December 2012

Charlene Abretske

Beyond Your Chair| Jayne Morehouse


Reinventing Yourself and Reigniting Your Passion

It's the time of year when everyone tends to take a closer look at their lives and ask themselves if everything that's happening around them, to them and inside them looks and feels right.

With the end of the year comes the opportunity to usher out the old and ring in the new — in your business, in your personal life, in your head and in your heart.

Some people feel liberated and revitalized by the opportunity to clean house and start fresh, while others feel overwhelmed by what they perceive as a burden or obligation.

The media's obsession with resolutions, dieting, stopping smoking and other topics can be smothering, leading people to feel there's so much to change, and they don't know where to start.

As a result, in the first few weeks of the new year, many rush to join a gym, start a diet, save more money, or volunteer, only to revert to their old habits within a week or a few months. By March, everything's back to normal, with that little voice in your head saying, "I should have…" "I failed again…" "As soon as I have more time." You think next time things will be different, but they rarely are.

To give yourself the best chance of making some meaningful moves in the right direction, the best approach is to start slowly and work on just one or two reachable short-term goals. Once you achieve those goals, then add another one or two. Slow and steady wins the race to long-term change.

Here are some suggestions to help you be successful.

Get some sleep. Start with a small change that's extremely pleasant, requires no will power and will yield maximum results. It's nearly impossible to make some positive changes when you're exhausted, yet we've conditioned ourselves to run on four or five hours of sleep. Try to add an extra 15 minutes every few days until you're up to seven to nine hours a night. Don't think you have time? Believe me; the extra sleep will help your waking hours be more peaceful and productive.

Drink pure, plain water. This one step can relieve everything from dehydration to sleepiness to hunger throughout the day. Again, no money or willpower required.

Eat healthier food. It's so easy to grab something fast when clients are running late and you're fitting in even more. But even adding a couple of pieces of fresh fruit and scaling back on fast food can keep your energy constant and hunger away. When that happens, it's easier to focus on your bigger goals.

Move. Yes, you're on your feet all day — and you can't wait to crash when you get home. The best thing you can do is to go for a walk, take a yoga or Core Barre class or lift some weights. Just 15 to 20 minutes a day will help you feel stronger and more centered. What's even better — it will clear the workday out of your head and renew your energy.

Breathe deeply. Stop every hour, close your eyes and take 10 deep, slow breaths. You'll be shocked at how easily that one simple step helps you stay calm and centered.

Give yourself a break. Do you hear a little voice in the back of your head throughout the day telling you you're not good enough, fast enough, thin enough or smart enough? Stop listening to it. Every time the recording starts, replace it with positive affirmations. Focus on the gorgeous color you just created, how happy your client is with her new cut or even how beautiful the freshly folded pile of towels looks.

Surround yourself with beauty. You spend so much time helping others look and feel beautiful, that it can be easy to forget to take care of your own personal space. From your station to your break room from your car to your living space, eliminating clutter and replacing it with anything that looks, feels or smells beautiful, peaceful or calming to you can make a huge difference in how you feel.

Reinventing yourself on the outside starts with making small, meaningful changes in your daily actions and thoughts. When you dedicate a small amount of time each day to being conscious of your goals and taking small steps to achieve them, by the end of January, you will be well on way your way to setting new behaviors, attitudes and feelings in place. They stronger those get, the more they will help guide your positive progress for the rest of the year.

It's so easy to get stressed during the day and forget about what really matters. I'm going to print this list and post it in my office to help remind me. I hope you'll do the same.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas with you all year. Here's wishing you a beautiful, peaceful end of the year and start to 2013!

Jayne Morehouse is a columnist for Stylist Newspapers and the president of Jayne & company, a full-service brand communications agency for beauty companies and salons. Follow her on Twitter @JaynePR and @BeautyIQ and connect with her on