This is what July changes plans were. And this is what happened to them.
Wear less makeup.
My makeup routine is quite simple all year long, but this month I allowed sunkissed skin to be my best makeup on most days.
Three lessons learnt from my less-makeup month. One: Clinique’s City Block SPF has a very subtle tint to it that evens out the skin tone and so you don’t need to wear anything on top of it – nice! Two: I still feel my best with mascara on and flicks so I am going to spend 10 minutes perfecting those. Three: the world goes on as usual on my no-makeup days so it’s perfectly fine to go shopping bare-faced.
Use castor oil on eyelashes.
Confirmed: I’ve noticed a difference after a month of regular use – my lashes are longer. Not like twice as long but certainly longer. It’s super cheap (I got mine for about £5) and last forever because you only need a small amount to rub into your lashline. Bargain.
Read 1 book per week.
Yes but. Not all books are created equal, and some are longer than others so take more than a week. In July, I finished:
- “If I could tell you just one thing” by Richard Reed – see a post about this amazing book here;
- “The Multi-Hyphen Method: work less, create more, and design a career that works for you” by Emma Gannon – a good read for inspiration but I hoped to get more actionable tips (available on Amazon here);
- and “Talk like TED” by Carmine Gallo – long and tedious but worth it (available on Amazon here).
And I am still reading:
- “The school of greatness” by Lewis Howes (available on Amazon here)
- and “Swell: sailing the Pacific in search of surf and self”by Liz Clark (available on Amazon here).
I am also slowly making it through “French: short stories for beginners” to improve my French. Overall, I’m happy with myself for reading a lot these days.
Think up 5 realistic side jobs.
This is still a difficult challenge for me because I’ve not found anything that I think will give me a stable income outside of my usual work. But here are my five side job ideas:
- start an online agency
- become a business consultant
- write and sell books
- monetise blog
- become an influencer
But to be honest, when I look at the above, I can see how I can make those happen but I don’t feel a burning desire to do so. Maybe I’m lazy. Or maybe I need to find other ways to make money that will excite me to the point where the extra money will be a side effect but not a primary goal.
Verdict: continue looking.
Review direct debits.
This was a good initiative, even though I only cancelled two direct debits. They’ll not save me much money, but it’s so much more about taking back control over where my money goes than about savings.
Verdict: repeat regularly.
Cancel automatic lottery tickets.
Done. Highly recommended.
Take more photos.
Nope. I realised one important thing: to take good photos, you have to be in the moment. And so I didn’t want to artificially create any moments just to use my camera. Having said that, I did enjoy taking fewer but better photos when the moment was just right, like in the featured image on this post where I am in Zaragoza truly admiring the stunning cathedral.
Record nice things people say about me.
Quite by chance, I had a couple of people say nice things about me in the last month. One was as simple as ‘it’s always such a pleasure working with you’. It went straight into my book of praise. In my darkest days, I will flip through the pages and be uplifted.
No new body care.
I bought one new shower gel when I was one shower away from finishing an old bottle. Very pleased with myself. There is something inexplicably satisfying about finishing stocks of stuff and seeing clean spaces.
Verdict: continue this approach to all skin and body care.
Swim in San Sebastian.
You have to be fortunate to be in San Sebastian on a good day: the place is in top three wettest cities in the whole of Spain. But not only was I lucky with the weather, I also had the second half of the day to myself, which I naturally spent on the beach. And yes, I finally plunged into the sea which was refreshingly cool. So good. Why did I wait 6 years to do it?
Verdict: do it again when the chance comes. I mean: