Improvement & Impatience: 3 years, 2 art works, 1 Kate

Art improvement does not happen overnight.

We know this. I know this. You know this. That old man sitting at a nearby park probably doesn’t care about art improvement but, still, even he knows this.

And yet.

It is the one of The Most Frustrating Thing Ever. Why couldn’t I just be good at the things I like to do in an instant? Like, why do learning curves even have to exist?? Why can’t I just become the next Einstein or the next Picasso or the next Marie Curie tomorrow???

You’re probably not as dramatically ambitious as yours truly, but I bet you’ve been frustrated and impatient before, right?

The Case of Improvement for Artists (hint: iz torture)

I love progress. And if you’re a self-improvement junkie like myself, obviously, one of your biggest goals in life is to consistently be a better version of yourself. But progress is slow and tedious and it kills me. (Well, not really literally. But you know what I mean.) Creative progress, especially, is a specific kind of torture for me.

See, I’ve always been an impatient person. But I’m more so an impatient creator. When it comes to my art and my writing, I want to hurry, hurry, hurry.

Hurry up and improve on your anatomy, Kate.

Hurry up and draw good noses, Kate.

Hurry up and write engaging stories, Kate.

Hurry up and create awesome content, Kate.

Hurry up, Kate.

I keep on pushing myself to hurry hurry hurry. That I need to keep moving forward. That I need to get better. And the thing is, in art, you don’t really see you’re improving. So I become even more greedy. I become more and more frustrated, and more and more impatient of myself.

Sometimes, to a point where I’m mentally scolding myself for not seemingly getting better.

We are our harshest critic already. But with myself and to myself, I am unforgiving. I never tolerated even an ounce of imperfection. It’s sad. Because we are also our most frequent company.

Can you imagine being in the company of someone so critical of you?

That drive for art improvement became toxic. I made it toxic, and it backfired. And so, in an attempt to gently remind myself that um Kate? You HAVE improved tho, I did the #DrawThisAgain art meme. It’s where you try to draw an old art and see the differences and changes.

Two pictures of two girls both with short turquoise hair, the half up styled in  a mini bun. She is wearing a purple galaxy turtleneck. A white text above on a plum rectangle says, "2016 vs 2019." Image linked to related Instagram post.

I chose a really old work, one I did in 2016. Back when I still a complete watercolor noob and just starting out. I loved it — I still do. But recreating it with all the creative arsenal I picked up for three years, it was amazing.

And once I was done and took a step back, I thought to myself, “If 2016 watercolor noob Kate could only see me now…” I mean, I know she would never see the me now. That’s just how it is.

Who you are, right this second, will never get to see how much you’ll improve in the future.

But who you are, right this second, is also the only one who can look back to where you’ve come from and see how far you’ve come.

I now take comfort in having this truth. I’m probably going to tuck myself into it forever. Because, man, it’s far far better than the rusty old thoughts of “Not Being Enough.”

In business and management, looking at historical data is a sensible way of self-evaluation. But looking back is also a gift. A gentle reminder to your all-too-focused self, a small shift in perspective. That you are doing just fine.

So here I am, doing exactly that.

I first published this post on my Patreon page but I added a few words and wrote additional thoughts. You may see the original post, in its infancy, here.

Featured image by Yura Fresh via Unsplash

A catch up and what’s gonna happen now

So here I am.

Finally getting the guts to actually write something for this here blog. After months of burying myself into a mound of Webtoon comics, manga, and anime series. And subconsciously forgetting about my art, my blog, and the rest of my creative life.

Sure, I’ve put out a few great artworks the past few months, but even the dopamine hit of posting them into my art insta and being praised for them was short-term.

Work has ultimately taken up much of my daylight hours. Which is weird because, honestly, I have not done a lot at work these past three months. The “busy” moments happen every start of the month but even those days don’t exactly feel exhilarating. Plus, there were other things happening in my personal life, like my grandma’s passing, that I don’t exactly want to talk about too much.

At the end of the day, only one thing mattered:

I felt deeply depressed and completely unsatisfied.

Allowing myself to be buried underneath all that, I did not do anything. At least, nothing actionable or noteworthy.

I simply made myself be carried away by the flow of life. Wake up early, ride the bus, get to work and clock out by 5:30pm, ride the bus home while probably reading a manga or watching an episode.

And it really hit me: how utterly boring and glum that is. How you basically have zero agency on the one thing you should hold influence the most:

Your own fucking life.

Excuse my French but, really, there was no sugar-coating this.

My art is suffering. I’ve been consuming great masterpieces — on Instagram and Webtoons and various anime — and yet have not taken what inspiration I got from them and mold them into my own creation.

My blog is suffering. I’ve been having doubts with writing in the personal development niche recently. I did not want to read any “Simple Tips to Live Your Best Life” kinds of blog posts because I started to find them empty and repetitive.

Consequently, my life is suffering.

…Buuut that’s too complicated a topic and too long to tackle in even a 1000-word post. So let’s focus for now on what’s next in line up there. Which is also what is, quite frankly, the most important points I should be discussing.

On blogging and the personal growth niche

I’m not gonna deny it — I LOVE the personal growth niche. The community built around this like-minded desire to grow and improve is a fascinating one. I’m so happy to be a part of it, no matter how small my contribution may be.

But there’s a huge difference in writing about the truth you discovered to live a happier life and listing down “6 easy tips” to be happier.

