Monday, 16 January 2017

Are you goal-oriented?

My friend Annabel reminded me that we both shared the same criteria in choosing friends and much more - our lifetime partner.  Goal-oriented, Results-oriented, someone with personality, can deal with all kinds of people and most of all God-fearing.  I know it was not right when we couldn't help laughing at some of her suitors who had the face (and body) but didn't have goals in life. Can you imagine?


First of all, we need to define a goal. Goal is something you want to achieve, work on and get better at.  There are long-term and short-term goals. A normal person will have dreams and ambitions but not everyone will have goals who are close to planning on achieving them.  The latter is our ideal person.


Before I took my Project Management course at University of Toronto, I've already known the concept of SMART goals.  In order for our goal to be smart, it needs to conform to the following criteria:


SMART Goals



Specific

  • Well defined
  • Clear to anyone that has a basic knowledge of the project

Measurable

  • Know if the goal is obtainable and how far away completion is
  • Find out when you have achieved your goal

Agreed Upon

  • Agreement with all the stakeholders (family, spouse) what the goals should be

Realistic

  • Within the availability of resources, knowledge and time

Time-Based

  • Enough time to achieve the goal
  • Not too much time, which can affect project performance
Because this is just the start of the year, this is a perfect time to set a goal and plan on how to achieve it.  The Smart guideline above will help in setting these goals.


The following are the different types of personal goals that you may want to consider:


1.  Financial Goal - example: Save 50 dollars a week for the whole year to attain the $2,600 goal
2.  Fitness Goal - example:  Exercise for 30 minutes everyday, eat vegetable everyday, Run for 5K
3.  Travel Goal - example: Japan and Manila Trip by 2019
4.  Career Goal - example: Enroll in a class to learn or improve skills; Get certification
5.  Spiritual Growth Goal - example: Join a Ministry or bible-study cell group
6.  Relationship Goal - example: Level up or Propose marriage to GF or break up with a married partner


I mentioned about friends sharing the same goals or having goal-oriented traits that we ourselves possess.  It's important that you share the same goals with those who are close to you to inspire you and help you achieve your goals.  I admit that these people are the same ones who poke you and remind you to get going in case your motivation is slowly diminishing.  If the friend is not aligned with you, you will slowly lose the interest so choose your company well.  They are there either to support you or watch you fail.


Please keep in mind that the outcome of your goal is not because of other people, do not blame it on them.  It is not about them, it is you, only you who is accountable and responsible about achieving your goals.  Start right, act now and sustain it. Remember, time is passing by and your age is not getting any younger, maybe for some of our goals, the age or physical strength will prevent us from achieving it.


I hope you have a change of mind if you are not yet a GOAL-ORIENTED person.  Don't you want to achieve something remarkable this year?


See this blog post too - TRAC and BHAG/BHAP

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Types of Friends: let's see if you are one

Friends are treasures, but they are rare or you need to invest time and effort to find them.



 
I have this notion that all those who are friendly to me are my friends. With that, I am thinking that I have lots of friends even online. I have lots of followers but there are only a few that I am confident will show up at my funeral because they are your true friends. Are you one of them?

 
I'd like to share my notes from our Pastor who helped me understand the levels of friendship and how they are different from each other:

 
Level 1. Acquaintance - these are the people that we have met one time or we are around with everyday, we share small talk with them. They can be our not-so-close relatives (remember those family reunions you had and you were introduced to one or two), they can be your classmates (you have become group mates in one of the projects in school), they can be our co-workers, sports team member or opponent from another school, our Sunday school classmate or a friend of our friends, or our neighbors, or the lady at the Library whom we shared some book reviews with. It could be anyone that we know, smiled at and met casually.

 
Level 2. Friend - the next level is when that acquaintance become more present in your day to day activities either physically or online. You have become closer because you shared personal stuff, you both know what your likes and dislikes are and most likely, you have the same feathers or fall in the same group.  The conversations you have tend to focus in knowing the other person more and how you relate to his or her opinions, beliefs and character.  You will want to find out more about that person and everyone that surrounds her like family, spouse, work, school and sports activities. I consider this the "dating phase".

