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Ask HN: 2018 resolutions?
176 points by justswim on Jan 1, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 251 comments

Less consuming, more creating. Doesn't matter what it is, doesn't matter if it's bad.

Good luck! We can all do this. Create and create and you will eventually catch up with your taste.

I have a personal theory that unhappiness is due to too much consumption, not enough personal creation. Even if it just a sketchnote or a doodle... that is enough.

> Nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this.

> We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It’s only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.

-Ira Glass

Video version:



This reminds me of a famous quote by Chuck Jones[1]: "Every artist has thousands of bad drawings in them and the only way to get rid of them is to draw them out."

In the same way, we probably all have thousands of bad programs/scripts/classes in us. Code 'em out.

[1] I've also seen this attributed to others and phrased differently

Usually, I don't find "Inspirational Talks", all that inspiring, but Ira Glass has his way.

I had to log in to HN just to upvote this comment!!! Haven't done that in years. Being true to the resolution, wrote something - http://avinash.com.np/2018/01/01/A-resolution-that-makes-sen...

What is a purpose of creation without consumers? Especially bad creations, the World and the Internet is full of them.

I plan good consumption, some laziness to free mind, more good body stretch and some good creation in cooperation with others.

No joke. I made no specific resolution, but a few weeks ago I promised myself to do this. Includes origami, programming and coloring books (if you're impressed by drawing, and want to learn drawing, you should start somewhere.)

Let's all try this HN!

Yes! Don't let online critics or bullies stop you before you've even started. It's okay to be awful and every artist starts there.

I'm stealing this one.

I like this one.

> doesn't matter if it's bad

What are you planning on creating? /s

> What are you planning on creating? /s

Maybe I'll start with posting on sites rather than just reading the comments :)

For a few examples I have in mind:

Instead of just playing games, try to create them. Theres the global game jam coming up. I'll make some time for it. And spend the first few weekends this year going over unity tutorials.

Instead of just using apps, hit the hackathons join the teams and try to make a few. Learn new frameworks and maybe even languages while doing so.

Instead of listening to podcasts, write a couple on topics I'm working on or in proximity to (Not just tech, but political activism im my case). Record a few. See what the feedback is like.

Instead of just voting, get involved in political parties (I already do this I must admit), get out campainging and creating new support.

Instead of just passively using open source libraries, have a skim through the issues and see if theres anything I can spend an hour or two helping with. Even if it's just documentation or tests.

The main point of it all is, even if it's bad or goes nowhere, I've found at least trying to create rather than just passively read/play/consume tends to have positive outcomes, even if that's just learning new things, getting new contacts, or getting new ideas to try further down the road. Hence, the resolution: More creating, less consuming.

> Maybe I'll start with posting on sites rather than just reading the comments :)

I like this idea! Primarily because for the longest of time, I have felt that passively consuming content wasn't helping to make the world a better place.

Instead, if only each of us contributed genuine, well-thought-out comments, it would be much more meaningful. A friend once said to me, "the meat of things for HN posts are in the comments" (paraphrased)

Can't agree more.

I often read the comments before I read the link. I’m not sure when I started doing this, but I found it gives me a diverse range of opinions that I can consider when reading the content.

Ha, I interpreted the 'less consuming' as 'buying less things you don't need/not replacing smartphone every single year/not spilling food by not buying more than you can eat/not wasting electricuty/...' and 'creating' as 'try to fix broken things instead of throwing them away/creating art instead of buying it/growing vegetables instead of buying/...'.

Which shows it is a nice principle since anybody can fill it in the way they like.

>>Instead of just voting, get involved in political parties (I already do this I must admit), get out campainging and creating new support.

Does voting count as consumption? You aren't really consuming anything, but rather exercising a right. (OK, I guess you consume the physical ballots, but I have a feeling that wasn't your point.)

That said, getting more involved in political parties is definitely a commendable goal.

I had a similar wording for my resolution last year:

>Create, not Consume

Even tried making a poster out of it.


I found this line in an old blog post from 2013 in my drafts folder.

> But honestly, I've been thinking back, trying to remember the last time I felt like I was really in control and being the person I wanted to be.

That was 5 years ago and I now realize I've felt like that almost the whole time, with brief breaks. My goal is to treat this as a real problem and solve it.

Let me guess you are employed? I was in a similar situation and quitting my job helped me get out of this. Beginning was bumpy and I regreted it somewhat for some time, but I don’t even think about it anymore. It’s ok if you don’t have a plan or a project, you need some curiosity and general area of what you are interested in (a stack of unread books counts).

You aren’t betting on your project but on your skills. Like if you spend a year doing a thing, you’ll be a beast. And even if your thing doesn’t work out, you’ll be fine.

Email me (<my username>@gmail.com) if you need someone to help you plan it. I don’t have all the answers but I have some. This counts for anyone else reading this as well.

I left my job early in 2017, did an internship for a few months, moved to another country at the same time, lost the job I was supposed to get after the internship, came back to my home country, and got another job. I'd say I've done my "year off", looking for stability at the moment.

I like the idea though. The thing is, I'm not super self-motivated to work on programming. It's fun when I'm getting paid, but when I'm not getting paid I'd rather play outside. I'm a lot more interested in management-type stuff, running projects and working at a higher level. Any idea how to practice that on your own time? So far my best idea is to throw parties and activities for my friends, which is fun, but hard to put on a resume.

I know where you are coming from. Since quitting, I’ve been contributing to a lot of open source on github. It solves the resume problem. And strangely enough, these contributions turned into social events, I’ve met people working on this one project called audiokit that I contribute to.

Really good artists hate their work. They are their own worst critic. That's why they always improve. It's the poor artists that think their own work is great, better than everyone else.

The person you want to be should be better than the person you are today, but that also means it's unattainable.

I agree. I've concluded it's good to have this self-improvement mindset, even if you never get to where you want to be (because it's always changing), and you should accept that, because human society is built on that uncomfortable feeling that gets us to make things.

Related video (it's a bit weird, but stick through it, it's a good one): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWkq7btSQvs

Just checked your blog. Are you really clear about the person you do want to be?

