Reflections on 2015, Goals for 2016 and Favorite Posts

Reflections on 2015, Goals for 2016 and Favorite Posts


Happy New Year!

Every new year I look at the goals I set for myself the previous year and see how many of them I actually accomplished.

I wasn’t going to do it this year, but since I crossed off more than half the list I felt kinda proud of myself.  Plus, making goals for oneself is never a bad thing (even if we never reach them all).

What I accomplished in 2015:

  • Learn Advanced CSS, HTML, and Javascript; as well as Photoshop, Illustrator and In-Design.  I took a web design course and made a pretty impressive website.  I also spruced up Ruby Ronin’s layout. I still need to learn Illustrator and In-Design, but I’m using more photoshop!
  • Become an Irish Citizen Yup.  Did it.
  • Pay Off My Student Loans.  Aaaand they’re gone.
  • Visit at Least One National Park.  Went to Joshua Tree, although it’s definitely not Yosemite.
  • Run a 5k.  I participated in a color run and I actually thought 5k was too easy.  Time to upgrade to a 10k.
Joshua Tree at Sunset
Joshua Tree at Sunset

What I need to work on:

  • Update this Blog Once a Week and Really Commit to The Ruby Ronin.  Again, fail.  I think in June 2015 I didn’t even post once.  That’s horrible.  I need to make this priority #1!
  • Learn Italian and Sign up for an Italian Class.  Again, didn’t happen.  I tried to look for Italian classes in the LA area, but they were all 1.5 hours (by car) from my house.  Looks like Italian gets put back on the back burner…
  • Lose 20 pounds–and more importantly, lead a healthier life.  I didn’t lose 20 pounds, but I do lead a healthier life.  I exercise 4-5 times a week and cook almost all of my meals–now I just gotta figure out how to lose weight…
Tour De Fat San Diego
Tour De Fat in San Diego: All this beer is probably why I can’t shake off the pounds…

So basically, I rocked all the short term goals but really failed on the long term ones.  Worrisome!

A Look Back at 2015


2015 was much better than 2014, but it was still not easy.  I still struggle adjusting to life in California, and after two years I constantly wonder if I’ll ever be able to assimilate back into American culture.

I got a new job that has made me loads happier: I have a great boss and coworkers, my commute is 20 minutes instead of 2 hours, and I actually have pretty darn good benefits.

On the other hand, it’s the lowest job I’ve had in terms of pay and prestige.  I am not challenged.  I am on the bottom of the totem pole.  But most frustrating of all: I know I can do better (and I have been offered better).  Yet I stay because…

My boyfriend is in his third year of medical residency.  The whole reason I’m in California is because I want to be by his side and support him.  And praise Jesus, 2016 is the year he finally finishes.

I think if I had to sum up my 2015 in a word, it would be: acceptance.  2014 was filled with a lot of frustration and disappointment upon my return to the United States.  I couldn’t find work, I was living in the deserts of Southern California (definitely not where I imagined myself at 29), and I was without friends.  I felt like I was wasting my twenties, and it was a really hard year.

Socal Bikers at Joshua Tree
Bikers in the deserts of SoCal

In 2015, I think I learned to accept that life in America isn’t easy and to just make the best of it.  I’ve made a handful of wonderful friends, I work out and have a healthier diet, and I have a loving boyfriend that takes care of me even when I have emotional breakdowns (for the 20th time).

I’ve realized that travel is integral to my happiness, since the 2015 Europe trip brought me back to life.  It was also an absolute pleasure to see one of my best friends get married in Belgium and be her bridesmaid.

Brandenburg Gate in Germany
Brandenburg Gate in Germany

I also realized that I need my mountains and seasons, since living in the eternal summer of Los Angeles just isn’t for me.

I still wonder whether or not I should move back to Asia.  It might be where I belong.

And finally, I know that I’ve found the right person or me.  It took one hell of a sacrifice, but no one else seems to complement me much like my lovely boyfriend.  We’re in it for the long haul.


Goals for 2016

  • Let my 2016 plans come to fruition.  I’ll talk about this later.
  • Update Ruby Ronin at least once a week.  No more procrastinatin’.
  • Publish something.  This is the year!
  • Run a 10k.  Since I totally rocked the 5k!
  • Start Learning Another Foreign Language.  Maybe Arabic, or French?
  • Go to Japan and China.  It’s time to see old friends.
  • Drive Less.  My car lease is up in 2016.  I hope this will be the last car I ever drive.
  • Continue to exercise and lose 10 pounds.   Being healthy is key!
  • Take up a hobby and stick to it.  Whether it’s painting, calligraphy, jewelry making–I want to commit to a hobby and do it at least once a week.  I think hobbies are a form of meditation that calm us.  I need it.

Favorite Posts of 2015 

My highest ranked post of 2015 is Being Half Asian, followed up by What it’s Like to Work at a Japanese Company.

My personal favorites for 2015 are:


How was 2015 for everyone?  How would you summarize your year, and what do you look forward to in 2016?

