Every year I set resolutions for myself and in many ways they end up not being completed, so the resolution rolls onto the next year. Forever snowballing forward into the future years. In the past this really bothered me and made me realize maybe I was not good at completing resolutions. What I have learned instead is that there is no issue with my resolutions, rather that I may be a bit too ambitious.That ambitiousness of mine in the past would send me in a negative spiral because I was never able to complete anything. This year I am re-visiting my resolutions a third of the way into the year to reflect on them and see what I need to change in order to make the resolutions semi-successful. I don’t need complete success from each resolution I have written. I need to find out which resolutions are easy to maintain for myself and which ones will require more discipline. I don’t write out steps for my goals because I am not a planner; however, I am finding that I may need to start acting like a planner when it comes to achieving goals I have set for myself. How can I get somewhere if I don’t know where to start or what steps to take?
I think setting goals with a mini step-by-step guideline is good for goal relating to language acquisition, finances, and health/weight loss. How do I tackle these if all I have is a generic goal. So I have been wracking my brain trying to think what a logical step would be for each goal.
I made 14 goals for myself this year and some of them have been easy to start and others, well they never got off the ground. So I thought I would look at them and outline something for myself to be more successful.
- Lose weight and get under 65kg (~143lbs). This is a goal I want to complete by the end of 2018. Which means I have room to be slow on this goal, but I have also outlined for myself targets to hit each month. It is already 10 days into April and I set a goal to lose 3kg (~7lbs) more than likely this won’t happen. I was slow on the start this month and I have to get back into the habit of exercising instead I revised my strategy and thought that I can lose maybe 1.5kg (3.5lbs) roughly a pound a week this is very possible even with just the time remaining. Even if I don’t hit it I can rework my goal again at the beginning of May. It isn’t about perfection it is about progress. I have decided I will try to lose between 2-3kg each month, the first couple of months should be easier as I have more weight on my body and the last few months will be harder the lower my weight becomes. Regardless I am beginning an outline of weight loss goals. I now need to make exercise goals and health oriented goals to support this decision.
- Take more photos.I have been wanting to take more photos and I have been with my iPhone, however not so much with my camera. Part of that is do the weight of the camera. So at the end of this contract in June, depending on my finances I may buy a mirrorless camera that is easier to take with me to other places. I have been thinking about getting software to edit photos, but I’m not sure whether to go with free software or pay for adobe Lightroom. The frugal person in me doesn’t want to pay. Taking photos everyday and posting them on social media is one way to practice lighting and composition without a real camera. Eventually, I think this will become a good hobby and be helpful when adding pictures to my blog.
- Study Korean. Originally I wanted to study Korean 1-3 hours a week. I only did this once for an hour. I haven’t bothered to study Korean since then. I need a way to practice Korean so I am thinking about buying a book in Korean or start to read friends blogs in Korean. I need to get their blog websites from them. This will at least enable me to still engage with the language without spending hours per week. It is also more manageable.
- Study Chinese. I wanted to spend 4 hours a week studying Chinese. That has not happened. There are a few reasons for this: One, my recollection of Chinese Hanzi, is terrible. Two, I have placed more importance on learning Tibetan. I realize I live in China and I should be able to communicate in Chinese. Although I have not spent anytime actively learning, I have been learning the language passively through others. Through listening to repetitive phrases or seeing the same Hanzi over and over, I have learned a few words, although not enough for me to function in society. So I have set a goal to learn a few basic phrases and perhaps 100 – 200 characters by the end of August 2018. I plan to start with characters I already know and then to build on that with the most common ones.
- Study Tibetan. I planned to spend 4 hours a week learning Tibetan, and in the beginning of the year I was studying that for most of January and part of February. In March I was still studying Tibetan, but it was not concentrated so my efforts haven’t really shown through. I have found that I need to be more focused in my self-study, so I plan to devise a self-study syllabus to stick to so that I can have goals that are easy to track progress. My plan is to hold a basic conversation by the end of June. My friend and I are also looking into finding a tutor for us at least once a week. I also can ask my boyfriend to help teach me, he has been for the past month but we haven’t made a focused studying plan yet and it is something we should work on as we both learn each others language.
- Go to the gym. My gym is being renovated until September and I am moving house in June. So I have bought some things to use for at home workouts. I was much better working out at the gym, but I need to find a solution to keep myself motivated to workout at home. I’m trying to find a good time to do that (morning or night). I have also started to take a yoga class on Thursday nights.
- Pay-off half of my debt. One of the frustrating things of enjoying life and not working was acquiring debt again after I had none. So my credit card currently as a rather high balance from things like: Swapping my cellphone out (smart choice), road trip with my sister( No cash, totally worth the debt), a brand-new MacBook w/warranty and extra shit (worth it – no spyware, I was wary to buy one here) plane ticket to China (I get reimbursed in June) and Clothes and shit prior to moving( Not necessary, but necessary to not struggle looking for clothes and shoes that fit.)and the interest it has accrued. I’ve been paying my debt since I left, but the interest means I haven’t made as much as a dent as I wanted. I’m hoping to have it to half-way paid off or completely paid off by December 2018. It depends on what happens in life and my financial standing and choices, I should always have a rainy day fund.
