Category Archives: How to’s

Improve Your Sleep And Increase Your Energy

Are you getting enough sleep? According to research, one in three of us isn’t, and this is affecting our productivity and health — both mental and physical. 

Sleep is vital for our bodies. You see, during the day, our brains take on a lot of information, and when we sleep, our minds go to work storing this information. Our bodies are also busy growing muscle, repairing tissue, and regenerating cells. We basically go through a whole system refresh overnight.

That’s why having a healthy sleep routine is essential. Particularly in children who are learning a lot during the day and need more sleep than adults to retain all the information and refresh the energy and cells used by their bodies. It’s suggested that adults should get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night and that young children should sleep between 9 and 11 to support growth and learning. 

Regardless of your age, a consistent sleep routine means sticking to bedtimes and prioritizing your sleep health. If you miss a few nights of good sleep, it’s not as simple as having a long lie-in to catch up. The quality of our sleep changes depending on the hour of the day. 

Sleep also affects your immune system. If you regularly miss a quality night’s rest, you will find you are more susceptible to colds and flu. So skipping a few hours to stay up late and binge-watch your favorite series, could be making you sick! 

Tracking Sleep Quantity and Quality

There are lots of ways we can improve our sleep, but the first way is to have a regular and consistent routine. This helps our body to understand when it is rest time and when it is time to work. Getting into bed at 10 pm and waking up at 6 or 7 am is a steady routine which helps our body get the right type of sleep. Our sleep cycle is built into our bodies. It is affected by light, lifestyle and internal conditions, including our brain waves and our genetics. There are two states to the way we sleep. Rapid eye movement and non rapid eye-movement. During the night, our body will change between these states multiple times. Roughly every 90 minutes. Over the evening these cycles change, so the earlier you go to bed, the more time you will have in the REM periods and the lighter the NREM will be. To get the best night’s sleep, your body needs to run through these cycles up to five times a night. You also need to wake up when your rest is the lightest; this will help you feel more rested and productive throughout the day.

Your biology will affect how much sleep you need and how many cycles your body needs to go through. So it’s essential to make a diary of how you feel in the morning and use that information to work out the best time for your body to wake up. If your alarm goes off when you are in the REM stage of a cycle, then you might feel sluggish and unrested when you rise. 

What’s Affecting Your Sleep?

There are lots of things that can affect how we sleep. One factor that’s been getting a lot of press lately is electro-stress, which is emitted by the wireless electronic devices in our homes. The belief here is that while many homes have smart devices in the bedroom, this could be causing us to have poor quality sleep. Expert opinions on this vary. While some encourage cleanses such as Orgone energy to help reduce electro-stress, others recommend turning devices to airplane mode before bedtime. No matter where you fall, limiting screen time in the bedroom, especially around bedtime, is always a good idea. 

Why? Because light is an essential factor too. Our bodies are set to start winding down as the sun sets, then they spring back into life as the sun rises. Our evenings should reflect this cycle, so instead of staying up late and being stimulated by a bunch of screens, try taking an hour before you go to bed to be calm and relaxed. This could involve reading a book or taking a bath, supporting your body as it slowly prepares to have a quality rest. 

Increasing your daily exercise will also help you to slip into a deeper and more productive sleep, so it is vital to get outside and do something active. This doesn’t mean you need head to the gym every day; taking a simple walk is enough to keep our body’s sleep system happy. You should also be mindful of taking exercise too late at night as this can be counterintuitive to a good night’s sleep. In the evening, your body releases melatonin to help you prepare for the rest ahead, whereas exercise releases endorphins which give you more energy and awaken your senses. Try to take your exercise before 5 pm.

What we eat can affect our sleep too, so be mindful of eating fatty, sugary foods too late in the evening. Research suggests we should eat our last meal before 6 pm – although this isn’t always possible in the world we live in. If you do need to eat later, then try to make your dinner light and easy to digest so your body can work on other processes when you are asleep. Hydration is essential too. You should avoid alcohol, which acts as a stimulant. While we might feel sleepy after a glass of wine, the quality of our sleep is poor. This means you don’t have enough time to regenerate, process information from the day or feel refreshed. 

Our bodies need rest so that we can perform our best throughout the day, so take time to work on your sleep routine and see if you can feel the difference in the day. Our mental and physical health is so important, and we should do everything we can to give our bodies the best chance of regeneration.

