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If you've not heard of Gretchen Rubin, if you haven't read her book, The Happiness Project, or perused her blog, I urge you to step to it pronto! I'm seriously not one to read self-help books or the like but I insist that this is not that. It's a page-turner of a read, an instant inspiration-mojo injection, and a real fantastic motivator to setting goals in your life and keeping them. It's not just about the goals though: her writing style and her personal stories have you chuckling and relating all in one breath. It's been on the NY Times Bestseller List for ages. I swear she hasn't paid me to write this, it's just that I truly adore this book. And it's on my re-read list that I posted here so that should say it all.
On her blog the other day, she wrote a really great list of '8 Tips to Feel Better about Yourself'. They are truly fantastic tips for the overall bigger picture of your life. I realised then that I had a list of my own tried and tested tips. And here they are for your reading pleasure below
1. Always drink more water than you think you should. Aim high: try for 10 glasses a day and maybe you'll reach the recommended 8. I always carry a 1L bottle of water around with me. I have one camping out at my desk at all times. If I drink two of these a day I feel like the best version of myself. I think clearer, I'm somehow funnier, wittier, more clever. I don't look as tired. My energy levels are sky high. Not to mention after a couple of weeks keeping this up, how GREAT my skin looks! If you wear contact lenses like I do (non-stop from 9am until at least midnight) I think you should definitely heed this tip. I used to suffer from dry eyes but the amount of water I drink now has completely re-hydrated them.
2. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes at a time. I find the task of brushing my teeth incredibly boring and tedious. There. I said it. I hate brushing my teeth. And yet, it must be done - morning and evening like a normal grown human being. And I just think to myself, if I'm going to do it, I may as well do it right. So, I time myself and aim to get at least 2 minutes of hardcore brushing. Yes, it does help. After a few weeks, my teeth are noticeably whiter and I do feel squeeky clean all over.
3. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. Your face in the morning and the evening. And if you can be bothered, slather some over your body too. My favourite body moisturiser is hands down Palmer's Cocoa Butter. It smells like chocolate (but not in a heavy, sickly way) and it has a tan-ish tint to it which I swear makes me look tan all year round (They don't advertise this though!). If I slather this on before I go to bed, I wake up with the softest skin. It also works brilliantly if you put it on straight after you come out of a hot shower. And over time, it makes everything look a whole load smoother and toned. The Mister HATES the smell though so I've been restricted in my usage. Sad smiley.
4. Never, under any circumstance, pick at your face. You know what I mean. It's oh so tempting at times to tackle those blackheads head-on but trust me, you're only making the situation worse. You are literally spreading dirt and bacteria all over your face and single-handedly causing another breakout. It's a downward spiral. Just don't do it. Make a vow to yourself, today - now - to leave your face alone for a week. I swear you'll see a difference.
5. Only occasionally skip dessert. It's the best part of a meal. Come on. I'm not saying have it every night, but if you're with friends or you're having a special night with your significant other, just GO ALL OUT. I was at a birthday party the other night and I had a piece of the cheesecake, chocolate brownie AND giant cookie my sister made. Having a sweet-tooth is part of who I am. I feel it would be wrong to deny it of myself. Life is short, make it sweet.
6. Do 10 lunges a day. Following on from point number 5, you've got to have balance in your life, right? If you do no other form of exercise at all at least try 10 lunges a day on each leg. That way you're living your life guilt-free and with a pair of glutes to die for. I find them to be one of the most effective quick fixes ever. It takes NO TIME AT ALL. For reals. Do them as soon as you hop out of bed. I dare you. Plus, I don't know if it's just me, but I find that when men are asked whether they prefer boobs to bum, they always say bum. If this is something that matters to you, at least it's completely in your power to work on it!
7. Don't forget Mr. Please and Lady Thank You. It is ridiculous, this day and age, how often we come across rudeness in our daily lives. It's as if these people were born missing this oh-so-important gene. It makes such a difference to be kind to people. Not just to their lives, but it will make you feel so much better as well. It takes no time, no money, no effort - it could possibly be the simplest thing to do ON THE PLANET. And yet, so few people actually practice being polite. When you do come across such people, you feel your faith in humanity is restored. Until someone comes along and with their grizzly-like face makes it all come crashing down again.
8. Cook/Write a little everyday. It seems I've been doing a lot of both lately. I've certainly been writing everyday. And the cooking isn't far behind. The point is, I think I've gained some momentum. I think I've written and cooked more in the past two weeks than I have in the past 2 years and the thing is, I keep doing it because it makes me feel great. Even if I achieve nothing else that day, I feel like I have accomplished something by doing one of those things. I've been productive in one way or another and I have something to show for my day on this earth. Highly recommended!
Do you have 8 tips that are guaranteed to make you feel good about yourself? Please share!