2020 March Review & 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.
 
a)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. 
b)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!
 

2020 February Review

February was a short month because I was out of office for half of the month which took a hit on most of my routines. That being said, the best part of it is understanding my type of travel places. I realised that I can’t just go to a beach and say wow. I need the place to be serene to feel connected to nature to feel relaxed. Travel is a therapy when you can discover where your heart feels connected. Else it is just about checking off the list. 
 

Review of Feb

 
1.Breathing exercises
 
To be honest, I couldn’t do it on all the days. On a few days, I just kept postponing under the pretext of finding a good place to do this. On a few other days, I was struggling to push myself out of the drowsiness to start the exercise. But, on the days I did it, I could definitely feel the difference. Whenever I was idle I resorted to doing pranayama. Also, I tried it in a forest, by the beach and while in water to notice how the quality differs. I don’t want to lie. At this point, I didn’t really feel a lot of difference. But once I get into it deeply, I am sure it will be a treasurable experience.
 
2.Stay away from social media
 
This worked well for a couple of days. I am starting my day now by writing a gratitude diary which I find quite helpful. This in turn reduces my urge to scroll through social media on the rest of the day. But on the days, I am stressed out, I am resorting to social media to escape reality. I have a long way to go before I can get rid of this completely.
 
3.Gratitude
 
After a long break, it was difficult to get back to work. I didn’t feel like going to the office. I wrote in my gratitude diary that “I get to go to work.” Changing ‘have’ to ‘get’ has made a huge difference in how I look at things. 
 
4.Books
 
I am glad I finished reading 9 books this year already which gives me confidence that I will easily reach the target of reading around 40-50 books a year. I started Ikigai last year and finished it this month. I read two books on spirituality which expanded my mind and helped me find meaning to different things I have heard before. One of those is Sex Matters by Osho which made me think about love in a totally different way and Many Lives Many Masters taught me how to find meaning for the difficult times in life. I also read Atomic Habits which was a revision of Power of Habits and a book to confirm that I am on the right path. I have heard about Super 30 when I was a kid and finally got to read his story as a grown up. I learned from this book that you need to do something bigger than yourself in life at least once.
 
5.Writing
 
I have completed the consolidation of all the content on self improvement I did so far. The next step is to bring a structure to the content and write elaboration for it to make it easy for the reader to follow. 
 

Plans for March

 
1.Learn Kannada
 
The one thing of this month is to learn Kannada. I moved to Karnataka more than a year ago but I still can’t speak basic statements in Kannada due to lack of exposure. Hence I bought a book Conversations in Kannada. There are 50 lessons in it. I will do one lesson a day. In the next 50 days, I will be able to speak like a beginner in Kannada. I can practise this with my husband and the locals here for the subject to stick.
 
2.Write book
 
I will spend 15 minutes daily in bringing structure to the content i consolidated there by bringing the book to a readable shape.
 
How was your February? What are your plans for March? Let me know in the comment section.
 
Happy March!
 

2020 Jan Review & Feb Goals

I am thankful to everything which happened in January 2020. Not that something amazing happened but the theme of gratitude has definitely captured a lot of good into my life.
 

Review of Jan 2020

 
1.Gratitude 
 
I started off with writing in my diary what I was grateful for whenever I felt thankful. Slowly it reduced to just writing a header on what I was grateful for the day. Then it further reduced to telling myself what I was grateful for mentally. Through this entire transformation, I could clearly see how my happy days reduced to neutral days then one final day, I realised I just had a bad day which could have been totally avoided if I didn’t take my gratitude practise for granted. That was when I got more serious and started a physical diary and think at the end of the day about all the beautiful things which happened to me. I am grateful for picking this habit which helps me focus more on the beauty of life.
 
2.Photography
 
The first half of the month was amazing for photography. I clicked some of the best pictures in the beginning of this year. I am grateful to have a husband who takes me to places where I get to improve my wildlife photography skills. The beauty of Pulicat lake and flamingoes I saw there is one of the most beautiful things I have seen in life. Practising gratitude helped me attract a particular scene which I wanted to click since a really long time.You can check out the latest pictures I posted on my Instagram account.
 
