We all have those lazy days—when all you want to do is stay in bed, wear pajamas all day, and order the greasiest fastfood there is for meals. Never mind that you’ve got a hundred things on your to-do list, your nail polish is chipped, you’ve missed you last wax appointment, and you’re breaking out way past puberty. And yes, once in a while, we hardworking, harassed and frazzled women are entitled to have days like that. However, this does not mean we are ‘allowed’ to get sloppy! The way you carry yourself speaks volumes about your character, and the last thing you would want is for people to get the wrong impression (especially when it comes to how competent you are at work). Yes, grooming, first impressions, and overall well-being count for a lot. Here are our tips for how to be a Stepford Lady, a.k.a. Little Miss Perfect:
- Schedule appointments in advance and stick to them. With your hairstylist/colorist, every 3 months. With your manicurist, every other week. With your wax studio, every month. With your dentist, twice a year. With your yoga instructor or fitness trainer, once or twice a week. Yes, it sounds so ‘prima donna’ but actually it’s not. You owe it to yourself to look good and groom well, and it makes so much sense to schedule all of these amidst your myriad of activities so that they don’t get waylaid or brushed aside. Another option? Learn to DIY and schedule an at-home Sunday beauty day.
- Find your best fitness activity. If you just can’t stand the thought of going to the gym and find yourself trudging there everytime, then it’s probably not the best fitness activity for you. Find whatever it is that makes you feel happy and energized. If you have lots of energy, maybe it’s Crossfit that floats your boat. Or Zumba perhaps. If you love dancing then maybe hiphop, sexy dancing or even ballroom would suit you. You might also enjoy running and find yourself doing marathons in a few months. Or it could be yoga, pilates or soul cycling. Swimming, tennis or badminton are great options too! There are so many things to choose from, there’s no excuse to lead a completely sedentary lifestyle. Take your pick, stick to it, and make new friends along the way.
- Eat healthy. Ok, I know not everyone can be vegan, vegetarian, or do gluten free mumbo jumbo. But it really won’t kill you to try to eat healthier and know that you are worth better, fresher food. Stop eating out of a can and start looking for more appetizing options. You can explore making your own low calorie diets, or if the kitchen is the last place you’d like to hang out at, then just order packed meals instead. When you notice you amazing you look after shedding a few pounds, or how much better your skin and hair are because of the nutrients your body is absorbing, you won’t want to go back to your junk food days.
- Master good manners. Some ladies are really better-bred than others, and to be honest, it makes a huge difference. You don’t need to have been born with a silver spoon in your mouth to behave with breeding and class. Sit up straight at the table, keep your elbows off, always use a serving spoon, serve the first spoonful of the dish to your companion first, modulate your voice, avoid cackling especially with food in your mouth, and so on. When you borrow something, return it promptly with a thank you note, in mint condition. Always bring a little gift for your host if you’re visiting someone’s place. There are so many nuances that show good manners, I would advise everyone to go buy an etiquette book, read it from cover to cover, and make the effort to follow it.
- Know how to carry a conversation. Part of being a social creature (which we humans are, despite some being introverts), is to be able to converse with people in such a way that they will want to continue talking to you. Focus your attention on others, turn the spotlight on them, ask lots of questions, be genuinely interested, be generous with compliments. It also helps to keep a few conversation topics handy so there’s never a dull moment. Smiling, being warm and friendly and actually talking to new people- whether you’re at a party, a cocktail, the workplace, a seminar or conference, an airplane- will make you that much more likeable, instead of just shutting people out with your phone or iPad. Be open and who knows, you might just find yourself a new close friend.
- Treat yourself well. Sometimes being too accommodating all the time can take its toll and make you resentful to others if they can’t always reciprocate. By all means, be nice and gracious and try to do the best you can, but don’t run on empty. If you find yourself sleep deprived, emotionally drained, overly sensitive, tired, hungry, irritable, or whatever—step back and attend to yourself first. You can’t give what you don’t have, after all. So the kinder you are to yourself, the better you are able to deal with others. Always remember that you are your number one priority.
- Cultivate relationships. When you’ve got #6 down pat, you can then enrich all the relationships around you. There’s no sense carrying bad blood and old grudges because negative emotions will only give you negative karma. Let things go, and think of how much better life would be if there’s nothing but good vibes around you, whether it’s with family, in laws, friends, significant others, relatives and so on. This doesn’t mean you need to be a martyr, it means you are made of stronger stuff and are so well-balanced that nothing (and no one) can take you down.
- Live well. You know how there are some girls that just seem to have it all together? That’s because they know how to live. Buy yourself fresh flowers for your table centerpiece with or without guests coming over. Use the pretty plates. Light up those scented candles. Have a good breakfast every morning. Go on occasional trips. Listen to music. Look good all the time. Invest in nice furniture, comfy pillows, satin sheets, whatever makes you happy. Of course there are some things you want to keep a luxury and can’t afford to do all the time, but otherwise– why not? Life is too short to keep scrimping on yourself. You are worth it. You deserve it. Stop being guilty for actually having a great life.
- Be ‘more’. If there’s something niggling at the back of your head, something you’ve always wanted to do, something you are wondering about, or think you can be good at, then go explore it. How can you be a ‘winner’ if you stop yourself from growing? Your potential is limitless, especially in this day and age, so keep pushing for more. You can suffer setbacks, and that will hurt, but don’t let it stop you from becoming the kind of woman you have always wanted to be. Finding yourself and finding inner peace will make you a much happier person, and that will enable you to be happy and supportive to people around you too.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff- or the big stuff. I’m starting to see that the truly successful people know how to be resilient despite challenges. They can get wiped out once, twice, they can encounter difficult people, they can experience all sorts of difficulties or embarrassing situations, but with a positive attitude and with enough perseverance, they’ll pull through and be even stronger than before. So let’s learn from these people and practice being calm in the face of struggles. But of course, as much as possible, be prepared for them too.
So let’s see, covering our list—you look good, you feel good, you’re healthy, you’re happy, you have good manners, you are well liked, you can talk to anyone, your relationships are smooth, you’re enjoying your life, you’re in the process of reaching your dreams, and nothing fazes you. That’s about as ‘put together’ as you can possibly be! Spread your wings butterflies, and fly out into the world.