What do you like about yourself?

 
Yesterday, as a part of Secret Santa celebrations, my colleague was asked to boast about himself. All he said was what he liked about himself. We live in a society where talking what we like about ourselves comes under boasting.
 
I agree that it is not a good practise to talk about yourself all the time but it is a good thing to know what you like about yourself.
 

Why should you know what you like about yourself?

 
1.Builds self-confidence
 
The more the things you like about yourself, the more confident you become. The same has been suggested in a course on building self-confidence.
 
2.Improves self-awareness
 
When you know what are your best qualities, you have a lead in the game of life. You know how to play the game to your strengths while staying away from your dislikes.
 
3.Helps in becoming a better person
 
While trying to find what you like about yourself, you will encounter 100 things you will want to love about yourself. You can make a list of that and slowly turn that list into what you like about yourself.
 
4.Helps to come out of self-loathing
 
When you are drowning in negativity, just open this list. It shows you why you are not bad. It will give you reasons for why you should love yourself.
 
5.Exercises your brain
 
When you create this list, you will think about yourself from various angles. This gives a good exercise to your brain.
 
 

How to figure out what you like about yourself?

 
1.Daily list
 
In the month of November, I did an exercise to write one thing good about me daily. This was a kind of self-gratitude and also gave me a list to bank on. But the downside of this exercise is that not all things you make a note in it are the good things about you. May be once a quarter you can pick up the things which really define you and save it as a master list. For the remaining things, you can work on them to make them a part of who you are.
 
2.One time list
 
Today, in my 10 things a day exercise, I wrote down 10 things which I like about myself. This exercise made me feel good about myself. It gave me an identity of who I am.
 

What can you like about yourself?

 
1.Physical aspects
 
What do you like about your body? What are some of the best material things you possess?
 
2.Interpersonal aspects
 
What do you like about how you deal with people?
 
3.Intrapersonal aspects
 
What qualities of you help you?
 
4.Skill set
 
What skills of you are you proud of?
 
5.Compliments
 
What others like about you, might not be the same you like about yourself. But if they are same, you can include them also in this list.
 
If you keep pondering, I am sure you will come with an amazing list.
 
Share with us what you like about yourself in the comments section.
 
Happy loving yourself!
 
 

30 day Gratitude Challenge

I was on a 30 day gratitude challenge this October and the challenge changed my life for the better. I felt more positive about myself and the people around me.
Why should you feel grateful? Why should you do a challenge for gratitude?
 

What is gratitude?

 
Gratitude is about feeling grateful for all the good things you already have in life. Your life might be in the lowest state. People around you might be mean. But by being grateful you tend to look at the positive side of your life inspite of the negativity around you.
 

Myths around Gratitude:

 
I came across gratitude journaling a year ago. I was reluctant to start it because I thought thinking about the positive things makes me feel lazy. I thought it will make me stop aiming for bigger things in life if I focus on the small things. I thought people will cast eyes on my happiness if I talk about what I was grateful for.
 
All those were myths I held in my head. Looking for the small things to feel grateful for taught me how to search for the good even in the worst. Goals and gratitude are totally two different things. In fact, you will start making progress towards your goals only when you can appreciate the small things you have been doing well.
 

What are the benefits of gratitude?

 
1.It increases your happiness
 
According to the Journal of personality and social psychology, counting the blessings instead of burdens improves your well being. I felt happier when I looked back at my gratitude journal for all the good people have done for me.
 
2.Changes the way you look at relationship
 
You might have been in a constant riff with your partner. But once you start gratitude journal by writing about the good things he does for you, your relationship with him improves dramatically. This research has been published by Psychological science.
 
3.It helps you stay positive
 
In the month of my 30 day positive challenge, I did gratitude journaling. If not for the gratitude journal it would have been tougher to stay positive. I am grateful for the gratitude journal. Journal of Positive psychology also mentioned that it is helpful to sustain positive emotion.
 

When should you write it?

 
1.You can write it as soon as you wake up to greet your day with a positive note.
 
2.You can write it during the day whenever you feel grateful for something
 
3.You can write it in the night before you go to sleep so that you have a happy sleep.
 

What should you be grateful for?

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I have not started gratitude journal for a long time just because I did not know what to start writing on. But the secret behind what to write is really simple. There are no rules. Just start writing whatever made you happy today. Ideas come to you automatically. But if you are still stuck, the following are a few prompts:
 
Family:
 
I stay with my parents. They are my family. My mom does a lot of things for me. I am her priority. Which human being can stop being thankful for a person who does everything for him/her? I can be thankful for her for different reasons everyday. She is wonderful. Or maybe I perceive her to be that?
 
Even if you don’t stay with your parents, if you share your stay with someone, you can feel grateful to them at least for one thing daily. This does not mean that you curse yourself for what others won’t do for you. But you need to find the good things they did or the bad things they didn’t which in turns can be termed good for you.
 
Not only your parents, but your siblings and grandparents are also your well wishers. They occasionally give a few surprises which you should be grateful for. Even if it is not for the surprise, you should feel thankful to god that they are alive and they are wishing everything well for you.
 
Health:
 
Do you remember accomplishing any challenging work when you were sick in bed? Be grateful for the good health you have. I occasionally have headaches. They remind me of how I need to be grateful to the good and painless days.
 
Food:
 
I have a lot of friends who are food lovers. I am not really a food lover. But I feel grateful to have decent food on time.
 
Friends:
 
Human beings are social beings. Without any acquaintance, we cannot sustain. Our friends do a lot of small and big things for us. Should not we grateful for them?
 
Sometimes you can consider strangers too. One stranger offered me a seat in public transport after a long tiring day. I was so grateful for her that day. Another stranger held the bus while I was running to catch it. Even though they are not big things, they are still acts which are worth feeling grateful for.
 
