2021 January Plan

January is not only a fresh start for the year but also provides a milestone to break down the habits to achievable sub goals.

 

Plan for January

 

1.Discover your soul signature

 

It is a one page dose 3 times a day for 33 days to get you in touch with your emotions. I liked the idea of the book and even if it can’t bring out the emotions for the first time, I am sure that will be a thought which will be lingering in the consciousness and with a few repeated readings will become very effective. 

 

2.Artist’s way

 

Doing the exercises of artist’s way was quite exciting in the month of November. I could not stick with it in December due to other commitments. I will take the opportunity this month to speed up on the exercises and try to finish at least two a day.

 

3.Coursera

 

I got coursera access for this month so want to spend my time learning professional and soft skills by studying various courses. I want to target to finish at least 8 courses (2 per week).

 

4.Kapalbhati

 

By the end of this year, I want to be able to do 30-45 minutes of Kapalbhati daily. Currently I do around 10 minutes. In this month, I target to do exactly 15 minutes daily in the morning.

 

5.Replacing checking notifications with Breathe from Belly

 

I switched off notifications for whatsapp. This means that I decide when whatsapp can distract me. I don’t want it to distract me whenever it wants which in turn means that I can create a lot of free time. I have decided that I will check whatsapp notifications 4 times a day or more if I have a conversation going on. I can evaluate my progress at the end of the month by comparing with my usage from the past month.

 

We normally breathe from our chest. Breathing from belly gives a sense of relaxation to our body.

 

Now I replace my urge to check whatsapp notifications by doing a deep breath from the belly. It provides me relaxation, saves time and gets rid of an unhealthy coping style.

 

6.Launch of ‘Make your dreams a reality’

I have launched a package to help people make their dreams a reality in 2021. Drop a mail to lensq29@gmail.com to book your 1:1 session. 

 

Majorly, this month is all about consuming content to start working on action plans for the coming months.

 

What are your plans for January?

 

Happy January!

Bye Bye 2020! Welcome 2021!

In 2020, the world saw nature take over its power and tried to reset the balance. I will stop here instead of repeating what everyone has been already saying. 

2020 for me was, “When you can’t go outside, go inside”. I couldn’t go around the world to experience new things, I went inside my body to discover the wonderful meditation experiences. I found a safe place inside me to go to when there is turmoil around. This one choice alone has made a huge difference and made 2020 a life changing year for me.

2020 Review

 

January started with a challenging new job. While I enjoyed my work and constant appreciation from the Product Manager, I always had the doubt that am I doing well. Little did I know that I am going to spend the rest of the year working with the most amazing Manager I ever worked with. It gave me faith in humanity and good people still exist. For the first time in my corporate life, I experienced working with a manager who cared for me as a person and for my personal goals and skill set and always made me feel cared for. The best habit which I picked up this month but became more serious about only in the next month was gratitude. The one thing which set me up for the beautiful day was gratitude diary.

 

February was the month of my first anniversary and we went to Andamans to celebrate. When we discussed the things we wanted to do better, the point on how I am anxious and stressed out all the time came up. I took the discussion seriously and chalked out a plan to change that. That was the one discussion which changed my 2020.

 

March was the onset of Covid in India. Given how poor my immunity is, I decided to go through the natural ways to bump it up. I started taking kapalbhati, yoga, ginger-amla-turmeric, meditation quite seriously. It was also the beginning of reading books on spirituality which started with Power of Now.

 

April was the month when I got into mindfulness. I had a stretch of one week where I felt absolute bliss and I could not replicate that experience again. Another highlight was, I read close to 3000 pages in one month which boosted my reading speed. The tricks I found to read faster were helpful for me in the coming months to read the highest number of books in any year so far. Most of my other goals failed at this point, one of them was learning Kannada. I didn’t have sources to practise so I could not find motivation to stick with it. Another one was I couldn’t publish the book which I finished writing because I didn’t find it upto the mark. But the way I could keep up with photography by finding something to click daily has definitely pushed my creativity to next levels.

