January 1, 2012:

People who know me know that I’m a bit (ha!) of a Type A personality, a little compulsive and quite a dreamer.  I always love New Year’s Day because on this day, I set aside time to think about whether I accomplished my quite ambitious (& usually unrealistic) goals from the year before.  Then I write down what I aim to accomplish in the year ahead.

I usually keep all my goals to myself, because if they fall by the wayside or if I simply don’t have the self-discipline to achieve them, then no one knows about my failures but me.  This year, however, to make myself accountable to someone, my blog readers for one, I am going to spell out my resolutions for all the world to see.  Maybe, just maybe, this will force me to stick with my resolutions and actually accomplish something I set out to do.


I usually make goals for myself in numerous categories, including finances, health, creative pursuits, travel goals, and others.   So, for 2012, these are my resolutions:

1) Finances:  PAY DOWN MY DEBTS substantially (…by 93%). (Saving will have to be next year’s goal… 😦 )  CURTAIL purchases of new items.  Yep, that means STOP SPENDING MONEY!!

2) Health & Fitness: Exercise 4x/week (Thur, Fri, Sun & Tue)!  Walk or do weights or ride the exercise bike at the Falaj Daris.  Bring healthy lunches to work instead of eating the horrible “Chicken cooked 1,000 ways” or the starchy and over-salted vegetables in the university cafeteria. DRINK WATER!!!  (I always forget to do this!)

3) Writing: Continue to write my Oman blog.  Finish my Cairo blog (what I can remember from 4 1/2 years ago!). Revise my 480-page novel.  Begin writing my book tentatively titled: Seeking Myself on (& off) the Kimchi Trail… LOL… 🙂

4) Language and Knowledge Goals: Try to read a bit of the Quran each night to gain an understanding of Islamic culture.  Study Arabic: Complete Level One of the Rosetta Stone Arabic.  Review Chapters 1-12 in Al-Kitab.  Study 1/2 hour 5 nights/week.  I’m serious.  Really.

Learning about Islam & the Arab world....

Learning about Islam & the Arab world….

5) Travel goals: Go to Greece this summer for 2 weeks. Go to Virginia for one month. Go to Lebanon during the November National Holiday.  In Oman: Explore as many wadis and beaches and tourist destinations as possible.  Go to Sohar, Salalah, Musandam.  Read about Jordan, which I never did before I went in November.  Read about Greece & Lebanon before my travels: novels, non-fiction, travelogues. NOW THIS IS THE FUN STUFF THAT I CAN EASILY “ACCOMPLISH.”

6) Family goals: Have my two sons, Alex (20) and Adam (19), come to visit me in Oman and RUN THEM RAGGED UNTIL THEY KEEL OVER FROM SHEER EXHAUSTION. (They arrive January 10!)  Spend time with my daughter Sarah (27) when I return to the US in the summer.  Visit my father, my sisters and my brother. Try to talk online more regularly with the boys.

Adam and Alex will be here in January!!!

Adam and Alex will be here in January!!!

7) Social: Cultivate new friendships in Oman and elsewhere. BE NICE TO PEOPLE!! 🙂 Or at least try. Talk to my close friends regularly.

8) Cultural: Visit Oman’s museums and the big mosque.  Go to 2 shows during the spring season at the Royal Opera House; 1 show in the summer; and 2 in the fall.  Look for other cultural activities.  Try to get invited to an Omani wedding. 🙂

the Royal Opera House in Muscat

the Royal Opera House in Muscat

9) Home sweet home: Move into a new flat in Nizwa and decorate it to the hilt without spending any money (SEE RESOLUTION #1).

10) Work: Try to be more organized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Continue to love my students, which comes easy.  This is one surefire successful resolution.  Keep my job at the university and stay in Oman for at least one more year.

11) Eliminate at least one bad habit:  Hmmm…… Which one should I choose?  Maybe I’ll try to eliminate PROCRASTINATION, which should lead to the accomplishment of many of the above.  Or better yet, SPENDING MONEY.  Yeah.  That’s the one.

12) Spirituality: Meditate and spend time in prayer.  Spend time in nature and talk often to God.

13) LOVE: Open up my heart.  Invite LOVE to find me…♥♥♥♥♥♥

NOTE TO SELF:  You have the day ahead at your disposal.  Don’t think in terms too great.  Think about only what you can accomplish in a day.