It’s that time again where many of us make resolutions for the new year.  For some, it may be getting that promotion, for some it may be losing X amount of weight, for others it might be developing spiritual disciplines.  Although many of us won’t make it through the year with our resolutions, it never hurts to try!  At least for the first month or so we would be doing things we wouldn’t do otherwise!

My 2017 New Years Resolutions:

1) Do 10,000 pull-ups this year

2) Read 1 chapter of the Bible a night

3) Write in this blog at least once a month


This wouldn’t be an interesting blog post if it ended with that.  So here are my tips on making/keeping New Years Resolutions:

(A) Keep them few and simple.  There are a bazillion things I want to do with my life, but only enough willpower for a couple at a time.  So I limited my resolutions to 3 items, and hopefully that will make it more likely to keep them.

(B) Make them challenging enough, but keep it easier than you’d like.  In my opinion, this is not one of those things where you shoot for the moon and hope to land among the stars.  I have never met a person who was disappointed for accomplishing their New Years Resolution too easily.  Rather, people are disappointed when life gets busy and they have to give up on their resolutions.  So underestimate your abilities and give room for surpassing your goals!

For example, many people attempt to read the entire Bible in a year but stop somewhere during Leviticus.  I expect I would fail by the end of Genesis.  So I’ll do 1 chapter a day.

(C) Keep enough flexibility so you can recover from occasional mishaps.  Often, once you miss a day or two it becomes ridiculously difficult to catch up on certain resolutions.  So design your resolutions so you can get up immediately after you fall because the problem is never that we fail with a single fall, but we grow tired of always playing catch-up.

For example, 10,000 pull ups in 365 days comes out to about 27.4 pull ups/day.  However, I’m going to rest at least 1 day a week, so subtract 52 days, then 13 additional lazy days just for kicks, leaving 300 days.  Then 10,000/300 = 33.3 pull ups/day, which is still doable.

Of course, I won’t start with 34 pull ups/day in January.  I’m starting with 15 (3 sets of 5) and increase as I want.  And I purposely didn’t specify how many reps and how many sets because that’s complicated and gives me the flexibility to do 34 sets of 1 pull up if I wanted to.


(D) Reward yourself for doing a good job. Our goals are almost always things we want to do but don’t have the desperation to actually do them.  So create incentives for ourselves.

For example I want to keep writing in this blog, but it’s been hard because medical school sucks in general as well as time.  Plus I started writing for the Medscape medical student blog, leaving less time/energy/brain to write here.  So I need some positive reinforcement every time I write here.  I plan on rewarding myself with a nice meal, a new CD, new clothes, 5 lb bag of gummy bears, or something ridiculously happy.

Anyways, please share below if you have any New Years Resolutions, or if you have additional tips on keeping them.

It’s good to be back!

Simeon Koh