Work:
 
Whatever might be your workplace, it involves interaction with people. It might be virtual or real. You help each other and grow together as an organisation. People who find meaning and purpose for their work are happier. You will find at least one reason to be grateful for if you start looking at it in the positive light.
 
Weather:
 
I enjoy the evening breeze along the sea daily. What do you enjoy the most about your place? Even if you stay in a depressing climatic zone, there are a few days when the weather seems to be pleasant.
 
For what you have:
 
I am thankful to god for giving me another day on this earth. I am thankful to him for having a job. I am thankful for being able to afford food three times a day. There are many other small things which you can feel grateful for.
 
30-day challenge Prompts:
 
For a 30-day gratitude challenge guide download this file.
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How should you make it a habit?

 
Join the facebook 30 day gratitude challenge group.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/394788047610116/
 
Commit to it and post what you are grateful for daily. You can take a help of the 30 day gratitude file  which I created for you from the above section. Invite your friends too to join the challenge and create a happier society around you.
 
Happy being grateful!

November Review & December Goals

Here comes the last month of the year. The best thing about this year is I am still setting goals and working towards them. That is the best thing about monthly resolutions. If not for this, I would have long been lost in the journey and would not have reached even a single milestone. The onset of a new year does not change anything for me. I will still look at it as a new month and new goals to reach.
 
So coming back to November.

How did November go?

 
To be honest, for the first time in all these months, I can’t really measure November success for how I did for the entire month. I followed my goals diligently for the first 10 days. On the 11th day, I went on a vacation. My rule is to quit from all routines while on Vacation. The story of why I did not do my goals after vacation looks like a kid giving an excuse. But as a part of self-love, I did not want to stress myself. I had a lot of pending work, both office and personal since I was away for 10 days. Getting back to the routine was the toughest part.
 
Long story short- I am reviewing the goals for the first 10 days of November.
 
A Lesson that needs to be learned – Plan on how to get back to routines after a vacation.
 
Let’s quickly see how I did:
 
Network Online:
 
This is the highlight of this month. I have learned a little from this exercise. Initially, I tried finding websites to connect with people. Then I realized that the best way to make this as a habit is to start small. I started commenting on the posts of writers on Medium. Initially, I found this also tough because I did not know how to comment. Slowly I started becoming comfortable doing it. A lot of people liked my comments and a few times the writers responded saying it was a great question.
 
I will continue doing it and share it with you if I learn something path-breaking in this process.
 
Improve Logical/ Critical Reasoning:
 
I did logical reasoning questions diligently for the first 10 days of the month. I was scoring well and I felt accomplished for the ideas I were getting. But then there were a few sets which I was not able to crack under stress. I need to learn how to perform well under pressure.
 
Even though I started doing a course on Critical reasoning, I have not finished it yet. Will aim to finish it this month.
 
One good thing about me:
 
I have a small list of good things about me to bank on now. But the problem with making the list is – You should be careful about what things you write about. For example, if you write something good about what you did today, it does not become a good thing about you. It can just be called as a good deed. It should be something which you do consistently. A few weeks later, if you see the list when you are low, if there are items which you have done just once, you might end up feeling fake.
 
Give Something:
 
This goal was a little flop. All I could help people was by lending pens and phone chargers. I have not done anything exceptional. Probably planning on what I will give and whom I will give would have helped me do it better.
 
Goals into habits:
 
Ted Talks:
 
I went to my action list which I made when I read Ted Talks – The official guide. I decided to watch a TED talk each day from the list.
 
When I searched for Ted talks with the name of the person, I stumbled on various other videos or interviews of them. I didn’t know that there are so many amazing people with amazing thoughts out there until I discovered this way of searching.
 
These ted talks had nothing to do with developing my personality but they had a lot to do with expanding my mind. I will write a separate article after I am done watching all the list.
 

Goals for December:

 
Even though I did not want to start new books, I just can’t stop myself from doing it. But then I decided that I won’t read those books like a novel and write action points which I implement after a few months. I found the first action point and I want to take it as a challenge and do it for this month
 
1.No complaining
 
This is a life-changing goal. If I succeed in this, I can talk about my life as before 2017 December and after 2017 December. I am not a complaint master as of today. But the small things I still complain about still matters.
 
2.Complimenting
 
When you compliment someone, they will automatically start considering you as a friend.
 
Turning old challenges into habits:
 
30-day blogging challenge:
 
The only time in the past one year I wrote consistently was when I did 30-day blogging challenge. I am repeating this challenge to get back to writing daily.
 
Meditation:
 
I have forgotten what it feels like to meditate. I need to make progress in this.
 
Yoga:
 
I want to learn a new set of yoga poses to make my body more flexible.
 
Reading:
 
As a part of organizing activity, I organized the books I have into different genres. I decided that I will read a book from each genre. By doing this, I can read books in cycles where I get a chance to implement what I learn before I finish reading the book.
 
Critical Reasoning Course:
 
I have enrolled for a course on Udemy to improve my critical reasoning skills. I will spend 5 minutes on it daily so that I can complete it at least this month.
 
New Routines:
 
Diary Review:
 
Since it is already the last month of the year, for my annual diary review, I want to read the diary of 2017 and also 2016. So as a part of this exercise, I will read the diary of 2016 January and 2017 January which helps me compare how I have improved over the years.
 
Psychology Course:
 
For the course I am doing in Psychology, I need to submit assignments in mid of March. I need to answer 108 questions as a part of this assignment. In order to make my life simpler, I will write an answer to a question per day, which simplifies my life.
 
When I have too many things to do, I struggle to allocate time for each of them. So I am going to block my calendar for all these activities.
 
How was your November? What are your plans for December? Let us know them in the comments section.
 
Happy December!