A New Year, Are you ready for a New You??

I was quite hesitant to use this title because I don’t want to make misconceptions about this article, but why not??

Most of us associate New Year’s with hopes of being a new person. Not that we’re changing our faces or names but a new perspective in life. That’s what it should be actually as that’s how we should be doing each year.

But how do we change in just a day?? Well, it may not be as instant as what we are used to now a days but believe me, every little change you do in your life would matter if you just constantly do it everyday.

Reading a book per se is one way of doing it. This book I’ll recommend ain’t a new one. You might even heard it a lot of times already and even read it. If you had, then I hope you got the gist of it like I did and had your life transformed the way you want it. If not, then hang on for the ride! You’ll be reaching your own stars, just like how you’ve specifically wished for!

We are always told to as a child to dream. It’s the only thing everyone can do, no matter what circumstance in life we’re in now, that’s sky’s the limit! Cause why not, it’s your dream and all you’ll need is your imagination, mind, and yourself. It something personal where you don’t need to think of what others dream of, just yours. You don’t care how you’ll be able to reach them or what does it takes you to reach them.

Well, that’s how The Secret by Rhonda Byrne has influenced my life since 2008 when my then bf-now hubby gave me as a Christmas gift. I can still vaguely remember that scene where he send me off in the bus terminal as I made my way back home to the province to celebrate Christmas with my family. He gave me the book in a sealed small paper bag.

photo from Amazon

I’m not the kind of person who loves receiving gifts actually as I’m not a gift giver as well. haha. (I’m just a fair person) so when he gave his gift as a surprise, all I can give in return is a kiss and hug. haha! As the bus left the terminal and I was left alone, I hurriedly opened his gift. Not knowing to expect, I was actually surprised he gave me a book. haha.

First of all, he’s a self-confessed NOT-A-BOOK person. The only books he read are those school books required when he’s still studying. Second is the title of the book, The Secret. Daunting for me when I saw it first not knowing what it is about. I haven’t heard of this book before despite loving to read books (my dad’s book collection which are the ones I usually read are actually more of the 90s famous thriller ones John Grisham kind) So having this kind of Self-development book is such a new thing for me and thrilled to have it!

My 1.5 hr trip went so quick as I got too engrossed with the book. I actually almost missed my stop! haha.. As I finished the last few pages at home, I knew it would be our topic in messages as talk back and forth throughout the holidays while we spend our time with our own families.

As the New Year of 2009 came in, we knew that our lives would be turned around. Yes! You know that inner confidence you didn’t knew you had inside and the fears of uncertainty quietly slips under the bed, too shy to come out due to your overwhelming attraction of the universe that doesn’t want me/us to be stopped.

Truly enough, our lives was turned upside down that year as despite the world going through recession that time, we braved our way to finding new and better life adventures and career. That’s been almost 10 years ago and loaded with tons of mostly highs and some lows in life, we got married, had 2 beautiful daughters, and have quitted my 9-5 job to have more time taking care of our family. Despite the very high cost of living here in Singapore, I can say that we’re among the blessed ones to be living beyond what our dreams could imagine as a single income family.

As I learned the the twist and turns of managing wisely my time as a Stay-At-Home-Mom, I now devote my time to something I advocate the most, Self-Care. As a matter of fact, I just surpassed a dream of mind that I’ve been having for sometime, read more on my last article, on how I Shared A Christmas. Okay, too much storytelling and back to this book review.

This book had made waves when it came our in the early 2000’s. A Self-help book that’s been too much talked about that they even made it into a film/ short documentary. Find any coach or mentor that advocates on self-development and they’ll surely include this book on one of your must-read.

This book focuses on the Law of Attraction and helps you change the mindset most of us grew up believing in as that’s what the society feeds us. The title “The Secret” is so captivating that it makes anyone who sees it wonder what could be in it. As a human, we all got the urge to be more curious on things especially if it’s said as a secret, don’t we. That’s the catch!

