Well, we are firmly into 2013 now, and after quite some thought, I have decided to record some aspirations for the new year. I say aspirations because I would like to set some weekly goals, however I know already that these goals will at times not be met (for example, during our travels at Chinese New Year). That’s ok, I just want to have something recorded I can work toward achieving to the best of my ability.
First, regarding learning Mandarin Chinese: I aspire to learn a new word every day, and to prepare myself more for situations that I definitely could use my Chinese in (for example, ordering popcorn at the cinema or lunch from my favourite waffle place: Energy Cat Muffin). I often find myself flustered before potential interactions in Chinese, and there is enough English around that in my few seconds hesitation, the other party will switch to English. This is certainly helpful (from an eating point of view), but is not helping me become more able to communicate in Chinese. I will endeavour to gather my thoughts before going into such situations, until it comes naturally.
Second, regarding fitness: I aspire to ride my bicycle to work twice a week (Mondays and Fridays) and go on at least one more ride > 20 km weekly. Mike and I are also discussing a few larger bike trips for later in the year, and I will need to train up for the climbing and distance involved in those plans.
Finally, there is material remaining in my M.Sc. thesis for publication, and I would like to get another paper submitted to a journal this year. There is plenty of ground to cover there, and with Mike and I sharing one computer, it will be a challenge to get screen time and make it count. However, it is important to share your work (otherwise why do it?), and it will be a nice contrast from thinking about EFL education!