Lifestyle Change Is A Journey With Checkpoints

Sanjeev Yadav
The Startup
Published in
6 min readOct 25, 2019
Source: Unsplash

Pen It Down

Day 1, I woke up at 5AM confused with what to do in the next few hours. And today is Day 100, the time when I am the strongest version of myself: following daily routine like an organized student, being the ideal child your parents want you to be, being the unique funny guy your coworkers and friends call you, and most importantly: pushing to be a better version of yourself every day.

And the days I just mentioned, are when I thought of giving self-care a try and see how much I can improve on my own, see what the fuss is all about calling this thing under-rated. And after 100 days of overthinking devoid activities, I mean it when I say this:

“Life feels magic. Every damn day.”

I developed the habit of reading and writing in these days and thought of documenting this journey. Worst comes to worst, I will look back and motivate myself every time my laces are loose.

“Coz it’s all about the reaction to situations. You can chose to be stronger, not weaker. Get better or get bitter.”

From A Night Owl To An Early Bird

“If it is easy, then it might not be interesting.”

Typical college life till this April. Sleeping around 2 AM and waking up around 7:55 AM to attend the lecture at 8'o clock. How we have this God-speed? Even we don’t know. And we didn’t care because it worked for us.

Sleeping in lectures, sleeping after lectures. And when you finally go to bed at no reasonable time, you can’t sleep. What now? Scroll Instagram, like that will help you sleep with your not-so-smartphone. 🤦🏽‍♂️

You are just letting FOMO destroy your presence of mind and focus on everything but yourself. Dopamine will not help you sleep silently dear, melatonin will. Night is not the time to excite your brain with social media simulated thoughts, let it cool down, absorb and process every good thing you have done over the entire day.

All I meant in last paragraph is:

“The way you start your day sets up the tone for the rest of the day.”

Early morning routine may not work best for everyone. That’s because the internet has provided us with so much options to stay busy and worked up that even after 9 to 5 hustle, you still have some work to finish before you go to bed. The extra work might be related to your 9 to 5 job, or maybe a side-gig you are working on. But if you pay attention, you can manage it coz life is short, change is inevitable and if you don’t move with it, it will drag you and slam you down.

Time Management Depends On Energy Management

“You can do anything you want. But only if you learn to manage time.”

See, sounds easy right? Finish everything just before bed time to have a good quality sleep for straight 7–8 hours. Wake up next morning with high energy level to crush the day again.

But it is not easy and simple if time management is the thing we all struggle with. Brain needs time to relax. Body needs to relax. And everything aside, you need to relax.

It all starts with how you start your day. I start by setting my bed (gives me a sense of organization), doing some fitness activites like going to gym and rewarding myself with a healthy but tasty breakfast that will propel me through the day.

Definitely it was not easier for me. Managing three jobs along with improving my fitness levels, I am saying it never starts easy.

“Life happens to you or for you, you get to decide.”

You choose whether you want it easy or you want it interesting. As long as time management is concerned, we all have 24 hours in a day, but when it comes to energy management, the way you spent it has direct impact on your time management starting from the yellow sunlight.

And let’s agree, we cannot be at peak performance all day-long. Machines do that. We are humans. Our energy levels depends on the time of the day, environment we are in and sometimes, people drain your energy too. Google “energy vampires” and you might need to re-think about your social circles. 😂

How to practice energy management is an entirely different topic, which I plan to cover in future articles.

But right now, we’ll see how I made it through 100 days of habit(s) development while maintaining the work-life balance.

Goal Oriented vs Process Oriented

When have you ever tried to develop a new habit and see it worked out for good? Tried may be for few days and quit? May be few weeks and quit? If you fall in any of these categories then you know what is lacking: Motivation.

And why we lack motivation? Because:

The goals we set are sometimes too ambiguous that it is hard to visualise them.

And when it is hard to visualise, it is hard to track and improve also. And don’t even think of maintaining it then. This is the problem with goal-oriented mentality which can be fixed if you mix some process-oriented ideology with it.

Say you got your first job. You are happy. Everyone is nice to you. You are getting along with the ecosystem. Your life feels sorted.

Few months down the line, you start feeling that my next job might be more interesting. Maybe I will get more salary in my next job and I will be happy. May be if I work my shoes tight at this current job, I will get a raise by the end of the year and that will make me happy.

Going from “Everything I want” to “I appreciate everything I have” requires gratitude.

But if you’ve come this far, you know that responsibility comes in the way for good. If you get a raise, your workload will increase. If you change your job, you will need to re-adjust according to the cultures at your new company.

So the happiness status you were striving for, it has gone more far, isn’t it?

Materializing happiness with short-lived achievements will only get you to square one: craving happiness.

Experimenting Is Everything. Learning Is Lifelong.

Source: Unsplash

“If you truly want something, you will find a way. If you don’t want it that bad, you will find an excuse.”

It all boils down to values and priorities you have set for yourself. When you are in school, priority is to ace academics and get to a great college. Then college strikes, job happens, family begins and bring it on: SOCIETY NORMS. You want to outgrow them, but you are scared of judgements, right?

The actions you take stem from your values. Like, if you want to create your own startup, then morning routine may not work for you because you have to be proactive 24/7. If you have a balanced workload and you are trying to become more active by going to gym after or before office hours, then morning or evening both will work for you.

Morning workout energises your entire day, evenings’ will relax your day.

Lifestyle change does not occur in a day or in a week. But when I practiced this experiment for 100 days straight, crossing one day from my calendar every day, learning every day, I saw the change and I agree I hit many set-backs and there is still room for perfection. But rising from every steep valley made me stronger and challenges amuse me now.

When you are positive in your journey, you are radiant and you spread it. When you take solitude as time to re-think about yourself distraction-free, then people want to be around you. And most importantly, when you learn to be happy alone, people are attracted by you and they will miss you for you.

So, never find a reason to jinx your smile. Coz it goes a long way and I am also smiling when I end this post with a warm heart.

Believe it or not, minimalism, energy management and scheduling your priorities all comes down to specific goals you’ve set for yourself and if you have a system to track your progress, then life will happen for you, not to you.



Sanjeev Yadav
The Startup

Writer • Mentor • Recovering Shopaholic • IITR 2019 • ✍🏼 Personal Growth, Positive Psychology & Lifelong Learning• IG & Threads: sanjeevai