Health. Home. Hustle.
The September Update
I’ve come to think of September as the ‘new new year’.
Whilst January has a special place in my heart too (it’s my birthday month after all 🎉) the hangover of the festive season and grey cold days often leave me feeling like I can’t quite get going until well into January.
Do you find the same?
Instead, September comes off of the back of the summer holidays. Your tan is intact, you’ve (hopefully!) had a few weeks of R&R and there’s a general positivity around September which is unique.
I am particularly grateful for the good vibes of the new season this year. Whilst Instagram is a wonderful platform to curate your ‘perfect life’ on, behind the scenes I felt pretty ‘blah’ for a good few weeks of the summer. After such a busy start to the year, with the launch of Big Small Business and Let’s Discuss (alongside regular blogging and y’know – life), by the time summer rolled round I was all: “world, I have no more to give right now”.
After a true break – meaning no blog posting, a two week holiday in the sun, and sporadic contact with social media – I’m entering the new season feeling a whole lot more positive and focused. And I hope that this blog post can help you too to enter the new season feeling good!
So where to begin?
You may remember back in January that I shared my priorities for 2017 via my Health Home Hustle approach.
As we enter the ‘new new year’ I want to revisit those priorities with you, and share where I am at with them now.
I’ve reconnected with them all, and I have to say that overall I feel a whole lot healthier, happier and more inspired for it!
You ready? Settle in with a cup of something tasty. This one’s a long’un!
A HEALTH HOME HUSTLE RECAP
Put simply: Health > Home > Hustle is the order of priorities I set for 2017.
You most likely can empathise with a version of those priorities – just not always in that order, right?
Whilst naturally there are seasons when ‘hustle’ feels like comes to the forefront of your life, I’ve noticed that unless Health and Home underpin Hustle, everything begins to feel disjointed and at times overwhelming.
When I begin to feel those threads beginning to fray I like to remind myself: Health first, Home second and Hustle last.
Here’s how Health. Home. Hustle. look for me, the autumn version:
“I’ve noticed that unless Health and Home underpin Hustle,
everything begins to feel disjointed and at times overwhelming.”
Health was and is consciously my #1 priority this year.
Really, health should be everyone’s #1 priority all year every year but I know how easy it is to put your own health at the bottom of your to-do list.
Health constitutes (for me anyway) your physical, mental and spiritual (whatever that looks like for you) wellbeing.
Over the summer months I took a different approach to my wellbeing – starting with getting completely out of routine with exercise – but strangely it felt good!
I believe in seasons, and whilst I wasn’t going to the gym as often as I had been earlier in the year I was focusing on my health in another way – namely getting enough sleep, spending time with loved ones, and simply switching off for a bit.
I came to realise at some point that I wasn’t really enjoying the gym that much any more, and was finding it more stressful than beneficial to attend a class. Literally the opposite outcome of what I was aiming for!
A regular exercise routine works when I have a regular work/life routine, but it’s thrown off-course when I travel or have other commitments.
I’m sure most people are the same, and you don’t have to feel guilty about it.
As long as your commitment to exercise is long-term, it doesn’t really matter if you miss a few weeks or even months of classes.
“As long as your commitment to exercise is long-term,
it doesn’t really matter
if you miss a few weeks or even months of classes.
When you can get back into it,
dust off your leggings and book up those classes!”
When you can get back into it, dust off your leggings and book up those classes!
Side note: I managed to split the crotch of my leggings on my first class back so best check that your gear is still in good condition before heading in 🙊!
Having taken the summer to rest, sleep, give my brain a break and generally slow down, it’s great to get back into working out, now that I actually want to.
Being fit and healthy isn’t all about attending 5 exercise classes a week, it’s about really gauging how you are feeling and doing whatever you can to help yourself feel good and well in that moment.
I feel a helluva lot better for having taken a few months off of the gym, and now I’m so much more energised going back!
With good health, everything else follows.
Exercise isn’t everything of course, but it is a huge part of how I focus on feeling well. Both my mental and physical wellbeing benefit.
If you’re feeling creaky this September, then putting your health up at the top (seriously, that bad boy needs to come above everything else) of your priorities list goes a LONG way in helping you to feel energised, inspired and well.
I havn’t touched on diet here, but of course eating well and nourishing your body from within helps enormously too. If you need to reset your diet, I recommend following the Camille Styles Cleanse which I followed earlier in the year and felt great for!
Let me take you back to the week before my summer holiday and introduce you to: ‘Sofa Monica’.
Sofa Monica spent hours every single day feeling ‘at one’ with the soft furnishings, working ‘remotely’ on her laptop and making the long journey between toaster and sofa whilst binge-watching Netflix.
#LifeGoals right? I can tell you it felt GLORIOUS.
Sometimes we all just need to take a little break, and there was not even an ounce of my being that had any interest in organising, or even particularly cleaning, my home.
To clarify: we weren’t living in a tip or anything, but our flat sure as hell wasn’t looking its best.