This empowering book encourages everyone to visualise themselves reaching whatever their hearts desires. It gives you that boost of motivation you’ve never even though you’ve have in the first place which makes it amazing. You just go with the flow of life as the universe seems to always be at your side making you afloat nearer and nearer to your goals, one at a time.

What I love about this though is despite it encouraging you to reach your goals, it’s strategically done the “good way”. You know, not those easy money thing or those that lead you to the wrong direction of life just to attain material wealth.

The principle you attract through the learnings you get gravitates you to give back more to others, find gratitude in small and big wins that come your way, and mainly to focus your energy to a mindset that makes you think of the good things despite any hurdles that come your way. As they say, life can be full of bumps and it’s only the way you react on every bump that makes a difference.

With this kind of mindset, no matter what circumstance is thrown into your life, you’ll always find the good on it and eventually you’ll find yourself in a good place no matter what. And you know what happens when you’re in that good disposition in life?? You do good too! So there’s no way any minute of your life would go wasted on things you’ll spend your time now and regret afterwards.

With all the great things I have to say to this book, I must also mention one controversy this book had been hit the most. Yes, I’m talking about its religious beliefs. My take on that would be from a perspective of a person who lived in Singapore, one of the most multi-cultural countries in the world, for about a decade. There’s nothing respect on each other’s belief that can’t be settled and have peace on.

Singaporeans who’s composed of 3 major nationalities, Chinese, Indians, and Malay. All of them having different beliefs and totally different cultures. But hey, see how Singapore prospers? How do they show respect to each other? Well, simply giving way to each other’s needs. Let’s take holidays and festivities for example. We all celebrate and enjoy Chinese New Year, Eid al-Fitr, Diwali, and Christmas. How cool is that!

So that’s it! If you are looking for a great book to read and am thinking to turn your life for the better this 2022, I truly recommend The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

A Happy New Year to all!!

This post is a part of Book Marathon 2022 by https://outsetbooks.com

Easy techniques to not skip Cardio

When it comes to exercise, we usually associate it to having a specific time to do it. Either you wake-up early or do it late at night after work. This are things that not everyone have the luxury to do.

What if I tell you there’s a way to do sneak some exercise that no matter how busy you are, whether you’re a working mom or a SAHM. I promise it won’t take any time from you in doing your commitments and responsibilities. All you need is an open mind and willingness to do it.

Are you ready??

Working Moms

Burn those glutes. Make use of those stairs. An emergency isn’t the only reason that has been put in your office building. If you happen to be in an office that’s in the lower floors (2nd to 5th floor) then consider using them in the morning and in the afternoon after work.

According to studies, 20-steps in a staircase 5 times a day can help you burn an average of 302 calories burned per week.

Keep your cup full. This saying isn’t only meant to remind you of doing your Self-Care but literally keeping your cup full with water. Make sure to hydrate yourself frequently.

Strut those shoes. It’s finally time to show-off again those shoes you’ve been hiding in your closet for the past year since the Pandemic have started. With all that water you’ve been drinking, you’re pretty sure to make bathroom breaks more often. That’s a great opportunity for you to gather more steps throughout the day. Add more extra steps by picking the farthest bathroom.

Desk-Friendly Fitness. As you go back to your desk, why not try to do a couple of bodyweight exercises before sitting back. You might think of this as a waste of time but its awakening effect for a few minutes of your time can surely make you more productive. So think about it, it’s worth it!

Stay-At-Home-Moms

The moment I quit my corporate job to be a SAHM, I mentally was rejoicing thinking how much time I can have to myself, having no boss, no deadlines, etc. WRONG!!! Totally!!!

Those chores might not have mouths but they sure accumulate and no matter how much clothes you’ve got which can help you delay doing the most fun chore aka “folding clothes”, it’s such an eyesore seeing baskets of clean clothes just waiting for you.

It took a while for me to compose myself, get organised and have a routine. While I honestly make time to do my Self-Care exercise, it doesn’t mean that 30mins or an hour is enough. Nowadays, I make sure to incorporate chores with some body workout.

