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Tag: Life tips (page 1 of 1)

Do this when your Fear of Missing Out is at its all-time high

Imagine this. One fine morning, you wake up and realize, “Oh my god, I’m doing the same thing over and over every day!” So you end up doing every conceivable thing you haven’t tried in a matter of days or weeks. You try to tick out this super long bucket list before this internally-set deadline comes to pass.

At the end of the day, you feel extremely exhausted and, um… not quite as accomplished as you thought you would be..?

There was an exact same episode in Modern Family about this. This kid Manny realized that he’s missing out on things that boys his age often do. And so, before his thirteenth birthday came to an end, he set out to do several of them like phone pranks and lying on a colorful float in the middle of the pool.

Let’s all be honest here: we’ve had our Manny moment.

We’ve all had an episode or two of FOMO, or fear of missing out, especially in this age of social media and being constantly connected to the entire world. Add to that, this growing pandemic of comparisonitis, some of us practically experience FOMO, like, twice a week tops. (Or is that just me? Hmm.)

But every once in a while, there’s that day. When your mind decides to jump deep, deep down into this FOMO rabbit hole and you then go into an existential crisis. You question the meaning of your life. You wonder if you’ve done stuff people your age “often do”. You think, Am I missing out on the most important things???

What to do when fear of missing out or FOMO is at its peak level | life advice, personal growth, inspiration, motivation, life tips

Life is a roller coaster ride of changeable wants.

One minute, you want to have a stable routine. The next minute you want to change it up a bit. It’s all fun and exciting until you reach either edge of the spectrum – too attached to a routine to make room for changes, or frantically doing new things by the minute. And we often suffer the latter. (Case in point: the Manny moment.)

The good news is: we can find a balance. We can deal with this fear of missing out in a healthy, do-no-harm way. Here’s what you can do when FOMO is at its peak level.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

I did not drop that c-bomb above for show, you know.

If not treated early, comparisonitis could be a deadly disease that could severely affect your life. I should know. I have comparisonitis as much as an active child has snot and bruised knees. Which is, like, nearly every day. And fear of missing out? That’s an effect of comparing yourself to others. You take a look at other people’s lives and you take a look at yours. And (because we’re often too hard on ourselves) you come up with the conclusion that you’ve done less than anybody else. Cue FOMO.

Friend, stop it. Comparisonitis never gave us any real benefit. So you can definitely cut that out of your system and out of your life.

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

Look Into Your Inner World

Know what you want in your life. A lot of us are so hung up on wanting to experience #AllTheThings that our external world can offer us, we forget to take notice of the incredible world right under our nose… or, you know, inside our skull.

Getting to know yourself is intimate and it is extremely important in order to not let FOMO reach its peak. If you want to learn how to find yourself but don’t know where to start, I HIGHLY encourage you to read Syaza’s amazing post about how to find yourself when you’re feeling lost. It’s like meditation on paper… or mobile screen, whatever. It’s amazing and may enlighten you with some awesome ideas!

Remember that We All Run on Different Paths in Different Paces

Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. And you have to remember that there’s no one participating in your own marathon but yourself. Sure, it may look like you and some other people are running in the same direction. But sooner or later, your paths will diverge. They’d go the other way, and you’d continue on yours. You’ll have a few stops somewhere in the middle, and new people will pass you by. And you’ll also pass by some. But these people? They’re not “ahead” of you. In the one-man marathon you’re in, no one ever is or ever will be.

Let Go of the Limiting Beliefs

My sweet, sweet potato, limiting beliefs are comparisonitis’s nasty cousins. They are good at nothing but, well… limit you. Let them go. You do not need them. You are better off without them.

Side note: I do understand that letting limiting beliefs go is easier said than done, so I’ve listed 5 common limiting beliefs you may have and how to vanquish them like a bogart. *whips out wand*

Take Inventory of What You Have Right Now

I like to think that we all have a box we carry with us all the time. And the more we grow, and the more we experience life, we pick up stuff that we put inside our box. Do an audit of what’s inside your box. And while you’re at it, don’t look at other people’s boxes! Just focus on your own box. Look at all the things that you’ve picked up over time. What’s in it? How do these things impact your life? What good did they bring you?

Folks, this is gratitude. Or… you know, how I practice gratitude in my life. By looking at my box. By being extremely grateful of what I’ve brought along and carried with me in this journey called life. And then, and only then, can I trudge forward, to try new things and meet new people and live my life to the fullest.

Have you ever experienced boss-level FOMO? How did you deal with it? Share your stories and insights below, we’d love to hear (or read) them! <3

xx Kate

Fear of Missing Out | Perfectionist | FOMO | Self-improvement | Personal Growth | Lifestyle

Photos from Ivory Mix

Self-Love Starts With Self-Acceptance: Why I prioritize accepting myself first

I think self-acceptance is more important than self-love.

And alright, alright. Before you throw the proverbial eggs at me and demand I wear the cone of shame, hear me out.

Self-Acceptance, Self-love, Acceping Yourself, Perfectionism, Personal growth, Inspiration

In my quest to devour as many personal development articles as I could, I came across a quote that, frankly, struck a chord in me. I forgot what the exact words were but the thought was this: “If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will find it difficult to love others.”

Honestly, I call BS on that.

Some people are quite capable of loving others wholeheartedly and unquestioningly. But when it comes to themselves, this is a drag-a-square-boulder-up-a-hill kind of battle. It’s difficult. These people often give themselves zero room for errors and set themselves up to extremely high expectations. I always wondered why we do this, why we are so hard on ourselves. And most of us are – especially girls.

