Recreating Routine & Cate Parr Fashion Watercolour Illustration

Recreating Routine & Cate Parr Fashion Watercolour Illustration

It’s already been nearly a month into the new year… have you lost the feeling of refreshment yet?

Many of us set about creating resolutions and goals for ourselves with a fresh start in mind (I’m one of them).  The sad reality is that the majority of us don’t follow through with the near impossible restrictions and ideals we set for ourselves.  Speaking solely for myself here, I’m totally guilty of laying out unrealistic standards for both achieving goals, and the amount of time I allow myself to do them.  My mind is set up like the producers behind The Biggest Loser or Dancing With The Stars… insane time frames to achieve the extreme (while of course imagining that I can pull off my regular day throughout it all).  A little word up to those of you who think it’s possible… it is, but at the potential cost of your health and sanity.  When we compare ourselves to celebrities, experienced professionals who have dedicated their lives to their studies and careers, or whoever else’s grass we consider to be greener in any particular way, we forget the discipline and gradual incorporation of all the layers it involves to get there.  I remember the feeling I had on new years eve as the countdown finally began.  It was a hopeful impression, a relief paired with being able to remould myself a little more from that moment forward.  While it’s easy to say you shouldn’t wait for a set time or date to begin the changes you want and need in your life, you do have to instill a starting point (and stick with it!).

There are a plethora of reasons why we all fall off the bandwagon.  Too much work, not enough preparation and organization, laziness, lack of time, money… you name it, it’s been used as an excuse.  That’s all they really are too – excuses made up by your mind to justify it not happening.  While I’d love to say this is a mind over matter thing (like many inspirational videos do), I’ve turned into much more of a realist than that.  You can’t depend on a spur of the moment bout of hope or speech to keep you fuelled in your motivation and progression.  You can’t switch on and off as you like, giving it your all to the point of strain, then holding back to recover.  You’ll never get anywhere like that.  It’s a decision you make in your grown up psyche.  It’s a choice to choose certain things over others, starting slow until it feels natural.  It’s understanding when you’re ready to adopt the next step of difficulty.  It’s acknowledging your strengths, weaknesses, procrastinations, and interests.  I’ve identified many things that drive me to quit or ignore the tough stuff – here’s how I defeat them.

 

 

Chase the feeling of internal satisfaction…

I’m a true believer in doing what you love, in every area of your life.  Here’s the problem with just going with the mainstream flow instead of finding where your real interests lie – you don’t invest yourself.  When there is a failed connection to the actions you follow through with (be it work, relationships, exercise, or how you spend your down time), there is a lack of return for your efforts.  I wish I could say we humans are that selfless, but the cold hard truth is that we’ll rarely keep on pursuing something without getting a return back for ourselves.  Want to get fit but hate the gym?  Why not try winter running, yoga, or joining an intramural sports team (to keep you consistent through the winter months)?  Need a job but hate the one you’re working at?  Start looking for something that gives you what you need financially, and fills your spirit with worth (you should never settle for one or the other).  Love your boyfriend but can’t see a future together?  Maybe it’s time to call a spade a spade and give in to the blind faith of knowing that there is someone out there who will make you giddy with anticipation for what’s to come in your lives together.  You are never trapped or bound to things you dislike doing (or are even indifferent to).  When we are satisfied, we are more loyal and try harder.  We go the extra mile to protect and bestow what we’ve got (and the benefits that come with).  Make the effort, and seek out the life you love contributing to.

Start slow, build up…

Here’s where I usually go wrong.  I get inspired (let’s take cookie making as an example), start experimenting (making cookies), research other people who are really good at what they do for tips and tricks (bakery shops, Etsy shops, catering services), think I could become the same while maintaing my actual job (this is where I begin modifying recipes and ordering all sorts of supplies), then lose interest just as I’ve more or less gotten the hold of it all.  In the end, sure I’ve got some wicked cookie-making skills, but the build up was way too passionate and obsessive for it to ever have had a chance at longevity.  The real deception is where I promise myself that I will inevitably get back to it after I’ve conquered my crazy to-do list (a well known impossibility).  The moral to this story is that just like a great pair of trendy Prada pumps, next season you’re on to looking for your next fix.  Try a lot of things, but be hesitant to commit until you know you really love it and it’s something you’ll stand by.  Not only are these cookie-making fixations bad for the wallet (who can constantly buy entire start-ups of every interest they’ve acquired?), they’re bad for the attention span.  Sticking with something requires discipline.  Discipline is much, much easier when you look forward to whatever it is you’re doing (and even then, expect it to be hard).  Once you’ve found the gem you love, make sure to set yourself up in a way that makes it beneficial, easy, and exciting to continue.  Hot yoga has become this very thing for me.  Although some days I’m tired, sore, and have other commitments and difficulties to face, I try to make it a daily practice (give or take a day or two a week).  Of course, I didn’t start off this way.  When I began, it was pricey, difficult on my body, and a pain in the ass commute – but I found little ways to make it better and more advantageous.  Over time, I scored a years membership for an unbeatable price (taking the financial aspect out of the equation), revelled in noticing my newfound strength, and enjoyed running errands in the area before and after classes (making better use of my time).  When you really make time for something new and gratifying, the universe rewards you with insatiable returns of happiness and result.

