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We all talk a good game when it comes to setting goals, but what really matters is execution. You have to hold yourself accountable. Constantly remind yourself of your short term and long term goals and make sure you’re actively taking the steps to achieve them. Reassess your goals and see how many you’ve accomplished, cross out any that no longer align with your values, and if there are any you didn’t achieve, figure out why and then get right back on track. 

If you checked out my blog post in January on creating vision boards, TUNNEL VISION // VISION BOARD 101, I spoke about setting goals and how making a vision board can help you achieve them. It was such a fun activity making my vision board and seeing it every day when I woke up definitely helped remind myself of who I am and where I want to be. Unfortunately, when I moved to Japan I wasn’t able to take it with me, but maybe I’ll take this as an opportunity to make another one for the remainder of the year. 

Since it’s now June, I figured it’s the perfect time to revisit some of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year and see how much I’ve accomplished in the past few months. I’ll be addressing each of them and stating whether I achieved them, dismissed them or am still working on them. It’s important to be honest with yourself when doing this, don’t drag the truth to make yourself feel better for slacking. 

Goals for 2018:

1. Go Vegetarian (again): [dismissed] This is unfortunately one of the goals I haven’t been able to stick to. When I came to Japan, I wanted to be open to trying new things (especially new food,) so I forgot the vegetarian diet and I’m honestly glad I did. I was pescatarian for 3 years when I was in college and when I moved home with my mom for a few months it was really difficult and expensive to stick to so I slowly weened my way back into a carnivorous diet. I rarely eat beef or pork, mainly just chicken and a good steak once in a blue moon. Being in a foreign country and constantly being on-the go and living in someone else’s house doesn’t allow for much choosiness and I’ve had to eat a lot more fast food than I would have liked since I’ve been here [although the fast food in Japan puts America to shame.] I can feel the changes in my body when I switch my diet back and forth  from eating meet to not eating it so I’m currently trying to find a healthy balance between eating enough veggies, fruits and some meat here and there. According to the theory of eating right for your blood type, [im type O] I'm naturally and historically a meat eater and my body needs meat to function at its best. 

2. Self employed: [somewhat achieved] As you all may know from my previous post,  UPROOTED: I QUIT MY JOB & MOVED TO JAPAN  , I quit my day job and moved to Japan with no intentions of finding a new one. For the first three months in Japan, I enjoyed waking up when I wanted and being my own boss. Lord knows it was not an easy adjustment. It is extremely difficult to give yourself that structure that a 9-5 provides and really stick to it because you don't have anyone to answer to but yourself. That's where self control and accountability comes into play. Honestly, Im not happy with my performance the past few months. I found it really difficult to find a schedule and stick to it because, well, I hate routine. I also made the mistake of taking on too many projects and clients which in turn only lead to me stressing out and not meeting deadlines like I should have. I'm learning now to say no to more and more opportunities that are not directly in line with my end goal. Time management is everything!

With that being said, because I was on a tourist visa, which only allows you to stay in a country for 3 months, I had to pick up a part-time gig to give me legal status to live in the country. I'm not happy about it at all, but I'm big on "Doing what I gotta do" if it will help me get to where I wanna be in the short-term. I don't feel that 'locked down' feeling I used to feel when working [as much] since I made the drastic decision to quit my last job and move to the other side of the world and I know this is only temporary because my goals are way bigger than this. Baby steps. 

3. Move to Japan: [achieved] Again, if you read my previous post then you know about my move to Japan. Truthfully I was 100% excited up until the day of my flight. It wasn't until a few hours before I left for the airport that the nerves started to kick in. I felt a sudden rush of emotions all at once and had a little mental berakdown in my empty bedroom while finishing packing my suitcase. It was such a bittersweet moment. I love change and the blessings it brings but my natural instinct is to fight it and get emotional about it. It was a really scary feeling to leave everything I know behind and travel across the world to a foreign place with absolutely no idea what it would be like. "Will my nieces and nephews forget who I am?" "Will my friends check in on me?" "What if the food is too weird for me and I'm constantly hungry and unsatisfied?" "Will the language barrier make me feel alienated?" "What if I get homesick and want to come back home?...I don't even have a home anymore..or a job." "What if I have a panic attack on the plane?" "Will I be judged because I have a lot of tattoos [tattoos are taboo in Japan.]" "What if I just change my mind right now, call the whole thing off and just move to Florida with my mom?" These were just a few of the thoughts that were racing through my mind before I left for Japan, and I was seriously contemplating not going because my anxiety was at an all-time high. 

