minimalism lifestyle

In a world inundated with the constant buzz of consumerism and the pressure to accumulate possessions, I found myself yearning for a simpler, more meaningful way of life. The allure of minimalism began to resonate with me as I embarked on a personal journey to declutter not just my physical spaces but also my mind. In this blog entry, I’ll share the deeply personal reasons why the minimalist lifestyle has become so profoundly appealing to me.

Discovering the Weight of Excess:

My journey into minimalism wasn’t sparked by a sudden revelation but rather a gradual realization of the weight of excess in my life. My living space seemed to overflow with items that, upon closer inspection, held little significance. Each piece of furniture, every trinket on the shelf, carried the burden of unnecessary baggage. It was as if the physical clutter was a mirror reflecting the chaos within.

The Liberation of Letting Go:

The turning point came when I decided to embark on a decluttering spree. I found myself standing in front of my closet, facing an avalanche of clothes, most of which I hadn’t worn in months. As I held each piece in my hands, I questioned its purpose and significance. Slowly but surely, I began to let go. The act of releasing possessions became a cathartic experience, a symbolic shedding of layers that allowed me to breathe more freely.

minimalism lifestyle

Creating Space for What Matters:

As I pared down my belongings, something remarkable happened—I began to create physical and mental space for what truly mattered to me. The minimalist philosophy isn’t just about getting rid of things; it’s about making room for experiences, relationships, and personal growth. The vacant spaces on my shelves were now filled with the things I loved, each carefully chosen for its inherent value and significance.

Mindful Consumption and Financial Freedom:

The shift to minimalism encouraged me to adopt a more mindful approach to consumption. I started asking myself whether the things I was buying added genuine value to my life. This newfound consciousness wasn’t just liberating; it also paved the way for financial freedom. With reduced spending on non-essential items, I found myself saving more, breaking free from the cycle of consumer-driven habits, and gaining the autonomy to make intentional choices about my financial future.

Reduced Stress

One of the most transformative aspects of embracing minimalism ís that my stress level’s been reduced by adopting simplified lifestyle. A minimalist lifestyle often involves decluttering physical spaces. With fewer possessions, there’s less to organize and maintain, which results in reduced stress and a more peaceful living environment for me.

Environmental Consciousness:

Minimalism, I discovered, is not just a personal journey; it’s a way to contribute positively to the environment. By consuming less and being more mindful of the environmental impact of my choices, I felt a sense of responsibility toward our planet. This newfound environmental consciousness became an integral part of my minimalist lifestyle, aligning my actions with a desire to leave a lighter ecological footprint.

Flexibility and the Liberation of Space:

Minimalism provided me with a sense of flexibility and mobility that I hadn’t anticipated. The absence of clutter in my living space translated into a newfound freedom. I no longer felt tied down by possessions, allowing me to embrace opportunities for change, whether it be a new job opportunity in a different city or a spontaneous travel adventure. The minimalist lifestyle, it seemed, was synonymous with liberation.

Cultivating Mindfulness in Everyday Life:

At its core, minimalism is a practice in mindfulness. It encourages a deliberate and conscious approach to life’s choices, from the items we bring into our homes to the way we spend our time. This mindfulness extended beyond decluttering physical spaces; it seeped into my daily routines, fostering a heightened awareness of the present moment and a more profound appreciation for the simple joys of life.

The Unseen Impact on Mental Well-being:

Perhaps the most profound impact of minimalism on my life has been the positive shift in my mental well-being. The clarity that comes with a simplified living space and intentional choices has brought a sense of calm and focus. With fewer distractions and less mental clutter, I’ve found it easier to navigate the challenges of daily life and pursue my passions with a renewed sense of purpose.

Increased Productivity:

With fewer distractions and a simplified environment, minimalism can lead to increased productivity. The reduced visual and mental clutter allows me to concentrate on my priorities and goals.

Simplicity as a Source of Joy:

Minimalism advocates for the idea that less is more. Embracing simplicity allows me to focus on what truly matters, shedding the unnecessary layers that often complicate life. The minimalist lifestyle prompts a shift in priorities, emphasizing the pursuit of joy through experiences, relationships, and personal growth rather than through the accumulation of things.

Embracing Minimalism as a Lifelong Journey:

In embracing minimalism, I’ve discovered that it is not a destination but a lifelong journey—a continuous process of refining and reevaluating my priorities. The appeal of minimalism lies not just in the act of decluttering but in the profound impact it has on every aspect of my life. From fostering meaningful relationships to redefining success and happiness, minimalism has become the compass guiding me toward a more intentional and fulfilling existence. As I continue on this personal journey, I find solace in the simplicity, joy, and liberation that the minimalist lifestyle offers. It’s not just about having less; it’s about gaining so much more.



As the clock strikes midnight on the eve of a new year, many of us find ourselves contemplating the possibilities and resolutions that the coming months hold. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the past, set goals for the future, and embark on a journey to make this year the best one yet. In this article, we will explore a comprehensive guide on how to make 2024 your most fulfilling and successful year, covering various aspects of life.

