Sunday, January 1, 2012

Cutting Back on Coffee

First and foremost, Happy New Year! May all your goals and ambitions for 2012 come true over the course of the year :D.

In the last post I mentioned my generic, yet true, new year's resolutions.  I'd also like to add that cutting back on coffee is now part of the list as well.  I drank way too much last semester and felt I had to have it in the morning before going to class.  If not, I'd literally find myself drifting off to sleep in class--it was that bad.

My reasons to cut back on coffee are quite obvious:

  1. I don't want my body relying on caffeine just to get me through the day.
  2. It will help save me money.  Last semester, I spent $2.26 on a grande bold from Starbucks before I headed to class.  On top of it, I also got it during the weekends before I headed to the library to study...that's about $65 per month--not good!
  3. It will help improve my sleep quality.  Even with a cup of coffee at the beginning of the day, I don't necessarily struggle to fall asleep at night.  But I have found that my quality of sleep is a lot better when I don't drink coffee.
  4. To stop staining my teeth.  I was comparing a few photos taken in the summer to ones  taken within this holiday break and I've noticed a huge difference in my smile.  My teeth have definitely become a bit stained due to the coffee I've been drinking so much this past semester.  Suffice to say that pictures taken in the summer were much better looking.
There's two ways I can limit my consumption of caffeine: (i) cold turkey approach or (ii) gradually cut back.

Gradually cutting back seems to be the most sensible to me.  Plus, it can sort of act as a buffer in case I'm prone to experiencing withdrawals.  At this point, I'm looking at 3 cups of coffee per week for the first month, 2 in the second, then gradually cutting back to one per week for the rest of the semester.

That's all for now.  I will definitely put up an update of my experience as I go through this gradual withdrawal from caffeine.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yearly Goals

Hello there! Hope everyone has been doing well.  I can't believe 2011 is almost done :(.

I'm at the coffee shop an hour before my shift at my other job on campus, so I figured I'd take a bit of time to update! As we approach the end of 2011 we'll be bringing in a new year.  A new year for some means a fresh start, along with a fresh list of goals we'd like to achieve.

Prior to last year, I NEVER made a list of yearly goals (sadly!).  I don't know, I guess I wasn't very self-reflective before.

However, after making a list last year--I must say, it really works! In fact, I think to a certain extent, I exceeded my own expectations.  I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that making a list of goals kept me focused and gave me a direction--two things that are extremely important when it comes to achieving goals.

These were my goals last year:
  • Apply for university and get in
  • Get a job at the library, lab, or tutoring during the school year
  • Finish the Fall semester with a 4.0 GPA
  • Eat Healthier
  • Exercise consistently
  • Find a summer job
  • Improve at tennis
  • Study during the summer
Out of all the goals I listed above, there were three I didn't completely accomplish: eat healthier, exercise consistently and finish off the fall semester with a 4.0 GPA.  Everything else I accomplished.

As far as exercise and eating healthier, I was pretty consistent with both until I returned to school full-time in September.  Nonetheless, I have to find a way to do both consistently year-round--at least when it comes to eating healthier! Because I know the exercise will always be there in the summer at the very least--plus, eating healthier has precedence over exercise.

As far as my GPA, my marks haven't been out yet--but I know enough to know that it won't be a 4.0.  I'm guessing it'll be between 3.1-3.3.  Knowing what it's like to have a full course load while working two simultaneous part-time jobs, I'm confident my GPA in the upcoming semester will be a 4.0.  I really felt I was close this semester--and if it weren't for all the adjustments I had to through, I'm pretty sure I would've had it.

My goals going into the 2012 is simple: to get better.

Whether it's in my personal or professional life, all my goals are going to be based on getting better.  More specifically, they are the following:

  • Attain a 4.0 GPA for the Winter semester
  • Apply and get into the biomedical engineering program in my university
  • Find a summer job
  • Eat Healthier
  • Exercise consistently
  • Save my money
  • Research and (possibly) apply for Research Assistant positions within my university
  • Nurture old relationships, foster the new ones
  • Continue to improve at tennis and table tennis

Something that I keep in mind is that these are the "big picture" goals.  There's a lot more to this.  Meaning I have to set goals everyday to ensure I accomplish these "big picture" goals--this is what ultimately makes the difference.  Writing it down is the easy part, but working towards it every single day not so much.

Despite being 5 days removed from my last exam, I've already given myself a head start on my new years' resolutions and started working towards all my new goals.

How about you? What are your goals going into 2012?

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Want to be a Scientific Dawg

Well, hello there! Its been ages since I've updated this blog, and as I'm waiting for a classmate at the coffee shop I figured why not take a few minutes to update! Honestly, haven't been up to an entire much.  I'm a pretty regular person, and for someone my age I'm simply going to school while juggling two part-time jobs.  However, this is actually quite a different experience for me because I've never held a part-time job while simultaneously going to school at the post-secondary level--and even in high school, I didn't work as many hours and the workload is no where near as intense.  But I love it this way--it really gets me to exercise time management skills along with a wide array of other skills.  As consumed as I am w/ school and work, I still take time on the weekends to do other things that I like.  Whether it's going out for dinner with friends, playing sports or taking time for leisure reading, it all contributes to a healthy balance.