I’ve read the same kind of posts, given the same kind of advice over and over again. (“Take a long walk” is one of those advice that, as of writing, is currently fueling up a massive discourse over in MH Twitter, by the way.) And the thing is, for me right now, these kinds of advice just feel… lackluster. Empty. They aren’t enough.

I’m sure there are people out there who just wanted the quick reminder or that tiny push. And maybe, for them, these posts are exactly what they need. Heck, there have been plenty of times when they were exactly what I needed too. But right now, it’s not what I’m looking for. It is not what I need. And in effect, these kinds of posts are not what I want to write about.

It took me a long time to come to terms with this. Because continuing felt like an obligation – and in effect, quitting felt like a self-condemnation. This “duty” I think I have for the readers of this blog. But then, I realize:

Wait a sec. Forcing myself to write a topic I don’t like is a disservice to myself AND to my readers.

And this is an advice I often give to fellow bloggers too.

Like, gee, Kate. At least follow the advice you made, yeah?

With that said, here’s what’s going to happen with All the Trinkets moving forward.

No empty listicles.

I’m not going to totally abandon listicles. Besides, it’s the kind of blog post that’s very easy to write. But I vow never to create those empty, repetitive listicles in my blog from now on. No more “6 easy steps for a happier life”.

Life, I found, is much more complicated to go through. But at the same time, life is simple – but no, it is never easy.

Instead, I just want to write about the truth. My truth, anyway. The truth I learned along the way. The small ones, and the ohmigosh-this-is-a-huge-eureka-moment ones.

Outside of these blog posts that borders on “life” and “personal development,” I also want to write more about art and creative living. And, like, no more of those general, all-around, free-for-all creativity topics. Starting today, I want to write only about my own creative experiences. My creative truths. (Which is kinda fancy-schmancy but, whattayouknow, it fits.)

This all may seem selfish but…

To be honest, for a long time, I write with you, my readers, heavily on my mind. Sure, I think about myself too. And it so happens that, for the past couple years, what people enjoyed reading and what I enjoyed writing aligned.

But the fact is, I no longer enjoy writing the same topics. In these same perspectives and this same format. Maybe in a few years, I’d go back to loving it. Maybe. But for right now, I need to step away from all these. Explore new ways to write and express myself in this ever-changing blog of mine.

Speaking of my blog changing…

To align with this kinda sorta new way of me blogging, I’ve decided to change the look of my blog. Yes, again. Don’t worry it’s going to be a long project and I’ll tweak some elements here and there gradually. But it’s gonna happen.

The way I think it, my blog changes and reshapes and transforms when I, too, change and reshape and transform.

Before anything else, this is my place in the Interwebs. My small, humble place.

And like with any kind of challenge we face in life, if the way forward for me and this small humble place of mine in the Interwebs is to change things up, then… Challenge accepted.

To all the readers who have followed me up ‘til now, I truly appreciate all of you. I hope you continue with me as I embark in a new chapter with this blog. And if not, well no worries. Thanks for being with me anyway, however long that may be.

Kate xx

Photo by Scott Web via Unsplash

Perfection and Success: A Story of Cut Hands and Dreams Smashed


At 11:23 in the morning, a young girl who has only ever cooked eggs and rice in her life was in the kitchen with the stove top on. She was chopping an onion, preparing for her younger sister’s meal when she accidentally sliced her finger. As she ran around looking for Band Aids, she heard her uncle laughing in the living room. It was the kind of laugh that was three-quarters snort and a quarter derision.

“If you can’t even chop onions without hurting yourself, you’ll never be cut out as a chef.”

Now, the girl never thought she would ever be a Michelin-star cook. She has never even aspired to run her own restaurant. But those words still cut through her heart and crushed her.


I’m telling you this story for a reason. And I hope by now you get it.

We all have that one person in our lives, that young girl’s uncle. Someone who aces at being a Jamie Raincloud. A put-downer. A positivity vampire (you know, someone who sucks the positivity out of you).

And sometimes, it doesn’t even matter if what they’re saying is actually a big deal to you or not. You would still be hurt.

And as much as I want to explore that complicated area of feeling hurt on things that ultimately don’t matter, I want to take a rain check on that for now.

What I really want to focus here is that subtle nag at perfection and success the uncle in the story did. It’s like he was saying that the young girl, who has barely cooked a meal in her life, cannot be a chef just because she hurt herself in the middle of cooking. That someone completely novice can’t become a master all because of committing one common mistake.

Now, as an avid fan of Masterchef Australia for the past couple years, I think that’s loaded bullcrap.

I know for a fact that even home cooks, those people who are passionate about food and cooking, can hurt themselves in the middle of a panicky situation. Those well-renowned chefs only seem effortlessly perfect and successful in the kitchen now because of all the mistakes and little injuries they got early on in their careers. Mistakes that, well, they learned from. Their so-called perfection and success are only achievable by learning through their failures.

See, we all make tiny mistakes.

[bctt tweet=”To say that one tiny mistake can cost you your success or your career or your entire life is utterly foolish.” username=”@allthetrinkets”]

For years, I’ve had this voice whispering to me, my very own inner negative uncle. That perfectionist, positivity vampire telling me every tiny mistake I’ve done is pushing me farther and farther from perfection and success. I guess, these voices contributed to the anxious-filled, overthinking perfectionist that I have become.

Just last month, I was on my way to my first ever job interview. And I forgot to bring any valid I.D. to get inside the building. All throughout the bus ride, I kept thinking how I have screwed things up. They’re never gonna interview me because I’m incompetent. The HR of the company will whisper it throughout all the HR of all other companies in the city. No one will hire me. And so, I am an utter failure.

