Tag Archives: habits

Commenting on Blogs

I talked recently about a habit I’m trying to break, but today I’d like to share a habit I’m trying to pick up (or at least become better about!)

Commenting on blogs.

And generally being more supportive and “vocal” about the online content I engage with. Because the keyword there is engage, right? I have this blog. I have a podcast. I work remotely for clients who need help with marketing and web content. So, I’m constantly consuming online content. But often times, it’s just that…consuming, not engaging with.

I guess, initially, my motives are a little selfish. I feel like I should interact with blog posts (and other content) the way I want people to interact with mine. But, I think it’s more than that:

– I want to be encouraging to people I think are doing rad things online…
– I want to feel like we’re all in this together (see also: work remotely. y’all are my co-workers, mk?)…
– …and honestly, I want to do my part to make sure this is happening.

But sometimes that sort of very public, online love-fest feels overwhelming to me. It is so much easier to be a lurker. To feel uncomfortable about admiration or networking or a comment that doesn’t really add all that much to the conversation other than — “wow, this was really fun to read!”

So, I’m seeking input…

What do you think? Is this an area you’re awesome at? What advice would you offer? TELL ME EVERYTHING!

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Breaking a Habit

Did you know that most Americans check their phones on average between 80 and 300 (!) times a day? In fact, a study in 2017 found we only go about 12 minutes between putting our phone down and picking it back up again.

Yikes!

Because I work with multiple clients – and sometimes with multiple accounts for each client – I’m constantly getting emails, notifications, or checking up on things online. Sometimes I do this from my phone and sometimes at my computer. So, even if I check my phone MORE than 300 times in a day, I don’t necessarily mind.

But what I DO mind is when picking it up leads me down the rabbit hole of looking through a bunch of different things…clicking here and clicking there…scrolling, scrolling…and THEN putting the phone down. (I’m also guilty of this habit on the computer–I’ll just click around and not really read or take anything in!)

It’s such a time suck and I know there are a million and one things I’d rather be doing with those precious minutes. So, I need a plan.

Here’s what I’m thinking —

a) Focused mornings.  For the first few hours of my work day I’ll leave my phone in the other room and stay off distracting websites.
b) Implement one unplugged day a week. Try to keep all phone and internet usage to a minimum every Saturday. (Full disclosure: I tried kicking this off already and it was a bit of a fail…WORK IN PROGRESS!)
c) Do my research. I’ve heard this book is really good.

What am I missing?

Do you have a habit you want to break? What are you doing to make it happen? Have you successfully broken the habit of mindless scrolling?! TELL ME EVERYTHING!

friday round-up (+ a sneak peek at our engagement photos!!)

couples shoot 1

couples shoot 2

couples shoot 3

So I had a link post ready to go up on Wednesday and totally forgot to publish it. I guess that’s what happens when you go on a little mid-week trip to Delray Beach. Whoops! Our friends Carrie and Ganer (who visited us last week in Miami) were on the second leg of their Florida vacay and graciously invited us for some extended fun at the beach. We jumped at the chance, and had so much fun eating tacos, lounging in the sand, and collecting seashells. Carrie is an extremely talented photographer (she’s shooting our wedding!!) and asked if Chet and I would like to do an evening couples shoot by the water. Ummm, YES PLEASE! Pictured above is a little preview. I can’t stop looking at them! Those colors!!! Go check out Carrie’s site  —> Sur La Lune Photography —> she does INCREDIBLE work.

Anyways, I thought I’d go ahead and pop up these links for you (a couple days late), share a few photos, and get back to regularly scheduled programming on Monday. Have a great weekend!!!

How to travel 6 European countries in 9 days with 0 planes.

19 things you might not know were invented by women.

If every state had an official word, what would it be?

This documentary looks crazy-awesome and right in my wheelhouse.

On the ground with a Doctors Without Borders operation in South Sudan.

Miss Manhattan.

13 years old in the age of likes and lols.

Makes me want to flip a house.

Looks like the perfect spot for a Miami stay-cation!

What successful people do on Sunday nights.

And Sur La Lune on Instagram!

A Reflection Reflection (or Why I Look at Myself in the Mirror So Much)

reflections 1 b and w     reflections 2

In Frances Ha, the titular character’s best friend Sophie remarks on Frances’ thing. You know, that thing we all do that’s unique to us but also a little weird to other people. Frances’ thing was a not so sneaky habit of stealing peeks of herself in anything that cast a reflection. I found this film hugely relatable as I’m sure it was for any “creative-type” ladies inching towards 30. And for more reasons than 20-something poverty and a past full of refusing adulthood’s responsibilities. As my sister so kindly pointed out as we left the theater, finding my reflection is sorta MY thing, too. It’s a little strange to admit this but…I look in the mirror. A lot. I check my reflection many times a day. Sometimes bouncing between two or even three mirrors before I feel satisfied. And for no real reason either. Just to…look. I always notice when I’m around something that offers a view of myself. A car window, a storefront, a television screen gone black, the face of my iPhone. Sometimes when the creeping feeling of social anxiety bubbles to the surface and I can feel a negative emotion, like anger or embarrassment, hot on my cheeks, I want to see myself. I feel calmer if I’m able to.