I found a bit of insight through Sharon Salzberg. She discussed how we humans were, on an evolutionary standpoint, wired to look for the negativity in our lives. It was literally a surviving mechanism. And this trait has been passed on from generation to generation. It’s probably why we fixate on our failures and inadequacies so much. It’s probably why we do not like our flaws and, ultimately, ourselves.

Look, I’m not saying you should not love yourself. I’m all for that! I just think it’s ridiculous to make it seem like self-love is some kind of prerequisite to other kinds of love. It isn’t. I don’t think so.

I like to believe that self-love, and every other kinds of love for that matter, is one unique experience. Each one is a game utterly separate from the others. They shouldn’t be mushed into one category, as if one kind of love is a level you need to pass through. Learning one kind of love is exclusive of learning all other kinds of love. Apples and oranges, you know?

And here’s what I think:

love needs self-acceptance

It may be accepting the flaws of a partner or child. It may be accepting the shortcomings of a family member or a friend or even a dog / cat / rabbit / bird / unicorn child. Why yes, you can do that to yourself too! You can recognize your flaws and get on better terms with yourself.

Acknowledging and accepting that you are not perfect is very much a part of self-love. But in a way, it’s quite different from the “I love this part about myself” and “I am worthy of good things” cupcakes-and-ice cream kind of self-love that we often see being encouraged in the personal growth community. (Although that’s awesome too!)

Through self-acceptance, you don’t only see yourself for the good and more positive traits that you possess. You also accept the bad and less positive ones. You accept that you are not perfect and are with flaws. You don’t just love the cupcakes and ice cream, you also acknowledge the goodness of broccoli and raisins. You are able to embrace all parts of you. Warts and scars and all.

I mean, aren’t these the parts of ourselves that we find extremely difficult to accept and, ultimately, love? It is because we have these flaws, because we are imperfect, that we hate ourselves in the first place. Sometimes we can focus so much on our shortcomings that we no longer see what we’re good at.
So imagine what would happen if you start to accept your flaws. What would happen if you begin to embrace your imperfections?

This is why in my little journey of loving myself more, I want to focus on self-acceptance. On accepting both the cupcakes and ice cream, and the broccoli and raisins. Because even though those broccoli and raisins don’t taste as good as the cupcakes and ice cream, they’re good for you too. (This is a really long stretch of an analogy but I do hope you get the point.)

Do you struggle with self-love too? What are some of your imperfections that you’ve learned to accept?

xx Kate

Self-acceptance, personal growth, self-improvement, personal development, mindset, self-love, loving yourself, accepting your flaws

Photo from Ivory Mix

How to Turn The Comparison Game Around and Actually Help You

Comparisonitis is, unarguably, a real thing. It is an awful modern illness a lot of us have experienced, you know, at least once or twice a year.

And there is nothing more awful than comparing your wonderfully unique self with another equally wonderfully unique person. I’m sure we all know this. Deep deep down.

But we just.can’t.help.it.

Comparing yourself to the people around you is almost as easy to do as enjoying a glass of Coke. Or five. You know too much of that carbonated drink is not good for your health but you keep chug-chug-chugging on, anyway.

By now, you’ve probably heard this a million times but I’m still going to say it: You get zero benefits from comparing yourself to other people. It never turns well.

And as Taylor Swift once wisely said, Never ever ever.

How to Turn Comparison Around and Actually Help You | personal growth, comparisonitis, comparing, self improvement, progress

But I recently came across something on Twitter that you can do instead.

Anoosha is one of the many (many) artists I look up to and she made a thread where she shared her art journey and career path. In it, she cautioned young artists against career comparison and she recommended something mind-blowing instead:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Reading that, yo, you wouldn’t believe how I reacted. I was just… BLOWN AWAY!

Because to me, that is the perfect way to turn the Comparison Game around. And you can actually do it in the healthiest way possible.

By comparing yourself now to how you were before, you will see progress.

To see that you have grown, one way or another.

And the best thing about comparing your present self with your past self? You’re super focused on self-progress that you have zero time to compare yourself and think about playing catch up with the rest of the world. #Winning!

Here are a 3 things you can compare your present self to with your past self:

1) Your Creative Work

How have you grown, artistically? If you draw, do you have better grasp at anatomy? Or if you’re a writer, do you write better prose? Or maybe even piecing a better analogy?

There’s this meme in the online art community where artists and illustrators share works they did 3 years ago, a year ago and now. It is a super awesome way to see the growth of their art styles. Try doing this in your own creative field.

If you’re a writer, compare what you’ve written from 3 years ago, a year ago and now.

If you’re a photographer, put those three photographs side by side.

This meme is absolutely applicable to almost all kinds of creative field – if not all! – and will visually present to you how much you’ve grown over the past three years.

2) How You React or Respond

Are you calmer and more levelheaded at dealing with conflicts now? Or maybe you are no longer afraid to speak up your mind and are able to disagree with someone’s opinions without being impolite or rude?

Do you say ‘thank you’ more than ‘sorry’? And for my fellow socially awkward potatoes out there, are you slaying those socializing events? (Why yes, actually saying something as coherent as “Yes, it is!” to a total stranger, is huge progress in my book!)

Take some time to self-reflect. Recall a recent experience. Consider how you felt at the time and try to see it in a third person’s point of view. What would younger you have done? Did you respond with more love and respect now than if you faced a similar scenario then?

3) Your Lifestyle

Do you eat more fruits and veggies? Do you no longer wheeze after climbing two flights of stairs? (Honestly, give yourself a pat on the back, that’s great!) Do you no longer give in to your impulsive buying tendencies? Do you make procrastinating work for you? Are you more productive?

I know firsthand that these can be suuuper hard to do. (Especially that not wheezing part.) But it is definitely not impossible!

