Just an ordinary girl's life

Mid Year Goals Review

I talk a lot about monthly goals, weekly plans, daily to dos and things like that, because I’m mostly a left brain type and these things just make me feel more at ease.

I talked about the way I approach yearly goals back in January, and I believe in that approach even more now (I’m speaking only for myself, of course). So when I saw Alexis’ video on youtube on how to make a mid year review a couple of days ago, I almost immediately jumped in.


Rather than talking about how I’m doing for each area I had set goals for, I prefer taking into consideration all the things that can help me do even better in the upcoming months. When I think about it, the real reason why I’m not accomplishing my goals has (almost) nothing to do with the goals themselves but mostly with time management.


Things that I implemented and that are helping me right now:

(a) a night time routine; great for unwinding and unplugging, reducing stress and enjoy some me-time before sleeping. My current nighttime routine includes reviewing all the tasks on my to do list (checking off all the completed ones + re-assigning those that are not), sorting and tidying my desk, skincare routine, herbal tea and book reading.

(b) a clutter-free desk and room, which is the result of both purging and finding a place for every single item I own; this is helped by the night time practice of tidying up what I used during the day as stated above.

(c) a brain dump section in my planner; I don’t know why it took me so long to figure this out, but it has been a huge a-ha moment for me and I honestly wonder how I could function before without it. I still have a digital brain dump section on my phone for when I’m out and about, but being able to write things manually has been an essential clear-out for my brain.

(d) unplug after 9pm; I don’t have any sleep problems so I don’t do it for the sake of a better night rest, but as much as I love (and use) technology everyday, I don’t like the way we often feel compelled to be omnipresent on line. I prefer to take some serious me-time away from what anybody else is posting on instagram or writing on twitter, and dedicate quality time to those activities that really matters to me like reading and relaxing with the plus one. 

(e) a trustworthy weekly calendar for writing things as both forward planning and reference; as much as I love planners and experimenting with different solutions/combinations, I still feel the need of having one piece of stationery I can trust and that meets my expectations well enough for me to use it all year around. I found this form of planner piece with my Paperblanks Slim Weekly Planner and it has worked out so well for me that I’ll probably go for it next year as well.

(f) a meal planning system; I’m not always able to stick to it 100% during the week but the simple fact of not having to think about what to eat everyday 3 times a day is a tremendous advantage.

(g) a constant physical review of my planner pages (to dos, projects, notes, brain dump), similar to GTD system.

(h) a predisposed day for all admin and finances (Thursday); sometimes the day of the week can change (often postponed to Friday) but the idea of one day dedicated to this specific task helps me avoid procrastination, as this is task number 1 that for some mysterious reason I dread doing.

(i) a almost streamlined blog workflow (finally), based on Trello + Wunderlist + handwritten notes.

(l) letting go when the things on my plate are too many; painful but also incredibly stress relieving.


Things are still lacking in my system:

(i) a morning routine: I have some things I ideally would like to do first thing in the morning but I almost never get to do them all, and most of the time I end up wasting a good chunk of morning even though I woke up pretty early. Things are not made easier by the fact that I have to relate to the significant other’s schedule, but I’m aware of the fact that this is just a side hindrance. The truth is I’m not taking responsibility for my own time and I’m acting like I’m not the one in charge.

(ii) a structured weekly schedule, which just pairs up with the point above; it’s ok to try to plan smart and leave some space to allow flexibility (considering I have to take other people’s schedule into consideration), but no structure at all is not a solution as well. I have to learn to take appointments with myself and stick to them if I really wanna start working properly towards my goals.

(iii) a structured daily schedule, again. This is especially important for exercising, because as much as I’m willing to find time for it in my day I often end up forgetting or procrastinating. Now even more I feel the need to find a balance between the things that I need to do, the things that I want to do and some healthy relax time. I’m still very far from reaching the right point of stability so I need to seriously start working on this because I know it’s gonna take time to adjust.

(iv) a more in depth knowledge of how my energy levels work, or more flexibility in adapting my schedule to them. It’s pointless for me to plan certain activities from 4pm to 7pm if I have a 80% chance of feeling drowsy and sleepy during that time frame. Learning how my body/mind reacts to food intake and tiredness is essential for all the other points listed above.


