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Making my 40th count

Whether I like it or not, in a month's time I turn 40. Yes, that's the big 4-0.

It was an age which until recently was frowned upon, especially for a single woman. Heck, by Victorian standards I would be an 'old maid' and who would want to hang around one?! But thankfully, as we're also on the brink of the year 2020, gifs on Instagram stories tell me "40 is the new 30" and I'm planning on making my 40th year on this planet, count.

In fact, as ambitious as it might sound, I've drawn up a list of 10 'memos to self' or mantras which I want to live by when it comes to Diet, Health & Fitness; Lifestyle; Mental Health and Shopping. That's 10 for each of these 4 categories ... so yes, 40 mantras in all. It might seem like a tall order but I feel I have been incredibly lucky to have been given these 40 years so far and I want to make the next 1, 5, 10 or who knows the next 40 years of my life good ones. Good for me, good for those around me, and good for this world I'm renting space in.

As it's been a while since I wrote in this blog, I decided to share these 40 'memos to self' with you. I guess sharing this will make me somewhat accountable to myself and to you who's reading ... and perhaps may be inspire someone to join me on this new approach?

Diet, Health & Fitness

  1. Do at least 30 minutes of exercise every day

  2. Maintain a mostly plant-based/vegetarian diet with healthier choices - Pizza Margherita is vegetarian but is not a healthy option!

  3. Eat more fruit - berries on cereal or pancakes and that occasional banana smoothie may not be enough

  4. Learn how to meditate

  5. Cook from scratch - limit and avoid as much as possible pre-cooked/prepared food items

  6. Buy foods I know I will eat within their use-by date to avoid waste

  7. Listen to what your body is saying - if you need to rest, rest; if you need to see a doctor, go see a doctor etc…

  8. Do not let into your house foodstuffs you know you'll regret after eating

  9. Gold should not be the main colour on your plate - limit/avoid batter coated/breaded pre-fried foods, crisps etc …

  10. Consider healthy eating and exercise as a lifestyle not a means to an end


  1. Learn how to ride a bike for a new way of commuting

  2. Always remember to take a calico bag wherever you go

  3. Take better care of the house plants - propagate and re-pot when possible and check out flea markets for pre-loved interesting pots

  4. Do at least one charitable activity every month

  5. Read from an actual book and always make the time for it

  6. Try something new every month - take a dance class, learn how to do something, eat something you've never had before …

  7. Take any opportunity to travel, especially to places outside your comfort zone or which you've never been to before

  8. Go paperless and use less plastics

  9. Walk around, be a tourist in your own city, look up, enjoy the neighbourhood you call home

  10. When the weather allows, go for a picnic or a walk in a park or green area

Mental Health

  1. Keep lists and make plans but don't be ruled by them

  2. Travel is something you do regularly - you do not need to panic every time you need to pack a suitcase

  3. Be open to new friendships

  4. Open up - have that uncomfortable conversation, reach out when help is needed, don't wait until you're about to burst

  5. Keep a gratitude journal - there's always something to be thankful for in a day

  6. Go completely offline for some time every week - start with 30 minutes and build it up - no Instagram stories, no Facebook, no YouTube, no emails …

  7. Do it - whatever has been on your mind to do, just do it - get that BOF subscription, unfriend that person whom you don't really know but whose posts rile you up …

  8. If it's not your drama, you don't need it in your life

  9. Take a moment before replying - an unchecked emotion can lead to an undesired outcome

  10. Stand up for what you believe in, for what is your due, for what you are fighting for - do not lose your voice for fear of criticism or controversy


  1. Buy more sensibly and sustainably, choosing quality over quantity and ethical materials and production practices

  2. Replace only when the product is actually close to finishing - a half empty bottle does not immediately warrant a new purchase

  3. How many pairs of tights do you actually need? Keep an extra pair of each colour in case of rips but do not buy in excess or in styles/fits you do not wear

  4. Be 100% convinced about something before buying it

  5. Check pre-loved items first before splurging on that new designer bag or accessory

  6. Make it a low-buy year - weigh the pros and cons of every purchase before committing and don't buy on a whim

  7. Clear the wardrobe every season - apply The Minimalists' 90 / 90 rule

  8. You do not need to buy everything that is listed on WWW mailshots - you might actually already have it in your wardrobe

  9. Less is more - clean up your make up and accessorizing act - that 'effortless chic Parisienne look' is not made up of a fully caked up face and all the on-trend accessories worn at once

  10. Put that MBA to use and evaluate the ROI (return on investment) on every purchase

Would you like to see a periodic update on how I'm doing on these 'memos to self'? Would it be something you'd be interested in? Let me know x

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