What are you planning for 2011?

Resolutions, goals, plans, call them whatever you want, we all have them; you may hate the term ‘resolutions’ when it comes this time of the year, but truth is, we all are always planning, working, and hoping for something. Whether you keep yours as yearly resolutions or not (I do this, but actually divide most of my goals in six months plans), tell me, what is your list?

Mine is divided in two groups, Static and Ongoing. I consider the Ongoing to be the most important, it is constantly evolving and it goes pretty much like this:

  • Eat more fruits – I am a terribly picky  eater, and I’m not really used to incorporate them into my diet. I’m not very tolerant of all of them, but I’ll try to eat them more. Even eating one everyday is a lot more than I do right now.
  • Cut on my Candy addiction – I wrote about this on The 88 days project. Sadly I gotta say, this is one of the hardest goals for me to achieve, I have such a sweet tooth. Still, I’m not a quitter (even though this very goal involves quitting on something :P) and I will double my efforts for this
  • Drink more water – I used to drink about 2 – 3 liters of water a day, but nowadays I barely drink any. I need to get that habit back.
  • End my year with at least 3 important clients – Since I set my business, I’ve been procrastinating a bit on my networking, but I’m working on it already, I am working with 3 good clients right now, one of them a corporation that hired me in the past for a short project, and is willing to hire me again for a year-long project. I’m happy.
  • Improve my web skills – During 2011 I’ll take a special course on this.
  • Keep my life organized – I hate to admit it, but I’m one of those people who really needs to write a list of steps and plans of action to keep my life in place. This week I’ll be showing you guys how I’m planning to organize my Moleskine for this.
  • Save money! – This goes hand in hand with cutting on my candy addiction, since most of my money goes on this. I’ll create a budget and I’ll stick to it. I already have a savings account.
  • Try to finish one of my careers – If things go as I’m planning, this year will be my last year in school as an ‘under-pressure-student’ (meaning, my mom will finally get a title to brag about) don’t take me wrong, I love what I do, but I just want to get over with it. 😀
  • Learn a new language – Portuguese to be precise. I already understand it a bit (since it’s so similar to spanish) but I want to be able to speak it, and since I was able to teach myself English, I try to do it to with Portuguese, We’ll see. 😀
  • Keep the love in my life – As you guys know I’m in a relationship of over a year right now, I love this man more than I can possibly express, that’s why, I’m planning on a major relationship review soon, just to make sure everything is good and dandy. 😀
  • Work out more!! – I’ve been postponing this for so long, and I need to really get my hands on it now.

On the other side, Static list involves things I just want to do and then be over with.

  • Go to the dentist.
  • Get out of debt.
  • Buy a new camera.
  • Clean my house and throw everything I no longer remember having.
  • Get into as many classes as possible.
  • Invest.

As you can see, in general, I think I need to pay more attention to my health, and work on school, everything else, will just come along.

To keep myself motivated and remember the things I want to do, I’ll copy this list on my Moleskine and also, my new journal and I’ll practice major manifesting (That Gala Darling podcast is seriously one of my favorites, I’ve heard it over a hundred times and it always serves a great inspiration) and EFT (One of the cool things about EFT is that you don’t have to believe in it, for it to work, so you guys should try it).

So, tell me, What are your plans?

My fashion essentials: Gloves

I have many fashion obsessions, I adore all kind of McQueen Shoes, hot pink accessories, lingerie and Chloe handbags. Among these, one of the things I love the most, are leather gloves. It’s not just about my latest obsession with Lady GaGa and the fact that she loves to wear them, it’s about the sexy feeling in your hands when you wear them, it’s about how incredibly comfortable and warm they keep you, and of course, it’s about how classic and stylish they look, I just love them all, fingerless, driver, half scoop, I love them!

As you may remember from my 5 self-indulgent things list, I’d always wanted to own a pair of good leather gloves in black… or hot pink. Well, Today, I got the chance to finally buy a pair.

