’s Eve. This was an incredibly rewarding project, I’m super proud of myself for putting myself out there and I saw a ton of improvement in my dancing.

Willsite Development — 9/10

While I didn’t revamp my about page or implement sidenotes into my blog, I did completely redesign my site (RIP sidebar nav) and build two new pages. /sketchbook is a digital artifact of my physical sketchbook, and /wiki is my place to share lists, links, and recommendations. I’m excited to have published them as v1’s that I can continue to build on. I’m also quite happy with the redesigned site; my homepage in particular is a much better introduction to me and my various projects.

Start taking dance classes again — 7/10

In August I started taking weekly house and hip-hop fundamentals with my girlfriend at a local studio in August, and we’ve continued through the end of the year. This has been amazing, the studio community is lovely and I’ve seen a lot of improvement, particularly in my footwork and groove.

Aside from closing the distance on my LDR (yay!) the rest of my goals were misses:

  • Resume weightlifting
    • I did not do this. Oof. Not beating myself over it, but setting a strong intention to make it happen in 2024. I need deadlift!
  • Learn to shuffle (dance)
    • I only practiced shuffling a few times, but I did learn a lot of adjacent hip-hop and house footwork, so I’m satisfied. Maybe next time.
  • Summit a 14er
    • This is the goal I’m most disappointed by. My wilderness-adventuring-identified self is embarrassed that I never made this happen! The lesson is this: plan hiking and camping in advance, and commit to skipping a couple of soccer games to make it happen. Otherwise, I’ll always choose to play soccer over the weekend and miss all of my chances to get out into the mountains.
  • Reach 100 email subscribers (starting from 21)
    • I gained a total of 7 subscribers in 2023, leaving me at 29 total (with one from early January 2024) and making this goal a big whiff! That’s okay though. I didn’t publish that much or particularly shill my email list, so I’m not too surprised at this.
  • Write 1 essay per month
    • I published 2022 review in January, Keep Moving the Goalposts in February, and Reaching Out in May. Then I made the decision to shift my writing focus to site development (reasoning: infrastructure and groundwork before content). I’m happy with that outcome! I was trying to get another essay published before the end of the year, but haven’t quite finished Today Is All You Get yet.

2024 Goals

I envision 2024 as a year of leveling up on all of the groundwork I’ve been laying over the last few years. I want to go harder on dance. I want to build on my website even further, and publish more work than I did in 2023. I also want to circle back to music, which I was spending time on in college but put on hiatus, with a foray into piano.

Daily creativity

  • Continue daily creativity goal of 95% creative days
  • Raise daily dance goal to 90% dance days

100 more (freestyles) in ‘24

I had a great time with my 100 freestyles in 2023 project, I want to keep it up. I do also want to experiment: learn and post some choreographies, and choreograph some routines myself.

Continue dance classes

I plan to continue weekly house & hip hop classes, and I want to branch out further. I’m interested in intermediate/advanced house & hip-hop, and I’d love to try out some contemporary, popping, and locking classes.

Begin a daily piano practice

I’m excited to spend time on music again, with the hope of building toward a return to producing. I’ve decided to get a cheap used digital piano to noodle with. Looking back, the most purely musical experiences I’ve had were simply playing around on a piano, hitting keys and faltering out melodies without any training. I’d be happy if I get to a place of 10-15 minutes of piano per day.

Willsite development

I’m looking forward to improving my site even further. Specifically, I want to 1. Address technical debt (laundry list includes sidenotes, improving /wiki styling, adding a changelog, redesign clunky email footer), 2. Build a node-web visualization for /garden, and 3. Build /poetree v1.

Publish a poetry ebook

In parallel to publishing my poetry on my website in /poetree, I want to put together a poetry ebook that I can offer for $5 or pay-what-you-want. This would be a great way to put some of the poetry I’ve written over the last ~10 years out there, give people a chance to support me if they wish, and maybe generate a little bit of passive income.

Begin weightlifting weekly

It’s been about 2 years since I lifted weights regularly. I miss it! My body has grown weaker. I fear that I begin to risk a more serious soccer or hiking-related injury. Let’s get in the gym at least once a week.

Summit a 14er

I’m going to make this happen by scheduling some weekends for hiking & climbing in advance. Ideally I’ll summit more than one, but one is the bare minimum.

Publish a few more essays

I won’t set a monthly goal this time, but I do want to continue essay writing along with my other projects! Shooting for at least 3 essays, not including this 2023 review blog post.

Other than the above, I’m hoping to continue to play soccer regularly, ski a little bit, and hike more than I did in 2023. Travelwise, I’d like to make at least one international trip (Iceland?) and one music festival (Lolla? Outside Lands?) happen. I want to spend more time with family and friends, particularly those who live across the country. I want to keep spending time online, meeting friends and future collaborators. I’m sure I’ll continue to have my ups and downs with attention sinking, media consumption, and daily routine… wishing me luck!

Let’s get it, 2024.