2024 Sydney NYE fire works

  1. Reflect on the Past:

Before diving into the future, take a moment to reflect on the past year. What were your achievements? What challenges did you face? Understanding the lessons learned from both successes and setbacks can provide valuable insights for personal growth. Use this reflection as a foundation for setting realistic and meaningful goals for the upcoming year.

  1. Set SMART Goals:

Effective goal setting is a crucial step in making this year your best. Utilize the SMART criteria – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound – to create goals that are clear and attainable. Break down larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks, and create a timeline to track your progress. This approach ensures that your aspirations are not only ambitious but also practical and realistic.

  1. Prioritize Health and Well-being:

Your physical and mental well-being is the cornerstone of a fulfilling life. Establish a balanced routine that includes regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and sufficient sleep. Incorporate mindfulness practices such as meditation or yoga to promote mental clarity and emotional resilience. Prioritizing your health sets the foundation for a positive and energized approach to every aspect of your life.

  1. Cultivate Positive Habits:

Habits shape our daily lives, and adopting positive ones can significantly impact our overall well-being. Identify habits that contribute to your personal and professional growth. This could include reading regularly, practicing gratitude, or setting aside time for self-reflection. Consistently engaging in positive habits not only enhances productivity but also fosters a positive mindset.

  1. Nurture Relationships:

Human connections are essential for happiness and fulfillment. Invest time and energy in nurturing your relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. Cultivate open communication, show empathy, and be present in your interactions. Building strong connections provides a support system during challenges and enhances the overall quality of life.

  1. Embrace Continuous Learning:

A commitment to lifelong learning is a powerful catalyst for personal and professional development. Identify areas where you can expand your knowledge and skills. This could involve taking up a new hobby, enrolling in a course, or attending workshops and conferences. Embracing a growth mindset fosters adaptability and resilience in the face of change.

  1. Manage Finances Wisely:

Financial well-being is a key component of a successful and fulfilling life. Create a budget that aligns with your financial goals and priorities. Save consistently, invest wisely, and eliminate unnecessary expenses. A sound financial plan provides a sense of security and allows you to pursue your passions without unnecessary stress.

  1. Cultivate a Positive Mindset:

Your mindset plays a crucial role in shaping your experiences. Cultivate a positive and optimistic outlook on life. Practice gratitude by acknowledging and appreciating the positive aspects of your journey. When faced with challenges, view them as opportunities for growth and learning. A positive mindset not only enhances your resilience but also attracts positivity into your life.

  1. Give Back to the Community:

Contributing to the well-being of others can be immensely rewarding. Find ways to give back to your community through volunteering or supporting charitable causes. Acts of kindness not only make a positive impact on those in need but also create a sense of purpose and fulfillment in your own life.

  1. Celebrate Achievements, Big and Small:

Throughout the year, take the time to celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Acknowledging your successes reinforces a sense of accomplishment and motivates you to strive for more. Create a list of milestones and periodically review them to track your progress. Celebrating achievements boosts your confidence and keeps you inspired to pursue your goals.

Making 2024 your best year requires a holistic approach that encompasses various aspects of your life. By reflecting on the past, setting meaningful goals, prioritizing health, nurturing relationships, embracing continuous learning, managing finances wisely, cultivating a positive mindset, giving back to the community, and celebrating achievements, you can create a foundation for a fulfilling and successful year. Remember, the journey to your best year is a continuous process of growth, self-discovery, and intentional living. Embrace each day with enthusiasm, and make the most of the opportunities that come your way. Cheers to a year filled with purpose, joy, and accomplishment!


2024 Sydney New Year Eve fire works

I talk about motivation quite a lot on this blog because it’s not easy to stay motivated all the time.
Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said: “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.”

If you are feeling less energetic lately, here are 10 ways to stay motivated.

1. Develop a passion

It’s hard to feel motivated if you don’t feel passionate about something. Passion is what drives us to do things. Can you find at least two consuming passions in your life? It can be cooking, reading, sports, your career or achieving financial security. The more you train your mind to get passionate about things, the more likely you are to feel motivated in your life and geared up to do things.

2. Dream big, but don’t be a big dreamer

Believe it or not,these are two very different things. People who dream big have goals, stay motivated and go for what they want. Whereas people who are big dreamers tend to live in fantasy land rather than going after what they want, because the fantasy is just so nice and enjoyable. It’s much pleasurable to muse it over and play it out in your head than make it real. Have to admit , sadly I belong to the latter category most of the time.

3. Don’t procrastinate all the time

Are yo a big talker? Or some one who always has brilliant ideas but can’t put your plans into action? Like a big dreamer, procrastinating continuously get get you anywhere either. We need less thinking/talking, more doing.

4. Motivate other people

There’s nothing more likely to get you feeling motivated than to motivate others. So be someone’s cheerleader and you’ll discover the power of motivation and how it could work for you. Being a mentor, or positive friend. Help people highlight their strength, build goals and go after their dreams. Try it – you’ll surprised how effective it is.

5. Entice a reward

The trouble having zero motivation is that it makes you feel guilty, bad and fed up with your lack of zest. Change tactics and dangle a carrot in front of your face instead. Enticement of a reward works better as a motivator than guilt, whatever your goad is.

