Monthly recap : August 2021

I tried my level best to focus on recovery and to get back on track this month, Quiet happy with my progress.

Mental health

  • Meditated for 26/31 days.
  • Journaled/documented my day for 0/31 days
  • Practiced gratitude journaling for 0/31 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 got a promotion in office to a new designation. I also gave 1 very exciting job interview this month that helped push me out of my comfort zone. I tried new things at work and rejoined office after my covid quarantine in a renewed manner. My main focus is on developing a growth mindset in life. This mindset gives me confidence to confront challenges and work consistently harder to become the best version of myself.

Workouts

  • Zero outdoor/indoor runs
  • Worked out for 20/31 days

Education

  • Zero progress with CFA level 1 curriculum. Exam has been deferred to February 15 2022. I’ve ordered books for the new curriculum and I’m all set to give my best for this exam.
  • Zero online courses completed in August.

Entertainment

  • Completed reading 3 books (my highest record till date) and halfway through 4th book. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, Mindset by Carol Dweck and Atomic Habits by James Clear. It’s safe to say that these 3 books have helped me transform my life in more ways than one. They have redirected the course of my life and made me change my thought patterns. I would especially like to give biggest credit to the book “Mindset”. I try to take all decisions in my life based on the philosophies shared in this book. It has made me confident to face challenges head on and not be afraid of making mistakes in life.
  • Halfway through Scam 1992 which is a web series based on the Indian stock and money market scam in 1992. I not only found it extremely entertaining but it is knowledgeable as well.

It’s been 3 years that I’ve felt stuck in my professional life but haven’t particularly made any efforts to try new things at work. I’ve always blamed my external environment for everything that was wrong with my career. It came as a huge shock to me when it finally dawned to me that I possessed all the aspects of a “fixed mindset” at work. I was scared of challenges, tend to believe that skill/talent is a limited resource and didn’t trust myself to do better than this. The book “MINDSET” by Carol Dweck opened up my mind to new possibilities and I’m excited to try each one of them.

To new beginnings and growth mindset!

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.

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

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!

How leading a fit lifestyle changed my life

 ‘The clock is ticking. Are you becoming the person you want to be?’

– Greg Plitt

Day 16/30

Like every other person in their 20s, I was oblivious about fitness and it’s immense benefits. I used to think being fit is for celebrities and models. I genuinely believed that I would NEVER be able to achieve the level of fitness demonstrated by them. By the age of 28, I had tried and failed at all attempts made to lose weight. I obviously didn’t start with workouts first as that seemed like the difficult option. I started with skipping meals, eating lesser portions, trying healthier options, dieting etc. Nothing worked as I wasn’t consistent.

In the year 2017, I was fed up of not being able to plan a trip to South Korea even after trying multiple times. I wanted to visit South Korea (I still do) since 2012 ever since I was introduced to K-Pop and K-Drama. I didn’t have the finances back in 2012 and tried to save small amounts every year to fulfil this wish. But it wasn’t just me, my sister was in college back then and it was practically impossible to save the travel cost for 2 people with all the other responsibilities I had. I gave up and left it to the Universe to decide. As childish as it may sound, I decided to quit the thing I loved the most in life, SUGAR, till I visited South Korea. While it seemed like an absolutely impossible task back then, I did not touch sugar for 1.5 years and finally quit it in the mid of 2018 when I found a new job. Though I couldn’t manage to travel to Korea yet, I realized that my mind was stronger than I thought as I was able to keep my promise of not eating sugar for 1.5 years!

In the year 2018 itself, I was fed up of being overweight and unfit and decided to embark on my fitness journey. I started by eating healthier (quit sugar, junk and processed food) and added running during the weekends to my routine a week later. The week that followed this weekend, I added HIIT workouts too. And I can safely say that this has been the BEST DECISION of my life. I’ve listed down few changes in me ever since I chose this fit lifestyle.

