Brand Ambassador for FitBit.

Disclaimer : This post is not officially sponsored by FitBit.  Well….. nor is it unofficially.

Apologies for the catchy title,  and if it led you to believe what I may have intended to.

BUT….  If being a strong proponent of an amazing device that changes life for the better makes one its ambassador,  then yes, the title does stand true.

I have not held myself back from advocating FitBit’s benefits and “showing-off” my stats to friends at any given opportunity.  It was always a deliberate attempt,  with the prime self-objective being to increase my “accountability” circle.  The bigger you can grow this accountability support circle, the more chances you have to stick to your habit / goals.

It has been such a life changer for me, that given a chance and disposable money, I would like to gift this to all my family and friends. Such has been its positive effect on me.

Seeing is Believing.
Simply put,  what you don’t see, you don’t know.

When you start seeing pretty visuals of your efforts,  I believe it stimulates the areas of your brain that fire to keep these new-formed pretty patterns intact.  It is similar to Jerry Seinfeld’s “Don’t Break the Chain Technique”.   When done over a long period of time, it becomes a routine,  which then becomes a habit. It becomes second nature and automatic,  just like you waking up to brush your teeth.  Your mind is not divided in making a simple decision, whether to brush or not.


This is the Annual Report card that FitBit has created for me from Jan-Dec 2016. The Goal was set at achieving minimum 10,000 steps a day,  and  I say with satisfaction that it was met in all months in 2016.  Both May and Nov 2016 being the outlier months at the two extreme ends. Seeing all these achievements spread across the whole year, I am more than motivated to keep the chain intact in 2017.  Raising the bar to 15,000 steps a day now.

The Key takeaway from 2016 :  It is Impossible,  until it’s Done.

Thanks FitBit.


Life Lessons from a Lost Tooth.

As I lay on the Dentist’s chair, my mouth wide open and already gone numb with the effect of the local anesthesia kicking in, the seriousness of the situation dawned on me.  My tooth no. 37 was going to be extracted soon.

“Afraid?”, I heard the Dentist say. Less of a concern, more of a chuckle;  he making sure I know that he enjoyed doing his job.

“Well”, he continued, “You should have taken care of your tooth if you don’t like this.”

And then it struck me.  He was right. It was my fault alone,  to have brought myself to this chair and under his hammer and tongs.  It was near an year now,  since the crown that covered my root canaled tooth had come off. That too while eating a banana. So much for quality these days.   Well, it so happens that I being at my procrastination best, kept planning of going to the dentist “the next week”.  And that week never came.  Ultimately, a screening showed that before an infection finds my tooth roots,  I need to get it extracted.  With the boot hitting the shin now,  I found myself on this chair the very next day.  If Only….  I had been just a bit more caring towards my poor tooth.

As I was recollecting the journey to this chair, the Dentist was busy doing his job. In no time, he had skilfully extracted the bad tooth and not the good one next to it.  He did know his art. He wrapped it in a plastic bag like a gift,  and handed it back to me.

I sat in the chair,  with the packet in my hand, staring at the lone tooth that had been separated from its siblings forever. To my surprise, I found my self very calm and felt as if my philosophical self had been activated in overdrive. May be it was the aftereffects of the local anesthesia still playing with my brain cells. This tooth was, but a part of my own body, having served me well for so many years.  It was there to shred the toughest of morsels to paste, and letting me enjoy all types of food to the fullest. On my part I had not given it back the rewards of its service as should have been due.  Sitting there, I vowed to not find myself on this chair in similar circumstances again and be a good caretaker to my remaining teeth (and body).

Sometimes it takes an adversity to get some lessons across.  And these may be  very simple lessons that you learnt as a kid, but hold true all through life. Here I am only repeating 2 gems that everyone knows,  but seldom follow;

  • Prevention is Better than Cure.
    It can’t be put across in more simple words. Why not avert the problem altogether if it can be done by taking some actions today?  Cost-wise also, mental cost as well as the monetary cost,  it is better to avoid what can be avoided. A preventive action is like investing in an insurance, to be better prepared if the eventuality does surface in future.
  • A Stitch in Time, Saves Nine.
    This is the mantra of the proactive few,  those who dont follow the art of procrastination.  A small action taken at the right time, saves a whole lot of work (and cost) one may have to endure if delayed and delayed.  And this applies to all facets of life,  whether for health or work.
    Why Nine ?  Well,  simply because it rhymes with Time.  🙂  (Ref:  Thomas Fuller )

A lesson learnt late,  is still a lesson learnt well.  I hope the sacrifice of the “tooth” doesn’t go in vain.
Do you have any life lessons learnt from everyday life moments ?  The day to day events, which when seen in retrospection can have something for you to take away for a better YOU.
If yes,  then please do share.  