6. Do something everyday

It’s hard to be motivated when you’re overwhelmed by the big picture. Start small and do something every single day. Everyday write down three things you have to that will take you closer to your end goal. The key is consistency. If you are loosing momentum, ask a friend or expert along to help wither to boost your confidence or tackle a task with you. It can help make your task fun, keep your goals upbeat and enable you to see the bigger picture, just when you feel your motivation slipping away.

7. Finish what you start

This is a major motivation tip, because if you have trouble with motivation it’s also likely you have trouble finishing what you start. If his is the case, train yourself to finish things – even if you’ve lost interest. Getting to the end of a task teaches you that you are someone who is capable of completing tasks.

8. Energy yourself

It’s hard to stay focused if you feel tired and exhausted all the time. This means that if you are trying to motivate yourself you need to lose a few of your lazy habits (sorry). Eat well, sleep well, exercise and take vitamins if necessary. You’ll find you have the energy to get up and do things.

9. Surround yourself with go-getting people

Mix with people who have a real verve for life. Notice how your energy flags when you spend time with someone who moans all the time. Or is negative about everything. Motivated people give you energy and make you feel you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Find this type of people and stick to them.

10. Keep going

Stay motivated is hard, especially when the days get hotter and everyone is taking it easy and having a good time. These are days to watch out. While you take a break, don’t take your eyes off the ball or too long. Or else you’ll feel back at square one.

Stay motived.

I didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas but have started to really like it. This is the season that everyone can take a breather, enjoy a couple of days freedom, a big feast with loved ones and simply be merry.

Not ready to let 2018 go yet but it’ll leave us forever regardless. Instead of feeling a little sad, this year I’ll just slow down to reflect, doodle, cook, eat and really take my time to enjoy the last few days of 2018.

Merry Christmas everyone. May your days be filled with love, joy and sweet dreams!

Changing habits is not easy, especially when we have to break bad, unhealthy old habits because old habits do die very hard! If it’s so hard, why change? It’s true that many people don’t even bother to change for better or tried but just gave up altogether after a short period of time.

Living the best, most inspired life is something that everybody should aim for. If you are reading this, you are like me, you want more from your life. Be more. I’ve only started to realise the importance of developing long term good habits to better oneself since 2015. Before knowing the concept of changing habits, I was sleeping walking through my life without any long term goals or strategic planning. Life experiences have slowly taught me that we could all be that better version of ourselves if we try.  It’s the little things we do on a daily basis that have a large impact on the quality of our lives. So why not just put a little extra effort everyday to reach our full potential and make our life more fulfilling?

Changing habits for better

Changing habit will be even harder when we overwhelm ourselves with too many changes at once. Aim to spread out your workload by focusing on developing one good habit at a time. As a starter, here are 12 essential habits to develop and maintain to make your life as satisfying as possible. The focus could be easily set on 1 habit a month.

1. Develop a daily routine

Yes routine sound boring. I used to loath the word “routine”. All I wanted was be to free! What I achieved by going without a  routine? Chaos, not freedom.  So trust me, in order to achieve the ultimate freedom you desire, one must develop a routine! A daily routine consists at least the following:

  • Get up the same time every morning

I remember it was said that if someone gets up early in the morning, he/she is more serious about life. If you wake up the same time every morning, you’ll be more alert, have stress-free mornings, and get to work in a calm and centred state.

Related: How Learning To Get Up Early In the Morning Helped Me Become A Happier Person

  • Develop a morning routine and stick to it

It doesn’t help if you get up nice early, only to spend an hour or two browsing on social media. Have a morning routine and stick to it. Each one leads their own life, so this morning routine is up to you how to make it. Of course, things change and your morning routine might be modified over the time.

  • Develop a bedtime routine and stick to it

Try to go to bed the same time each night. I used to be a night owl who wouldn’t sleep until it’s way past 1am. As a result, I couldn’t get up early in the morning, I felt unproductive and stressed all the time. Well, it’s essential to create a bedtime routine for brighter mornings. It’ll prevent years of fatigue and frustration down the road.

2. Eat healthy

  • Starting with having a healthy breakfast

Having a healthy breakfast is not just for weight loss, but also for your general well being. It is reported that a good breakfast can improve concentration and performance in the morning. I used to skip breakfast sometimes or just have a huge portion of desert for breakfast. Chocolate mud cake used to be my favourite breakfast choice. Then I started to change slowly. Remember? Changing habits is hard! Now having a big, healthy breakfast has become the favourite part of my day.

  • Maintain a food journal if necessary

Do this only if you are serious about changing your eating habit. At first, the idea of maintain a food journal sounds tedious and so not necessary to me. But I tend to over-eat and to have a food journal seemed to be the last few resources to help me tackle this problem. I did this for a good 3 months and it really helped to eat more healthy food.

  • Have small portions

Consuming big portions in one go cause serious bloating problems.

3. Make exercise your top priority

  • Exercise every if even it’s just a 5 minutes’ stretch

I’m born lazy and not athletic so naturally dislike the idea of exercise. As a result, I could go 2 years without excising at all. Changing habits starts with determination, therefore I decided to make exercise the top priority. Exercise doesn’t have to be painful or boring. Find something you enjoy doing and start slow. Small efforts do add up. The key is to be persistent.