 

May was all about cooking. I learnt a lot of new dishes in a month since I thought it was not safe to order from outside to satisfy my cravings. I went from being a person who cooked to survive to a person who was trying to create the atmosphere of home through food. As far as cooking was concerned, I definitely inherited the genes from my mother who is an excellent cook. Most of the time, I intuitively knew what to add and I created my own recipes. Guess what, the dishes turned out to be amazing on the first time, which gave me confidence to cook more. I went up to the phase of making my own masalas to add for different types of curries. Learning a new skill always gives a different type of confidence to life.

 

June was for a breakthrough in Kapalbhati. I just increased it by one minute daily by starting it at 3 minutes a day. I initially thought it was an impossible task but definitely learnt a perfect example of moving just a little everyday. I also started hip opening yoga. I really loved the way I was feeling more flexible.

 

July started with me finally getting into a data science project. All the credit goes to my manager who recognised my skill set and put me into a project where I can prove myself. Since I was getting back to coding after a long time, I had to put in extra hours to speed up my skills. But it was definitely worth every effort I put into my dream. Another highlight was my exposure to Gita classes. The downside is I haven’t started reading Gita yet.

 

August was all about the black and white grid where I lost and learnt. I always wanted to learn chess and finally my husband agreed to play this with me as a shared leisure activity. When I won, it only boosted my ego and the games I lost taught me the game, just like life does.

 

September was the month of “Build the skill set, opportunities come on their own”. I started that month by recording a short video of me everyday to practise my public speaking skills and by the end of the month, I was asked to do a small video on managing stakeholders by my company. 

 

October is a special month as I started being a Habits coach. Helping others find their purpose in life brought immense joy in me which in turn made me feel that my purpose was to help others live up to their fullest potential. Moving into a new house,  helped me set my sleep cycle and watch the sunrise and do my meditation on time.

 

November was about getting back to morning pages. I brought out so many of my limiting beliefs just through my morning pages. This in turn helped me cry a little and let go of long held resentments. I liked the joy of healing. Another best thing was buying a piano which I had wanted since ages and I started growing vegetables in my balcony.

 

December was about forgiving. I religiously did it for the first few days, where I could actually feel my chest go lighter. Later on I felt bogged down by my project and internship work and had to heavily focus on that. I felt really grateful for all the people who contributed to the survey which made my project a success and the wonderful guide who had immense confidence in me.

 

As the year ended, it felt nothing special. It was just a date which we humans make as special. But it is not a bad thing to make it a milestone, to reflect on the time passed and make new goals for the future. The one regret I have about 2020 is that I could have written more and better. 

 

Plan for 2021

Moving forward to 2021, some of the broad goals I have are

 

1.Physical health

 

Weight loss has been really tough for me. I have tried a lot of different alternates but nothing worked. But I am grateful for not putting on any new weight. Sometimes, we just need to keep working on what is right and not control the results. That is the exact plan for weight loss this year. I will keep doing what I consider good for my health. Grow my own organic food, eat more raw food, keep doing yoga daily. Sleep on time. Work on limiting beliefs on weight loss. 

 

2.Mental health

 

2020 was excellent for mental health. I need to put in extra efforts and plan well to make 2021 as better than 2020 for mental health. The brief goals I have are 

    • Spend less time on worrying
    • Hold no resentment
    • Forgive
    • Learn self compassion
    • Write about everyday miracles
    • Attend vipassana retreat
    • Learn to breathe from belly
    • Do 30 minutes of kapalbhati daily
    • Learn to look at every problem as an opportunity for growth

 

3.Hobbies and skills – I don’t have a Netflix subscription. Nor do I plan on taking one. I use my free time in getting better at my hobbies.

    • Learn piano thoroughly
    • Publish one book
    • Learn digital marketing
    • Learn public speaking
    • Launch different counselling programs and workshops
    • Write daily
    • Learn chess moves
    • Read 100 books
    • Publish 50 book reviews
    • Be an expert at billiards
    • Play badminton regularly

I will create time for this through

    • Don’t check phone the first thing in morning
    • Limit whatsapp and instagram time to 30 minutes a day
    • Check whatsapp notifications only twice a day

4.Learning a new language – Learning a new language expands your vocabulary. I want to learn a local language – Kannada, a national language – Bahasa and an international language – Spanish.

