How to stay consistent with your goals

On the first of January, I set myself a whole bunch of goals to achieve, as I have done many Januaries that have passed. Usually, by February, life settles back to how it has always been, and I settle back into who I have always been. I then live my life in a state of transit, waiting for the next chance to begin again.

It is the 6th month of 2020, and somehow, I am still on track. This is newfound territory for me.

This year, I did things a little different.

At the start of every month, I set myself goals that I want to achieve by the end of it. At the end of every month, I look back, reflect and tally up how I’ve done. I’ve done this consistently for 5 months now. I stuck with it, and that is no small thing, not for me. I’ve notoriously been an “all or nothing” kind of person.

I have not achieved every goal I set out to do. Let’s say I set myself 100 small goals between January to now. I have probably achieved about 70 of them. But…that’s still 70 steps in the right direction. That is momentum. That is a huge success!

Retrospectively, if I had not set myself these targets, and was just left to my own devices, I would have probably achieved around 15-20 of them haphazardly. The difference is monumental.

Today, I’m looking at what worked. What I did differently that made me DO differently this time around? Here’s what is working for me:

Continue reading “How to stay consistent with your goals”

How to make time for everything

Hello hello! This year, I’ve decided to commit to sharing a new blog post with you on the full moon + new moon of every month. So, each month when you look out the window and see the glowing moon in the night sky, and perhaps you even feel a surge of that mystical lunar energy rise up within you – head over to my blog and you will find something from me, written with the intent to nourish your mind & soul.

I’m also really enjoying creating on instagram stories at the moment. I like to share little snippets of my day to day life, but also like to reflect on a topic every week centered around spirituality, intentional living, and conscious motherhood. If you’re on instagram, I’d love to connect with you there.

Now onto the blog post!

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a girl on Instagram who, like me, is also on the road to residency in the US. She kindly complimented me on my ability to juggle many things at once. Medicine, motherhood, spirituality, writing and now, youtube too.

I was taken aback by what she said – because the areas of my life that she considers to be my success, I so often feel inadequate in. It astonished me, the differences in how I perceive myself in comparison to how someone else perceives me. And maybe the truth of who I am sits somewhere in the middle of both of these extremes. It got me thinking, that while I do tend to be quick to dismiss myself, the reality is that yes, I do juggle a lot. Yes, I do work hard to do the things that are important to me, and though I may not be able to do everything to the level of my satisfaction, and though I may feel like I’m constantly failing at a lot of things, the fact that I try is worth something. And yes, maybe I do have something of value to say on this topic.

Certain things in life, like motherhood and medicine, tend to be all encompassing. Meaning that it’s almost impossible to compartmentalize these things into little blocks of time. It takes over everything. It’s a 24/7 direction of life.

It’s hard to imagine a life beyond these things sometimes, and it’s certainly even harder to make the time and space for other in your day.

But heres the thing – we all have 24 hours in a day, and we decide how to spend it. Our time and our health is truly our greatest wealth, and it’s worthwhile to use what you have intentionally and on the things that matter most to you, otherwise you may get swept up in the flurry of a busy but unfulfilling life.

Since becoming a mother, the amount of “free time” has been cut exponentially, some days it feels like a mythical concept.

Before children, the majority of my time went to either school/work, and all that was remaining was my time. I could do with it, whatever I wished. I could  choose to be productive and build the life of my dreams or I could snuggle up in bed and watch Friends. After motherhood, all that remaining time outside of school/work goes automatically to my daughter. Like a direct deposit.

Without intentionally and purposefully carving out a little slice for yourself, you might never get it. Time is precious, and we have so little of it. The very least we can do is use what we do have.

Here are my thoughts on how to juggle it all.

Continue reading “How to make time for everything”

4 steps to take when life feels overwhelming

In my experience, there are two situations when life can feel overwhelming. The first, is a burn out, where you’ve been applying yourself so fully, that what you probably most need – is some rest.

The other type – is when life is demanding a lot from you, and you consistently feel unable to meet your obligations. You start procrastinating on important and unimportant things. You try to avoid life. Things just keep piling up. And before you know it, you find yourself in a s***storm that you don’t feel you can handle. That’s the type of overwhelm I would like to talk about today – mostly because, that’s the type of overwhelm I’ve been dealing with. Fun.