Are you moving to Denmark? BTW a former colleague of mine moved from UK to Copenhagen and absolutely loves the quality of life there. Funnily enough another colleague just emigrated to Canada!

I did go to Denmark, and already came back. I spent the whole time there being depressed and not adapting, and I freaked out and came home because I thought it would never improve. Coming home didn't help either. I'm doing cbt now and waiting to see a counselor. I want to get my head straight and return to Denmark.

Sorry to hear that. I guess it's a case of "wherever you go there you are". The CBT should help a lot. Good luck!

I don't like resolutions. They are lies we tell ourselves, false promises from our present self about our future self. If you actually believe you can accomplish your resolutions, you don't need a manufactured holiday, like New Year's, to decide to change your life. Any day of the week should work. Don't wait until 2018 - start today.

“Don’t wait until 2018 - start today.”

Posted on January 1st, 2018 for the majority of the world. ;)

I get your point, but resolutions are powerful tools. Ever walked into a room and forgotten why you did? It’s because you artificially create a new cognitive context when you walk through a door. A new year is similar. It may only be symbolic, but shedding dead weight and planning for a new year is an important exercise for many people - successful goalsetters included.

> Ever walked into a room and forgotten why you did? It’s because you artificially create a new cognitive context when you walk through a door.

Wow I did not know that there was an explanation for this. Makes sense. :)

Wow. Well said. It's so true. If the resolutions were so important to you, you wouldn't have waited for a specific date to start.

One should draw a line in sand. Of course any millisecond might be your resolution. But we are humans, not machines. Motivation derives from importance. Anything you value is good enough.

If resolutions were so powerful, why not have monthly, weekly, daily, or hourly resolutions? Imagine the things we could accomplish if all it took was to attach a goal to a discrete unit of time. My new day resolution is to get some more sleep.

Say you want to quit smoking. If you do it with a weekly resolution, you can basically give up any moment and start over next week. So there is little motivation to keep your goal. Monthly resolutions are a bit better, but still wouldn't work for smoking. Yearly resolutions seem to work best.

A lot of companies set quarterly goals, that's probably not a bad idea. Also, goals need to be etched into habits to work, and values determine goals, so it's worth introspecting all three at a time.

I set monthly reminders to keep me on track this year and they helped a bit, I might try weekly too this year. Course correcting once a year is definitely not enough.

Because that would mitigate the motivational effect.

I’ll be doing a slightly-silly personal challenge that I made up: walk 7,777,777 steps, write 777,777 words, do 77,777 jumping jacks, 7,777 press-ups, eat 777 different types of fruit, achieve target weight of 77kg, and run 7 10K races.


Heheh good one. I thought my plan to walk at least 10,000 steps a day for 365 days was quite a challenge. I can't help thinking that eating 777 types of fruit might be the biggest challenge there though! I've travelled pretty widely and am a great fruit lover, but would be surprised if I've eaten more than 100 types of fruit!

Yeah, thats a lot of steps. Assuming 1,000 steps = 1/2 mile, thats 3,888 miles for the year, which is totally doable, but a lot easier if you're into distance running.

Those steps do add up. So far this year I'm over target. The challenge will be keeping it going when I head to Philippines soon, I usually switch to swimming there - do laps count?! {grin} Good luck for 2018!

That'e excellent resolution because it has specific and measurable goals. Everything that says like "eat less junk food" is going to be ignored 1 week later. I like 777 types of fruit, gonna steal this one :-)

Are there 777 types of fruit (at least edible ones you have access to)?

I think yes, if you choose your definition of fruit. I chose it to mean any amount of any part of the fruit, in the botanical sense.

I wrote more here: https://medium.com/@7sevens/1st-january-2018-fruit-and-runni...

But there is only one chmod

You should join the Ministry of Silly Walks ;)


I like this one.

7M steps! That's quite challenging, that's an average of 20K steps a day... Even the 7x10K races would only make up for ~90K steps...

I did one of the races today, and it counted for about 12,000 steps. I did exceed my step target for the day, but it wasn't easy.

Do subvarieties of apples count?

I'm counting species, not varieties. I wrote more here: https://medium.com/@7sevens/1st-january-2018-fruit-and-runni...

If that doesn't count I'm gonna have trouble finding that many type of fruit in my area...

* Exercise Everyday (intensity/duration may vary, but never ever miss)

* Make healthy diet changes one at a time (Very very hard to do. Try to do multiple stuff and drop them all. ) First change, start with raw veggies in the morning.

* Delta-debug how to get into flow state as many time and as fast as possible (Kramer's rule from below, couldn't be better stated). For starters, work on one and only one thing at a time. Suffering from analysis-paralysitis and spread-too-thiningitis

With respect to your first point I would advise to give yourself some slack. Not only does the body need some rest days, but it will also help with willpower. My usual goal is no less than three days and no more than six.

I exercised every day in 2017, but with varying intensity like the parent suggested. That means some days gym, some days a 3 mile walk, some days a yoga pass, but definitely something every day. It's been so good that one of my resolutions is to continue doing it this year as well.

Another thing that I tried and really enjoyed is the following: I started getting up from my desk once every hour, grab a pair of 7.5 pound dumbbells and do some mini sets of exercise, for example 20 squats, 20 overhead press, and 20 good-mornings. It takes like a minute, but it gets the heart pumping blood to my brain, and most importantly counteracts the "sitting is the new smoking". Give it a try for a day, I believe you might like it.

Ignore the haters, as someone who has real trouble sticking to habits, doing something every day, even if it is just walking around in your gym clothes, can really help you build the consistency you need to make it a habit.

Thanks for the support icco. That is really what I was going for: consistency. 2 months of habit building all comes crashing down because of a week of inconsistency. Been there, done that and more.

On the other hand, I do not seem them as haters. There is truth in what they say, too much exercise also ruins one's body. Just grateful that people actually care about me (a random person on the internet) to give multiple opinions from different perspectives. Really helps to get a balanced view.

