Reflecting on one of the best years ever, I'm grateful for all the people and places that made these memories happen. I took some time around 1 year ago to plan out ten things I wanted to carry out in 2016. I've enjoyed it a lot because it's been a goal to work towards for the entire year.

First I want to look at what I set out to do, and where I've come in regards to those goals. It will be interesting to see how my own priorities simply a year ago changed throughout the year and what I want to keep and discard for 2017.

Old 2016 Resolutions:

1. Spend more effort and time on good friends and ignore the rest. [x]

  • Definitely did it with Vegas trips, Coachella, Asia traveling, San Francisco, Chicago and New York City. All were done with great friends that I would take a bullet for.

2. Read more about politics and current events in our country. [x]

- I think this year was a turmoil in the United States with Donald Trump having been elected. Personally, I was spurred to follow and read more news through Twitter, Facebook and news journal sites. Although I have yet to become an expert, it has definitely exposed me to thought leaders ranging from Democratic/Republican leaders to news journalists to high ranking company executives. I've begun formulating my own thoughts on the topic (which I won't go into) and I think it's really helped me think about what I want for my future, my family's future, my children's future and my country's future.

3. Start choreographing again. [ ]

  • Totally did not do this. Will have to put this on a higher priority list this year!

4. Enter in 1-2 jams. [ ]

  • I hurt my ankle during the time frame when I could've definitely entered the jam at Johns Hopkins. I'm pretty disappointed though that I didn't try to do more while it was summer time and I was still relatively free.

5. Begin taking photos and videos more during the year and documenting them. [x]

  • I definitely had a late start this year by only doing this towards the end of 2016, but I'm definitely getting more into it. I've learned the basics of manipulating aperture, shutter speed and angles. It's really fun and I'm surprised by how excited I get over good photos and photo opportunities.

6. Continue blogging about graduate school and the milestones of a PhD in STEM. [ ]

  • I think logging experiences in graduate school are important, but more important are reaching those milestones. I've realized how tough different aspects of the PhD are and I think for 2017 I would want to focus more effort on tangibly meeting milestones in graduate school.

7. Run a half-marathon: Rock & Roll Half Marathon in SD/DC [ ]

  • Got lazy and then my ankle got hurt, but I definitely want to try again for 2017!

8. Spend less time on myself and volunteer more. [x]

- I don't think I've done this at all, but in a different interpretation I've focused more on making an impact outside of research. I'm very excited to say that I started HEME (Hopkins Engineering Medicine Exchange) with one of my close friends in graduate school and I have big dreams for it.

9. Spend less time on social media (Facebook and Snapchat). [x]

  • I didn't do a great job towards the beginning because I think as all millennials are, I was addicted to seeing how other people's lives were progressing. However, simply today, one of my good friends showed me a video I think is worth sharing. (https://www.facebook.com/deltaprotective/videos/10157890106040640/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED) I want to spend even less time by keeping "Kill News Feed" and using Instagram/Facebook simply to log photographs I take and memories I want to engrave.

1. Be content with paying my dues. [x]

  • I think this year I started to examine what excites me in life and what excites me about the future. It definitely isn't working at some corporate 9-5 job (even if I think the job is "impactful"). It's innovating and pushing the bounds of medicine using engineering, mathematics and computer programming. These topics are what excite me, while medicine is what spurs me to make a difference. I'm looking forward to spending ~5 (hopefully) years at Johns Hopkins absorbing different learning experiences and getting my Masters in Applied Mathematics & Statistics while I'm also there. Why not get a free additional education with the PhD while I'm there? 6/10 kinda. I guess not bad :p.

New 2017 Resolutions:

1. Keep dance a significant part of my life: [ ]

  • While I might not be able to choreograph a piece, participate in jams and get involved in dance photography, I want to simply keep bboying, keep taking choreo classes and keep my camera/gopro at all major dance events.

2. Run a half-marathon: [ ]

  • Going to start running couple miles at the gym every other day and hopefully do one in the spring :).

3. Read four new books: [ ]

  • This year, I've managed to read ~4 books due to a book club established with my friends and I. It's made me more engaged in my own self development because I spent less time on social media and video games before sleeping. I want to do it again with or without another book club.

4. Establish a healthy workout regimen: [ ]

  • Been exercising at the gym more this year and I'm pretty happy with where I've gotten. I think being able to deadlift 245 and bench 225 are solid goals to have for this year. While continuing dancing, I hope to live a healthier lifestyle. In addition, this could entail just eating healthier through (salad every other day and cooking most nights that I have time).

5. Put myself in uncomfortable situations: [ ]

  • I think this last one encompasses a number of things I think I need to go through. Although my friend circles aren't the same in Baltimore as in California, there are people I meet everyday that offer unique perspectives. Engaging in making relations is the first one. I haven't really explored doing "activities" for fun, such as hiking and exploring. I want to put myself out there and go on more "naturey" activities. I've had a lot of fun doing that in the past couple of months and I think it will only improve when I go into 2017.

6. Begin to learn French: [ ]

  • Using duolingo and trying to put myself out there with possibly a solo adventure to Europe.

7. Keep learning more "unrelated" math: [ ]

  • In my research I have a very focused area that I am developing, but I want to become a thought leader in data science one day. The only way to do that is to continue my reading of papers unrelated to my research and continue my textbook reading of different topics, such as matrix theory and bayesian statistics. The more I understand, the more I might even be able to apply to my PhD research.

8. Build 3 Node, JS, React webapps this year

Keeping it under 10 this year because I recently read about Warren Buffet's 5/25 rule and am inspired by its logic. Happy 2017 everyone.