Friday, January 01, 2021

My first vision board ever and it's for 2021

Happy 2021! First day of the new year. I super love the hope new beginnings bring. So last night, as we were all waiting for midnight to ring in the new year, I went through magazines to make something I've never done before: a vision board.

Many of the powerful and successful women I know say they create a vision board for their life, their business, their family, their year. So it sounds like a great idea to start any project, any aspect of your life, or every year. And yet I've never made one till today. I dunno why. But I do know why I'm making one for the first time now. I never needed it before because I was always fairly successful in most everything I've done. But that's the thing: fairly successful. Not spectacularly successful. Maybe a vision board will help! 

So here's my vision board:

It's all words, I know. I'm inspired by words. I love pictures but they don't really stir much in me. That's why when I was a kid, I never really believed in "a picture is worth a thousand words." When I was going through magazines, these were the words that called out to me. To me, they mean a lot more than what they read. So let me explain:

Be a better business owner.
I'm an entrepreneur with a thriving writing, editing, PR consulting, and blogging business. Yet I know I can do better. Here's how: Be kinder to myself and not say yes to everything in the contract. Stick to my rates. Meet deadlines. Make better content for clients. Send invoices ASAP. Don't be shy to follow up my checks. Update my accounting books every month instead of every end of the year. See? Lots of areas for improvement!

It is time to bloom where you are planted.
The key phrase here is "it is time." That's the whole reason I cut out that sentence. I almost always bloom where I'm planted because I planted myself there to begin with. But in 2020, plans were derailed. I was planted at home. I was okay with staying put but frustrated with being a housewife. I'm not a good housewife. But maybe this 2021, it's time for me to bloom into a good one!

Be yourself. Work hard.
I'm an advocate for being yourself. I'm so self-aware, however, that I realized I'm turning down opportunities more often than I should because I know I can't do it - either because I lack the talent and skills or because it will take me away from my kids (and I tell myself that this is a noble excuse). I mean, there's saying no because it's truly not worth it but then there's saying no because you're scared or you're lazy. So the important part is "work hard." Enough of navel-gazing and let's start doing! This year, I should say yes more to projects people believe I can do. I mean, if they can see me doing it, then I must be capable, right? No more self-doubt!

Last year, I spent more time consuming than creating. Binged on Netflix shows and movies. Watched makeup-and-murder videos, tiny home tours, and royal docus on YouTube. Read books. Read tons of articles. Listened to Taylor Swift's folklore album too many times. All good, of course. I keep thinking of Stephen King when he said that his consumption of other art is part of his work. It feeds him. So he spends 4 hours every day reading... and then he spends the rest of the day writing. Consume - create. That should be my pattern. 

(I did create something wonderful in 2020! I'll tell you all about it soon!)

Bring goodness to the world through everyday living.
That's the key phrase: "everyday living." We all have big goals of changing the world in an impactful way then make small evil decisions to get there. You know, for the greater good. It should be my goal to make the world a better place with my daily choices. That means small but good decisions all the time. 

Hold the babies. Run the errands. Do all the things.
Okay, dangerous territory. I can't possibly do ALL the things. But it called out to me. It told me, "Be a good mom. Do the good work. You can do it all and have it all and it's not going to be easy but try it anyway!" Ya. Like I said a few paragraphs ago, sometimes I don't try because I know it's too hard, and as Yoda said, "Do or do not. There is no try." So I don't. Now I think that that's prevented me from doing a lot of things I could've been good at, or maybe I could've failed at. That's not the point. The point is to try. This 2021, I will try to do all the things.

Change the world.
Big goal but that world doesn't have to literally be the planet (although if we all take two tiny jabs of the COVID-19 vaccine, for example, that can truly change the world!). The world can be my kids' world. Or my husband's world. Or my friend's world. As we talked about earlier, small decisions, small kindnesses, small favors can actually change someone's life in a big way. Never ever underestimate the small things we do for others!

Just enjoy.
Lots of goals and, to be honest, I don't know if I can do them all or consistently. So this is a reminder to pause sometimes and appreciate my amazing life. It's already good where I am now and, yes, lots of improvement needed in many areas, but that shouldn't make me unhappy and full of discontent. Just enjoy the ride while we move towards new destinations!

And that's my 2021 vision board!!!

