Year 2013 started with spectacular fireworks all over Sydney harbor. I’m feeling lucky to call this amazing city home.

2013 NYE Sydney bridge fireworks

nye 2013 fire works (2 of 3)

Last year, for the first time in my life, I wrote some personal goals in a spiral bound book and kept it for the whole year. It turned out to be a great way to stay on track so I’ll be doing same at the beginning of each year and pray harder for each year to go a little slower.

My main goal for this year is to manage my time better so that I can read more books and spend more time on the beach.

Speaking of books, I want to finish the book that is lying around unfinished for the last 10 years– The Story of Pi. Now that someone has made a movie out of it, I’d better manage to at least finish reading the book.  I’m up to page 53 as I write this, so there’s a good chance it’ll be finished by the end of January. At least read 1 book/month, 12 books this year. Trust me Internet, I’ll make an effort.

Sydney has been mostly blessed with warm beach weather since 1st of January this year. And boy, did we enjoy the blissful time off. We spent the New Year’s Day at Pearl beach. In the first week of January, we drove through the scenic roads and notational parks to the south coast, north coast, and central coast. We soaked up in sun. We spied crabs walking sideways in theirs caves. We swam in calm ocean water. We let roaring waves crash on us too. We went home everyday with glowing suntan, lots of photos, and happy memories that never fade.

Scenic Drive Through Sea Cliff Bridge To NSW South Coastcliff way drive (1 of 1)

I can be one of the moodiest people and suffer from green grass syndrome frequently (someone is having better hair, more fun, more successful and happier at the moment). A couple of days ago we drove pass this cute house painted in a bright color on the way to Kiama with a sign says: “Carpe Diem” fixed on the front wall of the house. What a perfect reminder of life is all about: Carpe Diam/Seize The Day.

cute house (1 of 1)

With that in mind, here’s to the New Year, enjoying/making the most out of each day, endless possibilities and creating a life of your dreams.

“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.
Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”
― William Faulkner

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.”
― John Lennon

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
― Albert Einstein

quote 5 jan 13

quote lake diary“It would seem that you have no useful skill or talent whatsoever,” he said. “Have you thought of going into teaching?”
― Terry Pratchett

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
― Albert Einstein

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
― Groucho Marx

“The worst part of success is trying to find someone who is happy for you.”
― Bette Midler

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
― Oscar Wilde

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
― Pablo Picasso

budda

As everybody kept talking about Apocalypse, the end of the world,  I shook my head and found it hard to accept the cruel and relentless marching on time,”it can’t be 22nd of December already. It’s like, early October, the latest. In 2008.”

 At the beginning of this year, I wrote out my goals for 2012. Since it’s Apocalyse today, there’s no better time to review my goals of the year, to see how far I’ve come. It’s time to see what needs improvement, how to grow further, if there’s tomorrow or next year. So here it goes..

Keep a clean desk – the whole year: Significant improvement compared to last year. Still need to do a much better job.

Exercise 4 times a week: Hmm. Not v good. Need to stay motivated all time.

Be a consistent winner in FX trading: A roller-coaster ride. Think I finally found the secret to FX trading.

Be a better friend, sister and daughter: Been very good. On top of that, got engaged and married to my best friend and soul mate. Sounds unreal hey? But it’s true:). Next year’s goal will be harder though: be a better wife…

Travel the world again: Traveled overseas twice this year. Very happy.

Read more and blog more: Bad. Not reading enough. So much to read, so little time. But no excuse, ok?

Grow more vegetables: Tomatoes died (sob) -not enough sunlight. Spinach is growing like weed – good. Found super power fertilizer. Spring onion is looking healthy.

That’s it. I’ve done it, something scary. This is the first time I had personal written goals and actually took time to review it. Promise I’ll do better next year. It’s going to be the whole new world from tomorrow right? And hopefully by the end of next year, I’ll be able to get myself a pair of pants like this:

386369_286219548082093_1882864978_n

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
― Winston S. Churchill

“What’s meant to be will always find a way.”
― Trisha Yearwood

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”
― Bil Keane

“I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
― Woody Allen

“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”
― Terry Pratchett, Diggers

“Every man dies. Not every man really lives.”

– William Ross Wallace.

“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.”

– John Allen Paulos.

“That’s why they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.”
― George Carlin

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.”
― Albert Einstein

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.”
― Mother Teresa

Quotes of the week

 

Quotes

“It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.”
― Maurice Switzer

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou

Quotes

1. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
― Dr. Seuss

2.“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
― Thomas A. Edison

3. 

1. “A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

Elbert Hubbard

2. “The best colour in the whole world is the one that looks good on you.”

Coco Chanel

3.

 

“…Exhale … and come back to a downward facing dog..” the room was hot and packed with people in Lululemon sports clothing. Our yoga teacher walked among rows of yoga mats, adjusting our postures gently here and there.  “Now bend your knees, look forward and jump on top of your mat without a sound.”

It might be the last yoga class before we fly out. I’m going to miss it while I travel.

I have an on and off relationship with Yoga for more than 10 Years. No matter how long did I drop it off in between, I always managed to come back for more. The thing is, my body craves for yoga after a while without it, just like a hungry man longing for a satisfying meal.

The Yoga class I’m taking involves a serious amount of sweat and hard work, not the picturesque sitting on a rock cross-legged, breathing-in-and-out-slowly type. Normally people comment something like “Oh you do meditation” after they hear the term “yoga”. A little bored with explaining Yoga ≠ Meditation all the time, nowadays I just go with the flow, imagining I often meditate in a beautiful ancient temple or on the white sand beach with nobody else around.

My first Power Yoga class scared me off a little. The class was small and it turned out I was the only one in the room who couldn’t do a handstand, not even against the wall. The second class wasn’t any better; I was the only one who couldn’t do crow pose. As I raised my hand awkwardly asking how to set up for this pose, the teacher glanced at me, rolled his eyes and turned away as if I didn’t exist. Feeling totally humiliated, I disappeared from yoga studio for a long time. Of course, I had many more power yoga classes after that and over the years I’ve finally learned to just concentrate on my own practice and not to be discouraged too easily.

Looking back, I wish I didn’t find so many excuses not to practice on a more regular basis for all these years like It is too hard for me. Or I don’t have time, I’m too busy with work.  Or most often, I don’t feel like doing it … The fact is no matter how much I struggle during a yoga class, it always makes me feel incredibly good afterward. I’m more balanced, more flexible and become a little stronger. It’s not about what fancy poses I can do. It’s about overcoming my laziness, my fear. Of being hurt. Of embarrassment. Of failing.

Keep doing it. It’s like anything we want to achieve in life: You’ll have to start doing, keep practicing and get better at it. There’s no shortcut.