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!

Pat your back

“It takes strength to be proud of yourself and to accept yourself when you know that you have something out of the ordinary about you.”

Abigail Tarttelin

Day 23/30

I gave a job interview today and it was brutal. The interviewer asked me some really tricky technical questions which I’m sure I gave inadequate answers to. In a normal scenario, I would have been really tough on myself, felt really embarrassed and indulged in negative self talk till I would break down.

Not today.

I feel proud of myself for attempting to give this interview while fighting my fears and anxiety about it. I feel proud of myself for trying very hard and giving my utmost best throughout the difficult session. I feel proud of myself for taking action and doing things that scare me the most.

I’m always hard on myself but I don’t want to do that this time. I absolutely cannot change the past. This interview has widened my thinking capability and has been an incredible learning experience. That certainly can’t be counted as a loss.

Instead of being your worst enemy, try and become your best friend today. The outcome of any situation in life cannot be predicted but you can align your thoughts to be more helpful and positive. And I’m training my mind to do just that. To see the good in every situation and take everything as a learning experience.

Be proud of yourself and pat your back, for a change!

Break the chain

“And once you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom and the responsibility to remake them.”

-Charles Duhigg

Day 21/30

Ever since I started this challenge of blogging everyday in the month of April, not once have I been able to upload the blogpost during the course of the day. I procrastinate till the end of day, convince myself that “end of the day” is when my mind is at it’s creative best and somehow anxiously manage to upload the blogpost in the 9th hour. Same pattern goes with my reading habit too, I have been meaning to get in 50 pages of a book everyday but I procrastinate it every single day. I have been following a similar pattern with my goal of waking up early as well. My goal has always been to wake up at 5 am but these days I’ve got into the habit of sleeping late and eventually waking up between 7.30 am to 8.30 am in the morning.

When I think back to how I was able to consistently follow my fitness journey back in 2018, it was a deep resolve to lose weight and one decision that I stuck with the very next day, the decision to eat clean. I thought about it, planned to start with clean eating right away and broke the chain of junk food that very instant. The reason I was able to stick by it for a long time is because I gave my mind the confidence that I could do it by following that single thought of eating clean. I broke the chain of negative thought loop by one positive action.

It’s time that I make a change to my lifestyle once again. I’ve fallen into the loop of certain habits that are digressing me from my goal to alleviate my life to the next level. It’s time to break the chain by posting this blog during daytime. This is just the beginning, my aim is to get into a focused and goal oriented routine as soon as possible. This is my attempt to start the process of a lifestyle change. I’m super inspired by a fitness influencer named “Tanvi Parikh” who managed to change her life for the better and stuck by that decision for over 4 years now. Of course there are days we fall off the wagon but she has been consistent for most part of these 4 years. I wish to do the same, starting today.

I’m excited to begin this new journey. Here’s a post by Tanvi that I found to be extremely empowering. Hope it helps you too. This doesn’t just apply to fitness but any big lifestyle change that you wish to bring about.

Quest to be best

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Day 14/30

I have been following the journey of a fitness influencer on Instagram and it makes me wonder if such people do exist in real life. She seems to be living a perfect life especially when it comes to leading a productive lifestyle. She was quiet overweight when she decided to take things into her own hands by starting her fitness journey. It’s been 4 years that she has been following it diligently and I’m in awe of her. She strives hard everyday to be the best version of herself. It has only been 2.5 years for me yet I’ve fumbled way too many times.

I don’t feel productive whenever I have issues with my mental health. I feel lethargic, lazy and end up whiling away my time doing nothing. This wonder woman works on her goals, ever day with the same determination she had when she started. This gives me hope that we can be consistent in our life. We just need to fight and win against the demons in our mind.

Working on things that don’t provide instant gratification can drain all of our energy. That’s the reason we fall off the wagon more often than we can imagine. We seek immediate reward always. Training the mind to delay gratification is the first and biggest step towards success. Finding a strong purpose will help you stick by your goals.

All things set aside, this wonder woman has inspired me work on myself, truly and faithfully. No excuses, no escapes, sheer hard work to become the best version of myself.

If any of you are intrigued by her story, please read her article below, it’s beyond inspirational.

https://iwillgetlean.medium.com/my-beginner-mindset-a77b02bcf4af

I have a strong desire to know myself in my best version. On a scale of 1-10 where 10 is my best version, I feel like I’m on 2 right now. The journey from 2 to 10 won’t be easy at all but the extremely fulfilling. I want to give it a shot. I did embark on this journey 2.5 years back but I’ve not been supremely focused and consistent about it. It’s high time I do that.

