Nomhla Mahalia Macingwan

Long gone are the days of making New Year's resolutions. This is because I'm always making resolutions throughout the year. I am all about self-improvement and self-care. This has been the main theme of my life; trying this diet, that diet and everything in between.

If you read the blogger's blog titled “Year in Review: Teacher Blogger Compilation”, you will have seen that I have been exploring a plant-based lifestyle for 6 months now. I started my vegan journey around the same time the VeganStep challenge came out. This is just one example of my current self-improvement routines.

100 Days of X

In November, someone from one of the many WeChat groups presented us with a challenge. She posted “100 days of X is a challenge to improve yourself.

“X” can be anything, from art, and productivity to language learning. Body brushing was going to be my X. I have been thinking of doing it for a few years now, but always had excuses. I had actually already bought a brush from Taobao (the Chinese version of Amazon). Brush ready. I was now up for the challenge.

The start date was November 1st, 2018. With 90 ladies in the group, a solid support system was in place. Here are some of the rules I lived by that made me more committed to the 100-day challenge. In the end, I was more successful because I did these 4 things:

Set Aside Time. One hour was a guideline; what is important is that you set aside any chunk of time to work towards your goal. This was easy for me as I just needed to take a few minutes before jumping in the shower, swooping long strokes from my feet towards my heart on dry skin with a natural thistle brush for about 5 minutes. I went to an online search engine and did some research on body brushing.

Post Weekly or Daily (daily is best). This one has been a bit of a miss for the most part but I have been posting here and there. I have posted over 5 times which adds up to once a week so far. This is important because it motivates others and also keeps you accountable. It also creates a sense of transparency and responsibility not just for yourself but the whole group. No one wants to be the weakest link.

Encourage Each Other. This comes easily to me. I love encouraging people. One of the ladies in the group is doing 100 Days of Instagram and Reading. I started following her and liking her feed. Another girl's challenge - 100 days of Code, just finished building a website filled with inspirational quotes. I checked it out, took a screenshot, and sent that to the group. She appreciated that I took the time to check out her work and give her a shout-out!

Focus On One Main Challenge. This will help you to stay committed, start slowly and give it your all. Don't forget to keep pushing during the tough times by keeping track of your days. I have only missed one day and I didn't even sweat it because it was more important for me to see my progress and to see how far I've come. Commitment and routine are something I want to get better at. I also began taking a 3 or 4-cycle shower. This is basically about adjusting the water temperature to as hottest as you can stand to cold and then back to hot. This helps with circulation as well as keeping your pores tight.

Reflecting on 2018:

Last year was really about laying a foundation for the kind of lifestyle I want going forward as I navigate my thirties. I'm delighted to check a few personal achievements.

Giving up animal flesh since 24 June 2018.

Exploring plant-based food options in my kitchen (thanks to Minimalist Baker).

Body brushing since 1 November 2018.

Becoming refined sugar-free since 1 December 2018.

2019 and beyond:

2019 is about building on the foundation laid in the second half of 2018. I look forward to MORE in 2019. My secret has been to take it one day at a time. Then just put it on repeat. It's about focusing and not forcing or overwhelming oneself all at once. I can honestly say that I am enjoying myself so much!

For 2020 I've focused a lot on self-care. I continue to take things one day at a time, and this focus has gotten me through a lot of uncertainty while ensuring that I keep learning and growing.

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