My 2019 Goals

I’m really big on setting goals. I want to constantly be improving something about myself — getting smarter, better, faster, stronger, etc. Setting goals helps me actually work towards things I deem important and track my progress along the way.

I spent some time a few weeks ago thinking through what I wanted the end of 2019 to look like and setting some goals for how to get there. I’m adding these goals here as a reference for myself each month and as an accountability tool.

I’ve broken up my goals into 5 areas: Spiritual, Physical, Financial, Personal, and Work. If anything jumps out at you that you’re curious about, let me know!

Quotes for 2019

  • Prioritize & Execute”
  • “Plan your work, work your plan”
  • Learn in Public”
  • “If it’s not a HELL YES, it’s a ‘No'”
  • “Discipline === Freedom”


By the end of 2019, I want to:

  • delight in Christ more.
  • have consistent family worship.
  • consistently pray for my brothers and sisters from church.
  • consistently pray for the lost.
  • have participated in more fellowship opportunities with my church.
  • have discipled two people.
  • have more meaningful, intentional time with my wife.


By the end of 2019, I want to:

  • have a 1,350lb total (bench, squat, deadlift).
    • have a 550lb deadlift.
    • have a 450lb squat.
    • have a 350lb bench.
  • have won 1st place in 1 powerlifting meet.
  • have won 1st place in 1 BJJ competition.
  • have received my blue belt in BJJ.
  • have seen a dermatologist to clear up my skin (wow, I feel old setting a goal like this).
  • have worked through my treatment plan with my dentist (I’ve been avoiding braces for years but I need to just knock it out).
  • have drastically improved (or at least corrected) my shoulder mobility issues.
  • have corrected my hip mobility issues.


By the end of 2019, I want to:

  • be debt free.
  • have saved at least $10,000 between savings and investments.
  • be making $90,000 per year (excluding freelance work or any side hustles).
  • be able to give away $2,000 per month by January 2020.
  • be earning at least $3,000 per month from side hustles.
  • have saved at least $20,000 in the DevLifts account.
  • have repaired my credit to be above 720.


By the end of 2019, I want to:

  • have read 10 books.
  • have learned 3 songs (in a genre I like) on guitar.
  • have started playing drums again.
  • have taken my wife to Disney World and paid cash for the trip.
  • have learned Spanish enough to have a conversation.


By the end of 2019, I want to:

  • have published 2 mobile apps with React Native.
  • have deployed 1 product-level full-stack JavaScript + GraphQL app.
  • have grown my mailing list to 1,000 subscribers.
  • have grown my Twitter followers to 3,000.
  • have given at least 1 conference talk.
  • have published at least 1 Egghead course.
  • have published 30 Egghead lessons.
  • have launched at least 1 but no more than 3 side hustles.
    • Maybe (100% transparent, remote-only job board)
    • Maybe a t-shirt line for powerlifters
    • Maybe a church directory SaaS
    • ???
  • have launched 2 seasons of my podcast for beginners with Joe Previte.
  • have helped Thad learn to code enough for him to get a job.
  • have taken 10 local devs to lunch (my treat) and gotten to know them a little.
  • have taught 3 workshops.
  • have grown DevLifts to $10,000/mo revenue and have 1,000 active members.
  • have launched the public DevLifts API.
  • have launched the private DevLifts API.
  • have launched the DevLifts mobile app.
  • have published 10 high-quality articles/tutorials.
    • to FreeCodeCamp
    • to Hacker Noon
    • to CSS Tricks
    • ???
  • have given 5 Meetup talks.
    • Publish them on YouTube and Github
  • have created 3 open source libraries and have at least 100 users total.
  • consistently be having the local developer meetup twice per month.
  • consistently be having the local tech entrepreneurs meetup once per month.

Where does your business logic go in a React/Redux app?

**This is a cross-post from my newsletter, Fitness && Functions.

After my last email mentioning Redux middleware, reader David Davis asked me about how this works in a React/Redux application.

I know it’s 2018 and Redux is dead and OMG why aren’t you just using React Context or Apollo and blah blah blah, and while I certainly agree that a lot of what Redux does for you is getting implemented into React itself, I’m thinking some of the people who love to hate Redux may only hate it because they’ve been using it wrong.

