Motivational Monday #1

Happy Monday y’all! With the start of the new year, I have decided to start something new of on the blog…MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY!! Woohoo *cue cheering*. Every Monday, I’m going to post a blog with an inspirational quote, story, phrase, basically anything that is motivating for everyone to keep reaching and working towards their goals! They’ll usually be something short, so that a quick read is all you need to get fired up.

The reason I wanted to start this is because it can be tough to keep pushing all the time, especially when working with our new, or old, resolutions. Life gets in the way, we aren’t seeing the results we want when we want them, we’re just plain tired–all of these can cause us to halt our efforts we had towards reaching our goals. What I want to do, is give you motivation every week for that extra push, to relight that passionate fire that drives you.

So to start off with, my first Motivational Monday (*woohoo*) is going to be the quote that I currently use as the lock screen saver on my phone.

I have it on there so that every time I look at my phone (and lets be real here is way too often) I am reminded that I cannot and will not be stopped. When you have goals, you will run into people who will try and stop you from those goals. They’ll tell you that you can’t do it or you’re not good enough. Maybe they’ll talk about how your goal is silly and unrealistic. Or perhaps its not people, but instead trials and temptations. Whatever junk is thrown at you, I want you to remember this: YOU WILL NOT BE STOPPED! If your goals make you happy and you are passionate about them and have a burning desire to reach them, then whatever people say does not matter. That includes yourself. We can be our own biggest critics and simply give up after a failure or hardship–but do not let you stop you, do not let anyone stop you…ever.

I know this can be easier said than done; however, as you start your journey this year keep this quote in mind. Whatever bumps in the road you encounter, whether that be people, temptations, hardships, etc., know that you are stronger than them. Tell yourself that you are capable of achieving everything and anything if you have the desire, determination and drive to do it. Remember “I Will Not Be Stopped!” and let it motivate you to go out there and show everyone that you are serious, that you won’t be stopped. Because at the end of the day, someone who can’t be stopped is the most powerful person you can be!

My 2017 Resolutions

New year, new me. It will be my year. A new chapter. Perhaps you’ve said heard some or all of these phrases before. On the first of the year, everybody makes their resolutions, and guarantees they’ll stick to them. Check back a few months later and you’ll find most of those people have left their resolutions back in January. In light of the holiday, people get in the spirit and make their plans yet they are often unattainable and unrealistic. Or they’ll list them in their head, but never write them down or say them out loud, which helps with accountability.

I have never been huge on making set goals and resolutions, but I decided to make this year different. This year I have big changes I want to see in myself. This year I have goals for myself to improve and become healthier, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And this site and my blogs are perfect for accountability and a supportive community. I have a passion for self-improvement and a healthy lifestyle and I am super excited to watch my hard work pay off this coming year!

With that, here my 4 resolutions that I am making for 2017!

Resolution #1: Gain Muscle

As some of you may know (or as read in my ‘about me’ page), I have struggled with an overly obsessive unhealthy relationship with food, exercise and being healthy, which has caused me to lose weight. So my most important resolution is to gain weight aka ALL MUSCLE! I am determined to get lifting gains all over my booty body and become more muscular and stronger than I am now. There is nothing wrong with being skinny; however, for me, I am choosing strong over skinny for myself (I was skinny in an unhealthy way). With this resolution, also comes dedicated to being in the gym 6 days a week and putting in so much work lifting, doing HIIT, and eating right and enough so that I am able to see this goal through. It definitely won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it…so, so worth it!

Resolution #2: Spiritual Growth

I know that through life, I am constantly growing in my knowledge and relationship with God. But to be honest, I’ve been in a dry season lately–not that God isn’t there or that he’s not faithful–but that He has not been the center of my life and who I am passionately living for like I should or want to be. This year, I want to focus on fully trusting God and having abundant faith as well as continuing to grow in my walk with the Lord. In my life, this will look like spending more quality time reading The Bible and praying everyday as well as getting involved in my on-campus Christian community. I also picked up a handout at my church, that will challenge me to read the whole bible in a year.

Resolution #3: Personal Growth

A few weeks ago, I decided that one thing I really wanted to focus on is personal growth/improvement. I’ve been going through a phase of “going through the motions” of life and I decided to turn that around in 2017. To do so, I have set aside 30 minutes each weekday to work on it. Currently, I am reading through “Living Forward” by Michael Hyatt and following what it says to create my Life Plan. So far, it’s been helpful and I highly recommend you check it out–it’s never too early to start planning your future. After I finish this book, I’ll most likely continue reading other books to help with my personal growth.

