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Ask HN: What Are Your New Years Resolutions or 2018 Goals?
47 points by kreeWall on Dec 28, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 74 comments

I decided to note on a daily basis what I learned over the day. To commit to it, rather than being a note in a note book, I made it as a blog[1] on which I post daily. It is badly written and really incomplete but as it is mostly for myself, I have no issue with it.

The ultimate goal is to see what I learned over a year so I can better appreciate the progress I made, rather than only base my retrospective on feelings. It might also be useful to find what I learned but can't put the name on it, or find links to interesting things I found several months ago.

To help staying focused, I decided to fix goals and rewards. The first reward is on January 1st if I haven't skipped a single day from when I started.

[1] https://today-i.netlify.com/

I need something like this. Maybe I'll whip something up in rails to get a blog template started.

What did you use to set your blog up (language/framework/web-builder)? How long did it take you? It looks nice.

It took me about an hour. I used hugo [1] with netlify [2] to publish and forestry [3] to edit, and everything is on github [4].

[1] https://gohugo.io/

[2] https://netlify.com/

[3] https://forestry.io/

[4] https://github.com/GuillaumeRochat/today-i

I'll skip the usual suspects. I successfully made several positive changes this year. I'm going to improve upon it further next year.

- Launch the webapp that I'm working on. I plan to do it in January.

- Be mindful, especially of how I spend my day. I made https://crushentropy.com/ to make this easier. It has been working out great. I can see that my productivity has gone up, my attention isn't scattered, and I feel more content by the end of each day. I'll do more of this in 2018 and add more related habits and routines.

- I read 33+ books so far this year: https://kirubakaran.com/bookshelf/ This is my current personal best and I'll try to beat this in 2018. Most of the time for this came from cutting back on Hacker News and Reddit, which don't relax me as well as reading a book for 30min does.

- I couldn't travel as much as I wanted to in 2017. I plan to compensate for this in 2018 ;-) I also plan to hike, snowboard, and play racquetball more than I did in 2017.

I’ve found that committing to a single meaningful word for the year works better than resolutions.

Two years ago the word was “space”. I made more room in my life for growth and change that year.

This year the word was “presence”. I went on quite a personal development journey and being more present, particularly with my emotions and physical body, was definitely a strong element of that journey.

For next year I’m thinking of breaking my rule and having two words, because it feels like they will work best together: “patience” and “flow”.

I’m curious if anyone else can think of a word that seems to be calling to them this coming year.

Slow. This will span many years for me. Check out [0]. Applying slow to reading, thinking, eating, etc. invariable leads to good results. It is also a great heuristic.

Also things inimical to slow are usually bad: social media (esp twitter), most politics / religious debates, advertising, tv and radio, etc ...

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_movement_(culture)

Edit: things that slow me down the most are classical music + jazz (mostly piano or guitar solos) and mathematics.

Given what I started and how I've been thinking, maybe "aware". Being aware of what's happening around me, of the thoughts I have, of the progress I make, doing the mental process of noting things rather than being passive about what's going on. Does that make sens?

Yep, definitely makes sense! I guess it’s similar in meaning to if you chose “conscious” or “present”...?

Maybe, but I see "aware" as noticing things external to myself as opposed to "conscious" or "present" where it has a more spiritual, intra-personal meaning.

Or maybe I'm not understanding the terms the right way as I'm not a native English speaker and may put concepts and meanings from my native language into these terms.

1. Read a book a week. This is doable if i dedicate an hour a day to reading and I pick books that end up being page turners.

2. Play my electric guitar for an hour at least every other day.

3. Put $1000 a month away in my savings account.

4. Learn to implement some basic computer science algorithms in JavaScript. I don’t know how to do binary trees or hash tables and I’d like to be able to teach them at the Javascript fundamentals meetup I run once a month.

>3. Put $1000 a month away in my savings account.

I don't want to assume your financial goals but you might want to talk to a financial planner before just sticking it in a savings account. Unless this is a repository for cash you need short term and with immediate access this is the worst place to put it.

My boss just recommended a tax person to a bunch of us new hires- we're all 1099 contractors. He said basically the same thing as you. I want to start doing things like maxing out Roth and Sep IRAs, or whatever will end up making sense for my position.

For 4, I would recommend leetcode (or, others whichever suits you), and Algorithm Design Manual by Skiena.

2 activities that helped me greatly. Once you read and solve enough problems, then you will start noticing patterns while understanding their purpose.

This is the year I'm finally going to learn front end, just enough to prototype. Don't roast me alive, but I'm thinking of starting with jQuery. It seems much more learnable for a web stack beginner, and probably serviceable for a long time to come for someone who mainly prototypes ideas that need an elemental gui.

