March Recap | Spring 2023

Spring is here and it’s time to spring forward. That being said, it doesn’t feel like Spring here and there’s still lots of snow on the ground. Oh, the joys of living in Canada! ๐Ÿ

This month has taught me a valuable lesson about the importance of learning to let go and move on with your life. Although I have made some progress, I still have a long journey ahead of me. I have the itch to physically and emotionally declutter my space, so that is what I have been doing. I am currently in the process of decluttering my old laptop, phone, and #Twitter feed. It’s a work in progress but I am starting to feel a bit lighter.


Fill Your Own Cup First

This month, I only shared one post on this blog other than my Monthly Goals and Recaps. Although I had anticipated sharing more articles from Medium, I hadn’t found the time to do it yet. Nevertheless, I still have the intention of publishing my most recent article from Medium on here as it is an inspiring self-help article! If you want to read it now, I will share the Medium link here:

โ™ก Related Article: Nobody is Coming to Save You


Trial and Error

I also started a 1-month Medium subscription trial earlier this month and have already made plans to write an article regarding my experience with that. Although this content won’t be published on my blog due to its highly niche-specific nature and the fact that not all readers of my blog may be as interested in this subject matter, I do plan on writing th follow-up article eventually. For now, you can check out my article about my initial thoughts on getting a Medium subscription:

โ™ก  Related Article: That’s it. I’m Buying a Medium Subscription!

MARCH GOALS 2023

Career Goals:

  • Stay up-to-date on my work schedule I wasn’t too pleased with myself during the month of March as I had two days off. One of them was spontaneous as I didn’t feel well and the other one had been planned for a while in order to do some shopping before our trip.
  • Attend in-class sessions on March 14แต—สฐ & 15แต—สฐ I attended this class and got 100% on the exam. I was surprised because I didn’t feel ready to write it.
  • Request March 26แต—สฐ off as it no longer fits my schedule As stated above, I planned this at the beginning of the month.
  • Complete the Connect Care modules on MLL I made sure to review every detail twice prior to the upcoming exam in order to ensure that I had everything covered.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Screenshot of Work Schedule TBU (To be uploaded…eventually)

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts + monthly goals/recap blog posts In March, I published only one blog post which was a cross-post from Medium. I didn’t bring anything original to the table this month – sorry.
  • Publish 1-2 articles on Medium + share articles on blog If you’re interested in reading these articles, you can take a look at my work here and here. I already gave an overview of these articles up above (re: Nobody is coming to save you).
  • Sign up for a 1-month Medium Membership trial โœจ Yes, I signed up for the 1-month trial on March 6แต—สฐ Will continue with it once the trial ends? That’s for me to know and for you to find out in a future Medium article.
  • Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments I have been managing my schedule without any sort of planner and it’s amazing that I haven’t missed an appointment yet. However, it is time for me to update my planner this week as doing so will help me stay more organized.
  • Daily Duolingo practice ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช I am determined to learn a new language but I’m choosing to take my time and go at my own pace. From what I can remember, I believe I am currently on Day 111 and have been steadily progressing this far. Since starting Duolingo, I have lost count of where exactly in the learning process that I am and know that this streak will be broken once we go on vacation. To be honest, after 3 months of using Duolingo, it has become quite tiresome and mundane which often leads to me forgetting to even open the app unless it notifies me with a reminder. Not gonna lie, I do miss the social aspect of the leagues and will likely re-join at some point.

Health Goals:

  • Treadmill on days I am not working + upload progress At the start of this month, I really made an effort to get back into using the treadmill. Unfortunately, I slipped back into bad habits and eventually stopped. Bad habits seem to repeat themselves, donโ€™t they?
  • Limit drinks to water, tea, and coffee I mostly stuck to water, tea, and coffee this month. I also drank a lot of pineapple juice because I ate a lot canned pineapples ๐Ÿ
  • Track steps on Pikmin Bloom app By default, this app tracks my steps. I wasn’t too active with the social aspect, so I didn’t really plant virtual flowers.
  • Healthy/clean eating 80% of the time I was really diligent about eating plant-based during the month of March up until this point lol Since I am currently on the go, I cannot eat as healthy as I would like to. I prefer eating low-fat, plant-based whenever possible. I am not vegetarian or vegan and do eat meat when plant-based meals aren’t an option.
When fresh fruit isnโ€™t an option ๐Ÿ

(ใฃโ—”โ—กโ—”)ใฃ FYI: If you’re not already following me on Twitter (@serene_hilz), I’m tracking my fitness progress, and you can get real-time updates about my day-to-day life there.

โ€ขโ™กโ€ขโ™ฅโ€ขโ™กโ€ขโ™ฅโ€ขโ™กโ€ข

And there you have it! Just a quick update that I won’t be posting Monthly Goals for April 2023. Why? Because I will be visiting Nick’s relatives in Singapore. Although travelling stresses me out, at least Singapore is a tropical island! ๐Ÿ๏ธ I even named my #ACNH island after Sentosa, which is a beautiful place in Singapore. Before I go, I will share with you some photos of Sentosa, my Animal Crossing island. Do you play Animal Crossing too? Let me know in the comments section below โ†“

Thanks for stopping by! โ™ฅ

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March Goals | Winter 2023

You guys, it’s March 2023! I’m feeling excited to see what this month brings, but I’m also a bit overwhelmed. There’s so much I need to do and the days are flying by! It feels like I barely have enough time to check in with everyone and make sure you are doing well. To be completely honest, I’m still unsure if I will continue with these blog posts in the foreseeable future or not, but for now I will try to stay consistent. These monthly goal blog posts go hand-in-hand with my daily updates of what my life is like, which I will continue to post on Twitter. If you’d like to follow me and get a glimpse into what my day is like, please feel free to click the following link:

