2016: Question Everything

There have been a lot of changes in my professional life in the past few months. One of the things that came with the change was a mantra:

Question everything.

Why did we do what we’ve always done? Did it produce result? Why are we keep doing it other than, just keep doing it?

That got me thinking about my 10 goals I set every year. It’s like I set them and forget them.

And I’ve been progressively worse about them every year too.

Take a look at the 2015 recap here. I’m going to do it very brief since I already did a 6-month check up in June.

  1. Run 5K under 40 minutes – Nope.
  2. Learn to make fried chicken – Nope.
  3. Cook one new recipe each month – Nope. (However, I made up for most of the year from Thanksgiving until now and have been cooking a lot.)
  4. Revamp the blog. – Nope. But I at least got the new template uploaded! Just need to get it customized.
  5. Play piano/guitar once a month. – Nope. This died right after The Fail Wailers disbanded after Ken left town in August.
  6. Downsize and simplify everything – Nope. But more on that later.
  7. Stop wasting time and energy on those who don’t deserve it… – Actually YES! I have worked very hard on this and managed quite well.
  8. …and spend more time and energy on those who do – Maybe. I didn’t do quite as well as I had hoped but I did okay.
  9. One adventure a month with Brandon — This is a YES! Just see our year-end recap.
  10. Read 12 books. — Kind of a Yes. I’ve started reading comic books in 2015. While many don’t count that as reading, but hey, if you read the whole series through, it amounts up to a big honkin’ book, and takes a lot of dedication, alright? Scroll down below for the list of what I’ve read in 2015.

Three out of ten of absolute yes. I mean, I wasn’t even all that choked up about not meeting the goals.

Perhaps there are too many goals. Perhaps I’m not that ambitious. Perhaps it’s both. Whatever it was, it wasn’t working.

I also lost my vision on setting goals. I set goals to be habit forming, not accomplishment. If I make myself doing it for the whole year, there’s a good chance it will stick and I will change my habit. And I must say, a few in the past have worked, and the habits stick. Meatless Tuesday is one. Finishing a magazine within one week of arrival is another. Running goal may not have been achieved but it got me hooked on exercising regularly.

So, I decided to shrink that list down to something a bit more manageable. Something that gives me JOY. Something that will change my lifestyle permanently.


My family has decided to demolish my house in Bangkok. Yes, the house that I grew up in and where my family has been all of my life. (I will post about the whole story later.) Suddenly, I found myself having the urge to get rid of stuff. I have so much STUFF! It’s my coping mechanism right now, a prelude to the packing of memories I will have to do in March when I go home. So, room by room, shelf by shelf, I’m going through things and starting an unending donation pile. So, once a month, I will make a trip to Goodwill to drop stuff off.

Run once a week

I still don’t like running. Unfortunately, it’s the only cardio workout that works for me. 1.5 mile is my usual lap around the neighborhood, and at least once a week is realistic. During the winter, I’ll have to run on the weekend when I can run later in the day when it’s light, and do my HIIT workout on the no-run days. When it’s not pitch black at 6 a.m., then I’ll run twice a day with quick body weight training. Sounds like a good, healthy plan, yes?

Cook once a week

I haven’t cooked for months for part of 2015. Around the holidays, I cooked up a storm and enjoyed every moment of it. I must make time to cook more. It really is my happy place.

Play music once a week

This has slipped down the hill since the band is no longer together. But I also miss it. I must make time!

Blog once a week

This too has been slipping. (Duh!) I want to get back on track as well. And yes, I’m still going to work on getting on fixing the look of the place.

Read 12 books a year

It is a habit already BUT it is better to set a goal otherwise I’d slack off! I MUST make time to read! However, I am going to set a new rule: graphic novels count but ongoing series do not. Comic series will be counted as a magazine, NOT as a whole book.  Actually, I just signed up to participate in a reading challenge with my friend Naz. I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

And so far, other than the music and blogging, I have been very good with these new habits! We shall see how it goes.

And now, before we wrap up the first month of 2016, here’s my 2015 book list.

  • Carrie – Stephen King
  • The Martian – Andy Weir
  • China Dolls – Lisa See
  • American Gods – Neil Gaiman
  • A Winter’s Tale – Mark Helprin
  • Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
  • Graphic Novel: Death of Wolverine – Charles Soule and Steve McNiven
  • Graphic Novel: Batman: Harley Quinn – Paul Dini and Neil Googe
  • Groot –  Jeff Loveness and one of my favorite people, Brian Kesinger!
  • Silk – Stacey Lee, Robbie Thompson, Ian Herring
  • Harley Quinn & Power Girl – Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner
  • The Mighty Thor – Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman
  • Battleworld Series: Thors, House of M, Giant-Size Little Marvel: AvX.

These are the books I gave up on:

  • The Buried Giant – Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Lowland – Jhumpa Lahiri (this one went to Olaina)
  • Harley Quin (New 52) – Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Chad Hardin — I got to #18 and gave up. Did not like the gang of Harleys.
  • Spider-Gwen …thank god it was done. The #0 was really good. Can’t say the same about the rest.

How are y’all doing with your 2016 goals so far?

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