Growing Self Confidence: Advice for Women in their 20’s

Growing Self Confidence: Advice for Women in their 20’s

Ready for this growing self confidence advice? Take it from someone who’s spent 90% of her life extremely self conscious: Confidence is liberating. I never understood how much anxiety and stress came with insecurities until I gained the confidence I’d needed so badly. 

Once you become confident in yourself and start to understand what you deserve, you will attract amazing things. How? When you know what you bring to the table and understand what you deserve, you don’t settle for less than that. Confidence shows you that you can be self sufficient enough to wait for better things to come, because you know they’re coming.

If you’re ready to let go of certain beliefs and find that confidence, here’s my advice for you:

You were not made for everyone. You could be coffee and some people will prefer tea. It doesn’t mean that one is better than the other, it’s just a personal preference. But their personal preference doesn’t make you any less of a person. The good thing is, you weren’t created to please others. Your life is yours and you should be living it as so. 

Recognize and use your strengths to your best ability. It’s extremely hard to be confident if you don’t know what value you bring to the table. Find your strengths and focus on them. What’s something that you’ve pushed through? What’s something you’ve accomplished? What’s your favorite quality about yourself?

Believe in your ability to work through hard things. Confidence is shown when you’re in a hard season but you know that you’re able to push yourself through it, no matter what comes your way. How can you have that faith in yourself? Look at what you’ve survived in the past. What strengths do you have that you could apply in this situation? 

You deserve great things. You deserve to be happy, unconditionally loved, and valued. You deserve to chase your dreams, feel like you’re constantly becoming your best self, find healthy relationships, and so much more. You deserve the world, and you don’t have to hold certain qualities to deserve those amazing things.

Looks do not define you. You are more than a body or a physical appearance. You are your strengths, your heart, your mind, the way you treat others, and so much more. People will not love you because of the way you look, they will love you because of the way that you make them feel. Think about it this way: I’m sure you know someone that is physically attractive, but their personality makes them a complete turn off. Right? Prime example that demonstrates that looks aren’t everything. 

Lastly, you have to unconditionally love yourself, even when you aren’t happy with yourself. At some point in your life, you are 100% bound to mess things up, fail, and have regrets. But confidence is knowing that your failure doesn’t define you. You can fail without being a failure. Just figure out how to pivot and grow from the situation. 

You are allowed to feel confident. You are supposed to feel confident. You’re holding yourself back when you hold onto the insecurities. Realize your value and don’t settle! xoxo

Creating SMART Goals In Order to Follow Through in 2021

Creating SMART Goals In Order to Follow Through in 2021

Are you one of those people who starts off the new year with 10 different goals but ends it by maybe accomplishing one or two? It’s okay! There’s still hope. I bet you aren’t even the problem, it’s how you set your goals.

Before we get into the post, I want to share my SMART goal planner template that you can fill out at home! 


SMART Goal Planner on Etsy

Alright, so let me take a guess at some of the goals you’ve attempted to set over the years.. You want to lose weight/exercise/eat healthier, get organized, wake up earlier, start reading, learn a new skill, quit a bad habit, or spend more time away from social media.. Have I gotten one yet?

The problem with all of these goals is that they’re too broad! You have to dig deeper and think about the steps that go into those goals. Think of it this way – It’s like you telling someone who’s never baked before that they need to make a velvet cake by (x) date without giving them the directions to make it. They may have the motivation and materials, but they need to have a recipe or guidelines to follow to be successful. So, how do we create guidelines for broad goals? Having SMART Goals.

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Attainable

R – Relevant

T – Timely

You’ve probably heard that a million times before in your PE class or guidance counselors office, but it’s because it’s a really good method.

To explain this a little further.. I feel like losing weight is one of the most common goals, so we’ll look at the process through that lens.

To make it more specific, think about why you want to lose weight: To tone a certain area of your body? To fit back into old clothes? To genuinely improve your health? To hit a certain number on the scale? To feel confident again? Think about the reasoning behind the goal. Once you’ve found it – that’s the new goal, not “losing weight”.

How you measure your goal will obviously depend on what it is, but putting it into numbers is usually helpful. For example, if you want to start reading, read (x) pages per day. Weight loss is a bit of an exception because looking at numbers can get obsessive and/or dangerous. Obviously, you can look at a scale, BMI, or body measurements. I don’t personally recommend that process for everyone, so if you want to stray away from a scale or numbers, take progress photos or have a “goal” outfit that you can work up to. If you’re wanting to measure confidence or genuine health (best way to go about weight loss), you can write down on a daily/weekly basis how you are feeling about yourself, body, health, etc.

