Nov 21, 2016

New year resolutions, one year later

Last year I took some strong new year resolutions and I want to stop and think to review them.

I've come a long way and changed a lot in the past year, even if all goals aren't achieved.

Eat better & go to the gym: Success

This one is definitely my biggest achievement this year. I subscribed to a gym for the first time in 2014, I went a few times but it basically paid one year subscription to go 12 times... Like many people. After that I subscribed to a new gym, it was cheaper, closer and has a national presence. But the main difference is that this time I subscribed with a friend. I started going with him twice or thrice a week, to do a lot of cardio and some muscle growth.

At the beginning of this year 2016, I realised that since I started to go to the gym regularly I actually put on weight! The reason is simple: I was still eating badly.

At the same time, I reread my favourite book - the 4 hours workweek - and I knew what I needed: the four-hour body! Of course. I got it and read (partly) in April. I went for 4 serious weeks of slow carb diet in May (plus 2 not so serious weeks in June) and I lost more about 4,5 kilos. I didn't hit the gym, not even once in about 2 months and guess what. I got far better results in 1 month of diet than in 1 year of exercising!

By now I have read and watched a lot about diet and what, how and when I should eat. Of course losing the belly fat I got for years will require an incredible amount of effort but I am now in a state of mind where I'm ready to do what it takes to be lean. I get more satisfaction from that than eating crap.

And there is more. In July, after a top manager at PrestaShop realised he was 10 years older than most of the team, he made a remark: "I may be the oldest but I'm the only one who runs marathons here". It was Friday the 8th. I kept thinking about it. On Saturday I checked the dates for the marathon of Paris. It was in early April which left me 9 months to prepare. I thought I should try! I tried to motivate a friend to do it with me so I go and ask around. Most of the time I didn't get the answer I wanted but things like:

  • "you cant prepare a marathon in 9 months when you never ever ran for real in your life"
  • "start slowly try a 10k or a 20k race first, then you will see for next year"
  • "don't be silly, start running and you will see how much you like it before committing to such an effort."

I know it's childish (or even pretentious) but the more people told me it was stupid or impossible the more I wanted to do it.

On Sunday morning that was it. I knew I was going to do it! I registered for a 20k race in Paris. I completed it in 1h52m which is a fairly good performance. And now I did take my ticket for the marathon of Paris, it will be on April 9th and I'm doing everything it takes to finish it in less than 5 hours.

Encrypt everything: In progress

This takes time, I'm slowly switching to SpiderOak ( I got an unlimited plan). I got a VPN subscription at ProXPN (hidemyass was definitely to expensive).

Fortunately, WhatsApp and Facebook messenger got encryption this year but this has nothing to do with me.

Write more: Fail

I blatantly failed at this one. I wrote approximately nothing over the past 12 months. It's mostly due to a lack of time and since I'm not an artist, creative work like writing is not easy for me. It takes a lot of effort. Although, I have read more in one year that I have ever read in my life.

I started with my favourite book, the four hours workweek, which gave me motivation for everything else.

Some of my reading this year:

  • Modernizing legacy PHP application
  • The four-hour body
  • Rich dad, poor Dad
  • Who
  • The hard thing about the hard thing
  • Joel on software
  • Rework

Also, I tend to read 70-80% of most books. There is only a few of them I read entirely. I think I just get too excited to move the next book. Plus I'm developing this habit of not finishing things that don't matter. Like before I would force myself to finish a season of a TV series I started, for the sake of it. I don't care anymore, I'm pretty proud of not finishing stuff.

Rise early and sleep more: In progress

I haven't been very consistent with this one although I very often wake up between 5 and 6:30 to get some personal project done. I like the morning more and more but I'm struggling at going to bed on time. I usually go to bed too late or go out so it's hard to keep the habit of getting up early. I'll keep working on this one.

Going back to small shows: Success

I went to a show alone, for the first time of my life. That was a very small show in Café de Paris and I think the band was Reduction. I'm pretty happy with the shows I attended to this year, I'll carry this one next year.

Build stuff: Fail

Let's be honest, when I wrote the list last year I knew it was a lot to do only one year. I like having a lot in my plates and that's usually when I'm the most productive so it felt right to target a lot. And I'm not making up excuses to justify I failed this one ;)

I have a great project for next year, I'll publish more about it (goals, source code...)

Next year

I already have a lot in mind for next year! I'm excited to take more new resolutions that I will publish here.