Tidying your home. This job helps you really hit two birds with one stone. Not only would you have ticked on your to-do-list your chores, but you’ll also tick exercise at the same time. Sweat it while you do your squats as you pick-up the toys your kids have littered throughout the house.

Fun fact: Vacuuming can burn 75 calories per half-hour. Wash the car and burn double! Now, who wants to do chores?!

Aisle laps. I’ve always loved going to the grocery store. I’m not sure if you’re like me who literally visits every aisle so as not to miss anything from my list. Surprisingly, not only does this habit helps you compare prices of products(make sure to check the most top or bottom items) but also helps you burn 105 to 155 calories in a half-hour. How cool is that?!

Takeaways

It only takes mindfulness for you to practice a Healthy Lifestyle Habit. The excuse of not having time to do it sometimes doesn’t sum-up even. What you really need is an open mind and willingness to do for you to accomplish something that can support you sustainably a Healthy Lifestyle.

I hope you learned something from this article. For daily inspiring Self-Care tips, you can follow me here. I’d also love to see you on our Mindfulness Course and be with your journey to a better you. You can sign-up down below.

Tips on how to Maintain Mental Wellness

Have you owned a car or bike or anything that needs maintenance for it to function longer and utilise it to its maximum usage. That may be an easy thing to do guaranteed you own whatever that thing that you have that needs maintenance, how about you don’t?

I’m asking as you might be reading this article without even knowing the how your Mental Health is. This isn’t shocking as we mostly want to be ahead of things that we sometimes forget the basic things that needed to be acknowledged first. Read more about Why Mental Health is Important here.

Having your Mental Wellness well taken care of is especially in this trying times is essential. It is needed so you can be more productive in your work which mainly is your bread and butter to have the basic needs to live. Without you being able to function well at work, you won’t be able to earn and buy the things you need.

Unfortunately, living a good life isn’t only about having material things you need at hand. Life can be full of trials no matter how rich or broke you are and no matter what circumstance in life you are in. It is important to know that being able to cope with these challenges that you need to face is part of your mental wellness as well.

But how do you make sure your mind is in good disposition? Here are some tips to help you maintain your Mental Wellness:

It pays to Plan your day well

All of us are given 24 hours in a day to do the things we need as well as rest. Your productivity always rely on how you plan your day. It doesn’t matter whether you are a SAHM, working mom, single mom–everyone of us have responsibilities and its up to us how we use our time wisely to be able to cope and deliver with them all.

It’s important to have a plan listed down whether in a planner, normal paper or on your phone’s notes. It keeps you organised and keeps you from forgetting things to do.

Another is to be mindful of your actions. If you really want to finish a lot in a day, and tick as much as you can from your phone, the maiana habit won’t be helpful. Acting head-on on your plans is the way to go.

Lastly, comparing to others your progress. Not only does it not help you in any way to do what you need to do, it also lowers your self-confidnece instead of being grateful for the small achievements you’ve done.

Have a break

As much as you want to maximise your time to be able to do more, know that you’re human and you need rest. Believe it or not, this won’t hurt your time table but instead give you the boost you need to finish more than you anticipate.

Practice a Healthy Lifestyle

No matter what type of job you’ll need an able body to function. By eating healthy and doing exercise, you’ll be assured to have a body that’s strong enough to withstand any type of job you do.

Positive Mindset

Life may be full of challenges but it’s how we react to every circumstances in life that differs. Having a positive disposition in life not only helps you lessen the stress but also gives you the advantage to be more of who you really are. Procrastinating over something you don’t have any control with is just a waste of time.

This proven study is true that even Mental Institutions like this one in Singapore concur on it.

I hope you find these tips helpful in maintaining your Mental Wellness. Remember that you are important and you must make time for you. It’s only when your cup is full that you can give more to your love ones.

Join our motherhood community by filling up this form and make sure to follow us in Instagram for daily positivity quotes and inspiration!

Stay Safe!

