Monday, January 05, 2004

New Year's Resolutions

1.) Spending lockdown: My credit card bill for the last 2 months totaled almost $2000!! Granted, half of that was spent on airplane tickets to MN (for Christmas) and CA (for MLK weekend), as well as dinners with Dad when he came to visit for Thanksgiving. Then there are the cable, cell phone and utilities bills that pile up every month. I think the most effective way to minimize my bills is to avoid getting any new expensive tech gadgets this year, unless I can get them at a super discount of course.

2.) Be more productive in my spare time: It's been a year and a half after college graduation, yet I still feel like I have no direction in life. After reading millionaire Mind, a fascinating book written by a marketing professor who compiled responses from responses to detailed questionnaires sent to almost 800 millionaires, I feel a renewed sense of urgency. A rekindled competitive spirit.

I need to devote more time every day to doing something that will either make me rich and successful or happy and fulfilled, or both. This means reading more books, learning about investing, communicating with my relatives more often, doing more fun things with friends. Anything but sitting on my ass at home watching TV, although I plan to continue enjoying HBO since "It's Not TV" after all.

I will set aside at least one hour each day for activities that will be either professionally or socially productive.

BTW, I highly recommend millionaire Mind, which contained some quite interesting facts and advice. For instance, the 733 millionaires were asked to rate 30 success factors. Here are the first 5:

1. Being honest with all people.
2. Being well disciplined
3. Getting along with people
4. Having a supportive spouse
5. Working harder than most people

"Having a high IQ/superior intellect"? Number 21 on the list, below "being physically fit." Most of the millionaires surveyed in this book consider themselves of possessing average intelligence. Some even did poorly and/or flunked out of college. The author has a 900 club for millionaires who scored below 900 on their SAT.

"Graduating near/at top of my class"? Dead last on the list.

Another lesson I learned from the book is that the best boss I can have is me. I can't and shouldn't be content with a 9-to-5 job that can be taken away from me at any time by cheaper bodies in India or China. I need to seek out new opportunities and capitalize on them.

Last but not least, I will only be successful if I really love what I do, which currently isn't the case.

3.) Work out: I really need to get off my lazy ass and start working out every day. Although joining a health club will entail yet another monthly bill, the money spent will be well worth it. I wonder if I can pull off waking up an extra hour early every morning to work out so my mind will be more alert and focused for the workday ahead. Of course, this would require going to bed BEFORE 1 AM every day, WAY BEFORE.

4.) More volunteering: It always feels good to do good. Because my Big Brother program has not been going well (I have only seen my little brother once since October), I need to find more volunteering opportunities. Last night at dinner Caroline suggested a few websites to check out for more information.

5.) National Lampoon's European Vacation: Last summer I finally conquered the Great Wall, as well as some really nasty public bathrooms. This summer or late spring I want to go on a little backpacking adventure through Europe and visit as many cities as I can, from Athens to Rome. BK? Tolu? Fan? Srini?

6.) Eat more fruits and vegetables.

7.) Annotate and publish the remainder of my China pics online before Sachin posts his India pictures.