๐Ÿ“ฑ My Experience with the Fabulous Motivate Me App

Written in 2017, when my daughter was two and I was working full time:

Wow, I have so many feelings about this app. I committed to it deeply in my heart and soul, since I finished reading the Power of Habit and I felt that I can no longer go on “being a sleep walking murderer, gambling the family’s money away on the party boat and killing thousands of English people in subways by doing a shitty job at work.”

After reading the book, I started experimenting with the habit loop. It went poorly though.

I would get pretty excited and then think of 100s of changes I wanted to make to myself, and my life, and my home, “that day”… so surges of overwhelming change would happen, and then I would collapse in an overworked pile of shame and regret, mostly the same person…

Then I found the Fabulous app and it seemed like it would be a good way to start off, and then I would just keep going on my own, but I was so much more effective with Fabulous than I was without it, that I committed to using it for at least one year straight.

Lesson One from Fabulous: Don’t try to make more than one meaningful change at a time, my brain rewiring itself takes time.

Lesson Two from Fabulous: Don’t think I know how to make things work in my life, that I already know I have’nt made work yet… sometimes arrogance is a prison.

Lesson Three from Fabulous: Don’t work around poorly stored items, put what you need where it will be easiest to use without hunting around.

I started with the Energize yourself journey, because I felt too tired to think straight after work, the baby, and the work of a marriage. I had mixed success following what the app told me to do, but using Fabulous as a tool and brainstorming what I needed to do for myself to meet the end goal, I had complete success. Say what! Yes, I followed their program with my whole heart, but it left me short on energy, so because the desire and the commitment were real, I forged onward to find the caffeine drip system, that in combination with the Fabulous habits of drinking water, eating breakfast and exercising, did energize me enough to stop being a walking zombie-cow (cow because I breast feed all night and day so I can’t sleep or be a real human being – some of you know what I mean).

Next I continued being a better human being, with the Exercise Journey. I didn’t like most of the journeys that were offered, they weren’t all things I needed to learn (like weight loss, sleeping well). But I knew I needed the boundaries and structure that the app provided to grow my habit formation muscles. I hesitated to exercise more, because I didn’t see a reason. I am lucky to be healthy and at a healthy weight, so I really forgot that exercise affects mental flexibility, where I suck. Having a little mental flexibility really helps me not be as mean, to myself and others. If you are someone who always picks on yourself for not doing all 100 errands you were supposed to do, you may enjoy the life that mental flexibility can give you… but anyways, exercise has been really good at reducing my anxiety, helping me write, and helping me be mentally flexible to life changing what I need to, or get to, do that day.

For awhile I was on the Iron Will Journey, I made it a quarter of the way through, but then I fell off because I was having problems getting my check ins to count, I lost all my emotional momentum, and at the same time the Mental Fitness Journey came out, and I really didn’t want to have an iron will (I kind of know how to do that already… my parents were able to have an iron will at the cost of emotional connection to me, and I don’t really want to do that to my child…) so I would rather do the Mental Fitness Journey, which is where I am now, and it is amazing. Most of the suggestions Fabulous suggested I do are things I would not have done otherwise, but they really make my life better… it was a lucky coincidence that I ended up committed to trying whatever Fabulous says to do for two weeks to see how it went, but I now see that I would never have got my life unstuck, by doing what I thought would help, because what I thought would help created the life I felt dissatisfied within…

The concept I’ve been ruminating about the most over, the past few years: “Probleme kann man niemals mit derselben Denkweise lรถsen, durch die sie entstanden sind. Translation: Problems can never be solved with the same way of thinking that created them.” – Albert Einstein

It seems like if it is true, I can’t ever really solve my own problems and I need help, or maybe I can change my consciousness on my own?

