Hazel Jane

The New Life Guide

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I saw this book online when I was having a bit of a ‘I need to get it together’ moment.

It was before I had found out about my new job (that I started this week, someone raise a glass of elderberry fizz with me please!), and I was feeling a bit down. So, as I was scrolling on Elfster to update my Secret Santa wishlist, I noticed this book, had a little giggle, and popped it on my list as a bit of a joke. Kinda…OK I actually really wanted it.

So I laughed even more when I was sat in a pub opening Secret Santa presents, and unwrapped the book.

Despite the giggle when I first saw it, I really enjoyed this book for a number of reasons. So I decided I wanted to have a go at doing a little review – just my thoughts on the whole thing, and why I think you guys might like giving it a read, too.

Also, it was written by a blogger, which is always fab!


Now, I think the name does have a bit of a jokey edge to it, but it works. Our generation do generally like to have a giggle at our own expense – whether it be nostalgic Buzzfeed article, or making jokes about 20-something year old stereotypes – we all like a laugh, and this book definitely touches on that. The language is quite conversational, with a few jokes chucked in there for good measure, but it’s informative too.

Whilst reading it, it felt like the same kind of genre as the infamous #GirlBoss – informative, but mostly using motivational ‘go get it’ vocabularly to make you really think about what you want, and how to get there. With #GirlBoss I felt it wasn’t truly like a full on non-fiction book, where it gives you the answer, and I feel the same with this guide, too. Instead of giving facts (in fact, it gives ‘Fact-ish’ jokes instead), it’s there to make you think and get the motivation to change things and get out of your rut. I did feel that it could be a bit preachy at times, though.

So really, you can take some of the advice with a pinch of salt, but keep your mind open. This isn’t going to give you tons of answers and make your life instantly better, and there might be some advice you don’t want to follow, but it’s definitely going to give you the tools to challenge yourself and make life work for you.

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The book is split into different categories: work, health, love, friendships and finances, working through each element of your life and giving advice as to how to make these things work for you. There’s sound advice for getting yourself out of debt (though it is American, so some parts are slightly different), and interestingly it made me think of my health and fitness in a completely different way. Instead of looking at fitness/healthy eating as a way to lose weight, she relates it back to general life. Lifting weights so you don’t feel tired whilst shopping (or bowling, which she used as an example), core exercises so you can keep good posture and look after your back when you’re sitting at a desk, cardio to keep your energy and endorphins up, and so on. There was even sound advice on how to ask for a raise, something I’d have no idea how to do otherwise.

Overall? This is definitely full of good advice that will help challenge you and get yourself out of any rut you may be in. There was some advice I didn’t agree with, but to be honest, we all do life differently so there was always going to be difference in opinion. But really it’s very empowering, making you look at life with a different angle, and giving you the motivation to do things for you. It’s got you in mind, and you’ll certainly learn something from it. It’s the new #GirlBoss, in my eyes.

So to finish, here’s 3 things I learnt from Mary’s book:

  1. A work/life balance is key – I definitely struggled with this before, spending my day at work and then doing nothing after because I was ‘too tired’. Instead I’m making sure that I keep up my hobbies and see people after work, I feel I’ll never have that Monday feeling again if I just keep on living throughout the whole week.
  2. Call your friends – it’s hard feeling like your friends are never interested in meeting up, and I’ve had those feelings quite a lot recently, but it’s time to get off my high-horse and just keep inviting people to meet up. If they don’t answer or don’t want to? That’s their problem, not mine.
  3. Your body is a temple – not in the ‘eat clean 24/7, you need to lose weight to be happy’ kind of way, but in the way that all of my choices fall back on my health. I’ll be eating healthily (with treats, duh) and exercising to look after my body and keep it in tip-top shape for the rest of my life.

So there you go! Think you’ll pick up this book? Keep me posted!

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