Archives for January 2017

Mobile Moves Business

Inspiration is okay, but Implementation is better. Creating a plan is okay, but acting on it is better. Anyway, no one is perfect the first time (or even the second or third time) around. We need to be tolerant of our own failure and the failure of others. And we need to try harder. We need to be really open to the changes happening around us. If we don’t adapt, failure will happen. You can’t do the the same thing, and expect a different result. #thoughts

This was what I posted yesterday on Facebook. I normally post deep thoughts like these after watching a thought-provoking or a really sad movie (like La La Land), but in this case, I didn’t come out of a movie theater. I came from an event, which I honestly thought was going to be another sales blitz. It was refreshingly delightful and inspiring!

It was Facebook Philippines’ Mobile Moves Business and it was definitely one of the most inspiring events that I have ever attended. It was a private event and most of the attendees where brands, agencies, pr people, marketers, etc. A big shout out to Paolo Lacuna of Facebook for inviting me to this event. So being a ‘branded’ event, I thought that the talks would be all about Facebook, so I was pleasantly surprised that I got to learn, not only a few things, but a full page of learnings (which I will share with you, my dear readers!).

These are the things that I remembered (so if someone who was there want to add some things, please feel free in the comment section below):

Rapid Transition to a Mobile First Commerce

We don’t notice it (probably because we are too busy looking at our mobile devices… haha!), but a lot of us now spend most of the hours of our day swiping through stuff on our phone. If you’re reading this, look up, where ever you are and I bet there is at least one person on a mobile device.

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This is a timeline that shows the changes in commerce, or the way value is exchanged. And the changes in this ecosystem is quite evident since we clearly see and experience the changes that happened and the changes that are happening and will happen. In the Philippines, it was mentioned that we are now in the middle of an omni-channel and a mobile-first commerce. We are rapidly transitioning to the latter.

As Businesses, Brands, Marketers or Advertisers

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Never forget that setting your business objectives is the first thing that you need to do. Without an objective in mind, your campaign strategy will lose direction. Then, never forget to check on the impact that you make on your audience, your brand and sales. This is the reason why I ask PR agencies and brands who ask me to write about them in this blog what their business objective is. I just believe that if you want to be an effective marketer, blogger, business owner, etc., you should bev clear on what your objective is; After which, strategies, creative executions, etc. will align itself naturally (well, most of the time) to your objective.

Another thing that hit me is that we spend a lot of time “producing” content when we do not fully understand the behavior of the market. We jump right to execution. We forget to validate if this is what the audience really want, if this is the right message, if this is the right platform, etc. There are so many questions that we need to answer before we jump into it! An example that was given yesterday was that usually whatever a brand produces for TV commercials is what they use for Facebook, Instagram, etc. The thing is, it doesn’t work that way.

Going back to the basics, these platforms are made for suppliers of VALUE to interact with the audience and tailor-fit, if possible, solutions that they would want or messages that they would love to hear and react to. Stuart Jamieson from Nielsen said, “don’t just shout at them (pertaining to your audience). ENGAGE with them.” When we have a conversation with our audience, we get better results.

Understanding the Philippine Mobile Market

These are some pictures of data the show that mobile moves business. Filipino smartphone users spend 189 minutes per day on their phones. The breakdown below is indicated in the second picture.

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Over the years, the digital landscape has undergone a lot of changes. The biggest change really is that social media now has paved the way for people to express themselves. People want to be involved and they express how they feel and “type” what they think via social media.

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So if you want to be effective, with every ad that you create and with every message that you deliver, give your audience the chance to interact with you and express themselves.

On Digital Media and Traditional Media

A wake-up call for me is that we often use one creative for different platforms. Yesterday, it was highlighted that a material produced for traditional media may not be as effective when you use it for digital media. There were a lot of side by side comparison of TV commercials being directly played as an ad on Facebook versus playing an edited version specifically produced for mobile screens. It really made a big difference!