4.) Your Habits

Are there old bad habits you had that you no longer do? Because omg that’s so great! Bad habits are hard to stop, as they always say. Have you created better habits recently and they now come as easy as breathing to you?

Habits are one of the foundations of someone’s lifestyle. If you have good habits established into your daily routines, this will ultimately define what your lifestyle is. For instance, I used to stay up until 3AM. And so I’d spent most of my commute to and from school asleep. This was kinda okay back in high school, but come college, it was awful. I was perpetually tired and sick. And so I forced myself to go to sleep as late as 10PM so I’d still have adequate amount of sleep. Now, I wake up bright and early and ready to tackle on the day’s work!

Being able to look back on how you were before and comparing it to how you are now helps in boosting your self-esteem and self-confidence. This is proof that you’ve gone so far and have progressed.
And remember: progress comes in many shapes and sizes.

There’s always progress as time flows by. ALWAYS. It’s damn near impossible to be at a total stand still for a year or two. At the very least, a morsel of you have changed because of the things you’ve experienced and what you’ve taken from those experiences. All you’ve got to do is see them for the progress that they are.

What have you achieved recently? Do you have any other tips on how to track your progress?
Share them all below so we can celebrate with you and learn from you at the same time! 🙂

xx Kate

Photos from Say Hello Photography and StockSnap

You Can’t Do What You Want to Do Unless You Start Doing It

Back in 2016, when I was new to Instagram, I was scrolling through all these gorgeous illustrations of freeform watercolor flowers. Videos and images of a slender hand with a paintbrush swirling it like a wand and colors seeping out at the edge of the bristles.

In my eyes, these amazing people were magicians. They were performing purely enchanting magic. I couldn’t take my eyes off them.

For hours, I’d dive deep into different watercolor hashtags, witnessing the magic over and over again. At one point, one thought sparked in me.

Almost immediately, it bled into my mind like watercolor paint spreading onto a wet paper:
I want to paint with watercolor too.

Immediately, I shoved the thought away. I grabbed a metaphorical tissue paper and lifted that bleeding watercolor paint off my canvas mind. Because… I couldn’t. I was never good at watercolor, that’s what I kept telling myself. And so I went on with my life, inspired and captivated and completely jealous of the artists I see in my mobile screen.

That is… Until I was standing on the school and office supplies store. In front of a shelf of student quality watercolors.

You know that part when Moana sang about the line where the sky meets the sea, “It calls me”?

That was me in the student grade art supplies aisle that day.

It was one of those few times in my life when I let neither fear nor self-doubt stop me. I didn’t think about anything. I didn’t have an impromptu performance with my chicken and sang about how I’ve been staring at the edge of the water(color) the way Moana did.

Before I knew it, I was at the cashier with a set of watercolor tubes and brushes clutched at each hand.

fear, starting, quotes

That fear that you’re going to suck and it’ll be awful.

On New Things and the Fear of Starting

Listen:

You will suck. That’s probably the most likely scenario.

I’m not saying this to be a Jenny Raincloud, by the way. I’m saying this because it’s true. You’re new to this. Of course you’re not going to master it overnight. Give yourself some slack, my sweet exhausted potato. Embrace the suck.

And if it gives you any comfort, no one started out being a master.

Picasso spent his early days as a painter being ridiculed for his art. He was told his art was not good. PICASSO. (I know this because National Geographic told me.) I’m quite certain that Mozart didn’t come out of his mother’s womb with a piano and composing iconic music after iconic music. And Colonel Sanders! Grandpa KFC, of all people, started out his fried chicken empire far later into his life. These people have achieved success in one way or another. And th good news? They all achieved it in various ways and at various points in their lives.

You can too, if you stop listening to fear.

Why the Fear is There

The first time I attempted to paint galaxy, it ended up looking like a hot pot of guts and brains. You know, the kind that not even the hungriest of zombies would go near.

And I stayed that way for months.

Imagine if you tried inserting the USB plug on your laptop for a hundred times. And miserably failed on all those times? I was that frustrated. Probably 75% of that time I contemplated on throwing everything I bought and never lay my hands on watercolor ever again. The fear was constantly whispering to my ear that I sucked and that we should just stop this. Gosh, it was right there with me at the art supplies aisle. And it was there again when I was about to put my first watercolor stroke on paper. And the next. And the next. Fear is always with us.

But see, friend, here’s what I learned: The fear is there for a reason.

It needs you to be grounded. It needs you to be realistic. To not get your hopes too high up in the clouds. But if you allow that fear to take control, to take full control?

You’ll be so grounded in your place that you wouldn’t be able to move.

And this is where you’ll come in. You have to have your own volition to move. To take the first step. To grab that watercolor from the shelf. To make your first stroke on paper. To write that first sentence. To stand up and speak out. To let fear be with you every step of the way, but to never let it take hold of the wheel.

You can’t do what you want to do unless you do it. You have to turn that wanting into being.

Make “I want to paint” become “I am painting.”

Make “I want to speak out” become “I am speaking out.”

Make “I want to tell this story” become “I am telling this story.”

You can never magically be what you want to be. You have, first of all, to take action.

And once you’ve taken that first step, don’t stop. Because, believe me, I know how harder the next steps will be. And it will be Super Tempting to just shrug off and say, “Eh. I tried.” But the next step is going to be your new first step. So you have to keep at it. You have to keep going.

Until you are what you want.

Is there something you’ve been wanting to do for a really long time? Have you taken the first step to do it? If you have, share some tips on how to conquer that fear of starting! We welcome all the wisdom you have 🙂

xx Kate

Photos from Death to Stock and Ivory Mix

The One Question I Ask Myself when I’m Having Self-Doubt

So you come up with an idea.

