I wrote last year about my adoption of a yearly theme for 2020: The Year of Less. Julie and I were in Florida for the new year celebration and cajoled my family into joining us for a collaborative wall-writing session on yearly themes. It went better than expected and was a nice moment of sharing and collective vulnerability. We just put up a few strips of wide paper on the wall and everyone took turns writing “on the wall.”

My theme for the year is Accountable Improvement. I have a few areas of focused self improvement I want to achieve in the year, and I want to rely more on outside help. The idea here is to heighten the accountability, and rely more on expert help. My tendency is to self-teach; this comes from a mix of self-confidence, self-reliance, and arrogance. I want to be more humble and open to others' ideas on how I can get better.

I jotted down some notes on what I want to stop/keep/start doing:


  • Relying on myself for all tracking and intelligence for improvement
  • Confusing activity for progress
  • Avoiding difficult questions and plans regarding areas of improvement


  • Being diligent about practice time and calendar booking
  • Finding ways to measure performance


  • Looking for accountability partners in key areas of improvement

There are two improvement areas I’m primarily focused on at the start of the year: golf and German language. I started learning German via Duolingo. And because we are such nomads, I signed up for online digital golf coaching with evolvr. My schedule has been a bit crazy of late (multiple trips between Texas and Florida) so I’m not making as much progress as I’d like, but I am seeing progress.

I’m also working to wrangle a few friends that know German into some online boardgaming where we’ll speak only German. I think (know) Duolingo will only take me so far and I need to be conversing a lot more. Worth considering too is italki but I want to get my schedule a bit more cleared and consistent.