Aspirations. (26/04/18 and 11/05/18 – Edit)

One down, fifty-one to go. It’s scary how time flies already.

Here are some of the 2018 goals I hope (hence aspirations instead of resolutions) that I can achieve. There are some easy ones in there, so I don’t feel like I’m too inadequate.


April 26: Seventeen down, thirty-five to go. It’s terrifying how I’ve pointed out the speed of time sixteen weeks (112 days) ago. Holy shit. 

A lot has happened during this time. There were the good, the bad, and the between. It’s a trail mix of everything.

Some aspirations are still untouched (yes, I’m working on that), some are work in progress, and some are…surprisingly – completed and achieved. 

I’m hoping the next time I update this, there will be more feedback. 


May 11: Nineteen down, thirty-three to go. I’m going to try and condense this as much as can, but a lot has happened in merely fourteen days. How strange is that?

No new aspirations for this time, for I’m still working on the ones I’ve established at the beginning of the year and two weeks ago. 


Effortless (well, not as much effort…) Aspirations

  • Drink at least 2L of water every single day. More if I’m planning to drink / drinking already, or when I’m working out.
    • April 26: So far so good. 
  • Buy cuter socks, because I’ve been lazy (I’ve actually done that last week, but I probably need more socks.).
    • April 26: I’ve gotten way too many pairs of socks, but I don’t feel bad about this. How do you say no to cute socks?
    • May 11: I do need to get running socks, because I really dislike the sensation of the sock band sliding down my ankle, and then I end up taking off half of the sock as it rolls while I walk and / or run. Ugh. No need to get new cute socks though.
  • Buy more workout gear and actually use them – since my older ones are getting loose (shoes, running pants, clothes, sports bra, etc).
    • April 26: Thanks, Nike, for letting me spend way too much money again. I do want an extra pair of the current shoes I am wearing now, since they treated me pretty well during my half marathon.
    • May 11: Apparently the women’s size is sold out (despite the shoes being around $200-ish, but I seriously swear by them), but I have the option to buy the men’s size. It is on discount now. Hm…
  • Buy more books (this is literally effortless, but I do need to branch out to more genres instead of focusing on fiction and certain non-fiction). Before buying more I might need to read a few of them though…
    • April 26: My revised aspiration should be to stop buying books and start reading more, what the hell…I’ve purchased a total of 45 books (digital and paperback) since the start of this year, and this isn’t including the free classics I’ve downloaded on Amazon, or the two journals that I’ve been keeping track of daily. I recommend both journals though, one of them is the Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal and the other is The Daily Stoic Journal: 366 Days of Writing and Reflection on the Art of Living. I feel really strongly about stoicism, especially the work of Marcus Aurelius, so I’d like to integrate that philosophy into my life more. 
    • May 11: Please make some progress with this. 
  • Organize my closet and donate clothes that I have not worn before / worn but I don’t think I’ll ever wear anymore. This also includes clothes my mom bought for me before (hoping I’d wear them, but absolutely a no). They will work with other people, but not me. This will take some time though…
    • April 26: I’ve actually started on this. I have a bag full of clothes, and brought it out, thinking that the donation bin close to my home was still there. It was removed, so I need to find charity or source soon. I’m going to dedicate myself to cleaning out part of my drawers this weekend.
    • May 11: So, good news, I’ve actually collected and filled one full bag with a total of 16 articles of clothing and placed my first bag of clothes in a donation bin yesterday, on the 10th of May. This is a good start. I’ve been digging through my closet these days to try on some clothes I forgot about (and seeing if they do fit / if I still like them). I should really read the Marie Kondo book about tidying up.
  • Find out the minimum length in order to donate hair (just did, it’s 15 cm, I think). Grow my hair (obviously, I have to trim it occasionally for split ends), find out which charity to donate said hair to, contact the organization and figure out the logistics, and then do it. Granted, I still want a hair length that I can tie my hair up into a ponytail with, because it’s really hot in Taiwan and I like to run outdoors. I’d also like to tie my hair up when I workout.
    • April 26: I mean, all this takes is time, right? 
  • Start gardening again.
    • April 26: Zero progress – I’m a bit more interested in succulents, cacti, and herbs (for cooking), so I should look up some seeds soon. It is a really rewarding activity.  
    • May 11: Okay, I suddenly remembered out of the blue that the Children Are Us Foundation in Taiwan, a non-profit (I believe) organization that works with people with Down Syndrome, sells cookies. Yeah, I know, what does cookies have to do with gardening? It doesn’t, but I also remember that they sell other products in their online shop…lo and behold: they sell seeds, pots, and succulents. I’m planning to buy some on Monday and get started on that. All proceeds go to the charity, so this works both ways. 
  • Catch up with all of the shows that I want to watch, and the ones that people recommended to me. It’d also be nice to go to movies more, too.
    • April 26: I’ve managed to watch: The Good PlaceSeries of Unfortunate EventsSanta Clarita Diet, Love, Rick & Morty, Black Mirror (okay, not the newest episodes), Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23Master of None, and I’ve started on Jessica JonesVikings, and The Crown. I’ve also finally had to chance to go to the movies and watched Ready Player One. The book was better though, and I still want to watch Coco, Pitch Perfect 3…and a bunch of other movies. I don’t have a life, but I don’t care. 
    • May 11: Apparently I need to add Deadpool onto this list before the second one comes out, too. There’s also a ton of movies that I have yet to catch up with…help. I’m almost done with Jessica Jones, and I rushed through a “mockumentary” called American Vandal (it’s about a class clown who was expelled, because he was accused of drawing dicks on twenty-seven faculty cars – it’s a satire inspired by Making a Murderer). I’m a little concerned as to what I should watch next.