3.Books
 
January was really bad for reading. I picked up the wrong books. Fooled by randomness was on my wishlist for a very long time. Only after I reached half way through it, I realised it was a very complex way of explaining the simplest things in life. I didn’t want to force myself to finish the book. After that, I picked up two books by Tony Buzan – Head Start and The Power of verbal intelligence. Sadly, I read too many self-help books in the past few years that he had hardly anything new to teach me. For a change, I wanted to try reading 13 steps to bloody good luck. Even though the author gave a promising start, it was only about reading excerpts of great people which you would have heard of tens of times before. It was a book to revise those stories and didn’t really have anything new to learn. It is just that book which gives the instant dopamine rush to do something great in life and doesn’t really bring any new change in life.
 
4.Writing
 
I haven’t blogged anything. None of the books I read were worth writing a review. I wanted to write at least one answer on Quora each week but I could write only 3 this month. The reason why I was not able to write more was that I realised half way through my answer that I hardly had anything new to write about. Over the past few years of self-improvement, I did a lot of challenges. As a result, I failed in a few, struggling to make a habit with few more and then made a few others as an identity. Now, I just keep boasting about the same old things over and again. I need to start a self-improvement v2 to write fresh content. At the same time, I thought why not consolidate all that I learnt and implemented in life as a book. It will be one place as a go to guide who wants to try what I did and also a self reflection for me to gain an understanding on what I mastered and what I need to master and what I wish to try in the next version.
 

Goals for Feb 2020

 
1.Pranayamam
 
One of the things which were a part of 2020 goals but couldn’t reach was sleep well and on time. Frustrated with that, I chose to do alternate nostril breathing for 5 minutes before sleep. It helped me have a deep sleep after a very long time. Why limit such good things to just a few exceptional days? I want to practise breathing exercises for at least 5 minutes daily. Preferably in the morning and if I miss in the morning then in the night. I have a tough time to wake up completely in the morning so I resort to social media to get out of the drowsiness. Doing breathing exercises will jolt me out of sleep in a healthy way while countering my need for social media. This is going to be tough but totally worth it.
 
2.Write
 
Even though I decided to prioritize only one item for the month, this is like a hobby. If I get free time, I will write my book and aim to finish by April end.
 
How was your January? What are your plans for February?
 
Happy February!
 

Welcome 2020

Even though in the last article, I mentioned about my achievements of 2019, I was just surviving and not thriving. I grew as a person due to circumstances but not because I planned for it. There were a few months when I didn’t track my expenses, there were a lot of months when I didn’t track the food I ate and I hardly implemented the action points from the books I read. I can’t really do much about the year gone but this year, since it is going to be a fresh start, I will commit to be more disciplined.
 
1.Tracking
 
I created a new tracker for 2020 to remind myself of the fresh start and to track my expenses, food, sleep, exercise, meditation and books. 

  1. Expenses -Irrespective of how much your earn, if you are not mindful of your expenses you will never be monetarily stable or happy. 
  2. Food– I presently eat at least one fruit a day and at least one vegetable like salad. The plan is to move to 50% raw by the end of this year. For example, my breakfast now includes oats with milk followed by fruits. I want to eventually get rid of the oats and milk and eat sprouted or boiled grains. Afternoon, I will let myself eat whatever is served at the office but in the night, I will reduce the amount of rice I eat and increase the vegetable or dal content. Also, junk is allowed as snacks only once a week. Rest of the time, I want it to be fruits or vegetables.
  3. Sleep– I am a quick sleeper but last year was awful. I struggled so much with sleep that I want to do whatever it takes to sleep well this year. I can track my sleep using mi band and make a note of the reasons why I am not able to fall asleep. That way, I know where I am lacking and what I can do about that. 
  4. Exercise– I get to workout at least 20 hours a month and I am happy about that. But I want specific targets. I want to effortlessly lift 12.5kgs and be able to do yoga for one hour without feeling any tiredness by the end of this year.
  5. Meditation – At present, I am meditating everyday but I don’t really go into a meditative state. By the time it is July, I want to be able to go into a meditative state as soon as I sit for meditation. By the end of this year, I want to be able to feel energy whenever I meditate. Apart from that, I want to be to Pranayama for one hour at a stretch without feeling tired.
  6. Books – They are the best brain food. I want to read at least 20 pages a day which amounts to 24 books in a year assuming each book on average is 200 pages. 

