Setting New Year resolutions

It's nearly the end of the year. This is when we celebrate, reflect, and set resolutions for the next year. To set resolutions, we have to figure out what we want to do.

The best lever we have for a good life is taking care of our health. If we can stay healthy - physically, mentally, and emotionally - until, say 80 instead of 60, we have increased your healthy adult life span by 50%! That's 50% more life time to enjoy, learn, continue our careers, make mistakes, try new things. Taking care of our health is largely in our control and a very worthwhile thing to prioritize. There's a lot of good advice on how to be healthy. Good diet and consistent exercise significantly bolsters physical health. We can develop your mental health with challenging and creative mental activities, managing stress, and by taking time to relax. Buddhist principles and loving family/friends help with emotional health.

Then the question is how do we want to spend our time. How we spend our time - year, week, hour - is how we spend our lives. There is no right answer, which is what makes life interesting and fun, but having an answer for ourselves, gives us direction. Unfortunately, lot of us get busy doing stuff before thinking about what matters to us. Here are some characteristics that can help us identify worthwhile pursuits:
  • Interesting to us
  • Leads to more interesting options
  • Connects us with smart, interesting, caring people
  • Hard to do
  • Valuable to others and you
  • Financial sustainable (so we continue to have freedom to choose)
  • Makes us differentially better and valuable over time
  • Comes relatively easily to us, but is hard for others
A key to achieving resolutions is focus. Once you figure out what you want, ruthlessly prioritize the most important ones. Focus on only 2-3 things at a time and execute them well.