5.Academics –I want to publish 2 research papers based on the study I have done this year.

6.Career goalsMost of my work experience in machine learning has been about text mining. I want to work more intensively on this and become a Natural Language Processing expert.

How was your 2020? What are your plans for 2021?

Happy 2021!

 

2020 Nov Review & December goals

November was a life changing month. I had a personal discovery almost every other day and it was filled with miracles. My book sales improved. I bought a piano after thinking about it for many years. This new mode of relaxation has helped me bring out another angle in me. I started growing plants. I bought empty pots and soil and planted tomato, tulsi, marigold, methi, coriander and chilli. With a gap of a few days, different plants started sprouting. The joy of seeing the seeds sprout made me feel alive. 

 

Review of November

 

1.Morning Pages

 

After a really long gap, I started writing my diary. I didn’t write what just happened in my life. I started questioning why I was doing what I was doing. I uncovered a lot of my beliefs which were holding me back in life. I could see my peace of mind improving exponentially with every discovery. Thanks to my friend, who was a true accountability partner which enabled me to stick to the schedule and get back to this.

 

2.Mindful brushing

 

This didn’t feel as good as I did for the first time. I felt my mind drifting quite often. But the good thing is brushing with my left hand has become a habit now.

 

3.Self exploration

 

Writing an answer for one question each day to explore myself was quite revealing. It showed me how my values evolved and I changed over the years. 

 

Goals for December

 

1.Revise the books

 

I would ideally want to revise the concepts from all the books I read this year. But I don’t think one month is enough to achieve the same since I have easily read more than 50 books this year. But I will do as many as possible to make sure that I implement whatever I learned.

 

2.Visualisation for weight loss

 

After having no luck with any of the traditional methods for weight loss, I decided to try visualisation for weight loss. I will listen to visualisation for weight loss videos before sleeping every night which might help me in my weight loss journey.

 

3.Forgiving

 

After previous failures at this, I have decided a template which I picked up from the books on forgiveness. I first explain the event as it is without any interpretations of mine. Then I talk about my perspective, my interpretation and my feelings. In the end, I will write an alternate story, another perspective to view things from a third person perspective. I did a sample exercise and this worked wonderfully for me. The only concern is this needs to be done over and again for the same scenarios until the new story becomes the new normal.

 

How was your November? What are your plans for December?

 

Happy December!

 

2020 Oct Review & Nov goals

Oct has been a quite exciting month. I moved into a new house which has a beautiful view of sunrise and sunset. I automatically started waking up around 6 to get a nice view of sunrise. I never missed my remote group meditation which is at 7 am as a result of this. Since I was done with meditation and other chores by 7:30, I was able to start exercising twice a day. All this meant that I was crashing by 11 PM which is what I always wanted.

 

Review of Oct goals

 

1.Malasana

One of the best ways to feel stretch in hip flexors after butterfly pose. I will continue this as a part of my daily routine just like butterfly pose.

 

2.Self Exploration 

This didn’t happen as planned. I didn’t have a clear plan and whatever I did was not motivating enough. I have come up with a renewed plan for the month of November.

 

Plan for November

 

1.Mindful brushing 

Even though I did this a few months back, with the morning drowsiness, it got dropped. I haven’t put conscious efforts to get back to it after that. This month, I put a sticky note on my mirror which reminds me to do mindful brushing with my left hand. Since I am a right hander, doing it with my left hand not only cleans the part of the mouth which can’t be reached with my right hand but also improves creativity by activating the part of the brain which is not used much. I got myself an accountability partner and will also be journaling my experience to track the progress.

 

2.Morning pages

From the time I have started meditating, I stopped focusing on writing my diary. Now I am back with it with a bang. I have decided to write 1000 words every morning. Just whatever comes to me naturally.