And it is an Amazing Idea™. It’s so brilliant, the old masters will roll over their grave with envy if they learn about this. You have to do something about this awesome idea stat.

And so you did. You started working on it. Days and nights passed by your window. Your work desk is getting more and more cluttered. An upbeat and incredibly motivating music is playing in the background while you are in a montage of maximum motivation.

But then– the needle scratches.

The music stops and you realize… what you’ve been working on this whole time? It isn’t like anything you’ve had in mind. It is not the Amazing Idea. It is, in fact, nowhere near amazing.

You plunge into that deep, dark hole of despair. Repeatedly beating yourself over and thinking, “Maybe I’m not good enough to do this.”

Does this sound familiar?

Self-doubt comes unexpectedly to the best of us. And if you're ever bombarded with all the heavy thoughts and doubting yourself, here's one question you can ask.

I like to think of perfectionism as a creative’s very own Kryptonite. See, we somehow follow this unsaid memo that whatever work we’re doing at the moment must be perfect.

That first draft of a novel? Must be perfectly outlined.

That sketch you’ll later post on Instagram? Must be perfectly messy.

That blog post you’re currently writing? Must have no typos.

(Seriously, I’d like to go back in time to find out just who the heck among our early ancestors passed that perfectionist tendencies into our DNA.)

And what happens when this unsaid memo doesn’t get accomplished? You frazzle. You start to panic. You become so caught up in making things 100% perfect that you have 0% energy left to actually finish the work.

You end up repeatedly editing that one line that does not make any sense. Or rereading your unfinished draft to look for typos. Or desperately using water to wash out that part of your drawing that you painted with the wrong color.

At the end of the day, you’re completely exhausted and you realize two things:

1) You’re not perfect.

2) You did not finish anything.

Have you ever felt that way? That you don’t feel happy or satisfied with what creative work you’re making? And you either do a complete overhaul of it or want to throw it to Davy Jones’s locker where you can never ever see it again ever?

Yo I’ve been there too.

Perfectionism was as constant in my adolescent life as acne is. And it was very prevalent in my relationship with my art.

I hated all my drawings. And in the off chance that I do love them, I’d see a mess in the colors or a tiny scratch a second later. And I’d immediately have this urge to do it all over again. Or burn it. For a long time, my perfectionist tendencies made me hate any creative work I made. Be it an essay or a school project collage or a blog post.

This you?

Well then, I want you to ask yourself one simple question. The one question I ask myself now whenever I’m bombarded with the need for absolute perfection:

“Will anyone, other than me, notice this flaw?”

Will anyone else take notice of this tiny flaw and think it ruined the entire piece the way you do?

No.

And I learned this is true most of the time. Most people probably won’t see anything. I know this because whenever I point out a small imperfection that has been bugging me for the entire creative process, you know what people usually say?

I don’t see it.

Or, Oh yeah, there is. But that’s so tiny!

Or, It’s not relevant, Kate. What are you talking about?

And this goes both ways. A friend of mine showed me her work and said she wanted to burn it. And I was totally confused because her work was awesome! We sometimes overlook the fact that we spent the most time looking over our work. (That was a mouthful so yes, you can read that again.) It comes to a point where we’re basically seeing everything in a magnifying glass, focusing on the tiniest specks rather than seeing the bigger picture.

Look, of course I’m not saying it’s okay to half-ass around and overlook the little mistakes you make.

You can’t really fully ignore them. You can’t erase the existence of the form/from typo you’ve written, or that stray stroke of watercolor that doesn’t go anywhere. They’re all there. They exist.

But here’s the thing:

Flaws, perfectionism, fear, quotes

Try taking a step back. Hold your paper at arms’ length. Zoom out that Word document to 10%, until all you could see are the pages you’ve written so far. Look at what you’ve made, the work-in-progress in front of you. It’s a messy work-in-progress, sure. It’ll need a tweak or twelve. But sometimes you need to remind yourself that you created something out of an idea.

Bask yourself in that. Because YOU made that.

And all those tiny flaws you see when you’re hunched down, laser-focused on one certain area? They are just that: tiny. Single specks in the huge amazing canvas you’ve created.

Own that amazingness.

That’s all you.

How do you move past the tiny flaws you find in the creative process? Let us know in the comments below so we’ll learn from your wisdom! 🙂

xx Kate

Photos from Aaron Burden and Ivory Mix

9 simple ideas to turn your incredibly sucky, bad day around

It was early in the morning, they’re showing Despicable Me on Disney channel. Pharrell Williams was coolly singing on the background, “I’m having a bad, bad day.” And I just whipped my head towards my brother with the most outraged look, waving vigorously at the TV, “That is ridiculous! No one sounds that cool when they’re having a bad, bad day! NO ONE.”

I said this passionately because I do have a few personal experiences on my belt.

See, I was never sleek or cool or smooth when I’m having a bad, bad day. I’m cranky, my RBF is on Downright-Scary Mode, and I’m storming past every single thing I bumped into. Yes, every-freakin-thing. I even threw my Totoro plushie across the room. (I later cooed him and said I was sorry, though.)

This you?

Welcome to the club, we’ve got jackets.

9 Simple Ideas to Turn Your Bad Day Around | Personal Growth, Self-improvement, Happiness, Mental Health, Happy Life, Lifestyle, Inspiration

Bad days often happen quite spontaneously. You wake up 1% cranky. You’re running late and some lady is taking her sweet time walking in front of you and you can’t walk past her. Now you’re 75% cranky.

Or maybe you wake up 1% unmotivated. Or 1% sad. Or 1% pathetic. My point is, things can add up to that one percent and suddenly it reaches the maximum point.