Also, I’m sharing this slide on the Kicker Effect. This is basically a guide on how Facebook can help you optimize your TV campaign.

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On eCommerce to MCommerce to SCommerce

Inanc Balci, CEO of Lazada and Ross Wakeham, Industry Lead, Facebook Southeast Asia

Inanc Balci, CEO of Lazada and Ross Wakeham, Industry Lead, Facebook Southeast Asia

An interesting part of the program, which I know a lot of my readers with retail businesses would be interested in learning, was the conversation with Inanc Balci, the CEO of Lazada. He said that the changes happening is from the landscape being eCommerce to M(obile)Commerce to S(ocial)Commerce. He says that in this day and age, brands with out eCommerce or MCommerce should seriously consider having it. Also, it is very important that you build a separate team for that. A different set of skills and expertise are required for this kind of business.

When asked about tips that he can offer retail, he replied that a retailer needs to think about these things seriously: Have the lowest prices. Have the best service.  Have great logistic and payment parters. And lastly, look at metrics and use it.

His last insight was really funny! He was asked what he saw that was unique about the Filipino buyers. He said that in the Philippines, they would notice a spike in purchases during work hours and a big drop during lunch break and past office hours! haha!

What’s Fascinating About Facebook

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Aside from the deep understanding of Facebook that mobile moves business, what I love about Facebook as a channel for advertising and spreading information is that it is a platform which really understands the behaviour, the needs and the journey of each individual. Having this data, they help marketers, brands and businesses reach a specific market that really needs and wants to engage with them. So even if you are a small business like Manila Workshops (my business), we are given the power to optimize each and every peso to tap our potential customers and to convert them to be our customers.

For the past four years, to be honest with you, I have sustained my events management business by solely utilizing Facebook advertising. But even with this, I was inspired since I was excited by the fact that there was still a lot to learn (yes, I know… such a nerd! Learning excites me!). We all have a lot to learn. But I believe that if we learn more about all of these things, we can continuously give value where that value is needed.

Hope this article inspired you to learn more! Indeed, mobile moves business!

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Start the Year Right with these Top Picks from S&R

I had my first grocery trip this year to stock up on things that I usually buy last weekend. Aside from that, I looked for other products that would help me achieve my goals this year! Haha! Such a nerd right?! I know that other moms, like me, have this thing with groceries. We just love getting lost in; Wandering off makes us feel more relaxed. So to start the year right, I will share with you the different products that I found in S&R Membership Club.

Start the Year Fresh!

I remember that when I was little, my grandmother’s house, would have everything and anything you wanted.  I used to see piles and piles of soap in her shelf. I used to think that we pretty cool. Aside from having one at hand and ready to be distributed when my tita, tito, mom, dad, or anyone in the house would ask for one, it was also an instant air freshener for her room. I used to come in happy smelling the petal scent of these soap bars.

When I saw this, I had to get a pack. It’s actually on sale so you can get 6 bars for only Php 329.95. Plus, check out that huge shampoo bottle below! That huge Dove Shampoo container is only at Php 449.95. It could definitely last for a few months!
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Start the Year Fit!

I have been running almost daily since January 1. For those who are bent on keeping fit and staying active, you will realize that a lady can never have enough sports bras. And what kind will she need? Well, nothing but that best I say! These Under Armour Sports bras are only at Php 1895 each (from Php 2395, the original price). It comes in two colors, black and pick.

Start the Year Right Fit!

During workouts, I always keep myself hydrated! The trick is to drink a little amount but frequently. I found this non-toxic plastic tumbler with ice cubes! It is double wall insulated so it keeps your water cold longer with no moisture outside. It won’t mess up your work table or even slip through your hands. This Rove Classic Tumbler is at Php 149.95 (from Php 299.95).

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Another cool thing that I saw was this Muscle Therapy Massage Foam Roller. After a strenuous workout, your body deserves some pampering! This cool contraption is at Php 599.95 (down from Php 799.95).

