If you’re already following me on Instagram, you may already know that I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. For me this is only a list of unicorns that will never transform into reality. My 2017 resolutions were called projects, with certain implementation or accompanied by some sort of plan, hence called New Year’s Projects.
I had several ideas at the back of my mind, so in the beginning of this year, I came up with a plan. I decided to write down these ideas, and after that, brainstorm some sort of implementation process. Today I share with you that list I made in the beginning of the year and will analyze what I have accomplished during these months.
New Year’s projects
Developing a new writing habit
Last year I started blogging about our travel adventures, but I found it difficult to keep a pace with writing, keep the posts coming. I was inconsistent with my posting even when I had things to write about.
Therefore, this year my objective was to develop a new habit of writing. The plan was to write in the train on my way to work, during holidays, or at random moments, in order to develop my writing skills. It’s like having a diary where you can express yourself without worrying about format or readers. Most often I make bullet point lists, write travel destination introduction, or even a full blog post during a train ride.
I am writing on paper, as it’s easier for me, it feels more liberating. At first, I was not sure in which language I was going to write, but finally I used the three of them (my every day thoughts are mostly in French and Romanian, but some concepts are easier to express directly in English).
I don’t find writing easy, and most often I find excuses to do something else, like drawing, or doing my homework for the Japanese classes I take Wednesday evening; so this is not necessarily a bad thing, as it reaches into my other New Year’s projects.
Working towards improving my Japanese skills
It’s been 4 years I’ve been studying Japanese as my fourth language. I started off working by myself to learn basic phrases and kana syllabaries, and when couldn’t improve rapidly on my own, I started taking Japanese classes (with Espace Japon, and after with Mairie de Paris in Paris).
Ever since we’ve returned from Japan, my partner and I have been dreaming to go back and live there for a while. Language is still a barrier, so we have to do everything we can in order to improve our skills.
So, in the beginning of this year, my project was to consciously do all my homework, and even some extra listening exercises.
I thought I was waaay behind with the listening part, because I never play the CD that came with the book. In the evening we prefer watching some animés, so I guess this still counts as listening exercises.
I also almost never write the essays requested in the homework. When I don’t like the theme, I twitch it a little, such that I can write about what I love. So far I have written some essays about our travels from countries like Myanmar or Greece. This way, I am not forcing myself into making stuff out, I write about and from my own experiences. I guess this works, isn’t it?
Having a travel diary
This objective started at the end of last year, during our trip to Myanmar. Rémi would assiduously take notes and narrate what had happened during the day, carefully listing all of our daily expenses and doing all the finance, recount the money and check if we are within the budget I had established. I have obtained a hell-of-a-post with all that information gathered from Myanmar.
He’s done it again for Greece, and only making lists of expenses when traveling locally during the weekend. His notes are very precious to me and I appreciate his dedication.
I failed this objective miserably, whilst Rémi is rocking it.
Having an illustrated travel diary
One of my biggest regrets is not being able to stop procrastinating. I love drawing, but sometimes I lack inspiration, and often times I lack the will to start a new piece. It’s like I’m having Schrodingeresque thoughts: I want to draw and don’t want to at the same time. I fear failure and I am harsh to myself, therefore, instead of practicing, I just venture these thoughts in my head.
So this year, I really wanted to create something. Like a big project. I mentioned an illustrated book in a previous post about drawing. I have several ideas and still don’t know which one of them will prevail.
For Christmas, Rémi offered me this awesome illustrated book with tips and recommendations of why I should keep an illustrated travel diary. It really inspired me and gave me a lots of ideas of what I could do.
So while on holiday, I am drawing during lunch, or whenever we need to take a quick break. I draw something interesting, a symbol of the city I’m in on an average time of 20 minutes. Soon I will dedicate a blog post to present my works.
I think this objective is a huge achievement and I am glad I added it to my New Year’s Projects!
Reducing my plastic waste
As I love our planet and the nature and everything I am discovering throughout our travels, I feel I am indebted towards Mother Earth to protect it. I am well aware that I am only one person, but I know there are others like me who would like to do something, but they feel their impact won’t matter.
You may already know that I am in a start up where I contribute to reducing the carbon print in Aviation field.
Another idea I had in mind was to stop buying packaged food and to bring my own cooked food for the lunch at work. There are still days when I don’t bring my lunch and I am obliged into buying packed food, but not that often as before.
The side advantage of bringing your own food to work is saving lots of money!
A double win for implementing this as one of the New Year’s Projects.
Making my balcony greener
It’s not a secret I love plants and flowers. It goes hand in hand with my love for the Earth.
When we moved in, 4 years ago, I was so glad we had a balcony, that I vowed I would fill it with flowers! And so I did! And soon after, we even bought a small table for eating on the balcony whenever the weather would let us.
But… in the beginning I used some fertilizer that wasn’t so green. I used it maybe twice, at 6 months interval, when I realized it actually irritated my throat. Why have plants and flowers, I thought to myself, if bees cannot come anymore because of this product? So as simple as that, I stopped pouring chemicals into my plants. Once, one of the plants developed some sorts of green flees, so I put some water with cigarette ashes on it. Eventually they went off.
Last summer Rémi brought me 2 pots of lavender and I was so happy, because they smell really good and some bees dropped by.
Now my balcony is greener than ever!