It’s the beginning of the new year, time to put all my hopes and aspirations down for future reference.
2011 has probably been one of the biggest and most eventful years for me personally. A large part of this comes down to finishing my law degree and travelling the world for six months. 2012 promises to be a big one as well. I’m studying a completely new discipline (psychology, heh), moving out of home, co-leading a Friday Night Community Group, and juggling work commitments at IIS and AERIS Magazine.
So it’s in the context of all this that I’m making my new years resolutions. As a general rule, human beings suck at sticking to their resolutions. A survey of 3,000 people showed that after one year, only 12% had achieved the goal that they’d set. The ‘SMART’ criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Based) is pretty handy for setting and maintaining resolutions. Most of mine fits the criteria, although I might have so many that they will crowd each other out and make each one less achievable. We’ll see. Here we go:
- Learn to cook. Or rather, get better at cooking. Going on exchange and living in a shared apartment was great because I had to overcome the dependency on my parent’s cooking. However, I feel like I need to branch out beyond stir-fries and pasta. I’m gonna get this book (New York Times bestseller, has ‘simple’ in the title) and maybe check out Jamie Oliver’s 20 minute meals app.
- Learn Chinese. I’ve been telling myself to do this for a long time, finally putting my foot down. Having been back in China/Hong Kong for the past couple of years, it’s just excruciatingly embarrassing and galling not being able to communicate properly. I can speak with fluency but I essentially have the vocabulary/grammar of a preschooler. It shouldn’t be too hard though given the basic foundation I have, all it takes is application.
- Do something musical. Not sure if I’ll be able to practice the piano with any regularity, but hopefully I’ll get to jam with friends semi-regularly and/or play drums for Gracepoint. Music is very important to me.
- Go somewhere new… every two weeks(?). This one came as a realisation during my travels that we really take our home for granted. Overseas is exciting and exotic and new, whereas we get complacent with our own city, thinking we can go and see something whenever, but we never do. I want to transport that sense of curiosity that I had overseas back to Sydney. It has so much to offer, if only we’d bother to look. I should follow my dad in this regard. Every Sunday, without fail, he’s off to explore some part of Sydney, whether it’s the bush or the beach or something else. It’s very admirable.
- See something (movie/gallery/performance/band)… every two weeks(?). Ditto with this one. Gotta get my culture fix.
- Try a new restaurant… every two weeks(?). Part of my effort to get a wider ‘education’. Plus it’s a good excuse to catch up with friends.
- Giving generously. TIme to put my money where my mouth is. Christians are called upon to give to the poor and support the church. It’s easy to make excuses at every stage of life (“I’m a high school student, I have no income.” “I’m a poor uni student, I can’t spare anything.” “I’ve just started work, have to save up for my house and family.” “I got two kids, things are really tough right now.”) I’m aiming for 10% of my income.
- Volunteering regularly. I’ve talked a good talk to friends about how we should be more socially aware, to help others and not just focus on ourselves and our careers. It’s time to walk the walk. Will have updates on this one once I follow through and do something concrete.
- Always be reading something. OK this one is really vague at the moment. A reading list will be forthcoming.
- Get active. The wonderful thing about moving to Forest Lodge is that many activities become open to me. It’s close to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital gym (great facilities, cheap membership) and the Balmain Rowing Club, which I am very tempted to join. Being in the inner city allows me to fulfill my biking obsession which I picked up while in Europe. Sure, the streets of Sydney are substantially less welcoming, but bring it on I say. A team sport would be nice, if I have the time.
Phew, that’s it! This is a pretty solid list, let’s see what happens…