Tag: Personal Development

Four Personality Tests You Can Try Today to Better Know Yourself

See, I agree with Shrek when he said that ogres have layers. I also think that us humans, like onions and ogres, have layers. And much like how peeling an onion layer by layer is a slow, gradual process, so do peeling your own layers. As a twenty-something, I honestly believe that there’s still much of myself that I have yet to learn and get to know.

Which is why I find personality tests fascinating.

And no, I don’t mean the “What potato salad are you?” kind of personality test on Buzzfeed.

These four personality tests helped me learn more about why I act the way I act, what are valuable to me, how I act with others, and why I can’t – for the love of all that is good – follow through with personal goals.

4 Personality Tests You Can Try Today | self-improvement, personal growth, myers briggs

Myers-Brigg Type Indicator

This is probably the most popular personality test in this list.

Myers-Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI) looks into four aspects of your personality: how you get energized, how you take in information, what means you use to make decisions, and how fast you can make a decision.

I took this personality test for the first time a few years ago in my General Psychology elective class. And surprise surprise, I got a 100% in Introversion back then. The great thing about this personality test is that it’s pretty accurate. I’m an INFP-T, according to the NERIS Type Explorer, which based its test on MBTI. And let me tell you: the description screams Kate!

With MBTI, you are able to identify your strengths and weaknesses, particularly in the process of making a decision and interacting with both people and ideas.

Four Tendencies

I’ve learned of the Four Tendencies from listening to Kelly and Carly of the Straight and Curly podcast. (Side note: If you’re looking for an awesome podcast on self-improvement, give them a listen!)

The Four Tendencies framework was created by Gretchen Rubin and it can help you identify how you respond to inner and outer expectations. This is particularly helpful when you’re trying to create new habits and achieve goals.

Related: How to Follow Through with Your Goals

You can take the test on Gretchen’s website, or maybe you’d know which tendency you are a part of just by reading the definition of each below:

Upholder – If you’re an upholder, you meet both inner and outer expectations so you don’t let others and yourself down. Upholders generally find creating habits easier than other people but they may still struggle.

Questioners – Questioners only meet inner expectations. They don’t do anything arbitrarily. They’re only going to do something if it makes sense. For instance, they could keep a resolution if it is extremely important but they won’t do it at a certain date like say, January 1st, just for the sake of it.

Obligers – Where questioners only meet inner expectations, obligers are the other way around. They only meet outer expectations. This means that they can easily achieve tasks and form habit if there was an external accountability involved. But they can’t do it on their own.

Rebels – As fairly named, rebels resist both inner and outer expectations. They would most likely cringe at the idea of creating routines and would generally try to live life with spontaneity.

The Attachment Theory

Coined and developed by Bowlby and Ainsworth, Attachment Theory examines the emotional bonds between people. They also suggested that our earliest attachments (aka back when we were all wee potatoes) have lasting impact on how we respond and act in our relationships as grownups.

There are four attachment styles, namely: secure, avoidant, ambivalent and disorganized. The attachment theory does not only examine the romantic relationships we have – although, some questions in the test do focus on that.

I am a mix of secure and ambivalent, leaning more on ambivalent. When taking the test, I suggest thinking of how you are with your friends and family also. You can find out what your attachment style is over here.

Enneagram

Enneagram was my recent personality test find. I know it’s been around for a long time, but I’ve only taken the test recently. And let me just say: my type was super accurate to me?? I couldn’t believe it???

The Enneagram Institute describes enneagram as “one of the most powerful and insightful tools for understanding ourselves and others.” The idea here is that we’re dominantly defined by one type, but that we may also have a bit of the other eight types.

I am a Type 4, also known as the Individualist, which was pretty spot on, if I say so. You can try a free enneagram test here and learn about your type in-depth on the Enneagram Institute’s website.

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Have you tried any of the personality tests above? What are your results?

xx Kate

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4 Personality Tests You Can Try Today | Know yourself, self-improvement, personal growth

Photos from Ivory Mix

How you can deal with perfection procrastination in 4 simple ways

I’ve done this TONS of times. You probably have too.

When you’ve wasted more than an hour getting every value in your spreadsheet aligned correctly rather than create that report you need to present to your boss next Friday, you’re procrastinating.

When you’ve spent a year researching on every travel websites and blogs, and redoing your itinerary for that one-month backpacking in Europe instead of just buying the damn ticket, that’s procrastinating.

When you’ve spent half your Nanowrimo scrolling through Twitter and creating character aesthetics and designs instead of writing your novel, that’s procrastinating.

And all these become perfection procrastination when you do them because you’re afraid of failing or getting rejected or doing poorly.

Ever procrastinated on something because of the fear of failing or getting rejected? That's perfection procrastination. Here's how you can deal with it in 4 simple ways

Perfection procrastination:

– is counterproductive.
– feeds on your unhelpful perfectionist tendencies.
– does not help you whatsoever.

