My #1 tip to sticking to your New Years resolutions!

Whew, it’s been a minute. How are you?

I’m still easing out of the holiday season and sloooowly releasing my tight grip on Christmas. Actually, I’m pretty excited for the new year.

How are you feeling about 2017?

The attitude I’m adopting in 2017 can be summed up by a quote from Amelia Earhart: The most effective way to do it, is to do it. (I tweeted that the other day!).

I love this quote because it reminds us that accomplishing our goals happens in the moment, not at some vague point in the future. When you take action on your goals little by little instead of putting them off or assuming that you’ll get to them some day, somehow, you make progress and get your sh*t done!

It’s so easy to create goals or resolutions for ourselves, and not actually take action on them. It’s easy to just think about our goals, maybe do a little work towards them here and there, then get distracted or go back to doing what’s comfortable. When we do this, we never actually accomplish or experience the things that we want.

It’s also easy to overthink the best way to accomplish our goals. Sometimes we get so in our heads about how to take action, what may go wrong, and what others will think of us–that we want to jump back in bed and hide from the world. This tossing and turning keeps us stuck and scared, and then we barely make any progress.

What’s the solution? How do we make consistent progress on our goals? It’s simple: just start. Take small actions on your goals on a regular basis. As you take steps forward, the next steps become clear.

Let’s say that you want to be more organized around your finances. There are a TON of finance books, blogs, and resources you can use. But instead of obsessing about choosing the “perfect” or “right” resource, you just choose one or two that resonate most with you. And instead of just thinking about getting more organized around your finances, you just take action. Maybe instead of spending 10 mins of your work break on Youtube every day, you check your account balances. Maybe instead of just telling yourself that yes, you’re going to make a budget, you set a timer for 15 mins and make a list of all of your bills.

Think about a goal that you want to accomplish in 2017, or your New Years resolution. What’s one small action that you can take right now to make progress on that goal?

Awesome resources to stay peaceful and productive in December

Like I mentioned last week, December can be such a chaotic month. There’s a lot of pressure to see a bunch of people, squeeze in all of the holiday festivities you can, and let’s not forget the amount of work and deadlines that pile up before the end of the year.

Whew. Just thinking about all of that makes my chest tighten and my thoughts spin.

But there are ways we can slow down and accomplish everything we need to accomplish with peace and ease. And actually, when we slow down, we get more done.

Below are all of the things I’ve been doing/watching/reading/listening to stay calm and productive this month. Pick the things that resonate with you and give them a try!

Listening to…
Spotify’s Acoustic Christmas. I love this playlist because it puts me in the holiday spirit and it’s mellow enough for me to enjoy while working.
Commute with LEVIS playlist by female DJ Jilly Hendrix. This one pumps you up and makes me feel like a boss.
Podcasts: Let it Out and Food Psych are my faves. I’ve also heard great things about Call Your Girlfriend and Lady Lovin‘. I get SO tempted (and give in a lot) to go on Youtube during the day when I’m taking a break from work/eating lunch/procrastinating. But that just gets me so off track and brings me no peace whatsoever. Podcasts help me stay on track, give me positive energy, and entertain me!

Reading…
Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny by Holly Madison. OMG read this memoir from Hugh Hefner’s former main gf. She goes deep about what Playboy mansion life was really like and how she empowered herself to get out, work hard, and live an amazing life on her own terms.
The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. Any time you open ANY of Gabby’s books, you’ll feel happier and calmer.
Someday, Someday, Maybe: A Novel by Lauren Graham. LG hit it out of the park with this one.
Let it Out: A Journey Through Journaling by Katie Dalebout. Awesome book of journaling prompts that connect you to your purpose, calm you down, and help you feel awesome about yourself.

Putting on my face…
This face mask from Lush. My all-time store-bought fave.
Greek yogurt. Duh. My all-time DIY fave. Smear a few tablespoons on your face, leave for 15 mins, wash off gently.
These too: egg/honey, greek yogurt/banana, egg whites.

Rocking body confidence with the Instagrams of…
Tess Holliday
Nourish and Eat
Robin Lawley
Ashley Graham

These resources will give you energy and a sense of calm…so that you can really enjoy this month AND knock out your To Do list.

3 ways to be peaceful and productive in December

December is a crazy month for all of us. If you’re in school, you’re drowning in papers and finals. If you have a full-time job, your’e scrambling to meet all of your deadlines and complete extra projects. If you’re somewhere in between, you may be juggling a few jobs/side hustles/trying to figure out your next step amidst the holiday madness. There’s a TON going on in December, and our mental and physical health can really take a hit. We’re often exhausted by the holidays because we’ve been doing so much to finish our work and complete our holiday To Do list.

But what if there was a different way to experience December? What if you could get all of your stuff done and feel relatively peaceful? What if by the holidays rolled around, you felt relaxed and accomplished?

It’s totally possible to have a peaceful AND productive December. Use these tips to get there:

1. Block off 10 mins in the morning and night to connect with yourself.When you wake up and before you go to bed each day, do something to get out of your head, into your body, and into the present moment. Journal. Do some stretches while listening to music. Meditate. Have a cup of tea and read a book. Take a short walk. This will slow down your whirring thoughts and keep you from future tripping about everything you have to do. When you connect with yourself, you carry that sense of inner connection throughout the day, which will help you move and do your work with ease.