That first one: I suggest working some of the exercise into daily life. Walk where you can, and let that walking be your time for the day, for example.

The second is really difficult. I'd honestly start with broader things, like increasing overall fruit/vegetable intake (no juice or purees) and increasing the variety of vegetables you eat. It affects all meals and eventually leads to eating less junk and allows some variation in your days - obvously void if you are one that doesn't mind eating basically the same thing every day.

I advise against daily workouts. You'll end up overtraining. You need days of rest for your muscles to grow.

A common advice is either 3 days of general exercise, or 2 leg days + 2 upper body days. Note some exercises can't be pidgeon-holed that way, like swimming.

This is currently my favorite training program: http://www.50pullups.com/

You get the essential exercises: pushups, squats, pullups, with advice how to train, how to rest, how and when to advance.

You can do cardio on the not exercise days.

I'm only seeing a pullup training program on your link - is there a supplemental program for the squats etc?

There should be green icons on the left.

Try a half a bag of baby spinach in the morning (consistent quality, easy to buy at the supermarket, usually a couple of bucks). You don't nee d to eat it raw, it has different nutritional properties when cooked (if you want to keep more calcium in your system, cook it). I use a tad of sesame sauce and some salt in a quick stir fry that is easy to clean up after.

I'm guessing you've never tried daily gym sessions. Once you find what challenges your body in the way you want, I'm sure that you'll find that you make better progress and feel more satisfied taking rest days in between. On those days I try to get 50-100 pushups during downtime to not feel so sluggish - I really think you'll be happier not pushing your body so much so quickly.

Can I ask why you've picked raw veggies for breakfast to start with? Also, have you ever tried L-Theanine?

I understand that too much exercise does not do any good. Just that the mere choice of whether that day is workout day or not can be detrimental to setting up the habit. So a 3 days a week can be strength training, a day can be HIIT and other three can be yoga or some other lighter form. That way, I will be there every morning. Helps to ingrain the habit.

Eating raw veggies withing 30 mins of waking up seems to stabilize my blood sugar and control food cravings later in the day. Intermittent fasting does wonders for many people. For me, it is good the first day but soon becomes a drain on my willpower. I will be binge eating in 4 days. If intermittent fasting is a storm, eating raw veggies in every meal seems to be like a calm, relaxing, gentle wave. I probably should just stick to what works for me.

What type of IF did you try? And for how long?

Learn new tech stacks , and get into Big data & ML. TO not be a generalist dev anymore, and get into either Amazon or Microsoft. May be find the right girl and get married. Lesser Netflix , more reading books and writing (blogs/Medium).Not to laze around on weekends and invest that time into building new skills and advance my career. As always lots of stuff to do and hope I can achieve the maximum possible till Jan 1 2019. Happy New Year HN !

Ask out a girl in person and forget about online dating.

Get my hiking rate of ascent to 2,500 ft/hr.

I haven't found a greater thrill in life than meeting a girl in day-to-day life (like at the supermarket). Always a mixture of deep fear and excitement, despite any attempts to rationalize the heart-pounding away.

I know. That's a bit of a problem. Once you get into it there is nothing that can replace that adrenaline rush. You are getting so bored when you are in a relationship and have to stop doing it.

That's the spirit ...Good Luck!

Nice, that's fast. I wonder what the optimum grade is to maximize ascent rate.

That's an interesting question. Speed climbing[0] is for 100% vertical climbs and seem to attain speeds of 6,000+ft/hr rate of ascent for only a minute. Over 30 minutes, people are very close to climbing a kilometer in vertical height[1]. One of the fastest times that author found was 0.568m/s (6708.6614 ft/hr), with an elevation of 16.4 degrees.

I'm going to assume it's roughly similar for 60 minutes, as well as 30 minutes.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_climbing [1] http://www.irunfar.com/2012/04/the-30-minute-kilometer-a-loo...

Improve my Spanish vocabulary by extensively reading at least one million words of Spanish. I’m currently at the level where I can read about 12 pages of Harry Potter per hour without a dictionary, or faster with Readlang. One million words is about the length of the entire Harry Potter series.

Continue my porn-free streak to prioritize real life sexual experiences.

Good luck on learning a new language. Be careful that when writing in Spanish you also have someone check that your Spanish is correct. Otherwise, you may be practising something wrong.

Thanks. I feel like the hard part is over now that I can read and watch Spanish tv and follow enough to enjoy it. Bootstrapping myself by cramming the first 1500-2000 words or so of vocabulary felt like a lot of work.

I almost never practice speaking and writing because I don’t want to become fluent in my mistakes.

I like the way [antimoon](http://www.antimoon.com/other/myths-mistakesbeg.htm) writes about this aspect of language learning.


- Undo minor case of hip impingement ( sitting down too much! )

- Connect with more people / foster better relationships. Who knew making friends in a city could be so hard?


- Finish SICP. Made it through four chapters with co-workers, and then everyone dropped off.

- Continue exploring functional programming

- Finish my homegrown Japanese kana / kanji language learning tool


- Take some of the wisdom from this thread[1], and make myself more "marketable" through blogging, giving talks, etc.

- Pass the JLPT 3 test

[1] - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15994410

"Who knew making friends in a city could be so hard?"

I've never found a place where it was easy to make friends, though the easiest has seemed to be language class full of other immigrants. We all had that one thing in common.

> I've never found a place where it was easy to make friends, though the easiest has seemed to be language class full of other immigrants. We all had that one thing in common.

Learning and/or shared discomfort has seemed to foster the closest relationships I've had to date. Perhaps, it's time for more classes.

Coming from the countryside, it's such a strange paradox -- to be surrounded by so many people, but alone at the same time.

Is the Japanese learning tool online? Are you going to share it with others? I'm just curious.

It's still in development. I didn't think anyone would be interested, since I see one pop up on /r/learnjapanese each month.

Perhaps, I'll clean it up and submit my first ShowHN

Get a Higher resolution display (around 4k maybe) and be more ergonomic in general.

Release an Open Source Project and develop it for a year.