  • I feel mentally stronger : The last rep of any workout or the last km in a run always seemed the hardest to me. Day after day, rep after rep, km after km, as I pushed through it, I trained my mind to let go of the resistance and learned that I was stronger than I thought.
  • I’m open to new challenges : My run training has helped me develop a positive attitude towards life. When I run and almost feel like giving up before completing my target, I trick my mind diving right into the last run and not letting my feet stop. Our body is always stronger than we think. In a similar manner, we are always stronger than the challenges we face in life. Just dive right into it and face it.
  • I feel focused : During the first three months of my fitness journey, I was the most productive I’ve been in my entire life. I managed to read over 20 books and watch countless movies/web series during those 3 months. That has been the most effective utilization of my time ever. I know I could have done better than watching movies but I’ve always had problems with being attentive while performing a single task. My mind tends to wander in 100 different directions when I’m doing any task. Being able to focus my attention on completing my to-do list for each day felt like a big achievement.
  • I felt confident : I have always been insecure, had low self esteem and low confidence all my life due to my weight. Once I started shedding of my excess weight, the excess baggage of negative thoughts also disappeared along with it. I felt productive every single day as I started my day with my workouts. I felt accomplished and positive. My life changed for the better.

If you still need a reason to start working out, you can check out the transformation stories of countless people on the internet who have completely changed their lives. Fitness is forever. Let’s strive to lead a healthy lifestyle and become the best version of ourselves.

24 hours

“Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.”

Wayne Dyer

Day 5/30

How to make the best use of your time? Start living in the moment. I know, I know! It’s easier said than done. I am never in the moment. When I was a kid, I used to perpetually live in the past. I used to keep rewinding my life experiences and regret everything that I felt was wrong with it. I always wanted to do better, be better. Nothing was perfect enough for me.

When I grew up and started working, I started living in the future as well as past. I used to day dream about my bucket list and dream of achieving them. Again nothing in the present moment felt right. I kept my expectations high and mentally strained myself to achieve all of them in order to feel happy.

It was in lockdown last year when I discovered the foolproof way of being happy. I started applying this trick in my life and it effortlessly made me happy, every single time. At a time when I felt that everything was going wrong with my life, I found it very easy to find things that made me happy, effortlessly. How did I do it?

I started paying attention and found happiness in small things!

From getting a window seat in bus to listening to my favorite BTS song, these tiny actions made me happy than I’ve ever felt in my life. It was a tough time to deal with and under usual circumstances, I would have succumbed to the negativity in my life. But I was so tired of being anxious, scared, unhappy and bored with my life that I was willing to try anything.

I have been feeling very bored and useless since the last 2 weeks. Though I don’t know the reason behind it, I am extremely tired of it. I am FED UP. I want to feel alive, energetic and happy again. I never want to feel like this in my life again. I have taken time for granted. I purposely waste my time for no reason and wait for the day to end. I while my time doing things that I don’t actually wish to do. I sense a huge loss of control in my life and I desperately want it BACK.

I am going to take life, ONE DAY AT A TIME. Ever day is beautiful and I wish to live each day to the fullest. I know rest days are important and help you recharge and rejuvenate. However, I have never felt “rejuvenated” after prolonged period of rest. I am extremely low on energy and motivation. Consistent efforts on our goals are always better than going all out on important occasions. Good habits require regular practice and consistency, in short, our efforts!

These are few good habits that I wish to incorporate in my life :-

  • Plan your new day the night before
  • Wake up at 5 am daily
  • Meditate for 20 mins daily
  • Workout for 30 mins minimum
  • Gratitude journaling/ daily journaling
  • Read 40 pages daily
  • Study for your career progression
  • Revisit your goal progress at the end of each day

This is the first challenge of my “Lifestyle transformation” journey. I am on my way to make every day worthwhile and earn my leave. Let’s do this!

“One” connection in millions of conversations

What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined to strengthen each other, to be at one with each other in silent unspeakable memories.

-George Eliot

Day before yesterday was Valentine’s day and like every year, there was nothing special about the day for me. I remember in school, excitedly waiting for Valentine’s day to get roses or chocolates or gifts from my secret admirers. Well, didn’t I think too highly of myself?! I didn’t get as much as a fallen leaf or a chocolate wrapper from my “invisible” admirers. I felt a little empty, at the end of each Valentine’s day and hoped that next year would be better. Well it’s been more than 14 years than when the thought first crossed my mind and I’ve spent each and every one of them, lonely and a tad bit depressed.

