Welcome to SIPM

Hello, nice meeting you. I am Soma, your host for this space and I have been running this since 2008.

This blog was started in 2008 as a journal that I was pretty sure no one would read.

I was into project management and shared my learnings and failures here, since then a lot has happened. These days I live in Hyderabad (India) and work as an Agile Coach.

This space has grown over time and I primarily write about Personal Development and Motivation for Newbies.

When not in office, I am mostly reading, working on my next idea, travelling and exploring life with my 4 year old.

You can reach me at steppingintopm(at)gmail.com

Happy Weekend

Feb 16, 2019 | | 0 comments |
"Everything that's created comes out of silence. Your thoughts emerge from the nothingness of silence. Your words come out of this void. Your very essence emerged from emptiness. All creativity requires some stillness." - Wayne Dyer.

(Pic courtesy: Soma Bhattacharya)

Connections- What we all need (SIPM Connect)

The traditional models are so yesterday.

You had to walk into a room full of people to network, travel for attending seminars and cold call/email to find a mentor. 

Today, things have undergone a massive change, yes we still do all of the above but nothing is limited to how much you are willing to spend. 

And thats a big advantage for so many, for those who want to learn, for students who are cash strapped, for those who don’t want to fly for hours to get to another country. We are all trying to connect- to the right person, right job, right level of experience and right emotions.

And we believe, well most of us at least that connections can get us to the point, carry us when we need an extra nudge. 

At SIPM Connect, we do just that. Its a FREE forum for anyone to connect. Available globally, the idea is projected in an interactive platform, where you are free to find the right level of connection.

The profile creation  is simple and fast, clear and to the point. And yet personalised for another person to reach out to you whether within your group (e.g newbie) or the other (e.g.mentor). Get the entire overview as soon as you login, effective  and time saving. Browse through the group of your interest, find the connections and hear back from them in the same forum. 

Click the group to explore the world, literally. Choose from countries, industries and drill down to keywords to find the mentor/network you need in the domain you would like. 

And yes I will say it again- its free. Built as a way to give back to the community with the confidence that everyone wants to create the right connection and everyone should have the right to. 

To sign up, click here  

Small Changes- Big Impact

Feb 4, 2019 | | 0 comments |
 Improving by 1 percent everyday sometimes it isn’t even noticeable- but it can be far more meaningful, specially in the long run. James clear, Atomic Habits (p.15)

We are the product of our habits. We are who we are.
Trying to change our life one glorious morning might work only if you are buzzing with motivation, for how long might be the question. 

Instead of one big change like going vegan overnight, we can start with small ones that doesn’t take a lot of effort but makes you feel good. Stacking up those small changes can slowly bring in the change you have been looking for. 

Here are 5 small changes I am trying out for Feb:

1. Use Less Plastic- I haven’t banned it overnight because it took me time to realise how much of it I was really using. In 2018, I started a new habit of putting all my plastics in a bin after I had done using them- like shampoo bottles, ketchup bottles, grocery packagings etc. Plastics just wasn’t the Tupperware in my kitchen, turns out it spread in every corner of my house. It took me time to figure this out as bin after bin filled up rather quickly.

 Last week, I went to Ikea and got few glass storage containers (the ones I use to stash leftovers in the refrigerators) and got lunch box too. I decided in carrying a little heavier lunch box because I was trying to reduce the plastic consumption for my family. 

Scientific studies mention that in the short term; society needs to significantly curtail unnecessary single-use plastic items such as water bottles, plastic shopping bags, straws and utensils. 

Its a well known fact that when we challenge ourselves with something that is manageable and yet a little difficult, we will keep at it. Swapping out a few containers to start with is a no brainer, the impact is the feel good factor. Slowly getting rid of as much as possible will be part of the process for the next 6 months.

