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Adam's 23 for 23: Goals for the year
Activities that inspire joy & satisfaction
I’m finally taking the plunge! For the past couple of years,has followed Gretchen Rubin’s philosophy on New Year’s goals, and now I am as well with my own 23 for 23 post today.
I love the concept because it’s creative and optimistic about the future. The focus is on activities that could inspire happiness, not commitments that cause stress. A pull, not a push. A menu, not a checklist.
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Let’s get started! Here are 23 activities that will give me joy and satisfaction this year, bucketed into four themes.
Live & Build
Enjoy weekly learning time with kids. During the pandemic, I used to do multiple 15-minute learning sessions with each daughter, covering math/spelling/reading. I want to bring it back at least once a week with each kid.
Finish Invisalign. I’m partly done with some teeth straightening and will be very glad to finish it out this year.
Install solar panels, heat pumps, induction stove, and wall batteries. Our big house project of the year is to look into electrification.
Complete cabin projects. Our cabin is a place of joy and stress relief for us. I also find a couple ways to invest in it each year, as part of the renewal that comes with home ownership. This year, I’d like to continue our chainsaw art project, print out a checklist for things to remember when we leave, and redo the pantry.
Learn to like seaweed. Each of us in the family is picking a food we don’t like and we are all going to try it for 10 days straight. I love sashimi but can never get into sushi rolls due to my dislike of seaweed.
Enjoy more non-red meat meals. Meatless Monday? I realized recently that almost all of my favorite meals involve red meat. I want to find more joy in vegetarian, fish, and poultry meals. This is both for my health and to ensure some novelty and creativity in meal planning.
Work & Invest
Incorporate Product Play into my routine. Product makers giving other makers feedback is powerful, and I want to incorporate weekly play time with various products into my routines.
Drive Product Culture excellence in community & craft. I’m pushing on two areas of my team’s culture around creating products this year: Novelty in how my team engages with our tech community & reinvention of how we measure and attain a high-craft product, including world-class at-scale feedback mechanisms.
Lead as a bar raiser at a new altitude. A recent promotion is forcing me to show up in a new way this year. I have to operate at a higher altitude – more communication of support and alignment and less wallowing in problems. I find myself needing to bar-raise for the team during times of change and adjust my style to have less automatic understanding of reasons why something might be hard.
Prioritize China news & info. I want to incorporate news from China into my information diet. I’m starting with the Sinocism Substack.
Find more early-stage & angel investments. I want to continue our journey to learn the best practices in non-traditional investments - angel, early stage, real estate - and use them to improve our network and learn about more industries.
Deliver results as a non-profit board member. I’ve joined my first non-profit board - the Bellevue Arts Museum. I’m interested in balancing governance with execution and learning how to be useful to the arts community.
Play & Recharge
Throw a great party for Helen’s 40th birthday. This one is already in the bag, but we threw a memorable 50+ person party for Helen’s 40th birthday.
Do a solo recharge week. In 2021, I did a solo recharge week. I’d like to repeat this year.
Take a trip with each daughter. In 2022 while on sabbatical, I did a 1:1 trip with each daughter. Repeat!
Push myself at skiing (and other sports). I find it easy to push my limits with my mind more than physical things. I’d love to crack it for sports, and I think skiing (which I’ve done for 30 years but find myself mostly coasting) is a good dimension.
Run a half marathon. In 2022, I did my first long-distance race (Birch Bay 15K). I trained during my sabbatical, so training during normal routines will be my crucible this year.
Invest in meditation. In 2022, I introduced myself to meditation, in large part due to many readers reaching out and giving advice. I want to take it to the next level. I’m interested in a multi-day meditation retreat some year, although probably not in 2023.
Write & Speak
Get good at interviewing. I think I’d make a great podcast interviewer, but I know it takes practice. I’d love to interview other product leaders and I’ve got a few unique approaches that would be differentiated.
Become a locus of good product jobs. I want to grow my LinkedIn following 50% (up +2K to 6K total) and use my network of fellow managers to connect job seekers with awesome product jobs and be known for it.
Publish a letter to the editor in either the NYT, WSJ, or the Economist. I’ve submitted before but have yet to get one published.
Publish a short story. In 2022, I learned a lot about how fiction writing is hard and very different than the writing I do today. I’d love to break down my fear of it and find a way to get started.
Helen’s list includes a few for the family as well, so it’s a team effort here in the Harmetz household.
The purpose of 23 for 23 is not to complete 100% of the items - Helen achieved 70%+ last year and I’d be happy with anywhere from 50%-70%. It's just fun to have the list of growth areas & expressions of joy to savor that I can be pulled towards.