My Life Goals Template

At the end of every work year, we usually have an annual review – mostly to answer questions such as: Did we meet our goals? What went well? What didn’t? It’s basic, but answering these simple questions helps a lot in setting the direction for the coming year.

So I wondered, why am I not doing this for my life? Then I discovered Chris Guillebeau, who conducted personal Annual Reviews for his life for the last ten years. I’ve actually tried it once before – but it was far too detailed that I didn’t follow through. This year, I’ve made another version, this time around not diving too deep, and mostly ripping off Chris’ format and making it my own. 

This is the template that I came up with: My Life Goals Template. Take note that this is just a template – not my actual goals. I think I’ll have to keep those for myself! But I have listed some examples in case you get mind blocked.

Here is my process, explained in detail.
Continue reading “My Life Goals Template”

For You, this 2018: Be Bold As F*ck

Are you a journey or a destination kind of person? I used to ask that question a lot, until I realized they’re one and the same. The destination is the journey is the destination. Everytime I reach a goal or a certain level of success in any aspect of life, there’s always a next level I’d like to attain. Sometimes I desire something else entirely. Everytime I think I’ve found myself, the only thing I find is that I’m lost yet again.

Such is life, I realize. In my 20’s, I attribute the feeling of being lost as part of a crisis. And then I wondered why it was labeled “quarter life crisis” when I experience it every year. It turns out, some people never get found. Or maybe, nobody really ever gets found – but I can’t speak on behalf of the majority.

These days I just embrace it. I embrace my Now, which is, for better or for worse, in a constant state of transition. I get to the next destination with the expectation of getting lost again, and a desire to explore further and reach greater heights. Otherwise, what else is there to do?


That being said, here’s my wish for the coming year:

Dear You,

This year, I wish that you get yourself lost and embrace it. Experience all the Now’s – whether you’re making waves, or riding them, or stumbling over. And as there’s no getting lost without a certain amount of boldness, may you be bold as f*ck. And brave. And mad. Sometimes the limits are all in your mind.

Happy New Year. 


For you, this 2017: Your Most Amazing Self Yet

I usually write  a somewhat elaborate new year’s wish on every first of January.  (At least I’ve been doing so since 2012.) For many reasons worthy of another post, it has taken me three and a half months to finally release one for this year. And this may be the simplest by far:

Dear You,

This year, I hope you become your most amazing self yet, even if it means letting go of things that previously made you feel amazing.

That is all.

Have a great year.

For you, this 2016: People You Want to be Like

A couple of years back, I told Jim Ayson, my late boss, that one of my personal laws is to surround myself with people that I want to be like. I was pertaining to him.

Before I met Jim for the first time, I had googled him extensively. I found, among many others, that he was labeled one of “The Internet’s 10 Most Influential Filipinos” by The Web Philippines back in 1999. Continue reading “For you, this 2016: People You Want to be Like”

For you, this 2015: Be Mindful

I had a good talk with Lucille over wine right before the holidays. And it mostly revolves around her 2015 resolution: mindfulness. It’s interesting because mindfulness is a word I have overused in the past year.

I have gone to such point that I’ve obsessed about tracking myself in an attempt to be more mindful of everything that I do. Take note: Daily. With graphs. I measured my sleep hours, food intake, steps taken, workouts, finances, computer activities, travel time… I have transitioned from the happy-go-lucky, don’t-really-care-about-anything backseat kid to the person who absolutely needs to be behind the steering wheel and taking control.

I realized that time cannot be stretched. It is not a train that can be stopped midway, and it will keep ticking, no matter what we do or say or feel. Also, our minds and souls and bodies have limited spaces and energy, and so despite our desire to consume the world, and to explore every beauty, and to be present in every event, we can only really fit so much within ourselves and throughout our lifetime. Continue reading “For you, this 2015: Be Mindful”

For you, this 2014: Make Beautiful Things

In the beginning of 2013, one of my commitments to myself was to write more – both here in my blog and in my personal journal. I was pretty consistent in the first few months, and was very happy about that for a while. But then, as with most new year’s resolutions (and as a result of certain life circumstances), I lost my rhythm. At one point, I just stopped.