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Start the Year with Good Food!

This year, I’m going with my high protein diet again. Learned about this through Tim Ferriss’ book, 4 Hour Body. I think it’s really difficult to go through any kind of diet. It really takes a great deal of discipline and determination. I hope I have enough motivation to last me the rest of the year. For my high protein diet, I saw this box of Gorton’s Clams. It looks delicious! Guess what? This product is Buy 1 Take 1 for only 299.95! Great deal right?

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For those who are not like me (I still eat fried food =(…) and really strict with their diet, I suggest that you grab this Oster Indoor Grill for only Php 2499.95. I actually have this at home! I use it to cook fajitas — I love chicken and beef fajitas.

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This diet that I am doing REQUIRES me to go on “off” days or cheat days at least once a week. During that day, I can eat anything I want. Of course, I want to eat the very best! Check out what I bought for my “cheat” day!

The first one is cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. You can buy the Original Cheesecake Flavor for only Php 674.95 (down from 1149.95).

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But check this out! It’s The Cheesecake Factory Truffle Cheesecake Collection. Inside the box are these flavors that you can try: Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, White Chocolate Blueberry Truffle and White Chocolate Lemon Truffle. This box is sold for Php 1499.95. This looks super yummy! I’ll visit S&R Membership club this Friday to buy a new cake for me to enjoy over the weekend!

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If you are a fan of ice cream, check out this huge tub of Blue Ribbon Classics Chocolate Chip! Anyone want to hang out with us this weekend? Haha!

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Another favorite is obviously Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. We actually bought a pint already! Each pint is not at Php 229.95.

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Start the Year by Traveling

One of the things that I have realized last year was that I missed traveling! This year, I will start the year right by buying things that will inspire me to travel. If you don’t have a backpack, check out this Hedgren Backpack Yellow. It’s only Php 1699.95. It looks very durable. It also has a slot for your laptop and other things!

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That’s it! I hope you enjoyed going through these products with us! I know that you will have a grand time at S&R Membership Club. If you want to check out other deals, visit their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/snrmembershipshopping/?fref=ts They post new deals on their page!

Do you have any other tips on how to start the year right? Share them with me and use #LoveSnr #SnReveryday #MGFinds I’d love to hear what your favorite thing was at S&R!

 

 

 

 

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Make it Work: Unstable Income as a Freelancer or Solopreneur

Budgeting for Freelancers and Solopreneurs

“Pulubi na naman ako, teh, this month” (I don’t have enough money this month). Have you ever uttered these words? Have you ever been in this situation?

Yesterday, I was talking to two blogger friends, Frances and Yuki. Both these bloggers are established influencers and have been blogging for quite some time now. Both of them are go-getters, too, and will now leave anything up to chance when it comes to earning for themselves and for their family. We had a serious conversation, and the topic was earning enough from being a full time blogger and full time freelancer at that.

The misconception that others have about people who work from home, or those who are freelancing or even those who are their own boss is that you hardly spend on anything. Even if we work from home, we still have bills to pay (phone, internet, water, electricity, rent, mortgage… and the list continues). We still have to earn so that we can make it work! Our main concern really is that income as a freelancer or even a solopreneur is unpredictable. Sometimes, you earn really well and sometimes, the only thing that you can afford for lunch is a Php 50 Chao Fan with siomai that you share with your co-founders (yes, that was a real experience).

So what do we do? How can we make it work? How can you truly earn from your passion? Wouldn’t it be such a great year if you can sustain a lifestyle that is fuelled by something you love? 

Lucky for me, I am willing to share with you my secret on how I stay afloat. Actually, my secret is not a tip, it’s a person. For the first time in history, I am sharing with you my husband. Yup, my husband, EJ Arboleda.

