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New Year, New You

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graces-musings-new-year-new-you

A new year is a new start -  a perfect chance to really look at our lives; wipe the slate clean and create the career, relationship, lifestyle and health aims that we truly desire, want and deserve.  We matter! 

woman on beach

I don’t really believe in ‘resolutions’ though - research suggests that using them to ‘quit’, ‘give up’ or ‘deprive’ oneself in January will fail, with 75% of resolutions dropped before the third week of the month.  Sounds like me!

Women also face a second barrier to success with resolutions - the lack of visible aspirational figures. Consider the ‘hidden figures’ effect, which describes the idea that for women to succeed they need to see other women who like them in roles they want for themselves. 

hidden figures

This applies to all women, but especially under-represented women, so women of colour, different ethnicity, in certain job roles and older women.  With such a huge dearth of inspirational mature women in the public eye, it’s incredibly hard to see ourselves realistically as a success, leaving resolutions destined to fail.

That’s why instead this new year I’m going to champion those ageless icons transforming mid-life and beyond, in the hope that we’re all inspired to reach and achieve new heights of success, happiness and fulfilment together.

Instead of resolutions, I’ve got some positive ‘growth goals’ - they’re more realistic, achievable and don’t leave me feeling a failure when I break them: 

Say Yes to New Experiences

shonda-rhimes-year-of-yes

Image from NPR

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ creator Shonda Rhimes is the ultimate role model for women transforming their lives, encourage us to re-write the script on our own narratives.  

Like many of us, she’d lost her mojo and had to work to rediscover her passion, joy and ‘hum’ for her life and work. This TEDtalk sees Rhimes share her journey through her ‘year of yes’ and advice on finding your joy. 

Her top tip?  

“Everyone’s got some greatness in them. You do. The girl over there does. That guy on the left has some. But to really mine it, you must own it. You must grab hold of it. You must believe it.”

Find Your Fitspiration

elisabeth halfpapp

Elisabeth leading a Core Fusion Class

Instagram fitness can help you visualise the look you want to achieve but is so unachievable, it can be totally demotivating.  It’s important to find sources that are real, authentic and accessible.  

I love Elisabeth Halfpapp, 57, co-founder Exhale Spa and Core Fusion.  Elisabeth began ballet at five and five decades later, she works out every day but one. 

She credits fitness with her enviable body and youthful visage, but especially for keeping her mind sharp, along with a great diet and a 35-year marriage.

Her top tip? 

"Even if you're starting with 10 minutes a week, just start to do something. I always find when you start moving, you feel better. I always like to say, when you move a muscle, you change a thought. Just start slow. And you will find that it will happen organically, and you will just want to keep moving because you are feeling better."

Plan Your Career Transition:

marci-alboher

Author Marci Alboher champions those keen to develop, change or even begin their careers at a time when historically women would be winding down to retirement. 

Her book, The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life covers essential information around finances, education, skills development and is packed with real-life stories of people who’ve made it work. 

Her top tip?

“Invest in people and activities you care about, which can help change other people’s lives too.”

Transform Your Energy Levels:

evelyn tribole

Now is a good time to give yourself a health MOT and look at where you can make manageable adjustments and enjoy your own wellbeing. 

Evelyn Tribole, a Nutritionist, talks about Intuitive Eating. The principles are around learning to listen to your body and really understand what it needs, challenging limiting habits like comfort eating and food addiction. 

Her top tip?

“Stop dieting. Restriction, negative connotations and disordered eating will all only serve to put on weight.”

Find Your Inner Fashionista:

kat farmer

A quick scan of the hashtag ‘advanced style’ reveals that there are plenty of older women absolutely rocking their looks.  

We particularly love Kat Farmer, of Does My Bum Look 40.  Both her blog and Instagram feed are packed with stylish looks, clever advice and seriously lust-worthy styling tips, with a fun, non ‘fashion’ tone. 

Her top tip?

“Forget fashion ‘laws’, instead find the style you enjoy wearing and update it seasonally.” 

Make Time for Your Skin:

sarah chapman

It’s become fashionable to enjoy ‘at-home-spa’ treatments, but we agree with facialist Sarah Chapman when she says that going to a professional salon is one of the best things you can do for great skin. 

She puts this partly down to the delivery – regular massage increases blood flow and improves skin tone, and partly down to ingredients, which can be used in far higher concentrations than in products bought off the shelf. 

Her top tip? 

“Making time for professional skin treatments isn’t just good for your face, but amazing for your sense of wellbeing and overall mental health.”

Plan an Adventure or Travel Solo:

adventure

I discovered the power of solo travel when I set off on a four-week tour of Australia and America earlier in 2017. 

Travel expands the mind, but also our sense of self and is a real confidence boost.  You really view life from different angles, and with quality time to yourself, there’s room to re-evaluate and take stock of who and where you are but most importantly, where you really want to be! 

My top tip:

“Feel excited about the future - new possibilities, new challenges, and new relationships. Fifty isn't about being and feeling middle-aged,  it's about having a mindset that’s young, and making positive mid-life choices"!

Finally, consider your network. Research shows that almost all human beings achieve their goals more successfully, and for longer, when they work to achieve them as part of a team.  

So, here’s to 2018 and taking a step out of our comfort zones, finding our true sense of self and making the most of what life has to offer!  It’s our time ... 

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