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When (Somewhat) Done is Better Than Perfect

Sarah Bown

While we spent the last 320 days perfecting Snapchat filters and figuring out exactly who Adele was saying “Hello” to, November has snuck up on us.

There are now only five weeks until Christmas.

That’s just 37 days to guard your sanity against summers less cheerful of features: mozzies, endless reruns of Bondi Rescue and cricket games that go for five days and still don’t have a winner.

The last five weeks of the year is a lot like when the air hostess announces “Ladies and gentleman the final cabin door has been closed.”

No going back now Kevin McCallister, this plane is one way to 2018.

With such little time left in the year, one’s mind naturally drifts to the loftier New Year’s resolutions made for 2017.

  1. Master a three-foot croquembouche
  2. Stop buying things with batwing sleeves
  3. Get professional advice on balancing my investment portfolio
  4. Learn what an investment portfolio is

After a trip to the emergency room for scalding caramel related injuries and yet more unflattering wardrobe purchases, not a lot of progress has been made. I did set a record for most cheese and bacon Shapes eaten in one sitting and had my Havaianas eaten by a stray dog in Sri Lanka, but they weren’t quite what I had in mind.

But on a positive note, this inevitable slide into 2018 has me thinking perhaps in many of life’s situation (somewhat) done is better than perfect. If it works for my interpretations of Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals why can’t it apply here?

To test this hypothesis, I looked back over the resolutions I made in January that have partially succeeded.

Firstly, I set a GoodReads challenge to read 45 books this year. I figured you know, expand my brain and all that. My reasoning for choosing 45 was it’s less than one a week which allows approximately 1176 hours to cover those Outlander hibernation binges and busy periods at work where I’m so tired I turn up to the office with two different shoes on.

10 months into the year, while I’d made a decent dent, I still need to read fourteen books by Dec 31st. Super achievable if I didn’t have a job, a partner or a functioning Netflix account.

I also wanted to incorporate more incidental exercise into my routine. As someone who loves any kind of reward system I bought a FitBit and strapped a carrot on a fishing rod to my head. I set a goal for 11,000 steps a day and hung up a picture of that size 6 Cue dress waiting for the magic to happen.

Turns out intention is not the same as actually moving and rather more like staring at a year’s work of smashed avo and hoping it will turn into a house deposit.

Some days I made my 11,000 easily and patted myself on the back for a job well done. Other days I only made it over 3,000 because I sprinted the 400m to the staff kitchen upon hearing there was leftover catering. Spoiler alert – there wasn’t.

Lastly, I wanted to allocate a specific Date Night with my partner once a week. I travel quite a lot for work so thought we should make an effort to actively plan our schedules so we remember what each other looks like. This started out well. Weekend picnics, romantic walks, classy theatre outings.

But inevitably mostly ended with us eating homemade nachos off the oven tray on a tea towel in our laps discussing whether we should apply for The Block next year. I mean how hard can gyprocking be?

So what have I learned from my New Year’s Resolutions?

Although I won’t read 45 books this year, I’ve still learn a lot and spent more money on books instead of donuts. I also sound more important at dinner parties: “So how about this year’s Man Booker Prize hey?”

I won’t fit into that size 6 Cue dress but have developed a new love for the movement called walking and in the process found some great new podcasts. Altruistically, I’ve also been entertaining the couple in the apartment below who hear me pacing around the kitchen table at night to make my last 200 steps.

My other half and I are enjoying Date Night and dedicating time together. Shout out to the staff at Yat Bun Tong Dumpling House in Braddon, see you again this Friday we’ll have the usual!

So I guess at the end of the day the ancient Chinese proverb is true: “Little by little a little becomes a lot”.

“Man who lives in glass house should change clothes in the basement”, however is not.


Sarah Bown

Sarah is fresh off the plane to Canberra and quickly realising she's not in Kansas anymore. She's a writer and marketing professional by day and spends her free time reading way too much self-help literature followed up by too much Pinot Gris. Sarah spent 2015 working in Mongolia sharing her marketing and communications skills with local organisations. Yes it was her choice, yes they have internet and no it's not next to Syria. She's in Canberra to write more, exercise more, meditate more and then proceed to do Option D: none of the above. Sarah shares more newbie tips, general hilarity and plenty of things to read while procrastinating doing actual work at www.facebook.com/signedbysez. More about the Author

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