How to Achieve Your Goals With No Motivation Whatsoever

Wynwood Walls Black H&M Dress | Mimi Chenyao | Fake & Basic

(Somewhat revolutionary) plot twist: You don’t need much day-to-day motivation to achieve your goals.

You do need some strong conviction behind you to set a goal, and a good amount of motivation to strategize how you’re going to make that goal into a reality. If you’ve strategized well, though, you’ll barely need any motivation when it comes to the day-to-day carrying-out of said strategy.

When I first came to college, I had that conviction: I was going to do well here, make something of myself, and use my work to open up opportunities that would never have been open to me before. That was a pretty lofty goal, considering that I had skated my way through high school and was used to doing nothing but online shopping, playing RPGs, and browsing Internet forums in my “free time.” I wasn’t used to working hard (or doing my homework ever), hadn’t so much as touched a self-improvement book, and had no idea how I was going to accomplish what I’d set out to do.


The 90-Day Passion Project

Black Bralette and Flowered Shorts // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

The first big challenge in my 52 Weeks of Momentum course has arrived! I have 90 days to complete a “passion project” of my choice.

One could argue that Asian Barbie is my passion project, and they would be completely right. I love this site like an entrepreneur loves her startup, and treat it as such. Thus, my 90-day passion project for the course has to do with growing an aspect of this site.

The goal of the project will be to get 2,502 daily blog readers by March 31, 2018, the official deadline for the challenge. One of my larger goals for 52 Weeks of Momentum was to gain 10k engaged readers by December 2018, and this is basically the three-month version of that goal:

10,000 readers in 1 year / 12 months per year = 834 (rounded up) readers in a month

834 readers per month * 3 (3 months for 90 day passion project) = 2,502 readers in 3 months

This means that I should be aiming to attract and retain 27.8 new readers per day. Since 0.7 of a person is … concerning, we’ll round that up to an even 28 new blog readers per day. Twenty-eight people is around the size of a large elementary-school class, or the total amount of employees at a small company. It’s a manageable number that I am confident I can achieve.


52 Weeks of Momentum + My Top 5 (Concrete) Goals for 2018

Molly and Zoey Blue Swing Dress

Dress from Molly and Zoey

My five New Year’s resolutions are to try new shit, to document everything (publicly if possible), to stop settling for less, and to actively practice Stoicism.

If you look carefully, you’ll notice that these are more like general guidelines on how I’m going to live in 2018. This is on purpose — I often begin new projects with vaguely defined standards because I have no idea what I’ll run into or who I’ll become as I start working.

A few months ago, one of my favorite motivational writers announced that he would be creating a year-long program called 52 Weeks of Momentum, which would basically force participants to take daily action using the methods that he outlines in his articles.

I went back and forth on whether I should participate. The program cost a lot of money ($997) and would be a daily commitment. There was a Facebook group where goals would be tracked and new challenges would be introduced often. If you consistently put in effort and focused on helping others, you’d get extra content. If your participation dropped, you would stop getting new content altogether.

I finally made the jump, on the literal last day that people could sign up (yay me!). 52 Weeks of Momentum fits my first four resolutions nicely: I’ve never done a program like this before, it encourages participants to blog about their goals publicly, and I forking over ~$1k of my own money was the opposite of settling. Some may even call it a borderline irresponsible thing to do. But everyone has their investments — some invest in nice cars, others invest in Bitcoin, I invest in my mindset. I only have a limited amount of time to be young and alive, and I want to make sure I do everything in my power to become the best version of myself.


All the Little Choices We Make: On Stoicism & the New Year

White lace high neck summer dress // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

One of my New Year’s resolutions was “actively practice Stoicism” — but what does that even mean?

Stoicism is the practice of overcoming adversity and negative emotions by controlling what you can, and coming to terms with what you can’t. It’s helped me immeasurably when it comes to reaching my goals and getting what I want out of life.

I first started practicing Stoicism after several close relationships I had abruptly ended. There was one of my best friends, who, with no explanation whatsoever, told me that they no longer wished to speak to me anymore. There was my partner of two years, who I mutually broke up with after realizing that no amount of good intentions or promises can keep two fundamentally incompatible people together. There was someone who I was more than a little infatuated with, but couldn’t pursue because they were already committed to someone else.