 

3.Self exploration

Since this didn’t happen last time, I have a clear plan this month. I have picked up tasks from the book Artist’s way and added a date against it to give a deadline to the task. I am doing this assignment with a friend where we are going to hold each other accountable for the task and it is going to be fun to share the answers with each other.

 

How was your October? What are your plans for November?

 

Happy November!

 

Note: I have a few slots open for counselling sessions for the month of November. Mail your problem statement to lensq29@gmail.com to book your session.

 

 

 

2020 Aug Review and September goals

Every year, I write a list of new activities I want to pick up. One such item which was on the list for the past 4 years finally is off the check list in 2020. This was none other than Chess. My husband and I play at least one game of chess every night after dinner. Since both of us were new, the first few days when I won every game he attributed it to my meditation. To up his game, he started practising online too with computers and other players. Now my only chess teacher is my husband. We discuss the learnings after every game irrespective of who wins.
 

Review of August

 
1.Mindful Walking
 
Even though I had a very small target of just 10 steps daily, this has changed my style of walking forever. I am someone who is always on the run. Now when I am running in the house too, I remind myself of mindfulness. 
 
2.Thank you notebook
 
I haven’t covered this with a lot of names yet. But I made it a point to add one statement everyday. To make it a tough and useful exercise, I started by writing thank you notes for people who I find it very difficult to be thankful for.
 
3.Books
 
I finished reading How to walk, Breaking the habit of being yourself, The surrender experiment, Write it down, make it happen, Three Thousand Stitches. I started 10 x rule, Journeys of a lifetime but these will take time to finish. I am currently reading Autobiography of a yogi.
 

Plans for September

 
1.Plank
 
I can stay in a plank for 37 seconds without a lot of effort. In order to improve my core stability, I want to try this everyday till I reach 120 seconds effortlessly. I will not make it difficult. Instead I will target for 1 second more daily.
 
2.Record a 30 sec video of myself
 
I am a camera shy person. It has been a really long time since I addressed a huge gathering. In order to not let fear creep in, I want to practise 30 sec – 1 minute video of myself. This helps me identify my choice of words and body language to work on improving them.
 
How was your August? What are your plans for September?
 
Happy September!
 

2020 July Review and August goals

July had been more about my professional life than about my personal life. I found it hard to strike a balance between the both. I was spending my free time also studying the concepts related to work. The initial struggle of doing things which are beyond your current capacity is sort of more intimidating than exciting. But this struggle goes on till I bring the level to challenging and only a bit outside my comfort zone.
 

Review of July

 
1.Anulom Vilom 
 
The major plan for July included doing Anulom Vilom daily after Kapalbhati. But in reality, I was running short of time after kapalbhati and was not really able to do anulom vilom right after that. So I moved this routine to night time just before sleeping. I did around 60 minutes of anulom vilom over the entire month which was much lower than what I had in mind. But since that set a baseline, this month, I am going to target 120 minutes of anulom vilom.
 
2.Reading gita
 
I instead attended gita classes for a few days but they turned out more about chanting hare rama hare krishna than learning the essence of gita. I had to pause it and get back to the book where I just went through the introduction and first chapter. I am afraid if the book is really helpful because it emphasises more on bhakti yoga for which I am not really ready yet.
 
3.Books
 
In July, my reading list was E-squared, Headspace guide to meditation, Prana and pranayama, The Life‑Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Miracle of mindfulness, What your clutter is trying to tell youTiny Habits, Biology of belief.
 
Completed a few and a few are still in progress. I will start publishing the book reviews soon.
 
4.Miscellaneous
 

  • I started writing in my gratitude diary that today is a new day with new opportunities. That sort of helped me deal with a crisis in work and helped me set the day on a positive tone.
  • I extended my gratitude diary to the night to write about the things I am grateful for in the day
  • I also started writing my goals (mostly the big ones) as I read that writing down your goals helps you look for opportunities to achieve them
  • I started meditating twice a day and extended mindfulness into daily routines. Looking forward to experiencing visible changes with this extended mindfulness practice.
  • I started keeping my phone inside the locker during working hours which has reduced the number of times I unlock the phone to half. This has not only reduced the mindless browsing and scrolling but also helped in spending the time in focusing on my breath
  • I started learning badminton. For now, I have learnt only wrist movements.

