Feb 1, 2019

The folly of new year resolutions

2018 was a bust. I didn’t win the lottery, my copy of “How to Adult” is still in the mail and my bank account still hasn't grow despite multiple waterings.

It wasn’t all bad though. I moved to a new, lovely apartment in a much quieter place (no more horrible bridge noises). Although I didn’t get a new job, at least I didn’t get fired from my current one. Lastly, I started a new hobby which is helping me read Japanese much faster.

Now, as they say, a new year brings about new opportunities. Opportunities to better yourself, bring about the change you want in yourself and somehow improve your life. Let’s forget the fact that any day of the year is good to change your life and waiting until the new year is just one of those excuses you tell yourself so you can play just one more hour of Super Smash Bros…

So I decided to write down the main things that I am planning to do in the last remaining months of Heisei. If I finish at least some of these, surely luck and fortune will smile upon me and I will be a happier person.

Be more adventurous

Every chance I get, I take pictures of Mt Hiei in Kyoto but I never go there. I have been there once in my life, during a school outing, but since then I have stared longingly at this history-filled mountain. This year I am planning to just up and go, take the cable car or even just a bus up there and spend the day walking around. Especially when it starts to snow. I am sure the view from up there will be spectacular.

The folly of new year resolutions photo

Waste less time

I have a relatively long commute to work in the mornings. I have used that time to catch up on sleep usually, although the quality of said sleep is up for debate.

Instead of wasting that time, I can use it for something productive. I can listen to informative podcasts, watch educational documentaries or maybe even write something. My main problem however is that I get motion sickness very easily. Reading in moving vehicles makes my stomach want to empty itself all over the interior and anyone unfortunate enough to sit next to me.

The folly of new year resolutions photo

Write more

This platform is amazing. It allows me to vent and write about things that interest me. I want to get more involved and to do that, I need to write more stuff. So for 2019, I will make it a point to write more articles, get more information and somehow improve my writing. Writing is therapeutic, so everybody wins.

Get more sleep

The biggest change with an increased commute is the distinct lack of sleep I am getting. Having to have to do four connections to get to my destination on Fridays really takes a toll on you.

In Japan, they say “hayane hayaoki” which probably translates to “early to bed, early to rise”. I honestly think this is the most farfetched and unrealistic promise of the new year. Every day there are more and more things to do. Chores, work, hobbies etc. But the time doesn’t change at all.

Despite that, I suppose all I can do is try. Sleep is surprisingly important for your health, and a key to happiness is getting more than the 5 hours I usually allocate myself.

The folly of new year resolutions photo

Explore more about Japan

I am a fan of japanology. The culture differences, how they came to be, the unique (and same) ways people think and feel. And how all of those things mixed together to give us this country of thin fish slices and electric rats.

2019 is going to be tough. But with discipline and determination, I think it will be doable. As long as Japan keeps churning out good food and entertaining media, I’ll be able to trudge on somehow.

Happy 2019 y’all



European living the Japanese dream in Kansai


  • helloalissa

    on Feb 1

    I'm a big fan of listening to (self improvement) audio books in the morning, just recently. It's not a bad idea to get your brain thinking on your morning commute, without having to actually read. Anything to cheer you up. Hopefully updates on your progress in the coming months!

  • Tomuu

    on Feb 7

    That 4 connection commute on Friday sounds rough. Right with you on the "being more adventurous" thing! Less thinking, more doing would seem to be the key here. Looking forward to updates (with your added sense of humor, which always makes me chuckle)!