Monthly recap : July 2021

Monthly recap : July 2021

I don’t have much to share in this month’s recap as well. My mom was diagnosed with covid on 13th July and subsequently on 17th July, the rest of the family (including me) tested positive. I didn’t feel like doing any of the self care activities during this time. However, in the hindsight, I truly believe that spending some time on self care each day could have helped me cope up with this demanding phase of life in a much better manner. Lesson learnt.

Mental health

  • Meditated for 1/31 days.
  • Journaled/documented my day for days.
  • Practiced gratitude journaling for 0 days.

Personal Growth

This section is for a new skill or talent that I’ve acquired in this month, tried a new activity or thing that has pushed me out of my comfort zone.

  • I handled the household responsibilities and took care of my mom as she was diagnosed with covid a week before us. Although it isn’t a talent or a skill to be talked about, I’m glad I was able to pull through this mentally exhausting phase.

Workouts

  • Zero outdoor/indoor runs
  • Worked out for 4/31 days

Education

  • Zero progress with CFA level 1 curriculum. Exam has been deferred to March 2022.
  • Zero online courses completed in July

Entertainment

  • Completed reading 1 book – Mint your money by Pranjal Kamra. It’s an amazing read especially for the ones who want to understand the basics and begin their financial planning journey. (More than halfway through 2 books.)
  • I watched the season 2 of Never Have I Ever and absolutely loved it. It distracted me from all that was going on at home when we were recovering from covid. A must watch!
  • Also breezed through Mimi on Netflix. Pretty mediocre, can be skipped.

Ending on a positive note and hoping that I can start afresh and accomplish the goals that I set for August.

Monthly recap : June 2021

Monthly recap : June 2021

I totally wanted to skip this month’s recap. June has been my worst month in terms of productivity. I don’t know how I managed to spend an entire month in utter confusion and anxiety. I managed to skip all my usual self care activities (meditation, workouts and journaling) for most part of this month. I did have a busy work schedule during the last week of June but that doesn’t explain my unproductive streak for the first 3 weeks. I think I needed a break from my usual routine, I wasn’t able to focus or concentrate on the good parts of my life. I took time to heal and it worked to an extent. I won’t say I’m completely back to my usual self but I don’t feel that anxious and confused anymore. I consider that a huge win.

Mental health

  • Meditated for 3/30 days.
  • Journaled/documented my day for days.
  • Practiced gratitude journaling for 0 days.

Personal Growth

This section is for a new skill or talent that I’ve acquired in this month, tried a new activity or thing that has pushed me out of my comfort zone.

  • I don’t recollect doing anything special or different this month

Workouts

  • Zero outdoor/indoor runs
  • Worked out for 8/30 days

Education

  • Zero progress with CFA level 1 curriculum.
  • Zero online courses completed in June

Entertainment

  • Completed reading 0 books (More than halfway through 3 books.)
  • No movies/web series

Looking back at my progress this month, I could have easily skipped posting this. But the book I’m reading currently has helped change my perspective at looking things. The book goes by the name “Mindset” by renowned psychologist “Carol Dweck”. The book speaks about two different kind of mindsets that people have “Fixed and Growth”.

I wish to try new things, work hard on myself, focus on learning and growth, not let my mistakes and failure define me, take on new challenges and experience life. That will be my focus in July. Let’s see how this month treats me.

Hope is all we have

Hope is all we have

“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”

-Laini Taylor

I didn’t have a very comfortable life as a child. We had many financial and household issues to deal with. Everyday was a struggle for us, especially my mom. However, if I were to compare my mental strength back then to now, I was way more happy, hopeful and positive in the past. I refrained from overthinking every single aspect of my life, I was hopeful and positive of a bright future, I knew things would turn out in our favour sooner or later. I had something to look forward to, I had a lot of goals for my future, the future seemed like a happy dream that I was eager to convert to reality.