Perfectionists do this, obviously. But even if you don’t identify as one, if you’ve stalled on doing what you need to do because you’re afraid of rejection or failure and you want things to go smoothly the first round, that’s still perfection procrastination.

It’s the kind of procrastination that is not helpful to you or anyone at all. (And yes, there are helpful or high-functioning procrastination.)

Believe me, you do not want this. So today I’m going to share how I deal with perfection procrastination. Hopefully, if you’ve also experienced perfection procrastination, this helps you too.

HOW TO DEAL WITH PERFECTION PROCRASTINATION

1) Set yourself up for the mess and the failure

One reason why I experience perfection procrastination is because I’m afraid of messing things up and failing the first time. I wanted things to go smoothly. I wanted things to be perfect. But who am I kidding? Perfect is to achievable as Pluto is to Neptune. They’re near but they’ll never meet. (Unless of course, the universe ends and they collide. But I digress.)

This fear of messing things up and failing often hinders us from doing what we’re supposed to be doing. This is where setting yourself up for the mess and failure comes in. It does not mean you’re giving yourself permission to do half-ass, sloppy work either.

Rather, you’re placing yourself in a position where perfection can’t happen. Perfection isn’t even on the menu because you’ve ordered at a restaurant that only serves chaos.
Here’s an example:

One of the artists I admire online, Jiji (@jijidraws) shared how she hasn’t posted any artworks recently because of her nagging fear that it won’t be good enough to post online.

So she created the No Fear Sketchbook.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by J i j i ™ (@jijidraws)

In it, she can’t use pencils, and she can’t erase her works. She knows not all the works in the sketchbook will be pretty or even good enough. Her only goal is to get something done. (Which I’ll talk further below.)

I love the idea of the No Fear Sketchbook. And I think you could apply this to any creative hobby you do. Like a No Fear Journal for writing, or a No Fear Photo Session where you aren’t allowed to edit your photographs.

By actively blocking out your perfectionism or perfectionist tendencies, you are able to work without constantly thinking it has to be perfect.

2) Knock out the “First Domino”

I recently came across this concept when I stumbled upon an article about a book called Good Excuse Goals by Jullien Gordon. (Which I’m totally adding to my TBR.)

The idea behind the “First Domino” is to pick the easiest, most impactful domino to knock out. This helps you break away from the procrastination and just start the work.

Imagine someone who wanted to start a blog but they wanted things to be absolutely perfect before launching. So they do their research and create their editorial calendar and pick out the theme and work on blog design. And do some more research and a thousand other tiny things they could have done later on.

What they’re doing is perfection procrastination.

Imagine just starting a blog, putting out several posts and interacting with other bloggers. Then all their worries from starting a blog will go away, won’t it?

Look, I’m not saying planning is wrong and that spontaneity is the best. But there is a huuuge difference between planning diligently and stalling because of the fear of imperfection.

By knocking out the “first domino”, you free yourself from worrying over taking that first step. You just take it and the rest will be easy to topple over.

3) Set more realistic goals

Did you know that people are more likely to finish on time when they’re given concrete tasks and they’re more likely to put things off when they see the work abstractly?

This 2009 study found that how the task is presented can influence when and how it gets done. Basically, tasks that are concrete and specific are accomplished on time while tasks that are more abstract and general aren’t.

My mind: *blown*

But it makes so much sense, doesn’t it?? Like, maybe your goal is to be a New York Times Bestseller, or an award-winning blogger, or you want your Youtube channel to get a million subscribers.

Cool. Awesome goals.

But will you be able to achieve them quickly and easily? Will you be able to follow through with these big goals?

Let’s be real here: you prooobably won’t.

All these big goals are great but they all feel like a faraway castle. And because they feel farfetched, accomplishing them gets postponed all-the-freaking-time. You get de-motivated and uninspired to continue. (I know this because I’m guilty of doing this.)

This is why I absolutely encourage turning big goals into smaller, more achievable goals.

Alli Worthington (my newly found blogging idol) said it best: reverse engineer your big dreams and goals, and make them more realistic.

Make them more concrete and more specific. You can even set yourself a short deadline with a five-item to-do list, or have a quota you need to meet at a set time. That’s how big dreams become more achievable.

4) “Good enough” is good enough

I noticed that whenever I create something, I have a finished outcome in my mind. So I work in order to reach that finished outcome.

Now, it’s great to know where you’re headed with your creative projects. But this can also backfire unpleasantly. You may end up focusing too much on the outcome – editing as you go, tweaking a small part of your artwork here and there – rather than on the process.

This is something I talked about before in my post about conquering creative blocks. Choose finished rather than perfect. Instead of wasting too much time making your work perfect, just get it DONE.

The more work you’ve put behind you, the more things you’ve finished, and the more lessons you’ll be able to learn from them. These finished works won’t all be near-perfect and they definitely won’t be all presentable. But they are good enough.

Go for good enough. Besides, you can always tweak it afterwards. What’s important is that you get it out the door.

Remember, perfection does not offer you the opportunity to learn. Mistakes do. And there is much you can learn from the mistakes you make along the way. That’s how you improve and, ultimately, grow.