 

 

 

Screw “to-do’s”, budget your time…

The problem with to-do’s, is that they pile up faster than you can keep a handle on them, and are generally given way too much time to complete (often getting pushed back, and put off).  While it feels great to tick of action after action on your list, the robbed time eventually always comes back to haunt you.  That painting you’ve been wanting to start for years now (that you’ve bought every supply for) holds no weight when it comes to the chores and errands that have deadlines and time limitations.  It’s easy to feel like a hamster in a wheel, constantly chasing down the blocks in your day that only handle the essentials.  What I’ve just begun implementing into my life, is a daily breakdown of my time.  My problem, is that I have many interests, responsibilities, and deadlines (and want to do it all, progressing every one of them a little more each day).  While often bigger chunks of time will go to specific projects, I’ll always budget in extras to touch on everything I want to do.  It doesn’t mean you need a full afternoon to knit, maybe half an hour.  Then, switch it up to cooking something from scratch for two hours.  Maybe you really need to do laundry or clean the bathroom.  Get as much done as you can in an hour and a half, then leave it for the next day.  Apply this most specifically to your work, adding here and there to different aspects of what you’re currently working on (not only will it act as research, it will give what you do much more depth).  Break it all down in the morning, and keep tabs on your list.  Wake up earlier if you have to, and always make sure to schedule in a healthy dose of daily you time.  Add in love to your every task, and by the time you hit the hay you’ll be exhausted with anticipation for tomorrow.

Appreciate and simplify…

I really like the idea of a mini at-home meditation corner.  This doesn’t mean you have to set up a crystal and tarot shop, or dedicate a wall to reminders, goddesses and aspirations (although, I think that’s pretty cool too).  A place to clear your mind, focus on your direction for the day, and call well-needed time outs is a great way of not losing yourself to the ridiculous hype and expectations of the outside world.  Social circles can harp on you for not having this or that, not subscribing to their preferred way of life, and even accuse you of being difficult or greedy for making your own choices.  When you get home to your sanctuary, as much as you may have to entertain vanity and self obsession during your day, leave it at the door and remove yourself from it all.  Life is really simple when you subtract all the bullshit.  Eat well and take care of your health, work hard and make money, plan for your future (and your family’s), travel, live within your means (or lower), learn, love, and enjoy the simple acts that most take for granted.  Anything else is a waste (and usually isn’t returned back to you).  If anyone tries to put you down for the latter, tell them to go to hell (also a very simple resolution).  The more crap you cut out, the more time you free up to accomplish the amazing.

Team up for support…

I know we all think we’re self sufficient enough to do it all, but in all honesty, why the hell would we want to?  We can learn so much from others (be sure to choose these people wisely), benefit so much from the support partnering up with them offers (while still knowing and valuing flying solo when it’s required), and fall back on them when we need to be caught.  My man is my single biggest supporter in transforming my health, informing me in business, and pushing me to be my best/most independent.  My lady friends Elle and Tara help me monumentally when it comes to pairing up with me and making things fun and social.  Miss Dora is the outlet I love when I just need a day off to spill emotional beans.  My mom and dad are my pride and joy.  My mans mom and grandma are incredible women who offer insightful support when I need it most.  Going through my days with these amazing people in my life make me look forward to absolutely everything I set out to do (even if it’s groceries or unpacking).  I love that I can trust them, and I love how close we’ve all become over many fabulous years side by side (even when it’s been countries apart!).  As much as I know I too contribute to their well being, they make my every day existence incredible.  There is no bigger blessing than honest and genuine people surrounding you.  With pure intentions and gained wisdom, there is nothing all of you can’t get to with each other’s blessings and non-judgemental backing.