โ™ก Quick Link: https://mobile.twitter.com/serene_hilz

โ„‘๐”ฑ’๐”ฐ ๐”ฑ๐”ฅ๐”ข ๐”ฉ๐”ฒ๐” ๐”จ ๐”ฌ๐”ฃ ๐”ฑ๐”ฅ๐”ข โ„‘๐”ฏ๐”ฆ๐”ฐ๐”ฅ๐Ÿ€

Turning Over a Renewed Leaf

This is not exactly a new season or month for me, instead, it is more of a continuation of the last two months in terms of my monthly goals. I have made some small adjustments to my diet and have been exercising regularly, so I am not making any drastic changes or starting a new diet, etc. In fact, I intend to remain consistent with my current habits and continue to make subtle improvements that will help me ultimately achieve my goals. This month is a particularly busy one for me, as I am juggling my work commitments and parenting responsibilities, while also trying to get ready for an upcoming vacation next month. The pressure of having to finish all of these tasks in a timely manner while still having the time and energy to prepare for the trip is causing me a considerable amount of stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, I cannot provide you with any details about my travels yet, but I can assure you that I won’t be very active on social media while I’m away. All I can say is that my destination is a warm and sunny place! ๐Ÿ๏ธ

January Goals 2023

Career Goals:

  • Stay up-to-date on my work schedule
  • Attend in-class sessions on March 14แต—สฐ & 15แต—สฐ
  • Request March 26แต—สฐ off as it no longer fits my schedule
  • Complete the Connect Care modules on MLL

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts + monthly goals/recap blog posts
  • Publish 1-2 articles on Medium + share articles on blog
  • Sign up for a 1-month Medium Membership trial โœจ
  • Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments
  • Daily Duolingo practice ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช โ†’ I want to go at my own pace

Health Goals:

  • Treadmill on days I am not working + upload progress on Twitter
  • Limit drinks to water, tea, and coffee โ†’ cut back on spending $
  • Track steps on Pikmin Bloom app โ†’ continue to plant flowers ๐ŸŒธ
  • Healthy/clean eating 80% of the time
Selfie taken March 17, 2020 ๐Ÿ€

And there you have it! My goals this month are very similar to those of last month, with an emphasis placed on getting fitter and healthier so I can feel more comfortable in my own body and potentially even wear my pre-pregnancy clothes again. My goal is to build a positive self-image, not only in regards to physical appearance, but also for my mental health. It is not only about accepting your body but also feeling good about it and not waking up every morning with self-hatred. Mental and physical health are equally important and should be given priority in order to achieve inner peace.

I am curious to know what your goals are for the month of March. Feel free to let me know in the comments section below โ†“ Also, I would really appreciate it if you followed me on Twitter (@serene_hilz), that is, if you aren’t already a follower. Though it is often a struggle to gain traction on that platform, I still find it really enjoyable to establish connections with fellow bloggers.

Thanks for stopping by! โ™ฅ

February Recap | Winter 2023

It is the end of the month, once again! I have thought about whether or not to continue with my monthly goals and recap blog posts. I’m curious to know if they have been a useful resource or tool for readers of this blog. Would you find value in these posts if I decided to keep them going? I havenโ€™t been writing these blog posts for very long, yet my calendar is already full. That does not leave me much time to be creating quality content.

Despite the fact that I do not update this blog as frequently as I would like, I have been busy in other aspects of life and work has taken up a significant portion of my time and energy. On top of that, my family responsibilities take up an even greater portion of my day-to-day life. It often amuses me to see how people without kids feel they have the authority to comment on my parenting style when they are not experiencing the demands of being a parent themselves. Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs out there, so it’s no wonder why I prioritize this over blogging.


Let It Go~!

As I look back on the month of February, I am reminded that sometimes the answers that we receive in life, even though they may not be what we were hoping for, is usually the right answer. It can be excruciatingly difficult to come to terms with the fact that sometimes the answer we need is not necessarily the one that we would like to accept. I have yet to receive the closure that I was seeking, but I am slowly learning how to move on and accept these things for what they are. Letting go of things, whether it be a lingering grudge or feeling wronged by someone else, can certainly be a painful experience. Nevertheless, it is something that we must do in order to keep growing. These days, I have to keep reminding myself to “let it go!”

โ™ก Related Article: The Gift I Never Gave

FEBRUARY GOALS 2023

Career Goals:

  • Continue to pick up day and evening shifts I was able to secure two evening shifts earlier this month, and the other ones were the same. As I’m not fond of day shifts, I’ll stick with evenings for the foreseeable future.
  • Catch up on emails I am up to date on the important emails. Anything that wasn’t pinned to the top of my email list got neglected. I only check my emails once a day whereas I used to check it multiple times a day.
  • Bid of shifts as they become available Yes, I decided to bid for two consecutive days as previously mentioned.
  • Work on the MLL courses. # of completed modules: ?? I didn’t count the modules because I don’t care enough to count them. But I did complete a handful of them. I still have a handful left, which I want to complete before the in-class course starts in mid-March.

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts per month In February, I published two blog posts that weren’t the monthly goals and recaps. I also rewrote the poem, Friends No More and had fun answering the 20 Valentine’s Day Questions Tag โ™ฅ๏ธ
  • Publish 1-2 articles on Medium + share articles on blog Last month, to my surprise, I managed to successfully publish two articles on Medium. This took me by surprise since I didn’t think I would end up with any published articles at all. If you’re interested, you can take a look at my work here and here. I have yet to post these articles on the blog but have plans to do so at some point.
  • Keep tabs on doctorโ€™s appointments/pending appointments This seems to be an ongoing cycle that never ends, and even though I initially planned to share the details of my new Posh Planner for 2023, I haven’t been able to get around to using it yet. And despite making use of my basic $4 Dollarama planner, I have been quite forgetful lately.
  • Daily Duolingo practice ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช If you are a Duolingo user and haven’t added me yet, then I strongly encourage you to do so. I always accept someone who sends me a friend request as it’s great for doing the challenges with friends. I don’t have enough time to grind for XP, so I have been stuck in the Obsidian League for 3 weeks now.