Turn my comments into blog posts instead of just comments.

But most important to have fun!

So, is this a meta resolution? :)

Yes, thats the joke :)

I would like to get a 4k display and have it partition itself into a different set of aspect ratios but I'm not sure that is possible.

4k display and a standing desk is where it's at.

I want the 5K imac on a standing desk pretty badly but its insanely expensive.

1. Ship every day - keep momentum going (talking to new customers, fixing bug, building new feature)

2. Be more accountable - write on Skype every day to my business partner what I will work on today.

3. Stay focused - Keep putting the gas on the 1 or 2 things taht work.

4. Stop seeking perfection - find 90% of results with 10% of efforts.

And of course:

5. Travel more - I plan to visit South Korea, Japan, China, Russia, Ukraine, Estonia this year!

Ukraine! Not a common one but one of my favorite places I've visited. Why do you want to go there?

How do you plan on shipping every day, being more accountable, and staying focused when you take enough time off to visit 6 different countries in one year? Sounds like resolution #6 should be to stop bullshitting yourself.

We've banned this account for repeatedly violating the HN guidelines and ignoring our requests to stop.

If you don't want to be banned on HN, you're welcome to email hn@ycombinator.com and give us reason to believe that you'll follow the rules in the future.

Honest question - if this user creates another account and keeps violating the rules, how would he be stopped?

Blacklisting their IP address would be my guess.

I'm not going to burn my personal life programming any more.

Probably try for a Master's degree since my employer would essentially pay for it.

I've been wondering what the next step is for me after 5 years as a (professional) web developer. I still enjoy it but I can't help but think that there's something after. I work on a very modern stack (React, Redux, TypeScript, etc.) and I imagine many here would be satisfied with that. But lately I keep trying to define the value that I bring to the table and it's hard to verbalize, when it shouldn't be. So learning to express that is also on the table.

I've also been getting my feet wet with crypto, machine learning and FinTech. They may turn out to be 2017 fads but so was JavaScript and jQuery back in the day.

11 years ago my resolution was to stop making resolutions. So I've got some great resolution ideas but am screwed because I never fail to deliver on a new years resolution.

- Continue with habit forming practice

- Run and exercise at least 3 times a week

- Delta-debug how to get into flow state as many time and as fast as possible

Good post-- looks like a recipe for success to me.

I'm spending more time working on things that I can touch. That means more woodworking, electronics projects without any software attached, and customizing real-world tools like my desk, coffeemaker, and bass amp for what I want them to do.

I'd also like to get my bench press up from 170 to 225 and cut carbs down, but not eliminate them.

1. Build a 2d side scroller. 2. Build the website currently codename saw. 3. Up my CS game. 4. Build a robot that will at least pickup one object. 5. It is time I buy that school bus to live in for a while.

Alex Vermeer's guide "8,760 hours" [1] could be helpful if you didn't already come up with your resolutions: Its method gives you a framework how to analyze and prioritize your long term goals for this or the next year.

[1]: https://alexvermeer.com/8760hours/

HN post: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13249796

Here is what I'm going to focus on in 2018:

- Work less, achieve more

- No alcohol

- Read more

- Write more

- Practice my Mandarin

- Produce 1 song/week (https://weeklybeats.com/)

- Continue to make one thing every day

You know what, screw it, I'm joining weekly beats. Thanks for this. I always wanted to learn to produce music, let's try it.

Gotta make 5 beats a day for 3 summers :)

- Introduce at least another 30,000 developers to StdLib [1]

- 1,000lbs combined 1RM on Squat, Bench, Deadlift

- Run two half-marathons

- Spend more time with my girlfriend and my dog

Hold me to it, HackerNews.

[1] https://stdlib.com/

Just signed up for StdLib! Looks cool, so it's basically a streamlined version of AWS Lambda + API Gateway?

Thanks! Yep, you can think of us like that. Our first prototype (launched in August 2016) was really just a shim layer on Lambda, but we’ve grown to much more in a really short amount of time. Developer response has been nothing short of amazing. Tens of thousands of developers and growing rapidly.

Our core thesis is we aim to turn remote function calls into first-class citizens of your development environment, with all that entails. We’ll have some very exciting news in the New Year about this, so definitely stay tuned!

Good way to hold yourself to that total: sign up for a meet as far out as you can. Or if you're competing in a fed that has an annual membership (USAPL or USPA, for instance) buy your membership now. Putting some money on the line makes me feel that yes, I am going to put my best effort in this one beautiful day in the future, and helps guide my training leading up to there.

Best of luck big homie!

Will do ;)

Not fair, you have my phone number.

#1 Blog more

#2 Work on my book

#3 Grow all my own food

#4 Sell everything (already in motion)

#5 Backpack in Europe for 90 days: Switzerland, Germany, Scandinavia


#6 Interview at a bunch of places abroad

#7 Work in a language I enjoy (Clojure, Erlang, ect ect)

1. Get a job

2. Finish a side project

3. Go on a date with a girl

4. Finish an NES game on my backlog

5. Read the second book in The Chronicles of Narnia (I've only read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe)

6. Relax

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is actually the second book in the series, even though it was written first :)

Thank you as I didn't know this. I guess I need to read the first book in the series. Should I read them in chronological or publication order? Perhaps I'll stick with publication order since I've already started that way.

I found this link: http://www.narniaweb.com/resources-links/in-what-order-shoul...

It reminds me of Haruhi Suzumiya https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haruhi_Suzumiya (also excellent series)

The Magician's Nephew is definitely worth a read too.

No porn

Less comment reading, more article reading.

Comments aren’t as bad as you think and articles aren’t as good as you think.

Given that I read both I find that hard to believe.

Mid 2017 I started reading more and I ended up reading 30 books. It has been incredibly fulfilling, my head is constantly full of new ideas and I find myself a better person.

I want to continue with this trend and read 50 books and write a review for each of them.

Additionally, as I just moved to Berlin, I want to make new friends here.

Die a bit more slowly

No alcohol for a year.

