A 2023 retrospective, and some tasks for 2024

Paul Squires
4 min readJan 2, 2024

2023 was a really tough year for all sorts of reasons but time is unrelenting in its advancement. We can’t go back and we can’t stay still. Every day offers new and interesting opportunities, but also challenges. I wish that 2024 provides more of the former and less of the latter.

In January 2023, I wrote down some tasks for the year. They were not really resolutions, as they weren’t designed to be commitments, more of a guidance for the year and non-binding. If they happened, then great, but if they didn’t happen then I shouldn’t feel too disappointed — and they could be carried forward with a greater resolve in the new year. Here’s my look back at their progress, with a reflective score for each one.

Crack German: 5/10
Exactly 6 years after I publicly started, I have kept my German learning going but it is nowhere near where it should be. I’d love to be at B1 level or even beyond by the end of 2024.

Consolidate career: 5/10
Do more interesting things, raise my profile, and keep on being creative. There were definitely some bubbles of that in 2023 but career-wise, it was a flat year. That isn’t an issue in and of itself — I am grateful every day to even be in work — but 2024 needs to be better.

No nail biting or picking: 1/10
I am a compulsive nail biter and when I think that it’s a disgusting habit to put germ-laden fingers into my mouth, I pick at my nails instead. Please help me to stop. I hate it.

No oversleeping: 3/10
This is a hangover from the COVID era: because nothing was happening in terms of social opportunities during lockdown, it was easy just to have a nap in the evening. Four years later and it has totally screwed up my sleeping pattern and, like nail biting, is a horrible thing that needs more will-power (see below) and focus to stop.

Fitness: 8/10
This was a big win. I’m going to fitness classes several times per week now, and that is helping to kill the oversleeping.

No inferiority complex: 5/10
I have a huge inferiority complex to… well, everybody. I have written before about how the world is so diverse that no-one should feel inferior, or made to feel inferior. Nevertheless, it happens and one of the ways to overcome that is to open my heart. I usually feel like the second-best, the reject… and I need to just openly embrace humanity and life in order to work to overcoming it.

So, I am keeping all of these tasks for the new year.

“I hope to soon be reassembled”, David Shrigley, 2023

I really like Chantal Weiss’s wishes for 2024 approach, so here are my additional tasks for 2024, some of them wrapped up as wishes.

To become accredited, and run at least the initial structure of a coaching programme. If you’re interested in why I’m coaching, then I wrote about it two years ago.

Help Ukraine
The war in Ukraine sadly continues and Russia has been escalating its bombardment of key cities in recent days. Of course, and with the deepest of sadness, it will never be the only tragedy in the world at any one time but it pervades, exists on our doorstep in Europe, and must not be forgotten. In 2022 I collected laptops and donated them to charities working for Ukrainian children and I aim to do something similar and more sustained in this new year.

Art and culture
I have lost my love of art. It has gone. Art is one of my deepest loves and I can’t remember going to a single exhibition in 2023. I know many people in the <makes fingers into speechmarks> art world and I feel lost from them and from the wonderment that comes from their minds and hands.
Similarly, I had not read enough books or watched enough films in 2023 and 2024 needs to improve on that situation.

Something productive
This is the most amorphous one currently. Creating and publishing Imperica gave me a platform, a mechanism — to learn, to cover, to experience, to meet, and work with the developing creative world at large. I have filled the productivity/creative gap to some degree by mixing which is unquestionably fun, but solitary.
I don’t know what this particular task looks like, and there are some people that I would really like to work with, but… let’s see if and how this one develops.

Get out more
This one is easier to describe.
Do more. Get out more. Experience more.

I wish you a 2024 full of love, health, and all the tasks that you might set yourself to achieve.



Paul Squires

Founder @imperica @pereramedia / Strategist @ibminteractive / Chair @furtherfield. Digital, media, art, politics, environment, culture, ephemera.