Saturday, April 9, 2016

Chic Technique: The Chic Pattern Interrupter

I’ve heard this term ‘pattern interrupt’ and it seems to be used to describe anything you can use to stop you doing what you’re doing and go in a different direction.  It’s most popularly used to help you exchange bad habits for good ones.

Examples I've heard are wearing a hairband around your wrist and snapping it when you find yourself in a bad habit such as thinking negatively or gossiping etc.  You can also use a word or affirmation to snap yourself out of an unhelpful train of thought or when you’re about to indulge in a habit you want to change such as snacking between meals and eating when you’re not hungry.  Something as simple as the word 'chic' or 'I am chic today and always'.

In today’s video I share some of my ‘chic’ pattern interrupters; ideas that I have found really useful as I build my desired life day-by-day.  Please enjoy the video for more information; you will also find a list of what I discuss below:

Fiona’s Chic Pattern Interrupters

Watch a chic French DVD
Go to the movies and see something stylish
Dress up and go out – even if just to window-shop
Go for a walk
Book a haircut
Pick something off your wish-list and make plans for it
Read a book from my shelf at home.
Do the opposite of what you’d normally do.  For me, I’m so frugal – it’s a habit now – even though I don’t need to be as much these days as opposed to five years ago, so I chose two things and spent money on them (still not that much).

And a few more I thought of afterwards:
Swap lipstick for gloss or vice versa
Change the side you part your hair on
Paint your nails if they’re normally bare
Move clothing around in your wardrobe so that different pieces are at the front
Sort and fold a clothing drawer – the next day feels different when I’m getting dressed!
Move furniture or pictures around
Change anything ornamental on display

None of the above are very earth-shattering, but I find it’s the tiny changes that are quickest and easiest to make, and they still have an effect.  Minimum effort, maximum result - that's what works for me.

I do hope you view the video and I’d love to hear any ideas that come up for you.  As always, I enjoy adding new ideas to my list.  I have a whole folder on my computer called Fiona’s Notebook and it has lists such as the one above.  I love visiting this folder for a browse and to be inspired.  I decided to name the folder ‘Fiona’s Notebook’ instead of ‘My Notebook’ and any files I add now are called (for example):

Fiona’s Journal Prompts
Fiona’s Décor Style
Fiona’s Favourite Quotes
Fiona’s Affirmations etc

From this simple naming change I find that I love them more.  One of Dale Carnegie’s tips in How to Win Friends and Influence People (such a great book) is to use a person’s name when you are speaking with them because the sweetest word in the entire world to a person is their own name.  Why not use the same technique on yourself by personalising all your inspiration files?

I remember a funny story about that book - I was reading it on a plane trip home many years ago and I'd just finished the 'use the other person's name' chapter when we landed.  I thanked the stewardess by name as I disembarked (she was wearing a badge) and her whole face changed into a big smile.  I was quite taken aback at how quickly Mr Carnegie's tip was proven correct!


  1. Would love some ideas for chic French DVDs!

    Thanks for an inspiring post.

  2. Love this post- so inspiring! My ideas are simple but they work effectively; a small piece of chocolate, reading a magazine, trying a new hair up do, playing music and dancing around my living room, listening to classical music in my car, buying myself a very inexpensive but gorgeous bouquet of flowers.

    Fiona- hoping one day you share your "Fiona Files" with us- would love to see your decor inspiration of favorite quotes.

  3. Small improvements in everyday life can lead to a lasting love affair with your own existence - what could be more pleasurable, and more chic?

  4. I so agree with your hair appointment idea. Everything is better when my hair is professionally blown out.

  5. That is also one of the many things I remember from that Dale Carnegie book which I actually implement regularly ;-)
    It has the opposite effect though if you are having an argument with someone. Try it and see ;-)

  6. Your voice is so soothing Fiona, I could listen to it for hours. x

  7. Change of scenery tops my list, searching out something new in my small city, and spending the afternoon exploring.
    A quick pick me up is what I call 'beauty night' when I have the house to myself, this means a face mask, manicure, hair deep condition, one or all. I try to do this once a week. Hubby is so use to it, often as he leaves for the gym, he laughs and says so is tonight beauty night? Its something I now look forward to.
    Thanks Fiona for another inspirational post:)

  8. Chrissy, I will put a list together.

    Dana, I love all those little things too and you reminded me that dark chocolate is another one for me. I only ever eat two squares once a day with dark chocolate and I always feel tres chic when I indulge. As opposed to milk and white chocolate which I can stuff down until the cows come home...

    Janice, you've managed to condense my entire blog into one sentence, I bow to you :)

    Stephanie, yes!

    Vannessa, oh no, I hope I DON'T try that one day.

    Thank you very much, Topchelseagirl!

    Rita, I love both your ideas and enjoy beauty nights myself. They are so soothing - as good for the soul as they are for the complexion.

    Zenaide (what a gorgeous name!), thank you for sharing your tips, I love them. I have Miss Fisher on dvd and haven't watched it yet - I am in for a treat.

  9. Reading your lovely blog always works for me!!!



Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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