While getting ready for exams this november-december, I had to quit all social activities and as a side effect, I haven't had any drinks for a month or so. While it did not improve my studying or sleep significantly, it helped me realize the effect alcohol has on my body. Couple of drinks after the last exam gave me quite a hangover, something i did not experience much before. Now the interesting observation is that my hangovers got much easier to a point of almost disappearing as I got into drinking again. The realization of this semi-permanent effect combined with studies showing connection to cognitive impairment (memory, concentration etc.) got me into trying a year without alcohol.

Edit: formatting

Ran into something like this with caffeine. I used to drink four to six pops a day. You wouldn't think it'd be a big deal, but cutting that out for a month took me from being tired all the time and getting up twice a night to take a piss, to sleeping through the night and actually feeling decent in the morning.

While I'm sure doing the same with alcohol would be different and potentially deadly (so I've read anyways), it couldn't hurt to cut it back or out completely. Livers definitely like it according to my doctor.

> getting up twice a night to take a piss

Highlighting this for a quick PSA: this is not normal. People (at least Americans) seem very eager to dismiss this as a thing that just happens for no particular reason, or because you dared to have a small glass of water within 4 hours of going to bed. It's not highly specific to any condition, but it points to an abnormality in some physiological process [1]. It can be anything from lifestyle factors (e.g. high caffeine or alcohol use, or unusually high sensitivity to them) to chronic disorders, to having no identifiable cause. For me it was sleep apnea.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nocturia#Causes

Oh no I totally agree with you that you are right it's not normal at all. For myself lowering my sugar levels (my diet consisted of high amounts of sugars and salts....a great combo I know), more psychial activity, and lowering caffeine levels resolved the issue. This was after doing a few checkups including dealing with a urologist (not pleseant at all, but better safe then sorry)

So ya in a nutshell, if this is happening to you, dont' ignore it. Because your'e right, it's not normal.

Learn things that benefit me, not my employer.

1. Complete my SaaS projects and generate enough revenue to become ramen-profitable.

2. Keep up the habits I have finally developed:

- Clean diet - staying away from bad food, coffee, nootropics.

- Exercise - running every day.

- Coding every day - learning from courses or adding features to my projects.

- Writing every day - working on blog posts, video scripts, or at least writing quora answers.

- Writing at least 4 jokes per day. Striving to post them regularly (tweet, use them in my articles, write routines).

- Info diet - reading, staying away from reddit, consuming news only through RSS and HN.

That's pretty much it. I want to stay healthy, make money, and get better at my craft. Nothing else needed.

> staying away from coffee

Huh? Why?

I was drinking too much of it, it became a problem - tolerance, withdrawal, messed up sleep cycles. Also I've read that it stresses adrenal glands and may cause cortisol issues.

Bottomline is - I want a sustainable lifestyle, and with coffee it became unsustainable.

This year I've learned that to achieve my goals I have to learn to think long term, treat it as a marathon, not a sprint. From a big picture point of view, steady, measured, consistent pace is better than short term highs followed by inevitable lows.

Green tea is fine tho =)

- Read a ton. In about six months I'll be applying for a masters degree programme in literary studies, and from this year september I'll have about an academic year to stabilise the topic of my thesis. But as a rather late-comer to literature (I was all about IT my late teens, interested in humanities when I was 19-20, and re-started undergrad education in the faculty of letters a bit later), I find my knowledge rather shallow. I've been reading lots of books, both fiction and things like major philosophical works, ancient literature, the scriptures, art history, theory of art, etc., but much slower than the rate I'd like to maintain. This year I'd like to read about a hundred books, and complete reading the scriptures (I'm reading it cover to cover, takes some time...), the Odyssey, the Histories, and maybe a couple more. The coming 6-7 months will probably be the last ones where I can postpone working as a 24-yrs-old, so I must make good use of them.

- Fix my sleep cycle. For lots of time I've been sleeping every now and then, randomly, and the last months I feel like I can't do so anymore, especially can't wake up with little sleep. I should get to sleep more regularly.

- Learn at least one of French or Portuguese. Certify my knowledge of English and Italian (both foreign languages I know).

- Do some travelling, both to shake off some stress and to find a cosy place for my PhD.

Less HN!

Seriously, it's so addicting.

Coding as a vocation is somewhat unique because of our access to high quality global discussion forums. It can be a bit too much fun, but it's also a really interesting part of life.

"I don't make resolutions, I set goals" (TM) (A purposely eye-roll inducing quote I've been saying to myself for a few years). But:

- Contribute to Swift

- Finish 6 books

- Ship 2 iOS apps

- Run 10km in under 50 minutes

- 195 lbs

My 2017 resolution was to become involved with my local and regional community (outside of tech). It has been a tremendously fulfilling experience. My 2018 resolution is to do more public speaking/teaching in it. I am done doing the usual fitness, diet, etc. ones. I either do them already or not at all. But these new ones that took me three decades to try have been more fulfilling and more fun than anything else.


23:20, I was waiting on a public event for new year to happen. There was no big countdown screen visible. I checked my android phone if there is any clock with seconds, nope (iOS has something I think). I usually would download an app but I am on holidays and there was no Wifi. So I thought, 40 minutes to go, lets fire up termux with ruby and make a oneliner. I discovered that I didn't install ruby yet. Ok, I need to use bash. MAN is also not installed yet. Termux thankfully has a 'help' command. It offers for "while": "while COMMANDS; do COMMANDS;> { COMMANDS ; }". I tried for 30 minutes, but there was always a syntax error.

Another solution would be "watch -n1 echo $(date)", but then I would have an update only every second. Also this somehow didn't work because of some buffer issues. It always showed the same time.

23:56, I give up.

Now at home, I lookup the syntax for while and here it is: "done" was missing. Easy to find out, unless you never use bash for scripting. I tried tons of keywords and combinations, but just couldn't remember that it was "done".

Your "watch" command didn't work because the first thing that happens is that your shell expands the $(date) word into the current date, and then it runs "watch -n1 echo 'Mon Jan 1 ...'".

You should have just done "watch -n1 date".

