You Owe Them Nothing

I took a break from posting for a bit because I wasn’t feeling authentic…I was spending a great deal of time looking for good quotes to inspire other people but realized I wasn’t believing the words or feeling inspired myself.

After various conversations that ended in anger because people didn’t “get” what I was trying to say, or them telling me what I need to do to find happiness and fulfill my dreams while completely ignoring the reasons why I have not done said things, I have returned to my original conclusion: I don’t owe anyone an explanation.

While you’re working on you, it’s definitely helpful to have a support system. Whether it’s an accountability partner to keep you on track with workouts and healthy eating, a life coach to check in on your self-talk, a friend to bounce ideas off of…all of that is great. Just don’t get caught up in feeling like you need that person to move forward, or measuring your progress against them or their thoughts.

You know what you want, and you know what you need. You may not know how to get there, and if that’s you then you should certainly seek out someone who knows how to get there. But if someone is telling you how to get there (especially if that someone has not gotten there themselves) you do not have to follow the path they laid out and you do not have to explain to them why you are or are not doing it.

If you’re working a job you don’t love to make ends meet, you are entitled to complain about that job. (Probably don’t do it at work), but you have a right to voice your frustrations to friends and family, and you should be able to do so without hearing “quit your job and move, then.” They don’t know what else you have going on, and quitting your job and moving may not be possible for you at the moment. They don’t need to know that.

If someone is helping you pay for college or any type of training, that should be a gift, or you should write up a document outlining how you will pay them back that you both agree to. But you should not, for example, feel obligated to study business when you want to study art because your parents are paying for college and will only do so if you study business. If the help comes with that kind of crippling stipulation, consider not accepting the help.

Other people are always going to have opinions, we can’t get around that, but we can take their opinions with a grain of salt.

The mountains are not the only place to ski. The ocean is not the only place to boat. Hollywood is not the only place to act. School is not the only place to learn.

Wherever you choose to be and whatever you choose to do to take steps toward your goals are your decisions to make and yours alone. You do not owe an explanation to a single soul on this earth.

Change your major. Move across the country. Drop out of school. Quit your job and go backpacking. Accept a job you hate.

It doesn’t matter.

If you feel it’s the right move for you, do it.

Forget the confused reactions, those telling you you’re wrong, or, my favorite, those telling you you’re unhappy because you choose to be (i.e. Are you sad because you hate your job? You accepted the job. You haven’t quit it. You made yourself unhappy. — okay, because it’s not like we need income to live, right? And new jobs just fall out of the sky.)

I’m rambling now, so I’ll go, but just remember that you owe them nothing. Absolutely nothing.


Look in the Mirror, that’s your Competition

Your life will change the moment you stop competing with everyone else.

This is obviously easier said than done and will take time. You can start small by simply checking in with your emotions.

Let’s talk about jealousy today. What makes you feel jealous and what can you do about it?

To start small, there is a girl at work I used to be jealous of because she looks like a model. Her style is amazing, her hair is flawless, and her makeup is beautiful. I thought she was better than me until I realized something: this girl wasn’t doing anything I couldn’t do if I wanted. I valued sleep above all else, so I woke up thirty minutes before I had to be at the office, resulting in me throwing on the first thing I saw, tying my hair back, and running out the door. I began to experiment with going to bed earlier so I could wake up earlier, until I found a schedule that works well for me. I tried picking out outfits the night before, planning in advance how I wear my hair, and within a couple of weeks I started to get just as many compliments on my appearance as the other girl got.

It wasn’t a competition, either. I wasn’t trying to beat her, I was trying to beat the negative feelings I had inside, and I did that.

There are still days where my alarm goes off but I’m exhausted and hit snooze too many times. On those days, I give up some or all of the following: morning yoga, a cup of coffee, breakfast, makeup, styled outfit, leisurely commute.

I feel my best when I have time for all of the things I listed above, so it’s my goal to give myself two hours in the morning to set my mood for the day.

I encourage you to figure out what it is that makes you feel your best, evaluate how much time you need to accomplish that, and intentionally work to give yourself that time.

Note that you may not succeed every day. Some nights you’ll stay up later than others. You’ll get sick at some point. You’ll go on vacation, or stay at a friend or family members’, and not being at home will change your routine. That’s perfectly okay.

Push Yourself

Push yourself, because nobody is going to do it for you.

It would be wonderful to have my own personal cheerleader & life coach to get me out of bed earlier for yoga, stop me from binge watching Netflix to write, constantly refill my water to make sure I drink it, and force me to exercise. But I don’t have that.

It’s easy to tell yourself you can’t do something if you don’t have the support.

I, for example, blame my lack of working on music on not having someone to write with and bounce ideas off of, because my ideas aren’t good enough on their own. I blame my lack of sharing my creations with the world on not having a camera and fancy editing software, but I have a phone and basic editing software.

What if we were to create and share, and then other creatives found us? Then we could collaborate.

Let’s start 2018 running after our goals. I’m behind you 100% – whatever it is. I’ll be your cheerleader 📣 Get going!

Keep Pushing Forward

I love doing yoga, but I’ve never completed a 30 day yoga challenge in 30 days. Something always gets in the way: I have to work late one night, I get invited somewhere and it sucks the time out of the day, etc.

Last week I was more determined than ever to complete a 30 day challenge. I was on day 10 when I got sick. At first I just had a sore throat, so I completed days 11 and 12, but then the night sweats and body aches started. I was too weak to roll over in bed, nonetheless hold myself in a downward dog.

That was 5 days ago. Today was the first day I felt well enough to complete day 13 of the challenge. I almost didn’t do it because I was so disappointed that I’d once again failed to complete it in 30 days.

That’s when I was reminded that it’s more about the journey than the destination, and I completed day 13.

