Tag Archive | goals

One thing at a time

Do you always find yourself multi-tasking? I do and it rarely gave me full results. If you are a computer science major, you would know what round-robin algorithm does (Interested to know more about it – it’s here)? it divides time into slices and gives each task a slice of it. Then it will go from one task to another as the time is up. You would prominently see such behavior when you have slow internet connection and you open 5 browsers with website urls in it, you will see a bar loading in each of the window and wait for few minutes all will be slowly but steadily loaded. Instead if you have just taken one url, then the results would have been faster.

It almost applies to my life. The time is limited, my tasks are always unlimited. I tend to do multiple things at a time and I am drained to no extent. Personally, I want to follow minimalism, zero waste, cook food at home each day, plastic free, make my own beauty or house cleaning products – I want to do too many at the same time and I switch between tasks. Here time slice for me is – few weeks. I never get to finish at the least one thing that I have started. So my bucket is always full without a scope for new one! So as I lead my professional life, the only difference have been there are deadlines and time sensitivity projects which require me to finish projects that I take up. I have to have a closer for sure. But, the stuff I want to learn to progress ahead in my career has taken a back seat. For the same reason of wanting to do too many things and never be able to finish one thing. For instance, I have been postponing  a particular certification that I need to do.. for years, every other week. The feeling has not been good. And this is resulting in “stacking up in my brain” – I could use excel, perhaps that might help me keep the list short, achievable and have the ability to track the progress.

As Albert Einstein rightly said – “Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them“, true to the fact,  it is the time for me to make changes. Change the strategies. Isn’t? After all “Change is the only constant thing“,  I want to keep my list short, prioritize and do one task at a time. Doing one task at time not only improves the focus but also results. A friend of friend of mine, took hobbies seriously and gave his 100% to it for 1-2 years depending on the type of hobby and got so good at it and moved onto next. Once you learn your fundamentals right, is there any looking back? if you touch that skill years after – it comes naturally – isn’t?. That to me is amazing.

I will end this note with Robin sharma’s lines that will be so apt for my current situation –

“Stop Managing Your Time.

Start Managing Your Focus.”

How about you dear readers? How do you manage your tasks? What steps have you taken to accomplish what you want at home, at work, in life – where ever applicable?

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Being committed

Beginning of this month, I took upon a challenge of 3 things, of which, I have failed every single day on challenge #2, but #1 and #3 are still rolling with some exceptions.  I wanted to start small and slowly change my lifestyle. They say it takes 21 days to develop a new habit or let go of an old habit, do you think that’s true? it only happens if you are a strong willed person.  It is such a challenge even to commit for 21 days, I thought about skipping daily post almost every other day. Having topics is one things, and wanting to write about it is another thing. Writing requires dedicated and uninterrupted time, flow, a structure, a beginning and an ending. I wanted my posts to be humorous, but it is so hard to bring humor into writing.

The grammatical errors of where to use “the, this, that, a, an, and, but” or  “where to put period” or ” comma” is out of my writing style. I am amused and amazed at few bloggers who write so well and the way they write it makes me go awe. I wish, I could turn those mundane activities into an interesting story. English Grammar was the most boring subject to learn for me.  is it not? how about you folks? So, more power to reading good books.

I love to hear when some one conveys a story in an animated and bit interactive way, and get bored if it sounds like too much of an unnecessary detail in it and doesn’t reach the point very soon and makes me want to give up on the topic easily. I think, i fall under the second category on certain topics and bore people to death.  Oh well, as long as one identifies where one lacks, it is easy to correct.

Challenge #3 – preparing home made fresh meals was bit challenging but turned out to be a stress buster for most part of it. Having a companion who appreciates your effort is certainly a good motivating factor to prepare meals everyday. I have been making fresh meals twice a day including weekends, one for lunch and the other for dinner. In the last two weeks, only two days were exception.  This requires lot of effort, for one – I source most of my groceries from farmers market and whole foods, not having car, means carrying them home and walking about a mile with those things has definitely improved my muscle strength.

