Happy 2018!

Hello hello! Happy New Year! I hope the holidays have been good for you and that 2018 is starting off on the right foot. The season went so quickly around here – it was nice and relaxing. My brother and his wife came in Christmas Eve and stayed for a few days. We got into some good eating, more drinking than I thought we would (ha), a little bit of a bug (The Kid had a nice puke session on Christmas Day) and took a little staycation downtown at the Westin Chicago River North. I’ll summarize all that in the coming weeks. Today, I decided to log on to 1) wish everyone a happy 2018 and 2) share my goals/resolutions for this year. Regarding #2, I wonder if it’s smart to share my resolutions on this little blog. I say this as there’s a common perception that sharing your goals with others helps keep you accountable while there’s another school of thought that says that say you’re less likely to achieve your goals if you share them. This latter paradigm comes from Derek Sivers, who I pretty much agree with on most things. And he’s probably/most likely right, but hey, this is the internet. The internet, as Austin Kleon (another person I agree with most of the time) states, is a place to share something small every day. Since one (or more?) of my resolutions will involve sharing my progress, I will go with Austin on this one. (I do have other goals that I’ll keep to myself, so your words have not fallen on deaf ears, Mr. Sivers!) Without further ado, my 2018 Resolutions:


Alright, let me babble about each one for a bit…

1) Sleep 7-8 hours a night. I have been sleeping for 5-6 hours a night for as long as I remember.  And it’s never for any good reason. Someone once suggested that I stayed up because I thought I was going to miss the party (this theory was presented to me long before FOMO became a thing). It’s possible that’s the reason. Then, there was a period where I stayed up late to teach myself the different Adobe programs (I’m a big time InDesign, Premiere and Photoshop user in case you didn’t know!). Now that I have 2 kids, I’d love to be able to blame them and say that they like wake me up in the middle of every night. But that’s not the case at all as my husband is a rock star and pretty much sleep trained them. If I slept as much as my kids did at night (11-12 hours for The Girl and 10-11 hours for The Kid), I’d probably be functioning much better. But nope – as soon as they go to bed, I pick up my phone and iPad with intent of looking up one thing…next thing I know, I’ll look up to see that it’s almost midnight. No bueno. So recently, I decided this had to change. I want to go to bed early (9 or 10 o’clock) and wake up early (I’ll start with 6AM but I want to work my way up to 5AM or earlier). After Christmas I started going to bed at 10PM and waking up at 7AM – I’m pretty sure my body is trying to catch up on (what I think is) two decades of minimal sleep, but maybe 9 hours is my optimal sleep number. We’ll find out. The ultimate goal is to get more sleep so that I wake up, feel refreshed and can start the day by….

2) Designing one thing each day. Sometime in the last year, I flirted with the idea of going into graphic design. I guess it’s not that far of a stretch as my background is in marketing, and while reviewing and editing catalogs and other marketing collateral, I used to spend a little too much time doing the work the the designer should have been doing.  I’ve been getting freelance design work, and it looks like if I had to pick a focus, it’d be on doing page layouts (like newsletters, brochures, catalogs, magazines….basically, anything that requires a page flip). My ultimate goal is to design a cookbook (call me, Giada!!!!). In the meantime, I plan to use this space to share the random things I design. Today’s page layout design is the progress of my New Year’s Resolutions:


3) Learn 1 Vietnamese word a day. This one is personal to me as I’m a first generation Vietnamese-American, and I speak Vietnamese like poo. (“Poo” is actually one of the few words I know. Classy, eh?) During the holidays, we went to hang with my relatives. When we see each other, my aunts and uncles will speak to me in both languages. They typically speak to my husband (who is always the only non-Vietnamese person in the room) in English, but I noticed that this year, some of them were speaking Vietnamese to him. He nodded while looking like a deer in headlights while my aunt or uncle would realize the mistake and repeat the whatever they said but in English. (It’s all pretty comical.) Weird thing is, they don’t extend that courtesy to The Kid and speak to him in Vietnamese. Like his dad, he has no idea what they’re saying. And I’m not faulting my relatives for this – I want them to do this. My kids should know Vietnamese. (They should know Russian – their dad’s nationality – too, but that one is out of my hands for now. One language at a time!) So I’m going to do my part, and try to fix this. My Vietnamese vocabulary is limited, and I’m going to start small by teaching myself one word a day. Sounds silly, but slow and steady wins the race, right? 😉 Actually, the hope is that learning a word a day forces a compound effect to take place. I realized this back in October when I started this goal (I put this aside around Thanksgiving, which is why this goal is finding its way into my NY’s Resolutions). For example, when I came across something like the days of the week, I didn’t just learn “Monday” – I ended up learning each day of the week. Cool! I realize the compound effect might work more easily with certain words than others, but I’m still hopeful it’ll find its way into all this. But I’ll provide my progress at the end of every month…I hope. 🙂

So this post is getting long. Thank you for reading. Again, Happy 2018 – I hope this year is full of good stuff for you. 🙂

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