As we have ticked over halfway through our 2019 journey, it had me reminiscing on the year that had just passed. Whilst 2018 was an interesting and memorable year, it is lovely to look back and absorb all of the key learnings. I took a significant break that year. It was a wonderful chance to re-invent how I want to live my life. An opportunity that was to rest, reset and create. Now in my 2019 journey, these visions are in the processes of execution. I am now looking back on these lessons; reflecting upon the progress I have made personally and professionally.
In 2018, I was blessed with the luxury of time. Time to choose what I wanted to do and time to construct a new framework for moving forward. Everything in my life was up for review.
It was only then did I take some time to rest, that I could clearly appreciate the toll that my frantic pace over many years has taken. During this time, I asked myself a sequence of questions with a view to truly embark on a journey of change. Now, a year on, I have asked myself to review these questions again:
“What do I want to do differently?"
“What sort of person do I want to be now and in 5 years?”
"How do I create a more sustainable lifestyle?"
Running hard for many years had affected my ability to be free and creative.
I had to be structured and set aside thinking time to be creative. Sometimes, it was difficult to find the dedicated time to dream, imagine, design campaigns and product ranges. Inherently, I see myself as being creative. I have the ability to visualise what the end product looks like and can find like-minded people to help me bring my vision to life. Always running at 100% just didn’t allow my creative mindset to flourish throughout the day. One of the main goals of taking a break was to really focus on getting creative again.
Once again, my pace has accelerated with my two companies, Beauty’s Got Soul and sister company Soul Baby Gifts launching this year. Maintaining my creativity and health whilst running a marathon with two brand babies by my side, has been a joyful challenge, filled with gratitude.
Here are my top 5 tips that helped me sync with my ‘creative side’ once again.
1. Sleep like a baby.
Dear sleep, I love you so much. I am willing to do whatever it takes to get my beauty sleep. I am a ‘tucked in by 9:30pm’ kind of girl for lights out at 10pm. I do love to play a few rounds of ‘word cookie’ in this time zone. If you love words, you might like to try this app…or not. Playing this for 10 mins or so makes me soooo tired and I am finally ready for lights out. Getting a full 8 hours is my goal. Any later than 10pm, or any less that 7 hours of sleep, and I am acutely aware of the difference in my energy levels and productivity the following day. I have the sweetest little tweeting bird alarm to wake me up in the morning. I am pretty much ready to wake up and start my day before the alarm goes off. P.S. It helps to be blessed with kids who are all grown-up and my sleep is largely un-interrupted.
2 . Create something.
I love to imagine what something is going to look like and try to create it. I am such a big fan of the quad ruled or graph paper. Tiny squares on a notebook seem to draw out my creative juices. The humble HB pencil, metal sharpener, rubber and quad paper are my go-to tools for initial brand and product creation. Sometimes I wish I was a graphic designer and have seriously thought about adding this to my study list. For now, I use consistent communication with graphic designers to bring my ideas to life. In planning and dreaming about my new beauty business, I got started on quad paper. I quickly moved to balsamiq and then got a real graphic designer to create the photoshop files. Syncing these files to Invision for the developers to see was a great way to allow collaborative input. Balsamiq served a great purpose as a human without graphic design capability. It allowed communication of high-level concepts and created structure for others.
3. Learn something.
I do love to learn! 2018 was the year to formally study Corporate Governance at the Australian Institute of Company Directors. For those who have done the course, you will know that there is a lot of pre-reading and assessments to complete. The major learning and awareness piece for me has been around the ‘director mindset’. I know that I will be a better business Director and Board Member having done this course.
Once starting a new business, no matter how experienced you are, there will be new learning every single day. A growth mindset and openness to learn new strategies or a new tech piece will be an everyday occurrence. Embrace it.
I have also taken to Audible books whilst walking, driving and doing the laundry. I don’t like the feeling of wasting time; so audio books are great when faced with the reality of life. Someone still has to do the laundry.
4. Calm the mind .
For me the best way to clear my mind was to create the absence of so many ‘things to do’. So, I asked myself some serious questions. These questions helped me stay focussed and productive.
My Favourite Top 5 Audio Books from 2018 are:
1. High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become that Way by Brendon Burchard
2. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
3. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
4. Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact by Phil Jones
5. Slicing Pie by Mike Moyer
My Top 5 ‘Dear Self’ questions:
- What is your intention for today?
- What must you get done today for this to be a great day?
- What can you say no to?
- What can you get others to do?
- What sort of person are you going to be today?
I also really benefited from using the Buddhify mindfulness app. There are heaps of calming and mindful meditations for sleep, overwhelm, gratitude, etc. I particularly like the walking meditations. They make me feel productive with my time. There is one meditation that is so sweet. As you are walking past other people, the meditation guides you to wish others well … in your mind... not out loud. That would be weird. This stopped me from thinking about myself and my situation. It helped changed my mindset to be caring and thinking about others. Clever!
I also like a good old-fashioned chat to myself in the second person when things are seemingly off track. I need to give myself a pep talk. I find this best done in front of a mirror.
I also have managed to keep my mind calm with well-planned activity for the execution of tasks. Intense planning involving weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual plans for my priorities. I create corresponding lists of the activities required to achieve these goals. Just working on the list at hand helped me to not get overwhelmed and distracted by what needed to happen in a few months’ time. I got this brilliant reminder and understanding from an Entrepreneurs Organisation Learning day. One of Verne Harnish’s four ‘scaling up’ pillars; Execution. Easy to learn, but the real growth for me came from putting the learning into practise.
5. Make & drink medicinal bluices.
I love to combine ingredients that are known to be very good for you. I have little concern for how they taste which may come as a surprise. So, the result can be some pretty disgusting bluices that are really good for my body.
Define bluice please, I hear you say:
“A bluice is a cross between a smoothie and a juice. Everything that goes into the Vitamix gets blitzed and consumed.”
Literally the best gift I ever received was a Vitamix. Now I know that kitchen appliances should never be considered excellent gifts; but this one somehow is an exception to the rule.
Here are my top 10 ingredients for my bluices that are basically either added fresh or frozen:
1. Coconut Water
2. Almo Almond Milk
6. Bananas - the ones that have black skins.
7. Matcha powder
8. Lemon juice
9. Fresh Ginger
10. Raw Beetroot
I also love mango, raspberries, apple, spinach, cucumber, frozen acai and spices like cayenne pepper and turmeric. I like to make these in the morning. I serve one up to anyone else in my family who is game.
With personal development as my focus for 2018, my 2019 goal is to maintain the learnings and structure that I curated for myself. I would love to hear some of your top tips too. DM me if you use any of these or have some extra-special advice. Bonus points if you send me a photo of your bluice.
Published on 17/08/2019 by Leonie Henzell CEO beauty's got soul.