I'm a firm believer that being positive is always a bigger win, personally and professionally, than being negative. Looking on the bright side, seeing the glass half full, trusting that every cloud has a silver lining - they may well feel like clichés but they fundamentally lie at the heart of the way I choose to live. I'm not pious about it, everyone can have a bad day - I just try to keep things as upbeat as possible. How do I do this? With my kids, we sit down and work through arguments together. Pre-teen strops too. Failing that, there's always wine (well, nobody's perfect).
With the Baukjen brand, I veto anything that feels unconstructive or negative. Fashion is creative. Getting dressed can and should be fun, so providing guidance rather than making rules is at the heart of the business. Dos and Don'ts features? You won't find them here. This means that right now, like the same time every year, the promise of the New Year brings its challenges. All those Resolutions - I feel obliged to make some. After all, it's how we benchmark the success of the year that's just been, isn't it? But it does rather fly in the face of my positive outlook. I asked some of the team what they promised themselves this year and what might be on the agenda for next. Losing weight, no more nail biting and joining the gym were a pretty popular trio of answers for both 2014 and 2015. Tough too. And these were from successful, talented and dedicated women who in my eyes should be celebrating their achievements, not assessing their perceived failures - why do we put such pressure on ourselves?
So, for 2015, my resolutions are going to be about starting new things and enriching my life. There are also only four of them and if for any reason I haven't quite kept them up throughout January I won't be throwing them out until 2016. Why? Because there's always February. And then, there are always Mondays, or more to the point, there's always tomorrow.
So, here they are:
1. I'd like to teach the kids how to cook. It's a simple one and something I love when we do it, so I'm going to make every effort to clear one weekend evening every week, pick a recipe with the kids and cook it together.
2. I spend a lot of time on email and social media. It's part of the job. It's also part of everyday life, but I do sometimes realise that I haven't always actually had a voice-to-voice conversation with some of the people I'm closest to for, well, for more time than I'm comfortable with. So, I'm aiming to speak to all of my family members and closest friends once every couple of weeks. This is not a difficult task - it's just as it should be.
3. I'm going to take a walk at least four times a week. This is something I've already started to do, and lo and behold, that whole exercise feel good factor that people talk about is true. I really do feel good after a walk. I'm also very lucky to live near Hampstead Heath. And my kids like coming with me too so it's a triple win.
4. I'm going to book meetings in my diary with myself. I try to do this one already but the time slots often get cancelled or at the very least, they're squeezed, so I'm promising myself to not get as bogged down in the day-to-day in a bid to spend a little more time on the bigger picture. Get more inspiration for collections, styling, creative etc. I like this one. I think everyone benefits from looking at the big picture.
So here's to being a little kinder to ourselves. And remember, tomorrow will be there to try again.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2015.
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