All these thoughts… because I left my I.D.

But see here’s the thing: I am still here. I’m still alive. And little by little, I’m moving forward. Making progress and achieving small successes.

Related: My Two Cents on Failure and How I Dealt With It

We, as a society, have reached a point where we condemn or ridicule every mundane mistake a person has made. And to be honest, it’s not a great time to be in. We can be so hung up on the smallest details and the tiniest flaws. So much so, that we forget to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

And I’m not saying mistakes are great. They aren’t, obviously. Mistakes suck balls. But judging someone’s character based on the mistakes they did is a bit… unfair, don’t you think?

So if you’re like me, beating yourself over every small mistakes you commit, here’s a reminder:

[bctt tweet=”No one should ever be measured by the mistakes they did. Your failures cannot measure what you are worth. And it should never.” username=”@allthetrinkets”]

It’s how you respond after such failures that matters more. Be it changing for the better. Or striving for improvement and progress, whatever that may be for you.

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

How do YOU define perfection and success? Have you ever had a non-dream be shattered before? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments!

Kate xx

Photo from Lucas Swinden via Unsplash

3 Reasons You’re Feeling Unproductive (and What to Do About It)

As my boy, Li Shang, famously said, let’s get down to business. If you’re here right now, I’m willing to bet you’ve been in that kind of sloppy hell: The Slow, Sloppy Hell of Feeling Unproductive.

It isn’t exactly painful outright. It’s one of those slow-burns. And it burns from the inside out. It targets your self-confidence and motivation and self-determination ever so gradually until they’re nothing but ashes.

Sound familiar? Don’t worry, friend. I’m here.

Let me help you douse that flame now before it continues to spread. Here are three reasons why you’re not achieving anything right now and what you can do about it.

Why You are Feeling Unproductive Today and What You Can Do About It

1) You are busy doing other less important things

Look, I get it. We’ve all been there. We’ve all said we had an unproductive day. That we weren’t able to accomplish that one thing because we were too busy on other things.

But were you?

Were you really busy with other things? Or suppose you actually were busy, were you too busy on something that’s actually relevant?

Maybe, like me, you were only doing this thing they call procrastination.

Take it from someone who went to the Procrastinators’ School of Making Excuses. There is a difference between being occupied and pretending to be busy. Learn it. Know what signs to look for.

Be self-aware when you start making excuses. Over time, you’ll find it easier to spot them. I noticed that excuses always have a different tone than truth — even those we say in our heads.

What You Can Do:

You’re probably familiar with the Eisenhower Matrix. Where you arrange the tasks you need to do under levels of importance and urgency. This way, you can eliminate a task that is neither important nor urgent. And then you can focus your energy and present time on things that are actually important or urgent. Or both!

2) You’re a perfectionist

It may seem counterintuitive, saying that being a perfectionist is making you unproductive. Like, won’t my perfectionist tendency make me more productive?

Um, actually…no.

I know this because, aside from being a Master Procrastinator, heck I’m a Master Perfectionist too.

When you’re so focused on having everything —  and I mean, every tiny detail — perfect, you end up getting fewer tasks done.

See, perfectionism takes up a lot of time by forgetting time. When you’re nitpicking on the small stuff, when you’re putting 120% of your attention on that tiny area in your project, you forget about everything else. Including time. And if you have that special hybrid I call perfection procrastination, you waste time by doing mundane, unimportant tasks. When you should be working on the ones that matter.

What You Can Do:

Give yourself the permission to fail.

Remember: choose finished, not perfect.

Let that sink into your mind. The idea of not succeeding at first try isn’t so bad. What’s important is that you learned from your failures and mistakes. And these lessons will actually help you get closer and closer to success.

3) You’re feeling unproductive because you’re mentally or emotionally stuck. Or both.

Being stuck stems from various causes. Perhaps you’re having a writer’s block. Or experiencing a creative draught. Maybe you just have zero inspiration to write or do anything.

The thing is, a lot of our physical tasks are partly powered by our inner resources. Some even more so than others.

This shouldn’t come off as a surprise anymore. The immediate connection between our physical health and mental wellbeing has been proven in so many studies. Our physical health is as affected by our mental wellbeing as the other way around.

Which means poor mental health can be the cause of physical fatigue. And therefore, you feel unproductive.

In order to do the things you need to do, you must also pay attention to these inner resources–inspiration, motivation, and mental stability, to name a few. Because when we lack or don’t have such resources, we become mentally or emotionally paralyzed. Literally unable to work even when we are physically able to do it.

What You Can Do:

Along with your physical health, take care of your mental and emotional well-being too. Exercising is just as good for your mind as it is for your body. Having a well-rounded healthy lifestyle that takes into consideration your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing is imperative — whatever life you may live. Create that balance, yes? BIG YES.

I WANNA HEAR FROM YOU!

Have you got more tips for those who are feeling unproductive? Share your wisdom in the comments below!

Woman writing in the background a white rectangle overlay with the text, "3 Reasons Why You're Unproductive Today - and what you can do about it"

Photos from Ivory Mix and Kaylah Otto (via Unsplash)

Image of a woman sitting back on a pink overlay. A white rectangle with a text on top says: 3 Reasons Why You're Feeling Unproductive.
Girl on a sofa with a pink translucent overlay and a text on top saying, 'Feeling unproductive? Three reasons why + what you can do about it'

February was more chaotic than last month, wow. | Side Notes

Yep. You read that right.

