A New Kind of Resolution

Since I was a teenager, I’ve had a mid-January ritual of reflecting on the previous year and making resolutions for the upcoming year. Mid-January, because I always feel I need to let the year sink in for a couple of weeks before I can properly digest it. I go through my journal, look at what my resolutions were from last year, and analyze each one in detail.

This year, I decided to change it up a bit. 2013 went very differently than I had expected and had a lot of unpredictability. Some of my resolutions didn’t make sense given the changes. I don’t think 2014 will be much more predictable, given that I can hardly tell you where I’ll be more than two-three weeks out at this point!

So I took a new tactic. For 2014 I decided to approach resolutions in an agile manner. Each month I am trying something different in order to see if it makes a difference as a habit or lifestyle change. I was inspired a great deal by Matt Cutts’ ongoing series of “30 Day Challenges.”

Since I came up with this idea at the end of January, I started in February, and for February I started with working out everyday. I like going to the gym, but since relocating to San Francisco in October, I have found that I often had early morning calls with customers or partners in Europe, and work demands often wrecked my attempts to work out in the evenings.

So in February I made a point to either get to the gym or do something physical corresponding to a workout every day. Running with an Americano to the train was not counted!

It wasn’t easy, and it required a lot of planning. I missed a couple of days – our Demo Day weeks in San Francisco & in New York were particularly challenging. But I wanted to address them head on instead of letting them “happen to me.” I picked up a book of resistance exercise workouts I could do anywhere, so that I wouldn’t have an excuse while travelling.

However I feel a lot better right now having done this. It’s always rewarding for me when I work out, and with a lot of the stress from the end of our accelerator and demo day crunch time, it was very useful to ensure I had an hour or so each day to not think about work and to do something good for me. I’m definitely going to keep this up for March.

What does March hold in store? Well – March is the beginning of Woopie seed round fundraising. I had a taste of this last year, as well as while I was converting our company to a US company. Although I feel I have a thicker shell and am more ready for it now, I know it will be incredibly stressful, frustrating and time-consuming.

To try to counteract some of that I’m going to adopt a regular meditation routine for March. Since I’ve been on a super tight budget in San Francisco, I haven’t been able to go to many yoga classes, so I think this will be an okay substitute for now. Not sure when makes the most sense to incorporate into my schedule, whether am or pm, but I’ll do some research over the next couple of days to figure that out.

Anyone been doing any meditation lately? Recommendations for websites or apps that have been useful? I’ve looked at headspace & but open to any recommendations that folks have found useful.


  1. For meditation, someone recommended to me a book called “Real Happiness.” He then mentioned you can skip the book and download the audio files and it’s just as good ( ). If you feel bad about downloading the audio files and not paying, you can probably try to meditate away the stress. If it works you’re all set, and if it doesn’t work, then you can be glad you didn’t pay for them.

    I tried listening to the first one and I fell asleep. I’m not sure if that means it worked or it didn’t.

  2. Tom, thanks for the pointer, will check it out. Sounds like either way I win.

    However I must admit that I’m equally excited about the fact that your comment means that my ever-flowing wisdom is not blocked by the Chinese government & therefore readable there. You’re welcome, China!

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