A New Year

I ended 2016 by falling asleep in a hotel room in Hong Kong before midnight.
I started 2017 by being awoken by the noises of the fireworks show and by the sounds of my father snoring.

Since then, its been an interesting start to the year.

Kicked off the year by being a tourist with my dad. A ton of eating, walking and sightseeing. It was his first time to Hong Kong, so I was happy to share that experience with him.

My father left to go back to Toronto and I moved into my hostel at the Chinese University of Hong Kong on the fourth. It’s definitely felt like frosh week all over again — just with legal drinking now. I’ve met so many incredible people already from all over the world, helps you realize how big the world really is. Really cool getting to know people that aren’t like me at all.

With that being said, its nice to have a moment to pause and sort of take a breath. I guess that’s the point of this post. I also felt it important to get some thoughts down even if its a bit of a rambling.

So I suppose its a bit late to map out some goals for 2017 but better late than never right? Some things I really want to work towards in 2017.

Create and do more.
In particular, I’m trying to challenge myself to write more. Not about anything in particular — just of topics that are of interest to me or maybe general updates on life. (Being on exchange in Asia helps to make it a little more interesting to write about).

I also want to get more comfortable expressing my opinion, being more open and crafting my own voice in a sense. 
Plus, it never hurts to ideally improve your writing skills.

I also want to get more into photography. Again, it helps being in Asia but hopefully this is something I can keep going when I get back to Canada as well. Definitely not looking to become a professional or anything like that, but its cool to pretend to have a hobby ;). I’m not terribly creative, so it’ll be different for me. 
Shameless self promotion — Flickr Link and Instagram Link

The “do more” part of the goal relates to being more proactive. I think a good first step for that is to simply plan travels for the next four months. Can’t wait for things to happen, otherwise they won’t.

Figuring out where to go, what to do, asking for help, what to eat & all other details will be completely new to me, so a good opportunity to be a little uncomfortable.

Read.
I really enjoy reading but found that I read very sporadically last year. I’ll finish two books in a couple of weeks but won’t touch anything for another four months. So the real benefit of trying to read more is the discipline required to find time regularly.

Invest in & develop relationships
Stephen Covey in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People wrote about the idea of “emotional bank accounts”, writing that with every person we have a relationship with, you have this account balance and every interaction can either be a deposit or a withdrawal.

The idea is that having higher account balances allows you to have more positive interpersonal relationships. So obviously thats the end goal. I’m fairly certain there are numerous studies about how having more positive relationships correlates positively with overall happiness.

Basically, I’m saying, please be my friend, I’ll try really hard to be nice to you too.

Start thinking about after graduation.
I could probably talk about this for awhile, probably material for another story some other day.

I’ve expressed a lot of general thoughts in this article so maybe I’ll be able to write in further detail on some of these ideas.

Anyways, hopefully your 2017 has been off to a good start!
(and if not, maybe it’ll get better?)

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