We wish we could go back down to one percent. But I learned that, once we hop into that bad mood, we ride that downhill path with our foot pressing hard on the gas pedal.

And that’s the thing with bad days: when we have it, we somehow believe it’s gonna be this awful for the entire day. Like the entire twenty-four hours. But folks, as someone who deals with bad day-ness like a lady dragon on PMS, I am telling you:

Bad days can still be turned around.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE DEALING WITH A CASE OF BAD DAY-NESS

1) Do yoga

So my aunt has been doing the “Legs Up the Wall” pose to relieve her tired legs ever since I can remember. But she has NO IDEA it’s a yoga pose. Even I didn’t know until recently! I got this from her and ever since entering college, I do it on nights when I’m completely exhausted. It also works for restarting your day yo! But any kind of yoga pose you want to try is good too. The point is it will help release the tension in your muscles and make you more relaxed.

2) Try meditation

There was this one time when I was in a seriously bad mood and I listened to the 10-minute guided meditation on the Headspace app, and I kid you not, tears fell from my eyes. Like literal tears. Now, I wasn’t exactly bawling. When I think about it now, it was just another way of releasing the negative emotions. I guess I also cried because it honestly felt relieving.

3) Be with nature

Sometimes there’s nothing more effective than to hang out with Mother Nature, in whatever way you can do so. Maybe you can have a short stroll in the park or a walk by the beach. Even just sitting in your backyard and listening to birds chirping is calming. So that when you go back to the drawing board, you have renewed energy.

4) List down what made you smile today

I wouldn’t say that I am a Type A person but I do have some tendencies. And writing things down certainly helps me get a better grasp on things. Making lists is one way you can apply writing into self-care. Also, just the process of recapping your day so far and looking at what has happened in a more positive light? That’s fun! And it’s gonna work wonders to your well-being yo!

5) Blast your motivational playlist on the speakers

Back when I was in my punk phase, I like to write the phrase “No Music No Life” in a rock-and-rolly kinda font with skulls and crosses all over my notebooks. (Yes, I was that extra in my punk phase.) But it’s true isn’t it? Science has proven how helpful music can be for our well-being. I find playing Florence + The Machine’s “Dog Days are Over” or Hall and Oats’s “You Make My Dreams Come True” instantly lifts my mood and puts me into awkward dancing mode.

6) Read your manifesto

A manifesto is a great tool to keep yourself motivated. I found this really awesome manifesto through Brain Pickings and, ohmygoshyouguys, it is just incredibly well-written and packed with so much motivational power!

7) Make someone laugh

You’re probably wondering why you need to make someone laugh in order to turn your bad day around. Well, there’s this saying that goes: we all do better when we all do better. Simply put, kindness has a two-way effect. It affects the people around us who are the receiver of said kindness. But it also affects us emotionally and mentally. Because doesn’t it feel good when you help someone without expecting anything in return?

Also read: 24 Simple Good Deeds You Can Do Right Now

8) Literally restart your day

I saw this movie before where the girl literally shouted, “Do over!” and a montage of them restarting their day ensued. I used to think it was cute and ineffective. But now I know that literally starting over your day doesn’t necessarily mean rewinding. Nor does it mean waking up like it’s 8 AM and doing your entire morning routine all over again. It’s your attitude that you’re gonna want to start over.

9) Change your outfit

There are weekends when I feel pathetic and useless. Wearing my pajamas, a tornado-wrecked bird’s nest for hair, and melting on my bed for two days. And I’d think, no. This is not how this weekend would go. So I’d change from my pajamas, wear a bra, comb my hair and get out of the bed to work on what needs to be worked on. It always works.

What do you do to turn a bad day around? Share your wisdom with us in the comments below!

xx Kate

PS: Check out how I deal with feeling stuck with life

Photo from Ivory Mix

How to Follow Through with Your Goals

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own and I only share things I absolutely love and deem awesome. Read here for my full disclosures.


January 1st is often the time we set and plan our goals for the year. And plan it we do – with glitter pens, washi tapes. Very happily I might add. We’re halfway through February now so I guess it’s an appropriate time to ask:

Hey. How are you?

How are you holding up with that goal of yours? Have you had any progress since January 1st? Have you done anything to make yourself one step closer to reaching your goals or doing that New Thing?

Or… let me take a wild guess on what has happened here:

The motivation to reach your goals is dwindling. Fast. Like alarmingly fast. It’s probably going downhill faster than a sorbetes melting in the Sahara Desert on its hottest day.

Yo I’ve been there too.

Making your goals and resolutions could be the Easiest Thing Ever but the implementing part would be as hard as rocket science. The good news? Following through your goals isn’t rocket science. Here are some awesome ideas that will help you follow through with your goals.

Having a hard time following through with the goals you set for yourself? We've all been there, friend. Here's how you can follow through with your goals in 5 easy ways.

Create daily mantras and positive affirmations

The brain is kinda Type A when you think about it. It likes routine. It prefers repeated tasks because these things are easier for the brain to understand. One particular task you can do that has a great impact, not only to your brain but also emotionally, is creating daily mantras or positive affirmations.

Mantras have always been helpful to me when I needed a little push and self-motivation. I’ve dipped my toes on positive affirmations a few times but never really did it regularly. But I’ve heard many good things about saying affirmations so I’m gonna try them someday.

Related: 5 Motivating Mantras for When You Think You Can’t Do It

What to do: Think of several mantras and positive affirmations that strikes the motivation chord inside you. What I do is keep my go-to mantras at the front of my mind so it’s there when I need them. But you can also do a regular habit of telling yourself those positive affirmations every morning. Maud of My Passion Projects does this and she swears by it.