Being busy is not an excuse because I believe everyone could squeeze 5 minutes each day. Make exercise your top priority, even if it’s just a 5 minutes’ stretch everyday. My favourite Yoga stretch is sun solute, tree pose, plough and standing bow pose.

  • Exercise at home

If you are committed to do a little bit exercise every morning, one little trick I learned is to put exercise clothes next to your bed every night. It makes excise in the morning easy and convenient. You don’t have to go to the gym for hardcore training. There are many exercise you could do at the convenience of your home.

List things to do for the day and tackle the most important task first thing in the morning

Make a list of things you need to do during the day helps you stay on track and be more organised. Think about the most important thing you want achieve during the day. Start with that one task first, stay 100% focused until you finish it. If you want to loose weight by exercising everyday, then exercise the first thing in the morning. If you need to finish a draft of your presentation, then do that first thing in the morning. By the end of the day, you’ll be amazed how satisfying it feels by knowing at least you got one thing that matter to you most done.

4. Set up a system for everything you do

It always helps to have a good system in place. Think about ways of doing your job better, more efficiently. Life is not an easy task, we must have a system in place to operate.

5. Be organised

  • Leave the house as you’d like to find it when you come home.

It’s so important to keep a clean and tidy home. A clean desk speaks a happy mind. Keep your desk tidy and clean will help greatly with your productivity.

  • When cooking, wash up and keep tidy while you go.
  • Have a fixed spot for everything.

Always put your bags, keys, glasses etc back to where they belong to so you don’t waste time looking for misplaced items. Put things back to their places at the end of each day. Clean up.

  • Remember to charge your phone battery

Smart phones really have short battery lives. How stressful it is to have a flat battery when you need to use your phone the most! To avoid the situation, charge your phone overnight everyday. The battery should last you a full day without excessive usage.

  • Check if you’ve got everything you need before leaving the house
  • Do leave things behind either.

When you leave somewhere ( a restaurant, a taxi, someone else’s house, shops…), check if you have all your personal belongings with you.

  • Put appointments in the diary.

Google calendar is a very useful tool to track your appointments and remind you when they are due. Don’t just rely on your memory.

6. Stay focused

Have laser focus when you set out to tackle your most important task. Stay away from any distraction when your are on it. Switch off your email notification; answer your emails when you have time. Put your phone on silent mode.

7. Always finish what you’ve started

Always finish the book you’ve started reading. Finish all your side projects. If you’ve signed up with a gym for a full year, go to the gym regularly for the entire year, not just the first month.

8. Stay curious and never stop learning

Always ready to learn new skills. Be curious about other people, be curious about things. Ask questions, find answers. Try new things. Keep an open mind.

9. Be financially responsible

  • Stop impulsive shopping

Note down the ideas things you need to buy and do weekly grocery run instead of impulsive shopping trips. Before purchase anything, always ask yourself if you need them, if you already own something similar.

  • Keep track of your spending

This will be something new to me too. Being an absentminded person, I totally had no idea how much I’m paying for my utility bills, health insurance, food, clothes… Though I was paying all the bills, my mind was always somewhere else – it never registered the amount being paid. This has to be changed.

  • Pay more attention to your personal finance. Save and invest wisely

This is the next area I’ll have to focus on because I’m so bad with money. I once withdrew $2000 from ATM and forgot to take the cash. I used to keep paying rent for 6 months after moving out of the old place, until my old agent told me I was over paying. I’m still leaving my shopping bags behind after paying etc. 🙁

So change is much needed and I’m work on it.

10. Manage time more efficiently

Schedule beforehand. Record how you spend your time each day.

11. Be a problem solver

It’s easy to panic and complain when there’s a problem. Complaining is a pure waste of time and energy. Nothing positive will come out of it. Try to stay calm and collected all time. Remember: everything has a solution. Think about a solution.

12. Review your progress regularly

Plan and track your progress. Set daily/weekly/monthly/yearly goals. It doesn’t help to just set goals dream in vain without taking actions and regular review of your progress.

Have at least 10 minutes “me” time everyday to review your day and set the intention for you new day. Have weekly/monthly/yearly reviews with yourself.

How To Maintain Those Good Habits

I’ve been try to break my old habit of getting up really late, skipping breakfast, never ever exercising and keeping eating until I’m about to burst… Sticking to the new good habits for the rest of your life is even harder but all is possible. Don’t forget: you have the ability to create the life that you want, to get the results you desire.

Are you struggling with change? Here are a few ways to help make those good habits you’ve developed easier to stick:

1. Start simple and keep it simple

Don’t be too ambitious with your goals. Don’t try to develop all the good habits at once.  If you do, you’ll probably overwhelm yourself and give up very soon.

2. Be consistent

Once you decided to change one habit, take action and commit to it everyday. Don’t give up after one attempt and try again a few months later when you feel motivated again.

3. Don’t give up 

When it gets hard and you want to give up, stay motivated. Remind yourself why you want to change at the first place.