So, put your feet up, relax and get to bed! 

P.S. Must haves for sleeping in the heat. 

6 Quick Tips for Lowering Sugar Intake

What we put into our bodies affects our health. Having a high sugar intake can cause so many issues within our body, and it’s an addiction I’ve tried to curtail within my own life (as evidenced by various Whole 30‘s!). 

Let’s chat about some of the health impacts of too much sugar…

According to the American Diabetes Association, while eating too much sugar doesn’t directly cause diabetes, it is strongly linked to type 2 diabetes. This disease not only has an impact on your body’s ability to produce insulin, but it can also negatively affect your eyesight. According to this eyeglasses buying guide created by Mark Agnew, founder and CEO of eyeglasses.com, this is an impact of diabetes that is often under-discussed. He notes,  diabetic retinopathy is quite common and is a type of eye damage familiar to many folks with diabetes.

The retina sends images via the optic nerve to the brain for processing. If you have too much glucose in your blood, it can cause irreversible damages to the delicate vessels which may mean poor vision, visual impairment or even blindness.

With our eyesight in mind, let’s take a look at some easy ways we can cut our sugar intake: 

  1. Cut Back on Sugar-Filled Drinks – Instead of reaching for a can of coke when you’re thirsty, opt for water or sugar free juices.
  2. Avoid Sugar-Loaded Desserts – These may be cakes, ice-creams or lots of chocolate, they will be jam packed with processed sugars that just don’t bode well with our bodies in large quantities. Consider making from scratch and enjoying in moderation.
  3. Avoid Sauces With Lots of Sugar – Many sauces have sugars in them. Ketchup is one of the most famous for having lots and lots of sugar inside, so always read labels if you’re looking to lower that sugar intake.
  4. Eat Full-Fat Foods – Many “low-fat” versions of things like yogurts or cheeses make up for the lack of flavor by adding sugar. 
  5. Eat Whole Foods – Eating single ingredient foods are a great way to steer clear of added sugar.
  6. Check for Sugar in Tinned Foods – Again, reading labels is key.

What foods are good?

There’s no need to fight those sugar cravings. They happen and they won’t go away until they’re satisfied. But, when they happen, you can make an effort to eat the right sugars. Instead of reaching for a cookie or candy bar the next time the craving strikes, grab a handful of fruit.

But, don’t grab just any fruit. You need a fruit that ranks low on the glycemic index. The glycemic index was created to rank the foods that cause high blood sugar. The food is typically ranked out of 100, with 100 being the largest blood sugar spike.

Here are some fruits that are low on the glycemic index and can be mixed with other things for a delicious snack or meal:

  • Berries – Add them to some granola with honey and milk to create a sweet delicious breakfast with natural sugars.
  • Figs – Eat them with crackers and cheeses or on their own. Full of goodness with a delicate flavor. 
  • Cherries – Great snack but beware of the pips; cherries are packed full of goodness!
  • Pears – Oven bake pears and top them with a crumble or put them in pies!
  • Apples – With peanut butter or almond butter for added elements, they are delicious and full of goodness. 
  • Peaches – Peaches can be enjoyed during spring and summer when they are at their peak.
  • Grapefruit – Squeeze this into a juice if it’s not too bitter for you. Delicious for breakfast.

Our eye health is just one of many things we must be sure to take care of. Too much sugar can affect our skin, our liver, pancreas, and heart.

Overall, the key to maintaining health for ALL your body parts is regular exercise, a good sleeping pattern, and a balanced, healthy diet.

Skip the processed desserts, cut back on refined sugars you don’t need in drinks and foods, stop adding sugar-filled sauces to your foods — these small changes will make a world of difference in your sugar intake and help you see, function, and live healthier in the long run!

Stay healthy, friends! xoxo 

Minimalist Dinner Plan (w/ freezer meals)

One really simple approach to creating your monthly dinner plan is batch cooking. Which, with all the overly complicated meal prep YouTube videos out there, can seem incredibly daunting. However, just a little bit goes a long way when cooking ahead for the month. (Especially if you’re just cooking for one or two and you’re ok with repeating foods!) “Feed your freezer today, feed yourself all month”… is that a saying? It should be.

