Hopes, Dreams and Wishes for 2019

Saturday, January 5, 2019

I love clean blank pages. I love fresh unencumbered starts. I love new projects, new meanings and new beginnings. As I get older, I find myself being able to start afresh without having to wait for the New Year. I can start in the spring when there is a feel of newness and new life. I can start in the fall when rain washes away the dirt of summer. I can start in July, the mid-year beginning of fiscal year. 

I love the New Year as much as I love other celebrations.  I find, though, that there is so much pressure in the New Year -- the pressure to change just for the sake of changing. I also do not want to miss any opportunity to improve for the better. So, as much as I do not feel enthusiastic to come up with something that is similar to a resolution, I still will.


 "Pray" and "Remember" are my words for 2019.

1. Pray for everything.  Pray in the morning, at night, on the train, when I am happy, when I am angry, when I am sad. Pray every moment.

2. Remember what really matters.  Remember that as much as I have worked so hard and accomplished so much in many years, I need to remember the very reason why I do the work that I do -- which is to be there for the vulnerable  people who depend on my abilities. It is so easy to get caught up in trying to gain the shallow approval of others.  I need to remember to shake those off and not get caught up in any of those. I am looking ahead to people whom I need to serve and not sideways or myself.

3. Remember that I also matter. I take pride in pushing myself to the limits with my strong work ethics. Oftentimes, I keep on going to the point of exhaustion. The weekdays become a blur of work accomplishments as satisfying as they are while I have nothing left on the weekend but immobility from being so tired. I need to remember to give myself permission to take days off just because, to do other things that I truly enjoy such as driving to the ocean, exploring the city, and do a personal retreat. (This holiday season, I was really good at taking days off and not feeling guilty about those lazy days of holiday R&R.)

My Promise To Myself This Year: I will take days off for personal retreat every 3 months to regroup, rest and reassess. 

I wrote my Hopes, Wishes And Dreams for 2018 here. Looking back, the important things remain year after year -- worship every Sunday, family first, times spent with Mr Sweetie and friendships. Those are the constants in my life and non-negotiable. Up until about 4 years ago, I struggled to go to church every Sunday as it is an hour's drive away. I requested that the Lord help me accomplish this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; Luke 10:27

I struggled with the "all your strength" part because Sunday used to be the only day that I had for myself after a full week of work and spending Saturday with Mr Sweetie. I might not have my Sundays anymore but my life is fuller and happier spending it to worship followed by delicious meals and fun times with my siblings, SIL and babies in the family. 

Looking back to what I wanted to do, what I needed to do and where I wanted to go in 2018, I create the  same for 2019 with a revisit of last year's goals.



1. I want to take my lunch break every single day at work.

I did so poorly on this goal last year. I still have not taken my lunch breaks. I still continue to eat at my desk  while working.  This year, I will try to take my lunch break and  do  non-work related things during that hour such as read a book, explore other neighborhoods in SF, write a blog post, etc. I need to bring my extra laptop at work so I can write blog posts during my lunch hour.

2. I want to keep on reading good literature.

I did great in this area. I mixed up the genre that I read in 2018.  I still have not read great literature because I have not taken the time to see what I want to read next but I read actual books and not  just books on my Kindle and not just cozy mysteries as enjoyable as they are. My most enjoyable and substantial read was The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith. I also established a second Instagram account for book reviews (and pictures of pastries!).

For 2019, I need to come up with a list of great literature and choose from the list in addition to easy reads that I do all the time. (Maybe Anna Karerina or Scarlet Letter?)

3. I want to "shop" in my closet.

I have a lot of beautiful clothes still with tags on mostly as presents by Mr Sweetie. Once I lose even 5 lbs, I can wear them and have an entirely new wardrobe! I really hope that I can start wearing them this year.



 1. I want to lose 8 lbs. 

I am moving this from "wanting to do" to "needing to do." Overall I am healthy but I want to be in the best health always. Losing 8 lbs will not only make me feel better about myself but I know that it will have a lot of health benefits as well including helping with my back pain.  

So how did I do last year? Ahem.... *hides face* Ha! Ha! I lost 2 lbs before the holidays but gained them back and a couple more. I know that the extra holiday weight will be gone in a couple of weeks. I can always lose them by going back to my regular diet. I just really need to do better. Last year, this has been my strategy: Pack lunch the night before, eat gluten-free bread or eggs for breakfast, brown rice and veggies for lunch, boiled egg  and fruits for snacks (which is nature's protein bar), an occasional square of dark chocolate and  something healthy for dinner. Drink lots of hot tea and  glass of wine  2 - 3 times a week.  

