Goodbye 2018

Perhaps my most defining personality trait is the urge for personal development. Resolutions provide a bit of structure for personal development. This is why I find them to be an important but insufficient practice. It is important to gauge progress on resolutions. Let’s take a look at my 2018 resolutions and whether they were achieved before sharing any resolutions for 2019.

It was supposed to be a year of quiet - with a focus on meditation and consumption of less audio content. I meditated more during 2018 than in previous years, but did not succeed in building a daily practice. Part of this struggle could be because I was directed toward weekend sermons at the local Zen center when inquiring about silent meditation retreats. I should not have been so easily deterred. I meditated 80 times in 2018 using Oak as my meditation timer. Even this small amount was beneficial for managing the stress of working full time while pursuing a PhD full time. Meditation is a practice that I will continue into 2019.

I did not consume less audio content after January. I did return to Japan for a visit during Thanksgiving 2018. It was then that I noticed just how much of the noise prevalent in New York is absent in Tokyo. I was able to sit on a train and hear myself think, which allowed me to think through interesting problems clearly. It allowed me to daydream by not drawing my attention to outside stimuli because those stimuli just did not exist. It was a freeing feeling that only increased as I left Tokyo for rural Japan. Being back in Japan stoked my urge to return more permanently, but whether that will happen in 2019 is in question.

There were also the typical goals for the new year. More coding, reading, and exercise. Less television, rumination, and sugars. These are perennially without an effective plan for success and typically result in minor successes or minor failures. I have to do something about this in 2019.

habitsHenry Wolfresolutions, 2018