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!

Gratitude for “Abundance”

“Gratitude is one of the strongest and most transformative states of being. It shifts your perspective from lack to abundance and allows you to focus on the good in your life, which in turn pulls more goodness into your reality.”

-Jen Sincero

If someone would have told me to count my blessings and be happy in the present 2 years back, I would have fumed at that person. Here I am in the middle of discussing my life’s problems, every single one of them felt life threatening back then and the reply I get is to “be grateful for what you have!”. This advice sounded simple and extremely useless to me.

Fast forward to the present moment, I am the one preaching the importance of having a deep sense of gratitude in our lives. How does being grateful help in transforming our life? When we shift the focus from our problems (lack) to our blessings (abundance), there is an instant change in our mindset to look at the brighter aspect of every situation. I agree, technically this doesn’t help us solve our problems, but does being anxious about it serve the purpose? It doesn’t, it aggravates the core issue and multiplies the severity by 100 or even more. Technically being scared, fearful, anxious, stressed also isn’t a big help. On the other hand, it makes the situation look much more dangerous than it already is.

Our mind is a powerful tool, maybe the most powerful element of human existence. The biggest battles in our life are fought in our mind in a much more grandiose manner than in the reality. It is extremely beneficial and useful to keep the mind in our favor so that it helps us when we need it the most. Dwelling on negativity hampers our growth and forces us to lead a life of mediocrity when we are capable of doing much more than we can ever imagine. Developing a grateful mindset requires consistent practice and constant effort. Once we develop a habit of practicing gratitude daily, our mind slowly learns to focus on the positive aspects of our life and every situation that we go through on a daily basis. Doing this consistently converts our mind into a magnet to attract abundance in our life. We are truly gifted with a lot of blessings in our life, being aware of them opens the doors to abundance and happiness.

Simple ways in which we can develop a gratitude practice

  • Morning routine : Write down 3 things that you are grateful for each day. This could be anything from the food you really enjoyed last night to the presence of your friends and family in your life. This would hardly take 5 minutes but is the best way to set the tone for each new day.
  • Night routine : Before the end of each day, write down 3 biggest highlights of the day, something that really made you happy, excited or simply made you feel better. This is an incredible way to focus on the present and live each day mindfully than just pass it by.

That’s it. It’s this simple. Since we have reached the last month of this extraordinary year, I’ve made a pledge to follow this routine daily to welcome the new year with an “abundance mindset“. I would love for you guys to also develop this practice and let me know if it helped make your life a little better, each day!

My fickle mind

#79/100

“The most powerful control we can ever attain, is to be in control of ourselves.” 

Chris Page

My weekends are turning out to be the most unproductive days of my life at the moment. There are a 100 things I wish do during the weekend and I wish to do all those things at the same time. Yesterday I sat down to watch a YouTube video, it was a really engrossing video about the “neuroscience of love”. The video had a neurologist explaining what happens in the brain when a person is in love. 5 minutes into the video, my eyes fell on an unread book besides me and I somehow desperately wanted to start reading the book. I picked up the book, went through a page when my phone beeped, it was a comment on my instagram post. I ended up spending almost 30 minutes scrolling through random feeds on instagram right after that. I hope you get the idea by now, my mind is a like a kid in a candy store during the weekends. It wants to do everything at once.

This reminds me of my childhood. I’ve always been a day dreamer. My primary school teacher had the same complaint about me during the parent teacher’s meet, she mostly found me gazing at the sky outside the window in the middle of a lecture. I’ve consistently found it difficult to concentrate on one thing for a long time.

I still haven’t found a way out to deal with my hyperactive mind. It might be because I’m yet to work on myself to get past this limitation thrown by my mind. I guess it’s high time I take up the challenge to control my attention deficiency and use it fruitfully to get my work done!

I tried researching on the best ways to counteract lack of focus (I am not calling it Attention Deficit Disorder/ Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder yet because I haven’t been diagnosed by a certified psychologist but most of my symptoms point right at it). I’m planning to consistently try out these techniques for 90 days starting tomorrow (I’ve never been able to form a habit in 21 days) and post my experience about it after the end of this experiment (January 9th, 2021).

