2018 in Review

Mark Palfreeman
2 min readJan 1, 2019


It’s that time again, when we can all look back at what we wanted to accomplish and feel totally insignificant. Just kidding—well, kind of.

I often visit the blog posts of my professional “heroes” and feel like I’m doing absolutely nothing in comparison. It’s good to celebrate successes and get inspired by our accomplishments and influence, but sometimes comparisons aren’t helpful at all. Everyone has different aspirations, circumstances, and time, and we make sacrifices in areas of our life to accomplish things.

I’ve resolved it’s OK for me to just make progress and say “yes” and “no” to things at my own pace and on my own terms. I make different sacrifices than people I look up to, and our lives will look different because of it.

That said, here are some highlights of my 2018:

  • 👔 Promotion to the next level of Software Engineer at SAP Concur
  • 👨‍💻 Technical leadership of a new feature as part of a big product release
  • 🎧 Work remotely about 60% of the time
  • 👨‍👩‍👧 Life is full and fun with kids—baby brother on the way in <2 weeks!
  • 🏖 Vacation to Monterey, CA with just Anna to recharge and unplug
  • 🛠 More house projects (fence, porch/stairs, railing…)
  • ✝️ New church we can walk to; rekindled curiosity for God and the Bible
  • 📖 12 books finished

2019 Goals:

  • 👷‍♂️ Consume less; create more
  • 📝 Write 12 blog posts (one down 😉)
  • 📘 Read 20 books
  • ✝️ Read the entire Bible 😬
  • 🏃‍♂️ Go the gym 50 times
  • 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Increase family size to 4 😛
  • 📐 Update/redo my personal website
  • 🥖 Learn how to bake sourdough bread
  • 🎹 Play with audio recording
  • 📊 Track my time, technology use, and exercise
  • 💬 Quit Facebook?

Some of these are more measurable than others. Where there are numbers, I think they’re realistic for me; where there aren’t, I hope I can make progress that will lead to changes with time and new information. I care less about specifically achieving everything than reading these in 2020 to see what happened 😊

You’ll notice I don’t have lofty plans to master XYZ technology, speak at conferences, or achieve anything specific at work. We’re having a second baby soon, and I expect that to cut into life a good amount. Plus, I think happy, balanced people make the best employees, and I’m confident I’ll hone my skills to align with company needs and future opportunities. If new insight inspires me to make some of my books/blog posts technical or apply to speak at a meetup, all the better!

All considered, I’d be happy if next year came down to this: waste less time.

Here’s to 2019! 🤜🤛