Reflections, Introspections, and Intentions

As the 2017 year is coming to an end, many people get introspective and reflect on all that has happened in the past twelve months. You go through the motions of your daily routine and months go by, so you might not be aware of or remember the defining moments that helped your growth and development. When I sat down to reflect and physically write out what I’ve accomplished and what I powered through, the list staring back at me was surprising. To actually see what I achieved, however large or small, was empowering because of the fluctuations in my mood and self-confidence throughout those months. When you’re in the thick of it all, sometimes you forget to take a step back and reflect. But when you do, your confidence gets boosted real high and you realize, yeah, I did THAT. And I’m only going to keep doing great things. However, you don’t have to wait every twelve months to look back on your greatness. Journalling is a great way to look within yourself and let your mind be free without judgement. It’s a great way to mark down monthly, weekly, or even daily wins, and since they are noted down you can always refer back to those pages for a boost of self-empowerment.

I challenge you (out of love and respect) to take time to jot down on a piece of paper, restaurant napkin, notes app on your phone, old homework, or whatever you have access to, and record your accomplishments of the year, month by month. Whether those accomplishments are related to your career, academics, mental health, physical health, spiritual growth, or self-love, just notice how amazing you are as your list grows. If it isn’t as long as you hoped, don’t let that discourage you. There is only room for bettering yourself and unearthing your highest potential, because darling, you’ve already got it all within you.

Below you can take a peek of an excerpt from my own 2017 wins to help you get started on yours:

  1. Completed my first design internship post-university
  2. Invited to co-create and co-host a workshop on colorism for a Pinay Conference at my university alma mater
  3. Invited to speak at an alumni panel for my university alma mater’s Filipinx American community
  4. Accepted into my second design internship (which got extended) with Kaiser Permanente, which provided opportunities to present to the CTRO and CIO
  5. Was offered my first full time design job at a leading design magazine
  6. Purchased my first car (pre-owned is the way to go!)
  7. Invited to help organize a local Pinay Leadership Summit (where I was a mentee last year)
  8. Organized my first passion project “Brown Papaya” which gained local interest throughout the Bay Area and grew several times larger than expected (a blog post on the process might be in the works!)
  9. Read books that I’ve been meaning to read, that expanded my mindset (click here for my reading list)
  10. Incorporated more fruits, veggies, and nutritious foods into my meals (which has helped improve my skin greatly)

Comment or email me your 2017 achievements or even your 2018 goals, I would love to reflect with you and celebrate your wins, no matter the size.


  1. Good evening Isabel and Happy New Year!

    This is very motivating and by the fact that you had the time to share this is really heart warming… I would like to thank you for your hard work putting “brown papaya” out there and for making it happen. Although I didn’t make it… and also for bring this topic of “accomplishing a goal big or small” because a lot of people nowadays only reflect on the bad decisions they made the year 2017and I myself is guilty about it.

    If you’re planning to do another project, I would love to join you…

    Again, Happy New Years!




    1. Hi Jasmin! I appreciate your kind words, it’s so humbling to know your support for Brown Papaya! It can definitely be difficult and discouraging when we focus on things we didn’t get right. However shifting that mindset to remembering our achievements can boost your mental health quite a bit! I’d love to still have you for Brown Papaya! I’m accepting magazine submissions in any type of form! More details can be found in my Instagram bio link!


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