Second quarter of 2016 retrospective

Well it's July. July means it's the third quarter of the year. When the second quarter of 2016 started, I wrote a quarterly review of the first quarter of 2016. I really liked that. So I figured I'd do it again. Switching from yearly retrospectives adds an extra "umph" to remind me what I'm doing and why. It's also incredibly helpful because the campaign is forcing me to think so short term. I constantly need to recenter and remind myself what is happening, what has happened and where I am going.

time left

At work, my team does weekly retrospectives where we throw up things into three groups: Good, Meh and Bad. To get this quarter review started, I did this for myself in my notebook. It was a good exercise, but I think I still want to do an indepth dive like I did last quarter.

As a reminder, my goals for 2016 are:

  • Improve physical health

    • Lose thirty pounds of weight
    • Run for thirty minutes, three times a week
    • Be able to run four miles without stopping
    • Stretch every morning
  • Ship more side projects and be creative

    • Take in revenue from one side project
    • Participate in 100:10:1 (Create a list of 100 projects, build MVP of 10 by June, and a fully flushed out project by EOY)
    • Write 200 posts in 2016
    • Maintain a four post per week average on https://writing.natwelch.com
  • Grow culturally

    • Travel to five cities you haven’t been to before, or at least not in five years.
    • Read seventy books
    • Go to five art exhibits, live shows or movies a month

Improve physical health


This was a wash. I had a three week period where I was running almost every day, but I couldn't maintain it. I'm still not monitoring my weight.

I am cooking more regularly, which is nice. Doctors have constantly told me my issue is my diet. My theory is if I can get cooking more, I can get better at controlling my food intake, especially quantity.

Not sure what I'm going to do this quarter to improve. My history of low willpower towards these sorts of things does not help. In the past paying for a personal trainer was a sure-fire solution, but my current finances and job don't really lend itself to this.

I also have a plan of not drinking alcohol for all of August. We'll see how that goes, but I'm pretty sure my current level of consumption is not helping at all.

Creative stuff


I essentially failed part two of 100:10:1. I'm hopefully going to write up a full post on the whole experiment soon. I did not take in any revenue on side projects.

My real shame is that my post average has dropped to 0.3 posts a week. I really need to fix that. I am not sure if I want to start my "what's making me happy" posts back up or what, but I need to write more.

I did get two articles published this quarter though, one at work and one on CodeWords.

Grow culturally

I made it to D.C. in May, which was wonderful. I was last there in 2010 (I'm not sure if I had ever been before that). This trip was wonderful, I really enjoyed wandering around and seeing everything.

Reading is going ok, I'm at thirty-three books out of seventy. A little behind, but keeping on track.

This quarter I did pretty well on my go do stuff quota: I saw three great live shows, and a bunch of museums and movies.


  • I went to the MoMA
  • I got a chance to attend Pop-Up Magazine at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.


  • I visited the Whitney, the Hirschorn, the National Gallery of Art, and the Renwick Gallery.


  • I visited the Whitney.
  • I saw The Breakfast Club and X-Men: Apocalypse in theaters.
  • I saw ThunderCat at the Brooklyn Bowl and Bonobo at Output.


I am heading into the final stretch of the campaign. I'm going to be working seven days a week again, and it's going to be tough. I will keep aiming for my 80% completion rate on my goals, and we'll see what happens.

Happy summer! Enjoy it.