2015 in the hindsight

2015 is my best year ever in almost all areas of my life.

I learned a few good ideas, built a great momentum for my goals, and continued my habit streaks.

In October I put everything I have been up to in my /now page. This is the one of the best things I did this year. Writing this page has helped me think about what is important to me so I can say no to everything else. I have based my 2015 review on my /now page because it is essentially what I have been up to this year.

Family

I have spent a reasonable time with my son throughout the year but I wish I could have spent a bit more time with my wife. Our romance is ever strengthening although we get only a little time to spend together on a daily basis after working on our jobs, career aspirations and taking time to exercise. We try to make most of the little our-time we have but we always yearned for more. On the bright side, I like how much ambitious we both are.

This year we have also strengthened friendships with few other families. We have few but deep friendships with others.

There will always be challenges, but most of my extended family are largely doing great.

Work

My knowledge, skills and contributions have increased inline with my experience. I continue to enjoy my day job which gives me a chance to learn new things, solve problems and help people everyday. It also gives me a chance to write more and advance my writing skills. I have a reasonable freedom and flexibility to choose what and when I work. I continue to enjoy the little goodies like free parking, free breakfast and fruit.

I also love the fitness culture of my workplace. I am lucky to be among too many fit colleagues, including my trainer who runs the exercise classes for all of us at our workplace.

Chaitanya 3.0

This is my side project that takes up most of my free time. I am proud of what I have achieved this year.

Exercising

2015 is my fittest year ever.

I continued to see myself as someone who doesn’t miss workouts.

As a result, I exercised for 127 hours this year. This is 17 hours more than the time I spent exercising in 2014 . I ran ten 5ks. Starting with WWWP5k on a Sunday in October, I ran every Sunday until the end of this year. I can now do 50 push ups straight. I started from zero only six months ago and practiced every single day. Three of my colleagues and I did 200 push ups each to raise $200 for Movember Foundation.

I squat 32 kg and swing 24 kg comfortably. I pushed myself few times to squat 40 kg and 48 kg and swing 32 kg albeit for fewer reps.

I exercise to master my body and be healthy so I can give a best shot to my aspirations. External results like lean body, muscle and low body fat are nice side effects I can’t help but enjoy. I have a long way to go and I am far behind the body I admire. But I am happy with my interim results.

I couldn’t have moved more this year. I am grateful that I got to move this much.

Meditation

I started meditating this January and did a newbie mistake. I tried to sit still for 20 minutes and failed badly. So I ditched the Coach.me meditation plan and finally started using the Calm app that was idling on my iPhone for all of last year. I started with 7 Days of Calm program and settled for meditating just ten minutes a day.

As I write this, I am riding a 172 day streak, my longest ever. I meditated for a total of 37 hours and 18 minutes over 226 sessions. I look forward to continue enjoying ten minutes of calm everyday.

Elevate

This is another tiny habit on which I spend as little as ten minutes everyday. I played this educational game everyday this year. I am proud of my 488 day streak.

Besides meditation, I use this great little app to train my brain and improve my cognizance little bit everyday.

Eating healthy

I got serious about eating right this year because I realized that my eating habits are acting against my exercising efforts. So I got better at eating right this year to maximize my exercising gains.

My appetite has reduced and I couldn’t eat as much as I used to eat. I started snacking on raw veggies and nuts. I have reduced my sugar and junk food intake. I am done with sugary cereals. I have also reduced the size of my portions. I tried to quit coffee earlier this year. But I learned that moderate caffeine is good for health and resumed drinking a small cup mid-morning, every workday.

I feel lighter and energetic by eating less. Although I improved, this is still an ongoing battle. I am not prefect but I am progressing.

Reading

I read few but good books this year. The two best books that taught me  a lot are: The Slight Edge and Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff .
I also read a book each on eating well and exercising to make sure I am on right track.

Learning to write well

I spent a significant amount of time this year learning to write well. I believe that writing well is an important skill regardless of what we do. I also love writing for journaling and clarifying my thinking and ideas. Writing is one of my creative pursuits. Despite sucking at it, I like playing with words. I forget time while putting words together and trying to perfect the prose. My only challenge is that I take a lot of time to write and spend even more time to edit what I wrote. But this is something I enjoy. So I don’t complain.

I read and re-read three books: The basics of clarity and grace, The Elements of Style, On Writing Well. The first book is expensive to buy but I own there the two. Reading these books has helped me find the awkward mistakes green writers make and the common writing pitfalls to avoid.

But there is no way I can remember everything I read in those books. So I practice writing as much as I can. Thankfully my day job and side projects involve a lot of writing . This is besides blogging and few other opportunities I have to write. I am wide open for others to edit my words and I genuinely appreciate and learn from the feedback.

I expect that if I continue practicing this process, I get better over time.

Blog

I enjoy writing and styling for this blog. I am proud of everything I have written here. This is my place on the web where I share my ideas and thoughts. So I will continue doing it.

Besides these big things, I used my short commute time to listen to Hindu epic Bhagavatam and learned a great deal about myself. I also listened to good podcasts like few episodes of The Tim Ferriss Show and others. I quit Toastmasters as I couldn’t do justice to the Toastmasters Promise. I stopped practicing touch typing. I still can’t touch type numbers row but I have mastered all main rows. I anyway type a lot everyday so I stopped spending time to deliberately practice.

My paternal grandpa has left this world in July. My maternal grandma underwent a surgery in September and someone who I felt like my sister has left the country in December. These are the three low times of 2015 I felt immensely emotional.

Overall, 2015 has been awesome for me because I have lived well the three principles I have set for myself in 2014.

Thank you 2015 for being nice and giving me way more than what you have taken away from me.

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