New Year*, Slightly Different You

Welcome to 2024!

Hey friends,

January 1st falling on a Monday doesn't happen too often, even if you count leap years. So the next time you receive this newsletter on a Monday, January 1st is going to be on January 1, 2035. Can't wait!

The reason I'm not a big fan of "New Year New Me" and New Year's resolutions even though I think of them as valid ways to change your life for the better is that they're too easy to misuse. Waking up bloated and hungover on January 1 and deciding to quit drinking and hit the gym is an ok way to make yourself give up alcohol and start working out for a while. Then the old habits kick in and you're back to being the old you. You can't fix system problems with one-time decisions.

The good news is you don't have to. You don't have to wait until New Year's Eve or New Year's Day to decide to transform yourself into a brand-new person. First, any day is New Year's Day if that's what you count from. Second, failing to become a brand-new person doesn't make you same old if you learn something from the experience. Finally, you generally don't become brand-new overnight anyway: you become very different by making yourself incrementally slightly more different.

If you keep these things in mind then it doesn't matter if you're in your "New Year New Me" stage right now, have already failed at it, or have missed the New Year's resolution craze altogether. Any time is good to become a Slightly Different You.

Have a slightly different week,


A few thoughts

Worrying makes no sense. No matter what you're anxious about, it makes no sense to be anxious about it since anxiety impairs problem-solving. Well, duh.

Main character energy. How often do you act on your own initiative instead of waiting for someone else to suggest a plan of action? Why not do it more often?

Enjoyed this

We mostly just do things instead of being strategic "A large majority of otherwise smart people spend time doing semi-productive things, when there are massively productive opportunities untapped."

Matthew Walker's "Why We Sleep" Is Riddled with Scientific and Factual Errors "In the process of reading the book and encountering some extraordinary claims about sleep, I decided to compare the facts it presented with the scientific literature. I found that the book consistently overstates the problem of lack of sleep, sometimes egregiously so. It misrepresents basic sleep research and contradicts its own sources."

The fun part

People waking up on Jan 1 and deciding to quit alcohol and hit the gym be like:

(It's fine I've been there myself!)