Monday, December 22, 2014

The Importance of a Good Routine

Working in retail as I do and have done for the past ten years, it is expected that December can get a little nutty.  Yes, even in a shoe store which you wouldn’t think is traditional Christmas fare, but we do get a lot of people shopping for gifts (thank you customers!).

Being extra-busy in December means I have to be organised and keep my calm.  I cannot freak out too much about not having my housework days and be content that the house is tidy.  I need to organise meals ahead of time so we don’t resort to takeaways that make you feel like crap.  I have to have my Christmas gifts purchased and wrapped so I don’t have a meltdown on Christmas Eve when we’ve just arrived home from work and SURPRISE! Christmas is the next day.

Currently when we get home after the store has closed, it is all I can do to put on a load of washing and make dinner.  I’m just keeping up with the basics and am ok with that.  My half hour of reading with a flute of bubbly (non-alcoholic for me thanks) before we eat dinner is my haven of rest and calm.

I think it is because I have been working on establishing a good routine that I have handled December reasonably well.  My daily walks that I actually look forward to because of my iPod Shuffle have continued, and only dropped off this week because we are working longer hours.  I can’t wait for Christmas day though, so I can go for a nice stroll before breakfast.

I don’t think we’ve eaten one purchased meal at all this month which is a minor miracle in itself.  Instead, starting off the day with fresh fruit, good yoghurt and raw nuts, having our fridge at work stocked with salad vegetables, nice dressings, hard-boiled eggs, leftover roast chicken and back-up cans of tuna for a yummy and filling lunch, and then home for a light and delicious dinner with loads of steamed fresh vegetables.

Eating good stuff makes you feel so much better than eating what I used to consider treat foods.  In September I was diagnosed with celiac disease and so have been eating gluten-free since then which immediately cuts out a lot of pre-prepared foods.  This has made me more aware of what I put into my body and what the results are, as in how I feel after I’ve eaten something.

I had a biopsy to confirm my celiac status and it was a gastroscopy where they put a delightfully long tube into your mouth.  I could see my insides on a tv in the hospital room, those lovely clean and pink tubes and it made me not want to pollute them with plasticky faux foods.  I know I tend to forget what I’ve eaten as soon as I put it in my mouth.  I would never consider what effect it was having on my body other than a nice taste.  Well I’ve had my eyes opened now!

I’m not saying my diet is perfect and I still love to eat something delicious and rich, but it comprises a smaller part of my diet now, and my treats are higher-quality for the most part.

Another part of my normal routine are my favourite sleeping hours - 10pm to 6am, and I have kept these up too.  This has helped enormously in keeping me happy and sane, and I am sleeping like a log because our days are so full, which is wonderful.  Not being able to fall or stay asleep at night is the pits, and I credit my daily exercise in helping with this, and not gutsing myelf with sweet treats at night (sugar hypes you up as any parent will tell you).

Minimal tv is another big thing for me.  At the moment I watch about half an hour in the evening, preferring to spend the rest of my time with a book or magazine, or listening to an audiobook when getting ready for bed, or getting ready in the morning.  

This morning I was listening to this great interview with Brian Tracy.  Brian suggests taking a minute each day to write out your top ten goals in present tense.  Each day do this and over the time some goals will change, some will remain on the list, and it keeps at the forefront of your mind what you want to focus on.  I think this is a great idea and today I will get a jump-start on the New Year by commencing this habit.

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish a lovely Christmas – may it be peaceful, relaxing and fun.  And I will see you next year!


  1. Hi Fiona,

    Thanks for your wisdom. Simple routines help make challenging times go more smoothly -- and it's good to be reminded of that. It's also good to start solidifying goals for the coming year.

    I'm sorry to hear that you have to deal with celiac disease -- it's not a picnic, although with your dietary chic and panache, I'm confident you have it sorted! Was that a key aspect of the adrenal fatigue you mentioned a few months ago given the malabsorption that results? I have had similar challenges and can relate to the horrors of gastroscopies. Yeesh.

    All the best to you and all your readers for Christmas and the New Year. Hears to a wonderful 2015!


  2. Hi Fiona
    With my promotions business, this too is my busy season but unlike you I sadly let my routines go by the wayside... Microwave meals, no exercise, resultant poor sleep, exhaustion, etc.
    But I'm on leave now and getting myself and my home back on track. The Christmas decor is up at last; cooking & baking planned (relaxing, not a chore!); healthy shopping list ready; friends and family prioritised; oh, and a pedi booked for me.
    All will be fine, but I've already glued a copy of your
    post in my diary for October next year as a reminder to Keep Things Chic ESPECIALLY when work gets hectic.
    Your blog is my fave, thanks for sharing, wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas and here's to a super chic, and simple, 2015!

