Hello 2019

My resolutions tend to be a combination of changes related to mental, physical, and financial wellbeing. It has not always gone as well as I had hoped. My resolution for 2019 is to be more resolute. I have already started taking steps toward this resolution.

  • I am using the Strides app to track my progress. Completing each of the goals and keeping the chain going can be motivating, but the app needs to be opened several times each day as a reminder. This is done by adding trivial tasks, such as drinking eight glasses of water.

  • I am using my Oura ring to sleep better. This means getting to bed earlier to get a full night of rest. The hard part is handling exceptions, such as staying up for the new year.

  • I am using the Oak app to track my unguided meditation. My recent sessions have been 20 minutes each. It will be important to set a specific time for sessions on weekdays once the new year begins.

  • I am consistently tracking my body fat percentage and what I eat using my Weight Gurus scale and the Lose It app. One area where I can be more resolute in 2019 will be to use this information to inform my diet. Simply knowing that I am over my calories budget for lunch does not help if I do not cut back during dinner.

  • I signed up for Noom for support in fat loss. I am hoping this will be effective as I often know what I need to do, but need an extra push to make the right choice.

  • I deactivated Facebook. This is to be more productive. Previous times I have deactivated it were short-lived, but this time I am resolved to keep it off until my dissertation has been defended. Only then will I decide whether to reactivate the account. I am keeping Twitter and LinkedIn for professional purposes, but plan to limit access to these accounts to certain times of the week. The same goes for Instagram.

  • I started avoiding mental time wasters. I stopped checking the news and started muting people on Twitter if they posted only enraging news links. These are bad times, politically, but daily exposure and reaction to the countless atrocities happening around the world does far more harm than good.

  • I turned off most notifications and have an empty home screen. This is more aesthetically pleasing and serves as a reminder to avoid wasting time on the phone. This has been an overwhelming success and is highly recommended. 

These have all been positive changes over the last few months, but they are still areas where I can improve. Here are some related SMART goals for the first six months of the year, as it will be a different situation when my PhD is complete and I have more time available.

  • Defend my dissertation.

  • Submit my dissertation research to NeurIPS.

  • Make 600 git commits with at least 120 in public repositories.

  • Meditate for at least 3,000 minutes.

  • Lose 15kg and keep it off.

Achieving these goals over the next six months will make for an excellent first half of 2019.