Life happens and one has to keep adjusting one's goals. Looking at my resolutions and goals for 2015, I see some changes. No worries about that. We should not imprison ourselves in our goals and pledges; they are meant to liberate us and enhance our lives. When they are not working or you find they do not fit, then they must be adjusted. I'm reviewing my goals and resolutions for 2015 to see how well I am doing this year, and how much I have followed my own pledges set at the start of this year.
Suspend charitable contributions
No more volunteering
No more academic involvements outside the requirements of my current job
Do not re-apply to Canada Council
Find a lover
Write a collection of short stories
Write the blog “Eye of an Optimist”
Travel to Canada for 3-4 weeks in the summer
Continue the regular fitness routines
My goals for the next ten years are to strengthen my financial base, acquire long term housing in Canada, resettle in Canada, receive pension benefits from Canada, be in a loving partnership, develop sideline income, become a full-time professional and properly published writer, know another language or two, travel (possibly through volunteering), paint, and maintain good health and fitness.
The five-year goals are getting a writer’s grant for the first time, having steady and challenging work with steady and extended income (including revenue from writing), passing a TOPIK (Korean test), visiting to two new countries, continuing my fitness regime, accumulating $70,000 more in savings, starting to learn a fifth language in three years’ time, finishing and at least three more completed books, concluding my career as a full-time English teacher, and moving out of Korea.
Assessment and adjustment for the second half of 2015-reviewing the NY pledges
It sounds like I am going against my own recommendations for positive thinking when I say I want to suspend charitable donations and stop volunteering. We have to put this into context. I have done lots of unpaid work as a volunteer/ activist nearly all my adult life up to now; probably it's been excessive considering my income, or lack thereof. Now I have to consider my age and prospects for income in the future. Especially having learned that Canadian government seniors' pension benefits have recently been cut, and that the official age of retirement as been pushed up to 67, I really have to focus on my own financial security and ensure I have enough to survive on during my 60 years plus life. For the time being, then, I am not donating more than some "spare change" here and there, and I am restricting my volunteer work to focus on income, savings and occupation.
I do feel more optimistic about my financial future these days. When I look at how I might be living back in Canada, the page is no longer blank. Nor is the vision of it a boring drudge. I think I still have some great opportunities to have yet more new experiences and grow. I am mindful, though, that world war will likely break out not long from now, which will put everyone off track and upset a lot of dreams.
Suspend charitable contributions-ON TRACK
No more volunteering. -I EVEN DUMPED THE KOREA TESOL POSITION
No more academic involvements outside the requirements of my current job-I HAVE BEEN ASKED TO DO SOME ACADEMIC WRITING, AND FIND IT IS WORTHWHILE, ESPECIALLY SINCE I AM LOOKING AT RETIRING LATER IN LIFE, AND THEREFORE NEED TO KEEP DEVELOPING MY CV. BESIDES, IT STILL MAKES ME FEEL GOOD.
Do not re-apply to Canada Council-RIGHT. NO USE SINCE I AM NOT PRESENTLY A RESIDENT OF CANADA.
Move-RESEARCHED IT AND FOUND IT BEST TO STAY PUT AFTER ALL BECAUSE THE EMPLOYER NO LONGER PROVIDES SUBSIDIES. THE ONLY OPTION IS THE LEASED HOUSING THEY GIVE US.
Find a lover-HAVE NOT DONE ANYTHING ABOUT THIS ISSUE.
Write a collection of short stories- DID IT, AND AM WORKING ON EXTENDING IT.
Write the blog “Eye of an Optimist”-IN PROGRESS
Travel to Canada for 3-4 weeks in the summer-ALL READY TO GO.
Continue the regular fitness routines -ON TRACK.
ADDITIONS TO THE 2015 GOALS: I am adding three things. One is researching employment for my return to Canada. The Canada Council grant system is being revamped and I don't know how, and I would need to secure steady income in case my application failed. Besides, with a later retirement age and the necessity to contribute to the workers' pension fund, I am thinking that getting a good job for the next nine or eight years might be best. I am getting excited about prospects in the publishing industry now, more than teaching. I've already sent in some "feeler" resumes.
The second addition is my savings target for 2015. I have not set it yet. I've got $7,000 on hold here at the moment, and am already paying off vacation bills of over $2,500. I'll spend around $1,500 in vacation expenses beyond that while I am in Canada. My summer income will be around $5,000, however. Yeah, I can put aside $10,000 to $12,000 this year. I should really make a savings deposit this summer.
I keep waffling on it, but I should have included the TOPIK test (Korean proficiency) in this year's plan.
ADJUSTMENT TO THE FIVE-YEAR GOALS
PREVIOUSLY: getting a writer’s grant for the first time; having steady and challenging work with steady and extended income (including revenue from writing); passing a TOPIK (Korean test); visiting to two new countries, continuing my fitness regime, accumulating $70,000 more in savings, starting to learn a fifth language in three years’ time, finishing and at least three more completed books, concluding my career as a full-time English teacher, and moving out of Korea.
ADJUSTED 5-YEAR GOALS:
Since I already visited one new country in February of this year, and since I am more optimistic about my employment and financial prospects back in Canada, I can increase the number of new countries I hope to visit to three, in addition to Thailand, the new place I went to this year. For that, yeah, I'd learn another European language. Savings? $70,000 is probably a little ambitious; I'll probably do $50,000 but I may as well aim high. Publications? Since I've already completed the collection of fictional stories this year, finishing three more books seems quite doable. I'll leave that number as is, but I'll probably produce more than that by 2020. Yes, I'll no longer teaching English full-time before five years are up. I hope to get steady work in publishing instead, if I am not able to earn enough income on writing professionally. Yes, I'll no longer be in Korea, but where will I go? I will have to pick a region or city in Canada soon. Yes, I'll see how the grant system is changing, and try to conform in due course. Yes, I am working on and researching my career development.