Three things I learned in 2018

This is a bit late, but if you know me in real life, I’m a huge procrastinator and I have had a long habit of being consistently late. To be fair, I’ve gotten a lot better, but when it used to be considered normal for you to be two hours late, you can only get better, right?

Money isn’t everything, but it will give you freedom and piece of mind.

I’ve had a really bad relationship with money my entire life, and there are still some parts of it that I struggle with. However, one of the biggest learnings of 2018 is to the importance of an emergency fund. I’m not sure when I started saving up, but I wanted to have at least three months worth of expenses saved up incase anything should happen. After a bit of penny pinching and learning to not let lifestyle inflation happen to me, I was fortunate enough to be able to achieve that by May of last year. I’m not going to get into specifics, but thanks to my emergency fund, I was able to walk away from a toxic situation without feeling chained to it because I needed a paycheck. I know not everyone is fortunate enough to walk away from work because they need the money, so I am very grateful for what I have.

It takes sacrifices, planning, and effort to be healthy.

I have ran two marathons, a few half marathons, and many more races of shorter distances. However, I was not in shape. I would stay up late, drink on nights before working out, and even eat McDonald’s a couple times a week. Last year, I noticed that even though I was working out regularly, I was gaining weight and my running wasn’t improving. If anything, my running was getting worse and I was constantly getting injured throughout the year.

I saw everyone around me improve while I was getting weaker and slower than my first year of running. It was then that I decided if I wanted to become a better runner, I would have to take everything more seriously.

I started meal prepping and it’s something that I now look forward to every Sunday! I started looking up recipes, adding it to my calendar, making time to grocery shop, and so forth. I also learned that it’s really important to read nutrition labels and ingredient lists (this is applicable to non-food items too, see this article about aloe vera being sold that didn’t actually have any aloe vera in it).

In addition to eating healthier, I have been setting strict bedtimes and alarm times for myself to get eight hours of sleep a night. Sleep is way more important than most people realize and my friend, Kelvin, send me a podcast just explaining why it’s so important.

Already I see my running paces improving and I’m not injured yet (knock on wood)!

Seeing a therapist is one of the best things I have decided to do for myself.

I would say the majority of people have issues, me included. I’ve dealt with a lot of anxiety and anger issues for a while now and I’ve always tried to deal with it on my own. I tried reasoning with myself, isolating myself, meditating — all of those things could only get me so far and I felt my anxiety getting worse as time passed on.

Near the end of last year, I decided to see a therapist. Everyone has a different experience and sometimes you need to try out a few therapists before you find one that fits. There are also a lot of different forms of therapy that you can look into. In case this helps someone, I found my therapist on Psychology Today and she also accepts my insurance, so it’s definitely worth looking into if you have health insurance.

I’m planning on writing a more in-depth post about therapy in the future. I will say that while progress here is slow, I am feeling better.


  • evi erlinda
    January 24, 2019 at 12:14 am

    well written post.
    greeting- evi erlinda

  • Sakuranko
    January 24, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    Thanks for share your lessons darling. I guess I need an emergency fund too. Great post!

    • Mai Nguyen
      January 25, 2019 at 1:51 pm

      Thanks :)! I definitely recommend saving up and having an emergency fund!

  • Jenny
    January 26, 2019 at 2:16 am

    These are all such great points! I really need to work on a more healthy lifestyle this year, especially with improving my sleep quality. I’ve always known sleep was important, but after reading those podcast notes, yikes!

    Jenny // Geeky Posh

  • Nahid Akhter
    March 30, 2019 at 9:31 am

    Like your blog. It was really interesting. You have explained properly. Thanks for share.

    Nahid |


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