Since the month is about halfway over, I thought it might be time to make some New Year’s resolutions! 2015 is promising to be a big year for me, so I might as well start it out right. In Japanese, a New Year’s resolution is a 新年の抱負(しんねんのほうふ/shin’nen no houfu).
新年／しんねん／shin’nen = new year
抱負／ほうふ／houfu = resolution
Did I make any resolutions in 2014? I don’t think I did. Last January my then-boyfriend (now-fiancé) was returning to Japan because his studies in the US were complete, and I was studying for my Master’s comprehensive oral exam, so resolutions as such were not on my to-do list. I’m also not normally a New Year’s resolution maker, although I often set short-term goals throughout the year. Recently, I’ve been reading some resolutions others have written in their blogs, and I’m also writing in a blog, so I thought I ought to come up with some. So here is a breakdown of my resolutions!
Earn my Master’s degree
This is my most important resolution and my most time consuming resolution. However, I think that I can safely put this at the top of my list! I am writing my thesis whilst finishing up my research, and it’s looking promising. I did take a month-long trip to Japan during which I primarily spent time with my fiancé and neglected my research; however, I am now back in the states and ready to delve head-on into the last bits of my work. Many of my other resolutions hinge on this resolution, so it’s quite an important one!
Start working in a real-world job
This is also a top-of-the-list resolution. Once my thesis is completed and defended, the next step is to take all my newfound knowledge and apply it to the real world. I am confident in my ability to transition into a job in my field once my research is completed. While I have some concerns related to the job arena, I still rate my chance of success at the upper end.
My final top-of-the-list resolution, which in some measure depends on the accomplishment of the first two resolutions. Once the first two resolutions are completed, the all-important visa should be ready to go and my fiancé and I can make it official. As for a real wedding? That’s on my future mother-in-law’s list for me, but I’m not sure how that will work out.
I started this blog to share about my personal experiences in an international long-distance relationship and my love of Japan, and through it I’ve found interesting people and their amazing blogs. I’d like to continue blogging and communicating with the new people I’ve met. I hope others enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it. Thanks for your comments and everything in 2014, and I look forward to meeting new people and continuing hearing from everyone in 2015! 今年もよろしくお願いします！
Study for and pass the JLPT
The Japanese Language Proficiency Test is a measure of your proficiency in Japanese. It’s a standardized test, but it’d be nice to have on my resume something a little more professional than “I can talk Japanese good.” First, I have to figure out what level I could qualify for, then improve my kanji ability and do some practice exams. This is, of course, a post grad-school goal!
Read something real-world on a daily basis
I read plenty of scientific articles related to my research, related to my field, and related to other science I find interesting. In my spare time I read light fiction novels as a contrast to the scientific journal articles which require a lot of mental work. However, I realize that I haven’t got a lot of exposure to real-world events in my daily life. I could literally be caught in a blizzard and not know it, I’m so oblivious. So I thought I should spend at least some time daily reading about real-world events in order to be more informed.
Become a better photographer
I enjoy taking photographs, but I’m really just a novice with a point-and-shoot. I aim to take a course in photography to improve my understanding of DSLRs and learn how to take pretty photographs. And then take some photos. Post-grad school, of course.
I would like to eat healthier, as many other people do, but this is particularly challenging during this last semester. As a grad student, I often grab something that only slightly resembles food in between research and writing and other school-related things. Whilst still in the grips of grad school I’d like to improve my eating habits. Today I wondered if I was getting scurvy because I wanted everything citrus-related. Plus I haven’t been eating more than once a day since I got back from Japan so it might actually be scurvy…
Improve upper-body strength
My final goal is to improve my upper-body strength. I’ve been in football (aka soccer) since I could run without falling over so I have no problem with running and kicking, but my upper-body strength has always been lacking. I’d like to be more buff!
I’m looking forward to 2015!