2021 Goals and Resolutions

Well, 2020 sure didn’t go exactly as planned, but I was able to make progress on some of my goals in a way that I feel proud of. Here’s what I’m looking forward to in 2021:


  • Reading a lot of books.
    • I’ve got a fair amount of English-language non-fiction covering a range of public policy, science, and biography that I’m pretty excited about.
    • I’ve also got a fairly aggressive list of Spanish-language books, many of which are going to be pretty difficult (looking at you Bolaño and Borges) — however, some of these books will be re-reads of novels I read this year so hopefully those will go quickly since my vocabulary has improved a lot since the first read-through.
  • Continue practicing guitar diligently
    • My goal is ~30 minutes of practice at least 5 days a week. I’ve been hitting that for the last few months but we’ll see if I can keep it up for all of 2021
  • Getting better at film photography
    • This one is a tough goal to measure since it’s hard to say what “improving” means here or even what concrete steps I can take to know that I’m getting better. I’ve definitely been taking a lot of photos and am trying to figure out how to push my personal creativity in the medium. We’ll see how this goes — maybe by mid-year I’ll have a better idea about what my goals are.
  • Write longer & better
    • This year, between this blog and my work on Locally Optimistic and in partnership with other companies I wrote and published close to 40 posts. That’s pretty good and it helped me break through some of the apprehension I had around just writing moreNow I want to focus on quality over quantity — my goal for this year will be to publish 12 solid full-length essays. I want to use this space to delve more into the type of long-form personal non-fiction that I admire in other writers.
    • I’ll try to do that along with keeping up my blogging about analytics and data technology which I’ve really enjoyed doing this year.

Depending on how vaccine dispersal goes here in Mexico this year, I’d like to also play more squash (at least once a week) and follow-through on my failed 2020 goal of learning (the very basics of) dancing salsa.


  • Triple the number of clients we have for Recast. This business is finally hitting its stride and I’m excited to shift into growth-mode in 2021.
  • Start a substack / email newsletter. I’ve got a few ideas for what I want to do here, but nothing firmed up yet. Stay tuned!

And I think that’s mostly it. I’ll be happy if I can keep up the pace on reading and guitar practice and writing — what I’ve laid out here is pretty aggressive and I’ll have to maintain a lot of focus and discipline to achieve it, but I think it’s totally feasible. But we’ll see! I also might get depressed and / or lazy in 2021, in which case who knows what’ll happen. At the very least I’ll try to come back to this at the end of the year and see how I did or how my priorities shifted.

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By michael