A lot has changed in a very short space of time for me and often I think about how different my day to day was only a few months ago. The interesting part is, I didn’t make any ground breakingly huge life changes, However I guess what I have done is made lots of little ones which I think must have all banded together to make one big one and now I’m sat here feeling like a completely different human and its all quite....dare I say it...wonderful!
It got me thinking about the process of it all and those small changes and how they effect the bigger picture, acting as small catalysts for big change. But more importantly, how long it took me to realise that and that all along I’d been setting myself up for failure by setting my goals for change too high from the outset. I had to strip it all back, start small and put my need for huge progress from the outset to one side because that drive in itself can be your biggest hindrance in your overall success with anything.
STARTING AT THE VERY BOTTOM
One of the biggest changes I made was a change I didn’t actually realise I was making until I look back now. I must have done it unconsciously at first, experienced the benefits and implemented it more and more throughout my life. But in short, I stopped listening to my usual music throughout the day. It started in my car at first, switching to Classical FM rather than the usual more stimulating stations or playlists, then it spread to the house and playing classical music throughout the house from the time I wake up right through until the evenings when I sit and write or read in my living room. Listening to Classical music whether on the radio or my preferred Classical Sleep playlists kept me calmer throughout the day, regularly filled me with joy (it’s weird how a Classical music piece can do that) and allowed me to focus on work without disrupting my thoughts at all. It was such a small change but the knock on effect was huge, I’m more focused and calm on the whole, which makes me more productive and efficient on a day to day basis. Of course, there’s a time and a place for Classical music and personally, the gym isn’t one of them and neither are parties or social events however each to their own and all that jazz (pardon the pun). I listen to more uplifting and motivating music for my workouts as I like to think I’m in a Nike advert LOL and then obviously something to really get the good vibes going when its party time but for the most part now a days I take huge positives from switching to Classical and I’m totally OK with that.
LISTENING TO MYSELF
We are all bombarded with the opinions of others every single day, and especially when we share parts of our health journeys. There’s instagram posts from professionals and non professionals a plenty, Bro-science, scare mongering and the opinions and experiences of our peers all at once. I experienced a lot of opinions when I shared my decision to have a B12 shot, to start taking vitamins and to even trial a IV drip, some of them quite aggressive in tone and I’ve had to learn to drown that out because for me, those things have had such positive impacts in my life so far and you have to do whatever works for you! Obviously if you experience adverse reactions or issues, something probably isn’t working for you but speaking selfishly, I’m learning to drown out all the noise more and listen to what works for me as an individual. If taking a vitamin in the morning gives me more of a sense of self care for myself than any tangible health benefit, and I have the resources to be able to justify the purchase then thats my problem to navigate. I always consult healthcare professionals before under taking anything (you should too, blah blah blah) and make sure I’m full informed but other than that, I’m listening to my mind and my body.
A year and a half ago I got myself a personal instagram account, its not something to advertise because it really is just a space for my family and friends but more importantly its a space for me to relax, post blurry pictures of me laughing with my nephews and all the drunken stories my best friend films of me when we’ve had a few glasses of wine and are belting out Celine Dion stood on her kitchen table. It was good to have a space away from it all and I think whether you have 100 followers or 100million, its a good idea for everyone to have a little bubble or safe place online where you can go and be fearless. It gave me a real understanding of how disconnection can also lead to further productivity and I started building more boundaries in my life including proper working hours and weekends. I decided to adopt the Danish way of thinking when it comes to working as they continually rank as the happiest in the world. They believe if you are working over-time its actually a negative thing and you aren’t doing your job efficiently instead of the culture that is prevalent in the UK where you’re seen as harder working, dedicated, driven and more ambitious if you work late and “put in extra hours”. It’s not a culture I encourage in my office and I shouldn’t be encouraging it for myself either and guess what, I’m happier and more efficient with my days so that I don’t work into the evenings because I honestly LOVE having the time to myself and actively look forward to it. It’s done so much for my over all well being and not just my mind.
SENDING LOVE AND WELL WISHES
I am trying to be better at a number of things but one of the most profound is replacing negative feelings with positive ones instead of simply unfollowing people that maybe make me feel that way and It’s not bloody easy, I think that’s important to be honest about, but it is incredibly liberating. Its also something I know I will be better at on some days and terrible at on others and I’m OK with that as long as I’m taking a little more control of my feelings choosing to promote more good vibes in my space. There will be days when I just have the ‘Neg’ as my brother calls it, and its important to acknowledge that feeling as valid and real and certainly not try to suppress or ignore it. Feel what you have to feel and let tomorrow be a new day with a new mindset and using those good days to send love and well wishes, not literally of course but in your own thoughts to those who maybe previously have prompted negative thoughts or feelings in you or you feel might have hurt you. It’s a practice that only breeds more positivity.
I really wanted to find myself a passion project this year, something that gets my creative juices flowing just for the pure joy of it and initially I planned to make it our Coastal property that I’m dreaming about non stop at the moment, however I appreciate that wouldn’t fall under the category of ‘small things’ as that will be a bloody big passion project. I quickly realised I had the biggest passion project of them all sat right under my nose, my blog! So I’ve made this my passion project and that one little thing that I get to do out of pure passion. Meaning when I feel like writing, I write. It’s not for work, its for enjoyment and I can write however I like, about whatever I like, whenever I like, kind of like how blogging started back in the day. I note down topics that come to mind in my diary that I think I’d quite like to write about and in the evenings when Ali and Lumi watch TV, because I’m not really one to get hooked on a TV show, I would normally read or do bits and bobs from pinning inspo to catching up on online content that I miss. Now I use it to write from my iPad whilst in front of the fire and I do so because I feel like it and it feels wonderful.
Basically if you haven’t worked it out by now, I’m really centring my life around productivity and also happiness to ensure I’m living a life I love whilst still enjoying and being inspired in my work. I want to be able to work hard and live really well at the same time and I don’t think thats too much to ask, so I’m trying it out!
What is your main focus in life at the moment? What are small changes you have made that have a big impact? Do you have a passion project? How do you deal with “the Neg”, so many questions but I love hearing your thoughts. Let me know in the comments!