The next step is making it attainable. Goals have to be realistic. Otherwise, you’re going to feel so overwhelmed that you’re not going to want to work towards it at all. You shouldn’t be trying to lose 20 pounds in a month or promising yourself that you’ll spend 2 hours in the gym every single day. Try 5-7 pounds a month and a minimum of a 30 minute workout. If you can do more, great! Start with a smaller goal that you know you’ll be able to achieve, and then work from there. Let yourself collect some wins on the way to the bigger goals instead of setting the bar higher than you can reach.

Next, we’re looking at relevance. What do you need to be doing to achieve this goal? What is absolutely essential? What are some things that you could probably cut out? If you’re going to put time and energy towards your goal – make sure that it’s spent well. What’s relevant or essential to weight loss? Eating nutritious foods, staying active throughout the week, drinking water, getting sleep, etc. What could you cut out of this process? Possibly drinking, snacking on desserts multiple times a day, etc.

Lastly, we need to make sure that our goals are timely. I think of this in two ways – making sure that you have time to accomplish these goals and having a timeline for how you’ll achieve them. To make sure you have the time, schedule it in! Set aside (x) amount of time to go to the gym during the week or (x) amount of time to meal prep. Once you’ve realistically scheduled in that time, create a timeline. Take your measurements and put a date on them – lose (x) amount of weight this month, feel (x) way about yourself within the next couple of weeks, etc.. Just put a date on it.

Creating SMART goals helps narrow your focus on what you want, and then gives you the roadmap to help you get where you need to go. What are some of your goals for the rest of 2020? How will you specify them and follow through?

Becoming Independent from Other People, Objects, & Habits

Becoming Independent from Other People, Objects, & Habits

From personal experience, I believe that we can be dependent on three different things: other people, objects, or habits. There’s nothing wrong with being dependent on others in certain situations. We’re human and sometimes we need to lean on and be with others. Trust me, it’s normal. But it does become an issue when you are dependent on others to the extent that you can’t effectively go about your day without someone by your side. The same can be applied to objects and habits – sometimes they can be helpful, but they can also be harmful when heavily depended upon. 

Unhealthy dependency can take many forms. Here are some examples: 

  • Depending on a person for confidence or affection
  • Depending on others to accomplish tasks
  • Needing someone to help you process and work through hard situations 
  • Constantly wanting people around for entertainment 
  • Being dependent on an object to cope (ex: foods, substances)
  • Depending on a habit (ex: looking at your phone when you first wake up, watching hours of tv when you’re bored)

Becoming independent is not easy. It requires regularly bringing yourself out of your comfort zone to change previous beliefs and behaviors.

Independency from People

As you’d expect, the way to become independent is taking a step back from other people. My first tip is to learn how to hang out with yourself. Stop constantly asking other people to hang out just to prevent you from being bored. Instead, find a hobby that you can invest your energy in when you’re alone. And if you’re wondering, that hobby shouldn’t be watching Netflix. Find something that actually fulfills and excites you. Blogging has been a great hobby for me because I always have a go-to when I’m bored!

Ever since moving to a larger city, the main thing that I’ve struggled with is doing things in public on my own. In the past, I’d find a friend to tag along so I wouldn’t be facing things alone. While it was nice to have someone do it with me, I found myself always procrastinating to match other people’s schedules. Eventually, that got really annoying. The resolution for this has been blunt and straightforward – I’ve told myself to suck it up. People won’t always be there to hold your hand, so it’s better to learn how to do things on your own now. So, suck it up and then find a way to reward yourself after completing the task. For example, if I go to the grocery store alone, I’ll allow myself to grab a Mountain Dew. It sounds silly but I normally don’t let myself drink them, so it’s just a small reward for getting out of my comfort zone.

Another way to be self sufficient is by learning to process hard situations on your own. In all honesty, no one will care about your problems as much as you do, so you may as well learn how to handle them on your own. And again, people aren’t always going to be there to hold your hand. We all handle hard things in different ways, so it’s up to you to figure out the best way for you to go about that. (I handle problems by journaling and praying to process and understand. I also like running to release stress.) Just take the situation into your own hands and ask yourself what you need to do in order to move on. Of course, you can still reach out to friends for help or advice, but keep in mind that they aren’t your therapist.

You can also grow in your independence by practicing regular self-reflection. Why? Self reflection is taking the responsibility to grow, and that personal growth is important because you need to be happy with you in order to “hang out” with yourself, to rely on yourself, and to trust yourself. Become someone who inspires you and you will create the confidence that you need to be independent. 

Disconnecting from your phone can also be a huge help in becoming more self sufficient. Even if you are choosing to spend more time independently, you aren’t really alone until you can turn off the phone and truly disconnect from other people. Take an hour out of the day to put the phone away and spend intentional time on what’s important to you.

Lastly, to my ladies.. Stop relying on a man to complete the “manly” tasks! Right after a breakup, I was moving into a new place so I built a desk and a huge set of shelves. I had to use all of my strength to move them around my house, but I did it. I swear I’ve never felt more independent and empowered. You are stronger and more capable than you think. 

