Well we’re halfway through January so for some folks that means their resolutions went out the window about 3 days ago… and thats the problem with resolutions isn’t it? You decide to make a big change and that “this is gonna be your year” and either there are too many resolutions to keep up with or the resolution is much too big or far fetched to reach and most people will get overwhelmed after a week of some sort of uncomfortable change & just say “screw it, I’ll __________ next year” and revert back to the same old same old. Its a tale as old as time. But it doesn’t have to be. This year really can be different, this year really can be your year.
What if instead of thinking of resolutions as a vehicle to change something you don’t like about yourself you resolved to take a little better care of yourself? What if instead of something to be attacked we viewed resolutions as something to be indulged in? A way to be nicer to ourselves. What are we talking about? And why are we, a beauty blog even talking about this? Because we think resolutions should come down to self care. And instead of thinking of ourselves as members of the beauty industry (because honestly it can get downright ugly) we prefer to think of ourselves as being in the self care industry. As such we wanted to give a few ideas for turning some resolutions on their head so that you’ll actually look forward to, feel good about and totally stick to them.
Typical Resolution #1: I want to lose ___ pounds this year
How “most” people view the map to accomplishing this goal: Eating restrictively, working out a lot, deprivation. There is a reason gyms are overrun in January & February and revert back to their usual capacity the remaining 10 months of the year. There is a reason companies can hock skinny teas & fat burners in the spring promising a “summer body” as though the summer is the only time to have a body you’re happy with. Because it is hard to maintain “the perfect body” as its perpetuated to us in every source of media available to our eyeballs. There is no quick fix & two months of intensely hard work and ultra clean eating aren’t going to undo previous years of damage. They just aren’t. SO- riddle me this: Why do we want to lose ___ pounds this year?
Lets examine it. Do you feel uncomfortable in your clothes? Is there a particular physical activity or event you’d like to participate in? Have you had a health scare or a lab result you didn’t like? These are all things that you’re going to be more emotionally attached to and driven toward than a number on a scale. Lets take the clothes thing. Are you uncomfortable in your clothes and you know that at XYZ weight they all fit well and you felt good? Yes, great so instead of focusing on the number lets focus on your favorite jeans. Was it the physical competition thing that spoke to you? Ok lets focus on that whatever it may be. Sign up for that race, competition, league, whatever. NOW. Go sign up. We will wait. Did you do it? Are you excited? Are you motivated to work for it? Yea probably a lot more so than a stupid number on a scale- and you shouldn’t be deprived of participating until you reach that magic number either! Have you had a health scare? Thats never fun, whether you’re pre-diabetic or have high blood pressure there are lots of cases of people coming back from a health issue better than ever by altering their diet and exercise in combination with their doctors strategy — NOT by being XYZ pounds on the dot. OK, now that we’ve shifted your focus onto something thats more emotional and MATTERS in your heart how do we get there??? We aren’t trainers, dietitians or health care practitioners but we do have some advice for leading a healthy lifestyle that you enjoy. Step one- lose the mental image of overgrammed “perfect” bodies. You only live in your body, and your body is pretty damn great because you live there. So lets make this about liking yourself.
Step 2: If you hate going to a traditional gym, don’t sign up for a traditional gym. You might force yourself to go temporarily because of the monetary investment but that will taper off. It just will. The people who are at the gym as much in December as they are in January are there because they enjoy it, if this is you then great join the traditional gym/rec center! If not….. What DO you like to do? There are a litany of types of gyms in this day and age. Theres Orange Theory for interval training, Core Power for yoga, Pure Barre, Crossfit Boxes, Running Clubs and on and on and on. You should WANT to do your workout, so spend your money on something you’ll enjoy! Even better- do you have a friend or family member who is a trainer? Hire them! If you’re going to “waste” your money on a traditional gym you won’t end up going to wouldn’t you rather spend both your time and money with someone you know and is invested in your success or something you at least like? Why do we look at exercise as something to be dreaded? It should be the best part of your day. So find what YOU like- even if its just a walk with your dog, your exercise regimen doesn’t have to be like anyone else’s. Moving your body is super important, but whats more important is fueling your body properly. You should look forward to that too.
