Posts in Self Development
4 Reasons Why You Need To Check Your Attitude

1. Your vibe attracts your tribe

If you want to be surrounded by positive go-getters you need to be a positive go-getter. The vibe that you put out into the universe is the vibe that you're going to get back. My favorite quote is "you can't change the people around you, but you can change the people around you". If people around you are super negative and enjoy having pity parties every night you need to cut the chord and surround yourself with more positive people. And positive people generally only want to be around other positive people.

2. You'll be more productive

If you want to know the real secret behind being productive, here it is. You have to WANT to be productive. Your attitude needs to be in a place where you actually want to do the things you're thinking about doing. If your attitude is checked you'll love learning, working out, reading, and crossing off whatever is on your to-do list because you know it's making you a better version of yourself.

3. More opportunities will be available to you

This one is huge. I don't believe in luck. I didn't receive any of the opportunities in my life because I sat around and waited for them to happen. My attitude was checked. I was open to new experiences, I wanted to be better, I wanted to further my education, I wanted to be successful, and I was excited about any opportunity that came my way, no matter how small. Nobody had to beat me to go to class when I was in college because I WANTED to go. Nobody had to force me to apply for internships, I WANTED to learn and when I got there I took advantage of every learning experience. The people who are giving out opportunities can see the glimmer in the eye of the person with a good attitude. And since good attitudes are few and far between, having one automatically gives you an advantage.

4. You'll be happier

Warning: don't go trying to chase happiness. Like I explained in my post about resolutions it's not going to make you happier, however, not being excited about life is sure not going to help either. If you work on trying to be more grateful, more humble, and more helpful, you're going to be happier. You can take my word on this one. We've all met someone with a positive attitude and we've all met someone with a negative attitude. Which one seems happier? Which one would YOU rather hang out with? With one is going to get farther in life? Check your attitude and be the positive person. No excuses. :)

10 Resolutions That Aren't Resolutions

These resolutions aren't resolutions at all... but rather they're steps we can all take to be the best version of ourselves. They're realistic, easy, and take little motivation to accomplish.

10. Eat Out Less

I actually feel like this is a pretty common resolution and we all know why. 2017 has to be the year we all get our shit together and stop spending money on useless stuff... including eating out. Limit yourself to twice a week and every time you feel like going out to eat take that $15 you would've spent and put it in your travel fund.

9. No Spend Month

Speaking of saving money... as a minimalist this is easier for me... but limit yourself to only buying groceries and absolute necessities just for one month. Once you realize how easy the minimalism lifestyle is you'll be ready to at the very least spend less than you currently are.

8. Purge

All. The. Time. Keep a box in your hallway and whenever you come across an item that hasn't been used in 6 months, put it in the donate box. When the box is full donate it and put out another box. Easy peasy. For clothes... turn all your hangers backwards and when you wear an item put it back the right way. In 6 months anything hanging backwards gets donated. It's time to rid of the excess. 2017 will not be the year we spend organizing all our crap.

7. Read

Duh... I know I'm a broken record always telling people to read... but that's because I want to live in a society where small talk no longer exists because everyone actually has something interesting to say. Reading will make you more interesting, strengthen your vocabulary, open your mind to new experiences, and make you a better version of yourself. This doesn't mean you need to only read business books, or non-fiction books, by all means read as much fiction as you want, but just freakin read.

6. Focus on self-awareness

This is something I'm ALWAYS doing. I want to know myself better than anyone else and I want to know everything there is to know. How do I feel about different circumstances, what are my strengths, weaknesses, how do I feel about the people in my life, what are my goals, etc. Take personality tests, get readings done (palm, future, whatever), spend time alone, and analyze yourself. This doesn't make you self-centered... it makes you smart. I know what I bring to the table when I know my strengths and I know what I need in someone else to fill my weaknesses. Again I'm not totally there yet, but it's something I'm always working on.

5. PLAN

It doesn't matter what resolution you choose for next year, if you don't plan it won't happen. Plan HOW you're going to travel. Plan WHEN you're going to exercise. Plan how you're going to achieve every goal down to how you're going to work on it each day. If you don't you're not going to reach it. I wrote a post on how to plan a productive day here.

4. Find inspiration

Instead of beating a dead horse I'm just going to link the posts I've already written about why you need inspiration and how to find it.