4. Know the pain

Be aware of the fact that it’ll never be a smooth run. There will be obstacles and challenges along the way. Think ahead about what your potential obstacles will be and how you are going to handle the situation.

5. Banish excuses

Whenever we want to make consistent effort to change, the lazy part of our brain will come up with plenty of excuses to persuade us to stay in the old ways. Debate with yourself and don’t let the excuses get in the way! If you want to make getting up at 6am every morning a habit of yours, don’t allow bad weather, late night, bad mood etc to be the excuses for you to sleep in.

6. Regular review

So here’s a good practise of one of the good habits we’ve developed! Changing habits also needs regular review. Keeping remind yourself what is important and what’s need to be done. Review your progress and keep going!

Changing habits for good

Being a Piscean, I do have the natural tendency to impulsively start a lots of new projects but loose interest very quickly without finishing any of them. My upbringing kind of helped this bad habit to be instilled into me for a long time. I grew up in a household with unfinished projects at home like many 1/8 knitted sweaters by my mum, unfinished wall panelling, hundreds of cookbooks bought by my mum with most of them untouched. I’m sure mum had the good intention to be better at cooking but buying books without keeping practising to be better didn’t really help. To this day, she’s still a pretty bad cook.

It took me too long to realise the importance of having the discipline to always finish what you started. Luckily I haven’t given up on myself completely, yet:). From 2015 I made the decision to use this blog to help me become disciplined. What I want to achieve is to keep exercising and reading everyday. As I’m pretty lazy and live a sedentary lifestyle, it wasn’t easy for me to develop an exercise routine but I started slowly by doing plank, pushups and jumping rope at home whenever I can. Gradually, the habit of exercising lightly everyday (even for just 5 minutes) has finally been formed. Yesterday I published a post of 20 at home exercises to to tone your abs, butt, legs and arms. Who could have thought these 20 exercises were not easy for me at all when I first tried them this morning! Most of them I couldn’t only do 1 or 2 repetitions. A few of them I simply could not do. Can’t believe it? Try rolling squat.

Rolling squatI could roll my back on the floor alright, but it stopped there. Is that even possible to roll back on your feet to a squat position again? I guess many people can, but not me. Argh. By the time I finished trying all these 20 exercises, my face was covered with sweat and my heart was nearly jumping out of my chest. Ok, I count this as a good start. Note to self: Let’s just keep doing that every morning and see when you can do one proper rolling squat, shall we?

As to reading, I was looking for a new book to read a couple of weeks ago and eventually settled on The Great Philosophers – The Lives and Ideas of History’s Greatest Thinkers. Without finishing it, another book that I didn’t finish reading came into my mind – For Whom The Bell Tolls. It’s regarded as one of Hemingways’ best works but for some reason, it was very trying for me to finish reading it. Maybe it’s because I’m not patient enough to read a few hundred pages that only cover a few day’s story; maybe I couldn’t fully grasp the spirit of those Spanish language elements in the book… Whatever it is, I’ve got to remember to finish what I started. By the way I’m also listening to the audio biography book: Edison, His Life and Inventions. I’ll read/listen to these books alternately and won’t start another book before finishing with these three first. Surely I’ll appreciate Hemingway’s book more once it’s viewed in completion.

Finish what you started, always.

finish what you started


the power of your brainAs someone who rarely watches TV, I’m ecstatic to have discovered the documentary Series “Redesign My Brain” presented by Todd Sampson.

It’s encouraging to see a living proof that we could train our brains and become more alert, observant and even smarter. What Todd has managed to achieve through his trainings is truly remarkable. The program was first aired in 2013. I’m almost 4 years late into the game, but still – it’s better late than never.

One episode later, it seems I’ve already benefitted from the mental stimulation. How? Let me tell you an embarrassing experience of mine first. A couple of years ago I was kind of forced to jump rope in from of a small group of people. I jumped 14 times altogether with 3 attempts – 4 or 3 times each attempt. Yeah, you can tell how fit and coordinated I am. Later on I picked up jumping rope as a form of exercise because its effectiveness. Have to admit, I don’t jump regularly enough and only occasionally made it above 100 reps in one go. What happened today after watching the program? I jumped 220 times continuously and had to stop jumping because of exhaustion. Why did I become more coordinated all of a sudden? I think the key is focus. When I jumped today, my mind was focused on the action of jumping itself, not wandering aimlessly like it always does.

I don’t have the ambition to possess a memory to remember the sequence of a whole deck of card, or the ability to open a complicated safe within a hour but I can’t wait to see what more training could do to my brain.

So here’s to hope and a better brain.


I’m very diligent in my work and all matters that involve people other than myself. I’ll make plenty of notes, plan & schedule and make a thorough check list to ensure everything is done properly in a timely manner. I always made sure that my employers, clients and friends are happy with what I’ve done for them. In summery, I’m a total yes (wo)man and people pleaser.

