Goals For The Rest Of The Year

After a month away from the blog I’ve went through a small transformation, kind of like a butterfly wiggling out of its cocoon. It was uncomfortable, confining, and scary but I think it’s for the best. 

I shed a relationship which I think is better as a friendship. I did learn a lot from the time we were together that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life. I also relocated jobs, I landed a full time at the beginning of October which I love. The company is two companies under one roof so it’s super fast paced and there was and still is a lot to learn.

Sitting back reflecting on the year made me realize I’ve pretty much been living on autopilot too, just going through the motions day after day.

Goals For The Rest Of The Year #goals #lifestyle

As for goals to achieve throughout the rest of the year:

• To become emotionally aware

• Keep trying to heal emotional wounds

• Becoming more comfortable and confident with myself

• Putting the focus back on freelance writing

This year has been tough, dad passed away in February which took a lot out of me and I’ve been struggling a lot since then but I am trying to deal with all the feelings that come with loosing someone, not just anyone but a parent. It all happened so suddenly, if I knew then what I know now I would’ve forced him to seek out help. I’m still trying to pick up all the pieces of my broken heart. November is also his birthday month, so there is that too.

I’m shifting into a healthier lifestyle, everything that happened this year made me realize ya only get one body and one life (as you’re not a cat), it needs to be nurtured and looked after with care not stuffed with greasy cheeseburgers and pizzas. The cooler weather makes it easier to get out for walks on the regular, which is the plan. 

I have an amazing freelance client who I’ve been working with all year, she is kind of the perfect client actually. She’s been so understanding throughout the projects we’ve worked on. She offered me a huge project that i am very lucky to have the opportunity. I want to settle down, focus, and create killer content. 

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10 Things That Make Me Happy Everyday

I’m not going to lie, some days are better than others. I’m trying to be more mindful as I go about my day, doing so I’ve picked up on things that make me happy. I can enjoy these thing that make me happy almost everyday if not everyday. 

It makes me happy to be in nature too, I don’t do it nearly enough though. A trip to the beach a few weeks ago reminded me of that. Since summer is drawing to a close maybe a few hikes will be in the books for the fall/winter, I do love going to the beach during the winter too though. It has such a different feel, I just love it.

Anything i can do to put a smile on my face or have a moment of calm in the anxiety driven mind I have; I’ll take it. 

10 Things That Make Me Happy Everyday #life #happiness #happy

  1. Watching my kitty sleep – and boy does he sleep a lot, he is pretty much level expert. 
  2. Seeing all the beautiful colors in the sky from dawn to dusk.
  3. Gazing at the moon and stars – if I didn’t know any better I’d think I was an alien.
  4. Reese’s Pieces – need I say more?
  5. The love I have in my heart – it’s full and I try to be kind and spread it around all day. It takes 2 seconds to say “thank you” or give a compliment.
  6. Practicing mindfulness everyday – it really helps to keep you grounded.
  7. Having a sense of fulfillment in my life – it’s been awhile if ever I’ve felt this. I started a new job September 10th, I have a loving family and friends.
  8. Fluffy blankets – I love getting lost in all of its puffiness.
  9. Crystals – I have my favorites that I carry around with me daily but I love them all. I’m currently carrying around a tumbled Rose Quartz.
  10. Sleeping in – I absolutely love to sleep so on the weekends I do take advantage.

What makes you happy everyday?

Getting Yourself Out of a Slump

We’ve all had those periods before… those times when we feel stuck in a rut. Times when we can’t see any progress happening in either our personal or our professional lives… and we’re not even sure what kind of progress we want. Times when it’s all too easy to just hide in your room, binge a show on Netflix, and eat your weight in Cheetos.

But it doesn’t take long to realize that that’s not really what we want. And so, here are some helpful suggestions to get you out of that slump, and back on track.