Things did work out in our favour. Most of my childhood goals have been accomplished (from earning a degree, getting a stable job, fulfilling the basic materialistic goals such as buying a branded cell phone to fancy clothes to renovating my house). Life should be amazing, I should be happy, I shouldn’t have anything to crib about anymore. Well that’s the issue, why does all of this still seem difficult? Why do we forget everything that has worked for us and always focus on the things that we don’t have? Why does my mind have to overthink every single moment of my life and present me with situations that always seem unfavorable and scary? I was never this confused during my childhood when we had very few reasons to be happy or grateful for. But now when I have a zillion things to be happy about, my mind keeps redirecting me to that one thing that I don’t have or that one goal I might never achieve!

I had problems back in my childhood as well. But I was hopeful of a happy future and that dream kept me alive. It gave me the energy to fight the devils of my mind and just focus on the task at hand. As I grew up and came across more failures in life, my hopeful nature lost it’s sheen and my mind started storing and reliving the real life experiences of feeling lost, disappointed, hurt and scared. Because of this I’ve reached at a phase in life where every new decision causes my mind to relive all the pain and trauma I’ve experienced in the past. Thus, I’m unable to think straight, hope for a bright future, work towards a goal or simply be happy without overthinking any aspect of my life.

Overthinking sucks big time. It makes every simple decision of my life into a life or death situation. It completely drains my energy and distorts my ability to think straight. I know happiness is not a destination but a life long journey. A single event or goal in our life doesn’t have the ability to keep us happy forever. It’s a daily process, a life long effort and developing a hopeful attitude towards life.

I might have mentioned this many times before but I need to reiterate it to myself as I’ve lost my track and fallen deep into the black hole of overthinking. It has drained me and is now clouding my judgement. It isn’t allowing me to enjoy a single moment of peace and happiness without thinking twice about it. Few minor changes that I’m planning to make henceforth to avoid my mind to take control of my life.

  • Practice being in the present : Focus only on the present moment
  • Focus on what I have control over : Ignore what we can’t change, work on things we can control
  • Write down your thoughts when it gets overwhelming : Maintain a daily journal
  • Figure out solutions than mulling over problems : Think about all the possible way out and how it can be effective in solving the problem
  • Become a person of action : Especially in making simple decisions, take decisions right away rather than pondering over it indefinitely.

I’ll share my thoughts and experiences on the effect of making these simple changes in my life soon. Till then, let’s be happy and focus on living our life to the fullest!

Blogger Interview With Sahana

Blogger Interview With Sahana

The one where I got interviewed by my numero uno blogger!!

Thank you so much Pooja (https://lifesfinewhine.ca/) for this incredible opportunity. I’m literally over the moon today to see this post go live.

Life is great!! This is one of the major highlights of my blogging journey!

Lifesfinewhine

I have been a big fan of Sahana’s blog for a while now so I’m very excited to share this interview with you guys Please do take a minute to stop by her blog I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I do

1. Thanks so much for being a part of this interview. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what your blog is about. 

Thanks a million Pooja for this wonderful opportunity to get interviewed by you. This is truly one of the most memorable experiences of my blogging journey. Hello everyone, I am Sahana from https://thesupermode.wordpress.com. I am a Chartered Accountant by profession and work with an Indian private bank. My blog is a reflection of my thought process. I write about anything and everything that goes on my mind. I’m a little inclined towards motivational / inspirational posts and self help as that’s…

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Monthly recap : May 2021

Monthly recap : May 2021

It’s the end of May and I feel kind off empty. I spent quality time with my family, watched shows with my sister and managed to maintain a good workout streak throughout the month. However, I always feel bad when good things come to an end. I don’t know what June holds for me but the only wish I have is to have mental peace. I remember having a great time at my vacation in March this year. I enjoyed every second of it and was the happiest I have been in a long while. I wish I could be that happy my entire life. I wish I could learn the secret to be happy forever.

Mental health

  • Meditated for 17/31 days. I wasn’t able to meditate easily this month. I had to force myself each day and was extremely distracted during the time that I meditated. I broke my streak on 23rd May and didn’t feel like starting back again.
  • Journaled/documented my day for days. I pushed myself to write on some days but quit after writing a single line.
  • Practiced gratitude journaling for 0 days. I didn’t write it down but before sleeping I tried to recollect 3 good things that happened during the day and be thankful for it on most of the days this month.

Personal Growth

This section is for a new skill or talent that I’ve acquired in this month, tried a new activity or thing that has pushed me out of my comfort zone.

