Tag Archives: goals


Addendum to my 2009 resolution list

A couple of weeks back, I posted on a few things I wanted to get done this year, namely the following:

  • Move to a place of my own (a frustrating process this is turning out to be)
  • Get at least one IT certification (I have none to date, and should the insanity that is plaguing the economy negatively affect my employment, I’d better have SOMETHING that can vouch for my minor skills – and it’s already February – need to get cracking on this!)
  • Get better at running (this, at least, has some noticeable progress – upped my weekly run to 11km from 10km)
  • Get a drivers license (putting this on hold until I’ve moved)
  • Save (in these uncertain economic times – I think it’s important to have something saved up for a very possible rainy day)

And I think I’m going to add a couple points here, both expanding on the “Save” resolution, a subset if you will:

  • 1. Buy fewer books!!

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I’ve just realised that I’ve bought 17 books from Amazon since the year has started.  SEVENTEEN.  In just over a month.  Not only (as you can see from the picture) are the space constraints in my current 5.5 jo room being stretched far beyond their limits (yes, those books are on top of a bookshelf, almost hitting the ceiling, and 3 deep – and this is but one bookshelf out of 3) but books are also fairly expensive.  I do love reading… but I think I should at least try to make an effort to limit my book purchases to a more reasonable… 2? 3? a month.

Last year I bought a total of 56 books from Amazon Japan (where I do most of my book buying) – 49 for myself, 7 for various friends and family.   It does not take into account books I’ve purchased off Amazon US or books I bought in brick-and-mortar shops – easily at least another handful apiece at each.  All in all, I probably bought anywhere between 65-75 books last year.  Yipes!

  • 2. Cook!

This is a resolution that, once again, will have to wait until after I find a place of my own.  The reasoning behind this is that by cooking I can save on the costs of eating out, which, together with book buying, probably consists of the bulk of my expenses.  Whether or not this will actually be the case, i.e. whether or not this will actually save me money, remains to be seen, but at least it will be a good hobby/skill to brush up on.  I don’t think I’ve cooked in any way seriously since my family left Japan (even while they were here I didn’t do much cooking!)  For some reason I’ve been having a hankering to start cooking, whether it be baking cakes and cookies, or regular meals.

Alot hinges on my ultimately finding a place of my own.  It’s been a lifesaver staying at my current location in the past for cost-cutting reasons, but now… I really REALLY am ready to have a place of my own.  There are just little things that are gradually coming up in regards to how comfortable I feel where I’m living now and sometimes I feel that I may be wearing out my welcome.  But heck, after 3+ years here… it’s really about time for me to move on.

Wish me luck that I find a decent place in the coming weeks!


Random thoughts

*WARNING: High potential cheese factor ahead.  This post came out of nowhere…. I had no intention of typing all this out when I first sat down, and am a little surprised at what I’ve written..

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I came across this post tonight, quite randomly, and thought it was worth mentioning.   It might sound cheesy, silly, or new-agey, and I’m sure some of you (you know who you are!) are rolling your eyes 😉
But nonetheless, I think that many do forget to “stop and smell the roses” so to speak.  We become too obssessed with work (so easy to do here in Japan), desperate to have as much money as possible, always wanting that latest in gadgets/clothes, and feel that we’re “missing out on life” if we’re not keeping up with everyone else, or fulfilling what OTHERS expect of us.  In other words, we’re definitely a culture of “wanting”, of gratification, and tend to judge our own self-worth by the opinions of others – but once we do what others think we should do or get what we think we want, are we really happy?

Are we that badly off just because we haven’t as much money as we want, just because we haven’t traveled the whole world yet, just because we don’t have that Louis-Vuitton handbag?  I don’t think so.  Happiness is what you make of it, is ready to be had at any time, if you’re just willing to look.  Happiness is the noise of snow crunching under your feet in the crisp winter air, with no other sounds around you.  Happiness is when that baby in the carriage on the train makes that weird scrunched up face when they see you.  Happiness is watching that goofy little dog running around, trying to find the perfect spot to “do its business” while its owner scrambles to keep up (that’s more a chuckle-worthy moment, but it does make ya grin 🙂 .  Happiness is when you help someone pick up the coins they’ve accidentally dropped on the ground, and hearing them say “thank you” in surprise as you hand it back to them.

Happiness is not trying to match the expectations of everyone else – you try to do that, and you’ll just go nuts.

You can find moments of happiness everywhere, if you’re just willing to look.  And I’m not dinging the ambitious among us, I’m not in any way judging those who strive and work their butts off so that they can earn more for that trip to Fiji, or have the goal of being the CEO of a company, or anything along those lines.   If they reach their goal and are able to look back on the journey without regrets, but rather with satisfaction and honest pride in their accomplishments, then they’re doing it right.  In fact, they’re probably already looking forward towards their next journey, whatever and wherever that may be 🙂

The flip side to this point of view (and something that I especially need to be careful of), is getting too complacent, too laid back.  Sure, enjoying the journey is the most important part, but there DOES need to be a goal to work towards, and too often my appoach is to enjoy the journey without focusing on any particular endpoint.  In other words – I need to fight my own laziness. 😐

To that end, I’ll list my own little goals for this year – maybe by doing this, I’ll be more motivated to strive for them!

  • Get at least 1 certification in IT
  • Get better at running
  • Learn to drive!
  • Move to my own place (for real this time 😉
  • Save

There are plenty of other subgoals, personality and mentally related, but the above are the more tangible goals and I think working on those will help towards the subgoals.

We may take different journeys, but I think in the end we’re all heading towards similar goals.  I’ll see you all when you get there 🙂