120 changes in 2018: August

This is month eight of this year’s ’120 changes in 2018’ challenge, and this is the first month when I was close to giving up. Thinking up ten changes every month is getting progressively harder because all the real and tangible changes have already happened. Or have they? I don’t know. But what I do know is that it’s when you’re close to giving up you should push yourself harder to the end line.

Having said that, I admit that I am exhausted and in dire need of a proper holiday, which I can’t plan because I’m waiting for big news that can turn my life upside down in the next few weeks and I can’t have holidays right now.

So the August changes won’t be life-changing, but I feel that they are what I need to help me through this period when I need to stay patient and reserve as much energy as I can. In no particular order, they are.

Get into a morning routine.

Inspired by Lewis Howes’ “School of greatness” book, I will challenge myself to get into a regular morning routine. The rationale is: discipline is the way to excellence – it’s through consistent and focused action that you get yourself fit, calm, motivated and productive.

I get up at 6 am, and it gives me 80 minutes of me-time before I leave for work. Until now, I have been doing a combination of activities below. Now, I will do all of them. Every morning.

  • make bed
  • exercise
  • meditate
  • listen to / watch something motivational
  • write a list of things to complete on the day

Spend a little more time over meals.

Food is the most affordable luxury everyone can have, and it makes sense to take time to enjoy it. I don’t take breakfast, and my lunches are dinners are rarely longer than 20 minutes. I challenge myself to take my time and savour every bite in August.

Enjoy being idle.

August is traditionally the slowest month for me work-wise: most people are on holidays, and the workload is very minimal. In the world that keeps on telling me ‘you must fill every minute with action!!’, I say ‘no, not this month’. For the next four weeks, I allow myself to be idle and enjoy it because very soon it will all be back to hectic normal when September comes.

Unfriend / unfollow people that don’t make me happy.

There are people on social media whose posts make our eyes roll and blood boil. They could be old friends that aren’t friends anymore because you drifted apart. They could be some acquaintances that we friended to be polite but with whom we have nothing in common. Whoever they are or however nice they are as people, if we don’t really want to know what they’ve been up to, we should not subject ourselves to have to suppress any negativity that their posts can cause us. There’s enough negativity out there, so why add it by sticking to people that mean very little anymore? Unfriend. Unfollow.

Say yes to what I’d initially say no to.

I’ve no idea what it will be, but let’s get adventurous.

Hang fairy lights on the balcony.

Hot August evenings, drinks on a balcony, surrounded by fairy lights. Bliss.

Praise people.

“Thank you” is my default phrase when someone does something for me (not if they screw up, though). But I think that adding a little praise, where possible, can take that gratitude to another level. Let’s spread positivity and say good things to each other.

Sail down the canals of Amsterdam.

I’m going to Amsterdam for a long weekend in three weeks. Fingers crossed for some good weather because every single time I went there, it was wet and grey. If I am lucky and the sun is shining, I want to get on a boat to sail the canals, as Amsterdamers do. With a glass of Prosecco in my hands.

Get a cute coffee mug.

I’ve long joined the war on plastic, and this is my next battle: no more single-use coffee cups. To be fair, I don’t buy morning coffee that often, but every little helps and when I do I want my coffee in a cute travel mug. In an ideal world, I’d love to have this Australian cup made into a travel mug:

Create a painting.

This is so not me because I lack painting abilities. But I’ve seen these painting sets in Tiger Tiger, and I want one to express myself on canvas. There are so many bottled emotions right now. Normally, I’d use words to let them out. But there’s something about trying to unleash them in paints that intrigues me. It will be awful, but I think it will do the job and put a smile on my face.

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