Fitness Update

My goal is to exercise daily for 7 minutes or walk 6000 steps. So far, I haven’t achieved that goal. I made progress today, though.

I hit 10 minutes of fast-paced activity today!
I walked 2.73 km (4,418 steps).

On average, I’m exercising 4 days a week. Last week I exercised 6 days out of 7.

I’m at 63% of my exercise goal.

What are your fitness goals? Are you making progress?

What I want to achieve by 40

I don’t have a 10 year plan. Not even a 1 year plan. I make monthly goals and weekly plans and daily to do lists.

However, last night I listened to a podcast by Joey Kidney and it inspired me to think about where I want to be in 10 years.

https://castbox.fm/vb/369821723

My goal is not to be a millionaire or to own a fancy car or a mansion. I want enough money to be able to buy gifts for my friends and give charity regularly. I mean my own independent money, not my husband’s.

I currently have 10 books on Amazon. I want 20 books on Amazon and I want one of them to be a best seller.

Part of me wants freedom and independence and to travel more, but I know it’s not realistic, and part of me wants another child so my son has someone to play with (he keeps requesting a baby boy) but I don’t know what God has in store for me.

I turn 30 in a month and looking back 10 years ago, my life was completely different. I was in 4th year of university, studying for a degree I hated, and I failed a subject because I was sick when I took the test. I was also bad at Pharmacology. I had no idea that 10 years later, I would be married, with a 6-year-old son, a blog, a podcast, and 10 books on Amazon!

At the time, my 10-year plan was to finish my Ph.D. in pharmacy and teach at a university. After graduating, I worked in a pharmacy for 2 months and hated it, then worked as a tutor for 3 months before getting married and continuing my master’s degree. I wasn’t able to continue my Ph.D. because it involved travel and as a married woman with a baby to a traditional Lebanese man, travel was out of the question. I put my whole life on hold for 4 years (I don’t regret it for a minute) before I published my 1st book. My friends and brother encouraged me to go for it.

That’s why I don’t make 10-year plans because my life went in a completely different direction than I had planned. So will one of my books become a bestseller? I don’t know.

We are in the middle of a pandemic, the economy is falling in many parts of the world, and Lebanon is in shambles. The future does not seem bright. I’m trying to get freelance jobs, but it’s so hard to find jobs online with no electricity. The farthest I’m looking is going to Turkey to blow off some steam and spend my savings because why not.

Life is pretty hectic here and I’m doing everything I can to ground myself and live, love and laugh. I’m reading, writing, listening to music and podcasts, reading Quran, playing with my son, practicing mindfulness and gratitude, etc.

What do you want to achieve in 10 years?

What I’m working on

Hello and welcome to my blog! How are you doing today? It’s amazing how wordy I get once my creativity isn’t trapped in themes, but themes are important for the organization of my blog. Nobody wants to read incoherent thoughts and all over the place ideas.

Today I thought I’d share what I’ve been working on, not just in terms of writing, but in all of my goals. There are also things I want to work on but my plate is too full. I will tell you what I want to work on but can’t, to get it out of the way.

If you have been reading my blogs, you’ll know that the 1st 2 chapters of my kindle Vella are out, and I want to write at least 3 more chapters, but I’m working on so many other things. It’s frustrating because I already wrote the outline for the entire book, and I even reread the outline a few days ago and was immediately inspired to write chapter titles for the rest of the book. It’s the details I choke on. The details are what make a book. Focusing on the 5 senses to make your reader feel like they are in the book, perhaps even make them feel like the main character. Then there is the description of scenes and items and the sunrise and such. I need to clear my head to write this novella. It doesn’t help that I lack the confidence to write it. It took me 9 years of writing poetry to begin publishing my poetry books. And even now, I still feel cringe about my older poems. I have only recently begun publishing self-help books, but only because they were highly appreciated on the blog. Talking about myself has always been easy, so the autobiographies (though I had to censor most of them and strip them down from most of their content to protect my family’s privacy) were easy to write. But I’ve never written fiction before. This is hard, but it is something I must do, but it’s on the bottom of my priorities though I feel most passionate about it.

