The Biggest Year of My Life + New Goals


Wow, what a year this has been (okay, now I sound like I’m writing in someone’s yearbook).  No, but really.  This was probably one of my most memorable years I’ve had so far in my life.  It’s a year like this that motivates me to keep pursuing my dreams, opening myself up to many great opportunities.  I learned you need to put yourself out there, even just a tiny bit, whether it’s trying new foods, talking to people even when you can barely speak their language, or moving across the world.  Putting yourself out there is the biggest ignition to opening yourself up to amazing opportunities.

Even though I’m not sure what my dream job is or even which direction I should be taking, I always tell myself, live in the now.  If I keep thinking about that future job, I’m going to miss all the little precious moments here.  This year, I did a lot of thinking and a lot of changes in my thinking.  I’ve grown to live more positively, by looking for the positives even in the not-so-good situations, to live everyday with a goal in mind, and to grow as a person each day.

Some of the biggest events that happened in 2013 include: traveling to Disney World with my family (love love love Disney and spending time with family), getting accepted to the JET program, graduating from college, moving to Japan, pretty much everything that has happened in Japan so far, celebrating my two year anniversary with Mark, and celebrating Christmas and my birthday in Seoul.  I’ve been all over the place, accomplished major life events, and have been on an emotional roller coaster this year.  I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for me.  In continuing my stay here in Japan, I know that a lot more traveling and amazing opportunities are bound to happen.

Goals for 2014

New Year’s Resolutions?  Nahhh.  I feel like ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ are just a beginning of the year kind of thing.  You’re super motivated and excited to strive towards these resolutions, but after a month, you kind of forget about them.   For me, I think it’s better to make yearlong goals because just the name itself makes me more motivated to keep them and strive to towards them.

  • Continue to learn more about Japan and Japanese culture.

  • Become a better global citizen.  This is pretty vague, but I would like to learn more about current events and cultures around the world, and help out in the community more.  I hope to spread my love of travel and cultures to others and hope it inspires them to look into learning about different places.

  • Start more humane shopping.  Even though it’s very difficult sometimes, because I love the styles and the cheap prices, I know that those prices are cheap for a reason.
  • Travel more.  There are so many beautiful places to be seen in Japan and I’ve barely been anywhere.  I also want to travel to other countries in Asia, but there’s so much to do and so little time!  With that being said…

  • Save more money.  I would like save more money so I can spend that money on traveling and eating amazing food.  I need to cut back on my convenience store runs and buying useless things (why did I even buy that plastic flower faucet decoration?).

  • Be able to hold an entire conversation in Japanese without resorting to an English word.  It WILL happen this year!  Nowadays, my conversations are short, but there are times when I throw in English when I don’t know the Japanese word, hoping that the other person knows the word.  I know I’m slowly getting better, but there’s so much more studying and practicing to do.

  • Go out for more walks and stretch more.

  • Video chat with my parents more.  I don’t want to admit how many times I’ve talked with them since I moved here because that number is miniscule.  I’m sure they want to hear from me more and hear about what I’m doing.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but definitely a good start to my new year.  I can’t wait for all the new adventures and experiences I will be able to have, especially because Mark is moving here in April!  I’m so excited to be able to travel and share these experiences with him.

Happy New Year everyone!  Let’s make it an awesome year!

And yes, I love using that picture above.

How did 2013 treat you?  What are some of your goals for the new year?

//Linking up with Weekly Wishes//


  1. Erika

    I just love the positivity and joy that’s radiating from this post, Mallory! You have had a phenomenal year and I’m sure that’s only going to continue in 2014! I wish you the very best for the new year and can’t wait to read more about it! Great goals you have, too! :)

  2. Erin

    I just found your blog from a comment over on Treasure Tromp’s about the envelope system.. and as a fellow budgeting nerd I had to come say Hello! I LOVE that you love Disney, my husband and I do too and have an upcoming trip planned there :) I love your goals and plans for 2014, looking forward to following along!!

    • Mallory

      I’ve recently gotten more into budgeting, but it’s helping so much with planning for all the trips I want to take. Let me know if you have any more tips on how to save money! Have an awesome trip at the Disney parks! It’ll be such a great time :) I love running around, being a little kid. Happy New Year!

  3. Melanie Fontaine

    I’m sure that 2014 will be even more memorable for you than 2013! :) I love what you’re saying about putting yourself out there, because I have noticed exactly the same happening to me! The more I come out of my shell and try to connect to people – both on- and offline – the better the opportunities for me become! I hope you have an amazing year, Mallory! :)

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