Gift Ideas For The Man In Your Life

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When it comes around to gift-buying time, it’s always tricky to know exactly what to get your man. In truth, it can be a key moment. Of course, the best gifts are personal and based on an understanding of your man as an individual, but even so there are a number of gifts which would likely be loved by many. In this post, we are going to take a look at a few options. If you have an occasion coming up and are feeling a bit lost, take a peek below…

Fitbit

These health tracking devices are obviously all the rage right now, and they make for a perfect gift for pretty much anyone who might enjoy tracking and monitoring their fitness data. If your man is a health nut, or just wants to be more mindful of his steps, a Fitbit is going to be appreciated and a good choice for you to buy for him. Bear in mind that you don’t have to go for the branded option, and there are more affordable ones out there which do more or less the same thing.

Beard Growth Kit

If your man has a beard, then that opens up a huge number of possibilities in what gifts to buy. Whether or not he tends to put much care into his beard, you can be sure that there is a beard product he will enjoy. If he struggles to grow a thick and full beard, you might want to consider buying him a beard growth kit. As you can see here, these kits come with quite a few accessories, so it will feel like a gift he is really glad to receive.

Wallet

There are certain gifts that just always go down well no matter what, and regardless of the type of guy your man is. One example of this is a wallet, and this is going to be especially well received if his wallet has seen better days or if he is in need of something a little different. In any case, splashing out on a new wallet is a great way to show your man you care, and it’s something that can be both practical and fashionable – something a lot of contemporary men are happy about.

A Weekend Away

Of course, they say the best gifts are experiences, and that can certainly prove true. So when you are thinking of something to get your man, why not think about buying him a weekend away? This is ideal if you are thinking about trying to get him a romantic experience, or you just want to make it clear how much you enjoy spending time with him. Think whether there might be somewhere he always wanted to go. If so, that’s the one to go for, and he is bound to love it.

P.S. Need more gift ideas for the dudes in your life? Check out this post, this post, and this post!

Get Your Finances Back In Order Sooner Rather Than Later

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Have your finances been a nightmare for you recently? It might be the case that you have reached a point where you’re not sure what you can do or where to start, but this can be dangerous. You have to get your finances back in order sooner rather than later, or you could be facing some potentially serious consequences. If you want to find out more about some of the steps that you should take, keep reading down below.

Clear Your Debts

First, I highly recommend you figure out how much you owe, who you owe it to, and figure out a way to start clearing them. If you’re not going to be using a scheme like DTSS Complete Freedom, then it’s important you start creating a debt management plan quickly. The people that you owe money to simply want it back, and if you go to them with a proposal that makes this happen, even if it takes a little longer, they just might accept. They are much more likely to accept if you go to them with a solution for your debt rather than them having to chase you.

Hire Some Help

The next thing that I recommend is that you hire some help to aid you in managing your finances in future. Hiring a personal finance advisor or an accountant could be exactly what you need to keep you from future budgetary predicaments. They will be able to provide you with expert solutions and help you more effectively manage your money in the future. If you don’t want to get into financial trouble again, this is a solution that is well worth looking into.

Live Within Your Means

You should also learn to live within your means. If you are so used to buying what you want and doing whatever you want without ever worrying about money, this might be a little tough for you. I understand that you might need time to adjust, but it’s important that you get a handle on this now. Work out what your budget is, and then be careful to stick to it. Some people have never lived on a budget before, or at least not one like the one you’re going to have to create. Just remember that financial situations can always change, and this isn’t going to be forever.

Don’t waste time thinking that things will sort themselves out; they won’t. Take financial action now!

P.S. Learn the 5-part money hustle.

Three Ways To Stay Motivated and Achieve Your Health Goals

Many of us set goals to be healthier, however,  think back to how many times you have said ‘I’ll start tomorrow’ or ‘ After the weekend’. Sometimes we fall short of achieving our goals simply because we don’t know where to start. Being healthy is hardly a SMART goal

Although you may have good intentions with this goal, and you may even follow through for a while, it can be far too easy to fall back into a bad routine. Especially when your goal is so broad and vague. 

From researching specific things like ‘what is EGCG’ or ‘Fat burning workouts’ to shopping for fresh food so that you can have an attainable meal plan, there is no denying that a little organizing is needed to succeed. 

