Unlike the mass population, I have had an excellent 2016. I got to marry my best friend. It was magical, and everybody I loved and held close to my heart was there to celebrate. Coming from a culture where family trumps all, I am so excited to have my own family to create. This past year was focused on my wedding, as well as other celebrations, like close friends’ weddings, and the birth of our new nephew, Dex. As much as I would love to hold onto 2016, 2017 is right there, outside my door, waving at me, saying “please, let me in”. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have a plan for 2017. I want 2017 to be the year that I take control of my career and my passions and turn them into reality. I am sick of standing behind a desk and my fears of not knowing the answers to everything. I spent the last month of 2016 listening to podcasts. My favorite is the Goal Digger podcast by Jenna Kutcher. I love Jenna and her candid attitude and willingness to help others. She has inspired me to get off my butt and stop making excuses. So here we go. Below is my lucky 8 (8 is actually my lucky number, and coincidentally, my husband’s too). I will live life by the 8, and invite you to do the same.
- STOP overthinking. This needs to be on the top of my mind at all times. I am individual that nitpicks everything, and needs to analyze all details. This needs to STOP. Not only is it limiting my creativity, but it is also enhancing my anxiety (fun over anxiety, please). I need to learn to love and own my passions, and stop thinking that I am not good enough (due to comparison). Everyone has something to offer in life, and our unique ability to do that is what makes us different.
- Start meal planning. This might sound silly, because what does meal planning have to do with making 2017 my secretary? Well, just hear me out. I have been on and off meal planning for the past year, and every week that I actually do it allows me a week where I can focus my time and energy to my
hobbiespassions. I open Sunday with all cookbooks in hand, and my Pinterest board on my iPad, and start dedicating a meal to each day, and then making my shopping list. Life is so much better and healthier with meal planning. My favorite cookbook?
- Organize your thoughts. Do you remember elementary school when you had a journal that you kept under your pillow? I do! I journaled every single day, and now I love looking at my doodles, dreams and wishes (usually a boy, which is so funny to me now). I am human, we are all human, we all think and usually it’s at the weirdest times (who made the shower the think tank?). I lose so many ideas throughout the day, or in the car, and I need to start recording them down. They might sound silly then, but by creating an organized mess, some may connect and some may be trash-worthy, but I’ll never know if I never drought them down.
- Take pictures, ALWAYS. This is one mantra that I have always believed in. I remember when my little sister was born, I would steal my mom’s camera and takes pictures of her, whenever I could. And now, those blurry images of her are some of my mom’s favorite. We have access to cameras everywhere, and we need to cherish that treasure and capture memories of everything. Even if it is a Friday, on the couch with your two boys (one human, one d0g) – that might just be me!
- Dress yourself. This is the way you want it to be. Yoga pants, stilettos, boots in the summer, DRESS FOR YOURSELF. Do me a favor, don’t go shopping and get dresses a size too small because that is not fun. Dress your size and own it. We were given these bodies for a reason, and nobody wants carbon copies of each other. Everybody is beautiful, and you can pull off whatever you want.
- Pick up pages. This is a reminder to myself. I remember the times that I would go through book after book and beg my mom to take me to the bookstore to get a new one. I have lost this joy. I make excuses of not having time, but I do have time. I also realized that my passion for writing withers when I don’t read. It is true, all great authors are great readers.
- Listen, but don’t internalize. This is very important for our wellbeing. Stop talking and listen to your friends, family and loved ones. They need a shoulder to cry on, a face to make smile, and someone to tell how their day went. This lucky nugget also comes with some wisdom. Don’t internalize the things you hear. Don’t compare yourself to others’ stories. Don’t take comments too seriously. Don’t internalize the thoughts you hear spoken.
- Know your world. We live in a huge world with different people, cultures and happenings. Coming from the third world, I have lost sight of the world as I have spent time in the US. I beg you to pick up a newspaper or read a news website (don’t take them too seriously, because the media is the media after all). Also, please don’t write tweets on things you don’t understand fully, please. If you think you don’t have time to know your surroundings, sign up for the Skimm. It is an amazing source of information to ensure that you know the important events going on in the world.