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Starting fresh for the new year


I might be a little late this year as it is already January 9 (or 10th I think, as it’s already after midnight, yikes!), but I thought I’d take some time to reflect on the past year and make some new year’s resolutions.

This time last year, I was probably sitting on my couch watching a TV show on my computer or maybe pulling an all-nighter at The Star. In the back of my head was the idea that I wanted to move to London. I returned from my first two-month adventure on Dec. 18, and I think by this time I had already booked tickets to go back again for Reading Week in February. It was still very much a pipe-dream, though.

Now, I’m sitting on my bed, in a somewhat dingy, mould and mice-infested house in Mile End, (east London). This weekend, I’m going to Berlin and in three weekends I’ll be off to Brussels… Definitely a different life.

After raiding the Tumblr that I stopped using in about May, I found the following list of New Year’s Resolutions for 2011:

  • Invest $5000 in my RRSP
  • Maintain $3000 in my chequing account
  • Keep $5000 in my emergency fund.
  • Use coupons as much as possible.
  • Volunteer at least 40 hours this year
  • Donate 30 items of clothing
  • Move to London
  • Get a full-time job in broadcast
  • Read two books per month
  • Exercise at least five times per week
  • Finish all my assignments three days they’re due, so that I have time to edit them.
  • Travel to at least one country I haven’t been to yet.
  • Learn to cook 10 meals without a recipe
  • Run a 10K
  • Write a short story.

It appears, I only accomplished three of those goals: moving to London, travelling to at least one country I hadn’t been to yet (I went to six), and donate 30 items of clothing. (I think I must have given about 100 items from my wardrobe last year as I tried to reduce my possessions to one suitcase.) I did learn to cook several meals last year, but I don’t think being able to make five different types of pasta, with three different types of sauce really counts. I also might have read 24 books last year, but I can’t think of them all off the top of my head.

However, I did learn several things I was not expecting last year, the biggest one was that I learned how to be self-sufficient on an extremely small budget. My only debt is the £20 and change grocery bill I put on my American Express today (earning 20 Avios points, only need about 4980 more to go anywhere).

I guess I’ll have to do better in 2012, especially as the world is going to end in 11 months!

Anyway, here are my resolutions for 2012:

Blog at least three times per week. (I know it’s boring for all of you that I don’t update enough, so I’m going to finally change that this year!)

Stop spending money on purchases I won’t remember. I bought a coffee and bagel this morning, and I definitely won’t remember it in a few days. This would also include money spent drunk at the bar – Bad! I’m going to extend this to a ban on accumulating any more possessions, hopefully, this will help me become more mobile. To keep track of this, I think I’ll start listing my purchases on the website, especially any travel related ones!

Travel to at least three more countries that I have never been to before, as well as each part of the UK. I’ve been to 17 sovereign states (including Vatican City), so three more will bring me to an even 20. I also still need to travel to Wales and Northern Ireland to round out the UK. I would love suggestions on what my next country should be… I’m thinking maybe Switzerland or Poland.

Finally, by the end of this year, I want to have a full-time job in journalism (even if it’s a poorly paid one.)

What are your goals?

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