I’m not sure when this practice started. I know my sister has teased me for years about checking my reflection in car windows. Usually in those impatient seconds before the unlock button is hit on a keyless entry remote. Perhaps my reflection relationship began as a toddler when I was enrolled in my very first ballet class. My whole childhood was spent learning complicated and unnatural positions through careful speculation of my own bodies’ curves and contortions. In dance, the mirror is there to help you. You catch a glimpse of a sickled foot in your tendu derriere. You point your toes harder. You notice a leg that could be in a more attractive line. So you correct it. You realize you aren’t as high off the ground in your changements as the two ballerinas flanking you. And you jump like hell until you are. The reward for this self-correction felt great to me. The reward was art and not just any art. Art thatcreated. Later, when I started competitive speech and debate, I would try to use the mirror as a tool in a similar way. And even found new ways to use it, too. To help the memorization process when learning speeches, I would recite the words in front of a mirror, careful to pay attention to the shape my mouth made when pronouncing each sound. Confident that once I learned the shapes they would be easier to recreate again and again.

These practical uses for my reflection are why I don’t think my need to look at myself is born entirely of vanity. Everyone uses the mirror in attempt to make themselves look better or hotter, more presentable or more professional. And I’m certainly no different. I use it as I twist my hair over and over until I’ve created what I hope will, ironically, look like an effortless and messy top knot. I use it to see if my outfit is flattering, showcasing parts I like and hiding those I don’t. I use it to verify a pair of heels’ ability to make my calves look bangin’. But I also use it, frankly, just to make sure I’m still there. Like when I’ve been lost inside my own thoughts and imagination for too many hours. Or when someone has made me feel unimaginably small and unimportant. Or when a task seems insurmountable. Something about that tiny glance into my own eyes tells me, “Yep, you’re still you. You’re in this amazing world and this wonderful life you have is REAL. Own it. Go live it. You’re beautiful and confident and that thing you don’t think you can do because you think you’re not good enough…what’s the harm in trying?” I’m cringing at how cheesy that sounds but there ya go. Honesty!

It’s a long standing practice in the world of retail to place mirrors behind counters where patrons are likely to get a little incensed. When angry customers approach a mirror the likelihood of irrational behavior lowers drastically. Why? Because no one wants to see themselves act like that. And the mirrors behind the bar in your favorite seedy joint? No one wants to look at a belligerent and sloppy-drunk fool and think, “Whoa, that’s ME.” So maybe what this reflection on reflections boils down to is this — We all want to see the best version of ourselves. I don’t want to see someone who is meek and boring so, just like I did at the barre in my ballet classes, I find those parts I need to change in my reflection and alter them. Perhaps that’s done physically, cracking a smile or fixing a rogue strand of hair, or perhaps it’s an alteration more mental than physical. Either way, create the person I see looking back at me. The person the world will see, too.

 

Author’s Note: This is my personal relationship with mirrors and is not necessarily a practice I think everyone should strive for. I know many struggle daily to LIKE the person they see looking back at them in the mirror let alone use their reflection as a confidence booster or a tool for healthy self -correction. For those of you walking that difficult path, please keep fighting. I think you are beautiful! 

 

 

 

 

 

One dish a day.

disheshabit

When I moved in to my first sans-roommates apartment, I made a promise to myself. I wouldn’t let my dirty dishes situation get disgusting. I had just moved from a house where I was living with two boys and throughout the year we got caught up in the “these aren’t MYYY dishes so I’m not gonna wash them but I’m gonna dirty more dishes which you in turn will not wash because they are not yours” cycle. Having room-mates is like a case study in passive aggressiveness, don’t you think? In the end, when our sink was at it’s worst, I just threw a bunch of our dishes away. That’s embarrassing to admit but whatevs. So, with the promise of a studio apartment on the horizon, I scored some plates from a garage sale and headed to the Dollar General where I became the proud new owner of 3 forks, 3 knives and 3 spoons; a set of 4 plastic cups and 4 plastic bowls; and 2 ceramic coffee mugs. A five spot well spent. And I vowed, “From this day forth, I will wash dishes everyday.”

Now, years of dodging dish duty and co-habitation meant this would not be easy. I needed a plan. After some brainstorming I came up with the idea that I would wash at least one dish every single day as I waited for my morning coffee to brew. This seemed like the perfect time for mindless manual labor and I wouldn’t become distracted by other tasks because I would still be lacking my post-coffee faculties. Most days, to my surprise, I washed all my dishes from the day before in this little pocket of productivity. The dish-wand was already soaped up, the coffee wasn’t done yet, the radio was playing some jams. I started craving the completion of the task. In no time at all, the habit had cemented itself in my daily routine.

Today, the science behind habit formation has been written about a lot. Look here and here. And this book is incredibly popular! When I made my little dish-washing promise to myself I had no idea I was mapping out a strategy that followed the “cue, routine, reward” trajectory of habit formation TO A T…I just knew, after a few weeks, how powerfully effective it was. And I’m still getting my dishes washed on the daily. : )

Since making this realization about habit formation I’ve tried to utilize it whenever implementing new changes. Lately, I’ve used it for creating a daily yoga practice–just get on the mat every day…once I’m there, I’ve found, I may as well DO something. And am even proud to announce I’m going a MONTH strong on making my bed! (Which is saying a lot for someone who bribed their college roommate to make her lil twin bed for her in their dorm.)

I know this may seem like a rudimentary example in the grand scheme of life improvement but if you’re looking for a super simple life hack, it couldn’t hurt to try.

All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits – practical, emotional, and intellectual – systematically organized for our weal or woe, and bearing us irresistibly toward our destiny, whatever the latter may be.” – William James