2. Eating More Vegies- As a kid our plates were literally filled up two thirds with it and it was non negotiable. Growing up as life got busier and fast food became easily accessible, food habits changed. I still enjoy veggies but sometimes when theres only half an hour to get dinner on table, I reach out for time tested egg curry or grilled chicken with rice and lentil. Sometimes that leaves our plates without vegies. As a mom to a four year old I want him to know vegetables are as precious as the egg he wants at every meal. So, most of the meals now have to include veggies in some format format. 

Researchers say- A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check.  

For me, its just being more conscious, plan a little bit when I do the grocery because I want veggies that I can quickly toss as a salad or put in the oven. I even tried 15 days going vegetarian in January. I was almost okay with it, the only problem was if I had guests, I wasn’t sure what they would like. 

 3. Walking - I have had love hate relationship with exercise but have always enjoyed walking. So a walk after dinner or after I get back from work is a simple routine I truly enjoy. Not only does it destress me, the best of my ideas come from when I walk it definitely clears my mind. 

Walking at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week can reduce your risk for coronary heart disease by about 19 percent

Doing something small that doesn’t need a lot of mental push for me is a winner that can lead to spending more time walking or thinking of healthy diet after I get home form walking because I feel refreshed and good. With a refreshed mind I tend to make better decisions than stressed out days, where I just want to order in because I am already exhausted. 

4. Listening to Something Positive Every Morning- One of my friends recently watched my last Youtube video and mentioned that I must read lot of self help books. That got me thinking- what is self help books. While the category seems very clear if you still go to book shops, anything that helps you really can be considered self help books. So, what category do I really choose most of my books from? I don’t have a pattern (or may be I do), though honestly I mostly read non-fiction now, a clear deviation from my choice of books 10 years ago. 

So, this month I bought books  as usual, however every morning I prefer listening to something positive.than reading It mostly means something on Youtube or a podcast. It does give me boost for the day and start my day with a fresh mind. But more than that I glide through negative moments much more easily, I am much more forgiving and hopeful and end up working on my dream projects which otherwise in a lot of cases have got sidelined as a personal trend. 

Being positive or inspired isn't always about the last book you read, its about the mindset that you are trying to build.

I read about neuroplasticity few years ago and since then some things have stayed with me. And I know it works for me, if I can be consistent on hearing the positive thoughts. You are what you think isn’t just a proverb anymore. 

With every repetition of a thought or emotion, we reinforce a neural pathway - and with each new thought, we begin to create a new way of being. These small changes, frequently enough repeated, lead to changes in how our brains work.  

To hear some amazing case studies about it, watch this video- The Brain that Changes  Itself 

5. Start Something New- I always find starting something small which is part of my dreams, happiness, plans gives me that extra little boost that I might need on my regular days. Something to keep me excited and looking forward to even during the busy weekdays. For a lot of people could be , going back home and watching the next episode in Netflix. 

For me this could be writing my blog consistently again, or trying out something new like joining a gym. It truly makes me happy from within that even lasts longer than going on a shopping trip. 

Something as simple as gardening (start with one plant), reading books, planning for a new travel destination for June could be a starting point. Our brain likes novelty and doing something you look forward to could also get you one step closer to your actual goal. 

If you have a life you want mapped out for you, instead of thinking too much about it, may be take the simplest of goals and break it down further and start doing something really small. You don’t need to buy glass containers but may be take your first art class that happens round the corner.  

Where focus goes, energy flows.

(Pic courtesy: Google Images)

10 Mindset Shifts for 2019

Everyone thinks of changing others, but no one thinks of changing themselves- Leo Tolstoy

Here are 10 shifts to try this year and like they say you can't have something new by repeating the same old things. So, what do you say- is this the year for you to really change? 

