Goals for 2023 – Quarterly Check-in #1

One of my goals for 2023 was to do quarterly check-ins on how things are going with my goals, and since it’s the end of March, it’s time to do my first check-in. So by posting this, I’m 1/4 of the way complete on this goal at 1/4 of the way through the year – right on schedule! In related news, how the hell is it 1/4 of the way through the year??

And now that I’ve started with my last goal first, I’m going to go from the bottom of the list to the top. I have 6 “one off” goals – things that I only need to do one time. And I’ve completed one of the 6: Buy wood for shelves. I did end up buying the reclaimed Douglas fir and we put it on the shelf brackets we’d had installed and it looks lovely. I thought I’d taken a photo of them, but all I appear to have is this photo of a piece of one (that I took to show my sister how nice the cocktail book she’d given me looks on the shelf).

Fancy cocktail book my sister gave me, displayed on my new shelf

From the “Some Other Stuff” category I’ve made good progress on 4 of 7 goals:

10. Practice French every day this year –  I’ve kept this up and as of yesterday (the last day of Q1), I’m on a 212 day Duolingo streak (as I’d started the streak before Jan 1). I’m actually finding it quite helpful to practice every day – I on a board of a national organization for which we have many things translated into French and I’m surprised by how much of the French I’m understanding these days!

11. Eat fish or a plant-based protein for dinner at least once per week – Doing good on this one too. It’s becoming part of our routine to make fish for dinner once a week and we’ve also made the occasional vegetarian meal (see below!). The help with this one, we joined Skipper Otto, which is a Community Supported Fishery1. Basically, you buy a share of the catch of a group of local fishers and then throughout the season, you order the fish you want and pick up your fish at local business. The pick up location for New West is Steel & Oak Brewing, and when we pick up the fish, we also pick up some beer because it’s important to support the local business that supports Skipper Otto. We’ve ordered fish twice so far this season – first we had some salmon which was fantastic and for our second order we got a tuna loin, which we’ll be having for dinner tonight. It’s a great way to get locally caught fish and support independent fishers.

12. Make a charitable donation every month – I’ve decided to just see what sort of non-profits catch my attention each month. I put it on my to-do list for the last day of the month so if nothing has popped up for me, I’ll pick one of my usual charities to donate to. On Jan 31, I got an email about a fundraising drive by the New West Hospice Society, so I donated to them. In February, I learned that an old acquaintance of mine had died and a legacy fund had been set up in his honour to “support the next generation of marketing and communication professionals dedicated to climate action.” That’s what Darren did with his life and this seems like such a lovely way to honour his memory, so I donated to that. March 31 was the International Trans Day of Visibility, so I’ve donated to Rainbow Railroad. So I’m up-to-date on this goal!

13. Make a habit of setting up the coffee maker every night so it’s ready for the morning – A funny thing happened with this one. I started doing this – cleaning out the day’s coffee grounds and the carafe, and filling up the coffee maker with water for the next day’s pot of coffee – and then Scott started doing it as he was tidying up the kitchen after dinner. He doesn’t do it every day, but he does it often and then I do it on the days that he doesn’t. So I’m calling this one on track, because the goal is to make a habit of it, but I didn’t specify it had to be *my* habit.

As for the other 3 goals in this category:

7. Learn 12 things and blog about them – haven’t learned anything yet, so I’ll have to catch up on this one.

8. Do 10 unassisted chin ups in a row – this goal got sidetracked due to my finger amputation, since it’s quite difficult to hold your body weight up when you can’t use one of your fingers. Now that my finger is mostly better, I can ask my trainer to put chin ups back into my program.

9. Do stretches 260 times (i.e., 5 days a week) – still only really doing this after my works outs. Which is better than the never I was doing last year, but can use some improvement.

And lastly we come to the first category: “The Usual Suspects”

  1. Make 23 new foods/beverages – I’m rocking this one, as usual. So far, I’ve made 15 new things, which is 65% of the goal.