Right now, I would rather have help, my consciousness is pretty steady, which has good and bad effects on my life, and my loved ones life. Yes, I am stubborn, my core is persistent, but the stubbornness that says something rude, also works hard everyday putting food on the table, one shouldn’t disregard all the good that comes of stubbornness. Farming is a stubborn way to produce food, being pregnant is a stubborn act, writing books is quite stubborn, when stubbornness is applied towards great things it produces the wonders of the world, the great wall of China ext. The key to really harnessing the core value of persistence, is to own the stubbornness, but learn not to use that one tool for every situation. What really makes stubbornness get out of hand is pride, if you can be humble and stubborn, you can do anything. If you can take the correction of the experts in every field, and stubbornly apply the knowledge, you can do much more with your life, than you could with only the knowledge you yourself bring to the table. But can you be humble enough to admit other people know more than you? Can you handle being wrong sometimes? Your teachers, parents, books, news ext give you incorrect information sometimes, you are wrong when you hold onto the misinformation, can you handle the emotional pain of being wrong? It’s hard to do, but I do because I want the fruit that comes from the pain of being wrong… I want to be better than am now, more than I want to feel right. I want to be right in the future, more than I want to feel right now.

Written in 2019, two years later:

I think it’s been about a year since I stopped using the Fabulous App, it helped me get my feet wet with habit formation and gave me a lot of great information about the science behind habits, but it didn’t offer me what I wanted. It had a lot of health options, but nothing specifically for art, writing, time management, family management, cooking, meal planning. I really benefited by knowing I could take ownership of my life and my time even with kids, but the paths that they wanted me to walk were not the ones I wanted to go down. It took a long time to make sure I wasn’t leaving the app because I couldn’t do what they asked, give up sugar ext. But eventually I realized that Fabulous didn’t allow me any leadership of my life and habits, only management.

Management is how you hack away at the jungle with a machete, leadership is if you are even headed the right way.

Eventually I had to stop managing my life filled with too many things people told me to do, or that I felt I had to do, and start living my best life filled with what truely matters to me personally and by then Fabulous had already helped me get the basics of habit formation down well. I really appriciate that I was able to start waking up early, make a daily schedual for the first time in my life and drink more water, but the eating and exercise recomendations were more pushy and less helpful and eventually taking the suggestions was getting in the way of doing what mattered to me and also taking up the free time that is a premium in my life.

โœ๏ธ 100 Blog Post Journey ๐Ÿชž


all the best

Who am I?

By kindergarten, I was already a writer. Hunched over my small, desk/chair, prision cell thing, I didn’t have enough lines on the journal page (under the picture drawing area), to say what I wanted to say. Once prompted, I had something to say. I was so integrated with my internal voice, that I felt like I was running downhill, as the words cascaded onto the page, filling the front, side margin and then the back with my thoughts converted to lines of graphite. Over time my voice was silenced by the rules of academia, forced repetition, citation of all ideas, essentially killed any chance for me to communicate any of my own original ideas in any of my own style. Love eventually turned to hate. But after getting my degree I’m not beholden to the shackles of acadamia, I can start a sentence with the word “but” if I damn well please, and my paragraphs may have a completely crazy number of sentences if that pleases me, and it does.

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Why Did I Start This Blog?

So I started this blog to be my white, armchair sitting cat, who I stroke for the hell of it, as I laugh (to not cry) at the joy, beauty, pain and ugliness of life. I plan to make this mental space a fun and safe place for my creative self to live. For me, this place is more than a blog, because it will host my Audible Book Fight Club and the blibary. This is a digital representation of my mind, heart and soul, my experience as a human being on Earth. I’m specifically writing 100 free form blog posts, in response to Mark Manson’s personal challenge to me (yeah it’s personal, because I took it personally…). So here I am at middle age, finding my lost voice as a writer, with the time I have since I didn’t get into medical school as planned (the new plan is to get in as a donated corpse).

