A review of my 2020 resolutions

Ian Forrester selfie with a mask
The new normal, mask, umbrella and coat

2020 has been one heck of a year for me and pretty much every single person on earth. The Covid19 pandemic effected so many peoples lives from people dying to people having to operate around nationwide lock downs. People I know have had covid19 and a couple people are still suffering with the long covid19. From memory no one I know has died but I’m not certain.

The thing about the pandemic is its like background radiation. Its always there and it affects everything. Even if its small things.

Then in the middle of everything the police in American murdered a bunch of black people and the whole thing was captured.  May 2020, was a turning point for many, finally we could talk about systematic racism and people were listening. Not to say they did a lot about it but in some places the light was shone and people finally understood what it means to be an anti-racist.

George Floyd 7 months later
Remembering George floyd on xmas night

So with all that how was my year from the  Quantified Self data  point of view?

  • My average sleep duration has increased from 7 hrs 20mins to 7hours 50mins.  Average deep sleep was 4.03 hrs now its 4.35hrs.
  • This year I started moving away from Gmail, so the numbers make sense. I had 32,601 conversations, have 20718 emails in my inbox and sent 7841 emails this year.
  • Have 114,564 photos and 4,269 photos albums in Google photos.
  • Tasks wise I have 304 open tasks and completed 3,315 over the year
  • Been on all of 6 trips including Manchester, Warrington, Lancaster, London, Alton towers, Blackpool this year.
  • According to Trakt, my most played show is Dave and film was Tenet, Most listened to podcast is the Daily Tech News Show.
  • I spent 742 hours watching films (61.8hrs a month) and 1221 hours watching TV series (101.8hrs a month) – that is a lot, but understandable with being locked down.

Diabolo whip

Here’s my review of  my new years resolutions from 2019.

  1. Head further a field with the scooter
    Even with Covid19, there was a brief chance to go on holiday to the Netherlands in August. I had planned to take the scooter across from either Hull or Felixstowe. I checked out the pricing got the emergency kit, arranged my stay with a friend in the Netherlands. But then Greater Manchester went into a tier where leaving become problematic. I push on but then suddenly the Netherlands become a country when I could need to isolate for 14 days after returning. At that point I decided its all too much.
    Its a shame as I also considered Ireland too but the season had changed and didn’t fancy driving in Ireland in the rain.
  2. Visit another new country
    This never happened for obvious Covid19 reasons. Maybe next year will be better?
  3. Make some changes to the flat
    Lots of changes to the flat, from a new desk, a network attached storage, reconfiguration of some basic things. I still have a number of tasks related to this to go through for 2021.
  4. Host film nights at mine
    This didn’t happen for obvious Covid19 reasons. Although my bubble might break this somewhat.
  5. Spend less time in the UK / Live in a new country
    Yeah Covid19 killed this but who knows what might happen next year
  6. Find the others and connect them
    This has started to happen, but theres more work needed on this front.
  7. Play a new sport somewhat regularly
    Another Covid19 killer, but I did spend a lot of time with the Diabolo.
  8. Drink more fizzy water
    This happened, maybe too much and I had to stop drinking copious amounts of fizzy water late at night. I’m not drinking so much that I needed a subscription but I’m getting through a bottle of gas every 3 weeks?
  9.  Look after myself better
    I believe this one happen starting with my focus on my sleep patterns. Being able to make that decision about working later has made a massive difference to the quality of my sleep, even with the background humm of the pandemic.
  10. Be even more aware of the environment and what I can do to help
    This believe it or not had happened, from spending much more time sorting out what I can recycle. Tesco also have been delivering my shopping with bags so been using them for many things for recycling.
  11. Put my money/resources where my values are, with platforms like Patreon
    This happened, I signed up to Pateon as there is a number of podcasts I regularly enjoy and gave them small amounts of hard cash to help support them. I also donated time and some money to other places like anti-racist, feminist, neurodiverse organisations.
  12. Change my email signature with important information
    Done, my signature now includes my pronoun, my user manual and status. I keep thinking about adding my free/busy time but don’t really like the fact google calendar reveals your email address when doing so.

A review of my 2019 resolutions

Me with birthday ballons

2019 has been quite challenging for me and I know many others!

