I have always been thinking to revive my old blog, which I created from blogspot years ago (maybe a decade ago). But nothing compares to writing blog in my own website, like now. It is exciting to record my happiness and progress, to share things I have learned.
Looking back in the last few years, there are too many things happened on me, many were obstacles, from work, relationship, financial, family and even health (the least thing I wish to mention). But I believe good things would be coming to me, as long as I had the will to change, and the change should start from myself.
In the beginning of 2016, I still had a rough start, I faced the situation I had to be apart from someone I rely a lot on. But I found it was just the right time for me to start thinking more about what I want to achieve in my life, not for others.
I knew clearly that I wish to have a peaceful, happy, slow-pace life, as my ultimate goal. To achieve this ultimate goal, I need to build retirement saving, I need to stay strong in health, I need to find balance and ways to make myself happy and to always think positively.
Although I know I am later than a lot of others to start planning for myself, but I know it is better late than never, I am not embarrassed to start it all over by my own pace.
Below are some highlights on what I have achieved from my own target with my own slow pace:
i) Finding a new job
– I found a new job opportunity and I resigned from my last company in September, which I worked for 4 years and 5 months. It had been such a stressful time for almost 3 years in that company and I only left it now. I made a right choice, to leave the negativity far away. I was having various health issues during that 3 years though I know I should not blame them all on the work but the work environment was definitely one big factor
ii) Improving my Japanese language proficiency
– I decided to challenge myself to take the final test (JLPT N1) which I was so afraid to take it as I was not ready to push myself for it. I registered myself for the test and I sat for it in December
– I have been studying since my application and I am working my best to get myself passed this test (test result will be out in February 2017)
iii) Improving my health
– After I moved in to a new place, I have got the chance to make use of the kitchen more often and freely, so I started to prepare my own meal and eat my breakfast and dinner at home
– I made sure I had nutritious breakfast, I try to include various vegetables in my every meal, and fruits in my almost everyday
– I started to do a lot more exercises and I found running is the one I could keep doing and feel happy doing it in the rest of my life so I took my first challenge for a half marathon (though I had never participated in any before), I managed to finished the run by 2hours and 6minutes, I think it was not a bad first half marathon record
– I also started joining badminton games on weekend, I sweated a lot from the games and I also experienced the pain on my body parts that came along in the 1-2 days after the game (my body was not used to work that much for continuous 3 hours play), but I enjoyed each game I attended
– The best thing I learned will be I am becoming a better cook for myself
iv) Keep up my work for Photography
– I am not a sociable person so I have been holding on to accept some offers from someone who asked for my services but I accepted 2 this year (one was a solo portrait, another one was a couple) and I realized it could be so much fun to work with someone I do not know
– It was great to hear they actually loved my work
– The best part is I finally will get my own website which not just showcases my portfolio, but also let me write blog in my own website
v) Learn about investment and start it soon
– This is another part which I was so scared to look into, simply because I know this is the part which can possibly bring me to better future financially, yet I did not know a single thing about it and I was so timid to learn it
– I bought some books to read about it and finally I pushed myself to start something, which was very low risk investment with bank, I am happy I started it
– I also changed my saving plan to a higher interest bank account (360 OCBC account), which brought me interest amount which I have never got from POSB before
– I went down to OCBC branch to open a trading account with them; at the same time applied for CDP account
vi) Meet up with group in same interest
– To end the year of 2016, I pushed myself to participate in same interest group meeting (Meetup.com) which I have heard of it almost 7 years ago and told myself to join some of them but I did not ever stepping up to join one. I gave myself too many excuses but I knew in deep heart, I was just scared of meeting new people. However I know well that joining groups and meet more people is the key to learn anything faster than reading things by my own
– I joined one group focusing on Japanese language conversation and turned out it was not as bad as I expected, I got chance to practice the language with new friends
vii) Do a lot of reading
– I know I always enjoy reading and I also know I have not been doing so since I started my first job (too much time on smartphone, and entertainment). With my new job which requires a travel time of 1.5hr each way, it gave me a lot of chance to pick up the reading habit and I have read 6-7 books from Oct-Dec 2016 and I know I will continue this pleasure in 2017
Overall, year 2016 brought a lot to me, most of them were more than I expected I could have achieved.
I think someone has been watching over me, and it has to be my angel Mary.
What excited you the most in 2016?