Next Action List:

(1) review old planners and to do lists (both paper and digital), transfer what is still relevant, discard the rest

(2) simplify my digital life (too many resources, too many lists that often end up kind either duplicated or forgotten)

(3) make a list of all my current open loops and work on finishing all the short term ones

(4) more use of what I already have and shopping the less I can (especially for stationery), which means less clutter around the house and more money on my bank account

(5) purge even more: clothes, shoes, kitchen items but also old planner/diary inserts that are really of no use anymore

(6) more discipline for food and sleep. I’m not bad at those (actually I think I’m better than the average people, from what I can see around me) but I could be even better so I should just stop playing in safety mode.


Making this list is helping me hugely in seeing what I really should be focusing on in the next 6 months. I think this was exactly what I needed at this point in life and I’m glad I took the time to think this through. Can’t wait to see what other people around the web are doing for their mid year review!

{Beauty} Special treatments and self-pampering products

Beauty products have been a soft spot of mine for a very long time, but it’s only recently that I can say I started using them with more knowledge and awareness of what my skin needs, likes and tolerates. They have also become a very important part of my self-pampering project, as they have the power of making me feel a lot taken care of.


So apart from my regular morning and night skincare routine, I like to keep at hand a few other products for both my face and my body (and hair, actually) for more in-dept and specific treatments. Here I have some products that recently became a staple in my advanced skincare regime.

1. Body lotion (Garnier Ultimate Blends Oat milk & Almond oil)

In the last couple of years I’ve developed an increasing dryness in my skin, especially on my legs, elbows and feet. I found that a good way of keeping it at bay is to apply a moisturising lotion every night or so before going to bed. Wearing pijamas and curling up under warm blankets right after applying the lotion ensures for the treatment to keep going all night long – and you can see the results with a super soft and plump skin the next morning. When I was still in Italy I kept up with this routine even during the unbearably hot summer months: I just used to put my body lotion bottle in the fridge a couple of hours before applying it and I ensured myself moisturising as well as a cooling effect. Here I’m using this Garnier body lotion (I love the smell of this line, I also have the hair shampoo, mask and conditioner with the same scent because I just can’t have enough of it), but of course any kind of lotion will do. For super dry skin during winter time I like to alternate a lotion with a richer butter.

2. Gel scrub (Bottega Verde Cucumber and Rice Face Scrub)

They say that exfoliating is the key to a radiant and dewy look, so I try to be a good girl and use a scrub a couple of times per week. I actually read somewhere that physical exfoliation (compared to the chemical one) is not really as effective as one may think, but there’s something about the word ‘chemical’ that really doesn’t appeal to me. I also have to say that for the moment I’m satisfied with the soft and smooth feeling my skin gets after using a regular face scrub, so I’ll just go with that for a little longer before being brave and decide to try something different. I recently started using gel scrubs instead of the regular ones as I find them less harsh on the skin and easier to remove. This one is from my trusted brand Bottega Verde and I’m having a very good experience with it.

3. Spot treatment (Boots Witch Hazel Night Treatment Gel)

I have never had specific acne problems, not even during my teenager years, but i still get a couple of pimps when I’m particularly tired/stressed or when the significant other decides to throw my eating-clean efforts out of the window stuffing me up with loaded nachos and Oreo milkshakes. When I feel like my skin is very irritated and ready to break out, I just apply this gel all over my face and neck and it helps soothing the inflammation process. It’s definitely not the Holy Grail of spot treatments, but for the kind of problems my skin is prone to encounter is effective enough. It contains alcohol in it – but it ranks very low in the ingredients list and it’s only a a short term treatment so I haven’t seen any specific damage for the moment. I won’t recommend using it everyday though.

4.  Hair, face and body oils (I Provenzali Almond Oil & Forsan Castor Oil)

As I was saying, dry skin is one of my main concerns for both face and body, and it gets really worse during cold winter times. As I often find that my regular moisturisers are not enough, I like to boost their effect by adding a few drops of a few selected, skin-friendly oils.  I use castor oil mainly on the ends of my hair to keep them soft and split ends free; I also use it on my eyebrows and eyelashes a couple of time a week to repair any damage makeup may have caused. I never use castor oil pure on the skin as it can have a drying effect (which is the opposite of what I want). I use a lighter and gentler oil like almonds’ on both my face and body skin (including feet), either pure of mixed with my current lotion or moisturiser.