As per the internet, YouTube videos and TedX speeches by people diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, below listed techniques have helped them immensely to make ADD/ADHD their superpower :-

  • Nutrition : Eat wholesome organic food and drink more water. Quitting food that drains our energy and makes us feel hazy. (Sugar, processed food, junk etc)
  • Sweat everyday : Workout everyday, even if it’s just for 10 mins.
  • 8 hrs of sleep everyday
  • Morning routine : Meditation + Gratitude journaling + Workout
  • 30 mins POMODORO : Break your to-do list into smaller tasks, set up a timer for 25 mins, work non-stop for 25 mins against the timer, take a 5 min break
  • Music : Use music as a backdrop to avoid any background distraction while you work
  • Block Time : Schedule time for each activity during the day. Set up a to-do list for the next day and review it by the end of the day.

Hope to see a positive change in my life (possibly a transformation) by the end of my experiment.

Be fit 2.0 : Milestone 2

#69/100

And it’s time for the second milestone already. I had a fairly disciplined fitness and healthy eating regime during the first half of this month. In the second half, my mother had an injury at home and the doctor had to put a cast on her hand for 6 weeks. Since my routine went for a toss, I had a difficult time adjusting to the new one which involved managing house and office work together. I ended up missing few days of my workouts, couldn’t manage a consistent running schedule and had a multiple stress eating incidents. I’m slowly adjusting myself to the new routine and planning to bounce back on track, stronger than ever.

Here are my achievements for this month :-

Weight :-

Starting weight (10th August) : 62.9 kgs

Milestone 1 (31st August) : 62.5 kgs (Lost 0.4 kgs)

Milestone 2 (1st October) : 61.4 kgs (Lost 1.1 kgs)

Workouts :-

I was regular on most days. On the days I had to go to office, I made sure to wake up early and rope skip. I started with 500 rounds and gradually increased it to 1000 by the end of the month. It helped me clear my mind and gave a great endorphin boost at the start of the day. However, I did miss 4/5 days of workouts after my mother’s injury. Overall, I’m pretty happy with my workout progress.

Meditation :-

I haven’t meditated even once in the past month. I plan on meditating for at least 10 mins right after I wake up so that I don’t procrastinate it throughout the day. This is my goal for October.

Food :-

This month has been tumultuous when it comes to my food habits. I stress ate on many occasions and indulged in a lot of junk food. My water intake hasn’t been up to the mark. I plan on improving it in October

Key achievements :

  • Ran twice outdoors, 6 kms in 44 mins on 6th September and 10 kms in 1.14.06 hrs on 13th September.

Goals for Milestone 3 (31st October):-

  • Workout 6 days a week
  • No refined sugar
  • No cheat meals (Fried, processed food)
  • Rope skip every evening at least 500 times
  • Attempt 10 push ups
  • Run at 10 kms every Sunday
  • Meditate for 10 mins every morning right after waking up

See you until the next milestone!!

Discipline > Motivation

#68/100

“A great way to develop self-discipline is to make it a habit to do the things you should be doing when you feel the laziest. Every time you feel really lazy, do the opposite of what you feel like doing.”

-Anonymous

I used to chase motivation before. I waited every single day to do a task that truly motivates me and that task never saw the light of the day. Motivation comes very rarely to me. Most of times I have to force myself to do work according to my schedule or requirement.

Mornings are tough these days. I don’t feel like waking up. I somehow feel stressed with my responsibilities at home and work. I feel like screaming from frustration most of the time. I am fighting a battle between my heart and mind everyday. My day is filled with work that doesn’t make me happy. I do get ample time but I feel too dejected to use it fruitfully.

Motivation is a very important factor to lead a productive life. However, it doesn’t work in our favor most of the time. The foolproof way of getting work done is to create a habit out of it. You create a to-do list for the day and get down to strike off every single item on the list. Big goals such as preparing for an exam or losing weight needs your consistent effort over a long period of time. In such cases, you cannot leave it to your will to decide if you are motivated enough to work on it for the day.

I’ve decided to try creating a morning routine which is a humongous challenge for me. I really wish to create a daily practice of visualization/gratitude, meditation and journaling. At the moment, my morning consists of me groggily waking up and zoning out for almost an hour, procrastinating my office work by wasting my time on the phone and rushing through the rest of the day as everything is already delayed by that time.

