New year, new me, right? Hands up if you make this completely delusional promise to yourself somewhere circa 12.31am on New Year’s Eve as you swill another glass of sparkling wine and wonder if that weird smell is because you accidentally singed your hair with your midnight sparklers? (Maybe just about the promise part, because I think I’m standing alone on the hair singey part, yeah?)
There’s a billion studies about the percentages of resolutions that don’t make it past February, but because we literally don’t need science to reveal what should be common human knowledge – like breathing – I’m gonna save us all time and not source another ‘study’ and just declare that it’s ‘all of them’ so we can quickly get to the important part of this story, and that’s where I talk about me.
Speaking of me (smooth segue Em, smoooooth #nailedit), this year, instead of all the #fitness and #wellness and #health promises I usually drunkenly promise myself I really will do this year for reals, I just decided to make a few subtle nudges to my life – no promises, no rules, no drama if it didn’t suit – and give myself two months to see what they’d look like on.
Pretty damn good, apparently.
Normally, I’m sliding into my birthday weekend already wound up and with a tension headache, but we’ve surpassed that milestone and (for the most part), I’m feeling calmer, my skin still has that summer holiday radiance AND (and this one is the most critical, because everyone knows that other people’s opinions are the most important #obviously), everyone is commenting on how well I look.
The annoying part? It’s all stuff I know, and bloggers/actual medial professionals have been screeching about for approximately 785 years and I was just too stubborn/lazy to actually do, and so now that I’m ‘one of them’, lemme get on my preachy high horse for a minute. #JoinUs
One. A morning person. I bloody became a morning person.
(*cue thunderous applause and a thinly veiled ‘bullshit’ muttered under coughs of anyone who knows me*)
You have no idea how much of a fraud I feel writing the above. Like, even though I’m safely past the 66 day mark and can officially call it a ‘habit’, I feel like I should be providing some sort of photographic evidence of me in vertical form before midday.
I have, for 99.9% of my life, never been a morning person. I had a strict four numbers on the clock or I’m staying in my doona burrito policy, and I most definitely could be counted on to sleep for Australia if the need arose.
But I kinda always wanted to be a morning person. Early bird gets the worm and all that. There’s so much research about how the sense of accomplishment will fuel your day, and unfortunately, it’s true (I MISSED MY TRUE CALLING AS A MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER, YOU GUYS). These days, my alarm goes off promptly at 6am, and what’s even more surprising – I actually get up and do stuff. I can walk into the office each morning (as one of the first, mind you #humblebrag), with a check list of accomplishments beyond ‘pressed snooze 17 times and did my makeup in the car’.
Not gonna lie, folks, the transition period sucks seventeen types of balls. You go through this awesome period where you’re getting up early, but you cant get your life together to actually go to bed any earlier, and even when you do there’s this weird ‘lol, I don’t go to sleep at this time’ little jet lag thing that your body does, so you’re permanently EXHAUSTED for a solid fortnight until your body clock starts to reset and then everything clicks and you feel AUH-MAZING, but surviving this bit is a true test of the will power and you will lose the will to live just a little bit sometimes. #GoodLuckAndGodSpeed
Two. I routine-d everything.
Here’s the thing. When I’m left to make my own decisions, I make really, really bad ones. I generally pick the easiest option, which has resulted in me eating *insert something I found in the fridge* on toast for dinner more times than I’d like to admit. The choice between watching another episode of Scandal or washing my hair before bed? Pope and Associates EVERY time. That’s why they invented dry shampoo, right?!
But, I kinda realised something important recently. It’s not usually the ‘doing the harder thing’ that I’m not on board with. It’s the ‘making the decision’ part that I cbf doing. (It’s a real thing, this decision fatigue, and apparently it’s an epidemic – truthfully, I’m more concerned about the running out of chocolate in my lifetime sitch, but, eh, this seems serious too.) So I tried taking out the decision making part, and all of a sudden, KABLAMO. I’m doing all the things because I don’t need to make the decision.
