The wishes I make include places I want to go, things I want to try and other work and personal goals. I generally have one goal that is more important to me than others. For that goal, I use an ancient traditional wishing doll, called a DARUMA, to help keep me motivated. I was introduced to DARUMA shortly after I arrived in Japan. I was living in the city of Takasaki, which is home to the famous Daruma Temple. Each year there is a large festival on January 6th when people come to buy new good luck dolls for the year. On deciding your goal, you paint one eye black, on finishing it you paint the other eye black. Hence, it is a great motivational tool for a New Year's Resolution. There is detailed information on Wikipedia about Daruma: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daruma_doll
This year I will be painting an eye and writing a wooden plaque for a health goal. Essentially I want to use my love of bouldering to keep fit and get into shape this year. The aim is to use the skills I am learning in the bouldering gym to rock climb in the great outdoors, during hikes and camping trips this summer. I never had much luck with "resolutions", but since I started calling them wishes and invoking the help of some age old Japanese traditions, I've been much more successful. Here's hoping all your wishes come true for 2016!
CREDIT FOR DARUMA PHOTO:
Daruma Doll image "Daruma0791" by Frank Gualtieri - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Daruma0791.jpg#/media/File:Daruma0791.jpg