Initially I thought that my appearance was the culprit. I was overweight and had no trace of self confidence or self esteem in me. To top that, I was shy and introverted in nature. It was a mammoth task for me to talk to a new person (especially boys) without feeling the need to revisit every conversation thousands of times and mentally murder myself for saying something boring or stupid. Having guy friends was a HUGE step outside my extra comfort zone. It did make me feel less conscious of myself and I started becoming less critical of my appearance. Yet, I didn’t find the one, “MY ONE

Time passed by and I graduated to the “adulting” zone from my teenage phase. There were way too many things on my mind to think about having a meaningful relationship in my life (yet I felt the absence of it on some days, Valentine’s day being the prominent one even when I vehemently denied it to my family and friends). I still was a work in progress on the “love myself” and “personal growth” space. I had an extremely hectic life which I absolutely hated and wanted someone to “save” me from my pitiful existence (yes, that’s how low I thought of myself back then!). None of the knights in shining armor found their way to my place and I was left all alone, to fight the demons of my mind and life.

Things changed eventually and I started hating myself a lot less. I embarked on the path of self discovery and found a lot of love and respect from my inner self along the way. I discovered my hidden talent in “long distance running” and hobbies (blogging, learning Korean language) that I absolutely enjoyed. The gaps in my life were filled up by these new activities. I enjoyed my own company and didn’t find anything amiss in life except the occasional bout of loneliness on certain empty days.

But then I turned 30 and suddenly everyone around me (courtesy : I have relatives-_-) started behaving as if I’m suffering from an illness (courtesy : I am unmarried) which needs a speedy cure. No matter how hard I try to ignore their talks, fears and expectations, it gets to me at times. I feel lost, directionless, lonely and unhappy many a times. Don’t worry, I try my level best to get out of it and always manage to do so. However, I’m seriously wondering how long this phase will last, when will I stop feeling (or made to feel) like an outcast, will there be a “happy ever after” in my life too?

Today is one of those blue & grey days where everything feels like an uphill battle. I’ve become less expressive and more neutral after all the misses & “almostencounters of finding love in my life. I’m exhausted, drained and somehow numb to the constant barrage of “When will you get married?” questions and many many rejections! This phase of my life is totally out of my control and that irks me the most. Can the Universe atleast send me a sign so that I stop hoping for my happy ending and an escape from this painful phase?

I am genuinely tired!

It’s a challenge, alright

“Real difficulties can be overcome; it is the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.”

Theodore Newton Vail

I started working out 2.5 years back. I was never into sports during my childhood days. As I was a chubby kid, I mostly stayed indoors while the kids from my building played outdoors in the evening. I feared not being not being able to compete, not being fast enough, being made fun of! When I started out 2.5 years back, I noticed I had better endurance and stamina than I thought. I was much stronger than I thought. The first month was extremely difficult but things started easing out from the second month onwards.

2.5 years later, I feel much stronger and fitter than when I started out. I am able to attempt most of the new exercises with a day or two’s practice. But there are few exercises that I have never attempted or have failed miserably after trying. One of them is the push-up.

Can you perform a push-up? If yes, then dear friend, you earn my envy. Ever since I started working out, I’ve tried through every possible means to attempt a perfect push-up, failing each time. Yes, I am impatient when it comes to workouts, I go all in and try to achieve perfection as soon as possible. My high energy and determination has worked well for most of the exercises, except the almighty PUSH-UP. I was very dejected yesterday when I couldn’t even perform 1. I almost gave up on this exercise after my mind tried to convince me that it isn’t made for me.

There’s a challenge going on in my runner’s group wherein we have to perform push ups daily and increase the count by the end of this month. Most of my runner’s group members perform a push-up decently well, at least their posture is right. I can’t seem to fix my horrible shoulder posture while performing the push-up after trying every possible trick in the book. I wish there was an easy way around this, I wish someone could help me fix my posture.