Here are four things you can make for the month ahead to make dinners a little easier…

Baked Beans

A big pot of baked beans is kind of obnoxious to make on the regular. But it freezes incredibly well. This is a great side item, but I like it as the main dish. I got the idea from one of my favorite books, My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss, which talks about having baked beans for dinner with steamed broccoli and corn bread. Yum!

Alternative – Any other type of beans or grains

Twice-Baked Potatoes

These are more of the side item situation. You can make them the cheesy way or as more of a loaded baked potato with sour cream and bacon and chives. Then, add one half to round out a meat and veg meal. Or have both halves with a salad or some soup.

Alternative – Any other starchy side item

Starbucks Copycat Wraps

These have been my obsession lately. You basically cook some quinoa, corn, and black beans and throw them in a wrap with some jalapeno Havarti shredded cheese. Wrap ’em in aluminum foil and stick in your freezer for the quickest dinners. (Great if you have to take dinner on the go!) With some chips and a pickle spear you’ll feel like you grabbed fast food.

Alternative – Any other freezable sandwich or wrap

Buttermilk Pancakes

If there’s one thing I’m committed to on a deep and spiritual level, it’s breakfast for dinner. But I’m also way too lazy to make pancakes on a weeknight. Sunday around noon while listening to some tunes? Sure. When I’m starving after working all day? Not so much. Good thing you can throw a batch of these in your freezer then whip a few out as needed, scramble some eggs, fry up some sausage, and bingo-bango you’re eating like a brekky-for-dinner CHAMPION.

Alternative – Waffles, french toast, sourdough bread, etc.

How it all comes together…

If you’re cooking for a household of 2 and you make 6 potatoes, 2 lbs of beans, 18 pancakes, and 10 wraps…

That’s 6 meals with potato halves (3 if you’re doing the whole potato), 6 meals with beans, 3 meals with pancakes, and 5 meals with wraps. 20 meals that are partially complete before dinnertime even rolls around!

What do you think? Would you try this monthly dinner plan approach? Do you feed your freezer? Comment below! xoxo 

P.S. Quick + Easy Meal Plan for One on a Budget.

Recipe: Colorful Luteal Salad

As you might know from our second book club book, I’ve been very interested in the idea of cycle syncing lately. It’s really fun to play around with adapting different areas of life to the cyclical nature of women’s hormones. Especially when it comes to food! So I thought I’d pop on and show you an example of a meal I created for the Luteal Phase.

In the Luteal Phase, you want your foods to be rich in B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and fiber. Combined, these can: 1) stave off sugar cravings, 2) mitigate fluid retention, and 3) help your liver and large intestine flush estrogen through the bowel. In addition, roasting or baking veggies increases their sugar concentration which gives you a healthier and natural source of sugars. This will help with the dip in estrogen in the second half of this phase.

With this in mind, I decided to throw together a salad that combined leafy greens, apples, chickpeas, and roasted butternut squash. Here’s how to make it!

What you’ll need:

Salad components —

1 small butternut squash, cubed (you’ll also need olive oil and S+P for roasting)

leafy greens

1 can of chickpeas

1 cup feta cheese

1 Granny Smith apple, diced

Sprinkle of fresh dill

Dressing components–

2 Tbsps olive oil

2 Tbsps balsamic vinegar

And how it all comes together:

– Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss your cubed butternut squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove and let cool.

– Whisk together the dressing components with a bit of fresh dill.

-Toss salad components in the dressing and top with more fresh dill. Enjoy!

It might sound super simple, but I can’t recommend this combination of ingredients enough. This salad is my new favorite lunch!! : )

To learn more about how to cycle sync, check out THIS BOOK and all the book club posts —

Post 1 // Post 2 // Post 3 // Post 4

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How to Wind Down: 8 Activities for Self-Care and Relaxation

This post is brought to you by BetterHelp. If you’d like to make therapy a part of your self-care routine, I recommend checking them out. 

Hi friends! Welcome back to the blog! Hope you’re all doing really well. In one of my recent posts, I talked about some different actions and practices that may be helpful to incorporate at different phases of your monthly cycle. You can check that post out HERE. But I wanted to do a follow up post specifically about relaxation techniques. No matter where you’re at in your cycle, listening to your body comes first and foremost. And if you’re body is telling you to slow your roll, it’s nice to have strategies to take heed.

