Hacking New Year's Resolutions for 2015

February 20, 2015

As the year draws to a close and a new one begins on January 1st, many people set New Year's resolutions. However, 92% of New Year's resolutions ultimately fail. Why is that?

2015 02 20

The question intrigues me. With my hacker mentality, I enjoy applying problem-solving skills to various situations, and I would be ecstatic to break this 8% success rate barrier.

Research suggests that 'willpower' may be a finite resource. We all aspire to improve ourselves, but relying solely on willpower is often insufficient. Failing to meet our goals can be disheartening, leading to a cycle of self-criticism that doesn't help us move forward.

To effect meaningful change, we need to keep our goals both simple and achievable. Tackling low-hanging fruit can provide the motivation to keep going. It's important to convert vague aspirations into specific objectives and to strive for them daily. After all, we are the sum of our repeated actions. Excellence, then, is more a habit than an isolated act.

My Annual Objectives

To keep myself on track, I maintain a daily to-do list that includes:

  1. Always Be Coding – Dedicate at least one hour each day to solving toy problems or taking on coding challenges.

  2. Prioritize Physical Health – Spend 30 minutes a day jogging or engaging in other exercises. A healthy body fosters a healthy mind.

  3. Commit to Learning – Allocate an hour each day to reading books or watching educational videos to expand your knowledge.

  4. Strengthen Social Bonds – Spend an hour each day connecting with family and friends, whether it's over lunch, dinner, or a simple catch-up.

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Victor Leung, who blog about business, technology and personal development. Happy to connect on LinkedIn