Thursday, January 3, 2019

How to have the 'perfect' start to your year

Happy new year, chic friends,

I want to share with you my personal focus for 2019.  I am excited to be embarking on another new year and I decided on a more fun way to approach new year’s resolutions.  If I have ever written out any resolutions for myself they come across very bossy when I read them back, and as soon as I can I take pleasure in breaking them just to be able to be a free person :)

So, I asked myself instead:

“If my life was perfect in every way, what would it look like?”

I jotted down notes and the theme that was coming up was that I would finish off loose ends, be well-organised, tidy and decluttered.  My home is not *that* cluttery, but there are some areas which always seem to be messy.  And those areas can hold items that I don’t even care whether I still have them in my possession or not, so this year it’s a delicious project for me to work through my ‘perfect life’ list and make it come true.

There are small, specific items such as moving plugs in our bedroom because they are behind our bed and I have to use an extension cord to be able to plug in my bedside lamp and phone charger.  It’s useful  Seeing a cord and 4-plug power box every time I am getting into or out of bed breaks the clean lines of a room that I want to be a peaceful sanctuary! Plus that light switch above the bed.  It’s useful(ish) but not that attractive, plus we have ordered a headboard so the switch needs to go.

I know it’s not a big thing, and it’s certainly a first world problem to have, but if I’d just get an electrician in it would create a more serene vista to start and end the day with.

Another item on my list is that I want to stretch daily, so I have researched a few simple stretches to remind me of good stretches to do and also get me into the habit of stretching at least once a day.  (Like these stretches here.)

I have some sewing projects such as Ralph Lauren inspired pillows for my sofas, so this went on my list too.  I imagined if I waved a magic wand and transformed everything in my life to be exactly how I want it to be.  I have a vision in my mind and it is very compelling!

Going at the new year from this angle means I am not trying to push myself to better myself (which sounds hard and boring), but instead creating a beautiful picture in my mind which gets the same results but in a more enjoyable way.

Are you a happy new year’s resolution person?  Or like me do you work better than a softer method?  I’d love you to share one thing that is in your perfect life too.

Happy new year to you!

xx Fiona



  1. Hi fiona! Love your books and blog. My focus this year is on kicking my perfectionism out the door . I started a new job this year and have really let fear of making mistakes get to me. Also at home I want to walk the dogs in the evening if it's not too cold. I already exercise regularly but they need more! I realized that the main street is quite well lit so it's not like walking them in total darkness.

  2. I am more of a "resolution" type person, but in the past I usually fail at my resolutions alarmingly quickly! I've decided that's because my goals are too big. I'm finally realizing the "whole new you" approach is destined to fail because it requires too much change all at once.

    So this year I'm adopting a few resolutions that are so tiny I don't think I can fail. My goal is to do them every day CONSISTENTLY. If I can do more on any given day (which would be really easy, since the goals are so small) then I will, but I will consider myself a success if I just meet the tiny goal.

    Here's a few examples of what I mean:

    I plan to eat one whole fresh fruit every day, and one serving of fresh veggies.

    I plan to always park at the end of the lot and speed walk to my appointments from there.

    I plan to always order a tall (the smallest size) at Starbucks instead of a venti (the largest size).

    As you can see, these seem NOT to be game changers, but I think if I do them (or exceed them, if I want to) EVERY DAY, I will persist in them and eventually realize changes (instead of giving up, as I usually do, and just settling back into my comfortable, but sort of unhealthy, rut).

    1. Karen, this is genius! Thank you so much for sharing. Hope you don't mind that I'm going to shamelessly steal the idea.

  3. I do stretching/posture exercises in the early morning, followed by affirmations and meditation. I like to do these things early in the day so that if for some reason I cannot exercise that day, I at least have that ten minutes or so in. Also, it helps energize me.

  4. Your book arrived over the holidays, thank you!
    Reading it will be lovely and I plan to go slow so I can pay attention and absorb all your ideas.
    Walking and moderating my food intake and choice of foods are my top priorities.
    Happy New Year!

  5. That's a nice set of stretches, Fiona. This year I intend to listen to my intuition more closely. Make space for me to follow my dreams. Eagerly grab life, each day, and live it fully. Just have to work out the details for all of this lol

  6. I love your books and your blog - I'm not a resolution person - I set goals - this year goals include - daily devotional- writing my journal and taking better care of my-self...

  7. Hi Fiona, My goal for the new year... again ... is to stop eating out so much (haha). It seems this is my goal every year! The only time a New Year's Resolution actually worked for me was when I was about 12 years old and I resolved to stop biting my fingernails.

    Hope you have a fantastic New Year!