They are so cute, I love them, I got them from my local Zara store, they were the last pair, and they were (surprisingly) in good conditions (I hate it how people tend to be careless when they try on this kind of things on the store). They’re a gift from my mom, and they come just in time since the cold season is just starting.

I tend to spend a lot of my time riding a friend’s motorbike, and you have no idea how cold my fingers can get, now I can’t wait to wear them!

If you’d never had the chance to try a pair of leather (or even good quality faux-leather if that’s your call) gloves, you have no idea what you’re missing, once you try them you’ll never go back to mittens or knitted gloves, besides, they’ll draw a lot of attention to your hands, and they’ll look much sexier on these.

Give these a chance, I promise you won’t regret incorporating them into your winter wardrobe, leather gloves are always in fashion, and I definitively love how mine look and I’m sure I’ll give them a lot of use.

Places to shop?

Ines Gloves has a very wide selection of fashion, and winter gloves, for both sexes.
Leather Gloves Online is an obvious choice including all sorts of functional and stylish gloves.
Zara and Mod Clothes also have amazing styles.


My Daily Moleskine

Please,ignore my spanish

As you may have read, I bought a bunch of Moleskine notebooks a few weeks ago. Among them I bought a pocket-size ruled notebook, I planned on using it to keep myself organized. I’m the kind of person who needs to have everything on paper, but (I have to admit it) I suck at keeping up with printed organizers and even PDA’s, I even have two Moleskine daily planners (I bought them for two different purposes, don’t give me that look!).

I’m just more of a free writer; some days, I barely have anything to do, some others, I need to write very long lists of pending tasks, for this, I need something I can use my own way, something I can personalize in case I need it.

I started checking various GTD systems, but I find them so rigid, I know I won’t keep up with them. And It wasn’t until I read Gala Darling’s guide to her very own Filofax, I came up with a different idea, that I KNEW would help me organize myself. This is how i did it:

When you open my Moleskine, the first thing you encounter is a manifesto, I wrote to remind myself to stay positive. of course, ‘Letting sequins into my life’ it’s there. On the first two pages, you can see a calendar I printed including just the months from July – December, remember, my planner covers only these months. From the next pages on, I separated my Moleskine into twelve sections (yes, twelve!):

  1. Daily – A week in two pages.
  2. 2011 – For any upcoming event or information that does not fit in my 2010 planner.
  3. Projects – A few pages for project ideas, notes or lists.
  4. Manifesting – I also believe in manifesting to make happen.
  5. I love – Making ‘I love’ lists or statements has saved me from madness a lot of times.
  6. Music – I constantly need places to write songs/bands I discover and I want to download or learn more about.
  7. Movies – Also, movies I want to learn more about, watch, or just check facts on.
  8. Ideas for articles – Here I write Ideas for new blog posts, or articles on El Espejismo.
  9. Lists – I am a list-maker. I need lists all the time.
  10. 88 days – Here i keep a list of my goals for the 88 days project.
  11. Spending – A detailed section where I revise how much I spend every week and what on.
  12. Extra – Notes, songs, scribbles, love letters, etc. Anything goes.

Most of the sections are pretty much self-explanatory, but also, some of them are a little more personal and I designed them to cover a specific need of mine.