I made a decision that something needs to change. I have been implementing these 4 practices that I am about to share with you, into my life for the last 2 weeks, and I’ve noticed such a beautiful transformation in my inner resilience and in how my life feels.

So if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and underprepared – these 4 steps can help you get back in the driver’s seat of your life.

Continue reading “4 steps to take when life feels overwhelming”

Done is better than perfect

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My husband always says I’m an “all or nothing” kind of girl.

I’ve always been that way. Even as a young girl, when my mother used to ask me to clean my room (and I was so messy back then), I could never just quickly put things in it’s place and tidy up. I had to go all out. But only when I felt like it.

First, I would wait. I would wait for the “perfect time”, when I truly felt like cleaning my room. I would start from 0 and I would turn my room upside down and inside out.  I would basically move in to my room all over again. And of course – I’d get tired, so it would would take me like a week to complete cleaning my tiny little room. I’m exhausted just writing about it.

Continue reading “Done is better than perfect”

The first of a new month

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I love firsts. I love the first of a new year, but also a new month, a new week, even a new day. There are so many opportunities to be re-evaluate and to refresh the feel of your life. This is something that is very important to me because I am certain about one thing – I do not want to let anymore time pass without me becoming a better human being or having a better experience of life.

Here is a glimpse of some of the things I like to look at at the beginning of a new month.

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Creating your New Year Goals, Trials and Focuses.


Goals

It’s very difficult to truly commit to an action, habit or goal for the 365 days of the year. That’s why your “Goals” list should be as exclusive as possible.

Continue reading “Creating your New Year Goals, Trials and Focuses.”

Get productive!

 

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “Hmmm I needs to gets me some of that!”

Everyone’s thinking it. Productivity. Everyone wants it. Everyone wants to do it. Everyone wants to feel like they are doing enough, or that they are doing something at all!

But life is hard and life is fast and it is so easy to get overwhelmed. Pretty soon you don’t even even have a to-list-, let alone know where yours starts or ends.

But productivity is simple. There is just one word associated with it: DO.

As Nike says, just do it.

Here are some tips to be more productive with your time.

 

Work with your Most Important Tasks.

Every morning wake up and write down your three most important tasks of the day. The three things that, come what may, you HAVE to get done. These are not the things you would naturally do because you have to (Such as going to work/school/eating), but those other bad boys that keep coming up on your to-do list day after day.

So write down your top 3. And then make it your life purpose to get these things in your day. If nothing else – these three items must be completed by the end of the day. If you’re a superstar, you can try to get all three items done before midday, if the task permits.

 

Work with your energy levels.

Work with your energy levels, not against them. We go through troughs and peaks in our energy throughout the day, and  it’s different for each person. A high energy period is a period of time where you are pumped and ready to do “high energy” tasks, that requires more thought, attention, energy, focus, physical input etc. “Low energy” tasks are tasks that do not require too much attention and care, but can still be “done”. Examples of low energy tasks are – booking appointments, making phone calls, responding to e-mails, laundry, cleaning etc.

The secret to being productive is to not do high energy tasks all the time. The secret is to understand your own personal energy levels and patterns through out the day and work through your tasks appropriately. For some people, mornings are very high energy time periods for them, and so they can get lots of great productive work done during the early hours of the morning.

Then by afternoon, when their energy levels begin to dip a bit low, you can switch over to more low energy tasks. You’re still being productive. Just at a different pace. A pace that works for you.

The resistance comes when we try to do high energy tasks in a low energy time (trying to study physics during afternoon nap time? Nuh uh. Not gonna happen!),  or even when we do low energy tasks during a high energy period (being stuck responding to e-mails/phone calls when I’m super inspired and ready to go out there and kick butt. No way!).

So first things first, ask yourself “am I high energy or low energy right now?” and act appropriately.

 

Batch like tasks together.

Batch similar tasks together – such as making phone calls. Make all the phone calls you need around the same time. You will be on a particular frequency when you do a certain task, so it makes sense to similar tasks while you are sittin’ at that frequency too.

