Being on the heavier side of 25 has really been eye opening for me. I have come to realise the value and importance of personal peace, setting standards for engagement. Walking into meetings with objectives (very clear ones) but having an open mind to what the outcome could be. I have become okay with disappointment, failure and letting go. I have crafted my ideal life filled with simplicity but love. I don’t wake up with ‘What ifs’ or ‘I think I disappointed myself’ anymore. In 2018, the main goal is to set myself up for success and maintain my peace, focus on what I can manage and pick the battles that make me feel like Superwoman.
TREASURE THE PEACE AND QUIET
With all the noise around us, from the bustle of Jozi to phones ringing constantly, to social media, right up to the kids banging on the door at 6am on a Saturday morning, It can get overwhelming and it can become a part of who we are.
I remember a time I would forget I have a phone with Email, Text, Whatsapp, Missed Call, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook notifications… but now I do and I’m so aware to keep checking.
Aaargh! So, this is what I’ve taught myself and am still working on: No one will die if I’m off the radar for a few hours.
So, I’ve selected a time in the day (1 hour) to literally switch off. I then switch my attention to either reading, doing homework with my son, lying on my bed and meditating or a nice long bath and thinking through my week.
Do what makes you happy, but requires minimal effort during this time and ‘forget’ your phone in your shoe closet or under your pillow or in an underwear drawer… somewhere.
APPRECIATE SLEEP AND REST MORE
I used to do the all-nighters thing. I was that ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ person.
But that changed when I felt I was awake, alive and not living. I was doing stuff but the stuff I was doing was not focused and didn’t have a long-term vision because I was doing stuff to get it done and not to fulfill a longer-term plan.
So, I started with naps.
1 hour naps when I was done with a task. This helped to reboot my mind and battery so I felt more purposed and alive.
Then I started appreciating the real element of my dreams and visions for life the sleep sort of edged on.
I would plan, write down my visions etc., and dream about them. Or dream about the fears I had of them – and that would edge me on. To fight for them and keep going.
I now look forward to the waking up and working towards my dreams every day.
Even on days where one feels lost and hopeless, there’s always something to do, plan or strategise towards. (We’ll talk more on this in the career goals section).
ORGANISE YOUR HOME AND OFFICE WORKSPACES
Create a space that works for you.
Does your space motivate you?
Does it make you want to come back to it daily?
Would you jump up from a dream in the middle of the night and jump into your workspace with contentment?
If the answers are no… then we have a problem. Clear the clutter.
Throw away papers you don’t need. Add some highlighter and colour pens to your workspace and open a few windows.
DECLUTTER YOUR CUPBOARD & WARDROBE
This was and still is a very tough one for me but I had to be very strict on myself when it comes to it.
This is how my first declutter went:
I asked myself the following questions as I was cleaning out my wardrobe:
- Have you worn this in the past year?
- Have you thought of this piece of clothing or shoe in the past year?
- Where can I imagine or think of wearing it?
- Does this piece of clothing make you feel good?
At times, I had reasons such as “when I’m sitting at home and relaxing” and honestly it wasn’t good enough. The item needed to go!
Another tip: My winter clothes are packed somewhere else in summer. Depending on your available space. Pack seasonal clothing (jackets, jerseys etc) in another wardrobe or buy those plastic containers from Plastic land and pack them in there – gives you a very clear idea of what you have and what you’re working with.
SET MILESTONES AND CHECK IN ON YOUR CAREER GOALS
Ask yourself these questions AND BE REAL WITH YOURSELF:
- Is my job making me happy? If not, why not? Is the problem me or my boss?
- Could I be further ahead or am I lagging behind? Have I done my career roadmapping? (See link: http://www.artofsuperwoman.com/career-roadmapping/)
- Am I settling? Or could I push myself harder?
- Do I have something I am passionate about that I could start up as a side hustle?
THE TRICK HERE IS TO BE RUTHLESSLY REAL WITH YOURSELF.
If you’ve disappointed yourself, say it to yourself and start mapping a way forward.
If you have found yourself in a place of comfort, say it to yourself and map a way forward.
- Draw an image or take some magazines and cut out images (or write if you’re not as gifted as me) of where you are now.
- Depict in this image how you feel, what your situation looks like, what home looks like, what work looks like and what your finances look like. Dig very deep.
- Then depict another picture of where you would like to be (sort of like a vision board).
Then, this is the tricky part and most people will give up here, start bridging a gap between the now and what is to come (yes, it is to come). Depict this.
That dream house or apartment?
To be debt free?Your car to be paid off? To have a car? Which car?
Would you like to be able to afford a monthly nail appointment?
Or to go out to dinner every now and again.
Do you want that boss out your life?
Or to start your own business?
Start with finances
- How will you get out of debt?
- Should you speak to a debt councilor or financial adviser at your bank?
- Do you need to start budgeting better and sticking with your budget?
- Are you budgeting at all or just spending as you go?
- What could you be doing better?
Then start working your way through your home life, career and personal life and bridge each now and your ‘what is to come’.
Start picturing your life living and walking on this bridge towards what your heart desires and make the necessary changes every day. Your mindset shifts and you see yourself in a different light.
What this did for me was it cleansed my thinking and the way I was going about every day. If I want improvement, I need to put in the daily work. So, it reflected in the decluttering of my wardrobe (we’ll talk about this later) – and wearing clothes that make me feel good without breaking the bank. You start doing and being around people that you feel are good for your budget and future (we’ll also talk about this later on).
You start treasuring your peace, your rest and your real people more. And then you see growth and motivation.
Before you know it, you’ve crossed so many bridges you didn’t think were possible to.
DECLUTTER AND LET GO OF TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS AND FRIENDSHIPS
This is a really tough one but probably the most important because of the list of friends you have, there may be your accountability partner there. Or someone you trust very dearly but that doesn’t help if they treat you badly or are toxic, right?
But it is worth it in the long term to zone in on your friendships and really pay attention to who is serving only themselves here and cut those ties.
No matter the length of time you’ve known someone, you shouldn’t put loyalty that comes with baggage labeled ‘toxic’ ahead of your peace and sanity.
You’ll find yourself stagnant and unable to progress in certain areas of your life. These friendships or relationships leave you second guessing yourself and second-guessing career moves due to loyalty and comfort.
As Shonda Rhimes puts it: “If you want crappy things to stop happening to you, then stop accepting crap and demand something more.”