Top 10 Goals for Self Improvement in 2010

To me, a new year represents new challenges and goals, more “growing up” to do as wongfuphil put it. At the end of every year, I always find myself confounded by how a new year arrives so quickly; before my very eyes, a whole new decade has commenced! Can you believe that the 00’s are over?  0_o

Usually, I write this particular post waaaaay before ringing in the new year, but I’m pressed for time this break due to living life as a bum and typing away endlessly on grad applications, analyzing research data, and studying Chinese. Basically, no hay tiempo para relajarse. In sticking with tradition, however, I looked back at the resolutions I made last year for myself to assess whether I’ve managed to succeed or fail in my proposed goals. All I can say is that I was pretty ambitious last year, but I did actually manage to stick with about half of my resolutions this whole year. Not too shabby, eh? Here are the results–

2009 Resolutions:

1. Maintain my exercising schedule of working out at least twice a week for at least 60 minutes each time.
PARTIALLY SUCCEED: I kept this up the first 9 months of the year only to fail miserably once fall quarter 2009 started; over the summer, I even managed to lose about 3 kilograms, which proves to me that if I set my mind to something, I can achieve great results. I really shouldn’t have given myself an excuse to stop going to the gym just because of my busy schedule. I must discipline myself more in 2010, which ties into Resolution #10 below.

2. Donate at least $200 to nonprofit organizations and charities.
SUCCEED: With Dance Marathon, GreenPeace, Environmental California, and a few other organizations, I donated much more than that in 2009. I am pretty satisfied with my progress on this resolution, but I resolve to keep doing this.

3. Commit at least 300 hours to volunteering my time for community health and environmental welfare.
SUCCEED: Without fail, I managed to donate my time in volunteering in APHC. I am simply addicted to that feeling you get when you work for a good cause. :] I should start volunteering for Heal the Bay or even EcoGeek this year as environmental projects.

4. Keep up with the news.
PARTIALLY SUCCEED: If I could only have kept up my news-watching habits over summer 2009, then I’d be such a happy camper right now. The school year forces me to live inside the academic bubble, no matter how much I try to watch/read up on news on NYTimes, BBC, CNN, etc. Maybe I should start listening to NPR like my lab does.

5. Support family whenever possible.
SUCCEED: I managed to help my mom get into the habit of exercising at least 20 minutes each day. This is SUCH a huge improvement from before, since my mom wouldn’t budge even if I begged her to walk with me around the block. I found it effective to call home and remind my parents to go walking at night. Small, baby steps is the way to go. Not only that, I’ve been trying to be a better sister. Since I have very limited time at home, I’m trying to be a better sister by helping out my younger brother become more disciplined. I’ll work on contacting my sister more this year, since we go to the same freakin’ school! >.<

6. Continue vegetarian habits.
SUCCEED: What more can I say? I intend to run on veggies until the day I die.

7. Be less of an environmental hypocrite by walking more, turning off lights when not in use around the house and in the dorms, wasting less water, and engaging into environmentally-friendly projects.
PARTIALLY SUCCEED: Even though I did participate in a water use program in the dorms for the first half of the year, I lost the habits I gained from that experience once summer started. Even though I know military showers are the way to go, sometimes I get lazy, but this is not acceptable in 2010. Even Avatar reinforced the idea of the importance of resource conservation. I must be better about this in 2010. As for walking more, turning off lights, and participating in projects, I’ve pretty much maintained those habits throughout the year; now if I could just extend those habits towards water usage, then I’ll be up to par.

8. Have more respect for people and anthropogenic creations, because what they say/show is usually very valuable and useful to your own development of knowledge.
PARTIALLY SUCCEED: Even though I’ve been much better about this than ever before in my life, I am still a rookie in this area. More progress in this area is necessary in 2010.

9. Maintain at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA.
SUCCEED: I’m still beyond that lower limit, so I expect myself to graduate with College Honors and  Latin Honors if I manage to survive for the remaining two quarters here at UCLA. I’m still setting the bar high though; I can’t ever be comfortable with where I am, since I am committed to progress and improvement; and 2010 will be no different, since graduate school is on the horizon. No exceptions–I need to continue owning school. [Hmm…maybe adding research and life into that mix is pushing it?]

10. Use Facebook less and/or procrastinate less on the Internet. Instead, invest more time into studies and finding applications of real life to studies.
I really need to figure out a way to stop squandering time on these useless pursuits. I’ve considered deactivating my Facebook, which I did while I was studying for my GREs over the summer, but I reverted back to my old habits once fall quarter started. Winter break was spent almost always connected to Facebook, which was a bad idea, since I was distracted by it while working on my applications. :\ I must change this in 2010. Now, HOW is a really good question. *ponder, ponder*

2010 Resolutions

1. Develop and maintain healthy exercising, eating, and bodily maintenance habits by spending at least 30 minutes to exercise, 20 minutes to relax, and making healthy vegetarian selections each day.

2. Be less wasteful of water resources and consumer products in general, be less lazy about recycling, and become more active in environmental organizations, such as Heal the Bay or EcoGeek.

3. Be civically engaged by committing at least 100 hours to volunteer for community health and environmental welfare. Donate at least $200 to nonprofit organizations and charities.

4. Be more engaged in political news, alternative energy policies, technology, environmental health, and climate change issues by watching documentaries/vlogs/blogs, listening to lectures/audiobooks, reading books/articles/magazines, or writing about these topics in my blogs.

5. Set aside as much time for family and old friends as possible, no matter how difficult it becomes in terms of time, distance, or other unforeseen inconveniences. This will just become harder as life progresses; if you can’t do this now, what makes you think you can do this later? Just try to enjoy and appreciate life more with those whom you love.

6. Successfully apply and matriculate into graduate school(s) to further career.

7. Maintain a good academic record, not only in college but in graduate school (at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA).

8. Have more respect for people and anthropogenic creations, because what they say/show is usually very valuable and useful to your own development of knowledge.

9. Deepen knowledge of Chinese culture by travelling to Asia after college graduation, watching more Hong Kong variety shows/dramas to improve on Cantonese, and read/write more in Chinese.

10. Minimize sources of procrastination on the Internet. Consider blocking sites, hiding password, or deactivating accounts to time-wasting sites. Instead, invest more time into studies and finding applications of real life to studies.