Looking from the Quantified Self point of view

  • My sleep deficit over the whole year has massively decreased to 36 mins,   My average sleep this year has been 7 hours 20mins (down from 2018). Average deep sleep has been 4.03 hrs now only 48% of my sleep.
  • According to Gmail I have had 54,325 conversations, have 33345 emails in my inbox and sent 7241 emails this year
  • Have 111,540 photos and 3,971 photos albums in Google photos.
  • Tasks wise I have 267 open tasks and completed 2,876 over the year
  • Been on 52 trips including Manchester, Edinburgh, London, Bristol, Guernsey, Madrid, Amsterdam, Venice (first time in Italy), Berlin, Helsinki, Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, Nottingham, The Hague, Bath, Newcastle this year.
  • According to Trakt, my most played show is Supergirl and film was John wick 3, Most listened to podcast is the Daily Tech News Show.
  • I spent 655 hours watching films (16.2 a month) and 300 hours watching TV series (37.5 a month)
  • This year I started a gratitude diary which now has 7,303 words

Regardless of the data he’s the review of my new years resolutions from 2019.

  1. Head further a field with the scooter
    Again I missed this one and its very unlikely this will happen before the UK leaves Europe.  Theres still an idea of visiting my  friend in Rotterdam then drive around and maybe into Belgium & Germany. But this may change massively if I move to Amsterdam?
  2. Ride a roller coaster in yet another country
    This also didn’t happen this year, although I did go to Madrid again and ride lots of coasters in the scorching 41c sun. Also I decided to give the rollercoaster park in Helsinki a miss this year. Next year I’ll be in looking out for coasters in other countries including South Korea.
  3. Look after myself better
    Didn’t do so badly but theres a lot of room for improvement. I do a lot of walking when away from home but Volleyball isn’t as intense as it use to be due to not being in the team now.
  4. Spend more time in the UK
    This happened I think and my partner agrees.
  5. Enter the bake off at work
    This is a yes, I baked some banana bread with chilli chocolate inside and it was very nice except when I took it to work things didn’t quite turn out as expected.  But I did get six peoples vote and there’s photos of the caroline reaper chocolate volcano cake here.
  6. Explore more about the brain using neuroscience
    This needs some work, as I didn’t go to any events this year at all from memory.
  7. Do more with my Estonian e-residency
    I did extended my e-residency another 2 years and I do use it as ID when entering some physical businesses. Its not quite what I was thinking about but it slightly counts. I did also look into using it as another form authentication for some services and finally setup a email address for it.
  8. Explore the future of decentralised and distributed systems
    I spent a weekend at IndieWebCampBerlin and the following days at Republica19. It was quite an amazing and my follow up to R&D with a lunch time lecture with this presentation.
  9. Make some changes to the flat
    I finally started by finally removing the filing cabinet to the local dump, getting a large Billy bookcase in my partners new car (with the roof down in the Manchester rain). I bought a sitting and standing desk which is smaller but yet to put it up due to having the existing one still in place. I didn’t realise my Jerker desk is over 20 years old! I’ll be offering it on ebay in the new year if anyone is keen to have it?
  10. Host film nights and more dinner parties at mine
    This needs to happen in 2020, I had a couple of evening with my new projector, but nowhere what I was hoping for. My partner and friend had not seen Inception so we had fun with that one evening. Another friend suggested she had never seen Kill Bill, so that could be a back to back session with the projector and surround sound system.
    When it comes to the dinner parties front, theres been a bit. Likely the best was the chocolate tasting party which was great.
  11. Work on the dating book
    Since Hannah offered her copy editing skills to help make it a real book, I have done what I can. She suggested ghost writing the book and we have agreed thats a way forward. When I last spoke about the book, I saw 11+ chapters of my previously badly written nonsense, rewritten and re-imagined. Its going to be amazing!
  12. Be a stronger advocate for Team Human
    This is summing up so much of 2019 for me. Not only in daily life but in work. Its appeared in presentations, in talks I’ve given and the way I go about things. Ok its not really about team human but new forms of value or rather. Its one of the reasons why I’m considering a secondment.

New years resolutions 2014

Can’t remember what prompted me to start blogging my new years resolutions but its become a nice habit and I’ve always got friends to keep me on path.

So without further a do…

Following my review of last year, the year before that and the year before that one… here’s my New Years Resolutions for 2014 which follows on from my 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010. 2009, 2008 ones.

