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