Now let me tell you what I have been working on to distract myself from the crisis in Lebanon and to control my anxiety and depression:

Healthwise, the goal is to take more walks, exercise daily, drink 1 L of water a day, go to sleep at 11 pm, eat fruits and veggies daily, shower 4 times a week, brush my hair 4 times a week, and brush my teeth daily.

So far I’ve reached my goal in showering and brushing my hair, so as you can tell, I have a lot of work to do.

As parenting goes, I’m trying to spend one on one time with my son, even if it is just for 5 minutes. I’m also supposed to be studying with him the rest of his kg3 curriculum before he heads on to the 1st grade.

We made a boredom jar 2 weeks ago, and we are doing various activities, from board games to play-doh to blindfolding him and having him feel and taste food and guess what it is. We even did word searches and “All about me” collages. Sadly, he wants me to do these activities with him, and lately, I’ve been exhausted and restless. My son isn’t driving me crazy, but I’m emotionally tapped out. As for studying, his going to camp and karate classes are making him tired and in the afternoon, my mental abilities are shot, so we only have Friday to study since Saturday and Sunday are family days.

Spiritually, I’m working on my prayers and reading Quran.

Financially, the goal is simply to stop spending all my money on junk food.

The prices have solved that for me. Prices are 10 times the prices they were a year ago.

Socially, as I have noticed myself being withdrawn, even from my family, I planned on texting 2 friends a day, calling a friend per week, calling my grandma once a week, and visiting my grandma once a month.

I’m trying, but I’m not there yet. I still feel like avoiding everyone while craving social connection.

My reading goals are simply to read blogs whenever I can and read from a book or pdf book daily.

I’m trying not to think of how many books I have to read but focus on one book at a time. It’s working. Yesterday I finished one of the books I was reading.

Finally, my writing goals can be divided into 2: working on my books (editing existing books to unpublish and republish, typing new books, promoting published books by creating canva designs and posting on Instagram and Twitter), and working on my blogs (writing blogs and creating canva designs for the cover photos).

So far so good.

Of course, I’m not even writing housework as part of my goals. I keep track of the housework I do on my calendar but I can’t add it to the list of 22 goals because that would be too overwhelming.

My ultimate goal is to create a balance between my mind, body, and soul. I want to thrive as a mother and as a writer while keeping myself happy and healthy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t! (comment below if you have seen the movie legally blonde)

What are you currently working on?

Self-reflection Sunday: Deep conversation topics part 4

Hello and welcome to my blog! I had a busy weekend yesterday and today, and I was pretty moody. It’s been a struggle to get out of bed, but I got up and I was as productive as I could be. Hopefully, Monday will be better. But before I say goodbye to the weekend, let’s do some Self-reflection before Sunday is over.

Deep Conversation Topics:

4. What kind of goals do you have for the next year?

My mind doesn’t go as far as next year, but from now until the end of 2021, my goals are focused around my books. I plan on writing more chapters of my novella (though I keep procrastinating), and going through my already published books and edit them and republish (I keep procrastinating that too), and I have a few more ideas for books I need to work on, in addition to marketing and promoting my books, blog and podcast. Of course, I’m also going to keep writing blog posts and converting them into podcast episodes, and I’m even thinking of going to old blog posts and editing them as my writing has drastically changed since 2017.

As for my reading goals, I have 7 books I’m yet to finish reading and 2 pdf books as well that I’m in the middle of. I was also trying to be caught up in reading blogs but it has been so hard with my son at home and with my other responsibilities and my energy being limited, so my blog reading has decreased a lot.

Otherwise, my ongoing goals are to exercise daily, eat fruits, drink water, sleep before midnight, and build other healthy habits, in addition to controlling my anger (which is proving very difficult).

What about you? What are your goals for the rest of the year? What about next year?

Motivational Monday: Feeling overwhelmed or insecure?

Hello and welcome to my blog! It’s been such a day today. Monday is starting to become my most dramatic day. It’s like all the drama charged up during the week is let out on Monday. It’s exhausting and very anticlimactic after having a wonderful weekend.

Nevertheless, I’m training myself to look on the bright side of everything. Despite all the pain and drama today, I’m grateful for the 3 hours of me-time (technically I had 2 hours of alone time) and for being productive (I may have overbooked my to-do list).

