Making healthier choices

“We were meant to grow. When we don’t grow, we seek diversions–some harmless (if unproductive), others destructive–to fill the emptiness.”

Jim Clemmer

Day 15/30

I truly believe we always have two choices while taking any decision in our life, a right one and an easier one. The easier one gives immediate reward which is short term, the right one requires hard work but gives fulfilment and the reward is long term. Which option do you choose in most of your decisions in life?

Well, I have mostly picked up the easier option. Well, who doesn’t like an instant reward? That’s what we all crave right? But true happiness and fulfilment lies in making the harder choice.

Choose your hard! We always pick one that gives instant gratification. However, picking the difficult one makes sure that the reward is worthwhile and long lasting. Choose your hard!

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.

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!

Consistency > Motivation

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.”

-Dwayne Johnson

Day 7/30

As I was binge eating chocolate today, watching videos of amazing fitness influencers smashing their workouts, I thought to myself begrudgingly, “It’ll take me years to reach their level!”. It’s funny how I decided that I might be able to do it, without trying my hand at it. I have been working out for close to 2.5 years now, the intensity and passion in my effort has worn off sharply since the first 3 months of my fitness journey. The first 3 months were intense and I was extremely motivated to lose weight. That was my sole purpose in life during those 3 months. Ever since I lost weight, I have given myself the leeway to give up fairly easily, have no restrictions in my diet, skip my workouts, be indisciplined at times with the only excuse of, “I deserve it this time, I’ll get back on track tomorrow.” And that tomorrow never comes.

It’s easier to be consistent than wait for our motivation to support us in our goals. The journey towards achieving our goals is set on a long, winding and difficult path. If we wait for our motivation to help us scale this journey, we might have to take frequent breaks and delay the journey by a couple of years. However, being consistent and working on our goals everyday, in the best way possible, shows definite results over time. The wait is excruciatingly painful but can be borne by frequently rewarding ourselves on achieving our daily tasks.

Also the best way to be consistent is to make a habit out of it. Force yourself to stick to a schedule for at least a month or till the time it feels weird when you skip it. Once this is achieved, being consistent is comparatively easy. There are many ups and downs in every human’s life. As I was talking to someone close to me today (the most talented person I know), I understood how negative thoughts can absolutely DESTROY a human being. I know she is capable of GREAT things in life however her mind has total control over her actions. Her negative self talk flares up, especially during important events in her life and clouds her judgement. She ends up losing a lot of great opportunities to take her life to the next level and witnessing this physically hurts me. I realized from her experience that I do not wish to give the negative thought process in my mind any attention and DO WHAT’S BEST TO TAKE MY LIFE TO THE NEXT LEVEL, always! I want to be clear on what I want to do and be in life. Right now, I’m on the brink of losing everything to negativity. I wish to change it, FOREVER.

Is it possible,

  • to never succumb to negativity?
  • to have total control of our mind?
  • to use our mind to our advantage, always?
  • to make the best choices for success in life?
  • to be in sync with the Universe?
  • to ignite our motivation when we need it?

I don’t know the answers to these questions yet but I wish to learn them soon. I’ll start with self introspection and understanding my short and long term goals in life. Once I have these written down, I’ll devise a daily routine that helps me work on all of my goals, brick by brick, each day. The most important aspect is to be CONSISTENT at it, by hook or by crook.

Let’s do this!

Smile please!

“Nothing in this world can torment you as much as your own thoughts.”


Day 6/30

Two people very close to me are dealing with mental health issues in their lives. While one has shut herself to the world completely, other one is finding it hard to express what’s going on on her mind. It’s really difficult when people close to you are going through something inexplainable and mentally destructive. It takes a while to come out of such situations and see the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel very helpless to see them in pain and it hurts me to not know what to do to make them feel better.

I remember going through something similar last year. It took a while for me to get back on tracks and finally have a reason to wake up in the morning. I absolutely HATE it when I lose control of my life. Our thoughts, especially the negative ones, have the power to make you feel like crap and physically drain you of all your energy. Yes, it’s that intense! To come out of such situations, we need to find life worth living. Mental health issues give you every reason to lose hope and interest in life. When you finally snap out of it (and YOU WILL), you realize that your life is WORTH living and your existence matters more than the world to a lot of people.

Being happy is not a moment, it’s a daily, conscious practice. It’s hard work but extremely fulfilling.

