I’m Doing Every New Year’s Resolution is a series about changing your life through goal-setting. For 2017 I set 10 resolutions and I’m going to try to achieve them all. Read the original post explaining everything if you’re just getting started. In each post I review my daily progress. This is day one:
My alarm went off at 7 but I didn’t want to get up. I had woken up in the middle of the night with a throat ache. My girlfriend encouraged me to get up and then we went down together. Before exercising I felt groggy and sick. It was a bad way to start the day. Then, I spent 31 minutes on a stationary bike. After that I felt a lot better. Why did I do 31 minutes? Because I worried that stopping at 30 might encourage me to view that as a ceiling, not a starting point. Doing 31 is a mental note that I can do more than half an hour. I also plan on incorporating weights into the routine, but this is just the beginning.
In the morning I created a spreadsheet to track all of my expenses. I plan on updating this whenever I make a new purchase.
I also created a goal to save $2,000 automatically using Qapital. Qapital is an iPhone app that helps me automatically save. (Comment with your email if you want an invite with a free $5 bonus.)
My “2017 Savings” account is funded two ways. First, anytime I purchase something with an American Express card the transaction is rounded up to the next $2. So, If I spend $10.50, an extra $1.50 is added to my savings account. Second, I set it up to automatically save $20 per week.
$20 x 52 weeks means that I’m saving $1,040 through the second method, while other savings will be dependent on how much I spend.
Get Organized:I completely cleaned out and washed the refrigerator. It took about 15 minutes.
Learn Chinese: I used the iPhone app Pleco to study Chinese flashcards for 16 minutes during lunch. 我还有很多要学习!
Practice Guitar: I played guitar after dinner and worked on a song I’m writing. It was fun but I was pretty tired once I got to it.
For breakfast I had a bottle of Soylent and an Apple. Soylent is a balanced food, but it has 9 grams of sugar. However, Soylent claims this sugar is isomaltulose, which apparently does not lead to the same type of sugar high and insulin spikes as sucrose (normal sugar). In any event, if you got 100% of a 2,000-calorie diet through Soylent you’d end up consuming 45 grams of sugar—10% less than the recommended 50-gram limit.
Given the debate over isomaltulose and the fact that Soylent is a balanced, nutritious food, I decided not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and I will continue to have Soylent.
Later in the day I browsed the grocery store looking for foods with no added sugar. Since I’m vegetarian, I figured the goal would be even more difficult. Luckily, seitan, tempeh, and daiya cheese all have no added sugar. So, I made vegan tacos seasoned with red pepper flakes. It was pretty good. I also had an apple, and bottle of Kombucha which had 2 grams of sugar. But, since the ingredients were simply ginger juice and fermented tea, it seemed that any sugar in the beverage was naturally occurring. Even taking a cynical view of my sugar consumption, I only had 11 grams of sugar by the time breakfast and lunch were finished. Given a can of Coca Cola has 39 grams of sugar, I felt pretty good about being at only 11 grams by the afternoon.
Instead of an afternoon snack I made some tea. For dinner I had a sweet potato with some daiya cheese and kimchi. The kimchi had a small amount of sugar in it. I had about one serving, so for this brand that would be 4 grams of sugar. I also had some tofu and bok choy soup made with sugar-free vegetable broth, and some baked cauliflower with olive oil and salt. Everything except the kimchi was sugar free.
All in all, I apparently only consumed approximately 15 grams of added sugar today. I say apparently only because I thought it would be much harder. I did have two apples, however, so it’s not like I wasn’t eating anything sweet, it’s just that there wasn’t too much refined sugar.
Read 26 Books: I’m currently halfway through But What If We’re Wrong and will continue reading that before bed.
Minimize Social Media: I did check Facebook, but I probably spent under 2 minutes on the site. I haven’t done any newsfeed scrolling.
Write Every Day: I wrote this review of Contagious by Jonah Berger, in addition to the post you are reading now.
Make a Difference: I’ve already realized that this goal is too nebulous. I picked up a piece of trash in our apartment hallway, and I’ve tried to be friendly, but I probably need to shift this to a concrete form of action. Maybe donating $10 a month to the ACLU or something.
One thing I’m interested in trying is complimenting someone new everyday. I’m a little worried it won’t seem genuine, but this might be another good option.
Day One Recap:
Having lots of resolutions has forced me to spread out groups of little goals throughout the day. I worried this would make me feel too busy, but for now it has made me feel more productive. If I hadn’t been trying to keep 10 resolutions, I definitely wouldn’t have gone to the gym today, but I’m glad I did. So far I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to keep up with my goals.
While I achieved everything I wanted to today, I can see how precarious it all is. One big deadline or a trip out of town without planning could easily wreck the schedule. I am not sure how portable this is while traveling. All in all, it was a good first day and I’m optimistic about the future.