As I’m reading a lot about skincare in general these days I’m very likely to add some products to my regimen and switch/ try out new things, but these products have proven really helpful so I’ll keep them for another while for sure.

Rembering the Hanzi / Day 22 ~ Lessons 44+45+46+47

These mini-lessons have been a total motivation-booster. It’s SO MUCH easier when you have only 15/20 汉字 to memorise each time, those 50+ new characters lessons were a nightmare for me. And apart from influencing the retention rate, it’s also a lot more gratifying.

Because essentially you get the feeling of progressing a lot faster. The brain doesn’t process the concept of ‘but I’m just learning 10 characters per day’, it only focuses on the ‘I’m studying a new lesson each day’ bit. And yeah, you’re probably also progressing faster as you don’t have to go back fifty times to review the same old lesson you never completely assimilated.

And when I say ‘you’, I’m meaning ‘me’. Just to be clear.


I think for the first time I found a character () that I never ever encountered before. This means that, even though on a very superficial level, in the years I’ve been studying both Japanese and Chinese I actually managed to ‘learn’ almost 1500 characters. It’s kind of amazing when you think about it. I never thought my connection with the language so indeed so deep. No wonder that after all this time they’re both still pretty much an essential part of my daily life.


I can’t wait to start reading and acquiring more vocabulary. I was considering whether it could be worth starting again with Memrise but I’m not much inclined to do so, at least for now. I think I’ve done enough out-of-context kind of study for now. Short stories/articles are what attracts me the most. Also going back to ChineseClass101 would be a not so bad idea, considering I’ve been willing to finish their Absolute Beginners Season 2 almost an year ago. Ouch.


On a non-Chinese note, I’m back reading and loving the Avalon series again. I’ve only one more book to go before finishing the entire saga and even though I certainly didn’t love all the books the same way, they were definitely a historical/fantasy cycle worth reading. They also spurred my obsession interest for ancient Britain’s religions, paganism and Wicca. I’m also still a lot into synth wave and new retro wave music, as I shared on twitter a few days ago. It really feels like the natural extension of the 80s passion I’ve been cultivating since 2011.



{Planner Maniac} Prepping for One Book July 2017

It’s almost that time of the year again and things are heating up on youtube as we’re all waiting for the challenge gurus to disclose the main theme for the 2017 version.

         My fav Kikki.k collection from 2014


Actually we’ve already been given a heads up by Miss Vicky Bee who has shared in her latest video the motto that will guide us this year: ‘Go big, or go home‘.

I was puzzled at first, as ‘going big’ felt in contrast with the whole concept of ‘one book one month one pen’; but then I realised that going big has so many possible interpretation that I started feeling kind of elated for all the nuances I could possibly give to the concept. So my mind’s wheels were already set in motion.

We still have 10 days or so to think about how exactly we want to structure our challenge for this year, and I’m also very keen to see the proper video introduction from Rhomany and Carie, but I already have a draft as a general rule of the things I would like to do/focus on this year.

1. The GTD system based planner

I’ve gone through a rough patch in terms of planners during the last 8/9 months, so One Book July is a very welcome occasion to do some sorting and mending. Back in September of last year I had set up a kind of GTD system in my planner that at the time was an Original Fluoro Pink Filofax in personal size, and it actually worked pretty well. I’m not a 100% pure follower of David Allen’s method but I do find value in many of the concepts he teaches + I think it pairs perfectly with the concept of ‘one book to rule them all’.

2. The Chinese / Japanese Learning Companion

Chinese is a staple in my personal growth, and I’ve recently shared how I want to go back to Japanese as well. Thinking about it, I came to realise that ‘go big’ is not necessarily about quantity or size, but it can perfectly be about quality – like, dream big. Last year I shared how I intended to use my project planning compendium, and, since unfortunately after July I didn’t have much occasions to update it, I think it would be very nice to start were I left and to give this challenge a kind of continuity.