Idependency from Objects and Habits

I think the easiest way to become independent from objects and habits is realizing what triggers you to give certain responses, then training yourself to react differently. Here’s some examples:

Stress eating 

  • Object: Comfort food
  • Trigger: Uncomfortable or stressful situation 
  • Habit/Reaction: Using comfort food as a coping mechanism
  • Change: Change the way you respond to the trigger by choosing a different habit than eating when stressed (ex: run instead of eat)

Checking your phone before getting out of bed in the morning

  • Object: Phone 
  • Trigger: Waking up
  • Habit/Reaction: Checking texts, social media, etc
  • Change: Change the way you respond to the trigger by establishing a task (other than checking the phone) to accomplish when you first wake up

To bring this post to an end, I’d just like to say that independence is powerful. Being able to fully support yourself is a hard task, but it will bring you so much success. So invest energy into yourself, spend time with yourself, trust yourself, and you will do great things!

How to Become Time-Efficient & Productive at Work

How to Become Time-Efficient & Productive at Work

“Work smarter, not harder.”

Time management is a huge factor in working smarter. It doesn’t matter how much motivation you have.. If you can’t learn how to optimize your time, you will always be working harder. 

Here are the two scenarios.. 

1. You are super driven and motivated. You want to get a million things done in a day. You have so much on your mind that you can’t decide what to do first. So, you spend a lot of time twiddling your thumbs trying to figure out what’s next. Or, you go back and forth between tasks more than you should, and you get whiplash from running around everywhere. 

2. You aren’t naturally motivated. If you don’t have to do it, you won’t. You prefer to chill and not do much, so when you do decide to give your time to something, you want it to mean something. 

Either way, people want to make the most out of their efforts. So this blog post is all about directing those efforts into something useful and productive, so you can be able to move onto the next task or return to the couch as soon as possible. Let’s dive right in.. 

Having to-do lists. These lists are essential for differentiating what’s most important,  remembering all the tasks you need to complete, planning, and staying motivated to cross things off the list. 

Planning ahead of time. Planning is literally the most important factor of being time efficient. Having a plan gives you direction for the day. You aren’t guessing what to do next or doing things out of order because you already know what needs to be done and when. Planning can look different for everyone, but here are most of the things that I like to plan on a very regular basis.. 

  • Goals for the week: What I’d be proud of myself for accomplishing at the end of a week. How am I going to get these done? 
  • Tasks for the week: What I have to do and when.  
  • Daily tasks and schedule: More detailed schedule of what I’m going to do and when.
  • Content calendars: These are the major “projects” that I work with, but you can adapt this to whatever job you have. 

Creating outlines. Especially if you work in the social media world, this is essential. Have outlines written for your blog posts ahead of time. Have a basic format/background to the photos that you post on Instagram.. Again, you can adapt this to whatever you work with. Basically just have a guideline of the components that you want the project to have. 

Eliminating distractions. You hear this all the time, but for a good reason. If you’re playing on Facebook, talking to your co-workers, staring at the wall.. You aren’t getting anything done. Don’t procrastinate, it’s going to have to be done eventually. 

Have time limited tasks. Maybe you don’t have a boss telling you when a project is due, but you should be giving yourself those guidelines. Having a deadline gives you a timeline with a specific amount of effort involved to get it done. If you don’t have any goals, you will most likely take 2 times as long as you could, just because you don’t feel like you have to.  

Do the most important thing first. Doing the most important thing first allows you to have all the time that you need to complete that task without the rush. 

Don’t try to multitask. Like I said, trying to do a million things at once is harder because you have to switch gears and think differently about each small project. Just knock out one at a time, so you don’t have to catch yourself back up.

Do things ahead of time. Rushed = poor quality. That’s all I’ll say about that. 

Frequently assess what’s working and what’s not. Something that may work one day, may not work the next. Be able to learn what works best for you in that moment, and then adapt. It’s not a “one size fits all” situation. 

Figure out how to motivate yourself when you don’t want to work. Even if you are the most motivated person on the planet, you won’t be on your best game every single day. There will be times where you just won’t want to do it – so figure out your game plan for convincing yourself to pull through. I always say “If I finish ___, then I can do ____.”

Take breaks. Taking breaks still improves your productivity. Think of yourself as a battery. It needs to recharge to be able to work efficiently. Have a 5-10 minute break every 2 hours. Take your eyes off the computer, drink some water, grab a snack, take a little walk.. Give yourself a refresher. 

Fuel yourself efficiently. I’ve been the girl who shows up rushed and running in at the last minute with no sleep, the monster I drank that had so much caffeine I was shaking, no breakfast, etc. That’s NOT the way to go. Sleep a good amount, eat before you come to work, wake up early and get some exercise to put your body and brain in motion, etc. You will thank yourself later. The productivity difference is shocking when you are fueled correctly. 

