Category Archives: New Year’s Resolutions

Thank you posts

During Christmas there was an article in the Financial Times encouraging us to write thank you notes.  In the author’s household the rule is “you cannot unwrap the next present until you have written a thank-you note for the last one“.

I am modifying the idea in order to help me be more thoughtful with what i buy, read and play. The rule is, i can’t give up a book/game* and start another unless i write a thank you note first.

This will also help on another matter, which is articulating what i like and don’t like about a specific book/game*.

The first thank you is to Gone Home.

* game => board games & video games



During my army service i was frequently given the task of instructing a class. Sometimes young men my age but also national guard reserves, men older than my father at the time. As anyone who has ever served in the National Guard here in Cyprus can tell you these classes were a living nightmare. They were very repetitive and because i had to do a lot of them after a certain point i got really good at it. There were a few, rare times when everything clicked and i got a sense of reward and satisfaction that i still remember to this day.

It’s funny then that i rarely got that feeling at the university and then later on in my professional life. My highest academic/professional achievement is possibly qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. It was not a sense of achievement that i felt after each exam i passed and then finally qualifying. It was a sense of relief.

However, i get this warm, satisfying feeling when i read books with Sophia. Last week we played a card game, then i read The Secret Garden to her and then we played something else as well. Out of the three she said she enjoyed the book the most. That made me feel great.

I also have this feeling when i teach board games to new people. People who want to learn. I could see it in the eyes of a 6 year old boy and his father’s while i explained King of Tokyo and then all 3 of us played it together at the Cyprus Comic Con. I saw it when i played Blueprints for the first time with two teenagers from Paphos. We finished a complete game and then they wanted to play again.

But what can i and what should i teach?

It’s clear that i need to be passionate about what i’m teaching. That immediately rules out teaching a subject for the ACA/ACCA professional courses which was one of the possibilities i was considering last year. I don’t even know if would be able to but now i know that i don’t want to.

The second option is teaching and playing board games at different NGOs, homes for the elderly or youth groups. I spend enough time on board games as it is and i prefer to teach something that is more challenging. In any case there’s nothing to stop me from doing the odd board gaming event at these places every now and then.

Another option i’m considering is A(S) Level Economics which was my favourite subject in school and i followed it up with a BSc. Earlier this year i had a look at the syllabus. I have a lot of catching up to do of course but it’s possible. I would have to do this my way and I have some ideas. Also, a friend has suggested that i should check out the possibility of online tutoring.

Nothing is final yet and i’m open to other ideas, particularly training/teaching at the level of professionals (employed or unemployed).

I need this sense of fulfillment and achievement which is currently missing from my life.



Personal development

I want to teach.


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New Year’s Resolutions 2014/15

I was having a discussion with a close friend of mine a few weeks ago and he said,

“Every year you make all these resolutions. The reality is that there’s only one resolution you should have. Just one.”

He was half right.There are actually two.

Unfortunately this is one of those times when i wish the blog was anonymous. But it’s not. So i’m keeping both resolutions secret this year. I’m still going to try and set objectives and self-improvement projects which i will post about during the year.

Secret resolution (ongoing for the past two years)

Secret resolution (new)

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Posted by on September 1, 2014 in New Year's Resolutions



New Year’s Resolutions 2013/14 (review)

It’s September again and time for me to review how i fared with last year’s resolutions.

Cooking – This is one of my successes this year. I’m now adding a dish every month or so to my “portfolio”. The latest additions are two potato salad variants. Over the year i have added a few more including broccoli soup and baked salmon. I still need to master these dishes and so far the cooking has mostly been for personal enjoyment. This last Sunday i cooked salmon with vegetables for the family and it was great! The potato salad on the other hand was a disaster…. I enjoy cooking for others which is something i want to do more often and i’m also considering taking cooking lessons this year.  Achieved

Reading – To some extent this has been achieved. For example I read a couple of articles and books on WWI (fiction and non-fiction). I also read fiction books written by the same authors or with settings of the same period and area (Asia). In truth however my interests are more general. I don’t want to go too in-depth even though in theory i like the idea. I prefer to read about new things even if this keeps my knowledge to a more superficial level. Partially Achieved

Teaching – Unfortunately i did not do anything related to this. Fail

Emotional/Short-tempered – I’d like to believe that I’ve shown some improvement. Board games have helped to this end as the social aspect forces me to behave better and control my emotions. Also a person whom i consider to be the most recent addition to my circle of friends has also helped me to see things and people differently. More positively. Finally, spending time with my nieces has helped me relax more and at the same time be more patient. There’s still room for improvement though. Partially Achieved.

Events – I attended a few events (same number as last year probably) but i’m very proud for the International Tabletop Day i helped organise. One of the highlights of my year. I need to do this kind of stuff more often. Partially Achieved.

Secret Resolution – No improvement and carried over to 2014/15. Fail

Health – There’s been a deterioration compared to last year. Both mentally and physically. One of the effects of this is that i had to reduce my exercise time from 40 mins to 20 mins a day. Headaches have also become common whereas i never used to have them. I’m hoping that by focusing on the important issues and the source of the stress in my life this year i can improve on this. Fail

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Posted by on September 1, 2014 in New Year's Resolutions



New Year’s Resolutions 2013/14

I’ll be brief.

Two (Secret & Health) of the resolutions are carried over from last year, three are skill based (Cooking, Reading, Teaching), one relates to a character flaw i have (Short-tempered) and finally the last one is a variant of last year’s Travel resolution (Events).

