Countdown to Christmas

Christmas tree2Spending this weekend in Hong Kong, it’s amazing to see how this little nation is preparing for the Christmas festivities. Gigantic trees have been decorated, some even with Swarowski, shops have special crafts sessions for children and magazines are showing the latest recipes. Sounds normal? It would be if I still lived in the West and not the Middle East. But for an Asian, non Christian country, it surprised me. The global influence stops nowhere.

Getting into the Christmas spirit can be fun as well as stressful. Your kids may indulge in the chocolate overflow and you’re dreading their sugar crush a little bit later. The price for gifts and parties may leave you with a financial burden, for you to pay off in 2016. Why not make 2015 the Christmas to make small changes rewarding you with a peaceful advent time?

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Be kind

http://www.sfgate.com/

http://www.sfgate.com/

Travelling to Hong Kong, I wanted to write about overcommitment and instead watched the film “Batkid Begins”. If you’re like me, you may not have heard about the film but I bet you’ve heard about the story. Miles, a 5-year-old boy defying leukaemia, was fortunate to be granted his wish by the Make A Wish Foundation: he wanted to be Batman! San Francisco became Gotham City in 2013 and thousands of people saw this little boy fight evil. Such an uplifting and touching documentary!

If one little boy had the power to make all these adults happy, what power would two, fifteen or hundreds of children have to make this world a better place? Over the last 2 weeks, we’ve seen too many bloody attacks across the globe. People were shocked, intimidated, yet determined to not give up and continue living their lives. What if there are small steps to improve our surroundings?

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Get into a fitness routine

Where has this year gone? It just seems like yesterday that we celebrated New Year’s Eve watching the fireworks at Burj Khalifa and sweat like crazy during the summer months. Now, we only have 6 more weeks before we’ll say good bye to 2015 and keep its memories.

For many, the beginning of a new year also marks the day for other new beginnings. Losing weight and getting fit, giving up smoking and eating healthy are top resolutions year after year. Why not start getting into a fitness routine now?

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Unplug

This weekend, my friend from London was visiting and we were enjoying the beautiful weather in Dubai. Laying at the beach, soaking in the sun, relaxing, it was gorgeous! As I was looking around, I realised how much I love these moments of peace, quiet and sunshine.

I also noticed how well my friend did without her phone. Fair enough, she didn’t have data roaming and free wifi was not always available. Still, seeing her carrying on a normal face-to-face conversation without looking at her phone every 2 minutes was almost a new thing for Dubai.

It made me look back at a previous holiday where my work phone didn’t have reception. While it was only a short break, it was a very uncomfortable feeling for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m easily replaceable, or so I think. My colleagues thought differently and relaxation was gone once I saw the number of emails in my inbox. For me, this holiday showed me that I can unplug and live without my phone after all!

When was the last time that you stopped being connected 24/7? 

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Time to get away – Book a mini-break

Thailand

This week is almost over and I’m exhausted. Seeing the winter decoration being put up at my hairdresser’s this week, it hit me. We’re now entering the crazy last few weeks of the year. At work, people are trying to reach their annual targets. Students are slowly but surely preparing for end of term exams. Across the world, folks are getting ready for the advent season and ultimately Christmas.

These activities, plus our normal daily activities, can leave us drained and shattered. How fantastic is it that we’re getting a long weekend! 2 and 3 December will be given off to employees in the private industry and we can enjoy a mini-break from Wednesday till Sunday. What are you going to do with these extra days off?

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Goal setting – 8 more weeks till 2016

Goals

DP World 2014Looking at the calendar, there are only 8 more weeks left in this year and it’s scary how many weekends are already blocked for various fun activities. Next weekend, one of my oldest friends is flying in from London and I can’t wait to spend time with her in person. Later this month, I’m thrilled to marshal at the DP World Tour Championship and there’s also a trip to Hong Kong booked.

As you know from previous posts, time is precious and I appreciate my “me time”. Simultaneously, I enjoy being active and I’ve started a list of things for the remainder of this year. Amongst them are these 3 activities:

  1. Visit the falcon hospital in Abu Dhabi
  2. Prepare for an 8k in mid-December
  3. Become PMI qualified by 31 December

Have you set any goals for the next 8 weeks?

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