Health Goals:

  • Treadmill on my days off + Accountability If this is your first time reading my blog, then I strongly suggest that you follow me on #Twitter! Not only do I post updates and photos to keep myself accountable, but it is also an amazing platform to connect with others who are striving for similar goals. I recently started taking virtual tours around the world while working out, and it has been an incredibly fun and unique experience so far. It is a great way to stay motivated while exercising as I am able to explore beautiful places all over the world without leaving my home. The visuals of these virtual tours are awesome, thanks to an amazing YouTube channel called @TreadmillTV (and others).
  • Limit drinks to water, tea, and coffee Overall, I am quite pleased with my success in achieving this goal of limiting my beverage purchases. During the month of February, I mostly drank water, orange pekoe tea, and coffee. I even managed to limit my trips to Tim Hortons; I only had steeped tea a total of three times this month. Also, I did indulge in some bubble tea with my daughter out of our shared love for it โ€“ a total of two times this month.
  • Track steps on Pikmin Bloom app The nice thing about this app is that it syncs with the step-counter on my iPhone. Carrying my phone with me all day isn’t ideal, but this app helps me stay on track. I set myself the goal of 10K steps per day, and it’s done wonders for my health and fitness! Not only has it helped me lose weight, but I’ve seen an improvement in my overall wellbeing too.
  • Healthy/clean eating 80% of the time Although I’m quite conscious of my diet, I still indulge in unhealthy snacks. To make sure my lifestyle is balanced, I opted to stop buying fast food, which I did for the majority of February. It is important to note that I have a tendency to engage in disordered eating habits, which I don’t want to do, so I don’t intentionally practice intermittent fasting. Over the years, I have gotten better, but I still slip up occasionally.

(ใฃโ—”โ—กโ—”)ใฃ Key Takeaway: If you’re not already following me on Twitter (@serene_hilz), I’m tracking my fitness progress, and you can get real-time updates about my day-to-day life there.

โ€ขโ™กโ€ขโ™ฅโ€ขโ™กโ€ขโ™ฅโ€ขโ™กโ€ข

And there you have it! As you can see, my February Goals mostly stayed the same. I plan to upload a Monthly Goals Blog Post for March if I am able to find the time to do so. I will try to find time to post this week but there is no guarantee that I will be able to keep up with my writing schedule. After all, I also write for Medium (@sereneluna) and I am thinking about sharing those articles here ๐Ÿ‘€ It’s getting to the point where it’s hard to maintain a blog AND a Medium account. Now is a great time to follow me on Medium so you don’t miss any of my latest posts! I’m really happy to announce that I have now reached 1.3K followers on Medium and 1.4K followers on WordPress!

Thanks for stopping by! โ™ฅ

February Goals | Winter 2023

It is indeed surprising how quickly February arrived, leaving me with barely enough time to check in with you all. Even so, I recognize the value in pushing forward with my goals and plans, and so, without hesitation, I have created a similar list for the month of January. My mundane day-to-day life has not changed much, but I remain committed to making sure I stick to my routine and achieve what I need to accomplish.

For those of you who have been following me on Twitter, I will continue to add updates of my progress, such as completing a challenging workout or achieving another Duolingo lesson. Additionally, I may post small pieces of creative work, like poems, pictures of my cat, and photos of my favorite beverage lol Twitter is where I tend to open up and share my thoughts. You can follow me via the following link:

โ™ก Quick Link: https://mobile.twitter.com/serene_hilz

๐’ซ.๐’ฎ. ๐ป๐’ถ๐“…๐“…๐“Ž ๐ต๐‘’๐“๐’ถ๐“‰๐‘’๐’น ๐’ข๐“‡๐‘œ๐“Š๐“ƒ๐’น๐’ฝ๐‘œ๐‘” ๐’Ÿ๐’ถ๐“Ž!

Different Month, Similar goals.

If you’re curious about the differences between this month and the last, you will find that it is pretty much the same routine (for the most part). Since I will continue to donate to Amref Health Africa, I left it off from my list of objectives for February. It was kind of like paying a phone bill where these things are automatically renewed. A month ago I put it up to send a message to an annoying spammer who kept pestering me on #Twitter. Following up with reporting him and blocking three accounts he had, things are better now. As I have no shifts on the Gen-Med unit this month, I chose not to include it in my goals either.

January Goals 2023

Career Goals:

  • Continue to pick up day and evening shifts
  • Catch up on emails and work on MLL courses
  • Bid on shifts for February as they become available
  • Work on the MLL courses. # of completed modules TBD

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts + monthly goals/recap blog posts
  • Publish 1-2 articles on Medium + share articles on blog
  • Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments
  • Daily Duolingo practice ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช

Health Goals:

  • Treadmill on days I am not working + upload progress on Twitter
  • Limit drinks to water, tea, and coffee
  • Track steps on Pikmin Bloom app
  • Healthy/clean eating 80% of the time
Photo is my own. Please excuse the cat hair ๐Ÿˆโ€โฌ›

And there you have it! As you can see, my goals are similar to January. Ideally, I am hoping to get fitter so I can wear my pre-pregnancy jeans again. I lost a bit of weight last month but I don’t own a scale. I go by how my clothes fit and my clothes are starting to fit a lot better. During the month of February, I’m keeping my focus on fitness, along with career and personal goals (of course). My goal is to shed some belly fat so that I can wear my jeans by mid-March.

I am curious to know what your goals are for the month of January. Feel free to let me know in the comments section below โ†“ Also, I would really appreciate it if you followed me on Twitter (@serene_hilz), that is, if you aren’t already a follower. It is so hard to grow on that platform but I really do enjoy using it to connect with like-minded bloggers.

Thanks for stopping by! โ™ฅ

January Recap | Winter 2023

It’s already the end of January 2023 – seriously, where did the time go? When you work on weekends, it can seem like months are passing by three times faster than normal….It can often feel like only a few days have passed since your last weekend. This phenomenon makes it easy to believe that time is indeed an illusion, as this concept supports that belief.