Here we go:

Cooking – I want to put more effort and thought into what i eat. Partly for the end result (better food, hopefully!) but also for the process. Cooking can be a quite relaxing and satisfying experience. I’ve seen this with the limited cooking i’m already doing. It’s a skill i’d like to improve. There’s the issue of finding the time to do this and dealing with the mess after. The problem is that cooking a meal for one or two/three people usually means more or less the same cleanup. But i’ve made up my mind. Cooking is the new skill i want to develop this year.

Reading – Focus my reading on less broad areas of interest and also get better at it. I find myself spending too much time going from one article or book to the next without thinking about what i’ve read. So less time reading and more time analyzing what i’m reading!

Teaching – Although i’ve put it as a resolution i don’t expect to fully pursue this one yet but it’s something i’ve had on my mind for some time now. I just want to put it here to force me to explore a few possibilities.

Emotional/Short-tempered – This is one of my many character flaws. It’s not as simple as it appears from the outside as there are a lot of factors contributing to why i’m like this. Whatever the reasons behind it however i hate this about me. It will be difficult to assess how successful i’m with this resolution but i’ll figure it out along the way.

Events – Go to more events. Whether it’s festivals about music, film, photography, talks, seminars or whatever. This year i went to Hack Cyprus 2013 which i found to be extremely interesting. There are things about Cyprus that still surprise me. For example, that there is a Cypriot toy company!! In fact i bought my first game from them the other day for my goddaughter. There’s a lot of stuff happening out there. This year i want to find out what they are.

Secret Resolution – Continues from 2012/13

Health – Continues from 2012/13

Happy New Year! 😉



New Year’s Resolutions 2012/13

It’s time for the resolutions post and although i’ve not been posting as regularly as i would have liked, this is one (two actually) post i wanted to publish. It’s a brief review of how i coped with the resolutions i set myself last year. If you remember i said at the time that they were quite ambitious because they were not completely in my control to achieve. However, i believe i was and still am the decisive factor in all of them. I’m surprised. I think i did a lot better than i expected and writing this post now has lifted my mood as i’m reflecting on how the year fared.

Let’s go through these resolutions in more detail (but not too much!).

Last Year’s Resolutions (2012/13)

Travel -This has been a relative success. It could have been a lot better but i’m very satisfied with the progress. During the year i arranged my yearly vacations to Larnaca although not as many days and with no road trips this time. However, i did manage to go Kalopanayiotis and Pafos for a few days. In fact i’ve already planned another Pafos trip for this year! Pafos is especially refreshing because i have not visited the surrounding villages for a long time now and some even not at all. I loved it!

Finally, the Germany trip is all set and i’m currently making my necessary geeky preparations which i will mention in a future post. The important thing is that i’m going and i’m very very excited about it! 🙂

The only caveat is that all these trips have been done with others and there was no solo travelling which was one of the ideas i wanted to pursue. However, at the end of the day what matters is that i did more travelling than previous years and that’s enough for me right now. Achieved!

Volunteer -This has been a massive fail. Zero effort in this one all through the year and if i’m honest with myself i don’t know if i want to actually achieve this anymore. My desire has diminished significantly. I see my priorities lying elsewhere at the moment and i don’t want to spend energy on this. Maybe later or if it happens by accident. Fail and not keeping for next year.

Exercise – Fortunately this is one of the big successes of the year. I’ve managed to find a few things i can do to keep me relatively fit and happy. There’s no jogging, football or mountain biking. However, i did a lot of swimming (since beginning of June and still going) and also home exercises. The home exercises have been especially satisfying as i can do them 4 times a week and usually the after effects are manageable. I’m trying new things every month to keep things interesting (TRX trial in September!!!).

Overall i’m surprised that i’ve found a level of exercises that i can manage and importantly be happy with it. Achieved!

Secret ResolutionFail and keeping for next year

Health – This has been more good than bad. I have now settled into a routine with my ups and downs. Physically and mentally. Sometimes it’s almost as if everything is perfect whereas other times things do seem to take me back to those “dark nights”. However, i’ve made considerable effort for this one and i’m happy about that. I do need to keep this going because things are still fragile. The fact that exercise wise things have been going well was a considerable boost to my morale. Relatively satisfied with this but still a lot of work to be done. Achieved! (keeping for next year because this is the big one)

I’m now working on the resolutions for 2013/14.


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February 2013 ratings

New Year’s Resolutions update (Rating is out of 5 of these [])

  • Travel[]
    Larnaca day trips
  • Volunteer – zero
  • Exercise – [][][][
    Cycling on Sundays and home exercises
  • Secret resolution – [][
  • Health – [][][]


January 2013 ratings

New Year’s Resolutions update (Rating is out of 5 of these [])

  • Travel[]
  • Volunteer – []
  • Exercise – [][][
  • Secret resolution – []
  • Health – [][][]



December ratings

It has not been a good month.

New Year’s Resolutions update (Rating is out of 5 of these [])

  • Travelzero
  • Volunteer – [][]
    I managed to sell a few boardgames for charity, tried to sell some more at an event (but failed) and also donated some foodstuff to charity.
  • Exercise – zero
  • Secret resolution – [][]
  • Health – zero
    Health wise it back to pre-operation levels with my right leg while my left now has the same issues. It’s been bad.