Due to this challenge, I discovered plenty of interesting salads to make – something like I posted here, broccoli salad, or cabbage jamaican salad or raw cabbage cucumber tomato salad, quick and easy baked falafal burger ,  this quinoa salad that I did last year & variety of quinoa salads created by me, and sometimes my regular dose of indian foods. Also, explored plenty of salad dressings, the more you do something, the more easy it comes to you. Being part of CSA farm share gives you no option to have veggies that are not familiar and forces you to use them up. I failed at some recipes, and got acquainted with many options. It also taught me to purchase food in limited quantity and use them up all without wastage. Helps me regularly, to contribute to my composting. Yes, I have been very diligent and none of my food wastage ever goes to dumps.

Challeng #2 – I am trying and feel getting better at sleeping on time part. Developing a habit of reading book definitely makes me fall asleep. So by the end of september, I hope to have this habit in place.

How about you? are you committed to your goals or slack off/ postpone them (I postpone many of my goals from time to time)? How do you set goals and follow through? what motivates you to keep going?

What am I up to?

Compost – check, I have diligently composting every possible vegetable/fruit/tea-bags.

Cleaning* – yes, kitchen has been cleaned and got a lot better.  Lot of the stuff has been given away and or the things that will be useful when we have guests over are packed and shoved in the cellar.

Home prepared fresh meals – yet to achieve, I am trying but at times I just give up. Need a routine. Also, I have been looking at joining some online holistic nutrition certification course and I am very serious about it – does any of you know or suggest anything? I would greatly appreciate it. I have been looking at Institute of Integrative nutrition – anyone who did the course and give me a neutral perspective? I read a lot of blogs, but it seems more like a promotion more than how it benefited them. That makes it hard to spend so many dollars without proper insight.

Budgeting *– with compounding expenses lately with so many activities that have happened this year, a post over due to speak about how crazy it was – we are trying to cut down as much as possible. It has been challenging so far and I am determined not to give up and currently in the process of tracking every single expense, so I would know, where most of the money is spent and cut accordingly. After all, money saved is money earned.  As I mentioned earlier in one of my posts that I live pay check to pay check – that really hasn’t changed much.  The only difference have been, no debt accrued in credit cards.

Vegetables in the garden – tomato plants and fenugreek seeds were sowed, and reaped partial benefits. The weed grows faster and gardening is full blown out committed activity. Hard to keep up with jones! Sigh!

Produce very little trash: Oh, this is the hardest of all goals. I have definitely improved in composting area; ergo, it reduced the trash produced. I keep forgetting to carry the re-usable bags that I brought for this very purpose and keep accumulating lots of plastic bags.

*= indicates new goals.

My goals post

Goals

Having goals is one thing and reaching them is altogether a different ball game. I love to have goals; after all they will help you grow as a person.  Some of the goals, that I am planning to achieve in next few months, that I believe will not only change current lifestyle but also makes us more environmental & health conscious person.

Goal 1: Eat fresh home prepared meals.

I have signed up for CSA farm share and I will be receiving bi-weekly organically grown vegetables directly from the farm. I do not have a say on what I would get as part of that package. They all will be fresh and directly from the farm. For people who are not aware of CSA farm share is – it is community supported agriculture, where we pre-pay the farmers to farm their lands. Give the farmers loan and expect fresh veggies in return.

Last year, I tried one bag and it lasted for about 2 weeks. They were mostly green leaf veggies and I had to find ways to make it edible for me.  Also, there is considerable amount of work – the veggies are directly from farm and needs a good wash. It is quite some work.  Plus, the veggies are not only expensive, but will go bad soon, so you are forced to prepare them fresh.

Goal 2: Compost all that can be composted

We have a tiny little back yard, so we sure can make use of this composting.  I need to upgrade my knowledge in this area.  There is a long way to go.

Goal 3: Produce very little trash

In my earlier posts, I did mention about few people who produce almost-nil-trash.  Of all the goals, this will be the most difficult to achieve and it might be the slowest and hardest of all. It requires lots of discipline, especially with all-plastic-packages-everywhere. I have to use my re-usable bags, pouches to store veggies (I am planning to make from my old-t-shirts), find convenient places that offers non-plastic like whole foods to buy lentils from, prepare our own bread, eventually get rid of all plastic containers and have only glass or steel ones.

Goal 4: Grow few vegetables in a garden

Learning to gardening is challenging. It took plenty of my energy to just pluck the weeds out. Sowing seeds and growing plants wasn’t that easy. I failed at it miserably and my timing of shifting was not good. So I plan to learn.