3 Practical lessons living in Singapore taught me about Self-Care

It’s funny how time flies so fast especially when you enjoy what you’re doing or where you are, isn’t it? For us, that’s what really happened. What originally planned as to be a year or two of finding opportunity here in Singapore turned out to be a decade where we our little family made it as its playground.

Truly the opportunities this country has given us has been great and with the guidance of the One above, our lives seems to be really planned out well. We really are just grateful of everything now.

Since Singapore would be celebrating its 56th National Day soon, I thought of doing this article. So what has Singapore taught me in the past decade and how could it be related to Self-Care?

Singapore is also well known as the “little red dot” and it isn’t called that way for no reason. If you try looking in a globe like my daughter’s, I tell you it really is easy to miss that “little red dot” as it really is small if you try finding it without any hint of where it is in the planet.

What’s amazing though is even as one of the smallest nation, it was able to climb up to the top and be recognised as one of the First World Countries in the world. So what set them apart from the others? They for sure aren’t a rich country when it comes to natural resources. I tell you, even the water that flows in our faucet is imported mostly from Malaysia.

If you noticed how young their nation is, you’ll be surprised that it’s age is fairly young and just the same age of most of your folks, which means before that time, they aren’t this kind of nation we all see on top.

So what changed and how did it happened? Below are some of my points which I like to point out that everyone can do too to ourselves if we apply as well. If a nation with little natural resources can be successful, so can you!

Putting Yourself First

Singapore as a Nation

If you didn’t know, Singapore was formerly part of Malaysia. It was due to Political unrest and economic differences that resulted in Singapore’s expulsion from Malaysia which let to Singapore’s independence on August 9, 1965. It is after that when the famous nation’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew took leadership. And truly despite its lack of natural resources, it found its way on how to succeed by focusing on what its nation have and making the most out of it and succeed.

How it can relate to you

Most of us usually play part martyr when it comes to taking care of our loved ones. We do this despite knowing the fact that we also need caring for ourselves. Disregarding this fact may have a long time effect not only in our relationship with our loved ones. Not only do we deep unvalued but also feel regretful of not being able to do what we want.

By putting yourself first in all things that you do, you are able to fill up your cup and be fully ready to give to others. There won’t be any remorse of regret in the end that you aren’t able to do thing you wanted. You’ll also be fully honest not only with your loved ones but with yourself that you’re able to give your care and love with the best version of yourself.

Discipline

Singapore as a Nation

There’s no secret that Singapore is also known as “The Fine City”. Not “fine” as in good quality but “fine” as in needing to pay for doing various things forbidden. Yes, and in Singapore, even as simple as chewing a gum is forbidden. Puzzling right, especially if you grew up in a different country where chewing gum is usually done innocently just like having eating some candy.

It may have been one of the hardest days of any Singaporean to live in when most of the things they got used to doing is suddenly forbidden but look at the nation now after just 50+ years and what it has been able to achieve. Truly those sacrifices have paid off well more than they expected and what’s greater than that is what the generation of today are able to experience and enjoy. It’s like giving a gift to your granddaughters/sons for them to live in a safe environment and a nation which they can depend on.

How it can relate to you

As simple as this word can be, it can be one of the hardest thing to do. Those early mornings you wake up just to make sure you are able to do your routine exercise before the whole household starts its chaos not only helps you keep your mind at peace but also knowing that you’ve given yourself a portion of your time in your day is something admirable.

Wanting to achieve something isn’t just about having the right resources but having that discipline within you to do whatever it takes. Life is full of hurdles and hardships and it’s only if you have the discipline to continue that will give you the motivation to continue. Without that, it’s very easy to give-up half way and never succeed.

Goals are achievable when you have the mindset

Singapore as a Nation

When Singapore got its independence, it has its goal in hand and a mindset that they can succeed. It didn’t matter if their nation lacked natural resources —they made sure to have financial resources to cover up for that and be able to import all the things the nation needs, it didn’t matter if their nation is once filled up with gangs — they made sure to change that and be disciplined enough to be recognised as one of the countries with the lowest crime rate in the world, and lastly, it didn’t matter if their nation is small — by focusing on what they have (their location) they are able to have the world’s busiest cargo seaports, be a leader in exporting electronics manufacturing and machinery, have highly driven financial services and tourism.