The first new thing I made this year was 5 Ingredient Chocolate Oatmeal Bars. I made these for my birthday party and they were pretty popular! They also freeze really well, so you can make a big batch, cut them up in the little bites, and freeze them.


I’ve made two things from the Island Eats cookbook that Cath gave me to assist with this goal: the Kung Pao tofu bowls I was making when I chopped off the end of my finger, and some super delicious homemade veggie burgers. The latter were a little crumby – I think the next time I make them, I’ll include an egg to bind them together better. They also freeze well, and they take a bit of work to make, so very much worth making a large batch and freezing the extra patties.

Homemade veggie burger

In my quest to make more fish-based meals, I’ve made: Fish tacos with spicy mayo and slaw and sesame crusted tuna loin. I appear to have forgotten to take a photo of the former, but here’s a photo of the latter:

Sesame crusted tuna loin

And in my quest to make more vegetarian dishes, I made creamy white kidney beans (the recipe, which I saw on Instagram, was for butter beans – which I learned is just another name for lima beans! – but lima/butter beans were stupid expensive, so I just used white kidney beans instead. Super quick and easy and very delicious!

Creamy white kidney beans

I also made falafels in my new air fryer!

Homemade air fryer falafel

In related news, we got an air fryer. It’s an air fryer/toaster oven/dehydrator, so expect dehydrated foods to show up on this list sometime this year. And speaking of air fryer, I also made air fryer purple sweet potato fries. They were good, but honestly I prefer regular potato fries.

Air fryer purple sweet potato fries

I made some zaatar chicken, though it was kind of underwhelming:

Zaatar chicken

Another thing I made that turned out not as good as I’d hoped was Diet Cokagne, which I saw Tom Hanks drinking with Stephen Colbert. It’s Diet Coke mixed with champagne. We tried it but I thought it tasted not as good as either Diet Coke or champagne on their own2

Here’s an Easy Herb Crusted Bone in Pork Rib with Au Jus:

Pork roast

And here’s crushed zucchini from my Ottolenghi cookbook:

Crushed zucchini

And here’s a crushed cucumber salad from Instagram:

Crush cucumber salad

That salad called for chili oil, which I didn’t have, so I made some:

Homemade chili oil

Chili oil is delicious on lots of things, so I was pretty happy to learn how easy it is to make!

And I think the most fun thing I’ve made so far this year, from a recipe I saw on Instagram: spaghetti-shaped pancakes:

Spaghetti pancakes with syrup on top

2. Read 23 books – I’ve read 6 books (26% of my goal), though 3 of them are ones that I bought for my friend’s kid’s 1st birthday. I had to read them to make sure they were good books before I bought them and hey, a book is a book, so they totally count!

books read so far in 2023

I’m currently reading 3 books (and have a few other books that I’m partway through reading but no currently actively reading), so I should be able to keep up with this goal.

3. Read 7,500 pages – I’m not sure where I’m at with this one, as I don’t know how long each of the books I’ve read are and I’ve read a bunch of journal articles that I haven’t added to my spreadsheet yet. I’m sure I still have a long way to go! I’ll be sure to update my spreadsheet before my next goal check-in.

4. Publish 52 blog postings – I’ve written 7 blog postings (13.% of my goal) and we are 25% of the way through the year, so I’m behind on this one!

5. Write 52 journal entries – I’ve written 15 entries in my journal so far this year, which is 29% of my goal, so I’m on track for this one!

6. Do 100 mindfulness meditation sessions – I’m doing better on this one than I thought – I’ve done 28 mindfulness meditation sessions – i.e., 28%, so I’m right on track. I was pretty good at this in January, but I’ve dropped off a bit since then, so looks like this quarterly check-in is serving its purpose – re-focusing me on my goals!

  1. If you want to join Skipper Otto, hit me up – I have a friend code to get us a discount! []
  2. We didn’t use actual champagne though, so I guess technically with was Diet Cok-sparkling wine. Just doesn’t have the same ring to it. []

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