2009 NYR

Perhaps it is quite obvious that I am not the kind of person who is very good at keeping his new year resolutions. Honestly, who is? Having said that, it's a meaningful and admirable gesture to make a commitment to self-improvement at the beginning of a new year, to break away from undesirable routines or habits, and to dare to feel hopes and possibilities at your fingertips, well, before reality comes crashing down on you again like an avalanche (I know, aren't I forever a pragmatist?). So, why not give change a chance? I am not an ambitious individual, hence, my new year resolutions are not going to be a long list of unattainable, lofty goals.

Here you go (in no specific order):

Work/Life Balance

In December, I took a 360° feedback survey at work. It was a good exercise. It was timely and necessary to seek input from a sample of people with whom I work most closely: my boss/superiors, peers, and direct reports. The survey results weren't bad at all. Actually, I was harder on myself than anyone else (some said I was being modest). There were a few pleasant surprises, but nothing major. One thing remarkable, which did not surprise me at all, was the unanimous observation on my own work/life balance (or the lack thereof). In other words, their feedback was telling me: don't be a workaholic. In retrospect, there were days I worked 10-11 hours straight, either having lunch at 4:00 in the afternoon or not at all. This madness happened easily three to four times a week.... My boss expected me to delegate. And I expected myself to do so by building a solid team, by getting less bogged down by processes, and by focusing more on strategic issues. I have already set certain things in motion including staffing actions and training new staff. Well, we'll see.


Assuming that I can keep the first resolution under control, there's something else I would like to do a little more this year: cooking. T doesn't ask for much in life, as he is pretty content with what he has. However, deep down inside, he does like the idea of coming home to a decent meal. In light of my recent crazy work hours, my laziness, and my abysmal culinary skills, he usually ended up making dinner after a long, exhausting day. Being ever so caring and patient, he has never shown any smallest signs of complaint or dissatisfaction. Still, it would be nice if I could prepare something delicious at least once or twice a week (and not repeating the few dishes that I used to make by default). Whether he has the confidence, or courage, to enjoy my cooking is a completely different story, but I do want to venture into this uncharted territory. Who knows, maybe I do have the gift? I have bookmarked some quick and easy, heart-healthy and dessert recipes, and I need to broaden my inventory of kitchenware and utensils (Alessi?). I may even take a cooking lesson. Practice makes perfect.


I need to exercise more. Not that losing weight has become an imperative (it would be nice to tone up my bod a bit, mais c'est pas grave). In a few short years, I'll kiss my sweet thirties goodbye. The next decade is key, as it will lay the very foundation of my health when I enter into my golden years. I know I have been saying this year after year. It would be a good reminder to myself. Make time for the gym. Like it or not.

Family & Friends

Spend more time with the people I love. Pretty self-explanatory. I need to live life more fully by being present both physically and mentally and by having a greater appreciation of all the ordinary miracles that life presents to me everyday.


I need to catch up on my reading. I used to buy three to four books from amazon.ca at a time, and I enjoyed being a chain-reader, devouring (or should I say savouring?) a fiction followed by a non-fiction and vice versa. I missed that insatiable thirst for words and pages and the gratification of finishing a good read. I already bought the Twilight Saga , Building the Bridge as You Walk On It, and Hominids as a starter (for what they are worth), and will keep an eye on the best of 2008 and this blog for inspirations. If you have any recommendations, whether it's in Chinese or English, please let me know! (Mais pas en français, j'ai peur que ça prenne trop de temps pour les finir haha!)

So, as I said, not a long, ambitious plan. I am pretty sure that I can measure my progress in some tangible concrete terms (e.g., I have not food-poisoned anyone to death by June yet, etc.) Whether you are making any new year resolutions or not, I wish you every success in your upcoming endeavours!


Anonymous said...

probably same problem with me, delegation of work...
while problem with alessi is they're too cute to be kept as collectibles and i never wanna use them...
HNY anyway~~

Wordy said...

Delegation of work ...

Yes, I will order the Twilight Saga shortly, too, but dare not to say if I could finish only Twilight by the end of 2009 ~

best actor said...


i got an Alessi Girotondo Mug (by King Kong http://www.allmodern.com/asp/show_image.asp?pr=0&sku=AAS1431) in 2000 as a gift, which I came across accidentally in some lifestyle magazine. since then i just fell in love with Alessi.

T's sister just celebrated her 20th wedding anniversary and we bought them a Mediterraneo fruit bowl (by Emma Silvestris http://www.allmodern.com/asp/show_image.asp?pr=0&sku=AAS1008). I was supposed to buy some china, oh well!

good luck to your work situation and happy new year!

best actor said...


although the twilight saga appears to be quite hefty in size, i read the first draft of Midnight Sun (5th installment) on the author's homepage, 200+ pages went by quite quickly. i will not be surprised if you finish the entire saga and some in a week or two, or at most in a month (while reading other stuff). :o)

the saga ran out of stock here, so i am patiently waiting for the shipment. meanwhile, i'll start with other "livre du jour".

happy 2009!

Anonymous said...

In 2009, I hope to be healthier, live healthy, stay positive, not try to stress about things and find a balance in my life between work and play, spend more quality time with family and friends.......

Sounds easy to say but seems hard to achieve ?? haha.. :-)

best actor said...

the basic, simple goals are always the most difficult to attain. i think our NYRs all share something in common, i.e., lead a healthier life this year. let's support each other!!:o)

happy new year!

galaxy said...

多年前在舊公司, 我都做過360 feedback survey, 我還有幫手分析那些數據,D result幾得意。

best actor said...


360 的結果出了﹐但還沒有計劃好 action plan。而且還沒有跟老闆商量﹐不管如何﹐知己知彼是件好事。 :o)

happy new year!

Anonymous said...

(Belated) Happy New Year!

I just finished a chunkster on the AIDS epidemic. I didn't plan to have spent so much time on it, and the book spilled into new year! I need a lighter book now, but most likely end up with another Jose Saramago.

I don't mind cooking for someone very special after a long exhausting day! :)

best actor said...

ah, the aids epidemic... uplifting stuff. ;o) i enjoyed Michael Cunningham's A Home at the End of the World and Felice Picano's Like People in History, tho i try to go light on my leisure reading (Prozac is expensive these days) haha.

if you want a mindless fun read, give Joe Keenan's My Lucky Star a try. Keenan was one of the screenwriters of Fraiser. i enjoyed his wit immensely. :o)

in terms of cooking, ah you and T are very much alike. i usually turned into a pumpkin after work. ha!


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