My favorite time in the year is the beginning. Oh, how I love the boost in optimism, heightened motivation, and the feeling of opening up a fresh diary. However, I do tend to forget quickly (especially the limitations of my stamina/health, and the constraint of time), so wanted to put 2018 in review to make sure I’m setting myself up for a realistic and successful year.
2018 was a 50:50 type of year; some ups-and-downs (you know, like most of life). It’s the year when externally, I got promoted at work, a massive win, and also the year, my health spiraled uncontrollably downwards. Internally, 2018 is also the year I’ve slowly started to become honest with myself; on what degree I’m willing, what I need, what I enjoy, and what my real aspirations are. For 2019, I intend to commit, and commit fully, and not be afraid of being judged or what people think. Fingers crossed!
My biggest realization of 2018 was that I was trying to conform everything into a ‘finite game’. “I’ll eat healthy for 1 month.” “This week, I’ll work on my communication skills.” These are all skills and habits that take persistence and commitment to develop and harness. I had misconceived what I want, why I want it, and set up arbitrary processes which were doomed for mediocracy; it was ludicrous! 2019 is the year which I set up myself for lasting changes that will slowly but surely improve my life and enable genuine, personal growth. Here’s how I plan to start it.
NO. 1 HEALTH
2018, I had an issue with every intestine in my body. I’ve logged in the more sick days and had the most hospital visits in 2018 than all former 25 years combined. I’ve learned to start paying attention to what works for my body, and will try to satiate what it needs v.s. what I feel.
Biological Rhythm: I perform at peak when I’ve had 7 hours of sleep, and am super energetic and happy with 8. I’ve started to get in the groove of waking up at 6AM and sleeping at 11PM to give my body enough rest. I’ve also found that creating healthy routines is like setting up a great autopilot system; which in turn helps create the mental space to take on new challenges and growth opportunities.
Exercise: There’s an innate strength that comes from the ability to be able to move your body according to your will. I am willing to start regaining control over my body, and looking forward to the confidence that will come with it. Yoga has helped me in the past to reactivate my body, and I’m sure will help me in the future as well.
Nutrition: Once I was forced to recognize that my digestive system hated me for what I put in it, I started to look at the nutritional dimension of food. Before, I had only registered its caloric value, taste, and the craving-satiation-factor. The more I educated myself, the clearer the correlations had become: shifts in mood, energy levels, and migraines roughly coincided with sugar intake, stomach aches and rushed toilet runs were usually after some massive doses of processed carbs.
NO. 2 CREATE & ACCEPT
“What do you want out of life?” “What makes you happy?” “What do you enjoy doing” “What are you good at?”- are all questions that I tuned out of, opting for what is comfortable/familiar, and also societally praised. These are all questions that we should all be asking ourselves on a daily basis, trying to keep stock of where we are and trying to align our reality to our intrinsic needs. Here’s where I’m at right now:
I am happiest in my personal time, with my better half, downtime to draw, paint, reflect introspectively, and practice yoga.
I am most fulfilled in my career, when I establish systems and routines to keep the engine running smoothly towards success.
I learn best when I listen to books, detailed articles, watch documentaries rather than in heated debates and discussions.
I grow, improve, and am most productive when no one is watching or pressuring me.
I am not competitive at my core; and would choose flight over fight on any day.
I’ve known these things for a while. It just took me a long time to start reconciling my attributes to what I thought of ideal. It’s taking a lot longer to be comfortable with expressing this to others, processing how they ‘assess me’ and being ok with that too.
As a part of my journey to being true to myself, I’ve decided to create more, and start showing the world a bit more: drawings, paintings, ideas, experiences. The internet and social media community always has an opinion, so hopefully it helps me grow ‘thicker skin’ and foster more trust in myself as a person. We shall see!
NO. 3 SPECIFICALLY THIS YEAR
#1 and #2 are lifelong projects. I have 2 very specific goals for 2019.
- Drive – I will start driving this year. First, I need to educate myself on traffic laws, and then, get a license.
- GMAT 760+ – Application for MBAs start in September. Before I enroll at Harvard (lol), should take the GMAT first.
Now that I’m in my late 20s, I want to start to create and cement the mental and physical attributes that will serve as my foundation and endure for life. This 2019, I’m taking the first step to make a fundamental shift in my philosophy, lifestyle, and habits. I would like to be able to stand by the choices that I make on a daily, weekly, monthly basis in 2019, when I’m in my 30s with kids, upto when I’m 60 with (hopefully) a silver crop of hair.
Let me know what your strategies are of tackling 2019, and any tips and tricks you have for a healthy, happy, and fulfilled day or life!