For a bit more context, you can read my complete plan for 2022 in this article.

January 2022. The first month of the year and the first month of me trying to work on my 2022 goals. After posting the overview of my goals for 2022, I received a lot of emails and messages of this nature:

‘Bro, do you think a day has 38 hours?? How are you planning to achieve all these goals each month?’

Or critical takes on my ambition to be ‘free and independent’ like:

‘How can you claim you want to be free and independent whilst also seemingly wanting to plan out every single second of your day?’

Both are very good questions. And just to be clear: I don’t want to plan out every single moment of my day. I use my ‘plans and goals’ document more as a guideline to help me not waste my time watching youtube video’s all day long. It gives me a very clear backlog of things that I can do/should do, which helps me structure my day in a meaningful way.

Some of the goals seem overly ambitious, even more so if you try to combine them all. But I think that it’s better to be a bit too ambitious and not reach your goals by the length of a hair than to be too humble and not reach your potential by a landslide.

Kind of the ‘aim for the stars, land on the moon’ strategy.

So with that massive disclaimer to start off with, you can probably already guess that I’ve not managed to reach many of my goals in my first month of the year.

What a terrible start.


Well, not really. Because although I’ve not managed to completely reach all of the goals that I had set out for myself, I did manage to do quite a lot. Did I make four soups this month? No, I only made two soups. But that’s still a record of the most amount of soups I’ve ever made in a month! And did I run 80KM this month? Nope… I ‘only’ ran 49KM. But that’s still the second-best month ever in my life. And it’s only second to April last year, the month in which I ran my first half-marathon. Which is +/- half of the distance of the month in one run haha.

January also was my most active month on Strava ever. I did sports activities for a total of 30 hours this month. Which is an average of almost one hour a day! What a great achievement! I’m super happy with that πŸ™‚ My second best month ever is April 2021 with 23 hours of activities. So that’s a huge improvement.

So I think that puts my goals/achievements ratio a bit in perspective. I feel very happy about how I spend my time the last 31 days. And I feel happy, grateful, and strong in general. So everything is going well I’d say. But this is a reflection document, so that means that I’ll also have a more critical look at my goals to see if I will do things differently in February. What have I learned in January about my goals? Are they realistic? Are they well balanced? Let’s find out!

Firstly, I’ll present all of the stats of this month individually. And after that, I’ll share my reflections and lessons. The statistics will be sorted by the five pillars that I’ve defined in the 2022 goals and plans document. If you want more information about those pillars and my approach to setting goals etcetera, you should read that document.


  • ❌ 3/4 books read
    • ❌ 0/10 books by female authors
    • ❌ 0/5 books by African authors
    • ❌ 0/5 books by Asian authors
    • ❌ 0/5 books by South America authors
  • ❌ 0/1 generative art works published
  • ❌ 0/1 essays written
  • βœ… 6/4 articles published on the blog
  • βœ… 1/1 spoken word piece written for Radio Naodors
  • ❌ 2/4 soups made

I didn’t really manage to read a lot this month. Mostly because I choose to scroll my phone in the mornings instead of reading a book. Reading 30-60 minutes in the morning amounts to quite a lot of time if you manage to make it your habit. I managed to do it during a few periods of the last year, so I know I can do it again this year. I’ll try to make a conscious effort to store my phone in the hallway, instead of my pocket, so that I don’t have access to it in the morning/during the day. That will help me to pick up a book more easily.



  • ❌ 54/80KM a month


  • Together with Becky, I started swimming practice this month. We’re being trained by the excellent coaches from AquaHub Malta at the National Pool of Malta. It’s really quite great. There is so much to be learned! Which translates to a great feeling of accomplishment after every training session. But that I mean that I suck a swimming basically haha. After our coach analysed our first lap in the pool, she told Becky: ‘Good swim’ and then she looked at me and said: ‘For you there is still a lot of work to do…’ Ha-ha ?. But it’s great to become better!


  • βœ… 200/160KM a month
  • ❌ Ride the perimeter of Malta in one day.


  • ❌ Finish a sprint triathlon: 750M/20KM/5KM triathlon
  • ❌ Finish an olympic triathlon: 1.5KM/40KM/10KM triathlon
  • ❌ Finish an half iron man: 1.9KM/90KM/21KM triathlon

Random physical challenges

  • ❌ Learn how to unicycle
    • End goal: unicycle 5KM over the promenade
  • ❌ Freediving
    • Hold my breath for 4 minutes
    • Get to 20m deep
  • ❌ Be able to do a backflip
  • ❌ Kayak around Comino in one day
  • ❌ Try rockclimbing in Malta

Overall, the sports went well this month. I spend 30 hours on sporting activities this month. That was quite a good achievement, considering that in 2021 my best month was April in which I spend 23 hours on sporting activities. 30 hours a month means an average of 1h a day, which sounds pretty good to me. Although it would be better if I actually did a sporting activity every single day. Now I had a few streaks of 5 days in which I didn’t do anything. So my consistency can be a bit better. I’ll try that in February. My plan is to run shorter distances, but to do it more often. I think that will be a better way to build up strength in my legs. In January, I noticed that there were a few moments when my muscles were not feeling great after a run. I think that can be avoided by running more often, but with shorter distances.

