January is such a depressing month. The days get shorter, the nights get longer and the weather gets colder. Despite this there is a strong feeling of anticipation as soon as the clock hits 12 on New Years Eve and the sight of luminescent fireworks fills the sky. The feeling that anything could happen.  A New Year means a new book to write your life’s story. A clean slate. You can put the previous year behind you and make this year better than the last.

Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt

I prefer to start my New Years resolutions towards the end of January. I think It’s good to reflect on what you want at the start of the year and be kind to yourself. The last thing you need in this depressing month is to punish yourself and set yourself up for failure.

My New Years resolutions

1) Learn Html, ccs and Javascript

I started this blog over 3 years ago. Back then I had literally no idea how to make a website and started from scratch. My first blog was on WordPress with the extremely naff name of ‘Stephanie and seek’. I meant it to reflect how I’m seeking new adventures and places and all that jazz, but it ended up sounding like I had a weird imaginary friend called Seek…

I soon moved to a self hosted WordPress blog and I slowly taught myself how to make a website. This is my second version of my website but there’s many things that I want to change or add and I just don’t have the knowledge to do so. By learning coding I will have some more knowledge about how a website works so I can make change it to my specifications.

How I will achieve this resolution

I’ve started an online course on Coursera.org on Html, css and Javascript. I’m finding it extremely complicated, It’s like the lecturers are speaking a whole other language, well, I guess they are.  Hopefully this course will teach me all that I need. If I need to learn specifics I will watch some YouTube videos.

2) Explore my local area more

I live in Nasushiobara, a place of exceptional natural beauty where the Japanese Imperial family has a holiday home. Unfortunately my school is so close that my employer hasn’t given me a car so my bike is my main mode of transportation. Luckily some of my friends like exploring other areas and have invited me on day trips, but it’s not the same as exploring solo. When you travel solo you can go where you want, for however long you want with no set plans. Although I travelled a lot in 2015, I want to visit many more places in Japan in 2016.

How I will achieve this resolution

I will start by going more places by train and bus. Despite what many people say, public transport in rural/semi rural Japan is shocking. Trains are on time but run irregularly and many places are just not accessible by public transport. I will rent a car for a few weeks and do a few mini road trips, maybe couch surfing or staying in hostels on the way.

Hiking in Oze National park back when I had weird orange hair
Hiking in Oze National park back when I had weird orange hair


3) Live a healthier lifestyle

Before I moved to Japan I packed clothes that were a bit tight, thinking that I would easily lose weight eating the Japanese diet. You hardly see any overweight Japanese people right? How wrong was I. Rice and noodles are the mainstays of Japanese food and for some reason these foods tend to bulk me up. Not all Japanese food is healthy, lots of foods are fried like gyoza and tempura. When faced with a choice do you think I’ll choose the fried foods or miso soup…..

Needless to say I brought a suitcase full of too small-clothes back to England when I visited at Christmas…

My town is also extremely boring. It has a handful of restaurants and shops but apart from that there’s not much to do. I have a lot of spare time in the evening, something I’ve never had before and I’ve started snacking or having a cheeky glass of wine at night. Beacause of Japanese beurocracy and a love of rules I’m unable to join the local gym. Instead of having the motivation to workout at home I usually end up watching Netflix when I come in.

This has to stop!

How I will achieve this resolution

For the first few weeks of January I’ll gradually reduce my snacking and increase my activity. Near the end of January I will make a commitment to exercise 4 times a week at home using a fitness video (YouTube has loads!), stop snacking and make better food choices. I will limit McDonald’s to once a month too (It’s sooo tempting!).

Naughty, tempting Gyoza!
Naughty, tempting Gyoza!
Pulling a very serious face before the 3km Ekiden
Pulling a very serious face before the 3km Ekiden


4) Improve my ESL Teaching skills

Remember when my blog description said I was a Podiatrist? Well I had to change it because I’m now an ESL teacher! Despite having a TEFL, an intensive training course and 9 months of experience I still feel that I have a lot to learn with regards to my teaching skills. Teaching ESL is basically my passport to the world, with it I can work nearly everywhere I want to and earn enough to travel. I want to be at the top of my game so I can have my pick of the best jobs available, wherever they may be.

How I will achieve this resolution

Again I’m going to complete an online Coursera course for this resolution. The one I’m signed up for at the end of January is about ESL lesson planning. I will try to complete a few relevent ESL teaching courses throughout the year too. Grammar can be tricky to explain so I will brush up of my grammar knowledge and read articles on the best way to teach it.

At an 'ALT Festival' face painting
At an ‘ALT Festival’ face painting



So there are my New Years Resolutions that I will start at the end of January. What do you think? Do you think starting resolutions at the end of January is a good idea? What are your New Years Resolutions?

As always I would love to hear your thoughts!




12 thoughts on “My 2016 New Years Resolutions

  1. These are some great realistic goals. I like how you told us how you will achieve them too. Traveling lots, keeping up with my fitness and saving are just some of my resolutions for the new year. I wrote a recent blog post about it! You can check it out at my page! 🙂 Best of luck to you!

    1. Hi Samantha, yes in the past I’ve set myself some really unrealistic goals. I hate that feeling of failure so I set myself achievable goals that still challenge me.

      I’ll check out your resolutions on your page 🙂

  2. Great goals. Exploring your own area is a good place to travel without spending so much money. Nice post 🙂 Hope you can achieve them all

    1. Thanks Ivana, I think getting healthy will be one of the hardest resolutions to achieve. It`s so cold in Japan at the moment!

  3. I love your goals! Your last three are also some of my goals 🙂 I am extra excited to explore my backyard since I have recently moved to a state. Plenty of things I want to see in the surrounding areas 🙂 Good luck as you tackle these goals throughout the year and safe travels.

  4. Love your goals here! I also intend on exploring locally since I don’t always have the budget to travel far away.

  5. Great goals! I love reading other people’s resolutions because they’re so motivating and fun! Have fun exploring your local region, it looks beautiful!! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *