Ranjana TN

The 365-day self-expression and self-love challenges

What does this mean for my 2030 self?

Since December, I’ve been obsessively thinking about how I want 2020 (and by extension, the next decade) to pan out. I turned 30 this March, so this is of particular significance to me. My twenties are long gone now. I’m grateful to the Ranjana from the past decade for where she got me. Ages 17 to 24 were particularly hard as I battled deep anxiety and crippling insecurity. My 20-year-old self battled all of that and came out on top. She chose to dive into public speaking, venture into sales, and start her own company. All of that took courage and hard work. The Ranjana today is more intelligent, resilient, and aware of what she wants to do with her life than ever before thanks to the path her 2010-self decided to tread. What the 2020 Ranjana decides to do will determine the fate of her 2030-self.

The next decade of my life has just begun and it’s time for the present-day Ranjana to set the tone for the next ten years of her life. I’d like the 40-year old me to look back at the next decade with a sense of gratitude, appreciation, and accomplishment. I know it in my bones that 2020 is going to be a turning point for my character journey and will define the trajectory of the rest of my life. The year I will look back and say, “There..that’s it. The beginning of a new era of my life”. To be honest, I don’t believe that this is a journey of just 365 days. Rather it’s the starting point of the rest of my life.

What would you like to do this year that will impact your 2030 self? I’d encourage you to journal about that. Some interesting thoughts might come to the surface!

The essence of #theyearofme project:

I’m well aware that the future isn’t something that just happens to us. It’s created by us consciously or unconsciously. Since we control our actions and reactions, every day and hour we are deciding and choosing the direction we are steering our life in. It pays to be conscious and proactive about what we want to create. In the light of that and my razor-sharp focus on making 2020 #theyearofme, I was able to come up with these broad areas I want to work on: Self-expression, Self-acceptance, Self-trust, Self-discovery, Self-identity, Self-care, Alignment. Here’s how I define each of these:

  1. Self-expression: Express myself without distortion. Say yes to things I do want and no to things I don’t. Express who I am; my dreams, thoughts, opinions, and desires. Give voice to the song within. 
  2. Self-acceptance: Accept myself completely, warts and all. There are aspects of me that I resist and wish were different. 
  3. Self-trust: Trust myself. I’d always sought validation and guidance outside of myself. Why? I don’t need to rely on others to be my guide. I want to be more self-reliant and trust myself. I had my own back.
  4. Self-discovery: Get to know Ranjana deeply. I wanted to understand her, explore with her, discover who she is. I want to truly and deeply fall in love with her.
  5. Self-care: Take care of myself. Show myself a lot of love. Be gentle with myself. Enjoy myself! Do what brings Ranjana joy. 
  6. Self-identity: Create a stronger sense of self. Have a strong sense of identity…of who Ranjana is and what she stands for.
  7. Alignment: Between thoughts and speech. Desires and what I actually work on. Values and actions. This means that I not only mentally understand my values and desires but also act in accordance with them.

I want to make sure that I’m diving into each of these areas over the next several months. I don’t quite know where that will take me or how doing this will impact me, but I’m keen to go on this adventure.

The 366-day self-expression and self-love challenge

I’d like to have one or two things that I will keep up for one full year. I’ll make it a 366-day challenge since 2020 is a leap year. I’d like to honour that even though I am starting after Feb 29th and not before. Here it is: I will express my thoughts exactly as they are, at least once a day, without being apologetic or sugar-coating them. I want to be authentic and express myself without fear or too much analysis. Why I’m doing this: I tend to become over-fearful or anxious when I want to speak up – even if only to tell the other person what is on my mind. It’s ridiculous how much I debate and fret before (and often, after) I share my thoughts. So I want to use this challenge to begin changing my relationship to how I express myself to the world. I will have a running document to record each day’s effort. I might share those that were particularly meaningful to me from time to time. I do intend to create a sort of summary write-up at the end of 366 days sharing my learnings, insights, etc.

The other thing I’ve been doing for weeks that I’d like to continue doing is to look at myself in the mirror every day, smile into my eyes and say out loud, “I love you, Ranjana”. This might sound weird, but I genuinely think that it’s a powerful way of expressing, fostering and reinforcing self-love. What do you generally do when you love someone? You tell them that you love them, of course! What’s stopping you from saying that to yourself?

So! Those are the two things I’d like to do every day for the next 366 days! Today is March 28th, 2020 so the last day of the daily self-expression and self-love challenge will be March 28th, 2021.

Is there anything that you could do for the next year that can create a significant difference in your life? It doesn’t have to be a massive endevour. Something simple could potentially work great. I’d encourage you to give that some thought. If you so feel inclined to do, I’d love for you to share it with me either by leaving a comment below or sending an email at co*****@ra*******.com.