There are ways to remain motivated though, have a look at three of them below: 

Have A Plan 

When you decide on your goal, whether it’s losing weight, gaining a positive view of your body, or eating healthier, it will be far easier to stick to if you put together an in-depth plan. Doing this, will help you to see the bigger picture and also provide you with the steps on how you can work towards your goal on a daily basis. 

For instance, if your overall goal is to eat your 5 A Day every day, make sure you do things like create lists of the fruits/veg you want to shop for, the recipes you need to follow, and meal plan/prep to set yourself up for success. And if your plan is to run a 5k, piece together a routine by blocking out days and times in your calendar when you’ll train. When you put together your plan, a great way to stay motivated is to also make a list of how you’ll feel once you have achieved your goal. 

Celebrate And Track Your Progress

Making your plan is a great place to start, however, when you track your progress it can serve as the best way to stay motivated. 

Keep track of things like your successes, progress, better mood, increased energy levels etc. (Create a sticker chart! Who doesn’t love getting a sticker?) Keeping track of your progress can help you to see results in real time and are perfect for looking back on when you feel unmotivated or like you’re falling behind. In addition to this, tracking your progress can help you know when to reward your progress in a bigger way. If you manage to get your 5 A Day in for 30 days in a row, think about treating yourself to a vegetarian feast at your favorite Indian restaurant. Ticked off every day on your Couch to 5K program? Maybe you purchase a new pair of running shoes. 

Switch It Up 

Lastly, but certainly not least, one of the great ways to stay motivated is to look at different approaches. When you feel like quitting, ask yourself, “Is there a way I could switch things up that would make me feel more inclined to stay on track?” 

Eating the same food or doing the same exercise over and over can get very boring. Can you host a potluck with your friends and ask them to bring their favorite dishes featuring fruits & veggies? Make sure everyone brings the recipes and swap them around! Sick of your running routine? Can you try a new route or invite a friend along? Sometimes a new perspective or a change in routine is all we need to stay committed to our goals. 

How do you stay motivated when it comes to your health goals?

P.S. My Top 4 Healthy Lifestyle Intentions

Selecting Mantras to Guide Key Areas of Your Life

I love mantras… And over the years, I’ve shared some fun ways for you to adopt your own. I’ve asked folks to share their favorites, created a 30-day challenge (with accompanying actions), and even pulled a few from a much-loved novel.

Sometimes I use mantras as motivation to keep going when I want to quit, other times they help me celebrate what I’ve already accomplished. It’s comforting, no matter what you use them for, to have a few words that you can pull out of your back pocket at a moment’s notice. Something concrete to focus your thoughts on when the abstract is causing your mind to spin and spiral.

Recently, I tried out a new way of identifying mantras for key areas of my life. I found the process to be a lot of fun and the mantras I came away with have become like little beacons of guiding light in these ever-stressful times.

Want to learn how I did it?

Step 1:

Make a list of 5-10 of your core motivations. These are the key areas of your life that are important to you. Think: Your career, partner, family, hobbies, earning more money, paying off debt, or traveling the world. 

Step 2: 

Identify your core values. 

Take a look at the list above. Write down every value from the list that resonates with you. Don’t put too much thought into it. If you think of a word not on the list that embodies one of your values, write that down too!

Step 3:

Now you’re going to create a column for each of the motivations you identified in Step 1. Then place each of the values you wrote copied down into the column that you think it best fits. For example, if you identified COMMUNITY as one of your core motivations, you might pull ACCEPTANCE, FUN, and LOYALTY from your values list and place it in this column. 

Step 4: 

Look at each column. What is the value that stands out the most to you in each of your lists? Go ahead and highlight or circle it. These will be the root words for each of your mantras. For the example above, you might highlight FUN because that is what you value most when seeking out community.  

Step 5: 

To create each of your mantras, you’ll want to add some sort of action to your root word. In other words, FUN can become —> Seek out fun people, experiences, and conversation. If you also identified having a HAPPY HOME as one of your core motivations and chose SIMPLICITY as your root word, you might write —> Make space for simplicity. These are now your Community Mantra and your Happy Home Mantra. 