  8. Dear Fiona, I only recently discovered your wonderful blog, and what fascinated me the most is how nice and friendly you seem to tread yourself (and others consequently). You always seem to just try to find a good solution to any problem with the intention to make life easier and more fun. I instantly fell in love with that attitude, ordered your book "How to be chic in the Winter", read it in one go abd adopted exactly THAT way of thinking: What would my life be like if it was perfect? And from there, change feels sooo easy all of a sudden, because of that very positive, uplifting vision in mind. My struggle is getting and keeping an organized home and wardrobe, with no more impulse shopping, and I decided that if my life were perfect, I would dedicate at least 5 minutes a day to declutter some drawer and only buy clothes which I absolutely loved and were perfect for me - and I have a very good feeling that I will manage with your selfloving approach. So THANK YOU and have a wonderful and successful and chic 2019 xxx

  9. Dear Fiona !!! Happy new year !!! The best for 2019 :) Last year I started using a workbook called Artist of Life by Lavendaire it really helped me working towards my goals. I'm using it again for this exciting 2019 but reading your post has given me a new perspective on how to approach my goals. It's a softer, kinder way. I think I'll use a combination of both. My main goal this year is Courage. I really want to have more of it and not being so scared about everything all the time. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  10. Happy New Year, Fiona, from me here in deepest Devon where right now the temperature is dropping below zero this evening. I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas and that 2019 will be a good year for you and your husband.
    I like the idea of stretching more than the reality - at my age it's easy to over-do the stretching bit and pull muscles or have cramp, but I aim at least to try and stretch a bit more! Aims rather than resolutions, perhaps, are better post-74!
    Yes, changing the sockets in your bedroom will improve things, it really is the small annoying things like the plugs in the 'wrong' place which make life just slightly miserable for the 365 days of the year, rather than the big things, such as needing a new item, which can usually be sorted that much faster. With the small things we tend to put them off as they're not always essential, but they just irritate and the longer we leave doing something about them, the more irritating they(appear to) become!
    I no longer make resolutions but try and do what I've done for several years now: to try to be kind to others, to be polite even when faced with rudeness (or what appears rudeness to me, for example if an assistant is surly in a shop, then I smile and thank them and try and make their day better), and always to put something into the food bank container in the supermarket - if we can afford good food, then we can afford to support those in greater need.
    I think also we need some little treats in January - there is so much talk about a 'dry' January (not that we need to be 'dry' as we seldom drink alcohol anyway, not because we're against it, we just aren't that keen on it) or veganuary, with the current trend - for I'm sure it's just another trend and will disappear when something new takes its place - I have booked for husband and myself to see two films: Colette and The Friendship. Looking forward to those. A totally no-spend month would be utterly depressing, but at the same time, I'm mindful not to over-spend. Not that we do that anyway at any time of the year! Happy New Year to you and to all your readers,
    All good wishes,
    Margaret P

  11. I tend to set goals rather than make resolutions and I'm careful to really look at what I want to see at end of the new year. I have savings goals and eating changes to implement and areas I hope to improve or redo. I am a list maker by nature and I find that writing out what I want to get done helps me to remember what I want to work towards. I am big on the 'little bites' method of getting things done if they are bigger ideals I mean to work toward.

  12. Happy New Year, Fiona. I love the way that you have worded your year goals. Much nicer. I made a resolve last year to put things away as soon as they were finished with. Amazingly, I have not only managed to stick with this, but I have almost become driven to do this automatically now. It is amazing how much tidier the house is.
    This year I have a beautiful framed photo of Grace Kelly in my dressing room that I see first thing every morning. I aim to align my actions to be more elegant and 'Graceful' such as getting dressed as soon as I get up instead of wafting around in my nightie for hours.

  13. Hello, Fiona,

    I agree with many others here, and with you: feeling good about myself and my surroundings and maintaining order in my house and specifically my wardrobe are high on my priority list. Ideally, I'd allow myself to be less judgmental and anxious and to relax more into the good things, and continue to let my hair grow. :) Let's all have a great year!

  14. My goal this year is to not read any self-help books! Leo Babuta wrote a great column a few years ago and his thesis was: what if you're already fine the way you are right now? It really stuck with me and made me aspire to enjoy every moment without wanting to "improve" myself. I like to read books (like yours, Fiona) that enhance the quality of my life but I'm not aiming for any major overhauls :)

  15. Just this morning I watched the TEDx Maui Talk by B.J. Fogg PhD entitled Tiny Surprises for Happiness and Health. It's about how to install those tiny habits that end up having large effects. Similar to Karen's ideas above.

    It is fun to integrate tiny new habits bit by bit until they are automatic, like a bedtime routine. I have ordered the Inkwell Press planner this year to keep track of the things I want to include in my life. I think one of them will be a small "adventure" each month. To go somewhere new or try something new.

    Thank you for your lovely blog. I enjoy it so much.
    Honey Bee


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...