But when it comes to my personal matters, I’m very absentminded. I leave my shopping bags behind in the shops after paying very often. I’ve forgotten to bring my house keys with me a few times and had to call locksmiths (each costs $200+ per call out) to open my door for me. One time, I left my wallet in the post office after posting a parcel. Though the wallet was recovered later, all the cash in it was gone. It happened I had a few hundreds in my wallet that day. The other time, I withdrew $1000 cash from the ATM and left the machine without taking my cash. Ok, enough embarrassing examples – you get the drift. My personal life can be a little very messy. I’m not a forgetful person, my memory is rather good, but my mind is too preoccupied with something else.

 Stop Being AbsentmindedAs I’ve never paid enough attention to this problem and suffered plenty from the consequences, learn to stop being absent minded has becoming increasingly important. Why can’t I apply the same degree of diligence to my personal life? It’s time for a change. In this week’s self motivation instalment, I’m sharing my 7 steps of stop being absentminded:

Make daily, weekly, monthly and yearly To Do List & Checklist for personal matters 

To do list and check list don’t only belong to your workplace. They help immensely with your personal life too! Write down everything you need to do as soon as you think of them. Schedule them in your diary. Follow through your to do list to get things done according to your schedule.

Stop aimlessly daydreaming

Some people are born focused and driven, some people are born daydreamers. I’m definitely the latter. It’s good to have a dream then take actions to achieve your dream. But daydreaming without a purpose is purely a waste of time and huge distraction to your everyday life. Be careful not to daydream while you are doing things like reading, driving or listening to others during a casual conversation.

Always focus on what you are doing

Give 100% attention to your task on hand. If you are dealing with an important task that has a tight deadline, don’t allow yourself to be distracted until you finish what’s needed to be done. Switch off your phone (at least put it on silent mode). Do not check or reply emails. Don’t serf on the internet. Shut your door or put a “do not disturb” sign if necessary.

Double check if you’ve got everything you need before going out

I have a list of 4 essential things I need to bring every time I leave home: House key, phone, wallet and glasses. Also make sure to bring things you need for your particular agenda for that trip.

Take a minute to check your belongings before leaving a place, taxi or plane

Do not leave your shopping bags at the check out after paying for them or your cash at the ATM like I do. I’ve lost numerous pairs of Ray Ban sunglasses because of my absentmindedness. Buying $5 sunglasses so I can’t lose them freely is not a proper solution. The right way is to stop being absent minded and be present.

Have a fixed spot for everything and always put things back to where they should be.

Do you sometimes forget where you put your keys and phone? Do you spend a lot of time looking for things? Always leave your bags, keys etc at the same place. Make it a a habit of yours and keep it forever.

Always be mindful of your absentmindedness and learn to control your mind.

Check in with yourself regularly: are you pay attention to what is happening right now? As soon as you notice that you are loosing focus, bring yourself back to what you are doing right now.

Absentmindedness really is a mental condition. Without proper cure, it can affect our daily life severely. The good news is, you can overcome this habit and stop being absentminded. Just keep trying!


Prior to year 2012 I didn’t know or care about the concept of setting New Year’s Goals (or Resolution). Five years ago in 2012, inspired by someone on the internet, for the first time in my life I scribbled some lines down on a piece of paper as my New Year’s Goals. Since then it’s become a tradition for me to write down my goals for every brand new year but sadly I’m not good at reaching my goals in any of those 5 years. The problem, now I realised, is because I don’t take sufficient actions to achieve my desired results.

For example, the past 5 years I’ve almost always had “be fit and healthy/lose weight” on my list. But instead of losing 5 kilos as wished, I’ve put on 8 more kilos. Why? Because I don’t like exercise and don’t exercise. If I could sit down, I wouldn’t stand up; if I could lie down, I wouldn’t sit. I’m a naturally a big eater and can never resist the temptation of food. As reluctant as I’d like to admit, the age factor is catching up – I’m no longer able to eat enormous meals, stay sedentary and maintain a lean body built.

Since 2015 I’ve becoming more and more aware of my long list of personal weaknesses and decided to build good, long lasting habits gradually. One of the good habits I’d like to have is exercising regularly. The common saying is it takes 21 one days to form or break a habit, but for me the process is definitely much, much longer. I think it took me roughly about 2 years to make it a habit to exercise first thing in the morning. My form of exercise is to just simply stretch and do pushups at home, instead of going to the gym, fitness classes or going for run etc.

What motivated me to exercise regularly?


I want to be a better person. I don’t want to stay lazy, sluggish and undisciplined all my life.

I want to be stronger and have more energy.

I want to get rid of my excess body fat, tone my body and most importantly, be fitter and healthier.

My actions.

Incorporate exercise in my morning routine:

Put on yoga gear and lay down the yoga matt the first thing after I get out of bed.

Start with gentle stretch then do 20 push ups and 90 seconds of plank.

Only in the last 2 month, have I seen myself doing this regularly and diligently (a sign of this habit is finally formed?) I even feel something is missing and slightly agitated if I don’t do my 20 push ups in the morning.

The result?

I feel less tired after my morning exercise. As a matter of fact, I start to feel energised and happy after it.

A few month ago, no matter how hard I suck my stomach in, my waist line are not visible. Now I can see my waist line clearly in the mirror when I suck in my stomach.

