Let me start out by making the same promises everyone does when they start a year. I'm actually going to stick to my resolutions, thank you very much. There's going to be no hemming and hawing about how I wasn't able to do something because of prior obligations or other issues, no sir. Now that that's done, let's continue.
2018 was a year of perspectives for me. I've already written about my reading last year, but reading was one of the least parts of my life last year. A lot of it was about recovery and a rediscovery of what it meant to be me. I had a major surgery correcting a tear in my rotator cuff (with an anaesthetist friend being very interested in my description of what morphine felt coursing through my veins with a bunch of doctors waiting for me to pass out) and now I can finally move my arm to an overarm position without my shoulder dislocating. I started my PhD in the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and my project is going absolutely nowhere. I'm still happy, though.
But once that was all over, I implemented a dietary regimen, started running, and tried regularising my schedule. Some of it worked, most of it didn't. But nonetheless, this is going to be my list of resolutions for 2019:
- Get past my PhD comprehensive exam in the first shot. This one is a tall order because I need to generate oodles of data, but the one with the most priority. It's got to happen for the sake of my own pride
- Finish 52 books in this year, with 12 of them being hefty, serious works. Nothing even vaguely pop-sciencey or popular economics is going to qualify in the 12. Out of the remaining 40, I'm going to try to read as much fiction as I can: I feel I've got out of touch with it
- Contribute to at least one open source project with code which gets merged: and it needs to be an open source project I use
- Manage a half-marathon by July, and be able to run for 30 km at a stretch by the end of the year, if not a full marathon
- Achieve my target weight and target body fat percentage. I'm already half-way there for the first part of this resolution, so it shouldn't be entirely impossible
- Achieve a productivity metric which results in the majority of my day being used for something productive, with hopefully 10 hours per day of concentrated work/reading being achieved regularly. This perhaps, is the most difficult resolution on this list by far
- Start blogging regularly about anything and everything I want
- Find a task list/todo system which I can actually stand to use and then actually use it. Omnifocus is unusable on the mobile despite its power on the desktop
None of this stuff is particularly hard, but all of it is important. It's strange to think that I used to make fantastical resolutions before and achieved precisely none of them. Since repeating the same thing and expecting a different result is the textbook definition of foolishness, it's probably best to try to do something different and set achievable goals this time. Who knows, maybe I'll manage the impossible and actually tick off this entire list!