 

Plans for August

 
1.Mindful walking
 
As a part of my mindfulness practices, I want to focus on mindful walking next. I am always on the run. My friends often say that it is very difficult to walk at my speed. Now, if I reduce the speed of my footsteps, I can slow down the speed of my thoughts. 
 
To make this a habit, I will start with 10 mindful steps every morning. From the time I wake up from bed till I reach the bathroom, I will take mindful steps, breathing in and breathing out. In a day, when I stay at home, I walk around 4000 steps. In the beginning, converting everything to mindful steps might overwhelm me. So I will increase it by 20 steps every week. If I am able to do more, that is great. But the aim is to have the smallest number of steps to start with.
 
2.Thank you Notebook
 
For every person I have known so far, I will write a note in my personal notebook on why I am grateful for whatever they did for me. At the same time, I write a note why I should forgive the differences if there are any. This exercise is similar to what I planned last time but this time, I won’t be sending out any messages.That way, I will not hesitate to write down. 
 
I will do this exercise before my night gratitude exercise.
 
How was your July? What are your plans for August?
 
Happy August!
 

2020 June Review & July Goals

The first half of 2020 has been tough for all of us. Under pressure, you either break or have a breakthrough. If you continue to look at yourself and the world around you the same way as you always did, you might just break. Coming out of your comfort zone and looking at everything else including yourself as an outsider might give you a breakthrough. The one thing which helped me survive this half year was my perspective to look at things as an outsider. Will you give it a try?
 

Review of June

 
1.Physical Health
 
In June, I wanted to increase the number of Surya Namaskaras I do daily. But only after starting it, I realised that the quality matters more than the quantity. Initially I started off with 5 rounds daily, doing them for the heck of it but that didn’t feel right over the time. I slowed down and did just one round a day. But I made sure that I was breathing right and stayed for a longer time in each pose. That made me feel satisfied.
 
2.Mental Health
 
Even though I had been pracitising Kapalbhathi seriously from March, I was not able to do it for more than 3 minutes. This month, just by increasing it by one everyday, I made it to 18 minutes. But later when I read about how it generates a lot of heat in the body, I limited it to 15 a day. My breathing has never been so deeper and clearer.
 
Another task, I planned for the month was to forgive and thank people. Forgiving the past mistakes when times are good didn’t really make a huge difference for me. Thanking people for no occasion also felt weird. I dropped these two exercises in the first 10 days. May be I will pick them up later when the time is right.
 
3.Books
 
I was busy with my academic research proposal and could not find time to read the other books much. I finished Visualization for weight loss and Emotion code. Currently reading yoga nidra, Psycho Cybernetics and Intention Experiment.
 
4.Courses
 
I have been heavily investing my time in picking up python coding skills from various courses on Coursera. Challenging yourself beyond your comfort zone makes you feel accomplished.
 

Plans for July

 
1.Physical health
 
I have started a 30 days split challenge. Each day, I do a set of exercises which help in opening up the hip flexors. With the amount of time spent in the chair looking at the screen, working on splits helps in relieving the lower back pain. Technically, achieving splits in 30 days is an overachievement. Realistically, I will keep trying for 90 days to see the outcome.
 
2.Mental Health
 
a) Anulom Vilom
 
After practising Kapalbhati and enjoying the fruits of it, I want to extend it to Anulom Vilom to make it a complete package.
 
b) Reading Gita
 
One of my friends mentioned that reading Bhagavad gita was a life changing experience for him. I may not be able to finish it this month, but I am going to put it on my desk and read a verse now and then during the breaks I take from office work.
 
How was your June? What are your plans for July?
 
Happy July!

2020 May review and June Goals

May hasn’t been the month it was planned to be like. It has taken me by surprise and unlocked a new version of me.
 

