In November, I did a 30-day book reading challenge (20 pages or more). In December, I learned a new word every day. This January, I was planning to hula hoop 5 minutes a day. But unfortunately on Day 1, I realized that this goal was too ambitious for my level of fitness. 😅

You see, I haven’t hula hooped for three years or so. So when I first attempted to hula hoop on January 1st, I could only get through 15 seconds before the sore stomach pains really got to me. So instead of doing 5 minutes a day, I thought it would be nice if I could work up to 5 minutes gradually over time.

Well, today I was able to do 2 minutes straight without stopping! That’s progress. It’s not even halfway to 5 minutes, but considering how I would only hula hoop 3-4 times a week, that’s something. I felt a little soreness towards the end of the 2 minutes. I thought I could keep going, though I wouldn’t have a timer. (I was watching a 2-minute timer YouTube video with music, so I didn’t have my actual start time from the clock to follow.)

I was planning on buying a regular hula hoop so that I could comfortably go through 5 minutes a day. Plus apparently, you can burn as many or even more calories with a regular hoop versus a weighted hoop. So I thought, what’s the point of extra pain when you can burn extra calories anyway with something less intense?

I thought you could find regular hula hoops for cheap in places like the dollar store or Walmart or even Amazon. But, a lot of hoops go for $20 or more, and they tend to be weighted. Or, they’re in bulk. Or, they’re kid sizes. I’m not sure why it’s so hard to find a cheap basic adult hula hoop.

So, then I thought maybe I should just continue with my weighted hula hoop. I don’t have to do any 30-day trial or anything, but just gradually work my way up to 5 minutes by hooping 3-4 days a week like I’ve been doing. I mean, I can already do 2 minutes, and I think I could have pushed for another 30 seconds or so. So, it’s possible.

I’m curious to know what long-term hula hooping would do for me. I’m talking about hula hooping every day for 10 minutes or more a day. Would my belly tone up? Would my abs be stronger?

Aside from hula hooping, I thought about also trying to jump rope again. Though, I don’t really have much space at home to do so. If I did jump rope, it’d be easier to do it outside. I’m not really motivated to work out in the cold. I know you can warm up by working out, but I tend to avoid the cold whenever I can. 😅 I think when it gets warmer, like during the springtime, then I will buy a jump rope and time myself doing that. Maybe I’ll even do a 30-day experiment with jump roping.

I wanted to get into some sort of physical activity that’s fun. That’s why I decided to try hula hooping again. We had a hula hoop for a while, but I didn’t know where it would fit in the house. I ended up being able to make space for it.

I eventually want to join a gym again and try some classes, probably zumba. And if I do take classes, I’ll make sure to only do as much as I can handle. If the class is an hour long and I can only handle 20 minutes in the beginning, I’ll do that. I don’t want to burn myself out like I did in the past when I would attend intense workout classes.

Anyway, I still have a prominent belly. My body is not toned at all. Some people think I look skinny, just because of the way I dress. Like obviously if I were wearing a crop top or a tight shirt, you’d see my round belly. I mean, I don’t have the most overweight body or anything. It’s just obviously, I could be healthier and do better.

I don’t really watch what I eat. I’m trying to cut down on sugar though. I usually have breakfast and dinner, unintentionally intermittently fasting out of convenience. I used to eat cereal every day, which is funny considering I used to condemn cereal, again out of convenience. And then, I tried having healthier breakfasts with vegetables or fruits for the past month or so. I didn’t realize how much sugar was in the cereal, or how much sugar I’d consume outside of breakfast and dinner if I just felt like having a snack. If it’s fruit, it’s fine. But, it’s usually not fruit, so that’s no bueno.

I know people have been gaining weight during the pandemic. But, to see my weight constantly going up for years was so frustrating to me. I remember when my goal was to be less than 120 lbs, and now I’d just be satisfied with being less than 150 lbs. I’m scared that it will somehow go beyond 160 lbs. It’d be one thing if my belly were toned and it’s just muscle weight, but to reach that weight and still be out of shape, that’s just my limit. I’d be so angry.