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I’m not good at handling money. I don’t splurge or buy anything extravagant, but it seems I only have enough all the time. But man, this guy is amazing and he really makes it work for us. When I met him, at 28, he already had his own condo unit, he had investments here and there and he was able to gift me with my dream wedding and a honeymoon to Europe. What impressed me is that he had all of these, because he worked smart and hard.
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I am really excited that EJ will be conducting a workshop entitled Budgeting for Freelancers and Solopreneurs (brought to you by Manila Workshops and Payoneer) and believe me when I say this (and I am not saying it because I’m his wife) that he if you just follow his tips and tricks, you’ll be on your way to letting go of all those fears and worries about not having a stable income. I know because I have already let go of all of my worries! haha!

I’m not sure why I just thought of inviting EJ to be a speaker for Manila Workshops only this 2017. For those who want to check on his credentials, EJ is the CEO of Taxumo, a tech startup that helps freelancers, professionals, and entrepreneurs with their taxes. He is also the Chief Technology Officer of Wunderman Manila – a digital advertising agency under the WPP group. He is a certified Project Management Professional, ITIL v3 Service Manager, and a SAP R/3 FI Consultant. He has been freelancing since 2010 as a web developer, project manager, and consultant.

This year will be our breakthrough year! This year, we will all let go of all of our worries and start living the life that we want. We will start earning from our passion! Let’s make it work!

P.S. Sign up now: http://manilaworkshops.com/events/budgeting-for-freelancers

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9 Fitness Applications that We Have Tried

A one hour workout is 4% of your day. No excuses!

We went on a downloading spree of different fitness apps. I guess we felt that the more fitness apps you download, the greater the chances are of becoming the ultimate epitome of sexiness this year. We tried and used all of these fitness applications, and since we don’t want you to waste your phone’s memory by downloading each and every one of them, we will share our review (most of the feedback was from my husband… hehe!).

Adidas Train & Run
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The first one is Adidas train & run. You can create your very own customized running plans. It takes a bit of getting used to, it seems. It works on the concept of blue/green zones during your workout (which I don’t really get). Also, I aside from not the vague functionality, the prompts aren’t telling me to slow down or speed up. The nice thing though about it is that it creates calendar entries for you depending on your plan. It syncs with your calendar, but bit of a hassle when you uninstall it.

Will probably delete that. 😛 But hey, Adidas, just bought a new pair. Maybe you need to up your game in the app department.

Zombies, Run!

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In “Zombies, Run!”, you basically pretend you’re running through a post-zombie apocalypse wasteland. You’re a runner collecting stuff and as you listen, there are some story elements. A bit of a disappointment though. We were hoping that it would be more interactive (ie. if I slow down, I get eaten by a zombie) – but it’s not. It’s really just a radio play. Lots of dead air, too, in between. Good acting, execution could’ve been better.

Runtastic

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The third one is Runtastic. I haven’t really used it since my data is Endomondo. I got it on sale, so I will try it out. An annoying thing though is that I bought the app, but seems that I still need to buy the training plans. Meh. It’s how Endomondo’s doing it also though – with a subscription instead. Bought that one too (I think).

Sleep as Android

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The fourth app is called Sleep as Android. I was able to get the unlock at P15 last Christmas! This one’s nice! It’s basically an Alarm clock, but it’ll wake you up when it’s best for your body to wake up (i.e. you’re not in deep sleep). You place it beside you on your bed as you sleep so that it tracks your sleep cycle. It seems to be working but not sure if it’s just some weird placebo effect.

Couchto 10K Running Trainer

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The fifth one is Couch to 10K Running Trainer. It’s basically a set of audio prompts designed to tell you when you should run and when you should walk, based on the Couch to 5K program made by Josh Clark. The app is designed to help you gradually build up endurance to do a 5K/10K while minimizing injury. It’s one do the good ones, so far. Seeing the checks against each day/program is pretty satisfying.

