Looking forward to 2010

Happy New Year, everyone! Nearly every holiday season has the same pattern for me: get excited about Christmas, have a spectacular Christmas, feel sad that Christmas is over, become contemplative about the past year and the year to come, and finally turn my mood around by settling on some goals for the new year. Some people might dread and avoid making resolutions (I used to be that way, too), but it really gets me excited about life. Here's what I'm going to focus on in 2010!

Reduce: I want to continue to change my attitude about possessions and keep striving to live a simple, frugal and minimalist life. I've made huge progress in this area over the past few years, but I can keep going in lots of different ways. I want to keep reducing clothes, books, media, and even collectibles (in some cases) until I'm left with essential and useful things that bring me happiness. I really believe that "outer order contributes to inner calm", and I'm going to live that way. Don't worry, I'm more interested in the look of a minimalist home than the famous photo of Steve Jobs in his empty house, although that image is inspiring!

Learn: For the past year I've been taking a break from "formal" Japanese study with a tutor, but I've been really diligent about spending an hour a day using some excellent websites to keep studying on my own. In 2010 the Japanese Language Proficiency Test is being restructured to include a new level (N3) that is a perfect progression from my previous tests, so I'm going to spend the year preparing for the JLPT and pass it in December!

Create: I've decided to keep a personal "one sentence journal" this year, just to record things for myself that I wouldn't write on WEBmikey. I also want to give my creative projects from 2009 another shot, so I'll use my video editing skills and even get a simple (free) app out for the iPhone.

Improve: I couldn't think of a one word verb to say "be healthy", so this means I want to continue improving my health by eating right and enjoying life, and maybe lose a little more weight.

Upgrade: This is just one of those "reminder" categories to make sure I finally buy a Blu-ray player this year, as well as migrate from my Apple TV to a Mac Mini as my "Jpop media center".