An Exercise in Accountability: The New Year’s Resolutions Post

I’m sitting up in bed thinking about New Year’s Resolutions.  With Chris curled up sleeping peacefully next to me and the sound of rain and traffic outside our window, it seems like the perfect time to write as opposed to say, erm, getting out of bed to go running.  At least technically these resolutions start tomorrow. 🙂

Since things are changing so much and I’m going to be giving up the structure and routines we are used to (a full-time office job, moving/unpacking either ourselves or Chris’ mom every 2 months for the last 6 months, traditional DC brunch, etc) I’m perhaps a little extra obsessed with goal-ultimatums to keep me moving and reaching even when every semblance of normalcy has changed.  So some of the items on this list are goals, some are resolutions, some are probably laughably aspirational; but in any case, it  will be interesting to look back at them next year, after 8 months of living in Chengdu, China.

Resolutions/Goals/Aspirations (in no particular order):

1. Run five days a week (4 if I’m doing longer runs) every week possible

2. Do 10-15 minutes of abs and strength exercises everyday

this is the improvised routine I’ve been (mostly) following since last January and it works pretty well.  I run for somewhere in the ballpark of 30 minutes (long enough to get my heart rate up-short enough to convince myself to get out of bed to do it in the morning) then do some abs and light free weights (mostly arm exercises) in our living room while watching T.V. or talking to Chris.  The whole thing takes less than 45 minutes per day, doesn’t leave me raging with hunger, and keeps me feeling fit if not in shape most of the time-I highly recommend it for busy people interested in just staying trim.

3. Take a yoga class-I love yoga but never do it regularly, maybe in China I’ll have more time.

4. Find a marathon in China and (maybe) train for it.  This may be a bit aspirational but we’ll see.

5. Learn how to buy groceries, housewares, clothes, etc and barter in very, very good Mandarin

6. Learn how to ask for directions and hold basic everyday conversations in very, very, good Mandarin

7. Find someone to be very honest and willing to correct my bad Mandarin (people tend to want to be polite and not tell you when you’ve made some sort of huge, embarrassing error so finding someone I can practice speaking with who will tell me is pretty clutch I think)

8. Stop being illiterate: learn enough characters to get around and understand some of the front page of a Chinese newspaper

9. Write on this blog Every.Day.

10. Continue writing for Ashoka Tech, Social Earth and Ashoka Knowledge at least once every 3 weeks

11. Enter the world of free-lance journalism: get at least one piece published somewhere in print

12. Enter the world of free-lance journalism: get at least one piece published online (not on this blog or any of my other current blogs)

13. Write grant proposal for still-being-formed writing project on social entrepreneurship in China

14. Find a job in Chengdu (if not working on my grant proposal or for my current organization)

15. Research and start applying for MBA programs that I can do from China

16. Visit Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Mongolia, South Korea + more (maybe all this year, maybe next year too)

17. Have date night at least once a week with Chris

18. Find a fun group of girlfriends to pal around with

19.  Make our house the warm, inviting, fun place people love to come over to (crucial for somewhat lazy home-bodied peoples like Chris and I)

20. Take lots of weekend hiking and trekking trips around Sichuan.

21. Visit Shanghei, Hong Kong, Beijing, Guangzhou, + more

22. Get a Wii!!!

23. Take thousands of (good) photos and get them all up on Flickr.

24. Purchase a domain name and build a website.

25. Learn how to cook excellent ma pa do fu and other delicious goodies

26. Bake cupcakes and other deliciousness in China (must remember to pack all necessary ingredients in consummables)

27. Take a honeymoon with Chris!!

28. Take my sister and family around China

29. Visit 2 Amys, Obelisk, Sushi restaurants, Clydes for brunch, Cashions for brunch, Carlsyle for brunch, Open City, Honey Pig, Japanese Raman place in Bethesda, Great Wall on 14th Street, Birch and Barley, Cork, Jaleo, Pho 79, Ray’s the Steaks, Ray’s Hell, Vietnamese restaurants in Eden Center, etc, ect, etc all before we leave

30. Go for a walk on the mall at sunset before we leave

31. Go for a run on the mall at sunrise

32. Go for several long, rambling all-day walks across this city that I will miss so much 🙂

33. Do a food weekend trip in NY

34. Go to Fell’s Point for dinner

35. Determine the best Philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia during a weekend foodie trip there

36. Work on The List


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