2017 : To Resolve, is to Renew.

Is it just me,  or does time seem to be running faster for everyone else as well ?

Before we even know,  the year 2016 is soon going to be history and we will see ourselves on the porticoes of year 2017.  As is the tradition,  a convenient time to put a blanket on all that was achieved ( or planned but not achieved ) in the past year,  and start afresh in 2017 with a blank slate.  And there is no dearth of articles floating around and trying level best to catch your eye;  7 ways to…,  3 sure shot tricks to… 5 Steps for…, 10 Top Strategies for… You just have to search,  and the overload of advice is sure to overwhelm you.

I will speak from my own personal experience,  and the loads of good advice I assimilated from the reading I did in this gone year related to changes to self. As the year ends,  I am satisfied at meeting my “10,000 steps per day” goal 100% on monthly averages. It wasn’t easy, but I also proved to my self that it isn’t impossible. And the positive effects of this spilled over to other aspects of life as well.  To 2017,  I look at further stretching my goal and adding a few new ones as well.

Here is my 3-cents of “acquired advice”;

Resolve (Verb): Decide firmly on a course of action.
Renew (Verb) : Give fresh life or strength to.

Hence the title of this blog. You need to keep making resolutions,  as that is the only way to keep instilling fresh energy into yourself.

1. With a view on the Big Goal,  Start Small.

Whatever BIG you may resolve to achieve this year, do not attempt to achieve it on Day 1 or Month 1.  I love the analogy of a small kid learning to walk. First gain the confidence of standing up on 2 feet,  then focus on the small baby steps.  Learn to walk first,  and only then attempt to run. Try cutting corners and attempting too much too soon,  and like the little baby,  you may end up falling on your face.

2. If you fall down,  Stand Up.

Again to the analogy of the little poor kid. If you have seen one learning to walk, you would remember how the child continues to fall down, yet get up and attempt to walk again. That too with a smile and a giggle.  You will rarely see a kid crying during these formative learning times.
The same needs to be applied to your resolutions as well.  There may be times when the Goal will look too far fetched and you will feel let down by your own self.  You may miss a day or two, and be tempted to miss even more, taking you even farther from your line of control. Think of these as stepping stones on your journey,  and remember to Stand Up and Start Again as soon as you can.  Remember you had that resolve in you as a kid,  and you still have that strength within.

3. Keep a track of your progress.

Here is the oft-repeated quote by Peter Drucker that sums this up aptly – “If you can’t measure it,  you cannot improve / manage it.”  You need to know the results of your actions,  and keep a tab on them to understand the quantum of change you have achieved. Especially when it comes to keeping health and behavior related resolutions, you need to keep track of the progress to know how much and at what rate you are succeeding. It can be as simple as crossing on your calendar for a “DONE” day,  a simple yet powerful technique known famously as “The Seinfeld Method”,  or “Don’t Break the Chain Method.”.

Whatever your resolution may be,  don’t fail in trying it.  Instead,  try failing while trying it.  

Make 2017 Count.



Don’t Fail to Try. Try to Fail.

Not very long ago, I read this statement in a book and it is unfortunate I am not able to recollect the exact source. Apologies for that and I will edit this once my memory comes back to aid..

Don’t Fail to Try. Try to Fail.

Once I read it,  it sounded very deep and didn’t make much sense. It was when I re-read it again a couple of times immediately that I admired the writer’s marvellous play of words. And it struck such a chord,  that it became a mantra I attempt to abide and live by.  Well, mostly.

The key takeaway here being,  that the first step you take towards a goal / habit, is the longest and hardest. It is like standing in front of Mt Everest and being so overwhelmed by the enormity of the task and the string of actions, that you do not even take that crucial first step. It is when we fail to take that very step,  that we actually fail.  Failure in mind and in action.  But if we can look beyond that initial deluge of “holding-us-back” emotions, and can resolve to at least try to fail once, that we start on the path of making a mole out of the mountain. ( And not the other way around).

Be it giving up an old bad habit,  or taking up a new one, do not fail and falter at the first step. Giving it an honest attempt, even if we know we may fail,  will be a positive step in the right direction.   So go,  and try to fail today !!

Will Power vs Wont Power.

It’s never going to be easy, never was.
Shun the advice of those who lead you to believe,  that embracing a new habit and maintaining that is easy.

