2014 was a year free of sweets, full of learning, and a solid building block for the years ahead.
I went the whole year without sugar. Well maybe not without sugar, but definitely without making any conscious choices to consume sweets. It was definitely a challenge at first, but quickly became second nature (It’s been nearly a week into 2015 and I haven’t yet broken my no sweets streak, the opportunity has not yet presented itself). It was the result of doing some research into health and wellness last year, and wanted to see how I would do.
In short, I found myself having much more control over my energy. I became better able to control the ebbs and flows of my days, enabling myself to be much more productive throughout the day. I would definitely recommend everyone to go at least a month without sweets, and a year if you can last that long.
And as an analogy for my year, 2014 was definitely more nutritious than sweet. I had my ups and downs, a fair share of both drama and excitement. Here are a few highlights:
- Starting in the summer, I decided that I would read one book a week, and have voraciously finished 30 books throughout the course of the year.
- I traveled to the east coast for the first time of my life, for what proved to be an extremely formative experience in how I see work and life.
- Took a life (or at least career) altering trip to learn about startups and venture capital in the bay area.
- I founded a company. (More on this in later posts)
- I helped start a charter school in San Francisco, fulfilling one of the items on my bucket list much earlier than I would have ever anticipated.
- Found myself as the youngest person at a conference or meetup countless of times.
- Met a good number of my personal heroes. (Chase Jarvis, Ramit Sethi, Peter Thiel, Randy Komisar, and more)
Onwards to 2015
Since I do a different challenge every year, I spent a good deal of time reflecting and considering what I wanted to do for 2015. After a lot of contemplation, I decided on this.
For at least half of 2015, this will be my main phone. The only times I am allowed to switch back to my smartphone is when I’m traveling, other emergencies, or developing android applications. I am taking this challenge with the goal of being more engaged in the physical world in front of me.
In case you couldn’t tell (for those of you reading by email or RSS), Diplateevo has a new look! I spent a good chunk of my Christmas break completely rebuilding and redesigning my blog with everything that I’ve learned about web design, readability, and blogs in the past 6 years.
I started by rethinking how blog posts are read, and how I can best reduce the distractions.
One of the biggest areas of tension when it comes to blog posts are the comments. On one hand, comments are a great way to share thoughts and facilitate a discussion based around the content of the post. However, comments can also be distracting and unhelpful. After thinking through the comment process, I decided to implement a kudos system similar to the one seen on svtble. That way, readers can give a virtual high five for a piece of content without needing to participate in the discussion. And as for the comments themselves, I’ve stored them a click away from the post itself in order to maintain a simple and clean experience for reading and interacting.
There are a lot of little considerations like this that have been baked into this iteration of the website, but I’ll leave it to you to figure those out.
The last and perhaps most significant area that I have been thinking about when it comes to my website is the caliber of content. Up to this point, I’ve been writing more or less haphazard posts twice a week, producing more quantity than quality. Over the past couple of years, I’ve spent an average of 2-3 hours on each post, making them relatively easy to write and relatively easy to post. However, in 2015, I am planning to spend upwards of 30-50 hours on each post, making them of a completely different caliber.
Starting next post, expect extremely in-depth pieces on my thoughts on entrepreneurship, learning, and productivity.