It seems many have been sprinkling their business logic in reducers, components, and even actions. But this is a recipe for having hard-to-reason-about code.

Straight from the Redux Docs:

…actions are just plain objects

Reducers are just pure functions

The solution has been there all along, but I don’t think enough of us knew about it or really understood it: Redux Middleware.

[Redux Middleware] provides a third-party extension point between dispatching an action, and the moment it reaches the reducer.

This is where your business logic should go!

Over the next few emails, I’ll share some examples of how to get up and running with Redux Middleware, but in the meantime: does this make sense to you? If you’ve used / are using Redux, where does your business logic live?

October 2018 Goals Review


  • ✅ Refactor new feature and state architecture at work
  • ✅ Get DevLifts to $2,000/mo revenue
  • ✅ Welcome 10 new DevLifts open source contributors
  • ✅ Make at least an additional $2,000 in freelance income
  • ✅ Make 1 non-DevLifts open source PR
  • ???? Sort through my Evernote
  • ???? Complete at least one coding course in my queue
  • ✅ Hit 450lb on deadlift
  • ???? Hit 405lb on squat
  • ???? Hit 305lb on bench
  • ???? Read 1 book
  • ???? Land a bow and arrow choke
  • ✅ Pay off 1 debt


✅ Refactor new feature and state architecture at work

This is basically finished, with just a little bit left to go in this sprint!

✅ Get DevLifts to $2,000/mo revenue


✅ Welcome 10 new DevLifts open source contributors

Achieved! We welcomed 7 new contributors on our API and CLI projects, and there were 2-3 more we welcomed on other repos — so this is basically achieved.

✅ Make at least an additional $2,000 in freelance income


✅ Make 1 non-DevLifts open source PR

One?! Ha! I made 4! This month, I contributed to Gatsby, Spectrum, and React State Museum. Hacktoberfest mission: accomplished! ????

???? Sort through my Evernote

Didn’t make much progress on this one at all. Geez! Get it together, man!

???? Complete at least one coding course in my queue

I didn’t complete any of the courses in my queue, but I did go through a lot of Kent C. Dodds’ new Testing JavaScript course.


✅ Hit 450lb on deadlift

Achieved! I hit 460lb on October 14. ????????

???? Hit 405lb on squat

I didn’t quite hit this yet. Last max day was October 14, and I squatted 390lb. I think I could hit 405lb fresh today, but I won’t know for a while. I think my next max day is over a month away.

???? Hit 305lb on bench

I didn’t quite hit this yet. On my last max day, I benched 290lb. It went up, but not to 305lb yet!

???? Read 1 book

Wow, such no read. I really miss the habit of reading before bed, and I really want to get back into that. But my wife and I have been enjoying watching Friends for the first time this month, so that’s what I’ve been doing before bed.

???? Land a bow and arrow choke

I missed a couple of weeks of BJJ this month because of traveling, so I haven’t had as much opportunity to achieve this goal. Haven’t done it yet!

✅ Pay off 1 debt

Achieved! We fixed my wife’s car ($2,200 ????) finally after 6 months of me driving it because it wasn’t very safe. Feel’s good!

Worklog 100918


  • Read through PR feedback from senior contractor
  • Changed up how our routing works
  • Worked on refactoring our folder structure
  • Worked on refactoring our state architecture to use Redux
  • Finished watching React Testing for Beginners course from Scott Tolinski on Level Up Tutorials

Today I Learned ????????

Today I learned about the Promise.all syntax, and how to avoid making code synchronous with async/await when it could be asynchronous.

FitLog 100918

Got a quick one in this morning. Felt pretty tight, probably should have warmed up a bit more.

Back Squat

  • 5 x 260lb
  • 3 x 295lb
  • 3 x 330lb (AMRAP set)
  • Row Machine

Row Machine

~ 6 min

FitLog 100218

Warmed up with the same warm-up for every Tuesday and Thursday, arm circles and explosive medicine ball throws.

Then came my sprint/crunch circuit. This was a sprint/crunch/push-up circuit until Thad removed the push-ups this week to see if all the volume is what’s been stalling my bench numbers.