  • I read 120 pages of a book in about 3 hrs. The book was super engaging and I completely lost myself in it. There was a power cut in our area because of cyclone tauktae so I had nothing else to do than read. (Book : Atomic Habits by James Clear)

Workouts

  • 1 long run in this month. 8.07 kms indoors within the confines of my small room at home.
  • Completed the 28 day SuperHIIT series by Tanvi Parikh. I am extremely proud of myself for completing this challenge and maintaining a 28 day continuous workout streak. This has been my highlight for this month.

Education

  • Zero progress with CFA level 1 curriculum.
  • Zero online courses completed in May

Entertainment

  • Completed reading 0 books (More than halfway through 2 books.)
  • Watched 2 amazing K-dramas this month that I loved. Crash landing on you and School 2017. K-dramas have the power to transfer me to a whole new world filled with love, warmth and innocence. It reminds me of my childhood when I was optimistic, happy go lucky and extremely hopeful in life.

May you have been amazing. June…..Please be good!

Becoming receptive

Becoming receptive

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I had read “The Secret” long back in 2008 after it was suggested to me by my class teacher. I read the book randomly without understanding a word in it. However, my sister was very intrigued by the book and spent days and weeks on the internet to find out all the related concepts discussed in the book. It was the first time in my life that I came across the concept of “Law of Attraction” and absolutely rubbished the claim. The book literally said that “Treat the Universe like a genie, ask your wishes, truly believe that you will receive it, act has if you have already received it and voila, your wishes will come true!” How was I supposed to believe in something as vague as that? Also my life was pretty uncomplicated during those days, I was always full of hope and positivity and truly believed that I had control over my life and future.

As I grew up and started experiencing failures and setbacks in life, I realized that life wasn’t as straight forward as I thought. We don’t get everything we dream of, things don’t always work out in our favor, sometimes we get rejections even after trying our best and many a times we keep waiting for better days to come. I turned to “The Secret” again during my C.A. final exam days in the year 2012, when I was in stress 24*7 and it helped me immensely during that time. It helped restore my faith and hope in the Universe, it made me forget about my negative feelings and focus on the bright side of every situation.

It’s been more than 9 years to the last time I believed in the power of “The Law of Attraction“. I let life take control of my destiny and stopped believing that I too have the power to rewrite my future. I know it might sound way too nonsensical to many of you at the moment but the only reason I am trying to get back to believing in the power of the Universe is because it had helped me immensely in the past.

Lately I have noticed few instances in my life where I got a glimpse of few things I have desired since long, only to be taken back from me. This applies to my job search and a fitness watch that has been on my wish list since forever. It felt like my prayers were answered finally by handing me these desires only to be snatched away from me at the last moment. As soon as I realize that there’s even a slightest chance for my life to change, I start overthinking all of my life’s decisions and start questioning if I really need those things in my life. I have never felt this confused ever in my life before. My thoughts aren’t clear, I don’t know what I truly want and any change in my life is only triggering a sense of fear instead of excitement or wonder. This should certainly not be the case.

While researching about this phenomena, I stumbled upon an amazing article by Rose Stein (https://thoughtcatalog.com/rose-stein/2016/04/this-is-how-you-should-open-yourself-up-to-the-universe/). Do give it a read, it is precise and just what a confused soul is seeking. For people who feel confused and stuck in life, she has suggested 5 guiding ideals that’ll help clear our thought process and make us receptive to the Universe and it’s infinite possibilities.

  • Trust
  • Openness
  • Gratitude
  • Acceptance
  • Intention

I really wish to get more clarity in my life and this article gives me hope. I have decided to delve deep into the practice of gratitude journaling, setting a powerful intention, deeply believing in the power of the Universe, opening myself up to the abundance and most importantly accepting my current situation instead of running away from it.

I choose to be receptive and will work hard to clear the unnecessary blocks in my mind.

Wish I knew this earlier

Wish I knew this earlier

“The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence; the past is a place of learning, not a place of living.”

Roy T. Bennett

Although I haven’t ran the whole course of my life yet, there are some lessons I learnt pretty late. When we are young, we are filled with confidence and optimism about the future and believe that we can move past any challenges in life. However, we end up giving up the reins of our life to fate during the later stages in life. As we grow older, we realise that we could have channelised that high amount of confidence and optimism into something productive and fruitful that would help us be more in control of our life.

