7 Simple Ways to Slow Down & Still be Positive & Productive
It’s the middle of January. How many New Year’s resolutions have you kicked to the kerb so far?
Every year, we make unrealistic New Year’s resolutions and treat the 1st of January like it’s the day we are to be reborn.
Next year I’ll have straight hair, I’ll become a millionaire, and I’ll stop craving chocolate.
By mid-January, we’ve fallen into a pit of despair, having finally realised that a New Year is only an excuse to buy a new planner; not the answer to all our woes.
Scratch that. Let’s reset properly.
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Firstly, unlike what you’ve been told, I’m convinced the answer to a healthy, happy life is not something drastic and spiritual.
Buying a salt lamp, covering yourself in essential oils, and attending yoga every day is not the only answer. Although I do use essential oils post my daily yoga routine, it’s the simple things that instill positivity, success, productivity, peace, and self-respect in my life.
The rare moments when I find myself re-enacting the movie Eat Pray Love, and hashtagging #selfcare do make a difference, but they’re not the cause of my long term success or happiness.
Here’s how I recommend you tackle the year if you want to feel fulfilled and love life. These tips are doable, realistic, and won’t require you to attain a mandala tattoo on your right hip.
1. Wake up and show up
Get out of bed before the rest of the world. I dare you.
After reading countless entrepreneurial books in the past few years, I’ve realised that all successful individuals are not the ones who lie in bed and hit the alarm button for the third time. Wake up, get out of bed, and start the day before the world beats you to it.
Being productive in the early hours of the morning, whether this is your time to exercise, reflect, plan, or eat slowly, will cause a ripple effect of productivity throughout your day. Trust the girl who ran on the beach at 6:30 am this morning, and now has two empty email inboxes, a completed to-do list, and a cold cider awaiting.
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My Sunday morning market ride, may be my very favourite part of the week 🙌 ⠀ .⠀ Catching up with Anni (eggs), exchanging a smile with my veggie dude, chatting with Stacey (honey), talking tea with @groweatheal , and throwing jokes around about how my second veggie dude needs to get rid of his plastic bags 😉 I keep Sunday mornings free at all costs, and try to get to bed early on Saturday so I can bike even faster to the markets to get the best stuff!!💚 It is my happy place.⠀ .⠀ I love consuming food this way: carrying it in my basket, on my back, up a huge stinking hill… makes it more delicious 🌱 I know I’m privileged to be so close to these sweet little markets, but I would SO encourage you to prioritise it if you can!! Do you have markets near you??⠀ .⠀ P.S. look at that sexy bike: Thea (yes, my bike is called Thea) is the most beautiful of all 🚲
2. Spend time with positive souls
You are what you eat, but you are more like who you spend time with. With this in mind, choose who you spend time with carefully.
If you’re up for it, write a list of the people who fill your cup, and make a conscious effort to spend time with them this year. Don’t get stuck in ruts of saying yes to annoying events that drain your energy, and avoid wasting time with those who bring you down or create unneeded chaos.
3. Learn to say “no.”
Do you know the movie ‘Yes Man’? Well, I used to be the ‘HECK Yes Woman.’ I’ve recently learned to say no; it’s changed my life.
Although saying “yes” opens incredible doors, learn to say “no.” Have some self-respect. The more you say “no,” the more people will respect you and value your time. Remember: saying “no” is just saying “yes” to something else.
4. Delete unhelpful apps on your phone
Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube. Social media can take up your entire life. Keep only the apps that affect your life positively.
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I took all social media apps off my phone for 3 days over the New Year period: it was bliss 🙌 This is what I did instead:⠀ .⠀ Stayed sun protected by my @caus_nz hat , ethically made in Ecuador 🌞 .⠀ Ate ice creams from my @rubbishwhisperer collapsible cup (I’m coeliac, so cannot eat cones)⠀ .⠀ Painted my nails with @kesterblack multiple times: this Christmas colour is a new fav💅🏻 .⠀ Do you partake in frequent social media breaks too? 100% recommend them every once in a while to re-gain an understanding of how to use social media productively 💚
5. Choose meaningful and realistic New Year’s resolutions
Don’t pick a resolution just because it’s the hot trend of the year. If you don’t want to lose weight; don’t. If you don’t want to read more books; screw it. Choose resolutions that apply to your habits and life goals. Be realistic, make tangible roadmaps that describe how you’ll get there, and enjoy the journey.
6. Schedule time to ‘be.’
Just because you don’t have an event or meeting in your calendar, does not mean you’re free. “Sorry I’m busy that night” could mean “sorry I’m busy lying on the floor contemplating life, and I might paint my nails.” No one has to know; schedule time to exist and enjoy your own company.
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Zero waste grocery shopping🌿 This was my haul this week: in my veggie bags, but I took them out to show you👐🏻 I’m a very organised person, but I never make shopping lists. HUH?! WHAT KATE!? . Nope: I’ve found that if I make a shopping list, and get excited about the exotic recipes in my cook books, I’m only let down by the plastic coated ingredients I’m not willing to budge on for the sake of my taste-buds. . . Instead, I buy what’s on offer: what’s grown in New Zealand, what’s in stock at the bulk bin store, and what’s in minimal/readily recyclable or reusable packaging. It may sound drastic, but I love how it’s formed my shopping experience: it’s like the world around me forms what I eat: my values create my diet, and it means my body feels healthier for it too! I’ve been enjoying leeks lately, and excited about my 🥝 — I’ve also tagged a few of my fav #zerowaste bloggers I learn constantly from✖️ . . How do you shop?? 🍐🍇🍑🍒
7. Make your own meals
I strongly believe that the benefits of making a meal from start to finish, are underrated. The process of collecting ingredients, cooking a meal, and sitting down to eat, slowly, is good for your mental, emotional, and physical health. Ditch the fast food