6 Jan 2015, 11:27am

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Welcome to 2015


Looking ahead to 2015

I have no idea what will happen in 2015. Unexpected events, good or bad, are almost guaranteed. I’m hoping there will be more good than bad this year.

Also, I have some idea of what I want to accomplish. Here are my educational goals for 2015.

1. University

My main goal here is to write the second edition of our extensive reading manual. Beyond that I would like to continue improving my classes and supporting other teachers in the ER@TU program.

2. Cambridge

The main goal here is rolling out the new program Cambridge 2015, along with the SEG-inspired Cambridge Academy. This is on track and looking good so far.

3. Independent

I would like to write and publish some more ebooks. I also plan to work on my Retire Japan project.

I also have personal (mainly to lose weight) and financial (to continue saving and investing) goals. How about you? Any projects or resolutions for 2015?

Time to leave?

How do you know?

clock 450

A recent series of events has started me thinking. On Friday, we had a meeting at work to talk about possibilities for promotion and tenure. On Saturday, I had a talk with my wife about it, and that evening, I received a very timely email.

The short version of the meeting is that I may be eligible for promotion and tenure in three years, at my employer’s convenience. This is kind of disappointing, as I was expecting that to be the case this year.

The conversation with my wife was even more unexpected, as she ended up saying ‘if they aren’t going to give you a proper job, maybe it’s time to look for one elsewhere, even if that means a move’.

The email is pretty self-explanatory.

The two combined really started me thinking. I’ve been pretty happy at work so far, and it’s been an interesting and satisfying six years (normally I get bored after three!). However, I don’t know if I am going to learn all that much going forward, particularly without being promoted. Three years of the same doesn’t seem that attractive…

I’ll have a chat with a sympathetic senior colleague next week and see what he says. Also, if you know of any interesting job opportunities from April 2016 please let me know about them 🙂


So long, and thanks for all the likes

facebook broken

This isn’t the first time I have walked away from Facebook, or at least tried to. Unlike this essay, I don’t think the internet is the best place to live your life.

There is a lot to like (ha ha) about Facebook. It does provide a community, something that is particularly important here in Japan as it can get lonely otherwise. It allows you to keep up with people that you don’t see often and probably wouldn’t think to call or email.

In its pure form, I would probably have kept my account. However, Facebook has made a number of important changes recently that really degraded the experience for me:

  • not showing all my friends’ posts
  • not showing things in chronological order and bringing posts back to the top every time someone likes or comments on them
  • showing things my friends like or comment on
  • showing ads that have some tenuous link to a friend
  • not showing all posts from pages or communities
  • not sending posts from pages to more than 10% of the community without payment
  • co-operating with the NSA
  • the new microphone listen function on phones

Facebook is also a time-suck, and was starting to get in the way of things I would rather be working on. At the end of the day I get much more pleasure out of writing something on this blog, or an article, or reading a book, or meeting someone for coffee than by hanging out on Facebook.

I’m going to keep my account for now (for the pages) but I have unfriended everyone except my wife and don’t plan to use the account in a personal capacity again. We’ll see how long I last this time 😉

How about you? How do you view your Facebook usage?

31 Dec 2013, 9:10am
goals new year

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2013 Annual Review

Last year I started doing an annual review and yearly plan at the end of the year.

iMOM 2013-14 Calendar-JAN14

2013 was a pretty good year for me. Accomplished a lot, failed to accomplish even more, have a big list of things to get on with next year.

I’m going to try and keep up a bunch of habits, as well as aim at bigger goals. Here are my habits for 2014:

  • do quarterly, fortnightly, and daily planning
    I’ve been experimenting with this for the last couple of months, and it’s pretty powerful stuff. Especially like the medium-term planning.
  • meditate every day
    I want to start meditating. Everyone says it is incredibly beneficial, so I am going to try to do 5 minutes every morning.
  • strength training
    I am back on the Stronglifts 5×5 program, but this time I’m only going to the gym twice a week instead of three times. It’s working much better for me: better recovery and less time pressure.
  • improve Japanese language skills
    I am going to continue doing anki every day and try to read at least one book a month in Japanese. This has always evaded me so far so I hope 2014 will be the year when I can actually make this into a habit.
  • intermittent fasting
    I did this for most of 2013, and it suits me very well so I plan to continue. Basically you don’t eat until the afternoon, so you effectively fast for 16 hours a day and only eat during an 8-hour window. More info here.

The focus on habits is due to realizing that habits are the base of all our behaviour: good habits, good lifestyle. The list above should be achievable, as I am already good at a couple of them. Trying to create too many new habits means you will probably fail.

The other thing I really need to work on is not wasting time online, but seeing how it is basically my kryptonite, I am not too hopeful 🙂

How about you? Any resolutions or goals for next year?

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