Remember when I said last month, I hope February was going to be kinder to me than January? February was like, “NOPE! Not gonna.”

On a more positive note, though! I have new graphics for Side Notes, whee! Figured it was about time. That old one was getting… well, old.

Side Notes is a monthly wrap up where I share the interesting, and incredibly inspiring things I found during the month that I couldn’t fit in any post. Expect awesome recs, awesome books and awesome bloggers.

Also expect: fangirling (lots of it) and a glimpse into my life — the happy, the chaos and all.

In the Blogosphere

Anne shared 7 gift ideas for those in a long-distance relationship. And I say, they’re all pretty wholesome enough for anyone in your life!

Brett talked about dealing with negative feelings and shared some awesome tips to do so healthily. Check it out!

In need of some self-care ideas? Jackie recommends doing something creative — like building a house on Sims! Read her post for 6 more awesome recs!

Lea talks about her life as a 28-year-old married woman with no kids. (Guess what question she always gets asked.)

Hafsa created a journaling party and it. Sounds. SUPER. AWESOME??? I want in so bad.

Is blogging dead? Ashlee thinks not. And I, as I write the draft for this on WordPress Classic Editor, so so agree.

Lauren talks about grief and how to cope with the loss of a loved one.

Apostolia shared habits to have a happy life and I’m taking notes.

Deze shares the 6 hard lessons she learned in her first two years as a married woman and it’s applicable to any relationships!

The Awesome Side of the Internet

The Internet can be a jerk sometimes, let’s all be real here. But it is also filled with authentic and incredibly inspiring human (and non-human) stories.

Someone made a music video out of Paint and it’s BRILLIANT.

You need to rewatch LoTR but with cats.

Someone’s gonna be a great lawyer someday. Case closed, y’all.

You know how last month my recommendations were both educational apps? Welp, today I’m recommending two of my recent fave series!

VIOLET EVERGARDEN

I’m going to put it out there: this is anime. And before you scroll further thinking, “Oh, that isn’t my cup of tea.” Hear me out first!

This anime series revolves around a young girl who knew nothing of life outside her military background. Now that the war is over, she has to learn what it is like to live outside the front lines of a battlefield. (Wow, someone hire me to make blurbs. I think that’s a fair, non-spoilery one.)

It’s a coming-of-age series, my favorite anime genre after fantasy and slice-of-life, and it is heartbreakingly beautiful. It may revolve around Violet Evergarden, the young girl I mentioned above, but it’s more than just her story. The entire series is jam-packed with stories about love and family and self-growth. Not to mention, the animation is just BREATHTAKING. And y’all I’m not just saying that because Kyoto Animation, my all-time fave anime studio, produced it.

You can watch Violet Evergarden on Netflix now. Please watch it. (And if you do or did, hit me an email or slide a DM wherever. I want to talk about this and none of my friends has watched it yet!!)

HEARTSTOPPER

This is another series I recently got into that I think not a lot of people generally know. Like Violet Evergarden, you would only know about Heartstopper if you’re in the community. (The anime community in Violet Evergarden’s case, the book community in this one’s.)

Heartstopper is a webcomic written and illustrated by YA author Alice Oseman. It’s about two adorable soft bois being adorable together. An openly gay boy who overthinks for a living, and a soft-hearted guy who’s still figuring out his sexuality.

That’s it. That’s the pitch.

Now here’s the thing. I’ve read books my whole life. Consequently, I’ve read tons of books while on public transportation. But I’ve never — and I mean never — cried on public because of a book. Ever. This webcomic? It’s responsible for my first-ever public book tears. It is that good. You can read Heartstopper on Tumblr or in the Tapas app.

Little Victories – Kickass Stuff that Happened This Month

  • I landed my first ever full-time job, y’all!
  • I’m getting on top of my Twitter game, ey!
  • My sleep is now regular!!! (It really was the lack of a structured routine omg! Once I was working, I’m already asleep at 10pm and up by 5am the next day. Could still need a little tweaking as I want to spend a bit more hours on my blog… but I’ll take it!)

Little Detours – What Kicked My Ass This Month

(because we’re not perfect, and it’s good to share your awful moments)

  • My blog game and all other social media games are not as strong as the Twitter one. As you may have noticed, I decided to go on a hiatus halfway through the month.

Little Milestones – Things I Want to Achieve or Do Next Month

(because according to Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies, I am an Obliger and I need outside accountability to reach personal goals)

A MINI-REVIEW ON THIS MONTH’S GOALS
  • Make no bake cheesecake. ✘ I was on the verge of becoming broke so I’m doing a rain check on this one.
  • Get interviewed by 5 companies. ✘ This didn’t happen BUT! I landed my job on the only company I got interviewed so yay!
  • Finish writing and scheduling March’s posts. ✘ Still writing up March’s post. Oh well.
GOALS FOR NEXT MONTH
  • Create a routine around work
  • Set aside 5,000 php to savings (That’s about $100, give or take)
  • Write and schedule posts

Last Month’s Self-Improvement Challenge

Eat fruit once a day. This didn’t happen BUT!!! I am eating fruit every other day so that’s a good start.

Next Month’s Self-Improvement Challenge

Finish one book. If I said I didn’t have much time reading books on February, I’d be lying. I just chose not to read any books. Now, I want to just finish one book. If I could just finish reading one, I’m good.