Goal 5: To write the weekly status update on this blog.

Goal 6: the most important of all, to follow through the above list of goals.

Dear readers: I would greatly appreciate your valuable inputs & provide if any website links that will help me find better ways to achieve any/all of the above goals.

Re-usability of products – go green – part1

We have moved to new office! the furnishing, the space and location seems to have exceeded my expectations. I love it. A new neighborhood to explore, although, not so new for me. I am excited. I am not sure how long this excitement lasts though.

I got the first cup from the office cafeteria, usually, I waste 2-3 paper cups everyday, and at least, a few plastic spoons. I decided to go green as much as I can. It is a conscious decision. And my goal eventually is to live plastic free life. I managed to be clutter free at my new work space.

The only things you see are: few knick knacks from my dear colleagues, a re-usable cup,  water bottle, book and a pen. Oh, and the sanitizing gel.

Whenever, I go for grocery shopping, I end up accumulating lots of plastic bags. Next step in my to-do list is to – buy re-usable cloth bags to store vegetables when purchasing. Does any of you have suggestions?

My goals are to live: clutter free minimalist lifestyle, zero waste eventually, and simple and joyful life. I am way too far away from the goal but I am determined.

For a record, during my India trip. I have not purchased any souvenirs. That was the most difficult time to stop my urges to go over board in purchasing anything. Part of the credit goes to my dear partner who reminded me of clutter free living , every time I was tempted to buy anything.

YOU FIND WHAT YOU SEEK

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Every second you spend thinking about what you don’t want in your life is a second denying focus and energy from getting what you do want.

Every minute you worry about what’s not working is a minute drawn away from creating what will work.

And every hour spent reflecting on the disappointments of the past is an hour stolen from seeing the possibilities that your future holds.

Eventually, you’ll see more of what you look for. Clarity precedes mastery and the more clearly you will look for what you want, the more powerfully you will generate that result in your life.

-(Excerpts from Robin Sharma’s book)

De-cluttering things from life – heading towards embracing minimalist lifestyle

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Not sure where to start, I have been clinging to too many things and I am trying so hard to be a minimalist. Trust me, it is not as easy it sounds. I am trying to go through each and every possession of mine to see if it has any value, be it sentimental, a gift or things that I brought over a period of time. It is hard for me to let go of old stuff to make space for new, I keep buying new stuff and yet cling onto old stuff.

Guess what has been happening?

I am spending lot of time, organizing, re-organizing and cleaning almost every other weekend. I am tired, exhausted and yet I have no choice but continue doing it. I have been shopping for more storage items ever since I moved to tiny home.

Now what?

I have been searching on internet for minimalist life style and came across many blogs. There are many people out there who have embraced it and everyone claimed that their life is much simpler and more meaningful. They spend time on something they like than on the things I mentioned above. I have been trying to be a minimalist even before I knew this term existed from past 2 years. But I was never more determined as much until I moved into tiny space and the amount of stuff lying there to be organized is surely a tough task.

I realized, it is not an overnight job, it is time consuming and requires strong mind to stick to this minimalist idea of living. Especially, now-a-days it is advertisement driven world, everywhere you look, outside, media, mail, youtube, TV, online newspapers or videos. It is very hard to not get distracted and give into those temptations of buying more.. those sales, coupons, buy one get one free and what not… It is a continuous effort and requires conscious living.

What needs to be done?

My aim is to live free of things, extra cups in the kitchen, or extra clothes that I hardly wear in the closet.. infact everything from pens to brushes to combs to electronic media.. Absolutely everything at hand needs to be analyzed. I am in a process of getting rid as much and keep only so much and by quality over quantity that makes my life easy. And yes, at this time, I am bit tied down financially as well with so much international travel that I did last year. In short – I really am looking forward for more travel & exploration, be it locally or internationally, achieving more personal and professional goals and most importantly to attain simplistic lifestyle. It is a continuous process that requires lots of commitment, determination and shift in attitude for things.

What about you? How do you deal with clutter in your life?

Some of my Favorite

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Lately, ever since I took upon the challenge of “Taking charge of my own life”, “Being responsible for my own deeds” , “Not to blame anyone for things that happen in my life” and most importantly “Avoid procrastination, Stay fit and healthy”… the list is only increasing with every day exponential productivity.