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, insecure, or you’re just looking for some Monday motivation, you’ve come to the right place:

Cultivate an optimistic mind, use your imagination, always consider alternatives, and dare to believe that you can make possible what others think is impossible.

Focus on the step in front of you, and not the whole staircase.

Stop comparing yourself to other people. If you enjoy what you are doing and it fills you up, that’s all that matters.

Take the risk. Don’t let the unknown stop you from progressing.

Sometimes later becomes never. Do it now.

Don’t worry so much about tomorrow that you miss today.

Enjoy the good moments, stay positive in the bad. Know that everything will be alright.

Dream it. Wish it. Do it.

Transformation Tuesday: My goals for June 2021

Hello and welcome to my blog! It’s the 1st day of June. Can you believe it?

The pandemic has been going on for 15 months, we’re almost halfway through 2021, and the world is so chaotic right now. I don’t know about you, but when I feel like everything is out of my control, I panic. Then I take a deep breath, list the things I’m grateful for, and set down monthly goals, and focus on those because if I want to change the world, I must work on myself first and foremost.

I made 20 goals this month. I know it sounds too much and overwhelming, but in my attempt to create a balance between getting on top of my reading and writing, tending to my family and household, while taking care of my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well being, there is a lot of ground to cover.

I realized that physical, mental, and emotional well-being is all interconnected. When you’re feeling depressed, you feel physically tired and it affects your diet and sleep. Also, when you stay up late and eat a lot of junk food, you feel groggy and moody. The following goals are for the sake of my whole well being:

  • Shower 3 times a week
  • Control my anger
  • Do optimism challenge
  • Sit on the balcony or take a walk (get sunlight) daily
  • Exercise daily for 7 minutes
  • Brush teeth and hair daily
  • Drink 1 L of water daily
  • Eat 1 portion of fruit daily

As for my reading goals, I have 9 books I have abandoned months ago, and this month I plan on tackling 2 of them (the pdfs on my laptop) before I continue with the 7 paperbacks on my bookshelf. I’m also really behind on reading blogs so that’s one of my goals as well, to catch up on reading blogs.

As for my writing goals, the goal is to write at least 1 blog post a day, except on Wednesday, and to promote my most recent 3 books (I can’t promote all 10 books at once).

For my spiritual wellbeing, my goal is to pray duha 3 times a week and read 10 pages of Quran a day.

Socially, since I’ve become a hermit, I plan on texting at least 2 friends a day, so they know I’m still alive. I also plan on calling my grandmother once a week and visiting her once a month.

This is without housework, taking care of my son, sleeping, eating, cooking, etc.

I hope I’m able to achieve at least half of these goals. Most of them are habits I’m trying to implement so it’s hard to narrow them down.

What are your goals for June 2021?

Transformation Tuesday: Did you achieve your goals this Ramadan?

Hello and welcome to my blog! Transformation Tuesday is back! If you noticed, yesterday I wrote a motivational Monday post and I’m trying to ease back into my preramadan schedule. Why don’t I just wait until Ramadan is actually over? 1st, I like to start at the beginning of the week. 2nd, if I were to wait until Eid, which is either Wednesday or Thursday, I’d probably end up writing Eid blogs and they won’t be themed around anything, more like storytime posts of what I did during Eid. 3rd, I really wanted to reflectvon this Ramadan and see how much I achieved of my Ramadan goals.

I’ve been exhausted this ramadan, and the last 5 days have made me appreciate the presick tiredness I was feeling. As Ramadan comes to an end, I’m grateful I was able to fast the whole month. I’m also grateful for whatever I was able to achieve. I don’t feel like my Ramadan went to waste but I feel like I could’ve done better, partky if I had more energy, and partly because I let myself waste time sometimes.

How much of my goals did I achieve this Ramadan?

Housekeeping

Declutter challenge (postponed until after Ramadan)

Cooking challenge (postponed until after Ramadan)

However, according to my calendar, which I use basically to keep up with housework, I took care of my household 80%. I kept my house relatively clean and tidy.

