2019 Week 18

The best part of last week was I did a bit of socialisation. Apart from that, I decided to volunteering for the heartfulness meditation centre as I felt it was my duty to give back in some form for all the good the institution has done for me.

Review of week 17

1. Write book
I got my book to completion and ready to publish state. But when I shared it with a couple of friends, they had some feedback on which I want to work. Hence postponing this by a month now.

Plans for week 18

The past few weeks were consumed totally by writing book. I want to spend time on other things too and not just be consumed by it.

1. Write book
I didn’t start the hard copy of my first book yet. I don’t want this book also to end that way. Hence I will make sure that I have a detailed plan for editing and publishing it for the entire next month. I will dedicate half an hour on it in the morning.
2. Buy a DSLR
In order to up my photography skills, I want to move to a DSLR. I will do my research and buy one.
3. Gym
The workouts or the exercises I had been doing are not sufficient enough for me to lose weight. It is high time I seek professional help. For the next 3 months, I will try to make it a point to go daily.
Apart from these, I don’t have any other plans as I am on a vacation for most part of the week.
How was your week 17? What plans for week 18?
Happy week 18!

2019 Week 17 Goals

It was such a busy week at work that I could hardly focus on my personal life.

Week 16 Review

1.Write book
I freezed the writing part for now. I am left with editing and bringing the book to a proper shape. It was a difficult week as I wasn’t sure if the book was upto the mark or not. May be that is what every writer feels once the product is close to ready. For a few days, I felt that I should take more time and scrap the book and rewrite it freshly. But at the same time, without a deadline, when you chase perfection, you will never be able to hit the publish button. Sometimes, all you have to do is trust the work you put in and hit the publish button. That is what I am trying to do as of today.
I haven’t written a detailed exploration of why in my diary. But I could start seeing events in my life as an outsider and could examine why they were happening. I wasn’t really satisfied with this exercise because I don’t have any proof or measure of how I performed in this.

Plans for week 17

1.Publish book
I am going to have a hectic week at work this week. But I don’t want that to stop me from pursuing my dreams. I will try to squeeze at least one hour a day and work on making the book the best version possible and publish it on 29th. I need to make some time in deciding the title and cover for the book too. I hope it will be a value addition in the market and not just another book out there.
From next week, I will try to focus on other areas of my life too instead of saying all my time is for my book.
How was your week 16? What are your plans for week 17?
Happy week 17!

2019 Week 16 Goals

The best part of the week is sticking to photography for 365 days. This gave me an inspiration to stick diligently to other habits too.

Review of week 15

1.Ted Talks
To celebrate my anniversary of photography, I had been watching the Ted Talks of self-made photographers. All this while, I thought that the best photographers have the best professional courses. I was completely wrong. They just read the right content and kept practicing the art relentlessly. For creativity, passion matters most than formal education.
2.Mood Tracker
May be because of meditation, I was neutral most of the times. I didn’t really get a chance to make a lot of entries. I need to continue it for a month at least to bring the latest annoyances to words.
3.Opening up by writing it down
I had started this book in week 7 and could finally complete it this week. The book is a collection of researches which support how disclosing your deepest thoughts promote your well-being. It also touches upon a few psychological concepts hence was a fun read to me. If you don’t want to bore yourself with psychology, the only takeaway for you is write away your emotions to stay balanced.

Plans for week 16

I had a lot of things planned for this week but I don’t want to burden myself with those activities and focus on just one thing. Getting the book ready.
1.Write book
I have just two weeks left to finish it. I have most of the content in place. It just needs a lot of restructuring and storytelling. I should make at least one hour for it every night no matter what.
I want to bring being intentional into my life. I don’t want to do something just because someone asked me to do. I want to think why I want to do it. What is the end goal of it? I can become more logical with constant practice and also helps me stay mindful.
How was your week 15? What are your plans for week 16?
Happy Week 16!

365 Days Photography Challenge

On an office trip to Ooty, friend asked, “ I noticed that you have been clicking photos in a moving vehicle. May I see how they came out?” I showed her the pictures. “You are such a talented photographer”, she said. “I am 216 days photographer. Not a talented one.” I replied. Habits can take you to places which talent can’t.
I tried 365 day elevate challenge but couldn’t keep the streak for more than 95 days. I wanted to try the same with Duolingo but all I could do was for 52 days. I read more than 40 books a year but couldn’t maintain a streak of 365 days. But photography is my first ever 365 day streak and it wasn’t difficult at all.
What made the 365 challenge possible?

  • It is handy. I don’t need to gather resources for it.
  • It is quick. It doesn’t take more than a minute.
  • It gives immense pleasure to capture something beautiful.

Most of all, it was natural for me to click daily than look at it as a challenge which I had to work towards.All other challenges were tough because they needed some time and mental energy. The others were not giving me instant pleasure.