Step 6: 

Find ways to display your new mantras where you’ll interact with them regularly. Here are two options I implemented after doing this exercise — 

  • Decorating an index card for each of my mantras and tucking them inside a drawer that I go in frequently. On some days I might just see the top card, but on other days I pick them up and flick through them as a way of grounding my day. 
  • Creating a Mantra Board in Asana. I use Asana as a project management tool for my work, but I created a board to “pin” my motivations. Under each motivation, I have the mantra I created, and then some inspiration pictures (like a vision board!). For instance, one of my motivations is TRAVEL (“Take the next adventure.”) so I added a picture to represent a Summer 2021 trip as well as a picture of somewhere on my bucket list. 

If you follow the steps, I’d love if you would share one of your mantras below! xoxo

P.S. How to wind down, and 15 date night ideas.

FALL TBR

Hi guys! Today’s post is going to be my FALL TBR! (TBR = to be read, aka a list of books I want to read soon.) I post my seasonal TBR lists as a way to get excited about all the books I want to read over the coming months. And with the September sunshine glowing and the pumpkin spice making it’s triumphant return, it’s safe to say fall vibes are upon us!

So, without further ado, let’s jump into the TBR…

FICTION PICKS

Own Voices Romance –

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

This new release romance was sent to me by The Book Drop.

Book Club Pick – 

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

A story about a ponzi scheme, written by the author of Station Eleven.

Time Travel – 

11/22/63 by Stephen King

A whopper at 849 pages but I’ve heard it’s one of King’s very best.

Literary Fiction – 

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

I’m a sucker for family dramas told over decades and this one spans five!

New Release –

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

After Homegoing, Gyasi’s books are an auto-buy for me! Picked this one up as soon as it came out.

Contemporary Classic – 

Brazil by John Updike

I’ve been wanting to read a book set in Brazil and choosing one by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author felt like a safe pick.

Young Adult Sci-Fi –

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Continuing on with the second book in this series.

Saw the Movie – 

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

I finally saw this movie recently and loved it. Excited to revisit the story (and Italian villa).

NONFICTION PICKS

Memoir – 

I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya

The book itself is tiny and cute but the story packs a punch as it explores a trans artist’s relationship with masculinity.

True Crime – 

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

This one sounds fascinating and is an important piece of American history.

Over to you! Have you read any of these books? What did you think? And I’d love for you to share some of the books you plan on reading this fall in the comments below! 

P.S. I read a total of 22 books from June – August and read everything from my Summer TBR except for The Aviator’s Wife.

28 Things To Do When You’re Sick of Scrolling

Boredom be gone! Sometimes it can be difficult to snap yourself out of the never ending loop of scrolling. You want to do something else. But what? Commence the shame and guilt spiral….and then? You continue scrolling. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.

As a decision averse Enneagram 9, I love having game plans in place. My goal with any game plan is to take one layer of thought out of any decision. With that in mind, here’s a game plan I created for us all when we’re feeling sick of scrolling! Find yourself feeling icky because you can’t break the never-ending cycle of your social media feeds? Turn to this list for an easy alternative. Want an extra incentive to stop the scroll? Why not treat yourself once you’ve managed to check off all 28 items! Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat! 🙂

Want the printable PDF version of this checklist? CLICK HERE. 

What fun non-scroll activities did I forget? Leave your ideas in the comments below! 

P.S. Fun ways to improve your vocabulary.

Looking Ahead to the Holidays: 4 Ways to Ensure You Enjoy Your Christmas Break

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It’s still a few months away, but a lot of us are beginning to get the itch with regard to Christmas. Some people love the holiday; some people just enjoy the time off work or the extra opportunity to spend time with friends and family. Wherever you fall, it’s a wonderful time. 

This year, more than ever, you might be feeling the pressure to make the most of the holiday season. With so many cancellations and disappointments these last few months, I am certainly ready to get jolly. If you’re feeling the same,  here are some things you can do in order to ensure you enjoy the holidays when they hit later this year!

Appreciate the Break! 

If you’re able, schedule some time away from work — even if it’s just for December 25th. For many folks across the globe, work has moved in to their homes and it can be hard to set up strong boundaries between when on-duty and when off. Work and home life may have grown a bit too close for comfort these last few months. Start planning now to get time off in place.

