It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin

This is a familiar quote that never had much impact on me before. Always thought I’m someone who likes changes, which is true.

But after a period of trying to have a deeper understanding of the real me, I realized that I only like self imposed changes. If it’s some kind of change that happened beyond my control, I actually don’t deal it well naturally. Pretty sure Darwin meant “it is the one that is most adaptable to change that happened beyond your control.” !

So from now on, please don’t complain or keep thinking: if only it is like the good old days. Wake up! The good old days have gone, You can’t change others or the environment but you can change yourself to make the best of what you have now.

adopt to change-001

I look like a bug, but for the record.. it’s a crow pose.


A solid foundation is so important in every endeavor. Without a solid foundation, chances are you’ll fall back at some point no matter how high you’ve climbed.

One step at a time. There’s no short cut really.

What is important? Focus on your long term goal and have patience.

“Rome wasn’t built in one day.”

one step of a time-001

I’m not the most observant person and didn’t know the importance of being observant. If you ask me to clean a room, I’ll miss a spider web on the corner. I always take the face value of what other people say instead of watching more closely about their body language. I have the tendency to sleep walk through my life without noticing anything that is happening around me.

But I’m more interested in people now, and I want to know what they really feel and think; I want to have a better sense of direction; I want to take more control of my life instead of daydreaming all the time.

Below are the steps I’m reminding myself to follow in order to become more observant:

Focus and pay more attention to details.

Become more self-aware. Know yourself and be aware of who you are and how you act.

Pay more attention to your surroundings.

Pay more attention to others than yourself. Listen to other people, don’t worry about what to say or do next the whole time.

Pay more attention to other people’s  body language to see how they feel.

It’s not going to be a overnight makeover but if there’s a will, there is a way!

Cheers to becoming more observant! 🙂


do small things in a great way


do small things in a great way

Photo taken on the long weekend. Yellow makes me happy.

I used to have such a negative attitude for everything including my attitude towards life.

The phrases like “Life is precious”, “You only live life once”, “Live life to the fullest” are such cliches to me.

I focused on picking all the negative aspects of life and thought life is such a chore. “If only I had the birth right, I would choose not to be born.” was my thought. Terrible isn’t it? You are right, I don’t like my old self either:).

Was I born negative? I can’t really remember. But man, being negative sucks. Lucky I’m not prepared to live my entire life in a negative state of mind. Life is too good to be wasted in being negative!!!


  • Face the harsh reality that life is never meant to be easy.
  • Make the best of everything that has come to your way.
  • Strive to reach your full potential.

Love life, love you.



10 Foods That Help You Lose Weight

A few years ago a friend of mine mentioned that she planned her meals at least one month in advance. I was shocked… shocked at the fact that people can be so organized. Then I dismissed the idea entirely: there’s no need to design your menu one month in advance, I’ll stick to my spontaneous way!

Years later, I start to recognize the merits of planning meals ahead:

Reduce stress. We make so many decisions during a day. It can be quite stressful to decide at the end of the day – what’s for dinner for 2 people tonight!

You start to eat healthier.  Very often, we eat out or have take away food because of me (the house wife) being disorganized. Sure, food in restaurants are generally tastier but who knows what’s in it exactly! The extra fat gained from eating out all the time is not that attractive either.

Spend less. I’m all against being a money pincher and budget rigidly. But let’s face it, eating out all the time can be such a waste.

I’ve tried a few weeks here and there to plan our meals one week ahead and pretty happy with the result. So this is going to be a good habit to stay. One week ahead, stick with it:).

planning weekly meal

Do you plan your meals ahead?

be greatful

Let’s face it, it’s not easy to be positive all the time for a lot of people.

Depression is beast that is hard to beat. How to get out the depressed mood & not to waste days feeling sluggish + uninspired?

I’m on my 30 day trial of being less emotional and I’m trying to figure out some effective methods to deal with my mood swings.

Some days, just a few moments after I wake up, the phrase of “I’m not happy” would come out automatically. Yes I get it, I’m not a naturally happy person. But that now I realized my common problems, there must be a way to get better.

Everything has a solution.

In light of this, I would like to add two things to my morning routine list:

– Come up with 3 points that I’m grateful for/feeling happy about as soon as I get up.

– Followed by that, ask this question: What can I do today to make me a better person than yesterday?

Take the power back to control your mood. Strive to be a better person.

be greatful

how to be a good listener

There’s a Chinese saying: 诉说是一种本能,倾听是一种教养。It basically means that, it is our instinct to talk but it takes an educated (cultured) person to listen.

We all know quite a lot active talkers and public speakers, but are there many good listeners around you?

I for one, is a big offender of not listening. I didn’t even bother ask questions! Because I used to be so soaked up in day dreaming, I didn’t really care to pay attention to anything else!