6 Reasons Why We Need To Be Inspired

7 Ways to Become Inspired and Find Your Passion

3. Let's get healthy

This one is huge for me this year. I spent so much of last year sick because of various health problems... but I'm feeling better and I can finally whip my butt back into shape. I'm not going to a gym on Monday to buy a membership that I'm only going to use once a week... but I am planning (again down to the day) how I'm going to get back in shape. The thing about getting healthy is that everyone is different and this is where self-awareness really comes into play. My recommendation is not to start a fad diet (paleo, weight-watchers, etc), but just really be mindful of what you're eating and how it makes you feel. Your body will tell you everything you need to know if you just take the time to listen to it.

I'm also a healer so if you're feeling overwhelmed and would like a reading you can learn more about how I heal here.

2. Focus on trimming your relationships

If there are people in your life bringing unnecessary negativity trim them out. Focus on the people who bring a positive light to your life. Use the precious time you have to build relationships and network with people. Again.. 2017 needs to be about ridding yourself of excess... including excess people... to only leave room for the absolute best (because we deserve the best and only the best). 

1. Stop trying to be happy

It's sickening how focused our culture is on finding happiness. It's the most depressing journey tbh. If you're not content with your life you probably have too much excess, not enough inspiration, or are surrounded by negativity. Stop trying to buy things you think are going to make you happy, stop trying to compare yourself to others because you only see the most polished versions of everyone else (ESPECIALLY on social media), and stop telling yourself "you're not happy but one day you will be". If you're not happy right now you're trying too hard. Just relax dude... be mindful and enjoy the moment.

7 Ways To Become Inspired and Find Your Passion

I felt like after my last post 6 Reasons Why We Need To Be Inspired, I should also explain HOW to become inspired. I hope this helps!

1. Focus on what you already know you enjoy

If you already know that you love yoga, painting, writing, hiking, whatever... invest more time into it now. The reason you love it is because it's fueling your inspiration flame. Notice how you always feel refreshed after doing these things. If you're not sure what these are... they're the things that after you do it you feel like you just took a nap afterward. Your mind feels clear, you feel like you can breathe, and you feel healthy while you do it. So these things should not include drinking, eating shitty foods, and doing things you might think you love... but that don't make you feel lighter after doing it. 

2. Continually try out new experiences

There are so many hobbies out there you have no excuse to spend all of your free time binge watching Netflix. Try taking classes (find free or inexpensive ones in your city!), try crafting, try renovating, try training for competitions, try wine tastings or tea tastings, try new restaurants, WHATEVER. If you feel stuck trying to think of hobbies I would suggest starting with Pinterest. You just need to research what is available in your area. Obviously in Phoenix I'm not going to try to take up Surfing, and in Maine I'm not going to try perfecting prickly pear margaritas. This is (in my opinion) the funnest part of finding inspiration. If you try something and you hate it so what? You don't have to commit to it forever, and it's worth taking a chance on it just in case you end up loving it for the rest of your life. 

3. Travel

And constantly be planning your next trip! Plan trips to different destinations in your state, in your country, and around the world! It's ALWAYS doable if you budget! I do this by calculating how much it's going to cost me to go on the trip, dividing it by how many months there are between now and the trip, and saving that much each month. SUPER SIMPLE. After visiting a new place is when I feel the most inspired. Traveling gives you feelings and insights that no other experience possibly could. You can read all of the books you want about the place, but experiencing what can't be put into words is the only way to get the whole effect. Trust me when I say traveling is an absolute MUST. 

4. Read!!!!!

I cannot stress this point enough. Everyone around me is sick of me saying this. Get lost in books. I never finish a book and feel uninspired. THIS is where I learn about humanity, emotions, productivity, different approaches to life, etc. I absolutely love learning and I feel my fire roaring when I'm reading and gaining new insights. You can read whatever you want to, no judgement here! If you want to read syfy, nonfiction, cheesy romance novels, I don't care. That author put their world view seen through their eyes into that book and it's such an amazing way to bring inspiration to your life. 

5. Go on a technology detox

For me, just going 6 hours without any technology around me makes me feel inspired. This is when you read. This is when you hike. This is when you disconnect from technology and reconnect with yourself. I would suggest going as long as you can. This is what I suggest when you feel absolutely no motivation. You know how it is right, you're feeling sad and you can't describe why. You feel sad taking a shower, you feel sad eating, and you don't want to do those things you already know you love. THAT's your brain telling you it needs to unplug from the rest of the world. Burn some essential oil, meditate, and chill off the grid for a while. 

