The first month of 2021 is coming to a close and it seems like a good time to review the month and plan for the year ahead. Resolutions are always planned on the first day of the year and I have been meaning to share mine, but I always seem to be putting off the task of writing them down. So, without further adieu, let me dive in.

1. Early to bed, early to rise

The first and foremost resolution and one that I have been working on for years is to get to bed early. In an interview with Kobe Bryant, he talks about the pros of getting up early. It is as simple as the earlier you are up, the more chances you have to practice and get better. This extra practice piles up over time and you see a huge improvement.

I have been working on this past couple of weeks. It started out painful to reduce late nights and shift to early morning, but keeping a target of getting an optimal amount of light early in the morning has helped. That is something I learnt from Andrew Huberman's Neuroscience podcast. He talks about the importance of light and temperature in the sleep schedule. This has helped me a lot in reorganizing my schedule.

2. Maintain a disciplined routine

The resolution was initially going to be "Get a disciplined routine", but so far, I have re-organized my schedule a bit and it has had a lot of rough goings. Some days see me revert to old routines, but as I work towards a disciplined day, I find myself feeling more satisfied by the end of the day and looking forward to the next.

Further, the routine has helped in checking off things down the to-do list. I still don't have a fixed schedule, but I have a few ideas which I can put into action to get the wheel turning. This includes a schedule for exercise, work, play and sleep, not dismissing the side hustles.

3. Create more than I consume

Reading books, playing games, watching series and movies, browsing social media,... so much of my time has been spent on consuming content than creating my own. I am striving to create more content, whether it be articles/reviews in this blog, apps from ideas that I have had or even streams with a consistent schedule and commentary.

I have started this journey by cutting down my time on social media and sketching out ideas for the apps that I want to build. There is still work for outlines of articles remaining. But every day is a step towards more creation.

4. Read more books

It is weird to find this resolution in my list as I never found it hard to read. Last couple year I seem to have reduced my reading. May have something to do with playing more games. This year I want to give some more reading time.

Audio books have been added to my list and the new kindle I got will help me with my reading. I plan to read more of Brandon Sanderson this year starting with the Way of Kings series. I also plan on revisiting Mistborn, an opportunity I can use to write about my earlier experience and review on the books.

5. Write consistently

I began writing in this blog back in 2020. One of the best things I have done as I have been trying to get this out for ages. However, now that I got started, I seem to be fighting an uphill battle to maintain consistency. I use the weekends to outline my articles, but even a small shake in the schedule and a week gets missed.

A lot of the time last year I was playing catch up with my blog, completing articles over months just because I couldn't sit for it. I don't want to make the same mistake in the future, starting with this year. So, I will strive to maintain a consistent writing schedule.

6. Git Gud with Russian and Japanese

I have been learning Russian, for what is it, 6 years now and still I find myself struggling with fluency. I have a good understanding of the language but I fall back on practice. I meant to write a few articles in Russian this past month but I failed. This is going to be hard, but with a bit of effort, I believe I can get good.

As for Japanese, it has been almost 2 years since I went for classes. I have given my main focus, however little it was, to Russian, but it is high time to get started with Nihongo. This year, I hope to get through the N5 level. I have started consuming content (movies and anime) in Japanese. This can only go so far until I take the next step.

7. Get those Apps and Games out

I have had several ideas for apps over the years and it seemed that every time there was something lacking in my knowledge or I just procrastinated (I think its more of the latter). This year I will work towards bringing those ideas to fruition. They will no longer remain on the page anymore.

Another dream that resurfaced this year was inspired by Louisy Lou's resolution for the year: Developing a game. I have had this idea ever since I started learning app development, but nothing has materialised from it. I hope to change it this year. The plan for development is either through Unity or in Dreams.

In closing

I am excited for this year. 2020 had created a new normal for me and upheaved my life in numerous ways. It was a wake up call of sorts. I hope to use that to achieve my goals and get to the next level. This first month has been a challenge and I gave into my weaknesses a number of times, but I was able to recover. I know I will only get a limited number of chances, so before my luck runs out, I will get my act together and will strive to work harder. がんばって!

On a side note, on the last day of January, I was confused on as to what to write and I was slowly running out of time. Yet I was able to write this article in an hour and still give me an hour before sleep to play or read. I almost gave up on writing anything. This gives me hope that all that is needed to move forward is the first step.

So here's to taking the first step... to an even more awesome rest of the year. Cheers!