2017 was… a year.
Personally, it wasn’t my best, but it definitely wasn’t my worst, either. It was a very average year… although that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Sure, my grandfather passed away and I went through a couple of bouts of depression, but some good things happened, too. I got to go home to Australia and see my family twice, spent time with friends old and new, went to see some of my favourite artists live, and made some great discoveries.
In the end, it all kind of evened out in to an average year, and that’s perfectly fine. That’s life, really.
Looking back, there were definitely things that I wish I could have done or at least pushed myself to achieve over the past year, but there’s always this year. Better late than never, right?
So, here’s a few things I hope to achieve in 2018.
Get a new job… in Tokyo
When I first applied for the JET Programme, I told myself that I would only do it for two years, unless I seriously felt that I needed to stay for longer. My second year ends in the summer, and suffice to say that I think it’s time to move on. At this point, I feel as though I’ve gotten just as much as I can out of my time on the JET Programme, and I’m ready to get started on my long-term career in the big city.
The mere thought of even telling my office that I won’t be re-contracting is daunting as all hell, but life isn’t without its challenges… although the real challenge will be looking for a job and apartment in Tokyo. Wish me luck!
Improve my budgeting skills and save some money
This is a doozy. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m not the best with money… and with a move to Tokyo looming on the horizon, it’s something I need to improve on sooner rather than later.
I’ve started out small by regularly emptying change out of my wallet, and I’m hoping to get my spending habits sorted well enough that I can just put aside a lump sum every month by the end of the year. Baby steps.
Be more organised
Another thing I struggle with. If you couldn’t tell simply from the rate at which I update this blog, time management isn’t exactly my strongest suit. You could even call me the queen of procrastination. I’ve even spent many a year procrastinating merely fixing this habit, so it’s really been a long time coming.
Correcting a lifelong bad habit is going to take work, but it’s something I’ve started laying the foundations for… mostly by buying a bunch of diaries and calendars, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?
Take care of myself better
If last year taught me anything, it’s that I need to take care of myself better both physically and mentally. Like I said in the beginning of this post, I went through a couple of bouts of depression last year, and it was entirely my own fault. Long story short, I suffer from hypothyroidism (which means my thyroid doesn’t produce thyroxine, a very important hormone for bodily function), and I generally wasn’t the best at taking my medicine for a while there. As a result, my thyroid levels were down, and that chemical imbalance paved the way for depression. Fun stuff!
Recently I’ve been much better at taking my medicine, and I’m confident that I’ll be able to keep it up, but this goal is much more than that. I’ve always struggled with self-esteem issues and social anxiety, no matter the state of my hypothyroidism, so I’m hoping that I can set myself down a path toward self-acceptance, even if it means I’ve only taken the first few steps by the end of the year.
The first step is going to be making time to meditate in the morning, right after I get up. I’ve downloaded the Headspace app, which I have heard many great things about, and I’m going to try to make it a consistent part of my daily routine.
Also, I want to cook more. As tempting as it is to swing by the nearby Family Mart on my home from work, I think I need to start putting more effort in to maintaining a healthy diet. I’ve been trying to cook more throughout the week, even if it’s just super basic. Looking forward to potentially cooking more… though that might have to wait until I get to Tokyo because my current kitchen doesn’t quite inspire me to cook. Seriously, it’s super tiny.
Be more creative
This one is a little more straight-forward. Last year, I wasn’t nearly as creative in my personal life as I wanted to be, and part of that has to do with the fact that I write, take photos, and make videos for work. As much as I wanted to do all that in my free time, I found myself spending more time watching Netflix and playing video games. Both things I sincerely enjoy, but things I probably shouldn’t be using spending all my free time doing.
Updating this blog more often is something I hope to do more often, as with taking more photos and making more videos. I suspect this will be easier once I move to Tokyo, but I’m still hoping to be more creative on my own time while I’m still in Fukui.
And last but not least, travel. When I moved to Japan almost two years ago, I told myself that I would get out and see more of Japan and Asia but… that hasn’t quite happened. Admittedly this has more to do with my own laziness than anything, but I’m hoping to get out a little more on weekends this year, even if I’m just popping over to neighbouring prefectures.
And those are the biggest of my goals. Obviously I’m not expecting these things to just happen overnight, but at least they’re something to work towards, no?
With that, here’s to another year!