Goals Check-In ⛳️

Checking in with myself on how my 2021 goals are going.

Every year I buy a whiteboard and write my goals for the year on that whiteboard. I then hang that whiteboard up somewhere I can see it every day. The objective is not necessarily to check off every goal on the whiteboard, but to guide my actions toward my priorities when I am feeling in a funk. Usually I don’t share these goals publicly but this year I decided to post about them and update everyone on how I am doing. This post will be slightly different from some of my other more technical posts, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

Goal Board 🥅

1. Love
2. Health
    - Get the vaccine
    - Close Excercise ring everyday
    - Journal Everyday
    - Greater than [REDACTED PERCENTAGE] time in range for 2 weeks 
3. Social
    - Become a better listener
    - Find a mentor
    - Reconnect with old/new friends (+ t1d friends)
    - Illumina Softball / Cycling
4. Learning:
    - 12 blog posts this year
    - Do conference / tech talk
    - ML Project
5. Adventure Ocean
    - Do a bunch of ocean activities including but not limited to: surfing, sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, kitesurfing

So how is it going 🏄‍

You will notice that my goals tend to fall into buckets, so lets work through those buckets.

Love ♥️

The top one is basically summarized as love my S.O. even more. The reason I think it’s important to specifically call this out is because I don’t believe relationships happen by accident, and I believe they require active prioritization. That’s a very stilted and clinical way of saying, appreciate what you got and work to make it last. :)

Health 💉

The second bucket is health. As I get older, the more obvious the impact of health is to being successful in every other part of your life. That is why I call it out here. I am happy to say I have successfully gotten my vaccine which has been a huge relief. I am also on my 98th day of closing all my apple activity rings! This has been huge, and it includes an exercise, activity, and stand goal ring. To be honest, the stand goal has been the hardest, especially because I work a job that requires me to be at my desk for a large portion of it. Some more good news, I am also on my 278th day of consecutive journaling. Obviously I started this goal last year, but it has been a huge game changer. I use the app DayOne, and I highly recommend it. It prompts me every day, and I try to interact with the prompt wherever I am to make sure I get it done. The last part of health has been the one I have struggled with the most. It is a goal to increase my glucose time in range, which is 1 of many measures of how I am doing managing my Type 1 Diabetes. I will never have a perfect time in range because I don’t have a functioning pancreas, but the hope is to put systems and habits in place that help enable a better time in range. I have incorporated several new systems this year in an effort to increase this metric. I have redacted the specific target number, cause that’s well, personal! If you know me, you can ask me :)

Social 🕺

The third bucket is around social. 2020 was a dismal year for anything social, so calling it out here is a reminder to make an active investment in it. The first goal in this bucket is around being a better listener. Not going to lie, not sure I have dramatically improved in this area. While I think I am a decent listener, sometimes I think I am so excited to throw my anecdote into the mix I miss out on gems from others who have a harder time opening up. I think being cognizant of this is a good first step though. The second goal is to find a mentor in SD, and I have struggled with this one as well. I don’t think I have decided myself what I want out of a mentor, which makes it doubly difficult. The third one is something I am super excited about and have made some progress on. Now that I am vaccinated I am definitely starting to plan some things with friends in person, and saying I am looking forward to it would be a huge understatement. The last social goal is more of an effort to just meet people at work, this one is still difficult as we are still all working from home, but I hope it will change soon.

Learning 📚

The fourth bucket is around learning. Learning about myself, tech, or anything really. The first goal around learning is to do 12 blog posts this year. This is to help me learn to be a better writer, communicator, and also help me learn to be okay with putting stuff out there, even if I don’t think its perfect (kinda like this sentence, dang its long!). So far this year, this will be my 5th blog post, so I think I am making good progress! The second goal in learning is to do a conference or tech talk. This was actually accomplished thanks to some awesome encouragement and door opening from my manager. I got to present at an internal developers talk about some top secret illumina tech I work on that uses k8s, consul, python, and some other nifty magic. The last part of the learning bucket is a Machine Learning Project. Last year I got my Machine Learning Certificate from UCSD Extension, and I wanted a way to put that to some sort of use. If you read my other blog posts, you may be familiar with a post I did this year that used machine learning to predict what days I exercised based on Apple Watch data and dexcom glucose data. In case you missed that post you can check it out here

Adventure Ocean ⛵️

Last but not least, I have adventure ocean. This is a catch all bucket for all sorts of ocean activities. I have recently moved to San Diego, and I am paying a ridiculously high rent to live near the beach. This goal is a reminder to take advantage of the beach while I am here, and I am happy to say I have! I got a surfboard and have been surfing a couple of times (I am not very good, but I am working on it). I have also taken friends out snorkeling in La Jolla Cove. San Diego is beautiful, and I am looking forward to being out in the water more. By the way, the image above is from a day in La Jolla Shores.


Well these are my goals for 2021. I feel like I am making good progress, and I am looking forward to making more headway on them as the year goes on. The purpose is not to check off every goal, but when I am wondering what I should be doing, I like to look at this board as a reminder for what I want to be prioritizing. I also think it goes without saying, but I will reiterate it here, this year has been incredibly difficult for others, so I count myself fortunate to be able to focus on these parts of my life when so many have not had the luxury.

If you made it this far, let me know what you think! Do you have goals like mine? Are you working on closing your activivy rings, maybe we should share our apple watch activity!

Daniel Diaz
Daniel Diaz
Sr. Bioinformatics Software Engineer

My interests include Genomics, Python, and Cloud Infrastructure.