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My Inspiration to Write

I deny being insired to write, for me, writing is instinctual; A natural part of being alive, which I have to block if I don’t want to do it. It’s my soul’s path of least resistance to get to a state of flow. I think writing is the natural digestion of thoughts, which readers ingest mentally. Writing feels right to me at this point in my life, for reasons yet unknown.

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How Did I Get My Sh*t Together?

I’ve always been a writer, but I’m just starting right now (this very sentence) to be serious about actually producing writing on a consistent basis. Now is the time because, I’ve got my shit together at a higher lever than ever before, and also because I learned to stop doing everything my loved ones would roll downhill for me to do as I slowly die inside. Initially I accidentally purchased a year of Instacart, food delivery, instead of just trying it (which I was trying to do), so then I thought, what if instead of the hassle of cancelling, I use that saved time to do something worthwhile in my life for this year just to see what happens? And what came to mind was writing. So I made the jump between observer/planner/wisher to doer/writer/jumper. Later my husband took over the shopping and more and more mundane things I stopped doing, which is awesome, but he never picked up any burdens I didn’t set down first.

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Guiding Lights

There were a few things that made a difference to me, Mark Manson’s book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck,” was the first step towards defeating my deep fear of failure and imperfection, the guiding light was Charles Duhigg’s “The Power of Habit,” which let me know I had the power and the responsibility of living my life how I wanted to live it (because I’m no sleep walking murderer). I had two years of proactivity denial and time management struggles, but I changed and have been living my best life, as best I can, for a few weeks already, which for the most part means living by my values first, not as an after thought, on a daily basis.

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Isn’t Living by Your Values Everyday Too Hard?

Yes and no. Not every value everyday, not an essay and a drawing about how it happened in my journal everyday, but living by one or two of my values each day kills that horrible “did I do enough” feeling I get otherwise. If you never read another post, please take this knowledge with you: there is a free website http://www.lifevaluesinventory.org, which lists a lot of values people don’t talk about in everyday life, it helps you rank them based on how significant they are to you, and then helps you troubleshoot difficulties between values and how to fit them into your life harmoneously. In six seconds a day, you can live by your own values, and it will make you feel better about yourself and your life. I’ll detail the steps of value based living in further posts, but it’s also on http://www.lifevaluesinventory.org totally free. If you only used the internet once in your lifetime, I think finding your soul’s unique value mosaic is the most significant thing you could do with a half hour of your time.

live your best life

Summary of Life Value Invetory’s Guide to Living by Your Values:

Part A: Recognize you are in control of your own life/destiny.

Part B: Learn about different values.

Part C: Pick which value from your own heart to live by today.

1. Think or Write: What do I want to do today to live by my value of _?

2. Think or Write: What can I do today with what conditions (time, money, help, ability) I actually have?

3. Do That, As Best You Can

4.  Think or Write: What you appreciate about what you did do (let go of anything you didn’t do).

5. Write: One thing you learned today, that can help you through tomorrow.

Random Personal Example:

1. Set my value for today: Persistence.

2. What do I want? Show my kids how to garden for fun and to be outside.

3. What can I do? After breakfast, start outside play until lunch, relax if the weather isn’t right.

4. Did I? Yes, yay!

5. Celebrate the effort/journey! My daughter helped me make a fence on a new veggie bed. It was fun.

(So it’s not a big fancy hard thing, but it can be tricky to set aside time to think about it and it can be a big thing, emotionally, gives me a sense of purpose, impact, control over my life, significance, that increases my resilience and helps buffer some of the hard parts of life.)

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My Journey

It took me a lot of trial and error, what sounded good, what I thought my values were, didn’t really resonate with my soul, but letting go of what doesn’t fit freed me to reinvent myself and learn how to ascribe truthful meaning and satisfaction in my life and the past few years have brought me more satisfaction, with who I am as a person, and my own integrity, than anything else has. I found a deep well of satisfaction, previously missing from my life, when I uncovered and started living by my values.


true story
Most of the first year went to fear, the second to procrastinating, the third to putting my life in order and only in this fourth year do I remotely have my sh*t together at all.


