2018 Resolutions

It may be halfway through January already (?!) but it’s never too late to set resolutions and intentions for the year! My most cumbersome but most personally valuable posts on this blog are my beginning- and end-of-year blogs, with the resolutions post kicking off the year with ways I can bring myself closer to the person I want to be.

2018 Resolutions: photo featuring a hand holding a sparkler above water

Last year’s resolutions focused a lot around making concrete plans to do things that I’ve been making resolutions for over the past several years. I didn’t check all those boxes off, but I know that specific goals are easier for me to achieve than vague ones. By the end of 2017, I found myself formulating  new concrete goals, some of which were not even considerations at the beginning of the year. Here are the ways I aim to improve myself in 2018…Read More »

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Resolutions 2017 Check-In

Happy Independence Day, to those celebrating the Fourth of July! Please be sure to observe this holiday safely, as it is a very scary holiday for many of our loved ones, like vets and pets. 

As strange as it seems, we have officially passed the halfway mark of the year. I thought now would be a good time to check in on some of my resolutions, especially because I specifically wanted to check in and adjust some of the goals I set in January at this time.

Let’s start with the concrete resolutions:

I resolve to read at least 15 books in 2017, as I believe I can find the time to read more than one book per month given my success this past year.

According to Goodreads, I am on track to meet this goal, as I am currently working my way through my 12th book this year. I was actually a little bit concerned about reaching my reading goal because I spent so much of the first half of the year working laboriously through the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Each volume is so thick and took me so long to read that I was worried I’d fall behind and spend most of the year reading them. I forgot how voraciously I read when I’m really engrossed in a serial story like Martin’s!

I resolve to maintain this schedule. At the very least, I am trying to go one full calendar year on this schedule, so let’s hope I make it to February!

With the exception of my mental health hiatus, I haven’t done too badly with the schedule this year! And I did make it to February and the full calendar year of posting on schedule, so I’m really glad for that. I’m jumping back into the posting schedule right now and I hope I can stick with it.

I resolve to put my pride aside and seek help learning to lift, whether that means asking one of my friends/coworkers to teach me or investing in a personal trainer.
* Halfway through the year, I’d like to have a specific goal weight to be lifting.

Ah, the resolution that I knew would give me trouble. I haven’t quite gotten around to hiring a personal trainer yet, but I think it’s because I’ve been adjusting this goal mentally. I am much more interested in just… doing good form push-ups than lifting a barbell right now, so I’ve shifted my energy over to that as my goal. I am still strength-training, and that does involve weights, and I do often have people helping me check my form, but lifting as a primary strength-training activity is no longer my goal.

I resolve to run one mile, without stopping or walking.
* Halfway through the year, I’d like to have a specific time to be running.

I actually achieved this a few months ago! I don’t run very often, and given that I wanted to increase my stamina via cardio, I do need to run more. However, back in March, I managed to run an entire mile without stopping to walk, and that was a huge accomplishment for me, even though it took me almost a full 10 minutes (literally it took me 9:59?). Then, I did it again just a few days later, and I was faster then. It was one of the little ways I could feel myself getting into better shape. Unfortunately, I had a small hiccup in my fitness routine (wherein… I wasn’t doing much of it at all…), so I probably cannot currently run an entire mile without stopping. I’ll have to get back to it but I think I want to put a realistic goal of an 8-minute mile and a more ambitious goal of 7 minutes? (The 8-minute mile, while not particularly impressive, would be a big feat for me, so that’s what I’ll be aiming for!)

I resolve to be able to perform a full split.

OOPS I have definitely dropped the ball on this one. While I stretch when I work out and feel myself getting a little more flexible, I am not in splits territory at all yet, so I need to refocus on this goal so it doesn’t get left in the dust for another year.

I resolve to cosplay at a fan convention this year.

I DID THIS! My AwesomeCon recaps are coming right after this, so stay tuned for those, but I am so so so happy to have accomplished this. It was even better than I thought it would be.

I resolve to give a present a full-length talk to a large tech audience.

This is going to be really tricky. I still don’t know what subjects I am confident enough to talk about to a tech audience for an hour. It would be good for me to try to figure this out, as I really would like to start speaking at tech events more. However, this was a super ambitious goal so I’m not extremely confident I’ll achieve it by the end of this year.