Endomondo

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I’m sure most of the fitness enthusiasts reading this know Endomondo. It’s a darn good app, but what’s a little bit annoying (since I bought this app), I expected the feature set to be available. It seems though that some parts of the app, like the training plan – you still need to subscribe to. It’s around P1000+ per year lang (pretty affordable) but still, I already paid for the app. 😛 Come on!

Jawbone

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The 7th one is UP by Jawbone. It’s connected to my Move. The nice thing about it is that it connects to MyFitnessPal, Endomondo, Runtastic, etc – almost all of them. It gets my data from those other sources, also. It motivates me to do 10K steps/day since, otherwise, I have to eat less — it makes a negative calorie (basically I have to burn that much) entry in MyFitnessPal when I don’t reach around ~7000 steps.

Misfit

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This 8th app is connected to my wearable which is a Misfit Shine. It can connect to MyFitnessPal, so it’s pretty convenient. The application/wearable tracks my sleep (when I had light sleep and restful sleep). It tracks my steps via points though which is indicated in that big wheel. The steps and calories are shown below. I love using this because it’s simple to use.

My Fitness Pal

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The last one is called MyFitnessPal. Almost all of the food I eat is on the app! It even has a barcode scanning function which makes entering the exact amount of calories super easy. It even has this yummy chicharon one my officemates brings — Chicharabao (chicharon from Carabao). I scanned the barcode and it was there. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!

So that’s it! Here are all the apps that my husband has!

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Take note though, he plans to remove the following: Runtastic, Adidas, Zombies Run. Runtastic is redundant with Endomondo. Adidas is redundant with all the other ones I’ve already started with. Zombies Run is not compelling enough. 😛

Again most of the views in this post are that of my husband and I share most of his views! I tried out the apps in his phone, too, and I completely agree with him. Hope we encounter better apps soon! For now, I think I’ll stick with my Misfit, Endomondo and MyFitnessPal apps!

PS. For those who want to try becoming a fitness blogger this year, check this out (http://manilaworkshops.com/events/fitness-blogging-101)

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2017 Goals and Plans

Before ending the year, I received a Viber message from my friend Rey. He was asking tips on how to plan for 2017. Like Rey, my main concern is that I have so many things on my mind and so many things I want to do. Creating plans makes me more focused and helps me achieve things faster and more efficiently. I thought I shared in my blog before how I plan things, but apparently, I can’t seem to find it. I may have thought I shared it, but ended up no writing it! haha! So you see how planning helps me! I miss and forget a lot of things.

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So my post for today is to share with you how we, as a couple, plan. You can try it out; it may or may not work for you. For us, we have been doing this for the past four years. It has been pretty helpful.

Vision Statement

The first thing that we do is we set a Vision Statement for 5 to 8 years ahead. Our chosen year is 2025. The vision statement that you create should be very specific. The one that we created as a couple revolved around living comfortably without having to worry about money. This is our vision statement:

For both of us to retire by age 45 and have passive income per month of at least Php 250,000 without any kind of debt.

We have also computed the amount of money that we need to have by that time to achieve that kind of passive income. Just to give you an idea, a pool of Php 14.5 Million can get you a passive income of Php 50,000 a month. With this, we need at least Php 72 Million worth of investments 9 years from now. Each of us need to earn Php 30+ Million (around Php 4 Million a year). Sounds huge, but we have to dream big, right? (Libreng mangarap!). My idol in this aspect is Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income. If he can earn around $1000+ a month, I know I can, too!

Mission

Aside from the vision statement, we also created a family mission. Our mission is:

A family that will spread knowledge through various media to help people grow and achieve their goals in life.

The mission that you come up with should represent what kind of change you want to create in this world. Analyze what talents, tools, etc. that you can offer so that the world becomes a better place. This will be the legacy that you will leave behind.

Define Goals for every aspect of your Life

We split our goals into 7 categories. Here are the categories that we have for this year: Goals related to our Daughter, Spiritual, Financial, Fitness & Health, Career, Mental and Start-up Goals. Of course, for your own goals, you will have to change it, unless we have exactly the same life (Haha! But hey, who knows?!). For each of the category, we listed different goals. Some may contain only one goal, while other categories may contain several.