Alright, so there are all my tips for staying super productive in the workplace. These are all habits that I’ve adopted over the years, meaning I did not do them before. I used to be a freaking mess. But being prepared and planning have made the world of a difference! 

Planning is literally the most important factor of being time-efficient. Having a plan gives you direction for the day. You aren’t guessing what to do next or doing things out of order because you already know what needs to be done and when. Planning can look different for everyone, but here are most of the things that I like to plan on a very regular basis.. 

Invalid Excuses for Not Going to Therapy

Invalid Excuses for Not Going to Therapy

Therapy is a great decision for anyone. Even if you are a happy and healthy human, I still recommend therapy. It’s not just talking about your traumatic experiences with a stranger, and you don’t have to be depressed or crazy to want to go.

You can go to therapy to learn how to create good habits or quit bad ones. 

You can go to therapy to learn how to be more productive. 

You can go to therapy to learn how to manage your relationships better. 

You can go to therapy to learn how to show up as the best possible version of yourself.

So, I assume if you clicked on this, you’re debating therapy. You’re probably wondering if your reasons are valid enough to go. I’m going to stop you right here and say this: If you have to debate or even question going to therapy, your reasons are valid enough to try it. You deserve to feel your best, and you won’t ever be able to do that if you keep cramming things back down. 

I put therapy off for a really long time. I’ve always been an advocate for it and I’ve always told myself that I should go, just like I think everyone else should go, but I never made it a priority. But deep down, I knew that I needed to go. I just didn’t want to admit it to myself because I had so many other important things going on in my life. During those years, therapy was always in the back of my mind. But as I said, I was just so wrapped up in other things and I just pushed it to the side. I would push the feelings or thoughts away and I would get by for long periods of time. And when I say “get by”, that’s literally all I could do, never better. And every once in a while, I couldn’t even get by. I would go into extremely depressive stages where I wouldn’t leave my bed unless it was a necessity, didn’t want to talk to anyone, cried a lot, etc – and couldn’t stop for weeks at a time. In those occasional periods, I knew I needed therapy and I would start to seriously consider it, but the second I started feeling better, it was pushed back again. 

So now that you have a little bit of backstory, here were my excuses and why I no longer believe in them:

I said that I never had the time. One thing that I’ve recently learned from personal experience, is that we make time for the things and people that we truly care about. A few months back, I was in school and working on my blog. I told myself that I never had free time, which was true, I really didn’t because I devoted every bit of energy I had into those two things. But fast forward a bit, I’m now in school, working 2 jobs, running the blog, and 2 other platforms. All of those things were important to me, so I made time for them. 

Therapy is also important to me. Nothing should be more important than my wellbeing, so it’s time that I make the time for it. To make it easier on me, I’ve decided to do remote therapy to save time on getting ready and making a trip somewhere.. The little things do add up! 

I didn’t really want to tell people. I never really admit when I’m not doing well. I usually wait to talk about it until after it’s passed and I’m doing better. It’s not that I’m embarrassed, scared, uncomfortable or whatever else – I just genuinely don’t want people to worry. Most people know about my disorders (for those of you who don’t know: depression, anxiety, bipolar, OCD), and I think it just kinda adds on an extra scare when I tell people I’m in a tough place. So, I usually like to keep it to myself. Since then, I’ve realized that I can’t keep myself in an unstable place just to allow other people to not feel worried. 

I only felt extremely low on occasions, so I thought I could handle it. I’ve always been pretty good at solving personal problems, and it’s only been rare occasions where it was beyond me. But like I said, those rare occasions are still terrible and can last weeks. I don’t want to just “get by” anymore, I want to actually be happy and fulfilled.  

I was scared of what I’d discover in therapy. I was scared that I would come to some really hard realizations about myself or my life, and I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I knew that I was on a slippery slope with my mental health in the first place, and I was scared of adding something else in the mix because I didn’t know if I could handle it. But if my experiences have taught me anything, it’s that I’m one of the (mentally) strongest frickin people that I know. I say that as humbly as I can, but it’s the truth. I know that therapy is going to be hard, but I’ve lived through all of my darkest days, and I know I will continue to do that until it gets better. 

I was scared that I wasn’t going to like my therapist. I know it sounds dumb, but I actually have good reason for worrying about this. Quick story time: To get the wonderfully long list of all my disorders, I had to meet with a psychologist multiple times. Mind you, I had NO idea what was about to hit me. I was there because I thought I had ADD. Anyway, throughout our sessions, she was incredibly insensitive to the (highly sensitive) information I shared with her. She had no compassion or understanding, she was only there to check off the boxes and leave. She also made me feel extremely dumb during every session that we had together. So, with that being said, I do have a bad past with a mental health care professional. But, obviously a psychologist and a therapist are two completely different jobs and people – and I cannot base my opinion on the entire mental health care field off of one bad experience that I had. 

