Tag: Motivation

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.

So if you really want things to happen, you have to do something about it. You have to reach out first. Click To Tweet

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.

The people around you want to help. Allow them to do so by telling them how. Click To Tweet
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?

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Photos from Death to Stock and Chimene Gaspar (via 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:

Our optimism and hopefulness in achieving our goals often don't last the entire year. Or even January. Click To Tweet

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 

The Lost Art of Trial and Error: Why we need to try and fail to succeed

Out of complete boredom, my younger brother borrowed my phone to play a Merriam Webster quiz.

And look hey. It’s not for the lack of games in my phone. I have one! A difficult puzzle platformer called Catbird. But my brother only wanted something to waste his time on, not his patience or his brain cells. And I get it; Catbird is basically like Flappy Bird. Definitely not something to just kill off boredom. But when I looked over his shoulder to check on how he was fairing, I was surprised at what I saw.

“What are you doing?” I asked him suspiciously.

“It’s okay,” he reassured me, “I have a plan.”

You know what he was doing? His grand strategy for the Merriam Webster quiz? He was clicking on random choices. Random. Like, zero consideration on whether that choice was the right one or not. I wasn’t surprised at all that he got a really low score afterwards.

I mean, how was that a winning plan?? You’re obviously bound to fail when you don’t think things through.

And then he did his grand game plan the second time. But this time, because the questions tend to repeat and he remembered the answers, he got more questions right. And he did this repeatedly until he passed.

Quite a cheeky strategy coming from my pure little brother, but it worked! So I figured this is something I could apply when playing Catbird. That instead of obsessing over winning, I could just try my best and learn from my failures.

Then I realized… whoa. This is a mindset I could have beyond games. I could apply it in my LIFE.

In this age of instant gratification, we have forgotten the importance of trial and error. I make a case in defense for it and why we need it to succeed. Click to read the post!

Perfectionism in games and in life

See, what I found disconcerting with my brother’s game plan was that it was not what is perceived to be a game plan. This idea of deliberately failing felt like an anti-thesis to the main goal of playing any game – to win. And as a card-carrying perfectionist, I was quite familiar with this.

Succeeding at first try is even next-level dopamine hit for me. And I’m sure it is for other people too. In fact, I recently found something on Pinterest about how to become a superstar blogger at day one, so I know I’m not alone.

The idea of being a successful blogger on your first try is also a kind of next-level dopamine hit. We bloggers have aspired to be that way, at one point or another. And maybe you still are.

The thing is, no one wants to fail.

Failing leaves an unpleasant taste to the mouth. We spray away failure like we spray away bad breath. We wouldn’t want to experience it if we could. This is why we want to succeed at first try. It means not going through all the awful feelings you get when you failed. It means going straight to medal. And foregoing trial and error is a concept that’s too good to be true.

But see, the heavy truth is this: Less than one percent of bloggers – or anyone for that matter – become successful at day one.

I admit, I pulled that number out of nowhere. And it really isn’t reflective of any statistics made on success. But you get my point.

Rarely anyone becomes successful at first try.

I already shared my two cents on failure before, and how it’s important. And I still stand on that ground. Failure is necessary for us to eventually achieve success. But more importantly, it is through failure that we learn from our mistakes. And eventually grow from it. And therefore succeed.

But how could we fail if we don’t give ourselves permission to do so? How could we experience failure and grow when we’re so adamant to avoid trial and error?

The Lost Art of Trial and Error

My mom, a mathematics teacher, taught me that when all else fails, when you can’t think of any other math technique to find the solution to a problem, do trial and error. It is the most underrated yet useful thing you can have for solving math problems.

Surprise surprise, it is also the most underrated yet useful thing you can have for solving any life problems.

But see, the problem with trial and error is that it is tedious. It takes suuuper long to get to the answer. And no one wants to take the long winding path, when they could just go for the shortcut. Honestly, even I don’t want to. But in this age of instant gratification, we’ve somehow completely forgotten the idea of trial and error.

When you start your blog, you want it to be seen and successful at day one.

If you’re trying out a new product, you want to see its effects overnight.

When you take on a new creative project, you expect things to go your way.

But you might not be successful at day one. You may not see if the product is effective until a month of consistent use. Maybe you’d reach a creative dead-end sooner than you anticipated.

You may not succeed at first try but that doesn't make you a failure #quotes

Click to pin!