 
2.One challenge a month
 
Every month, I want to do one thing right. My focus is only on getting that right. It is more or less like a 30 day challenge. Once I finish that, I want to stick to that habit in the following months too if that is something that can be continued and doesn’t take a lot of time. When I do three different things a month, I don’t really make it a point to finish all the three things. Hence I want to stick to one. Once I get that right, I will publish an article on the same. Whatever I am going to pursue this year might be something which I did in the past also but I am doing them again because they didn’t turn into an identity for me.
 
Now the challenge for January 2020 is gratitude. I have done this many times before. But it has not become an identity yet. I want to be a person who is grateful for all the beautiful things in my life. I want my husband to know how grateful I am to have him in my life. I started a gratitude diary exclusively for him last year but haven’t been writing it regularly. This January, I want to start writing about him in that diary and by the end of this year, I want to have 365 entries which express my gratitude towards him. What can be a better 2021 New Year gift than expressing how grateful you are to have your loved one?
 
I will spend five minutes everyday recollecting all the things I am grateful for that day. I am grateful to have a kind boss and teammates who are helpful. I am grateful for the beautiful sunset and the cool breeze. I am thankful for the dance session which helped me forget all the worries of the day.
 
What are you grateful today and for the year and decade gone by?
 
What are your plans for this month?
 
Happy New Year!

2019 in Retrospection

I can’t believe that today is the last day of the year and also the decade. The year went away in a jiff making me a stronger woman both physically and mentally. From the start to the end of the decade, I transitioned from grumpy teenager to a mature adult. Even though they say, the maximum growth happens only during your childhood years, as an adult how much you grow depends on how much you want to grow and how you make that happen. In this decade, I graduated as a civil engineer, then moved to analytics learning different technologies and statistics and on the way of foraying into another domain which is MA in psychology. I spent the first half of the decade preparing for MBA and other government exams only to realise they were not my cup of tea and spent the rest of the decade in finding my true self. As a result of which I became a teacher, writer and photographer. In the last one year, I got serious about my spiritual journey and realised how that can give the true joy in life.
 
Here are some of the achievements I am proud of this year.
 
1. Thirty books in 2019
 
Given how hectic this year had been, I feel that this is an achievement I am proud of. Making time to read despite so many changes in life. This is a true example of when you have a craving, you will find ways to make it happen.
I am yet to share the review of the books I read. I will try to publish it soon.
 
2.An awesome meal for 12 people
 
To throw a farewell party, I invited my friends home and cooked a meal which was satisfactory to both North Indians and South Indians. A year ago I could hardly cook a single pot meal and now I am confidently cooking an elaborate tasty meal. Apart from that, I cook at least two meals regularly and three meals on the weekends which is indeed a great achievement for someone who knows nothing about cooking. I hope to learn a lot more in the coming year and enchant people with my culinary skills.
3.Got into a lifetime self-improvement program
 
That program is called getting into a wed-lock. One of my friends once mentioned that no one will point out the flaws in you like how a significant other does. It is the best way to know your shortcomings and keep improving individually and together for a lifetime.
 
4.To dad with love
 
After going through a huge list of materialistic gifts, I thought there is nothing better than writing a book on my dad. A lot of people talk good about their parents after they are gone. I wanted to express how much my dad means to me while he was still alive.
 
