Goal progress: February 2019

Happy Tuesday! We’re now several days into March. And as with January, February flew right by.

Yeah, it’s a short month — but February felt particularly quick.

I’m writing this on a sunny Sunday morning from Burlington, Ontario. We’re in town for the annual Chilly Half Marathon.

I try my best to give my business to local coffee shops, so I’m hanging out at Tamp Coffee Co. while my better half does the running.

Burlington a small town on the edge of the Greater Toronto Area. It’s boomed over the last few years as people move further out from the city in search of more “affordable” homes.

The drive from Toronto to Burlington is reasonably short, about 50 minutes in good traffic. It’s also on the Lakeshore West train line for GO Transit.

When we first visited Burlington for last year’s Chilly Half, we also flirted with the idea of moving here.

I’m a cyclist, and my better half is a runner. Burlington seems good for both. It’s close to Niagara, one of my favourite local destinations in the summer.

But I don’t see us relocating any time soon. We’re renting a decent place in Toronto, and as long as downtown commutes are a necessity, a 30 minute subway ride is hard to beat.

Anyway… home ownership aside, here’s how my 2019 goals are going.

What went well?

Reading one book per month: I finished Company of One by Paul Jarvis. When I first picked up the book I thought it’d be exclusively for freelancers and independent business owners who want to stay small. Turns out it’s more about responsible growth. I took a bunch of notes and will hopefully get around to typing them up in the next few weeks.

I’ve since started on Leonardo: The First Scientist by Michael White. It was a used bookstore find and, while not a great book, it’s entertaining enough to keep me going. Walter Isaacson’s book on Da Vinci is on my shortlist for a follow-up read, if not this year, then sometime next year for sure.

Publish one new page per week: Deviated a bit on this one. Instead of trying to publish a new page per week, I’m trying to publish either a post or page to get into a cadence of putting something out there.

In February, I published an overview of my Reach Teach Sell model for content marketing; shared some thoughts about treating your marketing content like an investment portfolio; and wrote a practical step-by-step approach to repurposing content from a written post to a recorded podcast.

That last piece accompanied my presentation at PodCamp Toronto 2019. The feedback’s been good. I plan to continue iterating on this the same way I’ve iterated on the Reach Teach Sell model for the past 5+ years.

Spend more time with family: Family time, in the sense of the time spent together in our little household of two people and a dog, is very strong. It’s the time spent with extended family that falls short. But I’m comfortable with that. We’re all spread out and doing our own thing.

Take road trips & share the experience: Not a ton of progress since my last check-in, but there’s a lot of travel coming up.

I’m down in California next week for work and plan to spend some time in Sonoma & Napa. The week after that I’m heading down to Florida for WordCamp Miami 2019. Then, in early April, I’m visiting San Diego for the first time ever. (Not a bad way to escape the snow!)

Return to a healthy lifestyle: More progress here. Getting my ass kicked by Kelli and Daniel at FitnessBlender on a regular basis. Dropped my spin sessions in favour of mounting my bike on a home trainer.

Heading into the spring, I’m doing the Ride for Heart (75km) in May, and the Ride to Conquer Cancer (200km) in June. I’m also looking to join a local club to meet other cyclists, and as we roll into the summer, do more trail rides.

What do I need to improve?

Complete coding courses & share the results: I wanted to dig into SQL and Python in February, but other work consumed my schedule. I’m not relenting, though! DataCamp is on my to-do list starting this week.

Do more creative work and share it: Same as last month. I’m doodlin’, but I’m not sharin’. I backed off on the second Instagram profile and website because I just don’t have enough time to maintain them. (That’s also why I shuttered my curated Press This blog after only a few weeks.)

My new plan: Share work on this blog and on Instagram.

Record and publish one podcast per week: Originally I wanted to do audio for my blog posts. But then I paid more attention to the podcasts I like.

My favourite podcasts are short conversations about a focused topic (Track Changes from Postlight) or heavily produced works (Startup from Gimlet Media).

I don’t have time for the latter, but I’ve done the former. So I’m chatting with some friends about starting up a new show in April. More to come on that later this month.

Learn audio & video production, share notes: Tied to the above. Slated for a deep dive in April and May, so if I get cracking on my coding courses for March, I should be able to segue into this as spring rolls around.

Get back into gaming & streaming: I’m playing a handful of games: Fortnite, Overwatch, and more recently, Apex Legends and Guild Wars 2.

While I enjoy jumping into these games, I’m not a serious enough gamer to stream it. Instead, I’m thinking about stacking the streaming on top of the new podcast.

Monthly newsletter: Haven’t been aggressive here and, quite frankly, I don’t put out enough content to justify a dedicated newsletter. Thinking about pivoting this into the podcast as well, and letting my blog subscriptions run exclusively on Jetpack email notifications instead.

What else is going on?

I’m back on GeneratePress after renewing my GeneratePress Premium license last week.

While I liked the restrictive options and old-school blogging layout of the McLuhan theme, there were certain things that drove me nuts — like the massive featured image on individual posts.

Thanks to GeneratePress Premium and some custom CSS tweaks, I was able to hit the simple aesthetic that used to dominate my custom site builds: a popping full-width header banner; a tight content area; and a rich site footer.

The allcaps ANDYMCI wordmark on a warm orange-red background is something I want to carry through all my points of presence. I like the simplicity and “punchy-ness” of it. And for this blog, the primary navigation also serves as a sort of tagline. You know what I’m all about because it’s right there.

But if I’m doing this, where does all my curation end up?

A few spots: Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. To make that happen, I need to get back to using Buffer on a regular basis to keep those profiles queued up with interesting links and original content.

In like a lion…

Here’s to March! It’s gonna be another busy month.


I’m fundraising for the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Can you contribute? (Every donation helps!)

Are you a cyclist? Join the ride.

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