Thoughts and Self-Retrospective on Resolutions

Here comes a new year. Farewell 2023, welcome 2024. I have the impression that the older I get, the faster time seems to pass. Anyway, the flow of time is inevitable, so let’s embrace it and try to make the best of it.

I don’t particularly believe in New Year’s resolutions, but I still like to write them. I like writing lists and it clears my mind. A few days ago, I found a list in a drawer that I wrote in January 2020, just before the world shut down.

My 2020 resolutions
My 2020 resolutions

I was inspired, back then — nineteen resolutions, written by hand!

Four years have passed. Before tackling my 2024 list of resolutions, let’s check how my 2020 list turned out. As you can see, it was originally written in French, so I’ve taken this opportunity to translate it for this article.

Each resolution has an emoji next to it:

  • ⭕ for resolutions that I achieved
  • ❌ for resolutions that I did not achieve

1. Live in the countryside, in a house ⭕

I’m happy to see that my first resolution, which was more of a wish, was successful! Indeed, at the beginning of 2021, I moved from an apartment in the heart of a big city to a house in the middle of nowhere, in the French countryside, close to the forest. It was a drastic change, and it took me a few months to adjust to this new life, but now I am so happy living there.

2. Play guitar ⭕

With three close friends of mine — a guitarist, a drummer, and a bassist — we wanted to play more music. So, we formed a band! We try to meet every two or three months in a basement to play. Most of the time, we just loop three or four chords and build our music around them. We have fun and make some noise. It feels great. However, I don’t really play the guitar much on my own.

3. Buy a turntable and vinyl records ❌

This resolution was not fulfilled. It clearly wasn’t a priority for me, as I didn’t have — and still don’t have — the budget to invest in a turntable. However, I do own a few vinyl records. The last one I bought was in 2020, the soundtrack of a video game I adore: Thimbleweed Park. That being said, I’m not sure I want a turntable anymore. It takes up space, and even though it’s a beautiful object, I’m not sure how much I would use it. I listen to all my music digitally, which is so much more convenient.

4. Get a car ⭕

When I moved from the city to the countryside, I needed a car. So, I got one, a 2011 Peugeot 207 SW. It works great and has plenty of space. As much as I’d prefer not to rely on a car, I really don’t have much choice where I live now. I mean, there’s always a choice, but living without a car in my current location would be very restrictive. And I don’t want to impose that on myself.

5. Continue not to smoke ❌

I don’t smoke a lot, but I still smoke from time to time.

6. Do a bit more sport ⭕

Considering that I did no sport at all back then, I couldn’t possibly do less. So yes, since I now go for walks and do some exercises on some mornings, I am indeed doing a bit more sport.

7. Do DIY / home improvement ⭕

I moved to the countryside, into a house that was built around 40 years ago. So yes, I do a lot of DIY and home improvement, and there’s still much to be done. However, one project I’d really enjoy for fun is making a doghouse for my big dog.

8. Find a job in which I feel at peace and in agreement with my principles ❌

I’ve been working for the same company for more than ten years. I didn’t find a new job, I’m not really at peace and in agreement with my principles, however I think I found a way to better split my professional time and personal time, especially thanks to the fact I moved from the city and that my company is flexible regarding remote working. I live my daily job way better than before 2020. Also, I work in a great team, which wasn’t really the case before.

9. Read more books ⭕ (at least once a month ❌)

For sure, I read more than before 2020. Both digital and physical books, I like to alternate. But I’m far from reading one book a month. Nevertheless, it’s not a competition. However I found real pleasure while reading, so I hope I’ll make more time to read in the future.

10. Buy flowers more often ❌

I don’t remember why I wrote that. I guess it felt great in my previous apartment to, sometimes, have beautiful flowers in a vase, put on a piece of furniture.
I didn’t buy more flowers than before. However, now that I live in a house with a garden and plenty of nature and forest around me, I’m kind of surrounded by flowers, which is, indeed, enjoyable.

11. Do a beautiful trip to Japan ❌

It was planned for the spring of 2020. Three close people and I. Planes and hotels were booked by October 2019. But then the world shut down and everything was cancelled. Since then, I haven’t had the opportunity to plan that trip. It will come, in time.

12. Go camping ❌

Nope, I didn’t go since I wrote that.

13. Go for some walks in the countryside and the mountains ⭕

Oh yes I did go. More in the countryside than the mountains, but I did quite a few strolls and walks, some shorts, some longer, and it always feels great.

14. Get back seriously into web development ❌

I write some HTML and CSS from time to time, but I did not get seriously into real web develompent. I’m not sure I’ll be able to make more time to do it, and my current knowledge is sort of enough for my needs.

15. Open/create a website ⭕

You bet I did! This very article is published on it. I think I had about four or five blogs since 2004, but the most difficult part is not to open/create a website. The hardest part is, without a doubt, to continue to write and publish regularly, and not to let the site become abandoned. I hope I’ll succeed with this website.

16. Do music ⭕

It’s closely linked to the second point of this list. By playing more guitar, needless to say I do more music. But I also did more music on the computer, for fun and for me. Like the funny remix of the jingle of FamilyMart. It’s been a few months since I did anything, though.

17. Earn enough money not to want for anything, without necessarily being rich ⭕

Life expenses have been skyrocketing for the last few years. I’ve been feeling it, for sure. However, I am ok. I have a roof, a home, food on the table, I live in a place I enjoy, I have a good job, and even if everything is not perfect (does it have to be?), even if I can’t always afford what I would like to when I would like to, I’m happy. If I need to buy something, I plan it, I save money at the rhythm I can do it, and eventually I’ll buy that thing. Nothing to complain about when I look at the current state of the world.

18. Be less stressed, less anxious, slow down ⭕

Meh. I think I did it, I’m far less stressed and anxious than a few years before. But I still have a lot to deal with.

19. Experience some disconnected times (from the internet, social networks, media) ❌

Unfortunately, I did not make time to unplug myself from the news, social networks. I’m not really into social networks anymore, apart from Reddit where I’m a bit active. But even if I don’t post on the other platforms, I find myself, sometimes, scrolling too much for no reason. To try to stop that behavior, I set up a total 30 minutes time limit for the following apps on my phone: Threads, Instagram, and X (the only social networks I’m consuming).

It was great to write all of this and look back at my 2020 resolutions. It helped me find positivity and realize that not everything is going badly — in fact, quite the opposite. I’m very grateful for that.

What about 2024?

Over the past few days, I wrote a short list of things I’d like to succeed in the year to come. It’s a non-exhaustive list, but here are a few resolutions:

  • Write and publish more on this website.
  • Establish a regular, earlier wake-up routine
  • Drink more water daily
  • Make more time to read more books
  • Play video games a little bit more
  • Stop biting my nails
  • Continue walking, strolling, and exercising regularly.
  • Significantly reduce time spent scrolling through social media and replace it with more meaningful activities
  • Find a creative and interesting way to generate extra income

Maybe I’ll write more about these topics. Until then, I hope I’ll succeed in these 2024 resolutions!

Happy New Year!