5.Building an arsenal
 
I bought one of the best camera phones and a macro lens for the phone for amazing macro shots. My dad gifted me a DSLR for my birthday. I bought a telephoto lens to quench my thirst of wildlife photography. I received a tripod from my Secret Santa. My team decided to get me a prime lens for portrait shoots. 
 
I received a huge encouragement in the journey by being an unofficially official photographer for my huge team at work. When my college friends say that my photos started looking professional and when my friends ask for the original copy of the photo to set it as a wallpaper and they keep reminding that I should start participating in competitions and they see a potential in me to be a full time photographer.
 
The next level of this was a friend asked if I can send her a few of my favourite photos for her to print and frame them for her hotel and house, I felt proud about how far I reached. 
 
6.Maintaining the temple
 
The only place you have got to live in for the rest of your life is your body which is in turn ruled by the mind. I joined Cult Fit to try out different types of exercises to stay fit.I started out with HRX to build strength and alternate it with Prowl, Dance Fitness and Boxing. Once I was sure that I had enough strength I moved to Strength and conditioning. Recently I developed an obsession towards yoga and will do more of it in the near future.
 
I practise heartfulness meditation and in the last quarter of the decade I got more serious about it. Now I meditate daily and I clearly know the difference between a clear mind and clouded mind. Now, I can even feel the energy around me during yoga nidra and guided meditation.
 
7.Miscellaneous
 
There are a few other small things which made my 2019. I got rid of the job which was eating away my peace of mind and replaced it with a new job which I find more enjoyable. I got back to studying the second year of my psychology. I became more minimalistic by not splurging too much on clothing. I used to wear only 4 different clothes to office that my friends had to ask me to stop wearing them and buy new ones. I did a bit of travelling and had a few fun impromptu trips which were amazing.
 
A few things which could have been better.
 
1.Insomnia
 
My job was too stressful and I hardly had any idea on how to manage the work and personal life. I should have been less submissive at work and shouldn’t have given my whole and soul to the company and learned to be selfish to take care of myself first. Also, I needed to learn to shut my mind from all of that to get a peaceful sleep.
 
2.Self Management
 
You don’t manage time. You manage yourself so that time comes in handy. I did a really poor job in that. With my new job, I am hoping to find some time for myself and do everything I enjoy.
 
How was the year which went by for you? What could you have done better?
 
Happy New year!

2019 Nov Review and Dec Goals

November taught me that travelling is one of the best ways to discover oneself. Two road trips set the standard for the next trips to come. Once again, my friends considered me a good enough wedding photographer which boosted my ego to consider freelancing photography. Apart from that, a couple of friends started encouraging me to start participating in competitions.
 

Review of November

 
1.Study for Exams
 
I spent most of my free in learning the basics from the text books. Even though I could not sit for studying everyday, I at least made time to understand what I will be tested in the next month.
 
2.Pranayama and Kapalbathi
 
I could not really make it a point to do this every morning. But then I had been consistent in meditation this month too not allowing myself to miss a streak by doing it even at 11:30 at night. The only times I missed it was during the trips when I couldn’t find a lone space. The quality of meditation hasn’t improved much yet but I am just happy about making it a habit with which I struggled for years.
 
3.Mindful eating
 
Eating in India is considered a group activity rather than an individual one. I find it difficult to excuse myself from others and eat which in turn made me not to practise to the extent I wanted to do it. But when I am alone, I started eating without a phone or book to start with. A long way to go.
 
4.Books
 
I think this is the best part of every month. Irrespective of what goals I set, I end up slacking a bit in them. But reading books comes naturally to me. This month I read Shoe dog, Option B, When breath becomes air. I am currently reading Malgudi days.
 

Plans for December

 
1.Photography
 
One of my friends asked me to select 10 of my best photographs to display them at her home and hotel. Even though I didn’t charge her any money, this is the first order I received. I want to spend some time to go through my work and select my favourite ones for her. Apart from that, I will go through the list of competitions available and start applying to see where I stand.
 