Maybe all you had to do was change a few things a bit. Tweak your process or try out a different one. Maybe you need to stop thinking things through so much and just click on whichever choice is in front of you. And if you make a mistake, you could always take notes. Eliminate that choice from your list for next time, and move forward.

And maybe, like my pure little brother with his cheeky game strategy, you too will pass your quiz.

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

What do you think about trial and error? Can you think of a time when you couldn’t wait for the outcome to show? Share them in the comments below!

xx Kate

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What To Do When You Have Zero Inspiration to Write

We’ve all been there. Cracked some knuckles, poised yourself for the shot and hit the ball rolling. And then the ball skidded to a full stop. Stuck and unable to move.

Inspiration to write? Zero.

Quite an erratic thing, inspiration. It comes and goes as it pleases. Which is why heavily depending on it is a big no-no. Especially if you’re like me and you want to build consistency in your blog or writing project. You need routine and a failsafe system.

And when inspiration suddenly slips away from underneath you, you need a backup plan.

Have no inspiration to write? Read on for 5 things to try when you have zero inspiration. #content #writing

1) Change Your Environment

If you’ve been holed up in your room for more than two hours trying to finish that first draft on your laptop, that’s basically your brain telling you, “I’m tired. I need a change of scenery.”

We can only take so much inspiration to write from one place. And I’m not just saying this for show. Our brains need constant stimulation to work – particularly when it’s doing creative work. The more we stay in one place, the less the stimulation our brain gets from it. For the brain, it’s been sensing the same things for hours. This is why we need go to someplace new. The new surroundings will surely recharge your brain in minutes.

2) Read, read, read

As a fully-fledged bookworm, I am all for reading. Leisure reading, academic reading, reading blogs, reading the back labels of products… I love all of it. If I could, I’d read like twelve stuff all at once.

But anyway. Reading is also great for reviving inspiration, yo!

And you don’t have to read a whole book too! There have been plenty of times when I become inspired just from scrolling through Twitter, or reading on someone else’s comment section.

One of the many awesome things your brain could do is take in information – any information – and process it and create lots of data just from that one piece of information. Our brains are literally biological supercomputers!

3) Bore yourself out

Did you know that boredom is deeply connected with creativity?

Yes, you with your eyebrow skeptically raised. It’s true. Plenty of studies have shown that boredom is a key ingredient to creativity. I actually listed down some of these said studies in this post about boredom and creativity.

But the gist of it is this: When we’re bored, our brain goes into Incubation Mode. This also happens when we’re in a shower or sitting in a car in the middle of a heavy traffic. It’s when our mind wanders, sifting through one thought after another. That’s when inspiration to write — or any kind of inspiration, for that matter — is born.

Also, if you’re still skeptical with this whole boredom and creativity connection, Chris of McAdventure blog also has a blog post all about how boredom relates to creativity.

Do you have zero inspiration to write? Yeah, we've all been there. Click on the pin for 5 things you can try when this happens. #blogging

4) Take a break

I feel like in this Hustle Generation, pausing for a while just isn’t an option. Think about it. Do you know any person who hustles so hard, they forget time to take a break? I bet you do. And I bet you know more than one person.

In my household alone, I know three and I’m one of them.

The problem is, we’re brain-abusers. We try to squeeze out every ounce and make use of every neuron of the three-pound lump inside our skull. We try to cram in our day with as much tasks as we can manage to accomplish.

But see, here’s the thing:

Even our brains need downtime. It needs to rest and recover before tackling on another task. This is why adding in white space into your life is important. Even a thirty-minute break in between tasks goes a long way!

Becoming inspired is important in finishing that first draft, be it a first draft of a blog post or a novel. And your brain is right there at the dead center of it all. Take care of your brain, and you’ll surely slay that first draft!

5) Brainstorm with a friend

If you’re really stuck at a creative dead end, then you can always ask a friend to help you brainstorm. I highly recommend asking for a friend who gets it.

Like, if you’re stuck in writing a blog post, seek help from your blogger buddy. If you need help with worldbuilding, call your writer friend. These friends are much more empathetic with your creative woes than, say, your mom. (Though it doesn’t hurt to ask your mom for help too!)

Remember, it is definitely okay to ask for help, especially when you desperately need it.

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

What do YOU do when you have zero inspiration to write? Share your sage wisdom in the comments below!

XX Kate

Photo from Wonderlass

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What can you do when you have zero inspiration to write? Read on for five things you can try.

5 Actionable Steps to Set & Achieve the Big Goals

motivation, inspiration

Pre-S: This is an old post I’ve written a year ago. I reckon it’s good to update it with a bit of new information I’ve recently learned regarding goal-setting so here ya go!


