Useless Stuff

2017 Resolutions – Year in Review

The following discuss my self-assessment regarding my 2017 New Year’s Resolutions. Overall, I give myself a B- mean I did pretty good but definitely fell short of where I wanted to be. Here’s the order of how I grade myself, from best performance to worst performance: (1) exercise, (2) intellectual pursuits, (3) adventure or finance, and (4) nutrition.

Without further ado, here are the results…


Overall, my performance was mediocre in this class of resolutions. Nutrition seems to be one of those areas I have little willpower. I think I will need to come up with more creative ideas to trick and goad myself into a more nutritious year in 2018. Here’s my grades:

  • Healthy Food: I consistently ate my vegetarian Blue Apron meals throughout the year. This generally meant that I had at least 3 healthy, home-cooked meals during a week – maybe more if I ended up having leftovers. However, there was very little to be proud about beyond those Blue Apron meals. I typically ate McDonald’s or bagels for breakfast and cafeteria food for lunch. There’s much more room for improvement in 2017.
    GRADE: D
  • Sweetened Beverages: I went another year without a soda although I do occasionally have some form of sweetened beverage like coffee or sweet tea, although those times are few and far between and usually related to some social function so I’m happy as long as I seldom partake and I’m not starting any bad habits.
    GRADE: A
  • Less Cafeteria Food: My original goal was to eat much less cafeteria food than I did in 2016. Unfortunately, I made zero progress on this goal earning an F. I do think this is a good goal though so I will try again in 2018.
    GRADE: F
  • Less Sweets: Yeah this is another F. I often would eat cookies from the cafeteria or sweets that colleagues would bring into work. There is definite room for improvement in this goal as well.
    GRADE: F


Overall, I’m really pleased with my exercise progress in 2017. Although I only achieved one of my two goals, I think I exercised quite consistently throughout the year and improved my physical fitness. In 2018, I hope to mimic the progress I made in 2017. Here are those results:

  • Running: I ended up running 406 miles in 2017 – greatly exceeding my goal of 365 miles for 2017. The tracking tool that I generated really helped keep me on track throughout the year. I will use that again and hopefully figure out how to implement similar solutions for other resolutions.
    GRADE: A
  • Physical Activity Hours: I fell short of my 150 hour goal by about 18 hours. Although I missed my goal, I’m pretty happy with the number of runs, bike rides, and hikes that I completed throughout the year. Even though it’s a failure, it’s a slight failure.
    GRADE: B


A third category I wanted to focus on in 2017 were my finances. Specifically, I wanted to maximize my retirement savings, build up my personal stock account, and continue giving to my charities. Here’s the breakdown of these goals:

  • Retirement Savings: I basically easily achieved my goal of contributing the maximum amount to my retirement account. This should be easy to accomplish for 2018 as well.
    GRADE: A
  • Personal Stock Account: I wanted to build up my personal brokerage account throughout the year. Although I did make contributions to my account, I think the impact was much smaller than I originally had intended. (Note to self: I really should have come up with a concrete number to aim for rather than these wishy-washy “save more” type of resolutions). My main fault was I never transferred a regular amount of my paycheck to the stock account. I need to implement that first thing for 2018.
    GRADE: D
  • Giving: At the beginning of 2017, I set a goal to make sure I’m making a positive impact with my finances so I set a goal to give money to worthwhile causes, specifically my niece’s and nephew’s college funds and Against Malaria. I consistently gave to all three throughout the year. Could I have given more? Yes. Did I accomplish my original goal? Yes.
    GRADE: B+


I set up a goal to push me outside of my comfort zone – specifically get out of my routine and out of the house more often in 2017. Overall, I think I did pretty well although there is room for improvement in 2018.

  • Photography: I made some progress in my photography with two fun trips out west. The first trip was to Utah in late spring and then Washington State in late summer. However, I didn’t do much outside of these trips. I didn’t build a 365 photo/day album or create an album at the end of the year to give to friends and family (actually, I started but found I didn’t have enough good pictures to fill out 12 months!)
    GRADE: C+
  • Travel: My original goal was to take a few big trips where big was defined as more than 4 days away from home. I accomplished this in 2017 with my Utah and Washington trips.
    GRADE: A


For the last series of resolutions, I wanted to be sure I kept pushing myself intellectually. I am quite please with this progress. Although I dropped the class resolution, I ended up completing four classes on deep learning taught by Stanford’s Andrew Ng (via coursera). I am halfway through a course on cryptocurrency from Princeton (via coursera).

  • Reading: I also read a lot this year although I fell a little short of my goal of 30 books. I have completed 27 books this year. I could have made 30 but I ended up reading a 1248 page behemoth the past month and a half – so I’m not too disappointed that I fell a little short.
    GRADE: B+


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