New Year’s Resolutions 2021
Although I do believe that we can choose each and every second to make a resolution, I also enjoy taking time at the turn of a New Year to make some very specific resolutions for myself. Following I break down some very simple resolutions into specific and actionable items, or SMART. Looking forward to seeing how the follow-through goes!
Personal Resolution: Reading and Movement
I don’t think I’ve ever had a resolution or goal to get my body weight to a certain number, but I do like putting together resolutions that are measurable as I’ll know whether or not I’ve achieved what I’ve set out to achieve. By just saying I’ll read and exercise more, I’m not exactly sure what that means. If I put a number on these two items, I can clearly establish what it is I’ll be aiming for. In 2021 I’ll give myself the seemingly simple and clear task of devoting 10 minutes a day to exercise and 10 minutes a day to reading. This is of course the bare minimum, and if I exceed this amount, all the better.
Professional: Company Podcast with at least 5 Episodes
Although my current switch from the world of experiential education and travel to the once foreign jungle of the IT industry has not been without its bumps and false starts, I feel I’m finally starting to find a rhythm of my own within the company where I have worked since June, 2020, as Chief Learning Officer (CLO) in Pershing Technology Systems Corporation (PTSC). One of the things that I have most enjoyed in this company has been the amount of self-directed exploration and learning I’ve been able to do, especially with regards to putting together the internal company newsletter, utilising Microsoft’s Sway application and finding it surprisingly and pleasantly uncomplicated to navigate. As the newsletter has been a joy in exploring the ins and outs of the company, as well as exercising my own written Chinese language skills in combination with this new platform, I’m hoping to continue the once a month newsletter with the addition of starting an internal Chinese-language podcast, specifically for the employees within the company. My goal is to have at least 5 published Chinese language podcasts for 2021.
Parenting: Don’t look at my phone when holding my newborn
By the time this post goes live I’ll be two weeks away from meeting my first child outside of the comfort of their mother’s uterus. It’s such a broad and sweeping (and terrifying) statement to say that I want to be a good father. I’m not exactly sure what it means to be a good father, but it’s a role that I’m very much looking forward to exploring. Still, there are things that I can do and things that I can restrict myself from doing in order to facilitate showing unconditional love and attention for my newborn child. One simple action that is measurable and easy to grasp is to give my child my full attention when holding him or her. One of the things that I can do in order to accomplish this goal is to make sure I’m not distracted with my phone or any device when holding my child. It sounds easy, but I’m certain I’ll be tempted to let a free hand wander here or there when I get a bit cocky. Hope to build healthy parenting habits starting very soon, as I’m already reading up on how detrimental it is for childhood development to be a distracted parent.
Musical: To learn one Japanese Enka (演歌) Song
In our household, English is probably spoken 95% of the time with Chinese and Japanese making up the other 5%. This will change with the upcoming birth of our firstborn before the end of the month as I’ll speak English, and my wife will speak Japanese to our child. I have to admit, I’m kind of excited that I’ll be hearing more Japanese spoken in our house as I think it’s good for my brain as well, and it will help me pick up my language skills. As part of this anticipation of more Japanese language being spoken in the house, I’ve been spending time listening to more Japanese music, particularly “Enka” 演歌. This is a typical type of karaoke-style ballad music that you could hear at a lonely izakaya bar while drinking the last drops of a hot sake on a snowy Hokkaido afternoon, all the while thinking about all the things that went wrong with an ex-lover. Although the music is dramatic and filled with bittersweet regret, I have nothing but hope and anticipation towards getting one solid enka song under my belt.
Writing: Publish 3 Fully Chinese Blogs
I was able to successfully make it through 2020 with the goal of publishing a piece of writing on Medium each and every week. I made it a target of mine to have a piece live and up by 10pm each Sunday, Taipei time. The length or content of the piece didn’t matter, the most important thing was to be consistently putting up material in a scheduled and structured manner. In 2020, I was even able to publish a Chinese language translated version of my article about the importance of 1–1s , using Medium as a platform. I’d like to increase my output of Chinese material to 3 articles in 2021.
Relationship: Pre-Sleep Massages
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned about pregnancy during these past 9 months, it has to be that the woman’s body is a mysterious an amazing territory that men will never truly comprehend. There are so many hormonal changes that happen throughout pregnancy, and while we might not totally understand the reasons for them, it’s our job and responsibility to be there to support the mother to the best of our ability. Reading up on these changes has been enlightening, but really the most important thing is to listen to what the physical and emotional needs are, and they are different for each expectant mother. Recently, my wife has been experiencing a condition called restless leg syndrome which sometimes affects women during pregnancy. She describes it as feeling like “many insects are moving inside my legs,” combined with an urge to move her legs, take off the blanket, and put her feet up on the bedroom wall. Often, the feeling is most intense at night just before sleeping. Fortunately, I’ve been able to provide some relief for this condition with evening massages, finding pressure points, and getting positive feedback. In my estimation, it’s the least amount of effort that I can do, and I hope to continue these efforts throughout 2021 with nightly massages of some sort, even if just for a few minutes each evening.
Just the Beginning
Creating a list of goals and things I want to do for the future is always something I enjoy, as there’s a feeling of the sky being the limit that comes with goal-setting. It’s a joy to start the ball rolling on the path to self development and self care. I may not be successful with all of these goals, and they may change or evolve over time. Nothing is set in stone, of course, and these resolutions don’t define my future, but rather give me a bit of igniter fuel to continue on the journey that has already crossed over from 2020. Looking ahead is full of limitless possibilities, looking back is full of fading memories. The present is really a resolution in itself; it’s in our hands and in our grasp for us to resolve with our free will as we take ownership over each and every “now-moment,” transforming present to future.