I wanted to write a post doing a short, meaningful review of 2017, but I got stuck going into a bit too much detail. So I might have to do that later. In the meantime… I’m kind of excited about 2018! I don’t really have much *planned* persay but I just like the idea of the opportunity to work on myself.
Of course we *always* have that possibility and in the past I never really saw the hype about New Year Resolutions… especially as mentions of them always came with the assumption that they would be broken!
But as the years go by and I find the time in my days filled with “clutter” it’s refreshing to find a time to deliberately stop and breathe, review, reflect and plan. Who do I want to be, what do I want to achieve, how do I get there, and is there anything that I am doing that is stopping me from getting there?
So, for this year in no particular order, I’d like:
- To be healthy! I’ve been struggling with constant tiredness for almost two decades now and it’s of course affected my life quite a bit. I’d really like to see what I can do, if anything, to not be constantly tired and, at the very least, I’d like to be just less tired if I can’t eliminate tiredness altogether. This might very well mean changing my lifestyle and spending much more time on managing my health, but I can deal with this if it means I’m more effective with the rest of my time. This means I have to go to the doctor to get some bloodwork done, get some advice, and implement. Implementation may mean planning meals, scheduling in exercise and sticking to bedtimes.
- Read and digest non-fiction books. I actually have a huge list of non-fiction books I want to have read, but I’m not actually good at putting in the time and effort to read them. I’ve kept track of the books I read this year with Goodreads (here’s my Goodreads year in review) and I’ve read 6 non-fiction books this year. That’s actually not bad, but it would honestly take a lot of effort for me to remember much of what I read in those books, despite me thinking “Wow, this is really interesting!” as I read them (particularly Sapiens!) So… I think my goal for this year is to read 6 non-fiction books but this time write up some notes during / at the end of the book to recap.
- Revitalise, construct, strengthen and maintain important friendships. One of the things I most loved about 2017 was getting back in touch with some friends I’d lost contact with. I also met new people and made some new friends. I have unfortunately been really terrible at maintaining some current friendships though, even though they mean quite a lot to me. So I am going to make the effort to revitalise important lapsed friendships, maintain and strengthen important friendships, and make the effort to make friends with people I think are cool. What this means in practice is I will set aside fears of rejection and reach out to old friends and new ones, and reserve time each week to maintain current friendships.
- Be less stingy! I’m no longer a broke university student, or 20-something scraping a living in London. This revelation has led to somewhat flagrant and oftentimes wasteful spending on myself (mostly food). What I hope this will mean this year is that I will budget to give more to causes I deeply care about and I will spend money on apps / content / etc. I appreciate and find useful.
- Start budgeting again. I’ve been pretty lax on my budgeting in the past year but I have to say I was quite excited to start up the YNAB today and create a “fresh start”. I’ve also reinstalled “Fortune City” on my phone today to give me some incentive to log my expenses!
- Restart my Chinese. I’ve pretty much ignored my Chinese learning this year which is a huge shame, so I hope to restart this. This means I will schedule time on Memrise and Clozemaster everyday.
- Release a version of my app. I’ve been talking about this app for 2 years now… now it’s time to write it and release the first version! This means I will need to find some time to learn about Android development, write the app, and figure out how to release it on the Play Store. I will take a major public holiday to start this work.
- Manage my personal inbox. I don’t spend much time in my personal inbox. I go in, see if there’s anything worth reading, and usually exit without reading anything. Part of the problem is that it has over 3,000 unread e-mails and it scares me. So today, I went and I cleaned out the majority of those (I’m down to 27!!!) and unsubscribed from a bunch of e-mail lists. It felt so good! And also, I found a paper somebody had marked me as an author for that I had completely forgotten I’d contributed to. Yay! But from now on I need to stay on top of my personal inbox, be ruthless in unsubscribing from e-mail lists and clear it down to zero at least every week.
Wow! Looking at this list I’m a bit scared. I probably won’t complete everything, but it’s better to get a little bit done than nothing at all. My next step is to figure out how much time everything is going to take me, schedule it into my days / weeks / months, set reminders if applicable and make it as easy as possible for me to do these things.
Also, shoutout to Tim Harford who has provided a list of books to help people with their resolutions. Maybe I’ll start on those for my non-fiction books!