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For 2020 I decided to simplify the format of my reviews a little. The hope is that this makes them take less time and that I publish them on time more frequently. Through 2019, each review would take me around 2.5 hours to compile, write and edit. The hope is to cut this to about an hour. So far, I’m off to a terrible start, but here we are.

The major changes here are I’m moving correlations to their own section where I’ll highlight a few interesting ones from Exist, rather than each section having correlations. Rather than try to start each review with a recap of the month in prose, I’m instead going to do more of a bullet-list recap of highlights. And for the last couple years I’ve tried setting little goals or things to focus on each month and had very mixed success. This year, I’ll post monthly updates on the goals I set for the year in my annual review of 2019. The hope is that this helps me stick to them by reviewing progress regularly (a novel concept, I know).

So, here’s my “streamlined” review of January, 2020:

The Highlights

  • I moved from Queens to Brooklyn. This is pretty much what consumed the entire month of January. The first half of the month was spent preparing for the move, the second half of the month was spent settling into the new apartment.
  • I squeezed in another visit to the Queens Zoo before moving away. It was nice! Only a handful of animals were out, but there was a reasonably warm Sunday and it was a nice way to spend an hour walking around.
  • I went to my first NHL hockey game! The New Jersey Devils vs Tampa Bay Lightning. It was pretty great!
  • We had a company event where we were led through a Chinese tea ritual called Gong Fu Cha, roughly translating as “to serve tea with skill.” It was really interesting, and I’m considering getting a gaiwan for myself - it’s a lidded bowl used for brewing tea.


I’m not terribly surprised my productivity pulse dropped, and that I didn’t hit my goal of 5.5 hours of all productive time too often… The stress of moving was so up and down I definitely had days where I was just too distracted dealing with the move. A big bump in the average signals that days where I was productive, however, were very productive.

  • Productivity pulse of 77 (-1)
  • Met All Productive Time goal 9/21 days
  • Average 5h 23m (+60m) productive time per day

RescueTime Top 5 Categories:

  1. Communication & Scheduling (37%)
  2. Software Development (30%)
  3. Business (9%)
  4. Utilities (6%)
  5. Social Networking (4%)


Very happy to see I slept more in January - it didn’t really feel like it based on how tired I was, but that’s a big increase over December. Big uptick in how much I ate, but still managed to lose a pound - maybe the stress of moving, or all that extra activity it seems I worked in.

Happy I managed to not spend all my income this month, but a little bummed it’s still so high. After moving, I needed to get some new furniture for the new place to help me get organized, so I had a few extra expenses. I’m hopeful February is a bit better, but I can already say that I’m not confident that will be the case.

  • Average of 9,021 steps / day (+25.9%)
  • Average of 2,454 calories / day (+15.9%)
  • Average of 7 hours 28 minutes of sleep / night (+10.3%)
  • Average weight of 133.7 lbs (-0.7%)
  • Average body fat percentage of 8.9% (-2.2%)
  • Average of 276mg of caffeine / day (+24.3%)
  • I spent 94% of my income1

Interesting Correlations

This section will usually contain recent correlations I find interesting, but since it’s so late into February by the time I’m writing this, the correlations won’t be super relevant to January so I’m skipping it this time.

Goal Updates

  1. Europe Trip

No progress due to moving.

  1. Healthy Habits

Yoga classes: 2

Runs: 1

Average daily fiber: 16.4g / 24g

Determined that pull-up workouts are not an option in my new apartment as none of the doorframes will support my pull-up bar. I think I’m going to give away or sell the bar as I haven’t used it in well over a year and with no doorframe it can sit on that will be true for at least another year. Finding another upper body workout might become a goal later this year, but in February I’m going to focus on running since I have a race to do!

  1. Read 20 Books

This is Our Fight by Elizabeth Warren (1/20)

  1. Non-work code projects

Launched Utilitarian, a fork of the CSS utility library I wrote for work. It’s still really early and I have a lot of things left to clean up and implement before I’d really recommend it for a new project, but I felt like launching it was more important than having it be “perfect”. In February I’d like to finish setting up early issues to track progress - don’t know if I’ll actually do work on it, but progressing on the organizational tasks will still be nice.

1Monthly spending is calculated as expenses, divided by income, minus 2%. The 2% reflects my 401k savings, which never arrives as income in Mint. This is to help me better estimate what my overall savings rate is.