I've never really been one for New Year's resolutions. To me, the practice mostly seems silly as evidenced by the high percentage of those who fail at them. Perhaps that's because "resolution" isn't quite the right term in my opinion.

Aside from whatever the dictionary will say about the theory I'm about to bestow, I think of resolutions as being the initial idea that leads you to draw up a set of goals. From there, those goals lead you towards achieving a dream. This is what can make dreams that seem far off come true — a stairstep of specific goals that make it attainable.

Having once been a Disneyland local, one of my big dreams in life (I also detest the term "bucket list") is to become a regular at another Disney resort: Tokyo Disney. To be honest, this is the result of one dream that has shifted over the years. See, I used to want to live in Manhattan for at least one year of my life ever since I was a teenager. However, after having visited Tokyo, I'm kind of over New York. Don't get me wrong, I still love visiting for a number of reasons, but Tokyo has many of the things I adore about the so-called "Greatest City on Earth" with the added bonuses of being clean and safe. And having not one but two amazing Disney parks doesn't hurt either.


My two visits to Tokyo (which you can read about in my book — shameless plug) have both been incredible. Ever since taking our honeymoon there, my wife and I have constantly talked about wanting to return for both short term and long term visit. We also often daydream about Tokyo DisneySea, which I've maintained is the best park that Disney has even built. Still, one thing that was lacking on my trips was my ability to speak more than a dozen words of Japanese. That's why this year I'm making a point to take one step towards my dream of someday living in Tokyo by beginning to learn Japanese.

They say one of the tricks to achieving a goal is to make it specific. That's why my plan is not just to "learn Japanese" but to do at least four hours of studying the language per week (so just over a half hour a day). I've had my Rosetta Stone subscription for over two years now but, without a strict plan, it's gone mostly unused for the vast majority of that time. Now it's time to buckle down and, perhaps most important to my wife, get my money's worth.

Another important step in setting a goal is to write it down. Obviously I've done that privately but now I'm sharing it on here. Why's that? Well, accountability helps as well. To thank you for being a loyal reader of The E-Ticket Life blog, I now give you permission to bug me and ask if I've been doing my homework (Twitter handle: @kyleburbank — which currently says Kyle (カイル) Burbank as a means of inspiring me). Also, if any of you happen to speak the language, feel free to test me — though, just know it'll be a while before I carry on much of a conversation.

So that's it, really. If I want to spend my days rubbing elbows with Duffy, I have to learn to speak his language. OK, he doesn't talk, but you know what I mean. Resolution ---> Goals ---> Dream. Tokyo, here I come... eventually.

Come back next week for more stories and be sure to pick up your copy of The E-Ticket Life book on Amazon or get a signed edition from Laughing Place Press!

Kyle Burbank
Kyle is a writer living in Springfield, MO. His deep love of Disney and other pop culture finds its way into his stories, scripts, and tweets. His weekly blog "The E-Ticket Life" can be found Saturdays on Laughing Place and his first book "The E-Ticket Life: Stories, Essays, and Lessons Learned from My Decidedly Disney Travels" is available in paperback and for Kindle. http://amzn.to/1CStAhV