 

Generate an energy wave.

Here’s a great trick that seriously works every time! When you have a task ahead of you that you just can’t seem to get started on, what you need to do is go and sit down and set a timer on for 5 minutes.

And for those 5 minutes, all you are allowed to do is to think about the task. Nothing else.

An example for this would be cleaning my room. For those 5 minutes I will think about cleaning my room. I’ll practically clean my room in my mind. By about 2 minutes I am ready to go, but I force myself to stay there for the whole 5 minutes.

Within these 5 minutes I generate so much energy within myself, that all I want to do is clean my room. And the great side effect to this trick is that you will most likely complete this task in a fraction of the time you thought it would take.

It really works! Try it!

 

Just put in the time.

Sometimes our impending projects become way too big that we are too scared to even start. We don’t even know where to start. We don’t know when it is finished. It’s just this big cloud of impending doom. Well that attitude ain’t gonna get us anywhere.

Whenever I panic about the enomity of the task ahead, and how I don’t even know where to start, Miss Prescot will always say to me “Malavika, just put in the time.”

What does she mean by that? She means that when a task is too big for us to get our cute little heads around, all we need to think about is putting in the time. Don’t think about how much you even plan to achieve in a certain time period – but just put in the time.

If I’m writing an essay, I don’t have to think “okay I am going to finish half the essay in 2 hours. GO!”, instead all I think is “Ok I’m going to spend 1 hour on this essay.” That’s it.

And then I spend one hour on the essay.

And I feel better. And I can breathe a sigh of relief. Because I’ve done something. I’ve done something other than just sitting there freaking out about it. I’ve made progress. I’ve taken the first step.

And if I can do that, I can do anything!

So next time, instead of panicking about HOW MUCH you have to do, JUST PUT IN THE TIME.

If you put in the time, everything else will fall into place.

 

—-

The other day I was meditating and I was talking to Miss pdubs about how I felt like my to-do list was building up and I was getting caught behind. And how it was overwhelming. And how I needed to make a plan.

She gave me the best advice. She said:

“Malavika, having a plan is important. And you should definitely take the time to make one. But at the end of the day, the secret to getting ahead is to start NOW with what you have.”

That’s it. Don’t wait for other resources to fall into place because we already have enough to make a difference now. We have what we have. And we have right now. This is our moment of power.

What can you do right now that will make your life a little bit easier, a little bit more productive?

Start now.

Just do it.

 

How I do New Year

Hello my sweet things!

It has taken many new-years before I finally found my own personal recipe for the perfect new year. The best part is that all you really need is love, open eyes and an open heart. And some special people to share it with.

This is what I do:

I de-clutter my space

Ah yes, the big clean! The 31st is my favourite day to put on my sweats, tie my hair back, rubber gloves on, and on my hands and knees scrubbing away. It is so important to start the new year with a clean space and a clean mind. It’s hard to have a clutter free mind if our surroundings are constant reminders of all the chaos that may have accumulated (quite naturally) from 2010. Get rid of the things you don’t need, love, or use. Feng-shui up your life!

I’m going to direct you to an article from the blog of my friend and business coach Heather White, which gives you a first hand experience of the benefits of de-cluttering. Check out her other articles too! She’s awesomelicious.

http://www.heatherwhite.ca/confessions-of-a-perfectionist/sometimes-you-just-have-to-take-your-life-by-storm/

I set my space

Now everything’s sparkly and clean. Now what? Now I have to set myspace for new year! Pretty it up. Light candles, turn on my Christmas lights. Play music. Bring in fresh flowers. Burn incense.

I take a lovely hot cleansing bath with sea salts

I find that hot baths with natural sea salts really help raise my vibration to be in total alignment with the vibration I want to be in to attract my highest good. It is also a greatly cleansing experience – I simply visualize the hot water washing away any negative energy or residue that is trapped within me. I let it go.

I make myself feel pretty!

Dressing up is a must. I’ll wear a pretty dress with some killer shoes, do my hair, paint my toes, wear some sweet perfume. Because looking good makes you feel good, and when you feel good, you can accomplish anything!