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

How was your February? Was it awesome or did it suck so bad? Share to me everything!

xx Kate

Photo from Ivory Mix

Want to get what you want from other people? Do this one super simple thing.

Open hand with a pink overlay. Above is a pink rectangle with the text - Wanna get what you want? Do this one super simple thing.

It was a quiet afternoon. I was sitting back on a bench when my afternoon blog reading was interrupted by my friend’s huff.

“I’m pissed,” she announced as she sat beside me.

Putting away my phone, I asked her what happened. She wanted another friend of ours to do something for her but that other friend didn’t do it. When I asked her if she told our friend specifically what she wanted, she looked at me in a weird way. As if I just told her she grew mushrooms on her head.

It was pretty obvious what I needed, was what she replied.

At that time, I bit back what I wanted to say.

That I think she was wrong. Our other friend might not have known what she wanted.

An open hand reaching out and an arm behind. Above is a white rectangle with the text - Here's how to get what you want by doing one suuuper simple thing

See, here’s the thing: I understand my pissed friend’s pissed-ness. I get where she was coming from because I have felt that same way too. There are some things you just can’t obtain on your own. You will need other people’s help. And so you create these expectations towards those other people. You just assume that they’d easily understand what you need. Because what you need is pretty obvious, right?

Nope. It isn’t.

I mean, it might be super obvious – to you. But that’s because you know what you need. But other people? They usually have zero clue. The truth is, no one’s a super mind-reader.

No one holds the blueprint of your mind other than yourself.

[bctt tweet=”So if you really want things to happen, you have to do something about it. You have to reach out first.” username=”@allthetrinkets”]

Take the initiative and tell people what you want.

Want to meet up with an old friend you saw recently? Tell them you wanna hang out.

You want that guy beside you to stop invading your personal space? Let him know.

Maybe you think it’s high time for a pay raise? Knock on your boss’s door.

Look. People want to help you.

The people who care about you and want to see you succeed? They want to know if there’s anything they can do to get you to where you want to go. But if you want something from other people, you have to tell them about it. Otherwise, they wouldn’t know. They couldn’t help you get what you want if they have no clue what exactly it is you want.

So how can you get what you want by telling others? I’ve got 3 tips.

1. Tell them politely and with respect

I know, I know. This should be super obvious but I think it still needs to be emphasized: You wouldn’t get what you want if you’re rude.

I’ve witnessed people who like to show a sense of superiority by being demanding and belittling others. And okay… you miiight get what you want this way but you wouldn’t earn other people’s respect. Which would make dealing with them in the future difficult. Some people might even despise you if you did this.

And friend, I’m highly against burning bridges. The people you meet along the way? I believe you’ll meet them again. And when you do, you don’t want to be remembered as that rude doucheface who likes to scream at people.

A little kindness goes a long way. And to put it bluntly, a quicker transaction, even. Things go more smoothly when everyone’s in their happy place. Plus, you’ll likely leave the premises feeling quite positive and light-hearted.

I don’t know about you but I would pick that over that coldness and a doucheface rep any day.

2. Be as clear and concise as you can

This is something I learned from my Business Communications course. Clarity and conciseness is key to good communication. They will guide you and the other person to a better understanding of each other.

And to get what you want from other people, you need these two important ingredients too.

I know this is something I need to work on too. I’m aware that I can be roundabout with what I want to say. But I recently learned something from a fellow roundabout friend that I think is a great tip for anyone else struggling to be clear and concise. Which brings me to my third tip…

3. Have one point and make it your anchor.

That one point will keep your winding explanation grounded. It’s your North. So whenever it feels like you’re about to go off-topic, remember your anchor and steer your conversation back to it.

Maybe you’ve wanted to change careers and you’re meeting an acquaintance who’s working on the field you want to switch to. I know we tend to go off-topic lots of times in casual conversations. You could be reminiscing your high school lives, or talking about that girl you know from college. But remember your anchor and keep it close to you.

So when they ask you something work-related, you can say something like, “Oh yeah, I’ve been meaning to tell you. I wanted to switch careers and I’m interested with the kind of work you do. Do you have any tips you can share to a newcomer like me?”

I bet you, your friend’s face will light up and tell you everything they know.

I‘m sure of this because I’ve been the asker and the askee on two separate occasions. So I know the people around you will tell you everything they know can help.

[bctt tweet=”The people around you want to help. Allow them to do so by telling them how.” username=”@allthetrinkets”]

I WANNA HEAR FROM YOU!

Let’s do this. Right here, right now. What do YOU want from other people? What can WE help you with?

LOVE THIS POST? DON’T FORGET TO PIN IT!

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Photos from Death to Stock and Chimene Gaspar (via Unsplash)

Why you need to create your own business hours

Is Time Management in the same level for you as flying? (Because, you know, it’s unachievable) Or maybe you’ve planned to be productive but end up spending it scrolling through Twitter? Perhaps you’re always scrambling around to get a some semblance of routine in your life?

Friend, I know exactly how you feel. Which is why I know you definitely need to create your own business hours.

Have you ever felt like “Time Management” is in the same level as flying? (Because, you know… what even is time management??) Did you ever plan to have a productive day but end up spending it scrolling through Twitter? Were you ever distracted by messages you received at an ungodly hour? Friend, I know exactly how you feel. Which is why I know you definitely need to create your own business hours.

Obviously, most businesses have this. Business hours is that period in which the company do… well, business. But we can also see it like this: it’s when, and only when, people can go do business with a company. Or in this case, you. Here’s how creating your own business hours will help you.

