Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Year In Review

As 2020 closes in, I have been eager to review my year,  figure out what worked, what didn’t and hit the ground running. This past weekend, I managed to devote a few hours to reviewing my planner and my 2019 notebook, and I can say there was a lot of things I learned about myself, and see areas to focus on for the coming year.  The list isn’t comprehensive, but it is stuff that stood out for me.  It is also not to humble brag, but to keep myself on track and accountable.

In 2019, I managed to

  • Attend the Samurai Game Workshop
  • Try Indoor Rock Climbing
  • Experience a Sensory Deprivation Tank
  • Reread and do The Artist’s Way
  • Write a Novel in a Month
  • Ate more vegan but not as regularly as I’d hoped for
  • Adopt an amazing Immigration Law Mentor
  • Do 3 legal Seminars
  • Volunteer 100s of hours at The Harriet Buhai as a family law attorney
  • Volunteer dozens of hours at the LACBA Immigration Legal Aid Project
  • Travel to Seattle, New York and Las Vegas
  • Run a Half Marathon
  • Read a dozen  plus books
  • Deadlift 375 pounds
  • Squat 245 pounds
  • Create a new accountability group to keep me on tasks for my goals
  • Continue my weekly accountability group call for most of the year. \

Yet, when I look at the list, I see so much more possibility for 2020. So much to still learn, grow from, so much more I could accomplish. I noticed that around October is when I ran out of juice and stopped posting updates in my planner. I did increase my note taking in the notebook, and I also faithfully updated my top weekly and monthly goals in a Google sheet I shared with 3 other people on a regular basis.  I also noted that I didn’t add too many personal things in my planner or notebook. Either it didn’t happen, or I didn’t give it the importance it deserves. There is also my nagging habit of being annoyed at things that I cannot control or being in judgement of others and their quirks. Too often, I am quick to assume or judge rather than taking the time to see the person in their light and not my experience. That changes in the coming year.

For 2020, I plan to focus in 3 major areas: Health, Law Practice and Relationships. To that end, I envision doing the following:

Health

  1. Run a Marathon
  2. Crossfit average 3 times a week and improve my weightlifting numbers and finally conquer the pull up
  3. Run a triathlon

Law Practice

  1. Do a minimum of 6 legal/educational seminars
  2. Complete mentorship on Immigration Law
  3. Build Referral Network through BNI and Provisors

Relationships

  1. Year of Travel with my wife
  2. Find New Place
  3. Phone Roulette: call someone randomly when free instead of scrolling mindlessly when waiting a prolonged time

It might seem foolish or even egotistical to make so many goals but I truly believe in the quote “A goal is a dream with a deadline.”  Happy New Year and I look forward to my journey in 2020!

 

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal, Myself, Random

Rigor and Accountability

Recently, a dear friend asked me my secret to my “rigor” i.e. my commitment to my vision to the various areas of my life. For a while, I didn’t know how to answer that question because to be quite honest, most days I feel like I am playing catch up. It’s easy to disregard the tasks that got done and compare myself to my large declarations for the year. I forget that to eat a whole pie, one has to start with the first diet (oh yeah, I love food).

Each morning, I wake up to a choice. stay put or move forward. There are days I go back to bed, but more often than not, I get up and begin my morning ritual of morning pages, meditation, morning reading, dog walking and sometimes the gym. I do it not out of obligation but the fervent belief in my vision: to be the best version of myself in all areas of my life.  I really sat with that. It wasn’t a wish or a desire. Well, it could be if I did nothing to make my vision come true. You see, vision doesn’t have to be specific, but it takes specific action to realize your vision.  To that end, I now have an accountability group that cares not only about my vision, but is more than willing to call me up when I am not feeling 100%.  I also use a planner, a time for tasks, google sheets to keep abreast on pending tasks and goal. I use many tools to ensure I am on task.

The past few weeks have not been easy as good friends are dealing with personal losses, and I wish I could do more to be in service to them. It’s tempting to lose focus, and allow the day to happen. And I admit there is time like that, but when I take time to reflect, to remember my reasons for being, I can do much for others when my heart is full.  There will be always be a crisis going on. Always a loss. Always something that pulls you toward an issue not of your making, and it’s remembering time and time again that if I am not fulfilled, if I am not committed to my vision, I will not be the best person for those tough situations.

So I train each day. I get up. I focus. I make declarations, and hope that I get to all of them. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Rigor isn’t about getting shit done, but it’s about checking in what it is that I want my life to be. It’s about knowing that I never gave up on myself. That I get to be my word to myself first because if I am not in integrity to myself, how can I believe i can be of service to others? So I get up. Kick ass. Then repeat.

Happy Monday!