I spend time in meditation

I will either do a guided meditation, or sit in stillness for some time. I also have this great CD that has the “Om” mantra repeated over and over again many times. I’ll put that on and let that echo through the house. And it feels blissful!

I set my intention for the year

I take the time to find my ONE powerful intention that I can use for the entire year. Something that is in total alignment with all my intentions and wishes for myself. I haven’t figured out what mine will be yet. But when I do, I’ll be sure to share!

I set my goals for the year

YAY this is so much fun! This year I have set it in the following categories “Spirituality/My work, Personal development, Financial, School, Hobbies/Things to “do”)

I usually just allow myself to write whatever comes to my head at first. And then I go through my list and refine it, choosing only the most important ones. It’s better to have a few focused goals, than many goals that may excite you but you do not feel totally committed to you. Commitment is key! Do you feel butterflies in your tummy when you write about it? If not, then it probably doesn’t need to be there. Be honest with yourself. What do you WANT. Not what other people want, or what you think you should want. But what do YOU want. Can you make the commitment, tonight, to make 2011 a year of making all your dreams come true?

I write a letter to myself

I’ll write a letter to myself on the new year about my experience of 2010, that I will read in the next new year. It’s an eye-opening experience, to see how much I have achieved, experienced, and explored. It is a great opportunity to show total gratitude for my life, and to see how much I have grown.

I engage in something that is aligned with fun and joy!

Make sure you take the time to really engage in something that  is fun and joyful to do! This can mean something different to everybody!  You may like to go and party like rockstar, or light fireworks, or listen to your favourite music! For myself, I like to dance and laugh with people I love. So this is something I make sure I incorporate into my new-year routine!

 

 

So there it is, this is what I like to do on new years. A couple of other things I didn’t write about – but I also like to give myself a reading, make my predictions for 2011 (And write them down so I can verify how accurate they have been), talk to miss prescot, and watch the fireworks from a distance.

I’m going to and play with my puppy outside for some time now. I will write you again soon 🙂

 

 

How to get things done to get ahead!

We’re getting to that point in the year where things begin to get quite overwhelming. Winter is setting in, deep and dark. Christmas is approaching, along with New Year – a time where we yearn for things to be different.

For students, this is a time with finals, group projects, and assignment deadlines are looming over our cute little heads like a dark cloud.Everything is happning at once, and this can be overwhelming.You miss one class. Or forget to do one thing on your to-do list. And before you know it, you have an endless list of things to do that never seem to get done. You don’t even know where to start. You don’t een know how to start!

So, how do you feel on top of things?

First of all, where is this feeling of being overwhelmed coming from?

– You have a lot of “unfinished business”. You’re making a mess.

Everytime a new task comes your way – whether its something that needs your action or simply your attention – you open up something new. And the more open things we have, the more stressed out we become. Until we have an efficient way or collecting, organzing, and working through our mess, we’re just going to get more and more stressed out!

The way to eliminate this feeling is to firstly, decide what you want to do with the task, and then, if you can, do it!

– You don’t have a efficient means of collecting this “unfinished business” in one place.

Instead, we try to grasp at things and “remember” them for a more appropriate time. You write a few tasks in your calender, some in your PDA, remind your best friend to remind you of something later, and most things we try to simply just “remember”. But this is incredibly inefficient and is the leading cause to our lack of productivity. And not only our lack of productivity, but even just that nauseating feeling we get sometimes when we just don’t even know how to start. How do we know what to do next if we don’t even know WHAT we have to do? What we need to do, is create a better system for collecting your tasks and to-do’s.

The best advice I have heard on this step is to find just ONE place to collect it. Two if you must. But let the second one be a “Transitionary” collector – a place where things go to be processed before making it to your primary collector. For example, you may have a notepad to write down all incoming tasks in your day (perhaps because it is more convenient to carry around a notepad), and then when you decide to review your tasks, you move them into your PDA or whatever it is you kids play with these

– You are not being as productive with your time as you should be because you do not know what the first step to take is.