The 365 days Journey

I already wrote about the first 100 day journey here. I was at one of the lowest points of my life on the end of the 100 day journey and hardly had any energy to continue clicking. A lot of my friends thought it was foolish of me to leave a passion which kept me happy during that phase.
I was worried about not finding any more objects to click. But then came the rainy season. It was a disadvantage that sun started setting before I could leave office but capturing the rain drops, mud pools and the cloudy skies was ultimate fun. The place I was staying was close to a lake. I could sight a lot of birds which became my new subjects. Sadly, great bird pictures can’t be captured with a phone camera.
After that, I found a meditation teacher, every corner of whose house was an Instagram worthy picture and she stayed right next to a beach. That gave a boost to my photography.
I was saturated with the type of clicks I could click with my average phone camera and needed an upgrade. Hence I bought One Plus 6 to treat myself for completing the 6 months of photography. The picture color quality had increased by multiple folds that I stopped using editing apps to get my desired color contrast. I was travelling a bit then and  fell in love with clicking pictures from trains.
My photography skills took a new shape when I went on an office trip to Ooty. Strangers became friends just by clicking a few creative shots of them. They made me the ‘official photographer of the trip’ and also for any office celebrations. That was a new identity.
Another upgrade happened when I got an opportunity to do maternity photo shoot for a friend. I always thought that I can’t click great pictures of people but there I couldn’t believe that my friend loved those photos.
For a few weeks, there was nothing new to click. I was just playing with lights and shadows, leaves and flowers until I went to a friend’s wedding. I always wanted to try wedding photography after watching all the stills on Instagram. Here I had my chance to experiment and learn. Looking at my passion, the photographer asked me if I were the bride side photographer. The best thing that happened that day was I could click the candids which the professional photographer couldn’t. Photography made me learn to be alert to the smallest nuances of people.
Out of the blue, I got into wildlife photography. A borrowed DSLR and a lake right in front of my house, I couldn’t ask for more in life. I clicked some of the best shots I ever did. I couldn’t thank my husband enough for the wonderful location he bestowed me with.
Today, at the end of one year, I don’t feel it is an achievement but rather a milestone in many more years to come.

Next steps

Practice makes man perfect is an old saying. The present world is changing ever so fast that you need to focus on continuous improvements to stay relevant. On the occasion of completing 365 days of photography, I reached out to a couple of photographer friends for their inputs on how I can improve. The following are there suggestions.

  • Focus on an object so that there is a foreground and a contrasting background
  • Edit the pictures so that they come close to the original picture I had in mind
  • Explore manual photography to the fullest
  • Bring a story in the picture

Also, I would like to do more courses on photography, travel more and discover my style.
Which 365 days challenge were you able to stick to?
Happy 365 day Challenge!

2019 Week 15

The most satisfying part of the week was sitting for stretch of an hour daily to write book. I was in the state of flow as if I had no connection with the outside world. It was the most beautiful part of my day. I think we should all be doing more of what we love and then slowly make a living from that.

Review of week 14

1.Connect online
The response from Quora members wasn’t as great as it was from Instagram. Out of the seven people I reached out to, only one responded. He responded because he found a client in me, he could train.
I could do only one chapter in the last one week. The key point I learnt was before you start marketing you should clearly know what you are. I haven’t taken an action on this yet. So I saw no point in going further.
3.10 points
I went back to this fun game but I realised that I lost touch with the game and found it difficult to generate 10 points a day.
4.The 80 20 principle
The book so far quotes examples of how 80% of the result had been achieved by 20% of the results. If we adopt the same set of thinking to our daily life, we will be a lot more effective.

Plans for week 15

1.Listen to TED talk a day
In the past, when I did this, I felt I was becoming knowledgeable day after day. I continuously stumbled on not so good ted talks and discontinued it for a wrong reason. Now I would like to spare just 20 minutes on this daily. I am sure I will have a lot of new ideas to share on my website when I start learning new concepts again.
2.Mood tracker
I had been meditating consistently for the past 15 days. Thanks to the meditation center. As a result, I noticed that the bombardment of thoughts in my head has reduced a lot. Partially my thoughts tracker would also have helped me in this. I don’t feel the urge to make a note of my thoughts as much as I did in the beginning. This is a good improvement. But what I noticed is that my quick reaction to situations hasn’t got fine tuned at. I will start a mood tracker to note how I am feeling at different times of the day and what triggered me. This will help me gain control over my emotions too. I have done this in the past too. But anything which doesn’t become an ingrained habit needs to be gone back to again and again.
3.Food tracker
I discontinued my food tracker in November when I started eating outside as there was no consistency in my diet. I can attribute the exponential increase in my weight partially to the outside food I had been consuming. I will go back to food tracker and have an eye on what is going in so that I can have greater control over what I consume.
That’s all for the week.
How was your week 14? What plans for week 15?
Happy week 15!

2019 Week 14 Challenges

The best part of this week was I could bring a proper structure to my book and was also able to give names to chapters. I could write content worth 76 pages as of today. A month to go before I publish it.

Review of week 13

1.Activity log
I was writing it as a part of my regular diary. Hence it was difficult for me to review it for the time spent on unnecessary tasks. But the important purpose it served me was, I was conscious about not wasting my time. To make it a more useful activity, this week I will be writing it in google sheets to track and measure.
When I was practising recollection of synonyms, I realised that I have a poor vocabulary. I need to consciously read books and keep practicing more to improve for the better.
I attended the sessions on 5 out of 7 days which is a great improvement. It was a great joy and I wish to continue it till the classes last.

Plans for week 14

1.Connect online
The connect with photographers on Instagram was a success. Now I want to try the same with top writers in self development topic on Quora. I might get some valuable experience even if I don’t receive any tips or advice.
Producing content is just not enough. There should be a way to spread the content for the right people to benefit from it. Hence I want to start off with digital marketing courses
3.10 points
I used to have fun when I did it in the past. I think it is time I go back to it and have more fun. On the first day, I write down 10 topics on which I want to write for the next 10 days. On each of the following day, I randomly choose a topic from the list and write whatever I can think about it.
4. The 80 20 Principle
80% of the work is done by 20% of the efforts. May be after reading this book, I will be able to schedule my day a lot more effectively.
That’s all for this week!
How was your week 13? What are your plans for week 14?
Happy week 14!