BTW, the manual for bash is really good: https://www.gnu.org/software/bash/manual/bash.pdf

To host more dinner parties!

- Self study cryptography, algorithms, linear algebra, machine learning

- Work on some side project either being a startup or open source project - this will take priority over self-studying if I can find the right thing to work on

- Get a treadmill so I can run every morning when it's too cold to go outside

- Hit savings goals for retirement and buying a home

- Spend some time abroad

- Do a combination train/biking/camping trip

If you forget the grandiose ideas and keep them simple they are more likely to happen.

I'm left handed and my resolution last year was to use my right hand more. I had to make a conscience effort to do so, but that effort has stuck with me. I still think about which hand to use before performing a task, something I didn't do before the resolution.

Keep them simple.

Did you notice any benefits from doing this? I imagine challenging yourself to do familiar things in an unfamiliar way has some cognitive benefits, but I'm curious about specific examples.

1. Get back under 200 lbs (~225 right now so should be doable with some diet and routine changes)...

2. Create a money generating side project.

no alcohol before breakfast and try to remember to change my underpants at least once a week. no seriously, I like kramer1416 idea of figuring out how to get into flow state on a regular basis. I reckon that would be an overall win for personal productivity. Also, lose weight through exercise and learn how to brew cider.

Ritual. Some of this helps with sleep, too, if you do it before bed.

Choose a smell, music, a special way of sitting. A cup of coffee, a snack. A combination of things. Perhaps use headphones. The more often you do this before time you have flow, the more likely it is that your body and mind will view that ritual as a signal to get into a flow state.

Resource: Occultism. Some mind states used with occultism are likened to the state of flow and folks work some time getting to those states faster.

Work on my health, release an application, hopefully have some stability life and employment wise, maybe do some talks at a conference or two. Hell maybe release a book.

Depending on how all that goes, maybe i'll go back to school. Maybe I'll see the world. Hell maybe I'll get married. Stranger things have happened.

This year I sat down to write some 2018 resolutions and realized that I've either already been successfully beeminding them for a few months, or am waiting to add beeminder goals in the next few months.

I wrote down resolutions before and never stuck to them. Beeminder is a gamechanger.

- Finish two intermediate songs I've been trying to cover on guitar and vocals by 2019, and create some of my own.

- Do a grocery shopping every week and spend less on food/eating out.

- Finish a side project related to application of AWS and GCP deployment strategies and put it on GitHub.

- Get promoted at current job.

Most likely: raise money, start a business and spend the rest of the year dealing with GERD.

I don't know how people do such things so nonchalantly, so oblivious to the near-certainty of total failure. I never feel ready enough for anything. There is always more to check, elaborate, investigate, experiment, compare, prepare, plan, ponder, defend ... I am never ready enough. Never.

But I also don't feel like playing "what if?" for the rest of my life. I've already spent a lot of it spinning wheels and I currently have relatively little to lose. If not this year: when? There's no less-shittier time, really.

So if you were sick of me talking about BOSH, Cloud Foundry and Pivotal, buckle up. At some point you'll be sick of me talking about Robojar.

> I don't know how people do such things so nonchalantly, so oblivious to the near-certainty of total failure

I've been starting Internet companies since I was a teenager in the mid 1990s. I've failed a lot in that time. Having observed a large number of different types of people do start-ups (of all variations), the conclusion I've reached is that there is a genetic component to it for some people that gives them a larger buffer against that fear, and for others it's a rather terrifying leap no matter what. There's something abnormally wired in my brain as it pertains to the risk concern of starting a business. Rather than being oblivious to the odds, I don't feel the same fear that most do when confronted with that. I have a normal sense of fear around most things, for example I'm not a huge risk taker about thrills (wingsuit? nope), and I would be afraid to run into a burning building like most people would. I believe it's an aspect some people are born with, for whatever reason and however it functions exactly, as I've met a number of other entrepreneurs that have an extra large buffer against that dread, which from the outside comes across as unusually non-chalant. I also think it gets to everyone at some point, even those more naturally resistant to it; I've had some really difficult stretches of time that burned that buffer thoroughly. Then I'm right back to wanting to do the next thing; I can't explain it other than that there seems to be a throttle missing. If you have that throttle, you have to force yourself to override it; if you don't, you have to learn to restrain yourself while having a less healthy sense of fear about it.

Any tips for dealing with GERD? My doctor hasn't really helped at all.

I may have been using poetic license. For me it's usually responded to medication.

Leave the house at least five days a week. Previous years I was going to the gym every workday but that gym is now closed and I plan to continue exercising with my trainer in the modest exercise room of our condo and I am really scared of becoming a total recluse.

Do you work from home? If you do just find a different gym on the way to/from work; if not can you find a gym near a good workspace (like a library or good coffeeshop)?

Have a better relationship with my dad by being more kind and accepting.

Proper exercise 2-3 times a week.

Less time reading random stuff online and social media, more time writing and learning.

Switch jobs to learn more and progress in my career, don't get comfortable and stuck in one place.

To stop consuming and start creating. Also to actually interact with people online. I haven't really commented online or been social online since the late 90's and I want to try and change that and actually create and interact again.

I'm trying to take a middle of the road approach to resolutions. They aren't the most important things, because it should go without saying that I should try to do them, regardless of what year it is, but they aren't frivolous either. Mine are:

    1. Go for a 10 mile run each month
    2. Study Spanish for at least 10 hours each month  
    3. Run my first triathlon
I posted them to my blog several days ago: https://benatkin.com/2017/12/28/2018-new-years-resolutions/

Ship something written in Scala, Rust and Haskell.

All three for one project?

Figure out how to get more consistent freelance work and then do that. Keeping it simple -- 2017 was a pretty good year for me otherwise so I don't need to really add anything to the mix so to speak other than this.

Share more things that I create.


Watch less TV and read more. I have a list of books to read, and shows I'd like to keep at/below 2 half hour, 2 hour long per week.

Complete /r/photoclass_2018

Learn Swedish spoon carving. Make at least one spoon I'm happy with using. Get good enough to attempt a dala horse.