There are SO MANY diets out & about in the world and the vibe from most of them is similar. No wheat, no dairy, no alcohol, no sugar. Some have more restrictions. And a lot of them get great results. But if all you’re thinking about is what you CAN’T have you probably won’t be successful in sticking to this longterm. Do some research into nutrition and see what sounds right for you. Find a local nutritionist and see what their rates are if you feel particularly lost or you just haven’t a clue where to start or what will be beneficial for your body composition. In fact, I have seen a bunch of tailored nutrition programs online for free right now with coaches looking to reach new people. Pick a direction that appeals to YOUR sensibilities and YOUR knowledge of your own preferences do what you need to do to fuel yourself properly. Whatever you do, don’t start with a cleanse. Start with fuel. Its not about deprivation, its about indulging in food that is good for you. Researching what certain foods do for you is a great way to advance your nutritional knowledge as well as make you look forward to the benefits upon consumption. Whatever you decide on, focus on real food that YOU enjoy. Beets have a lot of great nutritional benefits, a lot of people love beets and prepare them all sorts of fancy ways. I hate beets. I don’t care about the benefits or how they’re roasted I’m not going to choke them down. So if you hate beets, don’t eat beets, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still eat healthy- you just have to eat the (real) food you DO enjoy. And finally, MODERATION. You’re not giving up sugar for the whole year, don’t kid yourself. So focus on fueling yourself properly most of the time and when you cheat and eat something you swore you wouldn’t, at least SAVOR it. You heard me. If you screw up whatever lifestyle change you’ve subscribed to at least enjoy it! Strip the guilt and lick every last crumb of brownie off your fingers. Your whole year isn’t ruined, theres no sense in slashing your other three tires. Its all good. Long term health is built on consistency, not perfection.
Typical Resolution #2: I am going to stick to XYZ budget!
How “most” people view the map to accomplishing this goal: writing out their income and expenses and cutting out anything even remotely close to being considered a “luxury” item. There is a reason that so many people in this country live paycheck to paycheck or have massive credit card debt. Its called consumerism. We get it. We sell products in our salon, we market them, we promote them and we hope you’ll buy them. But not just for the sake of buying them, we only carry and promote things we feel are truly beneficial to you personally. If you have fine, limp hair we will never sell you a curl serum just to take your money. Its wrong on several levels, its wasteful and it betrays your trust. A better way to cull through your budget is going to be looking at your purchases through this lens as well. You’re going to need things throughout the year, you’re going to “treat yo’self” but lets change the way you do it so that you don’t have a bunch of crap you don’t need/use/wear at the end of the year and more credit card debt than ever before.
Ask yourself these questions before any “non-essential” purchase: Can you live without it? Its ok if the answer is yes and you still really really want it. How does it benefit you? Do you have something like it? Do you have to give up something else in order to have this? Are you only buying it because its on sale? Emotionally how are you feeling at this exact moment- are you happy/mad/sad about something else and spending money to feel differently? Are you buying this because of FOMO?
Once you’ve asked yourself these questions you’ll be leaning one way or the other. “Meh, I don’t actually really want it” OR “I shall call it my Squishy and it shall be MINE!”. Either answer is fine. At least now you’ve consciously considered it and not just thrown it in your cart with no regard for budgets and balances. Conscious shopping, if you really ask yourself the questions and really answer them honestly will save you a bunch of money this year, I guarantee it. And you won’t have to switch to Suave shampoo or convert to minimalism and a capsule wardrobe to make room in your budget either.