Slightly Scary Aspirations

  • Learn how to bike. Or swim. I’m leaning towards biking more, since I don’t need to show off skin when I bike (insecurity screaming at the moment). Hopefully I can have someone with me when I learn.
    • April 26: Still leaning towards biking more, but I have made zero attempts.
  • Learn how to wear contacts. Then actually wear contacts. Also, figure out how to buy the correct contacts (I have astigmatism). I don’t really like touching my eyes, but putting on makeup is totally okay. Double standards here.
    • April 26: I actually tried this, and it’s harder than I thought. I just can’t keep my eyes opened…time to try again sometime soon…?
  • Learn how to pick out fish bones more efficiently. Completely forget the time you choked on salmon bone when you were ten. Eating fish shouldn’t take an hour…
    • April 26: This one is going to be on my list for many, many years. What I can do is consciously buy de-boned fish fillets though. 
  • Make new friends. Actually, cross that. Maintain the current friendships I have that I cherish (remember, anything healthy requires participation from both sides). Meet new people along the way, and see how that goes. Don’t be too scared to know new people (I know I don’t seem like I have social anxiety, but I do).
    • April 26: I can confidently say that despite losing some, I have made one new friend in Taiwan! It took a while (knowing her for almost a year), but I’m happy to call her my friend. We care about each other, and I’m really secure about our friendship. It’s really sweet.
    • May 11: Oh, here we go – 
      • I got upset with one of my closer friends, and I know he meant well, but I took it the wrong way because I was sensitive and not in a great place. This definitely doesn’t make any excuse for my reaction though (was visibly upset). I haven’t been talking to him for almost two weeks, but it’s mainly because I’ve been doing some introspection myself and getting to a better place before I resume conversation. I also need to apologize appropriately, too, but I’m sure he’ll understand.
      • About the new friend I’ve mentioned: around two weeks ago – it’s still going strong. Today we also made plans to go on a trip to Yilan, a city I’ve never visited before in Eastern Taiwan, around July-ish. Progress?
      • Other than that, I reached out to one acquaintance / friend who I’ve met last October at a convention (she lives in the same city as I do, too). We’ve been talking for the past few days and it’s quite nice as well. We’re planning to go out for either lunch or dinner some other weekend (it is Mother’s Day this weekend, and even though it might be a marketing ploy…well, whatever) as well as a cooking class. I’m actually making a lot more progress than I’ve anticipated. This is new.
      • Re-downloaded Bumble and started swiping, matching and talking to “BFFs”. I think I started talking to two or three new people? We’ll see how that goes as I’m not expecting anything at all. Let’s not get started about Tinder and the date version of Bumble. So many messages to handle, it’s overwhelming. I just end up not dealing with them as they die off really quickly.

