Step by step plan to a happier life. Step 1.

Step 1:Change habits one at a time.

I just had to delve right into how I feel about the 360° changes I am doing to my life.

How did I come to this point where I saw so much wrong in myself or my life to want to change it?

I guess my first thought is that of never wanting to feel “that” feeling of regret. Not to say that I don’t have regrets in life, I have one major one but its done now and I can’t change it.

I don’t want to become older and look back to see I never tried to follow my dream in fashion. I never want to look back and see that I never tried to make my body better at a time when I only put 6 kilos on and not 26 kilos!

You see I’m afraid of letting things get so bad that I can’t reverse it. OK, so I never excercised in my life. Over 30 and not a day in the gym. But I was never taught this good habit in my family and frankly we didn’t have the luxury to. We were always in hospitals day in day out, and financially speaking going to the gym or getting a trainer was zero chance. But, I never “needed” exercise. OK hold on, we all need exercise I get it, and it’s a good habit to have to retain a great body not to just make one. But since my priority was always hospital and coping with my illness, it was never engrained into me since childhood that excercise is necessary. Sorry mum.

I have always been a size 8. Always happy with my body, buying any clothes I wanted and always looking good. Yes I had a pause period where I became a size 12 for a year or so but it came and went. Without exercise.

As of a year ago, hitting 35, my “old” genes kicked in. It seemed like overnight whatever I used to eat, bread or biscuits that wouldn’t touch me, seemed to latch onto my fat cells like leeches. Before I knew it within 3 months I put 6 kilos. In my panic I tried to figure out how to get rid of them.

Before it’s too late!

The stress and worry just meant that over the next few months, while figuring out how to lose the weight, I ended up gaining another 3 kilos. I had no habits engrained into my mind or life which meant that if I put weight on I trigger the habit and I know instantly how to lose weight. Because I never had to do it before.

No experience. Whatsoever.

It was a disaster. Just ended up feeling overhwelmed about this problem, that I didn’t know how to deal with, had no previous experience or trigger in place to help me fix it. The overwhelm turned to worry and the failure of not being able to figure it out turned into disgust and hatred of my body.

I speak in past tense because now I realise that I am able to fix it. The difference now is the “taking action” part. Why worry about what could be done when you actually have to take action to do it?

Light bulb moment.

It sounds pretty simple but when our mind encounters a problem it panics in overwhelm. It tries to figure out the best way in achieving results but ends up remaining in the “figure out” stage rather than taking action to fix it. Because our mind is afraid of failure. And when it does fail because it skips the action stage it feels disgusted.

I figured out soon enough that I skipped the action stage. Doh! So, since there are still actions to be taken, still solutions to fix the problem, why worry? Why beat myself up?

I am starting by tackling the overwhelm. This is the key to success.

One small change. One small step. One part of my life. At a time.

No rush.

I have taken two core parts of my life which take priority and need help first. Parts which can not wait until another year passes.

I decided to write them down so I can visualise them.

Visualisation is only one part of the game.

“Visualisation is a daydream with a purpose” – Bo Bennett

The other part is that I am making very small manageable changes which will break a couple of bad habits and build new ones.

Here we go.

Part 1. Healthier Body

Step 1: Eat a healthy full breakfast

Stop going to work on an empty stomach, relying on the lazy quick fix of a croissant and coffee while walking to work. Saving time is not that necesaary when it comes to something as important as my body. Savouring time, like the French do to eat food slowly. That matters. The bad habit is replaced, by my husband’s caring nature to help me out. I prepare my breakfast the night before, he brings me breakfast in bed in the morning.

Step 2: Plan lunches better

Only a few days into the year and I haven’t planned my lunches as well as I should, mainly because I’m still in holiday mode. Just to make life easier I opened a PrimeNow account as my local Tesco doesn’t stock everything I need. Especially Rude Organic Almond Milk which is impossible to find here. Get a delivery home within 2 hours et voila! More time to spend on taking more actions in my daily routine. Fridge now filled with healthy alternative. No excuses. Done and dusted.

I made a plan for lunch on dialysis which basically is to grab Blueberries and Blackberries and a mini carrots and houmous pot from Tesco. I only eat sandwiches on dialysis days. One only. That’s all the carbs I allow in my diet.

As for work, I did some research and found an Itsu not far from work. It has a healthy tofu salad option. Since I haven’t practiced my healthy living beyond New Years holiday period yet, I have no idea how it will all go.

But for success having alternative solutions is paramount.

I know myself and although to commit means to combat laziness, it doesn’t mean I have to remove all laziness from life to the point that I start feeling overwhelmed with stress by putting too much energy into everything I do in my life.

So, easy alternatives then. Marks and Spencer makes ready-cooked chicken legs, so I can grab one of those, with a boiled egg from our office canteen, and a carrot and houmous pot. If I still get hungry I can buy fruit. See? Always easy-does-it solutions.

Step 3: Small dinners

Not as hard as building a breakfast habit but still hard to break. I would never be hungry in the mornings. Now I have to reverse balance my day, eating nothing is going to be hard before bed. I sometimes feel starved at the end of my day even with a full breakfast and a good lunch. So I grab a wheat free bread and a frankfurter with ketchup. It’s my go to secret treat. Over time as my body gets used to having bigger breakfast and lunch, dinner will become just a snack.

Patience.

Step 4. Take my pills better

This is just a point of being more conscious. It is a new habit to eat healthy so I associated it with taking my pills “healthily”. Now, I take my pills better. It helps that I have scattered pill boxes around the house and office desk.

Step 5. Build light excercise into my routine.

I guess it helps that we have free gym at work. Excercise is the one thing I’m very much finding difficult factoring into my life. But I start work tomorrow so if I set it in my mind then I’m sure I will do it.

Will let you know how it goes!

Part 2. Passion for Fashion.

Step 1. Prepare the website.

As long as the website is ready I can launch anytime. Whether sooner or later. And I don’t have to worry about it once its done.

I pay someone to do this as the time it takes to go all techy is a headache.

Invest in the right people and get the right quality in return.

Step 2. Concentrate on the Product

So, I drew 3 or 4 collections before I decided to settle on the theme of my first collection.

I wanted to make sure my first collection it simpler to manufacture than any of my other ideas as this is my first try at this. I have no experience in fashion, working in a couture house or a manufacturer. So every step I take is extremely difficult.

I decided on the theme “warpaint”. One simple word that symbolises exactly what my brand is about.

A modern urban warrior out in the urban jungle, puts her armour on and her face paint ready to fight and conquer the world!

Step 3. Complete my business plan.

At some point I need investors to be inspired by my products. Its important to have a business plan at the ready any moment a potential investor is ready to listen.

The best aspect is that I graduated from Cass Business School with an MSc Management Degree. I concentrated a on entrepreneurship in my degree. I completed a business plan and a marketing plan, and got high grade in a Venture Capital module.

So some experience under my belt. But practical business experience comes from my husband whom comes from a family of entrepreneurs.

The result is taking bitesize steps towards achieving goals in life.

One little bite at a time.

Yum. The future tastes sweet!

Success tastes even sweeter!

The Incorrigible Islingtonite

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