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!

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.

A second chance

“Life is all about second chances. Not in every single aspect, of course, but we’re often granted a “re-do” without even realizing it.”

-Anonymous

Day 4/30

I got a message from my boss today saying that we need to start working from home again for 50% of workdays, effective immediately. The covid-19 cases have been on a constant rise in our state since the past few weeks. Knowing my organization, I had zero expectation from them to take any action towards their employees safety. However, the situation has turned far too dangerous now for our organization to remain indifferent. Also our state government has enforced strict restrictions starting tomorrow which forced our organization to fall back to the work from home routine once again.

Once I start working from home again, I will have great of time on hand to pursue my other passions such as reading, blogging, working out, journaling, completing online courses and other activities for overall personal development. I really didn’t want to play the victim card and blame lack of time for my laziness to pursue my other hobbies. However, work from home will effectively give me more than 5 hrs a day that I can spend on improving my overall life (if utilized well). When we were asked to come back to office fulltime in January this year, I never thought I’ll ever get the chance again to work from home. I had a great time last year working from home and staying away from my office (which makes me feel trapped) as long as possible. My prayers, wishes, cries have been answered from the Universe in the form of work from home for at least half of this month. I believe this is a golden opportunity for me to do everything that I couldn’t do this year due to lack of time (classic excuse!). Despite my hectic weekday office routine, I did try to workout, meditate and read books as much as possible however the situation is way different when you are at home.

There are a 100 things on my mind that’ll help me make effective use of all the time I’ll have on hand once I start working from home. I can sense this is a golden sign from the Universe saying that my life is about to change, FOR THE BETTER! I want to believe in this and I do BELEIVE IN IT. I trust myself to not give up EVER and keep doing my absolute BEST in life, in everything I do. In return, the Universe will reciprocate by giving me the life of my dreams. A life where happiness is abundant and every other experience helps you cope up better and learn new things.

Looking forward to the second chance that Universe has given me.

Yesterday, I had thought to embark on the most challenging journey of my life. Close to 2 years back, fitness and lifestyle influencer Cassey Ho went on a 90 day journey to get into the BEST shape of her life, PHYSICALLY and MENTALLY. More than a physical change, I really wish to make a huge change to my lifestyle and habits impacting my mental health. My current thought process makes me feel drained and unmotivated 99% of time. I wish to CHANGE this for the better. My goal is to feel STRONG, ENERGETIC, FOCUSSED and MOTIVATED (physically and mentally) for most part of my life. And when I do end up feeling BLAH (because that’s inevitable), I wish to create a strong routine that helps me bounce back to my focused self in no time. Our time on this planet is limited and I wish to make full use of it. I do not wish to waste it by feeling sad most part of my life. This has got to change.

Looking forward to a brand new week and some big changes in my lifestyle.

More on my “Lifestyle change Journey” tomorrow.

Glow up

“Transform your world by transforming your internal state. Start by learning to let go of negative self judgment, and replace it with positive and loving thoughts about yourself. Be kind to yourself, and watch your external world change.”

Anita Moorjani

Day 3/30

I was doing perfectly alright in my daily routine till I went on a vacation. I enjoyed so much on the vacation that I didn’t feel like coming back to the routine I had difficulty coping with. Ever since I’m back, I feel like a zombie. I am struggling to get back to my routine. I am reaching out to a lot of comfort (JUNK!) food to feel better. I feel better for a short while but it ends up making me feeling lethargic and bloated. Junk food does nothing for me and I really need to avoid it as much as I can.

I had a long weekend this week with plans of making full use of it. However, my mind and mood swings had other plans. I didn’t feel like doing anything except lying around and scrolling through Instagram and YouTube. Since I am a morning person, I feel positive and energized when the day begins. But I quickly lose all hope by the time evening sets in and my negative thought process takes over in the night. That’s exactly why I need to do something productive throughout the day to ward off those negative thoughts in the night.

I’ve been dealing with this thought process for a while. Working in a corporate office makes me feel trapped and restricted. I feel alive whenever I am not in office. That’s why even the thought of going back to office the next day squeezes out the last bit of energy from me. BUT, I’m tired of feeling like this. I know that I have complete control of my life and it’s my CHOICE to be in this position in life. No one is forcing me to do this. I work to be financially independent. I am not aware of an alternative option that would help me make the same kind of money that I make now (or more) and be passionate about it (never feel trapped in my life!). Till the time I discover this, I got to take charge of my life. I cannot be wasting precious years of my life, feeling BLAH all the time.

