I’m a big planner, a quality that helps tremendously as a teacher. From planning a yearly curriculum to hashing out the minutes of a field trip, it all comes naturally to me. Yet, when it comes to life outside the classroom, things aren’t so easy to predict.
Nevertheless, it’s a brand new year, and the perfect time to reflect on the past, relish the present, and prepare for the future.
Here’s a look at my 18 resolutions for 2018. It’s a mix of professional and personal goals. Let’s see how many I can accomplish this year!
1. Increase my monthly freelance income
I’m open to all avenues of additional revenue, whether it’s by working with more Japan-related websites, pursuing contracts with local businesses or monetizing my blog/Instagram. Truthfully, I’d like to double my current monthly income so I can get close to my previous full-time teaching salary. If i can make a living staying relatively at home and working on own schedule, why not?
2. Travel more with baby
Traveling while teething is no joke, but I will always cherish the memories we created in Brisbane and Gold Coast. Now that the monster is older, I want to do more exploring with her.
3. See more of Japan
I’ve been to Pearl Harbor and want to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After putting it off for so many years, it’s time to make it happen. I’ve also never been to Shikoku, so I want to check out the region, as well as other areas of Japan. As a bonus, traveling Japan will give me much more material to work with!
4. Work with local municipal offices
My first translation project (for Heartland Japan, a Japanese travel company) was a challenge, but I am very surprised that I pulled it off. There are so many hidden gems out there waiting to be discovered but there is a serious lack of English language materials available. My logo is “Brining Japan Closer To You,” and I’m determined to make that happen!
5. See a panda with little Kaiju
I really want to say, “Go to Chengdu, China and volunteer at the Panda Sanctuary,” but I need to be realistic here! The monster loved seeing baby Xiang Xiang on the news, so I wanted to take her to Ueno Zoo to see Xiang Xiang in person. But, I wasn’t selected for the Ueno Zoo lottery. Somehow, I definitely want her to see a real panda!
6. Take more photos and videos with baby
She’s almost a year old and won’t be a baby for much longer! I used to wonder why moms put breastfeeding videos and photos up, but I totally get it. (1) Public nursing should be normalized and (2) nursing babies are so darn adorable! One of my favorite moments of 2017 was bonding with my sister in law over how cute a nursing baby looks!
7. Return to my fashion roots
Working fashion retail and doing part-time modeling in Japan is an experience I will never forget. As part of expanding my writing portfolio and connecting with more clients (as well as pampering myself), I want to get back into experimenting with makeup and nail art. I even bought a ton of cruelty-free makeup from ColourPop and can’t wait to show off my haul.
8. Take a family vacation
The husband is on paternity leave, but it won’t last forever. Once he starts working again, it will be difficult to plan a vacation. I’d love for us to visit someplace warm and family friendly place like Oahu, Hawaii or Singapore. But, again, being realistic, a trip to our favorite dog friendly onsen in Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture will have to do.
9. Write confidently in Japanese!
While my reading, speaking, and listening skills are fine, writing is challenging, especially when sending business emails. I end up doubting myself and double check every single kanji and every single particle. It’s time consuming and I end up being right 95% percent of the time anyway.
10. Launch e-book
I’m working on an e-book about baby led weaning recipes. I’ve never done an e-book, I don’t know anything about pricing, publishing, or advertising, but I will trust in my idea. It’s a project with a learning curve that will give me skills that I can put into more projects,
11. Launch “mama box”
There’s a lot of beauty boxes and whatnot for moms and I’m working against a lot of competition. Again, all I have is an idea, but if I get doubting myself, I’ll never get started. It’s now or never.
12. Visit more dog friendly restaurants and shopping malls
Kokuto gets left behind a lot, and I want to change that. It’s the Year of the Dog, after all! I used to live in Nishi-Shinjuku. Despite the skyscrapers, Shinjuku Central Park was only 10 minutes away and Tokyo Opera City and Park Hyatt had dog OK restaurants. Yoyogi Park and its dog run was 25 minutes away. Plus. Kokuto and I often walked to Little Seoul in Shin-Ogikuo. There were even a few beauty shops that let me bring Kokuto inside the store!
13. Sign up for baby swimming classes
Little Kaiju can already walk, and she just turned 11 months old. She’s got a lot of energy that I would love to channel into something productive. The local gym has weekly swimming classes that I think would be perfect for her. I am worried about her skin since she has a bit of eczema.
14. Brush up on my Korean
I’m a master of haggling at Korean night markets and but when it comes to everyday conversation, I’m lost. I want to stop by my favorite spicy chicken restaurant and catch up with the owners – I haven’t been there since December 2015!
15. Reach 10K followers on Instagram
This is only because I want to see if it’s possible without buying followers, doing follow/unfollow, and/or signing up for other people’s Instagram “courses.”
16. Explore other social media
When it comes to social media, Instagram is my thing. I get it. Twitter I use to keep up with baseball news and clapbacks from J.K. Rowling and Chrissy Teigen. I was honored to be of help to the Kween Chrissy Teigen as she searched for bras in Tokyo. Now, whether she actually read my comment, I don’t know, but I like to believe she’s one of the Twitter users who liked my Tweet. I’m trying to avoid the weird/creepy parts of Twitter, all while connecting with other bloggers and Japan explorers.
17. Collaborate with Japan-based YouTube vlogger
I’ve never done video/vlog before, I don’t even do Instagram Live Stories. But, I’d like to reach out to an up and coming vlogger, or a vlogger visiting and do some Tokyo exploring or just help them map out a travel itinerary. NOTE: These goals were written before the Logan Paul Aokigahara drama. I (want to) believe there are plenty of vloggers who want to explore, not exploit Japan.
18. Collaborate with Japanese businesses and shops
I want to help small businesses tap into the growing number of inbound tourists. I can do something as simple as translating/proofreading menus and brochures or even creating a brand new English version website.
That’s it for my goals — what about yours?
WAHM Life -18 Personal and Professional Goals for 2018
Check out my other posts on being a WAHM: