Every so often, I like to sit back and take stock of my life. I like to look at what’s going well, what’s not going so great and what I want to do better. I think self-improvement can be a really healthy thing. So without further ado, here’s what I’m trying to get better at.
Making better choices
In the UK, we use 7 million disposable coffee cups a day. A few of you reading this will contribute to this figure. I sure know I do. I probably buy about two or three coffees from the work canteen a week, all of which come in disposable coffee cups which I promptly throw away. But although being made mainly of paper, the majority of coffee cups are lined with plastic polyethene to make the cups waterproof and able to contain liquid. This then means that they can’t actually be recycled so only 1 percent of coffee cups actually are. Now that’s a hell of a lot of waste. It can feel pretty fruitless when your one person out of many but doing your part is enough to make a difference, however small it is. So now if I’m getting a coffee, I get it in my keep cup. My work is also offering a really great incentive where you actually receive a discount off your drink when using a reusable cup too. I’m trying to do this with water bottles too and generally trying to make more environmentally friendly decisions. Because even though I might not see an impact, my future family certainly will.
I’ve written about my health and fitness journey before and how I was generally trying to leave a healthier lifestyle. This will still always be the man focus but right now I’m working on toning my upper body and increasing muscle mass. Being completely honest, one of the reasons for this is that I want to look better but I’m also keen to get physically stronger too. I’ve no problem admitting that I am ridiculously weak and it’s something I want to get better at. Now don’t get me wrong – I’m never going to be down the gym every day turning into a bodybuilder but I have completely switched up my gym routine. My gym runs a great programme included in my monthly membership whereby an instructor will talk with you about what you want to achieve and the devise a routine to help you achieve this. Just doing this has made the world of difference as I’ve been introduced to so many new machines and exercises. I’ve ditched cardio almost entirely and am instead doing high-interval training, something that while utterly exhausting, I can feel is making the world of difference.
Last year, I wrote in my blog post Finding My Place that I wanted to stop putting myself down for not being someone who did fashion blog posts or OOTDs. This certainly still applies, but what I want to start doing is being less critical of myself in photographs. Whether someone spontaneously takes a snap or even if I actively ask for one, my instant reaction is to pick flaws whenever I can. It’s like I can’t possibly allow myself to think ‘you know what, I actually look alright!’ I know it’s something Matt finds it incredibly frustrating and it’s almost like we’re looking at two different images. ‘It’s like you want something completely perfect,’ he’s said to me multiple times. And I guess he’s right. But perfect doesn’t exist and I’ve always known that. So now I’m forcing myself to find even something small to like and for that to be enough. Whether it’s just my hair or an outfit I’ve pulled together. And I’m actually getting better. Last weekend I attended a blogging event at Queensgate and my friend Laura took a few photos of me in front of a flower wall. And you know what? They were actually pretty nice.
Removing the problem
You’re probably familiar with Theodore Roosevelt’s quote: ‘Comparison is the thief of joy.’ Doesn’t stop us though, does it? I’m pretty confident this is true of the majority of people generally but for us bloggers, it can be pure hell. It probably doesn’t help that every day we are using social media in several forms and scrolling through content that a lot of the time, doesn’t actually make us feel that great about ourselves. It’s hard for anyone to not compare themselves when we’re faced with ‘perfection.’ Now I don’t need to remind you that you only ever see someone’s highlight reel because we all know that. But that doesn’t actually stop you thinking the things you do. I think it’s always going to be something that’s a battle – especially if it’s someone that you feel you’re on an equal footing with. My solution, and it’s working so far, is simply to remove the comparison. This is easy enough when it’s just a blogger or celebrity you admire from afar, but not so much if they’re a friend. Luckily, I’ve not had this problem myself but it’s now possible to ‘mute’ people on most social media so they won’t know anyway. You might feel a bit mean but they won’t even notice and it’ll do you a world of good and really, that’s the most important thing.
I’d love to know what, if anything, you’re trying to get better at. Let me know in the comments!