I used the Dream Board spread of the 2021 Belle de Jour Power Planner for my vision board. If you want to do the same, I'm giving away one BDJ Power Planner 2021! Join join join! I pick a winner on Sunday!

Monday, December 28, 2020

Inside the BDJ Power Planner 2021 (and yes, a giveaway!)

Okay, I'm still in a Christmas mood and also a New Year's mood! Let's do a planner giveaway! And not just any planner but the Belle de Jour Power Planner 2021! 

Before we get to the giveaway, let's talk about the planner. Belle de Jour is French for "beauty of the day." And if you get a BDJ Power Planner, your every day will be filled with beauty. You can't escape it. Every page of the planner is full of inspiration so you can have a great day.

The theme for 2021 is being one with the Earth. That means when you plan your day, the planner hopes to remind you to honor your mind and body (because we are made of earth), connect with others meaningfully, and be inspired and thankful for our environment and make it a better place.

As you can see, the pages are all about being positive and beautiful - something we'll most likely need in massive doses in 2021 since the pandemic is far from over.

Despite the fact that we'll most likely live with COVID-19 for one more year and therefore must stay home to stay safe, the BDJ planner is feeling optimistic and included a booklet of shopping perks. No worries - many of the vouchers can be used for online purchases.

I'm actually a bullet journal fan but I decided to try a ready-for-occupancy planner (haha) this 2021 because customizing a bujo takes up so much of my time. I've already started using my BDJ Power Planner and guess what I did - I started customizing it. Old habits die hard haha. But at least many of the pages have been made for me (monthly spreads, weekly spreads) so that means less time on planning and more time for actually doing.

So now you have a peek at the BDJ Power Planner 2021! Next year also happens to be the 15th anniversary of the BDJ planner. My blog is also 15 years old next year! Hooray! So let's start the fabulous 15th anniversary of BDJ and Topaz Horizon with a giveaway!

Here's how:
1. Just blog about what you're looking forward to in 2021. It can be just a short blog post. No need for a long essay - unless you want to write one!
2. Add this at the end of your post: "I'm also looking forward to winning a Belle de Jour Power Planner from!" 
3. If you don't have a blog, you can also do a Facebook post. Just link to this blog please!
4. Leave the link to your blog post or Facebook post in the comments below. 

I'll share your blog posts on my blog's Facebook page and will choose a winner* on Sunday, January 2.

Good luck!

*Winner must have a Philippine address. This giveaway is mine alone and BDJ has no idea I'm doing this to the planner they gave me haha. If you'd like to check out their other planners (they have several that are not as feminine as the BDJ Power Planner), click here to browse and shop.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

My most read blog posts this 2020

I've been blogging for 14 years and 7 months and I still don't understand what makes people go to my blog. Four of the top 10 read posts in 2020 were published in past years:

"Top mommy bloggers in the Philippines" was written last year and that one was intentionally written to get views. I know PR agencies and brands Google this topic all the time so I plan to update that post every year.

"Physiogel Calming Relief" is a review post from 2016. Beauty bloggers tell me that they get tons of hits because everyone's always looking for reviews before they buy products. But I've reviewed other beauty products and they don't appear on my top 10 list. 

The FERN-C post was published in 2016 and it did well only this year and I believe that's because parents got freaked out by the COVID-19 pandemic and researched for the best vitamins to boost their kids' immunity.

As for the BabyLove diaper pants 2018 post... I don't know what happened there. Maybe people are finally realizing BabyLove is a great diaper brand. Yes! I was a longtime Pampers mommy, even was a brand ambassador, but BabyLove changed my mind.

For this year's posts, three were about relationships. I noticed that a long time ago actually. Whenever I blog about my love story, the posts get thousands of views. Not my kids, not my work and money advice, not my sponsored posts - it's my marriage that people want to read about. I'd love to write about it more because I love my husband SO MUCH. But! But But! I happen to be married to a really private man who tolerates my oversharing because he knows I like oversharing. So since marriage is compromise, I scaled back on the marriage posts.

Here are the links to the other top posts, in case you're interested:

Koobits online math classes 

Morbid to-do list

Vince was serious about me

Advice for celebrity kabits

Mukhang pera

How to get in the mood for sex

So it's 2021 next week! And it's also the dawn of my 15th year as a blogger. WHAT! Fifteen years?! What do you want me to blog about more, dear Loyal Readers? What do you want me to do this new year? Tell me and let's see!