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New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions:


2022! A new year, yet another new beginning 😄 Last year was a marquee year for me, a whole slew of positive life events, with the biggest one being coming to an emotional stable state for what seems like the first time in my life, and having this persona be the version of me I'll probably carry forwards through the rest of my life as an adult. I'm very grateful for last year, and hopeful that this year can be great too!

I think I finally have enough New Year's Resolutions consistently done where I can see what has worked and what hasn't. I can safely say I shouldn't commit to “hard” resolutions to any degree. The fact that I forget about most of my new year's resolutions means I can't really commit to things that require effort. Rather, I can only guide my habits and my life along the guiderails I've laid out here. I can also drop the “I'll build my own app” soft commitments, because at this point that's asking for disappointment.

At the same time, I do wonder if there's a different tack I can approach resolutions by. Instead of making soft commitments, I think there are some questions I might be able to ask myself on a consistent basis throughout the year, and maybe some concrete examples as to measuring how I'm doing.

Let's do ittttttt


  • Am I happy? I've really hitched my wagon to the happiness train. I like happiness as a metric because of two reasons: you can't overfit on it, and you intuitively know it. Setting up a metric to measure myself by oftentimes results in me cheating the system (e.g. I want to lose weight? Maybe I'll try not eating to get that caloric deficit…which is overall less healthy than eating an unhealthy amount of Mediterranean pizza), and becoming unhappy as a result. These resolutions are supposed to help me, not hurt me, and if it is meant to help me, then I should be happy I achieved them. So why not just set happiness as the destination? Also, happiness isn't just a journey tightly coupled to an emotion, it is an emotion, and therefore I can be very much in tune with what's going on.

    I know if I'm not happy for many days, I need to change something up. Something is bothering me and I need to address it. I'm super lucky in having a great manager, so if something is bugging me at work, I'll just vocalize it or vent to him. If I'm too tired, I can just stop working and try something else. If I feel lethargic, I can go to the gym. If I still feel lethargic, I can go to sleep. If I desperately crave something, I can buy ingredients from any of the grocery stores and make something myself. Reminding myself I can do things to increase my happiness, that my happiness is my choice, gives me a lot of agency (and happiness, ironically).

    • Visit a foreign country: This is something I've wanted to do for a while. The last time I've traveled outside the country was during 2016 for a post-graduation trip that I didn't plan at all. Now I need to plan trips if they're going to happen, and that planning can change in a jiffy especially if COVID hits me. I'm thinking if I'm going to go to a specific place, it'll be Iceland, specifically this very lonely island:


    • Look for a significant other: I think people can smell desperation, and now that I'm not desperate and I have my mental ducks in a row, I'm reasonably competitive on the dating market; apparently emotionally stable people exist in long-term relationships waaat. I think I need more experience and to put myself out there a bit more, and I need to think about different strategies to execute on in order to get to where I want to be. Of course, I shouldn't be dating just to check a box, I should keep in mind I only need one life partner (…hopefully…) and therefore I should put myself out there to learn more about what I like and dislike, vs. leading people on.

  • Am I respecting myself with the decisions I'm making? I think happiness can be very short-term, and I want to be mindful of the longer term implications of some of my decisions. If I lounge off and watch TV, or if I shirk some of my chores, I might be happier in themoment – but I might not be happy tomorrow. Some things that require happiness later require pain and sacrifice now. The same can be said for decisions made in the heat of the moment. Have I slept on decisions? Am I being rash and will I feel the heat of regret later?

    • Work towards goals in powerlifting: For the personal training questionnaire my personal trainer had me fill out, I mentioned I wanted to get into the “advanced” category for men's deadlifting, squats, and bench press for my weight class. For a 180 pound man, that means 429 pound deadlift, 371 pound back squat, and 281 pound bench press. That's like…a lot yo. My personal record for deadlift is 243 pounds for one rep, and that's before a two week break that kind of knocked me back a bit.

      I think as long as I make some serious progress on this front, I'll be pretty happy. That mostly means sleeping well, eating well, and hydrating well, and being consistent in my routines.

      Costco run anybody? They have these chicken skewers that come pre-cooked, and you can eat like 7 of them in one sitting. Hello?

    • Get 10 customers for side hustle: I've realized I don't really care too much about app development, I care about creating a business, converting my intellectual capital into financial capital, and decoupling my wealth and income and cashflow from the number of hours I put into work. I want to spend time with my future SO, with my future kids, and to do hobbies (e.g. carpentry or flying), and that means I need to put in sweat equity. Maybe it doesn't even need to be on the side; it might be some revenue-sharing thing I'm doing at work, idk.

      People around me are getting married and settling down and having kids. Clock's ticking on this one.

So yeah, that's about it in terms of questions to ask and things to look out for from me. The last thing might just be to forget more things. I tracked around 1300 TODO items by the end of the year last year, and man was that stress-inducing. Never again, yo.