  3. Hi Alison, yes, the test results were all interlinked - my iron stores were empty from malabsorption so I am pleased to know what I can do to make myself feel better and I am putting a postive spin on things. Thank you for your kind wishes!

    Susan, oh no, I've been where you are but that's ok, you are making it up to yourself now. All you can do is start from today. Thank you for your lovely comment.

  4. Wishing you a Happy Holiday Fiona.
    You are looking fabulous and your good habits are obviously paying off.
    Wishing you a very healthy and prosperous New Year.

  5. I look forward to your posts. Thanks for reminding me that my health helps me keep on top of everything instead of being boring. Merry Christms

  6. Fiona,
    I'd like to say too that your blog is in my top 3 that I check in on daily-so I am always happy when you have posted! You DO look healthy, slim and chic and your message always tends to inspire me to pull up my best too. In the middle of the USA I am sending best holiday wishes to you and your readers and looking forward to a chic, balanced and happy 2015!

  7. Thank you very much Hostess, and all the best to you.

    Anonymous, you've hit it on the head - changing your mind about things - I now realise that is what I am doing. I used to think salads were boring, now I think yum/refreshing/crunchy/delicious. I used to think early nights were boring but now I think peaceful sanctuary. We can do that with anything can't we!

    Brenhna, thank you for your kind comment and all the best to you.

  8. You look like the picture of health and radiance!

  9. Good post, but I am commenting to tell you that I love the photo. You look fabulous (and, yes, very chic!).

  10. You are an inspiration to me! Your beautiful spirit radiates in your eyes and smile. Thank you for your words of encouragement earlier, and best wishes to you for a Merry Christmas!

  11. Hi Fiona

    Very best wishes to you and yours for Christmas and the New Year.


  12. I discovered your blog recently, Fiona, and I have profited from it already. This offering is so motivating to me! I am never sorry when I push myself just that little bit more to do the things I know are best.

  13. Stephanie, Melodee, Prestigious School, Kerrie, Spud and Lori, thank you so much for your lovely comments.

  14. Fiona, your blog is truly my very favorite! Wishing you a happy new year!

  15. You are looking well so those simple routines are definitely a benefit. I have a quiet time every evening listening to a podcast or reading a book. By 10, I am fast asleep and I keep the 6 am rising time even though I am retired. I look forward to reading your blog. Have a happy holiday season!

  16. Wishing you and your love ones a Merry Christmas and Joyous, Safe New Year!
    I am veery happy that you are posting again.
    Thank you

  17. Fiona, Thank you for your blog. I love photo, you look very chic and happy.

  18. Italians often say "Auguri!" which is a shortened form of "Best Wishes." I hope you have a fabulous 2015, Fiona!

    Not only have you inspired me to declutter, but I frequently find myself thinking about your latest post days after I've read it.

    Since I dropped off a donation today, plus it's Christmastime, I have finished my 100 Things project. I ended up with a total of... 80! I started this task fairly decluttered, so if I can do this, anyone can! It's nice to know that if I move in 2015, that I won't be carrying unnecessary items to my new place.

    Final 100 Things Update:
    64-65. two giant novelty wine glasses that were a gift this Christmas
    66. light up outdoor reindeer that was a gift a few Christmases ago
    67. Santa door draft blocker that was a gift a few Christmases ago
    68. mostly used old roll of Christmas gift wrap. It's time for a new pattern next year.
    69. half used notepad
    70. and matching pen
    71-72. two SD cards with little storage capacity. I do not even own a digital camera at the moment. They likely came each came with a camera over the years.
    73. 3-tier bleacher-style stand. I bought it for the three rectangular plates which I kept. I only donated the stand I have never used.
    74-77. four bras of the wrong size
    78-80. three small drawstring bags I kept in my jewelry armoire that I never used even though I enjoy traveling.

  19. Routine is everything! Wishing you a happy new year Fiona and I look forward to reading your posts in 2015. You look amazing in this photo by the way :)

  20. Thanks for this post Fiona! You've inspired me with all this chicness and continue to to do so. Sleeping early keeps in sane too:) Happy New Year, cheers!

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Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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