I have a tendency of being over excited about anything new and then completely leave it after some time of intense dedication to it (be it a project, a hobby, a routine). I wouldn’t say that I am not consistent with my activities, just that when I start something I also plunge into it at 120% and dedicate all my free time to it (like I did for knitting & crochet for 4 months) and then I leave those activities completely, most probably because of intellectual exhaustion. However, some only temporarily. I am excited by trying new things, but there are hobbies that I actually love for what they are and which I pursue on more normal way after the first excitement. Hence the danger of September, a perfect month for resolutions after a slow Summer, which for me is basically a free ticket to make-your-schedule-as-exciting-as-you-want-everything-is-possible! Works for January too…
Anyways, for this Fall, I made conscious resolutions I can actually stick with, because I either already do, or because I am ready to do things differently this time!
Reading 1 hour per day
As I have started a new job very far from my home (actually 1 hour, which is a lot considering me and my job are in Paris), the good news has been that the journey is so easy despite being long, that I can read almost all the way (back and forth), hence I have already read 3 books since I started mid-July! I always wanted to have time for reading but couldn’t manage a Morning nor evening routine, but now, despite myself and my terrible sense of will, I can! I alternate one novel with one self-improvement book (which makes 2 weeks per book and which to me is the perfect balance). For the record I actually loved the 3 books. For Isabel Allende’s Maya’s Notebook it was no surprise as she always writes compelling stories about tortured characters but keeps it fresh and doesn’t fall into pathos (the books are never depressing!). Marina Bellezza is a touching love story that reminded me a lot of my hometown in Italy as it follows the lives of a young “couple” tortured by their strong mutual love but which beliefs, lifestyle and education separates in every possible way (she wants to become a reality TV star, he wants to run his grandfather’s abandoned farm)…The French equivalent of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k is not revolutionary compared to what I have already read but it is good to be reminded of good daily practices from time to time (it is definitely a self-improvement book). I also just started today You are a Badass at Making Money, by Jen Sincero (for the second time) but I love the other books from the author so I hope to know how to be rich by mid-September.
Running & doing physical activity
As I started running a year ago, I have challenged myself to first run any race and then longer ones every 3 months or so. Despite the fact that I love running (preferably with friends but lately on my own has been quite relaxing) it isn’t always easy to find common schedules with friends, good weather (this Summer has been extremely hot) and a good spot (I moved in a different area recently and getting to the nice big Parisian park takes me about 30min now). The last race I did was a 15km one in June, and I was very proud of finishing it (I never ran such a distance at once)…
…and register a “good” time (I hoped for less than 1h40min).
As I wrote before, I try to be creative, to find excuses to walk more, mostly because I didn’t want to pay for a gym membership until I knew what I am doing next (I am basically always doing something next which could prevent me from doing most things). Anyways, this week-end I benefitted from September’s many offers to attract people with good resolutions like me and I found a club which has fitness rooms near home and near work, which gives me the option to go at lunchtime, after work or during the week-end. Plus I have friends registered too, which will be easier for motivation! The objective is to do at least 3 sessions per week which honestly should be easy at this point and considering that I am in better shape that last times I registered to a fitness club!
I also started a new thing that worked this summer because I could get to work later than usual: walking/running 20-30min with my friend and neighbour at 7AM. I loved it (also because I could catch up with her), it was a perfect wake-up motivator and I felt like having achieved something before even getting to work!
Launch a Side Hustle
I always write about how I want to do something different for a living. That is why I started this blog but it is also why I love trying new things all the time. I like the concept of “Side Hustle” as Chris Guillabeau puts it. Something you do on the side, without quitting your “real job”. Until you can…or not. The important thing is not to invest too much except your time. And keep trying your ideas until something works out. That is why I am reading Jen Sincero’s book but also why the next in line is The $100 Startup : Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love and Work Better To Live More.
I also registered for a 6 weeks online course called SWITCH. I attended a few free presentations/evening open sessions, and I really liked the fact that the people there where all in the look for “something more” and a practical way to achieve it. I know it won’t change everything and I won’t be a 100 000k blogger by the end of the year. however I have a few projects in mind and I’d like to materialize them with the proper tools. For now a side hustle could make me happy, and then eventually if it can turn into a real thing I would be the happiest person.
I am definitely no vegan (not by choice, but not eating meat would be impossible considering where I come from). However, what I would really like to do is to cook vegan dishes when we eat at home and maybe for my lunch boxes. I don’t really eat meat at home anyways, mostly because I am a bad (or actually very impatient) cook. That’s why I go for the salads, the vegetable pies, the pasta. Fast, easy, you cannot really miss them. However, despite hating cooking, I love food, and I am fascinated by colourful and all-in-one bowls! I wish I could had all my menus like that! So my most difficult resolution for September is to eat out only when meeting friends, and cook weekly recipes from my recently purchased books that I already love: Pimp my breakfast, by Lili Barbery-Coulon & Deliciously Ella Every Day: Quick and Easy Recipes for Gluten-Free Snacks, Packed Lunches, and Simple Meals, by Ella Mills.
I won’t review them here as I haven’t really tested them yet. Pimp my breakfast has some (very few) easy recipe that I could make on a daily basis, however it is not really a problem as I don’t eat breakfast (I will write an article about intermittent fasting later on) but she has beautiful ideas for week-end brunches. I had read mixed reviews about Deliciously Ella: Every Day, as what she considers “easy” is not always made with ingredients that us mortals possess in our kitchen. However, after going through one of her books at the library (the world Best Seller Deliciously Ella), I found the recipes original and not that impossible to make (even for me). Despite that, I bought online the “Every day” version which should be even easier. I often work in reverse, instead of buying things useful for a habit I already have, I buy things to motivate me build a new habit. I cannot say it doesn’t always work. I have failed at times, yes, my boyfriend believes I should be more consistent (that word again), however I know what works for me, and part of the fun in my life is trying, even though it means spending some more on things I might end up not liking…knowing that most of the time I love them.