Goals

April challenge

As we usher in April, I decide to change my plans. Since I didn’t do a good job on the challenges last month, I’d better be more realistic this month, but most of the challenges are similar to those of March.

I find that it’s hard for me to develop more than one habit at a time. So this time I won’t expect myself to plug in several things on a daily basis.

And, I’d like to create a theme for each month! The theme is about what I want to focus in a month.

It can be broad. For example: Month of reading, Month of exercise, Month of writing, Month of movies, Month of psychology…

It can be more specific, like month of an author(anyone you love or you’re curious about) , month of a director, month of getting up before 7 a. m., month of English speaking…

It sounds interesting to me!

And the theme of my April is:

Month of Japanese!

I used to dabble in Japanese but I gave up quickly. Last month I binge-watched a manga, which made me want to learn Japanese again…

When it comes to learn Japanese, I want to use a different method: Only focus on what the teacher teaches, and learn more slowly. For example, spend two weeks learning Japanese phonetic Kana syllabary. Slow it down and practice 30 minutes every day.

My challenges are as follow:

1. Health

Go to bed before 10:45 p. m.

I find I was always about 15 minutes later than my last aim–11:00 p. m. So I change it. As long as I can go to bed a little bit earlier than I did before, it’s fine.

As for taking a walk every other day and standing up from time to time, I will remind myself to do them as much as possible. I just want to focus on sleep this month, so I won’t push myself to stick to the two plans.

2. English

(1) 100-day reading project

I almost finish The Great Gatsby! I’ve already been done with 1/3 of the whole project.

(2) Learn an English lesson every day

(3) Review when waiting in line.

The plans above are the same as those in March, except for the last one. Since I have the habit of learning this beautiful language, I have confidence in myself!

3. Japanese

Spend 30 minutes on it every day.

A lesson two days.

4. Reading and writing

(1) Read two books in Chinese this month

(2) Update one post every week

What’s more, regarding this challenge series, I’ll update a post about it, including my musings and life details, every two weeks a month, that is, in the middle of the month and at the end of the month.

I hope I can do a better job this April. Fingers crossed!

What are your plans this April? Are you interested in creating a them for this month? If so, what theme would you like to make? Leave a comment down below!

Happy April, everyone!

Vera from China

Notes

A rundown of the fourth week of my March Challenge

“Does Vera give up on her March Challenge?”

“Maybe. She hasn’t updated any post about it since the first week of the challenge. And now it’s the end of the March!”

Yes, it’s quite embarrassing…… But I’m back! I’ve never given up!

1. Health

(1) Go to bed before 11 p.m.

I remember I sticked to it only two days. But, it’s always my goal!

(2) Stand up and relax after sitting for a while from time to time

I did a good job the first two weeks. But when I begin to read a fantastic manga and struggle with my essay… You know, I kept sitting in front of my computer.

(3) Take a walk every other day

Oh my goodness, I feel guilty about performing badly on these health challenges, including this one. I ordered takeout 14 times!

This is my guilty pleasure.

And one day I walked all the way to a canteen which is farther away from my dormitory to pig out!

2. Learning English

(1) Reading The Great Gatsby every day

Finally, I can say I did a good job! I read the book every day and I’ll finish it on April 4th.

(2) Finish an English online lesson every day

I did it almost every day. I fell behind once in a while, but I caught up.

(3) Review for 15 minutes each day
I usually review when I’m waiting in line for meals. But I guess it didn’t take as long as 15 minutes every day. Anyway, I review~

3. My essay

Complete my essay by March 20th
I had a long March because of the essay. Acutually, it’s myself to blame. I wrote down the outline on March 13th, but I didn’t begin to write until March 25th…… As I was doing other things, I couldn’t help but think of my essay. What was worse, though I was so anxious, I just didn’t want to deal with the task. It was grueling!

I always become crabby confronted with assignments, which drives my boyfriend mad. Poor guy! Perhaps I major in Procrastination and Complaining…… Fortunately, I was done with it one day before deadline! I survive!

Anyway, I really have to kick the habit! It’ll be a pathetic “war”!

4. Reading and writing

(1) Read Chinese literature for thirty minutes every day

No Chinese literature, but many papers in Chinese. And I had also been binge-reading a cute manga for about 4 days. I’m going to write a review about it!

(2) Update a post every week
I only did two short posts. Not all that good. But I’m back. I’ll keep writing!

My musings

As you can see, I performed badly these days, but I promise I won’t give up! It is due to so many goals I fail to acheive that I’ll never be boring and keep striving to improve myself!

If there was anything in this fluffy post that could motivate you, I wish it was this imagery—— a person with so many weaknesses who always fails to keep her resolutions but still keeps moving on. (Don’t be mad at me😅)

Also, here’s a hilarious story!

I set off to turn in my essay, only to find I was wearing my rabbit slippers… I looked really silly! I had no time to go upstairs, and I jumped on the bus.

On the way back, I perfectly missed the bus, watching it driving away in front of me……

So I leg it, with my silly yet adorable rabbit slippers, enjoying the beautiful views of Spring! It is sunny outside. Flowers in the campus are in full blossom. Red, pink, white, yellow…… Their beautiful colors dazzle me. Bees are buzzing around the beauties of Mother Nature. Trees and bushes are lush with loud green leaves where bright sunshine dances happily.

I started to take pictures with my cellphone, and, unfortunately, the battery died!

Below are the only two photos I took~

Thanks for reading! I wish you all the best! Happy Spring!

Vera from China

Inspiration · Life

Dusk and clouds

“Dusk is when I have the poorest vision during the whole day.”

“黄昏是我一天中视力最差的时候。”

The photo was taken after sunset. The most beautiful moment is gone. It feels a little bit gloomy and lonely.

