Changing mindsets is harder than you think. You just have to glance at your Twitter feed every now and then to know what I mean.
But when 2019 swung around a few things changed around me. And as the days progress, I find myself feeling more and more comfortable around this change.
Please note, if you’ve been here before, some of this will sound redundant. There are only that many ideas in the universe, after all.
2018 was what I’d call a sort of rushed, heady year. It was the year I launched my business and let’s face it, I did way too much. Given that kind of burnout, I should have chucked the whole thing come January this year.
However, the exact opposite happened. I slowed down. I went deeper instead of wider and not just in the business arena, but in terms of health, reading and relationships too. Granted I should definitely work more on my writing but I’m not stressing about it, at the moment.
I had a dream last night. It was possibly triggered by a fond memory of my childhood. In it, I was with my parents and sister and we were laughing uncontrollably over a joke. When I woke up this morning, it was with a smile on my face. That joy, that irrepressible laughter is what I want every day to be like. Of course, not everyday will be like that, but we can find the joy even amidst the hard moments, right?
Relationships are glorious, wonderful things. They connect you with people, online and off it, and sure we have our disagreements, but which healthy relationship doesn’t? That’s the beauty of it, right? We move past that and love each other anyway.
That moment this morning gave me an epiphany.
Life isn’t complicated. We go out of our way to make it so.
Let me share another example. Three weeks ago, I met a friend of mine. She’s a dear friend I’ve known for the last 7 years. In the last 2 years, she has focused completely on her health and worked on herself with determination and dedication. She’s eating right, working out right and was more than willing to share her experience with me when I asked.
Now, I’ve been working off and on for the last 2 years, maybe 3. But not in a very consistent manner. That’s because I lacked the most important thing: The Why.
Contrary to what most people think, losing weight is not a very sustainable motivation by itself, because it takes time for the results to show. I’m talking anywhere from 6 months to a year. What does matter though, is consistency. Deep, focused exercise with consistency, coupled with eating right.
When I met this friend, some gears in my brain clicked into place. The first thing I noticed about her was her demeanour. She was more confident, more comfortable in her skin and more personable than ever. The second thing I noticed was her discipline. She never missed her workouts. Ever.
The gear clicking I speak of? That happened that day when I spoke to her at length. I am not sharing what I decided regarding fitness or how I am doing it because I believe (somewhat naively), in the evil eye when it comes to these things and don’t want to jinx it.
But I finally found my Why: I want to be healthy.
I want to be able to stay fit and healthy for my own sake, first and foremost, and that doesn’t come pre-packaged in specific body types or a number on a scale. The good news? I now work out every day and take rest days each week. The days that I miss, I feel a sort of hollowness. That never happened before!
*(Please note: I am not/never was a fitness expert, so don’t take my words as gospel truth or whatever. I am just sharing what has worked for me.)
Next on the list? Reading.
A group of us, college friends, met a few weeks ago. On the ride back home, I tagged along with one of them and headed to her place for a quick cuppa and a long conversation. I told her about how I hadn’t read more than 10 books in the last 4 years.
Her eyes widened, she put her hand on mine and said, ‘Shailu, you? I can’t believe it.’ But it was true. I’d forgotten the joy that reading brought my way and when I found that spark again last November, I was overjoyed. 🙂
It’s almost March and I have read 6 books thus far. But for me, they are more than numbers on a challenge board. They are reminders that I haven’t forgotten how to read, deeply and with conviction.
The one thing that has taken a hit thanks to books, health and relationships? My presence on social media and my reading of other blogs. But I’m not complaining.
Because at some level I believe the mindset towards my life has begun to change and I am ready to embrace that change with open arms.