The Benefits of Establishing Your Own Business Hours

1) You create boundaries

Specifically, time boundaries.

If you ever struggle with friends or bosses who respond to you at ungodly hour, this one’s for you. This is also helpful to those who work at home or are freelancers.

When you don’t have the gift of a set time like in a typical nine-to-five job, it could be so easy for your work hours and non-work hours to blur and mix together. And that isn’t productive or efficient.

Creating your own business hours could help with all of that.

Not only do you create time boundaries to the people around you, but you can also train yourself to stick to those same boundaries. I know there are people who have a hard time with that as I’m one of those people.

2) It gives you free time

Because you have set business hours, you can leave time in your day for personal stuff. Maybe you like to kick back and crochet to end your day. Or maybe you like to have time for a 10-minute workout sesh in the morning. Knowing when your work starts and ends means you can make room for other things in your life.

And most importantly, when you do scroll through Twitter, you could do it outside your business hours, on your free time – and not feel guilty about it! #Win.

3) Avoids overwhelm and burnout

Overwhelm and burnouts often happen because of overworking. Sometimes, people overwork simply because they don’t have that strong separation between when they should work and when they should take a break.

Not all of us are expert time-jugglers. This means we have yet to master the art of time management. If you are one, then I highly suggest starting with establishing your own business hours. Here's why you need one.

When you have your own business hours, you can establish a structured time in which you do your work.

And you should do your work strictly within those hours only.

Why do you think most factories have business hours? Because it isn’t ideal to run a machine endlessly and without breaks. If they did this, they would run their machine to the ground and break it. Like machines, you need to take a break.

4) Creating your own business hours can reduce stress

I think this is particularly helpful to fellow Obligers, and anyone who is a semi-organized potato like me.

Obliger is one of the four tendencies in Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Four Tendencies. (Gosh, I am in love with this book. Expect a book review and a more in-depth discussion on the tendencies in the near future!)

Related: Four Personality Tests You Can Try Today to Better Know Yourself

Obligers are those who put a higher value on meeting other people’s expectations than they do on their own. Which makes Obligers reliable co-workers and peers. (Not to brag or anything, but this is accurate yo.) However, they also have trouble setting boundaries on other people’s demands, and this could be a huge source of stress for them – which is, again, accurate yo.

If you’re an Obliger like me, creating your own business hours can help you set limits on what people need from you and when you can work on those demands. No more getting up late at night to write that document someone wants.

On the other hand, this is also super helpful for both semi-organized and un-organized folks. There are times when you are aware of how you aren’t organized. And you mentally kick yourself for not being productive with your time.

Establishing your business hours, and sticking to it, may just be what you need. With a structured time like this, it’s like going back to school. You don’t have to think about what you need to do. The frequency of scrambling around is lessened because you already have your day planned out for you, just like when you were at school.

The big difference is this is more convenient because you don’t have to start at seven-in-the-freakin-morning. (Shaking my head at the school system.) Instead, you get to establish your work hours during your peak time.

In this day and age of hustle culture, time is a very important commodity. Learning to be more productive is everyone’s business nowadays. Maybe you can juggle everything in your to-do lists like a pro-juggler could. But maybe you’re like me and is often seen scrambling around for some semblance of order and routine.

Start by establishing when to work and when to take a break.

And look hey. This may not be boss-level time management, but it’s a start!

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Are you a professional time-juggler? Or are you a Twitter-scroller? Do you think established business hours will work for you or nah?

xx Kate

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Suck at time management? I feel you. If you have a hard time managing your time, maybe you can start with creating your very own business hours instead. Click on to read why you need one.

Photo by Gades Photography on Unsplash

Here’s what you need to achieve your big goals and resolutions this year

We all know January is the month of new goals and resolutions. New year new me, as every netizen proudly announces on January 1st. We greet the start of the year with optimism and hope. And why won’t we? There’s something absolutely wondrous about having the chance to start again.

The problem, my friend, lies in this teensy-tiny detail:

[bctt tweet=”Our optimism and hopefulness in achieving our goals often don’t last the entire year. Or even January.” username=”@allthetrinkets”]

Now there are tons of factors we could consider. Maybe it has something to do with a certain personality trait. Maybe you weren’t able to create an effective goal-slaying strategy. Or maybe – just maybe – the goals and resolutions you set for yourself was unachievable and unrealistic in the first place?

Before you get your feathers in a ruffle, let me make this clear.

I’m not saying you can’t dream big. By all means, do! In the world we’re currently living, we need all the dreamers. Those people who are unafraid to go beyond. (Plus Ultra, knowwhatimsayin)

But there is a fine line between setting big goals and resolutions, and achieving those same big goals and resolutions. And that fine line is incredibly important:

Action. You need to take one specific action in a certain way: Start smart. And how does one start smart, pray tell, Kate?

Oh, I’m so glad you asked. Through small things.

There is a fine line between setting big goals and resolutions, and achieving those same big goals and resolutions. And that fine line is incredibly important:  Action. You need to take one specific action in a certain way: Start smart. And how does one start smart, pray tell, Kate?  Oh, I’m so glad you asked. Through small things.

An Ode to the Small and Basic

When you want to achieve something and nothing seems to work, start again. And start smart and small. (I dare you to repeat that fast.)