6. Fall in love with nature

Whether you live in a big city or not, nature is every where around you. Go on hikes, go on picnics, and walk barefoot on the ground. If you have an open mind about it, spending even an hour a week in nature is like hitting a reset button on your brain. When your brain is short-circuiting and you're feeling anxious, overwhelmed and you're lacking passion... nature is going to cleanse this. It's like putting an air purifier into your body to rid of the toxic energy. I know I'm sounding like a super hippie right now, but this is STATISTICALLY PROVEN. Folks who live in rural areas surrounded by natural scenery live longer and healthier lives than those who live in large, industrial cities. Make an effort to go back to your ancestral roots (where they spent their entire lives in nature) and I promise you will not lack inspiration whatsoever. When I'm in nature is when I have epiphanies and realizations. I NEED this in my life, so give it a shot!

7. Meditate

It's really that easy. Just sit and think. I have high-functioning anxiety and at least twice per day my thoughts start racing and I feel overwhelmed. I just stop what I'm doing, even if I'm at my desk, I rest my hands on my legs, close my eyes, and count my breaths. This is the key to living with high functioning anxiety if you also have it, or if you're feeling blocked. When I don't know what to write, I meditate. When I'm lacking motivation, I meditate. It's the best fix for when I don't have time to hike, or do yoga, or take a nap. Just sitting for even 5 minutes changing my outlook on the world. I will say this is super important when you're feeling angry and negative as well. Just sit in silence, with your eyes closed, and breathe. I wrote a whole post on Why Badass Bitches Meditate Every Single Day because of how important it is.

 

Of course there are so many more things you can do to feel inspired, these are only 7 that I personally do. I hope this helps! If you have anything you do to boost your inspiration comment below!

6 Reasons Why We Need To Be Inspired

One of the most tragic things to hear, in my opinion, is when I ask someone "what do you do for fun" and their response is something along the lines of "oh I don't really know, whatever". It makes me want to shake them, but then I have to take a step back and remember that most people not only don't spend time working on what they're passionate about, but that they don't even know what lights the fire in their soul. Again, the only word I can use to describe this is tragic.

The first step towards finding your passion is finding inspiration. Here are 6 reasons why we need to stay inspired.

 

1. It will give your life purpose

We all know that feeling when we don't have a purpose. The best way I can describe it is depression (not clinical obv.), although that could just be because of my ambitious personality, so without purpose I feel utterly useless. It's easy to tell when I'm lost, I stop caring about everything and sleep even more than I already do (which is a lot).

When I'm inspired, however, it's the exact opposite. I can cross 50 things off of my to-do list, go for a run, and come home and write an inspiring post because my life blood is back. When I feel like I have a purpose then there's a reason to get out of bed before the sun (my least favorite thing to do ever btw). There's a reason to run 3 miles before dinner. There's a reason to stop binge watching Netflix and read 200 pages a day. There's a purpose for me to be alive.

2. Your relationships will be healthier

Again, when I'm on a date and I ask someone what they do for fun and they respond with "whatever" I scream internally. That means they have no passions of their own and they're probably going to focus on me in all of their free time and that's the perfect breeding ground for a toxic relationship. If you're free time is filled with your projects and passions then you won't have time to sit around and think of all the negative stuff about your partner. PLUS there's the added bonus that if you both have your own passions and projects then at the end of the day you get to come home and talk about them, and be excited about them. Personally, the most attractive thing on someone is watching them talk about what they're passionate about.

3. Your attitude will be better

Which means your life will be better. You'll start to realize people will want to hang out with you more because you have so much more to talk about and what you do talk about is all positive. When you see hope in your future it affects your attitude and when you have a positive attitude you manifest positive things. I mean think about it. You know when you meet someone and they just have so much light in their eyes? And when they talk you actually want to listen, you're not forcing yourself to? These are inspired people. Contrast them with the ones with empty eyes, who spend the whole conversations complaining because they have nothing of their own to talk about. It's brutal to listen to them right? Be the inspired person.