In my experience, jQuery isn't so much a tool that you learn in its entirety, but a swiss army knife you pull out when needed. It's among the most heavily referenced web libraries on SO and the like, making it pretty easy to find answers with a "______ jquery" google search.

Best of luck in your front end journey!

I would learn react or angular first. I think the barrier to entry is the same (depending on your background) and you will get much more out of it.

Beyond that, I would suggest learning how to take a psd website design and turn it into HTML. This is a great skills to have. Adding functionality on top of the HTML with react or angular is easy once you know how to break a website down into digestible pieces.

That being said, it is your resolution. I'm not trying to force you into anything. Just giving advice from my experience.

I think jQuery is better for a beginner because there's less stuff there. It's closer to learning raw HTML/CSS/JS, which will serve you well in the future, once the next thing replaces react/angular.

You can also just drop a single CDN URL into your web page without worrying about a JS dev environment, which is not simple to set up these days. That stuff is useful eventually, but I think it's distracting at first and obscures the fundamentals of how the web works.

Thanks. These observations confirm my asssumptions.

JQuery is great for some frontend glue, but I'd try to learn some of the new frameworks.

I tried my hand at React, it's doable, and I like it for a prototype, but I'm going to try Vue.js next because it's supposed to be much easier.

Angular is supposed to be easier for people coming from the backend.

In any case, frontend development is very frustrating (at least for me), a lot work for little gains sometimes.

jQuery is more of an afternoon thing.. 1-2 days and it's mostly mastered. You just need to know how to use selectors.. and the most common methods like html(), ajax(), post(), get(), text(), css(), addClass(), removeClass(), toggle(), -- but really just being able to select an item on the page, and then google what else you need to know for what you want to accomplish...

I'd recommend learning VueJs -- It works well with laravel, not sure what backend you've worked with but I'm sure you can plugin any.

It has a LOT of articles/support online. There's a discord chat for more help. Learn the basics of jquery for sure (I still use it a ton) but something like Vuejs or even React would beef up your resume quite a bit.

Mine is to write at least two articles per month on my blog http://mez.cl/a

Do you know you have 99/100 Google Page Speed score? Fix "Compressing http://mez.cl/a/ could save 1.4KiB (59% reduction)." and you're good.

Due to a personal project I've been quite obsessed with Google Page Speed lately and this could be the 2nd website I've come across in the wild to have a 100/100. Shoutouts to https://principles.design/ being the first one.

Thanks for the tip, this is indeed something I'd be proud of :)

I decided arbitrarily to make every post self-contained inside a single HTTP request, and it's nice to see this single decision is already 99% of the job.

That's a clever layout you have going on there.

Get my personal finances in order. I have no debt, a good savings going, and a decent chunk in a 401k from a previous company. Other than that, I have done basically no investing and I know I'm leaving money on the table.

s&p 500 + real estate if you can.

Real estate is not a passive investment and not something to get into casually because you have money and want to grow it.

You can passively expose yourself to real estate if you wish - there are plenty of real estate ETFs for example.

What real estate do you have? I bought a home but the only benefit I see is that some of the money I used to spend on rent now becomes equity (but not all).

Shift focus from building products to building the people who build the products.

I've found that as your leadership/management scope increases, there just isn't enough of yourself to tackle all the big/complex technical problems. You can't scale as a person. At first you try to throw technology at the problem, and then process. Finally you realize that the basic building block you need to work with is the person. Get that right and everything else will fall into place. Only problem: coming from an engineering background, this doesn't come naturally to me. So I plan to devote the coming year to master that aspect.

Graduate my PhD and get hired in industry. Hopefully in a job that affords me enough leisure time to work on personal projects, of which I have many cooked up but undeveloped at this stage. Exercise more regularly.


... soda, red meat, ice cream

... alcohol/cigarettes (even though I don't drink or smoke often anyway, there is just no good reason to do them at all)

... sleeping in on weekends

... computer for first and last 60 minutes of the day


- Meditate >10 min/day

- Exercise >5 days/wk

- Run 3-4 day/wk

- Better-learn and practice good nutrition

- Work >80 hours per week (job + take action on personal startup project)

- Write (morning): My definite goal and detailed plan as per rules of "Think and Grow Rich"

- Write (morning): Anything of importance that may come to mind (and/or possible subconscious breakthroughs from sleep)

- Write (night): What I learned/did that day

- Write (night): the next day's 3 major tasks

Wake up earlier. Get to the gym before 7AM instead of at night. have an investment plan and stick to it.

My goals: do everything in this thread :)

But seriously, nothing major. I just want to incrementally improve my writing, coding and health and reading.

I have had a couple of techs I've been wanting to try out and now I finally have the time and drive to do it.

