New Year’s goals, 2017 edition

Posted on 14.12.2016


IMG_6060It’s the time of the year when I start looking back on my goals, to take stock of what I’ve done. It’s a bit harder this year than last year, as the death of my friend is really messing with me at the moment. Nothing seems that important or necessary.

But I’m still alive, so I have to keep doing things. I have to give myself more goals, or none of this will be worth it.

As opposed to the goals I set in 2015, 2016’s goals were actually manageable, and I got through most of them.

To recap:

  1. Less work/More money: 
    I just wrote about this in a blog about the Daruma, but I achieved this goal. As I said there, the initial way I thought I would be able to accomplish it was in teaching more/different lessons with different companies, but the real treasure I’ve gained from this has been online work.At the moment, I’m not making enough to live off of it, but I’m also not devoting all of my time to it. I’m pretty sure that I’ve just rendered myself free to live anywhere with this, which actually means that I’ve achieved a life goal: I can now safely work from wherever the hell I want. I proved it to myself while I was stuck in England and ‘unable to work’ (with a work visa), and it’s been an amazing supplement to my income here in Japan. So this one is done.
  2. By the end of the year, I will be able to read, write and speak Japanese better.
    While I’ve definitely gotten better at speaking and understanding Japanese, my reading is still deplorable and my Kanji sucks.I’ve sacrificed reading novels and listening to music to increase the amount of time I’ve had to listen to and write down Japanese lessons. It’s definitely helping, but I need to do more. So while this is definitely achieved (I did definitely improve), I still need to work on this.
  3. On being vegetarian.
    I was basically a vegetarian who ate fish about 3 times a month in 2016. While it was something I enjoyed, there were points when I really, really wanted a Double Cheeseburger. But I did it. And actually, I’m going to keep doing it.
  4. Get back to regular fitness, and maybe even Budo.
    My fitness regimen wasn’t exactly regular, but I did it a lot more. Especially after I got the news from the doctor about my back and had to take up walking.That being said, I did actually get back to Budo this year. Even though I can only go twice a month, this is still progress, and also ‘regular’. So, achieved.


Those were the things I worked on in 2016. Thinking ahead to what is coming and what’s important for the future, I’ve got some new goals that I’ll be working towards.

  1. Keep being vegetarian (mostly): 
    Not so much a goal as a continuation. Maybe a new caveat is that I can have a Double Cheeseburger once in a while. Or I cut it down to fish/something meat twice a month. I’m still ironing out the details of this. However: in the first week of 2017, I am giving myself a pass to go to McDonald’s and also try to make a cheese steak.
  2. Keep up the fitness, obviously.
    This is so important for my mental well-being. With working at Waseda, I gained free time, but wasn’t able to use it to run or work out more, as I lost my mornings. I’m going to try to do something that works, even if it means I no longer keep a regular schedule for WHEN the workouts happen.And I will keep going to Budo.
  3. Get my Artist’s website up and running.
    This is something I’ve been putting off for years. After seeing the work of two of my friends published and shown, I now feel more confident in showing my own.I think what was intimidating to me was HOW to build a good-looking site, as I learned HTML and that was about it. I started with this idea back when I could code a site myself, and now that knowledge is basically out of date. Thankfully, there are a lot of great sites (like WordPress!) where artists can build a professional-looking site for very little. I’ve actually already started building mine, and am hoping to have it finished very soon. I’ll post it when it’s ready.I need to stop being afraid of trying to show my work. No one will want to show my stuff if I can’t even send them to my site. My Flickr account has too many images for anyone to dig around in.After I finish this, I can make myself some excellent business cards with my site address on them. #lifegoals.
  4. Save money/get out of debt
    I’ve done the math, and as long as I can keep earning what I am now, I will be able to pay off our credit card and the last of my student debt by the end of next year. As it stands, I’m just over $18,000.I can be aggressive in my payments and cut down on spending (we are only taking one trip overseas this year, rather than the 3 we took in 2016. This along with some smart balance transfers into 0-interest accounts will make it very easy to achieve.
  5. Finish a project I started in 2010.
    I don’t want to say too much about this one, because when you say you’re going to do a thing you might jinx it. But there’s something I promised to do for a friend 6 years ago, and it’s been hard for me to achieve. I started to work on it again this year, and didn’t finish it. So I’m hoping to complete that one by July, so my friend can get it and do what she wants with it.
  6. Go fully cruelty-free/vegan with my cosmetics.
    I’m basically already there on this one, but I want to make sure that I’m not buying anything that might be bad for the environment or my body. I’ve also moved to NOT buying plastic containers as often as possible, and recycling/reusing the packages I have. Most of my products are already vegan, and all of them are cruelty-free, but I’ve allowed a few to slide. Also, I want to curb my spending on cosmetics which I don’t even really use that often. So this will be a good way for me to rationalize that and keep myself from buying things I don’t need.
  7. Stop eating so much junk food.
    Our students and friends are so sweet, and they always give us candy or snacks when they come back from a vacation. Or just as random gifts. I’ve felt bad about wasting food, but now my hips are coming back. I don’t really want to eat all of this sweet, delicious junk food, but I feel bad wasting it.My MO for 2017 will be to bring it in to the office and share it with coworkers, who will probably be quite thankful for the free snacks. Share the love and keep my clothes the same size, right?

    Additionally, I want to stop eating too much from the convenience stores. They ARE definitely convenient, but they’re also selling things that are loaded with preservatives. So I’ll have to work a bit harder to prepare my meals, or to make sure to swing into bakeries, rather than convenience stores on my way to work.


That’s all I can think of for now. I might update this list to include more line items, but I think this about covers it.

Posted in: goals, life