I know I seem like a broken record at this point but it’s too important not to say again. The small things matter. Be it a small habit, a small change in your routine, small goals and resolutions. They matter. In the same way that rice matters to an Asian household’s daily meals. Small things matter just as ants are important in the ecosystem they’re in. They make up the foundation in which the big things stand upon.

Without the small positive changes you start to incorporate into your life, you can’t expect to see the big changes.

Whenever I’m stuck in a creative rut, I go back to the basic. And I start again – in small things. Doodles, sketches, and when I’m really in a huge, like capital H huge, rut, I do stick drawings.

The thing with small is that they’re… well, small. They’re so small, they’re achievable. Easy to cross off your to do list. They can be achieved in a short amount of time. And achieving one small goal can give you enough dopamine hit to cross off another small goal. Then another. And then another.

Now, how can you turn big goals and resolutions into smaller goals?

Chop them.

I’m not kidding. And I’m definitely not just trying to be gory – I hate gore. In order for big goals and resolutions to become small ones, you really just need to chop them into smaller pieces. Like slicing an entire triple-layer buttercream cake into small, delectable slices.

Make a big goal like “write a book” into something small like “write for 10 minutes everyday.”

If you want to read more books, make it a goal to read before you go to sleep.

To grow your social media, start by spending ten minutes engaging with the community.

If you want to get a job, have a quota of resumes you need to send everyday. This same thing also works if you want to land a guest post or writing op.

Go as small as it needs for you to jumpstart that change, or create that new habit, or achieve those big goals and resolutions. And remember to keep at it. Make yourself repeat the small things the next day. It could just be one chapter, or ten minutes, or five resumes / guest post pitches. Heck, it could be even smaller than that, if you like!

Here's what you need to achieve the goals and resolutions you set for yourself this year. #goalsetting

The important thing is you’re putting one foot in front of the other. You’re taking it one slice at a time, consistently. In a matter of time, you’ll have your foundation. And it is a stable and sturdy foundation.

I WANNA HEAR FROM YOU!

What are some big goals you have set for yourself this year? How can you turn them into smaller goals?

xx Kate

PS: Check out four other steps you can take to achieve your big goals.

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Do you have a hard time achieving your goals and resolutions this year? Click on to find out what's one thing you can do.

Photos from Ivory Mix

New Year, New You: Things you need to leave behind in 2018

New year new me, yes? YASSS.

That said, I know a lot of people don’t like doing New Year Resolutions, me included. But there’s just something absolutely wonderful in being given the chance to reset things. And I think that’s one of the lovely things we could do in January.

There are some things that you need to leave behind in order to move forward and further grow. Here are six of them. #selfgrowth #personaldevelopment

But if you’re like thirteen-year-old Kate and you’re deeply allergic to change, why don’t you try leaving things? Specifically, you need to leave behind the things that bummed you out last year? You know. People, mindset or stuff that did not make you happy in last year. Below is a handy list of things you can start with.

6 Things You Need to Leave Behind in 2018 so You Can Start 2019 on a Better Note

(featuring some awesome motivational tweets from awesome people)

1) Comparisonitis

 

One of the things you need to leave behind this year is this modern-day ‘sickness’ which does not bring anyone any good. And if anyone tells me otherwise, I’m challenging them.

Comparisonitis is real. We’ve all been there. We have done it. Compared our lives with our neighbours or our friends or even someone you only know through the Internet. And this problem definitely got bigger in this age because of social media and how it made other people’s highlight reels a mere click away. You don’t need that on 2019, yo.

Related: How to Turn The Comparison Game Around and Actually Help You

2) Compromising sleep and health

I love how has become more proactive. The hustle culture is an ever-growing one and I’m all for it! I love how everyone is ready to act on their dreams and goals. It is honestly so inspiring, and makes me want to do the same with mine.

But there’s also a flipside to this.

Sometimes, we are so focused on trying to achieve our dreams that we have disregarded other equally (if not more) important stuff like our health and wellbeing. You need to leave this behind, this unhealthy habit.

Friend, it’s good to hustle and work super hard for your dream life. But please don’t forget to take a break. Look after your body and wellbeing too. Make them a priority. It’s your main ship to get to where you want to go after all 🙂

Sometimes for you to improve and continue forward, you need to leave behind the things that slow you down or hinders you from your best self.

3) Negative Self-Talk

If there’s one thing I learned last year, it’s that I really am the only person standing between me and the great opportunities waiting for me. Negative self-talk is comparisonitis’s ugly cousin. You don’t need either in your life this year. Which is why we’re leaving both of them behind.

I made 2018 my year of saying yes. To new opportunities and new experiences and new friends. I’m so grateful for everything that had come to my life. I don’t think I’ll be able to experience any of it had I listened to my negative self-talk. And that did take lots of work, too. This year, I will continue challenging negative self-talk.

4) Bad or unhealthy habits

This one’s probably one of the hardest one to leave in this list. I know it is for me. And that’s saying something because, boy, are these things hard.

But it is necessary.

We all have them. A bad habit or five that’s preventing us to be the best person that we could be. Or at the very least, be a better person than you are now.

For instance, mine are picking on my chappy lips and procrastinating until the very last minute. Both are habits with long-term consequences that I know my future self don’t want to deal with. But it is so freaking hard to stop them too, you know???

Anyway, I will work on it this year. Hopefully, by the end of the year, I shall happily report less lip-picking and procrastinating.

