2018 Goals

Last Updated on January 6, 2018 by Alex Birkett

New Year’s Resolutions™ are overrated, but time-based goals are nice. I find it’s valuable to put them in writing and in public, mostly for reference and reflection down the line.

2017 Was a Good Year

In 2017, I hit lots of personal and professional goals. I started training Krav Maga and taking Spanish lessons (studied in college but never felt comfortable speaking). I moved up a level in Spanish (B1 –> B2) and feel wayyy more confident in conversation. I went boar hunting, hiked Big Bend, and generally tried to get outdoors much more often.

I took a growth marketing role at HubSpot, picked up a great client, and wrote a massive amount of articles on data and analytics. I’m also quite comfortable in R, and am just now finishing up another course that teaches more exploratory data analysis as well as visualization.

I spoke on a few podcasts, but I plan on doing more of that (as well as meetups and events) in 2018.

I continued my daily habit of meditation, but added to the morning routine with a gratitude journal, a Coffee Break Spanish podcast, and a few days per week, a Spanish lesson. I plan to continue tweaking the morning routine in 2018.

I traveled to lots of new countries, including Poland, Romania, Hungary, Italy, and Scotland, as well as some repeats like Ireland, England, Spain, and Estonia. I’ve got lots more travel planned for 2018.

Every year is better than the last.

2018 Will Be Even Better

I mentioned in last year’s post that I focus on broad themes or macro-targets, and then I zoom in with specific experiments and sprints. The Zoom In/Zoom Out model is popular in management, and it helps me be flexible but keep the big focus on mind. Therefore, I’ve got some broad goals here, but also some specific dates to reach some of them.


I’ve got some macro and micro career goals.

At HubSpot, we track skill based goals on a worksheet and zoom in on particular focuses each quarter. The list of things I want to work on is pretty specific and typical to a growth marketers – SEO (current focus), data and analytics, experimentation, etc.

As long as I move the needle on a skill each quarter and continue to master data analysis (mainly R and SQL & predictive analytics for me) and experimentation, I’m happy.

I’m planning on taking Reforge as well.

Personal Branding

It was easy enough to keep visibility working at CXL; writing blog posts was part of my job. Now it takes extra effort on nights and weekends to make that happen. But I know it’s important, so I plan on writing at least 1 blog post per week. Doesn’t have to be a 5k word guide on Google Analytics. Just 1 per week to keep the cadence.

I also plan on speaking at ~4 conferences. They don’t have to be huge, could just be workshops, but I want to get more consistent with speaking.

Personal Development

Spanish: level C1 before March 1st. After that I may set a goal to reach a C2, or I may start off on another language like German or French.

Krav Maga: level 2 before June 1st. In 2018, I also want to add ground combat skills so I’ll begin taking BJJ classes at the same gym.

I’m also going to sign up for an Improv class starting in March, as well as taking archery classes around that same time.

I’ll continue my habit of reading 50 books per year (now lowered to 30, but same point).

One big thing I want to do in 2018 is spend less time in the city and more time in nature. Specifically, I’d like to go hunting a few times (and start taking archery classes again), fishing many times, and do at least one outdoors activity every time I travel.


I’m writing this in Colorado before heading to Milwaukee before heading to Boston and Vermont all in the month of January. Then in February I’ve got San Diego followed by Peru and Mexico. So, there are already a lot of plans in place.

I’d like to get back over to Europe again for a bit in the summer, primarily to 1) visit Spain again and really crush it with my master Spanish skills and 2) visit some of the Balkans. 10 new countries is ideal, but quantity is obviously the least important variable when it comes to travel.


Lots of my “30 day challenges,” have to do with health, so I’ll continue doing those (Sober October, Discipline December, etc.). But one thing I want to focus on in 2018, outside of martial arts skills, is mobility and stability.

With that in mind, I’m going to do yoga at least once a week, but may even try to incorporate short 20 minute sessions into my morning and/or nightly routine.


My goals are largely continuations of things I’m already doing. Most of them aren’t super rigid, either, just broad themes that bring me where I wanna go. I feel happy with the course I’ve charted.

I’m excited for 2018. Lots of cool stuff from the personal development to the career to the experiential to explore.