Seeing as its the new year, I took some time to think about my 2023 resolutions like most people are.

It’s always funny that we dedicate the beginning of every new year for this, because it’s not like I shoved away the idea of resolutions into a locked chest, not to be disturbed until we blow our kazoos and set off our fireworks to celebrate the new year. But having a recognized time for us to stop and slow down to ponder on what has happened is nice. I get so caught up with the day-to-day, it’s a nice chance to recollect my disparate thoughts into one place. And what better place to start than with last year’s attempted resolutions.

My Attempted 2022 Resolutions

My 2022 Resolutions, briefly jotted down and subsequently forgotten about My 2022 Resolutions, briefly jotted down and subsequently forgotten about

My resolutions last year were simple. Health, work, and my social life were my most important goals at the end of my senior year. I had always wanted to focus on them, but school in the way, it was always difficult to make them a priority, much less to improve upon how I already approached them.

The first was to be healthier. I wanted to both lose weight and put on muscle, ideally developing a consistent exercise routine. I went on a crazy cut before in my freshman year which was entirely successful with intermittent fasting, but it’s harder now that I have to buy my own groceries and cook. I needed to make it effortful. Plus, I wanted to pick up running after spending the first half of 2021 doing that pretty consistently.

The next one was have a stronger work ethic. I’ve never been good at this, and I’ve wanted (for a while now) to have an approach that was better than “work really hard on what most drives you right now.” That way I’m not dependent on my day-to-day motivation, so I can be consistent even on hard days, and so that I can work reliably.

Finally, the last two are related in improving my social life. I wanted to focus more on friends that would soon be moving across the country and keeping in touch with them, and also going out of my way to find new people and communities to be involved in (a very common post-grad hobby). In the same vein, there’s been hobbies I want to focus on outside of school which I’ve put off, so I wanted to continue reading and playing guitar (and getting better at it!).

When I made them, I tried to come up with quantifiable metrics to measure my success for each goal. As it would turn out, it was difficult to come up with good ones, and I only ended up hitting the running target of 100 miles (not thanks to anything I developed myself; more on this later). But even though I made these resolutions, I honestly forgot I even made them until this year as a comparison.

What I’ve Learned

Over the last year, I finally picked up running as a hobby with Amanda, developed a personal routine for work which is especially needed in a self-led area like research, and went through an extremely stressful period of PhD apps. Through these experiences I’ve learned a few things.

Consistency is King

I’ve always had the view that showing up with 110% was more important, i.e. giving everything your all, and that it could make up for a lack of presence. But I had it backwards all along. Showing up, as many say, is half the battle. It matters more that I’m at least going out on a run even if it’s only 2 miles or a 12 minute pace than only doing 1.5 mile sprints every week or so.

Doing something consistently, even if you work from 40% to 80% effort, is often more effective than spurts of working at 100% (plus it feels better too). It helps in maintaining realistic schedules which can accommodate other habits. Compounding is also a powerful concept; getting 1% better every day for a year leads to being 37% better at the end (cc Atomic Habits for that concept), and its a lot easier than doing it over one day. Our bodies also naturally need time to rest and rebuild, so from a physical standpoint, compounding is almost necessary.

Accountability is Powerful

Speaking of showing up, having other people who keep you accountable for delivering on your tasks works wonders for picking up new (or old) habits. I got into running because Amanda and I went through an explicit 10 week program (a couch to 5K system) which was helpful in preventing my lazy self from getting the best of me. The usual friction I’d have if I was doing this myself was overcome by the commitment I’d made to going through this together with someone else.

The same accountability also helped me get through my apps cycle and writing my dauntingly-seeming essays and papers. Likewise, starting this blog post and reviving my blog probably wouldn’t have happened without Alvin keeping me accountable, so thanks for that (and to see if this time it’ll stick!). Sometimes all it takes in a small push to get the ball rolling.

My 2023 Resolutions

Once again, I setup quantifiable metrics for my resolutions, and split them into three main categories: Health, Personal, and Work.

My 2023 Resolutions My 2023 Resolutions


I wanted to start my resolutions with a set of intentions that would guide me in 2023. As James Clear says in Atomic Habits, we should think about who we want to be, and use that to guide the things we’ll do now. For example, I’m a serial procrastinator and late to most arrangements, and although I could chalk it up to simply “who I am”, I want to change it as simply a step along becoming a more punctual and organized person.

These intentions are a way of doing that, and summarize how I want to become a better person. Most of these revolve around setting up systems for myself to become a more consistent, habitual person. It leads to healthier relationships with friends, work, and life for me, and I’m excited to see how it plays out this year.


These are pretty similar to last year’s, but I’ve increased my goal of running now that I’ve gotten more serious about it (and running a 5K and a 10K at the end of the year!). It’s nothing crazy, since 400 miles works out to about 8 miles a week, which is pretty digestible over 2-3 runs. The rest of the days should be filled in with some muscle-building workouts, while also improving overall health with better diets. (Un)fortunately, that means boba is out again.


One thing I’ve always flirting with is doing weekly reflections so it doesn’t take me a year to figure out what things I should do differently. It always feels like it’s too much effort though, so maybe I should find easier ways to do it. I currently use Bear (a slightly fancier Apple Notes) to jot general notes that are persistent (about life and for research logs), which has been helpful.

Aside from that, I want to consistently write again. I’ve always been a fan of blogs (like Evan’s) and enjoyed technical writing (which may be obvious from my homepage…), but never really gotten into the groove of it. Hopefully I’ll publish a mix of longer technical writings and shorter musings of life and ideas related to research so that I’m consistent.

Finally, I decided to drop reading as a hobby since I don’t think it’s a priority for me (not everyone can be Lex Fridman), but cooking and guitar are two things I want to actively be better about, as well as spending less time on games (which are fun social activities but not a skill I want to actively improve on).


Last but not least, I want to improve my overall approach to work by consistently reading state of the art papers to gather knowledge on the frontier of AI work while also refreshing my fundamentals. This is a mix of reading consistently in a new Zotero + Obsidian setup I worked on over break, while also implementing new papers to get practice with coding new results. This hopefully will keep me exploring and learning new things! I thought about adding in some textbooks to learn from, but I’m sure my coursework is enough for that. Another fun idea I toyed with is setting up a weekly casual reading group with some friends to discuss new papers, which could be fun.

That’s it from me for my resolutions. Now that I’ve posted them online for accountability, let’s see how many I’ll actually accomplish in 2023. :)