Did you think I would finish? Spoiler alert I did. What I learned about myself among other things is it takes 1262 days for me to write 100 articles. It wasn’t at the same pace, last year I wrote 60 posts total last year, this year I wrote 60 posts in 7 months… so writing accelerated. Shyness eased. Perfectionism evaporated. Quality hopefully improved (but at least didn’t drop – I guess why would it?). Check out the centennial post if your interested or live in the present with my most recent post instead.

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I’ve had wonderful readers! Thank you. ๐ŸŒน


I took about four years for me to feel comfortable in my own skin as a writer, my whole life people have said “I like your writing,” “you should write” but it’s only very recently that I’ve felt like “I like my writing,” “I should write.” Sounds similar, but it isn’t. It’s one small step for man, but one giant leap for my confidence. Four years ago I wanted to begin a blog, but I didn’t know how to write without second guessing myself, I didn’t know how to finish original images in a way that didn’t take forever and I didn’t know how to run the technical end (which seems easy to people with advanced tech skills, but really isn’t that easy for the average person). So I struggled with each side of blogging, the writing, the images and the tech of the links ext. I’m not an expert by now, but most problems I can solve myself that same day, without quitting or getting angry. There is a ton of artistry to blogging that isn’t talked about much, beyond marketing, having things short form doesn’t mean loss of content, it means really subliming a concept or process mentally in order to have it be short form, people expect videos to be fast, articles to be summarized, but without a loss of information. Also each blog is unique like boats, some boats haul cargo, some people, some both, some are hand crafted, some are toys, some are weapons, blogs are like boats, very diverse in function, style, form and purpose. So no one can really break down the journey for most blogs, because most of us are going somewhere new. The average blogger doesn’t set out to copy a successful blog, which would be okay in most cases, it really seems like we are the nomads of the web who keep migrating to a new frontier that will forever be limitless. I think it’s wrong to say we find niches, to me it feels more like we spin tapestries, together, in a complicated interplay. Some people’s tapestry maybe all blue or all red, but I feel like they are still tapestries. Or maybe it’s just me? Be I don’t think so. I think Rachel Macy Stafford is always building on herself, never off topic with who she was to begin with in Hands Free Mama, I know Lovie Price reflects back between where she was looking forward and where she is looking back, I suspect Mark Manson is forever questioning if he should revise his old articles as his opinions do another 180ยฐ in light of new growth or new evidence. When I first wrote this article I was kind of unsure of myself, quite embarrassed, but it is my internal truth and I still find it to be four years later, I’m glad to have it, so I don’t forget that once I didn’t think an ordinary person like me could really find a way to live by my values in everyday life and there was a way that I found out it wasn’t as hard as I thought and it was well worth the effort, because to a certain type of person it’s a huge joy.

“The highest good was the virtuous life. Virtue alone is happiness, and vice is unhappiness.”

– Marcus Aurelius

Anyways I now recommend Russ Harris’ value list, though actually it missed the number 1 Asian value “wa” or harmony, so that perhaps a good place to start is African or Hawaiian values or simply looking inward at the times in your life that seem the most significant. Living by both old and new values, I have found modern values hold more traps towards unhappy outcomes. Kind of like bad classical music is already lost, but what is left is epic. New music has wonderful pieces, equal to any classic, but there is a ton of … filler and chaff that you have to watch out for yourself in modern music. I’m Asian, but I find Asian values are often a way for the country to get people to fall in line for the good of the country, I would say the same of american values also, so that it’s not a problem per se to value the group, but it leaves part of your soul empty, the part which was meant to know about your own needs, purpose and aspirations even when they don’t happen to coincide with what would be best for the group. To be interdependent is to know both your needs and who you are and also the group, not just one or the other, but it’s easy (yet difficult) to understand that people who want something from you have a motive for not wanting you to decide for yourself what is best for your own body mind and soul.