Thursday, December 29, 2011

What I learned in 2011

I'm a work in progress, so I'm always interested in learning how to improve myself.

As I look back on 2011, here's some of the advice that's been most meaningful to me from experts that I interviewed.

From legendary designer Oscar de la Renta: "Mister” (as his staff affectionately refers to him) had this to say about what makes a woman elegant: “Elegance is how you live, not just how you dress. To be dedicated to living elegantly takes a lot of discipline. It’s about understanding yourself and being very visual and dedicated to surrounding yourself with beauty.”

From Charlotte event planner Todd Murphy: He had great advice on how to not let your job take over your life. “Sunday is truly a day of rest and relaxation,” he told me. “I have set a boundary of no human contact on Sundays until the afternoon. That means no appointments, no cell phones, no voicemails, no e-mails, and no texting . . . just quiet time with coffee, the newspaper, magazines, CBS’s Sunday Morning and my dog.”

From Charlotte exercise guru Andre Hairston: “There are so many things going on with social media and extracurricular activities, it’s hard for some to make exercise one of their top priorities, but it should be more important than updating your Facebook status,” he said. He also believes in investing in yourself. “We have to treat our bodies better than our homes and our cars. We can always replace (a material) possession, but we only get one shot with our bodies.”

From style expert Clinton Kelly, co-host of TLC’s “What Not To Wear”: “Your actions are the important thing,” he said. “You will be defined by the things you do and say. But you’re also defined by the way you’re groomed and the clothes you put on your body. We’re human beings. We judge each other. It’s built into our DNA and to ignore that is just silly. If you want people to notice you and recognize you, it’s in your own best interest to look your best.”