New Year Resolutions


  • Porn (none)
  • Caffeine (max four cups/day, no coffee after 1pm unless doing serious work or going out)
  • Journal (one sentence per day)
  • Spanish (complete both BBC books by Malta; Complete also Berlitz book by Juan’s wedding; try to live four weeks in Spanish-speaking country)
  • Good news (more) / bad news (less)
  • Exercise (every day)
  • Reading and sharing highlights
  • Relationships, systematic???
  • Arms crossed. Phone on table. Slouching. Standing on one leg or leaning against a wall. (None, while in company.)
  • Less stuff
  • Minimise risk (protect the downside and the upside will take care of itsef… thoughtful no-lose deals, not gambles.)
  • Write up compositions on Sibelius and back up.
  • Inbox Zero
  • AI / ML - complete one online course in AI and/or the book JC recommended.
  • Comedy: complete four gigs. Put two videos online.
(These are the areas where I'll practice and aim to improve; tbd what level of performance is realistic)
  • Handstand
  • Pistol squat
  • Muscle up
  • Skipping jump rope double under
  • One armed push-up
  • And pullups maybe 20 pullups
  • Squat (2x body weight?)
  • Bench (I dunno 2X body weight?)
  • Dead lift (to X body weight)
  • Cardio
    • 5K 20 minutes 10k 45 minutes
    • Rowing machine TBD check Photos
  • Crab arching back
  • Hamstring + spine: 1- head on knees with legs straight and 2- hands on floor with legs straight (even if impossible, handy image to hold in mind when stretching)

Post-2017 review:

  • Most personal goals, though they were not "SMART" goals, I made decent progress. (Puerto Rico obviously helped me smash the Spanish-country goal!). Without making them "SMART" or end-goal specific, I think I built some good habits this year, and will continue to try to make them more of my normal modus operandi.
  • Most of those athletic goals were naïvely ambitious (e.g., squat 2x bodyweight!), and it reads more like a list of "here are some things I think I should do that I've really never done much of properly". Unlikely to make significant progress on one (e.g., handstand) when the overall list is so long...


  • Attitude
    • Aim higher, think big
    • As 2017: even more positivity, even less negativity. This applies to thinking patterns (self talk) as well as stimuli (e.g., consume upbeat science news vs. details of terrorist attack)
  • Systems, operating model
    • Minimize noise. Experiment more with "Deep Work"
    • Reduce # decisions per day, implement more routine/habit, including sleep regular schedule (Grá)
    • Simplify (possessions, plans, business strategy, etc.)
    • Implement more GTD strategies
    • Be on time
    • Do things in advance (Mom)
    • Always wear a Johnny
    • New opportunities: With passion, or pass on (aka Sivers' "fuck yes!" or not at all)
    • Talk to people I care about. Be more proactive about contact with friends (get in touch), less reactive (acting based on social notifications). This almost certainly means less time scrolling through feeds, more time on the phone. Hopefully this will also facilitate another goal:
    • Help people I care about, more
    • Exercise every day

2018 review

See diary/ txt note


Theme is "Simplify and review"

Reflect and review

  • Review life weekly and monthly.
    • Motivation: My memory is terrible and a little more review should help. Examples: summarising a podcast I've just listened to, reflecting on what a friend and I spoke about when we met, look back on a holiday and record some reflections ("Dear Diary...").
      • Writing is also a good skill to work on... getting better at writing reflections will help build the muscle for other writing in future.
    • To succeed: Write reflection once per month, for each calendar month (do at end of month or start of the next). This can be a pretty quick exercise if I've made weekly notes during that month.
  • Review personal expenses monthly
    • Motivation: How would you feel if after scrimping on some things you learned you'd given another $5k to Amazon, or $433 to Zipcar? You could have bought your Mom ___ for that money.
    • To succeed: Review all major bank accounts once per month; download statement into Dropbox; update simple account in Excel for the month, showing income and expenses by category.


  • Per 2017/18: more contact with people I care about, less dependence on others taking the initiative, and more saying "no" to random meets I don't really care about.
    • Motivation: Obvious. And remember the feeling in the Mercy, "Who would you tell? Who would you want to meet (more than once)?"
      • It doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming... could be as simple as sending a Facebook message.
    • To succeed: incorporate into weekly/monthly reviews: "who will I speak to this week/month?" and "did I contact the people I said I would last week/month?"