Just Spoil Yourself – You Deserve It

You’ve likely been quite frugal these last few months. Maybe this has been due to job change/loss or simply because you haven’t been able to travel or hit the shops. But if there’s a time to spend money on yourself and buy things you like, it’s Christmas. You’ve probably had your eyes on something. Do what you can to in the weeks ahead to set a little something aside so that you’re able to treat yourself in honor of the big day.

Think About Doing Things For Others! 

Doing special things for your friends and family around the holidays always feels great. Perhaps you want to throw an Ugly Christmas Sweater party and treat your whole family to something from UglyChristmasSweater.com or maybe you want to hand-make gifts for all your co-workers or hit the Black Friday sales so you can nab a few great deals for presents for the kids. It’s a time for caring about others, so be sure to start brainstorming now about gift ideas. 

Do Something For Those Less Fortunate  

Unfortunately, there will also be people out there who have very little at Christmastime…especially this year. Now is a great time to sit down with your family and decide ways you could give back this holiday season. If you’re low on cash yourself, could you give of your time? Or open your home to friends who may not be feeling so merry? If you’re able to give, how would you like to spread the Christmas cheer? If you start planning now, the more creative and intentional you can be!

A great holiday season is possible! We can all secure an enjoyable Christmas. All it takes is a little bit of looking ahead and planning. xoxo

P.S. And while we’re in the Christmas mood… a Christmas Cookie Round-Up!

Positive Practices for Mental Health Based on Your Enneagram Type | Types 7, 8, and 9

If you’ve been following along in this series (first post HERE), I’ve been really into reading about the ENNEAGRAM lately. This has brought about a desire to use the knowledge I’ve gained about my type to help me get through all the ways this crazy world we’re living in is bringing about anxiety/stress. What I’ve found has been wildly helpful!

Again, if you’re totally new to the enneagram, I would encourage you to check out some of the great resources available online about the types and how to type yourself.  I’d also recommend checking out Beatrice Chestnut’s book The Complete Enneagram, as well as The Honest Enneagram by Sarajane Case (who also has an instagram account and a podcast).

If you too have been obsessing about all things enneagram as of late, consider identifying some of the downfalls inherent in your type and then adopting a few positive life-practices to help you combat them.

To help, I’ve listed some examples below based on my readings of each type. I’m not saying these are the ones you should go with — they’re just a jumping-off point. They might not ring true for you and where you’re at or how you show up as an individual type. They are simply meant to inspire you to find a few of your OWN practices!

Today let’s talk about TYPES SEVEN, EIGHT, & NINE —

Enneagram Type Seven:

Positive Practice #1 – As different impulses and desires pop into your head, write them in a journal.

Get in the habit of recognizing your impulses by taking the time to jot them down in a journal. Instead of acting immediately upon each of your desires, this will give you the chance to reflect and evaluate whether it is something that will truly bring you happiness. Learning which impulses are worth acting on will take time, but the fun thing about having a written record of them is that you’ll be able to notice trends. Are you more likely to crave a certain thing when you’re upset? Are you procrastinating? Finding these trends can help you sort out what’s really good for you and what’s a distraction.

Positive Practice #2 – Reserve some time each week to “single task” or to do something you enjoy without external stimulation. 

Sevens can sometimes mask their anxieties by surrounding themselves with people. If no people are available, they might pop on the television or turn the music way up. But welcoming some silence, or at least some alone time, will help a seven to trust themselves and their feelings. To make this easier, schedule something that you truly love doing so you won’t mind doing it by yourself. And if possible, leave the TV set off and the headphones at home.

Positive Practice #3 – Set long-term visions and then work backwards to turn them into a plan.

A seven may go after a goal full speed ahead without thinking about the long-term consequences. To mitigate against possible disappointments or unhappiness, sevens may need to take a different approach when it comes to goal setting. You’re very good at going after things and getting what you want — and that’s a good thing! But what you achieved may not be what you want forever. So when goal-setting, cast a vision for your future. What do you want your life to look like in five, ten, twenty years — we’re talking the whole picture here. Now work in reverse to develop the plan that will help you achieve that vision.