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Break down your goals

I’ve talked about this plenty of times before and that’s because I vouch for this so much! Breaking down those big goals into small achievable ones makes total sense.

I mean, think about it. It’s just like eating one whole cake.

We all wish we could gobble it up in one swallow, right? But it’s almost physically unattainable. Unless you’re a dragon, of course.

There are very few, really amazing people who could do it (and I reek of pure envy when I see them.) But most of us just have to rely on a knife and a fork and our hands to break down that cake into an easily consumable slice. Or five. Most likely five.

Applying that delicious analogy to goals: when you break down your big goal to smaller, more achievable goals, all you have to deal with is one piece of cake at a time! And isn’t that easier and FUN??

What to do: Break down your Big Goal into smaller achievable goals. For example, if you want to finish an 80k-word novel in 90 days, you can make small daily goals of 900 words every day. Think NaNoWriMo. And if your Big Goal is world domination, you could break it down to conquering one country — or even one city — at a time. Make use of the W-questions – who, what, why, where, when.

Remember your intentions

Intentions used to sound lowkey woo-woo before but a lot of people emphasize on its importance now for a reason.

Knowing your intentions is gonna be a good foundation to setting, and ultimately reaching, your goals. It’s just as Grandma Tala keeps telling Moana. It’s just like cloud Mufasa’s poetic message to Simba: You have to know who YOU are. Remember where you come from. Your goals root from an urge deep inside you. That root is your intention. Moana said it best: it CALLS you. And so remembering your intention will help you keep track of your goals and guide you to the direction you need to go.

What to do: Write your intention and tack it somewhere you can see everyday. Maybe it’s in the bathroom mirror or your closet door or your work desk or your bookshelf. Bonus tip: make it F-U-N! Take out your watercolors and brushes and do an awesome typography of it. So it won’t look like your professor’s or boss’s super formal memo. (Which, let’s be honest here, is lowkey yish.)

Schedule everything and take action

This is the part that will appeal to your inner General Li Shang: let’s get down to business!

Now that you’ve broken down your goals and remembered your intentions, it’s time to whip out your pen and paper (and the washi tapes and color markers, obvs.) And map out your goal-setting strategy — or if you already did this back in January 1st, review your plan. Revise accordingly and immediately get to work!

Nadalie Bardo of It’s All You Boo has this brilliant goal-setting tip: spend 20% of your time planning and 80% of it slaying the heck out of those goals. And that means taking action. Taking conscious and deliberate action. Because the plans? They’re necessary, sure. But they won’t help you in reaching your goals much if you don’t do the physical work. Remember Shia’s angry motivational cry? Yep. DO IT.

What to do: Make a goal-reaching plan and follow through STAT. Make use of Nadalie’s 20:80 rule.

I use her very own Slay Your Goals planner to keep track of my monthly goals and the New Things I hope to do this year.

It’s a 60-plus-page stationery heaven with a pre-goal planning chapter for establishing your intentions. This one I especially loved filling in because spending a good chunk of my free time mulling over what ignites my soul and sparks a light inside me is practically one of my favorite hobbies. This planner is thought-provoking like that.

But you know what’s the best part? Motivational quotes on every.freakin.page! YAS GURL.

Have an accountability buddy

Supporting yourself is good and all but sometimes we need an outside intervention. For this to happen, you have to share your goals to someone.

Some people like to share it somewhere public, like in Twitter, because they want to be held accountable by their peers and followers. But okay okay, I understand if you don’t want to shout out your goals to the entire world. Even I don’t. I’m quite superstitious like that.

But remember those MVP friends you have? The ones you told about Your Most Embarrassing 7th Grade moment and laughed their butts off for a good hour or so but was still there? Or the ones you told about your deepest, darkest secrets and who have seen you at your lowest? Or the ones who don’t sugarcoat anything to you? And in spite all that, they stayed?

You can tell them, no doubt about that.

These awesome for-keeps friends will help you keep going even when you begin to feel like your goal is a piece of nonsense crap that won’t solve global warming. Because not only will they hold you accountable, they will be your personal cheerleaders too!

What to do: Reach out to the most no-nonsense people you know. Those who won’t accept excuses and easily sympathize to your silly reasons. This will be hard. Believe me, there will come a time when you will looowkey regret asking them to be your accountability buddy. But that lowkey regret will be nothing once you reached that goal and will be eternally grateful to them 🙂

Give yourself a little more compassion

You know what’s one of the biggest obstacles we face when we embark on the journey of reaching a goal? OURSELVES.

I know. Shocker, isn’t it.

But really, the fear living inside you can be such a powerful villain in your story. It’s, like, much more powerful than Voldemort and rotten cheese combined. It will creep into your mind faster than the smell of rotten cheese can reach your nose.

It probably doesn’t even have to creep into your mind because it’s already there.

And one of fear’s superpowers? To make your dreams and goals less enticing than they were the first time. To make them look like an utter piece of crap that won’t be helpful to anyone. Fear does this by utilizing how much we dread failure. So cut yourself some slack. Give yourself a little more compassion. Remind yourself that reaching your goal has a purpose and that it will be helpful.

Forgive yourself when you couldn’t do a 360-day goal in thirty days. Most of us can’t and that’s fine. You have 300 days left, more or less. Fight on, yeah? Yeah!

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

What’s your progress in reaching your goals? Is your motivation currently dwindling? What are you doing to keep yourself motivated? Share them all below!

PS: Check out how to achieve the Big Goals

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Setting a goal can be the easiest thing ever. But following through it and achieving it? It's close to rocket science. Here are 5 ways you can follow through with your goals.

Photo from Ivory Mix

Friendly Reminder: Let Your Weird Be Free

Hey hey.

