2014 New Year’s Resolutions

This post will be divided into two parts. First I will grade the completion of last year’s resolutions, while second I will talk about the resolutions I have for this coming year.

LAST YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

1) Get a job: B+. OK sure, I got the job. But I was ridiculously fortunate, and it’s not the “ideal” job per say. I was jobless in April. I’ll take the good luck, but if I have to find another job the road will be much, much more difficult.

2) Keep in touch/getting closer with friends: C+. I’ve had my on and off moments with this. On one hand, I’ve kept in touch with many friends, from HS friends to Yearbook friends. Considering my emotional state in July, I’m pretty fortunate that I keep in touch with anyone at all. I’m really making myself reach out to people, and that really has sparked my second half revival in this category.

On the other hand, I still have my difficulties believing anyone wants my companionship. Furthermore, I haven’t gotten closer with anyone, and if anything, on average, my friendships have regressed this year.

3) Keep my brain active with problems and projects: B+. My personal Kanban board is evidence I’m still on this. I’ve progressed steadily with my atmospheric attenuation project. I’ve come up with innumerable new projects. But the biggest hurdle I still face is finishing projects before I start new ones.

Overall: B. Given that I had no job as late as mid April and had absolutely no hope of being friends with anyone anymore on my 22nd birthday, I’m doing pretty damn well. My streak of decent completion of resolutions continues.

THIS YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

1) Exercise. Initial goal: twice a week for at least 30 minutes, for a month, increasing to 1.5 hours/week the next month with distribution TBD. Ideally most of that time will be spent on lifting with cardio next priority. I do not want to go below the 1 hour/week threshold the entire year; better if it increases as the year goes on.

Now that I sit down for 8 hours of the day, my figure has ballooned quite drastically, and exercise has rised to top priority. On my current lifestyle I will die an early death from cardiovascular disease.

2) Satisfactory completion (or at least significant progress) of at least one current project in: {Typhoon Haiyan minimum pressure extrapolation, atmospheric attenuation, learning guitar, Moore tornado study, Skew-T plotter}. The definition of done/significant is vague here, but the point is, I want to actually finish a project for once. +shutter speed/blur project, but the scope of that is currently small enough to be completed reasonably fast (like on the order of a day-week).

3) Go on at least one unforgettable vacation. At least, YOLO more. Right now I have multiple trips that could potentially occur: (1) a trip to Asia that includes Tibet, Taiwan, HK, Shanghai, and perhaps additional places in China; (2) Alaska cruise with family; (3) storm chasing; (4) potential trip with yearbook people.

Right now (1) and (2) have the best chances to actually happen, as discussions are ongoing. (4) is only in thought, and may not even happen if yearbook people aren’t willing. (3) is probably not going to happen because I won’t have the balls to tell my parents about it, even though foundations have been laid for such a trip.

Regardless, my goal is to make at least one if not two of them happen. It’s too easy to forget about it and nip such ideas in the buds early. I have to prioritize having fun.

4) Increase math/physics/weather/photography/football/Chinese language/everything else knowledge. I recently had an epiphany that I am not getting any younger; my brain’s plasticity continues to decrease. I am losing time to learn incredible, fun, and exciting things. I have no idea how I am going to make this happen — I have no concrete implementations to address this abstract idea — but I cannot stop learning amazing things just because I am at work and no longer at school, even if it is now 100x harder to do so. I would consider it a great tragedy of my life if I have gone as far as I have, only to stop where I am and let my brain degrade from here on out.

5) Maintain current level of social life. I have zero expectations about my social life. That stuff is very difficult for me and I have enough things that take up my time. I do consider it essential for my emotional sanity, however, to maintain at least my current level of social interaction. Better yet if I can make my social life better, but again that will be extremely difficult. I may look into ideas that my coworkers have suggested, e.g. joining groups around here. Or maybe look into church, volunteering, photography trips, or playing badminton/ping-pong with others. My current roommate may help me out greatly here.

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