2024 will be the Year of Gratitude

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I turned 26 last week and like years past, I wanted to reflect on this past year and plan my theme for 2024. 2023 was a big year for my personal growth and I’m looking forward to actively practicing gratitude in 2024.

Year of Gratitude is a little different from my previous themes, as it’s not a goal I’m trying to achieve, but rather a mindset I want to cultivate. I want to be more grateful for the things I have, the people in my life, and the opportunities I’ve been given.

2020 was my Year of Long Term; I wanted to focus on long-term goals and ended up cofounding Pabio. To double down on my work, health, and personal life goals, 2021 was my Year of Commitment. To invest in my support system and grow my team, 2022 was my Year of Teamwork. And to have a strong relationship with myself, my work, and my surroundings, 2023 was my Year of Relationships.

But with big changes, 2023 also brought some stress and anxiety — Carlo and I shut down Pabio to start a new company, and Sukriti and I moved to a new city and bought a house. This was all kinda “a lot”, so I want to take a step back this coming year and really appreciate everything I have.

Reflecting on 2023


I use OKRs to set quarterly goals. 2023 started strong; I got married and finished the MVP of our new product in the first quarter. Although I faced challenges in my books and weight goals, my efforts towards mental and physical health laid a strong foundation for the year. In the second quarter, a highlight was my successful trip to India and I continued to work on my fitness.

In the third quarter, I moved into a new apartment in Utrecht and my wife and I also signed the contract to purchase our new home, a big win. Finally, in the fourth quarter, I focused on nurturing relationships and enhancing my financial stability before buying the house. I made considerable progress in becoming financially default-alive, although I did face challenges in meeting relationship goals like calling friends and family more frequently.

Life data

For over five years, I’ve been tracking all of my life data — from my sleep to my location to my listening habits to everything in between. I enjoy looking at the trend line and seeing how my life has changed over time, and to make better decisions about where I want to go next.

I slept an average of 7.3 hours per night, with an average efficiency of 85.5% and average Oura Ring sleep score of 72.6. Using WakaTime, I track my coding time and I coded for 1,097 hours (top 2% of 500k+ developers) in 2023 as compared to 717 hours in 2022. Similarly on RescueTime, I tracked 2,174 hours in 2023, compared to 1,882 hours in 2022. My weight stayed approximately 74 kg the entire year.

I traveled not as much as 2022, but still quite some — thrice to New Delhi, twice to San Francisco, twice to Paris, and once each to New York, Los Angeles, Abu Dhabi, and Brussels, among many trips within the Netherlands. I’ve been actively thinking about my carbon footprint and would like to reduce and offset my emissions in 2024.

As for listening, my top artists of the year was Maisie Peters, followed by Taylor Swift, which was the same as 2023. Olivia Rodrigo was a close #3, a new addition to my top artists. I listened to 4,000 songs in 2023, down 1% from 2022. I also attended the Ed Sheeran + Maisie Peters concert in Santa Clara. And for podcasts, I listened to 88 podcast episodes from 17 podcasts, top 5 being Lex Fridman, Cortex, How I Built This, The Unmade Podcast, and The Social Radars, and a few audiobooks.

Big changes

2023 was a big year for me. Sukriti and I got married, moved to a new city, and bought a house. But all of these incredible milestones required a ton of preparation and hard work. Planning a big fat Indian wedding for ~600 people, finding an apartment and moving to a new city on a timeline of a few weeks, and viewing tens of houses before finding the right one and managing all the paperwork immediately after…it was all, well, a lot.

My cofounder Carlo and I also made the difficult decision to shut down Pabio, the company we started in 2020 to transform the concept of affordable, high-quality living spaces. Unfortunately, our growth was severely impacted when our financing partner stopped providing loans amid the global economic crisis. We were unable to sustain our operations without this funding, so we decided to sell what we had. In fact, we were already in late-stage negotiations with a German company to buy Pabio, but these talks failed due to the lack of approval from our financing partner. Against this backdrop, we were forced to file for bankruptcy and shut down the company. I’ll be writing more about our successes, failures, and learnings in a future blog post.

But with every ending comes a new beginning. Carlo and I are now working on a new company, which we’re excited to share more about soon. All I can say for now is that we’re still part of Y Combinator, our investors are continuing to support us, and we’re building something that we’re really excited about in the AI sales space.

Gratitude in 2024

I mostly dealt with all of these big changes in 2023 by staying busy. I worked longer and harder than years prior, and I didn’t take much time to reflect on everything that was happening. In hindsight, 2023 was a Year of Stress, but I was able to get through it only because it was the Year of Relationships. I had a strong support system, consisting of my wife, of my family, and of my close friends, and I was able to rely on them throughout the year.

I don’t want to take this support system for granted, and I want to be more grateful for everything I have been given. In 2024, I want to focus on the wellbeing of myself and those around me in my Year of Gratitude:

I want to focus on my mental health and give myself time to exercise, introspect, and learn. I want to properly take Sundays off and spend more time with myself and my loved ones, and I want to see my personal trainer and my therapist with more regularity and review my goals frequently.

Secondly, I want to actively practice gratitude to be more thankful for everything I have. I want to be more appreciative of the people in my life, which starts with more frequent calls to my family and friends. I also want to write more often to be better in touch with my thoughts, be it blog posts, journal entries, emails, letters, or even tweets.

Finally, I want to be a better community member and give back to the people around me. I want to be more involved in the communities I’m a part of, be it founders, Utrechters, family and friends, or humans. I want to be there for people when they need me, and I want to expand my network to meet new people to learn from.

Illustrated portrait of Anand

About the author

Anand Chowdhary

Anand Chowdhary is a creative technologist and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and CTO of Pabio, an interior design and rent-to-own furniture company funded by Y Combinator. He lives in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

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