  • Focus on play (fun), regularity and consistency. Only "KPI": Sweat ~every day (except when on special trips / visitors).
    • Motivation: This one is easy and FUN, you ALWAYS feel better, and has benefits lasting 50+ years! If you fail at keeping up this habit, you have lost control of your life.
      To succeed: One-day exceptions are fine, but never allow two days in a row with no workout.


  • Focus on tasks that build skills or knowledge I'll still want in 10+ years
  • Focus on tasks where results are scaleable (e.g., yes build a new feature many will use, no don't do custom work for one publisher)
  • Freedom: By August 2019, be able to switch to four-hour workweek for up to a month at a time, without affecting immediate revenue.
    • Motivation: Ask, "if I'm offline for a month this time next year, is what I'm doing right now likely to help me earn more during that month off?" (There are so many reasons I might need to be offline, e.g., parent is hospitalised; I want to put Awesound into background/automated mode and focus on another business; I'm on holidays; etc. Crucial that the flywheel keeps spinning when I'm fully offline.)
    • To succeed: Focus obviously on tasks where answer is "yes!" Continue focus on automation and self-serve tools. Every email in my inbox is an invitation to ask, "what would need to happen to prevent emails like this?"
  • Keep accounts up to date.
  • Motivation: Would you be ready to speak with investor/taxman at ~1 hour's notice? Do you want a lingering feeling of "oh I need to sort that out at some point" lingering over you when you're on holidays? If a tax/investor deadline coincides with a big opportunity (friends week away, conference, family sickness, etc.), will you be happy to spring into action and do a bunch of accounting to make the deadline, or wish you already had everything in order?
  • To succeed: consolidate Awesound accounts once per month, within 5 days of settling publisher payouts; use only Revolut, BP and FRB cards for work expenses (and never use for non-work expenses); upload all relevant receipts to Dropbox and dump all other receipts; put all state and federal tax deadlines in Google Calendar and schedule contact with accountant well in advance.
  • Keep some basic record of how I'm spending my time, to allow for reflection.
    • Motivation: Seeing "Wow, I spent X hours on one account" or "X% of my time programming" or even "huh, I only logged 15 billable hours this week, but I feel like I worked more... what was I doing??" May be fun to "bill" Awesound $XX/hour for logged billable hours... Also, goal is to work <40-50 hours every week, so it's important to measure to see where I am each week!
      • Further, if I know how much I'm earning per hour from Awesound, I can better decide if/what other work I should take on, e.g., "should I freelance consult on this project for $3k/week?"
    • To succeed: start with Teamwork Projects; replace with low-tech alternative if need be. Review "how I spent my time at work" once per week.


No formal "year" resolutions this year:
Family, nutrition, alcohol, music, comedy, travel, podcasts, reading, public writing/sharing.
(Obviously these topics will be major areas of focus in weekly/monthly reviews, but there's no major goal or change I feel motivated to make right now.)


Hm, that 2019 list looks good!
Additional wishes / to consider:


  • Non-Awesound profitable projects — explore side projects. Goal: make $1k on some non-Awesound project in 2021.
  • Less time working on Awesound, more ruthless about scalable/productive efforts when working. Longer periods of time off totally offline.
  • Music creating and share with Ian.


  • Find writing/podcasting voice / test building audience, though TBD: only if I have something to say, not just for the sake of it. Beware distraction with low ROI

Build wealth:

  • Systematic saving (to build money) and investing (build skills/knowledge)


  • Post vaccine: live abroad again, perhaps? Depending on mood, Mari, family, etc.


  • Somehow “be there” for my parents in a big way during this lonely COVID era… even more (consistently) than 2020. Be a source of entertainment and joy, a lot.


  • Split “cardio” from “strength”, track input separately.
2021 theme: “get rich, have fun, yolo”.


Theme: Be a man. Be brave. Work hard. Make money. Have adventures. Be capable of helping others. Don’t waste your talents. Do things you care about (e.g., look at GPT-3, Web3, side projects, composing, music production).
  • Read.
  • Write — send a monthly email to friends, or write a blog of some sort.
  • Make a note of interactions in Notion or AirTable.
  • Help G (prepare to) buy a house.
  • Upload at leats one song to Spotify
(Read/write are not SMART goals with tightly defined Key Results just yet… jot down themes for now, review specifics over the coming weeks.)