These are some lessons I’ve come accross either through internet or bitter experiences or analysing the life led by people around me. Although I wish I knew this earlier, I’m really glad that I’m aware of it now and have worked on it to improve the overall quality of my life.

  • Join a sport or participate in that extra curricular event :- I was a big time nerd and truly believed studies are the only thing that I should be doing as a student. I was horribly wrong. I realised the importance of fitness and communication much later in life. Learning a sport helps not just in developing strength and stamina but also becoming more disciplined, learning from our failures and facing challenges headstrong. We live in a very sheltered environment as far as school and college is concerned and have people around to help with our requirements. Once we are thrown into the real world, every new situation seems life threatening and we fail to blend in with the crowd. Learn to make new friends, talk to more people, learn about their experiences, participate in events that force you out of your comfort zone. That’s how you realise that every single person on this planet is dealing with their fear and insecurties and you learn to feel less intimidated by people, especially strangers.
  • Be financially independent : It’s very important to chase our dreams and passion and figure out the purpose of our existence. However, we also need to find a way to be financially independent along the process. Unless we have unlimited financial resources left to us by our ancestors, everyone needs to work for their survival in this world. Make sure you incorporate the golden habit of saving early on in your life, learn about financial planning, take advise from experts to grow your corpus, make financially sound decisons when it comes to material purchases, know your long and short term financial goals. Once you feel financially sound, you can take all the big decisions in life with more confidence.
  • Make meditation a part of daily routine : We all know the wonderful benefits of meditation however it can take a painfully long time for us to visibly see the changes in our life. Till that time, we are required to meditate cosistently without expecting any instant gratification. And that my friend, is an extremely difficult task. It’s better to think of it as a part of daily routine that we need to follow without fail like brushing our teeth or taking a bath. Yes, meditation is undoubtedly the best tool available within our control which can help in maintaining a sound mental health. And making it a daily routine is the best way to reap it’s rich rewards later on in life.
  • Everyday is equally important : Most of the days in my life are a waitlist for the special ones/the D days/an important day to look forward to. We feel happy on these special days and dread to get back to the “normal routine” to be followed on the other days. If we can learn to tweak this mindset, there will be a visible change in our happiness levels. The best way to do this is by maintaining a daily journal. It’s just a 5 minute daily practice that requires you to revisit your day and write down whatever made an impact on you that day. This small practice can help you be more grateful and pull your attention back to the present moment. Document your day, focus on making daily progress, make memories, click pictures, life certainly isn’t about those few special days, everday is equally special.

And that’s all I’ve learned and try to implement in my day to day life to feel at peace and more happy in general. Hope it helps you too!

Monthly recap : April 2021

Monthly recap : April 2021

Day 30/30

Aah, it’s the end of April and with it ends my least productive month. I haven’t even reached close to completing any of my goals for this month and that’s OKAY. This month has been tumultuous with the second wave of covid hitting India, constant rise in covid cases, my closed ones getting infected and hospitalized thus causing us trying to battle anxiety and fear every single day. It has been a hell of a month. And I’m glad it’s over.

Although it shouldn’t be the case but I feel motivated by the start of a new month. It feels fresh with new possibilities and hope. A fresh new start to my goals, it’s like hitting the reset button and starting afresh. And I need this refresh more than ever this month.

I’ve planned a lot of things for May in my head. Will write it down in my journal tonight. But I’ll refrain from making huge commitments here. I really want to stick by all my plans this month. The most important aspect surrounding all of my goals for May is developing mental strength and inner happiness. What I’ll be doing differently to make sure I stick to my plans is to track my time (every tiny detail for at least a month) so that I’m aware of how well (read horribly) I use it. I’m pretty excited for May.

Mental health

  • Meditated for 16/30 days. No excuses, no genuine reasons. I was lazy on some days, anxious on others but in general not disciplined enough to follow my routine
  • Journaled/documented my day for days. Nil, absolutely none!
  • Practiced gratitude journaling for 0 days. No where to hide!