Review of May

 
1.Book Reviews
 
I wrote 6 book reviews against the target of 12. I barely reached my goal. But that is completely okay. Writing book reviews for books which I didn’t make notes meant that I go through the book from scratch again and write notes. It was good to revisit the books once again but given other schedules it didn’t seem a priority. It was also not helping the very reason I chose to write which was to get back to writing. 
 
2.Cooking
 
The best thing that happened to me this month was that I finally started cooking a variety of dishes rather than living on dal chawal. It not only kept my mouth watering but also helped in flow of my creative juices. For a year, I was just surviving on the minimum varieties I knew and now I am able to make every dish which comes to my mind. This was a part of me which I never saw before. I am glad cooking happened to me finally.
 
3.Books
 
The only book I could finish this month is Letting go. The rest of the books which I am reading are Blink, Practising power of now, 100 side hustles, Frequency – Power of Personal Vibration, Future board, Asana Pranyama Mudra Bandha
 
Now that I am back into the habit of writing book reviews, you can expect reviews of the above books as and when I finish them.
 
4.Miscellaneous 
 
I received 3 months unlimited coursera access which got me to binge watch courses leaving me no time for voraciously reading books. I will also write reviews of the non academic courses and also share my learnings in the upcoming articles.
 
Lockdown has given me the chance to get in touch with a few old friends who certified that they can see a visible change in me from the time we last spoke a few years ago. That was a definite boost to strive for continuous improvement.
 

Plans for June

 
Though the initial plan was to stick to only one activity per month, since I am going to work from home for the rest of the year given the pandemic situation, I chose to expand the targets.
 
1.Physical health
 
I currently practise body weight exercises and am happy with the progress I made. But I want to add a bit of yoga also to my routine to make it a part of my identity. The main target for the month is to start with 3 rounds of Surya Namaskara daily and increase the number by one daily based on the comfort level. I don’t have an end target number to reach but I just want to focus on pushing myself to the next comfortable level of rounds instead of just sticking to one.
 
2.Mental health
 
a) Thank you letter
 
I am going to write a thank you letter to every person who made a difference to my life even if it is in the smallest possible way. This activity is inspired from my gratitude diary which has helped me stay sane through this lockdown. While growing up, I was never taught to express love. Now when I have to express all of this, it sort of feels weird. But then I think I will go ahead and bring a smile on a dear one’s face in this tough time.
 
b) Forgive
 
We block a lot of good things in life because we hold on to regrets. From the book, Letting go, I realised that one of the most important ways to increase your energy level is to remove all these blocks. Since I was clueless on how to let go, I chose to follow 21 days forgiveness plan by Vanzant. Apart from that, whoever I write a thank you letter to, I will write a forgiving letter but won’t send it to them. That way, I will genuinely feel good about the thank you letter after letting go of the entire resentments I hold.
 
I am totally excited to unlock the next level of flexibility in my body and unblock my energy blockages by forgiving and letting go the resentments and spreading smiles through the thank you letters.
 
How was your May? What are your plans for June?
 
Happy June! 
 

2020 April Review and May goals

April is always the special month of the year as I turn a year older and hopefully wiser. To stay positive amidst the epidemic, I cut myself off from all the negative news and focussed on what is positive in my life. This helped April in being a fruitful month which helped me to get back to a lot of things which I never had time for in the past.
 

Review of April

 
1.Mindfulness Routine
 
April was one of the true mindful months I ever had. My day started with a gratitude diary followed by mindful brushing. Then my pranayama routine of Kapalbhati followed by Anulom vilom. I increased the time and intensity for both of these. Then I practise Hatha Yoga for flexibility and mindfully notice the muscles stretching in each pose. I enjoyed my morning lemon water by feeling it. Apart from these, I did the regular meditation and yoga nidra. I was never this relaxed. It felt like why haven’t I tried this before. 
 
2.Books
 
To discover and continue my love for mindfulness, I kept reading books on the same topic. 10% happier, Mindfulness Workbook, Fear, Intimacy, Chakras, How to sit,Untethered soul. I also started reading Waking up and Letting go but just in the beginning. The other books which I read this month are Read this if you want to become a great photographer, Steal like an artist, Exactly what to say, Understanding color in photography,Tools of titans.
 