I still have a lot of concerns but I'll never let that stop me from making moves. I never want to look back and think "what if" about a huge opportunity I could have taken so I had to talk myself out of the doubts, wipe my tears, and convince myself that I needed to do this. I tried telling myself anything to make me feel more comfortable; I tried acting like it was the same thing as when I went away to college for the first time or that I could just think of it as a vacation and come back in a few weeks if I really didn't like it - and I'd figure out what to do next when the time came. These thoughts helped me get through the flight and first two weeks or so without feeling too homesick. I knew that I was just feeling this way out of fear and I didn't want to make any rash decisions based off that, so I did my best to push past those feelings until I could really experience my new home. And I'm so glad I did. 

4. Travel: [achieved/ongoing] Truthfully, when I bought my one-way ticket I had no idea how long I planned to stay in Japan for - and I'm still not sure. This wasn't my last-stop, it was just meant to be a stepping stone for the next chapter of my life - takin control of my destiny and going at my dreams full force. At the moment, I don't see myself in Japan long-term. I honestly can't see myself anywhere long term right now. I want to see as much of the world as possible before I "settle down" somewhere. I'm just taking it day-by-day and making the most of my time here. It's all in an effort to secure my future while simultaneously embracing the present moment. With that being said, traveling around Asia is very affordable so I have some fun trips planned in the next few months that I can't wait to share with you all!

5. Be more aware of how I am perceived by others: [achieved/ongoing] It goes without saying that when you're in an unfamiliar place you are forced to learn more about yourself and other people inw ays that you would never be able to if you were somewhere you're used to. Meeting people from all different backgrounds, whether it be Japanese locals, active military, military vets, expats like myself, or just tourists - I've encountered a great deal of different personalities while being in Japan thus far. I've met a lot of talented and successful people along with some not-so-pleasant people. I've had to break out of my shell and really put myself out there in order to meet new people and make new relationships - whether it be business or personal. I've learned the importance of getting to know people and their "why" as well as doing a lot of introspection and checking my own attitude, thoughts, and actions. There is nothing more humbling than being in a foreign country, living under someone's roof who is from a vastly different culture than you, and not having any type of comfort from home like your own bed, your own room, a car, not knowing where anything in the city is (and most of it being written in a different language,) all the way down to small things like finding your favorite foods and makeup products. 

Coming from New York really puts me at a disadvantage when it comes to interpersonal skills, in my opinion. We naturally have a good filter and can spot out the real from the fake, however we have this sharp edged personality that can be received really badly from people who are not used to us. I've had to check myself daily when I realize I'm being too harsh, cold, or even judgemental of someone or something. It's not easy and I do wish I was naturally more open but hey at least I can be grateful for that New York hustler's mentality.

Over all, I'm proud of how much I've accomplished since the start of the year. How have you been doing with the goals you've set for this year? Now is a great time to check in with your goals and congratulate yourself for those you have accomplished. What helps me is writing a list and checking off the things that have been done. It helps me get things in order when I can visually see them and organize them.

This has been the most pivotal year of my life by far. The next half of this year will be devoted to effective execution to meet the remainder of my goals - I would share them with you all but I'm really big on working in silence until things are set in stone. I'm very protective over anything that means a lot to me, including goals that can make or break me so I'll check back in with you guys at the end of the year for another 6-month recap. 

Thank you so much for your unwavering support lately. I shared previously that I feel my calling in life is to share my thoughts, experiences, and personal style with others in order to inspire and make other people's lives easier in some way. This move has not been an easy adjustment for me and I can't thank you all enough for all your supportive and inspiring words. I really hope you can all continue to follow me along my journey, I have some really dope changes coming to the blog soon!

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