Forgettable (yet important!) Aspirations

  • Try to do (at least) one kind gesture a day. It could be as small as opening or keeping the door opened for someone, or sending someone I care about a “how are you” text (not just curious, but genuinely wanting to know how that person is, too). I don’t need a specific reaction to my action.
    • April 26: I try to do this as much as I can, probably not daily, but it’s happening. It could be a text to a voice recording or a phone call. It could be buying someone a coffee or a drink. It’s uplifting, actually.
    • May 11: This is turning into more or less an unconscious habit, which is great.
  • Let people I care about actually know (occasionally) that I do care about them. It’s kind of awkward for me to express myself, but it’s good to do so.
    • April 26: I’m actively doing this a lot more, and people appreciate these remarks – especially because I do mean it. I love them.
  • Always try new things and get out of my comfort zone. Say things to people I normally wouldn’t. Hang out and actively meet new people even though initial meetings make me uneasy.
    • April 26: I’ve actually been doing this, and I’m proud of myself. Sure, I don’t do it as often and I’m selective about the people I meet up with, but at least I’m trying my best to change. 
    • May 11: Breakthroughs with this one!
  • Write postcards, birthday cards, and greeting cards whenever I can and send them out. Mark certain birthdays on my planner and prepare beforehand. (I should do that now, actually.) Ask for addresses. Keep track and update addresses on my iPhone notes. This is crucial.
    • April 26: This was done immediately after this post! Despite my relapse, which has caused several delays, I’m caught up with my cards and packages and their respective shipments. I’m also starting a “just because” project (it sounds a lot more badass with project in the end), and it’s basically sending out postcards to people I love without reason. Maybe it can light up their day a little?
    • May 11: Sent out my first batch of “just because” postcards yesterday! The first batch are postcards I bought from Portugal.
  • Try to learn how to meditate (just started using the app Headspace).
    • April 26: That didn’t last long.
    • May 11: I got an Apple Watch (on the 8th of May) this Tuesday, because my Fitbit has failed me once again. I’ve been a hardcore supporter of Fitbit for many years, but to be honest, the quality itself isn’t that great. I know there’s a price difference, but I finally bit the bullet and got an Apple Watch Series 3 – Nike edition this week and I love it. Other than the battery life (which isn’t as bad as I thought), which is visibly weaker than the Fitbit, it is a lot better. There’s an app on the watch called Breathe, and I’ve started using that yesterday. I’m not entirely sure if it is meditation, but it’s an one minute exercise that makes me mindful of my inhales and exhales. I’ve been doing this two days in a row (so far), and it’s something I can get used to.
  • Remember that it’s okay to be vulnerable in front of some people at times. They are here. They won’t judge. They still love you, even though you feel unloved at times, and that it’s okay. I don’t need to be strong all the time. It’s okay to lean on people sometimes.
    • April 26: I’ve displayed my vulnerabilities to people who I know will have my back and love me despite anything, so I am grateful. I’m starting to tell and update them more, and their feedback made me realize how lucky I am to have these close friends. I’ve also started taking responsibility and accountability a lot more by accepting and admitting the mistakes when people who care about me point them out. They give a shit about me, and that’s why they tell me – it’s not because they want to make me feel terrible about myself, it’s because they know it’s necessary for me to grow and get better.
    • May 11: Opening up is a courageous act, and those who display deflection and / or indifference are usually the ones who shouldn’t remain in my life. It’s kind of a wake up call to see the differences.
  • Remember different people’s quirks and interests. They’re cute. If I see anything that reminds me of that person, get that thing for him / her if possible.
    • April 26: Keep it up. I tend to remember pretty well, because I pay attention to people I care about.
  • Learn more about people around you.
    • April 26: I’ve started this and it hasn’t stopped. People can surprise you in pleasant ways. I have cool friends.
  • Smile more. [Not necessarily completed, just deleted. Priorities change.]
    • April 26: Okay, you know what? Maybe not. I know there’s a psychological study that says smiling will actually lift up one’s mood, but fuck it, if I don’t feel like doing it, then it’s not worth it to force or fret over. I’m deleting this one. I will smile when I want to, and when it’s out of my heart.

