2017 Year in review and Goals for 2018

2017 has been an amazing year. I usually do this self-reflection but now that I have a blog, I decided to reflect here so I am able to keep myself accountable. Every year, I review through goals I had set. Note that I state review through as I do not set new goals every year, just tweaking it as times goes by and of course setting new one if I have something in mind.

Some of the goals set are errr not achieved YET but goal setting definitely helps motivate me once in while. It took me a while to realize that it takes more than motivation to get things done. Discipline is key which is something I am still trying to work on. But I do agree that motivation help in getting things started but it is never enough.

I started the year working more than I should. I was working in a commercial field for a year before switching to the assurance field late 2016. So 2017 started pretty much with more work than the usual workload when I was in the commercial line. Nevertheless, the switch was something I been wanting to do for some time.


After quitting my first job around mid-2016, I went backpacking around Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Before I went on this trip, I always thought I wanted a nomad life like how we have seen on social media. You know the kind where you work remotely and just travel continuously. Seems fun but 2 months of non-stop travel make me realize that this is not the lifestyle I want. I enjoy having a home and constant travelling can be very tiring!

Traveling is still something I really enjoy and it would be a dream to just travel without the need to work but for now, that is not something I am able to do yet.

Despite my busy work schedule during the year, I still manage to squeeze out some time to visit a few places this year. I visited Singapore twice this year, first with my girlfriend and second for my sister registration of marriage. I also went for a short over the weekend trip to Hatyai, Thailand with my friends from work.

They were both short trips. In July 2017, I did travel for a longer period to Vietnam for about 2 weeks in which I travel from the Central region all the way down to the Southern. Pretty much covered the major places in the whole of Vietnam except Halong Bay!!!!!

I would want to travel to a totally different place in 2018 if time permits, hopefully, Japan, India or Australia.


I have this goal of reading at least 12 books each year but I did not read as much this year. I did, however, pick up some of the things I really want to learn along the way:

  • Google Analytics for Beginners
  • Pick up a little on Options Trading by Option Alpha

I started the Google Analytics for Beginners because I was figuring out some of the analytics of my website which is an amazing tool by the way. The beginner’s course was more on going through the features on analytics which give you an overall picture of your website analytics.

Options trading, on the other hand, is something I started exploring lately. I didn’t know about this till my sister told me about it in which I started looking at the materials recently. That will be something I am looking to start out next year.

In terms of development goals, I suppose I will have areas which I wanna work on as I get to know myself better. But for now, things I would want to explore more would be to continue to learn more options tradings, read more books and news, and to learn photoshop. Yes, photoshop is something I would want to explore next.


This is going pretty slow but I am glad I am getting started. No idea where I am heading to but slow progress is better than no progress. I set a goal early 2016 to start exploring more on Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Real Estate Investment Trust (REITs) and the goal is to start investing into some by 2017 which I did.

My allocation of funds are currently in the ETFs, REITs, and fixed Deposits. (Look below for the snapshot as at 31st December 2017). The main reason why I invested in ETFs is the lower fees charge as compared to mutual funds and over the long term, ETFs kind of move in the upwards trend. But again, I am not sure. Just needed something which does not need active management.

REITs, on the other hand, is for their higher dividend yield as REITs must distribute at least 90 percent of its taxable income to shareholders annually in the form of dividends. I would want a passive income and thus, I am looking at building a dividend based portfolio.


I will continue working toward dividend based portfolio and occasionally invest in some shares if I stumble upon any. My ideal allocation is to have approximately 50% to 60% invested in the market (options, REITS, ETFs, and Shares) which will be my investment focus in 2018. I have not started on options trading but it will be something I look into in 2018.


I started working in the treasury function for about a year before making a switch into the assurance field. That switch was mainly because I wanted more exposure which is something I would be able to gain in the assurance line. Which is why I make a move to EY late 2016.

As compared to the previous role, I actually enjoy the job here in EY to a certain extent in the sense that I am able to move around more often than just staying in the office. I love the mobility of my job.

Over the course of a year here in EY, I have met lots of amazing people who turn from colleagues to friends. Work will be just work without them. Here are some of my highlights in the firm which I value (non-work related).

  • Champion for both Football and Hiking in the Inter-firm Sport.
  • EY Overall Captain for 2017 Inter-firm Sports and won the Inter-firm Games 2017.
  • Emceed for the firm’s annual dinner.

There’s no specific goal on this but to really gain as much experienceexposure and also to expand my network.


I stopped making goals like ‘getting abs by 2018’ because that is something I fail doing since 2013. So my goal setting has switched from that to stay healthy and fit. I try to workout more consistently, at least 5 times per week. Something I have been able to do consistently. Most of my workouts are body weights workout like jumping rope, burpees and recently I started Freeletics.

One of the biggest problems I have been facing is my addiction to bubble milk tea. I am not addicted to it but I just like chewing on the pearl which is very unhealthy. Thus, I will try to cut down my milk tea consumption to only 2 times per month.


My main focus for 2018 will still be building something on the side. I lost track of this goal somewhere along the way this year due to my busier schedule, more of lack of discipline. Again, I would want this to be the main focus in 2018.

I started Interestingly Awesome in 2017 with a goal of documenting my journey and progress in building something on the side. Somehow along the way, I lost track of that and it ended up turning this site into a travel blog which was also part of the plan but not the main focus. Hence, I would update the blog and progress more frequently in 2018 (I hope).

Goals for 2018:
  1. Travel to somewhere I have not been before. (Japan, Australia or etc.)
  2. Visit Amanda in Hong Kong.
  3. I will workout 4 to 5 times a week.
  4. I will cut down my milk tea intake to 2 times per month.
  5. Read at least 12 books or 1 book per month.
  6. Start Option Trading on thinkorswim Paper Money account and to start with real money by October 2018.
  7. Increase my investment allocation in the market to approximately 50% by end of 2018.
  8. Start learning Photoshop and perhaps upload photos into Shutterstock (maybe some passive income)
  9. Start a side project.
  10. I will publish 1 blog post each week and to increase the traffic to the site.

The goals set is not very specific as there are lots of things I need to work on before getting started. So you will not be seeing any ‘SMART’ Goals. Take Option Trading as an example. No clue how this really works yet but that will be my goal to explore and ultimately get started. This blog will now serve as a place whereby I update on my progress to those goals.

The biggest struggle will be staying disciplined and consistent in the midst of my busy schedule. But I am really looking forward to 2018. I hope everyone had an equally incredible year and here’s to an amazing year ahead.

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