I resolve to buy lunch no more than twice during the work week and dinner no more than three times a week – including weekends. I also resolve to have at least one or two evenings per workweek where I am home by 6PM.

Admittedly, this has not been going great. I can only chalk it up to poor planning, as far as the meals go, as well as just a bit of a lack of energy after a long work day and a hard workout. I’ve started getting myself back on track with this lately, so hopefully things will be better for the second half of the year! However, I am staying home more days this year, and I’m really relishing it. While I don’t come home at 6PM very often, as I try to put in a few extra hours when I am able so I can take other time off, it is still nice to come home from work, instead of stopping at another event first. The FOMO is slowly fading away.

I resolve to not let my piles live in my home for longer than one week at a time, even more preferably no more than four days.

Okay so… this has kind of been a failure, my piles have gotten a bit out of control. I plan to take advantage of the federal holiday today and sort them out, and I really hope I am able to follow through with that plan. I still have a pile (contained in a storage box) of my birthday party supplies that I really need to sort! And I don’t want to talk about my clothing pile, aka The Pile. Ahhhh I need to get that sorted out, it stresses me out.

… and that wraps up the concrete resolutions! You know, I’m doing better on these than I thought I would be, and I think that this post is just what I needed to kick my butt into gear to try to achieve the rest of them before the year is over.

Now, onto those wibbly-wobbly abstract resolutions:

I resolve to push myself to continue trying, even when I am not improving as quickly as I’d like, and to be more strategic so that I can improve faster.

Sigh… I don’t think I’ve really been pushing myself to do this, and it’s disappointing to acknowledge and admit that. I push myself with fitness now, but I don’t think that’s any excuse for me to not push myself in other areas of my life. It seems like it is, because I am tired afterward, but it’s not. I need to do better here.

I resolve to work to improve the quality of the art I put into the world as a service to myself and to others.

Unfortunately, I haven’t really felt like I’ve done this either? What are the arts I’m even putting out into the world? (I haven’t gone to karaoke at all in 2017?!) This is something I don’t know how I feel about, but it’s not a good feeling, so I will have to take some time to think about how I can turn this one around.

I resolve to make my health a priority by scheduling healthcare appointments with the necessary providers when needed and for checkups.

2017 is the first year I’ve been fully in charge of my own healthcare, having switched over to my employer insurance and getting off my family plan. But I have tried to take this in stride and this has meant a lot of doctor’s appointments. Luckily, nothing bad so far! A lot of follow-ups but that’s not bad either. I am just making sure I’m healthy from a lot of different perspectives. I do have some concerns and I’m not quite sure how I’ll feel if I get those checked and followed-up and there isn’t something diagnosable. It just means… I feel unwell and the doctor can’t tell me how to feel better? But there is nothing serious going on, it’s just small visits and a lot of little bills. I still procrastinate scheduling things (and sometimes paying the bills) for days or weeks but, in general, this has been a bigger priority for me.

I resolve to make myself heard when necessary and not to let potential discomfort and disagreement prevent me from having a voice.

This is so hard. I found myself facing how hard it is yesterday at work, because things were being said that I wasn’t comfortable with and I had to be really un-fun to address it. In the workplace is the hardest place to do this, and unfortunately it just seems to be getting harder. I’m also trying to do this in little ways like speaking up when I’m at a restaurant and the food is straight-up bad, or if someone shoves past me in a line. A lot of times when things like the latter happen, I am too shocked to say something fast enough, but I am working on voicing it. (So that lady who used two hands to push me aside on the escalator the other day? I have words for you!)

… the abstract goals are the hard ones. Because it’s hard to check them off a list on December 31, but it’s very easy to feel that you haven’t achieved them at all. Still, I make them every year because it’s important to keep in mind what kind of person I want to be and what kind of mindset and intentions will help me become that person.


It was a little harder than I thought to take a hard look at my progress with these resolutions, but it was good. I feel reinvigorated to achieve my goals and to become the person I want to be.

How are you doing on your goals and resolutions?
Do you have any tips for me on the ones that I’m slipping on?

Lent 2017

Happy Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, and Pancake Day to any and all who are observing!

