This post may be a bit late, given that the new year was almost a month ago, but who cares?
As one goes from one year to the next, what is appropriate way to take stock of your life? How does one measure progress?
One way to look at it might be in specific accomplishments. This will measure what you did in absolute terms. Here are the things I accomplished in 2019:
– I read ~110 books, almost all of them audibooks. The amount I have learned from them is enormous.
– I finished (and wrote the majority of) Clioreader in Jan-Feb, though it is currently not working now.
– I started a Meetup group for Austrian Economics that has had > 30 events.
– As a result of the above, I went from having one friend in the area to three, with many more valued acquaintances.
– I improved my posture have dropped a pants size by two inches.
– I lived for a year on my own, and now have a roommate that I have chosen who is a friend, rather than a lover or one who was assigned to me by a university.
– I worked the year at a job that pays well. I do well in it and get along well with my coworkers.
– I revived this blog and have published 21 posts in that time.
– I have cooked for myself the entire year, and have enjoyed good, healthy food.
One could look at habits formed or maintained:
– When i was working on Clioreader, I made a habit of doing pomodori. That is I would set a timer for ~30 and work continuously on the project for that inverval. I would do at least one pomodoro (30 min interval) in a day, and watched the project grow there.
– I publish for this blog once a week.
– I exercised roughly every week throughout the year, mostly 2-3 times per week.
– I started meditating regularly and am moving towards daily meditation.
– I write down ten ideas a day, almost every day.
– When I finish books, I’ve been using the ten ideas exercises to record what i’ve learned from them, which not only made this blog possible, but has allowed me to remember all that i’m reading, and gives me an arsenal to discuss almost any topic. (Pop culture thankfully remains out of my grasp.)
– I instituted a “computer-off” time (that I programmed into my machine) to lock me out at 11:15 PM. I frequently subvert it by logging back in, but honoring it does improve my sleep.
– I plan out and publish the meetup topic/details on a weekly basis.
While tracking your accomplishments gives you the AMOUNT of stuff you’ve done, If growth is a goal then perhaps it’s preferable to measure how much more you’ve done than last year.
– I read many more books in 2019 than 2018. (I would give an exact number but I started tracking mid 2018).
– The building of Clioreader and the pomodori it entailed (even though I don’t do that now, I will still count this.–I intend to revive it).
– The habit of meditating.
– Application of 10 things lists to books, and the additional knowledge gained from it.
– The revival of this blog, the creation of the meetup and the weekly habits to promote both.
– My living space is much cleaner and more beautiful than January 2019, insofar as I’ve begun to care for my environment and clean it regularly-ish.
– The addition of friends
– An improvement in my cooking skill, as well as forays into controlling my diet for optimum health.
Not only did I grow last year but I grew more than I did the year before. I suspect that growth is exponential and am heartened to see this, especially when i consider other things not mentioned on this list that i’m incorporating this January. I have high hopes that I will grow more in 2020 than I did in 2019.
It would only be balanced to look at flubs and missed opportunities:
– This time last year I was in a romantic relationship with a woman whose company I thoroughly enjoyed. I chose to end that relationship in the middle of last year. I don’t regret my decision–but romantically the rest of the year was a flub.
– I mention the pomodori a third time. While I count it as an accomplishment that I did them at all, and proved that I could make a habit of it, as soon as I decided that the project for ClioReader was over, I dropped a golden productivity habit.
– I attempted a couple experiments for the lab that failed. A failed experiment itself isn’t bad, except that I failed to repeat the attempts in a timely manner, depriving myself an opportunity to learn how to use my laboratory, and to do cool things with it.
– Despite making myself miserable for not allocating time to study the textbooks for physics, chemistry and genetics, I failed to make a habit of reading them. I could have been knocking those out.
With that in mind, perhaps one can predict what my objectives will be for 2020?
– Read more books, perhaps 75 audiobooks, plus the textbooks that i’ve been missing.
– Since “lab stuff” is vaguely defined, how about “do actual microbiology and genetic engineering”.
– Make a habit of at least 1 pomodoro a day (and build up from there), working on a project of my interest.
– Go out and meet women on a weekly basis. Build habits that hone my social skills.
– Refine diet and exercise for maximum energy/productivity.
What are your plans for 2020?