Tag Archives: resolutions


Well, I made chicken salad…it was good.

And my kids are more stylish (thanks, ebay)

How I’m Doing On Goals and Pseudo-Resolutions

I resolved to focus on my career, bought an interview suit, and am now on the fence about even looking.  My reason for this change of heart is that I want to enjoy my shorter commute and low-stress job. It’s not that my job is without its stresses and deadlines;  it’s just that I’m a seasoned pro here who knows my job well, including short cuts and knowing the right people to ask for help in most situations. Any new job entails a learning curve and possibly longer work hours and the main reason for our move was to increase my time with the kids.

What I have done:

  • I sort of updated my Linked In skills/profile.
  • I read one or two articles related to my field.  It’s a struggle as I’m constantly tempted by other reading materials.  Now if I can apply what I read to my work, that would be a bonus.
  • I emailed my boss about upping the game in terms of building my skills at my current job. I figure that if I’m too lame to make a serious move and check outside options or go for higher titles, then I should make the most of my current situation.

Still, it feels like the new suit hanging in my closet is a constant reminder of my backpedaling ways!

In other areas:

I ate french fries two days in a row.  I didn’t make a resolution to eat healthier but eating worse is never a goal of mine!

I have not stepped into my gym in months.

I have prepped dinner a few nights but still find it a challenge to make the most of my extra half hour per night.

I am trying to not let the house fall into utter disorder/mess before cleaning.  I sweep up almost daily and try not to let things pile up.  This is good in a way as I’m learning that big cleanings are a bigger chore and headache.  The not so good part is that I end up doing more cleaning overall.

I have snapped at my husband (and others) much too often.  Not doing well in terms of appreciating loved ones.

I’m still a stressful basket case at times (though no longer due to traffic and commute!)

I have done some armchair activism but nothing more.

I signed up for a class — nothing related to work, just fun time with the kids.   I can’t wait…

I’m taking a photo a day. It’s not about being creative or artistic, although I try my best. It’s about documenting the small things in life from a messy sink to messy desk to a messy family life.  A mess is what I got…

So even though I didn’t officially make resolutions, in the back of my mind, I still have some goals that I’m trying to achieve..or not.  How are you doing on your goals and resolutions?

2013 Goals: It’s All About Career Focus

Last year, I tried to address my fears, from dancing in front of strangers to trying the crock pot.  That was a fun resolution but nothing that I would worry about if I forgot about it by the mid-year mark.  In 2013,  however, I’ve decided to seriously focus on my career.  I’ve noticed not-too-subtle signs that my reputation at work has fallen.  I don’t get the big, showy projects.  I am loaded with more repetitive “grunt” work.  Someone thought I had the time to join the party planning committee.   Unless I re-invest in my career capital (read Cloud’s great post about career capital), I think I’m in danger of phasing myself out of a job.

So here are my 2013 Goals:

Read Career-related articles at least once a week or more!: As Cloud suggested, it’s a good idea to use your lunch hour or at least half of it, to read up on career-related articles.  Although this sounds easy, it’s much easier for me to spend that time reading glossy magazines or books!

Attend 1 career-related event or seminar: There are many conferences related to my field and I don’t really think they can help my career.  However, it doesn’t hurt to attend one or two.  You never know who you’ll connect with!

Learn A New Skill, or Improve Current Skills: I hope to do this at work.  Taking Revanche’s advice, I’m going to take the initiative to ask my boss for more challenges.

Start A Side Business! This is a big one as well as a tricky one because it involves family.  A side project is a perfect opportunity to stretch my skill set and test out the effectiveness of my ideas.  However, it’s also likely that this will go nowhere unless I act more like a hands-on business partner than a consultant.

Update C.V. and Linked In: It’s time to dust off that old C.V. and make sure all my current skills and accomplishments are there.  I also need to look at job listings and see what’s out there.  It may simply be time to move on and start fresh.

Do What You Love?: I would also like to take a moment or two to think about what really makes me happy at work, and to think about my next career move.  Part of me thinks I can stay in my field until retirement age,  but another part of me thinks that I probably would need to re-invent myself later in life.

