Slowly but surely

“Positive anything is better than negative nothing.”

Elbert Hubbard

Day 25/30

A pessimistic attitude towards life can suck the energy out of you. Our life is built on hope and in it’s absence we will feel absolutely unsettled. Given the current scenario, it is very easy to go off track and feel helpless. We might feel like we have lost control over our life. Our brain can easily spiral into the wrong direction and give us all the possible reasons to be unhappy.

Our time is limited on this planet, every single second is precious. While it’s practically impossible to make every moment count, we can try and train our mind to see the good in every situation. We can strive hard to live in the moment, write down every thing that we have been procrastinating on for a long time and tick off the checklist one by one, buy those things that have been lying in your wish list since forever, reconnect with old friends, watch a feel good movie. In general, use your time on things that make you happy.

The last 2 days have been emotionally harrowing. Two of my closest extended family members are dealing with this deadly virus. I’m praying that they get well soon and come back home hale and hearty. This situation has forced me to think about how I spend my time stressing over things that never take place, being anxious about my past and future alike, not being satisfied with the way I live my life and treating happiness like an expensive commodity. I do end up allocating a huge chunk of my time in life on things that aren’t fruitful or don’t make me happy. I tend to consistently worry about the implications of my current decisions on my future life and stress about not being able to make the most of my life. Well guess what, even after stressing about all of this day in and day out, I haven’t made any progress on figuring out the perfect manner of living a fulfilled life. It’s high time I stop caring about this and start channeling all my focus on the present moment alone.

Going to make it my life’s motto to live by this rule.

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” 

— Mother Teresa

Move on

“You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It wont happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ’I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.”

– Joel Osteen

Day 22/30

I woke up today feeling irritated and frustrated. In the past couple of months, I have gone through 2 specific incidents with regards to my career and personal life that haven’t panned out in the way I want. You wait for a long time for things to work out your way, to encounter something that lights your soul, to experience something that sparks joy. After an excruciatingly long wait, the Universe decided to give me a glimpse of those things. Everything looked perfect on the face of it, it looked like my wishes have been answered, finally! But, turns out it was just a sample or in technical terms, a trial version. The outcome of these experiences are inconclusive. While I’m waiting for the end to be positive, somehow my mind keeps saying that it might not be so.

I’m frustrated but I’m done being frustrated. I’m done feeling like this. I’m done allowing rejections of any kind, to get the best of me. I don’t want to get into that phase of life where nothing and no one make sense anymore. Where I keep blaming my stars for everything wrong that’s happened in my life. Where I stop being grateful about the good things in my life and only concentrate on the ones that didn’t turn out as per my wish. I’m done.

While I’m horrible at the art of moving on, I want to fight back these negative feelings till the last ounce of mental strength and energy. How am I planning to do it? By taking care of myself and showing up for myself, each day, every day.

“With every act of self-care your authentic self gets stronger, and the critical, fearful mind gets weaker. Every act of self-care is a powerful declaration: I am on my side, I am on my side, each day I am more and more on my own side.”

– Susan Weiss Berry

There are many different ways in which one can indulge in self care activities throughout the day. Don’t be fooled by the name “self care”. Though these activities are meant to make you feel better, most of us will easily trade it with lying around and doing nothing. These activities require you to “take action” which is easily one of the most difficult tasks to do when we feel under the weather.

Here’s a list of random self care activities that one can choose from. I won’t make big promises and write down huge self care goals. I’d rather follow them for sometime and share my experience after a month or so. I wish you a happy and healthy state of mind. You deserve the best, you deserve to be happy!

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 ray of hope

“Someday all you will have to light your way will be a single ray of hope and that will be enough.”

Kobi Yamada

Day 19/30

Something really good happened today. I can’t give details yet as the process hasn’t been completed yet. I don’t know the outcome yet. I gave my best but I know I was lacking in a lot of different aspects. Honestly, this has been my best experience till date for this process which I have always dreaded. I’m glad I was able to experience it. I really hope and pray that the outcome of this process is positive. For once I took on a challenge thinking of it as a win or learn opportunity and it honestly felt great. I’m really grateful that I got this opportunity. I will share details once the outcome is evident.

On a completely different note, have you ever encountered something that perfectly fits wish? For example, you’ve been waiting to have a certain dish which you have only fantasied about, dreamed of trying it, scrolled through videos of people enjoying the dish and craved to try it one fine day. Imagine your utter disappointment when you finally get a chance to try that dish and realize that it doesn’t taste the way you imagined it to be. You had great hopes of having the experience of a lifetime and you get a BIG FAT DISAPPOINTMENT in return. It’s physically painful. This is just a metaphor for the experience I’ve had recently. I had great hopes from a certain something, the description matched my dream wish list to the tee, everything seemed perfect till I “tried the dish“. Argh, what a big disappointment. I feel so sad that my expectation of having the experience of a lifetime was shattered, just like that! I’m exasperated!

To bring some cheer and hope to my and your life, let me share this amazing thought that I came across recently. It sure did help me feel a lot more powerful and in control of my life. I hope it helps you too. This applies to either gender.

Deconstruct to reconstruct

“Every day, you reinvent yourself. You’re always in motion. But you decide every day: forward or backward.”

James Altucher

Day 18/30

Sometimes you just burnout. Your daily routine doesn’t seem fruitful anymore. You get upset by the end of the day because of your procrastination on important tasks throughout the day. You feel lost, demotivated and desperately seek a fresh start. You write down a to-do list for next day, it consists of everything that you wish you would do but you’ve never attempted it even once in your whole life. Like waking up at 5 am (when your usual timing is 8 am), reading 50 pages of a book (usual count 0), workout for 30 mins (usual count 0) so on and so forth. You get the point. Things don’t exactly transpire the way you’d wish for the next day and thus begins the endless loop of self pity and unproductivity. How do you get out of it? Let me lay down small tips that might help!