For each goal, place the corresponding cost/resource/how much would it entail for you to achieve that goal. This way, you will be able to get the total financial value to make your goals a reality for this year.

Once you have that figure, please read this post that I made just last December:

http://mommyginger.com/2016/12/5-tips-investing-money-childs-future.html

It will give you an idea on how I invest that money that I have or the money that I will need to set aside for the future.

I really hope that this helps you plan for 2017. If you want a copy of our template, just click on this link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ttFczuGhM2dqDx3WVWlmj89fPJiW2weMrttmqI5JPO8/edit?usp=sharing

Please feel free to spread this and to share it with friends and family! Have an amazing start to 2017! Cheers!

 

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My One Word for 2017: Invest

Happy new year, everyone! I hope you spent the first day of 2017 well. I spent it with people I love, so I would say that it was a day spent well. It’s the second day of January and my this will be my first blog post for the year. Like how I have done it in the past, I always start the year with a blog post sharing my one word for the year. I have been doing this one word exercise since 2015 (Feel – 2015, Simplify – 2016). This year, I have chosen INVEST.

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I was looking at the other words that people suggested in http://oneword365.com/ and “invest” was the word I was looking for!


Invest in Myself

This year, I plan to invest more in myself. I successfully simplified my life in 2016, and I plan to redirect more time to taking care of myself. It’s been a while since I had a haircut (I only had one last December because we had to present our startup during demo day). I think I just had a total of 2 visits to the salon last year. Also, I realize that I need to update my wardrobe. I only get to buy new clothes when I really have something important to go to. Plus, I don’t to get to wear them during normal days, since I got used to grabbing a pair of jeans and a shirt. This year, I plan to dress up better than I did last year.

Also, I will spend more time on beauty and fitness. I’m glad to share with you that I finally got to change the battery of my Misfit wearable. I haven’t been using it, because I didn’t take time out to replace the battery. I had my first long run outdoors yesterday, and I got to wear it again. Yesterday, I also signed up for a 10K marathon this coming March. It was really just so that I could push myself. Aside from keeping fit, I will try to fix myself a bit more every day. I have a lot of make-up in my house that I don’t use. It’s such a waste not to use them. I cleaned up my make-up box. I actually threw out a lot of expired stuff already.

Invest in my Daughter’s Future

Last year, we really focused on getting our start-up Taxumo off the ground. Admittedly, we had to let go of some time that we normally would spend with our daughter (after work meetings, etc.). Aside from that, some of the money that we could have saved and could have invested on her education, was spent elsewhere. This year, I plan to set aside more time for her and intentionally, set aside more funds for her future.

Invest more time for Travel

2016 reminded me of how much I love to travel. We used to travel a lot, before we were married and during the first few years of marriage! This year, my husband and I intend to go out and see new places. We both love seeing new places and we promised ourselves that we would go out more this year.

Invest in Marriage

2015 and 2016 were rough years for my marriage. I think my husband would agree, when he reads this. I guess it was, because of the changes in our interaction as a couple. It was the first time that we are getting into business together. It was also a time when each one of us wanted to get our own sh*t done. We’re both in our mid-30s, and I guess we both know that it’s now or never. There were a lot of challenges, and we had a lot of disagreements. I believe that we have made it pass the rough part.

I haven’t been the best wife, and it sucks to admit that due to my competitive nature. haha! But this year, I plan to be the best damn wife again in the entire planet. I have seen how, as a couple, we have been effective. We have created things together, and I know that if we stick together, we can make things happen (not just for us but for the people around us).

Invest in New and Old Friendships

Because of work, I haven’t been able to spend much time with friends (yes, I have friends! haha!). I promise to spend more time with you this year!

So, that’s pretty much it! I have to run in a few minutes. How about you? What is your one word for this year?

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