4. You'll grow your network

The more projects you do and the more experiences you try the more people you meet, simple as that. You have to go out into the world (even the internet world) and do things and talk to people. The benefit is that you're going to meet people with similar interests. The larger your network the more successful you will be and the less hard you will have to work to be successful. You never know who you're going to meet and when you meet them doing what you're passionate about you already have something in common.

5. You'll be emotionally stable

The best part about having my own projects, my own passions, and finding my own inspiration is that none of those things have to be given to me by someone else. That is giving someone else way too much power. My happiness needs to be controlled by ME. I mean other people can come into my life and bring added joy, but my purpose for waking up in the morning cannot and will not be decided by any body other than me. And again, if I'm immersed in my projects then there are other thoughts to fill my time. And this is especially helpful after a breakup, if you're main purpose in life isn't your partner, then if they leave they didn't leave with your passion. Your ego won't be hurt because you're in charge of it. If someone tries to take away the light in your eyes they won't be able to because you control the flame.

6. You can make a difference

The best part about having your own projects is that you can likely make a difference through them. Love sewing? Donate blankets and clothes. Love painting? Donate artwork for charity auctions and such. Love working out? Train others and motivate them to get healthy. Love gardening? Teach children in your community, or even your own children, how to (this is what my non-profit is going to do btw ;)) All of these things bring communities together. Your passion, while it may be exactly what you need, is not about you because your life is not about you. When you're using it to make a difference you're going to have your sense of purpose filled, you're going to feel great about yourself, and people are going to admire you.

The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire - Ferdinand Foch

I'm going to write a post shortly about how to stay inspired so stay tuned!

Update 12/19/2016

The follow up post can be found here: 7 Ways To Become Inspired and Find Your Passion

How Badass Bitches Plan Their Super Productive Days in 3 Steps

After reading multiple articles such as "the morning routine of 10 successful women" and the like, I realized that the key to a super productive day is PLANNING. Also this is sort of a part 2 to a previous post I wrote "How to Be a Badass Bitch Who Gets Shit Done" so read that post too!

Step 1: Write Down Your Goals

I highly recommend starting a bullet journal. I wrote a post about how starting a bullet journal can change your life because of how much I believe in it. They are basically just super flexible planners that allow you to organize your thoughts.

But until then just grab a sheet of lined paper and write down all of your goals. I suggest using three pages, have the first page be this month, the next page be this year, and the next page be the next 5-10 years. This is going to help you prioritize how you spend your day.

To give you some examples... written down for my goals for this month are to pay off debt, read 4 books, and exercise every single day. My goals for this year (which will now be 2017) are to write a book, start graduate school and my non profit, and to become fluent in Spanish (I'm already proficient, but I want to be totally FLUENT). And my 5-10 year goals are to flip a house, start 2 more businesses, and run for office.

Everyone is obviously going to have much different goals, but I always find examples to be super helpful when trying something for the first time. So once you have all of your goals written down, you move to step 2.

Step 2: Plan Your Day

Plan your day DOWN TO THE HOUR. Do this however you have to, again I use a bullet journal. I literally list out 12am, 1am, 2am, etc. I mark exactly what I will be doing each hour of the day. Obviously for 12am-5:30am I write that I'm sleeping, but even my morning routine is planned out (although it only takes me an hour so I just write "morning routine").

Scheduling out every hour is where your list of goals comes into play. Do you really think my non-profit is going to build itself? No. I dedicate an hour to it every day. I want to read 4 books a month so I calculate how much time that will take (about 2 hours per day) so I read during my lunch break at work and an hour before I go to sleep. I want to be fluent in Spanish so I dedicate 30 minutes of my day to Duolingo and an hour each weekend to watching Telenovelas.

This is how you accomplish your goals. If you're anything like me, you have all of these ideas of things you want to do, but it makes your brain want to explode when you think about actually accomplishing them. That's because "starting a non-profit" is a HUGE task, but researching similar organizations for an hour as one of the steps to building it is totally doable. By planning out each hour of your day you're making your goals achievable. PLUS you know you have time during your day to it because you have a schedule you can stick to. If you hate routine, then switch up the routine and make a new daily hour schedule every month or so, or make daily variations, whatever you have to do to stay motivated!