In my list of 2013 goals, there are a couple more boxes I have yet to tick. Funny thing is, looking at it now, I don’t feel bad at all. Because that whole time I wasn’t following the plans I put on paper last January, I was busy discovering things that I never thought I’d like, worlds that didn’t even exist in my imagination. I was finding out my own complexities and imperfections, abilities and inabilities. I was meeting interesting people I never would have met had I not decided to step down from the train of mundane life to walk around and appreciate the scenery outside once in a while.

A lot of things didn’t go as planned, in short. But man, things are beautiful. And I’m not talking about circumstances. I’m talking about the world. People from all walks of life are doing and creating and making beautiful things every minute of the day. It is jaw-dropping, mouth-watering, breath-taking, a-mazing.

And so with child eyes, here is my wish:

Dear You,

This coming year, I hope that you make beautiful things.

I hope that once in a while you create some art – paint, or write, or dance, or sing, or cook, or do Capoeira; or maybe pole dance, or play with hula hoops, or poi, or a staff, or maybe fire (the simplest things can be very sexy). At work, produce something that you’d be truly proud of at the end of the day because of its sheer beauty. I hope that you make beautiful relationships with your mom and dad, your grandparents, brothers and sisters and friends, your lovers… and strangers! Make surprising friendships with people you don’t know. It doesn’t matter how long they last. Everything in this world is transitory.

I hope that things don’t work out exactly as you have planned them. And that because of this you discover more beauty than what you already know. I hope you surprise yourself with the intensity of beauty that you can create.

We are all just passing by in this world. Might as well make beautiful things. Might as well make things beautiful.

Stay handsome in your madness. Happy New Year. 🙂

My wishes in the previous years:

2013: Every Year I Do A Neil Gaiman

I have not read all of Neil Gaiman’s (@neilhimself) works, but for some reason I love him to bits and I wait for his New Year’s greetings yearly. This 2013 it goes like this:

It’s a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world.

So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave – let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we’re faking them.

And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it’s joy we’re looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation.

So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy.

Happy, Happy New Year to all.


Taken from Neil Gaiman’s blog: My New Year’s Wish...

For you, this 2013: Here and Now

Sometime in August 2012, I fasted from social media for thirty days. It was such a cleansing experience. Technology “has no bounds” they say, and so sometimes we spend too much time in the future, or in some other place far away. We spend gatherings with our heads stuck on our mobile phones or tablets or maybe laptops, conversing with people other than those right in front of us. We know what everybody in the world is eating – including Anne Curtis and Erwan Heusaff. We know the places our friends have been, what they’re fighting with their boyfriends about, whether their kids are actually cute or not. We arrange meetings with the people we know, we say hi, and then we get back to our own small bubbles that supposedly connect us to the rest of the world. In effect, we spend our Here’s somewhere else, and our Now’s in another time. Continue reading “For you, this 2013: Here and Now”

For Day #3 from Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman says things so beautifully, I am almost annoyed. I hope he lives til a hundred so we could get pretty new year wishes for longer. Happy Day #3 of 2012 everyone.

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.


So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.


Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.


Make your mistakes, next year and forever.


Taken from his journal,

For you, this 2012

I woke up — and I haven’t even gone out of bed yet — feeling that I have to write my own personalized wish for everyone this 2012. It might be a bit more exhaustive than initially planned, but here it goes:

Dear You,

This year, I hope that, for once or twice or seven times seven times seven times, you be wrong. Take a risk — jump off a cliff, get your feet dirty, get your hands dirty, learn to cartwheel, fall and laugh at yourself, visit a strange place, go home with scratches and bruises, become friends with someone nobody else knows, find a new love, do something impossible. Be crazily passionate. Deep within you is a fire; let it burn. Deep within you is a wild child; unleash it. There are things that you’ve been wanting to do for years now but never do for fear of being wrong. Do it. Be wrong. You can never create something beautiful without making mistakes. Go ahead. Be wrong now. The time will never be just right.

Cheers to a mad 2012.

Love and hugs from the official loca, Vida.