Commitment Required Aspirations

  • In 2015 I’ve managed to do the 52 books challenge. One book a week. As an overachiever, I killed my goal on the 30th of August, 2015 (it’s recorded on Google Docs) and I managed to read 73 books that year. I then proceeded to burn out gradually in 2016 and suddenly paused reading overall in 2017. Well, I read two books in 2017. I don’t really want to only focus on reading, since I’m digging this blogging thing so far, so I guess 52 will do in 2018. I also want to read about different types of books, so any favorite book recommendations is appreciated (especially anything culture, economics, environment, gender equality, politics, history, philosophy related! I do want to branch out to new fields)
    • April 26: Fuck. I’ve read seven so far.
    • May 11: Haha, still stagnant. 
  • Run a half marathon. I’ve been talking about it for years, and what better to achieve before I leave 25? That being said, I do want to commit to waking up early to workout, and not just on cardio, but also on weight training. I want definition, not saggy skin and bones. Ideally I’d like to run the We Run Tpe in April 2018, but I need to check my schedule.
    • April 26: Yes, I’ve done this on the 15th of April. It’s called Women Run Taipei, and I’ve managed to get a running buddy along the way. To double down, I’m going to sign up for the Taipei Marathon lottery in September, and the run is mid December. There’s also another themed fun run I’m planning to sign up for that will happen at the beginning of October. Hopefully this helps me keep up with my training and maybe I’ll be able to beat my own time (which shouldn’t be too hard since I’m slow).
    • May 11: More or less checking the websites once a week for updates.
  • Make a conscious decision to eat healthier most of the time, but don’t forget to indulge in food / junk I love occasionally.
    • April 26: This! I was just telling one of my close friends these days about eating healthily. I’m not going to give up on snacking, but I have been and will continue to make better snack choices, such as: unsalted nuts, baked fruit chips (apple to be exact), and seaweed instead of potato chips (but I can make it a treat). I will not give up on my daily coffee and occasional alcohol though.
    • May 11: Surprisingly going pretty well – I’ve been moderately snacking on nuts these days.
  • Continue whatever I’m doing with this blog. I’ll write about whatever I want, whenever I want. My fears, past / present / future, experiences, feelings, and everything else – the good, the bad & everything in between will be documented here. Writing is something I’m passionate about, and even if it’s garbage content to others, it’s still part of me. Wait…does that mean I’m garbage? Not burning out from writing is a good start.
    • April 26: I’m still here, so that means something.
    • May 11: I started May off stronger than I thought, which is a pleasant surprise.
  • Keep my sanity while running my food and wine business and actually try to make money (marketing and collaborations do suck a lot of money, this is reality) and not stop grinding as hard as it gets, especially with remarks from my family telling me to give up. I think I’ve pretty much gotten this one down, as I’ve been consistently doing that for the past year and few months-ish.
    • April 26: Not completely sane, but I think I’ll be okay. I’ve also started studying wine on my own, because I want to be more knowledgeable in this field. I’ve also received some questions from friends and family about wine, and I noticed that I light up when I talk about wine. I’m also checking out Wine Academy classes frequently to see if there’s any courses opened in my area. 
    • May 11: Took a week / ten day long break from wine learning, but I’ve been submitting prices and quotations to Eva Airlines, so that’s something! One of my to-complete goals next week is to submit an application to China Airlines. 
  • Stand up for myself. Remember to exercise my boundaries, as hard as it is. Try to not be too hard on myself (ha, impossible, I know). Be confident, fake it until I make it. (Everything here sounds so cliche, but you know…)
    • April 26: There are certain breakthroughs that I know I will look back and be super proud about, as painful as they were during those moments. I’m impressed that I stood up for myself in a respectable manner in these situations.
  • Try not to overthink as much. I’m not going to say stop, because that’s impossible. I should flip through Meditations whenever I feel like I’m about to think too much.
    • April 26: It’s impossible to not overthink, because I was born and raised with this, so while I can and will do that, I should learn how to relax despite having too much thoughts. 
    • May 11: I realize that I tend to overthink when there are mixed signals or ambiguity. I’ve been disengaging from those types of situations and relationships, and I’ve drastically stopped this bad habit of mine. Maybe the aspiration should be changed into not getting myself into ambivalent situations / relationships.
  • Stop being that insecure (still trying to write about this subject after being stuck for almost a week). Obviously, easier said than done…
    • April 26: I realized that when I’m being open about my issues and when I’m also certain that I have done nothing wrong on my part, there is no reason to feel extremely insecure. We all have our weakness and insecurities. The important thing is to do what is right and move along despite these issues. I’ve also noticed that I become insecure when I get involved in any types of relationship that makes me question myself as well as my beliefs, so maybe it’s wise to start straying away from those.
    • May 11: Hindsight from the observation on the 26th of April and re-emphasis on the commentary above: stop. getting. into. ambivalent. situations. and. relationships. This kills two birds with one stone, actually. If I were to get involved with mixed signals, all that does is to eat away my sanity and blow up my insecurity. 