This quote is from a drama entitled Rhinoceros in Love (恋爱中的犀牛). It’s a show about love in modern days, though it’s not my cup of tea. I’ve never finished the famous play, but I remember the famous line, and the imagery it evokes in my mind.

For me, dusk is what I love the most during the whole day. Everything is becoming peaceful. Birds are flying to their nests, and people are going back to their house. Commotion in the day time is coming to an end. But it’s still not too late.

And, with all of the characteristics above, in my opinion, dusk is the most poetic time, gorgeous and yet a little bit melancholy.

What do you usually do at dusk? What’s your favourite time of the whole day? Morning, afternoon, evening or what?

I hope you all enjoy the most glamorous and peaceful moment!

Vera from China

Inspiration · Life

Keep calm and slow down a bit

Often times I feel that we live in a world that keeps saying ” Hurry up “.

But I think that everyone, at least from time to time, have the right to enjoy the cozy moment that slowing down gives us.

Just like a bird perching on a stone, or a fish swimming in the lake.

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

The paintings above were drawn by 八大山人( ba da shan ren) whose real name is 朱耷(zhu da), a talented artist in the Qing dynasty.

Vera from China

Goals · Life

A rundown of the first week of my March challenge

I made some plans last Monday, and now it’s time to check out if I did a good job on the first week of the challenge!

1. Health

(1) Go to bed before 11 p.m.

I didn’t do a good job. Actually I hit the sack over 11:00 p.m., like 11:15 p.m. and 11:05 p.m. on the first two days.

Unfortunately, yesterday my roommates and I gossiped until 1:00 a.m… Crazy!

I only made it on two days last week… Anyway, More power to me~~~

(2) Stand up and relax after sitting for a while from time to time.

It’s a flexible plan. I did more often than before.

(3) Take a walk every other day.

Actually I did it every day, though it wasn’t a long walk. My dorm room is virtually a stone’s throw from the nearest canteen…

But sometimes I went to a canteen farther away to pig out my favorite dish —— 酸汤牛肉 (suan tang niu rou), which is a tangy, flavorful soup with beef plus different vegetables you pick! It’s out of the world!

2. Learning English

(1). Reading The Great Gatsby every day.

I’m content with my performance on this plan. I read the book every day, but I think I should have reviewed it more —— there’re so many great expressions in the novel.

(2). Finish an English online lesson every day.

I did it every day. Give myself a pat on the back!

(3). Review for 15 minutes each day

I reviewed my notes on the app Evernote when waiting in line. But I don’t know if I spent 15 minutes reviewing every day.

3. My essay

Complete my essay by March 20th.

When an assignment isn’t given by myself, I have no motivation to do it… I’m sorry…

I made no headway in writing my paper, but I read a book of literary theory by Bakhtin, which was introduced on my optional class. Bakhtin really delved deep into dostoyevsky’s classics!

4. Reading and writing

(1). Read Chinese Literature for thirty minutes every day.

I fail to read books for 30 minutes every day, but I read it from time to time.

(2). Update a post every week.

I’m writing this post to keep this resolution! If you’re interested in my thoughts on the one-week practice, check out my reflection part below!

By the way, I went back home last week, and enjoyed an exhibition of Dong Qichang in Shang hai!

My reflection

I have to say, becoming a stickler is so difficult for me.

Paying too much attention to the destination —— in other words, my goals, somehow makes me stressed.

I feel as if I were in debt when thinking of those specific numbers I gave myself, like an hour, 30 minutes, 15 minutes.

Perfectionism forces me to strictly spend enough time on those tasks while procrastination or other things make daily task more difficult to finish than I expected. Often times, What I thought would be finished by 1:00 p.m. was actually completed at about 5:00 p.m.

Some plans that actually become my habits, like learning English, are easy for me to stick to, whereas something I really want to avoid, like writing paper, is rather tough to do every day.

Also, it’s important to work on these plans first when I have time. Usually when I procrastinate them until bedtime, I feel as if I’m trying to meet the deadline!

In addition, it’s good to read books before go to bed, but not the books that get my noggin jogging.

I find that high-quality time when I’m really focused is not that much as I expected before. Even if I’m free all day, I still can’t be industrious all the time, not even for six hours in one day.

It’s frustrating, but I need to be come to terms with the fact. After all, we need some time to just clear our mind, or embrace unexpected things from time to time.

I’ll be more flexible. I remember it took me over one year to make learning English a part of my daily life. Since I’m still developing new habits, just working on them every day is fine. Let me put the precise numbers aside temporarily.

It’s a matter of balance. Take my time~~~

Thank you for reading my musings! How is your March going? Do you have any plans to stick to? How do you descipline yourself into finishing something you actually don’t like? Leave a comment down below!

I wish you all the best! More power to all of us!

Vera from China

Life

Finally…

” Finally, I, a feeble cutie who is just 100% innocent, fall victim to the bloody, brutal, and evil life. ”

Above is a hilarious photo of my friend’s dog —— Jiang Dongdong. The photo was taken by my friend. She also gives it some pizzazz, like the one as follows…

I hope this funny picture puts a smile on your face as it does to me. Happy March, everyone! May life be nice to you all!

Vera from China

Life

A glimpse of Nanjing University Xian Lin campus

Today is sunny~

I was standing on the platform, waiting for the subway.

Across the road is my college, in front of which are some trees. Some are green and lush while some have no green leaves but big nests of some unknown birds.

Xian Lin campus is the newest campus of Nanjing university. My only pet peeve is that the buildings look…dull, not like those in the old campus. But there is a great library there, and life in Xian Lin campus is quiet and convenient.

I’ve been studying there since 2013. It’s amazing! I think I’ll miss it when I graduate.