As you can tell from my 2017 review, I'm pretty bad at sticking to things. By writing down my goals, I hope to accomplish them.

Write 100 blog posts

When I look back at my career, there is one thing I always did: writing. When I was an English instructor, I wrote 50 posts about English grammar. When I was studying machine learning, I wrote 6 posts about basic machine learning algorithms. When I was a software engineer at Itandi, I wrote 8 blog posts about AI and data science.

These are mostly meant to teach or explain something. I like sharing what I learned, because as a saying goes, teaching is the best way to learn. But I never really had my own blog that lasted more than 3 months. Part of the reason is my interests change pretty quickly. So instead of covering one topic, like English or machine learning, I'm going to make this blog as my personal journal.

This blog is about the pursuit of happiness. I know it sounds cheesy, but let me explain.

Throughout my life, I've been focusing on acquiring certain skills. When I was a kid I played the drums and the bass guitar. In college I majored in computer science and learned programming. I also studied English very hard. Recently I got into catering business and learned how to make finger food. I'm skilled at many things.

Despite all this, I suffer a lot. Most of the suffering comes from the fact that I am terrible at working for someone else. I also suffer from other things. So next year I attempt to free myself from suffering, and I think writing a blog helps me do that.

Here are the things I am planning to write about:

  • The science of happiness
  • Communication
  • Mindfulness
  • Minimalism
  • Veganism

I might also write about the following:

  • Business
  • Productivity
  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming(NLP)

Initially my goal was to write 2 blog posts a week, but I want some flexibility in my schedule.

Become location independent

Not only do I suck at working for a company, I suck at working in an office. I cannot concentrate while my colleagues are chatting or making a phone call or typing too loudly on a computer. I also need to take a nap. And guess what? I can't take a nap in a office because it's too noisy and I need to actually lie down to have quality sleep. So every time I got a new job, I moved near the office and would go take a nap at home during lunch time. It's tough. I'm much more productive at home so working remotely makes sense. I'm going to get a remote freelance job as a software engineer by the end of January.

There is another reason why I want to become location independent. I currently live in Tokyo, and although I love the city, I have few reasons to be in the city once I can work from anywhere. I can entertain myself by reading books, watching YouTube, playing sports, or creating something. I buy pretty much anything on Amazon. The only things I still buy at a store are clothes. But I only wear UNIQLO, so I am not taking advantage of all the fancy apparel stores Tokyo has to offer.

The government is subsidising people who move to rural area in order to reduce the population of Tokyo. Therefore living in rural area can be ridiculously cheap. I'm going to continue my research and decide whether or not it's a good choice for me.

Become a vegan

It's said that Japan is the worst country for vegans. Slowly vegan restaurants are popping up in Tokyo, mainly for foreigners. But most Japanese are not vegans or vegetarians. Some people, including my mom, have never even heard of vegan. I never met vegetarians in Japan until I got into catering business and met people in food industry. I thought about it from time to time, and I'm finally convinced that I should become a vegan. I will write another post about how I came to this conclusion.

I do not crave meat or fish or cheese as much as other people, so becoming a vegan shouldn't be too hard. The problem is I still host a house party and provide catering service, and making the vegan menu for non-vegetarians sounds tough. The first step would be to become a vegan except for cooking for other people.

Meditate everyday

I've tried this before but quit after a month or so. Last time I did 20 minute meditation twice a day. This time I'm only going to do 5 minutes each morning.

Quit porn

I've tried this so many times before. By the way announcing it to the public itself is no easy. The fact that porn is free and always available on the internet makes quitting it extra challenging. I know it's bad for my mental health and it negatively affects my relationship with women.

I'm not sure if I can quit cold turkey, so here is my plan. Currently I watch porn about twice a week. In January I reduce it to twice a month. In February, only once. After that I will plan as I go.

This might be the hardest challenge on this list.