Every book I read has expanded my knowledge in its own way.
 

Plans for May

 
I am tempted to say that I will use the month of May for enhancing my mindfulness but it will be an escape from adding new habits. The one thing I do love a lot but have been ignoring for a long while is writing. So I want to use this month to get back to writing. I can’t commit for a 30 day blog post like I did in the past. The main reason why I was not able to stick to writing is the time it consumes to write a good blog post. So I want to take it slow and commit to an easily reachable target like 12 blog posts in May. Another question, which I always struggled with, was the topics. An easy topic now to write on are the pending book reviews since more than a year for all the books I have been reading. I have enough topics to last me for the next few months.
 
Keep watching this space for new content this month.
 
Stay Home. Stay safe!
 
Happy May!
 

2020 March Review and April Goals

One thing which has taken over the world right now is fear. As each day passes, there is only anxiety which is building up not knowing whose turn it is next. I think I moved from denial to acceptance stage of the world pandemic. I hope all my readers are safe and are reading this article in good health. 
 

Review of March

 
The month of March started for me with a high fever with chills and sore throat. It took me a week to recover. The fever could have been due to the unnecessary panic I was putting myself through or the non stop travel I did in February. I was grateful to the Universe for sparing me from the deadly disease. Due to the uncontrollable panic I went through, I binged on social media which made my days worse. One fine day, I decided enough was enough and cut the time I spent on my phone from 4-5 hours a day to less than one and half hours a day. That felt like an achievement. With working from home the entire month, it was a lot easier to stick to my goals.
 
1.Breathing exercises
 
I finally found a way to make it a part of my life. Except for the week I was sick, I did it on the rest of the days of the month which made the streak higher than the past month where my sole goal was to master this habit. I could make this happen this month because I used the technique of ‘Do it after X’. Never does a day go without brushing. The next action I do after brushing is breathing exercises. I mostly did kapalbhati and anulom vilom. The time ranged from 5 – 10 minutes. But I feel that it is a huge achievement in itself. As long as I don’t have to rush to the office, this habit will continue.
 
2.Gratitude diary
 
I used the same technique of ‘Do it after X’ for the gratitude diary. The first thing I do in the morning as soon as I wake up is write three things I am grateful for. Most of this month, it has been about 

  1. I am grateful to stay safe
  2. I am grateful to have a job which has an option to work from home

 
If you are not writing one, it is high time you feel grateful for the good health you have may there are thousands out there struggling for their lives
 
3.Learn Kannada
 
I am not at lesson 30 as planned. I reached only lesson 15. One thing I didn’t take into account is revision. I spent a week just revising the 10 lessons which I studied and redid a few where the words weren’t registered in my head. Thankfully, I practise them a few times with my husband who corrects my pronunciation.
 
4.Books
 
I read Power of Now, The road back to you and a few e-books on photography. 
 

Plans for April

 
Mindfulness
 
Power of Now had a powerful message on the importance of staying in the now. It was all good in theory but I had no clue on how to put that into practise. I started searching for practical tips and stumbled on The Mindful Way workbook. It has a 8 week course on how to stay in the present. Based on my previous experiences and the availability of tools I have these are the action points for this month.
 

  1. Body Scan – This is one of the awareness exercises which helps you examine each and every part of your body and helps you mentally give instructions that it is relaxed. 
  2. Mindful routines – Every morning as soon as you wake up, you brush your teeth. But did you ever notice how the brush feels against your teeth and how many times you move your hand. I want to bring awareness into my everyday activities like brushing, bathing and eating.

 
This month is the right time to start it as the situation demands to stay calm and the conditions of working from home are favourable to achieve the same. Even though it might look like I am overdoing it because I already do pranayama and meditation daily, it is the need of the hour.
 
How was your March? How are you coping with Covid 19?
 
Stay Home. Stay Safe!
 
Happy April!