New Years’ Resolution(s): Past, Current and Future

Merry Christmas!!

I thought it’d be a fun exercise to review my resolutions.

I’ve found that the top resolutions people make usually center around:

  • losing weight
  • getting out of debt
  • quitting a bad habit (smoking/drinking)
  • enjoying life more

As I don’t really have a problem with any of the above, my resolutions tend to be more specific rather than vague, and more around things like learning a new skill or language.

I never say things for my resolution I cannot achieve realistically.

I know we should all aim for the moon to land among the stars, but I don’t buy into it when I feel disappointed for having shot TOO high.

2009: Get my driver’s license & buy a cheap car

  • Got my license in November
  • I picked up a used car for $1800 cash.
  • Insurance ended up being $300 per year ($25/month) and gas is at a minimum.
  • No maintenance required except new windshield wipers, 2 car batteries (one drained — oops!) and new tires.
  • Other bonuses are that I got rid of my $60,000 of debt after I started in 2006, budgeting and tracking my expenses.

2010: Go eco-friendly & shop my wardrobe


  • Am eating vegetarian (if not, vegan) two to three times a week, sometimes more*
  • Switched to a basic soap (no perfumes, etc)
  • Removed shampoo, then had to settle on green shampoos (my hair is too long for poo-free)
  • Household cleaning is all natural: white vinegar, lemon, baking soda, soap, water
  • Not much laundry detergent used (just warm water in a machine, on occasion soap if there’s grease)
  • Dishwashing detergent is rare (with hot water, if the food isn’t crusted on, it cleans just fine)
  • Man-made chemicals kept to a minimum (mostly present in my makeup)
  • Body lotions and face creams are as natural as possible (hello Korres and argan oil!)
  • Walked a lot more than I drove my car (helps to be centrally located)

*Plain soba noodles in a package, not the ramen kind, mixed into a miso broth and adding some sliced mushrooms = AMAZINGLY tasty.


  • Had 3 things on my list as a gimme — I ended up buying 2 pairs of trouser pants for work
  • Still have 1 “gimme” leftover I was going to use for hiking boots, but they didn’t have my size
  • Shopped my wardrobe and worked my accessories
  • Was tempted a couple of times, namely by this shirt.

So what’s next?

2011: Tour Asia, Yogify and learn Chinese


This is a major trip that I was going to take in 2009.

Then 2010.

But now this year, there is no more delaying it!

I am going to Asia come hell or high water.

  • Japan
  • China
  • Indonesia (?)
  • Thailand (?)
  • Malaysia (?)
  • Singapore


My health resolution is to get more into yoga. I’ve done it halfheartedly and I need to step it up and make it a habit (I skip days when I feel lazy, and that’s just dumb).

Goal? Be able to bend like a pretzel.

I’ve always been envious of circus performers who can fit into ridiculously small spaces. This skill might come handy one day if I decide to smuggle myself across the border. (I kid, I kid! 🙂 )

Or when I decide to run away and join the circus. Skip to 1:36 for an OMG moment

Then 3:10 for the This is UNBELIEVABLE Shut The Front Door moment, if you’re impatient.


My learning resolution is to learn Chinese. I already know French enough to converse in it, listen to TV and radio shows, and read it. It’s just a question of practicing it now (which I’ll most definitely get with having BF around).

As for why Chinese, I think it’s becoming a global language and it would be nice to know what people are  saying to me in Chinatown when I buy food. 😛 I’d like to learn Mandarin, specifically.

I also don’t want to spend a lot of money on this, but if any of you think it’s worth it, I’d pay for a tutor or go to classes.

Can anyone suggest something in Toronto that’s a condensed 6-week crash course downtown, or a tutor who charges a reasonable rate? And what is a reasonable rate for a tutor?

I won’t be in one city for a long period of time which is why I haven’t signed up for classes. I never know where I’ll be next.

I’m going to start with Pimsleur, as I did with French, but I don’t have a native speaker to help me the way I had BF to teach me French and practice… so I’m thinking this one will be a lot harder.

I’ll deem this a success if I can  speak a short conversation in Mandarin, buying items of food, the weight, the price, the numbers, the different names of food and small talk about myself.

Do you keep or make resolutions?

What are some that you’ve done over the years, and what are you thinking about for 2011?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.