Words on Wednesdays: Say no

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After reading this book, I realized how entitled I am. Our parents, being baby boomers, really worked hard almost all their lives. They are used to working almost 24 hours. They cannot live without work. Our generation is more prone to self-entitlement. Everything is accessible in an instant. We want results now. We want to have life outside work. We are dissatisfied easily. At least that is in my opinion. What do you think?

I have to remind myself especially in the area of work that I need to do my best because it is not just me who’s in the line. As a believer of Jesus Christ, I ought to follow His example.

Dr. Townsend described two kinds of pain–success pain and symptom pain. Success pain is experienced when we push ourselves beyond our limits. For example, we do five more pilates stands despite the ache that we are feeling or keep on writing despite the rejections that we faced after we submitted articles to a news company. On the other hand, symptom pain is experienced as a result of mediocrity. For example, we notice that our work isn’t good enough. We feel that discomfort and yet we did not act on it.

As much as I want to feel more success pain, I can relate to the symptom pain more. Let’s not forget that we are here to excel and give our best. Let’s not forget to do hard things now rather than regret later.

stay motivated,

Jannel

Tips on Thursdays: How to stay fit

Recently, I realized that I am starting to have a bulging tummy. It disturbs me. After three months of having only an average of 30-minute exercise on a weekly basis and almost 4-5 hours of sleep daily the results are showing. My appetite is also starting to increase recently. I don’t know why but is this related to getting old? Or is it because I check food blogs to inculcate new recipes at home. Here are some tips that I have also read from several blogs and articles:

Tip #1: Eat Right. Eat more fresh and natural food like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fish and meat. Lessen food that are high in sugar and salt. Recently, I have been trying to apply this but there are so many temptations like the Korean cookie that I was holding in my previous post. Good thing I can’t read the label because everything is in Korean. Anyhow, I’ll be posting these recipes for you.

Tip #2: Devote time for exercise. Look for a routine that will work for you and follow through. I hated exercising before because usually ball games were emphasized in elementary and high school. I suck in sports especially those that have something to do with balls. If you’re still having a hard time because you’re not a naturally disciplined person, tag your friends along!

Tip #3: Sleep. As experts say, have 6-8 hours of sleep. To be honest, I’m not good at these. Of these three, I struggle with this a lot. I should go to bed by 9:30 or 10 pm otherwise, my wake up time will still be 6:00-6:30 am. I’m always a morning person and I love it!

1422This monument is doing the hundreds (a warm up in Pilates)

1550While I’m doing downdog. Not yet perfect but going to get there!

Always remember that no matter how many times we fail in keeping these habits, we can still get up. What matters most is the choice that we make.

Stay posi,

Jannel

Tips on Thursdays: How to use your time wisely

24 hours in a day is a lot. Imagine if we allocate five minutes daily to read it will accumulate to 1,825 minutes in a year. However we always want to make excuses and say we don’t have time. What we really mean is that we don’t want to make time or it is not important for us at the moment.

I have wasted so much time watching k-dramas during my elementary years. It was an eye opener for me. I should have used it to read more books or help my parents. Since then, I became more responsible in handling time. Although I still catch myself wasting time on social media and other stuff, I choose to do better. Here are some useful tips that I like to apply and check myself.

Tip#1. Invest in your personal growth

  • Meditate. Read the Bible and set time with God first. It enables us to be reminded that we are stewards of the time he has given.
  • Do exercise 20-30 minutes a day (preferably do high interval work outs)
  • Read short books/ articles/ newspaper during commute
  • Study online. There are a lot of free sites such as coursera that offer audit courses and scholarships.
  • Rest and sleep. Set a schedule to be still and do nothing.

Tip #2.  Invest in the lives of other people

  • Set time to bond with family. If you are living away from your parents, call them over the phone. Don’t forget to attend special events that are meaningful to them.
  • Ask intentional questions over lunch or dinner. Ask how your friends or family is doing.
  • Mentor others. Pass on what you’ve learned to people who are willing to be mentored.
  • Volunteer in a community during your free time

Tip #3. Do Less

  • Minimize watching TV/ youtube or browsing social media. Set a designated time and stick to it. After watching/browsing, ask what did I get from this activity?
  • Put time blocks in reading emails and choose your subscriptions wisely.
  • Only limit to do list to 3-4 major tasks in a day and focus on them. Choose minor tasks that are highly important.
  • Select social events wisely. Do not overcrowd your schedule. Learn to say no.

More importantly while applying these tips always begin with the end in mind as Stephen Covey likes to say. Ask yourself about your long term goals and make sure that what you’re doing is in line with it.

Stay posi,

Jannel

Thoughts on Tuesdays: Take risks

I grew up in a conservative Chinese family. My parents would often blurt out that they always wanted to expand the business but cannot because they need to be hands on in the daily operations. Expanding the business means partnering with other people and letting go of control in some aspects. However restricting access result to restricting growth.

I kind of picked up this “play safe” mentality unknowingly and foregone opportunities accumulated over the years. I turned down my teacher’s invitation to join a math competition back in elementary because I was afraid that I will not get anything right. I did not join our university school paper because I was afraid that it will take up too much of my time. I did not join the debate society because I was afraid that people will judge my inability to express thoughts and monotonous voice. I was and still am afraid of a lot of things.