My ‘quest to be best’ begins right now!

A second chance

#94/100

“Sometimes in life, you’re not always given a second chance, but if you do, take advantage of it, and go out with a bang!”

-AQUARIA

I was dreading an event that was supposed to take place today. I was unprepared even after having sufficient time to prepare for it. I let my anxiety get the better of me, yet again. Or was I too comfortable being anxious and not having to put in the required efforts to fight back? I don’t really know. As the clock kept ticking to the time of the event, I started losing hope to get a positive outcome out of it. After all we can’t leave everything for our fate to decide.

Something magical happened an hour before the scheduled event. IT GOT POSTPONED! I didn’t know how to react. I literally got the gift of time from the Universe itself. This is how “second chances” must feel like. I was relieved and happy at the same time.

I woke up in the morning today promising myself that I would try my level best to be prepared for everything in life, as much as I can and not leave my life to unexpected chances. I will work hard to live up to to this new version of me. I hate last minute jitters yet I procrastinate till the end, every single time. Things can’t work like this no more. It’s time to change and put an end to this habit, one little step at a time. Let’s do this!

My alter ego when I’m in love

#70/100

“When we are in love we seem to ourselves quite different from what we were before.”

— Blaise Pascal

I’ve always believed that love enhances the best traits amongst humans. I love the kind of couples who have managed to grow into the best versions of themselves after getting into a relationship with each other. Both partners need to play equal roles to bring out the best in each other, give that confidence boost when the other one is low, that little push when your partner doesn’t believe in themselves, basically compliment each other in a manner that helps achieve each other’s goals in life. Your partner becomes a source of your strength and helps you notice your inherent superpower if you haven’t realized it already.

Although I haven’t been in an actual relationship yet, I’ve had few one sided crushes, infatuations and possibly love (I’m still not sure!). Though my feelings were never reciprocated, I always noticed a big change in my personality whenever I started liking someone. Ever since I was young, I wanted someone to protect me and support me always. I wanted to be with someone who would love me despite my flaws (I considered being overweight my biggest flaw back then) and notice my personality rather than my outer beauty (or lack of it).

I had my first crush in school. I didn’t even realize when it happened. I used to blankly stare at this guy who didn’t care one bit about me. His friends started teasing him about it and my shy self couldn’t handle the obvious rejection. My second one was an infatuation (I considered it true love back then! LOL). We were interns (article ship at a C.A. firm) and I don’t even know why I fell for this guy. I was way too obvious with my behaviour (cared too much, gave too much attention). We talked as friends (or so I thought). I helped him with any work or information that he sought (at the drop of a hat!) and he never bothered to even keep contact with me after the end of our article ship. He didn’t even wish me when I cleared my C.A. exams (we gave the same attempt and he couldn’t clear, his tiny heart and giant ego couldn’t handle that I guess). The third one deserves a special mention. This time I felt like I met my soulmate. But he just wanted to be friends and made me his best friend, blame the Indian caste system! (that’s when I understood why they hand out consolation prizes in every race!!!). The last one made me believe that he liked me, persuaded me till he got his answer (just wanted to know if I liked him too) and ghosted me right when I sought commitment.

As I’ve said earlier, I always believed that a relationship completes a human. There are few things that one cannot absolutely do by themselves. They need someone to lend a helping hand when they are down and about. However, I was terribly mistaken! I turn into a possessive, zoned out, attention craving weak person who just can’t focus on anything but the guy once I start liking someone. I become way too giving and caring towards the guy and forget my existence in the process. I am willing to change myself completely to make the other one happy and forget what I want in life. Maybe that’s what lack of self love and desperate need to seek outside validation does to oneself.

Since I was overweight most of my life, I never truly believed in myself. After my weight loss, I slowly re-built my personality from scratch and refuse to allow anyone or anything to define me. I can safely say that I’m at the best shape of my life, mentally, when it comes to seeking outside validation. They say, you truly need to love yourself first before you can do it to anyone else. I’m truly grateful to have this realization in my life before I get into a relationship. I’m pretty sure my older self couldn’t have lasted long in any relationship or would have been trapped in a toxic one. I am very happy to be single and at peace with my own company in life. I work for my own goals, push myself to exceed my limits, bring me up after a setback, work consistently on becoming self aware, try to understand myself a little better each day and seek my source of happiness in the most basic things and events possible.