Resolution #4: Healthier Mindset

My last resolution is to work on having a healthier mindset with myself and my fitness journey. I want to listen to my body more even if that means I eat unhealthy junk food every now and then. I want to feel more comfortable and confident in my own body, and learn to focus on me–not comparing my journey to others’. I want to be proud of myself, my progress, and my effort to reach my goals. I know I have the physical health down pretty well, but this year, I want to really focus on my mental health as well and being an overall, well-rounded healthy person!

So, there you have it: my 2017 New Years Resolutions (also happens to be my birthday resolutions because yeah I’m a New Years baby). I plan to make check points throughout the year to ensure I am focusing and working towards my goals. Like Avicci says, “I can’t tell where the journey will end, but I know where to start.” Who knows what my future looks like, but I know that these resolutions are a starting point for myself to improve and become the most beyoutifully healthy self that I can!

2017…I’M COMING FOR YA!

What are your New Years Resolutions? Comment below!

What I’ve Learned from 2016

It’s hard to believe that 2016 is already coming to an end…it seems as if 2016 just arrived. Yet, when I look back I can see that this past year was filled full with magnificent memories, difficult decisions, exciting experiences and, of course, lessons learned. I want to focus on these lessons because a) I want to use them to help create my resolutions to grow next year and b) I think everyone can apply these things I’ve learned to their lives and future goals. Maybe you’ve learned similar things or perhaps these are new, eye-opening concepts–either way, I hope that they do you as much good as learning them has done me!

  1. Spending time alone is okay

Spending time by yourself, away from others, can actually help you get to know and understand yourself, find new hobbies and see what things you like. First semester of freshman year, I was so worried about spending a Friday night alone or eating by myself in the dining hall for fear I would look like a “loser”. Second semester (spring 2016), I came to find that some of my favorite nights would be taking a break from studying and enjoying a book while I ate alone in the dining hall or cuddling up on the couch to watch my favorite movie. It wasn’t that I was antisocial–I certainly still enjoyed hanging out with people–I just found some alone time was relaxing and enjoyable for myself. Spending time alone does not make you a loser or weird nor does it mean there is something wrong with you, so don’t be afraid to try it out!

2. Selfish vs. Self-Care

Another I thing I learned was the difference between being selfish and taking care of yourself (and no they are NOT the same thing). Being selfish entails you only focusing on you: your desires, your wants and what will bring you personal profit or pleasure. It means you consistently only think of your wants and needs. Self-care on the other hand, is honoring and nurturing your inner desires and needs, in order to fulfill your potential, which benefits ourselves and those around us too. I learned that sometimes that means putting ourselves ahead of others so that once we are taken care of, we are better able to serve, love and help others. I no longer feel guilty for taking care of myself when necessary because if I cannot and do not help myself, then who can I help?

3. To be okay with my decisions

2016 came with some tough choices that I had to make. To be honest, I did, to some degree, regret some and at other times I didn’t at all. But what I learned was not to dwell in the what-ifs and instead, move on with the decision that I made. I couldn’t go back and change what I had done, so it didn’t make sense to continue living in the unchangeable past. Although much easier said than done (and something I am hoping I will get better at in 2017), it is important to come to terms with the decision you made and make the best out of it. Whether you regret it or not, it’s the path you chose; so, go out there, learn from the choice you made and live in the present fully embracing, and being okay with, the decisions you have made. After all, they’re what you got you here today.

4. You have to leave some people behind

This isn’t meant to be cynical or an excuse to be rude and suddenly “drop” people. This is meant in a way to keep healthy relationships in your life. I have learned that some friends and I have just gone our separate ways, through no fault of our own, and that things just aren’t the same. That’s okay! In life, we are constantly maturing, growing and heading down the path that we think is best, and sometimes, people (friends, boyfriends, classmates, colleagues, etc.) aren’t heading in that same direction. Sometimes, you have to say it’s been great and fun, but I need to move on ahead. While this may be hard, you don’t want to spend your time and energy on relationships that don’t mean the same as they once did and aren’t helping you grow. Now, this doesn’t mean that you give up and don’t try to mend a broken relationship or an argument. What this means is this: evaluate the people in your life and the different relationships with them and determine if they are really benefiting you, supporting you and helping you grow to where you want to be. And if the answer is no, know that it’s okay to leave people behind this year and find your group where you belong.