Step 3: Make Trackers for your Goals

So you've written down your goals and made a detailed schedule of when you're going to do all of these things, but let's face it... you need actual motivation to do it. This is where trackers come in! There are lots of apps you can use to do this for you, but I'm a creative and I need to write things down for my brain to process what is happening, so again I use my bullet journal.

There are thousands of ideas for trackers on pintrest or with a quick web search. I do my trackers by month. So, for example, I make a tracker that looks like a board game with 30/31 squares for the month to keep me motivated to exercise. Every day that I work out I color in one of the squares. When I reach the end of the month I get a massage or some sort of reward if all of the squares are colored. This actually really works! Especially because there is nobody telling me to work out like if I joined a program or something... I HATE when people tell me what to do. It's just me and my tracker to keep me motivated.

I have trackers for all of my goals, for reading, for learning Spanish, for teaching tricks to my dog, etc. So during my day I'm never just sitting doing something unproductive (and R&R time is productive so don't think I don't relax). I just always know that if I have energy then I have a project that needs my attention.

People always tell me "I love how you just want to do something and you do it". THIS is how I do it. I plan out exactly how I'm going to do it into doable steps, and I plan out my day, and I just freaking do it (insert Nike symbol here).

Why Badass Bitches Sleep A LOT

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a professional sleeper. I sleep more than anyone I've ever met and if I don't get my sleep I am a walking nightmare. I don't apologize for it. I know that I need sleep, I inform people around me that I need sleep, and yet somehow people are shocked that when I don't get my 8 hours I'm cranky. Also... society treats sleep as a weakness, when on the contrary lack of sleep is definitely one of our biggest weaknesses.

You know what I mean right? There's always that person who brags about how they can function with only 4 hours of sleep per night. Well that's great and all... but it is HORRIBLE for your body not to sleep. This is why I don't feel bad when I sleep for 12 hours and take a 2 hour nap in the middle of the day.

Sleep is a MUST if you want to be a badass bitch. Productivity does not depend on how much you do, but rather the quality of what you're doing. So yes you might be able to get more done if you sleep for 4 hours instead of 8, but the quality of work you're producing is sub-par because your body and your brain is not at it's full-functioning, supreme state.

Here's a list of the benefits of sleep.

1. Your memory will improve

What is more badass than a person who can remember conversations and details about certain situations and meetings without having to write them down or ask what they missed. The most impressive people, IMO, are the ones with a good memory.

2. You'll be more creative

A study from Harvard University showed that while you sleep your brain goes through your memories and strengthens the emotional components of your memory during sleep. This helps you be more creative and creativity is the epicenter of a badass. How are you going to be innovative if you're not first creative? Plus... your brain processes information while you sleep so you'll be able to think of new ways to look at something or think about something and new ideas and inspiration are likely to spark.

3. You'll have less fatigue

I mean obviously... if you sleep more then you're less sleepy. A Standford University study goes further, however, and discovered that athletes who slept for 10 hours each night improved their sprint time and stamina and reduced their daytime fatigue. Again, how productive can you really be at 3pm when your body is begging you for a nap and instead your pushing it to send out work. You're working harder, not smarter, when you allow your body to feel this fatigue throughout the day. I'm productive from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep because I'm well rested.

4. You'll be sharper

When you meet a real go-getter, you know, the type of badass that makes you think "wow this person really has it all together", would you describe them as dull or spacey? No. You describe them as sharp and someone who is on top of it and paying attention to their environment. When I'm sleep deprived I am super cranky because I have to use so much more energy to engage in conversations with people. And I often have to tell people "sorry I only got 4 hours of sleep so I probably won't remember a lot of this". When I get 10 hours of sleep, however, I can hear something once and remember it for the rest of my life. This is just me and how my brain works, but I'm sure yours is somewhat similar. Everyone is sharper when they get a good night's sleep.

P.S. This is also why I was comfortable napping throughout finals week. I knew I would remember more and do better on my exams if I was fully rested.

5. You'll maintain a healthy weight

Another study from the University of Chicago discovered that dieters who got more sleep lost more fat, when dieters who got less sleep lost more muscle mass. The folks who got more sleep were also less hungry throughout the day. I know this to be true personally, because when I'm sleepy I want to eat all of the high sugar foods I can to spike an energy burst. When I'm well rested I'm satisfied eating greens and vegetables instead.

