Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Timeline Project

I am a very goal oriented person. It's how I track where I'm at in my life, where I want to be, and what I need to do to get there. Setting timelines gives me a tangible goal, and allows me to focus on what I need to do right now to make it happen. I will usually write down my goals in my planner, but I just discovered The Timeline Project - an online tool developed by Bayer HealthCare that helps me organize and plan things all in one place. 
I have several goals for this year, three of which you can see above. Some of my goals seem like they contradict each other. I want our social media to grow so we can reach more people and empower more inner city youth, but at the same time I want to be able to unplug so that my work doesn't overtake all the other aspects of my life. It's a tricky balance, and I have learned that if I don't set limits, boundaries, and clear goals, areas of my life will suffer. Life is about prioritizing what's most important to you. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made, but if you find yourself sacrificing all the things that make you who you are, then you might have to reconsider if you're heading in the right direction.
Earlier this year I really struggled with keeping my home and business life separate, being a good boss, and being a good mom and wife. I felt as if I was doing horrible at work because I was worried about not spending enough time with my family, and at home I failed because I was stressed about work when I was with my family. It was this horrible cycle of feeling like I was striking out in all the areas of my life that are the most important to me. My sister sat down with me in my office one days, because she realized I was about to lose all my dang marbles. She told me that I needed a plan, and then helped me come up with one. I decided what was most important and the plan I would make to feel like my life was more balanced, and then created a timeline of events so things could change for me.
It worked. 
Write out your goals.
Create a tangible Timeline.
And follow up with yourself.
To create your own online Timeline, click here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How To Stop Having People Walk All Over You.

Shoes- ℅ Movmt (get 40% off with code SHINE40) Bracelets- Threads

I used to be a softie. I thought I was tough, but in reality, it was difficult for me to speak up when someone was taking advantage of me, or doing something that I didn't like. I'm not sure when things shifted, but I hit a point where I realized I can say "no" and that my opinions matter. I have friends who struggle with this, and always feel like they are undervalued, are stressed because they have too many commitments, and feel like their life doesn't belong to them anymore.

Put your big girl cape on, because it's time to stop letting people walk all over you:

1- Say no- "Can you watch my kids this weekend?"… "Can I borrow your favorite shoes even though I broke 3 other pairs you lent me?"… "Will you come fix my life again because I can't stop making bad decisions and I know you will bail me out?"… "Can I borrow more money?"
No. If the same people have been asking you the same things for a very long time, say no. This is your fabulous life. You're not a get out of jail free card. You're a person, with emotions and deadlines and goals that you are in charge of dealing with. There's a difference between service and being taken advantage of. If you feel walked all over, but feel bad doing anything about it, have you ever considered that you are only feeding into anthers bad habits? Always giving in enables someone to never have to learn how to be accountable for their actions. You're not their babysitter, and you're not a bad guy if you say NO. Say it out loud. Right now. Ten times. Feels good, ya?

2- Have opinions- There's one person that I will never be able to have work for me, and that is someone who doesn't have opinions. You know what I'm talking about. The person who doesn't care where you eat…ever, or who says just do what you think is best all the time, or who genuinely has no thoughts or feelings about a situation. Express yourself. If someone asks you a question, answer it honestly. If you disagree with what is being shared, said, or planned, voice it. It's okay to want to walk a different direction. Dang it, say you don't like something!

3- Stick up for yourself- Alright, I'll admit it, I still am a softie in certain aspects in my life. Example A: Recently I hired someone to help create a new product for us. I got the samples and price quote back and it was absolutely, completely, terribly, no good. They did it wrong and expected me to pay for it. I had this moment where I reverted back to old habits and thought, "I'll just suck this up so I don't rock this relationship. I'm not going to say anything." After a second of thinking I couldn't believe I justified their wrong doing and put it on myself. Their mess up was not my fault. So I told them that it needed to be fixed, and guess what, the world didn't explode. Stick up for yourself, or you will find yourself loathing everyone who you never said anything to.

4- Don't put the weight of the world on your shoulders. You can only do so much, help out so many times, and be inconvenienced in so many different ways before you have to realize that some people won't ever change, you're not their punching bag, and you don't have to spend your life fixing their bad behavior. Be there when completely necessary, but don't become a slave to someone else's problem, especially if they don't value your space and perspective.

