Transformation Tuesday: Over and Out.

Hello and welcome to my blog!

I’m exhausted, as you can tell from my previous blog posts.

I’m burnt out, and I keep pushing through. But everyone has a limit, and I know that when blogging becomes a chore, that I’ve reached mine.

When I 1st started my blog, it was more of a storytime thing. Parenting stories riddled with anxiety and depression. I then began to share my poems and eventually started giving advice. Then I introduced self-reflection and self-care and I even started bringing back old blogs.

My niche became so diverse that I had to specify a day for each theme. For a while, that organized my blog, but then it killed my creativity, and when I went off the themes, I became like an ADHD patient off their meds, a million thoughts running through my head and I’d get distracted by each one.

The expectation of blogging daily left less room for editing and creative writing, and when I began to focus on other projects, like my books on Amazon and my podcast, my blog suffered.

In the long run, my views have increased, but I already had to remove Wednesday wisdom, which was my advice column, what I worked best on. Then I removed self-care Saturday but replaced it with Parenting Hacks recently, which is proving none sustainable for me since I touch my phone the least on Saturday.

Now transformation Tuesday feels like a chore. I shared updates on my goals in an image as a story today. I didn’t feel the need to elaborate, or maybe I didn’t feel like it. I tried to nap instead.

My perfectionist tendencies are making me feel horrible about myself, and it seems tedious and hypocritical to put the progress of my goals in a chart when deep down I know that two things I need to work on the most: housework and my marriage, are not even in the charts.

Exercise and healthy eating come next. I need to prioritize better. I keep getting distracted by TV shows. Posts in which I ramble are my best posts, but they are the most revealing. I’m a mess. Can you tell?

I won’t be a victim and tell you everyone has done me wrong. I lost a lot of friends to my impulsivity. I watched a youtube video today and I break the golden rule of friendship all the time. Now I know why I’m so lonely.

Hold on. Grammarly is telling me to take the drama down a notch.

The whole point of this post is to tell you there will be no more transformation Tuesday posts anymore. I’ll share my progress as a story, but I’ll try to be more mindful with my goals and not exceed 10 goals, starting July.

I’ll still post on Tuesday. Especially on Monday and Tuesday because they are my most viewed days. Monday is my favorite day. Tuesday my least favorite.

Grammarly now approves of my tone. Thank you, Grammarly.

I don’t want to talk about the situation in Lebanon or I’ll sink back into depression. On the bright side, I talked to my sister on the phone today. I’ve been in contact with my brother as well. Having siblings abroad is hard, but I think somehow them being far away brought us closer. In my family, distance makes the heart grow fonder.

My tone keeps changing from paragraph to paragraph.

I’m going to end this on a positive note. I’m off to watch The Resident while my son watches Open Sesame on the TV.

Transformation Tuesday: Over and Out.

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?

Transformation Tuesday: Did I achieve my goals from 2016?

Hello and welcome to my blog! As you know by now if you’re reading my blogs, I have been making monthly goals since November 2020. However, before that, I used to make yearly goals.

As much as monthly goals are important, it’s easy to lose sight of long term progress with monthly goals, so I decided to go back to 2016, the 1st time I made yearly goals.

I had just moved to my current house and my son was 1 years old. I had just gotten out of my post partum depression and I began working on cognitive behavioral therapy on my own, reading self help books, and I made goals and an action plan.

Today I’m going to state those goals and tell you if I have achieved them or not.

My goals from 2016

  1. Raise my son to become a good Muslim
  2. Become a better person everyday
  3. Change my husband to the better
  4. Do everything with love
  5. Be a successful pharmacist
  6. Reach 58kg weight

1st off, I feel like my goals were too general. They weren’t SMART goals. They weren’t specific, measurable, attainable, or time based, no matter how relevant they were to my life as a mom and wife.

The 1st goal is a wish, not a goal because I can’t control how my son turns out. I can try my best and hope he turns out okay. The only thing I can control is to try not to traumatize him.