I didn’t work for the first half of January but I worked a decent amount during the second half of January. If you ask any of my friends and family members who I interact with on a regular basis outside of work, they would tell you that I’m rarely ever around from Friday to Sunday. When I’m not sleeping, I’m usually working or studying for some exam thing. During the weekdays, I have typically been more active online and while this has recently become less frequent due to my ever-growing list of tasks, I still strive to spend as much time online as possible. A hectic schedule can make the days seem to fly by, but it’s also easy to feel overwhelmed. To keep up with all my obligations, I’ll be writing monthly recaps – this helps me stay accountable and take a look back at what I’ve achieved.


Seeking Clarity โœจ

Looking back on the month of January, I am incredibly proud to have accomplished a handful of my planned goals that I had set out for myself at the start of the new year. I am doing my best to take life one step at a time and not get overwhelmed by the pressures of looking ahead to multiple months at once. Additionally, I have been facing issues with indecision lately, however, I am expecting February to be the month that brings me clarity and the ability to make the right decisions.

JANUARY GOALS 2022

Career Goals:

  • Do not miss any work days this month I’m proud to say that I didn’t miss any work days this month, despite being ill right at the beginning of January and having to spend New Year’s Day in bed. Nonetheless, I was able to make it back to work mid January and ended up completing a total of 9 shifts! I’m really pleased with myself for managing to do this against all odds and staying productive.
  • Get comfortable with working on new Gen-Med unit Out of the nine shifts I have had so far, six of them were spent on the Gen-Med unit and I am gradually getting more and more comfortable working there. Although I am still not confident with the new admissions and discharges process, I have faith that with a bit of practice and determination, I will eventually master this skill as well.
  • Catch up on emails and work on MLL courses I still have more than 30 modules left to finish by March 14th, 2023. Although I wish I could have been more productive with the MLL modules, I am determined to maintain pace and catch up on them before the deadline approaches. I hate doing things last minute.
  • Start bidding on shifts for February as they become available Yes, I eventually decided to put in a bid for two day shifts. Although I am not overly excited about working days, I will get through it…. but first, steeped tea lol Day shifts can be incredibly hectic and chaotic at times, but they can offer plenty of opportunities to learn and grow.

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts per month Writing has taken a backseat this month as I’m busy with exercises and language lessons. It’s not that I’ve lost interest in writing, but rather that I just don’t feel as compelled to create unique content currently. This month, I posted the following blog posts in case you missed them. I guess parodies are fun? You be the judge.
  • Publish 1-2 articles on Medium + share articles on blog So far, I have only shared the What Do you Hope to Accomplish in 2023? article on my blog. However, the other Medium articles that I did publish are not necessarily focused on blogging but rather reflect a more broad range of topics and opinions. Do you really care about what I think about the “Follow 4 Follow” Method on Medium? Probably not, right? Thought so!
  • Keep tabs on doctorโ€™s appointments/pending appointments This seems to be an ongoing cycle that never ends, and even though I initially planned to share the details of my new planners for 2023, I haven’t been able to get around to it yet. For now, I am making do with a basic $4 Dollarama planner which does get the job done; but eventually when time allows it, I will upload a picture of the Posh Habit Tracker Planner that I recently bought.
  • Monthly donation to Amref Health Africa For the past twelve months, I have been regularly donating to Amref and have no intentions of stopping anytime soon. I hope that by supporting their good cause, I can help make a difference. Moreover, anyone who attempts to pester me for donations on #Twitter will be reported and blocked without hesitation.
  • Daily Duolingo practice ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช I have managed to form an impressive habit of sticking to my Duolingo practice this month. Additionally, by leveraging the advice from YouTube videos and Reddit forums, I have also figured out an ingenious way to get unlimited hearts without needing to purchase the Super Duolingo subscription. The leagues have been occupying a lot of my time lately; I was able to dedicate 10+ hours to learning German last week! This app is proving to be quite useful for me, so I will continue using it!

Health Goals:

  • Treadmill on my days off + Accountability I was successful in maintaining a consistent routine throughout the month of January. Despite being slightly under the weather at the start of the month, I was back on my feet and on the treadmill in no time. On my days away from work, I made sure to allot at least one hour for exercise on the treadmill, doing a minimum of 300 calories burned and at least 3.2 miles/hr. I realized however, that this strict schedule might not be sustainable for the long-term as I have a tendency to quit.
  • Track water intake on Water Llama app I am terrible at consistently tracking my water intake, no matter how hard I try, unless I am always conscious of it and track it 24/7. Sadly, I could have done a much better job of monitoring my water intake if I was more diligent about it.
  • Track steps on Pikmin Bloom app The nice thing about this app is that it syncs with the step-counter on my iPhone, which also syncs with my Apple Watch. This app only works when I am carrying around my phone though, and I don’t want to be a slave to having my phone in my pocket all day. I upped my step count for the month of February – more on this later.
  • Healthy/clean eating 80% of the time Although I’m quite conscious of my diet, I still indulge in unhealthy snacks. To make sure my lifestyle is balanced, I opted to reduce the amount of fast food intake, particularly from McDonald’s. Additionally, I abstained from purchasing donuts at Tim Hortons.

And there you have it! Do I feel more confident and positive about myself? Absolutely! Did I successfully achieve the goals I had set out to do in the month of January? Yes, indeed! Will I continue this positive trend of setting monthly goals for personal growth and development? Definitely! Will I be posting a Monthly Goal Blog Post for February? Potentially. It is likely that it will be similar to my January list as my goals have not changed.

Finally, if you want to drastically improve your life and have been procrastinating on setting New Year’s Resolutions, goals, etc., then I highly recommend that you take some time to read What Do You Hope to Accomplish in 2023? I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to read this article, as it can be a key factor in jumpstarting your journey towards achieving all the goals you set for yourself and making meaningful progress towards creating a better life for yourself, starting now.