Your home environment is so important, even more so if like me you work from home. It figures then that an organised, clean, well-presented home can contribute to your overall happiness. But, you need to have the energy to tackle it.
For me, coming back energised from my holiday, I went hell for leather on our home and cleared clutter, painted walls, re-arranged furniture and it felt GREAT.
I realised that a cluttered home was actually becoming a stumbling block for me as I didn’t particular want to work from my desktop (hello laptop hours), or put away my clothes properly, as everything just felt like such a huge effort. Annoying things like bumping into a stack of miscellaneous lottery tickets/loose change/etc became draining. And tiny draining moments can add up to serious energy-zapping.
Since clearing things up (and staying on top of it) everything is SO much easier, which in turn helps me to feel energised.
Despite setting the intention of prioritising my home over my work this year in January, I realised that I had sneakily flipped my priorities and was choosing work rather than my home pretty consistently.
Instead, for the past few weeks I have been doing everything home-related first, and working second.
This in turn has actually helped me to focus so much better on my work as I am not bogged down by niggling tasks. Plus, by the end of the day I can actually just switch off and relax rather than feeling frustrated at our house not being in order.
I tried the Marie Kondo technique and it didn’t work for me (yet), but a simple few days of elbow grease have worked a charm!
If you too have let things slip at home, let me be your cheerleader and share that your home is so so important. If you are happy at home I truly believe that you will feel more positive at work and in life too!
Have a clutter clear-out, do your laundry, buy some new home accessories . . . whatever it is! Take the time to take pride in your home and I promise you it’ll reward you in return.
And on a final note on the home – if like me you don’t have a dish washer – doing your dishes every single night before bed is a mood-booster like no other! Waking up to a clear kitchen is seriously dreamy. Take it from a reformed “shall we just leave them I’m soooo tired” kind of girl – a clear kitchen surface is a bigger mood-booster than coffee in the morning!
“I’m dreaming (and doing) bigger,
whilst working what feels like ‘less’
and I guess that’s some way towards
“working smarter, not harder”.”
I am ALL about the Hustle (I mean every ambitious business-owner I imagine says the same!) but nowadays ‘hustle’ has to be on my terms.
Side note: I feel pretty sassy typing that.
Hustle can help you to achieve goals, and help you to be brave with your decisions. But it doesn’t mean denying yourself of other life focuses, or sleep, or time with your loved ones.
You know the saying: “work smarter, not harder” – I’ve always loved that saying but didn’t really ‘get’ it.
“How can you achieve more, without working more?” was historically my train of thought.
It’s taken me years but I’ve finally come to realise what working smarter not harder means – and no doubt I’ll keep learning!
- spending out on things and people that can help you (see delegating above)
- planning WAY ahead
- re-connecting with your core purpose
- seeking advice
- building your tribe of colleagues or fellow business-owners
- prioritising yourself in amongst all of the goals for your business
- re-charging your batteries every single day, not just when you reach ‘critical burnout’
And so much more I’m sure I’m not listing.
Being ‘smart’ with your hustle may mean that you’re spending more money, or loosening the grip on tasks which you’ve been doing yourself forever, but it’ll also give you back TIME and time is just as (if not more) valuable than money.
As I enter the autumn season of work, I’m looking at long-lead deadlines, planning way ahead, enjoying shorter more focused work hours, and being careful with my ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers.
In October I’ll be sharing a HUGE milestone with you – the launch of my first physical product (!!!) and by the time it launches it’ll have been eighteen months in the making! That’s the longest lead time I’ve had for any work project ever, but it feels so good to have allowed it the time and space I wanted it to have.
I’m dreaming (and doing) bigger, whilst working what feels like ‘less’ and I guess that’s some way towards that “working smarter, not harder” thing.
“Hustle can help you to achieve goals,
and help you to be brave with your decisions.
But it doesn’t mean denying yourself of other life focuses”
Firstly – hey girl hey if you made it to the end of this post! I know it’s a long one!
Overall, I can summarise this post/life-lessons-learnt as such:
Health. Home. Hustle. is still my order of priorities for 2017, and it’ll likely be my order of priorities for the foreseeable future, but as with anything at times this year I’ve veered away from that ‘ideal’ order of priorities.
The Hustle definitely overtook the Home and Health areas of my life for some of this year so far, and turns out it doesn’t really work in the long-run.
Yes, there will be some long working days, and times when you just have to “dig in and do the work”, but I’m aiming to underpin those times with a steady Health and Home foundation.
Having regained focus on my personal wellbeing and home environment, I’m aiming for the rest of the year to keep those at the forefront of my priorities, so that I can enjoy the Hustle I love so much too!
WHAT’S YOUR TAKE?
How are your priorities panning out this year?
Have you been following the Health, Home, Hustle approach too, or would you like to?
I’d love to know!
Love, Monica x
Opticals: Warby Parker
Notebook: Papier (from the Birchbox collaboration earlier in the year – but you can get similar still!)
Pink Notebook and To-Do List: kikki.K
Inspirational Quote Cards: kikki.K
Photography by Frances McMahon