Happy Holidays everyone! The year end is coming, and in a few days’ it’ll be a new year! 2016 was a globally challenging and heart-breaking year. Just like 2015 and 2014, I want to look back at this year, and recount some major personal highlights.

How did I do on my 2016 goals?

I had a focussed list of goals for this year. How did I do? Here’s my report card:

A score of 10 means I achieved exactly (or over) what I wanted. 0 means I did nothing to get closer to my goal.

Continue losing more weight: 6/10

I shifted my focus from losing weight to being in “good shape”. As such, I am being consistent with eating healthy, and with working out.

Settle in and get comfortable on the job at Google: 9/10

As you might know, I started full time as a software engineer at Google. Coming straight from school, having a job (and responsibilities) was a change of pace. I think I am very comfortable at the company, and generally having fun.

Continue writing at a steady pace: 4/10

I kept the ink flowing (so to speak) for the first half of the year, and then stopped. I can’t point to exactly why, but I hope I can change that in 2017.

Continue reading more books: 7/10

My goal for 2016 was an aggressive 35 books. I read 23 books. I am glad I read consistently if a little slower. Now I know what a good pace for me is to really enjoy the books I read (a couple of books a month).

Expand my knowledge beyond Computer Science: 9/10

This was the goal I was the most excited about. A mundane life terrifies me. While being a master of a field works for some people, it doesn’t for me. Using books, papers, online courses and other resources, I have been able to learn a little more about finance, economics, accounting and philosophy.

Eliminate complaining: ?/10

I don’t really know how to score this goal, but I don’t think I did anything consciously to stop complaining about small things. If I have interacted with you personally, let me know: (@karangoel or [@goel.io](mailto:@goel.io)).

One thing I should note here is that the broader goal is not to aim for a perfect-ten score on all goals. If I see too many 10’s, I’m setting easy goals. Ideally, I’d be in the 6-8 range and keep pushing myself.

2016 Highlights

East coast trip

This was the first major solo trip I have done. It was just me, my backpack wandering through NYC, Philadelphia and DC. This was a transformative trip for me that I had planned only a few days before departing. The actual story of how this trip unfolded is even more exciting.

This is a very discrete time when my personality evolved from someone who plans every day of his life to mostly free-flowing. (This was based on feedback I got from a friend - I later thanked her. :)). Since then, I’ve done a couple of more spontaneous trips and enjoyed every single moment during them.


I got the amazing opportunity of working at Mattermark on some interesting problems as an intern.


I finally graduated from the UW. Those were four wonderful years that made me who I am. Here’s proof that I walked:

Apologies for the potato quality.


Probably the biggest highlight of my year was starting at my dream company. I am also happy I ended up staying in Seattle instead of moving closer to my friends in a diverse city.


After a couple of years of staying in my college apartment, I finally splurged and moved to a nicer neighborhood. It was a lot of work to furnish the place but I am proud of what I ended up with. There’s something different about calling a place “my own” after putting this much effort into it.


I got the opportunity to attend Pycon earlier this year. I wrote about some big learnings. I enjoyed Pycon so much, I ended up helping for Pycon 2017 as the Financial Aid Chair.

Grace Hopper Conference

A video posted by Karan Goel (@karangoel__) on

Similarly, I got last-minute ticket to GHC 16 thanks to someone who could not go anymore. GHC is a very unique conference where I learned a lot about diversity problems in our industry.


I was lucky to travel a bit this year. Trips to San Francisco, Alaska, LA, NYC, DC and more were extremely fun. I won’t bore you with details here. Pro-tip: follow me on Instagram to keep up with my travel.

Goals for 2017

2016 was a very focussed year for me, and I want to have the same level of focus in 2017. I want to continue working on evolving myself personally and professionally. Here’s some things I’d like to work on in 2017:

  • Be in good shape and continue working out

    I want to continue being consistent with my workouts and aim to be generally healthy. I also track my body composition, and aim to reduce my body fat %.

  • Read 25 books

    I am dialing back my reading goal to something that’s a little more attainable. I have a lot of good (and big) books I want to read.

  • Publish on my blog consistently

    I hope I don’t drop the ball and continue sharing my experiences and learning with you here!

  • Learn more about economics, finance and philosophy

    I have a very deep passion for these subjects and believe that they are giving me unique perspective on the world. As such, I want to continue learning more in these fields.

  • Travel some more

    My goal is to get out of Seattle at least once every month to escape the city and work.

  • Spread love and joy

    Unfortunately, 2017 holds a lot of uncertainty and fear for many people. As an immigrant, I am concerned about the current rhetoric of hate in many of the developed countries. I would like to be an agent of positive and love and happiness to others.

So that’s about it. That was my year. How was yours? I’d love to hear your story. Hop on to Twitter.

Here’s to a prosperous 2017.