There are certain daily rituals I forced myself to incorporate so that I never revisit that dark part of my life anymore. I am not practicing any of them now and can see a dip in my energy and happiness levels. I don’t know if this a sure shot way of living a happy life but they worked for me in the past. Doing these on a daily basis did help divert my mind from negative chatter box. Everyone has two voices in their heads, just like the angel and devil voices they show on TV. When I was on my fitness journey 2.5 years back, I mostly listened to my positive voice and was able to find the confidence to continue the hard task. The negative voice paid an occasional visit to destroy my confidence but my positive voice was relentless.

So what was my daily practice?

  • GRATITUDE JOURNALING : This one is very important. I and my mom went for a walk outside today when we passed by group of homeless people. It was a large family with small kids without a house over their head or food to eat. I noticed that the mother in this family was playing with her kid, who was really having fun. They were happy! I on the other hand, live in a big spacious house, splurge money on food takeaways and can buy anything that my mind desires (within my budget and capacity) right away! Yet, there were occasions when I found it difficult to be happy? How? Why? Compared to many people on this planet who don’t even know where the next morsel of their food is coming from, I am privileged and blessed to have everything I want in life. The least I can do is be grateful for all my blessings. It’s very important to spend a good amount of time each day (at least 10 minutes) to write down 3 things that you are grateful for and feel it deeply when you thank the Universe for it. You can top it off by writing down 3 highlights of each day at the end of it, to pay attention to all the great things that happened during the day. Many a times, we just breeze through a day on auto pilot mode without paying any attention to it. Don’t live for the big days, every day has something to offer, make each day worthwhile.
  • MEDITATE : I cannot stress enough on the benefits of meditation. Again, this one is not a one time thing. You need to follow it daily, consciously and consistently to reap it’s rich rewards. It helps you to not dwell on any thoughts, especially the dark ones. It trains your mind to step out of it’s place and view our thoughts as passersby on a busy street. Eventually, with practice, our mind will be able to focus better, learn to let go, not be sucked away by negative thoughts and just in general, be happy.
  • WORKOUT : We all know that working out releases endorphins, which are known as the happiness hormones. So yes, working out guarantees a feeling of fulfillment and happiness by the end of it. Now, people might be busy in their daily lives to find out time for workouts. Even a 5 minute jump rope session can be effective than no workouts. And you most definitely can find 5 minutes each day for yourself.
  • JOURNALING : When we are going through a rough patch in life, all we want to know is that we are heard. But many a times, the people around us, friends and family won’t really understand what we are dealing with. They might not have the right words to make us feel better or the time to patiently hear us out. Although a journal might not be able to provide you a solution, it will LISTEN to you. Write down everything, the good, back and ugly and live each day as it comes. Be present in your life and focus on the moment.

I know I have mentioned this many times before but I wanted to reiterate it because of my closed one’s mental health issues. If I was granted one wish in life, I will ask for the absolute and total removal of mental health issues (anxiety, depression, fear, judgements, prolonged sadness, trauma etc) from each and everyone’s lives. Till the time I am granted this wish, I am going to practice my way to happiness.

Trust me, it’s not that hard.

Fitness Queen 2021

“If it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you.”

-Fred Devito

In the last week of January, my running group mentor posted about an event called “Fitness Queen” in our group chat. I was quiet intrigued by the details of the event as this is the first time an event like this was supposed to take place in our town. Usually, my first reaction to any challenge is that of anxiety and fear. I am amongst the kind who dive headfirst into any new challenges and learn with the flow. I like to be prepared with everything I do in life. But this challenge was different. I have been working out for over 2 years now and this event was a perfect way to test my level of fitness. I signed up for it right away!

My running group mentor motivated all the women in our group to participate in this event. Her motive was to push us to participate and give our best for the event. She gave us the confidence to aim for a win and kept practice sessions to help us prepare for the event.

We had been given a wide range of exercise/workout types to prepare starting from basic ones such as jumping jacks, skipping, squats, crunches, burpees to difficult ones like pull ups, chin ups and pushups. When I saw the list, I was confident about most of the excercises except pushups, pull ups and chin ups. My arms had zero strenght when it comes to performing a push up and I have been struggling with it ever since I started working out.

