2015: Goal Setting

They call it the "fresh start effect" - that phenomenon behind gyms being full, employees reporting to work early, and junk food not getting consumed in the days immediately after the New Year. The idea is that people are more likely to purse their goals with renewed vigor following temporal landmarks - in this case, the start of a new calendar year. And while we've all had our share of broken resolutions, I think it's still a good idea to harness this not-so-newfound motivation.

Photo taken at the start of my first (turbulent) flight of the year

Goal #1: Go someplace new.
Or: Shop less, Travel more. Research has shown that experiences provide more enduring happiness than material things, and yet here I am stubbornly going through purchase after purchase. It does not compute. And as much as I love Tokyo, there is still the rest of the world waiting to be discovered.

Goal #2: Read at least one book a month.
I used to be able to read a lot, back when I still had to commute to work. Now that I only have to walk to the office, I feel like I no longer have the time to read, when in fact I have plenty - it's just that I have to do it at home and not inside a moving vehicle. I probably would have to spend less time on Facebook, but hey, that's a good thing.

Goal #3: Create a capsule wardrobe.
One of my key insights from the minimalist project is that I have a closet which does not make sense, primarily because I keep buying 'meh' pieces just because they are on sale. So my target for this year is to create a cohesive wardrobe that reflects my own personal style (if you could call it that) with pieces I truly enjoy wearing. It's time to stop looking, and feeling, frumpy.

Goal #4: Learn something new.
Last year I signed up for (beginner) German classes. They were paid for by the company but conducted externally. There was the initial trepidation of being in a tiny classroom with strangers, but I ended up immensely enjoying myself. In fact, I never missed a class, even if we were allowed to skip up to three, and I completed it with a sehr gut rating in the written exam (of which I am disproportionately proud of). Hopefully I'll be able to take the next round of classes, but at any rate I have (re)discovered that there is joy to be found in learning new things. Indeed, now that I think about it, the people I admire the most, in the office and elsewhere, are the people who never stop learning.

Goal #5: Have a better grip on my finances.
I am simply way past the age when "do not go into credit card debt" is an acceptable financial goal (for the record, I didn't).

Goal #6: Yoga.
I have been wanting to practice yoga for ages, but laziness always gets the better of me. That, and the fear of going to a studio full of strangers by my lonesome. I know for a fact that it goes away after the first class - as evidenced by my Barre3 experience - but that initial step is always the most difficult, isn't it?

Goal #7: Simplify.
There is beauty in living with less. 2015 is the year I get rid of all the clutter.

Ready. Set. Go.


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