Last year I made some New Year’s resolutions. Let’s take a look at how they did.

1. Calorie Counting

I got weak at actually counting calories toward the end and skipped like half of December. But I did a lot better than I expected at losing weight. Somehow I am reluctant to make an explicit weight goal on here, but the bottom line is to get healthier and for getting healthier for an overweight guy, there is a very logical metric of losing weight. So let’s just get past that. I’ve been tracking my weight with the iOS health app for a while and per year my average has been:

  • 2016: 231.0
  • 2017: 227.4
  • 2018: 210.3
  • 2019: 213.4
  • 2020: 218.3
  • 2021: 218.0
  • 2022: 191.8

A bit of an improvement after I left Facebook. But really this past year has been a huge improvement. The main danger is backsliding, which is a big danger since calorie-counting is so annoying. From here, I just need to “maintain”.

2. Astronomy Publication

Overall I missed this goal. I think the Green Bank work will end up in a paper, just not during 2022. I think seticore will end up as the core signal processing component for the MeerKAT pipeline, but probably just a small part of the VLA pipeline, and nothing is really functional here at end-of-year 2022, PR announcements notwithstanding.

I’m glad I set this goal. I’m a little frustrated that I don’t really see an obvious path for improvement in retrospect. Maybe this is a sign that I should shift some of my mental energy elsewhere. I like this astronomy work, but it is often the sort of project that naturally has a certain amount of stuff to do, and after some point there are diminishing returns. I guess this is a result of working on things with a lot of other people.

3. Exercise

This is just a normal part of my routine now. I’m happy with it. I stalled in terms of how much weight I can lift, but I’ve been adding more rowing machine to my routine, which seems pretty good. All in all, success.

4. Blogging

Well, after being slightly behind at the end of H1, my blogging just totally collapsed. I lost the will to fight for this one. I like blogging, or at least I like the sort of reflecting on things that I do while blogging, but blogging ends up being something I can do with my most productive mental energy. I’m sitting down, ready to work, and I could fire into anything, and blogging is one of those things. But it’s never really the most important thing I want to do on a particular day. Or if it is, it’s because of some artificial thing. I don’t know.

So, I missed this goal too, but really because I stopped wanting to do it, more than because I stopped feeling able to do it. Different from the astronomy publication one.

5. Secret resolution?

One thing I randomly started doing is Duolingo, at which I have approximately a year streak. I started it sort of in the spirit of resolutions but I didn’t make a real resolution for it. I feel good about that although I’m a little worried it’s too superficial, like it just teased some of my ancient Spanish learning back into my forebrain, rather than necessarily giving me enough to do anything.

Looking Forward

Resolutions are great. I’ll do another set for this year.

The personal health stuff worked really well. The intellectual accomplishment stuff, not so well. But that’s partially because my personal health goals are like, “decent health”, and my intellectual accomplishment goals are like, “I need to push myself to excel”.

It’s also because I have a more functional set of habits around things like reading books and coding. I just enjoy that and do it fairly regularly. I don’t really need or want resolutions to mess with it.

Maybe I should have some separate set of things which is “the routine”, which is good, and I need to keep doing it, but I don’t need to make resolutions for it. I mean, I guess I have that? Should I write it down? I don’t know. I’ll think about it a bit.