I have been thinking about 2015, and setting a few goals, or at least some signposts to guide me though it. Resolutions would be no good, I will not stick to them, but goals are good, they help me focus.
so here are 3 of my goals for next year:
1: improve my written German – You know, I have lived in German speaking countries for over 20 years now, and my spoken German is, in my humble opinion, pretty damn good. But the written? na ja, there is some room for improvement. German grammar is notoriously difficult, with 16 ways to say THE.
I have never really been a lover of studying grammar, and it shows in my German writing. I need to write emails and letters, and even an annual financial report, in German, and I always struggle. You can guarantee that when I put an n at the end of a pronoun, it is wrong, but if I leave it off, it needed an n.So goal number 1 is to improve my written German this year, either via a course, or writing more German ( correctly 😉 ) or reading more German to get the flow, or all 3. And if my goal is successful, I will even start a German language blog to keep it going.
2. Reduce my monthly outgoings: Although my salary by German standards, is pretty good, there just never seems to be enough of it to get me through the month. I know why this is however, and it is mainly because the outflows outweigh the inflows. I pay too much rent, too much health insurance and support 3 other people all on my salary. The rent is going to drop when we move ( when we find something), or alternatively, when the spare room really takes off on Airbnb and the euros flow in.
The health insurance is more difficult to manage. My top tip to anybody reading this who is thinking of moving to Germany – if you can get state insurance take it. It is way cheaper than private, and if you are never sick like me, then it is just as good.
I am also in a no spend month now. I try always to do this after Christmas. While others go crazy hitting the Sales, I lay low and stay out of the stores. There is really nothing i need – well other than a new mobile phone perhaps. I have way too many clothes, and coats and shoes.
The online traders are doing their best to tempt me otherwise of course, with emails arriving daily announcing 10% off here, 15% there, special offers for today only, and top sale bargains. But no, I am not going there. It is consumerism gone mad.
3. Reduce my stress: This is goal number 3, but maybe the most important. I stopped going to yoga in May, when the office moved to the city. I still have not found a new course, or maybe I have now actually, as there is one on Tuesday evening near the office, and in English to boot. I will give it a go. Work is crazy busy at present, and I only have a temp member of staff to help me. The daily commute means that I have very little energy, or time really, once I get home, to go to the gym etc. I generally hit the laptop and catch up on my email or play some words. It is not exactly relaxing. I notice my lack of yoga on my general fitness and my waistline, so now I have to get the work/life balance back into harmony.
Maybe I will set up a meditation corner in the guest room, or turn the attic into a meditation zone, for while we are still here. If I have my space, which is not the couch in front of the TV, it might encourage me to go there more often. It will also remind me physically of my goal to de-stress. I can do some stretches and yoga there too. No excuse not to.
Maybe reducing my stress might mean changing my job, or reducing the hours – although where I am now it is not an option to do that. I will try to schedule a day working from home every couple of weeks or so. This means a bit of a late get up and no commute, as well as no disturbances from people wandering to my desk.
So now I have written them down, and told you guys of them, i will have to try and meet them. And I think I will start with number 3 – it appeals to my interior design passion. 😉