I will continue to follow the above diet plan in 2019 because that was how I lost those 2-3 lbs in 2018. I did good with not drinking a glass of wine every night as I used to do. Instead of 6 days a week, I drink a glass of red wine 3-4 times each week. I will really avoid pastries (my weakness!) and drink more water.  And I really will not eat cheese anymore except on special occassions as I really suffer and do not feel good when I do. (I  am lactose-intolerant.) 

 2. I need make my back feel better. 

I actually went to see a physical therapist in 2018. I am proud of myself for this. The sessions helped but the pain came back. I have my good days and bad days. I continue to refuse to take pain meds. Today, I am totally pain free and I am not sure if because I have not been stressed these last few weeks. Maybe my back pain is stress-related.Maybe it means that I need to manage my stress better which I thought I already do. Massages, maybe? Or more days off to rest?  If the pain comes back again, I will see my doctor once again.   

3. I need to see the dentist again. 

I saw her in 2017 and another great news -- no cavities! I stil did not get to see her in 2018! *embarrassed!* 

4. I need to CONTINUE to donate, recycle or throw away. 

I can proudly say that I excelled on this one. I adapted a "minimalist" mindset in 2018. I got rid of excess by throwing things away that were unnecessary, donating and recycling. I donated many bags of clothes to charity. I took so many books to our neighborhood's Free Library. As planned I  got to get rid of the dilapidated bench that I picked up from my trip from Costa Rica 10 years ago and my cat's tower. I promise to get him a new one soon. I will keep up the minimalist lifestyle and continue to pare down my stuff. 
In 2019, I will get rid of 1-2 stuff Monday to Friday for the entire year.

5. Transform the extra room into my little sanctuary 

Related to #3 is cleaning up the extra bedroom.  I just really need to start getting rid of stuff from that room that has become a semi-storage.


1.  Seattle in January 

I am not expecting to travel again for work this year outside of this early in the year travel to Seattle. I am glad to go though as much as I did so much work traveling last year (which were great items that I happily checked off in my goals list in 2018). I have been to Seattle twice but it has been many years. I am looking forward to at least visiting the Pike Place Market. 

2. A US vacation with Mr Sweetie 

We have an airline ticket that we need to use.This was from the cancelled trip for him when he got sick last year after I bought the ticket for New Orleans. I do not know where yet but we definitely need to go somewhere.

2. An international vacation  with Mr Sweetie 

The last international vacation that we took was 2 years ago when we took a 10-day cruise to Mexico. Prior to that was 6 years ago when we went to Spain. It is time for another one. We have a country in mind but I will do the reveal once the trip is in the works. 

2019  AND ALWAYS...

These were from last year's entry but I am including them again this year as a reminder these are the most important in my life:

1. Worship every Sunday. 

I made this my goal two years ago. I am so proud that since 2014, I wake up early every Sunday and drive that hour drive to go to church, worship with my family then have lunch together afterwards.

2. Family first. 

Always make time for my family which is already the case. Do not miss birthdays and important dates. Take the time to talk to my sister on the phone everyday. Call mom and dad every week. Have lunch with my family every Sunday.

3. Plan fun Saturdates with Mr Sweetie. 

No matter how tired I am, we need to go out every Saturday. We are both committed to this because we both agree that date nights are very important in our relationship.  I just need to plan more fun date nights. (I am the planner in the relationship which I do not mind!)

4. Go on  many BFF Adventures 

BFF and I already looking forward to so many plans this year -- Restaurant Week in January, ramen lunch, our post-birthday celebrations, museum visits.... San Francisco truly is our BFF playground.

5. Never let friends slip away. 

Friendships take work. Even most of my friendships are for life, it is easy to let the year go by without seeing each other. Continue to stay connected as my friends are my family as well. Send random texts and plan lunch dates with KS, J, B, A and E.


1. Bake a pie. (I baked bread and cookies in 2018. I want to bake more!)
2. Go to Ocean Beach and hike down to Sutro Baths.
3. Cook a seafood paella and  cioppino.
4. Go for a walk at Crissy Field and watch the sunset.
5. Visit more POPOS in San Francisco.
6. Take my nephews to lunch after church.
7. Go to Sausalito with J.
8. Buy a vacuum cleaner. 
9. Take my vitamins everyday.



Joy from A Vintage Joy inspired me to write monthly goals. I think this is really a great way to stay focused and not allow my goals to turn to nothing but whims and wishful thinking. I will start my January Goals soon on another post.

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