3. The Style Book

So I was talking about going big, dreaming big and all that good stuff, right? Well, lately I’ve been intrigued a lot by the concept of style, not the Audrey Hepburn kind of thing (which is gorgeous, btw) but in the sense of the development of our own personal approach to things in life. I really want to develop a more ‘me style’ in virtually all sectors of my life, thus including planning, language learning, photography, writing and, yes, also fashion and the like. So the idea of an all-inclusive style book is really, really alluring right now – and I think I may seriously go for it this time.


I’m really looking forward this year’s challenge and I can’t wait to see what are people are going to come up with!


Remembering the Hanzi / Day 21 ~ Lessons 41 + 42 + 43

These lessons are quite easy to handle, lucky lucky me. I already knew some of the characters presented (like illness and ache 痛), while other have elements that I tend to mix up so it was a good chance to review some stuff and make comparisons.

Super motivated by the amazing Scottish weather this days 😀


Lesson this short are way easier to manage. I don’t know why the previous ones were so lengthy, it makes things a lot easier to be able to focus on a handful of characters each time instead of, for example, 60 faccina.

I still find many keywords hard to connect to the relevant character, especially when they are abstract (like decide 决: ice + guillotine. Uh?) and in a semantic field common to other similar words. A huge review at the end of the first book will be more than welcome as it will help putting some things into place. But I already know some confusion will remain, it’s just the way 汉字 work.

I’m so happy to be that close to the end of this project that I can’t help starting looking around for resources for my next learning step 😆 I’m trying to watch A good wife (I’m still halfway through it, I can’t believe it) even thought I’m finding it quite boring at the moment. It started really well but soon lost itself in the typical drama patterns and absurdities that always make me a little meh. Just other 8 episodes to go but I really have to kinda force myself to watch it.

Remembering the Hanzi / Day 20 ~ Where were we?

Time to wrap things up around this very long-term project of mine, which *surprise surprise* it’s not actually that far from its end 🙂

I have a few lessons that I studied back in late April/beginning of May and that I didn’t blog about (hence my resolution of making my learning process more documented on this place). I completed lesson 40 so I’m now seriously close to the final line YAY.

Still 15 lessons to go but I know I can manage those. I won’t go back to revise all the previous characters because I know it will take too long and it would be a very counter-productive approach. I need to look forward, not backward. This is my latest life philosophy and it seems very easily applicable 😀

I’ll start reviewing everything once I’m done with book 1. Unfortunately I don’t have the second one at the moment and tbh I’m not much inclined to spend those 30£ or so to get it on Amazon. If I can really manage to recognise and write 1500 characters, well, I think I can call it a day for now. I don’t think I’ll be able to manage other 1500 汉字 without any grammar or context. Let’s take it one step at a time.

I’m so thrilled to be glimpsing the end of this journey that I feel a tingle of excitement at the back of my head 😆 I have a lot of plans and projects and resources that I finally wanna start using to test my supposedly acquired characters skills – first of all, of course, reading! Ok but let’s not go all over the place now. The race is almost done but I still have a few miles to cover.

I’m going to the library today (defying the weather once again, no summer in Scotland, no no no!), so I’ll better pack my stuff and get going. Am I the only one who just can’t help bringing lots of notebooks, pens, page flags etc etc to the library every time? Like every single time?

Fruit snacks are the best!

Wunderlist email service not working properly anymore

I’ve been using Wunderlist for the longest time. It holds all my running lists that won’t be convenient for me to keep on paper [like books to buy, books to read, Korean dramas to watch, podcasts episodes to listen to etc.], either because they would be too long or because it comes in handy to update them even when I’m on the bus or at the grocery store.

Wunderlist is super easy to use and manage, it has all the features I need available in the free version + it was the only task management app still functioning on my super old iPhone 4 (that I’ve been using up until February of this year).

So it’s easy to understand how displeased I was when I first heard that Microsoft was about to shut it down and replace it with their own To-Do app (they really made an effort to come up with an original name, uh?).

I first heard the news from one of Francesco D’Alessio’s videos back in March, and honestly at that time I thought (hoped) it was only false rumour. The app was still running and I didn’t encounter any sync issues, so everything suggested they were not really killing Wunderlist after all.

I’ve been using it as usual in the last couple of months, always a little on the look-out for any disfunction, but overall with the trust that everything was going to be fine. Until yesterday, when I tried to send an email to my Wunderlist account and it was bounced back. OH NO.