5) Toxic people

I’m aware most people will say to cut off the toxic people in your life. And I support this. You don’t need to surround yourself with negative people who easily and constantly ruin your everyday life. But I also acknowledge that this could get tricky when that toxic person is a close relative or family. For some people, cutting things off with that toxic person may not even be an option.

 

6) Unhealthy and unnecessary perfectionist tendencies

Does this mean there are healthy and necessary perfectionist tendencies, Kate?

Why yes, there are.

Look. I’m a perfectionist. Does being one made life difficult for me? Yes. But do I still think there are great things that came out of my perfectionism? Absolutely.

See, if it weren’t for my perfectionist tendencies, I wouldn’t be able to deliver good work. I won’t make quality outputs in school, or during my internship or even here on my blog. It did help me in becoming detail-oriented and diligent. I do think perfectionism has some good sides to it. To a certain degree.

But like most things, too much of it is bad. One of the awful sides of perfectionism is the procrastination that happens when you have perfectionist tendencies — or perfection procrastination


I know that most of these things above aren’t easy to leave or cut off. They could be awfully complicated, depending on your specific situation. But I hope that you try working on a couple or three of them. In order to be better and live a happier life, I believe that you need to leave something in the past. And find something better to carry for the now and the future.

Besides, isn’t that what self-improvement is all about? 🙂

I WANNA HEAR FROM YOU!

What other things do you want to leave behind in 2018? Share them below!

xx Kate

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Wanna make 2019 better than last year? I hear you, friend. And I think, in order for you to move forward and be a better version of your 2018 self, you need to leave behind some things in 2018. Click on to read more.

Photos from Ivory Mix 

2018 New Things: An Evaluation (and what I want to do moving forward)

Last year – or one year and 17 days ago, to be precise – I published a post in which I announced that I will try to do 10 new things in 2018. And the result… deeply astounded me.

Out of the 10 new things I set myself up to do last year, I was only able to do one.

WOW, KATE.

But because I kinda want to make up to (deeply disappointed) January 2018 Kate, I will look further into each New Thing and torture myself in embarrassment at the same time.

This is going to be fun, y’all.

1. Finish a horror movie without running away. I didn’t even watch any thriller last year, wow. But I guess it was to be expected since I was extremely busy for my last year in uni.

2. Make no-bake cheesecake. In my defense! I was going to do this over the holidays. But as I was spending Christmas and New Year’s in my grandparents’ house and all of the people living there either have diabetes or high cholesterol, I decided to just do it when I get back to Cebu.

3. Enroll in an art class. This is the One New Thing that I got to try out last year. So I signed up for one of Craftsy’s art courses because they had a promo back then. The course I signed up to is Kateri Ewing’s Startup Library: Painting with Watercolors. It was ah-mazing. I love the teacher and it tackled watercolour basics which really helped me understand watercolour better.

4. Make a popsicle house. I can’t believe I forgot I had this as a New Thing! And my brother had a project where he had to build one, hng.

5. Go to the gym. I don’t wanna talk about it.

6. Participate in an open mic. I remember I had plans on doing this last April at a popular tea house in my hometown, when I went home for a long break. But I learned that they no longer have an open mic there which was sad. I also didn’t know any other place that holds an open mic. So there you go.

7. Pierce ears. Omg, I was going to do this! But again, I had no time. Also, I was supposed to do it with my best friend but I only went home twice last year. Again, sad.

8. Eat sushi. Again not much free time = no time to go eat out. I did try out eating Korean barbecue and kimbap for the first time last year. So that sort of makes up with trying out new food, yes? Yes. And for a picky eater, I’d say that’s a win.

9. Listen to an album from a genre I don’t usually listen to. Um… I don’t think it counts because it was only one song but I listened to KDA’s Popstars.

10. No chicken or pork for a week. This is the one that I was disappointed at myself the most, to be honest.

All that said, it was quite disappointing for my first ever New Things year. For 2019, I will be tweaking things a bit and just try out five. Also, I’m going to add in a monthly assessment section on my Side Notes every month for this.

Five New Things I’m Going to Try in 2019

1. Make no-bake cheesecake

I am adamant in doing this, okay??? My family think I can’t make food outside instant stuff and frying eggs and cooking rice. I’ll show it to them. Also I just think it’d be nice to finally be able to try making something no-bake. I’ve seen them on Pinterest and they just look delicious and seem easy to do.

2. No chicken or pork for a week

As a notoriously known meat-eater, this is another thing my family don’t think I can accomplish. They don’t believe I can live with just fish and veggies. But I want to prove to them and myself that I can do this. This one’s going to be hard, though. So I’ll probably create a meal-plan for this specific week.

3. Attend a yoga class four times

I honestly have no idea how I’m going to do this but I want to try. I’ll have to research on yoga classes near me that I can attend to.

4. Attend a live watercolour workshop

I tried enrolling in an online art course last year. This time, I want to see if I get out of my introverted shell more and interact with people with the same interest. It’ll be fun too!

5. Post five video on Youtube

I’m still not sure if I want to appear on the videos or do a voice over or… just make videos but I haven’t dipped my toes on creating videos for fun and not for a school project. So this is going to be fun and anxious-filled.

Other than these five New Things, I also have three Big Goals I hope to achieve this year:

  • Have a collab with a huge brand on my blog
  • Save up for the CMA Board Exam (which I hope to take either this year or next)
  • Write a 100-page book. (I have no idea what it will be right now, but I just want to write one hehe)

I WANNA HEAR FROM YOU!

Did you achieve your goals last year? What are your goals for 2019? Share them below!

xx Kate