Looking Ahead (and Forward to) 2014

Edit: 9 out of 16. Not bad.

I’ve been really bad at setting goals for myself, so I am going to attempt to remedy that this year. This is a list of things I want to accomplish in 2014. I’m writing it down because I need it to serve as a list for myself, and as a way for all of you to hold me accountable. So hold me accountable, OK?


  1. Graduate College

    Sounds dumb, I know. I thought I had it done, but there was a class hanging out there after I switched catalogs that I didn’t know about. So one more semester and I’m done. I need to put it here because I didn’t try last semester. I’m basically incapable of giving a crap anymore.

  2. Read to my daughter every night

    This one should be a no-brainer. I need to do it more.
    This one was difficult, as schedules often got in the way. But I need to do better in 2015.

  3. Read five fiction books

    Every book I read is either for a class, about programming, or non-fiction. I want to read (or listen to) more fiction.
    Success! If you include Audible, I read/listened to 31 fiction books this year.

  4. Beat Civilization 5 on King difficulty

    Such a dumb goal, but I’ve never beaten a Civilization game on harder-than-Prince difficulty. I want to change that.
    Ain’t nobody got time for that!

  5. Finish my basement

    It’s almost done. I’m paying someone to finish it, so I guess the goal should be “make enough money to pay someone to finish the basement”.
    Success! The last materials are on order, and will be installed in the next couple of weeks. I’ll count it.

  6. Take two vacations

    Real vacations… not “weekend in Minneapolis”. I want to see southern Florida and maybe Hawaii. I’d be happy with Bora Bora too, but I don’t have $25,000 sitting around.
    Success-ish. We spent 2+ weeks at my lake cabin this year because our daughter loves it.

  7. Eat at 25 new restaurants

    I eat too much pizza and not enough great, local cuisine.
    Success! I didn’t keep count, but if you include vacations, I crushed this.

  8. Shop responsibly

    Speaking of local, I think we all spend too much money on the Internet and at big box stores, and not enough at small, locally-owned businesses. Along with my money going to local restaurants (and not chains), it’s going to go to locally owned stores.

    I’m also going to give my money to stores that are socially responsible as well. Companies that care about their employees, the environment, and social justice will all see a much, MUCH larger portion of my money this year.
    Success! We spent far more money at locally-owned stores. I also almost avoided spending any money at Best Buy this year, which is a double success.

  9. Significantly improve my grilling abilities

    I made huge strides forward in 2013, and I want to continue the momentum this year. If you’re wondering, this is my bible.

    I’m also going to buy a slow cooker this year. Not sure which one, but brisket is in my near-future.
    Success! My wife thinks so, anyway.

  10. Attend four indie shows

    Odd one, but it’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen a good concert. I’d like to see 4 this year, with my wife. The Doomtree blowout in December counts as one. 😉
    Total failure. Only one show all year and it was Ed Sheeran. 🙁

  11. Start working out/losing weight

    Obligatory weight loss New Years resolution
    LOL. That’s all.


  1. Learn NodeJS

    I believe NodeJS is the immediate future of web development, so I am going to spend some serious time learning it. I’m helping start a Node meetup. I’ve got a stack of books that will teach me almost everything I need to know. I’ve found a support network that wants to learn with me. Now I’m searching for a good idea to build.
    Success! I’ve built two products with NodeJS. FileWrap, an agency file delivery app, and standing.io, a cool video player for conference videos.

  2. Speak at 10 conferences

    Between late 2012 and 2013, I spoke at over 20. That was too many. Cutting back this year means I’ll be able to spend more time with the family and on fun projects. I’m already scheduled to speak at Sunshine PHP, and I have submissions in to Midwest PHP, WordCamp Minneapolis, and a couple local events.
    Success! I spoke at 11, but will be limiting it even more this year.

  3. Write 26 blog posts

    I’m really bad at writing, but I want to write bi-weekly posts. I’m not sure I have the time, and this will be the first goal that gets dropped if I need time for others, but I’m putting it here because masochism.
    Total Failure. I have an idea to fix this, though. Stay tuned.

  4. Finish four premium 3themes themes

    Not to be forgotten (which I did at first), I want to finish 4 premium 3themes themes based off Spring theme, which means I also have to finish Spring theme. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s 5 professional, tested, debugged, completed, and good WordPress themes this year.
    Nope. 3themes was abandoned in favor of other ventures such as Prestige Conference.

  5. Build a profitable product for Lemonly

    This one is last, because I believe it will be the culmination of everything else on this list. It will be built with Node. It’s blog will be built on WordPress (based on a 3themes theme, of course!). It will be ranted about here and on Twitter. It will suck at first. But it will work, and it’ll get better. And it’ll make money.

    I have NO IDEA what it’ll be, but I have ideas…
    I built two great products, but like everyone who has built anything knows, monitization is hard.

So 2014 is already shaping up to be a busy year, but my real goal in 2014 is to spend more time with my family. I want to put puzzles together with my daughter. I want to go out to eat with my wife and have more of the long, deep, fun conversations that we have when we are together. It’s going to be an awesome year.

What are your goals for this year? What am I missing? Let me know what you’re doing this year in the comments or by tweeting me at @joshbroton.