Since I’m a morning person, I’m contemplating to wake up 30 mins early each day till I’m habituated to wake up at 5 am everyday. I KNOW, SOUNDS INSANE RIGHT? I absolutely don’t find time to meditate and journal once I start my office work. This might be the best manner to squeeze out a little time each day for myself and work on things that’ll help improve my mental health and be beneficial in my goal to become a better version of myself.

I know I’m looking at a challenge that looks too difficult to accomplish. My weight loss was also one such impossible challenge which I succeeded only by being disciplined and making exercise and healthy eating a lifelong habit.

I’ll try my best to live up to this challenge. No better day to start it than the start of a new month. I’ll post about my experience with this challenge at the end of October. Till then, wish me luck!

Getting work done

#57/100

“Over time, grit is what separates fruitful lives from aimlessness.”

-John Ortberg

Life has thrown me a curve ball when I least expected it. I’ve been having a pretty relaxed routine ever since the beginning of our quarantine and grown very comfortable with it. I did my work at my own sweet time and didn’t care about the time that went in vain. I had a lot of things to do in my mental to do list but decided to take it easy and pushed things off to tomorrow that weren’t a priority. Ever since my mom fractured her hand, I am pressed for time. There’s lot of work to do in little time and all I feel like doing is to sleep.

I know that I desperately need to work on my time management skills. If I make good use of time, I’ll be able to get more work done now than ever before. Whenever I feel pressurized or burdened, my initial reaction is to slack. Call it anxiety or sheer nervousness, my fear of not getting perfect results in everything I do, makes me want to quit the situation all together. I tend to waste my time not doing anything rather than utilizing every single millisecond to do my best and not think too much about the output.

I have a lot of work on my hand and the only thing that will help me deal with it is to “Act before I think” or rather “overthink”. I haven’t been following this of late and have allowed my fearful thoughts to take the driver seat. It’s time to take action or else I will be stuck at the same place forever.

I’ve come across this quote many times before “What doesn’t break you makes you stronger!” Now is the right time to prove this quote right. Our human mind is capable of truly great things. Our fear of survival tends to put a lot of limitations on us making it difficult for us to reach our true potential. I really wish to move beyond my psychological limitations and work on my goal of becoming the best version of myself. Let’s do this!

The real test

#56/100

“Be happy for no reason, like a child. If you are happy for a reason, you’re in trouble, because that reason can be taken from you.”

 Deepak Chopra

It is so easy to be happy when things are going well. The real test lies in our efforts to stay happy when things don’t take place as per our expectations. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been really happy, for no particular reason to be honest. Listening to good songs, watching good shows, eating good food, I sought happiness from these daily basic activities and sort of created a routine out of it. Everything seemed great, I genuinely began to feel a childlike sense of happiness in a lot of things. I didn’t realize that I had created a routine for myself. Any change in this routine could bring me massive disappointment and sadness as I wasn’t anticipating it. That’s exactly what happened!

My mom injured her hand day before yesterday. It’s a fracture and her hand needs to be put under a cast for 6 weeks. Now this comes as a big jolt to my routine as I’m heavily dependent on my mother for everything. Now is the real test of my happiness. There’s a big change in my routine, the exact same routine that was a reason behind my happiness from the past few weeks.

Now is when I need to put extra efforts in being happy under any circumstances. It’s also extremely important to know our “why” (the purpose behind doing anything) before starting any new thing. This “why” makes us focused, dedicated and gritty enough to achieve our goals. My “why” is to be happy under any circumstances, especially during the bad ones. Difficult as it may sound, there’s always a way out.

Be fit 2.0 : Milestone 1

#38/100

Yay! I hit the first milestone of my 2020 fitness resolve. On 10th August, I decided to do everything possible to get into the best shape of my life. August has been a month of hits and misses however I’m pretty happy with my overall fitness progress. After having a fairly chilled out first month of the journey, I’ve realized I need to buck up to meet my target in the next 4 months. The goal is completely doable but demands a little extra focus and determination.

