motivational quotes

I’ve just completed my 20 day pushup & plank challenge. Obviously it is a low target for many people but it is the first time I’ve ever done any form of excise without stopping for 20 days in a row.

This morning I woke up with bad cramps and felt dizzy. Today is also my 20th day of my pushup and plank challenge. Every 20 days also, I suffer from this serious pain and dizziness. This condition will last a few days to a week, every month. Every other time when I started a excise routine, I gave up when this condition kicked in. After one week, there would be no routine any more. I would simply fall back to a sloppy physical state and never stick to any kind of excise routine in the long run. That’s my excuse any way:).

But today I took the usual pain killer, waited 1.5 hour until the pain settled a little then did 15 girly pushups and 1 minute plank pose. I will do the same for tomorrow and carry on this basic form of excise every morning consistently.

Speaking of consistency, there’s something else I want to add on to my morning routine. Here’s a wonderful article that might help improving my voice:

10 Tips for a Powerful Voice

Make your voice one of your best assets.

It’s the morning of the big call. You prepared your material and went to bed early–even if you didn’t get much sleep. Now you hover near the phone, waiting for it to ring, thinking about everything that might prevent you from establishing a great rapport. Maybe he’ll sound like Elmer Fudd. Or, worse, maybe you will.

Either way, an important connection is about to be made, sight unseen. And your voice will play a big role. How can you prevent your voice from sabotaging everything from business calls to presentations? Use these tips for working your voice, instead of letting it work you.

1. Rise and try to shine. After getting out of bed, head to the bathroom for some warm-ups. Look at yourself in the mirror and take deep breaths. Are your shoulders rising as you inhale? Don’t let them. Stand straight, relax and let your breath come in down low. It should feel like it’s entering your body around your waist, not being pulled down your throat.

2. Keep it up. Not only does slouching look like you couldn’t care less, but it also prevents your lungs from filling up. Full lungs keep your voice from cracking, make you sound more powerful and keep you from running out of air. When you realize you’re hunched over while on the phone, sit back and straighten your spine to allow more energy to come across.

3. Support can be beautiful. Some people are blessed with resonant voices like James Earl Jones or Lauren Bacall. Most of us aren’t. But rather than throwing in the towel, try wrapping it around your waist. Breathe in low and gently expand your abs and obliques. Relax, let go and pretend the towel is like the waistline of your sweatpants. You can feel it grow a little wider.

Then open up and say “Ah.” Now repeat. This time, use your abs to expand your waist. You’ll also feel the downward push of your lower abs. Say “Ah” once more, and as you expand, you’ll hear the sound get stronger. Use this technique for more volume and a stronger sound.

4. Open up. When you get nervous, your voice gets squeaky and high. Not the confident image you want to project. And the more you try and control it by force, the more you start to lose it altogether. The cure: breathing low, gently using your lower abs to push down and relax. And always let your throat be open and free of tension. An open throat protects your voice and produces a richer sound.

5. Variety is key. Want to control your whole audience? Speak in a monotone voice, and you can send a group of 2,000 people off to dreamland. Especially when working by phone, that dead air may not be your client pondering. Try listening for snoring. To prevent this, remember the “four P’s” of vocal variety:

  • Pace: Speak too fast and it sounds like you’re nervous or a used car salesman trying to pull a fast one. If the pace is too slow, you’re going to sound like the village idiot.
  • Pitch: Pit your voice too low and nobody will hear you. Speak too high and you sound nervous.
  • Pauses: Build them into your speech–sparingly. If pauses are too short, it’ll sound like you’re scrambling for words. But a few well-timed pauses create a sense of intrigue and curiosity.
  • Passion: This all-important quality will be the biggest selling point you have. Love your topic.

6. Get rid of nasality. There’s a problem if your voice sounds disturbingly like Fran Drescher’s. If you’re a whiner, try this: yawn. Feel your mouth open wide. You won’t feel that kind of space if you’re nasal. The soft palate–a flap of skin on the back of the roof of your mouth–lifts and allows air to float up into every chamber of your head, resulting in a full, resonant sound. It’s like a little trap door that can open and close. Conversely, when the soft palate lowers, the air stream is blocked off from the head, and the air can only pass out of the nose.