Here are 8 ways to wind down…

1. GO FOR A WALK

A leisurely stroll, where you are intentionally walking at a slower pace, is a lovely way to connect with yourself and your surroundings. Walking mindfully, not for exercise or to get from Point A to Point B, is very relaxing. This is a great way to chill out on the weekends or to wind down in the evenings. If you have a park or some woods near you, all the better! But nearby neighborhoods work just as well.

2. CLEAR SOME CLUTTER

Not everyone finds this calming, but I’m sure some folks would agree with me on this one. We’re not talking a huge undertaking here. Just a small space, like a drawer or the table that collects junk mail. The act of tidying up can be relaxing, but the tidy space that occurs as a result of your efforts can feel really good, too. If you binge watched Marie Kondo on Netflix, surely you know by now that a tidy space can promote a sense of calm!

3. LIGHT A CANDLE

Candles are the best, aren’t they? Lighting them in the evening is a really easy way to create a calm atmosphere. They are also a great add-on to other activities to make the experience feel more like a relaxing, self-care activity. Curled up on the couch listening to a podcast? Add a candle. Gotta wash your hair or do a face mask? Add a candle. You get the idea.

4. TURN ON A CALMING PLAYLIST

Create a couple playlists to have at the ready for whenever you need to set a relaxing tone. You might not have time to dedicate a portion of your evening to self-care. Maybe you had an event at work and now you have to quickly do the dishes, iron your clothes for tomorrow, and wash your face before you crash. Why not go about these chores with some soothing music playing? This is a great way to promote a relaxing atmosphere and calming state of mind alongside anything else you’ve got going on.

5. ROLL OUT A YOGA MAT

Give restorative yoga a try. (Just do a quick YouTube search if you don’t have any favorites at the ready.) This isn’t your typical rigorous yoga class, like a vinyasa flow, it is much more gentle. You’ll find yourself almost in a meditative state as you flow through relaxing positions. Thirty minutes to an hour of this gentle stretching and mindfulness is time well spent.

6. FOLLOW A GUIDED MEDITATION

Pop on your earbuds and get comfortable. Traditional meditation can get frustrating sometimes, especially if your mind is racing a mile a minute. Alleviate the pressure of having to shoo away thoughts for yourself with the help of a guide. This is great to do right before bed or if you just wanna zen out.

7. DRAW YOURSELF A BATH

Taking a hot bath is a classic. This is a great way to carve out a little “me time” while promoting sleep. Try adding essential oils into the water. Lavender is definitely a go-to in the relaxation department, but do a little experimentation. Different smells evoke different feelings for different folks. Try: frankincense, geranium, chamomile, pine, etc.

8. POUR YOURSELF A DRINK

No, not a bourbon on the rocks (although, you might want that once and awhile, too!). I’m talking about soothing, healing drinks like herbal teas. Enjoy the process that goes along with brewing the perfect mug and then take some time to sit down and mindfully enjoy. For extra relaxation you could find the best CBD oil to add to your drink and really wind down.

What activities help YOU relax? Share your favorite ways to wind down below.

If you enjoy my blog content, please consider supporting what I do (and keeping me caffeinated). Thank you! xoxo ☕

Email Marketing Do’s & Don’ts

I’ve talked a lot about a “set it and forget it” mindset on the blog. Anything that allows me to make a bulk number of decisions and do the work up front is a win in my book. Meal planning, capsule wardrobes…even self care!

But would you be surprised to know I also use a similar approach with my marketing clients? Often, an entrepreneur or a small business owner will hire me for online marketing and think the buck stops with website copy and social media campaigns. Many of those same folks will have an existing email list (gathered from online sales or some sort of passive sign-up form) that they’ve never done anything with! That’s when I get to swoop in and explain how dang awesome email marketing can be. Why? Because you can set it and forget it, of course!

Email sequences and automations allow you to frontload a huge chunk of marketing work. Once you have all your copy written and all your triggers in place, you get to sit back and watch the magic happen.

Here’s the thing. The internet is a noisy place. Getting people to click through to your corner of the web takes some work and demands you build some trust. Social media can help…but what happens when your platform of choice goes down? Email marketing gets you guaranteed screen time. A front-row seat in someone’s email inbox? That’s a powerful place to be! And with great power comes great responsibility. Here are some tricks of the trade to make sure your email marketing is on point…

10 Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts - Infographic by Campaign Monitor

Source: 10 Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts by Campaign Monitor

Sold on the idea of email marketing and interested in learning more. Check out Campaign Monitor. Need help making the most of your existing email list? Shoot me a message HERE. I’d love to help!