  1. Go to a new part of the world
    I’m going to Jamaica anyway, so although not so new there’s new experiences to be had. Nothing stopping me going elsewhere (except maybe money). I’ve already decided that by 2016 I will go to Tokyo. But I’m also wondering about the rest of pan Asia.
  2. Use my Task list more
    I did have in a previous resolution, document more and this is similar but more focused. When I actually write notes (even rough ones) and tasks everything seems to work out ok, but its when I don’t things get forgotten and before you know it, trouble. So I’m going to invest in a decent task writer which hopefully uses Google Tasks as its back end. I tried using Any.do which started out well but after a while the google sync became unreliable. Wonderlist was good but pointless when Ubuntu support was dropped. If Google tasks was a little more developed, it would be good for outlining. I do worry they will drop support in the end like Reader.
  3. Bake a bloody cake
    For year this has sat on the list but still hasn’t happened. Heck I even had suggestions from friends and family on what I should bake. I just need to set aside some time and do this
  4. Ride the bloody Smiler
    After missing the opportunity a few times, I’m dying to get on the ride for my Birthday. I’m actually stopping myself from putting up a G+ or FB event now for my Birthday. However I’m also keeping an eye on the new rollercoasters coming in 2014. A trip into Europe sounds like a good idea.
  5. Improve my circus skills
    I have completely forgotten about improving my circus skills, since the classes were miles away in Cholton. But now I got the scooter back, it should be easy enough to pop over to where ever for Circus skills class (although there might be a clash with Volleyball)
  6. Move away from GoDaddy
    I have been meaning to do this for a long while. However everytime I do, Godaddy have taken the money and I’m left thinking well I’ll sort it out next time. This time, I’ll do it in stages starting with my hosting then slowly move all the domain names over afterwards. The lovely guys at Melbourne Hosting and Bytemark Hosting have offered me deals but UKFast have also got in on the action. All have a base in Manchester by the way.I have already started crossing this out because, I already moved this blog to WPEngine over Christmas (thanks Ben). I’ll slowly move the rest (email and domain names) as time allows.
  7. Surround myself in higher thinking
    I’m already only following certain people on twitter because they say interesting things. This might seem very harsh on certain friends but frankly if some of that rubs off on me and aids others, then great. Its reminds me of my responsibility as a godfather.
    I’m not about to ditch friends, that would be stupid but rather try and elevate what I read and watch. For example, there is so much to take away from the brain jazz with Jason and Douglas. The internet is full of great talks like this and its a crying shame to be watching garbage.
  8. Scooter into another country
    Now this might be a little bit of a cheat but now I got the scooter back on the road, I think its time it went for a real long ride. This might be Europe in the Summer or simply Wales, Ireland (on the ferry) or Scotland. Either way, it needs to happen. I can easily throw my stuff in the back box and set off. My Honda Silverwing is made for long journeys and I’m sure would enjoy the open road during summer.
  9. Use social media to stay in touch with friends
    I’ve always generally used Facebook as a dumping ground but I’m starting to use it a little more to stay in touch with friends and family.  So all those Birthdays which I see in my calendar I’ll be writing something on peoples walls and streams. My aims is to  contact everyone once a year, even for a brief happy birthday which may lead to something a little more rounded.
  10. Pick up the family genealogy
    My family is massive, bigger that I even imagined. Sarah tried to map our family years ago and the map was a crazy affair, many many pages long. My mum has a printed copy which she keeps adding to, but its frankly full of corrections and changes. Seeing how my mum hasn’t switched to digital yet, I should take up this work.
  11. Live the life I choose
    Its become clear to me that career and life progression is going to be less that ordinary for me. I’m going to have to carve my own path through life and that means working in an adhoc style sometimes and being true to myself. I won’t lie, life is pretty good right now. Although it may seem like I should be working towards things, I’m always reminded of the Cluetrain rule #7 – Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy. As I believe in the hyper-connected world we’re moving into. My bets are against hierarchy and traditional. Maybe there is a word which sums this up?
  12. Sort out my love life and finish the book
    Although its the last one, its not so in my mind. I think I need to spend more time going out with new people and getting myself into even newer situations. I have already joined a number of meetup groups and with the scooter can go further a field.
    As most of you know I’m writing a book about my dating experiences. Its fictional and nothing like 50 shades of anything. Its meant to be released as a serialized ebook if I can sort out the US Tax issue with Amazon. I like the idea of self publishing the book in chapters which build up. The money I’m not so worried about.

New years resolutions 2013

Laura and Ian

Following my review of last year and the year before… here’s my New Years Resolutions for 2013

Worth pointing out its amazing I’m seeing in 2013 and with a lovely lady, who knows what might happen?

