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 ❤️

In Another

Work to make sure your happiness does not lie in another. 

People will always disappoint you – it’s sad, but true. It won’t always be of their doing. We can’t control whether a friend moves away, a significant other loses interest, or a family member dies. 

If another person is the key to your smile, your world will fall apart when they fail, and it’s up to you to pick yourself back up. 

This negative stigma around selfishness needs to be fought. Yes, we should be there for and help one another to the best of our abilities, but not to the detriment of our own health. 

Notice where your happiness lies today. 

No Stress Zone

Happy Hump Day! 

Anyone else having a tough week? 🙋🏽

Take comfort in knowing it’s half over 😊

Some ways I’ve been de-stressing: 

1) Refuse to take my work home. 

Whatever happens at the office stays at the office. I did all I could, I might have stayed late, but once I leave for the day everything else waits until tomorrow. 

2) Yoga

Perfect for relaxing at night or gently starting the day. 

3) Talking to friends

Venting is a good outlet, just make sure it’s to the right people. 

What are your tips and tricks to relieve stress after long work days?

I’ll Be Happy When…

How do you finish that sentence? What will make you happy? Is it a certain age, job, vacation, home?

I’ve been told that happiness is wanting what you have. But how do you learn how to do that? 

Say you like new, but you have an old hand me down car, and it’s green, and you hate the color green. You take care of it, but the heat and AC don’t work, the speakers crackle which drives you insane, and it’s not a smooth ride. It constantly breaks down, and you’re spending countless dollars every month getting various things fixed. 

I think it’s safe to say this car doesn’t make you happy, and you don’t want the car. You may NEED it to get to work, but you WANT a different car. 

If you can afford it, I think upgrading your car could make you happy in this case. 

So I don’t really think happiness is always wanting what you have. I think it’s more about recognizing the things you can be grateful for. 

You can start a savings plan for your new car, and stop harborig hate for your current car by being grateful that it gets you where you need to go. You may not call this “happy” – but it can give you a sense of calm on your journey to something that brings you happiness.

At the Same Time

My favorite Taylor Swift lyric is “we’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time. It’s miserable and magical.”

I love it because of the accuracy. 

Some people say it’s impossible to feel conflicting emotions at the same time, but it’s very possible. 

You can feel happy despite receiving bad news. Free although your boss/teacher/parent makes many of your decisions. Confused even when you’re following an explicit set of instructions. Lonely when surrounded by people. 

It sucks. It’s…miserable.

But also magical. 

Because you’re human. And you’re able to feel things. Many things. How many creatures are this complex? Our brains are magical. 

Sometimes you feel all the things. At the same time. And that’s totally okay. You’re not crazy. You’re human. 

Embrace everything today. Let it all in. Take deep breaths. You’re still here for a reason. 😊

13 Reasons Why

If you haven’t heard of 13 Reasons Why, it’s a Netflix original based on Jay Asher’s novel about a teenager girl who commits suicide and leaves cassette tapes to the 13 people who impacted her decision. 

This show is extremely relevant and I urge everyone who is in high school or who has teenage children to watch it. 

Many scenes are not easy to watch – that was done on purpose and it’s so important. 

The show illustrates how depression begins and escalates. You will learn warning signs of depression and abuse. The frontal lobe is not fully developed until your 20s, so many adolescents are not able to properly communicate what they are thinking and feeling. 

When you’re young it feels like a certain feeling is going to last forever. Those of us who have been through it and come out of it understand that it is a moment in time, but these kids don’t. They can’t see the end – they can’t feel it. 

As someone who has personally experienced too many of the issues depicted in this series, please watch it, or read the book. Talk to your kids about this. Talk to your friends and your parents. Spread awareness. 

We need to talk about mental illness because it is so common. It shouldn’t be taboo. No one should feel outcast or isolated by asking for help. 

You are not alone. You matter. You deserve to be here. You are loved.