  • Projects – I don’t know if I’ve ever said this here before, but I tend to get ultra creative at night, when I feel super tired and desperate to go to bed, this is when I think ‘I should paint this, I should do that’ sometimes I do it (like right now, I decided to write this and here you have me), sometimes I feel too tired to start some real action. But when I decide to get my hands on it, it’s normally when my whole week gets messed up as I tend to stay up until I finish what I start (then again, like right now) leaving me too tired to be productive on the next day. Having a place to write all these ideas help me go to bed knowing I can get my hands on it on the next day without the risk of forgetting the super fantastic idea I just had.
  • I love – It’s not the first time I write here about how focusing in what I love about my life has saved me from depression, madness and angst. I just write short sentences of love and gratitude, and then I write the date. Even going back to read them makes me feel positive.
  • Ideas for articles – If you click on ‘Future posts’ on the column of the right, it will take you to a password protected page, here I keep a list of ideas for future articles and posts, but when I am not in my computer and I have a brilliant idea for an article, I normally have to write it on my cellphone as a reminder. Sometimes I get them and end up forgetting about them. Well, not anymore. Here I can collect all of those without having to run to my laptop in the risk of forgetting.
  • Lists – One of my best friends once told me that writing a to-do list gave her an accomplishment feeling; I’ve been there, but in my case, things are a bit different. I am one of those unlucky beings that need to write everything in a sort of step-by-step list that helps me remember what needs to come next. As I’ve said  hundreds of times before ‘Asperger is to blame’. You can imagine my listing section takes over almost as many pages as my ‘Daily planner’ does.
  • Extra – This little extra  is one of my favorite sections. I love to write, scribble and sketch, and normally on regular planners I don’t have as much space as I would like for this. This section, being one of the ones I use the most, starts from the last page on, going backwards, which combines it with my 88 days section, this way, I am not limited by the number of lists I can make, and my doodling creativity has no limits as well.

I colour coded all my events, that ways I can tell from the outside what’s coming. At the very end I keep some post-its and colour flags just in case I need them. Also, in the pocket, I have a small address book (Which I am still thinking about, since I rarely use address books), a couple of business cards just so I don’t have to dig through my purse looking for them, and the receipts I have to take care of.

So, how do you organize yourselves?

The 88 days project

Your power lies in knowing that you are always changing and being responsible for the quality of that change. If every 88 days or so your body completely regenerates then in 3 months time you can be a whole new you! Now that’s real power. So what are you going to do with all that power?

Pretend it doesn’t exist and keep behaving like a victim in all your old habits? Or take charge of the situation and Re-invent yourself?
Go on I dare you!

The body coach reinvented

A few days ago, my friend Dafne showed me the quote above and it got me thinking about how hard would it really be to change my life, to transform myself into someone different, someone who made me happier than I am right now.

I made a short list about the things I would like to improve or even completely change about my life, things from fears, insecurities, etc. And after revising it a bit, I thought ‘Why not changing them in 88 days?’ That’s how I’ve come with the idea of The 88 days project.

I decided I would work on it for each and every single day on the following 88 starting last monday, which means that by  Oct 14 I will have accomplished all my goals, So to make it even more official (Cause I know that if I keep it to myself I will probably end up procrastinating and eventually forgetting about it) I am keeping a registry of this on my daily planner,and I’m also writing a part of the ever-expanding list of…

Things to work on the next 88 days

  1. Conquering my fear of the dark
  2. Cutting the negative people out of my life
  3. Improving my already awesome relationship
  4. Setting AminoKou as a formal business
  5. Writing more articles for El Espejismo
  6. Paying more attention to my health
  7. Working on my relationship with my mom
  8. Saving!!!
  9. Stopping my media dependance
  10. Reclaiming my identity
  11. Cutting my candy addiction from the root.

There’s more of course, some of the things I decided to work on are a bit more personal, but after all this whole process is just about redirecting your focus and re-entering your life with a new more positive attitude. It’s all about creating a new you.

How to do it?

As of Monday I started working on my intense fear of darkness. It may sound silly or childish to say so, or it may even remind you of that 90’s canadian-american TV show, but I’ve been terribly afraid of the dark for about 5 years. Yes,pretty irrational,but that’s precisely how phobias act: irrationally, messing with a part of your brain you don’t really get. I don’t really know how it started, cause I remember not being like this until recently. So I began exposing myself  to the thing I was most afraid of: Sleeping in the dark.