New Aspirations

  • Get better from my relapse, build myself back up (progress can be slow as long there is improvement – please don’t stress out too much about this even though I know I will), and start trusting people (in general) again. 
  • Let go of the bad, and make them into the past. Even if it means they are people who you don’t want to let go. They’ve done their damage, and they really don’t care about me. What’s the point in staying with people who doesn’t give a fuck about me?
    • May 11: Time really does help. It sounds so cliched and overused, but it’s true, and I’m slowly trying to pick up myself. I’ve also decided to not fight fire with fire, because that’s not who I am, nor do I want to hurt anyone. At a spur of the moment kind of inspiration, I started sponsoring a child abroad (1st of May). It’s a little bit biased, but for the first child I’m sponsoring, I asked the social worker if I can pick a girl to help. The second one will be a boy, I promise. I’m also helping out locally, too. I’ve always thought that education is really important, so I’m doing monthly donations to children from low income families in regards to their educational fees. It’s the small victories.
  • Keep up with my new skincare routine.
    • May 11: So far, so good – I know it looks tedious, but this takes probably less than five to ten minutes. I’ve been breaking out a lot less and my scars are slowly fading. Probably has something to do with my stress levels, sleep, diet, and exercise, too.
      • Day: Face wash – toner (two types) – essence – serum (two types) – detox (combats dark circles, day version) – lotion – serum (eyelash and eyebrow growth, I swear by the eyelash serum though, day versions for both) – sunscreen
      • Night: Make up remover – face wash – toner (two types) – essence – serum (two types) – detox (combats dark circles and eye…wrinkles?, night version) – lotion – serum (eyelash and eyebrow growth, night versions). On occasion I do put on washable face mask at night and / or exfoliate my face.
  • Start planning a more consistent exercise routine (not just cardio, but also strength training).
    • May 11: The Apple Watch tricolor rings are super motivating for some reason. Hopefully this keeps up. I do need to look into workout apps this weekend, since I want to start on core and strength training. Maybe some stretching, too.

What are your aspirations? I know some of mine sound extremely trivial and silly, and some others sound really vague and abstract. That’s okay. You can laugh, I’m completely fine with it.

I’m tracking with a planner called Unsolicited Advice that I backed on Kickstarter (much more similar to my style than the one I’ve used last year). I’d like to share this really wholesome little passage:

Embrace Yourself

Life is constantly reminding us about what we don’t have, but what about all that we do have? What makes you special? What do you have to offer the world around you? What do you enjoy? Find the things that you love about yourself. They’re enough.

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