How it can relate to you

Well, you are you. And you aren’t just any person, you are as great and important as those well-known people in history and today IF YOU FOCUS ON YOURSELF, WHAT YOU HAVE AND YOUR GOAL.

Most people think almost immediately about the difficulties they “might” face along way, or their lack of this and that as a reason for not pursuing their goal. I tell you now, it isn’t any other person, thing, or circumstance that’s stopping you but you.

Find a way to change that mindset and start believing in yourself and everything is achievable. Perhaps start with simple things like being able to wake up early every morning to click in some “me-time” that you could either use as a time to just sip your “hot coffee” in peace or even go for a walk or run. Starting with small steps and small achievements can give you motivation in doing bigger things and bring out that confidence that you can do it because you are you!

Want to be Financially Free?

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Just the term alone gives makes everyone giddy and want to know how to do it and be it! Are you one of them too?

For others it means being able to buy everything and anything they want while for others, it may mean not needing to work. Here’s the catch though, Financial Freedom doesn’t really have a concrete definition. Instead, it is a lifestyle one wants to be in. 

Who wouldn’t! No need to think about how to pay the bills but still having more left as savings, or having a fully emergency fund set aside. Anyone would love to be in that position in life. But life isn’t that easy for most. Being the one in-charge to make decision (life-decisions) doesn’t make it any easier. Having the freedom to choose what and how to deal with circumstances in life and deal with the consequences of it is a hefty task! No wonder no matter how liberating being an adult could be, others would rather live like a child. No worries, no problems, easy life!

How do you gauge Financial Freedom, some would ask? While answering this may vary, here are the most common signs you’re headed towards that direction. 

1. You’re not a Financial prisoner

Having bills to pay, essentials and needs to be taken care of and other responsibilities in life (most of them) that needed you to be financially capable is perfectly normal. Yes! Even the riches people in the world, or even people with power deal with those responsibilities too! Well, not to the extent though of them actually scrambling for a job just to make ends meet neither pay those bills personally. They have specific people already doing those things for them. And that’s basically what everyone should aim to have.

Not the part where you don’t need to pay your bills personally but at least not be in that position to be scrambling to find money to pay them. 

Having a job doesn’t mean you’re on the right track either. That still depends, as if you hate your current job, then that simply means you’re being held captive of your job just so you could stay afloat financially. While this is what most people are into, this shouldn’t be the way to live. Life is too short to spend it in doing things you don’t like.

Don’t get me wrong though, loving a job doesn’t mean the job needs to be easy. Everyone needs a little challenge in everything they do in life for them to feel alive. If not, that job would better be given to a robot then. 

2. Know you what you want. Is it Financial Freedom you’re really aiming for or Financial Capability?

The word Freedom makes it very lucrative for anyone to fall for it but is it what we really want? Just to be free of financial worries, be able to stay at home and no need to work, no need to think of bills no more responsibilities, no, no, no! I’ll make the story cut-short, that also means you want to die already. Too harsh? Not really, that’s reality. If what you aim in life is just for the sake of breathing, then what makes you better than a person in coma with machines hooked up on them to breath?

One should live a life with purpose. Find value of themselves. You might be wondering hearing rich people often say they’re very busy working. Working? With all those money under their belt and still working? While some may say they’re just being greedy, that’s not really the reason though, for them, being rich doesn’t mean their purpose in life have ended already. 

There’s more to life to explore and be. And that’s how life should be lived. Aim for Financial Capability for it takes away the stress you’ve always hated doesn’t give your mind and body the impression that you’ll live like a vegetable in the days to come. In fact, there’s much more you can do!

