Getting Your Sh*t Together- What Does it Even Mean?

  • The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
  • What Colour is Your Parachute by Richard N. Bolles
  • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  • Un F*** Yourself Up by John  Gary Bishop 
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
  • Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight

These are just a few of Forbes suggested ‘Best Books to Help You Figure Out Your Life’ (with the additional of ‘Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight, just because I like the book).

‘Self improvement’ books are an $800 market which is growing steadily year by year, but this isn’t an entirely new phenomenon. Any Sex and the City fan can remember season 5, episode 4 when Charlotte (recently separated from Trey) seeks solace in the ‘Self Help’ aisle of a bookstore, only to feel so humiliated that she takes herself home and orders the self help book on Amazon. There is definitely less of a stigma now on buying these self help books, whether you are buying them for your career, your relationship or even to help you grow your social media presence, they are no longer hidden in the dingy back aisle of the bookstore. They are now sold in stores such as Urban Outfitters and Oliver Bonas, laid out proudly beside ‘110 Ways to Eat Avocado’ and ‘Pictures of Europe’s Best Flat Whites’ (not really but you get my point). So, is it true that self help books are almost becoming “cool”?

The truth is that so many of us feel like we are constantly underachieving, so is it any wonder more and more of us are turning to these books for an answer. From relationships to careers to our social lives, it has clearly become so much tougher to ‘do it all’. Even if we have great friends, a promising career and an exciting relationship, are we underachieving because we haven’t travelled the world or lived in a different country? If we are spending all our money on experiences and travel are we underachieving because we haven’t started saving for a house? If we spend years travelling and seeing the world are we underachieving because we haven’t kick started our career? If we spend years studying and qualifying in one professional field are we underachieving by tossing it aside and trying something new?

The truth is there is no ‘one-size fits all’ answer, and everyone is succeeding in their own way, be it big or small. For some people succeeding is just getting out of bed in the morning and that is okay!

We are constantly subjected to the rose tinted version of other peoples lives on social media, so when we sit down at our desk on a Monday morning and have a quick flick through Instagram and see someone sitting in the Maldives with their Chanel beach-bag on what is their 20th trip already in 2019, you can’t help but wonder, where have I gone wrong?

I honestly believe that we are our own worst critics, I know I most certainly am. When we do something great, that we should be proud of, we should spend more time celebrating our achievement rather than quickly moving on the the next thing we could be doing “better in”. At least once a week I get this feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach because career wise I am not at the stage I thought I would be at 24, but I am slowly (but surely) coming to the realisation that I am not failing just because I’m not exactly at the stage I planned to be at. Truthfully I am years  behind my “goal”, but I do believe I will get there. Whilst it can be good to set time limits as an incentive the vast majority of the time they don’t work out because life isn’t quite like that. It’s not an equation you can carefully set out and calculate, its messy and emotional and complicated but despite everything it is bloody great.

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Jan-xiety

  • How to beat the January Blues
  • Four ways to beat the January Blues
  • Winter Blues? A practical guide to getting more light in your light
  • This is why you feel blue in January and how you can beat it

All of the above are common headlines which pop up year after year post Christmas. The days are dark, the lights have ceased to twinkle, and everyone has surpassed their ideal weight. So January. It’s a joy isn’t is.

More and more people are trivialising the S-A-D (Seasonal Affective Disorder) syndrome which the NHS estimates effects one in 15 people in the UK between September and April. Whilst there are a respectable amount who genuinely suffer from this syndrome the majority of us are actually just a bit sad when January hits.

Not to mention this dry January faff which since 2014 has made us all feel guilty for not staying of the drink for the longest 31 days of the year. As if January isn’t bleak enough now we are all meant to give up alcohol too. Fantastic.

Now I am no doctor or psychologist and my opinion is merely that- an opinion– but I believe that the best way to tackle January is to try and laugh your way through it. Socialise more, not less, and if it means having a beverage then just do it. If you have New Years Resolutions and grand plans for the year ahead then get excited about them, and if you aren’t then scrap them. Sometimes the best way to get through darker months or darker times is with good friends and loved ones (a good ole belly laugh helps also).

On another note, I myself have a few New Years Resolutions:

  • Buy less and buy better. I am determined this year to knock my bad habit of impulse buying cheaper high street items, which I get bored of after two or three wears. I am going to try and save a bit more and invest in more quality pieces that I will have for years and years.
  • Nails. Must always be well manicured. Now I am pretty good at this one already but I want to keep this up. I may not always have make-up on and my hair sitting right but my nails, they will be done.
  • Learn how to look half decent in a photo. Remember that episode of friends with Chandler and the engagement photos. Yep that’s me.
  • Reassess work, play balance. The play part I have perfected over the past few years, but this year I am determined to work my absolute hardest and achieve certain goals which have been in the pipeline for some time.
  • See more of what Ireland has to offer. Do you ever feel like you never fully appreciate the country you live in? There are so many places in Ireland I have never been to and so many things I haven’t done here, so I am going to make better use of my weekends and start exploring some homegrown beauty.
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