Getting Yourself Out of a Slump #life #lifestyle #health

Take the Power Back

A million different things can spur this kind of phase, from a difficult breakup, to a professional failure, to stress and anxiety, or even boredom. The cause doesn’t really matter. What’s important to realize is that no matter what led to your slump, you have the power to overcome it. You really do! You have the power to return to a thriving, joyful, goal-oriented person. But it may not happen all at once, and it won’t happen if you just sit there and wait for something to happen to you.

That’s what can be the most alarming thing about a slump. We might fall into a pattern of thinking that “if only…” something would happen, it’d fix us. If only our ex came back, if only inspiration could strike and you could write a hit single, if only you won the lottery, or an amazing opportunity just dropped into your lap… It’s important to not depend on external sources to get out of this slump. It’s yours to own, and yours to conquer. Even if everything in the outside world is working against you, you have the power inside of you to make positive change in your life, and it starts as soon as you decide it does.

 

Get Depression Treatment, If Necessary

As I’m writing about getting out of a slump, I want to be clear about something. While all of these approaches can help to mitigate depression, there are many factors that contribute to your likelihood of depression, and not all of them can be eliminated simply through healthy habits. If you really do have clinical depression, you might need outside help from a professional. If you feel sad and hopeless the majority of the time, if this “slump” is lasting more than a month, or if you’re having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, it’s important to reach outside of yourself for help. Life doesn’t have to be this way, and things can get better.

Alright, with that disclaimer taken care of, let’s look at some habit changes that will really change your motivation and mood patterns.

 

Work Out. Really. Just Do It.

I know you’ve heard it a million times, and I know that it’s just turned into white noise but really. Listen to me: Exercise. Exercise really has a powerful effect on our mood. Some studies have found daily exercise (even non-strenuous exercise) is just as powerful as medication in alleviating depression. Additionally, it can greatly help us get better sleep (a common challenge in “the slump.”)

Getting Yourself Out of a Slump #life #lifestyle #health

Okay, now, you’ve probably resolved to work out steadily several times in your life. But that’s the thing about the slump… it sucks away your resolve to get things done, and you find yourself constantly thinking “I’ll start tomorrow.” Here are some ways that you can really make it happen:

  • Sign up for a class. If you’re having a hard time being self-motivated, then a class can really help you get the exercise you need. Sign up with a friend; someone who will hold you accountable.
  • Break it down into tiny steps. If “going to the gym and running 3 miles” is just too daunting a task, break it down. Force yourself to change into gym clothes. Then to drive to the gym. Then to go in and walk once around the track. I know this sounds silly, but it’s almost like tricking a child into going to bed by just doing it in tiny phases. “Fine, just brush your teeth then you can play more. Okay, now just get your pajamas on. Now we’re just going to read a book in your room, you don’t have to sleep yet.”
  • Delay your reward. Did you get home from work today looking forward to nothing but that Kit Kat bar in the pantry? Go ahead and tell yourself you can have the candy bar… but only if you work out first. Remember that it’s going to taste that much better for being a reward.

 

Write Down Some Very Small Goals

The slump feeds off of a very particular sick cycle: (1) You know you need to do stuff, but (2) you feel crappy and don’t want to do it. (3) You don’t do it. (4) You feel annoyed with yourself, and even more crappy. (5) You keep not doing it… or anything.

Even small goals accomplished can break the cycle. So start here: write down a list of really incremental goals. Even small things that don’t seem like they should classify as “tasks.” Like… finishing washing the dishes in the sink. Doing a load of laundry. Making a call that you’ve been postponing. After you’ve made the list, resolve to do three things on it every day. Sure, maybe they’re tiny things that you would have had to do anyway: taking a shower, filling the gas tank, etc. But as you get in the habit of ticking off three things each day, you can start getting more ambitious: clean out the car, make a healthy meal for yourself, go to a dental appointment.

What’s really great about this method is that you start feeling better about yourself because of these small victories. Pretty soon, you’ll start to crave that victory more and more.

