Tuesday, November 23, 2010

6 Steps to Tackle Procrastination

Is there something you’re procrastinating in your life now? 

For example,
• Finishing your work
• Getting a new job you’re passionate about
• Looking for your soul mate
• Losing weight
• Starting a business

Procrastination is one of the biggest time wasters in life. When we procrastinate, we waste away valuable free time and put off important tasks we should be doing until it’s too late. When that happens, we panic and wish we started earlier. I know a few chronic procrastinators, and unfortunately they spend their lives in the cycle of delaying, putting off important tasks, procrastinating, avoiding work, and doing work only when it’s inevitable. It’s unfortunate because they are disgruntled with their lives and they often self-victimize about their situations, when they have put themselves there in the first place.

It doesn’t have to be that way at all. You can take conscious action over procrastination to create the life that you want. Here, I will share 6 useful steps to tackle the procrastination bug:

1. Set goals that you want
If you’re not springing into action, there is probably a lack of desire towards the goal. Rather than push yourself through with the process, let’s start off with the very basic. Do you want this goal? If your answer is “no”, that means this isn’t a goal to pursue in the first place. If that’s the case, pressing on isn’t a solution. Ditch those goals, get back to the drawing board and start forming new goals. Identify the goals that really inspire you.

2. Understand why you want the goal
Understanding why you want the goal will help you get clear of your inner motivations. Whether your goal is weight loss, to change a job, to find your life partner, ask yourself: Why do you want this goal? Write down as many answers as possible, until you feel a strong drive and motivation. The objective is to connect you with your inner desire for the goal. This ‘Why’ is the fuel that’ll drive you towards your goal. If you don’t have a good ‘Why’, you’ll eventually face a lack of interest and give up halfway. With a strong ‘Why’, it’ll drive you to accomplish anything you want to, and overcome whatever is ahead.

3. Develop a clear plan with specific deadlines
A clear plan with specific deadlines is crucial. If you don’t have that, you won’t know the effects day-to-day procrastination has your end outcome. In your mind, there is a foggy idea of what you need to do and when you need to do it. Since there isn’t a clear idea of what needs to be done by when, your impression is that even if you procrastinate for a little while, nothing gets impacted. So you let yourself relax, thinking you can get to it later on.

However, every time you procrastinate, something is implicated. You just don’t know because you don’t have a clear plan outlined. Develop a plan to achieve your goal. Your plan should include the steps you need to take and specific deadlines for each task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date.

4. Break your work into little steps
I remember when I was working on my 1st ebook, The Personal Excellence Book, a few months ago, I would procrastinate on it day after day. It would be months before I realized that I was never ever going to get to it unless I did something different. I realized I was putting it off because I saw it as a huge task and it was mentally overwhelming.

So then, I broke down the project into phases such as researching, deciding on the topic, creating the outline, drafting the content, writing the chapters, and so on. Suddenly, the whole thing seemed very manageable. From there, I just focused on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I moved on to the next. My ebook was launched just a few months ago with pre-sales being maxed out in the first couple of hours.

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. It’ll be so simple that it’s easy to start!

5. Drop the perfectionist mindset
As contradicting as it may be, a perfectionist mindset leads to procrastination. Have you ever thought put off your work because you feel like it’s too much work? That’s the perfectionist side of you thinking – in your mind, you see the work to be done in a certain way, to a certain level. However, if you think about it, that sort of mindset doesn’t serve you. For what it’s worth, doing just a wee bit of something is better than not doing at all. Just start off small. Even if it’s a lousy draft, it gets things started. It’s from that 1st draft that you build on to the next draft.

When I write my articles, I always split the work over several days. My objective when I first write it is not to get everything right, but just to get the key ideas down and have a brief outline. It doesn’t even have to look a certain way – editing comes in the later stages. I find that this system of writing makes me a lot more productive than trying to finish 1 whole blog post in 1 sitting.

6. Create accountability
The more accountable you are to your goal, the more better. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects. This creates an even stronger motivation to stick to your plans and achieve your goals. For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

This article was originally published on DumbLittleMan.com.
Written on 11/09/2010 by Celestine Chua. Celestine writes at The Personal Excellence Blog, where she shares her best advice on how to achieve personal excellence and live your best life. Get her RSS feed directly and add her on Twitter @celestinechua.

