weekly goals 3.0 – stop checking my phone while driving

this week, my goal is more about breaking a bad habit that already exists. especially when i had a blackberry, the desire to look over at my messages was unbearable. that little red light that went off whenever i got a next text or phone call or email beckoned to me as i drove. now that i have an iphone, it’s a little better. i managed to go a whole day today without reading emails during red lights, and i am finding that keeping my phone out of sight really helps. succeeding in achieving this goal will most definitely make me a better driver.

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keeping up with the classics

over the past few days, i’ve marked more higher level reading books for kumon than i have in the past few months combined. a lot of these students are at the same point, reading such things as pride and prejudice and dr. jekyll and mr. hyde. then it dawned on me that i never fully made it through these classics (not to mention many others as well). so after this next round of short stories that i’ve borrowed from the library, i will set out to read pride and prejudice. i think i have a copy of it somewhere at home.

please rate your shopping experience

i’m sure it’s happened to you too – you go to a store, and after you’ve made your purchase, they tell you to go on the website or to this address to rate your shopping experience for a chance to win $1000. now, to be honest, usually i have no desire to do that. even the allure of $1000 isn’t enough for me to go online to fill in a bunch of questions about my mediocre (or lack of) service. i tell myself, what could i possibly have to say about the 3 minutes that i spent in this drug store buying toothpaste.

however, i recently went to leon’s to buy myself a new mattress. i am not someone who frequents leon’s. in fact, it is often one of my last choices, simply because i am very unfamiliar with the brand. nonetheless, i was drawn by their doorcrashing prices. i was helped by an awesome customer service rep, and ended up buying my mattress there (it was over 50% off AND it was super comfortable). when i took my receipt home, i found with it a little yellow flyer that said i could email this address to share about my experience. it didn’t even offer me any money! yet, because my experience was so positive, i sent an email anyways. to top it all off, i got a reply this morning from an actual person thanking me for my feedback, and letting me know that my CSR would be informed that he did a great job.

so there you go. if you are working in sales or retail, know that your attitude and attention really do make a difference. if someone is intent on buying something at your establishment (and not just there to browse), being a friendly and knowledgeable advisor really does help you get the job done.

weekly goals 2.0 – wake up before 8:30

so my goal for this week was to wake up before 8:30. for the past month, essentially, i have been waking up at 9 or 9:30…or sometimes even 10. i did really well yesterday because i had an early morning worship rehearsal, and so i was out the door by 7:15. today, however, i did not do so well. i spent a “bit” of time playing where’s my water last night and beat the game (ironic considering my goal last week was to only play 5 minutes at a time…i really should think about extending my goals beyond just the one week). alas, when i set my alarm for 8 am (to give me snooze time…also a bad idea in hindsight), i had little to no motivation to get up. i ended up turning my alarm off and being late for my 9 am skype date. thankfully, my mind forced me out of bed at 9:15 and i was logged in and ready to go by 9:30. well, tomorrow is a new day! and so the goals continue…

financial goals

i love to watch til debt do us part. and up until this year, i always asked myself, “how could these people be so silly? how is it possible that you have so much debt and you still don’t want to make a change?” now i realize, the answer is either you don’t want to deal (or simply haven’t dealt) with your money responsibly, or you have a problem saying no to yourself. i always thought of myself as a fairly organized and responsible person, but when it comes to finance, i am realizing just how easy it is to turn a blind eye. you may be keeping track of your daily expenses, but when you don’t graph it, total it, or compare it with what you’re making, they simply remain numbers on a page. you may know that you spent $1000 this month, but the meaning behind that changes completely when you realize you’ve only made half that amount.

there is a dire need for me to set some financial goals (and a subsequent plan to reach that), so today i am starting with building my budget. now that i have an income i can actually make a firm budget rather than the soft budget i had while i was in university. with my calculations, if i want to be debt-free by the time i’m 24, that would require me to make $1000 payments monthly starting January. with my current income that’s impossible (which is why i’ve been applying for more jobs), but i am confident this will work out.

lately, i have been reading krystal yees’s blog give me back my five bucks daily, and it has given me tons to think about and many great pointers. definitely worth a visit!