I was scared about the financial commitment. Therapy is expensive, no lie. But, there are also ways to lessen the blow. Check with your insurance company, school or college, company, etc. Doing research can save you a significant amount, or may even help you find some free resources. Google is your BFF!

Lastly, I just want to talk about a fear that I’ve never had in regards to therapy, but I feel like a lot of others do.. Judgement. You’ve got to stop wondering what people will think of you. You are doing what’s best for you. You’re bettering you – for you. Other people don’t matter. Also, if someone is going to judge you for bettering yourself, what does that say about them? And even if they are judging, are you living your life to impress them? Is that worth it to you? 

One last thing I want you to think about.. Most likely, therapy is going to be hard. You have to be willing to accept the past and learn how to change for the future, and sometimes it’s not a freaking easy process. But what’s harder – going to therapy and working through it, or spending your entire life trying to avoid it and just barely get by?

How to Be A Leader in Tough Times

How to Be A Leader in Tough Times

Good leaders don’t put their role on pause when things get hard, because leadership is most important when life gets hard. 

Whether you see yourself as a leader or not, you are. I guarantee you that your actions and reactions have made impressions on other people, and possibly even influenced them to react or act a certain way. Being aware of your actions and doing the best you can during tough times is extremely important. 

Why? When sh”t hits the fan, people instantly look to their leaders for guidance. Even if people don’t physically reach out for help or advice, they’re still observing your actions. 

So how do we remain a positive influence on people? By demonstrating courage and resilience. If you’re demonstrating courage, it gives people comfort. If you’re constantly saying that things will be okay (without question), people will start believing it. And if you’re demonstrating resilience and strength to take on the hard things, it inspires other people to do the same. 

Okay, so how do we demonstrate courage and resilience

Don’t pour from an empty cup. You have to focus on you before you’re able to contribute to others. Your energy speaks for you, so people will notice when you are faking it. Make sure that your feelings are processed, and your words have been thought through before they are said. 

Do not respond out of emotion. As I said before, process and think before you speak. If you’re angry, sad, or scared – you’re most likely going to act out of in the moment emotion. On the other hand, if you wait a while and take time to process things and respond with care, you’ll most likely say something much more appropriate. 

Communicate well and often. Silence can speak volumes. Face conflict, address the hard topics, and have uncomfortable conversations. You not speaking on topics that need to be acknowledged shows where your priorities are, and that will have an impact on others.

Hold people accountable. We learned in elementary school that if we see something wrong, we need to do something about it. Stop putting your ego, reputation, or the need to please others first. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and acknowledge how they probably feel. If you’d want someone to help you if you were in their situation, be that person for them. Stop letting it slide. 

Hold yourself responsible for your own actions. Again, just like we learned in elementary school, If you’ve done something wrong – apologize. We all mess up, so be willing to admit when you were out of line. And once you’ve apologized, let someone know how you intend to take responsibility and do better next time. 

Be there for others. Be a support system for your people. Check in on them, offer yourself as a resource, go out of your way to offer help, etc. Look after everyone as you would look after your best friend. If everyone gave that kind of love and care, we’d be in a much better place. 

Have a vision for the future. What kind of changes do you want to see in the future? What can we be doing better? What do we need to quit? Once you have that vision, you need to have a plan for how you can embody that image for everyone else and encourage them to do the same. 

Lead by example. You can’t tell people to do something that you aren’t doing yourself. You have to practice what you preach. If you want change, it change starts with you. 

If you take away anything from this post, remember that every action you take will affect and inspire someone else’s decisions. What kind of impression do you want to leave?

11 Things I Tell Myself When I Don’t Want to Workout and Need Motivation

11 Things I Tell Myself When I Don’t Want to Workout and Need Motivation

No matter who you are, you won’t want to workout every single day of your life, and it’s okay to not have that motivation on a regular basis. Straight up, I don’t want to work out like 95% of the time – it’s something that I have to force myself to do on a daily basis. For a very long time, I would just come up with a BS excuse, and then convince myself that reason was valid, just so I didn’t have to workout. After a while, I realized that my goals don’t care if I’m busy, don’t feel good, or just don’t want to. They only care about the work that I put in, even when it’s tough. 

So, how do I convince myself? How do I keep the motivation alive?

First, I go by the advice that I give in my blog post, The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Staying Motivated. But aside from that, I also have a list of 11 things that I constantly tell myself to force my motivation and put in the work.