Cycling and swimming went well. No surprises there. Cycling is just such a nice activity to do. By far my favorite of the three sports. Very relaxing and it’s such a nice way to get out of the city and into nature.

I will not further discuss the random challenges or the triathlon challenges, because I’ve not attempted work on them in January. They are reserved for later moments in the year. But I have decided that I will assign a specific month for every challenge, so that I have a clear short-term timeframe to work with when I want to work on them.

Next to that, I also want to pay more attention to my recovery. We bought a massage roller and a mobility ball from Decathlon this month and I’m doing a bit more yoga/stretching after my runs/rides. Those things already work quite well. But in February, I also want to pay more attention to my diet and how it can assist my recovery. Trying to incorporate more protein in my meals for recovery and eating more fruit to keep my energy levels up to standard.


  • βœ… 1/1 monthly reflection document
  • ❌ 0/2 church visits
  • βœ… 4/4 individual walks

Hmm, I did not go to church this month at all. A bit disappointing to be honest. I think I generally manage to get enough time to reflect on a lot of things during my individual walks and cycle rides, but I believe that going to the church offers more space for deeper reflections. During walks or cycle rides, I’m just trying to process very trivial thoughts about work or sport or whatever. Just day to day stuff. But when in church (or meditation, or whatever works for you), the act of thinking and reflecting is much more central than when I go for a walk or a ride. So I feel like I need to make a better effort to actually go to church. There is one 200m away from our apartment and it has daily masses (three time a day!), so there are not a lot of excuses to not go there. But I just need to actually make the effort. I think that after I’ve found my way to church the first time, it’ll be easier to go more frequently.

Furthermore, it was great to have the template of this reflection document already finished at the start of the month (it’s basically a copy of the ‘plans and goals’ document). It made it really easy to just add small reflections during the month and update the stats to track my progress. All of that helped me to make it very easy to write this monthly reflection document.


Eehm, yes… not really done too much careerwise. I worked on some new features for the dictionary project Sevenum Woordenboek (almost finished a custom PHP email automation/management service!), but apart from that, I’ve not been up to much. Last year I learned that the first few months of the year I preferred to focus on sports/cultural stuff and then when that started to bore me, I switched over to more career-oriented activities (to then switch back to sports and culture by the end of the year). I did not consciously divide the year into those three sections, they just naturally appeared. But I believe it’s quite good to follow my intuition and focus on goals that I genuinely want to work on, instead of forcing myself to work on stuff I have no motivation for. So yes, no update about his section yet. I don’t plan to work on it in February either, so the next update for this pillar will probably be in March or April.


  • βœ… Clean a beach/section of Malta every month
    • ❌ Side goal: pick up a piece of trash everytime I go for a run or a cycle ride.
  • βœ… Promoting darkness and fighting light pollution

So these goals actually went surprisingly well! I didn’t expect it to go so easily, but it turned out to be not that difficult. I wrote a spoken word piece about light pollution and used my monthly 15 minute airtime on Radio Naodors to share my views on light pollution with their listeners. I think that was a great way to start my journey of promotion and fighting light pollution.

Also managed to bring a roll of bin bags to our most recent hike so that we could collect trash that we found in nature. The bag was filled in no time, which was very satisfying! But I also feel obliged to mention that I forgot to bring a trash bag for the first three hikes… Now I just left the roll of bin bags in my bag pack, so that I’ll always have bin bags with me when we go hiking, so I expect to collect much more trash in February πŸ™‚ It’s also quite fun to collect trash I have to say haha. It becomes a bit of a game to find non-natural elements in between the plants. Very entertaining side quest during the hikes. It doesn’t work at all during runs or cycle rides though. I’m just not focused on spotting the trash at all. And I don’t really like to stop during a run to pick up trash, because it kind of ruins my rhythm. So I’ll just skip that goal next month, it doesn’t work for me. But I’m excited to collect more trash during the hikes in February πŸ™‚


So this was my big end-of-the-month reflection document! What do you think of it? Does it make sense? Would you like me to dive into more detail by sharing more statistics and more detailed reflections? I tried to make it into a compact document that is easy to go through, but let me know if you have any suggestions/advice/tips to share with me for February!