What is it with New Years and resolutions? Why can’t we people decide on something and just stick with it? Why do we need the first of every year to decide we ought to do something? And then we end up never doing them. My mom always tells me, “If you want to do something, better do it right away. Later means never!” And she couldn’t be more right.

Yet, here I am. But this time, things are slightly different. These aren’t so much resolutions as silent vows I’ve made to myself to uphold at all possible times. It just so happened that me making these vows coincided with the start of a new year. I’m not resolved to upholding them, I just hope I am going to be able to.

Your Health is of Primary Importance

This is something obvious, but you won’t believe the amount of software engineers who take it for granted. I know because I was one of those people. Abnormal eating and sleeping hours led me directly to a condition called Acid Reflux. It isn’t as bad as it sounds, but it does provide me with a lot of discomfort. I am on Grade 3 right now, whatever that means, and was on medication for the better part of last year to remove a stupid little bug called Helicobacter pylori from my stomach.

What that has done is force me into some semblance of proper body timings. I’m sleeping relatively earlier than I used to and taking four meals a day at appropriate intervals. Still, I do have feelings of discomfort especially in a sitting posture where the tightness of my belt around the potbelly I’ve developed forces all the acid upwards. And since I am almost always in a sitting posture, you can imagine the issues this is causing me on a daily basis.

I’ve also recognized that my mood - insofar as to coding, gaming, watching films… all the good stuff, is concerned - is directly linked to my health. If I sit down to do something and my acid reflux lights up, odds are that the thing isn’t going to get done.

To that effect, I am going to be taking extremely good care of my health this year. Firstly, it means that I’ve got to reduce this potbelly of mine since it is one of the main reasons for my discomforts. And that means having to get my ass out of my chair and start running. So, that is silent vow #1.

Reduce the influence of other reviewers

My recent experience with the brilliant Neethaane En Ponvasantham has taught me that the less I am affected by external opinions before watching a film, the better. I’ve always thought that I wouldn’t get affected by reading reviews. That I was grown-up enough to watch a film and form my own opinions. But NEP has shown me otherwise.

I saw it with what most people would consider a blank slate. Had I read my usual reviewers, I’d have watched it in a certain frame of mind and had certain reference points playing around in my head. With this film, I wasn’t wondering whether this reviewer got it right or what that reviewer meant when he said this. I was “simply” watching the film.

And it was truly an exhilarating experience. I want more of the same. To that effect, silent vow #2 means I won’t be reading reviews for most films I intend to see. I might still read the odd review here and there to filter out the middling and the crappy ones so that I don’t waste my money, but that’s about it.

Blog more and work on expanding to other readers within your niche

I made a lot of personal mistakes in 2012, one of them being deciding to move out of blogging about films, games, music etc. to blogging about technology, coding etc. As I wrote last time, the latter is my calling, what I am truly passionate about when working. But I am no expert in that field. (For that matter, I wasn’t an expert on those other topics either.)

Blogging is arguably self-indulgent. You spend so much time, effort and, in my case, a little bit of money to do something because it pleases you. But you also want to know that others agree or disagree with you, in the case of films; or that you’ve helped someone in the case of programming and software development. I recognized that with my current skill level, the latter won’t be possible.

This isn’t a slight on me, of course. In the software development world, 3 years is still considered to be on the fresher scale. You’re gaining experience but you still have a long way to go. That is how I feel. There are a lot times I look to experts on many subject matters. And I’ve never felt comfortable writing about these topics if I am not somewhat of an expert on them.

What makes topics like movies, music, games, sports etc. so great is they’re the only ones where everybody can have an opinion, and they can all be right. To that effect, with silent vow #3, I’ve moved back to blogging about those aforementioned topics. But the difference this time around is that I am going to blog about “everything”.

If you look at my archives, you’ll realize that I am the poster-child for one of the more famous internet species - The Irregular Blogger. To change that, I am going to borrow ideas from Baradwaj Rangan and give bullet-point reports or summaries if I don’t feel like writing a so-called review of a film. I am just going to get down and “write”. And I am going to publish them even if the end product isn’t particularly pleasing to me. So, good luck to all you readers out there.