Have you ever been called weird as a kid? Has anyone ever laughed at something you thought was extremely funny or extremely interesting and looked at you like you’re from another planet? As if they were saying, “Why is this kid so weird?”

How did it feel being called weird in such a subtle yet brutally honest way?

Did it make you feel embarrassed? Did it take a huge hit to your self-esteem? Did it make you rethink about what you thought was funny or interesting? Like you are now convinced at the possibility that maybe you are from another planet? Like maybe showing that quirky side of yours was a wrong move?

Ever thought that maaaybe you should just hide your weird side from people? That maybe it’s better that way?

Well, imagine this:

You’re hanging out with your friends.

You cracked a dad joke. Or made a smartass comeback. Or created a horrible pun. Or danced macarena without the macarena music. Or educated your friends on the mating process of narwhals. Or shared an unpopular opinion, like, I don’t know, aye-ayes are cute. (Although I honestly don’t think this is an unpopular opinion. Aye-ayes are cute. But I digress.)

Basically, you did something weird. In front of your friends. In public. For everyone to see and hear. Yikes?

Nope. Not yikes. Not yikes at all.

Because, my dear quirky friend, you have NO idea.

Friendly Reminder: Let your weird be free | Inspiration | Motivational | Positivity | Happiness

Perhaps an author was sitting nearby, contemplating this scene in their work-in-progress. And they saw you. And an idea sparked. Perhaps that author’s novel will be a New York Times bestseller. In the book, there’s gonna be an iconic scene — inspired by your weirdness.

Perhaps a Youtuber saw you and snorted at what you did, choked on his soy milk caramel frappuccino even. And it inspired a comedy sketch that will garner millions of views and will be copied by other Youtubers and will be the reason the choked Youtuber could host on SNL. All because of a sketch — inspired by your weirdness.

Perhaps a sperm whale researcher was drinking black coffee with his baklava. Sitting at a corner booth, he overheard your heated monologue on narwhals, and it gave him the key solution to the conservation of sperm whales — and so it was inspired. By. Your. WEIRDNESS.

Look. I get it.

These may seem like ridiculous scenarios. You may be thinking, “What kind of sperm whale researcher hangs out in a mall’s food court??” To which I say, YOU. NEVER. KNOW. YOU NARROW-MINDED POTATO.

Because people being inspired by your weirdness isn’t weird.

That’s the point I’m trying to drill into your wonderfully weird brain.

We live in this blue and green oblate spheroid big enough to accommodate all kinds of ideas. A planet bigger than all of our brains combined. Can you imagine that? It’s bigger than 7 billion brains. Seven billion!

Each of us can only generate as much ideas. But all these ideas coming out from our hypothalamus and our gray area and our cerebellum… basically from all parts of our brain, all of these ideas are unique. And before you tell me, “Welp someone made this and that. My idea’s not unique.” Hold your horses, you.

What I’m saying is, these ideas are unique in a way that they are molded with your own unique perspective and came about through your own unique experiences.

They may only be one puny idea in a world teeming with so many other puny ideas, but they are the only puny idea of that kind that came from you. That puny idea of yours is part of a complex idea system. It is the one unique protein that make up a chromosome, which ultimately makes one well-coordinated and functioning body.

Can you imagine if the idea of Apple came about from some other guy named Steve but not Steve Jobs? Can you imagine if someone else other than Xi Lingshi found out about the silkworms’ cocoon of thin fibers? We probably wouldn’t have silk.

It probably might have become, like I don’t know, really thin hair extensions made of worms’ cocoons. (Which is more of a mouthful than just silk.)

Can you imagine if J.R.R Tolkien burned all the papers containing his fascination on making Elvish language because some brute told him he was weird? Can you imagine if Mama and Papa Mozart didn’t support Mozart’s affinity for music and made him become a baker instead? Can you imagine if Dr Seuss didn’t write?

And so: be weird.

Be the kind of wonderfully weird that you are.

Not just because it is a disservice to yourself to lock that part of you in a cage. But because it is a disservice to this planet that is simply begging to witness that strange beauty unfold.

I can guarantee you, the world will be a lot less brighter if your weirdness was locked away deep inside you. In some dark place that no light can shine upon. And won’t that be a shame?

So let people give you the judger eye. Let other people sing about you in your own version of the song “Belle (Little Town” from Beauty and the Beast. Let them question your ideas. Let them question it or raise their eyebrow on it or laugh at it.

And if it hurts too much, find me. I’ll buy you ice cream and let you free your quirkiness and celebrate it for the whole world to see. Let them be scandalized by how shameless they think you are for not keeping your weird tucked away.

Because you know what? There is no shame in showing the whole world who you are — every beautiful aspect of you.

You are you. You matter. And you are beautiful, quirks and weirdness and all.

Share your quirks below and allow me and everyone else to celebrate them 🙂

kate

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin

PS: What’s stopping you from doing what you want to do?

Photos from: Death to Stock Photo and chuttersnap via Unsplash

On trying new things this new year (+ 10 New Things I’m Gonna Try in 2018)

Last year, I came across these two things that helped me come up with something I wanted to do on 2018.

One was stumbling upon the Yes & Yes blog by Sarah von Bargen and it was one of the best things that ever happened to me last year.

Yes & Yes is filled with inspiring, practical advice for everyday problems. It helps a lot that each post written by Sarah and her guest contributors exudes good vibes and humor. And see, Sarah does this thing where she attempts to try 25 new things every year. She even wrote a post on why we should try new things, and it was one of the most insightful pieces I’ve read in 2017.

