A Year of Books et al.

Joining the bandwagon of new year's resolutions, I have two challenges for myself this 2016.

First, I will read a new book every month -- focusing on learning about different people, cultures, politics, philosophies, love, and, of course, technologies. I have not planned a list of books yet, but I already picked one that I am going to read for January—Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton. It is a memoir of the former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton giving her account of her tenure at the State Department from 2009 to 2013.

In life, we are faced with so many hard choices. We have to decide where to go to college. Picking a college major for the next four years. Finding a good job, or what to do if you lose it. Starting a new romantic relationship—or ending one. Life is about making such choices. For leaders and nations, they can mean the difference between war and peace, poverty and prosperity. I am looking forward to getting an inside look at the choices and challenges Mrs Clinton faced while serving as America's top diplomat and one of the most influential figures of our generation. We may be able to apply some of her insights into our daily normal, humble lives.

Feel free to suggest books you think I must read!

Second, I am going to go vegetarian this year. The idea came out of a random thought over the last two weeks of December. It is an ambitious one but where is the fun without any challenges, right? So to make it more worthwhile doing, I have made a sort of win-win "penalty" scheme. For every day I cheat, I am going to put 100 pesos (roughly $3) to a "cheat fund" that I am going to establish. At the end of the year, proceeds from this cheat fund will go to a charity to be determined later, good cause for every time I fail to meet my challenge. I already had a good head start over the last two days, so let us see how far I go until the first hundred pesos.

So that, my friends, is the year I look forward to.  363 days to go. :)