6. You'll be able to manage your stress

If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol you're probably not getting enough sleep. I'm not a doctor so I'm not saying ALL you need to reduce these is sleep. I am, however, suggesting that lack of sleep intensifies these factors. People who sleep more are proven to be less stressed than those who are sleep deprived. And let me tell you this about stress... you need to avoid it like the plague because it sort of is its own plague. Stress raises your cortisol levels and cortisol leeches vitamin C, which usually results in you getting sick. It's pretty hard to be a productive, badass bitch when you're sick. Also, stress is directly related to rapid aging, the formation of cancer cells, and heart disease. When I have a stressful day I go right to sleep.

7. You'll be happier

Sleep deprivation is also linked to depression. In fact I tell people this all the time, sleep is how I cope. The more stressful and even traumatic my life is, the more I sleep, and it's why I am so calm all the time even in depressing situations. I never wake up from a nap sad or pissed off, except for the fact that I wish I was still sleeping...

So as you can see there are many benefits attributed to getting a good night's sleep. There are probably even more I haven't listed here, but you get the idea. So now everyone who takes pity on me for how much sleep I need can stop because I'm actually much healthier and way more productive for it. If you want to be a badass you need to take care of yourself, that means eating well, exercising often, and sleeping a lot!

How to Win an Argument and Stay Friends

I would like to first make the disclaimer that I learned most of these the hard way. I have been in numerous arguments with family members and friends who disagreed with my fundamental values and therefore fell victim to many of the heated screaming fights we all wish to avoid. After the results of the election came in however, it was disheartening to see that I could probably count on one hand how many people were having effective debates about policy. To help the flow of ideas travel throughout society I'm going to break down how to argue effectively and stay friends afterward.

Stop having value arguments

One of the things I learned in Speech and Debate was that there are two kinds of debates, value and policy. Value debates revolve around a persons fundamental belief system. An example of a value debate would consist of things like protecting human life is more important than protecting individual freedom or pizza the best food on the planet. These are dangerous debates to have and you need to stay away from them because there is never a "winner". You are never ever going to convince me that pizza is the best food on the planet so do not even try. You can talk to me about how the combination of sauce, cheese, crust, and customizable toppings make pizza untouchable by other dishes and I will scream at you that actually sushi is the best food on the planet and we will go around and around. Obviously this applies to more serious value debates. A Christian and an Atheist will never convince the other that they're right, but that does not mean they can't discuss policy or maintain a friendship.

Start having policy arguments

Policy debates are arguments over what approach to use to solve a problem. THESE are the types of arguments TO have. A Christian and an Atheist may not agree on why the human race exists, but they can come to an agreement or at least have an educated discussion on if prisons should or should not be privatized. These aren't arguments over the "best" type of prison system, the two would never agree. But by picking one type of prison system and discussing the pros and cons a healthy, effective debate about not only if they're effective, but what could done to decrease the amount of items on the cons list, is actually possible. Plus the two can likely stay friends afterward.

Etiquette

Keep in mind though, you cannot be a close minded, uneducated advocate of your side of the debate and expect to win and stay friends. If you haven't read up on the policy you're debating about, it's probably best to just listen because you'll have no choice except to resort to a value debate since your opinion is all you will be able to go off of. And if you are educated you are not an all knowing, all seeing, higher being that can solve all of the world's problems. You need to listen and engage even if you do not agree. Listening does not mean you agree with them, it means you have respect for the discussion.

Also remember to never yell (the first one who does loses), and to never interrupt. Keep in mind the more the other person says, the more fuel you have to cut down and oppose. I'll get into how keeping the other person talking is an effective strategy later. You have a duty as a productive and decent member of society to talk about the issues that are plaguing society with a polite and inclusive tone. If you alienate your "opponent" by calling them names, making them feel belittled, and turning against your cause then YOU JUST LOST. Remember why you're having these debates. It's not simply to spew off how knowledgeable and woke you are to the world so they bow down and do whatever you say. And it definitely is not to divide the country between us vs. them. If you sincerely want change to happen and a discourse to be open, you ALSO need to be open minded, educated, and a decent human being.

P.S. remember that this is much easier to accomplish when you have policy debates because value debates get really heated really fast because someone's fundamental identity is being attacked.

