Ok, the goal might seem ambitious, but the idea is not to transform yourself into a perfect woman—that’s totally overrated. In their book Et si vous deveniez l’héroïne de votre vie ? published by Editions Solar, Fanny and Anne-Sophie Lesage have listed a series of goals to meet in keeping with your rhythm, in order to stay yourself, but improvement and become the heroine of your own life. Having shifted from events management to personal development these 34-year-old twin sisters created the site www.holi-me.com one year ago. Each Monday morning, they send a newsletter in which a coach, an author, a blogger or an inspiring person intervenes to challenge the community around a new goal aimed at boosting moral and self-esteem.
For Do it in Paris, they have concocted an express programme comprising 7 challenges seeking out the F point (as in fulfillment!).
Challenge n°1: Shake up your daily routine
Translation: step out of your comfort zone, boost your daily routine. If you really want to find your Fulfilment point, this is a very important step. Careful, there is no miracle recipe and everything depends on your sensitivity. Each person is different. Start by thinking positive. Routine is OVER. Establish a list of 100 things you would like to do, discover, see, learn. Examples? Taking a photography course, redecorating your living room, landing a new job… It’s called the bucket list. Now, select between 3 and 5 must reach goals before the end of the year. And what satisfaction to cross them out, once you have accomplished them.
Challenge n°2: Think of others
There are a thousand ways of giving attention to others: writing a postcard to your boyfriend or neighbour, giving flowers to a friend, organising a surprise for your kids, helping somebody who is looking for their way around town. Instead of sending insignificant messages every other minute, just pretend text messages cost money again and give more thought to their content.
First of all, it will please the person who receives your message and secondly you will reap great satisfaction. Many studies show that the key to happiness is others.
Challenge n°3: Adopt the “fuck it therapy”
Work, family, outings…if you have the impression of being the victim of an infernal machine, you must know how to say “stop”. Give yourself a 5 minute break, let go of your phone and do what you want in order to unwind: complain loudly, listen to music, concentrate on your breathing—you are the one who decides. This small lapse of time might just be enough to start off again on the right foot. You also need to step back when you have a big pile of worries… Remember that you are tiny compared to the planet and the world surrounding you. That way you can lower the pressure and take on problems one by one.
Challenge 4: Switch to airplane mode
Ah digital detox, not easy. The principle? Switching off all the electronic devices (smart phones, tablets, TV…) during one or two days. The experience can sometimes be traumatising, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Start out soft. Better to begin during a weekend, in short choose a setting that is not your daily life—it will be easier. You will not have reflexes such as: I check my mails on the metro or I go on Instagram when I have nothing to do. You can also set yourself a set time in the evening when all the family turns off their screens during two hours. It’s a certain discipline, but you will see that you will feel much better.
Challenge 5: Stop bitching
Too much Nellie Oleson inside you? Stop the small talk, that also means those who complain all day long: “I’m cold, I’m hot, I’m on the edge of a burnout.“ The goal is not putting your life on hold, it can be healthy to spit things out at certain moments. But it should not be systematic like “thank you” and “please”. Start with one day. Choose a special item (bracelet, ring), that will serve as mental post-it. Every time you see it will be a reminder.
The next step entails “establishing your Amélie Poulain”. Translation, concentrating on small pleasures and enjoying them: watching Dirty Dancing for the 5231th time, popping bubble paper, licking the preparation bowl a chocolate cake… happiness is like abs, it requires work! The more you train your well-being, the more you are aware of it—the better you feel.
Challenge 6: Stop feeling guilty
Stop putting the pressure on yourself to be always perfect (at work, as a couple, with your friends…), the risk is feeling you are a failure all around! The quest for perfection is destructive. You cannot be perfect everywhere—the idea is feeling well everywhere.
If you feel guilty towards someone, send them a letter of gratitude: “I am happy to have met you for such and such a reason”, “you are exceptional for such reason”. It’s important to do it, for others as well as for yourself. Today everything moves so quickly, take the time to concentrate on important things.
Challenge 7: Try the experience “Into the wild”
For the past 10 years, you have been to the same place for your holidays? Set off on an adventure, in Unknown Territory as Frédéric Lopez says. Ask a friend to organize a blindfold mystery trip. We did it. We told our friend to take big pullovers, bathing suit, socks and a pair of sunglasses, she had not idea where we were going. It gives a taste for experience. In the end, we went to Scotland, it was amazing.
You will find more challenges in the book Et si vous deveniez l’héroïne de votre vie? by Fanny et Anne-Sophie Lesage, illustrated by Marie Bretin, Solar Editions. 12,90€. And on their site www.holi-me.com