Don’t call it a resolution, but…
I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, but I do believe in commitments to iterate upon yourself.
We are all fluid and meant to be improved upon, constantly growing. This is best done when we decide how to improve ourselves rather than being told by others where we are lacking. Like any addiction, you can’t kick it until you decide you are ready to kick it. Like any startup, you can’t improve until you identify where you can improve. Introspection can be profound if you let it.
In 2015, I realized there are a few things that I love doing but I don’t do enough. Listed below, this is my attempt at accountability. I know I love these things. I know they make me better. But I also know I don’t do them often enough. In 2016, I’d like to change that.
Read long form content — like many of us, I read. I read a lot, actually. I’m constantly reading articles, blog posts, Medium, too-long-for-Facebook opinions, etc. etc. but I haven’t been consistent about reading long form content (I mean books. Books, remember those?). TX, Erin, and I have a monthly book club at Karlin Ventures but for me, that turns into a lot of binge reading one weekend per month, which isn’t the most effective form.
Frequent, short workouts — I’m a Classpass fiend. Self admitted. But again, 3–4 Classpasses per week doesn’t trigger the same response as 10–15 minutes each morning. I’m a huge fan of the 7-minute workout and plan to do more 7-minute workouts.
Meditate — Here is where I’m weakest. My self-diagnosed ADD struggles to sit still for 5 minutes, much less meditate. But, the few times I’ve tried Headspace or even just sitting quietly for 2–3 minutes and paying attention to my breathing, I’ve not only felt instantly more relaxed and comfortable but also have clearer thinking and can feel my synapses moving faster.
Drink — As someone who only started drinking at 20, alcohol has never been a big part of my life. But recently, with all the tech happy hours and socializing one does, I find myself drinking more often than I anticipated. 1–2 drinks here and there just make me sleepy; 1–2 “big nights out” here and there just make me feel terrible. A good friend described it best when he quit drinking, “it just seemed to get in the way of everything else I wanted to do.”
Judge — for better or worse, my job requires making quick judgements and decisions. I like to think I’ve become pretty good at this, but I hate seeing it bleed into my social life. I’ve found myself “sizing people up” before really getting to know them and even though often times these judgements end up being correct, they make me miss the diamonds in the rough. People say to always “trust your gut”, but sometimes my gut is a judgmental prick who shouldn’t be trusted.
So, what am I going to do about it?
Well, this isn’t a New Year’s resolution, it’s a commitment, but I’m going to start waking up 45 minutes earlier each day and spend: 15 minutes working out, 15 minutes reading a book, and 15 minutes meditating.
I’m going to give up drinking for a month to see how that makes me feel. I’m going to push myself not to judge someone on first impression, but rather to judge them on 3rd or 4th impression.
And finally, I’m going to publish this for the sake of being held accountable. By doing this, I’m holding myself accountable to improving both my mental health and my physical health. I’d love if you held me accountable, too; please text/call/tweet me anytime and see how this next iteration is going.