Category Archives: Resolutions

2015! New Year! Year of the Sheep!

I know it’s a little slow but Happy 2015 everybody!!! I hope everyone’s first couple of weeks have gone well! I’m actually feeling a hint of pride, as I’ve managed to keep blogging for 1 whole year! It’s been a bit inconsistent but still I did it! I’ve looked back to last years blog post about New Year to check my New Year Resolutions, and they are basically the same as the ones I made this year oh no!

But of course there are things I let slide last year, we all do it, it happens! Actually my first and main New Years Resolution for 2015 is to be kinder to myself and others, so I’m not going to be too hard on myself for letting my New Years Resolutions slide last year. Also it’s good to make New Years Resolutions but not if keeping them is going to really stress  you out. I found myself a lot last year getting stressed very easily and feeling frantic, and also that I spent a lot of time just waiting for things to happen. This year I want to relax, worry less about tiny things and if I am waiting for whatever reason, use that time productively to get something done!

My others are similar to last year,

– speak Japanese.

– pass N2 level Japanese (which means study more!!)

– work out 3 times a week, if I can’t do that just find more drive to want to work out, so it doesn’t feel like a chore, make it more enjoyable for myself somehow!

– try harder at everything!

– watch less TV, use that time productively or if I really feel like I want to relax, read a book or watch something more interesting and thought provoking!

– be awesome! Don’t make excuses for myself, do my best and do it well!

I wanted to finish with something interesting so here are links to two websites.

The first is a list of questions that allows you to reflect on last year, and also asks you questions about what you truly want to get out of this year! If you are struggling to make New Years Resolutions this might help.

The 2nd is a link to the best TED talks of 2014, I wonder what interesting topics there will be talks about this year.

Have a good year everyone!


やった!!!N3合格しました!!! I passed JLPT N3!!

Woohoo!! I passed N3!!! I really really didn’t think I was going to pass, I only just passed by the skin of my teeth, but a pass is a pass, woop woop!! For those of you who don’t know the JLPT stands for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, and N3 is the intermediate level exam! My goal is to pass N2 and so far I’m on the right track!

I passed!!!
I passed!!!

The N2 advanced level exam has a bit more of a focus on reading, than the tests that precede it, and as my ability has improved I find that naturally I want to read more and more!! 

Both Maruzen in Hakata Station and Junkudo in Tenjin have a good selection of English Language books and Japanese study materials. I find Junkudo has a bigger selection and that is where I found the “ask” Japanese Graded Readers. They are packs of short stories containing 5 books and an audio CD, where all of the language used is at a certain level. I find these have really helped me to increase my reading speed and also learn more about Japanese culture, the books being abridged versions of famous Japanese folk tales, stories and also some non-fiction. These packs of books can also be bought off the white rabbit website –




Also I have just bought a book called, “New Penguin Parallel Text Short Stories in Japanese” , which contains short stories by Japanese authors, with the English translation on the left hand page and the Japanese translation on the right. So far it’s very interesting and I’m looking forward to reading more when I have more time.



But first . . . I gotta finish reading “Norwegian Wood” by Haruki Murakami! I don’t know why I never picked it up before, but I’m halfway through and it’s brilliant!!! But this one I’m reading in English!  If you have any suggestions for other books by Japanese authors or extra study materials, please let me know in the comments.


Hello world! Hello 2014!

2014 is a new year and so far (it’s exceptionally early days!!!) I feel a new level of motivation and creativity and want to make this a year to really get more creative and focus more on the things I enjoy! I know this is a time when everyone is posting New Year’s Resolutions, but after I did a lesson on New Year’s Resolutions at one of my school’s, it actually made me think more about my own plans for this year.  So here goes . . .

  1. Tone up! Last year I started doing TRX, one of my friends is an instructor, and it’s really helped me build my strength! This year I want to take things a step further and do that bit more. 3 times a week is the plan!
  2. Speak Japanese! I took JLPT 3 in December (which I’m pretty sure I failed!!) but it was a really impetus to sit down and study, and because of that my vocab and grammar knowledge has really improved. But this year I need to stop just reading and start actually communicating!!
  3. Read more! I plan to read more books by Japanese authors and continuing from last year, finish reading the N3 Japanese reader library, but I also want to read more from the blogosphere about topics that interest me.
  4. Make friends! I need to meet more people, 2012 was a great year for meeting people and making friends but last year not so much, so I must try to get out there again!
  5. Create! I think practice makes perfect and I’m going to aim for quantity over quality here, until I get better at this!

This year I also hope I can be a better, kinder and more thoughtful, granddaughter, daughter, sister, friend and girlfriend. OK 2014, I’m ready, bring it on!


2014 is the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Horse and the Kanji for horse is  馬