Have you heard of “New Year’s Resolutions” before?
The word “resolution” is very close to the word “goal.” So, a New Year’s resolution is a goal that we set for the new year. In Japan, I think that kakizome is a similar tradition, because we choose a meaningful phrase or idea that we want to remember in the new year. (Though people don’t usually write their New Year’s resolutions in beautiful calligraphy!)
Here are some example New Year’s resolutions:
-In 2019, I will pass my entrance exam.
-In 2019, I will only use Eco bags at the supermarket.
-In 2019, I will visit 2 countries for the first time.
-In 2019, I will learn how to snowboard.
-In 2019, I will go camping 3 times.
But before we make a 2019 goal, let’s check on our 2018 goals. Did you have a goal for 2018? I did! My 2018 goal was, “In 2018, I will read more books than my friend Julia!” I made this goal because my friend Julia reads a lot of books, and I wanted to challenge myself to read more books. This year, Julia read about 30 books, and I read 39! I achieved my goal for 2018!
Of course, my goal wasn’t just to defeat Julia — really, my goal was to read regularly, learn about new things, and enjoy books by a variety of writers. Making my goal into a competition gave me motivation to not give up. I made a habit of reading eBooks while riding the train to work every day, which helped me relax and use my time productively.
If you make a goal for 2019, my recommendation is this: find a partner! Talk to your friends, and find someone who wants to achieve a similar goal. You can make plans to study together, or exercise together, or travel together. Telling other people about your goal is also important. When I told my friends that I wanted to read more books, they shared their favorite books with me, and they asked me, “Have you finished that book yet?” It gave me motivation to finish!
So take a moment and think about your goals for 2019. Where do you want to go? What do you want to achieve?
Good luck everyone, and happy New Year!