Each year I try to encapsulate my resolution into a 1-word theme. For 2022, I decided on Intense which means something along the lines of “with extreme force and concentration”. I’ve always had a huge admiration for experts and people who are deeply passionate about what they do — people who dedicate their entire lives to just 1 craft and are willing to sacrifice anything and everything for it (think artists and athletes).
While I do not want a life solely centered on just 1 thing and do not believe that it is in my nature to be that way, I do believe that greatness and success only comes to those who are intentionally intense about the things they do. Why then are most people not intense? The answer is simple. On the other end of the Intensity Spectrum lies Conformity. This is where all of us feel comfortable, safe and accepted. This is where many of us choose to stay.
If I were to judge my entire life on the Intensity Spectrum (1 being Conforming and 10 being Intense), my average score would fall around a 3. As a highly extroverted person, I’ve always been on the conformist side and also why I’ve been a jack of all trades my entire life. Further inspection would reveal that my past successes were always moments where I’ve applied more intensity.
And thus comes my decision for this year’s theme. Now that I am back in Singapore and things are back to being very comfortable, I’d like to up the ante for myself and push my intensity up a few notches.
I made 0 changes to my top 10 values this year. I feel at peace with the way things stand and feel I have the right grounding to take me through 2022 and what I want to achieve. Values 2 (Self-Mastery) and 4 (Excellence) being the main pillars taking me through 2022.
- Integrity – I am always in complete honesty with myself first. I do what is right all the time, even when nobody is looking.
- Self-Mastery – I am always self-aware. I strive to be consistent with my values, rules and global beliefs. I create good habits and plans, and have a ruthless discipline to see them through. I understand that there’s much about myself that I don’t know so I make consistent efforts to understand my thought processes, actions and emotions.
- Love/Warmth – I experience love anytime I express love, give love to others or allow myself to receive it. I care deeply for and express love daily to people who matter to me.
- Excellence – I am highly ambitious and always hungry for more. I strive to be the best version of myself and achieve my fullest potential. I continuously push my limits to stretch myself.
- Leadership – Leadership by example. To teach others, you must first teach yourself. To lead others, you must first lead yourself. On top of that, a great leader coaches and trains others to be great leaders as well.
- Life-long learning/Curiosity – Have the passionate curiosity of a kid. Be the dumbest in the room. Ask good questions and good answers will follow. I strive to learn something new or enforce existing perspectives with each passing day. Every time I come across something useful or positive, I stretch myself beyond what is comfortable, to learn, reinforce and apply to my life.
- Sustainability – The world is a marvel and life is a gift. Because I love life and nature, I must do my part to preserve and protect it. This is not a choice. It is a duty.
- Contribution – In giving, I receive.
- Gratitude – Life is a Gift. I am grateful for every moment. I am the person I am today because of the many people I’ve came across and the love they showered me.
- Adventure/Variety – Life is a daring adventure. See the world, meet new people, live new experiences and create new stories.
My 2022 Plan
Objective 1: Learn 1 New Thing in Depth Each Quarter
Lately, I’ve become more inquisitive and curious about studies such as anthropology, biology and religion. These were things that I never took an interest in so I find this new found curiosity quite refreshing and want to continue milking it.
- Block out 2hrs a week to learn something
Objective 2: Complete a Full Triathlon
Triathlons were never on my radar before because I’ve always been a weak swimmer and I don’t cycle much. In 2021, I took my first step in this 3-part challenge, completing a half-triathlon. Because I enjoyed the challenge, I decided to train and complete a full one this year:
- Complete 1 half-triathlon every quarter
- Clock 40km weekly on the bike
- Swim 2 times a month
[Update] I’ve also decided to join my friend in his attempt at David Goggin’s gnarly 4x4x48 challenge this year.
Objective 3: Increase Contribution to Society
My brother got a shock when he saw my 2022 financial projections. He couldn’t understand why I would give away hundreds each month instead of spending it on myself or on my loved ones. I could understand where he was coming from because the me 5 years ago would have found the act extremely foreign too. This interaction reminded me how powerful breaking down big goals can be.
- Increase contribution from 2% of monthly income to 3%
Last year, I used a discipline tracker to track my daily goals and it was mighty effective. I will be continuing this in 2022 with high confidence.