14/06/2013: Mid Year Crisis

It’s been really standard living the past two weeks. I’ve gone to work, come home and everything has pretty much been routine.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been as driven or as go-getting as I should be, so some things – including this blog – have been laid aside.

How depressing.

To be honest I can’t say that it is down to anything other than laziness, procrastination and the willingness to indulge myself in watching just one more episode of Game of Thrones (OMG to the season finale!).

The one thing I am thinking about however, is how we’re already almost halfway through the year!

It always goes so quickly!

You get to this point and think: What have I done with the first half of the year? And in my case: Where has all that motivation and gusto gone?

It’s time to make Mid-Year Resolutions.

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What were your New Years resolutions? Did you achieve anything you planned to achieve at the beginning of this year? Have you done any of them? Could you still do them if you haven’t already?

It can be so great at the beginning of a year: It’s a fresh start, you get the ball rolling and tart doing so many things but you soon find that you can’t manage it all or you lose interest or motivation. No matter how quick it seems to go, a year is also a long time. Once some goals are achieved (for example last year i spent some months abroad at the beginning of the year Feb-April) it’s hard to pick yourself back up and keep going (by June it was same old, same old). But not this year. This year the whole year has got to be good and well used.  It’s time to plan out what the rest of the year is going to be like so that even if you didn’t start well you finish well, and if like me you’re starting to lag, you can get that New Year feeling back again.Make things happen

One place to start is to look at what you’ve already achieved and use that as a springboard from the next 6 months. In my retrospective daydream I can see that I have done quite a few things: I have been reading more and working towards getting a good grip on my finances. I haven’t yet curbed my appetite for new shoes but it has been controlled and my purchases are much more  specific. I have also been tracking it so I know how much I spend where and on what. I’ve been moving forward with the business project and I even took the plunge and cut my hair!

However, there is still a lot more on my list I haven’t done and I don’t want this year to be as the previous years have been: good at the beginning but dry at the end, leading to a resolution that “next year will be different!” and so ground-hog year ensues. My plan to go inter-railing and travel through Europe has been ditched along with the plan to go to Morocco and I really haven’t kept to any good exercise regime so I’m missing a beach-ready body but all is not lost as I’m going to Prague! And I’ll be going to Spain in the winter and have partnered up with my mum to do fitness classes. We just have to start and start now! As the saying goes : “Better late than never”medium

I’m really glad that although I’ve been slowing down there is a whole other six months for me to make something great out of. It hasn’t been perfect and I haven’t been on top of everything as I imagined and would have liked but I’ve definitely been moving. Who would have thought that I would finally be able to Ice-skate backwards by the end of this year?

Also as an added bonus the Sun is starting to shine. I always feel so motivated when the Sun is shining, I hope it stays!

What are your mid-year resolutions? How are you going to make the rest of your year awesome?

Good thing of the day: Mid-Year review. Good to see things have happened and planning for the rest. Ground hog year averted.

20/04/2014: Dove Real Beauty Sketches

I was having a ‘search-for-the-random-song-playing-in-my-head’ moment when I came across this advert on YouTube. I usually skip the adverts as much as possible but this one caught my eye and I had to watch it in full:

Dove have recently launched the ‘Real Beauty Sketches‘ campaign to show women that ‘You are more beautiful than you think‘ .

I know that this is a beauty brand, so there is going to be some element of selling here, but even so, the fact that they would create an advert like this, is amazing. I love these types of campaigns regardless of the underlying advertising, because I know that even if it only happens to one person, somebody could be touched and their outlook on life changed forever.

It was fascinating to see just how different the images that were created from the women’s own descriptions of themselves were, compared to those created from another person’s description. Dove’s research found that ‘only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful‘. This is such as tiny percentage!

Intent focus on all the negatives, rather than habitual celebration of all the positive aspects of yourself, can really affect your outlook on life, including: your attitude, the way you carry yourself and the way you interact with others. The opinion’s of others, magazines, the media and the value that society or culture places on certain looks and attributes can be damaging to one’s self-esteem if you don’t meet all the criteria. We then put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to conform to that image, instead of appreciating what is good about ourselves and the uniqueness we have to offer. This campaign was really eye-opening. How do you see yourself? What do you focus on? What image would you have had drawn?

Personally, I haven’t really had too much of an issue with my appearance – I’m not a model but I think I’m attractive enough. Yes, there are areas I could improve, but I’m not hung up on them as I know that despite my flaws (of which there are many!) I have good features too and so does everyone else. I know that this type of thinking can be hard for many, many people and it can be a battle getting to that point (I’m quite sure that were it not for the positive people around me who have always taught me to appreciate my good qualities, I may not be here either – I mean, there was that period where I hated my legs…but now I love I’m ok with them!). Through my constant observation of people (a daily commute has its uses!) I have found that when you look at another person, you’re more likely to notice and focus on their perfections – that great smile or those lovely eyes – and glance over their flaws. If this is what you do, wouldn’t it be the same for others?

Flaws are there, there’s no denying it, and some people’s flaws are more prominent than others. However, when you look at a person, although you may take note of their flaws, those flaws diminish in comparison to their beauty especially if the person is confident and shining (from within).

One person I love to watch and hear from is Nick Vujicic (watch his story here). He is a man of character with a great personality and good looks (also recently married and had his first child). If he can live with confidence, charisma and no arms and legs, then why do we let things get us down?

We should not let others validate us but should do so ourselves, even if we have to do it a little at a time. Challenge: Each day this week look for one thing you like about yourself and celebrate it!

So, the next time you start to be down on yourself or get hung up with your flaws, remember the Dove advert and remember that other people don’t see you that way. Observe yourself through ‘beauty goggles’ – find your good points and highlight those. You are more beautiful than you think.

Also, here’s another little commercial to tickle your noggin’: ‘Fotoshop by Adobe’

(Please note this is not a real commercial) “This commercial isn’t real, neither are society’s standards of beautyJesse Rosten, creator of ‘Fotoshop by Adobe’.

What do you think of the Dove advert? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

Good thing of the day: Spontaneous catch up with old friends. Always the best!

09/04/2013: Keep It, Use It or Lose it – What Would You Do?

I get to the checkout and it’s empty. I have just one item to pay for and just as I’m about to pay I see some change in the return change box – it’s a little more than the amount I need for what I’m going to buy. There was nobody before me so I can’t chase them to give it back. In that moment, what do I do?

Do I:

1) Pay myself then take the change? (It’s only a small amount, who’ll notice and if I don’t take it someone else will)

2) Use the change and not use my money? (Hey, guess I’ve been blessed today)

3) Pay for the item myself and give the change to a staff member? (But lose out on “free” money and use my own)

Money Moral Dilemma

 

Good thing of the day: I listened to my gut and did the right thing (hard as it was)