 
Now it gets deeper when emotions are shared. When this person is happy, you share and celebrate it together, you are also happy for the person, not jealous.  When your friend is in trouble or in sad moments, you comfort him and being there for him counts a lot.  You are not a friend when you are only there for happy moments and you leave when trouble comes. If you are in the dating phase and you want to find out if this person only wants to be with you because you are popular, or rich, or smart to help him in school, you will discover his intentions when the going gets tough - when you are no longer popular, or smart, or rich.  The fake friends are easily known because they get lost as soon as the perks are lost so be vigilant.

 
When you are in the older age, it's easier to find friends because you know who have stood by you and are still friends with you even if you married, moved, either home or work or country. 

 
Level 3. Close Friend - you will be considered a close friend if talking to each other is regular or catching up is imperative. I have my sister as my closest friend because we talk every chance we get but apart from a relative, you may have 3 or 4 persons who are really close to you who are the same as level as you but the relationship is more personal. This person is someone you can confide anything with.  You know the saying - anything under the sun.  You share feelings, you can pour out problems, frustrations and plans that you will hesitate to share with any other friend because you trust and respect this one special person and vice versa.  This stage is sometimes tricky because most of the time when you thought that you can share with a person, you will end up finding out that whatever you shared is also shared with  one of her friends. You can't trust that person anymore right?  Betrayal.

 
One thing that I consider a factor in making the Friend stage move up to the next level is when I am able to challenge my friend or I can also accept the challenge from him. We have come to a point that we can tell each other even the wrong things to correct them.  A true friend will accept criticisms and also give constructive ones.  The next level is reached because you will realize that the friend really cares for you to give you warnings - Iron sharpens iron.  This is the best level to consider if that close friend is also qualified to move up and become your partner in life.  The best marriages start with good and very close friendships.

 
We can have many close friends too but there are only a few who are Good, Godly and have been there Praying for you.  Christ even on his last night at the Garden of Gethsemane only chose 3 of his disciples to wait for him while he is praying. 

 
It is true that in these times, it is very hard to find a Good, Godly close friend so here are the tips I took from Pastor Billy from Church on the Queensway based on God's words:

 
1. Pray for that friend.
2. Choose well. Proverbs 22:24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person. Do not associate with one easily angered.
3. Be careful.  Proverbs 12:26 The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
4. Test the friendship - with time, distance or confidence
5. Caution in communication - talks should be pleasing to God. 
Proverbs 16:28 A perverse person stirs up conflict and gossip separates close friends.
6. Create Depth - society and media is robbing  us of true friendship.

 
Proverbs 18:24 says "One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."

 
To accomplish this we need to consider the L's of friendship:
Love - to move from acquaintance, you need to add love
Loyalty - you can't change friends in the same way as your clothes
Learn - knowledge about the friend is a leverage
Listen - give and take, you can confide
Lean - you can count on a friend
Laugh together - cry and laugh.  The close friend will help you laugh when you are crying.

 
  • Take time.
  • Let the Holy Spirit guide you.
  • God wants you to have a Close friend.
  • Be a Good and Godly Friend yourself first

I wanted to put this in my blog so that one day, I will be reminded that I was blessed with good and Godly friends until now and I'm sure they will show up in my funeral. But most of all, I am blessed to have found Jesus as my very best friend.  He is there in my ups and downs, 24/7 and I'm forever grateful.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Kyle's 11th Birthday at East Side Mario's


Today is Kyle's 11th Birthday. I am amazed and thankful how time flies and I just realized that my kids are all grown. Here we are in our Birthday Lunch celebration at East Side Mario's.  The kid ordered pizza and we ordered pasta.  It was not as how I expected it to be, nothing special.  I am pretty sure my kids loved my pasta more. Anyway, we just wanted to spend the birthdays differently now so we hold it at a restaurant.  BTW, Alexus enjoyed the bubble gum milkshake so that is something that I would definitely recommend for kids and kids at heart.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

2017 - a year to look ahead



Happy New Year! A new year is always a good time for a fresh start. Start the year with a bang, with plans and activities laid out for the coming months.  I know some of my plans last year didn't materialize but I hope and pray that this year would be the year that some of the items in my checklist will be marked as completed or achieved.