I don’t really believe in dieting unless it’s part of a lifestyle. For example, eating vegan makes sense because it’s about not exploiting animals. And, cutting out foods that you’re allergic to makes sense. But otherwise, I don’t think restricting calories is the way to live. Or only eating green foods.

Aside from eating vegan or vegetarian during parts of my life in the past, I’ve never considered dieting. I’ve always eaten as much as I felt like eating. And before, that worked fine. I was generally around 120 lbs or so. Sometimes, even less. And then after I had been put on meds, I consistently gained weight. It didn’t matter the dosage. I’m actually at the lowest dosage, but pretty much at my highest weight. So if it’s not the meds, I don’t know what else it could be, because my weight in the past was not really an issue.

I thought about returning to a vegan lifestyle one day, for ethics and for health. Like honestly, there’s no reason for me not to be vegan. I’m not lacking any nutrients, and it might even help me to lower my bad cholesterol.

Anyway, I’m thinking about what I should do for my next 30-day trial, if I should do one at all. It’d be nice if it were health or fitness related. I just don’t know what. I want it to be simple so that I will actually do it every day. Even if it’s not health or fitness related, that’s okay too. Maybe I could try a songwriting challenge, or a journaling challenge, or even another blogging challenge. We’ll see…

2020 was a relatively stable year for me. It wasn’t my best year, but it definitely wasn’t my worst. And if anything, it was better than the two years prior to that. Admittedly, I didn’t achieve much, but it went a lot better than I expected despite the pandemic still going on here in the United States.

In 2018/19, I didn’t use a planner or an agenda. I kept reminders of my appointments on my phone’s calendar app and I’d keep notes in my Evernote app. But this year, I wanted to try using a planner again just to see if it helps me in any way.

I bought my planner from Five Below. There’s a note page in the beginning followed by monthly calendars. Each monthly calendar is followed by a page where you can write lists, notes, events and priorities. And then after all that, there are weekly spreads. After each spread is a page to write more lists, notes, priorities, plan for the upcoming week, and a weekly habit tracker. There are a few more blank pages at the end followed by stickers that you can use to remind you of days when you have appointments, birthdays, lunches, etc. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was looking for when searching for a planner, but this seemed good for me.

At first, I wasn’t really sure what to write in my planner. So, I marked important events/appointments. I wrote a list of states I’ve traveled to, though I’m not really sure why since this will probably be an odd year to travel. And today, I wrote a list of possible goals I could work on. I came up with more than I expected actually. And, I didn’t really create stretch goals. I tried to keep them reasonable, something that I felt like I could easily achieve. For example, I read 3 books last year (towards the end of the year, and one book was really short). I haven’t really kept up with the habit of reading, so I thought 5 books seemed achievable.

Here are the list of goals I came up with:

– See what it’s like being off meds completely and continue if sustainable.
– Consistent body weight of under 150 lbs.
– $1K+/month in passive income through music streaming/downloads.
– One year in Conscious Growth Club.
– Read 5 books.
– Grow my one Instagram account to over 10K followers.
– Release 2 more songs on Spotify.
– Finish Success Triggers, an online course.
– Finish DAI, a webinar series on living an abundant life.

The goals I came up with are within the scope of the current circumstances I inhabit. I have other goals in mind, but I’m not sure if I’ll achieve them this year. For example, I would like to move out to someplace with relatively warmer climate. I would like to lose weight, but I’ve been consistently gaining over the past 3+ years while being on antipsychotics. So, even losing 5 lbs this year would be amazing for me.

I thought about learning another foreign language, or continuing to learn Korean. But, I don’t know if I’m really interested in that. I did purchase a cheap Udemy course on Spanish, but I’ve only dabbled into it here and there. I’m not entirely opposed to learning, just kind of on the fence about it.