Back Squat

The sprints combined with training fasted in the morning are probably what did me in here. I struggled to get that third rep of 315 up. And my form was terrible on every set. I broke parallel of course, but the bar path was uuuuuugly!

  1. 240lb x 3
  2. 275lb x 3
  3. 315 x 3 (AMRAP set)

FitLog 100118

Today starts the week of 3 reps for each big lift. Felt really good today — it may be from the massive carb binge load over the weekend.

Bent-Over Row

  1. 155lb x 8
  2. 165lb x 8
  3. 165lb x 8
  4. 165lb x 8
  5. 165lb x 8

Bench Press

  1. 180lb x 3
  2. 205lb x 3
  3. 230lb x 10 (AMRAP set)

Goals for October 2018


Refactor new feature and state architecture at work

Now that I’ve completed my first feature at my new job, I’ve learned a lot and kept a running list of things I’d like to refactor. I’ve also realized that Redux may be a better fit for our state architecture than our current setup, so I’ll be working to refactor that as well.

Get DevLifts to $2,000/mo revenue

We are currently at $1.5k/mo at the time of this writing. I have a trip to planned for this month, and I’ll be spending nearly two weeks in Atlanta during that time. I hope to connect with a lot of developers (and existing customers!) during this time and welcome some new members into the community!

Welcome 10 new DevLifts open source contributors

This month is Hacktoberfest, which means you can get a free t-shirt from Digital Ocean by making at least 5 pull requests to any Github-hosted repo. I’m aiming to welcome at least 10 new contributors to our API and CLI projects during this month!

Make at least an additional $2,000 in freelance income

My wife and I have very specific financial goals over the next couple of years, and I’ve calculated that I need to make at least an extra $2,000 at the very minimum this month to stay on track towards where we want to be.

Make 1 non-DevLifts open source PR

I’m still aiming to make a PR to Gatsby (left over goal from August). I really hope to be able to spend time checking out Gatsby and ultimately making a contribution.

Sort through my Evernote

This is another one left over from August. I still haven’t gotten around to this, and it’s driving me crazy. What’s worse is there’s a very real possibility I’ll do all this work and then migrate everything over to Notion. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

At the time of writing, I have 1,022 notes in Evernote. I probably add roughly ~20 per week, so I’ll need to sort about 35 per day in order to sort all of them during October. I’ve created a recurring task in Todoist to remind me every day to sort 35 notes, which I expect to only take about 10 minutes per day.

Complete at least one coding course in my queue

I’m aiming to complete at least one of the following courses:

  • Advanced React (Wes Bos)
  • JavaScript30 (Wes Bos)
  • React Native for Everyone (Level Up Tutorials)
  • Learn Node (Wes Bos)


Hit 450lb on deadlift

I’m currently sitting at 425lb as of last Sunday, so I’m aiming to get to 450lb this month. I was there last summer. Let’s do this.

Hit 405lb on squat

I hit a new PR of 385lb last Sunday. I have a powerlifting meet coming up later this year. 4 plates on each side (405lb) is within reach. Time to get some!

Hit 305lb on bench

I’ve been stalled at 285lb for 6 weeks. My coach has modified my plan to see if we can correct this issue. I’m going to give everything I’ve got to get to 305lb this month.

Read 1 book

I’ve chosen Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Wilink (I’m a big fan) and Leif Babin. 

Land a bow and arrow choke

Left over from August goals, I still haven’t landed one of these in a live roll! I have to show up to Gi class as often as possible and try to figure out how to force people into turtle position.

Pay off 1 debt

Like I said before, my wife and I have very specific financial goals right now. I’m aiming to pay off a $1,400 debt this month as well as fix her car (~$2,100).

FitLog 092618

Main lift today was bench. Did my normal warm up routine for this day (light calisthenics, explosive stair jumps and plyo pushups). Still very sore from pushup circuit yesterday as well as the meet Sunday.

Barbell Bent Over Row

5 x 8 @ 155lb

Barbell Bench Press

  1. 170lb x 5
  2. 195lb x 3
  3. 220 x 6 (AMRAP set)