I’ve been thinking about self-improvement lately. It is different than making lofty goals or clichéd resolutions. These are not about working out or giving up junk food! It is more about the practical, things in my day-to-day lifestyle that I’d really like to do. For myself. To learn something new, to improve on a skill I am passionate about, to go back to doing something that makes me really happy. Or even work towards a habit that doesn’t contribute to my life.
As I sat down to do this exercise of evaluating my own ” to learn/to read/to improve/ to checkout” ever-growing list, here are a few things that I’d like to be working on.
// Stop feeling guilty about sleeping earlier than I used to with my previous lifestyle
I have always been a night own versus a morning person, working late into the night, most nights past midnight and being able to function well on 5-6 hours of sleep. But lately, I just havent been able to keep my eyes open past 10.30-11pm. And I feel insanely guilty about it. I try to force myself to stay awake and work and that turns to out be to half as productive or actually not at all! On top of that, I hate waking up and feeling bad about sleeping.
As a first step, I want to start accepting the fact that my lifestyle is different now, life as a parent is a whole another level of change in lifestyle along with the other things. Understanding the importance of sleep and that it is much-needed to recharge, replenish and be a better person for the next day . Waking up feeling guilty is no way to start the day and I want to work towards changing that.
//Reading more ( get well-informed and well-read)
I am not talking about reading more books here, although I’d love that too. I used to be read quite a lot until a few years ago. But then with changed priories and life becoming 10X busier, I just don’t get to read as much as I’d like to. My dad is one of the busiest people I know and also the most well-read. He always has something to contribute to any conversation, any topic, literally any topic under the sun! His advice – spend about 30 minutes a day reading. Current affairs, skim the paper, pick a topic that you are curious about and read it, research it, enjoy being curious, learn something new!
//Call people I care about ( Forwarding a message on Watsapp or commenting on a Facebook post is not keeping in touch ! )
Last weekend I was talking to an aunt with whom I only talk to twice a year – my birthday and her birthday. I don’t like the sound of it but it is what it is. Life is busy, priorities, work, family … we all get it. Now with Facebook and WatsApp – the idea of picking up the phone and calling a relative is almost becoming extinct! Why call when you can wish someone on messaging or leave a comment on Facebook?
But then as I was talking to my cousin and must have talked for almost 20 minutes. Catching up on both our lives, sharing stories of our kids, what I was cooking, a random kitchen tip she shared, all of that – it felt amazing! That doesn’t happen over social media or texting. Unless you have a good commute, calling someone doesn’t gets less of a place on your agenda. But a quick 5 minute call every once in a while, that isn’t too hard.
// Saying NO to social commitments that don’t feed my soul
This one is tough, Ill admit that. But I am very protective about my time. Time is a luxury and spending quality time with my daughter and husband is my priority. My work and doing things I love are my priority. Over the years, through different phases of life – there are friendships that we fall out of. People that were extremely close to us at one point in life, aren’t any more in the current season of life. There are people who breathe negative vibes in your life.
I used to be the type of person who could not say no to an invitation. I felt socially obligated, feeling the FOMO, afraid of being judged for declining. I would hang out with people who would suck out the joy of your self or push myself to gatherings that I would dread going to. Not anymore. I am very judicious about my time and my people. I am very content spending time with my family or reading or relaxing or binging on reality TV rather than forcing myself in a setting that gives me no joy. The JOMO ( joy of missing out ) sounds just fine.