Investment Analyst Resolves to Study Backgammon, Do Yoga

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Fear not Financial Times readers, your favorite quirky Wealth columnist, James Altucher, is back and better than ever. Actually, he never left. Since his FT column ended a while back, Altucher has been popping up in a number of publications, while spewing ideas and regaling loyal followers with stories on his blog, The Altucher Confidential. Links to Altucher's posts, complete with engaging titles such as, "How to Succeed in LA Without Really Trying," and "Breakdancing and Mastery of the Universe," can also be found on Business Insider's website.

And that's exactly where we found this gem: Altucher's list of new year's resolutions. As always, it's a bit hard to tell whether Altucher is being serious, but he seems earnest enough. Take a look at some of the highlights.

  • 'Friends'
I don't have that many of them. I'd like to have more. To spend time with more friends. I don’t even know what that’s like. All I’ve done the past 15 years is work. Maybe once every two weeks at least, I'd like to have lunch or dinner with a friend. Just hang out. Talk about something other than business. Maybe play games (and not online). I have a good ongoing backgammon match with Stephen Dubner which has been fun. We've been doing that since 2002 when he was writing a book on "The Psychology of Money" but he then got diverted to writing a book with minimal sales called "Freakonomics." I'd like to have more outings playing games with friends.
  • 'Morning Routine' "I want to get my morning routine back in shape," he says. But the proposals that follow would  make for one heck of a morning routine:
  • Read at least one good piece of writing each morning: a short story, a literary essay, good non-fiction
  • Study at least one game in the morning. Choose from: chess, Go, backgammon, scrabble, checkers, bridge
  • Ideas: Get my handy waiter’s pad out and jot down 10 ideas. Ideas can be about anything: new businesses, article ideas, people I want to meet, ideas for other people (with the intent of communicating those ideas). Just keep exercising the idea muscle.
  • During the day: At least 20% less screen time. More walking-around-just-thinking time. I spent 10 hours a day in front of a screen typically. What a waste of life.
  • Memorize a list of 2500 Spanish words. I don’t want to read a “Learn Spanish” book. I just want to get the 2500 most used words in the language and memorize them. If I do 8 a day I should be good within a year.
  • One item for breakfast. It can be any item. A bagel. A croissant. One pancake, etc. But that’s it. You can’t have eggs and bacon and home fries. That’s three items. You can’t have platter of pancakes. That’s a platter and not one. One item.
  • Anything you want for lunch. Doesn’t matter.
  • Dinner before 6pm (before 5pm ideally) and no white at night. No starch (pasta, desserts, cheese, etc). Btw, no alcohol. But this is hard for many people.
  • No snacks in between meals
  • There, its that simple. You’ll lose 1000 lbs with this diet. Scientifically proven. In 2003, for various reasons, I gained 20 lbs in a month. This is the diet I used to quickly lose it. Always works.
  • 'Miscellaneous' "My whole life I've wanted to do standup comedy," writes Altucher. "THIS IS THE YEAR I'm going work out a routine, get up on stage, and do it. You're all invited."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.