 

Stop straining yourself…

Being successful doesn’t mean burning the candle at both ends.  Often times, it’s justified to be over tired or worked because you’ve set your newfound regime into motion (and many people take it as a sign that they’re well on their way).  Let me be very clear: there is a huge difference between getting used to a new routine, and plain old overdoing it.  While consistency is key, you can’t be stubborn enough to deny yourself rest when needed.  In fact, I highly recommend it.  When you’re too tired, you half ass things to conserve energy.  If you wake up super early, try to squeeze a nap in somewhere.  If your day really took it all out of you, then go home and sleep – keep the extras for the next day after you’ve recharged.  Set your goals on things you can master and keep up one at a time.  There’s no point in demanding ten different things from yourself all at once and seeing if you sink or swim.  Start with one, get used to it, and begin incorporating the next into your routine once you feel able to handle it reasonably (then repeat, repeat, repeat!).  Gym-wise, know that just because your muscles hurt like hell, doesn’t mean you’re making any progression (or saving yourself from long-term damage).  It probably means you’re doing it wrong, or attempting exercises that aren’t properly suited to your body type.  Seek out professional advice (not ask.com or fitness magazines that offer a one size fits all remedy – be wary of unfit personal trainers too!), and trust your gut when it comes to finding something that will deliver the results you want without piling on the strain.

 

 

Start being an honest asshole…

This applies to anything you don’t want to do in an effort to accommodate or entertain major time/money wasters.  Your friends want to travel somewhere you don’t?  Go out for a night out on the town when you should be saving your money?  Eat out somewhere you can’t afford (or better yet, don’t want to afford)?  Say no.  No justifications, excuses, or self put-downs.  Just plain old asshole no.  Excruciatingly hard at first, but very addictive and savory the more you practice.  You know what they say after all… practice makes perfect!  Don’t fall victim to the “you never want to do anything anymore” or “why is it always on your terms” by counter offering something you both really enjoy doing together.  Apply the asshole no to anything that is keeping you astray from what you really want to be doing (subtract family and responsibility from this equation).  Streamlining and retaining focus when it comes to your goals is positively impacted when you remove all the fluff.

Prioritize the basics…

Adopt a ma and pa mentality when it comes to the extras you allow yourself to do.  Remember the good old days when you couldn’t go to that concert if your grades weren’t over a certain percentage?  Where you’d get cut off if your priorities started to drag?  Going out with friends, travelling, and watching TV are all indulgences that hold no precedence over maintaining your responsibilities (food, clean home, pets, family, finances, significant other, etc…).  If you don’t have the basics in order, you shouldn’t be allowing yourself more just yet.  You might think this is extreme, but I’m telling you – when all your fundamentals are in order, and you sit down for that anticipated cup of coffee with your bestie, the whole experience of it will taste that much sweeter.

Maintaining a happy and well stocked/cleaned home makes for ground space with so much potential for growth and personal development.  When everything is organized and in order, it’s at arms reach – nothing stopping you.  Not only will productivity shine a light on your life, but it will exercise maintaining high standards for yourself.  Soon enough, it will be second nature, and those bigger projects and hauls in life will seem effortless.  Besides, who doesn’t love coming home after a hard day of non-stop action and really retreating into their own?  Take pride in the errands, chores, and upkeep (apply this to your body, food, relationships, and career).

So what were my resolutions?

  • Get a Victoria’s Secret enviable body (in a healthier, more consistent and less restrictive way)
  • Cut down on the vices that leave me lagging (coffee, white bread, white sugar, and fried foods)
  • Call my mom and dad more often
  • Spend only on necessities, enjoy the power of classic basics
  • Sell my knit creations on Etsy
  • Continue adding to my ink drawing Etsy shop (maybe even design my own deck of Tarot cards, or create a stationery/card set with my artwork)
  • Learn how to read Tarot
  • Say thank you to life more (even if it’s just as momentarily thoughts)
  • Liquidate most of my material things.  I want to keep only things I consistently reuse/have sentimental value to me.
  • Get a better mortgage
  • Put my blood, sweat, and tears into my new business

How have I been doing a month in?

I’ve been working out nearly every day, keeping aware of the food that mindlessly goes into my body at times, calling the rents, spending only when it’s truly justifiable (and no, not in a fashion way), knitting a little every day, taking moments to stop and say thank you (to people too), selling my things one by one, and the rest is well on it’s way…

 

Get inspired (above), and send some love to the awesome Cate Parr!

 How have you been keeping up with it all?  Any tips and/or tricks for mastering the art of introducing the new into your life?  Spill your secrets…

xox

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