Whatever goals you are working towards, it is inevitable that you will experience setbacks, but don’t let those stop you from pushing forward.

Maybe your original goal was 1 year and in the end it takes you 5, but at least after those 5 you get to say you did it. So much of life is trial and error. We don’t really know how long it will take us to do something until we try it.

You’ll get frustrated, angry, sad, and want to give up. Channel & use that emotion to keep pushing forward 👊🏽

Quit Living in the Past

Whether it’s a negative thing that you feel ruined your life or a positive thing that you long to relive, I think all of us have struggled with focusing on the past at one time or another.

The past cannot be erased and should not be forgotten. Memories drive a lot of our decisions – how do you know you love roller coasters? Because of the thrilling memory of your last theme park adventure.

That being said, it’s important not to dwell on the past. If you find yourself having thoughts of “this can never live up to that, so there’s no point in trying” take a step back and stop yourself. Say no to these thoughts.

I struggle with returning to music, because I was so good at my instruments in high school. I wrote an entire album that my friends loved. When I fell into depression, I didn’t touch my instruments for years. Now I’m back at a beginner level, and for a long time I would stare at my guitar and think, “I’ll never be as good as I was, so why bother?” And I didn’t. It sat there and collected dust for years.

Back to the roller coaster example, there had to be an initial decision to try it before the memory could be formed. I had to learn to play guitar and piano before I could write and share songs.

It’s possible to start again. Things are changing every day. New opportunities are popping up all the time 😊

Ready for 2018?

The end of the year is approaching, which means it’s almost resolution time.

Whether you believe in making New Years Resolutions or not, I like to set short and long term goals for the year and track my progress in my planner.

My biggest goal for this year was to complete my novel, which admittedly hasn’t happened yet, but I have made huge strides and still have a month and a half for my final push!

One of my goals for next year is to be informed – I do a terrible job of watching the news. A friend recommended The Skimm, check it out here.

How did you do on this years goals? There’s still time! It’s never too late to start. Maybe you’re on a 5 year plan – what was your progress this year? What are you going to make happen in 2018?

Self Journal

Today’s quote is from one of the early pages of my new Self Journal, which you can check out here. It’s a combination journal and daily planner, specifically designed to help you reach your goals in 13 weeks.

I’ve been using it about 3 weeks so far, and don’t feel it’s practical to use as a planner long term, but love the journaling questions and goal setting features. 

As the quote says, we are what we repeatedly do. The best way to begin taking steps toward your goal are to start news habits. You don’t have to start with every day, start with what makes you comfortable. 

Maybe your goal is to exercise for 30 minutes every day, but if starting from no exercise it all, it may be more realistic for you to exercise for 30 minutes once a week. Once you can do that consistently, increase it to twice a week, and so on and so forth. 

Self Journal encourages you to plan out every day and stick to a schedule, but that’s not always practical for everyone. For example, I can plan to be at work from 9-5 each day, but I’m not able to plan out specifically what tasks I’ll work on during the day because I have the type of job where I don’t know what’s going to hit my inbox until it does. 

I also think trying to stick to a strict schedule runs the risk of over-planning and decreasing your productivity. For example, I’m writing a novel, and while I plan to work on it on the days I have no plans after work so I have more time to focus on the book, I can’t plan to be inspired. If I plan to spend an hour writing on Tuesday and then nothing comes to me, I end up beating myself up for not completing the task. So it makes more sense for me to set a set number of hours writing by the end of the week, but staying flexible with exactly when those hours take place. 

What habits are you starting to reach a goal? 

Not Worth Your Silence

Today’s Shine text is so relevant in my life so I had to share! 

There have been various issues at work this week that everyone is whispering about but no one wanted to openly attack head on. Needless to say, nothing has been resolved. 

If you’re uncomfortable, if process is breaking down, if you see something that’s not as it should be…say something. Do something about it. 

Staying silent in the name of saving face or not hurting someone’s feelings or thinking that your opinion doesn’t matter never helped anyone. 

Your opinion matters. Share it. Even if it makes people uncomfortable. Growth happens outside of the comfort zone anyway 😊

Life Happens to Your Plans

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “life happens to your plans.” 

My mom says it a lot because we have lots of Type-A people in the family who enjoy planning and organizing and like everything to be in it’s place and happen according to plan. 

According to the life plan I made when I was around 8 years old, this is the year I’m supposed to get engaged. Haha. I’m also supposed to have published a book and be working on my second album. 

The only thing I can tell 8 year old me I did successfully is complete the first album. But all the songs are in the demo stage, live on my phone/laptop, and maybe 20 people have heard them. 

Plans are crucial to attaining your goals, but give yourself some wiggle room for other things to happen. 

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked with who, like me, thought they would get a full time job right out of college. Because when we were younger everyone said “you have to go to college to get a job with a competitive salary.” So we thought that job and salary was the next step after graduation. 

They don’t tell you how hard it is to find said job, how it takes months, sometimes years, to get there. 

So when you find yourself off track from your plans…remember it’s okay to not have it all figured out. That’s what life is – endless days of figuring it out. 

Forgive Yourself

When I was about 10, my best friend’s little sister asked me to carry her. We were at a church picnic, she was tired and didn’t feel like walking down the steps. She was maybe 5 at the time, but I wasn’t a great deal bigger than her. I tripped while carrying her down the stairs. 

Besides a small scratch on her arm, she was fine. She didn’t even cry. But I did. I refused to hold another child for a while after that. I stayed far away from babies. 

Sometimes forgiving yourself is harder than earning the forgiveness of others. 

This can really hold you back. 

Whatever you did…it’s in the past. You can start again, you can rebuild, you can move forward. Grant yourself permission ❤️