Enneagram Type Eight:

Positive Practice #1 – Practice letting others take the lead when in low stakes situations.

Here’s the deal — eights love taking control of a situation and exerting their power. However, if you want true loyalty and security from the people around you, it means showing them you don’t always have to be at the front of the pack. Identify areas of your life or decisions that you feel are low stakes enough that you’re happy to be a follower instead of a leader. This will be different for everyone, but will go a long way in securing trust from others.

Positive Practice #2 – Say yes to opportunities that allow you to inspire and uplift other people. 

While eights are self-reliant and independent, they feel most powerful when they’re able to energize and encourage other people. Even better if they’re able to help others through a crisis. Eights can be “yes people” so it can be helpful for you to filter through requests by asking yourself if this opportunity will allow you to motivate, encourage, and inspire. If so, go for it!

Positive Practice #3 – Find ways to include others in your successes and celebrate them. 

Again, because you’re independent and have a perception of yourself as the leader of the pack, you may not take time to recognize the people that have helped you when you achieve something great. But as we all know, it’s lonely at the top. You’ll enjoy yourself so much more in the happy times if you make a point to recognize the contributions of others and include them in celebrations. Think: going out to dinner with the whole team when you snag that big deal.

Enneagram Type Nine:

Positive Practice #1 – Get in the habit of making decisions or forming opinions on your own so you can stick to them when you’re with others. 

Nines have a tendency to go along with the group majority. They love to keep the peace and make sure everyone is getting along, so why rock the boat? However, a true relationship means showing up as yourself — even if you disagree on something. Because your instinct is to follow the crowd, take some time before you’re in said crowd to sit with yourself and form your own opinions. This way when someone asks what restaurant you want to eat at, you won’t have to respond with, “Whatever everybody else decides is fine!”

Positive Practice #2 – Send follow-ups after big group conversations to encourage yourself to stay focused. 

Because nines are in the habit of not exerting themselves socially, they can sometimes tune other people out, disengage, and start to day dream. To stay focused as an active participant, set a challenge for yourself that you have to send at least one follow-up after a group social engagement pertaining to the conversations that were had. Something as simple as “You mentioned xyz the other night so I thought you might enjoy this article on abc” is not difficult to do, but setting this goal will help you pay closer attention when in big groups.

Positive Practice #3 – Schedule regular cardio and strength sessions. 

Exercise can help you play out emotions you might be suppressing. For nines, that emotion is often anger. What better way to get out aggression in a healthy way than by strapping on sneakers to pound the pavement or lifting heavy dumbbells? Regular exercise can also help a nine with body awareness, concentration, and self-discipline.

P.S. Enneagram Types 1 – 3, right this way! Are you an Enneagram Type 4 – 6? Check out this post.

If You Like That Book, You Might Like This Book || BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS pt. 3

Hi friends! Today, I’d like to offer you a few more book recommendations in the form of “if you liked this book, then you might like this other book.” I love when folks on Booktube, Bookstagram, and Goodreads include comparisons to other books in their reviews! It’s one of my favorite ways to find new reads! So, I started a bookish series here on the blog to do just that for YOU. (Here’s part 1! Here’s part 2!)

In each post, I recommend books that are similar to very popular books that are more well-known. Let’s get into it, shall we?!

If you liked Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford,
you might like Wunderland by Jennifer Cody Epstein

If Jamie Ford’s creation of a dual perspective that bounced between 1980’s America and WWII was a compelling feature for you, you should check out Wunderland which travels between similar timelines.  Wunderland is a really interesting exploration of Berlin in the early to mid 30’s and the lasting effects Nazi Germany would have on the lives of our main characters when we revisit them in the late 80’s. This is the type of historical fiction that will really make you stop and think. There were even a few chapters that could almost be read as stand-alone short stories, they were that impactful in and of themselves.

Synopsis: 

Things had never been easy between Ava Fisher and her estranged mother Ilse. Too many questions hovered between them: Who was Ava’s father? Where had Ilse been during the war? Why had she left her only child in a German orphanage during the war’s final months? But now Ilse’s ashes have arrived from Germany, and with them, a trove of unsent letters addressed to someone else unknown to Ava: Renate Bauer, a childhood friend. As her mother’s letters unfurl a dark past, Ava spirals deep into the shocking history of a woman she never truly knew.