For starters, I'm in the middle of a complete blog rewrite (running away from WordPress), using: Hugo and Bulma.

I'm also upgrading my fullstack tech-stack to: Elixir, Phoenix, Vue.js, Ansible. Used to do: Ruby, Rails, Angular.

Spend less time on the computer. Everything else will follow!

Keep on making releases of my shell, to the point where people actually use it. Right now I see that there are some downloads, and a lot of people read my blog, but there's not a whole lot of usage.

Latest release: http://www.oilshell.org/blog/2017/12/22.html

A few people have asked me what it is, and I answered with some links and comments here:


tl;dr It's a bash-compatible shell that treats shell as a real programming language.

- reduce reddit intake (and don't just replace with HN)

- read 2 books a month, I hit my goal of 1 book/month this year!

- become more present and mindful

- more physical exercise!

Also stop visiting /r/conspiracy and /r/collapse. It has taken a toll on my mental health and always puts me in pessimistic mood.

Adhere to a filesystem... Right now all my files are a mess — often getting saved in random places... I know I can find them with a quick spotlight search, but it tends to bite me a bit when I need to locate a document from several months ago.

That, and keeping a journal of some kind.

You should do it! I just looked at mine and I've been keeping notes since June 2007, so earlier this year was 10 years. Hard to believe. I just set a calendar reminder and each sunday I jot down a few things from the week. It really forces me to look back and reflect on the week and helps everything seem like less of a blur. I'd just write what happened at work, or health/fitness updates, what I was listening to or watching, how my relationships were going, that kind of stuff.

Anyway I'd highly recommend it, it's not only cathartic in the moment but it's also a lot of fun to be able to look back on ten years of it. What a different person I was 10 years ago!

Thank you for the inspiration :) I think the Sunday-alarm is a great idea.

I always try and do daily-notes and end up getting demotivated after missing a few days... that and all my notes ending up as a stream-of-conciousness...

Will try that system out!

> Adhere to a filesystem

Oh man I feel this one. My backups are just dumps and my photos are totally un-maintainable. I would also like to figure out an easy phone/photo backup scheme where I don't have to import my photos once a month and then copy them to my harddrive. That's how my photos got in such a mess in the first place.

I developed some good habits over the last few months such as a more balanced savings/investment plan, quitting Facebook and practicing yoga three to five times per week, so I’d like to continue those consistently for the whole year.

These changes (plus others that I had already made within the last year or two) have left me feeling the healthiest that I have felt in years, both mentally and physically. I feel so much less anxious and more in control of my life, my asthma no longer troubles me and I have lost ten pounds.

Building my current project into a profitable business. I've been pushing myself completely out of my comfort zone with this one, can't wait to see how far I can take it.

I'm hoping to make a concerted effort to both meditate and journal every day. I began meditating this past year, and it has been a surprising boon to my overall well-being.

+1, hoping to somehow fit meditation in my life in 2018

I have a few: complete my transition to management, help my wife double the revenue of her side business, be consistent about my workout routine and lose another 50 pounds.

I decided to stop caring so much about the world and others, and pay more attention to my needs and desires.

I will start drinking daily and become an alcoholic, want to see how far can I go while still functioning in society. The moment my drinking becomes too much, I will just quit society and disappear.

To show I mean business, I started today.

2017 was a great year for me professionally, where I shipped a few initiatives that I'm proud of. I now work in elixir full-time, which was a goal of mine.

For 2018, I plan on branching out into new hobbies. I'm in danger of becoming a one dimensional person. I think about code most of my waking hours and most of my friends are engineers too. I plan on picking up biking, taking dance classes, or improv classes to meet new people.

These will probably be my 2018 goals:

1. No sugar foods in Jan/Feb 2018 (and limited sugar afterwards; one dessert per week?)

2. Exercise for 10 minutes, 6 times/week

3. Medidate for 10 minutes, 6 times/week

4. Write a journal for 10 minutes, 6 times/week

5. Walk for 60 minutes, in the morning, 3 times/week

6. Eat well

7. Sleep well (at least 7 hours/night, possibly 8 - 6 times/week)

8. Every month, write a summary of the month just passed.

Build a profitable side business. I have a couple started and in a couple months I plan on picking one or two that have the most potential.

Live in a tent the whole year, camping and trekking

Where do you plan to camp?

I'headiamin the south coast of Brazil now (Florianópolis) heading northeast coast

Sounds awesome! Any stories to share already?

I want to have the goal "be more accepting of things I can't change", but I'm not sure how to make it actionable or measurable. How will I know if I'm achieving it?

In past years I've had very measurable goals and have generally achieved them; things like "have a conversation in japanese with someone in japan" or "get a new job".

My 2018 goals are intentionally vague. "Be more of the kind of guy who..."