The 2nd goal is very general and is a lifelong journey of ups and downs.

The 3rd goal is very unrealistic. If I’ve been trying to change myself for the past 5 years and I still feel pretty much the same, how can I even think of changing my husband. What I have learned in these past 5 years, specifically this past year, is that when you accept someone as they are, they become more willing to change and improve on their own. It’s a process.

The 4th goal is too unrealistic. As much as I want to do everything with love, I can’t. There are some things that I must do, even when I don’t feel like doing them, because that’s adulting for you. It’s full of responsibility.

The 5th goal has been replaced with another goal, to become a best selling author. I have forgotten everything I learned in pharmacy school, and I stopped trying 2 years ago. I’m just not passionate about pharmacy, and besides, I found my passion in my blogs and my books.

My final goal is specific but not realistic. I’m lucky if I can get to 60kg. I was doing well with increasing my physical activity since November 2020 but the past month, I’ve been eating too much junk food and not exercising enough. I’m hoping this Ramadan helps reset my metabolism. At least I won’t be able to snack during the day.

Do you have the same goals you had 5 years ago?

Transformation Tuesday: What happened in March?

Hello and welcome to my blog! Today I’d like to do a wrap up on March 2021. I’ve never been one to keep up with the trends but the trends follow me on instagram and on the blog (which I read a week later anyway) so I feel I’d be a copycat to post about something just because everyone else did.

However, I’ll include these highlights, that my fellow bloggers talked about, in this post, as well as my highlights.

March 2nd 2020 I published my 1st book Motherhood in Poems

So March 2021 was the anniversary of my 1st book. I wrote a blog post about it.

March 8th was International Women’s day

International Women’s Day, also known as IWD for short, grew out of the labour movement to become a recognised annual event by the United Nations (UN). The seeds of it were planted in 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote (source BBC).

March 11th was COVID-19 anniversary

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak of a new type of Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that causes COVID-19 respiratory disease, a global pandemic.

March 20th was the 1st day of spring

In Spring, flowers bloom.
Bears come out of their hibernation, and I come out of my depression.
Spring allergies are not fun, but they beat the winter flu.

March 21st was Mothers day in Lebanon (it’s May 10th in America)

To all the mammas out there, happy mothers day.

March 22nd was children’s day in Lebanon (it’s November 20th in America)

To all the parents out there, it’s childrens day! Hug your little ones extra longer and tell them how much you love them.

March 28th was daylight savings time

I actually love daylight savings time (the spring forward not the winter backwards). I feel like I have more time during the day to be productive, especially in the morning, unless I’m feeling down. In that case, the days are too long and the nights are too short.


As I wrap up March 2021 in a neat pink bow, I roll my sleeves up for April. But this isn’t just any April.

Ramadan is coming in 2 weeks!

This month is the holiest of all months in Islam, next to Dhil Hijja (the month of Hajj).

Why is this month so special? Read all about my last Ramadan here.

So instead of making daily and weekly goals for April like I’ve been doing every month since November 2020, I’m going to make Ramadan goals!

I already wrote a rough draft, downloaded some images from pinterest, printed out a Ramadan Activity book for my 6 year old son, and I’m so excited!

Can you tell I’m excited?

Let me know what milestones you reached in March.

Transformation Tuesday: My self improvement journey from 2016

Hello and welcome to my blog! It has been some rollercoaster, this self improvement journey I’ve been on since 2016. Sometimes I feel like I’ve learned a lot and matured so much, but mostly, I feel just the same.

So what has changed from 2016 till 2021?

I’m still struggling with my negative thoughts, anxiety, my temper, etc.

Am I the parent I wanted to be? No

I yell a lot…

But I apologize a lot too.

I cry a lot…

But I smile a lot too.

I need a lot of alone time…

But I spend a lot more time with my son too.

I still have anxiety…

But I’ve developed some coping mechanisms, like coloring, meditation, yoga, exercise, drinking water, deep breathes, learning how to vent instead of complain, etc.