Friday, November 19, 2010

2010 is almost coming to an end

The year is almost over. Again, it’s time we sit comfortably in our own thinking space and reflect the year’s events. What were achieved? What were placed aside until more time but never found the right time?
My resolutions for the year 2010 were pretty easy to remember, although not as easy to accomplish. It was to:

1. To be happy and stay happy
2. To spread happiness
3. To love and be loved

Reflecting back to the emotional roller-coaster of the year, my conclusion is being happy is easy, staying happy isn't. We are all born to experience the pure delight and pleasurable feeling of happiness. As a kid, it’s easy to feel happy. However, as we proceed to adulthood, more and more discontentment in life causes an imbalance inner feeling to occur. Nothing is ever enough. Nobody is ever good enough.

So, this year I’ve learn to be contented with life. 

To accept who I am, the true me. 

To be grateful for every waking moment feeling the warmth of the sun shine, for the time spent with loved one…

To have family & friends who stay true to me and always there to support my back.

To be loved truly, madly and deeply by Bubbles.

However, to stay happy is the actual challenge. There is still one particular area in my life that is still bothering me which causes so much emotional rollercoaster that I am almost numbed at heart. This one particular area has been so draining that it stole the sunshine and cheerfulness in me, leaving me a different person… empty and hollow.

Having just finished the book EAT PRAY LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert, it has given me inspirations for my next year’s resolutions. It is a great book about a woman’s desire to search for life. To search for a deeper meaning in her life. To live her life. To truly be herself and her needs. Her adventures truly moved my heart in ways that I am unable to interpret with words.

So, the only one thing for me to do now til we say goodbye to 2010 is to seriously consider my own desire. 

 One of the highlights of 2010 will be a special trip to my childhood dream...

 and to meet my childhood best friends!
Thanks to Bubbles for making it happened...

Another highlight of the year would be our gals quick getaway trip to Krabi. It is just so impossible to get everyone together on a trip that this opportunity doesn't come very often. It is definitely a blessing!

 And not forgetting the amazing adventure with Bubbles in Chicago!

Chicago is where I can freely express who I am... bare-naked me... and I am talking about spiritually, not physically!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Our love

Look not for beauty
Nor whiteness of skin
But look for the heart
That is loyal within

For beauty may fade
And white skin grow old
But the heart that is loyal
Will never grow cold

- Marie Davis -

And this is just us.

That is our love.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Are we thinking too much?

Sometimes I do think that life is much happier when we think less. Are we thinking too much?

Take this as an example; Friends made a remark on your dress “Hey! Short skirt…looks ok..”

If this friend is a good friend then this remark would be taken lightly. However, if this friend is someone you have a bad history with; the remark would be translated as “Cute skirt… on elephant legs!”…

Or maybe… just maybe… her comment is “Hey! Short skirt… looks ok..”. Really, that’s it!

Most of the time, we tend to group people up in categories or as a certain stereotypes. And then a lot of times, we interpret conversations based on their categories.  

Why would our brains work this way? I’ve seen people who are blind to what’s going on around them. Well, are they really blind or they just simply don’t think about it? Maybe they just don’t want to know what’s going on and move on with their own life. 

You see, most people care less about what you do because they spend most of it caring about themselves and what others think of them. In other words, they are busy just minding their own business.

I want to learn from the innocently blinded people who seem to flow through the day not caring about what’s going on in the background. They just moved on and be happy. Life will certainly be happier!

Well, because you've read this... now is time to move on and enjoy a wonderful Sunday spent with loved ones... Cheers!

Time for me to play with my doggy!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Autumn getaway to Hong Kong and Macau!

Another autumn spent in Hong Kong and a little in Macau. Although it is not my first time there but lots have changed since the last time I've been there. I'm not talking about the place but myself that has changed tremendously.

