7 Things Worth Following Through with in 2019

Posted On: December 26, 2018

I think the tail-end of December is always a magical time of reflecting, recollecting, and recalibrating. It’s taken me the whole of 2018 to draft this post about my milestones of 2018 here. The most significant things that happened to me in 2018 were: the death of my mother; the successful crowdfunding of my 4th book {Un}Inhibited – an Asian vulva book with Kelvin Lim as the photographer; and presenting at Wonderfruit. 

Last night, I was thinking if there was anything I would like to learn in 2019. I thought… if I just started, I would know more about this subject in one year’s time than I do now. If you could pick one thing you could begin to learn for 2019, what might it be?

This is what came up for me: my renewal of love and fascination of drums. I’ve been told I’ve had several spiritual past lives – as an Aboriginal in Australia, a monk in Tibet, a shaman, a nun, and in a temple ancient Egypt. For 2019, I’d like to learn a musical instrument especially drums. I started to learn Spanish and stopped in 2018… but want to resume. I’d also love to learn more about energy medicine, womb healing and creating sacred ceremonies.

What about you?

These are 7 things I like to suggest that are worth pursing in 2019:

  1. Journal – I started to journal end 2017 and start 2018 and found it the most creative and productive time in a long time for me. What I did was commit to writing for 30 mins a day (not even in long-hand). I ended up brainstorming ideas, drafting business plans, and creating and checking off to-do lists. For those who like a bit more structure: I’ve done journaling before – all the exercises in The Artist’s Way (international best seller), and did the whole 3-month Morning Pages and found it useful. If a three-month journey is too long, how about 28 days using the book Soul Coaching as a reference? You can think better, reflect more deeper, unleash your inner writer… if you just start.
  2. Read – I love reading and books. I got through 107 in 2018 (and I’m sure I’m missing a few). Whatever you wish to learn about, it is always available in book form (physical, audio or otherwise). I tend to order second-hand books on Amazon because they usually aren’t available in Singapore.  There’s Book Depository you can check out and see if your selection is cheaper. If you are in Singapore, these are few independent bookstores worth checking out and supporting – The Moon, Littered with Books, or more here. To start you off, how about checking out the 10 books that changed my life?
  3. Language – Improve a language or learn a new one. I don’t learn languages in the classroom setting because there is usually a fixed syllabus which doesn’t allow for me to catch up with the rest of the class – Japanese or Spanish in private language school, or Malay in a community centre. It is believed that if you can communicate in English and Spanish, you’d be able to communicate 80% of the world. Language is just repetition and hard work. A quick Google search will reveal these are the top language learning apps: Memirse, LingauaLift, Duolingo, HelloTalk, Busuu, and Babbel. I’ve tried them all and love Duolinguo.
  4. Online Learning – Whatever you like to be better at: there’s probably an online course out there on it and possibly at a low-cost or even free – Udemy, Coursera  and edx are the three most obvious places. I’ve completed three upgraded courses (meaning I paid to get the certificate) so far: The Science of Happiness through edX (May 2018), Psychology of Popularit through Coursera (Feb 2018), and Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace through Coursera (July 2017). These are some of my online content you can consider.
  5. Exercise – Yoga is not the latest fad. It’s a practice. Having a gym membership doesn’t mean one goes. Rather than schedule exercise 2 – 3 times a week, I find it easier to commit to a bit of exercise daily. I used to exercise using the public facilities at the public park downstairs of my HDB (Housing Development Board) flat everyday for 30 mins at 6a.m. for 10 months (and I still use these facilities!). I “released” so much weight while feeling it was effortless because I loved taking in the fresh air and giving to myself first thing in the morning! In 2018, due to lots of unpredictable rain, I’ve found it to easier to put on some music on YouTube and just move or dance around (even jogging on the spot to get my heart rate up) my room for 30 mins. Rain or shine, you can be creative and still exercise!
  6. Diet – Instead of thinking “lose weight”, think “gain healthy”. If we are what we eat, how does your food make you feel? Do you feel happy, glowy, and energised? Or lazy, tired, and bloated? I’m highly sensitive and didn’t learn until years after I became a vegetarian (at least 10 by now) that I am also gluten and diary intolerant. I’ve never felt good eating bread, pasta, and pastry – but it was normal to feel bloated or so I thought. I didn’t know better because I never knew what feeling great meant! Now when I “cheat” on things I shouldn’t eat, at the very least I know why I feel bad – and what a liberation it is to know! This is why fasting, detoxing, and essentially rebooting our bodies can be beneficial. Do so with the aid of a trained dietician or nutritionist please. In addition, this is a good place to explore a plant-based diet – Animals Allies.
  7. Rest – So many of us push ourselves so hard and so long that when we burn out and become depressed, we might shame ourselves further about what doing what we need – rest. We might turn our frustration with our mind and body inwards – and “abuse” ourselves through negative thoughts as if they will propel us to try hard, be better or even perfect. I say all this without judgement – I’ve had to learn to not be so hard on myself too! I’ve learned that pushing myself harder doesn’t mean things get done faster. For things to be done (and done right and well), sometimes it means going slower, being gentle with myself – and it is also entirely possible for me to feel good while doing it! Could we begin to see life as a journey (we can truly have it all!) rather than a race? And to prioritise rest, pleasure and celebration as part of the process? There is a different way to be. Rest takes different forms for different people. For instance, comedy nights at The Merry Lion is gaining popularity!

I hope the above suggests some areas you can look into in coming up with your new year resolutions/ goals/ action steps (whichever you identify with). As I shared the above, I too have things I like to focus on for 2019 – some of which I’ve shared, some of which I’d keep private for now. I wish you peace and happiness for 2018, and for the 2019 to come and beyond.

Above all else, there is also coaching/ counseling you can seek out. As a relationship counselor and clinical sexologist, I support individuals and couples in their personal lives – so reach out and let’s dialogue about how I might be able to help.

About Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her Doctorate in Human Sexuality before launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.

She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling in May 2018. In practice for close to ten years, she is the only certified sexuality educator and certified sexuality educator supervisor by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.

Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She is the host of weekly radio show Eros Evolution on the OMTimes Radio Network.  She has published three books: Love, Sex and Everything In-BetweenOrgasmic Yoga and From Princess to Queen.

Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.

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