Relearn Spanish using Fluent Forever ideas/products. Get good enough to help translate for Spanish speakers in stores.

Lose weight. At 260, my goal is 199. Going to use a mix of weightlifting and metcon-style workouts.


Focus more a la Deep Work

Learn more AWS and Docker stuff

Lead refactoring of our code base

Help guide the core philosophy changes we need to move from survival mode startup to strong engineering culture

Edited to put some more specific targets around my personal goals.

1. Expand my development horizons. I've been a .NET developer for most of my career, and I've recently taken a job at a company that is mostly Node/Ruby. This year, I want to learn enough RoR, Django, and Node to be able to contribute wherever needed.

2. Compete at blue belt at a BJJ competition. I've a fresh blue belt, so my training needs to be more consistent in order to hang at that level.

3. Learn to enjoy travelling more. For the first time in my life I've got the money to travel and see the world, and rather than being constantly anxious of being somewhere different I want to embrace it.

Remain committed to reason, especially when emotions run high.

Grow more willing to stand up to bullies, including on HN.

Be kind to people, including myself.

Cause 10% less animal suffering through my eating habits.

Spend at least one week in a country and culture I don't understand.

By standing up to bullies you're likely to become one yourself. Maybe consider trying to have more empathy towards others and realize their opinions and behavior are formed largely by their own life experiences. Learn to accept people will be wrong often and you'll be happier.

> "By standing up to bullies you're likely to become one yourself."

I don't subscribe to that point of view. I believe it is those who submit to being victimized by bullies who are most likely to become bullies themselves.

> "Maybe consider trying to have more empathy towards others and realize their opinions and behavior are formed largely by their own life experiences."

Please don't be condescending. My biggest pursuit in life has been learning, understanding and empathizing with others.

What past experience has lead you to believe submitting to bullies makes the world a better place? Do you find yourself bullying others after resisting bullies?

> Grow more willing to stand up to bullies, including on HN.

Don't waste your time arguing with the internets.

> Cause 10% less animal suffering through my eating habits.

That is oddly specific.

In the past I've tried and failed to be a vegan. Thinking about the ethics around how much suffering living, feeling beings are subjected to just so that I can experience a few moments of mouth pleasure throughout the day puts me into a very dark place emotionally.

It's the most abominable the we do as humans and yet our society is constructed in such a way that it's very, very difficult to stop without economic, social or dietary consequences. I don't want to beat myself up for failing to resist the pressures of both biology and society, but I don't want to give up either. I know I can do 10% better. I can avoid the foods that cause the most suffering, and reduce or pay more for others and do so without any real cost to my social life, health or happiness.

Subscribe to /r/vegan if you haven't yet, and feel free to ask for help. You'll find people with similar goals and lot of people willing to help.

Blog much more, especially in a exploratory, engineering-notebook-y kind of way, detailing my thoughts, ideas, and failures. I've found those kinds of articles fun to write and even more fun to read.

I think this is because code doesn't live in a vacuum–it has a story behind it. Sometimes I like to read git histories of people's personal projects, to see how some of the stuff I use daily came to be. That's the kind of stuff I want to share with people.

Be more mindful. Try to smile more.

I put together a list of questions to ask yourself questions about your past year, and the new year


This is a site I developed to really help me understand myself better

A few things I want to try to accomplish this year:

1. Read fiction slower. Sometimes I just read to get to the ending and I miss _a lot_.

2. Read more non fiction. I read 1 or 2 non fiction books in 2017. I want around 30% of my reading to be non fiction in 2018.

3. Go to the gym at least 3 times a week. I've started this two weeks ago and I hope to keep going :)

4. Finish a side project.

Contribute to an open-source Project.

Read at least 30 books from my reading-list (mostly non-fiction).

Run a half-marathon by mid-year.

Travel to an unknown place unplanned.

Working on my amount of energy i put into answering to other people when i'm irritated by there 'stupid/simple/obvious' questions.

I have that sometime, that i'm answering to short (=properly harsh?) but i do think i have the time to answer someone else properly and spend more energy in doing so.

- minimise food wastage (realised that I throw away a lot of food but still keep buying stuff)

- no gadget purchases (I have enough)

- make my company profitable by focusing more on sales and marketing

- build new winery (building for production, lab and so)

- extend my body flexibility: after decades of sitting I am able to just reach my knees while standing. I want to be able to reach toes by the end of this year. Also work on my posture and remove my back pain.

Build new winery? Can you please explain this a bit more? how are you planning to achieve this?

I am making wine for 5 years. During this time I was subletting small part of another winery, but now it is time to move to my own place.

Winery can have many different forms, mine is going to be oversized garage/small warehouse. I hired architect who did many of those projects and we are currently waiting for building permission, which is very tricky. After that I will simply pay contractor to build whole thing and then move in my equipment.

As you see it is not that complicated, it just cost a lot of money. There is also going to be phase two which will add tasting room and underground cellar for aging and storing wine, but thats a project for another year.

Make an effort to say something nice to someone on the internet every day.

I have never been uncivil online however I've also never been especially good at voice my positive feelings either. Therefore I will make the effort of putting mentioning positive things and not just nod approvingly at home.

Socialise more. Get a girlfriend. Commercialize a side project. Run the New York Marathon!

I'm resolving to produce a lot less garbage, cardboard, and plastic recycling, and plant 50 trees. Probably the biggest problem is going to be my Amazon habit. Does anybody have suggestions for reducing packaging from Amazon?

Use the waste packaging to craft stuff for your home and workplace. Start a forum/slack with makers interested in stuff like this and share ideas. You can probably build a lot of eco friendly solutions to your everyday problems with the high quality packaging.

This is an excellent idea! I often 'save' packaging from Amazon in case it comes in handy but honestly don't usually find a use for it. The best I've done is to reuse the thin packages as padding for devices in backpacks and cases when travelling.

If this forum existed I would definitely use it.

I was thinking the exact same thing a few days back when I got my package delivered. With the volume of packages that get unpacked each day around the world, it is bewildering to think about the amount of waste bubble wrap and cardboard boxes that we throw away.