2. Know exactly what tasks you’re completing in the morning. Too often we just say, “Tomorrow I’ll work on x, y, z.” But that’s so vague. The next morning, we don’t know where to begin and we just end up procrastinating with Youtube, social media, etc. Then the rest of our day becomes unfocused. Every night, assign yourself 1-3 specific, concrete tasks for the next morning. Ex. Freewrite for 20 mins about my paper topic. Assign blog post topics to freelancers. Call this person and ask about this. When you have a productive morning, you’ll feel motivated to continue the productivity for the rest of the day.

3. Observe the 1-min rule. This comes from author of The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin. The 1-min rule requires you to pick a task that you can do in 1- minute and DO IT. Ex. Pick up your clothes from the floor. Write an email. Respond to that text. Do some squats and crunches. Meditate. Write your To Do list. This rule helps you increase your productivity in stress-free way. 1 minute is pretty easy to handle, and it makes us feel super productive, which motivates us (and gives us more time) to accomplish bigger tasks.

Let these tips guide you in December. It’s time for you to have a December that makes you feel happy, relaxed, and accomplished!

How to make peace with your body (we gonna get naked)

Last week was Easter. I got a little festive by dyeing eggs, running a 5K Bunny Hop with my fam, and making an angel food cake for Easter dessert. Oh and my bff got into law school…whaaatttt!

Happy Easter

Remember that post I wrote on how to handle those days when you hate the way you look in your clothes? I’m still working on that stuff–feeling happy and peaceful about my body the way it is right now. This week has been particularly hard because I tried on an old summer dress that is now too tight…which really ramped up my body image fears. If you feel me on this, you are not alone.

Recently, my bomb-ass therapist recommended that I do this really cool body image exercise. I’ve been doing it for the past week and a half and have gotten RESULTS.

Here’s what you do:
1. Take off all or most of your clothes.
2. Stand in front of a full-length mirror (a shorter mirror is totally fine)
3. Focus on each of your body parts, one at a time, starting with your face, then your neck, shoulders, etc. Touch your body as you go.
4. Say one thing OUT LOUD that you’re grateful for about each of your body parts. Ex. When you touch your stomach, you might say (again, do this out loud), “I am grateful for my stomach because it always digests my food and resets itself.” Or when you touch your hips, you might say, “I am grateful for my hips because they are a mark of my womanhood. They make me feel truly womanly.”
5. When you’ve gone through all of your body parts–face, neck, shoulders, arms, breasts, stomach, hips, legs, feet, butt–you’re done!
P.S. If you can’t find the alone time/space to do this exercise, do it in the shower. Whisper what you’re grateful for to yourself.

Why this exercise works:

  • It makes you focus on the present moment. Remember, all of your peace and safety lie in the present moment–not the past or future. This exercise makes you be present for a few solid minutes. I always feel quieter and calmer after I do this.
  • It shifts your attention from how your body looks and how well it holds up to society’s beauty standards (which are fake and impossible anyway) to everything that your body does for you right now. Ex. “I am grateful for my arms because they allow me to hug and touch my loved ones.” When you do this enough times, you begin to feel confident and proud about your body.
  • It reminds you of what really matters to you and what you really want in your life. When I do this exercise, most of the things I’m grateful for include my family, the ability to move and do yoga, experience pleasure, and connect with my intuition. Well, those are things I try to experience in my life every day. So of course I’m grateful for my body because it helps me make those things part of my life. When you focus on what your body helps you do/experience, you get insight into your own values and priorities. When you know more about what’s important to you, you’ll be able to make decisions with more ease and power.

Yes, it can be super confronting and uncomfortable to look at yourself naked in a mirror. But I want you to try this exercise. It will begin to turn down the volume of your obsessive body image thoughts. You’ll feel calmer about your body and just want to treat it well instead of hating on it all of the time. Feel me?

Revive your skin by putting food on your face

Happy November, college girls (and guys, if any of you are reading. If you are, THANK YOU AND I LOVE YOU).

My Halloween was full of food, dancing, dogs in costumes, friends who are like my family, and glowstick bracelets. I curated a pretty impressive (if I may) costume of a woman on safari. My date for the evening was my dear, dear friend May, aka Jon Snow.

Safari and Jon Snow Halloween 2015

On a safari with Jon Snow. Pretty great, right?

Tonight, to decompress after the Halloween festivities, I smeared a bunch of Greek yogurt on my face in the name of soft skin, a nice glow, and reduced redness.

Halloween Greek yogurt face

Alexis Wolfer of the Beauty Bean (aka my dream big sister) and author of the DIY beauty book Recipe for Radiance talks a LOT about the benefits of using food (whole, simple foods) on your skin. For this mask, take 2-3 tablespoons of full-fat (or close to full-fat) plain Greek yogurt and smear it allllll over your face. You can even put it on your eyelids. Leave on for 15-ish minutes until the yogurt gets kind of crusty (ew, sorry). Rinse with warm water and a washcloth.

College girls, take this in: smearing food on your face is fun, easy, and cheap. You can do a mask at night when you’re studying, with your lady friends at a sleepover, or LITERALLY WHENEVER. When you rinse your face, your skin will feel smooth and soft, and will actually glow. Also, you’ll have some fun and feel more relaxed. Trust. More DIY facemasks here!