January 01, 2014

2014: The Greatest Year Yet.

I am betting 2014 to be the greatest year of my life yet. It's scary to say that, and even a little embarassing especially when I haven't done even a single damn thing in 2014; and also because 2013 was way below the mark that I had thought of. Now I must start by saying that, I am not good with this resolution thing (just like many others). But then, do you have any alternative but to set goals and try and hope to achieve them?

This time I am doing an experiment (don't I do always?!) as part of these resolutions. I am making 6 of them, will make 4 public and 2 private. I want to check which of them have better chances of sticking. Many times I have heard public ones are easier to stick with, but I have also completed goals while keeping them private. So, this will be interesting. I am fed-up with making tonnes of wishes and not accomplishing any. I am sick of thinking small, hence they all are at least a little out of my comfort level.

Here is the list of 4 resolutions, that I am making public. The other 2 private ones, I will reveal at the end of the year, when I do the year-end review.

1. Complete the 31 day-challenge: I love writing. But I love being lazy a lot more. I have tried this challenge in different forms twice, but failed. Third's the charm, I have heard. Today is Day 1 Post 1. Here's the Index of the coming posts.

2. Read 50 books in 2014: That's an average of a book a week. Assuming a book would be close to 300 pages (although I am going to cheat and read a lot of 'thinner' books), that's about 40 pages/day. This will be intimidating, because I think I haven't read 50 books cover-to-cover even in my whole life yet. Reading a book is no mean task. You have to stay with an idea for days, unlike articles/blogs which mostly don't take more than 15 mins. I think, I don't have that much patience, and I am challenging myself to change this perception.

For the record, I consider anything over 50 pages as a book. I am creating a permanent page on the blog called "2014", listing all the accomplishments, including all the books I would be reading in 2014. I have about a dozen books lined up for reading, but I don't know what the other 3 dozens would be. If you have a "must read" book in mind, please do tell.

And, how serious am I for this resolution? Today morning I complete a very short 67 page book called "Unprocrastinate" (great choice, isn't it!). 49 more to go.

3. Become a "fake extrovert": Don't mistake, I love people, I just don't like to talk to them a lot. And it's not even my fault. That's how my nature is. I just am incapable of small talk.  But my introversion has also cost me quite a bit. I am not able to reach out to people I love, as much as I want to. And I lag behind in social skills, to put it mildly.

Now, here's where it gets interesting. (If Internet is to be believed) Small talk and being sociable are skills and they can be learned with practice, just like any other skill. On the other hand, being an introvert is a personality trait. So, the larger question is can someone change his personality? And if not, can they at least fake their way into letting others think it has changed? I want to examine this 'prophecy'.

So, in the coming days if you find myself calling you in the middle of the night (haha, just kidding! (may be not)), asking you how was your day, and how's the weather outside, and then refusing to put down the phone; or ask you for lunch out of the blue; or turn up at your place without informing; or invite you at my place; PLEASE DO NOT FREAK OUT . I haven't discovered any new love for you. That's just me practicing my social skills, and fake extroversion.

I usually never call people, just for the sake of talking. So instead, I resolve to call at least one person everyday for next 365 days, without any pre-set agenda (and I do remember, resolving something similar in February 2012 and failing miserably).

I am also starting a podcast around end of this month (I have no idea what's going to be in the podcast), to improve my speaking skills. Hope I am able to achieve a little bit of success in it, just like blogging.

4. Complete a Triathlon* : This December I participated in half marathon. Way below anything of the athlete level, but it was a dream that I made reality. Now I want to take it a step further. 

*My priority remains Triathlon, but I am not sure if I will be able to learn swimming.  So if not, I will participate in sprint Duathlon instead. In any case, I intend to keep my date with Hyderabad in October this year.

How serious am I with this resolution? Well, I have just started training on cycling and have huffed and puffed my way to 1 Km, 3 days ago. I am looking for someone as a training partner. If anyone's interested, please do tell.

Why is this interesting? Well first I don't know how to swim and second I have only recently started cycling. Triathlon can't be completed just by running! Swimming 750 m, cycling 20 Kms and then running 5 Kms (and that's the easiest category!), I assume is going to be a little more difficult than half marathon. :)


Now, I am pretty serious about all these 6 resolutions. Lest I forget, instead of writing a review at the year end, I will write an update on each of them on 1st of each month of this year.



"Sacrifices"

I wish I had loads of time, to all that I have mentioned above. Alas I only have 24 hours in the day (often I wonder what I will do if I had 48 hours/day; more on this some other day). If I do any of the above, that would mean sacrificing a few things that I already do. Of course the below list can be considered resolutions as well, but if I really work on the above mentioned 6 resolutions, the below ones would simply be the by product of it.

  • I will have to cut significantly cut my TV and Internet time to make way for reading (this will be the most difficult one, I just don't know how to keep it moderate).
  • I will NOT watch more than 6 movies in the whole year (through any medium). 6 also to just avoid the embarrassment of having to say NO to a great plan made by friends.
  • No new TV series (except the 3 that I watch currently and am on top of right now).
  • Lot less blog reading (removed 2 blogs which made almost half the share of feeds that I read in 2013).
  • Significantly less Twitter (painstakingly removed 25 accounts to take the "Following" list down to 50; intend to keep it around this mark).
  • Cutting the time spent messaging to half (to make way for calling).
  • Besides all these, I will have to say NO to a lot of offers, that don't align with my resolutions (although, I suck at saying NO to people). Hope people won't mind.



A little more...

I don't consider the below list as resolutions, in the sense that it won't matter even if I can't do them. And also for the fact that I am anyway going to do all of them 'a little'. But as I am hoping this to be the greatest year of my life, I would be happy if I am able to...

  • Code more
  • Write more
  • Travel more
  • Learn more
  • Experience more
  • Experiment more
... well at least more than 2013.



Phew! That's quite a lot, I know. And almost a recipe for disaster if past experiences are to be taken into account. But, I don't want to start 2015 with the thought that I could have at least tried all these in 2014. I am not worried whether I have it in me to do all this. What I am fear the most is that I don't get involved in any tragedy or additional responsibility or distraction that takes my focus away from these goals. Let's see where I reach in next 365 days.

Have A Happy and Fruitful Year all of you. I wish you also resolve for at least one thing that you REALLY REALLY want and then achieve it. And do pray it turns out the be my greatest year yet. :)