I love diaries. There’s something nice about having the days and months laid out for you in paper format. That special feeling as you scribble memos with a coloured pen (and place a sticker next to it, if you fancy). I actually haven’t had a paper-diary for a few years now.
There’s a reason for that. Diaries and I aren’t meant to be. Honestly, I lose interest a few months in and wonder why I bothered marking out those special days in the first place. But I’m planning on making 2015 special. I’m planning on making it organised. A year where I not only make to-do lists, but I also tick things off like it’s 1999.
Here are the goals I came up with in 2015, with an update in late-December to see how I went…
Learn and Improve my Chinese
It’s a sad fact that although I’m Chinese, my proficiency in its language is poor at best. Born and raised in Australia, my Parents did their best to teach it to me, and although I speak a few words here and there (mainly Cantonese with a hint of Mandarin), I know I can be better at it. So I will get better at speaking, reading and writing it. 好嗎? 好!*
(*roughly translated: okay? okay!)
I’ll be honest — I did not actively pursue this goal. At the start of the year, in my mind, I thought that I would dedicate an hour a week to revising some of my old Chinese school texts to begin with, but that never happened. It was a simple plan, but I just wasn’t disciplined enough to carry it out. The only thing that comes remotely close to this is having to improve my speaking ability for work. I occasionally get some Cantonese-speaking clients and that’s where I really have to think about translating and practising my speech. But overall, this goal has been left by the wayside.
Green, Green, and more Green
I may have developed an irrational fear about one day suddenly not having enough oxygen to breathe. Genuinely true. As a result, I’m determined to plant and maintain as many trees, shrubs and flowers in the garden (both front and back) and indoors as I can. I want to develop spaces that are natural, calming and re-energizing. I also feel like it’s the least I could do for the environment.
I can say, with hand-on-heart, that I have definitely planted lots of greenery this year. Although I didn’t make a dent in the wasteland that is our frontyard, I have lots of flowers and shrubs sitting pretty in pots in the backyard. I’ve also taken to planting random seeds from fruit in the hopes of them growing. I’ve been lucky that some cherry tomato, pomelo and apple seeds have sprouted, but I’m sad that my orange, lychee and jalepeno seeds have been lost. The best part about planting and maintaining a garden is being able to share plants with my co-workers, and sharing the excitement at watching things grow with The Parents.
De-clutter and Re-decorate the House
There’s no denying that Hello HQ is in need of some serious love and attention. I won’t rant about how long I’ve stared at the same blank walls for over a decade. Instead, I’ll focus my energy on clearing out the things we no longer use or need, and introduce some new items into the home. And storage. I didn’t realise how little storage space/options we had. Bonus points if the items are second-hand, handmade, or DIY.
I’ve managed to de-clutter Hello HQ a little this year (which is a sheer miracle if you know what hoarding-tendencies The Parents and I have), but made no progress with re-decorating. I’ve updated my shelfie, but apart from that the house still remains very much the same. If I think about it, it’s not too bad because everything is still functional and it means I’m not bringing more random junk into the home. On the other hand, some things are in need of replacing. Overall, minimal progress made with this goal.
Holiday in Japan My Younger Sister is now working in Japan (yay!) and telling me about all the lovely places she’s been to. I’m hoping that, if I save up all my pretty pennies, I’ll be able to visit her in Tokyo and see a whole different city. And also, eat all the Japanese food on offer. I love Japanese food.
I needed to postpone this goal for personal reasons. I’m sad because I still want to visit Japan, but I realise that it’s not going to happen this year.
Start and Finish C25k app Wait, didn’t I plan on doing that in 2014 and fail spectacularly? Why yes, yes I did. But hey, I can always have another crack at it.
I’ve had a re-think and realised that the reason I set this goal was because I wanted to fit more exercise in my life. However, running around my local neighbourhood is not something I find pleasure in, so I’ve decided a better goal would be…
Go on More Walks
I’ve discovered that I really enjoy going for walks. Whether it’s ambling around the city, or hiking through some bushland, going out for a walk really invigorates me. So, it only makes sense to try and fit more walking in my life.
Going on hikes was something I really only started this year, and I love it! I think I’ve found my thing. Although I didn’t get out there and pursue this every week, I definitely made a conscious effort to get out and do more walking. My favourite hike/bushwalk this year has definitely been the Spit Bridge to Manly walk (see Part 1 and Part 2 if you’re interested), but even re-visiting the Sydney Chinese Gardens or checking out Sculpture by the Sea Bondi (Part 1 and Part 2, once again, if you’re interested) has surprisingly involved a lot of walking. It’s been great fun.
Get Better at Blogging
Have you ever looked at your blog and felt the urge to hit the ‘Delete Blog’ button and start over? I have. Many times last year, in fact. But what would I do differently next time? An idiot is someone who repeats the same mistakes over and over, and I certainly don’t want to be an idiot (with blogging at least). So instead, I’m going to keep those cringe-worthy posts and learn from them and other blogs I admire. I want to turn this blog into a space I’d like to spend time in, rather than find a chore to maintain.
Well, ‘better’ is a vague term and also subjective. For me, I think I’m starting to find my blogging mojo. I’ve noticed an increase in posting about my adventures exploring Sydney or attending random events (I guess it helped that I actually went out and did stuff). While doing a bit of behind-the-scenes tidying with this space, I’ve read through some of my older posts and it was interesting to see what was happening at the time and where my thoughts were. It reminded me that it’s nice to simply have a blog so I can look back on things and reminisce. That’s all I really need with this space. I’m happier with it now, so I would say that I’ve gotten a little bit better at this whole blogging thing.
So that’s it for my 2015 goals. It was nice to take a look back and figure out where I did well and where I didn’t, and that in itself is guiding me in setting goals for 2016. I’m pretty excited about what I hope to achieve next year. How about you?