Ah the yearly review.

2018 was pretty tough. So 2019, you can do better.

This time last year I set myself some targets for the coming year. I’m going to check how I did, I’m confident I didn’t do too well against these, and embarrass myself to do more in 2019.

Here we go 😬

Me vs 2018 Resolutions

Read at least 5 books.

I did this. The flights back and forth between the UK helped.

5 isn’t a huge amount but it was an improvement on 2017. I hope I can continue the upward trend.

Learn 500 Chinese characters.

Hmmmm. I made steady progress with this in the first 6 months of 2018. Much less so in the second half of the year.

However I don’t have an exact figure. I never cracked how to measure my progress. Part for that is because I used a variety of sources to learn; some characters I learnt with flashcards, some via Memrise app, others during my Mandarin lessons, and further ones via other means. Such as my new(ish) discovery: @han_characters on instagram.

One to keep an eye on.

Write at least 26 blog posts.


I did not do this. I only wrote one post last year which was the post about these resolutions..

Why? The easy excuse is a lack of time. I fact I find writing difficult is the other. Sometimes it is like I have a mental block when it comes to writing. I’m going to do more in 2019. Promise.

Make some revenue from websites.

I started working for MHCLG early in the year, which amongst other things, ate into the time needed to meet this goal.

However, it isn’t all doom and gloom. I do have 50 Great British Pounds sitting in a Booking.com affiliate account which I’ll be able to get my hands on once it doubles…

I also worked on a few content pieces for other sites, such as this Football Manager salary calculator.

I didn’t make as much progress on my side porjects as I had hoped but some progress was made. All I’d say is watch this space.

Explore more of what China has to offer.

Well, we went to Tianjin, Shanghai and Xian this year. It isn’t as many places as we’d hoped but given how much time we were out of the country it isn’t too bad.

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Back streets of #Tianjin . #china #instachina #travel #travelgram #locallife #ig_china 🇨🇳 #hutong

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2019 could be our last year here so we plan to make the most of it.

Be healthier.

Big fail!

I made excellent progress on my fitness until a fateful day in March when I hurt my knee on a long (for me) run.

Circumstance, my knee troubles and a carb heavy Chinese diet has wreaked havoc with my fitness. From a respectable fighting weight of 76kg in March I recently peaked at a warming Christmas fuelled 82.5kg.

I know weight isn’t the only thing to take into consideration but I haven’t been to the gym consistently for 6 months so I haven’t put on 6kg of muscle.

Keep a better record of things

This did not happen. Probably because I find writing a chore and find as many excuses as I can to not do it.

Waste less time on social media.

Maybe there has been an improvement, on and off at least. I should’ve defined “wasted time.”


Last year I said something like “all that matters is being able to say I’m in a better position now than I was this time last year.”

Is that the case?

Yes, I’d say so. Not for the state of my fitness or my writing output but for everything else. In some cases, the progress hasn’t been as large or quick as hoped, in others, it is difficult to quantify but I can honestly say there has been some progress.

I’ll take that.