I first discovered the auto-email concept on Evernote (many, many years ago) and I found it really useful and practical. With Wunderlist I never used it to write tasks and send them to my account as I find launching the app as easy and quick as opening the email service, but I use it almost everyday to send myself newsletters I wanna read later.

COMMENT: I don’t know why I don’t just send them to my Instapaper account, which is what I do every time I found an interesting article I wanna save for later. Maybe it’s just an instinct, as on Instapaper I save things I really wanna read but that are not urgent, while on Wunderlist I send those book-release and photography newsletters I’m really committed to read soon.

Anyway, I have this To Read Later list under my To Read folder in which I just send all my Waterstones, Goodreads, Vsco newsletters. And yesterday for the first time I received this message back:

By clicking the enable button I’m redirected back to the email settings page, in which I can see the service as already active (of course, since I’ve been using it for the very last 5 years). It seems to be a random error as today I sent other 2 emails to my Wunderlist account and while the first one went through, the second didn’t. And I received this error message email again.

I think that unfortunately this is a clear sign of the fact that the app is really going to be killed off. I know that Microsoft has a history in this sense, as they did the same with Sunrise calendar (thankfully I discovered it when it had already been killed off so in that case I didn’t experience the frustration of the process). I honestly can’t bring myself to grasp the concept behind this corporate policy of buying successful companies just to shut them down few months later, unless of course this is just a strategy to remove all possible competitors from the market (anti-trust, anyone?).

What is so powerful about Wunderlist is that it is both super easy to use and structured, two features I’m not able to find together in any other task management app. No wonder it was voted app of the year (the Mac Version) in 2013. I’ve started looking around for possible alternatives, but haven’t found anything worth switching to at the moment. I used Todoist in the past and I know it’s a very good quality app, but most of the features I had for free on Wunderlist here are only for premium members – and it never really felt like a on-the-go app that you just launch to jot down a quick task.

I’ll hold on to Wunderlist until is made crystal clear that the app is really shutting down (no mention of this on their homepage for now), but losing Wunderlist would be a serious problem for me as it is the only task management app that I’ve been using constantly and consistently. I seriously don’t know where I could possibly move all my organised lists. And no, I’m not taking into consideration moving to Microsoft’s replacing app not even for one second. They screwed me up big time, again.

Weekly Plans / 1

I’ve managed to sort out a good amount of stuff during these last 4/5 days, so I think it is now the right time to start slipping in a few weekly activities, and maybe also a couple of routines I’ve neglected during the last 3/4 weeks.

Language Learning

This is no surprise as LL is and remains a pivot activity in my life.  Chinese, of course, but also Japanese. Yes, I’ve decided once and for all (or at least for now, lol XD I don’t believe anymore in my resolutions) that I’m tired of sighing and sobbing about my indecisiveness.  I’m working on a new weekly routine in which I would like to dedicate certain days to certain activities – and according to this plan Monday should be Chinese Day, while Thursday will be Japanese Day. I really wanna stick to it plan because I know the only way I can guarantee myself me-time throughout the week is if I treat it like a proper appointment. And it’s not good to skip appointments.

Early Bird Habit

I’ve said thousand of times before that the morning is my most productive time of the day and that I like waking up early and getting to work when everything is still quiet and peaceful. Unfortunately the significant other has not only a incredibly hectic schedule but also a very irregular one, which means the complete impossibility of having regular meals and sleep patterns. I have to do my best and try to create a regular schedule for myself, because I just can’t keep wasting my time by starting the morning at 10am.

Yoga & Wellness

I feel ashamed to admit that exercising doesn’t really come easy to me. Which is weird, because when I do I actually enjoy it (if we are talking about yoga and taichichuan and things like that, regular cardio and abs exercises just bore me to death). I think the main problem I yet have to overcome is that I haven’t found a proper time to fit it in my daily schedule. I naturally would exercise in the morning which is the fresher moment of the day for both body and mind, but this way I know I’m wasting my precious productive hours that should be spent doing intellectual work. Will I be able to exercise in the evening, when I usually feel all lazy and idle? I honestly don’t know, but I’ll try to be creative enough with my schedule in order to sort this issue out. I’ll start with a simple goal of 3 yoga sessions to complete this week and see how it goes.

