There you go. My official 2023 recap. Of what? Of everything! All of my 2023 goals. I’ll keep everything short and snappy. Each chapter will have a quick overview of stats & figures, followed by my main reflection points.



It was a good year for me culturally. I’ve explored a couple different mediums and techniques; lino printing, penplotting, and paste-up. These have all been very minor experiments, but they did encourage me to explore printing and producing visuals more in the future.

The most notable event in a cultural sense was the M.C. Escher exposition that I organised. This gave a tremendous boost to my network and credibility in the art world. Besides that it also reaffirmed that the deadlines and pressure that come with public projects like this are something that help me thrive. They are also great ways to keep me accountable to get stuff done that makes me proud.


  • ✅ 45/45 total books read
  • ✅ 22/10 non-cis-male authors
  • ✅ 5/5 Asian authors
  • ❌ 0/5 African authors
  • ✅ 5/5 South American authors

This is the most amount of books I’ve ever read in a year. Although I have to be honest: it was a bit too much for me. I had to read a couple of small books in December to meet the target and that felt a bit stupid. For 2024 I will therefore aim to read 40 books instead.

The other reading goals were great. I really enjoyed them. They helped me discover fabulous new authors that I otherwise would’ve missed. For 2024 I have decided to change things up a bit because only selecting books based on nationality has grown a bit old now. Next year I will change those challenges for nature-themed challenges: 5 sea books, 5 mountain books, and 5 swamp books.


  • Running: 596.4KM, 66 hours, 8,395 m elevation
    • 5.4% decrease vs 2022
  • Cycling: 425.1KM, 26 hours, 5,953 m elevation
    • ❌ 32.6% decrease vs 2022
  • Walking: 240.3KM, 54 hours, 7,178 m elevation
    • 8.1% decrease vs 2022


This year I set out to run a lot. On the planning were: 50K Gozo Ultra Marathon, a regular marathon, and running from North-South of Malta. So what did I accomplish? Nothing. I started 2023 really well. At some point I was running 60K a week for training. But then disaster struck and I got injured. In this article I reflect on that experience. The rest of the year I was suffering the effects of this injury. My main take-aways are: 1) do more strength & mobility exercise, 2) do more complementary sport like climbing that you can continue whilst being injured, and 3) learn to listen to my body better. Mind over matter is a bit silly when your body is trying to prevent injuries.


  • 40h of yoga in total
  • Fasting/Lent in solitude was great


This year I’ve done 40 hours of yoga in total (about 46 minutes each week). This was an increase of 1 hour compared to 2022, which is not that much to be honest. But anyway, I enjoyed it a lot. Every yoga session included a bit of meditation each time, which I find to be an incredible refreshing start of the day.

My 40 days in solitude in the Italian Alps were great. It’s lovely to spend time on your own in nature. Great for mental clarity and relaxation.

Perhaps the biggest lesson regarding my mental health is that I have no clue what the state my mental health actually is. Of course I feel mentally strong and resilient, just as I always have. I don’t fluctuate much, and I’m always reasonably pleased with how things are going. But I think it would be very insightful to quantify my mental state. I think it would help me understand myself better.

The idea of tracking my mental state and my emotions is very much inspired by my other tracking efforts. I’ve been tracking many aspects of my life, but so far I’ve missed out the most important one: how I feel. I think gathering this information will help me make sense of all my other data and help me reflect on my life better.


  • Just like last year: didn’t do anything


I don’t feel like I’ve developed myself a lot within my job. I’ve just been executing the same tasks as I did last year. The lack of development is a bit disappointing to be frank. It is partly due to having a very cushioned job, but I shouldn’t really use that as an excuse.

I’ve not even made any progress with my 30 year financial plan. This is especially disappointing since I was so excited about this. I should make a real effort in 2024 for this. I’m not entirely sure how to push myself to finish this goal, but I’ll try to come up with a good system.


  • 1-2% of my income is spend on donations
  • I stopped donating to Unicef and doubled my donations to a small family run charity
  • Products & projects > donations


In 2023 I donated on a monthly base to two charities. Unicef & Stichting Henk Arts. This last charity is run by family members of mine and that honestly makes me very proud. They run it completely on voluntary base, so the money is used extremely effective. That’s why – half way through 2023 – I decided to stop my donations to Unicef and put all my money into my family’s charity.

Of course, donating money is the lowest form of doing charity. It’s for lazy people. But apart from donating money, I’ve not done much. I was planning to generate awareness about darkness and light pollution, but I didn’t even manage to succeed at that.

The only thing that might be accounted as charity that I actually enjoyed doing was up-cycling a discarded food-delivery bag into a set of flashy bike bags. I know, it’s not really the same as doing charity work. But it does relate to sustainability and because it generated a bit of media attention I guess you could class it as ‘generating awareness’ as well.

The experience of making the bike bags helped my understand that I could use my talents and passion of product design for a good cause. This is something I would like to explore further in 2024. I already have a couple of cool ideas for new projects 🙂


And that’s it 🙂 a short and snappy version of my 2023 reflection document. I’ll use this as a basis to create my 2024 goals document which I will publish soon. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it and see you next time!