  1. I will spend the rest of the day being upset that I didn’t workout, rather than just being annoyed for an hour and getting it done. 
  2. I will genuinely feel better once the workout is over – not only will I be proud of myself, but physically feeling better. I breathe differently, sleep differently, have more energy, have less of an appetite, etc. 
  3. If I don’t do this for myself today, I’m not putting in the effort to respect myself and my goals. 
  4. Just do something small. If you aren’t up for the full 500 calorie workout, start with 200. And most likely, once I hit 200 – I’ll be motivated enough to do more. But it’s still okay if not – because that’s better than nothing.  
  5. I have to keep a balanced lifestyle. If I want to have ice cream after dinner, that’s totally okay, but I should do something to make myself feel proud and deserve that treat. 
  6. In warm weather months: It’s bikini season. I don’t need to look a certain way or meet a certain standard, but I want to feel confident and proud of the body that I’ve put in the work for. 
  7. If you workout today, you are using your 1 free day of the week for this break. Is that worth it? Will you need this more on another day?  
  8. I ask myself why I don’t feel like working out? What’s my excuse? Is that more important than my goal? – I’ll give a variety of answers: I don’t have time, I ate too much, I slept in too late, I’m “sick”, etc. I get to the bottom of those answers, and try to figure out how I can improve for the future.. And then go workout.
  9. It’s an hour out of my day. I can handle it. 
  10. This is my routine. Routines are extremely important to my mental health and personal development. If I miss a day of routine, it’s like the domino effect.. It makes it a lot easier for me to give up the next day, eat something bad, or do something else that I’m “not supposed to do”. And once I get out of the good routine, it’s a lot harder to commit myself to getting back on track. 
  11. I guilt trip myself saying that I won’t get to check it off my list if I don’t do it. I have various lists and trackers that I religiously use, and it’s very important for me to be able to cross things off so they don’t hang over my head. I know that may sound crazy to some of you – but I know for my OCD or task oriented people.. It’ll make a lot of sense! 

So those are the 11 things that I tell myself when I’m feeling like staying in bed the extra 10 minutes, eating pizza for breakfast, etc. I remind myself that I want to be proud throughout the entire day, rather than being content or comfortable for a small amount of time – then regretting my decisions. 

One last thing that I make sure to do when I really don’t feel like working out is taking a pre-workout. And to shamelessly plug a product from my business, I really reccomend Active by Plexus! Active improves performance, energy levels, mental clarity, alertness, focus, & reduces stress. You can check it out here. Shoot me a DM and I can get you some discounts!

Did any of these ideas resonate with you? If so, let me know in a comment or send me a DM on Instagram @carmenreynolds 🙂

How to Become Your Own Therapist

How to Become Your Own Therapist

After being diagnosed with my mental health disorders, I’ve basically become my own therapist. Obviously, I do not recommend that everyone should be their own therapist, because everyone has different circumstances or severities of issues – and professional therapy is amazing if you can do it! I’m just personally in a stable enough place where I’m able to help myself, and I wanted to write a post for the people who feel in the same boat. 

Let’s get one initial thing straight: just because you are your own therapist, doesn’t mean that it will be any easier. Having these “conversations” with yourself still requires you to dig down deep. You will still get upset, angry, confused, or whatever feelings that you may expect from actual therapy. Growth is good, but growth hurts. 

I have one other important thing to mention.. You don’t always leave therapy sessions feeling better. Sometimes, things take weeks or months to figure out, especially if you are only working off of your own mind – because you aren’t getting any new ideas and advice. I have a personal goal of writing until I feel comfortable enough to walk away from the conversation, but that goal isn’t always met. 

So, let’s get into the specifics..

Ask yourself how you are going to set your sessions up. Make sure you dedicate yourself to being consistent with them. I would at least do it once a week. 

  • Where are you going to go? 
  • How much time are you going to block off for a session?
  • How often are your sessions going to be? 
  • How are you going to have a “conversation” with yourself? I really recommend thinking everything through by journaling or typing out your thoughts. 

Have a set of questions to ask yourself when you begin each therapy session. Here are a few questions that I start with to get comfortable with writing and get my brain flowing. 

  • How am I feeling? 
  • What’s happened over the past week, and how does that play into the way that I’m feeling? 
  • What could have gone better? 
  • What did I do well? 

After you get the basic questions down and you move forward into the “deeper” stuff, you should constantly be asking yourself why.

  • Why do I think ___? 
  • Why do I feel ___? 

So, you’d start with your first feeling/thought/statement. Ask yourself those questions. Once you have the answer to that question, ask yourself the questions again in reference to the second statement you made. You can do this until you fully comprehend the situation or feeling! 

Most importantly, these conversations are supposed to be completely raw. You should write down every feeling that comes to mind – no matter how hard or upsetting it may be to finally admit that to yourself. Just remember, no one else is going to have this information but you. You don’t need to hide from yourself. 

Once you’ve gotten to the root of your problems, you need to create an action plan on how to move forward. If you don’t know how to create a good action plan or fix the problem – do some research! For example: You are struggling with anxiety in social situations. So go to Google, and type in how to cure anxiety in social situations or how to get better at speaking in groups

Another thing that I’ve created is my “go-to” lists. These lists are things that I can do when I’m feeling a certain emotion. 

