It’s my birthday week, and I’m not sure how I feel about that fact. On the one hand I’m healthy, happy, and further along in most aspects of life than I was one year ago (but to be clear still can’t avoid gorging on a cheese plate). On the other hand I’m constantly striving to do/be/write/life/save/eat better because I am a perfectionist and a borderline yuppie (but to be clear all the way yuppie). So I thought this post might serve as reminder of my self improvement successes over the past 12 months (that are to be taken with a serious grain of salt because I only do then 75% of the time – fine 60). Here are:
7 Self Improvement Tips for 30-Somethings (slash everyone)
[Note: I’ll always mention when gifts have been provided]
- I started taking way better care of my skin. A, because it makes me feel better about myself and B, because your skin is all over your body, and your body needs to be healthy to survive. I made three strong moves in this department:
- 1. I bought new beauty products that are completely non-toxic. Most come from a company called Beauty Counter.
- 2. I started wearing sunscreen on my face and exposed body parts (shoulders, relax) every day. For face I’m using COOLA, for body I’m currently trying Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc sunscreen. No matter the brand I’m looking for broad spectrum coverage at 30 spf.
- 3. I have been getting affordable facials every other month from Face Haus – the new “facial bar” in LA. $45 for 30 minutes but far cheaper with the package.
- I actually learned about the effects of food and exercise on my body. When Mandy Levy gifted me a copy of her new book Calorie Accounting I was skeptical. I am as anti fad diet as they come (she said with a dozen Special K diets under her belt and just as many juice cleanses). But this book – in addition to being hysterical – is far more about information than insane instruction. Mandy delivers cold, hard facts, rooted in cold, hard science delivered like a 100+ page comedy show.
- I started waking up at the exact same time every day, earlier. We are all creatures of habit, and I get in trouble when I forget that fact. My brain functions best in the morning, and I get far more work done if I start that work before 9am. I now set my alarm for 6:45; we walk Louie from 7-7:45; I quickly get ready, and I’m out the door and off to the cafe where I work most mornings by 8:15. It seems to be working (I’m there right now!)
- I (mostly) stopped drinking coffee after 3:00pm. Bottom line, it’s more expensive than tea, and I don’t need the late afternoon caffeine. This is a small thing, but those count too.
- I read the newspaper every Sunday. By “the newspaper” I mean Sunday Styles, Sunday Review and the front page of the New York Times, but that is something. I started doing that A, to know things about our world but also B, because all my ideas for new projects were stale and/or about my dog. Drawing from the world helps writers, and the world is not just people watching from the cafe where you sit as people walk in after their yoga class every morning.
- I learned how to take a compliment. I am a chronic diminisher of compliments. Tell me you like what I’m wearing and I’ll say something along the lines of, “Oh thanks…it’s so old!” or, “Oh this? Literally $5 from Target!” or, “Oh really? I feel like it’s too much…” Now I say, “thank you for saying that!” and I move on.
- I tried so hard to embrace the concept of “less is more” This past year I learned some tough lessons about the law of diminishing return. That’s where your work/life/focus/energy gets incredibly crappy the more you try to pile onto your plate. I’m an expert on arriving at the conclusion that more is less – the reverse, not so much. My goal for my 32nd year of life is to feel less overwhelmed and more focused. If that means I produce less but it’s all a higher quality then mission accomplished.
Be back Thursday for my 8th annual birthday post. EIGHT YEARS of birthday reflections! You’d think I’d have figured out the meaning of life at this point, but here I am still trying to quit cheese and calm the F down. Baby steps, for life.