I am starting the end-of-year re-assessment process. I have not yet thought of my resolutions and goals for 2016, so I need to come up with them soon. I dug up last year's goals and they are pasted in this text below. I did not do everything I had intended to do, and I think my perspective is shifting again. My 2016 list will probably be different.
I compare my goals to what I actually did in 2015, assessing whether I reached my goals. "-/ " means done. The rationale for the 2015 goals is also reviewed, with the symbols ** indicating each separate point of the review.
Resolutions for 2015:
Suspend charitable contributions -/
No more volunteering -/(Released myself from Korea TESOL duties and stopped writing academic journal articles by July.)
No more academic involvements outside the requirements of my current job -/(except that I wrote 1/2 doz. articles before summer, as indicated above)
Do not re-apply to Canada Council -/
Move x (Uni housing policies changed, putting doubts on getting the subsidy, and the would-have-been room mate backed out.)
Find a lover -/ (Briefly, but he turned out to be quite weird and possibly dangerous so I dropped him.)
Write a collection of short stories -/ (Entitled "Incongruousness and published online on Smashwords; it's been downloaded 14 times.)
Write the blog “Eye of an Optimist” -/ (It has been going well, as you can see here, so much so that I've received some more comments and there have been as many as 900 reads on one day.)
Travel to Canada for 3-4 weeks in the summer -/
Continue the regular fitness routines -/ (I worked out in the gym, or hiked or did some other exercise at least twice a week most weeks, and often thrice.)
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.
Review of 2015 Goals
10-year goals still seem suitable.
5-year goals also seem generally suitable but need adjustments considering the following points.
**Eligibility criteria for the Canada's writer's grant have changed, and I would not qualify at this point since none of my work has been published by a major publishing house. Therefore, I wouldn't bother applying for the grant in the near future, though I would send manuscripts to publishers again.
**I am on target with my writing goals. I have been working on my 4th novel and it is now half finished.
**I would stick to the pledge to withdraw from full-time English teaching, although I may have to rely on some English teaching back in Canada as I resettle. As for the longer forecast, I would try getting a job in publishing. If that didn't pan out, I would try to take up a small business, perhaps in some kind of boutique retail (books, gifts, culture/community service...).
**I am on target with regards to my financial goal.
**I have not resumed studying Korean, as I have not felt motivated enough to keep it up this past fall. I'm not sure I'll ever do the test. I suppose I would prepare if I scheduled myself to take it. It wouldn't hurt to try.
Rationale for the 2015 goals
Without any substantial response to my job search in the fall of 2014, I see no need to continue to develop my resume/CV. Therefore, I am quitting all academic involvement outside the demands of my employment. I am also suspending all volunteer work and charitable donations indefinitely for the sake of my personal financial security. I have given enough all my life, despite my low and often erratic income, and my time at those endeavours is done. It is time to leave it to younger people. For the sake of my sanity, I plan to move to better lodgings. Since that may entail paying some amount for housing out of my own pocket, I want to reduce other expenses such as charity giving, volunteer and academic stuff, and travel at least for this year and probably for the next. Because I learned that my residence abroad and possibly some outstanding tax returns disqualified me from being considered as a grant recipient by the Canada Council of the Arts for my writing, there is no point to applying again for any grant to the Canada Council any time soon. However, I shall continue writing. Since I wrote a couple of short stories right after Christmas, I’ll continue making short stories and produce an entire collection. I have also started the “Eye of an Optimist” blog as a way to continue my work on positive thinking and self-improvement. Further to those writing projects, I want to work on my fourth novel, the unnamed, plotless thing that started out as an attempt at sci-fi writing.
A set of revised 5-year goals plus a new set of resolutions for 2016 will be posted within a few days. I'll include an explanation.