Did you achieve your January goals? Please let me know in the comment section below โ†“ Also, if you’re not already following me on #Twitter (@serene_hilz), I’m tracking my progress and you can get real-time updates about my journey there!

Thanks for stopping by! โ™ฅ

January Goals | Winter 2023

As the new year approaches, I have made a promise to myself to make setting monthly goals a priority and I am excited to start off with January 2023. Writing out a list of achievable goals that I can work towards has always been important for me, and this is an opportunity for me to start fresh and strive towards making real progress in achieving my aspirations.

For those of you who have been keeping up with me on Twitter (@serene_hilz), I am currently in the process of holding myself accountable for my exercise regimen. To do this, I have been using the treadmill to stay active on days where I am not occupied with work commitments. Keeping myself motivated and challenged on a daily basis by setting goals and achieving them has become an invaluable habit for me. I love to be able to take a step back at the end of each day and reflect on what I have accomplished, which is especially rewarding when I receive positive feedback from my followers that they find my posts inspiring! This is something that truly makes me proud and never ceases to give me a sense of accomplishment.

โ™ก Quick Link: https://mobile.twitter.com/serene_hilz

๐•€ ๐•’๐•ž ๐•–๐•ฉ๐•”๐•š๐•ฅ๐•–๐•• ๐•ฅ๐•  ๐•ค๐•–๐•– ๐•จ๐•™๐•’๐•ฅ ๐•๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•ฆ๐•’๐•ฃ๐•ช ๐•™๐•’๐•ค ๐•š๐•Ÿ ๐•ค๐•ฅ๐• ๐•ฃ๐•– ๐•—๐• ๐•ฃ ๐•ž๐•–!

As I had mentioned in my previous blog post, the beginning of the New Year was unfortunately filled with a few days spent in bed due to illness. It wasn’t until January 4th that I started to feel slightly better and was able to enjoy a meal of sushi. Unfortunately, I was feeling depressed by January 5th. My depression is usually bad this time of year (aka. Blue January) due to the colder temperatures, lack of sunlight and the end of the holiday season which means there’s nothing to get excited about. I am the type of person who needs something to look forward to, so that’s where this blog comes in. If I cannot control my circumstances, then I will create my own goals and routines this year.

Yes, it’s the same template as previous years. ๐Ÿ“†

Are you familiar with this template? If you read my March Goals blog post(s) over the years, I can tell you that it’s the same template. Why did I only post during the month of March? Who knows! This template, however, is something that I’m very proud of and I will continue to use it for this blog. Personally, I don’t like creating blog posts from scratch because they often lack organization and flow, which are things that I hold high standards for. If a blog post looks ugly, then I will often scrap it or re-write it so it’s “easy on the eyes.” You might be wondering how this month differs from previous months. Well,, let me show you:

January Goals 2023

Career Goals:

  • Do not miss any work days this month ๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™€๏ธ
  • Get comfortable with working on new unit (general medicine)
  • Catch up on emails and work on MLL courses
  • Start bidding on shifts for February as they become available

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts per month
  • Publish 1-2 articles on Medium + share articles on blog
  • Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments
  • Monthly donation to Amref Health Africa
  • Daily Duolingo practice ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช

Health Goals:

  • Treadmill on days I am not working + upload progress on Twitter
  • Track water intake on Water Llama app
  • Track steps on Pikmin Bloom app
  • Healthy/clean eating 80% of the time
My Mii looks constipated lol

And there you have it! As you can see, I have laid everything out in a clear and concise manner and I am very direct about what I do. I’m not an expert when it comes to achieving life goals, but I believe planning and sticking to what you set out to do is key. It’s not always easy and that’s why I remind myself of my goals every day. Even though it can be tough, taking consistent action towards what you want make the biggest difference in the long run.

I am curious to know what your goals are for the month of January. Feel free to let me know in the comments section below โ†“ Also, I would really appreciate it if you followed me on Twitter, that is, if you aren’t already a follower. It is so hard to grow on that platform but I really do enjoy using it to connect with like-minded bloggers.

Thanks for stopping by! โ™ฅ

March Goals | Spring 2022

This is the beginning of a new month which means that we have a fresh start (yet again). I am not waiting another day for a fresh start, since we already know that January and February 2022 were bleh months for me. I am still catching up on the comments from January. No, I have not forgotten about you all. To all of my loyal readers and blogging friends, thank you for putting up with my sloth-like self. What I really need right now is a steeped tea and a calm place to escape to which does not exist in my world. As I continue to search for my quiet sanctuary, I often think back to life before the pandemic started ๐Ÿ˜ท When I was at U of Calgary B.C. (before Covid-19), I used to escape to the arboretum on campus. I really miss that place. *Le sigh*

If you knew me IRL, my life would probably bore you. If I am not doing mundane, mind-numbing chores, I am probably working or taking care of my 5-year old kinder and 9-month old baby. That being said, I want to be more organized this month so I think it’s only fair that I hold myself accountable somehow. Since I haven’t used Instagram since 2019, I don’t see the point of using IG stories, even though I have had some success with it in the past. Right now, blogging is the main platform that I use so it makes sense to share my goals here with my readers. Just a quick note that my goals this month are rather vague and I have not gone into much detail yet regarding my current diet. Perhaps I will elaborate more about my weight loss journey and plans in a future blog post if anyone is interested. FYI I am not overweight but I want to lose belly fat, specifically visceral fat. I fit the definition of skinny fat which is annoying because I cannot wear cute clothes without hating myself. ๐Ÿ˜“

The Daily Grind โ˜•๐Ÿ’•

By now, we all know that I lack the motivation to grind away at writing, editing, and uploading new content for this blog. Even on my days off, I am too lazy to get off the couch and actually do something productive. The recipes I made earlier this week were not โ€œInsta worthyโ€ so I didn’t bother snapping photos. I would like to share my low-carb recipes with you, but the perfectionist in me is stopping me from actually following through with it. Perfectionism is a B.I.T.C.H. ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ I currently have 31 drafts on WordPress + ideas in my head + ideas that live on a notepad on my iPhone. That being said, I refuse to upload half-baked blog posts just for the sake of gaining more views and followers.