Today I’ll share with you the results of a self-improvement quiz I did on Mindtools.com in 2016. I tried to do the quiz again a week ago but the quizzes have changed so much that I can’t do the same exact quiz anymore. Nonetheless, here are the results from 2016:

  • Personal mastery 6/10: I need to learn to deal with negative thinking and improve my self-confidence.
  • Time management 18/20
  • Communication skills 11/15: I need to practice active listening and learn conflict resolution.
  • Problem solving and decision making 7/15: I need to learn root cause analysis
  • Leadership and management 11/15: I need to learn how to motivate people effectively.

I’m not very good at judging myself, but I believe I still struggle with negative thinking but now I realize when I’m doing it.

I recently did a self-confidence challenge and that helped boost my self confidence but I still have a long way to go.

I believe my time management skills are a bit rusty. Reading from The 7 habits of highly effective people in December helped me but I need to go back to the book again. I just feel so overwhelmed right now that I keep pushing reading aside. I’m spending more time with my son and reading blogs and watching movies and tv shows instead.

I still have a problem actively listening because since the pandemic began a year ago, I haven’t had much practice.

I read the book Crucial Confrontations a year ago and it helped me with conflict resolution but I think I need to reread it to fully implement the teachings. I still go into fight or flight mode when conflict arises and I still get all caught up with the story in my head.

My husband seems to think I’m too scared to make decisions. I’m not. I’m scared of being too impulsive and making the wrong decision because I didn’t think things through and I’m also scared of being blamed for making the wrong decision.

I don’t know how well I’m doing at motivating people. Only those who read my blogs and deal with me personally can judge my motivation skills.

I took a rate my life quiz today, because I was feeling sad because I see all these posts of people going out and about on instagram and I’m stuck at home for several reasons, one of which is COVID-19, another is because my son has his online classes in the afternoon, and also because my husband is a homebody and rarely ever takes us out.

Anyway, I did the quiz because deep down I know I lead a good life and I’m very blessed and I shouldn’t compare my life to others and I needed a reminder of my blessings. Here is what I got:

All in all, everything is going fine but my mind, finances and health need some attention and socially I’m a hermit*

Have you ever done a self assessment?

Do you assess your life every few years?

*Hermit: A recluse; someone who lives alone and shuns human companionship. (ironic because I crave human connection yet find it overwhelming at the same time)

Transformation Tuesday: I started a Social Media Detox Challenge

Hello and welcome to my blog! I just started a social media detox challenge today and it’s harder than I thought.

I started a social media detox challenge today!

Basically I started with instagram because I’m mainly on instagram and whatsapp but whatsapp is how I communicate with my family and friends so I don’t consider it social media. I rarely go on Facebook and I only use Twitter to share my blogs.

The thing is, I need instagram to promote my blogs and books but usually I’m just scrolling on instagram aimlessly and I end up wasting a lot of time. Hence the need for a detox.

The challenge today is to keep my instagram use below the 1 hour mark
I used yourhour app to help me limit my instagram time

My 1st phone was a Nokia. I didn’t even have social media back then. I think I 1st began on Facebook when I was 17 and I’d upload tons of albums. A few years later, I took them all down because I realized people could (and were) save my images onto their phones and computers and share them with whoever.

I started instagram in 2012, I think. I’m not sure. My relationship with instagram is topsy turvy. I’d install then delete and sometimes temporarily activate my account.

Then I started my blog in 2017 and it diverted me away from social media a bit because I found my own crowd. I found a way to express my voice, but my need for validation from likes on instagram is something I still struggle with on and off.

I post on instagram to share, but when I get few likes, I feel hurt, and then I delete the post. I wish I wasn’t like this. This is why I’m doing the social media detox challenge. The less time I spend on social media, the less it affects me negatively.

Social media is known to trigger anxiety and depression and I don’t need more of that! Hopefully this challenge will help me to focus on what I have and to be more grateful for it.

I have a couple of good friends on instagram and mainly I follow pages that promote positivity and gratitude. It’s also linked to my blog. That’s why I can’t get rid of instagram altogether, but it’ll be good for my mental health to control how much time I spend on it.

