Life Lately / Hello November

by Julia

My story with monthly goals setting and review is a long, painful one and I don’t want to be reminiscent of that now. As I’m currently on a path of self-growing and self-empowerment, I though that maybe it was time to give that another shot to see whether I could finally make myself accountable or not [this has been my main issue since the very beginning].

I’ll try for a couple of months to see if I can make this work [even though December is not the best period of the year for anything except food marathons and family gathering], if it doesn’t go well I’ll just drop it, as I did with everything else on this blog.


October review

How I spent my time

Blog 4h15m;
Chinese 3h34m [this doesn’t include listening practice done during commute time];
PhD study 2h08m;
Productivity 16h24m (!) (mostly planning time);
Wellness 4h42m.

Of course this is not 100% accurate as I don’t always have the occasion/mind to log my time, I would assume a 75% rate of accuracy for my activities this month.

How I spent my money

Well this month was Scotland time + Venice tour so my expenses were positively higher than my usual standards; whenever I land on UK soil I like to amuse myself with shopping at my target places – namely Waterstone’s, Primark [Harry Potter stuff!], Paparchase and Boots. I spent about 70£ at the first three and about 20£ at Boots [and this was even too much considering I’m still working on my beauty products disposal plan and I already have way too many bottles unopened in my wardrobe].

In Venice I spent mostly for food + a HUGE splurge at Cafoscarina, my favourite bookshop for Chinese/Japanese language and culture related stuff [more than 120€!!].

How I did with my Study

Grammar is stuck for Chinese, but honestly I lost motivation for Remebering Simplified Hanzi as well during this month; I’m still well determined to work on the book and finish it by the end of the year [though I’m starting to feel sceptical about this], so I’ll definitely go back to it during November. I also dedicated some time to what I call my PhD study [mainly materials about Japanese religions and Anthropology] but I don’t feel confident I’ll be able to dedicare time to this project during the next couple of months.


Watched quite a few movies this month; tv series of focus were Cold Case [S03+S04], That 70s Show [S01] and Gilmore Girls [S01]. Almost no Asian dramas this month.

I read 4 novels in October, and I currently feel quite obsessed by the Avalon series and the Amica Geniale series. Soundtrack of the month were Bruce Springsteen nostalgia [both Born in the USA and Born to Run], Timecop1983 and Stranger Things soundtrack.


November’s goals

  1. Go back to a regular yoga practice, as in October between overwork and Scotland I skipped an entire month of practice.
  2. Try a new way of organise project-time. I was thinking about trying to focus on one project per week rather than attempting at cramming everything in the 7 days span time just to be left disappointed at the end of every week. I don’t know if this is a stupid idea, I just feel like trying to approach things differently this month [monotony is death].
  3. Get on track with Chinese, which basically means try to get my motivation back and be consistent in my progresses.
  4. Use Pomodoro Technique for a better distribution of tasks at work. Bursts of productivity that last for 150 minutes straight followed by 1h of laziness and distraction are of no avail. I don’t have particular problems in maintaining my concentration for longer periods of time but breaking them up with short intervals would make them even more effective.

 Habit of the month : focus on my daily essentials.