How do I do it? I have absolutely no idea so I have to discover my way of doing it. Starting tomorrow, I’ll make a list of 10 things that I want to change in my life and PUSH myself, every single time I slack, to work on it. That’s all I can do for now. Once I have a my goals in sight, I need to motivate myself to work on it. There will be times when I’ll feel like giving everything up and not do anything. That’s exactly what I have been doing ever since I have come back from my vacation. But that has been horrible for my mental health. My confidence and self esteem has taken a hit and I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I always feel much better when I take action, be productive and work on my goals. And that’s exactly what I’ll do, going ahead.

The glow up process begins, right now! I will share my experience (what worked, what didn’t) till I spend sufficient time doing at least (at least a month or two). Till then, huge shoutout to all the people who refuse to give up, no matter what life throws at them. You are the real superheroes in life!

My younger self

“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life.  Tiptoe of if you must, but take the step.”

-Unknown

I was quiet an insecure child growing up. I more or less disliked every aspect of my personality. At times I was laid back and always procrastinated till the last minute for any school activity. I was overweight and made fun of by my cousins who I cared about the most. We didn’t have much money in the family and grew up in a dingy little house which I was ashamed about. I wanted to be an organized person but kept failing at keeping up with the elaborate study schedule that I prepared with much gusto, every DAMN time. I was a shy and introverted girl and was scared to speak even in a group of close friends. I had social anxiety and dreaded any situation where there was even a remotely possible chance of having people’s attention on me. I was ALWAYS late to any place, be it school or classes or meet up with my friends.

As a child, I desperately wanted to change these aspects of me that I as embarrassed about. I wanted to quickly grow up and change myself for the better. I felt growing up and earning money will be the solution to all my problems. I grew up, earned money and became more conscious of myself than I ever was before. Happiness still eluded me. I found a new found trouble in the form of “work stress” and was anxious 24*7. I was still scared to speak in a group, lived in a house that I was ashamed of and was overweight. I kept longing to become the person my younger self would be proud of and change my life for the better. But that day never came and I stopped hoping for it.

A few days back, I found my old diaries inside my book shelf. As I started to read my old diary entries, I couldn’t help but feel bittersweet about my emotions when I wrote them. It reeked of desperation. And a realization dawned upon me that I HAVE BECOME THE PERSON I desperately wanted to become as a child. My life has had a 180 degree change in the last 3 years ever since I’ve joined this workplace which I crib about all the time. I am no longer overweight, my house is renovated and I’m proud of it, my social anxiety is under control, I AM ORGANISED about most things in life and I try to diligently work towards my goals in life. Yet, I was unhappy. I couldn’t believe that I was unhappy even after achieving ALL of my childhood goals. I AM THE PERSON MY YOUNGER SELF WANTED TO BE ALL MY LIFE. This realization has been path breaking for me.

I have decided to live in the present moment as much as I can, celebrate the little wins and document each day of my life. Life has treated me fairly well and I shouldn’t have any reasons to complain about. Yet, I crib and cry over the little things that would have been insignificant and completely manageable to my younger self. My present life seems like a fairy tale when I look through the eyes of my younger self. I’ll try my level best to make most of everything in my life going ahead and live it in the best possible manner. Each day is a blessing and I wish to celebrate my life. While my present self is giving me a disapproving look, my younger self is jumping with joy with this idea. I plan to listen to my younger self this time!

Am I losing control?

“Control what you can control. Don’t lose sleep worrying about things that you don’t have control over because, at the end of the day, you still won’t have any control over them”

Cam Newton

I’m back after a brief hiatus. The last time I posted here about a week back, I had undergone my RT-PCR test for detection of corona virus and was awaiting it’s results. Thankfully, I tested negative and could carry on with my normal life. My parents heaved a sigh of relief as they were a million times more worried and scared than me. Over the weekend, I got the opportunity (blessed as I got tested negative right before it) to go on a short getaway with my friends. This was a long awaited trip and we enjoyed every bit of it.

Back home, I was forced to dive straight into reality. Going on vacations rejuvenates me yet I’m never pumped up to get back to my normal routine after the end of the trip. On the other hand I’m left with an intense feeling of doom and gloom which takes a while to get over with.

In the past week, I underwent a roller coaster of emotions. It started off from feeling extremely happy about myself and the results of my fitness routine to pitying my existence. I get extremely worked up even at the mention of my marriage at home. It is something my mother is really looking forward to, but this might be one of the most difficult things I have to undergo in life. I truly believe now that I had a slight bit of control over all my earlier problems in life.