After all, my word for this year is self control.

I spent 7 hours on instagram last week (that’s an average of an hour a day)

Update at 9pm:

I did it!

35 minutes of instagram by 9pm

Would you like me to make a post when I finish the 21 day social media detox challenge?

How often do you do a social media detox?

Transformation Tuesday: I did a 21 day self confidence challenge

Hello and welcome to my blog! I just finished a 21 day self confidence challenge and I wanted to share what I did with you.

I’ve struggled with self confidence for as long as I can remember. I was always the shy girl, easily influenced. One praise would build me up and one critique would tear me down. My need for attention and validation stemmed from my lack of a positive self image.

A few years ago, I started working on my self improvement. I identified my values, my strengths and weaknesses, and I began building myself up. I looked at my hobbies, figured out what I was good at and began sharpening my skills. I’m still learning to practice self love, self care, and to feel worthy just because I exist. If I tie my worth to my achievements like I used to then I will be chasing one prize after another. I still do this in the form of challenges and goals I set for myself, but at least I’m evaluating myself and not waiting for someone else to evaluate me and approve of me.

So besides reading self help books and positive affirmations, I began doing challenges on the “21 days challenge app”. Today I finished the self confidence challenge and the positive affirmations challenge. I will share the affirmations another time.

21 days self confidence challenge

Day 1

Unfollow all social media accounts that makes you feel insecure about yourself. I actually do this every once in a while.

Day 2

Work on accepting compliments rather than denying them today (and always). I used to struggle with this a lot but I’m getting much better.

Day 3

Be conscious about your posture. Keep standing tall all day. My grandpa tells me this all the time. I unconsciously hunch my back.

Day 4

Do something you loved to do as a child. For me this is coloring.

Day 5

Do something challenging today, remember that we don’t ‘grow’ when we’re comfortable. I don’t remember what I did that day that was challenging but I remember reading this and knowing exactly what to do.

Day 6

Write down 10 things you love about yourself. I actually shared this as a blog post here.

Day 7

Say yes to something you normally wouldn’t. I don’t remember what it was though. It was probably something I normally told my son no for (I say no a lot).

Day 8

Implement a new healthy habit (you can start another one from the app). I started a gratitude challenge from the app.

Day 9

Speak up when you’ve got something to say. Assertiveness goes hand in hand with self confidence.

Day 10

Focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want. Law of attraction. What you focus on grows.

Day 11

Work on improving your skills on something you love to do or that you would like to start doing. I’ve been practicing using canva for about a month now. I’ve been using it for 6 months actually but I’ve been giving it more time and energy recently.

Day 12

Write a list of all if your accomplishments and keep adding to it in the future. Done.

Day 13

Do a quick workout, take a shower, get ready and put on an outfit that makes you feel great. Exercise and dressing up increase self confidence.

Day 14

Go out (to the cinema/shopping/watch the sunset) by yourself. Here’s a funny story. I went downstairs to take a time lapse of the sunset and I missed it. At least I got the points for trying.

Day 15

Reach out to an old friend. I texted this person who used to be very close to me at university but since we graduated, she only texts me if I text her 1st. Otherwise, she’d go years without talking to me.

Day 16

Come up with positive thoughts for every negative one. I’m not sure I completely succeeded in this one, but I definitely made an effort to think more positively that day.

Day 17

Give someone a good piece of advice.

Day 18

Do a workout you enjoy.

Day 19

Work on small things. Small little achievements make you feel good. That’s what I’ve been doing since November 2020.

Day 20

Pause and reflect on something before you act, instead of reacting impulsively. I tried with my son and will keep on doing it more often.

Day 21

Be authentic and embrace your uniqueness. Life is not a competition 🙂

To do this challenge, go to: https://21dayschallengeapp.com/app/challenge

You don’t even have to do the challenge if you don’t want to. You can take this as things to do to increase your self confidence and pick one when you are having a bad day and need to feel better about yourself.