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Setting Vision and Goal Keeping

A few weeks back, a few of us began on an unintentional journey. It began with just the two of us in the form of mentoring them, and now has turned into a full accountability group with daily check ins, weekly goal accomplishments and month long plans. We even have a fancy google sheet template where we keep track of each other’s declarations, and ask for clarifications and deadlines. It’s amazing what can happen when you attract the right people into your life.  Going for coffee that one day snowballed into rekindling friendships and mental rigor that’s left me in awe.

More and more, I see that there are certain aspects I find easy to maintain, but there are still areas that I avoid or am incomplete in. It’s easier to avoid and just keep doing what I am good at, yet that also means I stop growing. Stop being uncomfortable. Stop expanding my curiosity. I see a certain restlessness creep into me as I push myself in fitness and health goals, but still lag on my writing regularly goal. I see now that my fear and uncertainty in my writing ability still persist, and the only way to overcome that is to put myself out there in ways that makes me deeply uncomfortable.

It was easy to announce to monthly goals in all areas of my life, yet I now see a pattern where the same declarations are made with no real progress. I get to dive in, assess and really ask myself if it’s a goal or a wish. Goals have deadlines and tasks, and wishes, well, they are just that.  Wishing to be healthier, for a more clients, for being published are just that unti. I really sit down and look at how to those to be tangible goals.

This is not to say I have not had success in other areas. From being in service, to fitness, I am on fire, but to just focus on the areas I am good is doing a disservice to myself and others. And so, this week I get to review my goals, and take at least one concrete step for the areas I am lagging in. It is the path to growth. The path to being the best version of myself.

Happy Monday

Food For Thought, Inpsiration

Spring Forward

A New Week, three weeks into March and Nowrooz (Iranian New Year) is today. Spring is here, and it’s amazing to think that we are three months into 2017. So where are you with your goals? Are New Year’s resolutions in the background or are you they pushing you forward?  For me, I am on track but then I came to a pause.

It’s been a surreal weekend as I reflect upon how much love my dad invited into  his life and others, and how so many reflected that on Friday. Over the weekend, it hit me that life is not just a series of things to do, but to actually enjoy. I am blessed that I have varied interests, but I am my dad’s son who was happiest when surrounded by others sharing the same passion.

So today, I spring forward into passion and living life not a to-do list. Today, I work on living a life that means more than just being busy but one with connection and joy. Today, I use Monday not as a way to repeat the week before but create new experiences that come readily to mind rather than wonder what the hell I did so far in 2017. So that’s where I am headed? What are you springing forward to?S

Brownness, Food For Thought, Journal

Task Disorientation

03a50aaa6de20f2e334f7298d1524bcb Last week, my laptop stopped working, I had two flat tires, I was unable to get to the gym daily, and had a huge breakdown in communication with a loved one. I stewed about all the tasks I did not get to. Over and over, I kept scolding myself for not holding myself to getting my daily and weekly tasks to a point where I felt like a complete and utter failure. And then I took a breath.  I realized that yes I didn’t get to all my tasks, but how I handled what came up mattered more

I got a new laptop, got a great deal on the tires, and was able to have an intimate and vulnerable conversation with the loved one. Then there were other things, I hit 245lbs on my front squat, learned a bit about how to increase blog subscribers, discussed with my cousin about the podcast, revised a personal essay, saved the company from an HR mistake, and settled a claim for a client who was so grateful she hugged me 4 times.

It hit me that I still needed to not get so caught up in getting tasks done that I failed to accept what my overall goals were for myself. Too often, I lost myself in the to do list, and stopped living life when the whole point of the tasks was to live a life worth living. So I stopped and learned to be grateful for the blessings life threw my way. Thanked the universe for disorienting me, forcing me to slow down and know that no matter that I did not get to all my tasks the way I wanted, but I am still further from my starting point.

Food For Thought, Myself

Blabbering On Goals

76860c9f3dac9cd997e2d190be7f1bc7As I come close to revising a personal essay about Papa, it hit me that it is appropriate that I am beginning to approximate his waking time. I cannot help telling anyone that will listen how much I get done, and all that I wish to achieve this year. Yet a part of me cannot help feeling like a fraud and a blabbermouth. Doubt hangs heavy in the mornings when I struggle through my writing and review my goals. It feels as if I am kidding myself when day after day some goals remain not done or even forgotten. Yet I know there is more going on: Fear. Fear that I am a fraud, that I am boring others, that I am arrogant and egotistical for constantly sharing,  Fear that I am not good enough, and that I fill space by going on and one about what I wish to do.

But then slowly certain goals get done, great feedback from my Writers Groups, becoming athlete of the month at the gym, spending connected time with  my family, friends and being in service to others. All those things started with small steps, and false starts. They all began with me declaring and blabbering.  So I get to get out of my head and into action, knowing that I may not get to all or most of my goals, but I will still be further along than when I started.