Why it is important to be a good listener? Because listening forms a vital part of communication. It was stressed almost everywhere nowadays that it is essential to have good “communication skills” in our modern society. But “communication skills” are quite often interpreted as “speaking skills”. That’s why there are so many courses out there teaching public speaking, sales & marketing etc.. But I’m yet to discover one course specialised in teaching “How to be a good listener.” Maybe most people think as long as one can hear, one can listen.

how to be a good listener

I once met a good public speaker and educator in sales and marketing. He has a perfect voice, great body posture and the confidence one needs to be a good public speaker. During a group conversation, he asked someone a personal question then immediately lowered his head to check his phone message. He then asked the same question later as if it was never asked or answered. Needless to say, the person who was asked felt a little annoyed the second time. By observing this little episode that night, I realized how easy it is to overlook the importance of being a good listener.

Someone famous (Dale Carnegie?) once said, you need to be interested to be interesting. He’s absolutely right.

So, how to be a good listener?

Here are 3 simple steps to start with:

1. Don’t be busy thinking about what you need to say next.

Very often, while other people are talking to us, we would be so busy thinking about what we should say next. It’s totally natural for wanting to come up with something relevant, even witty to say next. We might think it’s the best way of showing our conversational partner that we listened. But a lot of times, listening alone is all is needed. When we are so busy thinking about what to say in return, we stop listening attentively. Our conversational partners want to share and be understood.

2. Don’t interrupt.

“Interrupt” is one of the social attraction killers & I’m often guilty of that. Let your conversational partner finish with what he/she wants (needs) to say. Don’t interrupt them. Sometimes we are fulling listening and following but still can’t help but interrupt by the following

– Offering advice without being asked.

Like mentioned before, a lot of times, listening alone is enough. Don’t interrupt the person who’s speaking by jumping in offering advice unless she/he asks your advise specifically.

– Asking questions while the other person is still talking.

It’s all good to ask questions to show that you are listening and interested to find out more.

But try to hold onto your questions when the speaker stops talking.

Saying “me too” too quickly & stealing their thunder!

Don’t interrupt by saying “Me Too” eagerly and starting to sharing your story too soon:). Your conversational partner started first, let  her/him finish their story first.

3 Give your conversational partner your full attention by making eye contact.

Your body shows whether you are listening or not. If you really respect your conversational partner and want to listen to them with your full attention, lean towards them and make eye contact from time to time. That’ll also help you concentrate on what they are saying more.


5 months of this year have nearly passed. How many of you are still keeping in touch of your New Years Resolution for 2015?

My usually pattern for New Years Resolution is to set and forget in 2 months’ time. But this is not going to happen any more:)

After 2 years of practice, I’ve finally learned the importance of sticking to my goals.

The theme of my 2015 is communication, which means this is the year for me to keep improving my communication skills.

From this week, I’ll make every effort to read aloud everyday for as long as I can.

Australia is a country full of immigrants. Unfortunately time isn’t the solution of mastering a second language. It really depends how much effort you’ve put in for your time.

I’ve seen people who have stayed here for nearly 30 years but still speak broken English and people who have been here only a short few years but speak beautifully fluent English.

If you can’t express yourself efficiently, you leave the impress of being incompetent and less intelligent.

Read out loud everyday for at least 30 minutes with improving the following areas in mind:

  • Articulation
  • Fluency
  • Effective Use of Voice

You get what you work for – simple as that. There’s no excuse for being lazy.

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Some people seem to be born collected and disciplined. They just glide through lives effortlessly:).

I, on the hand, am full of flaws. One of my other biggest weakness is that I never live in the present.
I used to put down “daydream” as one of my hobbies. But my type of day dreaming is a bit of overkill… Leaving shopping bags behind all the time after paying has become overly annoying.

My car is full of scratches because of my thought wonders through past events and future possibilities, but never really focuses on the present task: driving carefully.

So “Be Present” is another important point to be added to my never ending self improvement list.

  • Let the past be the past. You can’t change it any more. Don’t waste more time dwelling on it.
  • Don’t worry or fantasize too much about future. If you really want to spend time thinking about the future, plan and take actions instead.
  • The most important moment is now. Because if you miss it now, you’ll never get it back in your life.
    Focus on the task at hand. Finish what you intend to do. And give it your best shot.

Be present.

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I’ve been working consciously on growing discipline in me from the beginning of this year.
But I started to feel really “down” again from last weekend. I got up at 9am on Saturday then 11:20am on Sunday.

Skipped my morning stretch.
Ditched my morning and night routines completely and played games for hours.

To top that off, I ate a whole plate of 25 fried dumplings after 10:30pm.

Naturally I’m a very emotional person. Extremely emotional to be exact. I’m the owner of a overly expressive face who often laughs out loud & has deep compassion towards other people’s suffering.
In addition, my natural resting face is somewhat grumpy so I could look grumpy though I’m feeling ok:).

So, here comes a new personal improvement project: For the next 30 days I’ll try to work out a way to control my emotions a little better. Be more composed.

Stay positive.unnamed (5)


Many many years ago, a friend of mine phoned me to share a tip for working in the office:

“You should always keep your desk really messy at work and pretend to be busy. When someone comes to you and asks for something, raise your head slowly and look at that person with a frown on your face.”

That made me laugh so hard.

Ironically, I never had the luxury to pretend to be busy while I was working in the office. I was always extremely busy.

