This was the August plan. And this is what happened.
Get into a morning routine.
A good idea, even if I didn’t repeat the same actions every single day. The plan was to get a habit of making the bed, exercising, meditating, listening to something motivational and writing lists of things to complete every morning. Unsurprisingly, exercising daily has been hard, but I managed maybe 20 days out of 31, which is more than before. Surprisingly, finding something motivational to watch or listen to has also been hard because there’s too much repetitive rubbish out there, so in the end, I moved to 2-3 good podcasts or videos per week.
Do I feel better after a month trial? Yes. Having a clear morning routine allowed me to have control over my life first thing in the morning, and it’s a good feeling to start a day with.
Spend a little more time over meals.
Highly recommended. Food is a pleasure, so it makes sense to prolong it by 5-10 minutes when possible and savour every bite.
Enjoy being idle.
Yes, please. My workload is now back to normal, and I am very grateful that I allowed myself to just chill without pushing myself into doing something useful. Then again, reading books on a balcony in early evenings was useful for my peace of mind.
Verdict: continue when life circumstances allow.
Unfriend / unfollow people that don’t make me happy.
I cannot tell you how good it feels to let go of people that you hold on to simply because you don’t want to seem impolite or unfriendly even if they add no value to your life. Same thing about things. In spring, I decluttered my physical space. In August, I decluttered my mind. When I find a way to declutter my feelings about certain things and feelings, I will do that too.
Say yes to what I’d initially say no to.
I’m not sure about this one.
So I said ‘yes’ to my hairdresser when she asked if I wanted a coffee (normally I refuse), and their coffee machine turned out to August. Ok, shit happens, move on.
Then I went to Amsterdam for a long weekend, where I said yes to – no, not smoking weed – having a couple of trips outside of the city with my friend’s friends even though I fancied quiet strolls along Amsterdam’s canals with my husband. And oh I regretted it. Without going into too many details, I did not time spent with those people, and it ruined the weekend that I had been so looking forward to having.
So no, saying yes when you’d rather say no is not always a good idea.
Hang fairy lights on the balcony.
Love it. My solar-panel-activated lights cost me £13, and they add a lovely and cosy glow to my evenings.
Verdict: yes, please.
I don’t think I did it as often as I hoped, but when I did, it felt terrific to see smiles on people’s faces. It’s such a simple act of kindness that I so should exercise more often.
Sail down the canals of Amsterdam.
It was such a weird trip. On the one hand, I had the most fantastic time there: they had a classical music concert on a canal, and my friend was able to get us invited to watch it from a boat with the comfort of wine and snacks. It was magical
I’m grateful for the opportunities to enjoy the local lifestyle, but there are things I just can’t share and enjoy, no matter how grateful I am. So when I’m in Amsterdam next time, I think I’ll enjoy my own company.
Get a cute coffee mug.
Mission abort. I’m reducing dairy consumption, so I won’t be ordering lattes or flat whites from coffee houses, and I won’t be going there for take-away espressos, and the need for my own travel coffee mug just disappeared.
Create a painting.
I tried and failed, so I got a colouring book – you know, that kind we all must have had when we were children. Mine is full of different flowers, waiting to be painted in whatever colours I desire, and it proved to be therapeutical: there’s no question that my ‘paintings’ are of flowers, but I still have enough room to ‘express myself’ and paint my daffodils blue because why not.