The biggest win of 2018? We moved to Japan! Next year’s main focus in a word: consistency. I also (of course) have a super lofty, long and ridiculous list for 2019, and I’m totally determined to accomplish some most of it! 

2018 was…

A little crazy. I started the year off with some pretty lofty goals but actually ended up accomplishing more than I thought I would.

  • Move to Japan (Will link the post to how we got our Visa once it’s up!)
  • Travel five times (Kona 2x, Seattle, Alaska Cruise, Hawaii 2x after we moved)
  • Start a meetup group
  • Conversational fluency in Japanese (I’m counting this one since I can hold basic convos at language exchanges now. Lol.)
  • Pass the JLPT 3 in December – decided to push this to the summer exam.
  • Read one book a month – Only read five books, I started off really strong, but after we moved to Japan, basically only read Japanese textbooks. 😅
  • Put together a portfolio – Did not do this at all and actually forgot about this. Whoops!
  • Open Etsy store – Remembered this, but didn’t have the energy to tackle it.

I also dedicated a large chunk of time to Instagram (that snack blog is going to be the death of me, but I also kind of love it).

2018 in Review / 2019 Planning - Japanese Update

Update on Learning Japanese

So all those things I was doing in September? I’m still doing them, but it’s a SLOW process.

  • I’ve nixed Wanikani in favor of Anki, but haven’t been great at keeping up with my daily review cards.
  • I upped my language exchanges – I have four virtual partners that I chat with weekly on skype and 1 IRL (she lives near me) + my friend and I started a meetup group. So we have weekly meetups for 2 hours.
  • I’ve been bad with subs on shows and have been watching with English subs.
  • I haven’t read a news article on NHK in ages either (planning to get back on this!).
  • Slacking hardcore lately on writing practice while I focus on reading and vocab.

So way more real-life usage, but way less studying grammar and building fundamentals. I’ll need to work on those if I want to pass the N3 in July. I’m actually considering taking the N2, but it’ll be a game-time decision when the sign-up date comes around.

2019 in a word

While I’ll always have a pretty long list of goals (knowing that I probably won’t accomplish most of them), I’m approaching 2019 a bit differently. I want to focus everything around a theme – consistency. Mostly because I’m incredibly inconsistent. I start things I don’t finish (*cough cough* 12 week year) and usually, my motivation resembles fire – burns super hot, then reduces itself to a pile of ash. Ha. So this year, before I even tackle my long list, I want to remember that my main focus is to be more like water – flowing consistently toward an end goal. For that to happen, I’ll need to seriously break down a lot of my lofty and ridiculous goals into tasks that can be tackled daily/weekly/monthly or…consistently. 😜

Okay, now the list

These prompts are pulled from my Ink+Volt planner – which I LOVED for about half the year in 2018. After we moved, I became 100% remote and my workflow changed significantly. In that change, my paper planner sort of fell to the wayside.

Things I want to leave behind in 2019
I’m so torn on this. Part of me feels like I should leave behind fiction, but the other part of me knows how much I LOVE it. Haha. Instead, I’ll leave behind my guilt for it. I don’t want to feel bad for enjoying some good ole’ young adult fiction (my fave genre, obviously) or a webtoon – so long as it’s not interfering with my actual life goals. Cue installing creepy apps to log time spent!

What are the things you want to learn this year? Books you want to read? How will you improve yourself in the year ahead?
This one is easy. I want to learn more Japanese, focused design (take actual classes) and product marketing / building a brand. Doing a book club with the coworkers to hold myself accountable to reading, even if it’s only 4 books in total.

In terms of improving myself, I want to focus more on taking care of my physical body, since I haven’t rolled out my yoga mat in MONTHS and haven’t gone jogging since October. Thank you, Japan for your tiny portion sizes and epic amounts of walking, since I managed not to gain weight, even in winter hibernation. That being said – we have plans to do Kumano Kodo, Mt. Fuji and the Yamathon next year, so I need to start focusing on fitness if I want to survive!

What would it look like if this year went perfectly? What would you have/be/do? 
I’ll have passed the JLPT N2 and be able to read our mail. I’d also be able to talk to people well enough to find us a place where we can have a pet! We’ll have traveled through more of Japan and Southeast Asia. We’ll blog weekly. Like a new post every Sunday weekly.

My 19 for 2019 – in no particular order

  1. Travel at least 5x (Any travel outside of Tokyo counts as travel!)
  2. Pass JLPT N3 in July
  3. Pass JLPT N2 in December
  4. Be able to write my Instagram posts in Japanese (without using google)
  5. Read 12 books
  6. Take 4 design related classes
  7. Blog weekly
  8. Do yoga at least once a week
  9. Create “Facts of Life” book
  10. Keep up with personal Tumblr
  11. 2019 digital scrapbook
  12. 2018 digital scrapbook
  13. Learn 1,825 new kanji (5 new kanji a day)
  14. Keep up with logging my spending (I didn’t do this for half the year in 2018)
  15. Learn to draw (so I can justify an iPad Pro / Pencil next year haha)
  16. Write every day
  17. Finish super morbid “in case of” file
  18. Relationship retrospectives
  19. Create a portfolio

Welp. If you read to the end, congrats! You win…a year of my unending gratitude and adoration…and maybe some snacks when I come through Hawaii again next summer?! Haha. Happy New Year!

2018 in Review / 2019 Planning
Article Name
2018 in Review / 2019 Planning
The biggest win of 2018? We moved to Japan (easy, right?)! Next year's main focus: consistency.I have a super lofty, long and ridiculous list for 2019 and I'm totally determined to accomplish some most of it!