  • If I’m feeling sad: Sleep, take a walk, listen to some good music, call a friend, etc. 
  • If I’m feeling anxious: Take some deep breaths, try to distract my mind with something positive, lay off the coffee, listen to calming sounds or go to a place that makes me feel calm, etc. 
  • If I’m feeling angry: Do a stress relief workout, take a break from my phone, do something that makes me happy, etc.

Lastly, get advice from others! As I said before, you need to make sure you’re doing your research – because that’s the “advice” you’re receiving from another person (like a therapist would give you). But additionally, you can read books or listen to podcasts regarding the issue, you can follow other people on social media who have learned to cope with the issue, etc.

So, that’s my advice on how to become your own therapist. Again, self-therapy isn’t for everyone, and there is nothing wrong with reaching out for help from someone else. But, if you feel stable enough, this can be a really good tool for you to grow! I know that being my own therapist has changed my life in millions of ways. I’ve learned so much about myself, quit bad habits, formed good ones, and gotten through a lot of tough situations by just writing out my feelings with myself. (If you are a person of faith, I also really recommend writing your prayers out too!) If you try any of these methods in your next self-therapy session, let me know! Have a great week 🙂

9 Lessons Learned in Quarantine

9 Lessons Learned in Quarantine

As I’m starting to see the light at the end of the quarantine tunnel, I think it’s really important to reflect on the lessons we learned in this hard season of life. I believe two things: everything happens for a reason and you can learn something from any situation. 

I think most people agree that this time made us thankful for normalcy. We’re more thankful for work, social interactions, busy lifestyles, and more. We’ve learned the importance of being able to hug our loved ones, participating in communities, and appreciating others’ hard work that usually goes unrecognized. But if we’re being 100% honest, we wouldn’t have realized these things in our previous lives. 

So, let’s remember this time for the good things that it brought and taught us. Here are some of my main takeaways.. 

Perspective is everything. In the beginning of quarantine, I took it as an opportunity to frick around. I ignored my routines, and I completely tripped up my mindset when I did that. I was upset with myself, upset with the circumstances, and upset that I didn’t see a way out anytime soon. But eventually, I chose to look at quarantine like an opportunity. And once I started looking at it in a positive light, it gave me the ability to become a better person, grow my platforms, plan for my future, and more. I just had to get my mindset right.

You get out what you put in. When I put in zero energy towards constructive things, I saw zero results. When I put unhealthy things in my body, I received an unhealthy mindset. When I finally decided to turn things around – I saw the complete opposite. I lost weight and got physically stronger, I doubled my social media platforms & website views, and I finally started 

feeling happy again – because I gave myself something to feel proud of and happy about. 

It’s okay to not always be at your best. We were in the midst of a world freaking pandemic. We navigated a new normal. Many of us missed opportunities or significant events. Some lost jobs, homes, and more. That stuff is hard guys! It’s okay to take a break from your best self to breathe and recalculate. Sometimes, you just have to get through to the next day, and that’s okay. So if you gained a few pounds, binged Netflix, had a little too much wine, or ignored work – it’s okay. 

It’s possible to have courage while you’re scared. I learned this from “Beans” at the virtual RISE conference I watched. The basic message was this: Having courage doesn’t happen because of the lack of fear. Courage takes place when you’re scared, but you still have confidence that you can survive that situation. 

Take nothing for granted. I’ve learned to stop overlooking my health, the roof over my head, the food in my belly, the friends and family that I love, the busy lifestyle that I live, and so much more. 

Breaks are necessary. Maybe this is just something that I personally learned, but I had no idea how much I needed a break until I was forced to have one. I didn’t know how much better I could be when I had a full night’s sleep, or a few hours of ‘free time’ during the day. I’ve always hated taking breaks, but this time made me understand that I function better with them. 

Environment matters. My mindset completely changed between the time that I spent laying in bed versus the time that I spent active and productive. What news you watch, who you talk to, where you spend your time, how you spend your time – it all matters. 

Struggle prepares and strengthens you. If this is ever to happen again, I already know how to handle it. I know that I need to keep my routines, stay busy, and stay healthy. I gained strength when I learned to pull myself out of the mental rut I was in halfway through this Coronavirus experience. We survived this hard time, and we’re more prepared for the hard things life throws at us. 

Keep freaking going. No matter how sad, frustrated, or scared we were, we made it through. You don’t have to keep going with perfection and grace, but you keep going no matter what. Whether we learned, changed, pivoted, worked through, moved on, or all the above – we did it, even when it was hard.

So those are the things that I will choose to remember about this quarantine. I hope you do the same. I hope you appreciate it for the positive aspects it brought to our lives. Lastly, as you head back out into the world, stay safe for yourself and your loved ones! xoxo

45 Productivity & Personal Development Journal Prompts

45 Productivity & Personal Development Journal Prompts

When I started my personal development journey, it honestly wasn’t intentional. I didn’t know what I was doing. I knew I had a lot of room for improvement, but I didn’t know where to start. I was in a really bad place with my mental health but I didn’t know how to pull myself out of the struggle.