There are certainly people out there who can’t – for the life of them – achieve the big goals they’ve set for themselves.

I know this because… well, I’m one of those people.

And yo, I’ve tried every-freakin-thing. I did New Year resolutions. I’ve read every goal-setting blog posts available in the personal development community. I did it all. And it’s not like I can’t follow through with the tasks I need to do. I totally could.

If it was given to me by someone else, or if I gave my word to do something to another person, I sure as heck can follow through with my promise. My problem lies with the goals and plans I’ve set for myself.

It wasn’t until I learned about Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies that I realized there was nothing wrong with me. There are just people who, like me, find difficulty in meeting inner expectations.

This you?

Do you also have a hard time achieving the goals that you’ve set for yourself?

Do you set a big goal – you know, those goals that are ambitious and huuuge? – and eventually fall out of it?

Well, my friend, this post is for you.

HOW TO SET AND ACHIEVE THE BIG GOALS (when you’re not a pro goal achiever)

There are essentially two types of goals. The big goals, which are ambitious and often takes a long time to achieve. And the small goals which are more achievable. Since the small goals are easier to accomplish, we’ll pin that one for later and focus on the big goals.

Big goals seem farfetched. They’re what you call top goals, your ultimate goal in life. And because they’re huge, it makes sense that these goals take years of work to achieve. So they’re quite difficult to attain.

This and other internal complications (like self-doubt and low self-confidence) would add to your big goals’ difficulty. Which is why a lot of people don’t follow through with their big goals. But that does not make it ultimately unreachable.

Big goals are totes achievable, my friend! It all comes down to how you set them.

Ever had a hard time setting and achieving goals for yourself? Check out this 5 actionable steps to set and achieve the big goals. #goalplanning #goals

1) Know Your Why

Why are you setting this particular goal? Why is achieving this goal important to you? What are you trying to achieve? What will you get from achieving it?

Being able to answer these questions and knowing your why may seem all woo-woo at first. (Trust me, I thought so too.) But it’ll help you all throughout your journey of achieving that Big Goal.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

Goals are like cars. They’re great. With their help, you’ll get from Point A to Point B, easy. They carry you to where you need to go next. But they can’t do it all on their own. In order for your car to help you, you need to fuel it. You need gas.
You need a motivation power.

A motivation power is what powers your goal, to turn on and work. Without a motivation power, you’ll be stuck at Point A. With the wrong motivation power, you can’t get anywhere far.

Like, if you want to reach 1000 subscribers on your blog, just so you can reach 1000 subscribers, the motivation power of that goal is really really short. That’s because it’s the wrong motivation power. And if you want to reach 1000 subscribers on your blog because that’s what others are setting for theirs, that’s not the right motivation power either.
You can’t just set a goal for the sake of setting a goal. Or because that’s what someone else wanted. There has to be a purpose to it. Your goal needs to be meaningful to you. You would need something that will drive you to take action.

2) Turn Your Big Goal into Small Achievable Ones

If you’ve been around on my blog for a while, you would know how much I LOVE setting big goals into small achievable ones.

See, your Big Goal is one ginormous triple-layer buttercream cake. It’s delectable. It makes you salivate. But you can’t just open your mouth and gobble it all up in one go. I mean, you could try… but boy, will your jaw have cramps afterwards.

Instead, cut them into small neat slices. You can just concentrate on that one slice that’s on your plate and gradually work your way into every layer. Until you’ve eaten the entire cake.

See what I mean?

You can apply the same principle in goal-setting. Create milestones that you can focus one at a time. Angela Duckworth calls this a goal hierarchy. Your top goal, your Big Goal, can’t stand up on its own. It needs to be supported by a middle-level and low-level goals. These are goals that, once achieved, would bring you closer to your top goal.

So if you’ve got a five-year goal, slice it up to yearly goals. And you can even go further and turn those yearly goals into monthly goals. And then weekly. And then daily! This allows you to focus on only what you can do today. And through working on your small daily goals, you’re gradually working on your Big Goal one day at a time!

Do you ever have a hard time achieving your Big Goals? Here's how to set and achieve them in 5 actionable steps.

3) Don’t Let Doubt Creep In

I’m sure you already knew this: Achieving the big goals will not be a walk in the park.

You will encounter obstacles along the way. And one of your biggest adversaries is self-doubt.