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Although I am not Catholic, I have been observing Lent in my own way for the past few years. Lent is the third time at the beginning of the year that I check in on how I am doing with my self-improvement (with my New Year’s resolutions and Chinese New Year reflections being the first two). I take a look at a bad habit that I really want to address and abstain from it. Completely.

I’m the kind of person who has a difficult time doing my vices in moderation. I had to quit chips for an entire year in order to get myself to stop eating them by the family-sized-bag-ful.

In fact, giving up chips was a Lenten initiative a few years ago. (Before I sank into chip addiction and had to give it up without waiting for Lent to come back around.) Lent has been a great way for me to seriously tackle habits of mine. And it works. Really well.

  • I actually struggle to inhale chips the way I used to.
  • I don’t watch nearly as much television as I used to, and I am a child who was partially raised by television. I used to keep time based on when my shows were on. Luckily, I was too lazy to catch up on 6 weeks of shows for the multitude of shows that I was watching in 2015, and I haven’t caught up since. It’s a little crazy to think about how addicted I was to watching all of my shows and think about how lazy I am now with regards to television.
  • I blog on a regular basis now, thanks in part to attempting to do so regularly during Lent.

This year, I wasn’t sure what to give up for Lent until last week. I have been trying to work out and be more active. Along with that, I’m also trying to eat a bit healthier. But I did have a pretty bad day where I ate the leftovers of an appetizer sampler that consisted of mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders, and onion rings.

Basically, I inhaled a bunch of deep-fried food. And I felt absolutely sick to my stomach afterwards. Regardless of how healthily you are or aren’t eating, I think that eating that much fried food in 2 minutes will make you want to throw up.

So I decided it wouldn’t be a terrible idea for me to give up fried food for Lent this year.

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Goodbye, deliciousness.

I don’t feel as apprehensive about Lent this year as I have in past years, like when I was giving up McDonald’s and chips, or when I gave up television but had to let myself have 3 shows to stay keep me company.

However, I do realize this will be a challenge. Many of my favorite foods are deep-fried:

  • Potato chips! (Goodbye again, my loves.)
  • Yeast doughnuts! (Cake ones are fine, but those fluffy yeast ones are where it’s at.)
  • Chicken McNuggets! (You know what’s better than 20 for $5? 40 for $9.)
  • French fries! (’nuff said.)

But I think that going without these deep-fried bits of deliciousness for 40 days and change (I didn’t know that Lent doesn’t include the Sundays when I started out) will be good for me.

I will also be abstaining from swear words during Lent. I prefer not to swear at all, and yet somehow I wind up doing more and more of it until the next year’s Lenten period rolls around. So this year, no swearing during Lent and hopefully none afterwards either!


Do you give up anything for Lent?
What’s a vice you need to cut back on, if you’re more of a moderation
person?

2017 Resolutions

It is that time of year again. Time to reflect on what kind of person I want to be and what I can do to become that person.

2016 was one of the best years yet with regards to achieving personal goals and growth. I made more time for friends, I got and kept a great new job in a brand new career, I have been reading, and I have been blogging on a regular schedule since I actually committed to doing so in February! (With the brief exception of the change in schedule that I made and then immediately realized was a huge mistake.)

So what can I do in 2017 to continue with my self-improvement? With my personal stake in world-improvement? Here are my CONCRETE RESOLUTIONS that I will resolve to have achieved by December 31, 2017…Read More »

2016 Resolutions

Even though it seems contrived to repeat myself year after year after year, my resolutions posts are easily the most important blog posts I write. I could write nothing else but resolution posts and they would validate the existence of my blog, personally. It’s important for me to have them bookmarked so that I can look back on them. Yes, most of the time, most of my resolutions go unkept by December 31, but it’s still important for me to set these goals for myself. I like the promise of a fresh Gregorian calendar year ahead of me to taking more steps towards becoming the person I want to be.

This year, I’m going to do what I’ve been futzing about and not doing in past years: I’m going to schedule time for these resolutions every day, every week, every month. After not achieving certain resolutions year after year after year (see #1 and #2), I really understand the value of me making time for myself and the goals I am setting for myself. Even though my schedule has been — and will remain for some time — painfully uncertain, I can still make sure to make time for goals that are important to me. I’ll denote things I need to schedule with an asterisk(*).

2016 Resolutions
Here we go!

Read More »