There’s so much information out there about all the things we can add to our daily routine to feel more positive and to be the best version of ourselves but what about when that all feels a bit too much?! In 2018 I made some small but significant changes to the way I ran my personal and business life and they’ve made a huge difference. These five small changes allowed me to live a more positive life in 2018, none of which took up more than 5 minutes of my time each day!
Admittedly, I wasn’t a huge fan of the much loved “The Secret”. However, after discovering this daily teachings addition, which gives you a much more digestible version of The Secret’s message, I became a law of attraction convert. In this little book you get one daily teaching every day for one whole year. I found that even during times when you’re feeling low and need a pick me up, reading your daily teaching for that day instantly makes you feel uplifted. It doesn’t matter whether you loved The Secret or didn’t, if you want to emerge yourself into positivity and LOA then I recommend you give this one a try!
Creating a Positive Morning Routine
This change might resonate with some of you but probably not all. For years I used to wake up early and do a long, hard workout. I’d either go for a 5km – 10km run, do a HIIT exercise routine and sometimes I would repeat this again in the afternoon. Yes, there was a point in my life when my exercise routine was hours long, often repeated throughout the day and was incredibly gruelling, but I loved it. Then this year I’ve found that I’ve instead enjoyed taking my dog on longer walks and the idea of cramming in 1 to 2 hour workouts during the day no longer appealed to me. Last year I read a great article about the advantages and disadvantages for HIIT. Yes, true is a very effective form of fitness training but if you are rushing to cram in 30 minutes of high intensity training between working long, stressful hours at work, you’re actually putting additional unnecessary stress on your body. For me personally, if pulling in a workout means putting myself under more strain and foregoing any downtime throughout the day then I’d rather spend the time alternatively on some other form of wellbeing activity. So now I wake up, read something motivational, take Minnie out for a walk before settling into work for the day. Going for a walk makes me happy, I get some fresh air and it makes Minnie happy too – depending on the weather!
Defining Switch-off Time and Allowing Yourself a Reward at the End of the Day
When you work from home or for yourself doing something you love, it can be difficult to prise yourself away from your work at the end of the day. I remember when I was in full-time employment; doing a 9 til 5 job (actually the hours were longer, but still…) and how I couldn’t wait to leave the office precisely the minute I was allowed to leave! These days as a self-employed fashion blogger and stylist, I could easily sit myself down at my desk in the morning and continue working until my creative bubble bursts. Any creative will understand the feeling when you get those climaxes of extended creative periods and how you don’t want them to end. It can all too tempting to ride the motion and continue working until the burst of creativity dries up, but by switching off at a reasonable time and enjoying some real “down time”, I find that I have less severe stints of creative highs and lows. But if you love your work and consider it as an extension of your hobbies, setting yourself a time to switch off and stop working might not be a tempting enough offer. Instead, I would recommend having a set reward for the end of the day so that you have something non-work related to look forward to.
I Do What I Like. I Don’t Do What I Don’t Like.
I first saw this quote a few years ago and although simple, it really resonated with me. They are such simple words but so commonly overlooked. At the beginning of 2018 I made tonnes of plans for contents and projects for the year ahead, but I soon realised that I was paving a direction in which I didn’t want to take Online Personal Stylist. So, I decided to step back and have a think about how I really wanted to run my business and the kind of content I wanted to create. Obviously there are always going to be tasks that you don’t enjoy doing but need to be done – that’s just life! On the other hand if it’s something that can be outsourced or changed into something more enjoyable then do it! If you’re a blogger and have written a long list of ideas to turn into full blog posts but later decide that they aren’t enjoyable for you to write then don’t write them! You’ll produce far better work if you do things you enjoy and it will make you more productive because you will be less likely to procrastinate over unappealing tasks on your to-do list. Often in all aspects of life, you can make any task simpler and less time-consuming if you change your mindset and do what you want to do rather than what you think you should do!
Take a Break In the Middle of the Day!
Sometimes I wake up and start work early in the morning if I have meetings and calls but then end up working in the evenings as well. This quickly became very exhausting and left very little room for any sort of leisure time. I started to have longer lunch breaks during the day where I’d sit catch up on my favourite Youtube channels, watch something on TV, listen to a podcast or do something recreational before resuming work. We’re so used to allowing time in the evenings for these kinds of activities so it did feel a little strange initially to sit down and relax in the middle of the day, but it has really helped with both my work/life balance as well as my productivity levels. Plus, it almost feels in a silly way as quite harmlessly and enjoyably rebellious to be able to switch on your favourite TV show in the middle of the working day!