I know we read a lot about self love everywhere but are unable to apply it to our own life. It took a long time and I didn’t even realize as my life gradually changed for the better after I started believing in myself. Make small yet consistent efforts in your life to practice self love. It is truly the most important personality trait that helps you choose right, be right and live right!

Becoming unstoppable

#62/100

“Who you are today is not who you have to be tomorrow.” 

Zdravko Cvijetic

Okay, so there have been few inconsistencies in my life of late. My routine has undergone a 360 degree change. I’m incredibly blessed to have a mother who understands the importance of having a stable mental health and doesn’t force me to do things I don’t feel like. Yet, I know I’m not giving my best. She has fractured her hand and needs complete rest at the moment. I am currently overwhelmed with the responsibilities of the house as well as office at the same time. I have been doing a terrible job at both since the day I took the responsibility.

I have the tendency to consider myself a victim of every uncomfortable situation that I’m put through. My initial reaction is to blame every person/thing that I consider responsible for being the reason behind my misery. My way to cope up with such situations is to do nothing about it. Since I’m a perfectionist, I take a long time to do any work that is expected of me. That makes it difficult for me to manage a lot of work at the same time causing me to procrastinate everything till the last moment.

But I’m really tired of finding the easy way out in all the difficult situations of my life. I always waste time when I have a lot of it. The minute I’m supposed to do something that I don’t wish to do, I’m reminded of all the work that I could have done in that time instead. My defense mechanism goes overboard to make me feel absolutely terrible at times.

So I’ve decided that this time, I won’t pick the safe route. I’ll get all work done, in the manner that I’m supposed to do, to the best of my ability. My mom is my biggest inspiration in life. Her grit and positivity always shines bright on me. The way she has handled all the difficult situations in life can be a rulebook to ones who get scared of it. She gets motivated to work harder when things don’t go as per her wish. I’ve hardly seen her disappointed with failures. She takes every mistake as a learning lesson and challenges herself to do better next time. This is exactly what I’m planning to do.

Cheers to a new challenge. If I can deal with all the brick backs life throws at me and end up learning something new in the process, won’t I become the person that I truly want to be? Be truly unstoppable! Let’s do this!!

Yes or yes

#58/100

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.

-John Milton

There are so many things I wish to do in life. Yet, I don’t do most of them. Some things are beyond my capacity or reach, for everything else, my heart and mind are never in sync.

There have been many situations in life where I wished to do my best. Like giving a presentation in front of a room full of people (which I have rehearsed many times), performing a choreographed dance sequence in front of an audience (after many hours of practice) or doing well at a job interview. I have a fear of public speaking. I’m unable to perform well when I know I’m being watched and “judged” by other people. What is this fear really? For years, it has made me lose many opportunities to excel in life and upgrade my personality. Why do I fear public speaking so much? Why does my mind only say “no” to any opportunity that requires me to be in the limelight?

My oldest memory of public speaking was the fancy dress competition event in school. My costume was up to the mark yet when it was my stage to deliver the dialogue on stage, I stopped mid sentence as I forgot the rest of the sentence. But I didn’t fear anything at that time, I didn’t know what fear was. As years passed by, my fear of being judged by other people increased multi fold. I started caring way too much about what other people thought of me and desperately wished to hide myself whenever I was asked to speak in front of other people.

My weight loss journey also helped me to shed my insecurity and self esteem issues. That’s when I realized, my fear of public speaking stemmed from the fact that I was extremely conscious about my weight. After I lost my weight, I forced myself to do my best under the limelight whenever I got the chance to.

I understand that our mind (rather gene’s) primitive instinct is to survive and avoid death under any circumstances. And I had read somewhere that human beings tend to feel inconsequential when faced with negative remarks. We fear that we might make a fool of ourselves when we don’t perform well. This would make us lose face in front of the society which would render our existence as futile. We have a inert fear of non existence on this planet, which co relates to our gene’s prime most need to survive.

Fear is important, only in case of a real threat to our existence. In all other cases, our mind creates a psychological illusion of fear whenever it senses a situation of treat towards it’s existence. Let us try to be aware of our emotions, understand what situations affect us and in what manner and work towards not missing out real opportunities in the name of fear. Let’s love ourselves enough to work on ourselves.