5. It’s okay to show emotions

For those of you who know me, you know that the one thing I hate to do is show emotion, especially sadness/crying. I am the person who refuses to cry and gets upset when I do so in front of others–even at a funeral or memorial service. I used to think it made me look “weak” to show emotions, although, somehow I never saw others as weak for crying or other such things…just myself. Just goes to show how much harder we can be on ourselves. Now, I haven’t had a ton of bawling moments this year; however, I have had my times where a good cry is just what I needed. (Well that and a hot shower, yummy ice cream and movies in bed.) I’m still working on showing that I am upset and crying in front of others, but you know, baby steps. The important thing I have learned from this is that it is healthy and strong to show your emotions and to ask for help. It can bond people and relationships and really help you be happier in life when you can tell other people what’s going on and how you feel. Or at least,be honest with yourself about what you are feeling.

6. Find what you’re passionate about and go for it…no matter what!

The last thing I’ve learned is probably the most important to me, and it drives me every day. Finding a passion isn’t always quick or easy, but when you do find it and make a goal out of it, I’ve learned to take it and run, even if people close to me may not fully support it. For me, I’m passionate about lifting weights, building those strong muscles, and living a very healthy life. (Granted, I’m not always good at it and I hit my roadblocks like anyone else, but I’m still fueled by it!) In 2016, I would be worried about what others thought about my workout in the gym or whether I would get weird looks or talked about when I said no to eating out or dessert because I was aiming to eat clean. Heck, just last week my dad rolled his eyes and in a way “made fun” of me for forgoing bacon and pancakes for healthy protein waffles, eggs and fruit. I’ve learned to not care. Of course, my family means everything to me and I want their support; however, my passion fuels my fire and I’m going to continue working towards my goal, no matter what. As long as you are not doing anything illegal or something that brings harm to you or others, and are passionate and enjoying what you are doing, then keep doing it. It doesn’t matter what your family or friends, or strangers think because ultimately it is all about what drives you, what makes you come alive and strive to improve. Life is too short to worry what others think of you, instead use your time to do exactly what makes you happy!

 

Self-Care Tips and Tricks

Life is hard for all of us sometimes. As much as we would like to think that it’s not or it won’t be for us, that’s just simply not true. There’s ups and downs, highs and lows on the path of life. But, this isn’t meant to discourage you. Life can definitely be great filled with amazing wonders and smooth sailing, but it’s important to realize that everybody has hard times. This is where the importance of self-care comes in. Perhaps you do a great job of caring about others, listening to them and helping them through their issues; however, when it comes to taking care of your self…you fall flat. Sound like you? Many of us may throw the idea and phrase “self-care” around, yet very few actually do a good job of doing it. I think oftentimes we push aside the hard times, the sad feelings and try to put on a 24/7 happy face. Which is not realistic.

While it is important to show compassion and care about other people, it’s also very important to take time for yourself. This isn’t being selfish or focusing only on “me, me, me”. Instead, it is the idea of making sure that you are healthy and happy so that you can then go and make an impact helping others. After all, you can’t take care of anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself first.

I know people get busy, caught up in their job, relationships, deadlines, etc. that they forget to or neglect to take the time for themselves; however, when life just gets too hard, here are some ideas for self-care to help you out.

  1. Take a long, hot shower or bath, dress in comfy clothes and watch your favorite movie.
  2. Go for a run or to the gym or do some yoga…whatever exercise makes you feel the best.
  3. Cuddle–whether that be on the couch or a long hug, it can help!
  4. Treat yourself to your favorite food/dessert–no guilt!
  5. Curl up with a blanket and a good book and get lost for a few hours!
  6. Make a gratitude journal or list of things you are grateful for.
  7. Pray or read the bible.
  8. Go for a long walk, particularly to a scenic area if possible, to clear your head.
  9. Call a family member, relative or friend to chat about anything.
  10. Give yourself an at-home manicure or pedicure.
  11. Have a good laugh, whatever that entails for you!
  12. Do something, anything you love, and do it happily!

This is just a small list, but there are plenty of other ideas out there. Here are 64 ideas from another site I found. The most important thing in all of this is that you actually take the time (30 minutes, a few hours, a day, etc) to help yourself. Life is tough, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be tougher and fight back by caring for number one: your beyoutiful self.

If you have any other ideas of ways that you love to do self-care, comment and share!! Hope these help!