  1. Ask less for permission, beg more for forgiveness
    I tend not to do certain things because I’m unsure how it will be perceived but to be honest almost every-time I take some initiative and just do it, things work themselves out (in most cases). So I’m going to trust my gut more often and go with it.
  2. Think more from the heart and less from the head
    I can be very level headed in certain situations and I can be seen to hold back quite a lot (which is in conflict with my open style) But I’ve noticed there are moments and stages in life when you do need to just roll with them and not apply a level of analysis to them. I won’t say what things…
  3. Play more social games
    I’ve pretty much every year I say I’m going to play more and its not happened again… So this year I’m  going to play more social games like Werewolf. I’m setting up for once every month in the northern quarter with Larkin About starting Feb 6th.
  4. Drink only when they serve decent cocktails or wine I actually like
    Had it with crappy cocktails, so now I’ll switch to drinking Smirnoff ice or some simple mixer. Frankly I’m shelling out too much money on cocktails which are not worth the amount they are charging. Cocktails which pass my lips in 2013 will be decent ones worthy of my money. No more crap…
  5. Go to a new part of the world
    Got to I still want to go to Japan, Korea, China, etc but who knows if I’ll get there this year but in the meanwhile I’m going to go somewhere else in the world. Hopefully this might also fit with my long term aims to see the northern lights
  6. Do a budget
    Got my spending down but now’s a good time to do a budget and get stuff sorted. But at the same time I want to be able to spend less time organising and filing stuff. I’m actually angling to be clear of one of my credit cards by the end of the year.
  7. Bake a cake
    This is a follow on from last year. In 2013, I’ll bake a Banana loaf and maybe even a Victoria sponge. BBC R&D is in for a treat this year (or won’t know what hit them)
  8. Be fitter and heather
    Been consistently loosing weight at a slow pace but I do need to do more exercise. I’m hoping to find more of the things I like doing including volleyball in the next year. I’ve been consider a lot of what happens in the QS (quantified self) world and eying up the FitBit Ultra as it seems just open enough to do interesting things and work with my setup. My family got me enough Amazon credits to buy one which is great.
  9. Call out stereotyping, bullying and social engineering
    Last year I said “Don’t settle for mis-information and totally bogus arguments” which caused me to seem very argumentative which isn’t what I really wanted. I feel this is better focused on three aspects of communication. Stereotyping, bullying and social engineering. I found in the past, just indicating that you know what there trying to do is enough, so I’ll simply call it when I spot it.
  10. Wound up and trolled
    Its stupid and I do wish some people would grow up, but at the same time… I enjoy shuffling the trolls with some troll-baiting. However I’m going to do less to feed the the trolls (for what it helps). This doesn’t mean I won’t stop doing what I do and calling out stuff but expect less engagement with the trolls.
  11. Do a cocktail mixology course
    Its got to be done! Such great places near by and they all do mixology courses pretty cheaply if I get Laura and a few friends together.
  12. Roller Coasting
    I LOVE rollercoasters and although I do want to join a rollercoaster club again, I just don’t have the time. However I will go to Blackpool, Alton Towers and Thorpe Park this year… Maybe expect a Birthday weekend special?

I’m using Schemer to track most of my aspirations and new years resolutions, which I’m still liking and think is a great social network…

Achieving New Year’s Resolutions

Just discovered Derren Brown is blogging and twittering. One of the things he reblogged was a link to achieve your New Year’s Resolutions.

  1. Make only one resolution – Many people make the mistake of trying to achieve too much
  2. Plan ahead – Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to think about your resolution
  3. Avoid previous resolutions – Deciding to re-visit a past resolution sets you up for frustration and disappointment
  4. Be specific – Think through exactly what you are going to do, where you are going to do it, and at what time
  5. Set S.M.A.R.T goals – Focus on creating goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time based (SMART).
  6. Carrot not stick – Focus on how much better life will be for you, and those around you, when you achieve your resolution
  7. Go public – Many people keep their New Year’s resolution to themselves.
  8. Be persistent – New habits take time to learn, and once in a while you will slip up and revert to the old you.
  9. Visualise – Visualise yourself doing whatever it takes to achieve you resolution as this will help you believe you can do it and see it through.
  10. Be positive – It is better to think about the good things that will flow from a healthier lifestyle than the bad things that will result from an unhealthy one.

So looking at these recommendations, I’ve pretty much failed on every point except number 7, a bit of 6, 9 and 10.

