I know I know what you might be thinking. Is the year even new any more? I am aware that we are already in the third week. But, when you look at it in another way, this is also the time when most people tend to falter and give up on their resolutions. Maybe, a way to work around that is to start when most people give up. Plus, when you look at it rationally, the days gone by account for only 4.38% of the year. So really, I would say I am still on track.
Year Gone By
Before I go on mumbling about this, more for my own mental peace than to make a point, let’s take a quick look at how did I fare in 2022. Spoiler alert, this report card looks far far worse than almost anything I have managed academically. But then, I have happily given myself some free passes considering a (good) health development.
1. Revert to being a morning person
I think this was a mixed bag. For a fair part of the year, I was a morning person. I started going back to the gym regularly thanks to my husband also being my fitness buddy. I started building my strength with good weight training and it felt good. By about July I gave in to sleeping and resting my body more for the new life it was developing. Then too, intermittently there were days when I got up early enough to get in a round of yoga.
Verdict: Fairly successful
2. Write 500 words a day
I can’t even look at this resolution in the face. I have not been regular with my writing discipline and there is no way to sugar coat my way through it. However, I did finish my first draft of a Personal Finance book. I am now dragging my feet on editing it. So yeah, even without making it a resolution, I am hoping to have that book see the light of the day in this year.
Verdict: Untracked failure.
3. Sign up 10-15 long term clients
Oh boy! The second one of those which will prove to be a challenge to look past. But, but, but, what I under estimated was the challenge of getting into a compliance heavy business. I finally got my Individual RIA licence in end of May 2022. Subsequently, came the realization that the will power required to set up things in a fledgling business is probably tougher than pushing a rock up the mountain a-la Sisyphus. Anyway, the good news is that grudgingly enough I have made some crawling progress along with some potential clients on the horizon. However, I am not adding this aspect to my resolutions for I have made peace with the fact that this business is like the concept of compounding. It starts off slow, building more through word of mouth and then snowballing over time to better growth.
Verdict: Unwritten resolution to be continually worked upon
4. Experiment with more baking
Hmmmm. Now, I am wondering what excuse can I use to deflect this one and I am truly coming up empty-handed. I started last year with much enthusiasm of trying to get in more baking through the savoury route. If we are up to accepting just about any lame ass excuse then let me rest it at a simple one. Last year, I was definitely relatively lower on physical energy for much of the year and this one slipped through the cracks. Some day, some year, I will probably be able to take up baking with more gusto again. For now, that passion might be limited to two or three occasions an year.
Verdict: A resolution whose time hasn’t come
5. Better book notes
The one resolution that I can happily look back at. You can see the result of it even in my annual post where I note down all my books read last year. Here’s to continuing this habit without having to take up a resolution space.
Beyond this, there are a few unexpected things which happened. I got connected to a wonderful German teacher who made me fall in love with language. That love translated to courage to take the A1 exam and voila I passed. Another thing that I surprised myself with was the discipline with which I wrote about the mutual fund portfolios each and every month last year. This year, I start with a gap of one or two months, maybe the first quarter but am hoping to resume soon enough.
Resolutions for 2023
I start this year with a few changes – motherhood, full-time entrepreneurship you name it. I am trying to keep the resolutions balanced between work I should do and focusing on myself. Some unwritten hygiene things which probably don’t need the reminder of a resolution remain for me – getting the personal finance book published and of course starting to sign up clients with all set up ready for Elementum Money.
1. Get back to strength training
For the last six years or so, apart from a few gaps like Covid I have loved strength training. Maybe the feeling of being strong makes me more confident, considering my Delhi roots (I have finally made peace with the fact that it is an unsafe city). Or it’s probably how strength training was the only thing that finally gave a semblance of stability to my otherwise wobbly knee, even after a full ACL reconstruction surgery. Either way, I know for a fact that this year I want to focus on gradually getting back on a gym floor and to sustainable rhythm of working out with heavy enough weights for compound movements.
2. Focus on sleep
Unlike a lot of people in my generation, I truly value sleep. Most nights, I try to get in atleast 6.5 to 7 hours at fairly predictable times. The most common lament I have now heard from young parents is about how I should even forget that such a concept exists. Sadly, I am not willing to give up on the idea just yet. So, my intent is to aim for a pattern where good quality sleep remains the objective for all occupants of the household.
3. Journal everyday
As I was listening to a farewell ode at a consulting gig I was working for, the guy heading it waxed eloquent about how I am so good at reading, writing and speaking. A heady concoction, if I were to quote him verbatim. But, that’s when it struck me. I really haven’t been writing much, or nearly enough to keep my muscle working. Instead of any lofty claims of writing a new book (although that too shall be attempted) I am keeping it simple this year.
Last year I started with the idea of jotting down my day, each day for nine years in the same diary to just have a bird’s eye view of how the years have gone by. A bit like this day that year and it feels wonderful. However, with this resolution, I intend to add on the idea of long form journaling in a private word document every day. Not only is it to help me get my thoughts together with the life transition, but also to just get back into the momentum of writing. The rhythm of my fingers flowing across the laptop keyboard, furiously putting into words thoughts toppling over each other.
This iPad app has been my discovery of 2022. A former colleague told me how he was using Procreate for his artistic outlet. Me being me, in private I turned up my nose at the idea of someone so gifted transitioning to digital art. But, for me it has been a godsend. Almost no one in their right mind would think I am particularly artistically inclined. This app though feels like the fairy godmother to my creative Cinderella. The wealth of Youtube video tutorials and online courses means that I can hone my skills, too.
So, while I think I have a hang of the basic commands by now, I want to really work on Procreate this year. I want to get to a level where I have made atleast five detailed, intricate illustrations or artworks.
This is the first year when I will not have the call of a job or a consulting gig. A lot of people have told me not to get my hopes too high on the idea of getting time to myself. But, truth be told, the idea of being unmoored from structured work is intimidating me. With this resolution, I am hoping to tether myself to the commitment of holding myself to higher standards.
When I say learning, I am not being deliberately vague. Here, I am looking at two pillars – foreign language and Finance. In terms of foreign language, since my classes with the tutor are all digital the first port of call is to get back to learning German once things stabilize a bit on the home front. Beyond that, I also intend to get back to digesting tiny morsels of French. I intend to not commit the language learning sin of starting and falling through in my learning process.
As for Finance, as I mentioned earlier, I have made my peace with the fact that it could be a bit of slow pickings in terms of business growth. Within the domain, I have been intimidated with the idea of CFA. That’s the frontier I am targeting to hack at with the aim of clearing atleast the first level in this year.
So, that’s how my resolutions stack up. Before writing about it, I vetted it with two very different people and both viewed these as simple yet actionable. Let’s see if they can end up giving me a guideline to make this a healthy, productive year.
Did you make any resolution this year, however simple? Or have you given up on the idea after failing on lofty, over ambitious attempts? Let me know of your experience in the comments below.