Resolutions and goals for the year of the snake

27 Jan

One book that I have read over the past year that impacted my life was Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project.”  In that book she talked about the importance of taking charge of your own happiness – not waiting for someone else to come and “make you happy.”  That was my core theme for last year, making sure that I didn’t get complacent and still looked for new ways to define what happiness was to me.

I can't "make" him happy either

I can’t “make” him happy either

It’s a little late to do New Year’s Resolutions by the western calendar- which, as I wrote about last year, are not common in China but since the New Year doesn’t start until February 10th (at least the year of the snake), I am actually early.  Last year I had one public resolution where I resolved to keep Zhongguo Jumble updated throughout 2012.  Thanks to your great support I was able to keep that resolution in fine fashion.

This year I am thinking of things in two contexts.  Resolutions are life changes, they are ways of looking at where you want to be and making changes to turn yourself into that person.  Goals are set events, something you can check off your to do list after you finish everything.  To give a concrete example:  A goal would be to run a marathon (something I’m not interested in), but a resolution would be to run for health or to get into shape (something that will never really end).

So, I thought here I’d share a couple of goals for the year.  I will resolve to continue my blog posting, but here are a couple of things that I have on my mind for the goals aspect.

1) A new haircut – I have been growing my hair out for a couple of years now – I’ve gone through more hair styles here than I did in total in the US.  I don’t know what style I will choose but I think it will be interesting.  Here’s a cut I had three years ago now – my short stint with a perm.

One of my many China hairstyles

One of my many China hairstyles

2) Be picked for another demonstration in my yoga class.  Two weeks ago when I went to a class with a new teacher he picked me to do a demonstration.  I’ve never had any teacher ask me to demonstrate a pose before and it made me feel validated that the nearly 100 classes in the last year have paid off.  Continuous practice (which may also be a resolution) should merit another demonstration opportunity.

My poses continue to get better, practice really helps

My poses continue to get better, practice really helps – this is an old photo, I can now see that my hands are not pressed down flat enough in this downward dog

3) Visit at least two new countries – we already have one trip planned for February (which I will keep under wraps for the moment) and I’d like to add another country to my list before the end of the year.  That seems doable.  Last year we went to Boracay, Philippines and I also had my quick jaunt to Korea – both places new to me.

The hotel on the beach in Boracay - where will the next one be?

The hotel on the beach in Boracay – where will the next one be?

And there are other goals (and resolutions) that I am considering that remain private but as they become reality I will be happy to share them with you.

Did you make any resolutions or set any goals this year that you feel comfortable sharing?  What time of year seems to be the most productive?  I still get that feeling in September, the back to school syndrome but a new year also calls for new plans and ideas.  Do you too?

12 Responses to “Resolutions and goals for the year of the snake”

  1. italkyoutalklanguages January 27, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    Some good goals there – good luck! Mine are mostly language related -study more, read more, listen to more…I feel more motivated around September too, which puts me at odds with most people here, as back to school syndrome kicks in around April – just when I’m starting to slow down!

    • gkm2011 January 27, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

      I understand. I have some language goals as well, but didn’t focus on them here. It’s funny how September can bring those feelings on though! Good luck with this year’s goals.

  2. sarahinguangzhou January 27, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    yeah the trick is to have something measurable, so you know if you’ve done it or not, so those should work. I prefer to keep mine private usually. So I don’t have to deal with other people saying ‘oh when are you going to do that then?’

    • gkm2011 January 27, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

      I can understand keeping them private, goals do need to be measurable as well. I set goals for my teams at work and am always telling them that, so I should walk the walk too!

  3. expatlingo January 27, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    Like you, my head is also in “what do I want to accomplish this year” mode in September… Hard to shake those old academic year habits!

    • gkm2011 January 27, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

      So we just need to have two sets then! Keeps us more accountable!

  4. Valerie January 27, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

    A goal for me is to buy a home which will help us move on in our marriage. I need a resolution on how to better deal with stress — but I haven’t quite figured out how to do that yet (except to complain about it 🙂

    • gkm2011 January 28, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

      Go back to yoga! I can’t wait to hear about the house hunt.

  5. erica @ expatria, baby January 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    I’ve been really mulling over my “resolutions” post too, and maybe I’ll do a CNY sort of resolutions post too. Because I haven’t done a Western New Year’s one yet. And there are things that I want to focus on this year. Like you, doing more of what I like (just started crossfit. Totally Addicted. Reading books. Like actual ones. Made of paper. Watching movies (tv fell by the wayside with parenthood, but now that I”m back in a country with pirated DVDs there’s no excuse.) Oy. This comment is getting post-length.
    BUT, if’ you’re looking for a new-to-you country, may I suggest INDONESIA????

    Also you look beautiful!!

    • gkm2011 January 29, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

      I do want to visit Bali soon! Your goals sound great, so good to hear from you.


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