When I look back on my life before I had my daughter, I see that I was quite unapologetic about the way I lived. I didn’t pay attention to my weaknesses, joked about my poor habits and was never focused on improving the quality of my life. Sure I wanted to age beautifully, talk intelligently, be successful in my work, live a healthy, wholesome life and have a loving, meaningful relationship with my husband, but that was the extent of it. My wanting it all was where my aspirations for myself ended and I mostly believed that I was walking on the right path and will eventually achieve all that I want from life. Little did I know, that a tiny person will come into my seemingly perfect life and shake the very core of my beliefs in myself.
When the initial chaos of being a first time mother was finally over and I found a bit of time to think about how our lives have changed and what this means for our future, I started to panic. Sure, I felt amazing for having given birth to this bundle of perfection but I also didn’t feel adequate enough to raise her. The weight of the responsibility that rested on me felt too much to bear and I constantly questioned my husband if I was right for the job. For the first time ever, I was forced to critically analyze my entire way of life and in all honesty, I felt burdened by my own self. The true meaning of being a Parent and all that it entails dawned on me and I realized that from now on, all my actions will determine the kind of person my daughter will grow up to be. The way I treated the people around me, my relationships, my work ethic, my eating habits, the way I dressed, the way I handled conflict, the way I handled failure, my bond with her father and the kind of home I make for her, everything will influence her tiny mind and leave a mark on her personality. It was time to make some changes.
Over the past year or so I have gradually worked on improving myself. The first step in this process was highlighting the changes I wanted to make in my personality and my life. The list that resulted from this exercise was surprisingly long, with some seriously unattainable targets. Nonetheless, I didn’t give up. Writing more, eating healthy, apologizing when I realized I was wrong and checking my temper were some of the changes I was focused on. But the issue I faced was simply losing interest or getting distracted by other things that were happening around me. What I mean is, I didn’t work on any of these changes long enough or consistently enough for them to turn into habits.
In the beginning of this year, I heard a Ted Talk by a guy named Matt Cutts in which he talks about trying something new for 30 days. In his experience, 30 days is a long enough duration for you to practice something to make a habit out of it. This was enlightening but the part of his talk that stuck with me was that when you give yourself a challenge to do daily for a month, you assign value to your time, you make each day more memorable instead of simply watching the days fleet away. The idea stuck with me and I decided to give it a try some day in my life.
Last week presented the perfect opportunity. I realized that I am losing my temper with my daughter at the slightest of reasons and am also unusually snappy with The Husband. That is when I decided, enough is enough. I need to challenge myself for 30 days and see if I can consciously improve my disposition. I went online to see if there were others like me and I found hordes and hordes of people who have tried this challenge to improve their lives. I took some inspiration from others and created my own curated list of do-able challenges. The first challenge that I have given myself, which I will start on the 1st of August is to not argue with The Husband for 30 days. I am certain that we can avoid arguments and rationally talk about any matter, regardless of its proportion. I am also interested in finding new ways to handle conflicts if and when they arise in our relationship. Here I am sharing my list of challenges for the coming months.
I will choose a challenge from this list at the beginning of each month depending on what is going on with my life. At the end of 30 days, I will report back on whether or not I completed the challenge, how easy or difficult it was and how I felt throughout. All of you are welcome to start your own challenge or join in on mine and we can root for each other. If I manage to complete these challenges and make a few of these habits stick, I will feel extremely proud. Looking forward to the new and improved Me. Thank you for reading.