I would say the highlights of this trip would definitely be Disneyland (my childhood dream to be there!), Madame Tussauds, the transportation & the busiest streets of Hong Kong, and of course not forgetting all the delicious cuisine we tried during out stay in both Hong Kong and Macau.

We spent the first day in Macau and the last day before we end our journey... 
So, let's start with Macau...
 Just the three of us.

We reached Macau at about 4-5pm by AirAsia and took a free shuttle to the grand Venetian Hotel located at Taipa, Macau. The interior of the hotel is so unique and the ceilings are almost like a huge painting. 

 The gorgeous ceiling of the Venetian Hotel

The first night we tried their local Portuguese food, which is pretty much like a baked of everything. Not exactly my cup of tea I would say...

 This is the Portuguese restaurant we went to that apparently lots of famous people would recommend. According to the walls full of photos of celebrities. Among them was Coco from Coco Cooks (a taiwanese beauty going around Asia trying out local cuisines and pretending to cook some herself)

 This is one of their special dish; Baked Chicken Rice, which is very famous among their locals. The waitress told us that people purposely came to their place for this... 

The taste is just like another dish of cheese baked rice, with a few small pieces of chinese sausages (lap cheong) on the surface. Nothing much to shout about really.

Another of their must try dish. Baked Cod fish.
I can not actually taste any cod fish for each bite was full of thick creamy cheese and potatoes. Only occasionally do I bite into tiny broken pieces of unrecognized fish.
After this meal, we could not drop another grain of rice into our mouth without feeling like the rest of dinner might pour out of our stomach!

The price was kinda on the high side. Hmm... not a worthy meal.

On the same street, we tried this place the next day before we left for Hong Kong. It was recommended by Diana's friend and the Crab Porridge is the must-try dish...

 The porridge was full of the crab's sweetness and I like the way they cooked the porridge. The texture is smooth and the not too watery. Although the crab is not easy to eat this way and we skipped the crab meat!

As for sight seeing, nothing much to do in Macau if you're not a casino person. We went to the Ruins of St. Paul early in the morning, hoping to catch a glimpse of the beautifully burnt building. It truly looks as what it promises... beautifully ruined building. 

If you want to read more on the history of the Ruins of St. Paul, click here.

Senado Square is a paved area in the centre of the former Portuguese colony of Macau, enclosed by the buildings of the Leal Senado, the General Post Office, and St. Dominic's Church. The square is paved in the traditional Portuguese pavement.

It is also located just a corner from the Ruins of St. Paul and where we tried Wong Chi Kei's famous Wan Tan (Dumpling) Noodles. They also have a branch in Hong Kong located at Central.
Click here for more info!

If you want to see more delicious mouth-watering photos of their food, click here.

 The noodles was alright, a little too dry for me :P The soup was better with a tinge of ginseng taste.

 We also went to Mount Fortress which is located just next to the Ruins of St. Paul.

 Mount Fortress, built in 1617-26, occupies a hilltop to the east of the ruins of St. Paul′ s. It was constructed by the Jesuits as part of a complex which also included the college and church of St. Paul′ s. The canons were used only once, when the Dutch invaded Macau in 1622. This was also the first residence of the governors of Macau.

 The night view of the luxury Grand Lisboa Hotel + Casino
If you've got the money, try staying at this hotel. The price of the room is amazing!
Do check out the 360 degrees Virtual tour in their website...

I see alot of casinos along the road...

 We were lured into this restaurant by a woman who is about my grandmother's age but with eyes as smoky as a runway model.

She claimed that if we did not step into her shop, we will be robbed by other restaurants because her price is no doubt the cheapest and the food is the best!

So we stepped in...

 We tried talking to her... but her personality is as scary as her overdone smoky eyes...

 The food... it was yummy!
This plate of sweet + sour pork rice can feed at least 2 person.

The price was certainly reasonable, comparing to the rest we have browsed.

The last day of our stay in Macau, we decided to leave in style...
 Sharksfin rice...

With an abalone!

A word of advice, Macau is not a very huge island. Get some of these guides from any hotel and follow your instinct. It will never go wrong!

Coming up next! 
Disneyland & Madame Tussauds adventure! 
Stay tuned...