2019 will hold a special place in my heart for years to come. The last few years have been hectic. I was constantly chasing deadlines. Though there was always something to look forward to, the formalities and endless waiting games did have its shortcomings. After a few action-packed years where I felt I was always running, it was finally time for some rest. 

Over the years, I’ve started shifting my focus from setting goals to set up systems to help me every single day. 2019 was all about making small, sustainable changes to my life. The kind of changes I could live with, not something I could do only for a fixed time. I did some introspection to take stock of what I’ve been doing in various aspects of my life. I realized there were a few aspects that needed some work. They were mostly behavioral changes – stuff you cannot change overnight, but need to consciously work on for a while till it becomes the way of life. As always, there were a million things that I could think of, but for this year I picked 3 changes that improved my quality of life this year.

If you can’t do something all your life, don’t do it.

In this era of 90-day transformations, we are willing to go through any lengths to achieve our goals in the shortest possible time. I am all for short-term goals, but not instant gratification. We do so many things in our everyday lives, and not everything has to mean something. But if we are spending time and effort into making changes in our lives, we should be working on changes that we can continue for the rest of our lives. There were a few things I started working because of the fear of missing out, but then I realized I should be living my life, not someone else’s. So, when it came to working on a habit or making lifestyle changes, I picked up activities that aligned with my personality. 

This made me rethink everything I was doing. Instead of focusing on losing weight, I focussed on being consistent with my workouts. Instead of writing x number of posts or reading x number of books within a time-frame, I focussed on spending a few minutes writing and reading every day. Instead of following a ‘diet’, I created a meal plan which would give me enough protein, vegetables, fruits, and carbs throughout the day. There are a few things which we can do only for a short period, but when it comes to improving our ways of life, small, slow lifestyle changes is a better bet.

Stay away from negativity

This may have been the effect of watching Marie Kondo, but man was she right! If non-living things can spark joy or affect your mood, imagine the power of living beings around you. Our environment has a huge impact on our lives. We may like to believe that we have full control of our lives, but we are merely a product of the circumstance we find ourselves in. If you’re reading anger-inducing information, seeing people negatively impact you, mingle with people who always crib – it will play in your mind. From the movies you watch to the content you read and the people you speak with, everything has an impact on your mood. The worse part is, you never know how it can affect you. You end up getting annoyed and vent your frustrations on people for no fault of theirs. You can prevent these unnecessary complications by removing negativity from your life. I started being selective about who I spent my time with. I cleaned up my social media timeline and un-followed everyone who always had something negative to say. I stopped reading about people’s lives and filtered the type of information I consumed.

Of course, there are certain negative aspects of life which we need to anyway handle. But there are so many you can avoid. The world feels like a much better place all of a sudden.

Be bold to walk by yourself

When you start prioritizing your happiness and stop making sacrifices for others, some people start moving away from you. Some may even brand you selfish for not putting them before you (So, doesn’t that make them selfish?). People are comfortable as long as they get what they need. The minute they notice these changes, they try to demotivate you or stay away from you. If you choose your mental peace of mind over satisfying others – good for you. But you will also have to support yourself and lead the way. It takes guts to stand up to people to live life on your principles. But it also takes guts to be comfortable with who you are despite people being uncomfortable with your choices.

But you know what, I would rather people have a bad opinion about me than me trying to be nice and sulk all day. I talk back to people who try to put me down. I do it with a smile. You can’t have it both ways. But the best part if, you will figure out the genuine people in your life and you will realize you don’t need a crowd to cheer you every time. A handful, genuine souls who care for your well being are more than sufficient. 

When you’re about to turn 30 – you start seeing things from a completely different lens. I had to time to introspect and figure out what mattered to me. It gave me a much-needed perspective and helped me make better choices throughout the year. And it all started when I decided it was time I prioritized my peace of mind and satisfaction over everything else. I’m glad I started doing this. Perhaps, this will set the tone for the years to come. 

Is this the sign of getting old? I don’t think so. It’s the sign of getting wiser!

What are some big changes you made in 2019? How did it go for you?

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