I’ve written measurable resolutions (with metrics!) for the last two years. Here are my results for 2019 and quantifiable goals for 2020.
Looking Back on 2019
So how did I do with last year’s goals? Here’s my list of five resolutions for 2019:
Goal 1. Continue to improve my sleep habits. Be in bed by 1:00 am or get eight hours of sleep, six nights out of seven.
Not sure whether I pulled this off, but I know I made progress. Good enough where I’m no longer carrying a sleep improvement goal into next year.
Goal 2. Go to the gym for one hour each week.
Totally failed here. I stopped working out as soon as I ended personal training sessions, a few months into the year. I think to make progress I might need to shift from gyms to VR games like Thrill of the Fight (for upper body) and Pistol Whip (for lower body).
Goal 3. Read or listen to 30 books.
It’s looking like I’ll end the year with 36 down. For posterity, here’s the full list along with my ratings for each. Fiction is the minority, and is marked with “🧙🏻♂️”.
- WTF: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us, by Tim O’Reilly ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- Privacy, Property, and Free Speech: Law and the Constitution, by Jeffrey Rosen ⭐️⭐️⭐️
- The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of the Lost World, by Stephen Brusatte ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World, by Edward Dolnick ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- 🧙🏻♂️ The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera ⭐️⭐️⭐️
- The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel A. van der Kolk ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality, by Blake J. Harris ⭐️⭐️⭐️
- Educated, by Tara Westover ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- The Addictive Brain, by Thad A. Polk ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- 🧙🏻♂️ I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, by Jocko Willink ⭐️⭐️⭐️
- How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, by William B. Irvine ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- The Road to Character, by David Brooks ⭐️⭐️
- Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It, by Chris Voss ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- The History of the Unites States, by Allen C. Guelzo ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- A Better Life for Half the Price: How to Prosper on Less Money in the Cheapest Places to Live, by Tim Leffel ⭐️⭐️⭐️
- Models: Attract Women Through Honesty, by Mark Manson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- Understanding Japan: A Cultural History, by Mark J. Ravina ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships, by Michael P. Nichols ⭐️⭐️⭐️
- Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge, by Terence McKenna ⭐️
- Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee – A Look Inside North Korea, by Jang Jin-sung ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection, by Jia Jiang ⭐️⭐️⭐️
- Why Evil Exists, by Charles T. Mathewes ⭐️⭐️
- Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, by Jessica Bruder ⭐️⭐️
- 🧙🏻♂️ The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- 🧙🏻♂️ The Vessel, by Taylor Stevens ⭐️⭐️⭐️
- Law School for Everyone, by Edward K. Cheng ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- The Greatest: My Own Story, by Muhammad Ali ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- The Science of Energy: Resources and Power Explained, by Michael E. Wysession ⭐️⭐️⭐️
- 🧙🏻♂️ The Good Girl, by Mary Kubica ⭐️⭐️
- The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder, by Peter Zeihan ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships, by Michael S. Sorensen ⭐️⭐️⭐️
- I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life, by Ed Yong ⭐️⭐️⭐️
- The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation, by Gene Roberts ⭐️⭐️⭐️
- Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, by Rolf Potts ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This was 100% audiobooks. 2019’s reads kept pace with my average by volume, but fiction was somewhat more than typical at 14%.
Goal 4. Attend six concerts or live events.
- Big Apple Circus (National Harbor)
- National Ballet of China: Raise the Red Lantern (Kennedy Center)
- Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival (Pennsylvania Ave)
- The Empire Strips Back: A Burlesque Parody (Borgata Atlantic City)
- Apollo 50: Go for the Moon (National Mall)
- Flosstradamus (Echostage)
- 21 Savage (The Anthem)
- A Tribe Called Red (Kennedy Center’s the Reach)
- Cirque du Soleil: Zumanity (NY NY Las Vegas)
- Tiësto (Echostage)
- Cheat Codes (Echostage)
- Bishop Briggs (9:30 Club)
- King Princess (9:30 Club)
- Marshmello (LIV)
I think this one’s in the bag. Aside: Three of these were free. Three additional shows were booked but skipped or canceled. I’m not counting small live performances.
Goal 5. Increase my net worth by 14% via savings and investment growth, if ignoring costs from home sale.
Yup yup yup! I fully flopped my net worth goal in 2018, but coming up on the end of 2019 I’ve about doubled the goal this year.
Overall Score for 2019
Four out of five. I’m quite happy with that.
Other Trivia for 2019
On December 5th, Spotify said I listened to music for 370 hours this year, and that my top artists for the year were:
- Lana Del Rey
- Sizzy Rocket
- Bishop Briggs
- Nicole Dollanganger
I think the easiest takeaway from this is that I’m probably an emo teenage lesbian.
Travel this year:
- January: SF Bay Area, CA (💼 work)
- February: Idaho Springs & Vail, CO
- February: Manuel Antonio, San José, etc., Costa Rica
- March: SF Bay Area, CA (💼)
- May: Atlantic City, NJ
- June: Nice, etc., France
- July: SF Bay Area, CA (💼)
- August: New York, NY
- August: Charleston, SC
- September: Las Vegas, NV
- October: Mykonos & Athens, Greece
- October: Sioux Falls, SD, plus Dallas & Austin, TX
- November: Chapel Hill, NC
- December: Lisbon, Portugal, plus Nice, France
- December: Miami Beach, FL
So How About 2020?
I started writing a list of resolutions last week while in Lisbon, but today I added a new journaling goal and removed my workout goal since the list had gotten too long. Working out seemed like the one I was least likely to succeed at, so my friend Lily reasoned that was why I should cut it.
Here’s what I settled on:
- Live in three cities for at least two months each.
- Learn Japanese and Serbian to the point I can have basic conversations with anyone.
- Develop a sustained habit of journaling five days a week.
- Read or listen to 30 books.
- Volunteer for 10 hours.
- Stay within my new annual budget, and within my monthly budget for 10 of 12 months.
I’m keeping the volunteering goal easy since it’s mostly just there to force me to start. I might decide it’s not for me.
The language goal is going to take the most work. Right now I know zero words in Serbian and have a long way to go with Japanese.
Should be fun!