Charity

Kindness challenge (in progress)

Pay for box of food for poor (I payed for part of a box as prices have risen)

Bonus: I taught tajweed weekly throughout Ramadan to a bunch of 8 year olds. I also payed kafala for the orphan I’ve been sponsoring partially (I payed a year in advance). I also payed for 6 meals via share the meal app. I give myself 💯 although I could give more money but I did achieve the goal I set, if not supersede it.

I normally don’t broadcast my acts of charity but because they are few and far in between, I wanted to share to encourage others who may want to do charity but need ideas. There are many ideas to give charity, especially during Ramadan and in Lebanon. You can pay for hot meals or groceries of help someone pay rent or hospital bills or medications. There are so many options. I wish I could do more but as I don’t have a job, my options are limited. My husband gives a lot (he keeps it secret even from me) but I still feel like I want to give from my pocket money.

Ibadat

Read entire quraan at least once (done)

Pray 8 taraweeh (done except for 5 days when I prayed 4, but I prayed 20 and 12 on 2 other nights so it’s balanced).

Pray doha 3 times a week at least (I achieved this goal on weeks 1 and 3 but not on weeks 2 and 4)

I also made a lot of douaa (supplication) on the odd nights of the last 10 days. I read surah al kahf every Friday. I prayed 57% of nafilah during Ramadan (I normally pray 40% of nafilah). I won’t count these as bonus as they should have been included in the goals (they were included in the Ramadan plannar I used). So after calculating, I achieved 84.5% of my ibadah goals.

Parenting

Read quraan with my son daily (epic fail. However, he went to an Islamic camp during Ramadan and they taught him azkar and reviewed the surahs he knows of quraan).

Ramadan worksheet and activities (we made a lantern, a sign that said Ramadan Mubarak, and he even made his grandparents a Eid mubarak card. However, he only finished half of the worksheet I printed out for him).

Bonus: I’m having him pray 1 prayer a day throughout Ramadan (in exchange for a toy I bought him which he will receive on Eid because he has no motivation to pray and this is the last time I bribe him to pray) and so far he is praying everyday. If he skips a day, he prays 2 the next day. I give myself a 50% and A for effort.

Islamic learning

Finish the book Nurturing Eeman in Children (postponed until after Ramadan)

Watch tafseer (explanation of the verses of the quraan) videos on youtube (I watched 15 tafseer videos during Ramadan in addition to other Islamic videos).

Use Ramadan legacy app (the app didn’t work so I had to delete it, but I used the Ramadan plannar I printed out instead). So 💯 score here.

Health

No junk food challenge (did 18 out of 21 and will finish it after Ramadan)

15 minutes in the sun per day (epic fail)

Home workout challenge (done) so all in all 62%

Other

No movies or tv shows (I didn’t watch any tv shows but I watched 8 movies throughout Ramadan)

Post ramadan related content on the blog and Instagram (I posted 17 Ramadan series posts on the blog and 3 Ramadan related videos on instagram). So that’s a solid 58%.

Overall, I think I did fine this Ramadan, considering how tired I was from the fasting and how sick I’ve been for the past 5 days. No excuses, though. I’m giving myself a pat on the back for achieving some of my goals and almost achieving others. I aspire to do better and be better next Ramadan so my focus for the rest of 2021 will be to build up the habits I want to maintain so that they’re not such a struggle come next Ramadan.

Have you achieved your goals this Ramadan (or this month so far)? To what extent? Do you make crazy calculations like me or do you just wing it?

Ramadan Series: Make Smaller Goals

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to the Ramadan series where I discuss universal concepts like kindness and inner peace from my experience and share my insight with you. Today is the last day of April 2021 so I’m going to discuss April/Ramadan goals.

I mentioned at the end of March that I wasn’t going to make April goals. Instead, I made preramadan goals and ramadan goals. I have achieved some of those goals but I may have overwhelmed myself a bit.

The key to making a goal that you can actually achieve is to make it achievable. You need to take measurable steps within certain time frames.

It’s also important to readjust your goals accordingly on a weekly basis. It’s okay to postpone a goal if you feel you aren’t getting much done because you have too much on your plate.

When you make a goal, be sure to cut it up into bite sized parts and make an action plan. For example, if you want to write a book, the 1st step is making an outline. Then when you write, you can choose to write 200 words a day, instead of expecting to write a whole chapter in a day.