- Explore new places. I went to new places in January, February, and March. I have not been anywhere new yet in April, because I have been strapped for cash. Unless I count visiting a doctor’s office a new place. This might be more limited as I try to reach some of my financial goals, but we shall see. I have plans for this summer and I need to budget accordingly to do what I want during my summer vacation.
- Become a better cook. I really want to become a better cook, I don’t think I cook well, but my friends disagree. It is just that I haven’t actually cooked in a long time. I never saw the point in cooking for one person, as stupid as that sounds, so I rarely cooked during my four years in Korea. That has left me with a wonder of what can I cook on the stove top as I don’t have an oven at the moment. I’m hoping to buy one in the next couple of months, but I may wait until I am moved into a new apartment. So I figure I can look online or reach out to family and friends for easy and simple recipes. In a sense that whatever ingredients you are using are not too fancy or crazy for me to find over here. Next step, document my successes or failures on instagram.
- Blog once a month. This has been one of the easiest goals I set for myself. It is also a goal I started last year in order to update my family and friends more, or the world in general. If I don’t post for months no one knows what is happening in my life and well that seems kind of shitty of me. So I’ve realized I can write anything I want each month and upload at least one post to share. My goal is to get my India Trip posts up by the end of summer to share with everyone. To show how much I have grown as a writer, but also as a point of reflection for myself. I hope to continue to blog about what I am doing, what I am thinking, or just any new experience I think is worth sharing.
- Read 4 books. 4 is not that many, I know. I am also not a reader. I read articles, books not so much. I actually have started three books at once, and I am almost finished with one. My goal is to finish the two books I borrowed from a friend by the end of this month. I’m thinking maybe I should keep a list of books I have read, but I’m not so sure. I suppose I will make that decision when I finish a book.
- Travel Lhasa cheaply. I’ve always wanted to travel to Lhasa, and I’m not in a position to drop thousands of dollars on a one week trip. As luck would have it in February a tour company advertised a writing contest to win a free trip to Lhasa in 2018 or 2019. The top 10 will be picked at the end of April and the winner will be announced on May 11th, I believe. So here is to hoping I win a free trip! I never enter these contests but figured what the fuck I might as well give it a go.
- Get off social media. Originally, I wanted to be on social media less because it is a pain in the ass to load through a vpn. I’m not as active as I used to be on facebook, but I do scan it about once a day to see if anyone posted a thought-provoking article that I may want to read. I have a few friends that I can always count on to share great articles, I think to myself maybe I should too. I’ve also cut down on my sharing of things on Facebook, I’m not truly sure how protected I am behind a vpn. It is something I need to look up. I have been posting more on Instagram, and to make my life easier I consolidated my personal account and travel account into one. I have decided to have it remain private for now, at some point I may change my mind and want to make it public to increase followers, but I’m not really sold on that idea as of now. I’ve also been toying with the idea of creating a Tumblr for my language learning instead of spamming instagram with my new knowledge, it might get boring to my friends and family. Or I could just blog more about the ups and downs here. I have a lot of options and I need to put something in motion to keep me accountable. The bottom line is: social media is okay, just don’t be on it for hours.
- Love yourself more. This was really important for me to add because I have struggled with it since I was a teenager. I have to create a way of loving myself more and taking an active role in strengthening that love for myself. How do I care for myself? Actually since January I have really started taking care of myself more. I am not perfect by any means but I am learning and I am transcending my old self. I have started a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) routine that will last for 4-6 weeks of tea, followed by a few months of powder to balance my body. I don’t follow this 100% and I know I would get better benefits if I did, but I know that doing my best with what is adaptable for me will make me more successful in the long run so we are shooting for 70%. I also have been receiving massages for my posture and back pain. I think that addressing this will alleviate a lot of tension and headaches I have, as well as to make me more aware of my posture and fixing it. What else can I do to love myself more? I came up with a few things: practice mindfulness, eat slower, breathe, cook at home, exercise every day even if it is only 20 minutes, try to wake up earlier and create a morning routine for me.
So here I am almost four months in to the new year and I have not been perfect on my resolutions, but I’m not sad or upset with myself. Instead I have decided to check in with myself to see which things are important and where am I making strides. Something that was important to us at the beginning of the year may not be by the end of the year. It is okay to adjust our goals through out the year and if I don’t complete all of them it is okay. Instead I can look back at the year and acknowledge my successes and progress on every goal. Because no matter what happens by the end of they year I will have made progress towards each and every one of them and that small success is worth celebrating.
Have you checked in with yourself and your own goals?