I wrote down 10 New Year resolutions last year and I kept it in my wallet. Obviously things have changed a lot since then and I want to review them before I progress to next year. I accomplished 6.5/10. But a passing grade was not what I was going for, lots to work on!
1. Pass CFA Level II (0)
First of all, I don't know why I put it as first. It seems like it was my priority back then. I have no one to blame on but myself. I signed up for level II again this year, but will I still put this on my resolution list this year? Probably not. This change made me realize priorities change as you progress. Why did I do it in the first place? Is it because everyone else was doing it? Better yet, why did I get into Finance in the first place? Is it because it is THE INDUSTRY that people I was surrounded with want to get into and I just "group-think" it's where I want to be?
2. NO DRINKING! (0.5)
Wow, I capitalized this one, and... an exclamation mark! I wonder how much did I drink last NYE? Ha. Nonetheless, I did it for half a year! Yep, that's where the 0.5 come from. During that half a year, I would ask for apple juice in a wine class (so it looks like white wine), or telling bartender " I would like a Gin and Tonic without the Gin!" It was an interesting half a year, it wasn't hard but I started moderate/leisure drinking in July. Reason why I broke it, was probably because I feel I constrained myself too much... and of course, summer came! After all, it was sort of a discipline test for myself, I knew I could keep going if I wanted to.
3. Read 1 book a week (0)
Ok, this is an aggressive one, I admit. Did not accomplish. If I change it to every other week, I think I would've boarder-line passed. One book I'd like to highlight was probably my all-time-favourite "Delivering Happiness" by Tony Hsieh (Zappos CEO). I echoed so much with him I finished the book in 2 days. I told myself, if I ever start a company (which I think I will), this is a required read for every employee.
4. Look for opportunities in NYC (0)
I did and I didn't? First of all, a note to myself - this is a shitty goal setting- make sure next time I make a more concrete/specific/result-driven goal. My time in NYC was so so so good it reached my university all time high. Again, perspectives have changed compared to a year ago. I still think NYC is my favourite city in the world, and I do believe one day I will go back. But let me "buff up" myself a little bit more before I meet NYC again. I remember I was standing on top of Empire State building, overlooking the city. I told my friend "One day this will be my view. Our view."
5. Travel at least 3 times (1)
Check. Chicago, San Fran, HK, Shanghai, Sanya. This one is likely go into my next year's resolutions. Travelling broadens my view, simple as that.
6. GMAT in the second half of year (1)
Seriously, how nerdy was I? Nonetheless, check. I delayed it over and over again. One day I said to myself "fxxk it, just book it". I booked the exam date, went off to HK for travels and came back studied for 2 weeks. I did 2 mocks in total, not very good marks. The actual exam turned out ok - top 10 percentile. Lesson learned - just fking do it. Things will be ok as long as you try, You miss 100% of the shots that you don't take!
7. Gym 4 times a week (1)
I would give myself a pass excluding travelling days. I've been saying this a lot recently - "A healthy body and mind is the assumption to everything". Exercising de-stresses, re-energizes and motivates me!
8. Ask different people for coffee at least once a month (1)
This one is SO NOT ambitious as a person in finance. Nonetheless, I did it. I really like to meet different people more because I like to know about people's stories from all walks of life. I also started talking to an old friend who I lost contact with for 7 years. He's now in Italy as part of the designing team for Lamborghini. Pretty cool, uh?
9. Save 10% per month (1)
Check. I guess a lot of people will laugh at this goal (10% are you serious?). I don't think I have a spending problem, but I sometimes lose track where my money went. I did "extremely well" in the second half of the year. Unnecessary spending is... unnecessary. But of course - more room for improvements.
10. Learn chess (1)
Not a master but at least I know how to play now. Again, I love keep learning about new things.
2015 has been quite a year. Sometimes I wanted to just rip the 2015 page off and toss it away. I can't and I believe it's all part of the process of being someone great. This year, I see myself clearer. Me driving in my little merc bombing around in waterloo days was long gone. I am a grown-up now and I am responsible for what I do. One thing that didn't change throughout the years was my relationship with my parents. I won't be who I am without them. They gave me the brushes and let me paint my own future. Thank you!
2016 will be tough, uncertain yet so intriguing! I know who I want to be, just go for it. REALLY! JUST GO FOR IT!