 

Watch Your Intake

Okay, now it’s time to do a little bit of a detox. Often, in the slump, we start to rely on unhealthy habits to get us through. We over-eat sugar, over-utilize caffeine to get going in the morning, or over-drink, just… because. Take a look at any unhealthy habits that you’re using as a crutch and consider how they could actually be harming more than helping. Alcohol, sugar, and caffeine all have a major influence on our energy levels, and even our moods, leading to peaks and crashes that you just can’t afford anymore. Start to moderate your crutch-substances as much as possible.

Getting Yourself Out of a Slump #life #lifestyle #health

Write Down Some Very Ambitious Goals

Now that you’ve taken care of some small goals, start thinking about bigger ones. And I mean bigger. The kinds of things you put on your bucket list. The kinds of things you build a 5-year plan around. What do you want to accomplish in life? Where do you want to go? Who do you want to become? Start thinking really seriously about future goals and realize that they’re yours to make come true. As you write them down, and start to think about them more and more, your pathway will become more clear, and you’ll be able to break down the ambitious goals into smaller goals that you can start in on one day at a time. Perhaps it could be useful to you to create a vision board that can remind you of those goals and visualize them more clearly.

 

Talk To Someone Every Day

In a slump, we tend to withdraw. It can become a terrible cycle, because we move ourselves away from the resources that could help us feel more positive. And yet… being around people can just feel like too much. This is especially true if you’re not someone who naturally thrives off of sociality. If that’s the case, then you might have to make this something on your daily checklist of small goals. But it’s worth it, I promise.

Even if you’re the most introvert-y of introverts, you need other humans. We’re social creatures, and our greatest joys and happinesses come from relationships. And so, it’s time to flex your happiness muscles by flexing your sociality. Make a goal to have at least one real conversation each day; I’m not talking about saying hi to the bus driver. I mean actually talking with someone. Give a friend a call and catch up. Ask a coworker about their day. Smile at someone next to you in the checkout line and see how they’re doing. Not every interaction is going to be everything you want. But the vast majority of them are going to enrich your day.

Getting Yourself Out of a Slump #life #lifestyle #health

Appreciate a Miracle

This last one might seem strange at first. I mean, you can’t just schedule a miracle… that’s why they’re called miracles; they come out of nowhere! Hear me out. There are things in this earth that make us pause and take notice. Beautiful things that remind us that life is exciting, and rich, and worth savoring. Everyone probably has their own list. But this is mine:

  • Spend time with a dog.
  • Learn a new scientific fact.
  • Read some poetry.
  • Get up close and personal with nature (i.e. sit under a tree, dig your toes into the sand, find a beautiful view, go on a hike.)
  • Do an activity with children.
  • Go somewhere where you can see the stars.
  • Say twice-daily prayers of gratitude.

Monthly Goals: September 2018

I started September 1st off with a morning walk, it was only 2.5 miles but it felt great to let the fresh air fill my lungs and hear the birds chirping. I stopped into Target on my way home and picked up some Pink Lemonade drink packets and Olly Multivitamin Women’s gummies.

I’ve been in a slump this year. I haven’t been eating right, I haven’t been exercising, not doing yoga, no meditation. I’ve been feeling the effects of everything I’m not doing though. 

Finding out my dad was sick ((put dad post here) then him passing away only 18 short days later, this year has been filled with lots of tears, sorrows, and grief. I’ve tried to deal with it the best I can but I won’t lie, some days are just hard. 

I need to keep busy so I’ve decided to leave the part time job at the doctors office and took a full time job, my official first day is September 10th, wish me luck?! I do better when I’m on a routine. I loved freelance writing and would love to do it full time but it’s not healthy in the state I’ve been in this year to spend that much time at home. 

Monthly Goals: September 2018 #goals #SeptemberGoals #motivation #inspire #blogging #bloggers

Walk 30 miles // technicality that is only a mile a day, which seems totally doable. I’ll be moving around more at this new job than I did at the doctors office. 

Eat more fruits & veggies // I’ve rediscovered how delicious fruits are! I’ve tried new veggies and I need more of them in my life. Less processed foods and questionable beef. 