I read a TV actor’s love confession on Instagram yesterday, she said that every person deserves a partner who understands us, believes in us, inspires us, helps us grow and truly cares for us. These are simple personality traits of a decent human being yet it feels like an impossible task to find such a person. An unmarried girl who has crossed the age of 30 is directly or indirectly made to feel like a burden in the eyes of the society. Even though she is completely happy and content with the manner in which she has led her life, all of her achievements fall short before the mention of her unmarried status. My relatives and most of the people who are dearly concerned about my marriage today were missing when my family led a difficult life throughout my childhood. No one offered to help us with the expenses on our education yet these people are willing to pay money (huge sum to the tune of Rs.35,000) to a marriage broker to find a prospective groom for me. Few of the marriage broker’s requirements were a pictures of me in traditional attire and answers to questions such as, “Does the girl know how to cook food?” or rather “Is the girl comfortable in cooking food for the family after coming back from work?“. While cooking is a necessary life skill which I wish to posses, my male counterparts are never asked such questions even when they lead the exact same life as us!!!

In the midst of this I gave an interview for a job which I couldn’t prepare for, owing to my own carelessness and blamed it on my anxiety. I never felt this before but after I gave a shoddy attempt at this interview, I realized that I suppress myself. I deliberately sabotage my attempts to excel at my work for reasons unknown to me. I know I am capable of doing much better at my workplace and my career yet I never try my best. There is something that holds me back and I will try to find out what it is to the best of my ability. As of now, this realization is a great starting point to work on improving myself in this extremely important aspect of life.

Pouring my thoughts and feelings here have made me feel better already. Here’s to finding those tiny little things that help us cope with the inconsistencies in life, a little better each day!

Shit happens!

Image source : https://www.pinterest.com/pin/282037995391689852/

Today was sort of an important day. I had an important professional commitment call in the evening that I had been mentally preparing for a while now. Needless to say, I had to be in my element for it. But my body and the universe had another plans. Aunt Flo decided to strike today at the most unwanted time. I was in pain throughout the day, the cramps were somewhat severe (according to my threshold).

Coming to the professional commitment, I’m really glad that it’s over! I don’t know how I performed as I was unsure of the other person’s reaction. I felt like I did the best I could yet my reviewer seemed unimpressed. I leave it to the Universe to decide, if it’s meant to be it’ll happen. For now, I feel like a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders. It feels so good, my mind is in a celebration mode. I want to read a book, watch a movie, eat good food and do absolutely nothing all at the same time. It feels so good to be anxiety free. I wish I can work hard to have better control over my anxiety in future. When I look at extremely confident people, I have complete admiration and respect for them. It is unimaginable for me to be bold and confident at occasions that demand the best out of me. I feel jittery and nervous to the extent of giving up. There are people who live up to the challenge and do really well under stress and I’m in awe of such individuals. They are the real rockstars.

All I can do is try till the time I can imbibe at least some portion of such confidence. I am in a much better phase now compared to my teenage and young adult years. There has been a noticeable change in my personality and I would love to grow further even if it’s at a snail pace. Some change is better than no change after all!

Change is the only constant

#83/100

“It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”

– George Eliot

I was talking to my colleague today and ending up learning a lot of things from him in what started off as a casual discussion. There has been a lot of changes in my office recently. The colleague I was talking to is a sales professional who handles a clientele belonging to a particular sector in the industry. The changes I was talking about relates to shuffling of these sectors and the client base in the process. While other sales team handle sectors and clientele that have been part of the organisation since a long time, my colleague used to handle a sector that was newly introduced in our department. He along with his teammate were responsible in setting up the sector from scratch and building the client base.

I asked him if he was upset that his sector was taken away or if he had any apprehensions about the change. His answer just blew me away. He said, “Not even a bit. I would have had a regret had I not been able to give my 100% to my work. I sowed the seeds, watered the plant diligently and was blessed enough to enjoy the fruit of my labour. Now, I seek a change in the routine, a new challenge, a new adventure.!” He also asked me if I see myself working in the same organisation 6 months down the line, although my reply is a glaring NO, I chose not to comment. If you cannot see yourself working in the same place even for the next 6 months, what is the point of being so attached to the work you do? I was astounded by the clarity and ease in his replies.

I still remember my attitude towards work in my previous organisation. The attrition rate was very high causing a lot of team shuffles and changes in work profile. I dreaded it every single time. I was too comfortable with my daily routine and couldn’t bring myself to test my skills in a new and challenging environment. Basically, I had zero confidence in my ability. I have outgrown this phase however still haven’t been able to develop a thick skin to any big change in life like my incredible colleague. He did tell me it takes time and patience, all I can do is work on it consistently.