Old News is New News

In other news, I was sick (again) during the month of February. To add to this series of unfortunate events, I was unable to find a habit tracker because Costco didn’t carry them this year and the calendar store is closed until further notice ๐Ÿ™‡โ€โ™€๏ธ I am a visual learner and seem to do better when I can physically see what goals I need to achieve. Right now, I lack direction and feel a bit lost when it comes to setting short-term and long-term goals which is no surprise considering that I haven’t been using a planner at all. At this time, I am thinking of sharing my goals with you to keep myself accountable for the month of March. I really seem to struggle with finding the energy and motivation to stop being a lazy potato.

It is hard to believe that one year has passed since I last posted my goals for March 2021 ๐ŸŒธ You can also read about how that went down here. ๐ŸŒธ I have decided to keep the same layout this year. Below โ†“ I will show you my list for the month of March 2022. My daily lists are very similar except that daily lists include mundane tasks like cooking and cleaning. So what does my list for the month of March look like? Here, let me show you:

March Goals 2022

Career Goals:

  • Continue to work weekends and Fridays, preferably evening shifts
  • Bid on shifts so I average 7-9 shifts per month
  • Renew and review courses on MLL
  • Attend 2 online wellness seminars

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts per month
  • Publish 2-3 recipes and/or poems
  • Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments
  • Continue to declutter house every day
  • Have an IRL meeting/get-together

Health Goals:

  • Follow a low carb diet for 3+ months
  • Continue Intermittent Fasting (IF)
  • Slash 90-95% of wheat products. Slash 70% of refined foods including refined sugar ๐Ÿง
  • More cooking and baking at home
  • Daily walks and sunshine if weather permits โ˜€๏ธ

Not that anyone cares: My scale needs new batteries so I donโ€™t know my actual weight. The way my clothes fit is a better indicator than a stupid number on the scale. I donโ€™t care about weight as much as the way I feel on the inside and I know that my BMI falls within the healthy range of 18.5 – 24.9. And yet, people often tell me that I do not need to lose weight, but they aren’t me. What I do know is that I don’t feel good on the inside. I want to feel healthier and my body looks (and feels) tired. Ideally, I would like a flatter stomach by summer so that is what I am working towards. More importantly, I want to get rid of my inflammation as a result of sensitivities to certain foods. The last time I felt comfortable in my own body was in 2015. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but affirmations and mantras about body positivity do not make me feel better about myself. I also came to the harsh reality that I haven’t made much progress since 2017 when I wrote a blog post about my dieting woes called No Carbs, No Life.

“Oh I don’t need real food. I’ll just live on this raw cabbage. I’m so happy. This is fine. Everything is fine.” โ€” Jenny Lawson

Do you have any goals that you are trying to achieve this month? If you do, what are they? Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below โ†“ I look forward to reading your comments. I am working this weekend, so I will reply to your comments and catch up on blog posts when I have time.

Thanks for stopping by! โ™ฅ

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The Merry Month of May 2021

An April 2021 recap blog post did not happen last month and I can explain. My [temporary] work schedule is crazy busy during the months of May and June as I am currently working 5-6 days/week until further notice. I say โ€œtemporaryโ€ because I do not know how long this pandemic will last, and the duration and severity of this pandemic greatly influences whether or not I get shifts. Although I am fortunate to be working these days, on my days off, I am often too exhausted to write a blog post, let alone do deep introspection which is necessary in order to craft a blog post thatโ€™s worth reading. And thatโ€™s the truth.

Happy Mother’s Day! There’s still snow on the ground, so planters did not happen this year. These flowers were from Mother’s Day 2019! ๐Ÿ’

April Reflections โœจ

Looking back on the goals that I made for March 2021, I noticed that my goals pretty much stayed the same throughout the month of April 2021. I believe that it is good to stay focused on a few big goals rather than flip-flop between a bunch of small ones. I call people who jump from thing to thing dabblers, which is something that I am trying to avoid, personally. How can anyone get good at something if they keep flip-flopping between things or take up too many hobbies? My advice is to stick to 1-2 hobbies and get good at them. No, you do not need a YouTube channel, a Podcast channel, 10 different social media accounts, and a small business in order to be successful, unless thatโ€™s how you truly want to waste spend your time. It is important to get very clear about what you want and make a plan, and my goals are loosely based on S.M.A.R.T. goals. I suggest that you do the same, but thatโ€™s my opinion.

How My Life is Changing

Reflecting on the months of April and May (so far), here are the goals that I managed to accomplish along with the goals that stayed the same since March:

Career Goals:

  • Continue picking up more shifts if it fits my schedule As previously mentioned, I am not working at the hospital these days. Right now, I am working from home and my schedule is full-time due to increased employment opportunities. However, I have received some criticism from people regarding my work schedule (as if it is their business), saying that I should be taking maternity leave or time off to โ€œrelaxโ€. Just because I am 37 weeks pregnant does not mean that I am incapable of working, nor am I entirely useless. Also, one should not assume that I qualify for maternity leave, because I donโ€™t actually qualify for it. I only started working in February 2021 and thus, I have not accumulated enough hours. That being said, my husband qualifies for paternity leave.
  • Completed UWorld and Wrote the NCLEX-RN! As mentioned in a previous blog post, I wrote the NCLEX-RN on April 26, 2021. It was definitely the most challenging exam that I have ever written and I am super relieved that I passed in 110 questions! A few days later, I got my RN permit so I am very happy about that too! Even though I am too pregnant to be on my feet these days, I am excited to see what the future holds career/profession-wise. ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โš•๏ธ