Confused? (Yeah, you probably should be. I’m starting to ramble.) It works a little like this. Generally I try to go to the gym 3-4 times a week. Which means that I’ve got three days a week when I can decide not to go, and that’s basically the same as giving me a credit card and internet connection and telling me not to buy anything. By the time I’ve fobbed off Monday and Tuesday and PROMISED myself I’ll do the rest of the week, I’ve already declared the whole entire week a fail and the only thing breaking a sweat is my Netflix remote. So, I go every day. By removing the ‘choice’ element and just making it another part of my day, I’ve removed the part where I start making bullshit deals with myself that I have no intention of actually keeping.
Meal prep is the same. I plan out a week’s worth of lunches and dinners – cook some on the weekend, plan when I’ll cook the rest during the week and weirdly, it doesn’t even matter that it takes three times as long to prepare than ye olde Avo Toast – once it’s cooked and plated up, I haven’t even had a brief thought about how I can’t really be bothered and surely toast = dinner, yeah?
Three. I gave up the idea of ‘having it all’. What a load of nonsense.
Who the f*ck came up with the ‘YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL LADIES’ tag line? Please get in the bin.
Fun fact. You can’t. Because there’s too many things to ‘have’, and on the off chance you manage to keep all of those balls in the air, you’ll be so busy stopping them from dropping, you wont actually get to play with any of them.
I have, at various points in my life, tried to be everything and have everything and maintain the perfect manicure and blow out at all times, because perfect. But sweet jesus, that’s bloody exhausting. I’ve punched the burn out card more times than is necessary, and I really had trouble, despite multiple experiences all arriving at the some conclusion, retaining the notion that Having All The Things = Being An Overworked Miserable Stresshead Who Has No Time To Stop And Enjoy Any Of It.
You can’t have ‘it all’. Like, who even knows what it ‘all’ is, anyway? I stopped saying yes, made peace with the fact that I won’t get around to watching every show that I ‘should because it’s SOOOO GOOD’, and just bloody well chilled the eff out.
I do what makes me happy. Sometimes, that’s cleaning my house and putting on fresh sheets and having a long bath and not giving a damn if Instagram is killing my influence score because I’m not engaging or pushing fresh content. Sometimes I have all this creative mojo and I just wanna write and make things instead of doing chores, and so pro house-keeping tip: if you’re really committed and put your full body weight into the washing basket you can compress it a bit more and the lid will totally go on so you can ignore it for at least another half a week.
My house is not always show room perfect, I’m not afraid of the second day dry shampoo and sometimes I’ll pretend that I have ‘other plans’ because I’m going home to binge watch Dance Moms. Oh, and I outsource stuff! Washing my car?! LOL. Not gonna happen. The man down the road does a much better job than I ever would and I literally do not care, and feel free to throw this back in my face if I do get to my death bed crying ‘WHY OH WHY DIDN’T I SPEND MORE TIME WASHING MY CAR?!?’, but look, I’m just not feeling that’s gonna be my path. I’d rather drink a coffee and read a magazine and let some one else enjoy the high. (Oh, and reading! Why did we all stop doing that, it’s the best!)
2018 ain’t gonna be ‘MY BEST YEAR YET! #blessed’. It’ll be another adventures with highs and probs a few lows and many bottles of wine. But it’s started pretty bloody well, and if I can get to the end with people still commenting on how well I look, then that’s a win.
(Just had to correct that last word from ‘wine’, which basically sums up who I am as a person.)
p.s. Want real world example of the whole ‘don’t worry about doing it all – it doesn’t really matter and no one will notice anyway’ thing I preached about a few paragraphs ago? Well, this article was originally titled FOUR things I’m doing differently this year, but half way through I was just feeling the three, and so I ran with it, and I can 100% bet that you wouldn’t have known the difference, except I told you and now you’re feeling ripped off, and I’m really sorry about that guys – I was half way through an episode of Married At First Sight. But, I changed the permalink so that’s something, yeah?