I normally sleep with my TV on, which I am aware is not the healthiest thing to do; not only you’re exposed to the radiation emitted by the TV during your sleep hours, but also, all this noise does not really allow you to rest properly, So, on monday night I decided I would turn my tv off, and instead of sleeping with my regular cartoon channel on, I left my laptop on playing When Harry met Sally until I fell asleep. Last night, instead of a movie I read a bit until I decided I was sleepy enough to go to bed without spending the well-known minutes worrying about the dark. It worked. I woke up at 3 am once and then again at 5 30 cause I was having a nightmare, but I consider this to be a huge success.

Even though waking up after my nightmare was terrifying and I even thought of slowing my pace. I did not turn the TV on, and I won’t do it tonight, instead, I am trying it again.

That’s what it’s all about, doing what it takes to help you reach your goal. For example, I want to cut my media dependance. How can I do this? Identifying where is my dependance coming from, and slowly walking away from it. In my case it’s all from TV and Internet,So I’m going to start slowly getting away from these two. I’m not cutting it completely, I’m just going to use them less and fill the extra time with healthier activities.

That’s All, just list what you want to change, identify how each point behaves and break it! You can even indulge yourself after you have accomplished one of your goals, I know that after I get to sleep quietly in full dark I will buy something to cheer me up! It doesn’t even have to be something expensive, even a cheap set of bangles will do.

I am aware that the most difficult part for me will be cutting off the negative people, but I have to try it, and I’ll set my most decadent prize for this one.

Are you joining me on this? If so, what are your plans for the next 88 days? I am so excited. I’ll keep you posted on my 88 days journey.

Your Ringo-ish Guide to Survive the Holidays (X-mas edition)

Then again It’s ‘That’ time of the year. Suddenly everything turned red, green and gold, and everyone is either on an incredible good mood or really stressed out. So, this is your very own Ringo-ish guide to survive the Holidays, at least on the way it works for me, with a few tips on how to make it a bit more celebratory if things seem not to be working in the way you expect them to.

  • Be cooperative. Holidays are always stressing, and it’s easy to come out with a long list of things left to do. Help your family, or whomever you’re spending christmas with.
  • Set aside some time for yourself. It’s always cool to spend time with your loved ones, but everyone needs a moment to unwind and just read a magazine or watch a cool documentary while everyone is going crazy over dinner.
  • Go out, but not too much. I know, this is the time for partying around, but don’t go too over the top. Find a balance between your family, your friends and yourself.
  • Don’t leave everything to the last-minute. If you have the money and the time, don’t leave your christmas shopping to the last day. Everyone does it, and I can guarantee you will spend in the stores twice the time you would spend there if you only do it even a few days earlier.
  • Speaking of shopping, don’t forget to buy something for yourself. Getting something for yourself in a time when you normally shop for others, makes it even more special.
  • Take some time to thank. For real. Even if it’s just thank for having some time away from school/work, thank for it. It will make you feel better during this time.
  • Let yourself feel like a kid. Do you remember when you were younger and watched Charlie Brown’s Christmas on TV? Do you remember how much you used to enjoy it? Why not doing it again?
  • Watch a movie that has nothing to do with Christmas. And I mean, nothing. This is the best time of the year to watch those scary movies you’re never brave enough to watch. None can be scared during Xmas, that’s for sure.
  • Watch a movie that has everything to do with Christmas. Specially after the previous one. May I recommend any Meg Ryan Romantic movie? Not all of them are Xmas themed but somehow you always get the feeling they are.
  • Avoid the drama. Remember that when you spend too much time with someone, (in this case, family, friends, roommates or your loved one) everyone can get a bit over sensitive. Take time to breath away before you say anything you may not want to. Things tend to be magnified on special occasions.
  • After the celebration is over, and after everyone is already on bed, take some time  to enjoy it with yourself, sit a moment alone next to your tree, feel the last moments of holiday bliss. Remember that it comes just once a year, so try to get the best out of it.

And that’s all, be sure you enjoy it. Set your mind on it from now. You still have time to put all of this point in practice, so start today!

Happy holidays!

– Kou

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