I thought about doing more 30-day trials of various habits. One idea would be to make music every day for X amount of time with the goal of coming out with a song at the end. Another trial would be, if I find myself drawn to the idea again, to spend 5 minutes learning a foreign language. I mean, it is only 5 minutes, so it wouldn’t be so hard.

This month, I was actually going to hula hoop 5 minutes a day. Unfortunately, I could only last 30 seconds the first day because it hurt more than I expected. I used a weighted hula hoop, that’s why. And, I haven’t hula hooped in forever. However, I’m tracking it as a habit to see if I can build up to 5 minutes. I haven’t been doing it every day though after realizing how painful it is starting off. 😅 I mean, that happens. Sometimes, you have to reject an idea when it doesn’t go as planned.

I want to do more 30-day trials this upcoming year. It will take me some more brainstorming to come up with some good ideas. I could even repeat previous 30-day trials such as blogging every day or reading books every day. I just thought it’d be more interesting to try new habits.

Steve Pavlina did a few 365-day challenges. He exercised every day for 365 days, and he blogged every day for over 365 days. He said it serves as a positive reference point. It sculpts your character. I’m not even used to 30-day trials, so I think I’ll hold off a few more years before I attempt a meaningful 365-day challenge. It’d be interesting to try one time though.

Beyond 2021 (after COVID-19 subsides), I thought about traveling to each state in the United States. I’ve been to 19 of them for sure. Though, some states I just stopped in for maybe an hour before moving on to the next state (such as when I went by bus to Florida with family for a cousin’s engagement). I want to spend at least a week in each state. That’s achievable in a year, though I thought I’d want time in between to just chill at home. So, I thought in the future, I could achieve this goal within 2 years. I imagined vlogging/blogging about it or sharing pictures to capture the experience. Maybe I would go with a friend or with family.

I don’t know about this year, but eventually I would like to try to become vegetarian again and then even vegan. I stopped just because I thought maybe I’d stop hearing voices if I ate animal products again. I thought maybe I was missing something. But you know, it’s been over a year of me eating meat again, so that definitely did nothing for me other than blending in with my family more. These things happen when you get sick, so I’m trying not to be hard on myself. But, I’m realizing that I don’t have a real reason for eating meat other than it just feels convenient now. The reason I say I want to work on this goal beyond 2021 is because hopefully by then, I’ll have moved out and it’ll be much easier to work on as a goal living by myself vs. living with other meat-eaters.

I thought about writing a book a few months back, but I’m not really sure about the idea now. I could write about my life experience with hearing voices / being possessed, whatever you would like to call it. Maybe I could do this in November with NaNoWriMo. They challenge you to write a novel, but I could just write a non-fiction. I’ll hold off from the idea for now.

I think once I join Conscious Growth Club, maybe I’ll be able to come up with some more aligned goals. I was briefly in CGC back in 2017 when it started, and I opening myself up to new ideas I never thought of before. I had to quit shortly after unfortunately because that was the year I became “sick”. But now that I’m feeling relatively stable, I’d love to give it a shot again and see what I could learn.

I think buying the $5 planner was worthwhile. Right now, I have a tab open for Success Triggers. So after I publish this blog post and drink some water, I’ll watch the next video and review the study questions. I only have 9 more lessons to go, so if I continue doing this every two days, I can finish by the end of the month. And then finally, I’ll know if it was helpful or not.

I think if COVID-19 subsides by this year, I’d like to travel downtown and try going to a new place once every week with one of my friends. I was doing this at the beginning of the year. My friend and I went to Reading Terminal, then Chinatown, and then suddenly we heard the news about COVID-19 and we cancelled our plans. But if things turn around, I’d like to visit as many places as I can downtown.

Anyway, those are my plans for 2021. It’s not anything crazy. Nothing super ambitious (at least I don’t think so). Just simple goals, aligned with what matters to me, and that will benefit me both in the short-term and long-term. Most of my goals are experiential in nature. I don’t know if I’ll have materialistic goals this year since I’m trying to build up my assets first. Maybe in the future, I’ll have a goal of buying a car or buying a house. But, I don’t see a real need for it now.