2.Books
I want to finish reading Malgudi days, Fooled by randomness, Hot Flat & crowded, Onward before the year ends. That will land me at around 35 books this year excluding the books I read for my profession. That is a huge number for a busy year this had been.
 
3.Write
 
I haven’t written book reviews in ages now. I want to get back to start writing book reviews this month. If not for all the books I read this year, at least a few.
 
4.Review and Plan
 
I want to go through my diary and understand what went good and bad this year so that I can plan what are the few changes which I want to see in myself and my life in the coming year.
 
How was your November? What are your plans for December?
 
Happy December!

2019 Oct Review and Nov goals

October was a busy month with two festivals, two important birthdays and an eventful trip. The best part of the month was to spend on buying a new lens for wildlife photography which is a huge progress in my photography journey.
 
Here is how October passed by.
 

Review of October

 
1.Gratitude
 
It was difficult to maintain a gratitude journal. To make it a habit, I started writing the header of my daily journal with what I am grateful about. This was an easy way to make it a habit.
 
2.Yoga and meditation
 
I started attending more yoga classes which helped me to get in tune with my body. It helped me feel more flexible. Even though I had done weights, cardio in the past, learning new yoga poses made me feel that I am growing to learn my body better.
 
I had a 21 day streak in meditation. I lost it as I was not able to accommodate time for it during my vacation. But this is one of the best achievements of my life.
 
3.Mindfulness
 
I sort of failed in this. You can’t turn out to become mindful all of a sudden. It needs to be started as one small mindful habit each month. I just started being mindful whenever I could which will not help in sustaining it for a long time.
 
4.Books
 
The best part of every month is how I make time to read books in spite of my hectic schedule. I read His needs her needs, Making marriage simple, Getting the love you want. I picked up I will teach you to be rich but I felt it was not meant for the Indian audience. The only good point I picked up from it was conscious spending. Getting rich is not about accumulating a lot of money but spending on what really matters for you. Another interesting book which I am reading now is Shoe Dog. It is quite inspirational.
 

Plans for November

 
1.Study for Exams
 
It is exam season again and it is high time I start studying. There are 48  chapters on whole. If I can complete 2 chapters a day and 12 chapters a week, I will be able to do the first level of studying before the exams.
 
2.Mindful eating and drinking
 
The way to mindfulness is to start small. I can’t stay in the present all of the day. If I assign a time to it, let’s say eating and drinking, I will be able to make at least one mindful habit.
 
3.Pranayamam and Kriya
 
Breathing exercises have magical effects on your body and sleep. I want to get back to doing this every morning just for 10 minutes – 5 minutes of Alternate nostril breathing and 5 minutes of Kapalbathi. 
 
How was your October? What are your plans for November?
 
Happy November!
 

2019 September Review and October Goals

September wasn’t the way I planned. But that doesn’t mean that it was not a productive month. My full time job ate away all my time. I was busy learning new things related to my job. The books I read were also heavily into that.
 

Review of September

 
1.Ideas
 
I sincerely started off with this and found an implementable idea. I wanted to test the market and sent out mails to find people who I can interview. I received a reply from one out five people I reached out.
 
The next step for me is to write a questionnaire to make the interview experience easier. I need to find 9 more to prepare enough content to publish a book.
 
Apart from that, I couldn’t test out the remaining yet.
 
2.Make my bed
 
Well, it felt like it was just not my thing. I found it weird and awkward to worry about that as the first task of the day.
 
But then I spent a considerable amount of time in decluttering the already minimalist house.
 
3.Start with Why
 
I think this was a good exercise and I stopped chasing things which didn’t really make a difference. But I couldn’t ingrain it totally as a habit yet. It takes time to change the deeply rooted habits we have.
 
4.Study
 
I did study but not for my psychology exams but statistics. I read a few chapters from Storytelling with data, Time series analysis, A modern approach to regression, Linear Regression, Hypothesis Testing, The model thinker, An introduction to statistical learning. These are the books to which I gave my time and they in turn made me richer with knowledge.
 