You can check the video directly here

  1. Be Comfortable Being You- This year should be about you and you need it to embrace it. This means it comes with both the positives and the negatives that we carry with us in 2019. If you are someone who struggled in 2018 professionally or emotionally, accepting it is okay instead d denying the struggles. The struggles make us who we are. This year is about believing in us even when others don’t. I found this short video of one of the fastest growing You Tubers about her struggle and how she kept at it even when others around her didn’t quiet believe in her.  
  2. Creating the Right Environment- When we create goals and start working towards them, the main objective is to be able to sustain that.
    Environment both physical and mental have big roles to play. Lets talk about physical space first- you want to ensure the place your spend your maximum time to be comfortable, connected to and secure. If thats your workspace you can bring in items to give that sense of belonging to your desk. Simple items like motivational quotes, pictures, books and even artificial desk plants can make the space feel yours. Similarly, your home should be the oasis, because thats where we reset ourselves and take tomorrow head on. The other important part is of course the mental space. To make change sustainable you have to ensure that mentally you are inspired, motivated and can handle yourself. It can definitely be a herculean task
    to be positive always, however they are podcasts, youtube videos, books etc which can help you learn the tricks or maintain that vibe for longer period of time. We also have to acknowledge that no one can stay positive month after month. Everyone has downtimes and when you do, just pick yourself up as soon as you can and get moving. 
  3. Growth Mindset- As opposed to the fixed mindset where nothing will and can change and you don’t want to fall in to this category where you think everything is stagnant. People with growth mindset on the other hand will ensure that evolving is part of their routine, they will invest their time and money and in learning  and growing. To be able to imagine yourself in a place you would like to be needs to have a growth mindset- because these are the people who believe they can do it even if that involved hours of learning and trying out something new. 
  4. Saying No- If you need to get things moving this year, the one thing you need to protect is your time. So saying yes to everything also means giving away your time without adding any value to it. so, say no this year. Say  no to:
      1. Negative people
      2. Negative vibes
      3. Unsupportive people
      4. Bad habits
      5. People who bring you down
      6. Not standing up for yourself
      7. Apologizing for saying no
      8. Do what you feel is positive for you, even if that means saying no for the brunch but taking the time to sip tea in the balcony and rest your day or mind. That has more value than mindless eating with people you don’t even care about. 
  5. Finding a Hobby- Hobby is the one thing that not only relaxes us, it also removes us from the stressful environment and let us be ourselves. There are numerous studies about the benefits of having a hobby.One in eight adults over 60 report some form of memory loss.This study found that adults who engaged in activities like arts and crafts, book clubs and travel were half as likely to develop mild cognitive impairment in their 80 as those who did not pursue brain-boosting hobbies. 
  6. Taking Care of your Health- Money will come, so will success but health once lost is difficult to get back. So, no matter what, ensure you are healthy and they are small things w can do to bring in the changes, if you take the right care. From better brain health, to risk reduction of chronic diseases benefits are countless. So this year focus on your health and you may also have better focus at work. 
  7. Being Present- We repeat us everyday, same routine, same things to do and sometimes we are so in automated mode that we don’t know what we had for lunch that day. Being aware or in the moment is whats suggested by so many, primarily to ensure that you are just no breezing past life. It is for you to really smell the roses, go through the experience of life and make changes along the way. Being present allows you to make conscious choices, experience the wins and losses and course correct yourself.
  8. Inspect and Adapt- Not everything works out all the time, so the best part about life is the flexibility to readjust the route. Just because your resolution said something, doesn’t mean you have to follow it if it doesn’t make any sent to you anymore. 
  9. Flush out the Toxins- I think no matter how good your intentions, things will not work perfectly unless you can create the right environment for you. Toxins in any form, human or location should be the first to be taken care of. Once this is done and you know you can thrive, setting the right intention and following it can be life changing. 
  10.  Revisiting All of the Above- Plans are made to change and they should be. So writing down all the goals might be great but visiting them often could lead you to rewrite them as situation needs to be. Also revisiting goals might be a way once of reminding what is important in your life and work towards it single mindedly. 

(Pic courtesy: Pinterest and Google Images)