This one is a no brainer. If you don’t know exactly what to do – and I don’t mean just some vague idea of the direction you’re going – I mean knowing exactly the next action step you must take – then the chances are, you ain’t gonna take it. You’re gonna waste your time doing the less important tasks because the next action step might be more obvious. You’re gonna call a friend. You’re gonna talk about how you are feeling so overwhelmed in your life. You’re gonna spend hours on facebook.

I know the story.

 

So, let’s fix it!

You have a lot of unfinished business – you’re making a mess.

Yeah. This is life. Welcome.

First of all, get rid of any unrealistic expectations you have about how “Finished” your business should be. There will always be something to do. Fact.Your inbox will never be fully empty. Maybe for a few moments. This is the dynamic nature of life. It’s a cool thing, really.

Our unhappiness doesn’t come from the fact that we have a lot to do (infact, we can derive a sense of purpose and drive from feeling that we have steps to take forward), but it is the fact that we are not efficiently dealing with the things in our inbox.

Try to see it like this: everytime a new incoming tasks comes to your attention, a new box opens up. Every single thing that you need to “do”, delegate, or simply attend to in some way- you’re opening a new box. And note that you’re not labelling these boxes. You’re just bringing in these half opened boxes into your brand new apartment. And you’re making a mess! Using this analogy, it seems obvious to work through the boxes, and start labeling them, and then figure out where to put them. You keep em’, or you get rid of em’. It’s simple. If only we could do this with our mental tasks.

Well, hey, you can!

So, let’s begin.

Remember that as the number of half opened boxes increases in your mind-apartment, the more stress you feel. Thre more stress you are under, the higher your chances are of feeling overwhelmed.

 

—-

1. Collect all information

I want you to take 5 minutes out of your life right know to brainstorm everything you need to do today, tomorrow, this week, in life, in general.

Don’t worry about putting things into any order or even making sense. Just write. go. go. go!

Trust me, this is going to feel real good!

Your cute little head can’t handle any more information!

This is good for your soul.

My physics professor would say “Even if you don’t have to, Solve quadratic equations – it’s good for your soul.”

I’m not convinced. Yet.

(You can even put in random important dates etc. Whatever “information” is in your mind that you need to remember and do something about)

 

2. Split up these tasks into categories.

So now let’s make sense of this mess.

This is equivelent to labelling the boxes “cutlery” and “books”. School? Work? Relationships? House stuff? Hobbies? Extra curricular ? Sport? Spirituality?

 

3. Go through each one and ask yourself these questions:

Now that you’ve organized everything, you need to decide what to do.Go through each task that comes up on your list:

Can I take action on this within the next five minutes?

If Yes – do it! There’s no time like the present, y’all!

If No – Here you can either:

a)  Delegate it (is there someone else who can do it for you?)

b) Or you can defer it (put it on your calender for later date. Schedule it in.)

For example – if you really need to study physics (Ummmm personal example) like BADLY, but you can’t do it within the next five minutes, then I would schedule it in for tomorrow at 6:00-9:00pm at the library. Now it is no longer on my mind and causing me stress, because in my soul, I feel like I have done something about it. I’ve taken care of an important matter. I’m going to fix it. Don’t worry about it.

c) Or trash it! Do you really really have to do it?

There are many times we take on menial tasks in our life that we just can’t afford to spend our time, energy and money on. Why is this on your list? Maybe out of your good will and good heart, but is this the best thing for you? Perhaps not. Get comfortable with saying no, and not feeling like a failure. If there is something that has been on your to-do list for days, weeks, and months, you really need to ask yourself these questions. Is there a reason you keep putting it off? Why? Do you really need to do it? If you don’t, then be gone with it! Hasta la vista, baby.

 

Now go through your calender, with all your new scheduled tasks in.

It must feel good. Dance classes, assignment deadlines, library study parties, dinner dates, family outings, things to do.

You should feel a big weight off your shoulders.A big cause of stress is not all the things we have to do but our disorganization of it.

Having everything written down on your calender- a place that will be effective in reminding you of where and when you need to be somewhere doing something that eneds to be done, will feel great!

Now start doing the things on your list!

come on.

Have will power.

Keep your word.

Get things done.

 

Today.