Weekly Retro: August 6th 2018 – August 12th 2018

What problem am I trying to solve?

I have struggled with my weight my entire life. At my heaviest I was just shy of 350 pounds before I started my commitment to live a healthier life. I lost over 150 pounds when I was at my lowest weight of 190.

Over the last couple of years I’ve really neglected my health and a couple weeks ago I hit 260 pounds. It’s not something I’m proud of and it’s something I want to change.

One of my personal traits is that I am incredibly driven to solve problems. I reflected on what things that I’ve really been proud of over the last couple of years and I came up with two things:

  • Building interesting things
  • Inspire individuals to make changes in their life

That’s why I’m committed to building out a website dedicated to helping individuals find healthy ways to change their life .

What did I do last week to push toward this goal?

This past week I started building healtheducation.io.

The original vision of the website was to interview and share stories of peoples amazing weight loss stories. Unfortunately after contacting a bunch of people — not many are willing to share their story on a website that doesn’t exist yet — duh.

So instead — the first version of the site will share simple articles, interesting tools and other things to help people on their journey to better health.

I’ll be building the site using relatively the same stack that this one is built with ( NextJS / WordPress ) . I’m slowly coming up with a marketing plan while I finish up building up the MVP.

As a part of that website I needed to create an integration with MailChimp. I did a little digging and found a cool open source component, which unfortunately didn’t have all of the necessary items to pass WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility guidelines — but it was a solid component otherwise!

So like a good developer: I opened an issue over at their github repo, make a couple of tweaks, submitted a pull request and boom! You can see the result at the bottom of the page — a great example of a shared component.

Items that I completed:

  • Simple Design System ( Colors, Padding, Component Patterns )
  • Backend Information Architecture
  • Landing Page Layout
  • Mailchimp Subscribe Integration
  • Signed up for a bunch of social media accounts

What will I do this week to push towards this goal?

The struggle for this week will be to get a content plan in place going forward. While I’ve built content management systems, and marketing plans in the past I’ve rarely been the one who has had to do the groundwork.

The original vision was dependent on interviews — but after reaching out to a bunch of individuals I realized that I would have to have something a little bit more substantial to show before people would trust me to host their stories.

Items that I’ll be tackling:

  • Finish up the first technical version of HealthEducation.io
  • Fire up the typewriter and start writing a bunch of content.

Anything else?

I think this website will also be an opportunity to focus on some professional things that I feel that I’m weaker at — such as solidifying a content strategy and starting from zero and driving eyeballs to a project. It’s a different rodeo when you’re jumping into a Fortune 100 project and already have some pretty significant brand recognition — but I think the website name I snagged will give me some pretty significant credence to whatever I do.

We’ll see how it goes!


About the Author

Headshot of Mathias Rechtzigel with some sweet lazers in the background. Like the type you would find in a cheesy Sears photoshoot. Yeah those ones.

Mathias Rechtzigel is a web creator, his skills range from development, design, user experience and sometimes content creation.

He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his partner (Ellen), dog (Bard), and two cats ( Pippi & Misti ).

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