Meal Planning

I started meal planning in a committed and serious way back in March when I permanently moved to Scotland and it worked really, really well. Then from half April things just fell through the cracks (don’t even mention May) and so here we are. I haven’t been feeling well with my body lately and I know I have to be more careful about the way I eat. It’s about aesthetics as much as it is about health – the feeling of doing things the right way for my body as well as for my spirit. It doesn’t really make sense to be good and exercise if then I eat like crap, right? I just wish Sainsbury’s fresh lemon cheesecake slices weren’t that good. But I’m fully aware of the fact that I am in charge of my own health so let’s just stop pretending I don’t know. Ok?


How are everyone else’s plans this week?


Hello June

So it’s June and I can finally say I survived May altogether.

I haven’t had the chance to write during the whole month and tbh I’m not surprised. I had a very hectic 24 days and, though it’s never funny to bring one’s life to a halt for such a long time, at least I was mentally prepared. No surprise effect this time.

I think this is the longest non-updating period on the blog since my board exam time in October 2015. And indeed it felt strange to be away from the keyboard for such a long time. I guess once your start blogging with a decent level of regularity is just very hard to stay away from it. It becomes part of who you are, and of the way you think. I don’t know whether this is supposed to be good or bad, it’s just the way it is I guess.

So here I am back at what feels like my natural place, with my head full of ideas and plans and my schedule packed with tasks and endless to do lists. Nothing new under the sun.

My birthday passed, Eurovision 2017 passed, I brought my car to the Uk travelling across Europe and it’s the beginning of the month – which means, monthly resolutions and plans of course.

I don’t actually wanna talk about all the things I wish I could have done during this month and didn’t; I’m not really much interested in talking about past accomplishments and things crossed off the list either. Let’s say I’m not really into looking at the past at all; I wanna talk about the present and the upcoming days, the things I want to do, the things I want to start, the things I want to put on my plate for the first time and the recurring plans as well.

Because if there’s something that is becoming increasingly clear to me is that there’s no ‘normal schedule month’ or ‘normal schedule week’ or ‘normal schedule anything’ in which I have a regular life plan with a handful of hours to take care of my stuff. Things are messed up, all the time. Plans change. Or they get stuck. Or they’re just forgotten. It’s all part of the bigger picture.

So I have to learn to make time for myself. Of course not all moments in life are the same, there can be periods objectively more hectic than others, but being busy with tons is stuff to do is just business as usual and, as such, is something I have to learn how to deal with. I have to stop fighting it and start to accept the fact that things won’t come easy, ever. Setting priorities, learning to say no, being realistic with how much I can actually get done with the time I have are all skills I need to implement day after day, with errors and trials and everything in between. There’s still so much that I want to learn and experience, and I have no intention to give up on my quest for knowledge and personal growth.

So yeah, I wanna keep learning and I wanna keep dreaming. Big. And I’ll do my best to make things happen. I already have a bunch of stuff in mind that I wanna find time for:

