I’ve never made new years resolutions before, so this is a completely new experience. A quote I recently read inspired me to make this list:

“Our own life is the instrument with which we experiment with the truth” - Thich Nhat Hang

Read, write, and learn more

A couple months ago I got a Kindle Paperwhite and rediscovered reading as a hobby. First I dove into Cloud Atlas, a truly unique novel whose plot spans multiple lifetimes. I had never “gotten lost” in a book before, so reading CA was such a unique experience that I picked up an urge to keep reading. So far, it’s been great! Next up on my reading list are The Signal and the Noise and Confessions of a Public Speaker.

I watched a couple documentaries – my favorites being Becoming Human and Guns, Germs, and Steel. These two documentaries together tell a very wholistic story of humanity. Really fascinating stuff. I’m definitely going to write a blog post about those two next.

Over the course of reading and watching, I’ve also started taking notes on everything I learn. Hopefully this will turn into better developed thoughts and more writing! My goal for 2013 is to read 2 books, watch 8 documentaries, and write 2 blog posts every month.

Become a morning person

I’m currently a night owl. It’s likely a habit I developed through Computer Engineering MPs or in High School from late night gaming sessions. Gotta love being a nerd. Lately though, I’ve noticed that whenever I can wake up earlier in the morning – usually by luck – I’m much more prepared to take on the day.

Startup cultures aren’t very strict with morning work schedules. Without outside factors forcing me to wake up earlier, I’m going to create one through this new years resolution! In addition to waking up earlier, I’m going to try and get 8 hours of sleep a night. That’s gonna be hard to pull off.

Explore new activities

People commonly refer to maintaining a balance between mind, body, and spirit. My currently lifestyle is 100% mind and to hell with the rest. I know it’s cliche, but it’s time to start working out again! The goal is 2 times a week.

I’m not much of a spiritual person, but I think there is a silver-lining in many practices normally considered spiritual. After reading both Sacred Hoops and Steve Jobs, I’ve become interested in Zen meditation. I don’t see it as a way to reach enlightenment or anything, but just as a way to organize thoughts and gain an inner sense of calmness. When I’m in that calm, brainstorming state (which right now only happens randomly), I get my best ideas. If I can start inducing that state on demand I think I can be more productive. Goal: play around with meditation. If I like it, 2-3 times a week sounds good.

I really want to travel more and explore cultures that I have no connection with. An all-out road trip throughout an entire continent or country sounds exciting… probably China, Brazil, or Western Europe. Not sure which yet – anyone have recommendations?

Material lifestyle improvements

People give a bad rap to goals that involve material goods, but screw it, I’m putting them in here.

I’m going to finally be getting a car and, at some point, I want to move into my own place downtown SF. I’ve only experienced living in a city for 3 days before, but even from that show time I could tell I was a city person. The new apartment will also be the first time I get real furniture and not just the cheapest thing I can find at IKEA (No hate. IKEA has served me well in the past).

Once that’s set up, I want to rig the apartment with tech. Automate tasks with arduinos… maybe a Rube Goldberg machine to make breakfast? Haha.

Alright… now I officially have a list of things to which I can hold myself accountable. Blog post #1 done!