Help others help themselves, and stick up for you!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

4 Ways Not to Measure Your Happiness.

Shirt- c/o Howling At The Moon, Pants- c/o Joe Fresh, Shoes- Piperlime, Purse- Kate Spade, Bracelets- Threads

I get it because I'm right there with you. Our journey through life can get hard, and all of us crave the feeling of happiness. That's why we're here, right? To feel happy. In order to feel happy, we also have to know what it feels like to experience its counterpart. And that's part of life too, to overcome, get through, and grow up. 

I think a lot of people struggle with happiness because they gage it wrong. The more articles I read on popular websites about what really makes people happy, the sicker I feel. 4 things I have found to truly be no measure of true happiness, are 4 things that I commonly read about that claim to make you happy.

Here are Four Ways Not to Measure Your Happiness:

1- By the things you have- Do you have 100 pairs of shoes? Do you have 1 pair of shoes? If you are truly a happy person, that number won't matter. It won't matter what you have, or what you think you need… happiness can not be bought, and that is a concept that we have forgotten. We look at pretty images online, see outfits tagged on Instagram that could fund a college tuition, are constantly told we need more, and what's new is even better than the original. Listen, things don't change who you are as a person. They don't change your inner core of happiness, and if you think otherwise, then you are merely giving yourself an excuse as to why you aren't happy in the moment. Don't compare what you have to what others have, and don't think one way of living is better than another and therefore only one type of person can be truly happy. Count your blessings, and don't focus on material gain. Bigger is not always better… and, in fact, it will never be better if you aren't happy on the inside. 

2- By basing it on future events- I've met so many people who say something along the lines of, "when this happens then I'll be happy", or "if I was married, or done with school, or had a better job, or blah blah blah blah blahhhhhhhhh." Shoot, I fit into that category as well. We all look ahead, we aspire to be and hope to have, all the while forgetting the blessings in our current circumstance. The problem with always looking to the next thing, is that nothing is ever good enough, and you find yourself chasing your tail in a game that never brings true fulfillment. What's happening in your life now? If you feel like theres nothing, then create something. Create memorable experiences with your family, learn a new skill, do something to improve your life now. And then enjoy it.

3- By focusing on yourself- So many articles are written about what you need to do for yourself, or how you need to spend time pampering yourself and escaping life. I would like to suggest, it's not what you can do for yourself, but what you can do for other people that will bring you true joy. Service is the true joy giver. Spend a day lifting someone else up, and then tell me that you still feel terrible. It's merely impossible. If you live a life engulfed in only benefiting yourself, then I question you, are you truly happy? I won't be easily convinced that you are.

4- Discrediting the little things- ice cream. pool days. little kid giggles. fresh sheets. clean water. new friends. crazy adventures. learning experiences. days off. the ability to work. teaching your children. spreading kindness. There are so many little things that if we just took a second to recognize, it would be impossible to feel unhappy and ungrateful. Gratitude and happiness go hand in hand. Give yourself credit for the little things, give God credit for giving you those things, and find happiness in them.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Breakfast On The Go Smoothie Recipe

Happy Monday!
I've been really sick the past 2 weeks, and have had to get creative with how to get food in my body...
I've been concocting smoothies left and right and wanted to share this one with you.

-Handful of spinach
- 1 large banana
-Handful of strawberries
-Cup of apple juice
-5 ice cube
-Half a packet of cran-rasperry CocoaVia
(CocaoVia ® comes in two convenient forms: Vegetarian capsules and single-serving powdered stick packs)

Blend it together and enjoy! This will supplement your breakfast and is a great way to start your day. I just started using CocoaVia. You can purchase it here or find a store near you and more recipes here.

 Cocoa flavanols are powerful phytonutrients, or plant-based nutrients, naturally found in cocoa beans. Scientific studies demonstrate that within a few hours of consuming a product with cocoa flavanols, the cocoa flavanols enter the body and start to support your cardiovascular/circulatory system.  Although all chocolate is made from cocoa beans, not all chocolate or cocoa-based products contain cocoa flavanols. That’s because cocoa flavanols can be easily damaged by heat and humidity. You can read up on more benefits here. Get 20% off your purchase with code ChocLovers20.

It's giveaway time! Create a unique CocoaVia® recipe and share it in the comments to enter for a chance to win a CocoaVia® prize pack! The prize will include a CocoaVia® prize pack that includes two month supply of Co-coaVia® capsules and two boxes of CocoaVia® Dark Chocolate and Fruit Variety stick packs.