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts per month Letโ€™s face it: I am still writing the bare minimum right now. I am not sure if I will be uploading more blog posts during the month of May. My schedule is busy and I have no time for blogging as a result. Like I mentioned earlier, blogging is not my priority right now even though I enjoy this hobby a lot. Connecting with other bloggers gives me a reason to log into WP every day, even though I am not actively posting new content.
  • Keep tabs on doctorโ€™s appointments/pending appointments I am getting annoyed that some people are reiterating the same stuff that I mentioned in my previous blog post whenever I try commenting on a pregnancy forum which I wonโ€™t mention here. I am well aware that I might have iron deficiency anemia and I got my bloodwork done last week. I am currently waiting for the results and will find out if I am anemic on May 12, 2021. We still need to find a baby doctor which is hard considering that we are moving to the opposite end of the city at the end of the month. I know that I am running out of time, and I am not entirely sure who to turn to for advice regarding baby doctors. Finally, I got my COVID-19 vaccination (1st dose) last week! In Canada, we have to wait 12-16 weeks before receiving the second dose which is dumb in my opinion. With increased wait times between doses, how is the vaccine supposed to be effective?

Health Goals:

I am going to be truthful and real here. I am not exaggerating when I say that these past few weeks have been rough health-wise. 3rd trimester sucks and I really have no other way to describe the aches and pains that I am dealing with as I near the end of this 9-month journey. As I write this, I can barely stay awake. I hardly sleep these days and get poor sleep if I manage to sleep at all. My body aches, both physically and mentally. Overall, these spontaneous growing pains make me feel blah which I think is normal considering that I felt the same way with my daughter. A lot of people like to glamorize pregnancy but there are a lot of unglamorous things about it too. And thatโ€™s the truth.


FINAL THOUGHTS

  • My husband and I celebrated our 5-year anniversary on May 7, 2021 โ™ฅ
  • We had cake on our anniversary and cake again on Motherโ€™s Day. You can never have too much cake! ๐Ÿฐ
  • Baby boy is due any day now, and I hope he arrives sooner than later. I am so uncomfortable and hotel uterus is ready for eviction.  
  • I am learning that I am much more capable than I give myself credit for ๐Ÿ˜‡
  • My life goals are probably a lot different than yours, and that is okay. We are all on different journeys. One should not compare their journey to someone elseโ€™s journey.
  • COVID-19 is still really bad in my province (currently dealing with a 3rd wave), but we will get through this. On the bright side, the pandemic has given me shifts and I want to think that I am helping humanity with the work that I am pursuing. I want to think that I am contributing to something much bigger than myself. We really are all in this together! ๐Ÿ˜ท
May 7, 2016 B.C. (before COVID-19) โ™ฅ

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March Recap | Spring 2021

I wanted to upload a new blog post highlighting my goals for the month of March but I was working yesterday evening. And earlier this week, I was too exhausted to do anything productive. I am a very last-minute person when it comes to blogging because it is not my top priority these days, so consequently, my blog posts tend to be a bit late. As of late, WP has changed the settings yet again so I am not very eager to use the WP editor. A blogger suggested that I write my rough drafts elsewhere so I am trying Microsoft Word now. If this works, you might be seeing more blog posts from me in the future.

Although March started off slowly, I did end up picking up more shifts mid-March. In terms of the habit-tracker, I stopped using it because I find that a basic list is fine for my needs. I have simplified my life so much that nothing is overly complicated anymore. Furthermore, I believe that much of our anxiety and depression stems from having overly-complicated schedules and lifestyles. Donโ€™t get me wrong โ€“ I still get anxiety and depression, but itโ€™s manageable despite doing things that are still anxiety-provoking. I also pride myself for living medication-free and am living proof that one can work through their problems using a holistic approach. 


Learning to Let Go ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ๐ŸŒฑ

I feel less guilty declining shift offers as long as I do not have to interact with people. Much of my shift offers are done through texting/email which I am totally fine with. I ended up picking up extra shifts this month and my once-barren schedule for March quickly became a colorful mosaic. I am the type who feels like it is my obligation help out wherever I can, while forgetting that I have other things to do like studying for an upcoming NCLEX exam that continues to nip at my ankles. Reflecting on the March of March, here are the goals that I managed to accomplish:

MARCH GOALS 2021

Career Goals:

  • Continue picking up more shifts if it fits my schedule I managed to pick up a few extra shifts during the month of March and I am proud of myself for doing this. Let’s not forget that I am a newbie and stepping outside of my comfort zone makes me feel uncomfortable. I will admit that I often cry before shifts because I am terrified of the unknown. My dad used to tell me that I wasnโ€™t making progress because my comfort zone only stemmed from my study desk to the garbage can in my room. And he was right. A person will not make much progress if they are unwilling to step outside of their bedroom, unless they are a full time blogger of course. As a teenager, I hardly left my room and my parentsโ€™ friends knew me as the girl who hibernated in her room and lived in her pajamas. To this day, I still live in my pajamas but I have made a lot of progress since then.
  • If shifts become available for second job, try to bid on them I ended up getting 3 shifts for my side-hustle job which was surprising. I did not have much luck bidding on shifts this week but thatโ€™s okay. You win some, you lose some. I predict that there will be a dry spell in April 2021 so I am not going to get my hopes up too much. Also, I might lose this job entirely once my job title changes (long story). Any extra shifts I am able to get during the month of April will be a bonus and definitely not something that I feel entitled to have.
  • Complete 1-2% of UWorld each day โžก Test date is April 26, 2021 Yikes. I do not feel ready to write this exam and will probably never feel fully prepared. It is very exhausting juggling this pregnancy with a busy work schedule, and I hardly find the time to study these days. I am currently 86% done the QBank which I am proud of but I am still terrified of writing the NCLEX. I really need to pass this exam because my future depends on it #no-pressure
  • Finish writing the 3-6 month learning plan I submitted the learning plan but I still question how I am going to complete everything on the list. It is stuff like this that keeps me up at night. My learning plan is ambitious so I am really hoping that I will be able to finish it on time. I continue to try my best at work, but is โ€œmy bestโ€ really enough? I always feel like I could be doing more and never seem to feel satisfied with things.