Personal Growth

This section is for a new skill or talent that I’ve acquired in this month, tried a new activity or thing that has pushed me out of my comfort zone.

  • I gave a job interview that was pretty tough. I’m glad I ventured out of my comfort zone and faced my fear. It was a good experience!

Workouts

  • 1 long run in this month. 13 kms on my birthday
  • HIIT workouts twice a week during the weekdays (ranging from 20 to 30 mins). Longest workout streak of 5 days last week.

Education

  • Zero progress with CFA level 1 curriculum.
  • Zero online courses completed in March

Entertainment

  • Completed reading 0 books 
  • Watched 2 amazing movies this month that I couldn’t stop raving about. Bollywood movies Paglait and Ludo are an absolute must watch.

May, let’s get it!!!!

Thankful, Grateful

Thankful, Grateful

Day 29/30

And it’s almost time to end the April writing challenge. I have one more day to go but that’s fixed for my monthly recap so this is final write up. April is my most favorite month of the year as it’s my birth month. I started off 2021 with immense positivity and hope and promised to carry it throughout the year. This month really tested my patience and anxiety levels. I’m trying to fight it with whatever means I can. This month has been my least productive month of all. You might think of me as someone who obsesses over productivity and progress all the time. I don’t know why I’m wired this way, being productive gives a huge boost to my energy levels and instantly makes me happy.

I’ve written for 29 days in row and am really grateful for all the experiences, thoughts, emotions I had while writing my daily posts throughout this month. It has been a long month and I have spent most time of this month slacking. I’d still not bash myself for it. It’s been a tough month mentally and I’m taking my own sweet time to come to terms with it. I do want to get past this slump soon and get back on track. Because having a powerful routine and following it to the tee truly makes me happy. That’s the fact of my life and I need to embrace it.

Thankful for all my blogger friends who took time out to read and comment on my posts. It means a LOT. It encouraged me to post on days when I absolutely didn’t want to. You helped me keep going and now I have a month long blogging streak to my credit. This feels incredible.

One day left in April that I need to utilize well to prepare for a new month and all my goals attached to it. Let’s make the best of it.

Paradigm shift

Paradigm shift

Day 28/30

I signed up for a “time management course” to learn how to eradicate my procrastination once and for all. Guess who has been procrastinating on completing the minuscule 90 min course, ME! I can’t stop laughing thinking about this.

Anyways, time to get back to serious business. So I did try to make few changes in today’s routine based on whatever I could recollect from watching the first half of this course in an absolutely sleepy state. I made a very detailed hour by hour schedule yesterday for today and the best thing I could achieve from the extremely elaborate schedule was my meditation and workout. I have been off the radar for more than a month now. The plight of our country during the covid 19 second wave and the unexpected death in my extended family has put me in a very distracted state of mind.

There is no one way to calm an anxious mind. Anxiety partially comes from the feeling of losing control of our life. And I wish to tackle this specific aspect to win over my anxiety. Taking control of our life starts from the decision to try and take action. If there’s one thing you’ve been procrastinating on from quiet sometime for no apparent reason, like ordering a thing from your wish list or calling a friend, try and force yourself to do that very thing tomorrow and you’ve begun your journey of reclaiming control of your goddamn life. It’s honestly really weird that it’s our mind who wishes to achieve great things in life and the only thing that stops from doing all that is again, our MIND! How is that even possible?

Now that it’s established that everything that you need to change yourself is in your MIND, what stops you from working on it?

Is there a vision of a new you in your mind? A skill you want to develop, a language a want to learn, a job you wish to get, a life you wish to own? Make a list of all these things. Everything your best version should be doing and break it down into a daily routine. Don’t underestimate the power of compounding my friend! Oh, but what do we do to keep the lure of “instant gratification” at bay?

Apply the 1 level up rule. Tomorrow, make a plan to get 1 level better in your goals from yesterday. For example, one extra rep in your workouts or 1 extra page of your book or 1 extra chapter in your studies. Just 1 level up. It’s a relatively small number so won’t be difficult to achieve. However, every drop counts to make an ocean, this 1 level up progress will make a considerable dent in the progress of your goal. Sounds easy? So should we get a head start on the biggest project of our life? The future me that I would be proud of.

Let’s do this!