In early 2017 I set these very specific goals that all revolved around some kind of measured productivity: Learning, doing, making. Then, (my theory is it's because I was on vacation at the time, feeling rested), I set and almost immediately _increased_ the expected output. Memorize a word a day in German? No problem! That's only 365 words...let's ramp that up to, say, five words a day? I can do that with mnemonics...

Well, I gave up on that goal within 10 days, after returning to my normal hectic life. I couldn't even let myself dial it back; I had to quit it entirely (so idealistic, so brittle an approach).

Fortunately, I had also calendared monthly check-ins on my resolutions. I analyzed my progress and realized:

- I should just trust myself to make up little goals as I go along. My interests changed enough throughout the year that a few single, hard commitments were more like a distraction from my normal, fluid mode.

- I achieve a _lot_ even excluding any resolutions. I decided to track my accomplishments starting this year (and backfill previous years as best I could remember) in a milestones.txt file. So in 2017 I finished 10+ different personal web projects, completed my 15+ year-delayed university bachelor's degree, started a new business, became an Extra class ham radio operator after starting in the hobby 2 months previous, bought crypto for the first time, learned to use a transceiver and had my first QSOs, got into AMSAT and (attempted to communicate with the pileup that is) Fox-1B, downloaded Russian SSTV images from the ISS, invested in individual stocks for the first time, became a certified handwriting analyst, joined the National Space Society, and finished two other certifications. So with all this, exactly why did I think I needed any new year's resolutions?

- Any resolutions I have should probably be general directions. This will hopefully prompt me to be more flexible and make needed course corrections along the way, rather than heading toward some fixed point.

Finally, the huge outcome for me was realizing that all of this productivity results in higher anxiety and higher chances for depression (just based on my journals). So I pay a price for achievement. It should be obvious, perhaps, but like a moron I just thought that to achieve big things meant to become happy. A risky thought! There's much more to it.

Create more tiny habits that pair onto activities I already do. Mostly Exercise, sit ups every time after I brush my teeth, stretching every time I press snooze on the alarm clock.

A TED talk by BJ Fogg on the subject. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdKUJxjn-R8

I’ve wanted to improve my yoga practice (especially balance) for awhile, so I started doing trees and other one-legged balance moves every time I brush my teeth. I don’t remember when I started, but it has made a big difference! I can now hold poses that were impossible for me to perform at the beginning of the year.

"What Are Your New Years Resolutions or 2018 Goals?" Too not have a new year resolution. I don't need the start of a new year to make goals that I am already working on. I enjoy being flexible and free. However I am committed to learning every day. I have a plan to keep track of and hopefully I will achieve my dreams one day.

I love making resolutions.

• In 2014 my headline resolution was "have a pint in all 48 ceremonial counties of England"

• In 2016 it was "go/be abroad at least once each month" ️

• In 2017, "be under 90kg on Dec 1st, or drink no alcohol in 2018" ️ (phew!)

For 2018 it's "do something 'cultural' in every borough of London".

>"go/be abroad at least once each month"

This is such a dramatic departure from my experience as an American. I'm almost 30 and have left the country once.

More exercise

Get back to drawing something every day. Preferably the big comics projects. But anything is far better than nothing.

More intermittent fasting. The health benefits are well documented.


Run a 5k, help flip Washington’s 5th and 8th congressional districts, get better at baking.

I'd love to get a job in NY writing React, I'm currently employed in Philadelphia and a move to the NY area would push me out of my comfort zone drastically. Hopefully I'll be able to achieve it by June.


I feel much of the difficulties that I face in life are due to not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation has made me less productive, less healthy, and most importantly, less happy.

Take more risks - I feel like I've been far too careful with my life choices recently.

Spend way more time outdoors, especially in the mountains.

Start posting regularly to my blog.

Learn a bit of Rust.

I'd like to have slightly shorter hair I think.

Rehab - after slowly burning myself out over two back-to-back startups, I’m taking a year or two break.

Less social media

More cooking

Less apps on phone

More foosball

Less angst (jealousy)

More sharing (Polyamory)

Less work

More toying with locks (lockpicking)

Less flying

More camping

Less beer

More wine

Be less frugal

Support more people with (financial) needs

Weed out the car collection

Do one or two plastic surgeries

Less coding

Collect more art

Less different accounts

More krav maga

Less phones on me

More using different languages

Correct a wrong

o continue to grow my meditation practice o pickup an aws cert o close 5x new projects o travel 3x

my resolutions are

- exercise 10 mins every day.

- reduce sugar intake to 1 tbsp/day

- start a blog

- generate 10k in profits with saas.

- learn swimming

I plan to finally get in great shape in 2018 with fitness.

Despite being already 30 years old...

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