Resolutions for 2015

I used to be a cynic in regards to new year resolutions. My line of thought was that if you really wanted to accomplish something you would just go ahead and do it, not wait until an arbitrary date to begin. Good in theory, but I think I was missing the point. Although January 1st truly is arbitrary, time itself is a rather nebulous concept, and having a set date to reflect and gather one’s thoughts is a valuable opportunity.

2014 was a rather good year for me. I earned a Master’s degree, got my first job in the IT industry, moved to Singapore, started a podcast, and travelled to Vietnam, Penang, and Melbourne for the first time. I already had ideas for the coming year before sitting down to write this. I’d like to keep growing Frequency Asia, and travel if I have the chance. I also want to keep pushing my software development skills and succeed in my new job.

But I also wanted to expand my horizons into some new areas - things I’ve dreamed of accomplishing (or even just attempting) over the years. I decided to make 12 resolutions for 2015; ostensibly one for each month, but some of them will take a lot more than a month to achieve, while others might take a much shorter time. I tried to avoid vague resolutions and stick to more solid goals, so that by the end of the year I will be able to look back and give a firm yes or no on whether I had completed that resolution.

Learn Malay

This is the only resolution I’m making that doesn’t have a discrete goal state. Having lived in China for 5 years, I often get asked the question if I am fluent in Mandarin, to which I usually awkwardly reply that I can get by in China. I don’t feel comfortable assessing my own language ability (ironic given that I worked as a language teacher for those 5 years, and that my girlfriend is also a language teacher), so instead this resolution will consist of spending each morning studying Malay for 30 minutes. I might not be fluent by the end of the year, but hopefully I will have put in enough effort to converse in Malay.

Get a tattoo

I’m reserving the right to back out of this one, but it’s something I’ve been considering for a while. I’ve always joked that I would never get a tattoo due to my fear of needles, but that was just to cover up a deeper concern - indecisiveness. My fear is that I would immediately regret any tattoo I got. Let’s see if I can kill that fear.

Write a book

A novel, a short story, something non-fiction, it just has to qualify as a book. It’s a pretty big undertaking, but I imagine it’ll be worth it.

Make a book

Yes, this is different from the previous resolution. I want to physically bind a book. I plan to make a compilation of interesting articles I read in 2014, print them, then bind them as a book. I’ll post more information about this project in the next week or two.

Release an app

And make money from it. Capitalistic, yes, but I’d like to see if I could do it. It doesn’t need to be a lot, and the app itself could be huge or tiny.

Make candles

This is a DIY project I’ve been considering for a while. My last room in Beijing was tiny and had little ventilation, so I took to using candles to make it smell a little nicer. Ikea had a range of candles that smelt just like donuts to me. Candles tend to come with more feminine scents, so I’d like to try making candles with some interesting, more stereotypically masculine flavours such as bacon, whiskey, or sawdust.

Be debt free

I got so close to paying off my credit card when I moved back to Australia, but the reality of being a uni student set in and the debt started to rise again. It’s not a lot of money to be honest, but it’s still a good goal to accomplish.

Go on a long-distance cycling trip

I’m going to be vague on the terms of this one as I’m not really sure of my capabilities. This would likely be a trip from Singapore to somewhere Malaysia, possibly Malacca. The general objective though will be to ride somewhere far enough away from home that I need to get a hotel room.

Start a band, play shows, release music

I really miss playing guitar in a band, so I hardly even need to make it a resolution. So I’ve upped the ante to include playing shows and releasing music. That’ll keep me on my toes.

Get in touch with people

I’m slack when it comes to communicating to people, so I’m going to try and email/message an old friend I haven’t spoken to in a while each week of the year (or possibly more).

Don’t use electronics thirty minutes before I sleep

Apparently they’re killing me.

Make maps

I’ve always loved maps. For the last 8 years or so that passion has been channelled into the computer games produced by Paradox Interactive. They make historical grand strategy games such as the Europa Universalis and Crusader Kings series. I’ve played A LOT of them (between CKII and EUIV I’ve clocked 1000 hours), so much that I had to delete Steam and swear of games. I still have a map-shaped desire somewhere deep in my cerebral cortex though, so to try and satiate it I want to try and make maps. Like big, wood framed, hang on your wall, maps. My brain is in overdrive just thinking about it (yeah I know, I’m odd).