January involved from pretty major goals for improvement/self-awareness, and I feel like I am off to a solid start in both setting my intentions and identifying concrete actions with which to measure my success. But rather than stay on the deeper, heavier side, I decided that February would be a good time to enjoy some lighter areas to improve on, but that still built on some of the things I had learned in January.
So here’s my physical and mental intentions/actions for February:
Spruce up on the outside;
- Go for a make-up make-over;
- Buy some maternity clothes; and
- Take 20 mins each day to invest in looking nice.
- Go on at least one date per week with a close friend(s);
- Join a pregnancy fitness class; and
- Host a couple’s dinner with friends.
Okay so intention #1 felt extremely superficial and indulgent to write down. In fact it is quite superficial, BUT, here’s why I chose it. At seven and a half (7.5) months pregnant, I’m not exactly feeling at the peak of attractiveness. Although I’ve been diligent about staying active and eating well throughout pregnancy, and I have embraced my new shape, there are still moments where it’s a little tough on the psyche to see the scale reading 20 lbs heavier.
I have also read a lot about how in the last two months of pregnancy a lot of women can start to feel quite discouraged about their appearance, and somewhat withdraw into their home. I want to get ahead of that feeling, and stay feeling energized and refreshed (at least as much as one can in their third trimester). After the results of my personality test, I also want to make sure that I don’t inadvertently withdraw from my close friends in this last stretch of pregnancy.
So! I know that putting in a little extra effort to feel good about my appearance on the outside, will keep me feeling upbeat on the inside AND willing to continue to socialize, in line with Intention #2.
Spruce Up on the Outside
Action 1: getting a little make-up makeover. Admittedly, my make-up routine has been getting shorter and shorter these days, and it wasn’t long to being with. My skin has also changed dramatically with the pregnancy, so my old make-up just isn’t working for me these days. Heading in to the store for a make-up makeover will help me freshen up my look (which is a little tired these days!) and it will be a nice little confidence booster.
Action 2: buying some maternity clothes. Okay – in seven and a half months I have only bought one pair of pregnancy jeans and one pair of leggings. Fortunately a friend was kind enough to give me some of her old maternity clothes, so I’ve had a couple options in the shirt department which I have been rotating through regularly. But, I am finally at the point where my “normal” clothes just will not accommodate my belly – at least not without looking like a pregnant woman trying to fit into an skinny woman’s clothes. It’s bad. BUT, I am also notoriously frugal, I hate the idea of buying a bunch of over priced pieces of clothing that I am only going to wear for a couple months, and will then be relegated to a tote bin at the back of my closet until my husband and I make a decision about more kids or not.
So, I have steadfastly refused to go and spend money on a nice pregnancy wardrobe. Over the last few weeks this decision has often left me feeling as though I have nothing to wear, or rotating through the same four (4) – five (5) outfits that I can make with my current clothes that do fit! A little boring, and none of my outfits feel very “nice”.
It’s time for a compromise. I recently learned that I can buy maternity clothes at a nearby H&M and avoid the crazy price tags at the majority of maternity stores. Yes, I know these won’t exactly be high quality clothes, which is what I usually go for in my purchasing style (quality over quantity) but in this case, given that I won’t be wearing the clothing for all that long, I’m going to go for a few fun, inexpensive items which will add some variety to my wardrobe. This will also give me a boost in the feel good department, and make me more prone to getting out of the house to see my friends.
Action 3: 20 minutes a day. This one is obvious. My effort level in my appearance has taken a noticeable decline recently, so to prevent it from completely tanking I could definitely pare 20 minutes out of each day to actually apply some make-up and choose an outfit. Especially since I’m going to have some wonderful new make-up to play with, and new outfits to choose from!
Okay, now what about Intention #2. This one is specifically building on the results of my Birkman Assessment, which clearly indicated that I have a high need to nurture close intimate friendships/relationships. When I do so, I operate at an optimal level in terms of my confidence and contentment. So, before baby comes and all my time starts to be absorbed by my little eating and pooping machine, I want to make sure that I am fully charged with lots of time with the important people in my life.
Action 1: At least one date with one or two of my girlfriends per week this month. Here’s where I am focussing on those close, intimate interactions, rather than group settings which are not something I enjoy. Bottom line, I want to try and see all my most important gals and get some good quality time in with them. I have a feeling I might not be able to do that so readily in just a couple months!!
Action 2: Getting into a pregnancy yoga class. This action combines one of the things I love to do, YOGA, with meeting other soon to be mom’s. While it is a group setting, it’s also entered around an activity I enjoy, so the focus isn’t really on socializing. But, this seemed like a good way to find possible new relationships with people who were in a similar place in life to me. I know that some of my relationships may suffer a little with the baby coming, it’s hard to maintain a close friendship when your lives are in totally different places. I’ve experienced this in the past on the other side of the fence when girlfriends have had babies, and all of a sudden their time is spent much differently. While the friendship remains, it does become more difficult to find mutual activities that work well around the schedule of an infant. It would be nice to cultivate some friendships with people who not only have kids, but are also just venturing into this area of new mommy-hood to an infant child.
Action 3: Hosting a couple’s dinner. There are a few couples on my list of people that I really want to make time to have over for dinner and hang out with. I know I’m not going to be hosting any dinners in the first few months of babies life, so taking the time to do that now seems important. As I learned in January, I also really enjoy cooking for these dinners and spending some quality time with my husband and our mutual friends. I plan to host at least one dinner, possibly two if schedules align!
There’s my plan of attack for February. I see a lot of fun on the horizon for this month, and I feel like it’s perfect timing for both an internal and external boost of confidence. Can’t wait to get started!
Up Next: My Make-up Makeover!