Goal Reviews: Q3 ’12


Can’t believe it’s already autumn! A new season means it’s time for another update on how I’m progressing along my goals for the year. This whole experiment in publicly sharing my goals has taught me several things: focus on a tackling a few rather than many goals, consistency is better than extended periods of non-action, and goals should be clearly defined. I’ll likely expand on my learnings in a year-end wrap up. For now, it’s back to another quarter of getting things done.

In Progress

Learn to code

When I made this commitment, my goals were pretty vague. Now that I’ve worked on (sporadically) learning to code, I’ve realized one thing: learning to code (like learning anything else) is an ongoing process. It will never end. With coding, the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know, and the more daunting the task of creating something seems to be. Regardless, here is where I stack up on my coding goals:

  1. Finish up LPTHW – done. Currently working through the exercises on Google’s Python Course.
  2. Create a PRD – working on it.
  3. Submit an entry on Kaggle & Complete each Machine Learning assignment – on back burner. Shortly after working on the intro competition on Kaggle and the first assignment for the ML course, I realized my Python skills were nowhere near functional to do these.

Run a half-marathon

In July I made a bet with myself: if I trained for a whole month, I’d pay the ~$100 for the Philly Half. Three weeks after starting, I stopped. By Labor Day, it had been over a month since I last ran. Considering that running a half was a goal I’ve had since 2011, I found this behavior unacceptable. Time to stop procrastinating. After logging on to register, to my luck, the race had just sold out earlier that day! Since a couple of my friends were planning to run the race this year, I was a bit bummed that I couldn’t join them. Despite this, I’ve finally registered for a race. I’ll be running the Gar Williams Half Marathon. Now that I’m registered, there’s no turning back!

Past the TOCFL Master or HSK Level 5 

I haven’t opened my Chinese books in several months. However, I’ve just registered for the HSK 4 Test in November. Hope I can squeeze some time in to refresh my memory and actually start studying for this!

Blog at least once a week

I averaged about two per month this summer. Check.

Go to mass once a month

So far so good. Haven’t gone this month, but plan to next week!


  • Get into grad school
  • Get a policy or IR-related job, preferably in DC.

No Longer a Goal

  • Get published in an academic journal