2017 – New Year’s Reverse Resolutions

2016's Reverse Resolutions
2016’s Reverse Resolutions

I had the idea of doing “New Year’s Reverse Resolutions” last New Year’s Eve and this will be the first one! “New Year’s Reverse Resolutions” create a 100% success rate by focusing on learning from and enjoying the process instead of completing the goals. If you learn from and enjoy the process you are successful!

Actually completing the goals is important too but is secondary to learning. On to last year’s goals!

Make $1,000 in one month online (done)

What this goal actually represented was learning how to work remotely. I ended up doing both! What was far more valuable than earning the $1,000 was learning all of the fundamentals of working from home. I’m actually still learning but I know a lot more now than I did one year ago.

I learned how to do this through a job I got on UpWork.com and I could very easily teach someone else to do the same.

Yoga postures (progress made)

I was really into yoga when I decided to do this and this goal made a lot of sense at the time. I’m still really into yoga, but I haven’t gone for almost 3 months now because I’ve been focused on some other things. If I were to add this goal for the next year I’d probably frame it like X number of times in the year and X number of times in a month. That way I can track my progress and know if I’m on track.

Half marathon (not done)

I never made a plan for getting this done. It was always just kind of in the back of my mind. It seems to be a “there’s not enough time in the day” kind of problem at the moment. I don’t think I could be actively focused on yoga and this at the same time with my current amount of free time. I would have to choose one or the other.

$1,500 total working in one month (done)

Screenshot 2017-12-30 at 1.44.02 PM

I crushed this one. It came during a month when I had to go back to the US to work for my previous employer while I was working the online job at the same time.

Have an exhibition MMA fight (progress made)

While this hasn’t been done yet, forward progress is being made! Well… spraining my knee was backward progress. 😥 The forward progress is that the Chinese-Taipei Mixed Martial Arts Association was launched this year and I have the contacts to be able to fight in an event! This also goes back to not enough time in my day (yoga, marathon, MMA fight…) What’s extremely motivating about the MMA fight is that the door is closing on my ability to do it. I have decades to complete a marathon or start regularly doing yoga. I really only have… maybe next year to pull this off.

I’m really excited about what the progress for this will look like next year!

Be teaching taiji (progress made)

I actually held a few seminars this year, so it’s partly done, but what I mean specifically for this is to be teaching on a weekly basis. The main thing that’s been holding me back from completing it this year is the lack of stability I’ve had the past year. I moved to Taiwan in October of last year and it’s only been in the last couple months that things have stabilized. Looking forward to next year’s progress on this as well.

Write a book (done)

This wasn’t done in the way that I thought it would be done, but it’s done nonetheless. When I did my series of 108 days of blogging I decided that I could turn it into a book. I suppose the next step of this process would be publishing a book!

Max out Roth IRA (progress made)

Screenshot 2017-12-30 at 4.26.55 PM

While I didn’t complete this I did end up saving up the amount of money required to max out an IRA (investment account). Instead of putting it into a long-term savings account I decided to create a rainy day fund.


A big theme in my life for the last couple (FOUR! I just looked it up) years has been habits. Whatever goals you make for the following year, or anytime within the year, it’s important to figure out what habits need to be developed to achieve the stated goal. My moment of enlightenment happened on January 17th, 2014 (here’s the journal entry from that day). It’s ultra simple. I’m sure I’ve heard it time and time again throughout the many books I’ve read, but that’s the day it “clicked”. Maybe you’ll read this now and it will click for you.

What I realized is that every single goal I had fit into one of two categories:

  • Money
  • Habits

Those are the only two kinds of goals that exist. Money could probably be stated more broadly as resources (relationships, knowledge, etc.) Just take a look at my goals above. Each one could be completed in an instant with money or they require the formation of new habits.

You can actually simplify all goals into one thing:

  • Habits

If you don’t already have the money/resources for a goal you need to develop the habits to get you there.

Now that I think about it this also helps me update my simplified personal development system. It used to be:

  1. Figure out what you want
  2. Go get it

Now it’s:

  1. Figure out what you want
  2. Figure out which habits you need to get what you want
  3. Develop those habits

I personally think the greatest habit one can make is regular journaling/reflecting. It helps bring clarity to what you want, which helps you make better decisions when provided choices in life. More and more things get simplified down to “Does this bring me closer to or further away from what I want?”

Even with my two step system I always said “Figure out what you want,” was the hardest part. When you are crystal clear about what you want getting it is “easy”. Actually… I could probably simplify the system further to:

  1. Figure out what you want.

While habits are high on my mind, forming habits might not always be the best path to what you want. I have a feeling most of the time forming new habits will be the fastest path to success, but sometimes relentlessly banging your head against the wall is the fastest way. I mean… banging my head against the wall is what ultimately led to me figuring out that habits are the best path forward (for me).

Hmmm… Here’s another version.

  1. Figure out what you want.
  2. Enjoy the process.

At the end of the day, it’s all (or at least 80%) about enjoying yourself!

Alright! Enough reflecting! Time to work on my goals for 2018! I look forward to talking to 2017 me one year from now! lol



  1. Right now, one goal I have every morning is to get Mom dressed and fed. If I made a list of things to do, and then Mom didn’t get up until 10 a.m., I would get frustrated, so it’s easier to make that my focus right now and appreciate anything else I can get in around that.


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