The first training session with my running group was kept in the first week of February. It consisted mostly of cardio based activities which I’m comfortable with. My mentor then asked us to try push-ups amd I failed miserably. I couldn’t even perform 1 push-up. I was terribly upset and decided to work on my push up daily from that day onwards. I started with wall pushups and did it daily for over a week till I could safely perform an incline pushup. After a week, I still stumbled while performing a full push up! It was totally demotivating but I decided to keep going. I was happy with my improvement in a week and continued with my practice. The second training sessions consisted of skipping (which I am good at), yoga asanas and ladder drill. I was quiet comfortable with these but what came next shattered my confidence! We were asked to perform push ups (I could do 13 here with a bad posture though!). My incredible group members inspired me beyond measure by performing more than 25 perfect pushups! I was spellbound, I couldn’t believe what I saw! These super humans (who are married, with kids, who handle way too many responsibilies than me!) were INCREDIBLE at push ups! It doesn’t end here! We were asked to do planks next where I gave up afterb 2.20 mins (after a week’s practice!). Some of my superwomen, running group friends pushed through till 5 mins. That day I reaslied I have a LONG way to go in my fitness journey and was extremely motivated to practice harder thereon.

With a month’s practice, I saw good progress in below activities.

Skipping : From 150 skips o 570 skips at one go

Plank : From 1 min to my personal best record of 4 mins

Pushups : From zero to 20 in average form

27th February 2020 (Event day)

The event consisted of 2 rounds, prelimnary and final. I was decent in most of the activities which earned me good points (BMI, Hip to waist ratio, Forward Bend, Squats (47 in one minute), crunches (37 in one minute), shuttle run and sprint). I stumbled in Vrukshasan and lost 20 marks (Honestly, could have performed better in this one, I was negligent!).

I almost lost hope of advancing to the finals as everyone else had done a great job at Vrukshasan. From 17 participants, only 7 were selected to the finals. When they called out the name of finalists, my name didn’t come up in the first 6 slots. I was sad but still prayed to the Universe to grant me this one wish. I wanted to be in the finals! The 7th name was called out and as luck would have it, it was me! The Universe heard me out!

The final round was a circuit drill with started with a 10 step jumps, 1 round of ladder jumps, 10 jumping jacks, shuttle run to 4 different points, flipping a 10-20 kg tyre over a 20 metre stretch, duck jumps over a 20 metre stretch and finally ending with 10 squats!! (Phew!!) The top 3 quickest contestants would be declared as Winner, 1st and 2nd Runner’s up respectively.

I was totally drained after performing the circuit, I overestimated my strengh and underestimated the weight of the tyre. Everyone performed exceptionally well and I was back at my prayers to the Universe to help me win the beautiful trophy!

When the winners of my age category were announced, I waited with bated breath.

The Universe heard me out once again and I was placed 3rd (2nd Runner’s up) in my age category. I was estatic and absolutely delirious on winning the trophy (by now you would have come to know about my obsession with medals, trophies, any accolades for that matter!)

I came back from the event with memories that would last me a lifetime and being extremely happy with my decision to participate in it. I would have lost a great opportunity to challenge myself, work on my shortcomings, understand where I stand amongst my peers and last but not the least, have a great time had I done otherwise!

Moral of the story : Never shy away from trying. There’s nothing to lose, we either WIN or LEARN!

Just breathe it out


“Life is short. We can live it lost in thought or we can choose to be present as life unfolds around us.”


Meditation! I must have ignored this important and extremely powerful habit for a happy mind all my life. I just couldn’t bring myself to stay still at one place and concentrate on my breathing. It made absolutely no sense to me. The biggest misconception that I had in my mind was that meditation was supposed to immediately calm me down and clear my anxious thoughts. That’s not how it works. About 4 years back I encountered a difficult situation at work. I had made a huge error and was petrified of the consequences. I was constantly anxious and my mind didn’t leave any stone upturned to churn out one negative thought after another. There was no respite even at home as my mind continued the negative thought pattern. That’s when I decided to give meditation a shot at calming down my mind. I could see a positive result from barely few days of consistent practice. While the thoughts continued to disrupt my mind, I was slowly learning to acknowledge them and let it go. I didn’t even realize when I did it. My anxiousness subsided eventually when everything got sorted out at work and not one of my negative thoughts manifested into reality.