You might be expecting the next line of report, something like I’ve lost xx kilos because of my morning exercise. Sorry to disappoint everybody, myself included – I’ve put on extra weight in 2016. They say losing weight is 80% of diet + 20% of exercise. I think they are right. The large portions of food consumed by me certainly contributed to my continuous weight gain. So my next goal is to really eat healthy meals in smaller portions.

But for now, I want to keep making exercise a top priority. Maintain the habit of morning exercise, no matter how busy or reluctant I could be. I haven’t had a quote on the blog for a while, so here is one for this purpose:

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

-Jim Rohn

There are some great places for inspiration and assistance if you want to add more exercise to your routine. For example, is a good place to start for those interested in yoga.

Here’s to a year of healthy and happy living!

Habit is what keeps you going

Do you have a feeling that year 2016 is the shortest year ever? Long gone are the days when we were little kids, eagerly waiting for the new year and holiday season to come sooner.

It feels like I haven’t achieved much in 2016 and it is deserting me already in great hurry. Before letting another new year take over, maybe it’s better to spare some time to reflect what I’ve learned in the pass 11 months and a few days.

What I’ve learned?

My parents came over to Australia the 3rd time in 2016 with the intention of staying here permanently this time. I’ve lived away from my parents for 24 years now and it’s a huge adjustment for all of us to be so close again. Though I don’t have much fond childhood memories staying with my parents, I’ve learnt that parents really have the best intention for their children. Nothing beats the love you get from your parents. So treat your parents with love and care.

I purchased a place for my parents to live in this crazily over heating Sydney property market and went through a major renovation. The project was bigger than I firstly imaged as it went along but in the end, I’ve learned that nothing will be too difficult to solve. Don’t ever panic. Be calm and patient. Very very patient. I certainly became more resourceful from this experience.

I cared a lot less about “peer pressure.” I’d go ahead to order an orange juice when the whole dinner table ordered some sort of alcohol if orange juice is all I wanted. I cut my hair really short like a boy this year although I had a long curly hair for as long as anyone could remember.

What mistakes did I make?

  • Thought 1 year is a long time and didn’t value my precious time enough.

Out of so many new year goals for 2016, I’ve only managed to tick off a couple. I wanted to read at least 1 book a year but only managed to finish 3. I wrote on this blog how to make each day count at the beginning of this year but I should have done a much better job utilising my time.

  • Went too easy on myself and didn’t focus the task on hand enough.

This is really the continuation from the last point. Because of the thought that there’d still be plenty of time, I didn’t push myself to accomplish more before the year end approaches.


Plan for this holiday season.

Despite feeling slightly like an underachiever, I’m still looking forward to the upcoming holiday season with such joy. As a matter of fact, I’ve been feeling the holiday spirit since the 1st December and created a holiday related to do list before end of this year:

  • Go to see a Ballet @ Sydney Opera House – done.
  • Spend more time with my ageing parents – doing.
  • Catching up with the girls – done.
  • Host a Christmas Lunch at home – next week.
  • Try different smoothies with the new blender – yet to start.
  • Take parents to Nantien Temple because mum is a buddhist – soon.
  • Do Christmas shopping – end of this week and next week.
  • Bake deserts – around Christmas and new year.
  • Be a beach bum for one day.
  • Take time to read more & finish reading War and Peace.

What is your biggest achievement of year 2016? Have you learned any lessons that you’d like to share?





Do you drink 8 glasses of water daily? That’s the amount of water we are recommended to drink each day anyway. The problem is, I often forget to drink water – maybe that’s why I feel hungry all the time. I think my average daily water intake is about two glasses which, of course, is way too little for my body. I only drink when I feel extremely thirsty – mostly after a very tasty but salty meal. As a result, my lips are always cracked; I find my skin tone quite dull, I keep eating like a hungry wolf…

We are educated very often about the benefits of drinking water and staying hydrated but how to make drinking more water a habit? I came across these two wonderful infographics from Pinterest that will remind me why and how. Hope they’ll help you too if you need it.
benefit of drinking water

weekly motivation: drink more water

I’m someone who’s used to (and good at) working with tight deadlines. When it comes to clients’ work, I’m always organised and on top of things.

But I don’t apply the same discipline with my personal life. I’d postpone cleaning up my garage for weeks and weeks. It seems I’ll never finish reading that book I started 2 months ago. It’s been a long time and I still haven’t started to write that article for the Huffington Post.. Such things I’ve been intending to do but never really made time to start or finish. All of that leads to disappointment. Yes I feel disappointed about my slackness with my personal matters.

So from now on I’ll be more strict with deadlines on my personal “to do list”. Put a deadline on everything that I’m planning to do outside work and review my progress periodically.

I’d be very happy to see a clean and tidy garage soon!



Most of my girlfriends maintain a very healthy life style – they excise vigorously everyday and really watch what they eat. I, on the hand, don’t like exercise & always eat until I’m about to explode. Yes, I’m lazy and lack of will power.

I used to get away with it and thought everyone should take it easy on themselves. Why work so hard? But wait.

Years on, it started to catch up with me. I couldn’t fit in any of my clothes any more. I feel tired all the time. My ageing mum could carry more weight than me.

