Thought Leadership

12 things done or not

By Colin Walls

At the beginning of the year, I wrote about my 12 Things for 2019. This was a list of a dozen goals [kind of] that I wanted to achieve in the course of the year. I reported on progress here and here. This, my last blog post of 2019, seems the obvious place to report back on my successes and failures …

Overall, I felt the “12 Things” project for 2019 was a success. I had already told myself that if I checked 9 of the 12, I would be pleased. I did better than that. Here are the details:

  1. Have a meat-free month – This Thing was a success, with a tiny wrinkle. We said at the outset that, if we deviated on one or more days, we would add them to the end of the month. We completed this Thing in March, but did need to “leak” into April by one day, because we found ourselves in a restaurant with a fixed menu and no non-meat option.
  2. Make up to date photo books – Done! And I am pleased with the result. I am also all geared up to make the 2019 volume before 2020 is too old.
  3. Make some cookies – Done! I was quite pleased with the result. I certainly want to try some other recipes. I have a baking expert friend booked to come and coach me next year.
  4. 3 new fish dishes (recipes or types of fish) – I blew this one out of the water – way more than 3 new fish things tried this year.
  5. Have a dairy-free month – I can define this as “done”, because I met my objective. However, the experiment was intended, in part, to see whether dairy might be to blame for my almost permanent catarrh that leads to a nagging cough. As I had chosen the month of November, the fact that I had a heavy cold for most of the month rendered the experiment rather useless. This goal will be reprised on my 2020 list.
  6. Scan/scrap old 35mm slides – This is the one that I barely progressed. I did, however, find a camera club colleague who will lend me a suitable scanner next year.
  7. Do regular yoga – Done. We took a weekly class all year and enjoyed it.
  8. Home office makeover – This was a partial success. Much clearing of cupboards was done, but there remains some shelves to review and desk refit. A job for 2020.
  9. Make cheese – Done. I made some goat’s cheese, which was quite satisfactory. I think that I would like to learn more about cheese making.
  10. Buy no clothes in 2019 – Done.
  11. Participate in the Hay Festival – We only went for a single day and attended about 3 sessions. Next year we plan a more comprehensive participation.
  12. Research swifts’ habitat (nest boxes) – Done. Two nest boxes were installed. I then played a recording of swift calls for a couple of months. There was no expectation that any birds would move in this year, but hopefully some might do on their return next year. I wrote about this project here.

I would rate that as 10.5 out of 12 done, which is very satisfactory.

Planning for “12 things for 2020” is mostly done. I will report early in 2020. In the meantime, if you have a holiday, I hope it is a great one. And may we all have a peaceful and prosperous New Year!

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at