A friend of mine from long ago once said, “Don’t be afraid to take a wrecking ball to your entire life in order to redesign it to a life you will love”. She was giving advice to an unhappy mutual friend who wanted to leave her live-in boyfriend, but she was afraid of upsetting her parents, social circle, and others who all adored him. He wasn’t nice to her, didn’t appreciate her, and sometimes let the cover slip and even belittled her in public, so some of her friends saw his other side. She did leave him, despite the fact she lost clients who knew him, her parents berated her for losing a “catch”, and some of their friends stopped talking to her to side with him. She moved on to a knew place, made some new friends, got a different job, and stopped visiting her parents for her weekly flogging. She actually changed everything (stopped coloring her hair red for him, started to exercise, took cooking classes, finally went to France and Australia, and later married someone who did want kids, just like she did). It was a complete life renovation that scared her so much she put it off for over two years, but when she finally did it, she can’t even recognize the disaster of a life she used to live in.
Moral of the story: Don’t be afraid to change, and even change everything, in order to create a life you are in love with. It’s ok to change everything that doesn’t serve you or makes you unhappy… please ignore the naysayers, they don’t have to live in your shoes and deal with the consequences of your choices.
And with that, our new habits for this wee!
Move your buns. If you are a relatively sedentary person, someone who only exercises sporadically, or especially if you are someone who never exercises and has a desk job where you are sitting on your bum 8 hours a day, it’s really important to get your body moving. This habit is for people who aren’t already in the habit of incorporating regular exercise into their lifestyle, and it’s really important because a sedentary lifestyle shortens the lifespan and can lead to a slew of health problems. How to start moving? If nothing else, start walking. If you drive to work, park far away and walk to your building, take all the steps, and make sure you get up from your desk every half hour. If you can walk to work, even better. If you have a bike and the weather is nice, head out for a bike ride. If the weather isn’t that great, at least get on a raincoat and go for a 5 minute walk. Start counting your steps, and start working your way up to a minimum of 5,000 steps a day or 15 minutes of exercise a day, whether or not it’s in a gym. If you prefer to stay home, away from prying eyes, open up a window for fresh air, and put in an exercise tape or do some squats and jumping jacks. As the weeks go by, consider choosing 3 days for more aggressive or longer exercise activities, at least 20-30 minutes a day (and based on your inclination toward working out and your results, you can increase after our project- up to you!)
This week, let’s focus on our hair! A great hair day is probably one of the biggest mood elevators, and can make you feel like you can take on anything when you are starting the day with great hair, so the more good hair days you have, the better.
How to get great hair days:
1 Take care of your hair- whether you need to ensure you are getting all your nutrients from your diet so your hair grows in healthy, or you need to treat your hair to some TLC via hair masks, going easier on the coloring and heat processing, or just not exposing it to heavy elements like sun and wind so much, start looking for ways to treat your hair way so it grows in strong and healthy and beautiful. It doesn’t take much to ruin hair, so consider what you’d like your hair to look like (ideally a length, color, and style that flatters you the most) and take steps to get there in the healthiest way possible.
2 If you can’t style your hair yourself, get your hair professionally styled (even just a blow out) before big parties or work events, so you always look your best. Ask your stylist to go easy on the heat so your hair stays healthy after being styled.
3 Watch YouTube videos on how to grow your hair long if this is your goal, or how to highlight your hair safely at home without foils, so you can achieve your Rapunzel dreams without having to shell out a fortune for hair extensions or professional highlights.
4 Protect your hair with heat-protective sprays if you heat style it, and satin pillow cases or caps if your ends tend to break easily.
5 If you curl your hair, try to use products that don’t require heat (soft curler wraps or sponge curlers) or use heating elements on the lowest effective setting. Same goes for straighteners.
6 Seal the ends of your hair with a conditioner or oils, and wear protective hair styles that protect your hair from blowing in the wind too much or from being tugged by your purse strap or coat collar
7 If your hair is a mess and you need to start over, get it cut and start over… the right way. Take your biotin, try to process your hair as little as possible, don’t expose it to damaging elements like heat and friction anymore than necessary, and keep it healthy and conditioned or oiled as needed.
I wanted to share this tip early, because time is fleeting. Three of my grandparents have already passed, and after my first grandfather passed away, one of my biggest regrets was feeling that I barely knew him. I never really sat down to talk to him, I had no idea what his life was life, what he did as a kid, and what it was like to live through several wars and become the father of ten. The regret was so powerful, that I made it a point to talk to his wife (my grandma) quite a bit after that, and start asking her questions.
– What was life in the village like when you were young?
– How did you meet grandpa?
– What was life like during the war?
– What were your dreams as a kid?
and lots more. I felt like I got to know her, and she was so sweet, so endearing, so funny! I also talked to my other grandfather, and am so glad I did because they have both since passed, and today, when I think about them, I feel like I know them. I always loved them, but I feel even closer to them and love them more because I knew more about them and heard about many anecdotes from their lives over the years, and I cherish them. I have one grandmother that I’m lucky to still have with me, and when I visit her, I talk to her. I ask her questions. I don’t ever want to feel like I missed out again. My grandmother taught me to knit, and while we knitted, we talked, and it’s wonderful for me to have these memories to hold on to. If you no longer have grandparents, or are estranged from them, please talk to the people you are close to, and really talk to them. Ask them questions, learn about them, see them and let them feel seen and loved. One day they may not be around, and you will appreciate having known them more when you had the chance.
A great way to save money, in addition to actually just putting part of each paycheck aside into savings, is to plug up holes in your budget where money is wasted. For example, if you love streaming shows on Hulu, and have months worth of TV watching lined up in your favorites so you don’t have time to watch anything else, why are you paying for Netflix all those unwatched months? If you pay to store things you probably will never use or need again, and maybe even forgot what you are storing, maybe it’s time to let it all go and get your dollars you spend on renting the storage space back into your budget for other use? Use this week to consider places you waste money that really aren’t necessary, and cancel them. You can find ways to make more money, and find ways to save more money, and together it’s a powerful tool to have more money, so let’s start by saving!
By the way, if you are looking for free sources for TV shows, movies, magazines, eBooks and audiobooks (in addition to borrowing books for free from the local library), check out this post about how to watch movies free here!