7. Go Public – Many people keep their New year’s resolution to themselves. Unfortunately, this makes it all too easy to simply forget about them. Instead, go public. For example, write down your resolution on a large sheet of paper, sign it, and place it somewhere prominent in your house. Tell your friends, family and colleagues about your resolution, and ask them to provide you with helpful nudges to assist you in achieving your goal. Either way, do not keep your resolution to yourself.

A review of last years resolutions 2010

Its that time of the year, so first up the review of last year.

  1. Go skiing on real snow
    Yes this has been on going and to be honest, with all the spare time I had this year I could have but it would have been against the doctors advice. Anyway this coming year it will happen for sure.
  2. Blog more
    Yep achieved
  3. A better routine and live more healthy
    Yeah this is certainly in effect, never guessed I would have ended up in hospital midway through the year. Crazy stuff.
  4. Kick off Manchester werewolf night again
    We did kick off another werewolf night but its always at the wrong days, so I need to do more about this.
  5. Find my perfect development stack
    Yeah to be fair I still need to work on this but I did end up buying XML Oxygen editor and played with PHP and Xquery. With mydreamscape I got into the type of development I rather liked. Stitching together things which work like lego bricks
  6. Playout live more
    Yeah I didn’t quite achieve this one but I have plans for 2011. I certainly like to play Trance out live.
  7. Use even more graphics
    This didn’t quite happen, but hopefully this will change
  8. Upgrade sooner if it makes a noticeable difference
    Yes this is working for me
  9. Be involved in a regular podcast
    Indeed this worked out great. Techgrumps is fantastic and hopefully we can develop this even further.
  10. Buy a flat in Central Manchester
    Yes I finally this year bought a 2 bedroom flat in Islington Wharf, just on the east edge of central Manchester. I owe my sister and Billie my amazing mortgage advisor greatly for this whole thing
  11. Avoid all online services which don’t perform to my acceptable levels of data portability
    I’ve done this but I certainly could do more in this area.
  12. Play more games
    This is certainly something I am still not doing enough of. I did buy a Xbox 360 a while ago and to be fair I did buy a whole selection of games when I was recovering from my bleed on the brain, thinking I would now finally have the time to invest in them.

My New Year Resolutions of 2009

So its about time to start looking into the future again and making those resolutions… Looking at the previous ones for 2009 things have not gone exactly to plan.

  1. Go skiing on real snow
    Didn’t happen, will have to carry this one over…
  2. Work and execute a Alternative Reality Game
    Also didn’t happen, but I may have to sub this one for writing a book
  3. Build up a better routine
    Its starting to happen but not quite yet, but give it a little more time and things will be better. I’m going start getting up earlier and go to bed earlier that currently.
  4. Work smarter, with less pace and less stress
    This is happening, but there is still smarter ways I could be working. I’ll try and document some of this too of course.
  5. Go out more and be live more heathly
    Yep, I think I’ve drunk more beer and wine this year that ever before. So I’m certainly going out a lot more but living more heathly, not quite. This year that will change.
  6. Be more daring with matters of the heart
    Yeah I’m not doing so bad there… Between OKCupid, Speed Dating, etc I’ve done a reasonable job enjoying myself and not holding back.
  7. Start organising Werewolf and Werewolf+ nights in the North
    Started well but dropped the ball a bit half way through the year when barcamp, tedx, etc kicked in. I should certainly get this going again, as I do enjoy a good game of Werewolf.
  8. Build a web application
    So I got a couple of kick ass ideas which I do want to build and with my new thoughts about using Xquery instead of Python, means I’m a lot more likely to build what I’m thinking in my spare time.
  9. Blog every film I watch
    So I started doing this via twitter using the hashtags film and movie but due to twitters archiving system, they got sucked away before I noticed. Someone pointed me towards 140 film review. So who knows maybe I might use that or come up with some simple Xquery to pull my reviews into a storage container using Twitter/Indenti.ca
  10. Read more
    This has happened a lot, since I bought my ebook reader I’ve read about 15 books in about 4x the speed I usually would. I can see this increasing in the future.
  11. More Trance music
    I’ve not done may trance mixes recently but once I get this competition mix out the way I’ll be uploading them regularly again. I’m also making a habit of listening to Armin Van Buuren and other dj shows at work and making a note of top tunes. I also noticed I spent about 150 pounds last year on tunes from AudioJelly and Juno.
  12. Lots more graphics
    Yep this is happening, I’m also getting faster at drawing in inkscape and explaining the after graphics. I’m hoping next year to be able to do complete presentations based on the graphs alone. I’m also going to start using some of the techniques Dan Roam uses in the back of the napkin