11 thoughts on “Reflections on 2015, Goals for 2016 and Favorite Posts

  1. I think you did really well on your resolutions! I mean, you nailed 50% of them. If you were a baseball player, you’d be a millionaire with that average.

    It’s aways frustrating when we feel like we aren’t reaching our potential (I hear you on the publishing front), but I think your year of acceptance has also been a year of growth, figuring who are you and what makes you happy. Well done, and Happy New Year!

  2. Hey, you did great with your resolutions! I never do a resolutions list because I know I won’t do anything… but hey, this is the 3rd day in a row that I do some yoga before starting to work! Yaaay!

    I also wanted to learn some photoshop, and programming, and… errr… I didn’t.

    When you come to China next year maybe you can also meet some new friends *^_^*

    1. Haha I know I’m afraid to do a resolution list for that very same reason. I’m sure I won’t lose 20 pounds (since this is the 3rd time I’ve asking for it), but I gotta try at least!

      And yoga three times in a row! That’s accomplishment! I hope you’re still keeping it up!

      I’ll be in China in March (hopefully)! Winkwink.

      Thanks Marta, happy new year to you!

  3. Hey, you had a ton of goals to work towards. I feel like you still got a lot accomplished! Paying off student loans is such a big deal, and such a heavy financial burden finally gone for good. Getting citizenship in another country is annoying just with having to deal with a ton of bureaucratic BS. So good job, you!

    I have some similar goals as you! When I finally started posting on my blog (which btw, I had had for 9 months!) it was with the goal of posting at least once a week. I’ve kept to that so far, and I hope to be able to keep up with that posting rate for 2016! =D I also need to lose 20lbs. I need to lose 10lbs just in terms of better health, but 20lbs would be ideal for me. So, I’m definitely going to be working on that this next year. Here’s to the both of us working on that goal! My current plan for the weight loss is to lose 10lbs by the 6 month mark, so I’ve got my sights set on July 1st for the 10lb check in! Baby steps!

    Also… WHAAAAT!!!! Where are you going to be in China?!?!?!! Will you be there for a longer time or just to visit?!

    1. Ah, I always make too many goals… but better than none I guess, right?

      I am quite proud of paying off my student loans, although my load was definitely not as heavy as some of my other friends. And Ireland made citizenship so easy, I was really impressed! Way easier than going to the dmv, haha.

      Yueni! Let’s both achieve our weight loss goals together! I’ll also try to hit the 10lb mark by July 1st… I’m trying to cut carbs out of my dinner and halving the portions of my lunch. I also drink a lot, so I’m going to try and reduce my alcohol intake to 2 days a week only (whether it’s happy hour Wednesday or drinks out on Saturday). Do you have a plan? Let’s do this!!

      I’ll be in China! Will you be there? 😉 I’m going to Shanghai to see old (and new?) friends, but I also want to see if I can squeeze in a trip to Yunnan since I’ve never been and the weather should be half-decent in April-May. I really, really want to go!

      Sadly my China trip is short term, although to be quite honest I’m afraid I won’t be able to leave, haha. Still, my short term trip will be about 1 month. I want to properly spend time with friends and travel.

      1. Yay, here’s to better health. My goals are to reduce portion sizes, eat more greens, cook at home more, and drink more water! I also hope to continue running, yoga, and pilates when I move.

        I’ll be in China, but not in Shanghai. I’ll be in Shenzhen! Boo! =( If you get the chance to go to Yunnan, you definitely should. I was there for 6 weeks in the summer, and it was so amazing. Lijiang, Dali, Shangri-la. If you want some tips, I’ll give you a whole bunch! 1 month is enough time to visit with friends in Shanghai and see something of Yunnan! You can do it!

  4. Great job on accomplishing your goals. I’m bit surprised I lost the weight from 162 to 108, but the holidays happened and I am up to 114.5…but at least it wasn’t serious damage. I will be there in a couple of weeks. 😀

    I don’t think I will be doing resolutions this year…well, I wont tell people what they are, anyway…it’s a surprise. 😀

    I never thought I would visit where I’m from. Maine. Despite the terrible food there, I can honestly see myself living there….I probably will change my mind when I actually do. :p

    I can’t wait for September. I have to go back to Taiwan to renew my resident card. I can’t give that up. Ever. My husband doesn’t want to visit China. He says, “good riddance.” Ahaha…

    1. Your weight loss is AMAZING Eileen! I’m really impressed by you, and it gives me inspiration!

      Your photos from Maine looked like a lot of fun! Maine is definitely on my bucket list.

      That’s something to look forward to… Taiwan in September! I’m not diehard about China, but I do miss my friends in Shanghai very badly. I am quite excited to visit Japan, though, and explore some parts of the island I haven’t seen before. You and your husband should totally take a Japan detour on the way to Taiwan! The yen is low!

      1. Sadly, I don’t have time for Japan. Going to Taiwan is less of a vacation and more of business trip. I have to renew my resident card and I have to be there when they ship it to me aka New Taipei. 🙁

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