If you liked Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, you might like What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

If you enjoyed reading Maria Semple’s zany contemporary novel about a daughter trying to solve the mystery of her missing mom, you should check out Liane Moriarty’s zany contemporary novel about a mom trying to solve the mystery of her missing memories. What Alice Forgot is a wonderful reflection on how our pasts shape us and it will keep you on your toes until the bitter(sweet) end.

Synopsis:

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child. So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time.

If you liked Wild by Cheryl Strayed,
you might like Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery

If Wild made you realize a need for your TBR to include a few more female road narratives, Grandma Gatewood’s Walk is for you. Just like Wild, it follows a woman on the move and on her own — thru-hiking one of America’s long distance trails. Grandma Gatewood, as reporters called her, became the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alone, as well as the first person—man or woman—to walk it twice and three times. She paved the way for quest seeking women all over, including Cheryl Strayed.

Synopsis: 

Emma Gatewood told her family she was going on a walk and left her small Ohio hometown with a change of clothes and less than two hundred dollars. The next anybody heard from her, this genteel, farm-reared, 67-year-old great-grandmother had walked 800 miles along the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail. And in September 1955, having survived a rattlesnake strike, two hurricanes, and a run-in with gangsters from Harlem, she stood atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin. There she sang the first verse of “America, the Beautiful” and proclaimed, “I said I’ll do it, and I’ve done it.”

If you liked Every Day by David Levithan,
you might like Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins

Both of these books contain everything you might expect from a young adult romance, but with some fantastical, science fiction elements thrown in for good measure. In Every Day we follow “A” who wakes up each morning in a new body… but still manages to fall in love. In Until We Meet Again we follow two teens from different centuries… who still manage to fall in love.

Synopsis: 

Cassandra craves drama and adventure, so the last thing she wants is to spend her summer marooned with her mother and stepfather in a snooty Massachusetts shore town. But when a dreamy stranger shows up on their private beach claiming it’s his own—and that the year is 1925—she is swept into a mystery a hundred years in the making.

I hope you enjoyed these new recommendations and I’m excited to bring you more posts in this series in the future! Do you have any book recommendations for me based on the eight books above? POP ‘EM BELOW!! xoxo

P.S. Travel the world by book!

Positive Practices for Mental Health Based on Your Enneagram Type | Types 4, 5, and 6

As I mentioned in the first post in this series (HERE), I’ve been really into reading about the ENNEAGRAM lately. This has brought about a desire to use the knowledge I’ve gained about my type to help me get through all the ways this crazy world we’re living in is bringing about anxiety/stress. What I’ve found has been wildly helpful!

Again, if you’re totally new to the enneagram, I would encourage you to check out some of the great resources available online about the types and how to type yourself.  I’d also recommend checking out Beatrice Chestnut’s book The Complete Enneagram, as well as The Honest Enneagram by Sarajane Case (who also has an instagram account and a podcast).

If the enneagram is old hat to you, consider identifying some of the downfalls inherent in your type and then adopting a few positive life-practices to help you combat them.

To help, I’ve come up with a few examples based on my readings about each type. I’m not saying these are the ones you should go with — they’re just ideas. They might not ring true for you and where you’re at or how you show up as an individual type. They are simply meant to inspire you to find a few of your OWN practices based on your type!

Today let’s talk about TYPES FOUR, FIVE, & SIX —

Enneagram Type Four:

Positive Practice #1 – Set working hours and stick to them. (Sleep schedule and exercising regularly are of equal importance.)

Fours often find these two things to be true — 1) they prefer to do things when they’re “in the mood” and 2) they are actually happiest when they’re working (ie. realizing their full potential). This leads to a rather classic self-sabotage — not being “in the mood” to work but then being unhappy because of not working. You won’t find that full potential, or happiness, just waiting around for inspiration to strike. (And while you’re at it, set a sleep and exercise schedule too. Self-discipline works well for a four, who values individuality and freedom, because THEY are making the rules. Use this to your advantage!)

Positive Practice #2 – Small actions will eventually snowball — break your to-do list down accordingly.