All of that aside, the Big Diesel's "Shaq Uncut" was released earlier this week (have not gotten a copy, but will do so once this semester ends), and in the book he makes it pretty clear that despite the differences between him and Kobe he simply can't take away Kobe's work ethic:

"Kobe is a scientific dawg," O'Neal wrote. "He works out every day, practices every day. Most of the other stars are just dawgs, not scientific dawgs. Kobe will always have the edge because of his range and killer instinct. LeBron has the killer instinct, but he can't shoot like Kobe can."

I couldn't agree more.  I've been a Kobe Bryant fan since I was 12 and he's been my favourite ever since.  He's accomplished a lot: Five NBA titles, two Finals MVP, a regular season MVP, an Olympic Gold medal, all-star selections, All NBA First-Team, and All NBA Defensive selections--the resume goes on and on.

As much as I admire him for everything he's accomplished, he's not my favourite because of his all-star selections, game-winners or sportscentre highlights.  He's my favourite for the simple fact that he's the hardest working pro in the NBA.  I don't know Kobe personally, but he's still someone that I draw inspiration from and consider a role model from afar.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Favourite Athletes

I love sports--and just staying active in general.  I don't exactly follow all sports out there, but out the ones that I do follow (basketball, baseball and tennis), there's no doubt that I have my favourites.  Here they are:

Out of the three, baseball is the one that I follow the least nowadays (there's only so much time!).  But when it comes to this sport, it's hands down Derek Jeter.  He's as perfect as they come when it comes to athletes.  He's a quintessential role model.  Not only does he have a Hall-of-Fame resume already, but it's really the intangibles that he possesses that set him above and beyond the rest.  Those are the qualities that I admire the most about him.  His leadership, likeability, decision-making, work ethic, meekness, professionalism, and just his overall presence in general is something that anyone can learn and aspire from regardless of their walk of life.

When it's all said and done, Jeter will not only cement his place as one of the greatest ever in baseball, but just sports in general.

When it comes to tennis, it's Novak Djokovic.  As great as he is on the court, his overall approach and mentality to life is what impresses me.  Not to mention that he's an absolute professional and has a great sense of humour. Despite being the current number one player in the world(and by a large margin!), he's still extremely humble, works hard, and doesn't settle.  Seeing his gradual improvement over the course of his career serves as evidence that working hard does pay off!

For those who know me, this won't be a surprise--but it's Kobe Bryant! He's hands down my favourite athlete ever.  It's really simple--in my opinion, he has one of the best work ethics in professional sports, and possibly the best one in basketball.  He's obviously insanely athletic, but it's really his skills that make him the player that he is--and a lot of that has to do with his unparalleled commitment to be the best that he can and to work as hard as possible--something that any of us can certainly learn from! He understands the concept of maximizing one's potential and squeezing the most out of life.

And in my opinion, when Kobe Bryant walks away from the game, he may just be the greatest to ever play the game of basketball.

As we can see, these guys not only possess the skills and talent to succeed in their respective sport--but if we think about it, it's merely a corollary to their approach of life! The common denominator is that they want to maximize their potential and be the very best they can be--a simple concept that transcends what they've accomplished as professionals and can be applied in any facet of life.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Finishing out the Summer

This post is inspired by Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld's latest blog post:  I'm a huge fan of Sophia's blog--I think she's witty, intelligent, and has a great sense of humour.

On to my post...I can't believe summer is on the brink of coming to an end! I haven't been up to an entire lot.  Ever since quitting my summer job at the end of July, I've mainly been studying, playing lots of tennis and just hanging out with friends.

For those who are curious about what I could possibly be studying for in the summer--I'm basically studying for all my first year Physics, Chemistry and Math courses.  Since I've already taken these courses during my former program, it's all review for me.  I really want to do well this upcoming year (and in all my future years as well, of course), so I do feel like putting in 3-6 hours of pure studying per day is totally worth it.  Plus, I think I'm just a big nerd in general.  I enjoy studying and going to school.

Also, I think working at the job that I was working at this summer helped me reinforce (even more) the importance of going to school, doing well, and graduating so that I have more power to choose the kind of job I'd like.  I was more unhappy and miserable at this job than any other job I've had in the past.  As I constantly put it to my friends when I spoke about to them about it: "I was aging by the minute".  All that stress and unhappiness just wasn't worth the paycheque, even though I did need it to cover my summer expenses along with the down payment for my school tuition.  Next summer I'll probably be attending summer school because of the extra courses I need to take towards program requirements--I hope by then, I could still find a job on campus.  Something like working at the library, lab, or tutoring part-time would be awesome--even as I go back to school this September I'm hoping to find a job on campus as well.  I'm tired of working at these odd jobs during my summers.

For now, I'm just going to take the remainder of the time that I have left to set short-term and long-term goals and work towards them while finding time to relax.  Meaning I finish off the Physics, Chemistry and Math reviewing, clean out my room, play as much tennis and stay active as possible, hang out with good friends, and just recuperate and get healthier in general. 

What about you? How are you finishing out your summer?