Social Accountability, Blog Advertising, and New Years’ Resolutions: Weekly Progress Report 12/24-12/31

Black Free People Daisy Waist Dress // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

We’ve made it to two weeks, folks! It’s a miracle!

I had high hopes for the past week, but ended up spending half of it bedridden with a surprisingly high fever. It definitely wasn’t fun and I wouldn’t elect to go through it again, but the experience taught me some interesting things about social accountability and the power of the Streak.


Streaks, Pure Barre, and Hidden Benefits of Writing: Weekly Progress Report 12/17-12/24

San Francisco Trolley// Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

I’ve now been in San Francisco for exactly a week.

Every time I move to a new place or change up my life in a drastic way, a part of me regrets not publicly discussing it more. I want to be as open and honest as I can about what’s going through my mind, because life is exciting, and too many people go through it without talking and/or thinking about what they’re doing and where they’re going next. I also know myself pretty well and I know I’ll be nostalgic AF and kicking myself for not documenting stuff more.

Thus, every Sunday I’m going to do a weekly progress report on everything that has generally been happening in my life, and the goals I’d like to accomplish next week. I’m going to test this system out while I’m in the Bay Area, and if it works out well enough (i.e., I still feel like writing these by the time I go back to school), I’ll keep it up.

So, without further ado …


The Morning Content Challenge

The Morning Content Challenge // Writing one fresh article a day // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

Writing and illustrating one full article every morning before work, throughout the entire course of my internship.

Remember when I said that I’d probably stop publishing for a while because I’ll be working five days a week?

Screw that. I can and will do both.

Writing has improved my mental health, helped me learn technical topics, grown my network, and made me friends who like to discuss ideas. It’s shifted my reality into one where I can’t wait to get out of bed and see what I can accomplish in a day.

It would be an awful choice not to write just because I was “too busy focusing” on my work. With the right strategy, I can create good content and give my all to being an engineer.


2017 New Years’ Resolutions

Everly dress | A’gaci shoes | Forever 21 sunglasses

Happy New Year! I decided to go the untraditional route and opted for a colorful shift dress that screamed “summer vacation (is only six months away)” rather than “let’s get glitzed up” to ring in 2017.

It’s still available on at the Mint Julep Boutique right now, so if you like it, snatch it up ASAP.

Despite having become quite a different person since first coming to college, my style has stayed the same; I’ve been and will probably always be a dress-and-heels type of girl. That doesn’t mean I’ll let things become stale, though. I have four fashion-related resolutions for the New Year:

Choose more eye-catching pieces for everyday outfits

I know I already wear enough show-stopping dresses that burn your eyes out, but a lot of the time I find myself opting for my “safe” option of a solid skater dress and black heels. Bright colors and pretty prints are unique, fun, and require a certain amount of confidence to wear with pride. I sometimes BS myself and say that I’m “saving” a dress for a special event, but what’s keeping me from wearing it now? Washing machines exist for a reason. I vow to look my best every day, even when I don’t feel like trying.

Spend less on clothes 

I’m an avid second-hand shopper, both online and in stores (the Plato’s Closet workers in my area know me by name). I make it a point not to spend more than $25 on any one piece unless it’s a special occasion like my birthday or Christmas. Of course, lots of small purchases add up to lots of hard-earned money going right from my bank account, so this year I’m going to cut down on buying things I know I’ll only wear once, no matter how cute they are, and commit to loving the items I already own.

Learn how to do my makeup properly

This one may surprise you, but my beauty-savvy friends have been laughing at me for years because I still wing my eyeliner down instead of up and use the same blush that I played dress-up with when I was five (true story). I’m so impatient that I usually don’t bother with a makeup routine at all. While I do enjoy the fresh-faced look for days where I sit in the library and code, there was a noticeable difference when I invested time into learning how to apply foundation properly instead of using BB cream as concealer. I not only looked a lot better in the few times I did apply makeup, but I actually started enjoying the process more. What a win-win.

Make more friends who are interested in femme fashion

I love, love, love girly aesthetics (you don’t know how much), but unfortunately, my current friends don’t share my enthusiasm for every single shade of pink, frilly hems, or huge bows. One of the reasons I created this blog in the first place was to attract like-minded people and start conversations. If you think you could be one of these people, don’t hesitate to drop me a line! Let’s chat.

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I hope you all had a great holiday season with minimal fights with relatives and intrusive questions about your life and future plans. Here’s to 2017!

Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

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