You are very in tune with your feelings and view most things through the lens of how they make you feel. Getting things done or helping a loved one creates enormous reactions and emotions from a four. But in the same way, a really big task will create a huge sense of overwhelm and thus, inaction. When looking at tasks that aren’t broken down into smaller chunks, you might get the sense that you don’t have your life together and you never will. But starting small and working through things step by step allow you to feel productive and good.

Positive Practice #3 – Get in the practice of cutting off the “rehearsals” in your head.

As a four you have a very active imagination! This is super helpful to so many things and a huge part of what makes you YOU. But it can start to be harmful when you let the conversations in your imagination run wild — especially if those conversations are excessively negative. You start thinking about what you would say to someone, how you could hurt them, or who is talking about you behind your back and what they’re saying. When you notice this is happening is there something that can help pull you back into reality?

Enneagram Type Five:

Positive Practice #1 – Adopt both a breath practice (meditation or yoga) and movement practice (jogging, dancing, etc).

Fives can be really intense and a little bit high-strung. You might find it difficult to relax because you have so much nervous energy pent up inside of you. Exercise that’s more cardio focused, like running or dancing, can help you chill out in a healthy way. A movement practice gives all that energy a place to go. You might even find that daily exercise is key to achieving the chill time you need. But balancing a regular fast-paced workout with an occasional focus on breath, even if it’s just 2 minutes of meditation to start your morning, can be super grounding for fives.

Positive Practice #2 – Invest time into one or two intimate friendships and seek their advice and counsel regularly.

Schedule get-togethers with your close friendships on a routine basis so that you’re more likely to follow up. As a five, you might prefer isolation. Especially if you sense the possibility of conflict. Because fives are careful about who they trust and open up to, navigating a ton of surface-level friendships and acquaintances isn’t always worth it to you. So invest your time and energy into just a few and work to build these relationships to a point where you feel comfortable working through the inevitable conflict that could arise. Ask these close friends if you could set up a weekly dinner date with them; get it on the calendar.

Positive Practice #3 – It is easy to get carried away with all your developing interests — set aside time for research and time for action.

Sticking with the scheduling theme, fives might find it helpful to block off time to let their whims run wild. A five loves a rabbit hole and will research new subjects all the time. But this can become a distraction to their day-to-day accomplishments. If, instead, you have set times during your week to explore whatever your heart desires, it can be easier to keep trucking through your to-do list when a great idea hits you. You’ll know that you have plenty of time to look into this new interest at 5 o’clock or whenever your planned research time happens to be.

Enneagram Type Six:

Positive Practice #1 – Channel your anxiety into productivity and creativity.

When sixes are able to reassure themselves that their anxieties are normal, they can be more present within their tensions. Their anxieties can become almost energizing. When anxiety crops up, sixes should turn to their to-do lists and creative pursuits. Have outlets at the ready — like a bin of craft supplies or tools for an ongoing home renovation project. When your brain starts rolling out worst case scenarios, acknowledge them, and then pick up the paintbrush or screwdriver.

Positive Practice #2 – Start a self-love journal where you can write down things you like about yourself and things in your life that make you happy.

Sixes can be extremely pessimistic when they let self-doubt and negative thought patterns take over. As a six, you might project what’s going on in your head on reality. To encourage a positive outlook, begin to identify the positives in your everyday life. Reflecting on the things that are going right in your world will help you start to cast that vision on a wider scale and negate your glass half empty tendencies.

Positive Practice #3 – Be intentional with showing people your appreciation for them.

Think: texting your best friend how much she means to you, sending a card to your mom just because, or taking your kid out to eat one-on-one when they’ve done something you value. Sixes are very skilled at getting people to like them, and because of this (plus, fears of rejection), aren’t always overt or vocal about their feelings and commitments. Challenge yourself to show someone how you feel about them at least once a week.

Ok, enneagram-obsessed loves! I hope this helps you use the information about your type to your advantage. It might take you a while to settle on the practices you want to adopt, and that’s ok! Once you do, I know they’re going to have a positive impact on your life! xoxo

Keep an eye out for the final post in this series where we’ll explore Types 7, 8, and 9! Thanks for reading!!! 

P.S. Are you a Type 1, 2, or 3 and you missed my last enneagram post?? No worries. You can read it HERE! xoxo