New Years Wishes

I’m grateful for 2017. I started the year with wishes and most were granted. :)

The change of the Calendar year is an aribitrary occasion to start new goals, so I won’t set concrete goals today.

Instead, I spend time reflecting on my Values and Priorities, they influence my behavior and reactions to external situations.

No Goals?

New Years Resolutions seem quite self-defeatist to me. The act of announcing goals to others may improve chance of success through social accountability. But I haven’t found this useful in my case.

The Future is Uncertain

I project a probability curve of things likely to happen and overlay another contentment curve over it. The intersection of the curves is the area where wishes are fulfilled. It is a process of aligning expectations with Reality.

The World is dynamic probabilities. Many decisions are attempts at improving the odds of the gamble. Certainty is a spectrum, not binary (though we don’t like to think this out loud). The annual renewal of one’s will against the world seems overly “Self-efficacious”. It’s more humble to throw Wishes or Prayers.

Given that things unfold as they actually (not just typically) do, it makes sense to “hope for the best, not be perturbed by the worst”. Beyond the stoic repose, I (the automaton) also have some control over my own automaton.

There are moments where I can experience self-programming:

For example, the experience of choice happens when I have to introspect on personal values when making decisions where I can’t rely purely on objective metrics.

Simplified Values

The practice of defining and ranking my values has given me some clarity. I experienced less dissonance in 2017 than most previous years (as far as I can recall) because I had an accessible reference point for why I do what I do.

A conscious value hierarchy eases decision making

It makes sense to take today’s “temporal landmark” as an opportunity to revisit Values.

What is most important?

The autonomous part of the Body/Mind is a lot like an organization. It can be led from the top by setting abstract guidelines. There is no need to assert artificial goals on the system, a healthy mind will continually “suggest” short/long term goals that are thematically coherent to the larger set of values.

Goals self-generate from integrated values

In my case, my new goals start to form when I retrospectively analyze my decisions from the past year. This practice gives me much clarity when faced with trade-offs and when placing my bets.


In 2017, I worked very hard at my job and my projects, spent lots of time/energy in cultivating relationships and the outcome was very acceptable :P.

I had also wished to become healthier but did not engage in the necessary behaviors. I prioritized other things (finishing projects, spending quality time, social engagement…) over the bio-physical (regular sleep/exercise and stuff).

Looking ahead, I would like to reap in the fruit of stability sown this year and shift my focus to Health and Well-being. No gym memberships or social commitments, just a serious acknowledgement of an “overlooked” part of Life.

I’m grateful for this uniquely human meta-cognitive capacity that grants me the experience of “subjective autonomy”.

Happy New Year