Read one book // I use to read two or three books a month, however now I’m down to zero. I’ll be adding this to my bedtime routine. It’ll be good to get out of my mind for an hour or two every night. 

Do more makeup // I’ve never worn anything other than mascara and eyeliner. I picked up BareMinerals powder foundation a year ago but have just started using it. I’ve switched to BareMinerals liquid BarePro Performance Wear liquid foundation (shop here to get 15% off your order), it makes my skin feel fresh all day even if I happen to break a sweat.

I think I might’ve fallen in love with makeup, I won’t become a beauty blogger but I’ll be watching a few tutorials. I had no idea it would make me so confident in myself. I was in a tornado when I was 3 which left me with broken blood vessels on my face, the BarePro Performance liquid foundation you can’t tell at all! It completely covers all blemishes and I’m grateful it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin.

Lose 5 pounds // I gained a lot of weight late last year and into this year, I won’t lie. I want to start a healthy lifestyle off this month by losing 5 pounds. If I eat right and move enough I know I can make it happen. Any tips and tricks you have would be greatly appreciated!

Hit 500 Twitter followers // I forgot how much fun it was to connect with others on Twitter. I started the month with 400 but let’s see if I can make it to 500. If you like what you see, please hit that follow button. 

Put together YouTube channel // I have an idea for a Youtube channel. I’m extremely shy when it comes to videos and photos so this may take a little time. I’ve never had a Youtube channel before so again, any advice?

** I do not receive any compensation for the link above. I just really love it **

How Travel Feeds the Soul

After taking a long trip, you can come back a different person. There’s something about the experience that changes you. But what exactly is it? I’ve long claimed that travel is good for the soul. (It’s a good fallback when people ask you why you’re spending your savings on trips overseas instead of investing in property.) But researching it more has shown me some solid evidence on how travel can actually feed the best parts of ourselves, make us better people, and strengthen those aspects of our lives that give us lasting happiness.

How Travel Feeds the Soul #travel #lifestyle #traveling #inspire

New Settings Force Us to Think Differently

A study recently published in the Academy of Management Journal posited that professionals who lived and worked abroad were more creative than their counterpoints at home. Why? Adapting to another culture than our own forces us to develop cognitive creativity. And that creativity carries over into parts of our life. We’re able to creatively problem-solve, as in the case of one study that found that students living abroad were 20% more likely to be able to solve a particular computer problem.

How Travel Feeds the Soul #travel #lifestyle #traveling #inspire

Think about how many ramifications that could have in our daily life. Not only does it make us better at work. It also makes us better in our relationships, because we’re able to understand multiple points of view. We’re able to express ourselves better creatively, a practice that literally helps you physically and mentally heal.

Most of all, it gives us a welcome new perspective on our own lives, which is the foundation of most experiential rehab programs. New environments, new experiences, and new perspectives can all help us problem-solve trials and challenges in our day-to-day lives. We learn and practice new skills that greatly serve us in our future.

 

Travelers Are More Trusting

The world can be a scary place, right? Sometimes, the more we listen to sensational headlines, the more it seems like just about everyone is out to get us. However, when you actually take a step outside of your comfort zone, instead of reading about it in the newspaper, you’ll usually find two amazing truths:

  1. Most people are good
  2. You can handle this

Traveling automatically puts you in a vulnerable situation. Clueless about your environment, about the shortcuts and social cues that locals take for granted, about the resources, cultural norms, and environmental dangers, it’s easy to fall prey to scams, over-inflated prices, and petty theft. And if you like movies like “Hostel” or “Taken” you might start believing that a ticket to Europe is equivalent to a casting call for a horror movie.

But once you stay in a couple hostels, you realize this: the people who will actually steal your stuff are the exception, not the rule. And once you’ve been helped by a few friendly locals, you realize that most people will not hesitate to go out of their way to help someone in need. In fact, a couple weeks abroad will probably make you feel ashamed about how you treat foreigners in your own hometown. This doesn’t mean that you stop taking smart precautions, like keeping your phone secure, or keeping your hotel’s phone number handy. However, it means that you trust those precautions, as well as the people around you.