  1. keep running this blog and change the way I use it. I want this space to become more personal, to be a real journal of my undertakings and projects. I’m not much for sharing personal details on the internet and I plan to keep my private life, well, private; but for the things I like to share here I want to be all in – more than I’ve been so far.
  2. go back to language learning, start again, shuffle routines, spice things up. My progresses are small because my approach is boring. I like to play it safe, to have all my pens lined on the desk and my notebook tidy and clean. Time to get my hands dirty and exit this damn comfort zone once and for all. Or at least a couple of times.
  3. find time to deepen this minimalist/decluttered/environmental-friendly life style I’ve kind of embraced recently – and blog about that. I’ve been an environmentalist since I was a kid so I think this is just the natural evolution of my personal beliefs. I’ve a bunch of decluttering projects in mind + various shopping bans to put into practice, and I think I’m now ready for the challenge.
  4. re-learn what I used to know about html/css and work on a new blog attire. This is a long shot so I don’t expect to be done with it by the end of the year or anything like that, but I’ve been toying with this idea for too long without actually doing nothing, so I guess I’ve finally grown tired of just sitting and waiting and I’m ready to dig in.
  5. find the right spirit to tackle the billions of stuff I have to do on my everyday, grownup lifestyle. As I was saying, being busy is the default mode of the post-modern, post-structuralist, post-post times we happen to live in – so I have to face the fact that I’ll always have to handle things I’d rather not and learn how to live happily with that.
  6. be more bold about beauty and style and use it a another form of self-expression. I’m much more a book-and-tea type of gal but I’m honestly kinda sick of shielding myself behind some sort of self-imposed label. Not that I ever restrained myself from doing certain things because I thought they were not a me-thing, but I often realise I’m not curious enough to try things that are outside my comfort zone/usual way of life. I don’t wanna think that at 30 I’ve already experienced everything I wanted to experience, and I don’t wanna stagnate doing the same old things I always do. I wanna give myself the chance of being a 360-kind of person and expand my limits, and especially the preconceptions about myself.
  7. be more driven, more engaged, more focused on the me-things. I’ve been spending a lot of time on Netflix lately, too much time actually. I love TV series (like anyone else) and finding time to watch the things I like it’s definitely something I wanna do, but within certain limits and time frames. I’ve watched an increasing amount of series since October, and this has taken away a lot of time from other activities that I enjoy and care about (like reading novels, just as an example). Everything that is passive like standing still in front of a screen is always easier, and often more alluring than rolling my sleeves up and getting to work (whatever meaning I want to give to this word). I’m determined to spend more time doing things that are good for me, to be more active and proactive, to get engaged in more personal projects, and to dedicate more effort to the things that I really love doing and that make me feel good about myself.

So this is my starting point, and I really wish for myself to be able to keep up this spirit and the determination of stopping to look back, and only moving forward. I wish this for anyone else who’s trying to give value to his/her own time.

Hello May



April review

April goals

  • Finish my archives work and publish it ✅
    I didn’t finish everything everything, but I really worked hard for it and made a lot of significant progress. There are certain things that I have to finish in loco, which is something I’m going to do during this month that I’ll be back home for a couple of weeks.
  • Keep up with RSH study ✅
    I was serious about this and I think I can see the results. I’m just 10 lessons away from finishing the book (which means I should be able to be done with it by the end of May/beginning of June like I planned) and, even though there are many characters that need to be strengthened, I feel a lot more confident in my knowledge now.
  • Work hard on my career progress ✅
    It’s hard to assess this one. I ‘forced’ myself to be more proactive and I think I put a serious effort in trying to get some stuff done. But it’s still a daunting task for me and more determination will be needed in the upcoming weeks.
  • Establish a daily/weekly routine ❎
    This one is the sector I’m more deficient at the moment. It’s not only my fault (the plus one has a very flexible schedule, which means we have to adjust our timetable almost on a daily basis), but I know I could have done much more. Sometimes I feel lazy and uninspired and Netflix suddenly becomes my best friend. I need to be more self-disciplined and aware of the way I spend my time.

How I spent my time

Blog 18h47m;
Chinese 12h43m;
Productivity 42h57m;
Wellness 0h00m.

I’ve been good at productivity tasks – but very bad at wellness. Recently I listened to an episode of the Productivity podcast about the illusion of life/work balance which has made me rethink a lot about the way I should structure my days and weeks. Still, I would like not to lose sight of my wellness journey during this month.

How I spent my money

I’ve been really good with spending this month. I practically only opened my purse for groceries, I didn’t even grant myself those little weekly allowed shopping sessions of stationery and skincare products. Apart from the food, I only spent 4£ on a couple of Korean sheet masks from Boots which I really needed (and used), so very very good me this month.

How I did with my Study

Chinese study is still up and good, career study not so much. There’s definitely room for improvement here, though I acknowledge that it’s a matter of both routines and goal setting – in short, I really need to define even more what my priorities are and which activities I should spend quality time on.


I’ve been a little stressed out by a number of practical and organizational issues this month [plus the urgency of finding a job, which bugs me greately]. I still do love living in Scotland and there’s no place I’d rather be at the moment.  Unfortunately, the weather has been quite bad during the whole month (especially when compared to March), a couple of days we even had snow! So no many strolls in the park for me, boo hoo.


May’s goals

In May I’m going to be either back home or traveling around Europe so I really don’t think I’ll have time to work on personal goals and routines. I hope this will be the chance for me to rethink [once again] about my priorities and choices in the field of personal growth. I also know that it will be a moment for great food and family time, which is always good of course!