Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Monthly Goals Review: March 2021

For some reason, March seemed to go by painfully slow. March has always been the "drier month" during my stint as a teacher back in 2018-2019 (There are two dry months to me - March & July. Dry because these two months are always the months without many holidays, and I usually feel tired from pushing myself for one last sprint towards the end the quarter). We're one-quarter through the year, you might start to feel as though your "burning spirit/drive" is beginning to die off. You're beginning to feel a little tired with your routine. You're starting to feel wary about the goals/new year's resolution you've set at the beginning of the year. You're starting to question yourself and everything in life. 

Sounds familiar? Yes? No? Just me? 

Either way, I still want to keep myself accountable for the goals I've set for myself. For the month of March 2021, I definitely have slipped a little this month in terms of what I want to achieve and do. 

Financial Goals 

1) Save at least 40% of my income every month 

Overspent in March as I...

- did quite a bit of shopping for clothes (bought a new pair of block heels, a new pair of shorts, a dress, a camisole, workout clothes) 

One of my most coveted purchase so far - a new dress. Even though it costs a bomb. Do I need it? Absolutely not. But I really love how it fits. No, I don't need it but...

- dined out quite a bit (post-lockdown revenge spending, but hey I'm...contributing to the economy. Committed to write & share about these food places here on this blog! )

One place I've been to for drinks - Bistro Richard at Sentul. Loved the ambience there :) But yes, dining out expenses really do add up! 

- had my hair dyed professionally

post-hair-cut & dye hair - putting this here because the hairdresser spent quite some time straightening them :p (PS it kinda went all over the place a bit after that) 

- also bought some new baking tools since there were a few sales going on. 

Side note: I wish e-commerce websites would stop calling their sales the "Biggest Sales Ever" :p Really? There's 9.9, 10.10, 11.11, birthday sale, this sale, that sale. SO MANY SALES!

I don't regret each of this spending. (Also - it's a little too late to regret it if anything) I know I could have dyed my hair for cheap if I do it myself, but from my past experiences, I realised that people at the saloon will always do it better (unless you're a professional yourself!), and I really value the consultation they can offer - giving me advice on aftercare, on which colour to pick so that the colour could last longer etc. etc. 

Dining out. Definitely could have cut down a little. But what's done is done. I really do appreciate dining out and I often think of it as an experience, like travelling :) You get to try out something new, do not have to worry about cleaning up etc. And it is a great respite, after staying from home for so long. I realise I yearn to explore, to break my routine, to see and experience different things - and since travelling is restricted now, I find respite in dining out, and for some reasons, it feels particularly refreshing to dine out, especially when I dine out at places I've never been. 

I do recognise that being able to dine out is a privilege. But definitely, moving forward, I might have to set a cap on the frequency I dine out and/or the types of places I go to for dine-out if this trend is going to continue :p And to make sure that I don't go overboard with this, and fall into the trap of going out just to "distract myself" and/or "run away from my problems". 

I'm expecting to incur some big-ticket expenses soon (Renewal of my motor insurance T_T, servicing of my car, changing of tyres huhu) so I definitely have to plan & adjust my expenses for the coming few months, especially also now that it seems I will be going out more, and possibly to the office too, fixed expenditure will definitely go up so I have lower my entertainment expenses ;P

2) Establish a side income stream

A friend (Hi Nad!) had this prep talk with me and she has been really encouraging and pushing me to start my own side-business. I am giving myself a personal deadline in April 2021. My progress so far is 25% to launch. Please let this be updated in the next post for April 2021.

Personal Growth / Learnings

1) Listen to at least one podcast every day

Have been inconsistent with this for the month of March 2021. For some reasons I find myself sleeping much later than usual and thus waking up much later than usual as well (around 8am~). 

Based on my tracker, I've only done this 13/31 days. 


2) Read at least one paragraph of non-fiction/fiction every day

11/10 recommend How to Talk so Teens will Listen & Listen so Teen will Talk. This book is applicable to everyone, whether or not you talk to teens. It is easy to read, has really relevant real life examples, and there are pictures :D 

3) Participate in at least one online events and/or online courses every month

For the month of March, I've completed 
1. Project Management: The Basics of Success by University of California, Irvine
2. How to Create a Program Evaluation for Your Non-Profit (Guided Project) by Coursera Project Network

If you're new to program evaluation, I really recommend taking the How to Create a Program Evaluation for Your Non-Profit guided project course! You just need about 2 hours to complete this guided project course - the course explained step-by-step how to create a logic model, and also different ways we can evaluate the program impact :D 

For the Project Management course, I find that the first two weeks' learning materials were rather dry and theoretical, but from the third week onwards, things started to make much more sense and I could apply what I've learnt directly to the work I'm doing :) Things made a lot of sense as a huge part of my job scope involves project management

My main takeaway from the Project Management course:
- How to create an effective Work-Breakdown Structure & Gantt Chart & why you need them
All this while I've been creating Gantt Chart for my projects but the timeline element was always rather vague. I realised that I had trouble articulating the stage of planning my project is in and I finally understood why after taking this course - it is because I did not set the earliest start time & end time as well as the latest start time & end time, and also milestones. Besides being able inform others where your project is currently standing in terms of progress, you can articulate clearly whether or not your project is on track/delayed if you have a proper timeline structure. 

- Science of persuasion
Which I've shared in my takeaway in my Good Reads/Podcasts/Videos - March 2021 post

4) Cook/Bake at least one dish per week

Week 1: Lime Coconut Cake & some random mini pork tortillas + spinach & apple salad 

Week 2: Sourdough Bakwa Pizza and Biscoff NY Cookies
Week 3: Chickpea soup (a recipe inspired by Brazlian Fish soup - where coconut milk & lots of spices were used, somewhat reminds me of chana masala) & featuring a photo of one of my sourdough loaf, or this photo will look somewhat lonely ;P
Week 4: Sourdough tortillas and chicken fajitas! 
Week 5: A failed sourdough focaccia :p...

Failed because it is clearly under-proof & the focaccia dough got stuck to my pyrex...alamak. Oh well BUT for every failure comes new learning!


1 comment :

  1. Hai, it's always refreshing to read your blog, Thank You for sharing !


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