I was brought up as a polite & timid Chinese girl who would yes to everything that other people at work ask me to do. As a result, I was a doormat in the office, working with at least 2 people’s workload without extra pay.

My desk was always piled with paperwork and files. My work inbox was flooded with messages everyday & I hardly had time to go to the toilet.

You can see where this is going… After this happened to me indifferent workplaces repeatedly, I quit office job for good.

Thinking back, I can’t blame everything on corporate environment. It was totally my fault.

I was too weak for office politics. I always wanted to try my best to help others but never dared to say NO or ask for help. As a result, I was exploited to the extreme & left with nothing.

If you don’t look after yourself, who will?

This world is not meant to be for faint- hearted:).

Be kind regardless, but be strong & stand up for yourself.









Sydney had heavy rains and hail storm for a week.

Instead of going out at night & on the weekend, I stayed at home tidying up.

Slowly our home comes in order and I couldn’t be happier.

You see, I’m still slowly adjusting to my life of working from home and being married ( sharing a home with someone permanently & looking after each other)

A late bloomer  & slow learner for sure but I’m on my way to be more disciplined and organised.

Those are the areas that I’ve cleaned up and intend to maintain them in good order.


1. Bathroom

  • Skin care, makeup products: Use up existing ones before buying new ones. Keep everything clean & in order.
  • Bathtub: Use it as bathtub, not storage facility. Have bath at least 3 times a month.

2. Kitchen

  • Fridge: Cook more at home using what we have in the fridge. It’s not a cold rubbish bin!
  • Pantry: Keep things in different section by categories. Throw away expired & unopened items.

3. Home office

  • Desk: After 3 years of trying to ‘keep a clean desk’. My desk finally doesn’t look it has been bombed any more. It’s even reasonably tidy. Remember to tidy up desk every night.
  • Filing: Have been filing on time but need to keep up with bookkeeping.

4. Wardrobe

I’m very good at giving my clothes away or donate. Need to remember though:

  • Buy less. I’ve given away or donated many pieces brand new. Why buy them if you are never going to wear them?
  • Put clothes either in the laundry basket or where they were after wearing them. Save lots of time looking everywhere when you need them!
maintain good body posture

maintain good body posture

When I was little, my mum used to follow & watch me when I walked on the street.

Later she would tell me: Remember to keep your head up, just like there’s someone pulling your hair up.

As a little kid, I was a sloucher. And mum helped in the best way she could.

Fast forward anther 10 years, I went to the Uni and lived in the dorm with some beautiful, elegant girls. I picked up quickly the way they walk and got rid of my accent.

I looked like someone who was sure of herself and carried her body nicely whenever she walks.

That helped. It was always fairly easy for me to be hired after a job interview ( though by then I left China for Sydney and spoke broken English with a heavy accent).

After a few years of starting my own business and mainly working from home, I found myself slightly reverting back to the childhood version of me: A sloucher again! Not all the time but most of the time.

So here’s the thing I need to keep reminding myself: Maintain good body posture for the rest of my life.

Heads up, shoulders back, confident smile and direct gaze.

Don’t ever let yourself go again.


Stick to a routine

The common saying is that it takes 21 days to form a habit. To me, it definitely takes much longer than that.

Consciously developing habits is new to me and I’m finding my ways slowly.

Since the beginning of 2015, I’ve been making baby steps to build routines in my everyday life. So far I’ve not slept in until 10am like I used to do. I’ve been doing 10 full pushups and 1 minutes plank pose almost every morning. I’ve been reading at least one new book each month.

Each month I’ll have a list of my personal habits goals and review it by the end of the month then make arrangement for next month’s goal accordingly.

This is the 3.5th month of year 2015 and I’ve finally come up with a morning routine that I would like to stick to.

1. Get up at 7:30 am ( with the exception on the days that I’m really ill)

2. Put yoga clothes on and brush teeth

3. Have a glass of warm water. Prepare another glass of warm water with lemon juice.

4. Mentally prepare the To Do list of the day

5. Morning stretch routine:

Sun solute. Head, eyes and shoulder roll


Warrior, twist, half pigeon, plough, crow and wheel pose

Plank pose

Ad hoc

6. Listen to TV news. Not that the news are really news. It’s because English is my second language, news readers normally speak clear, standard English for me to improve my accent. Beside, if people chat about the news during the day, at least I know what they are talking about.

7. Have smoothie for breakfast

8. Read aloud for at least 30 minutes. If I have time, do it for one hour. And take note of the words that I didn’t know to build up vocabulary.

I’m hoping by repeating these actions day after day, I will have these habits imprinted in my system. If this morning routine is interrupted by job or travel requirements, be mentally prepared and come back to the routine as soon as I’m able to.

Stick to a routine


** 2 more things are now added to the list:

– Come up with 3 points that I’m grateful for/feeling happy about as soon as I get up.

– Followed by that, ask this question: What can I do today to make me a better person than yesterday?


Just a quick reminder of being focus. Focus on the main goal and focus on the task on hand.

Don’t get distracted so easily.