Ballin’ on a Budget Mini Tips Pt. 2

I have a whole series on the blog that highlights strategies for BALLIN’ ON A BUDGET by way of ditching — ie) ditch the bare cupboards, ditch the gym membership, etc. Today, I’d like to build on this BALLIN’ ON A BUDGET theme with my new series — Ballin’ on a Budget Mini Tips (here’s post #1 from the series). The last series included posts that proposed something for all of us to ditch, in order to free up line items on our budgets, and offered a 4 week plan on how to implement. These mini tips are things you can implement RIGHT NOW. Like, straight away. As soon as you read them!

Whether you’re actively pinching pennies or simply want to re-direct some of those pennies to better serve you, this series is for you!

Here are 10 (more) MINI TIPS

1. Break Down Your Meat

If you’re going to eat meat, consider buying options that require you to do a little butcherin’ for yourself. This is a great cost saver. Buy a whole ham and slice it. Get the full chicken and split it up yourself. If you see a pork loin for sale, nab it and turn it into pork chops for the freezer. I’m lucky enough to have a former butcher in the household, but there are tons of video tutorials online for just about everything these days. 

2. Ditch the Printer

Being super diligent with electronic organization drastically reduces the need to print out documents. Consider printing at work or the library instead of keeping up with the costs of a printer (they always seem to run out of ink at the least convenient times!).

3. Repair Your Wardrobe Pieces

I’ve talked about ditching fast fashion and I still think investing in higher quality pieces is the right thing to do. However, if you’ve plunked down a good amount of money on your capsule wardrobe, you have to be willing to fix rather than throw out. Shave sweaters, fix hems, patch up holes, take your shoes to a cobbler, take clothing pieces needing alteration to a seamstress, etc. 

4. Identify Impulse Shopping Triggers

We’re only human. If you have a specific impulse shopping trigger, what can you do to help curb it? This could be as easy as sticking to the U-Scan so you don’t add a bunch of last minute candy and soda. Maybe you have a tendency to drop a fortune when you hit up book stores. Can you work weekly trips to the library into your schedule to scratch that itch?

5. Clean Your House Once a Week

If you stay on top of your cleaning you’re less likely to need to do deeper cleaning with more expensive cleaning products. It also will keep you from over-buying things because everything is put away and organized so you know what you have and what you need. This goes for laundry, too. Have you ever bought a shirt for an event just because you didn’t have anything clean? I sure have. 

6. Diversify Grocery Shopping

Different supermarkets will have better deals on certain items as well as different “loss leaders.” Make it a habit to check circulars and sales. If there’s a store with a consistent lower price on an item you frequently use, buy it in bulk once a month or once a quarter. 

7. Suit Maintenance

If you have to wear business apparel (read: suits) to work, maintenance is key if you want to avoid sending it out to the dry cleaner after every wear. After you’ve worn the suit, hang it up straight away. Twenty-four hours on a hanger will help the light creases to fall out and hopefully you won’t have to iron between wears. Invest in a good umbrella and rain-coat to keep your suits dry in rainy weather. And if you really wanna stretch things, grab a pack of Dryel

8. Grow a Garden

Even if it is just a windowsill lined with pots of basil, cilantro, and rosemary! Any ingredient you can grow yourself will cut down on that grocery bill. Do a little research to see what would do well in your area and go for it!

9. DIY Your Cleaning Supplies

Keeping a collection of baking soda, white vinegar, borax, and Dr. Bronners will save you TONS of money on commercial cleaning supplies. Just mix up your own! Pinterest is a great resource if you’ve never done this before. Glass cleaner to carpet cleaner to stain removal. Just do a quick search and you’re well on your way.

10. Drink at Home

The mark-up on alcohol at restaurants and bars is ridiculous. If you’re trying to save but still want to indulge in a glass of wine or a cocktail now and then? Buy your own bottles and drink at home. Wanna save even more? Skip the elaborate mixers and go for something simple like a vodka and soda or a gin and tonic. And if you’re looking for a cheap bottle of wine that’s still somm-approved — go Old World!