That is all I can do. Work on my skills consistently, learn whatever I wish to learn, be attentive in the present moment, do what makes me happy, make time for myself and celebrate my life. I might not be able to predict any big changes in my life but I can be prepared by striving to be the best version of myself, each day, every day!

The endless wait

#48/100

“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in your mind.”

-David G. Allen

Ever since I started my 100 day writing challenge, most of my initial posts were rants about my current workplace. I desperately wish to leave it and join a new office environment where employees aren’t ordered around like machines, their efforts are appreciated and they are treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve.

About 2 weeks back I gave an interview for a job profile I was unsure about. I also wrote a post here about my experience in getting over the anxiety of attending an interview after almost 2 years. I gave the interview without any expectations or hope of cracking it. My only intention behind giving the interview was to get over my fear. The interview was decent and I was pleasantly surprised to get a callback on the same day for my next round.

The next round on Monday also had me jitters as it required me to attend a video call. For a person who is not too fond of interviews, convincing the mind to do it regardless is the biggest hurdle. The second round also went decently well and the interviewer told me they would finalize the candidate by Friday. The next few days I just enjoyed the feeling of not having to go through the fear and anxiety of having an upcoming interview to attend to. I don’t really know why I’m so scared of them. I hate being under the limelight and having myself judged by a random stranger, especially when I’m supposed to put my best foot forward and create a good impression. It’s way too much to expect out of a first meeting. I’m a shy person and creating a great first impression might not be my forte. I am a much better version of myself now though. I remember going blank and not uttering a single word in one of my very first job interviews.

The next 3 days also had me ponder over the pros and cons of this job profile. The company is great, it’s one of the biggest banks in the world. My biggest issue was with the location and timings. The job location is insanely far from my residence, I might have to shift to a rented place near the office. If I manage to shift to a nearby location, the job timings wouldn’t be much of an issue. The other big concern was with my current job’s appraisals and bonus declaration. These are supposed to take place by mid October and I don’t wish to sacrifice it for the sake of a new job. My current workplace has been horrendous in taking care of the mental health and safety of their employees. I want to quit after getting my dues which has been unreasonably delayed by my organisation.

Last Friday I got a call from the new place to update my job details on a given link. I haven’t heard back from them after that. I’m aware that the chances of getting this job seem very bleak at the moment but I don’t want to lose hope. I wish that I get a call at the right moment after having my bonus and appraisal arrears cleared by my current organisation so that I can quit in peace.

The wait is long but I really hope everything would unfold in my favor. Till then, I’ll be positive, take deep breaths and relax.

Venturing out of your comfort zone

#47/100

“By leaving your comfort zone behind and taking a leap of faith into something new, you find out who you are truly capable of becoming.” 

-Anonymous

Comfort zone for me is similar to that cozy little corner of my home where I practically live in. While out of my comfort zone, the only thing I do is strive hard to crawl back into it. I remember when I had joined my current workplace, the first 3 months were absolutely horrible. I had no friends, ate lunch alone, counted every millisecond till the end of the day and just prayed that the weekends would never end. My life got better after I made a friend there and had someone to talk to everyday.

So what’s the deal with venturing out of our comfort zone? It’s so scary, boring and noticeably uncomfortable. As humans we hate the feeling of being uncomfortable with anything. We like to be prepared and aware of our surroundings. Surprises are welcome only with birthday gifts or holidays, any other kind would rather shock us than be pleasant. Also man is a social animal, as repeatedly taught to us in school. Being solo is best reserved for trips. I haven’t come across a single person who would prefer living under isolation their entire life. So every new venture or event forces us to leave our known environment and deal with uncomfortable interactions, awkward silences and negative mind chatter.

That makes the comfort zone a gold mine, why would any one in their right mind venture out of it? The answer is “growth“. Growth in our thoughts, behavior, actions and personality. In the first 3 extremely awkward and boring months of my current workplace, I forced myself to initiate conversations with random colleagues in my department just to have people to talk to. Now this was a huge deal for the shy, introverted person like me. I had barely anyone to talk to in office and no one in my team, this was my last resort to kill the 9 excruciatingly boring hours in my office. Turns out, now I can easily talk to strangers (barring the slight inertia and anxiety in the beginning which I guess is unavoidable). I engaged in conversations with like minded people and found out about the amazing weight loss transformation and fitness journey of one of my colleagues. Her success story motivated me daily to work hard on my own weight loss journey. My weight loss journey has been the source of my current level of confidence and happiness in life. It also helped me deal with my anxiety and low self esteem issues.

Though it’s a difficult task, stepping out of our comfort zone is the best way to fulfill all the goals we’ve set for yourself and the key to changing our life for the better. Let’s get it!