New Year’s Resolutions 2021: Building a healthy lifestyle

Life is a never-ending learning process. For many years I have been writing publicly my new year resolutions (2020, 2019, etc) and my own assessments at the end of the year (2020, 2019, etc). It is a practice that I find useful to reflect on oneself decide what to keep and what to change. This practice is not perfect and includes failure, like last year when I tried to list my goals in a monthly format instead of bullet points. For this year I considered going for weekly goals but it seemed impractical. Separating a year in 7-day increments (52 weeks) requires too detailed planning. It is impossible to make it realistic considering the large numbers of unknowns. Instead, I will come back to my bullet list with coarse goals and hope I’m skilled enough to devise the short-term action plans at each step without deviating from the goal. I will again use the famous SMART technique to define and assess the goals.

Personal

  1. Physical exercises: With Corona and regular working from home, I’ve been quite physically inactive compared to other years. Gyms, swimming pools, and fitness centers had reduced capacity or were closed. And me working from home did not feel like going out into the cold and do sport. With this resolution, I intend to do short dayily home workouts and at least twice per week longer ones.
  2. Yoga and stretching: Following the same reason, sitting all day worsens everybody’s flexibility. I intend to do at least once a week 1h yoga and daily 10min of stretching exercises.
  3. Meditation: I had better times with meditation, but this year I’m finishing my PhD which seems to be a stressful time for many. I’ll try to do my best and not let it get me. Being Zen is my goal, so 10-20min of meditation daily is a must-to. I’m inclined to put napping time as a replacement for meditation is accepted.
  4. Books: For many years already I’ve managed to read quite a lot of books on top of my work reading. I intend to keep that, but I’ll try to get some action points from each book and implement it. Otherwise, knowledge gets lost between words.
  5. Reduce social media and time-wasting websites: Last year I reduced my social media consumption to once per day “just in case”. Sometimes I even forgot to check and people understood that. This next step is to not check it at all. For streaming services, I will limit it to eating time or weekends. Done eating? Done watching. Regarding messaging apps, reduce the replies to two/three times per day. It does not require speed. The same goes for the work ones.
  6. Travel: In spite of corona, this year I managed to do intercontinental travels and visit family several times. Now with the vaccine and “summer approaching” things can only get better. If possible and without too much of a hassle, I would like to visit a new country during summer.

Professional

  1. Finish my PhD: That being said, hand in before the end of the year, if possible even defend it before Christmas. Also, publish one or two manuscripts that are in preparation.
  2. Secure my post-PhD position: Decide what I want to do afterwards (career-wise) and secure it. That does not exclude getting some free time between jobs to travel or do other things.
  3. Mushrooms: Learn to grow mushrooms in a professional manner. Start with the basics like champignon and go to more advanced types. The goal is to find the easiest way to make the farming reproducible.
  4. Batteries: Think and try to move this field forward. Renewable energy lacks consistency over the day; therefore, energy storage seems the solution to bridge the gap between micro shortages. Understand at a deeper level how batteries work and are being recycled would meet the requirements to accomplish this resolution.
  5. Start a company: This point has been here for as far as I can remember. I hope to get my act together and accomplish the goal. A success is generating a recurrent income.
  6. Investments: I’m considering trying to invest and generate a stable income source. I don’t know yet how to approach this.

Extra

  1. Get a 6 pack: Because why not. Since I’m doing home workouts I can target specific muscle groups.
  2. Declutter: Check all my possessions and donate things I dislike or don’t use.
  3. Quit alcohol alltogether: I haven’t been drinking much at all mostly because it does not bring me anything but I still do it in social gatherings. I thought it could be interesting to see if I manage to not do it at all, and how to replace it. A little bit like I did with meat.
  4. Keep more regular schedules: I’ve been waking up and going to bed at similar times during the whole year. Let’s see how much more regularity I manage. Meaning that on weekends I still follow the same schedules as the weekdays.
  5. Publish here monthly: It is not easy to write things here but I try my best. I would like to continue the current approach because it has not felt like a burden. Let’s continue with this rhythm.
  6. Arguing more often: I feel I have an intuition for things but I’m not always able to express it correctly on the fly. I should try to defend better these “intuitions” without preparation time.

Remember to aim for the stars, be happy, and when in doubt choose the adventure.

Happy new year!

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