How Travel Feeds the Soul #travel #lifestyle #traveling #inspire

And then there’s that second truth: You can handle this. It’s all about making a practice of overcoming fears. Traveling encourages you to step out of your comfort zone over and over again. When you do so, you usually find that you can handle those things that come your way. I’m not about to promise you that you won’t run into any challenges as you travel. However, once you get lost a couple times and then manage to get yourself out of a jam or two, you’ll start to gain confidence in yourself. And as you do, you become free from fear.

 

You Learn to Love the Small Things

Something that never ceases to amaze me about travel is how it helps us to appreciate even the most commonplace things. With a traveler’s eyes, I’m transfixed by everyday things, fiercely snapping photos of the town square locals walk past every day, awed by churches that they attend each week, stunned by a meal that is just a regular dinner to anyone else.

How Travel Feeds the Soul #travel #lifestyle #traveling #inspire

Because of this, it makes me start to think about those things that are unique to the place that I call home. I love watching how enchanted travelers are by the fat squirrels in London’s Hyde Park, creatures that to me are little more than a nuisance. I love talking to people about where I’m from as I travel, because it often sends them into a flurry of excitement, talking about their trip to one of the West’s National Parks. And when I come home, my time away has just made everything familiar that much more special. Travel makes me grateful for those things that I’m otherwise inclined to take for granted. And as you know, gratitude is one of the most direct routes to happiness and fulfillment.

Monthly Goals: July 2018

Monthly Goals: July 2018

Here we are, the Seventh month of the year. Summer is in full swing here in North Carolina, with heat indexes of 108 I’d rather walk around like Sandy Squirrel from Sponge Bob with a fish bowl full of cold water on my head. Since that isn’t a valid option I’m trying to seek out all the AC vents I can.

June was a slow month but busy with freelance. I’ve taken 2 weeks off to enjoy life and take a little breather. Which has been amazing.

I rearranged my desk and writing space, kind of an in with the old and out with the new, I felt the energy was stagnant. I love silk flowers because I can’t keep real flowers living, how gorgeous is the silk orchid??

Monthly Goals: July 2018 #silkflowers #goals #july #motivation

June’s Goals were as simple as I could make them, I don’t need anything overwhelming or super complicated to try and get through. 

I’m having a little bit of a hard time with my dad passing, I feel like the grieving process should be over? I feel like I should have already accepted that he’s in a better place with no pain than being here. I feel like I shouldn’t need to want to have conversations with him, or still have tears falling from my sore bloodshot eyes. He overcame everything else and those trails all took pieces of him with them when they left. Now I have pieces missing, I’d give anything to enjoy a banana split with him again.

Monthly Goals: July 2018 #silkflowers #goals #july #motivation

July Goals:
Acceptance // Learning to accept things I can not change not even for the life of me. 

Daily Journal // this little task use to help me so much throughout middle school even into high school. A brain dump for the day gets everything out, so I can be re-read or pondered over. 

Yoga // I’ve fallen out of the practice. I find myself staring off into nowhere at least a handful of times a day. I can’t focus and I don’t get a lot of sleep. Yoga puts me at ease, clears my mind, and helps to balance my energy.

Painting // this new one is recent, so recent I’ve only painted one thing. I love the mindset I fall into try to get the colors just right or the lines as straight as a board. Painting gives me something to focus on that drowns my anxieties. 

Read // the books I have waiting for me to crack open are stacking up on my bookshelf. I’d like to read two books this month, I think I can do it. 

Listen // everyone has select hearing from time to time and it usually only happens when it is something we just don’t want to do. I understand! I’m also talking about listening to my body as well. I’ve been feeding it greasy cheeseburgers, tacos, and ice cream. It’s been showing me it’s not pleased by weight gain, fatigue, and all around sluggishness. 

I hope July finds you all well with as much fun as you and your family can handle.