Here are my achievements for this month :-

Weight :-

Starting weight (10th August) : 62.9 kgs

Milestone 1 (31st August) : 62.5 kgs (Lost 0.4 kgs)

Workouts :-

Was regular on most days with a one rest day in a week. However, the first week that I had to attend office for 2 consecutive days (13th & 14th Aug) and had to travel almost 11 hrs each day, I missed 4 consecutive days of workouts (13th to 16th Aug). I made it up the next week by rope skipping early in the morning on office going days.

Meditation :-

Have not been meditating at all for the past 2 weeks. I plan to resume it from tomorrow on wards. I somehow stop meditating once I start feeling better and happier in my life.I am aware of the amazing benefits of meditation in our overall growth and well being and will try my best to make it a daily habit tomorrow on wards.

Food :-

I’m pretty proud of myself for eating healthy as much as possible. I did indulge in cakes and ice cream once a week but my portion size was limited. I’ve outgrown my sweet tooth and do not enjoy extremely sweet desserts. I also indulged in few cheat foods during the weekend and enjoyed them thoroughly.

Key achievements :

  • Longest rope skipping session of 2000 skips on 23rd August
  • Attempted a 10 km indoor running session for a virtual marathon event on 30th August. Although I took double the amount of time to complete the distance as the indoor are made me feel more tired and suffocated (1.42.15 hrs), I’m extremely happy to have completed the run.
  • Attempted two different 30 min difficult HIIT sessions in the same week.

Goals for Milestone 2 (30th September):-

  • Workout 6 days a week
  • No refined sugar
  • Limit cheat meals (Fried, processed food)
  • Rope skip every evening at least 500 times
  • Attempt 10 push ups
  • Run at least 5 kms every Sunday
  • Meditate at least for 5 mins everyday

See you until the next milestone!!

Reset, restart, refocus

Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

#8/100

I’m always excited for every new beginning, be it a new month, new year or even a new book for that matter. During my school days, the start of every new term thrilled me to bits. New term meant starting afresh, new books, new classes, new people, basically turning over a new leaf. All past mistakes, hiccups, misfortune takes a back seat and there’s renewed hope for the future.

You get innumerous opportunities to start afresh in your life. However, I tend to leave things unfinished when they don’t go as per plan. I am a self confessed perfectionist. Please don’t confuse a perfectionist as to someone who ‘likes‘ to be perfect. The dictionary meaning of a perfectionist is “a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection“. Do you think it’s a good thing to be a perfectionist? A perfectionist has an extremely low tolerance for any flaws whatsoever. Anything that falls short of their idea of perfection is thrown out of the window without being given a second chance. If we consider a simple example of studying for an exam, a perfectionist would want to go through the thickest book on the subject, study everything thoroughly, take an insanely long amount to cover everything. They either burn out completely by the mid of it leaving things unfinished or end up doing a great job at it if they manage to complete it. Things gradually changed once I became more at peace with my natural self, complete with my imperfections and shortcomings. It was a slow, organic process of self introspection and discovery that took a long time to manifest into the person that I currently am. I also became less concerned with the thoughts and comments of people who were critical of my journey of self growth. I realized their judgments stemmed from their own sense of insecurity and didn’t positively impact my life.

New beginnings are great, they give everyone a fresh new start, a fresh new hope. Our existence and this world is built on hope, hope for a better future. That’s the reason people are exhilarated by the end of a year and celebrate it joyously. Every new resolution, timetable, purchase, course is scheduled at the beginning of a new day/week/month/year. Embracing change requires a great deal of self motivation and the lure of a fresh start somehow instills a sense of hope in people.

I always used to wait for a new month to schedule all my new habits. However, a year and a half ago, I embarked on my weight loss journey in the middle of a week on an impulse and that has been one of the best decisions of my life. Not only did I stuck through my resolve till I reached my desired weight, I was consistent throughout. So what was different this time? My intense desire to accomplish my goal. I just couldn’t wait for a new week or month to embark on the journey I was so passionate about. I realized that all these years, I just hid behind the facade of a “fresh start” to stay cooped up in my comfort zone. We just need to keep our mind focused on the journey, bring us back to the process when the mind starts seeking results, keep the mind busy and happy by giving it interim rewards, read, live and breath positive affirmations to keep the hope held high for the future. Since I speak from my personal experience of accomplishing a goal that I once believed was impossible for me, faith and hope can work wonders in your life. Always find ways to reinstate your hope and your life will flourish.