October isn’t generally a standard time for making resolutions, cos, yknow, it’s not a new year. It can be a weird time of year because the beautifulness of summer is over, and yet we’re not quite allowed to get excited about Christmas (although I DEFINITELY am). There are lots of great things about autumn. Wrapping up in big furry coats, having an excuse to drive everywhere (lazy), speciality coffees ALL the time, nights in by the fire drinking red wine and watching X Factor… or something more sophisticated. The list goes on. But as great as it is, October is still an in between time that doesn’t have much of a purpose.
For me though, autumn always feels like the start of something new. I don’t know whether it’s all this crisp, fresh air and the hint of seasonal excitement, or just because I’ve never got out of the ‘back to school’ routine. To be honest, this is the first time I haven’t had a complete life change at this time of year. School, travels, uni, moving to Bristol, moving back to London, and now… staying in London. There’s no massive change occurring in my life and it’s a bit disconcerting. Like, I have no reason to buy new stationery and work clothes, what? I’m like a real person with a job that doesn’t centre around the school year. However, doesn’t mean I can’t use the start of the academic year as a reason to make some goals and motivational YOU CAN DO THIS life thoughts.
1. Be more active.
Autumn can be an excuse for us to get into a hibernating rut and hide under our duvets every night after work, but that’s never going to give us the gogetter attitude we need to do life. Exercise, even if it seems like the most horrible thing in the world, will always make you feel better and more alive in the long run. You can be active in a million different ways – a couple of weeks ago I went to a trampoline warehouse and did flips and played dodgeball and flung myself into foam pits, and it was absobloodylutely fantastic. It made me realise how desperately unfit I am, but I felt like a child in all the right ways and I want more of that now please.
2. Look after your body.
Listen to it. Know when it needs a fun night out, know when it needs healthy food and exercise, know when it needs indulgence and fun, and know when it just needs a day of rest.
3. Allow yourself indulgent days.
Enjoy the luxuries of life, and don’t feel bad about it. Give yourself a day off work with the aim of doing nothing, treat yourself and just spend time making yourself happy.
4. Gain skills and experience outside work.
It’s easy to think that once we’ve joined the big bad working world, that’s it, were set. We don’t need to search for work experience because that’s what work is. However you should never underestimate the importance of gaining new skills outside work, especially if you’re not sure what it is you want to do. Volunteer at a youth club, organise events, take online courses (there’s lots of free ones that are actually mega good, try Future Learn), start a new hobby, do anything! It will also give your life more variety and stop that whole ‘searching for newness’ thing.
5. Don’t let anyone influence the way you live your life.
The only person you have to make happy is you. You decide how you spend your time, and who you spend your time with. Make time for the people who uplift you rather than drag you down. You know who will always be there for you, who will prioritise you and have your best interests at heart, and who will never say no when you need to hang out/go out/chat shit. Surround yourself with those people always. Never take them for granted because they are your life.
6. Laugh more.
When’s the last time you laughed so hard you cried? Those moments in life are SO much more important than you realise, and they generally come when you’re with the aforementioned most important people in your life. The best times aren’t always filling your life with events and activities. They are being completely silly and laughing at yourself because ‘oh US, we are so hilarious’ until you have no idea what you’re even laughing at anymore.
7. Discover new places.
My friends and I have decided to try one new place per month, with the hope that we’ll find some that we love and can make into our regular haunts. There are soooo many great places in London that I hear about on the grapevine and instantly forget, so go to the same places time after time. That stops now. Our first one occurred recently and was quite a spontaneous choice but ended up being 100% GREAT. It’s called The Piano Works and it’s basically two pianos, some groovy (yes groovy is absolutely the word of choice here) singers and a backup jazz band who play any song you want. Just write it on their ultra cool napkins and give them a tip if you’re extra generous and REALLY need to hear this song. They also have de-licious cocktails in the manner of gin elderflower and prosecco combinations. Yum. Any more suggestions for new places to try please? Next on my list is The South London Soul Train in Peckham and Cahoots.
8. Appreciate your family.
Make time for them, treat them well, and don’t take them for granted. At the end of the day they’re the ones that will always be there to feed you good healthy foods and bail you out when you’ve spent all your money AGAIN (thanks guys). So make them feel appreciated, they deserve it.
9. Create more homemade foods.
Every now and then after an indulgent weekend I get this feeling like WOW I HAVE EATEN ALL THE FOODS IN THE WORLD WHAT IF I DIE FROM MAHOOSIVE BELLY. I love food ridiculous amounts, but eating out all the time can leave you feeling bloaty, gluttonous and empty in pockets. The feeling after a big hearty home cooked meal is so much more satisfying. Even if you’re the same amount of fullness, the fact that it’s been freshly made by YOU just has a better feel for your tummy and mind. I’ve attempted to go vegan for October (post on THAT palava to follow) so I’ve had to make lots of food at home, and being forced to do that has been nice. I now want to make the time to buy new foods and try new recipes at home at least semi regularly.
10. Read more inspirational quotes.
I love a good inspirational quote, mainly because I fully embrace the cringeness of them and basically allow them to influence my life choices. When I lived in Bristol doing the most boring job known to man, myself and a friend had a deal that we would send each other at least one quote a day. Of course this meant that I would spend 50-60% of my day scrolling through Pinterest quotes to find the perfect ones. Since having a job where I’m actually busy I’ve had less time to quote my life up, but the great Hannah Gale recently reminded me of the importance of a bit of inspiration. I’m now making it my mission to find one quote a day that’s relevant to my life, because we need a reminder that the petty worries we have aren’t what life’s all about, and there are greater things out there waiting for you. Let’s start off with a fave of mine:
“Take time to do what it is that makes your soul happy.”