Random Observations · Writing

Belated 2015 New Year’s Resolutions

Every year I write New Year’s resolutions, which I use for the goals or areas I want to work on for that year. Now normally I write them on January 1st (and for the past few years, I’ve also published them online as well as incentive to fulfill them). However, this year (well, last year as it happened on December 31st) I came down with the flu while being on vacation so everything got pushed back a bit until I could think without sneezing.

Once my mind was cleared over over-the-counter flu medication and I finished playing catch up, I started to think about what I wanted to focus on in 2015… what my short-term goals should be for this year.

Here’s what I came up with:

I did a lot in 2014 but I want to write about more in 2015
I did a lot in 2014 but I want to write about more in 2015

To write more consistently

This is both a personal and a professional goal for 2015. I was very streaky in my writing in 2014 and it left me dissatisfied – both in my output and in myself. Part of this was I attending more events, festivals, concerts, films, etc. which left less time for writing. Of course, despite biting into my writing time (I also work a full-time job so I write in the evenings and weekends… the same time I attend those events), this was definitely a good thing and a trend that I hope continues.

But the reason I can control – and the element I need to improve upon – was I stepped back from using a writing/publishing schedule. This meant I wasn’t giving myself deadlines and it turns out that I need them as some articles slipped through – both personally (here on Toronto Thoughts) and professionally (on ATK Magazine) that I wanted to write. Definitely my bad and something I will improve upon with the reintroduction of a writing & publishing schedule for 2015.

Goal: To write daily, create a schedule and publish accordingly (including once a week for Toronto Thoughts starting now).

Meditating at a beautiful sunset over Georgian Bay
Meditating at a beautiful sunset over Georgian Bay

To stop being physically lazy

Lol, I’m not lazy of course but I did let myself become physically lazy in 2014. I would use the excuse that I was busy with ATK or that I walked home from work to forgo exercising. Yes, I know walking is exercise but I would like to restart my former exercise routine that included running, stretching and minor weight training – both for health reasons and to give me more energy.

I also miss doing yoga and dancing. Okay, I know those are two very different things but for me, they serve a similar purpose – they both relax me. One of the reasons I used to go clubbing all the time in my 20s and early 30s was because spending 3-4 hours on the dance floor was a great way to relieve stress and relax. I would completely zone out to the music and finish the night feeling refreshed (and having burnt a calorie or two). Now I’ve outgrown the club scene (mostly) but I think if I could find a fun dance class, it would serve the same purpose – although I wouldn’t be able to zone out quite the same way. As for the yoga bit, I’ll just re-incorporate it back into my daily routine.

Goal: To reintroduce my former exercise routine. To look for an adult dance class I love and sign up. To start doing yoga and meditation again.

Accept I can’t do everything

I often simplify the issue and say “I can’t say no” but that really isn’t the issue. The real issue is I don’t want to say “no” – I want to do everything. I’m a bit of a control freak (just a bit :P). I need to accept that I can’t do everything – there just isn’t enough hours in the day. I can’t write about every event, every topic, every anything – especially if I want to write well and grow ATK Magazine. I can’t even attend every event, even if I want to. I’ve been trying to convince myself to focus on my top areas and recruit other writers for ATK to cover the gaps.

Same goes for my personal life – I can’t do everything and I need to accept that. I’m mostly content that my life has taken a different path but I need to take the final step and acknowledge that I can’t do or be everything.

Goal: Accept my limits – especially time limits – and stop expecting myself to do and be everything.

Hangul - the Korean alphabet
Hangul – the Korean alphabet

Study Korean

This has been on my list for the past couple of years and has consistently been my one area of failure. Oh, I have excuses out the wazoo but let’s face it, if I really want to meet my long-term goal of being at least high-intermediate in Korean by the end of 2017… I need to study. I want to cover the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea as press… as a member of the press who can understand Korean (one of my top long-term goals). It’s still possible – I have three years – but the only way to make that happen is to study, and stop making excuses.

This means I need to find and devote at least 5-10 hours a week studying on my own – the part I really don’t do – as well as actively partake in language exchange… where I actually speak Korean. I love teaching and so have gotten into the bad habit over the past year or two of spending much of my time with language exchange partners helping them with their English.

Goal: Make time each week to study Korean. Practice speaking Korean, really practice.

Finish Love in the Land of Morning Calm 

In 2012, I started what I thought would be a short story but soon turned into something more… the beginning of a novel. But then I got busier and I stopped writing it… after I’d finished about 35,000 words. Yep, I have a half-finished novel called Love in the Land of Morning Calm that keeps haunting me. I need to finish it for two reasons. First, it’s driving me nuts haunting my thoughts at odd moments. But more importantly, since I published the first 5 chapters, I know there are readers (from comments) that would be interested in reading it. How cool is that?!

Goal: Finish Love in the Land of Morning Calm and self-publish.

I make goals every year – and call them “New Year’s resolutions” – and for some reason, and this happens every year, I always end up with 5 of them. After careful thought, the above five goals are what I’m planning on concentrating on this year. Do you make New Year resolutions or goals every year? What are you focusing on in 2015?

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