Thanks so much for reading! What small change have you implemented recently to save money? In mini tips that you think pack a huge punch? Share below!

P.S. How to have unique clothing style on a budget.

If you enjoy my blog content, please consider supporting what I do (and keeping me caffeinated). Thank you! xoxo ☕

How to Make a Super Simple Pocket Letter for Your Pen Pal!

how to make a pocket letter

I LOVE pocket letters. I love making them, I love following #PocketLetter on Instagram, and I DEFINITELY love opening up my mailbox to find one inside.

I’ve posted some PL’s on the blog before, but today I thought I’d show you an easy way to dip your toes in the water of this particular paper-craftin’ phenomenon. This method is especially fun if you have a pen pal and want a little inspo on something new to send their way.

So, for a more in-depth tutorial, and links to buy the pocket sheets, check out this post. But a quick run-down on the basics —
* each sheet comes with 9 “pockets”
* use your stationary stash to decorate each pocket to your heart’s content
* throw in some goodies for the PL recipient
* give the whole thing a theme or don’t — this is YOUR creation

Let’s take a look at this super simple pocket letter I created for a pen pal —

When you’re just starting out, it can help to give each pocket a “role” to guide the decorations and goodies. These can include —
* TAGS
* TEA
* STICKERS
* LETTER
* EPHEMERA
*MAIL TAG
* HOLIDAY
* WASHI
* and more stickers! 😉

Following that formula, here’s a look at the goodies in the back…

If you’re sending to a pen pal, the most important components are your letter and mail tag. But isn’t it fun to include some other surprises?!

The best part about pocket letter creation is digging deep into your stash and sharing with a friend. Think about the kinds of things your pen pal likes, their favorite colors, what they might appreciate. (For example, I’m pretty sure those vintage V-day stickers and macaron page flags will be a hit with mine!)

You don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of supplies to deliver these mailbox treats either. I happen to be a bit of a washi and sticker collector. But if you’re not, use whatcha got on hand. Use up old wrapping paper, cut images out of a magazine, hand letter a sweet mantra. You get the picture!

Do you love sending and receiving snail mail? Tell me what you like to send in the comments below!

How I Plan to Put My 2019 Goals into Action

Hello friends! Welcome back to my blog. My name is Beth, if you are new here. I recently shared my 2019 Resolutions and I wanted to expand on this topic in today’s post.

Today I’m going to discuss some specific strategies I’m planning to employ in order to meet my 2019 goals. The new year is such a wonderful time to reflect on the positive changes we’d love to make and the new habits we’d like to adopt. But without a plan for how to stick to these changes, implement new habits, and actually…ya know…FOLLOW THROUGH, we run the risk of setting the same resolutions year after year after year. Know what I mean?

I’m definitely guilty of getting hung up in that little no man’s land between conception and action. I love research and planning and thinking things through. Maybe you’re the same way?

Well then dear friends, let’s do this together! Let’s make a plan and get shit done! Shall we?

Here are some ideas about how to follow through on our 2019 resolutions…

Outline Steps to Success

For each of my resolutions, I’m coming up with a plan of attack that I need to complete in order to succeed.

Integral to this process has been establishing a 2019 GOALS NOTEBOOK. I wrote out each of my resolutions, with blank pages left in between so that I can outline my steps.

It would be really easy to list one of my resolutions as “eat healthier”…and leave it at that. Instead, after my Whole30 reintroduction process, I plan to sit down with my notebook and map out what foods my body best jives with.

For my resolutions about spending more time growing my business and creating materials for this blog, I’m working on defining a schedule and setting due dates.

This gives my brain something concrete to work with so I know what I need to do to reach the end goal.

Schedule for Success

I’ve mentioned before that I really love to approach my day like a puzzle. (It’s why I love planners like this one.) Figuring out how the various pieces fit together to maximize my day and productivity is something I enjoy.

So, with that in mind, I’m not only making it a point to schedule in time for planning out how to achieve my goals…but then using that time to stick those plans into my schedule! Still with me?

For example, today I had a few minutes to devote to my “2019 notebook” and I sketched out a workout plan for February.

THEN…I grabbed my planner and scheduled my workouts for the first week of that month.

I can do the same thing when I make plans for quality time with my husband or writing postcards to friends or deep cleaning once a week.

