2017 ambitions quarterly report card

On New Years Eve I published a list of ambitions for the year. Here is the first report of my progress.

– 3000 words per month

Total failure. Even paid for a LeanPub account but just haven’t been able to get my head into it at all. Not actually blocked from writing — just put the whole ‘transformation’ agenda behind me faster than I expected and there are a lot of other people sharing their experiences out there now like Dai. I do still think there is a book in the topic but it is probably going to come from someone else (or maybe I can contribute a chapter!).


– 8 meet-ups
– 1 ‘event’

This seems to be going well. I’ve organised a couple of the ‘minimal viable meet-ups’ and the second one worked really well. Decent interest in the next one in May and I think it will tick along nicely. Hitting the target should be OK.

As for the ‘event’ — I have a couple of ideas. I’m thinking of running a one off meet-up with speakers etc probably at Desklodge. I was thinking about seeing if I could convince Dan and his Parliament Data entourage to bring their show on the road and maybe additionally get Tony from mySociety to talk EveryPolitician and WikiData. I think that would be a fun evening.


– 80,000 steps per week
– 6 non drinking months (not consequentially)

Middling. Turns out my average work days steps = 7,000 ish so now I have a baseline and the weather is improving I have a plan on how to get a boost. My problem is that I’ve always been bad at breaking my day when I am in work — I never really break for lunch or anything so I need to make that happen.

The drinking situation is a mixed bag. I’m not drinking in the week much at all but I haven’t had any weekends off let along entire months.


– 50 notes
– 50 sketches (one drawing or piece of graf a week on Instagram)

This is going well. The weeknotes continue at pace and I’m enjoying writing them and seeing other people taking up the baton as well. I’m also spending a couple of hours each weekend doodling and then sharing them on Instagram. They aren’t much good. I don’t have a very steady hand anymore and it shows. I’m enjoying it though.


– 6 talks
– 2 new presentations

This looks like it should be OK as well. I’m speaking at OpenTech and Camp Digital in May and spoke at the Museum of Architecture event last week. I’ve also submitted pitches to a few other events via Calls for Speakers.

I’ve got three talks in rotation at the moment — one about openness and blogging, one about mySociety, civic tech and broadening the reach through service design and the last a new version of my team culture talk adding in lessons from moving to a remote first, tech led organisation.


– 50 published lists
– 200 email subscribers

This seems to be a success. I have about 170 email signups, 200ish uniques on the blogpost each week + 17 people who follow on RSS it looks like. Started to get told when people find jobs via it which is a great feeling. Probably going to spend a bit of time doing some research into how I can make it more useful for people in the summer.


– 3 continents
– 4 UK trips

Well I’m off to Italy for the first time in April (for TICTeC) so will get to see a bit of Rome and Florence. I’m also back to New York in June — for the Personal Democracy Conference and graffiti spotting. Vegas in November for a friends 40th which will hopefully be combined with the Code for America Summit depending on the timings.

Does mean it will probably be only 2 continents though.

UK trips are a bust so far. I’m really bad at it. There are a bunch of things I want to see in London, Brighton, Manchester and elsewhere but I never seem to follow through with it (partly as I hate travelling on weekends.) Must do better.


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