I can’t believe how fast time flies indeed. In just a few hours, 2010 is going to be over and we’ll be welcoming 2011 with a bang! As I reflect on the events that occurred, I would say that, overall, the year 2010 was a great year for me.
It was a year of learning, taking control of my life and moving forward. It was a time of growth and self-improvement. And I am glad to say that I am happy with the way I have handled several challenges this year.
With that said, I would like to share with you 10 of my accomplishments in 2010:
10. Completed a year of Japanese lessons
After living in Tokyo for a couple of years, there have been several times that I had trouble doing even the most mundane tasks just because I couldn’t communicate well in Japanese. Sometimes it was quite frustrating and I had to do something about that.
I was so happy to find a great and fun way to study Japanese by listening to a lot of podcasts. I also had the opportunity to find my own online sensei (teacher).
9. Passed Japanese Language Proficiency Test (Level 3)
With all the effort I put into studying Japanese, it made sense to try out my skill level. So I took the JLPT exam at the University of Tokyo. And a few months later I got the certification in the mail and was so happy that I passed!
8. Switched to Mac and iPhone
For many years I have been using my old laptop that I got back in 2005. I’ve upgraded it to its maximum capacity and always thought: Hey I don’t need a new computer, this one is still working! But eventually I stopped kidding myself because it was really slow and I couldn’t do what I needed to do on it. So I bought a MacBook Pro.
As for the phone, I have been using a Japanese phone for a couple of years. It has all the hi-tech gadgetry that Japanese want: mobile HDTV, mobile wallet (FeLiCa), hi-res screen, and more. At that time I was also using an iPod touch. But when the new iPhone came out, I was glad that I could now carry one device instead of two.
Plus I get to share a lot more goodies via Twitter and Facebook even when I’m on the go.
7. Learned how to make simple videos
This was actually one of the main reasons why I switched to a Mac. I wanted to make short, bite-size “pocket movies”. So I started learning how to use iMovie. It was easy and I had fun doing some experiments. Next time I will learn to do training videos using screencast software. So stay tuned!
6. Moved out of my comfort zone a lot
Sometimes people mistake me for being aloof or snobbish. This cannot be further from the truth. I am actually a shy guy and it takes me a while to warm up to new people.
In the past months I have gone out of my comfort zone much more than usual. I attended a lot of events, parties, photo shoots, get-togethers and so on. In those occasions I have talked to dozens and dozens of people from all over the world (Japan, UK, US, Australia, ) from different backgrounds (photography, education, technology, entertainment, and a lot more).
It’s great to connect with other people. I highly recommend it!
5. Started studying about online marketing and social media
As more and more people go online, the shift from traditional media (like radio, TV, newspapers) to social media, it is changing the way people do business at a rapid pace. That’s why I have taken interest in studying about online marketing and social media.
4. Started my own blog
Thank you to my mentors for teaching me how to start my own blog. From buying the domain name, to choosing the web hosting, to installing WordPress, installing and configuring themes and plugins, to adding social media elements.
For 2011, I will share with you how I built this blog from the ground up.
3. Read a lot of books and articles to increase financial intelligence
For me, the thing that will give the highest impact to my future is increased financial intelligence. As I mentioned in my previous post, education is very important. With a higher financial IQ, there is a higher chance to make better decisions and recognize opportunities where others normally don’t see it.
2. Started investing in precious metals
Just to be clear, I am not a financial advisor and what you do with your money is for you to decide. I am just sharing with you what I am doing with my money right now. I have invested a lot in gold and silver this year, for many good reasons which I will share in future posts. If you asked me, I would highly recommend that you have some kind of physical gold and silver in your portfolio. But don’t take my word for it. Do your own homework (or as other people would call it, due diligence).
1. Completely stopped smoking, the easy way
This is probably one of the biggest challenges I had to overcome: escaping from the tight grip of nicotine addiction. I’ve been a smoker for a little over a decade. I am so glad it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Thanks to Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking.
Well there you have it. Now it’s your turn. What things have you accomplished in 2010? Please share them by leaving some comments below. I look forward to hear from you!
Now if you would excuse me, I have to prepare for a countdown party in Shibuya. Happy New Year to everyone!