The second one was listening to the third season of the awesome NPR podcast show, Invisibilia. There is this episode about a guy who made a randomizer app that basically pushes him to experience new things. Things outside his personal preferences and his routine. Like he would eat at a restaurant he never went to, he would listen to songs someone else in the world listen to all the time and he would go to parties he wasn’t invited to.

What this guy and Sarah were doing… I thought they were awesome. I thought they were inspiring.

And I realized, I wasn’t doing anything like it.

The silhouette of a hand and arm being raised against a purple and pink sky in a field

Unlike them, I wasn’t actively seeking and trying out things outside of my comfort zone. I was playing by the borders but I was never serious.

Look, I won’t deny it: I’m a creature of habit.

I like routines because they somehow translate my life into a more understandable system. And I stick to them, come hail or high water. I’m pretty much religious to whatever routine I created for myself, that I could go through the motions even when I’m not mentally up for it. It’s kind of a scary skill, I know, and it has served me plenty of times.

But it also hindered me from trying new things.

Because I know now that this is fear playing out in my life yet again. And I want to deal with this fear of getting out of my comfort zone in the best way I can: by, you know, stepping out.

So, in the spirit of Sarah’s amazing New Things yearly tradition and the guy from that Invisibilia episode, I will try to do 10 things I’ve never done before this year.

On Trying New Things This New Year | Lifestyle, Personal Growth, Inspiration, Motivation, Conquering fears, Geting out of Your Comfort Zone

I’m only doing 10 since I also have some really ambitious personal goals I want to achieve this year hehe. Anyway here they are!

1 | Finish a horror movie without running away

You know that moment in a horror movie when the protagonist is in a darkened hallway, slowly walking towards a door cracked open with flickering lights inside, and the music is also slowly building up tension? I swear, my feet itches whenever that happens because I just KNOW there’s gonna be something super scary on the other side of the door.

And so I’d run away.

I basically just ran away from my seat whenever I feel like I’ll see something super scary in the next few minutes. Like when I was a kid, I used to run away whenever the queen turned into an old hag in Snow White and they’d make that big reveal.

So yeah. I’ve never really finished a horror movie in my entire life.

2 | Make no bake cheesecake

I’m no good with cooking or baking. To this day, the only dish I can make with pride is corned beef wherein I sauté several slices of onions and reheat a canned corned beef. A+ chef, aren’t I? (Not.)

And also, my mom is a great cook. I never had a reason to go to the kitchen other than to eat. This is partly because of my fear of dealing with knives and fire. But also I’m just afraid that I won’t make something delicious.

If I think about it that way, it’s kinda like how other people don’t excel in arts because they’re afraid they won’t make a good drawing. Or people who don’t excel in sports because they’re afraid they’ll be the reason they won’t win a match.

Wow. I guess fear does permeate through every aspect of your life, huh?

3 | Enroll in an online art class

Beyond buying art supplies, I’ve never really invested in further improving my art. For one thing, I’m a broke college student. For another, I’m afraid all that investing will be in vain so I never really dared.

4 | Make a popsicle house

Can you believe that I got through grade school and high school without creating a single popsicle house?

I can’t believe it too.

Popsicle houses are like your typical arts project. But I’ve never done one. Ever. Welp, that’s about to change.

5 | Go to the gym

I’ve… Never worked out in my life. I can’t even climb four flights of stairs without stopping somewhere on the second flight.

6 | Participate in an open mic

Let’s just say I like being part of the audience. I am a happy consumer of performance arts. But I never really like being on stage. I feel awkward and I feel as if I’m not entertaining anyone at all. Also, I choke on my words when I’m in front of people. So um… let’s cross our fingers I’ll be fine when I do this.

7 | Pierce ears

Okay, I do have a pair of pierced ears but this was done when I was a wee potato. I’m not really afraid of needles, I just… don’t like the idea of being pierced, I guess?

8 | Eat sushi

Look. I love Japan. I adore their culture. But I’ve never eaten raw fish in my entire life. I’ve always been a picky eater. And whenever we go to the beach, my family loves to eat fish cooked only in vinegar or any citrus but I always get the either the fried or grilled option. It’s one of those not stepping out of my comfort zone things. And I refuse to be thirty and not try sushi.

9 | Listen to an album from a genre I don’t normally listen to

I haven’t found a particular album to listen to but genres I don’t normally listen to are:

  • Hip-hop
  • EDM
  • Classical music
  • K-Pop

If you have any album in these genres you want me to listen to, I’m open for recommendations 🙂

10 | No chicken or pork for a week

I love meat and these two are my favorite kinds of meat. I basically eat them almost every day. I can honestly say I’ve never gone on a week without eating pork in at least three meals.


These ten things seem simple and I deliberately chose them for their simplicity. Because I know my obstacle won’t be something physical or financial – but a mental kind of obstacle. And, let’s be honest here, that’s still a rather difficult obstacle to surpass.

I do hope I’ll be able to try all these this year. I mean, I have 359 days left, so this should still work, right?

Are you trying out new things this year? What are your goals for 2018? Tell me all about it below! Also, if you have a blog post you recently published about your 2018 goals, I’m giving you permission to share them below too! 😉

kate

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin

PS: How to Achieve the Big Goals + I know I should have announced this last Wednesday but I got unexpectedly preoccupied so here ya go:

The winners to my Blog Birthday Giveaway are:

Ignited Moth
Lia
The Unknown Wiki

Congratulations! Whoop whoop! I will be contacting you guys in that order between now and March 31st 🙂 Thank you so much to everyone who participated! I plan on doing at least one this year as well so look out for that, okay? Okay!

Photos from: Bryan Minear via Unsplash and Say Hello Photography
You can check out the Invisibilia episode, Bubble-Hopping, and the rest of the episodes from the awesome NPR show here.