It’s so amazing how the world works. One day, I randomly decided to read Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. I saw the picture of the book on someone’s Instagram story and I thought the name was super intriguing, so I randomly bought it without looking at reviews or even knowing what it was about.

That’s where I started my journey. I read about her ability to accomplish so much by being intentional with her life. She created habits, reflected often, wrote her goals down, and so much more. So here I am, sharing how I’ve adapted that to my life.

None of these prompts should be a one-and-done, you should reflect on them as often as you can! Some can obviously be done less than others, but at least try to do these every couple of months. These are the prompts that I attempt to do at least once a week, as well as a few others. Enjoy!

Prompts

– When do you feel genuinely happy? Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? How can you make this a regular occurrence? 

– What would you be able to accomplish if you woke up an hour earlier?

– At the end of the day, write: Tomorrow, I can do a better job of ____ by ____.

– Write down 5 things you’d like to accomplish by the end of the year. How can you accomplish these goals? What can you be doing every day, week, and month? 

– What are 10 things you love about yourself? 

– What are 10 things you want to improve upon?

– If you could do one thing, knowing you wouldn’t fail, what would you do? What’s holding you back from trying now? 

– Who do you look up to the most? Why? What qualities do they have? How can you be more like them?

– Think of a really hard time in your life. What could you have done to improve the situation, or your mindset about it?

– How did that shape you into the person you are today? How did it make you better?

– What do you want to be known for? If you can’t think of anything, name 3 qualities.

What’s something that you love to do? Something that you can do when no one else is around, something self sufficient. If you can, I’d shoot for something that doesn’t require being online.

– Pick a day, and make it your “productivity day”.  How can you use this day to plan in order to make the rest of your week go smoothly?

  • Ex: meal prep, planning tasks for each week day, writing down your schedule, etc.

– Write down 10 things that you wish you had. There’s NO limitations on what you write down, so dream big. Let those things be your motivation for putting in the work every day.

– Write down what you’re thankful for, especially the things you may usually take for granted.

– What are 5-10 non-materialistic things that you wish you had or hope you’ll have in the future?

– What distracts you from being productive? How can you eliminate the distractions?

– What are 5-10 things that you can instantly go to when you’re having a bad day?

– What are your favorite self care practices? How can you start doing them on a regular basis?

– What are 5 things that you love about yourself and your body?

– Think about your future. What scares you? What makes you excited?

– What do you look for in a close friend? Why do you value those characteristics so much? Do you possess those qualities?

– What are your coping mechanisms? Are they healthy? If not, what can you switch to?

– Write a letter to someone who you need to forgive or get closure with. Even if you don’t actually send the letter, “tell” them how they made you feel. Say what you need to say to give yourself closure.

– Write a list of 10 things you need to remember during difficult times.

– Write down some of your recent accomplishments.

– How are you right now? How do you feel? Why? – Be honest with yourself. Really think about this question.

– Write about something that you’ve been holding onto for a while. Something that you’ve “put away” for a while. Let yourself process the situation, write down your emotions, and figure out how to move on from there.

– Describe your future “dream life”.

– What’s something you’re worried about? Why? Are your fears actually rational?

– When’s the last time you did something for someone else?

– Write up a new morning routine. What do you want to include? In what order? At what times?

– What are the most important things in your life right now?

– After writing about what’s most important to you: Are you giving those things the attention that they need? If not, how can you be?

– How can I be using my free time more wisely?

– If I had more free time, what would I accomplish? How can I make that a reality now?

– Create a mental health tracker.

– Describe the closest 5 people to you. What are they like? How are they serving you? Are they taking anything away/stopping your progression?

– Am I embodying a positive or a negative person? Do I look on the bright side and try to find the good, or do I find myself dwelling on the things I wish I could have or fix?

– Are you enjoying what you’re doing? This applies to all aspects of your life. Do you like your job, friends, partner, normal activities, etc.

– Are you jealous of anyone? If so, why? What do they have that you don’t? If it’s something you truly want, how can you change your life to accommodate that priority?

– Name 5 habits that you’d like to quit.

– Name 5 habits you’d like to begin.

– What do you do when you’re unmotivated? How can you force yourself to become motivated? If you need some help, check out my post: The Lazy Girl Guide to Staying Motivated.

– Picture your best self. What is she doing every day? What are her qualities? What’s she accomplishing? How do you start showing up that way?

So, that’s what I’ve got for you! If you decide to start a specific journal for personal development and want more prompts, just look on Pinterest for some other ideas! That’s where I get my inspiration to write.

Make sure that you go through these prompts with plenty of time and an open mind for genuine reflection. Make the best of it! xoxo