As I was reading The Entitlement Cure by John Townsend, I realized that I am living my life in a comfortable and predictable manner. I realized that I have not taken enough risks in order for me to learn new things. I also realized that having confidence is rooted from experience. When we are able to develop our talents, we are confident that we will do well and not the other way around. I was also able to understand what Jesus is trying to say in the Parable of three talents. When I first heard of it, I thought the servant who kept the talent did best because he safeguarded it. I thought he is being a good steward because he protected the money from unforeseen events.  I was shocked that Jesus didn’t meant that. Instead, He wants us to grow and cultivate not just our talents but the money He has entrusted us. How are we to do it? by taking risks. Of course, we need to take calculated risks. What I mean is that we study the pros and cons and ask help from other people who are experts in the field. Most importantly, we ask God for wisdom in the decisions that we are about to make.

I remembered in one of the books that I’ve read, the author mentioned that the biggest regret that you can have is not trying anything at all. We may fail but we can rise up. Cliche as it may sound, there’s always sunshine after the rain.

Stay posi,

Jannel

Tips on Thursdays: Introducing yourself

How many times were you asked to introduce yourself? As an introvert, this falls under one of those awkward situations where in I’d rather back out of the meeting or leave the event. Every time I say a word, I panic deep inside. Over time, I have managed to face this fear by preparing and practicing before hand. I hope these tips can help you whether or not you’re an introvert like me.

Who says it’s easy to introduce yourself to a babe?

Tip #1. Know the purpose of your meet up. Is it for business, fun, or a favor? By setting an expectation of the event, you’re preparing your mind that you’ll be doing this for good–for yourself and for others. There were several times that I had to introduce myself to random students during university days as part of a movement in our organization. Through this I was able to be more confident that they will not bother what I say as long as they make them feel better.

Tip #2. Ask yourself what adjectives best describe you. Research in advance several adjectives that defines your personality, your hobbies, or your passion. Be creative! I got my fair share of a embarrassing moments when I sat down as participant in a couple of events and seminars where the host usually conducts a brief ice breaker. We are often asked to introduce ourselves by saying an adjective that starts with the letter of our first names. For some, this might be easy but given that the starting letter of my name is J, I find it difficult. One time I was in a class when we were asked to do this ice breaker and I ran out of adjectives that start with letter J! Two of the words that I knew was taken by my classmate–joyful and jolly. After the class, I researched other words that can be used to describe me but found none. I found the word jaunty to be an aspiration to self. According to Merriam Webster, it means lively in manner or appearance: having or suggesting a lively and confident quality. I still mention jaunty Jannel in my head until now. What adjectives best describe you? Have you thought about them?

Tip #3. Choose the type of clothing suitable for the event.  Check if there are dress codes, themes and other recommended attire. Always wear clothes that will make you feel confident. Know what type of clothes fit your body type and skin tone. There are many sites online including pinterest for our easy reference. Wear comfortable clothes as well. You don’t want to feel uneasy while introducing yourself. I tend to research also the vicinity or the room type. If I do not find any from the internet, I ask my friends who have been to the place. If I cannot find information regarding the place, I make sure that I wear light clothes and bring cardigan or jacket to put on in case the room gets cold. If the place will be held outdoors, I check the weather as well. Most of the time I do commute so in case I need to wear heels or bring my beauty kit, I make sure I just bring the important stuff.

Tip #4. Lastly, know the people you are meeting with. Ask what they do, what they love doing, their passions, and their dreams. You can also ask them tips if they happen to be an expert in some subject matter.  If you are brave enough, you can ask them their biggest regrets and what would they do if given a chance to go back to the situation. Older people tend to tell stories even when not asked to do so. They love to give words of wisdom to us.

I love meeting new friends because I find their stories and experiences very interesting and different from each other. Ironically most of the time, I am often caught up by their questions! I end up wondering what’s theirs. Recently, I write down questions that I want to ask to anyone before hand because it is not natural for me to do so.

Here are some questions that I wrote down as starters:

  • How do you see your life?
  • What do you do for a living?
  • What do you do during your past time?

When meeting older people, I like to ask:

  • How do you manage your finances?
  • What was the biggest regret that you had?
  • How can you sleep peacefully at night?

I hope these tips can help you!

stay posi,

Jannel

Words on Wednesdays: One step at a time

Hey there! Thanks for dropping by. I love to play with words. Most of the time they stuck in my head so I write them down in my notebook, phone or any paper on hand. They serve as notes to self in order for me to stay on track.

Today I’m reminding myself to do things one at a time. I tend to clutter my to do list with everything that I need and want to do but I end up accomplishing nothing. Set goals for the day and strive to accomplish them one at a time. You’re gonna make it through!

I apply the same principle in planning for the future. Right now I’m revisiting my vision, mission and goals as well as the strategies and action plan that I need to make. It will get clearer yay!

I’m also loving the word attitude since Sunday. During the sermon in our church, I am reminded that our attitude is important because it will make or break us in a given situation. We may be having good times and yet still complain. If we carry a joyful attitude despite of the hard times, I think we are better off.

Trust God and stay posi,

Jannel