I Resolve To...


All right, it’s New Years and that means it’s time to make some resolutions.  Before that though, a quick review of last year’s.  I didn’t make resolutions last year, so much as a list of things I wanted to accomplish at school.  I dug up the raw list; here it is in its gory details as well as how I think I did:

Goal 1: Master French

Result: I’m definitely better and easily get by, but I can’t say I mastered it.  The attempt at mastery came with my subscription to the Nouvelle Economiste, but that proved to be too much for me to read in a week.

Goal 2: Master German

Result: Pathetic failure.  This came out of my belief that I’d be spending the summer in Germany (reality: San Francisco), so it’s not the end of the world.  Incidentally, I didn’t even really make it to German; just spend a few hours driving through with a bit of German practiced in Switzerland over a weekend

Goal 3: Have 1 “Adventure” a week

Result: Success!  3 continents, 15 countries and about 3300 photos.  Definitely an adventure a week.

Goal 4: Learn some science on a 5x/week basis.

Result: Failure.  I’ve been carrying around a couple of books with me for years (The Feynmann Lectures and a book on neural networks).  I’ve yet to read them despite numerous attempts.  This year they yet again did not get read, displaced by a few hundred HBR articles.

Goal 5: Learn how to program Macs for the Web

Result: Middling.  I learned a lot this year about how web businesses work; just didn’t actually program a lot.

Goal 6: Write a few business plans.

Result: Not bad.  I wrote one good one for a class and have a bunch of ideas, one of which I’m going to pursue soon...

Goal 7: Run a marathon

Result: Done.  I ran the Stockholm marathon in May in a time of 3:46.  Followed it up with the San Francisco half-marathon over the summer and then a triathlon in Desaru, Malaysia in October.

Goal 8: Visit Tanzania.

Result: Irrelevant.  Wendy was thinking of going there to do some work for an NGO, but New York came calling (dream deferred for a few years)

Goal 9: Plan a trip for after school.

Result: Another irrelevant goal.  Wen and I were thinking of traveling for a year after school ended, but she got an offer she couldn’t refuse in NYC.

Goal 10: Find an NGO that Wen might want to work for.

Result: Also irrelevant fore the same reasons as above.

Goal 11: Find something cool to do in Berlin for the summer.

Result: Irrelevant as I ended up in San Francisco instead.

Goal 12: Develop an investment philosophy.

Result: I’ve got one now.  Put 50% of your cash in a market-tracking fund as almost no mutual fund managers beat the market over time (read the book xxx).  Put 50% of your cash in great stocks that you will buy and hold (read Fortune’s Formula).  I’m eschewing bonds as all I want these days is capital appreciation (I’ve a decent tolerance for risk).

Goal 13: Find something cool to do post-INSEAD.

Result.  Success.  I had three thoughts: venture capital, private equity or my own startup.  I don’t think I can be a good VC unless I first grow my own company and private equity seems to be a little too hot to me right now, so my own business it is (Actually, I’m really passionate about a business idea I have and there will never be a better time than now to try it out).

Goal 14: Learn to become hyper-efficient yet remain fun

Result: Success, I think.  I had a great time last year and met and partied with a lot of people while also traveling a lot, staying in shape and learning a tonne at school.  Hell, I’m going to give myself full marks for this.

Goal 15: Learn to memorize people’s names.

Result: 50/50.  I met a lot of new people last year (at least 300) and memorized a lot of their names, but there are still way to many I never remembered.  This one should carry on into ’07.

Alright, enough of last year, it’s time for this year’s resolutions.  There are going to be a lot fewer.  Here they are in no particular order:

1) Do 25 push-ups and sit-ups every day

2) Shower with my eyes closed and brush my teeth left-handed.

Why on earth would anyone want to do something this stupid?  Read this article in Wired to find out.  Incidentally, the first few times I brushed my teeth with my left hand I found my right hand unable to sit still.  It was so used to brushing that it was basically involuntarily trying to go through the motions.

3) Start my own business in New York City

4) Be a better blogger (No more two week gaps)

5) Respond to emails within 24 hours of receiving them

6) Stay in better touch with friends

7) Better document what happens in my

8) Eat slower

I’m going to masticate more in 2007 and enjoy the meal

Monday, January 1, 2007

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