Tips for when you know you're right

This takes some maturity. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility. I for one will not ever try to debate anything sports related because I know virtually nothing about sports despite having been a cheerleader for 14 years. If I ever find myself in a discussion about sports I politely listen to it without offering my analysis because quite frankly I would sound stupid if I spoke up. Keep this in mind when you're debating. If you know virtually nothing about the crisis in Syria then when you find yourself in the midst of an argument you need to turn it into an educational, expository learning experience instead because without having first been educated on a topic you cannot then offer your opinion of it. And you will sound stupid to the other person because uneducated opinions are super easy to identify to a person who is educated on the issue.

With that being said, if you are educated on a topic and believe yourself fit to offer your opinion of it then that's awesome, but you're not entitled to have your opinions listened to and let alone adopted by anyone. Therefore it is MUCH more effective, at least in my experience, to have other people think your opinions are their opinions. The best way to do this is to ask questions as responses. Yes.. I'm telling you to use the Socratic Method to manipulate the person you're talking to into disproving their own argument, but there's a reason why this is so effective... it is non-threatening. "The Socratic method can be used to show someone that they are wrong, or at least imprecise, by getting them to agree with statements that contradict their original assertion". You will likely need to practice this to really get it down, but I promise once you do you will slay. It would take me a whole entire post to explain how to use this to you, and since there are plenty out there that have already done so I'm going to skip over it. A quick guide can be found here.

Also, do not be afraid to stop an argument that turns into one of value. For example, I am a hardcore environmentalist (not a purist though) and I believe that protecting the environment and ecosystems needs to be in the top 3 priories of every single person on the planet. So whenever someone tries to say "Global warming isn't real" or "there are more pressing issues than water pollution" I just politely say "I'm not interesting in discussing if these problems are problems, I believe that they are, I am interested in discussing their solutions so if you're not here to offer your input on policy solutions we can talk about the puppy bowl or Joe Biden memes instead". Nobody will ever convince me that pizza is better than sushi or that we do not have an obligation to protect the environment so why would I let them try and risk losing a friendship over it?

P.S. The deciding factor of if you stay friends or not after an argument is going to depend on your attitude during the argument.

If you want to change values you need to stay friends

Just because I value the environment and my family member doesn't does not mean I need to cut them out of my life. That's immature and irresponsible because then that's one less person in their life who does care. If you really want to change the way society behaves (I listed my 7 sins of society in this post) then you need to show them that they themselves are not society, they are a member in society. When your community and your circle cares a lot about an issue you begin to care a lot about it. If you cut yourself out of their world you have just cut out possibly the only advocate for your values in their community.

With that being said you need to make sure that if you're going to be the advocate for a cause you're doing so in an inclusive way. If you go on a hateful rant that separates you from those who disagree with you you've just now left no opening for them to come over to your side or to adopt your values. Change is really hard and you cannot change someone by trying to first hurt their ego, you need to be inclusive about it. To put it in perspective, it's really difficult to want to join a club when all of the members of the club are giving you dirty looks, calling you names, and think they're better than you. Keep this in mind.

Why I care

The reason why I care so much about how you're arguing is because I really, truly want solutions to start being discussed and dissected. I don't believe the solutions have been thought of yet and with the way I've been seeing people talk to each other after the election results, it doesn't look like any are in the near future. I do have faith though that if we shift the conversation to what we're going to do about the problems that are facing each and every community instead of who to blame for the problems then we will see real and positive change.

 

 

How to Change the World by Changing How You Give

With the holidays rapidly approaching, I found this topic inspiring. In this post I am going to address not only what you can give people that will make you feel good about yourself, but also why you need to first change your mindset and view of how you're currently giving.

Giving shouldn't be about you

We've all seen the Grinch, right? Well I'm not going to rant about the meaning of Christmas to you, but this is the season for gift giving, although these methods should be applied to birthdays and anniversaries as well. If we really get down to the bottom of it the 2 main reasons you are giving gifts is out of social obligation and guilt. Society has told you giving is just what you do on these holidays so you must. Or you give to make yourself feel better about the lack of time you spend with someone, or to feel like a good person, or even because you would feel guilty not giving after receiving a gift. This is all wrong and I'm asking you to open your mind to the idea that gift giving should not be about you, it is always about the receiver.