I also want to take this time to thank Revanche, Cloud, Nicole&Maggie, Hush and many others who have chimed in with career-related advice from time to time.  I realized that I only have one real-life friend who I can discuss this topic with, and when we meet in person, we have so many other things to talk about that career isn’t top of the mind. I can’t really talk about this with my freelancing husband because he doesn’t quite have the understanding of long-time office politics, AND any talk of job insecurity will freak him out.  So, thanks all!  If not for you guys, I probably would have remained too complacent about my career.

Are you thinking about your 2013 resolutions/goals yet? Any ideas that I could add to my list above? 

BTW, I need to print out this post or I’ll probably forget my own resolution by mid-year!

To Do Or Not To Do

Another Every Wednesday Post…

I am toying with the idea of not having a to-do list. Would that really be possible? I don’t remember having one in college and I was fine.  It’s probably not completely feasible.  For one, I would still have to keep the following lists:

  1. To-do list for work (I don’t think boss would appreciate my ban on lists)
  2. A shopping list (I don’t want to wander around the supermarket for hours)
  3. Calendar for appointments (I think doctors don’t like it if you forget appointments)

However, it would be nice to wake up on a to-do list to follow and check off.  What would that day look like?  Would I run out of underwear? Would I run out of food? Would I forget to pay bills?  Would I remember to have fun? 

I think I have a “fear” of not planning and this goes beyond to-do list of chores and errands. To sum it up, if you remember that fable about the grasshopper and the ant, I don’t want to be the grasshopper.  I fear that if I give in to my grasshopper tendencies, five years will go by and I will be in the same spot, a spot that I don’t love very much. 

While I don’t think planning life to the last detail is great or even really feasible, I do think that planners I’ve met accomplish more than those who live day-to-day.  That’s not a bad thing if your goal is to just enjoy life, but I think most of us do have goals, big or small, that would make us feel happier but can be easily forgotten in the frenzy of life.

Do you keep a to-do list? Could you live an unplanned life?

2012 Resolution

Another Every Wednesday Post…

In 2011, I made a list of small and some fairly vague goals.  Since I didn’t make my list til late 2011, I’m not sure if you can really count it as success or failure but here goes:

1) Update wardrobe – Yes, I did some shopping. I still need to buy new shoes.

2) Eat fish at least twice a week  – So/so. Some weeks were better than others. I’ll still try to do this in 2012.

3) Not to focus on saving money – Sometimes.

4) Enjoy parenthood – Yes. Yes?

5) Exercise on weekends – Fail.

5) Don’t expect others to read my mind – So/so.

6) Pamper myself – Yes, I did make some effort to enjoy time to myself without guilt.  

7) Let go of my idea of a “perfect” clean house – Yes.

For 2012, I wanted to keep it simple and come up with one big goal instead of several small ones.  So even though it’s a vague, non-actionable goal and experts recommend that you set goals that are concrete and action-able (i.e take a yoga class vs. lose weight), I’m just going to set one big vague goal: Attack My Fears, or not let my fears hold me back.

I don’t want to let my fears hold me back from tackling new challenges in life or work.  Whether that means uprooting myself from my home country or just learning new things on the job or taking a new class, I’m not 100% sure.  I just know that when I look back at my proudest moments and accomplishments, it usually involved taking myself out of my comfort zone.

If I come up with concrete actions, I’ll let you know….

December 1: Goals Update

Ah..Goals and resolutions…it gets harder to stay motivated as the days go by, especially with the holidays coming. 

Of course, the holidays make it a prime time to enjoy parenthood (as long as you’re not one of those parents who obsess about the “perfect” Martha Stewart holiday).  I think our “tradition” consists of simple gifts (low expectations), email cards that are sent on Christmas Eve, a few Christmas TV specials, hot chocolate, Christmas music which somehow don’t sound cheesy this time of year, and a small family get-together.  I do like to decorate a little but not sure I will this year. 

