how i'm making my 2018 count

2018 calendar calligraphy handlettering

It always comes as a bit of a shock to realise that the year is pretty much over. But I must say that 2017 has given me one of life's biggest milestones: Moving to a new country, which is something I've always dreamed of doing.

Instead of reminiscing about the past year, however, I thought of sharing some of the ways I want to make my 2018 be a significant one. And no, I'm not calling these new year resolutions (because they never stick); I'd prefer to see them as life goals/markers that will leave a lasting impact, not just on my life but on the lives of those around me.

I encourage you to do the same for your life. What are the gaps or "holes" you see in your speech/actions/behaviour/lifestyles right now? What are the things you wish you could do more of? What is something you want to improve within yourself?

Notice that I'm not asking you to ask yourself questions like "What makes you happy? What gives you purpose?" - these are all well and good, but I find them a tad superficial. Your life does count for something, and you should give it all the value and worth it has for all the time you have left on this earth.

What I want my life to speak of in 2018

  • Service. There is a part of me that longs to help others (fun fact: I'm an INFP, or a "healer"). But I've never had enough courage to step forward and avail myself to a particular cause or felt need. I think fear - of being too vulnerable or too inadequate - was holding me back. Also, it's been years since I've been "actively serving" in church, but since moving to Vancouver, I've felt many tuggings on my heart to serve again. So I've written in to the church I'm attending now to explore a few avenues of service - not in the areas I have previously served in, but in new ones. I'm looking forward to seeing where these will lead me to in the new year.

  • Kindness. I have this terrible habit of speaking down to myself. Maybe it's because I'm Asian, but I am pretty critical of myself in a lot of aspects - appearance, skills, what have you. And there are many times this year where I've nagged my husband and given irritated retorts and eye-rolls when I am impatient with him. My prayer for 2018 is to be a little kinder to myself and to my loved ones, and to stop perpetuating harmful speech/behavioural patterns.

  • Generosity. While working full-time, I had so little energy for other people and other pursuits outside of the job. I absolutely hated feeling that way. Since going on a sabbatical in March this year, I finally found the space and time to slow down and reflect more deeply about the trajectory I want my career and life to take. One of the biggest realisations that arose from this extended duration of "chilling out" is that I need to cultivate a more giving spirit - whether of my time, my money, or any other means by which I can encourage someone. I feel like this is a rusty engine that needs a little bit of repair work right now - but hey, it's definitely moving in the right direction.

    P/S: The calendar featured in my photo was designed by my friend Angeline. Find more of her works over at Teaylor Made.