For a quick fix, say “Ing–Ah.” Elide the “Ing” right into the “Ah,” and don’t break them into two sounds. Feel what’s happening inside your mouth. On “Ing,” the back of your tongue is pressed up against the soft palate and no air can get into your head. It’s nasal. When you say “Ah,” the tongue peels down from the roof and allows the sound to lift.

7. Modify your accent. How boring the world would be if we all sounded the same. But if your native tongue gets in the way of communication, you should correct it. The process used to be called accent “elimination,” but “modification” is a more accurate term. Spend a few sessions with a voice coach who can give you the basic sounds of English, help you pronounce its most confusing words and model them for you, face-to-face.

8. Tune your tone. Being able to adjust your tone to any situation is paramount to successful business communication. If you do sound monotonous, ineffectual or annoying, you may lose a client. If your tone is lackluster, they think you’re bored. If you sound angry or bullying, that aggressive style can put them off. But if you’re able to suit your tone to any occasion, you’ll win the day. Learn how to sound passionate even if you’d rather be anywhere else.

9. Leave it at the beep. Leaving a great voice-mail message is essential. If you sound positive, polished and professional, people will get a wonderful “first vocal impression.” Leave your name clearly. Spell it if you have to. Leave your phone number, twice. Tell them briefly what you can do for them. Let them know when you can be reached, or ask them the best time for you to call back. Be brief, but not vague.

10. It is, actually, about you. The most important tip is to be authentic. Take time to find what’s unique about you–your sense of humor, your newfound confidence, your persona. Stop trying to sound like a phony announcer.

Mastering these tips for voice power will soon become second nature. And if your potential client does sound like Elmer Fudd, well, know that your newfound vocal skills will make an excellent first impression. Weally.

So from 23rd January onwards, after my morning pushups and plank pose, I’ll pratise at least 30 minutes based on those tips.

Note to self: be patient & persistent.

motivational quotes




self discipline

Self Discipline is what I should have tried to learn a long time ago. Sadly enough I didn’t really understand what is self discipline and the the importance of it.

The good news is self discipline is a learned skill instead of a born habit. So here’s hope;). 2015 will be my first year to develop self discipline seriously.

Naturally, I dislike routine work and avoid doing the same thing every day. But research has shown a great correlation between self discipline and success. It requires a lot of self discipline to run your own business. Without planning and setting up a system, no business will survive in longer terms. I was very good at planning, setting up systems and managing projects successfully from the beginning to the end while working in the corporate environment. But I kind of let it all go free style in terms of running my business. As a matter of fact, I simply waited for things to happen and react to them. I let my business run me instead of running it effectively.

With the intention of learning, I must learn to be self disciplined and start to take action now. People say Discipline means behaving according to what you have decided is the best, regardless of how you feel in the moment. “the undisciplined are slaves to moods, appetites and passions.”

It’s going to be hard for me to stay on track & I don’t want this mission to be short lived so my journey is starting with a couple of baby steps:

1.  20 Day Plank and Push up challenge

This 30 day plank challenge from internet got my attention a while ago. While I know that I’m not capable of doing any kind of excise 30 days in a row, I also know from experience plank pose works for me to control my muffin top.

self discipline

So I’m going to modify this to my version: 20 Day plank & Pushup challenge:

  • 10 full push ups
  • 1 minute plank pose everyday

for 20 days every month.

2. Get up the same time everyday: 9am to start with

For the last 5 years, I’ve allowed myself to sleep as much as I could and wake up naturally. That leads me to getting up after 10am every morning, some times after 11am. After a few failed attempts of getting up earlier in the morning, I surrendered and convinced myself once again: I’m not a morning person. The thing really annoyed me is that no matter how late/early I get to bed the night before, I still wake up at 10 to 11am. If I go to bed at 3am, I wake up after 10am. If I go to bed before 10pm in hope of getting up earlier in the morning, I still wake up at 11am the next morning!

You see – something has to be changed. So from now onwards, I’m re-introducing the old, trusted alarm clock in the morning to wake me up the same time every morning. Instead of watching exciting new movies in bed before going to sleep, I will read books from my e-reader from 10pm every night. I’ll only sleep until I feel really sleepy.

Larry Winget once said, “Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.”

What I also want to add to this quote is: BE DISCIPLINEd to execute your action steps until the desired result is achieved. Remember what they say? “The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret”.

Happy Friday.