The thing is, doubt is inevitable with big goals exactly because they’re not so easy to attain. All throughout your journey, doubt will pop out of nowhere. It’s like one of those recurring antagonists that just don’t die, you know?

So when you start thinking of worst-case scenarios, when the voices in your head are giving you all the reasons to stop, challenge it. List down all the reasons to forge ahead.

Related: How to Challenge Negative Self-Talk in Three Steps

Similarly, if you shared the huge goal you wish to achieve to someone and they have that “Is he/she for real?” disbelieving look, walk away.

Just walk away. They will only add up to the doubt you’re already giving yourself.

And when I say walk away, you don’t necessarily have to ban them from your life forever. Sometimes the people who doubt us are those closest to us, those who are important to us. Which makes their disbelief all the more hurtful.

It’s sad but it’s true for a lot of people.

So whenever they wear that uncertain expression, ignore it. When they speak their doubts, let it pass through one ear and out the other. Or insist you can do it! And if they still persist on what they think, leave it alone. Don’t fight, especially if they’re important to you; you don’t want to lose them to a conflict of ideas. We all differ that way.

But you don’t want to lose that goal, too. Instead, look for other people who will support you, understand you, and share your journey with them.

Having a hard time achieving your Big Goals? Try these 5 actionable steps to set and achieve them. #goals #personaldevelopment #goalsetting

4) Write Your Goals Down

I’m telling you, there is power in writing things down.

When you write things down, it:

  • Creates permanence
  • Makes abstract stuff more real
  • Puts things (like my scattered Obliger brain) in order

If it isn’t evident enough, I love writing. I like to journal, I love to free write (which you totally should try, by the way) and, every once in a while, I love to write poems too. And I’m not alone in this writing-love-fever.

There’s a reason why bullet journaling, or any kind of journaling for that matter, is still super popular today amidst awesome apps like Evernote or Keep. This is because the physical feel of writing is already therapeutic in itself.

This isn’t to say that putting your goals in notepad apps aren’t good. I do that too! I pin both my weekly and monthly goals in my Keep and place a reminder for them everyday. This is just to reenforce to my Obliger brain that I need to act on the goals I’ve set for myself.

The important part here is that you have your goals written out. That way, your goals feel more tangible.

5) Enjoy the Journey

Achieving your goals won’t be an easy journey. That much I can assure you.

But we have to remind ourselves sometimes that the process is just as important as the outcome.

There are many things that you will learn along the way. Maybe you’ll find out that your little milestones have changed and you’ve found another path to reach your Big Goal. Maybe your Big Goal has reshaped and molded itself into something else. That’s totally okay!

And when life gets you down, you know what you gonna do?

*DON’T STOP BELIEEEEVING HOLD ON TO THAT FEEEEELING*

Ahem. Okay. So that song actually holds some truth for goal-setting.

This is why having that purpose in setting your goal is important. I mentioned earlier that doubt creeps in any-freakin-time and I meant it. Don’t stop what you’re doing just because doubt arrived. Don’t stop believing that you will reach it. Because you can.

You totes can. I believe in you.

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Do you have any big goals planned out for next year? Share them in the comments!

Kate xx

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We all love to set big goals for ourselves. The problem lies in achieving them. Here are 5 actionable steps to set and achieve the big goals. #goalplanning #goals

Why you need to let your inner child out to play

At age 8, I was already building my very own empire.

A paper empire, to be exact.

I have a paper doll, Analysse, who had a paper mansion and custom tailored clothes (I drew them myself).

She was living The Dream, I’m telling you!

But the thing was, her house was empty. She needed to eat the most delicious food and have the most beautiful things. She could even have her very own elephant, I thought as I look at my thick coloring book given to me by my uncle. It’s filled with the exact things Analysse needed – hair brush, hand bags, elephants and ice cream. Tons of ice cream.

I grabbed a pair of scissors and was about to cut them when a hand held my wrist. It was my aunt.

When she asked me what I was doing, I told her I’m going to cut out a few of the pictures so I could play them with my paper doll.

That’s not how you use coloring books, was what she told me then. Coloring books are for coloring. It isn’t meant to be cut out.

I’m sharing this story now, not because I have a grudge on my aunt for not letting me play back then (I don’t hold grudges) but because, remembering all those years ago, I realized that I was held back. I wasn’t allowed to play however I wanted.
And just like 8-year-old me, my inner child has also been held back. And it stayed that way for years.

I’ve only allowed my inner child to play freely recently. Like 2016 recently. And even to this day, there are still times when I hold myself back.

