Hello 2016!



Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu! Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu.

Happy New Year! I wish you a wonderful 2016.

Now that we’ve said goodbye to 2015, it’s time to look forward to 2016! So, what do I hope to accomplish this year? In 2015, I had a lot of huge life changes (graduating with a Master’s, getting married, and starting a new job), so my 2016 resolutions will be a little less grand.

Looking Forward

In Japan, people make pilgrimages to shrines during the first days of the new year – called hatsumoude 初詣 – to make prayers or wishes for the New Year. Japanese New Year falls on the same days as the Roman new year, unlike the Chinese New Year, which follows the lunar calendar and falls in late January to early February, depending on the year.

Arakura jinja

Arakura Shrine in Yamanashi Prefecture
photo by kei

In the US, we make New Year’s resolutions! The most common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, and this is almost always the first resolution to be broken. Other resolutions include stopping bad habits (junk food, alcohol, tobacco) or saving more or spending less money. I like to focus my resolutions more on attainable goals, so that I can make some reasonable accomplishments by the end of the year.

Blogging goals

In 2015 I dedicated a lot of time to writing about my one-month trip to Tokyo, but now that I am wrapping that up I have been thinking about what direction to take my blog. My blog is about Japan and Japanese culture, but it’s also about international relationships (well, at least my international relationship). So, I would like to expand on my blog’s themes and try to post 2-3 times a week during 2016.

Relationship goals

Living in a new city, I face the challenge of making friends. When I started grad school I had to make new friends, but university is a casual setting where you can meet a wide variety of people. When you start working, it’s harder to meet people outside of your colleagues. I have a lot of friends who are dispersed around the US and Japan, but I can’t meet with them very often. Since I’m married, we don’t really go to bars or any of that stuff because it’s really a singles crowd. So, my goal for 2016 is to find people with common interests and make some friends.

Japanese goals

In 2015 I determined that I wanted to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, but with half the year devoted to my thesis and the other half devoted to settling into a new city and new job, I knew that 2015 would not be the year to take it. However, now that I have settled into my new routine, I think I can be ready to take the JLPT at the end of 2016. It’s only held once a year, so I’ll need to make sure I’m taking the right level of the test (level N5 is the beginning level, N1 is the most proficient level). So, let’s go JLPT 2016!


Shibuya, Japan – photo by kei

Travel goals

I love to travel. Visiting new places and having new experiences is one of the most amazing feelings. However, I also have the problem where I want to go to Japan for every trip. So, in 2016 I’d like to travel to Japan again and visit a city that I haven’t explored yet (there are still quite a few!). This will depend on a lot of things, including time off from work, but I will do my best!

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo skyline from Tokyo Tower
photo by kei

What are your best resolutions or goals for 2016? Let me know in the comments!

8 thoughts on “Hello 2016!

  1. Great list. I liked how you broke it down into categories. And that you were realistic. I’d like to think we are getting smarter on re: New Year’s resolutions, but I don’t know. You’re a good example. Good luck and Happy New Year from the other side of the world! xxoo


    • Thanks! I try to be realistic with myself, because why lie about my expectations? It only hurts me! I think there will always be that frenetic rush to the gym or whatever at the beginning of the new year as people try to change themselves, but then quickly give up. The best thing I’ve found is to have a plan, and to cross things off your list as you achieve them! Happy New Year ^^

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy New Year! Very attainable goals indeed and I look forward to seeing where you take this blog now.

    My New Year was back in October really (I follow the old pagan calendar) but I use January 1 as my check in for how I’m progressing with my goals set a couple of months back. My “resolutions” tend to be more general instead of specific things to accomplish like yours. This year I am working more on focus. Not just in the sense of cutting out distractions but also with really being in the moment. I have been very distracted and scatter-brained in recent years and I really want to pull that in so that I can accomplish tasks more efficiently and so I can completely enjoy moments for what they are.

    In a very poetic way this New Years celebration has slapped me in the face to re-engage my “focus”. Over the last 4 days of the new year I dropped my wallet with my credit card, military ID, about 13,000 yen in Shinagawa station and it hasn’t been turned in and I sprained my ankle pretty bad because I wasn’t stepping with a sure foot. I may blog about this in more detail, it is coming out like a post. Sorry for the long comment. haha


    • What an interesting New Year, I’ve never heard of the pagan calendar one! I think resolutions are different for everyone, but I think that “focus” is a really good theme. I think everyone can use more focus in their life (like the lady who ran into my car at a stoplight when she was messing with her radio…).

      I hope that your 2016 turns around quickly! It’s weird that your wallet hasn’t been turned in by now. I’d be interested in the whole story! I appreciate your long comment and thank you for reading my blog ^^ Happy New Year!


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