scribbling on the walls…and other things

i couldn’t sleep last night. i was thinking so much about this other blog that i wanted to create that i woke up at 3 am and proceeded to type out everything that i would want on it. i don’t know how i will manage to balance the content between these 2 blogs, but i’m sure it will all make sense in the end. this is more of my every day blog whereas that one has a very clear focus and niche on it.

completely unrelated, i am on a job application frenzy. i’ve applied to a whole bunch of jobs, and i have my resumes and cover letters ready for two more. if i want to be financially independent and debt-free by the time i’m 24, i better get on the ball. and by debt-free, i don’t mean mortage free. that i think i will have for a little while…

bad blogging etiquette

i’ve always thought of blogging as just something i can do to recount my day, my life, and the things that really stood out to me. however, the more i read blogs that i thoroughly enjoy, the more i realize that i like those blogs because they are focused. they don’t jump all over the place, talking about every aspect of the blogger’s life, but they are honed in on one thing. as tempted as i was to start an additional blog tonight that focused on that one passion, i resisted. there is no need to clutter the blogosphere with yet another short-lived blog. i will make this happen though…we shall see. that reminds me…kelvin and i ventured into food blogging a while ago. we should update that…

consider it pure joy…

…whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. perseverance much finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (james 1:2-4)

trials are a part of life. we are given them so that we can grow, and so that we can experience new things. for me, the move to kingston was, and continues to be, one such trial. something that i have not doubted is that God wants me to be here in this city. not only can i continue to serve Him and be involved in different ministries, He has also given me the chance to contribute in my own way to the community. i have loved being close to kelvin and his family, to my sister, and to all the lovely things this city has to offer. at the same time, the seeming idleness that comprises most of my day has been slowly taking a toll on my creativity, my motivation, and my love for this place.

when you’re in school, you look longingly to the summer, when you will be free to do whatever you want on your own schedule (and, i suppose, your work schedule). you pine for those days where you can actually do nothing if you feel like it. the past month has been a little bit like that. i have no set time i really need to wake up, so it’s often 9:30 or 10 by the time i get out of bed. i have a few hours to read and do random things until i head off to volunteering or to work. when i come home, i eat, maybe play some games, or just relax. i am very thankful for this break, but i know that it’s time to get moving again.

in the midst of all this, i am planning for the imminent move into my new house. i am so excited for it, and i cannot wait to make it my own. however, the reality of paying for the maintenance of a home, all the things that come with it, furnishings, repairs…it’s really overwhelming. being the stubborn person that i am, i really wanted to manage all this on my own, but i realized it was virtually impossible with my current resources. thankfully, i have been blessed with people around me who support me and who have encouraged me to fix my eyes on Christ first and foremost. kelvin, who is somehow always able to lift my spirits, reminded me of God’s providence – He might not provide for me through anonymously sending me the money i need, but He will make sure i have my necessities, in His own way.

and as always, God continues to be faithful. He has been answering my prayers at the speed of lightning (which leaves me entirely amazed). i haven’t been able to make it out to prayer meetings at church because of my work schedule, but i am encouraged that they have been supporting me in prayer. the one week we were getting really exasperated with our house hunt, we lifted it up to God, and by the next week, we had found a house, and had successfully purchased it. and yesterday, they prayed for my job search, and by the end of the prayer meeting, we got news that the occasional teacher list for the board here had opened up. i know that prayers will not always be answered this quickly, and this directly, but may this serve as a reminder for me in the same way that the stones reminded the israelites of God’s faithfulness.

God is faithful, and He loves us. May all glory and praise go to Him.

a bucket list of sorts

i am a person who really loves lists. i love creating them, completing them, and changing them up. often times, i will start a list or embark on some sort of ambitious adventure, only to fall short by a lot. for example, i wanted to eat in more, and that lasted all of 3 days. from this, i can infer something about myself – i tend to like shorter deadlines. as such, my next little project will run on 1-week cycles. the plan is for me to give myself a new challenge each week. these will be meaningful little actions, most of which will free up more of my time/energy/resources to just enjoy life. the others will probably be for my own good (and health). i will keep track of them on this page. okay, begin!