Does anybody have suggestions for reducing packaging from Amazon?

Don't buy things from Amazon?

1. Spend less time on binance.com

2. Spend more time on a side project I have that solves a real problem and that I've been neglecting

3. Commit new code every day

4. Decide whether dating a current girl should continue or not.

5. Talk to your family members more, especially grandma and sister

Make a success of my website, WikiFork[1], an inclusionist fork of Wikipedia.

1: http://wikifork.org/mw/index.php/Main_Page

A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other

I want to leave my teaching job and work as a developer full-time: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16042744

Try to keep my add in check even more. Less smartphone use(that is a though one, I get crabby and irritated if I don't look at it every few minutes...). Try to draw every day for at least 30 minutes.

Hike again this year, and hike beyond 150 KM.

Positively impact at least 50 people. I'm not sure how to measure that, be it teaching a thing or two, helping homeless people, or talking to friends...

- Provide mentorship to 4 Students

- Support a non-profit with technology

- Travel to 14 new places

- Write 40+ blog posts

Get some IT/programming certificates, skill up to a job with a wage to get out of debt faster, and start a side project I've been wanting to get off the ground for a while.

What's the gist of the side project? If you don't mind answering of course.

Go-playing robot. I'd gotten some parts about a year ago but fell short on cash so it's been sitting in my brain for a while. Should revisit it around tax return time.

Talk to more customers, at the same time as building. The first couple of versions are really a glorified mailing list, for people to talk to you about what they really want.

I quit my job yesterday, going to start working full-time on a personal project of mine. Got a two-year long runway, looking to have my first customer in 6 months...

- Complete my IT Diploma with Cum Laude. 5 Subjects left out of 30 - Lose 10kg - Grow my side project which is currently making $1,000, to make at least $10,000.

No buying books on Google Play. All the books I read will come from the library this year.

Get back into a weight lifting program.

Revive some of my open source projects that I've abandoned.

Same resolution I've made every year for the past ten years: when I see a way to change my life for the better, make the change as soon as reasonable

3840 x 2160

I hope you aren't planning to combine that with Linux because they don't mix that well yet.

- Abstain from sugar (already into week 3!).

- Release a new programming experience that can at least make me more productive (if no one else).

My resolution is to stop worrying about my career and stop doing Python in my spare time and instead focus on GNU Guile code!

My new years resolution was not to make a new years resolution. Hmmmmmm maybe i need to think about that a bit more.

Less carbs. Study for GRE every day until I take it. No reddit. No procrastination. Make my GF smile every day.

1) Grow my Search startup company cognifly.com 2) Learn Rust and Kotlin. 3) Contribute more to open source projects

I'd like to slow down time but that's definitely not going to happen in 18. Routine = quick time passage

Implement a Haskell compiler from scratch.

1) Freshen up my open source backup system (Snebu) 2) Take a second shot at creating a programming language

I'd like to play more guitar. Get a better grip on my habits and my health. Graduate university.

2018: #Blockchain 2017: #CloudNative 2016: #Kubernetes 2015: #Microservices 2014: #ApacheCamel

Put work into starting a podcast.

Make some progress on my reading list (just kidding, it'll grow forever)

Eat less sugar. Drink less coffee.

- Learn: Machine learning, Deep learning

- Build: Plant 100 trees

- Teach: Programming lessons for parents

- Be: Healthy. Workout 3 times a weeks

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

Smoke weed and find recursive patters in music and nature! ;)

Also finish Godel, Escher and Bach

New Year resolution? Keep to goals I already kept and started from last year.

-Learn how to finish things.

-Be on time more often.

-Walk more.

* Read more.

* Become more fit.

* Travel more.

* Avoid sugar, caffeine, social media.

* Take meaningful conversations offline.

* Help more.

* Get better at Spanish.

* Become more aware of passing time.


Comments from a couple of people who left tech and started life over:



Offered as food for thought from someone who has spent a lot of time suicidal. Maybe part 1 of your goal can negate part 2.

Want to chat? As long as you are living there is an opportunity to change things.

You ok vvdect? Need to talk to someone?

Hey you’ve got a lot to live for. Hope you know that.

Write a short tech book and publish on github. Related to front-end dev

No more push notifications

This really is a great one. Life feels so much calmer without constant notifications.

Don't quit my (shitty) job, and bank the (awesome) money.

1. lose 15 kilo,

2. keep doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, ideally, get a blue belt,

3. learn Clojure.

Start planning my time in blocks.

Don't spread myself too thin

Start commenting on HN

Sleep before 12am

Still 1920x1080 :(

* Clean up what's left from my dead startup.

* Get a job.

Work consistently on my startup.

Get certified RHCSA - RHCE

Audentes Fortuna Iuvat

Start teaching yoga.

Eat less sugar.

abs, 100k in the bank

2018 will be 1334-by-750-pixels at 326 ppi for me. Same as last year. No real need for upgrade.

Oh you poor thing, at least invest in an external monitor!

1. Stop chasing girls 2. Complete projects 3. Stop paying bonus to people in my company, just because I like their attitude or face.

Improve attractiveness by 10x

Move. But do some research first. Obviously you need to consider things like employment prospects and cost of living. But the important thing here is to get away from the crowds of people who look, sound, and act just like you. Find an area where you're a bit more exotic, and watch your romantic prospects open up.

Diet and exercise don't hurt either.

Wow. I was thinking about doing this.

Hey, here's something that took me quite a while to realize: people have different tastes.

I don't find myself attractive at all (and I'm quite far from any western "beauty standard"). And even though I'm overweight, bald and definitely not rich, there's still people who find me attractive. Likewise, those I find attractive others don't.

It's a though spot to be if you are actively looking for a partner (whether through apps or real life), but just be yourself. I know it's cliché but it's the truth. From time to time you will get to know / match with people who do find you attractive.

Reckon I should make this mine as well.


It affects everything. From job prospects to finding a partner.

Maybe he wants to run for President?

I don't think that's a criterion now.

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