Monday, 30 December 2013

How To Nail a New Year's Resolution

Anyone who knows me will probably tell you that I'm not quite ready to become a self-help columnist. They're totally right. However, I've become so tired of the failed institution of new year's resolutions that I'm breaking my silence on the matter. Here's a few tips I rehashed from my sales days that may or may not help you get healthy / save money / quit dealing crack this New Year.

Be Specific
Deciding to be healthy or mature isn't good enough. You need to decide how you're going to be healthy – eat organic, quit smoking or exercise more. Plan how you're going to improve your maturity. Are you going to stop laughing at the word 'penis' or refrain from squabbling with the neighbourhood kids? How can you expect yourself to achieve something if you don't know exactly what you want to achieve?

Be Realistic
No, you cannot be the first to discover an actual unicorn. If this was possible, myself or Alexa Chung would have beat you to it. In all seriousness though, you can't resolve to become an olympic runner or investment banker if you have no prior training in the field. Get serious pal. If that's really what you want to do, start with a gym membership or enrol in the required degree. If you're reading my blog, you probably live in a first world country which means you're never too old to go back to school.

Measure Your Progress
Instead of just planning to save money, keep a budget. This will prevent you from using a 'gift with purchase' to justify the three cute dresses you bought. If you decide you want to get fit, measure how long you can work out for to start with so you'll see your improvements. If not, it would be like wanting to lose weight without knowing your starting weight or measurements – redic!

Set a Timeline
Making the decision to change your lifestyle is a long-term goal. However, most new years resolutions only last for a month or two – if you're super dedicated. If you set a timeline for what you want to achieve, chances are, your motivation will increase as the deadline looms closer. Saying you want to travel is fine but deciding you're going to travel before you turn 30 paints a clearer picture in your mind. Before you know it, you'll be playing Black Jack in Monaco.

If, by some miracle, you've made it to the end of my preachy rant without google imaging unicorns, you may be wondering what my new year's resolution is. This year, I've decided to keep writing my weekly blog for the next three months. By the end of March, I need to figure out if it's something I want to get serious about and purchase a domain name.

Hopefully this amateur advice will provide you with some assistance on your quest for self improvement. At the very least, I hope it doesn't hinder your attempts or make you want to stab me. Thanks for reading over the last six months, I shall speak to you all in 2014... unless I die from my hangover.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Selfie Culture… Scary Stuff

I'll admit that I've taken a few selfies in my time. Not nearly as many as most Gen Ys but I'm certainly guilty nonetheless. When I take selfies, I try to make them look like Alexa Chung's... confident and mildly artsy. Instead, they usually end up looking about as flattering as Miley Cyrus' (without the tongue). Hopefully, the amount of selfies I take wouldn't increase too much if I was actually good at it but who knows? I'm kind of in love with myself. 

Weather you like it or not, it's time to accept that the term selfie has not only been added to the Oxford Dictionary, it's their word of the year for 2013. Selfie is defined as:

A photograph one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.

Not only is it a photo taken of yourself, it's taken with the intention of showing it to the world. This is the interesting part. The only explanation I can come to is that we are seeking the approval of our peers, who's opinions are purely based on the way we look. This is kind of scary.

Worse still, instead of society frowning upon this trend like they did with sexting, they're embracing it like YouTube “How To” videos. What's up with that? Selfies are not a learning tool, nor do they teach you how to perform difficult tasks when you're too stubborn to ask for help.

I thought the leaders and influential figureheads of modern society would see right through this international phase of narcissism. Perhaps they could inspire youths to look beyond this culture of peer-based approval to find self acceptance. Sadly, this is not the case. It turns out the most successful and influential people in the first world also love a bit of selfie action... I'm looking at you, Obama.

With the majority of the world embracing this trend, it makes me wonder where it will lead us. In decades to come, I think we can find ourselves in either of two situations. Firstly, the world could continue to embrace selfies and explode into one massive ball of narcissism. Secondly, the next generation could look back on the trend and cringe in a similar fashion to the sartorial choices of the 80s.

Thankfully, I think the second scenario is far more likely to occur. Maybe this culture of self indulgence will inspire the next generation to view such acts as lame and unnecessary. Perhaps they'll look back on these times and make fun of our narcissism.

Whatever the outcome, I think we all (myself included) need to relax on the snapping situation. If you wake up with an amazing head of Serena Van-der-Woodsen style hair one morning, sure, take a selfie. If you take selfies with blank expressions and trampy make up, your old school friends and in-laws probably don't want to see it in their news feed.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

The Morning After

I'm laying on the hard wood floor of my apartment because this is where my blanket is. I don't know how or why it got here but I'm ok with it. My cat is meowing relentlessly and sniffing my face. My only assumption is that she's trying to make sure I'm alive. Isn't she a darling?

Last night was the work Christmas party. Contrary to my preliminary fears, I don't think I did anything to embarrass myself. Winning.