Gift Wrapping Idea from Oh Happy Day

Without further ado, here’s how it’s going with my regular goals/resolutions. Let’s hope they don’t get too side-tracked by the holidays.

Update wardrobe. Purchased J. Crew belt for $8 (sale + gift card). Purchased 1 pair of cotton weekend pants ($4o). I have not shopped for a pair of dark straight leg jeans, wrap  dress or anything else on my priority list.

Eat fish at least twice a week.  Doing good, due to making it my default menu choice. However, it’s a challenge when I go to food courts and there are so many options available!

Don’t focus on saving money too much.  This is a tough one. I’ve been avoiding frugality blogs and websites.  I enjoy reading these but I often need a break or I’ll start thinking that everyone in the world cares that much about finances.

Enjoy parenthood. I’ve been going to fun “exercise” classes for kids, i.e. basically a structured playtime that tires kids out and makes them less resistant to nap time…Genius!

Exercise on the weekends.  Do “Mommy & Me” exercise classes count? How about going non-stop on weekends doing chores and chasing toddlers instead of sleeping in and watching TV like I did in the good old days…?

Don’t expect others to read my mind.  I am direct about my concerns on big issues but I still feel like we/I tiptoe around some issues due to family dynamics etc.. Sometimes it’s more important to keep the peace. Also, it’s hard to be very direct with parents about money-related issues.

Pamper myself.  An appointment got unexpectedly cancelled but I had already taken that time off from work.  Rather than going straight to the office, I enjoyed a morning walk on a crisp autumn day.  For some reason the  sound of birds chirping and cars speeding by reminded me of Europe.  I shopped, stopped at Starbucks and then headed in to work.

Let go of my idea of a “perfect” clean house!  Just having this resolution on my list forces me to worry less about a messy house. Of course we do have cleaning help right now and I don’t know how I would feel if I couldn’t afford help and our cleanliness standards fell even lower! Note: My husband made a comment about the dirty sink — I guess my standards have fallen to the point that he notices.  Should I tell him it’s part of my resolution?

How are you doing on your goals? Is anyone thinking of 2012 goals yet?

Goals: Accountability

Even with my goals posted, I still have to read through it daily in order to remember and take action.  Of course the best thing about posting up goals on a blog is accountability so here goes…

  • Update wardrobe. Purchased so far this year – $30 for a sweater, belt and striped shirt (via a Land’s End Canvas LivingSocial Deal), $26 for a sweater and $35 cotten dress perfect for next summer.  I also realize that I need to create a list so that I don’t go overboard so here goes in terms of priority plus my maximum price: 1 pair of dark straight leg jeans ($50),  1 jersey wrap type dress (work/casual; $40),  1 skirt (work/casual; $40), 1 pair of ballet flats or heels (preferably in brown/neutral tones; $70),  1 -2 blouses that are comfy as t-shirts but more  dressed up ($20 each).
  • Eat fish at least twice a week.  At least once – twice a week, I’m making this my default choice. If there’s fish on the menu, I’ll order it (unless it’s fried).  Leaving myself “no choice” is probably the only way I can remember this goal!
  • Don’t focus on saving money too much.  I am constantly reminding myself that I’ve rarely found lower prices on diapers and wipes than at Amazon.com, although I don’t know if this is still true now that they dropped their discount from 30% to 20% only.   I still compare prices way too often.
  • Enjoy parenthood. Sometimes this is easy; sometimes incredibly hard.
  • Exercise on the weekends.  Not happening….
  • Don’t expect others to read my mind.  My poor husband should appreciate this one.  I should also add “not to make mountains out of mole hills.” I sort of “let it go” in terms of a comment he made and the anger dissipated quickly rather than blow up.
  • Pamper myself.  I bought myself an iced coffee,  just because.
  • Let go of my idea of a “perfect” clean house! 

Bonus goal of doing good: Bought co-worker an iced coffee, praised several colleagues that helped me on a big project, looked into joining a credit union.

I’ll do my next update in early December.