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20 Things I’m Doing This Year (a.k.a My List of New Year’s Resolutions)

Derek Mei
Derek Mei
Jan 10, 2016 · 4 min read

With the arrival of each new year comes a plethora of people confidently announcing their resolutions. “I’ll go to the gym four times a week.” “This is the year I start writing my book.” According to StatisticBrain, almost half the U.S. population (45%) usually participates in making New Year’s Resolutions, yet only 8% of the people who make resolutions actually succeed in achieving them.

In previous years, I would envision different changes in my life I wanted to make, and fabricate a mental list of things I would need to complete to actually achieve them, but I never followed through because I was uncommitted and lacked the initiative to actually start making a change.

As a result, I’m writing down 20 different things I’ll be doing this year, one thing for each year of my life. I got this idea from Justin Jackson’s 2016 Maker Challenge, where he plans to make 100 different things in 2016.

Here’s my list of resolutions as of 12/31/2016:

1. Read 12 books (DONE)

When I was younger, I would read a book a week, purely for enjoyment. As I got older, I realized the only books I was reading were the ones assigned to me by my teachers. This year, I plan to read 12 different books, one for each month. Here’s my list:

  1. Zero to One by Peter Thiel (DONE)
  2. We the Living by Ayn Rand (DONE)
  3. The Warrior Shredding Program and Greek God Program by Greg O’Gallagher (DONE)
  4. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (DONE)
  5. Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins (DONE)
  6. Animal Farm by George Orwell (DONE)
  7. The Tao of Leadership by John Heider (DONE)
  8. The Millionaire Master Plan by Roger James Hamilton (DONE)
  9. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Heimingway (DONE)
  10. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom (DONE)
  11. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (DONE)
  12. Finish Big by Bo Burlingham (DONE)

2. Create a personal brand (design-wise) (DONE)

3. Build my tracker app and release it to the App Store (IN PROGRESS)

Two weeks ago, I started learning Swift, Apple’s new programming language for iOS app development. My end goal is to complete a quantitative habit tracker app and release it to the App Store.

4. Design a house (DONE)

5. Create and print a poster (DONE)

View my poster at:

6. Create and launch a Kickstarter (IN PROGRESS)

A few of my friends have been in the process of designing and launching their own crowd-funded company. This year, I’ll be helping them launch their Kickstarter.

7. Design and make a custom pair of socks (DONE)

8. Write the outline for a book (DONE)

9. Design a tattoo (DONE)

10. Record an acapella song and upload it to YouTube (DONE)

I’m a terrible singer, but I love acapella — see the problem here? Still, I’m not afraid of a little embarrassment.

11. Design and code a website (DONE)

12. Bake and decorate a cake (DONE)

13. Learn enough SQL, Javascript and PHP to build an interactive web app (IN PROGRESS)

Right now, I mainly only know front-end web design and development (HTML, CSS). I’m looking to change that this year by getting my feet into databases and backend.

14. Do something special for every single important person in my life (IN PROGRESS)

A lot of people in my life have done a lot to help me get to where I am today. I want to take the time to recognize and appreciate the people who have advised, encouraged, and guided me along the way.

15. Write a song (DONE)

16. Type up stories and journals from my childhood (DONE)

17. Bench press 200 pounds (DONE)

I’m currently benching 150 pounds. (note: I changed this goal to 225 pounds halfway through the year and wasn’t able to achieve it; however, my bench has increased to a one rep max of 205 pounds, and I’m extremely happy with my progress. The old adage holds true: “Aim for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”)

18. Run a half-marathon (DONE)

I’m not the biggest fan of running, but this is just one of those things you have to cross off your bucket list.

19. Clean out my closet and donate all my old (but working!) things (DONE)

I have a lot of old clothes from a few years back, when I weighed 50 pounds heavier. I’m going to take a day to clear out my closet and donate all my used clothes and toys to charity.

20. Go to Canobie Lake Park and ride every single ride

Just for fun :)

After writing all of this down, I realize how daunting it is, but I know I can do all of it. If you want to share your resolutions or learn more about me, feel free to follow me on Instagram and Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn! I’ll be constantly updating this page and labelling completed resolutions as (DONE).

Thanks for reading!

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