Here’s the sad truth:

inner child quote

We somehow have this idea that adulthood meant shoving your inner child into the deepest, darkest recesses of your subconscious. That we would no longer need it when we’re adults. Add to that, we live in a world where child-like behaviors are frowned upon.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been told to “grow up” after doing something fun and carefree and completely un-adult-like.

That’s one aunt holding you back from your play. But really, it’s the aunt inside us that we listen to the most.

Why you need to let your inner child play | adulting, personal growth, creativity, grow up, happiness, personal development

Back in the 1970s, psychologist Eric Berne theorized that we all have three parts in us all the time: the parent part, the adult part and the child part.

The idea is, in order to live a happier life, you need to find the balance between these three parts. By age 15, however, (and I’m guesstimating here ok??) we let our adult part take the reins completely. Because that is what’s expected of us – to be adults.

Sure, we’re all adults now. We have far more responsibilities than we did as eight-year-olds. But that does not mean you need to shove your inner child onto the back corner. I have 4 reasons why you need to unleash your inner child and make friends with it.

WHY YOU NEED TO LET YOUR INNER CHILD PLAY

1) It Relieves Stress

As a kid, you usually don’t care about falling down or getting bitten by ants or having dirty hands. You just play and have fun and enjoy yourself! Who cares about dirt? (Adults, that’s who.)

Plenty of studies have shown that the carefree, playful attitude that’s often found in kids can increase happiness and reduce stress.

I’ve had tons of impromptu dance parties with my brother at home and I know this to be true. Play with your pet! Stop for a sec and smell the flowers. Get on your knees and get dirty.

Small yet super fun activities like these can help you forget, even just for a while, the stress that comes with adulting.

2) Strong Fearlessness Muscles

I have these two distinct memories from two different periods in my life:

The first one was when I was around six or seven, dancing my butt out in the middle of the makeshift dance floor at my mom’s office Christmas party.

The second one, I was a sixth grader in our school’s bathroom with my friend, showing to her that I could dance the Spaghetti dance in secret.

I’m a college student now in my senior year, and the only place you could see me dance is inside my house with my brother. (And it only takes me about two minutes and I start wheezing. Gosh I’m old.)

My fearlessness muscles that were super active when I was a six-year-old have become super, super stiff. And I’m sure I’m not the only one in this.

Letting your inner child out to play is a great exercise to your fearlessness muscles. Neither your parent part, and especially not your adult part, has any courageous streak in them. Only your inner child do.

clear jar with buttons

3) Creativity and Inspiration

If there was one word that you could associate with kids, I’d say it’s “why.” Children are curious little potatoes. You’ll probably remember those times when you were a kid and you either thought to yourself or asked an adult why.

Why is the sky blue? Why are Tom & Jerry always fighting? Why do my friend Jenny only have a mom and no dad? Why do ants march in a single line? Why can’t those children go to school? It’s asking these questions that will foster your creativity. It will inspire you to think, to empathise, and to be more aware of the worlds both inside and around you.

The connection between your inner child and creativity has also been scientifically-backed. The Mission made a list of how unleashing your inner child can make you creative.

There’s also this amazing Ted Talk by then twelve-year-old Adora Svitak about how “childish” thinking inspires bold ideas and unhindered creativity. It’s a lovely talk and you should definitely check it out here.

4) You Become a Better Adult

Did you know that narcissistic behaviors and temper tantrums seen in adults are the result of your inner child “acting out”?

Mind = blown.

When you don’t give it play time, your inner child will find its own way to play by acting out. And, as things often do when restrained for too long, they act out in an awfully ugly way.

So all those so-called adults with negative child-like behaviors? You know. Those who are like a child in a grown man’s body (one of which you may know has an orange-y skin and hay-like toupee)? Those adults have not befriended their inner child or are even aware of it.

Mind = blown. Again.

Look, I’m not saying being an adult sucks. (Although adulting is definitely hard, not gonna lie.) If it weren’t for our mature and adult self, the world would be in total chaos. Like far more chaotic than it already is. True adulthood means taking your responsibilities seriously.

But remember: it is also important to let your inner child out to play. It is your inner child’s job to be creative, curious and courageous. Things that I’m sure we all need to cultivate as we also start our journey into adulting.

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Have you let your inner child out to play? What are your thoughts on inner child and how it’s affecting your life? Share them below!

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Photos from Jess Watters (via unsplash). Check out the photographer’s website here.

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