There are 2 voices in your head,  lets call them Will and Wont.
Consider Will as the good ideal boy,  who loves following the right path. He is like the tortoise in the story, slow but steady.
In contrast, Wont is the naughty boy of the class. He loves taking the quickest path, paying no heed whether it is the right one. He is the rabbit in the story, fast and restless.

Will starts with a small amount of power, and muscles that take a lot of time and effort to develop well. But given the right feed of persistence and determination, it can evolve into a strong sustainable power with lots of positive energy.
Wont has boundless reservoirs of power, but his energy is negative and he cannibalizes on the power of Will to make himself more stronger. His power resides in constant excuses and rationalizations.

Now these 2 voices, Will and Wont, have always a tussle for hold on Power. Your new habit’s life depends on whether Will Power is strong or Wont Power.

It is now going to be almost a year since I became a morning person,  following a regular regime of walk and exercise for almost 85% of the days.  But despite that, my Wont Power does not leave a chance to spring up and eat up on my Will Power. It is kind of that dormant volcano,  which hasn’t been able to erupt for a long time but still is active. And given the right conditions conducive to it, can cause a huge explosion and a lot of harm to bring me back to square 1.

“Great, you have been going for 4 days at a stretch,  you deserve a break today.”
“It was very late last night,  just sleep a little longer only for today.”
“This has been a good month, lots of achievements. Time for some recuperation now.”

It is in times like these,  that your Will Power needs to show who is the boss. Succumbing to the rationalizations of Wont will lead to a chink in your hard-earned armor. Such feelings need to be identified for what they stand for,  and then allowed to just pass through. Understand that these will keep rising now and then,  but if no attention is paid, they have a very short life. Give them attention,  and they quickly tend to become very powerful.

Believe me,  with a strong voice of Will Power, the voice of Wont Power can be controlled. Developing your Will Power is like planting and growing a tree. With patience, persistence and focus, it will keep finding its roots and become strong enough to weather bad storms.

Feel free to share your experience,  if you also have faced this tussle in your head time and again.  And what can others learn from your experience.  Please do share.

Habits are Choices (but only @ the start)..

Habits begin as Choices

What a nice and simple way to look at them.

Choices that we make each and every day, starting from the time we wake up till we go to sleep.

The alarm rings @ 6 am; its a choice I make to wake up OR snooze off..

Once I wake up;  its a choice I have to go for a jog OR laze off the time..

What I eat for breakfast, is a choice.   Meeting and greeting people,  and being cheerful is a choice.

It’s only when these choices become second nature, and so automatic that you don’t have to give a second thought to make that choice, do you say that you have formed a habit. Same as with any other investment,  here you are investing your time and energy to nurture it. Like a small seedling,  once it finds its ground,  there will not be any reason to let it go. When its your unconscious self taking the control,  you know a habit is formed. And the ROI you reap on your investment of time and effort,  is much more valuable and satisfactory than any monetary returns.

A word of caution here :  As hard as it is to form a routine,  its that much easier to break the chain. Just like with any monetary investment,  you need to be regular and consistent in order to get the benefit of compounded returns.


Excerpts and Acknowledgements for my inspiration : The Sweet Spot (Christine Carter), The Power of Habit (Charles Duhigg)

Napolean Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”.

When you stay out of reading for a very long time,  you do not realize what you have been missing until and unless you get back to books. One book that I have just finished and one that I highly recommend as essential reading is Napolean Hill’s classic –  Think and Grow Rich.  I have found this so inspiring, that I have restarted it having finished once.

What makes the book so special?

For one,  this is a timeless classic first published in 1937 which is as relevant today as ever.

It so differs from the Technology and other self-help books that we see piled up in library racks nowadays.  Any technology / version that is new and current today,  soon gets out-dated.  All it needs is a new version to be released,  making the older one as outdated as B.C. Once a technology goes out of relevance,  it falls out of favor and is not touched again.
This is where classic motivational books like Think and Grow are leagues apart.  Even after decades,  the very soul of the book’s message touches you as it would have touched anyone in the era that it was written.  The only requirement being,  that you have to be in that evolved state of mind to absorb the messages that the book wants to convey.

Though the title suggests this book to be about only money and riches,  in actual it is about the power contained in strong desires and in the subconscious mind. The philosophy of the book’s message can be summarized that in order to get what you want you must;

1) Have a strong desire for any idea
2) Have the faith and belief in your idea
3) Have the will to act on your idea, and
4) Be persistent.

I highly recommend “Think and Grow Rich” to everyone, especially anyone who has a idea and willingness to do / achieve something,  but looking for some inspiration to put the idea into practice.

Also on the list of John Maxwell’s list of Must Reads

Happy Reading…