Now here’s the fun part, some tips to live by in life for you to align your lifestyle with the future you want to be in. Here are some tips that would lead you to Financial Freedom:

1. Live within your means

Knowing that the people around you are too busy to look at you would probably help limit you from showing off. More and more people are living in debt just to sustain a lifestyle they’re not capable with. Live a simple life and with more truthfulness to yourself and that’s where you’ll find your happiness if not, inner peace.

2. Be mindful and aware of your situation

When was the last time you’ve checked your finances in the bank?  Being aware where your money goes helps you better plan and be conscious of your spendings.   

3. Do your homework. Know more where you can put your money, make it work and benefit from it.

It is not a secret that rich people didn’t get rich by working their a$$ off. Instead, they are wise enough to know where to put their hard earned money and make it multiple without much work. Yes, I’m talking about investing. There’s different ways to do it and that’s why it’s called a homework. We don’t do spoon feeding here. A little words of wisdom though, “If they can do it, why can’t you?”

4. Plan your way of saving. 

Too much work and saving for the future can take a toll on you and your body. That’s why I recommend to plan how you save. This way, you’ll know when you should and when you can give yourself a break from saving and instead use it as an award for working so hard. Everybody needs some time to reinvigorate. Know that it’s after much needed rest that you usually come back stronger.

5. Take care of your credit score.

Take your Credit score is like taking care of your family name. Being in debt isn’t what anyone would wish to be in a position with. so being mindful of your responsibilities with your usage of credit cards and paying up loans is really a need. By trying to keep you name clean also means your finances are being kept well managed.

6. Monitor your spendings

Do you record your spendings? Or you just make calculations in your brain and hope that everything will simply fall in place with an extra of your salary as your savings. Mental calculation can be a great skill to have but in reality, with your plate so full with other responsibilities, the last thing you want is to forget that you don’t have enough money to buy food for the coming week and your salary only comes in 2 weeks from now. Believe me, it only takes 5 minutes to write down your expenses for the day, do basic calculation and that’s it! Make it a habit to do everyday and you’ll always know where your money goes. Plus, writing this down also means freeing your brain some space to use to focus on other more important things. 

7. Slowly change the way you budget

This comes together with #6 in this list, “Monitor your spendings”. Being mindful on your spendings would show loopholes on your budgeting and make you realise where you could do some adjustments. This way, you’ll know that you’re spending where you really need to and all unnecessary spendings can be allotted for better things.

8. If you have debt, make sure it’s a good debt. If not, make plans to pay them off, as soon as possible.

Misconceptions about debt has been embedded to most of us. In fact, most of us believe it is a negative thing. A few knowledgable ones though know how to take advantage of debt. 

9. An emergency fund is essential.

It is important to know that even if we don’t see a rainbow that often, there’s always tomorrow to look forward. That’s why knowing how to balance your finances for current necessities, saving should also be valued. We all don’t know what tomorrow would bring and it would keep our worries away if we know that an emergency fund is kept in case needed.

10. Career choices

One step to reaching Financial Freedom is being able to do something in life that you truly love doing that pays. As mentioned earlier, being tied up like a prisoner of your job just to keep you financially afloat ain’t gonna give you any good. Not only would you let your life fly by beneath your nose but you’re likely to regret not having the courage to use your lifetime to do something you love.

11. Learn how to invest

As risky at it can be, investing is still considered one of the best things you can place your hard earned money if you want to make them grow faster. Gone are the days where people just leave their money in the bank to earn interest. You are wise enough to know that bank interest barely make any difference to your money nowadays. It’s safe to say that keeping money in bank is just a way of safekeeping as it isn’t also safe to carry much cash around. By keeping an open-mind and gaining knowledge on how to invest, you’ll surely find one that would fit your interest.

12. Do something that has value, that would be your legacy.

Making a lot of money not only for you but for you to be able to pass as inheritance to your successors can be a great kind of legacy. But not everyone has the capability of doing that. Don’t worry though, legacy doesn’t only mean inheritance of wealth, it can also be other things. Do something great in your life and not only your family would remember you but more people you’ve helped.