It’s the start of a brand new year. We got everyone here in our His Style Diary team to share their personal goals and resolution for 2019. It was so much fun putting it down in words. Have you written yours?
2018 was a dramatic year for me, both personally and professionally. Some would even describe it as a roller coaster ride, going up at happy times and plunging suddenly and scarily when I hit the bumps and rough spots. All things considered, it was a year of learning – about myself, people, friendship – and one spent acquiring new knowledge and skills.
Enough said, let’s look forward into 2019. This will be another busy year for me, with lots on my to-do list. More importantly, it is time to apply what I’ve learnt in 2018, and put all of it into action. Being long-winded isn’t one of them, so I’ll get on with it. Here are my 5 new year resolutions.
Declutter and tidy up (Marie Kondo style… not quite)
In 2018, my partner and I moved into our beautiful new home in Tiong Bahru and we also were honoured to be featured in Home & Decor Singapore. But trust me, keeping an apartment in showflat condition is no mean feat. So I am ‘somewhat’ inspired by Marie Kondo, after I watched her series on Netflix on the art of tidying up and getting my life (and wardrobe) organised, though I am not sure yet if I can take her advice about ‘communicating spirituality’ to my house, and thanking my underwear for its year of service, before I toss it into the bin.
If you know me, you’ll know that the gym is my second home, not only because I’m always training there, but also because that is where I regularly give fitness classes (have been for the last 20 years). But the older I get, the harder it is for me to stay in shape. It’s certainly no longer like it was when I was 25. Not forgetting that years of hard training have left me with some injuries that need my (and medical) attention now. So the goal for 2019 is to maintain my physique (maybe bulk up a bit more) and spend time working on correcting any injuries and muscular imbalances. And yes, more Pilates and yoga as well. Urghhh.
Travel for Leisure
My previous job required me to travel frequently, which more or less killed my desire to travel at other times. In 2019, I am going to devote all my travelling to leisure – maybe a trip to the US, Italy, Seoul, HK and multiple trips to Bangkok, different parts of Thailand in fact.
I was an almost incurable shopaholic and would go nuts on fashion apparel, shoes, bags and accessories. I recently came to the realisation that I was dependent on many of these material items as a way to affirm myself and as a measure of my self worth. I know now that every designer bag or pair of shoes I buy will always find itself unused, and collecting dust in my wardrobe, and I would still be that same unhappy person (and poorer as well). So in line with my #1 resolution to declutter, I shall explore a minimalist way of living – maybe live on a capsule wardrobe, reduce my carbon footprint and be green for once.
New addition to my fur family
A year and half ago, my partner and I adopted Tigar, an abandoned Siamese cat from the SPCA. While I may not be the best paw-papa around (I’m stern and no-nonsense), my partner and I both do our best to give Tigar a safe and happy home. Sweet-natured Tigar in turn has taught us so much about unconditional love. It’s in the plan this year to find Tigar a ‘sibling’, but we are still debating between a dog or another cat, or maybe both. Who knows?
Here’s to achieving your goals for 2019. Enjoy it, and may it be the year you start living your life to the fullest.
In a utopian world where, if every day, each one of us receives $87,600 in his/her bank account, what would we spend it on, especially considering that what’s left at the end of the day cannot be saved, but disappears from our accounts?
If you haven’t already guessed, the $87,600 in the imaginary world I cited is really a metaphor for time. Fact is, each of us has 8,760 hours in a year to spend – more or less – as we need to and see fit. And the startling truth is that whatever’s left cannot be rolled over for use the next day. Something we often forget.
I like this metaphor as it forces me to think about how I hope to spend my 2019 – without regret.
Mother Teresa said that we can’t all do great things, but we can all do small things with great love. I want to do just that. I want to make a tangible difference in mundane or dire situations, in happy and sad times. I want to have a better effect on the people in my life, as well as those who will come into my life.
To do that, I need to develop intangible attributes such as humility, patience, gentleness, kindness generosity, faithfulness, hopefulness, perseverance, a joyful and forgiving heart.
With even the smallest differentiation in mindfulness and integrity values, I know that the trajectory of my life will change. It’s simple mathematics. I want to work on the intangibles, so as make tangible distinctions. That is the direction and shape I want my life to take.
The plan is to persist in making this my life’s work in progress, but you can still ask me again in 2020!
Another year has passed, and a new one has shown up on our doorstep. I’ve long stopped making new year resolutions several years ago. It’s not due to cynicism that comes with age, although when I was growing up, I had often heard older people lament about the futility of new year resolutions. It seemed many people enthusiastically form resolutions at the stroke of midnight on 31 December, only to break them days or weeks later.
The real reason is that I’ve come to a personal realisation that a new beginning isn’t just restricted to
an anniversary of a date, such as a birthday, first day of the month or the subject matter at hand; the
first day of the year. Each new dawn and every new second offer just as much of a chance for a new
start to whatever we aim to do differently. We should not become prisoners of our past and accord
it any negativity over our future. The present moment is what would soon become the new past and
one that truly counts towards the future we aim to have. That said, my goal for this year is to always
remember that, and continually strive to be a better person than the one I was a day, an hour or
merely a moment before.
I’ll tell you a quick story. When I was around 11, most of my friends didn’t want me as a friend anymore. These same friends also told me why. I was an insensitive, haughty prick. Sure, I had issues to deal with inside myself, but that year I resolved to change – psychoanalysis be damned. By sheer will, by persistent prayer, by placing it top-of-mind – I shall be different. I was like a dog with a bone.
When I turned 13, now in a new school, I remember reflecting. I remember thinking, I’m ready to befriend new people, and offer them a better me. I had, indeed, improved myself. It took a few years, but I had checked off an important resolution that altered my future relationships and social well-being.
Most of 2019, I’ll be 30. I’m not the type to mull over the milestone decade, but I do crave that drive of purpose, that joy of accomplishment, that I had those years ago. I haven’t made a resolution since.
I don’t wish to repeat my pre-teen faults, but I can say in honesty that I’ve lived large in the past decade. Life has been a big blessing, and I’ve indulged. In some ways I might even have squandered my good fortune, simply letting time pass as I floated carefree on the calm surface of a pool in summer.
2019 will be a year of restraint for me. Goals must be concrete to be fulfilled, I hear my self-help book-reading memories say. Fine. Wiser spending. Simplifying my skincare regimen. Read the books I have before buying another. Better organization of my time, so I accomplish more. Being more deliberate in my leisure so I enjoy it more thoroughly, instead of mindless Instagram scrolling that leaves me unsatiated and lethargic. More self-reflection, lest I let the wild horses of the moment drag me away, and I forget what I’ve learnt, or even to learn. Restraint, deliberation, reflection. If you find me ambling down the sidewalk muttering to myself, those would be the words I’m repeating in my head.