5.Books
 
After reading so many academic books, I didn’t really find a lot of time for other books. But I read The Book of Nature by Ruskin Bond. I always wanted to read books of him and here I finally got a chance. The one thing I like about his writing is that it is simple and he takes you into the world he writes. I like imagining what is written than watching a video.
 
6.Spirituality
 
This was unexpected and at the same time the most wonderful thing which happened this month. Last month, I learned the theory behind chakras. This month, I started going to yoga classes and asked each of the tutor if they ever experienced anything related to chakras. The responses were varied. Luckily the first one I reached out to, told me that except for the first chakra, he experienced all other chakras and the third eye is the easiest to open. Rest of them were, I can’t say fake gurus but they only taught or learned postures and not the spiritual side of yoga. This generation doesn’t have the time and leisure to pursue such things may be. 
 
Apart from that I read Mind full to Mindful by Om Swami. I was a regular reader of his articles and this book was no different from them in opening my mind. It was an insightful and practical read.
 
I started following whatever he wrote and I am focusing on my steps while walking and on the water flow while drinking water.
 
I even went to the extent of keeping a flower in my bedroom. It reminds me of how our lives are temporary and how we need to give our best while we are still alive.
 
I practised yoga nidra. It was a pure bliss. I initially drifted off into sleep for a few minutes but came back to my senses pretty quick. Thereafter, I experienced tremendous body pains as we are generally not used to staying still for such a long time. The best part of the exercise was I could feel energy above my palms. I am looking forward to many more such experiences in feeling the energy around me.
 

Plans for October

 
October might be as hectic as last month when it comes to my full time work. I don’t want to plan anything grand and then feel disappointed that I am not doing much in my personal life. The main problem I have been facing is being unable to manage my energy. I am using it all up in my full time job leaving very little for anything other than that.
 
1.Gratitude
 
This won’t take a lot of time in my day. But it is very important to count my blessings when everything is not going right in life. The more I focus on what is going well, I can attract more of that. Change in focus is a lot more effective than you think.
 
2.Yoga and meditation
 
Yoga is for reaping health benefits. The longer you can stay in a posture the larger the benefits you reap. Although gymming was fine, I want to move towards yoga now. 
 
Also I have a 10 day streak in Meditation now. I want to make it a 30 day streak.
 
3.Mindfulness
 
Doing meditation is fine. But I want to continue that meditative state for the rest of the day. I want to learn to be mindful while I exercise, walk, eat and drink. It is difficult as I keep forgetting about this but it is about doing at least whenever I remember. Scanning the body every now and then also helps in being aware of myself and surroundings.
 
That’s all for this month.
 
How was your September? What are your plans for October?
 
Happy October!

2019 Aug Review and Sept Goals

The month just flew. I was sick for most of the time and it is high time I take proper care of my health. The best thing about this month is I practiced meditation every day for a week. I hope there comes a day when I can proudly say that I meditated every day of the month.

August Review

 
1.Spanish on Duolingo
 
This is the highlight of this month. I have spent varying amounts of time on it from 3 minutes a day to 55 minutes a day. I finished 34 levels this month and each level has 5 lessons in it. I effectively mastered 170 lessons this month, averaging it to 6 lessons a day. At this pace, I should be finishing Spanish in 6 more months.
 
2.MA Psychology second year
 
One thing which I was struggling for a year now, I got a start for it by finding the study center. Also, since the subject is too easy in textbooks, I downloaded reference books for the same. I could finish only one chapter.
 
3.An idea a day
 
To be honest, I wrote them for only 11 days of the month. But on the days I wrote, I had more than one idea.
 
4.What you focus on, expands
 
I don’t know how far I could succeed in it. But I can definitely see some positive changes in my life.
 
5.Books
 
This month I read ‘Find your why’, ‘The subtle art of not giving a f*ck’ and ‘The 24* 7 Marriage’. Only the first one was worth reading for the application of the concept while the other two were repetition of known concepts using stories. I published a detailed review of ‘Find your way’ and ‘The subtle art of not giving a f*ck’.
 