Have you experienced perfection procrastination? How did you deal with it? Share your awesomeness below!

xx Kate

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How to deal with perfection procrastination in 4 simple ways | mindset, self-improvement, personal growth, perfectionism

Photo from Ivory Mix

How to Make Your Well-Being a Priority

When my journalist sister had to take a day off because of a flu, we had to strap her to her bed. (Metaphorically, of course. We’re not monsters.) But then the next day? She’s back to work. Reasoning out that there are a lot of news that needs to be written that day. That she won’t be productive if she’s stuck in bed.

And you know what, I was SO mad.

Sure, productivity is important. I know this. You know this. Everyone and their mom and tita knows this. But this is not how productivity should go.

Despite our growing awareness on the importance of relaxing, there’s no denying the hustle culture is still ever-present. And I’m all for this yo! I am an avid supporter of hard work makes the dream work. I am pro- rolling up the sleeves and doing the job wholeheartedly and getting things done. Possibly even singing “Dig dig dig” like the Seven Dwarves.

My problem is that this can, and eventually will, go too far.

And usually when things go too far… No one’s happy.

Not you, not your friends and family, and definitely not the Seven Dwarves. Not even Happy. And I honestly don’t think self-improvement works that way.

See, here’s the thing: there will always be work waiting for you.

Work is almost as ever-present as humidity in the tropics, or ice in Antarctica. Work doesn’t give a single cent if it’s raining cats or dogs. It doesn’t care if the bees go extinct. And it certainly doesn’t care if you’re already hacking your lungs out. It’s still going to be there, regardless. So are you really going to compromise your health for that? Actually, are you really going to compromise your health for anything?

HECK NO.

well-being, quote

Which is why taking care of every aspect of your well-being is important in the long run. You cannot compromise your health for productivity, or anything else for that matter.

Your body is your long-term investment. And so you have to make every aspect of your well-being a priority. This is one of the few things in the universe that you absolutely cannot compromise.

Five Ways to Make Your Well-Being a Priority | Life advice, Well-being, Wellness, Personal growth

Deliberately Choose to Live a Healthy Lifestyle

As early as first grade, we were all taught that greens are good and too much Coke isn’t. But let’s be honest here, that’s an easy concept to understand but very difficult to apply in your lifestyle.

It could start small like, say, making yourself eat veggies a meal a day. Or having yourself dropped off a block from where you should go so you could walk the rest of the way.

And I’m not saying you can’t eat pizza and cake or take afternoon naps anymore. You totally could! My comfort food is chocolate-coated marshmallow. I can devour a dozen of those in one sitting. But I try not to because I know my teeth won’t ever forgive me. Still, I indulge myself with two or three and move along.

Listen to Your Body

Our bodies are not shy beans. It’s either completely outspoken or passive-aggressive. But if it has some issues, it WILL tell you, one way or another. The key here is to listen to your own body.

Sometimes, it can be pretty easy to know what our body wants. But there are definitely times when we’re too caught up with our own thoughts to take notice of what our own body is screaming at us.

I find that mindfulness helps here. Pause for a moment and do a quick mental check up on your body. Feel where the tensions are and which part hurts or feels heavy. Notice things you feel regularly or frequently.

Get Adequate Sleep

Sleep, like eating veggies and exercise, greatly affects our physical and mental health. But when we’re extremely busy or stressed, most of us wouldn’t hesitate to give it up and trade it for more time.

Friend, don’t.

Every individual has their own sleeping schedules that work for them. Find your own Goldilock zone. There’s much more meaningful tasks you can achieve in a day when you have enough sleep than when you don’t. So really, to be productive means to have enough sleep in a day. Now that’s how personal development works!

Also read: You May Not Need to Be an Early Bird to be Productive

Nurture Healthy Relationships and Wonderful Connections

We’re social beings, us humans. We crave relationships and having a connection with other people. Even twelve-year-old Kate in her goth/emo phase.

You can build new connections by joining in a group or a local organization that piques your interest. This can create a sense of belonging and also boost our self-confidence.

And while having acquaintances are great, knowing that you also have a close set of friends who are your awesome support system greatly helps in our physical and mental well-being too.

That said, if a relationship is not building you up and makes you feel sad instead, you have to pluck it out. Take that toxic relationship out of your life like tooth decay.

Take Some Time to do Things You Enjoy

Every time I feel stressed and overwhelmed with college or life in general, I work on an art project or write a draft for a blog post. And I always feel recharged afterwards. Seriously, every-freakin-time.

Having hobbies is incredibly important. You’ll not only get your mind off school or work for a while, but once you go back, your mind and body will be well-rested and super ready to tackle whatever work you need to do.

How do you prioritize your physical, mental and emotional well-being? Share your awesome insights in the comments below!

xx Kate

Photos from Marina Lima and Death to Stock

How to Follow Through with Your Goals

How to Follow Through with Your Goals | Personal development, Personal growth, Goal setting, Life tips

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