  • Deconstruct your day : Find out 3 key tasks from your daily routine that you’d wish to change. It can be very simple tasks like drinking 1 liter water or reading 10 pages of a book.
  • Reconstruct it step by step : If you are habituated to have a bath in the evening, try having it in the morning the next day. Skip junk food for a day. Make it very simple and short and challenge yourself you attempt just these 3 tasks the next day. Since the tasks are simple, attempting them shouldn’t seem too difficult. Once you accomplish them, you’d have the confidence to increase the level of these targets the next day. Take each day as it comes. Don’t try to become wonderwoman the very next day!
  • Convert your mind into a trainer : You know those taskmasters in the gym who set your goals, motivate you to achieve them every single day, envision your long term targets, keep a tab on your progress and make sure you succeed! You have an in house trainer that wouldn’t cost you a dime, YOUR MIND! I know this works since I’ve tried it before. Our mind has 2 voices, one always recommends the easy way out (the procrastinator), the other motivates you to chose the right path (the taskmaster). Try to concentrate on your mind’s chatter for a day. Your mind always gives you 2 choices. Your intuition always knows what’s right for that moment but there’s another voice which makes your procrastinate everything and choose the lazy route out. Force yourself to listen to the taskmaster at least 3 out of 5 times and you’ll be sorted.

That’s it for now. These are very simple and basic steps that has the power to change your lifestyle, slowly and steadily. A big change in our life might not take overnight but we can make sure to change our life, one brick at a time.

Connect the dots

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”

Steve Jobs

Day 17/30

A friend asked me a very profound question today, what do you think you’d be doing when you turn 40? I didn’t have any instant answer to this question. Questions like these are so difficult to answer. Life is so uncertain and I fell unsettled most of times. How would I know what I’d be doing 9 years from now. I sure do hope I’m happy, that’s what I aim for each day.

Just imagine a life, where you’d exactly know how your future would pan out. You have seen it, you know what to do to achieve it, you can avoid all hurdles along the way as you know those won’t help you reach the destination easily, you’d be ANXIETY-FREE. Well isn’t that awesome!

But my friend was quick to bring me back to my senses. “Life would be so boring then!”, he said. You wouldn’t have to face any challenges, you’d never experience the emotion of surprise, excitement or happiness as you would have already anticipated the outcome. There would be no joy of working hard and achieving your desired results through your efforts. Life would be meaningless.

As hard it is to accept this, it’s true. We shape ourselves and grow through each obstacle and challenge that we face in life. It’s very important for us to appreciate the outcome of our actions. As quoted above by Steve Jobs, we can only connect the dots backwards. So no matter where you are and what you do, don’t forget to work hard. You have nothing to lose. It will all make sense in the end.

Quest to be best

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

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Day 14/30

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My ‘quest to be best’ begins right now!

A jolly good day

“Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes.”

-Charles Dickens

Day 13/30

It’s my birthday today and I didn’t expect it to go so well. Actually, I had no expectations at all. The only thing I knew was under my control was completing my target of running 13 kms today since my birth date is 13. I knew that if I managed to accomplish this first thing in the morning on my birthday, my day will be sorted.

When the clock struck 12 am on 13th, my best friend and sister called to wish me. My best friend had already sent me my birthday gift 2 days earlier. It’s an amazing pair of mint green sneakers that had been on my wish list for a very long time. My sister gave me a gift that shook me to the very core. I had been eyeing a running watch from a reputed brand for a long time. It was on my wish list and would have been a big achievement for me once I managed to catch hold of it. MY SISTER GIFTED ME THE WATCH! It took me more than a minute to understand what’s going on when I opened the gift and saw the brand name. I absolutely DID NOT expect this.

The day started with a 13 km run, I knew this was totally under my control to set the tone for the day. As soon as I came back, I responded to all the wishes. It honestly MADE my day. Everyone remembered my birthday and made sure to wish me. They poured their wishes and blessings on me and that made me feel extremely grateful and special. Birthdays are really special as we feel like everyone is celebrating the day we were brought to existence and that fills my heart with gratitude.

The secret to happiness is LOW or NO expectations and I couldn’t agree more. I have always felt empty and sad towards the end of my birthdays all these years as I had many unfulfilled expectations. Last year I had an incredible birthday even after being under complete lockdown as I did not expect anything. The same story repeated this year as well yet I had a very blessed birthday. That’s the mantra I’m going to follow all my life.

Let go

“Things are as they are—we suffer because we imagined different.”

– Rachel Wolchin

Day 12/30

Certain things in life are just not meant to be. We try our best, fall down, get back up, try again, fall back again, get back up YET AGAIN and this cycle continues. We never lose hope but never get closer to our dreams either. We stumble and fall so many times that the dream seems too far fetched now. We still hope that things will miraculously change for the better and life will turnaround. But it doesn’t happen YET AGAIN. Things don’t change, we are still hurting yet we still try not to lose hope. That’s what is taught to us right? Try, try, try again. But what if we tried for the 1000th time and failed, yet again? Do we continue trying?

No, absolutely NOT. We let go, GRACIOUSLY. We did our best, prayed, wished, worked hard, begged at times, cried, but it still didn’t happen. Boy, we need to understand Universe’s signals by now. Some things in life is just not meant to be.

Let go, move on, focus on things that are under your control. Focus on yourself, focus on your happiness. Be at peace with yourself, with or without such things.

You’ve tried really hard, it’s time to let go. It’s time to forgive ourselves and forget about such things. It shouldn’t be this hard. It’s not meant to be.

Be in charge of your happiness. You can do better, you are better and bigger than this.