When I schedule something, I’m making a COMMITMENT. Like, that shit is engraved in my calendar IN PEN (and hell, might even be highlighted!). Commitments are exactly what I need in this, the year of COMMIT!

Connecting with Others

Sharing this process publicly is a nice, healthy dose of accountability! I really, really want to make these things work…because I’m talking about them openly. I definitely think there’s something to be said for our good ol’ internet-age//social media-riddled lives when it comes to this stuff.

However, I also think sharing my goals and the process privately, with trusted loved ones in my life, is also important. This is where I can seek out encouragement (or more realistically…a good kick in the butt when I get lazy) as well as fresh perspectives when and if I get stuck.

Connecting with Self

We’re only about 1/12th of the way through the year. And while I’m still feeling pretty fired up about making the most of 2019, I can’t guarantee I’m going to feel this same way every minute of the next 11 months. So staying inspired is equally important as making and talking about plans.

That’s why my notebook isn’t just for lists and steps and action plans. I also created sections for journaling and mantras and a vision board (!) and quotes.

I want to stay connected to the reasons I set these intentions. These reasons are what gives the process power and purpose.

I hope you found these ideas helpful for planning your own 2019 “follow through.” If you would like some encouragement, motivation, or just want to type your intentions out for someone/anyone to see; LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW!

Do you have any specific strategies that have helped you stick to goals? Leave those below, too.

Here’s to achieving our goals in 2019! xoxo

Staying Busy to Keep the Winter Blues at Bay!

staying busy to keep the winter blues at bay*This post may contain affiliate links.

With the nights drawing in and the temperature dropping, we’re starting to become limited with our options for things to do outside. At this time of year, there are no warm ‘golden hour’  walks at 8 pm, dinner in the backyard after work, or sunny picnics at the weekend. It’s all about heading indoors, keeping cozy and finding things to do indoors instead.

I’m all about that winter hibernation, hygge lifestyle…BUT! One thing I’m NOT about? Being bored. I’ve gotta remind myself at this time of year to stay busy. That (and daily doses of Vitamin D) are tantamount to keeping the winter blues at bay.

Here are some ideas for those looooong winter nights (and snowy weekends, too)!

Have a movie/ tv day

When the weather is bad and you just want to relax, a movie or tv day (or evening) is a perfectly acceptable choice. (Don’t let the haters tell you otherwise! LOL) With all the streaming services out there, chances are you have more options than you could ever work your way through. Plus, if you have a niche interest you want to explore, a snow day is a fine time to scratch that itch. Go down the rabbit hole of beauty tutorials on YouTube. Fan of anime? Binge watch as much as you want on this website. Even if you don’t normally indulge in too much tv (can’t relate), a bit of escapism when the weather outside is frightful never hurt anyone. I’m sure I’ll be queuing up Survivor to escape to tropical islands all winter long! 

Related:
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Discover a new hobby

Hobbies are important for people of all ages. They help you to build your skills, stay productive when you have free time, and can give your life purpose too. So many of us fall into the ‘work, eat, sleep, repeat’ cycle, especially in the wintertime when heading home from work in the dark. But hobbies can give you something to look forward to on that cold and dark commute home. They also allow you to connect with other people, and maybe even get you out of the house once in awhile. 😉  You could start a new craft from home, write a blog, or attend classes at a local library or community center. Even if your new hobby will be done from home, you can still find ways to connect with others online. Starting a podcast with my friend Katie has been such a fun hobby to pursue. There’s always something to do and lots of sweet peeps online who are just starting out, too! 

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Work out

During the colder months, it’s easy for a healthy lifestyle to fall by the wayside. With less time spent outdoors we’re naturally less active, and warming comfort foods are a far cry from the light, fresh salads we enjoyed over the summer. However, you can still live healthily without depriving yourself, and there’s no need to go running in the rain every morning before work! Gyms tend to be quieter at this time of year, and if you head down to your local gym or fitness center you might even have the place to yourself depending on the time of day! You can work out and enjoy a steamy sauna afterwards which will make you feel great. Not down for the gym? You can always workout at home. There are plenty of workouts (FO’ FREE) online. If you have a Wii fit, ballet barre, weights, or any sort of exercise equipment–throw it in the mix!

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Do you guys have a plan for staying busy this winter?