New Years Resolutions: 2019

Back in the beginning of 2017, I started this blog with the intention to document my language learning progress and eventual travel abroad, but ever since I've returned since my long time stay in Japan this blog has grown and evolved to just be a reflection of myself. 

The first post I ever made on this blog was setting my resolutions for 2017, which you can read here, and for 2019 I want to not only reflect upon the resolutions made in the past two years but also talk about how I've grown as a person since then!

Small side note: As you may have noticed I've done some cosmetic work here at :) I've got a new color scheme going and a new graphic at the top! Yay for change!

In my past few resolution posts, I noticed that my goals were a bit vague. I mainly said that I wanted to get better at Japanese, encourage more self-love, and lose some weight. These goals have stuck with me, but have remained largely undefined other than 'I want to get better at XXX'. When I make resolutions this year I want to make sure I set more concrete goals that I can check off at the beginning of next year. 

With that said, let's hop into my 2018 goals and see how I did!

2018 Goals (What I did and didn't accomplish)

⚠️ A work in progress
⭕ Success!
❌ Fail

Learn Conversational Chinese 

In my 2018 post, which you can read here, I stated that I wanted to learn conversational Chinese. This was a pretty lofty goal I was confident I was going to accomplish, and once I returned to America I realized I didn't have as much desire to learn as I thought I did. I think being around Amanda every day inspired me to try and learn, but once I was gone that desire deflated pretty quickly. I found out I just didn't have the drive to learn Chinese. I gave it a good shot for about a month using a few apps like Mango and Drops and ended up picking up some basic words and phrases, but ultimately this was a bust!

Reach my Goal Weight ❌

Japan was a really hard time for me when it came to my relationship with food. I really had a hard time controlling myself around sweets because it became an emotional outlet for me dealing with stress or conflict in my life. I had never turned to food like that before, and so I went out of control with it (in my opinion). Though I tried casually working out and eating generally healthy, when I weighed myself in November I was horrified to learn I was slightly heavier than I had been in Japan, which I thought was my worst. 

I started using MyFitnessPal again which really helped me in the past, but it's hard to log family made meals because you never know exactly what's inside. I'll be back in Japan in about a week, so I'm going to do my best to be more cautious about what I eat. I think my emotional state while in Japan contributed significantly to my disordered eating, so now that I'm doing well I'm not expected food to be a big problem.

Grow my Blog ⭕

I said that my ultimate stretch goal was 50k views by this time, but looking at my statistics this morning I noticed that I just hit 83,000 views! I'm astonished that my blog has gained so much traction, and I'm very grateful for all the comments and feedback I've gotten. This fall I haven't published as much as I'd like to, but any posts I have made were really well received!

2019 Goals and Resolutions

JCAT Score of 200

I took the JCAT a few months ago as a test for how far along I am with Japanese, and I was really disappointed with my score. I went into the test feeling rather confident I'd do well, but I actually got a few points lower than the last time I took it, which really shocked me. I lost a lot of my confidence and drive after getting my scores back, but I want to make it a point to improve on my old scores and get anywhere from 200-250 on the next JCAT test I take. I'm planning to take it again in May and then once more in December so I can have a good gauge of my progress within a 6 month or so timeline. 

Reach my first goal weight of 110

Instead of setting my ultimate goal weight (100) as the standard, I'm going to start with the weight I'd feel comfortable and happy reaching first, which is 110. From there I can decide if I want to press on further or just tone. I think this makes this goal easier to reach and more realistic! This 'weight loss' goal usually gets the X every year so I really want to accomplish this one for once!

Read an article a week

It's no secret that I dislike reading in Japanese. I get easily overwhelmed by long texts, and because I don't like to read and don't do it often I have very low reading stamina. I want to improve this as much as possible in 2019 as I've become hyper-aware of how much this issue affects my learning process. Almost all of the advice given to me on how to take my Japanese to the next level has instructed me to read, and I've actively been avoiding it because it's not enjoyable. It's time to bite the bullet and crack open those novels! 

Before I get to reading books, I want to warm up to reading by reading articles. This works because I can pick a topic I'm interested in and read about it, just like I would in English. I use the website Kinarino, which talks about minimalism, self-improvement and general lifestyle topics.

Save 10k by May

I have a really lofty goal of trying to save 10k by May 2019. If you say '10k by May' aloud it sounds really catchy, which is how I decided on the amount. Here's the kicker though: I started paying 500 dollars a month on student loans, which is making saving money a lot more difficult! I work two jobs while at school and bring in just about 1k a month, so it's going to be a difficult climb to 10k. So far I'm a little over halfway there so I hope I can actually get this done!

Minimalize My Life

This may be my one vague goal for the new year, but I'm not sure how to quantify what being minimal means to be other than 'less stuff'. I want to go through my childhood room and get rid of things I don't need, clothes I don't wear, etc. If I'm not actively using it, I don't really need it. Since I'm going to be graduating and moving to China (hopefully) for a bit, I'm not going to need any more than the necessities.

Get a job in China

This may be one of the most important things I accomplish, besides language learning. I want to make sure I can secure a position in China, hopefully, one that pays well! I'm planning to live with Amanda over there for a little over a year, so I'm hoping to get a position that's either in Wuxi or Shanghai. I'm leaning towards Wuxi because it's closer to her family and the rent is cheaper, but beggars can't be choosers. I'm doing my best to find a position through my company since they told me they would love to have me, but I may have to explore other avenues to compare wages and make sure I'm making what I should be!

I hope everyone has a happy and healthy new year, and thank you again for supporting me!