Another way to save money or at least feel better about it when you do spend money is to be more conscious of where and with whom you spend your money. Research companies and buy from them because you like what they’re about, whether they donate to starving children or make products from recycled goods or they’re a local business supporting their families (ahem- thank you, seriously thank you, we appreciate you). It requires a little more cognition, but the reward is worth it. Some great companies that we personally like and feel good giving our hard earned dollars to are: Toms, Patagonia, LunatiCK Cosmetic Labs, Trader Joes, Pulp Riot, Love Your Melon, Caribou Coffee, Passion Planner, and numerous locally crafted Esty shop owners.
This isn’t to say “to hell with your CPA and their Excel spreadsheets!” because you should totally listen to whatever professional financial advisement you have (even if its just your parents).What we are saying, again is to look at it differently. Don’t think in terms of deprivation, think in terms of making your spending count and how much more you’ll actually enjoy your purchases if you’ll more carefully consider them.
Typical Resolution #3: I am going to get organized this year!
How “most” people view accomplishing this: buying a bunch of containers, label makers, planners, highlighters & washi tape. We get it, we LOVE label makers and planners and the idea that our lives can look like a snapshot from a Pinterest board. There are two types of organization to tackle here. Clutter organization and time organization.
For the clutter, and actually this one will help with your budget resolution too. Don’t buy storage bins/containers etc. Go through your stuff and donate it or trash it. Seriously. If the thought of parting with stuff you don’t even remember that you have and haven’t seen in 9 months at the back of the closet freaks you out, check out “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. You’re probably not disorganized, you probably have too much stuff. Embrace a good purge. Then organize, you’ll probably find its much easier with half the junk 😉 You’ll also feel lighter, happier & less stressed with less stuff, so again we’ve ended up back at self care. See the theme here.
For the schedule. We have recommended Passion Planners in the past, and we stand by that. We both live out of them and if you know us personally you have definitely heard both of us utter the phrase “If I don’t write it down it doesn’t exist” maybe even in unison. So if you are a planner person, we highly recommend these, they kick your average DayTimer right in the ass. But maybe you don’t need to write a bunch of stuff down- you just need to get where you’re going on time and feel less rushed all the time. Do NOT make a resolution to get up earlier. You will fail. I’m sorry, its a fact. Instead give yourself a bedtime. Yes, we know you’re a strong, independent woman blah blah blah- if you feel disorganized with your time, give yourself a bedtime and your whole life will fall into place. I mean not if you give yourself 2am and you have to be at work at 7 every morning- but you get the idea. Wash your face, brush your teeth, turn off electronics and get some shut eye at a consistent time nightly. You will be a new human. Also chronic inadequate sleep can literally take years off your life, so get your jammies on, its a matter of life and death!
We aren’t bashing these resolutions, we just feel like every year we hear people committing to them and then failing and feeling crappy about themselves. Being healthy shouldn’t be a chore, being financially secure shouldn’t be a fairy tale and being organized isn’t just for Type A A*holes. You just have to flip the mindset and look at everything as a way to take care of yourself.
Our Resolution Challenge
We would like to challenge you to a resolution this year. Every single day we want you to perform an act of self care. It doesn’t have to be a fatty cheat meal, a treat yo’self shopping spree or a trip to the salon every single day. Some days certainly. But every day at least acknowledge something you’re doing to care for yourself, not because you have to but because its good for you and you’re being nice to you. Sometimes its going to be drinking 80 ounces of water and crushing a killer workout. Some days its going to be sleeping in and giving yourself a rest. Some days it will be rocking a presentation at work and some days it will be calling in sick to go skiing instead. Some days it will just be taking your vitamins or telling yourself “its ok we’ll try again tomorrow”. Some days it will be admitting a newly found love for retinol. Some days it will just be NOT texting your ex. Some days it will be a new haircut (ayoooo). The point is it will be different for everyone, everyday. But be nice to you, if theres one thing we’ve learned behind the chair is that women don’t give themselves enough credit, or feel guilty when they do. So take care, literally. We love ya, you should too.