Commitments for 2018

As promised last year Tuesday, I am publishing my resolutions for 2018. It will follow a slightly modified style of my 2017 resolutions but will stick to the same principles as described in my favourite part of new year. One tweak that I’m attempting is to create a generic topic that I want to concentrate on (but not grade) and grade myself only on the action items.

Health

Let’s start with the big one. After all, it’s the most important thing you’ve got. This year, it’s also the most loaded category of resolutions.

  • Eat a big bowl of salad for lunch

I don’t expect to have any trouble with the above. I bought myself a nice big bowl of salad and I make sure to fill it up every day. I highly encourage everyone to eat their leafy greens.

  • Zero alcohol at home
  • Two drink limit during social gatherings
  • Intermittent fast 3 times a week

I think the details of how I do intermittent fasting is out of the scope of this article but the basic idea is restricted eating for 8 hours a day.

  • Limit coffee consumption to two cups a day

This makes me a little sad 😔. I love my coffee but I noticed that when I don’t have it, I start feeling very tired. I don’t like the idea of being dependent on a substance. Another option is try decaf or tea.


Minimalism

I couldn’t come up with more then one resolution for this category (appropriately). I think that since last year’s clean up, we’re pretty reasonable with how much things we accumulate. There’s certainly rooms that could use some re-evaluation but overall I can’t complain.

  • Stay item neutral

This one is short and easy. I’ll expand on item neutrality separately but the basic idea is simple. One item in, one item out.


Reading

Each book is someone’s lifetime accumulation of knowledge and experience condensed into a few hours of the most valuable lessons. It’s a great way to learn from gurus about any topic without ever having to meet them. Unfortunately I’m a slow a reader. Therefore; my goal isn’t anything super ambitious but definitely respectable.

  • Read 16 books in a year

I track my reading on Goodreads. That way I know exactly how many books I’ve read. Also, I don’t have to finish the book to count it. Some books are not very good but as long as I got through a significant portion of it I’ll add it to the count.

  • Replace unproductive activities with reading

Unproductive activities is quite broad but they tend to boil down to some sort of passive consumption of entertainment; things like TV, netflix, news, and tech websites.


Fitness

Unlike prior years, I didn’t wait until January to start going to the gym. Turns out, there’s a gym right in the building where I work so it’s extremely convenient. Also, I didn’t create any insurmountable goal. I found that consistency seems to be far more useful here than impressive ambitions.

  • Go to the gym twice a week

I have a simple exercise plan but it will probably fluctuate throughout the year. Mainly I’m focused on showing up at the gym. Once I’m there, lifting weights is the easy part.


Mindfulness

This is a completely new category for me. I tried a half-ass attempt at mindfulness earlier in 2017 but not ruminating about the past, planning for the future or recreating hypothetical events in your head, is harder to do then it first seems. I was introduced to the concept a while back but what really brought it to my attention is an honest account by Dan Harris on the path he took to start meditating.

Since this is a new area for me, and I recognize how tough it is, I’m starting small for this year.

  • Don’t pull out your phone without a reason

You stand in line at Trader Joe’s and you pull out your iPhone, slide the screens to the right, then to the left, check your email, and then put it back in your pocket. In the meantime achieving nothing. I see this all the time. Checking your phone for the sake of keeping your mind busy. I want to be okay with boredom.

  • Stay present during walks

I tend to walk a lot. I walk to work and to get groceries. I walk a minimum of 10,000 steps in a day. I don’t need 10,000 different conversations going through my head though. The idea is to try and stay present while outdoors. It’s somewhat arbitrary but I think it will be useful for two reasons. First, walking is a regular activity. Therefore; I’ll get a regular reminder to try and stay present. Second, the duration of the walks tends to be a reasonable amount of time for me to practice this new skill.

  • Stop doing two things at once

Mainly, I’m thinking about eating and browsing at the same time. Although I’m sure there’s plenty of other activities that I multi-task on. It seems like a great idea on the surface. You can finish twice as many things in the same time. However, I think it’s just another symptom of restlessness and the fear of boredom that infects us.


Personal

I generally like myself, but there’s one thing that really drives me crazy. I hate how I’m constantly late to meet people. It is so bad that our friends now expect us to show up late. It’s an inside joke to see if we show up on time or not. So my resolution for the year is simple.

  • Stop being late

I’m going to need some flexibility here. First, it’s culturally appropriate to be late. It’s even termed “fashionably late”. If that’s the expectation, I wouldn’t want to show up on time and surprise the hosts. Second, I cannot always control when we leave the house. If my wife isn’t ready, I don’t think she would appreciate me leaving the house without her. Therefore; as long as I am dressed and ready to go on time, I’ll consider that a win. It’s just a good habit to have.

That’s all for me for 2018. What do you think of these resolutions? Are they achievable and specific enough? Is there anything that I missed?