Apart from that I released the hard copy of my first book but it is only available in the US as of now.  If you are in any other part of the world, you can try out the kindle copy for now.
 

September Goals

 
1.Start with why
 
I tried this sometime in the past too but looks like I could not really make it a habit then. If you fix your why, a lot of pain in life is avoidable. I want to focus on this for this month, to constantly connect to my inner self.
 
2.Ideas
 
I wrote 24 ideas last month in the 11 days I wrote. For the next 24 days, I will write whether the idea is feasible or not. If yes, what is the smallest thing I need to do to get started and the realistic timelines it needs. After testing the waters, if I don’t feel so passionate about it, it is okay to leave it.
 
I previously did this exercise, since I lost where I have those entries, I will rework on it this month again. Write down at least one idea on which I can do a psychology project. If you have any suggestions, please drop a note in the comment section.
 
3.Assignment
 
It is difficult to be full time working, finding time for passions and then do a correspondence course. So whatever little time I get, I need to write assignments. If I target one subject a month, I should be able to finish it by November.
 
4.Make my bed
 
The new fad on the internet is make your bed the first thing in the morning. When so many people say that it works, why not try it once and see what it makes me feel like.
 
That is all for September.
 
How was your August? What are your plans for September?
 
Happy September!
 

2019 August Goals

The best part of the month was that I published a book along with my sister. It was a tribute to my dad.The worst part was I was sick for almost half of the days which killed the productivity.
 

July Review

 
1.Sleep by 11
 
I could do this only on half of the days. But that itself is an achievement to get back to normal life. In august, sleeping before 11 on 20 of the 30 days will be a reachable target.
 
2.Expressive writing
 
From the lost habit of writing a diary, this month I made 21 entries. Even if it is not perfect, it is again better than before. Now I need to push it to more than 25 entries a month.
 
3.Meditation
 
Even though it started off on a great note, by the time it came to the middle of the month, I lost the streak. It was difficult to practise daily again. This is one habit I had been struggling, I am struggling and don’t want to struggle the next month.
 
4.Photography
 
The best thing about photography this month is getting a new phone and doing a full-fledged macro photography. I clicked bees, ants, housefly and spiders. They had been well received by a lot of people.
 
5.Write
 
Even though I wrote a few articles, I could not bring them to completion. I wrote a few answers on Quora. But I spent my time majorly on writing the book on my dad.
 
6.Books/Courses
 
I read ‘Deep work’ and ‘The underage CEO’ with full enthusiasm. I am stuck with Hit refresh which I will complete soon.I tried reading 3rd alternative and Winning in between these but realised that they were not my type of books and abandoned them soon.
 
I did a landscape photography course on Udemy which I felt was quite useless. It let my spirits down but the food photography course was interesting where I learnt a few tricks which I can’t start implementing today but can keep in mind when I update my gear and start shooting food.
 

Plans for August

 
1.Spanish on Duolingo
 
I miss learning something new daily. My sister had been talking how Duolingo has been making it a lot more easier to learn a new language. To be a loyal user of Duolingo, I want to learn Spanish also on it just like the way I learnt French. Just a bit daily and in a year, I will know the basics of Spanish.
 
2.MA Psychology second year
 
I couldn’t write my exams in June due to other commitments. I want to start preparing for my December exams by studying my subjects at least twice a week.
 
3.An Idea a day
 
It can be how to make my existing books better. It can be a marketing idea or an idea to start a business. The ideas may be viable or may not be viable. But generating ideas will exercise the creative muscle. I want to generate as many as possible this month.
 
4.What you focus on, expands
 
I want to focus more on what I want to do and keep moving in that direction. The more I focus on what is not working, I will be held back in life. Instead of spending time on worrying, I will use it to move towards my goals.
 
How was your July? What are your plans for August?
 
Happy August!