I have been reading some or the other inspiration quotes / talks / anecdotes / stories to inspire myself when ever I feel demotivated or lethargic to complete the task.

Here are some of my favorite lately

Brian Tracy youtube small talks with duration less than 10 minutes. (that’s my attention span)

Robin Sharma’s Articles and/or talks

Sometimes Deepak Chopra, Stephen Covey, Steve Jobs

Random quotes, small stories, articles, biographies/auto-biographies!

Another most important source of information – conversations with people with their real life experiences, reading some of your blog posts.. that’s right!

I suppose I may have more than what I mentioned.

The more we acquire knowledge, the less we seem to know in a bigger context. Don’t you agree?

Willpower

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Is it something you are born with?

or is it something that is developed over a period of time?

or does situations and circumstances in your life give you all that?

If one needs to achieve something that is important for betterment of our life,  – willpower is an incredible tool that you need to have it on your side all the time. It might be hard initially but sure can be developed with lot of determination and self-discipline.

I have been intending to set a routine in my life for healthy mind and body. 

Some habits that I really want to be part of my life-style are –

  • Exercise every single day.
  • Read at least one book a month.
  • Eat healthy and nutritional food.
  • Learn and try something new. (I go by philosophy of Idle brain is devil’s paradise and certainly, I do not want to be a victim of it)
  • To not procrastinate 
  • Spend less time on phone – including whatsapping, facebooking, messaging, browsing, etc etc.
  • … and many more small little things in life that I want to get better at. 

How is this ever going to be possible?

Once my cousin mentioned – if you can repeat this for 21 days straight, a habit/Pattern will be formed in brain. I might have promised myself numerous times yet never had willpower to stick to them.  

21 Days – all it takes..  A test to one’s Willpower!!

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First Steps are Crucial.

Are you with me? 

Photo Credits : Google Search 

April goals: Reading books – Really?

Once upon a time, I thought reading books is boring and people who read books are even more boring. Growing up, I read only text books (well.. I have had no choice).. aah let me just blame it on my school for not making reading habit mandatory in school curriculum. Yes, we have had library but they never lend any books nor we know that library is for gaining or improving knowledge on things that interest you.. or maybe I never knew that library is for borrowing books until I got into college.

Reading is fun and informative  Img Src: Google

Reading is fun and informative
Img Src: Google

I was surprised to see my class mates borrowing novels and finishing them over night and exchanging among group of reading buddies. I hung out with a girl who was an avid reader and she recommended I read “World around in 80 days”, that marks the beginning and the momentum died shortly after. After that I read a book here and a book there but nothing out of interest and dedicatedly. Only recently, ever since I moved to New York City, my commute time has drastically increased from 15 minutes to almost 3 hrs and started utilizing commute time for reading.  Although, my friends argue that audio is better than reading in a moving train, but I prefer reading over listening and this is the only time I can concentrate and I guess this has always been my habit all through child hood. I have read more in a moving vehicle than anywhere else. What’s your take?..Let’s call it personal preference over any logic.

Reading is fun, it makes you travel into a whole new dimension of world, a world of different means, possibilities, places, situations, thought process , creativity and most importantly they let us connect with characters, we feel how they feel, you cry when situation demands, you laugh it out when there is something funny.. reading book is as good as passively meeting wide variety of people and being there where the story takes place. In the process, I might have had connected with numerous people when they see me reading some novel of their interest and speak about characters, plot and interests in general.. yeah absolutely with strangers.

Just yesterday while I was too busy reading in a crowded bus, lady behind me strikes a conversation about how great the book is and suggest some more books of that genre.. right after I get off the bus there is another women who eaves dropped on my earlier conversation and obviously the topic shifts beyond books and found out she lives in the same neighborhood.. You would be surprised, at times..without our knowledge these small talks with strangers establishes long term associations and become friends for life.

On the other hand, after I read the book and if it has some story line that is worthwhile narrating to someone, my mother would be ultimate victim more often than my close buddies and she has no choice but to hear me out.

Last year, I was able to finish more than 12 books per year and this time I want to keep the momentum going and add more books to my list this year.

And, If you like reading books go ahead and suggest me some? Will you?  Just so you know..I am not biased to particular genre and open to take any inputs that you may have.