I will not list everything but I still want to write those that I really need to accomplish this year:


1.  Take and pass the G2 Drivers License.
2.  Write the CAPM designation exam.
3.  Finish a project and be a certified Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt.
4.  One or two Big Family trips this year, down south (WDW) and east.


I just trust God and I rely upon His mercies and provisions. So please help me Lord.




Proverbs 19:21 says - Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.


My prayer is that this year will be a year of blessing and spiritual growth as my family follow God.  No matter where He leads us or what situations await us in the coming year, He is always with us, guiding and guarding our way.
                                                                                

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Jumpy-Jumpy and Rogue One day

To celebrate Aloysius 15th birthday, we went to Trampoline Park - Aerosports in Brampton.  I got a good deal again from Groupon (it was buy one take one ticket) .  The kids had fun jumping and jumping until they ran out of energy.  It was a perfect opportunity to burn some calories from the Christmas feasts. I have a secret dream to be jumping in my own trampoline in the backyard but because it was expensive and not safe for kids if they play on their own, I just joined the kids in the jumping.  I call it a jumpy -jumpy day.
 
We also took advantage of my free movies perk from Scene visa to watch Rogue One, the Star wars movie this year. The kids have a good memory of the characters and the events from previous movies and I find myself asking lots of questions because I lost track of them. I also learned the difference between the Shadow Trooper and Storm Trooper and all the fighter planes. It's like an exam in school, lots to learn.  Fun Day with the family. love it.
 

Monday, 26 December 2016

I am Grateful for 2016





I do this every year. Here's my 15 for 2015 account and below is my 2016 list.  How time flies?  It's almost over but I wouldn't let the year pass without listing my top ten blessings for the year.


1.  First Travel on my own to be with my parents, my sister and family in Mississippi.
2.  Started a new diploma course in Lean Six Sigma at University of Toronto.
3.  Went on another solo trip to United Kingdom to represent my department in UK HQ.
4.  Bathroom and Kitchen renovation
5.  Aloysius received an Honor Roll Certificate for last year's performance
6. Celebrated Lito's Birthday with a Medieval Times Dinner, kids had a blast.
7. Watched NBA Toronto Raptors game from a private VIP box.
8. Reconnected with old friends and gained new friends (virtually and physically) at work and within my inner social circle.
9. First time to attend a Molson Christmas Party for adults. Nice to be dressed up.
10. Entertained guests from Nova Scotia, enjoyed precious time with friends.


I'm forever grateful.  Thank you Lord.







Sunday, 25 December 2016

So What's In It for me? - a glimpse of our 2016 family newsletter


So what’s in it for me?


It’s been our family tradition that every Christmas, we will come up with a newsletter—to highlight every wonderful milestone of the year. We are on our 6th year and I’m still proud to share God’s enormous and even the smallest blessing in our lives.  You probably might ask “So what’s in it for me?” Whether we like to    admit it or not, we live in a culture of comparison.  We are interested with someone’s latest tweet, Instagram or Facebook status update. Social media breeds instant comparison. We feel happy for the person or sometimes inadequate compared to others. I love what Jesus said when Peter asked about John’s future. Yes, he was comparing his future with John’s. “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” John 21:22. In other words, God is trying to say, “stop comparing.”

 

Acts 4:13 says “when they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” They had an AHA moment. They realized that Jesus was really with them and that explained everything. Yes, our newsletter,  Instagram, Facebook status updates are our way of telling the world that God is present in our lives, even the behind the scenes.  

Appearance, accomplishments , possessions, positions are only what you see, but behind the scenes are not. Just like normal people, we are faced with frustrations, worry and sadness, too. Some family members are sick, or jobless, some have financial issues, some experience professional jealousy, some are afraid of change and the future, and some feel they are not “right”. Yet in all these, God is still with us and we strongly believe that in our inadequacies, God will be there to fill them up. His grace is more than enough for us to continually praise, thank and boast about Him. As you read through our family’s updates or anyone’s, may you also realize what God has done in your life that merits His praise. May God touch you and let you experience Christmas season with abundance of joy, peace and love.

 

God bless you & your family.