I’m bloated, always overly bloated – my belly looks like a balloon all the time! What about people who’ve always exercised and ate sensibly? – They are fit, healthy and move around like ballerinas.

Time for a permanent change. Maybe exercise could eventually become a habit.

In the past 4 days, I’ve been doing plank and yoga stretches in the morning as well as having a smaller dinner everyday. Needless to say, at 7am this morning I felt depressed to find out that I actually weighted more than 5 days ago. So what’s the point of trying? I went back to bed, ready to give up my morning exercise forever. You see, I’m that kind of person. Whenever there’s a problem, I’d go for a snack, or a nap.

After staying in bed for another 30 minutes feeling depressed, I started to see my pattern clearly: Instead of dealing with problems (even the slightest), I simply gave up quickly. Always give up at the first sign of difficulty and never really achieve anything.

“Give it a chance! Only 4 days & you want to see immediate result? Remember you tried to have more patience?” Feeling annoyed by myself, I got the energy to get up and went through the morning routine.

For someone who doesn’t do much apart from sitting or lying in bed, little morning exercise could do wonders. I felt happier and energised. Most importantly, I’ll always remind myself to never give up at the first sign of difficulty, not even the 2nd, 3rd or 4th…





I’ve been wanting to write something everyday for a while now but never managed to really do it.

Most of the time when I force myself to write something, my mind would go totally blank. So I’d drop it – I’m not good at forcing myself to do anything. It’s a disease – a disease of being lazy and finding excuses not to do anything.

“I’ll write a blog post when I feel like it.”

“I’ll clean up that cupboard before I move out.”

“I’ll excise when the weather is better.”

“I’ll sort out those travel photos as soon as possible and blog about my travel then.”

“I’ll write that book review tomorrow…”

As a result, I had left my blog without any new post for months in the past. The cupboard was a mess and a waste of space. I hardly excise. I did enjoy taking photos while travelling but many of those photos are still there, unsorted. Many books later, I’ve never written any book review, yet.

The truth is, I’ve been reflecting my life and started to take actions to overcome my laziness with great difficulty. Nevertheless, small progress has been made. In the past two years, this blog has never gone one month without a new post. I’ve been tidying up and keeping things in order from time to time (It felt good after the tidying up!). I’m slowly catching up with my travel photos and blog posts ( 5 % up to date so far). But old habits die hard. As a matter of fact, they don’t die. They could disappear for a while then re-emerge. There have still been times when I could go a whole week without updating my blog simply because – well, I don’t feel like it.

The solution to this “I don’t feel like it” problem? – JUST DO IT.

Yes. If something needs to be done, just go ahead and do it without letting my feeling get in the way. I know myself well enough now: my feeling is generally do nothing and wait until…

JUST DO IT. Like this tax return thing. I’m a qualified CPA and I don’t even feel like getting my tax return done any time before the due date. This year it’s been on my to-do-list for a couple of weeks now but always ignored.

But today is the day and I’m doing it.




When you are trying to improve yourself, whether it be personally or in your career, motivation is important. Everyone says this and everyone sort of knows it. But why is having motivation or something external that motivates us so important? There are a few reasons why, and here they are.

It Engenders a Positive Outlook

Thinking positively improves everything else you do. When you are stuck with a negative outlook, it’s pretty much impossible for you to do something positive in life. And when you have that motivation, you start to look at things differently, and, usually, in a much more positive light. The power of this can’t be overstated.

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and look at things negatively. For example, you might feel that nothing you do seems to change your fortunes. But when you get stuck in that negative spiral, it’s hard to get out. A most positive outlook could really change things and make your chances of success greater.

It Strengthens Focus

A lack of focus can be disastrous for someone who is trying to achieve something in particular. Without that all-important focus, you are not going to be able to get to where you want to be. You become much more focused on the job at hand when you are fully motivated and ready to go.

What gives you that motivation and focus is up to you. But sometimes, having an external thing to give you that motivation can be the best way to improve your levels of focus. It might be just as simple as the prospect of driving a better car. But that external motivation can be a great way to generate focus. It also allows you to get a hold on how and where you want to redirect your energy, whether it be through getting a higher degree in places like Excelsia College, or pursuing a new hobby that you’ve been wanting to go for.

You Start to Think Outside the Box

When you are motivated, the shackles are loosened, and you start to feel like you can do anything. This is a very positive thing, and it should be wholeheartedly embraced. When you start to think outside the box and come up with new ideas, it helps you get to where you want to be.

You should embrace change and new ideas, and being motivated helps you to this. That’s because motivated people are more open and interested in new things. But when you’re demotivated, you’re more likely to stick to what you know and stay in your shell.

You’ll Have Something Concrete to Aim For

When you are motivated, it tends to mean that you have an aim or ambition to focus on. Sometimes, the end result, whether it be a promotion or a new possession, is enough to provide you with motivation. Having that thing to aim for is a great way to motivate you and improve your overall performance at whatever it is you are doing.

You could even plaster your office wall or a wall at home with images that represent the thing that you’re aiming for. When you have something that reminds you of what you’re working towards, it can help a great deal.

Image source: Staticflickr