Random Observations

2014 New Year’s Resolutions

Every year I make 5 goals – or “New Year’s Resolutions” – and I generally have a decent, if not perfect, track record of achieving 3 of the 5. This year I decided to make both personal and professional goals – although the personal ones may seem like they would fit both categories – as a way to make 2014 rock. You see, I’m a Virgo. I love plans, lists and goals. I’m one of those crazy people that thrive on pressure and deadlines – in fact, I work much better with them than without. And while I do have a tendency to over-commit myself, I am happiest when busy. 

So, without further ado, here are my personal New Year’s Resolutions for 2014. (If you are curious about my professional ones, visit ATK Magazine.)

1. Exercise regularly

Yeah, I know this one is pretty generic. Loads of people say that they will exercise more, lose weight, eat healthier, etc. But I totally got lazy in 2013. And it bugged me. I spent my life playing sports. I ran a marathon (and walked another). I used to spend hours in the gym (and loved it). But 2013 saw me become a couch potato. Now some of it is because of my job – I work at a desk during the day and them come home and write – but that doesn’t excuse the fact that for a large portion of 2013, the only exercise I got was walking.

So, I’m going to get off my lazy butt and start running again. Starting with an easy 30 minutes/3x week and once the weather gets a little better, I’ll train for a half marathon. By my next birthday – in September – I’ll be back in shape again. No more lazy Cindy!

2. Write regularly for ATK Magazine and Toronto Thoughts

Okay, it could be argued that this is more of a professional goal and that would be right. But it’s way to hard to separate the personal and professional when it comes to my writing. I’m happier when I write, I need to express myself. But my writing dried up because of a variety of reasons and all that did was stress me out more and annoy the crap out of me. Since I much prefer to be happy, this is a personal goal to ensure my happiness in 2014. And because it’s so much easier to concentrate on clearly defined and measurable goals, here’s the breakdown:

ATK Magazine – 3 articles a week 

Toronto Thoughts – 1 article a week

3. Study Korean

This was my one major disappointment of 2013 – I stopped studying Korean. Which is beyond hilarious when you take into count that I run a Korean-English language exchange group with more than 1000 members. And I regularly meet with language exchange partners. And a good 50% of my week has some Korean component to it. But I didn’t study Korean worth beans last year. My Korean has been going downhill rapidly and I only have 3 years to get it up to high-intermediate (or higher).

So I’ve hired a tutor to kick-start my studies. And I’ve set aside some time, each and every day, to study. 

4. Finish “Love in the Land of Morning Calm”

“Love in the Land of Morning Calm” is a novel that I’m working on. I started it the summer of 2012 but I stopped working on it for a while in 2013. However, the story is still floating around in my mind wanting to get out. I need to see this through. No promises that you’ll like it but I need to finish it. Once I do, I’ve already decided to go the self-publishing route – so that those lovely readers who read the first 5 chapters (available on ATK Magazine) and gave me feedback can read the entire book sooner, rather than later.

I’ve created a writing schedule with time each day to get back on track with regular writing and set a firm publication date in my mind of December 2014 so I have a deadline to work with.

5. Talk to guys more

I’m not shy and I have a lot of guy friends whom I often talk to… that’s not what this goal is all about. Unfortunately, I do have problems talking to guys I find attractive, in a flirty way or even to just say ‘Hi’ unless they talk to me first. I always have. Case in point – I had the hugest crush on a DJ at a club I often went to in Ulsan. I talked to pretty much everyone else in the club, even becoming friends with several of the others that worked there but I never once spoke to him until my last weekend when I finally went up to him and said “Hi”. We chatted, he was lovely and I left two days latter happy that I finally talked to him but kicking myself that I was too chicken to do it earlier… you see, he was interested too.

So, in 2014 I’m going to talk to guys. If I think a guy is attractive, I’m going to at least say “hi”. No more of this crushing from afar like I’m 13. Fingers crossed I can actually do it!

Bonus: Balance work and life

This is probably the hardest one to do, in large part because it’s so ambiguous but also because work & life or professional & personal bleed together for me. I’ve met a lot of my friends because of “work” – my writing – and I bring friends to many of the social events I cover for ATK Magazine.

But as a friend recently pointed out to me, I need to remember that personal happiness is just as important as work success. Now, she was saying this because she wants me to flirt more so I can meet guys and get a boyfriend – and I told her most of the social events I go to are because I’m covering them. However, she’s right. I can talk to guys at events or festivals. There is a way of being friendly without crossing professional boundaries if I happened to see a guy I liked.

Remember goal #3 was to study Korean more? Here’s the New Year’s Resolutions in Korean… I’m sure there are mistakes but it’s a start! Please correct me if you can!

1. 규칙적으로 운동하기

2. “ATK Magazine”에 대해 정기적으로 작성하려면

3. 한국어를 공부하기

4. “Love in the Land of Morning Calm”을 완료하려면

5. 남자들과 이야기하기.

Bonus : 일과 생활의 균형 맞추기

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