Well, I’m not ready to give up yet. I really wish to conquer this challenge and try my best to clear my mental block around this exercise. Yes, mind gives up way before my body does. In this one month, I have to work hard to bring my mind in sync wit

Well, I’m not ready to give up yet. I really wish to conquer this challenge and try my best to clear my mental block around this exercise. Yes, my mind gives up way before the body does. In this one month, I have to work hard to bring my mind in sync with the body and give my best efforts in breaking the self imposed push-up jinx.

I’ll probably jump with joy and celebrate the day I perform a push-up with correct posture. Yes, this is currently the biggest challenge of my life!!

See you at the end of this month when I’ll share my experience with this challenge!

12 goals for 2021

My goals are usually very descriptive and never ending. I love writing down goals and I’m curious to experience life in general. Although I’m tempted to write down every goal in the book each year, I’ve decided to stick to 12 most important ones this time. I’m jotting down these goals here as my wish list for the Universe. It’ll be great fun to revisit them at the end of the year and figure out how many goals I managed to accomplish.

  1. Travel to South Korea and attend BTS concert live
  2. Clear Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) level 1 exam (scheduled on 21st February), earn a scholarship for Level 2 exam
  3. Run 10 kms under 60 minutes and half marathon under 2 hrs 15 minutes
  4. Meet my other half (Dripped in cheese, I know. The wait has been excruciatingly long!)
  5. Lose body fat, gain muscle definition (will define this in absolute terms once I check my current measurements)
  6. Read 50 books and watch 50 shows/movies
  7. Join the 5 am club (wake up at 5 am everyday)
  8. Help mom lose weight (10 kgs) and become the fittest version of herself
  9. Complete 12 online courses
  10. Cross the 500 articles and 1000 followers mark on my blog, The Supermode.
  11. Speak, read and write fluent Korean
  12. A 50% increase in my current pay scale, upgrade in my designation at work (through my current job or a new one)

That’s it and I’m all pumped for 2021!

A close call

Today has been adventurous to another level. I travelled all the way to my office in the morning hoping to have a normal work day today. When I reached office, I had to go through the normal workplace protocol of showing my identity proof and the status on a government based mobile app (Aarogya Setu) which tracks the coronavirus infection of users who have downloaded the app on their phone. This app collects details of infection of everyone who uses it makes it easy to conduct contact tracing process. When I checked the status today, it showed I had a “high risk” of infection as I had come in contact with an infected person about a week back. I was surprisingly calm throughout as I had experienced no symptoms till then. I was asked to go back home and check with the helpline on the app for further process.

Once I reached home and told my parents about it, they freaked out. My parents are complete opposites of each other and their reaction to this news was also poles apart. My mother was very scared but kept it within herself and showed a brave front. My father called a friend, brought me medicines which I had no clue about and asked me 10000 questions within a span of 10 seconds. Mind you, they went through all this stress only with the news of me coming in contact with an infected person. I hadn’t even tested positive by this time. After talking to my friends and contemplating on the situation for a long time, I decided to get myself tested. I went to a diagnostic center near my house and my swabs samples were taken for the tests. Let me give a heads up here, the process of taking the nasal swab samples is extremely creepy and weird. The swab is inserted deep inside the nose and for a moment I felt that it had reached my brain!!

Then came the somewhat long wait. The antigen test results are quiet rapid and come out within a span of 15 mins. The results for the antigen test are inaccurate at times and hence I got myself swabbed for the RT-PCR test as well which is the most accurately used testing method. Within few minutes of taking my swab samples, my antigen test results were out. Fortunately it was “Negative“. The RT-PCR test results will be out tomorrow. My life changed within a span of few minutes after I came to know about the status on my Aarogya Setu app. Most of the times the stress of the actual situation is more troublesome and frustrating than the situation itself.

I’m glad I decided to take test after all and find out about my condition today itself. My initial plan was to self quarantine for a week or so before getting tested. I am extremely grateful for my meditation habit which helped me be calm in this situation. I’m really glad that I worked on making it a habit and spent 20 mins everyday on healing my mental health. It came a lot handy in today’s situation.

Fingers crossed for my RT-PCR test results tomorrow!