I stopped practicing meditation the moment situations got better in my life and I technically didn’t ‘need’ it anymore. That’s where I went terribly wrong. Meditation helps in improving our overall physical and emotional well being if practiced daily. I have tried making it a habit few times in the past and failed terribly. In the past, I scheduled my meditation session at a time during the day which made it easier for me to delay it indefinitely. I made a small change in my daily routine to incorporate my meditation session, first thing in the morning. I start my day with a 20 min meditation session every morning and carry on with my daily activities after that. This schedule has worked pretty well for me in the last 12 days and I feel great. I’ve noticed a decrease in my junk food cravings as I am able to not dwell on those thoughts for long. I’m pretty excited to experience the long term benefits of this powerful new habit in my life.

There are various ways to meditate, I personally use a guided mediation application called ‘Headspace’. The techniques shared in the application are easy to follow and the video animations are catchy enough to sustain my attention. In the initial days I had to force myself to sit at once place quietly and meditate. It sure has gotten easier over time and scheduling it first thing in the morning has been extremely beneficial in being consistent at it.

Apart from reducing anxiety, stress and calming the mind, the long term benefits of meditation include better emotional health, an increased sense of self awareness, improved attention span, helps in fighting addictions as well as improved sleep. This habit seems like a long term investment with no immediate rewards but I surely want to continue long enough to reap it’s benefits in the future. Making it a daily habit surely helps in being consistent.

Disciplined like a soldier

Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


We all know that the best way to ensure fulfillment of all your goals is to be disciplined about it. If we put in work daily on our long term goals, we subconsciously build a routine out of it without expecting immediate results. Little work daily compounds to huge results in the end. I’m sure we know all of this, yet we are lazy to implement it.

I was recently going through a lot of articles on the rigorous training soldiers have to go through in the military. They are trained to face the worst challenges in life and it’s made sure that they are mentally strong enough to do it. It’s one thing to train the body and a whole different task to train the mind. But once our mind is trained to be mentally strong for the worst, our defense during tough times is stronger.

Let me list down few key traits of a military training schedule that can cause an extraordinary transformation in the quality of our life.

  • The soldiers are trained to wake up early :- The soldiers usually wake up at 5 am and they are taught to start their day at the same time everyday. I don’t think I’ve ever done this in my entire life. My wake up timings have always been inconsistent. Imbibing this quality in my life could give me a lot of extra time on hands to invest in my personality development. I’ve been trying to create a visualization/gratitude and meditation practice. This is the perfect way to start my day in the best manner possible. I’m slowly working on bringing this into practice. I hope to be habituated by the end of this month.
  • They have a fixed schedule for every activity :- Their daily schedule is pre decided and the soldiers need to show up before time for each activity. Procrastination, laziness and delays are not an option for the soldiers, No matter what they do, they have to stick by the schedule. This is one area which I’ve struggled with most of my life. I somehow underestimate my laziness and overestimate the time on hand which results into a dangerous situation of procrastination. I’ll put more effort to be punctual with all my personal and professional commitments.
  • They push their limits every day :- Giving up is not an option when you are training to save the country from enemy attacks. They are trained for the worst and prepared to be mentally strong in front of any adversities in life. In case they are unable to perform a given task in one go, they are made to do it as many times it takes till they achieve success at it. Giving up is not an option. The challenges get tougher with each passing day and so does their mind. Whenever I have a big task at hand, my initial response is mostly self doubt to the extent of giving up. I never believe I can perform a seemingly unbelievable task unless I start it. This made me realize that any difficult task seems impossible only until we start it. Once we start a task, our mind copes up with the stress and negative self talk with every minor win. That’s why we need to be consistent with any change we wish to bring to our life.
  • Their mind is trained to exercise self control :- I can achieve a lot more goals in life only if I can control my wandering mind. More than external forces, our internal forces (mind, body, heart) can make or break a person’s success in life. The mind is amazing if used as a tool used to help humans achieve their goals and be happy. Yet, most of the times, our mind plays the role of the biggest antagonist in out life. The only intention of our mind is to safeguard our survival. I couldn’t believe that I could do a lot of things in life till I started the process. Everything else fell into place and in my favor once I pushed myself to be consistent with my work. I’ll work on pushing my limits, be it running an extra round or waking up early, to make my mind, my biggest cheerleader in life.

October is surely turning out to be the month where I make small yet consistent efforts to transform my life. I’ll try my best to imbibe these personality trails and have a lot more checkboxes on my goal list in future. I’ll post my progress by the end of October.