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts per month Letโ€™s face it: I am writing the bare minimum right now. I am not sure if I will be uploading a goals-related blog post for April yet. Like I mentioned earlier, blogging is not my priority right now but I do find that these posts help keep me accountable for my actions. Also, I do not want to become complacent with my writing which is the main reason why I continue to blog.
  • Keep tabs on doctorโ€™s appointments/pending appointments I went to all of my doctorโ€™s appointments this month. However, I need to schedule a few more appointments which I plan to do during the months of April and May. I am still on the edge as to whether or not I should get the COVID-19 vaccine now or after I give birth. I am eligible to sign up for a vaccine now, so I am seriously considering it. There are a lot of appointments to keep track of so I recommend using a basic planner to keep track of everything, such as these ones:
  • Send some Easter snail mail I sent a bunch of mail to those who gave me their current addresses, but I have mixed feelings about continuing this craft. I love sending snail mail but I seldom get mail in return. Not only that, but half of the time, pen pals do not let me know if they received their mail so I often wonder if the mail got lost or something. Lack of communication drives me crazy and I try to practice what I preach. I try to let people know via email or text message when I have received their mail. Seriously, how difficult is that? ๐Ÿ™„
  • Continue tracking monthly spending I am really proud of this one, since I only spent $170.15 on myself during the month of March. My credit card bill was low because I cut out so many unnecessary expenses (except my monthly phone bill) and kept myself busy. I continue to shop at Dollarama but I go there once a week and spend ~$20-30 per trip. Did I mention that I still have money left over on that Tim Hortons gift card that I earned from Swagbucks back in January? I decided to finally use up the gift card by splurging on some treats for the family. It is hard to believe that $25 lasted me 1.5 months! With the Tims Rewards, Roll Up the Rim (RUTR), and hockey promotion thing, I managed to score some bonus drinks too! ๐Ÿ™Œ

Health Goals:

My only “health goal” was to stay healthy ๐Ÿ˜ท I am doing everything I can to keep myself and my family healthy, especially since I am exposed to potential pathogens at my workplace. Currently, I am craving crushed ice really badly which is a sign of iron deficiency. It is called Pica and I had cravings for ice chips when I was pregnant with my daughter as well. It turns out that I was severely anemic last time. I am not too worried this time because my cravings did not start until 3rd trimester where iron deficiencies are quite common; therefore, I am trying to eat things rich in iron. If anyone happens to know any recipes that are loaded with iron, please let me know in the comments section below โ†“ In the meantime, I will continue chomping in my ice chips ๐Ÿ˜‹

P.S. A while ago, I uploaded a Virgin Pina Colada recipe on my blog. I can assure you that all of my drinks are non-alcoholic. My current obsession are Virgin Lime Margaritas. My takeaway is that you can still enjoy these fancy drinks even when you are pregnant. Non-alcoholic drinks do not have to be “boring.” Another reason why I like these drinks is because #crushed-ice. It’s so refreshing! ๐Ÿฅฅ๐Ÿ

Thanks for stopping by!

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March Goals | Spring 2021

February was a busy month for me. Although I have been using a daily and monthly habit tracker to keep track of my goals, it did not dawn on me to write a goals-related or monthly recap blog post. Now that we are well into the month of March, I am going to skip February altogether. I won’t bore you with a February recap, and March is pretty much a continuation of February. Overall, my goals have not changed that much within the span of a month.

March started off slowly as I did not have anything scheduled near beginning of the month. As the month progressed, my schedule got busier and I found myself with very little time to sit down, gather my thoughts, and write a semi-decent blog post that I was passionate about. Today, I feel like I do not have time to craft a blog post; however, anxiety is at an all-time high for me. Therefore, I feel like writing this blog post is not optional at this point. Right now, I am feeling very stressed with everything that is happening in my life, especially when trying to find work-life balance. I am grateful for the casual hours but I am still dealing with anxiety and feelings of inadequacy, nonetheless.

Re-grounding Myself ๐ŸŒฑ

Today, I had to decline a shift offer which was incredibly difficult for me since I am a people pleaser. To make matters worse, I kept replaying the phone call in my head over and over again. This particular event has been on my mind all day which has hindered me from getting any productive work done. During times like these, I need to remember to re-ground myself and focus on the list so I can get out of my own head. I will show you my list for the month of March. My daily lists are very similar except that daily lists include mundane tasks like cooking and cleaning. So what does my list for the month of March look like? Here, let me show you:

March Goals 2021

Career Goals:

  • Continue picking up more shifts if it fits my schedule
  • If shifts become available for second job, try to bid on them
  • Complete 1-2% of UWorld each day โžก Test date is April 26, 2021
  • Finish writing the 3-6 month learning plan

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts per month
  • Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments
  • Send some Easter snail mail โœ”
  • Continue tracking monthly spending

Health Goals:

Don’t get me started on my health goals. My goal to make water my beverage of choice went out the window because I crave icy, sugary drinks these days. I am not watching my weight right now nor am I counting calories. I am not overweight so I am not concerned, but the amount of sugar I am consuming is a bit alarming. In happier news, I passed the glucose tolerance test (GTT) last month so I do not have gestational diabetes. My bloodwork also came back normal so I’m happy about that! It is hard to believe that I am in 3rd trimester already โค Grow baby, grow! โค

I choose to believe that the quote by Roy T. Bennett is true. I have seen growth in my personal life because I continued to focus on my goals every day, regardless of how mundane they were. There will always be good days and bad days, and as long as you keep watering your plants everyday, you will be successful in life. I am curious to know if you use a daily or monthly habit tracker. Have you had success with your habit tracker? Are you building your dreams and chasing your life purpose? I am curious to know in the comments section below โ†“

Thanks for stopping by!

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