I, like most people, take a personal inventory at the beginning of each new year. I examine my past behaviors or actions to see which have or have not worked for me and challenge myself to do better. One of the things I decided to try this year is something life coaches are calling, “Emulation Therapy.”
In other words, you find someone successful you admire and model your daily behavior after theirs. Luckily for me, fashion mogul Tom Ford did an interview with Harper’s Bazaar Magazine where he chronicled his daily routine.
Below you will find an example of a typical Tom Ford day, as well as an example of one of my own I put together so that I could compare efforts. If my findings are correct, all I need to do to reach Tom Ford-level success is bathe more.
Let’s check it out!
TOM FORD 4:30 A.M: I never really sleep much and often start my day at this time. When I am very lucky and sleep through the night, I might get up at 7:00, but that is rare. The first thing I do when I get out of bed is weigh myself. I do this every morning, and if I have gained more than two or three pounds, I try to eat fruit and vegetables exclusively for a couple of days until my weight is back to my ideal. I make myself a tall glass of iced espresso (I don’t like warm drinks), get into a hot bath, and slowly sip my drink as I come to life. Often I lie in the tub for a half hour and just let my mind wander. I find a bath meditative and usually prepare myself for the day in this manner. Once out of the tub, I throw on my gym clothes.
HELLIS 4:30 A.M: I never really sleep much either and will often drift off right about this time- a convenient thirty minutes before my alarm is set to go off. Instead I spend that thirty minutes dragging myself up to a sitting position. The first thing I do when I finally get out of bed is invent a plausible explanation for why the number I know I am going to see when I step on the scale has increased exponentially (i.e. I’m due for my period, ate Chinese food the night before, anything other than the confirmation that I am a great big fat ass).
If I find I have gained more than two or three pounds, I say “fuck it,” blame my DNA, and whip up a double mocha frappacino with extra cream. Then I take a shower instead of a bath because I do not trust myself to stay awake in a hot-tub soup of my own making. Once out of the shower, I rationalize why I would bother with a sweaty workout now that I’ve just scrubbed myself clean. I toss aside my gym clothes and reach for my fat pants.
TOM FORD 8:00 A.M: Typically, I answer my emails. On average, I get about 100 per day. Then I do a bit of work before working out with my trainer at 8:00. The home page on my computer is set to the Daily Beast Cheat Sheet, an excellent summary of the news of the day from different publications around the world. I work out at a gym at home with Pilates equipment, cardio equipment, and free weights. I usually do about 30 to 45 minutes of cardio and then a half hour of crunches, push-ups, stretching, and other exercises using my own body weight, as I can tend to bulk up quickly if I use weights more than occasionally.
HELLIS 8:00 A.M: In the past I would answer my emails from my phone as I watched SONS OF ANARCHY on Netflix. Everyday I would tell myself that I could only watch one episode and then I would have to get up and work in some cardio on the treadmill. One episode turned into two and two into three until I’d spent all day sitting on the couch in front of the television. Now I’ve moved my treadmill into the living room and only allow myself to watch SOA while I’m jogging on it. I stop and do crunches whenever the Gemma character pisses me off. It’s been one day and I’ve already got a six-pack.
TOM FORD9:15 A.M: After working out, I have a breakfast of whole-grain muesli or bran cereal, half a banana, and several slices of pineapple. Then I take another bath, this time with soap, and wash my hair. Naturally, I use my own beauty products; I wash my face with either my cream cleanser if my skin feels dry or gel cleanser if my skin feels particularly oily. I then trim my beard and brush my hair into place. I use my daily moisturizer and take my small makeup brushes to touch up any skin blemishes or dark circles with stick foundation (color no. 7). I put on my “uniform”: a white shirt, a dark tie, a gold collar pin, a black or dark-gray single-breasted peaked-lapel suit, and black cap-toed shoes. I wear a variation of this look every day that I am in a city. (My other uniforms are for Santa Fe, Mustique, or a ski resort.)
HELLIS 9:15 A.M: For breakfast I grab a bowl of whatever I have left over from dinner the night before. Then I run my hands under the faucet and drag my wet fingers through my hair. That is the extent of my morning ablutions. If I am feeling fancy, I’ll change out of my workout sneakers into my black with flames Converse high-tops. Sometimes a girl just wants to feel pretty.
TOM FORD10:00 A.M: I usually arrive at the office by 10:00. I have a weakness for doughnuts and often completely ruin my diet by eating a doughnut or two when I arrive.
HELLIS 10:00 A.M: I usually arrive at the office by 9:20 since my office is right off of the kitchen. I, too, have often completely ruined my diet by the time I arrive.
TOM FORD 1:00 P.M: I hate going out for lunch during a workday because it slows down my pace and ruins my rhythm. I prefer to eat at my desk. Actually, I wander around the design studio with a plate in my hand as I dine on, for example, salmon sashimi and a salad of tomatoes and mozzarella. I often have a bit of dark chocolate after lunch.
HELLIS 1:00 P.M: I hate going out for lunch and prefer to eat at my desk while I work as well. Actually, I wander around the internet and waste many productive writing hours watching videos like the following:
I show this video to my kids when I want to reinforce to them why it’s never a good idea to take rides from strangers. Can you imagine being picked up by this dude and then told he’s taking you to his hotel room to watch him “beatbox” his flute? There’s no coming back from that experience, people.
TOM FORD6:00 P.M: Most nights, I work at the office until anytime between 6:00 and 8:00, depending on whether or not I have to go out to dinner. If I do have to go out at night, which I do about four nights a week, I try to take a 45-minute nap, have another hot bath, and put on a clean shirt.
HELLIS 6:00 P.M: Most nights I don’t catch a writing grove until 6:00, which is just about the time that one of my kids lets me know they’ve volunteered me to drive them somewhere or bake something for school or post their bail.
TOM FORD 8:00 P.M: I am not someone who likes cocktail parties or large dinner parties, but I have to attend them often. I much prefer very small dinners with close friends. I eat at the same restaurants in London most nights: Scott’s, No. 35, J. Sheekey, Mark’s Club, Harry’s Bar, or Cut at 45 Park Lane. If I am meeting someone for drinks first, I always like to go to the Fumoir at Claridge’s. My favorite evenings are actually spent at home. Richard [Buckley, Ford’s partner of 25 years] is a great cook, and I love dinner in the kitchen with just the two of us and the dogs.
HELLIS 8:00 P.M: I am not someone who likes cocktail parties either, which works out for me since I am not famous and no one invites me to them. I mostly eat in front of the television while re-watching the same episodes of SONS OF ANARCHY that I watched earlier that day, bitching to anyone who’ll listen about what an ignorant, self-rightous, manipulative, emotionally incestuous control freak the Gemma character is. She better die at the end of the series.
TOM FORD 10:30 P.M: When we come home from a night out, Richard and I walk the dogs around Grosvenor Square and then head up to bed. Believe it or not, I usually take another hot bath and wash my face. Then we watch a bit of television (usually things we have recorded) or read and go to sleep. I don’t wear anything in bed. In fact, I rarely wear clothes at all when I am at home.
HELLIS 10:30 P.M. Sometimes, if I’ve been particularly productive on the treadmill, I’ll take a shower before bed. There is never enough hot water. I blame Tom Ford.