The problems

Giving to make yourself feel better is like therapy shopping. It's super unhealthy, expensive, wasteful, and to be quite frank, it's pointless. Do you really think all of those hot pink (when anyone who really knows me knows I hate pink) socks I got for Christmas from extended family that I always ended up donating were given with me in mind? No. They wanted to feel better about the fact that they don't spend time with me, while also checking me off of their list of people society said they had to buy a gift for. Don't be this person. Don't buy into materialistic happiness, it's false and empty and there are much better things to spend your money on that I'll get to at the end.

I would also like to point out that I am a minimalist (you can read why here). Therefore I fundamentally believe that buying stuff is one of the quickest ways to make this world a worse place. If you want to make this world a better place you need to be mindful of every purchase because with your dollar you're voting for a cause you believe in.

Also, consumerism is just so bad for the environment that you're destroying the world by buying, and especially by buying new. Every single thing you buy had to be made with materials that were likely made in a way that hurts the environment, then are probably put together with slave labor, then shipped to the U.S. which uses fossil fuels and adds to the already immense pollution problem. Plus it has to be packaged, most likely with plastic, which adds even more pollution. Plus it all ends up in a landfill eventually. The point of me telling you this isn't to depress you, but rather to help put it in perspective that if you want to spend money to buy happiness for another person there are much more long lasting, more fulfilling ways to do so that can also help to change the world.

What to give instead of stuff

Experiences

I always try to give experiences instead of stuff for any gift-giving occasion. For example, for my sister's 16th birthday I got her concert tickets to see our favorite band together. Not only was this not a gift out of guilt for not spending time with her, I instead used it as an opportunity TO spend time with her. Another example would be a few years ago I got my family tickets to ride The Polar Express. We were living in Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon Railway turns into the Polar Express for the holidays. It was so much fun and memories are really the gifts that keep on giving.

Donations

This one is huge if you actually want to make the world a better place instead of just not making it worse like the examples above did. You can give donations to charities in the name of someone else. Personally, if for Christmas my family decided to donate to any of these charities that are helping Syrian refugees instead of giving me a present I would be so thrilled. I have more than I need to survive and there are so many in this world who don't. Also, another tip would be to make donations for your super-stubborn hateful family members and they'll get a thank you card in the mail from the charity. I for one am planning to donate to the Natural Resources Defense Council for my extended family that doesn't believe climate change is real.

Charity Navigation is a great site to help you decide which one you chose to donate to. They have lists for every charity on how they spend their donations and which ones are in the most financial need. They're also trying to start #DonationTuesday as the counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Your time

I can already feel a lot of you thinking "well I give socks because I don't have a lot of money and they're inexpensive so you should be grateful I gave you anything". I understand this concept, I really do. If money is tight, or heck even if it's not but you're so busy out there making money that you're never really present with your loved ones, then give your time. Just spend time with the people who love you. If they're expecting a gift then remind them it's time to watch the Grinch and It's A Wonderful Life and probably a documentary about the current crisis in Syria. You also can and should volunteer to make the world a better place. Have a soup-kitchen Christmas where you all donate your time and serve meals to those who need it most. For everyone who is so scared for the future of this country right now, this is how you'll change what course it's on. Again this goes for other holidays, too. I'm trying to plan for my birthday next year for my circle and I to participate in Habitat for Humanity.

When it's okay to give stuff instead

If a person has what they need to survive, they don't qualify in needing materialistic things. However, there are lots of people who do need things. If you, for example, love extreme couponing for the holidays and door buster sales, etc, then great! Donate what you're buying to a shelter, or ship it to disaster relief programs, or to our soldiers over seas. Where I work there is a very large homeless population so I keep goody bags in my car to give out with items like protein bars or whatever snacks I can get super cheap, tampons, thermal blankets (you can buy these in bulk for less than $1 each), and a printed card with the number and information for NAMI, a charity that offers mental illness treatment to vulnerable communities.

And if you simply MUST give, like say for a White Elephant or something similar then give something they can use. Get some coffee from a local roaster, or a bottle of wine, or something similar. Give them something they need or something they can use that would replace something they would buy themselves. If I got a bottle of Pino Nior for Christmas in a White Elephant I'd be stoked, but if I got a reindeer gag gift that poops chocolate sprinkles... not so much.

Make traditions more important than the gifts

So my family is a good example of this I think. We still gave more presents than I would have liked, we were fortunate in that way, but when I look back on all of the Christmas holidays I've spent with them it's the traditions that stand out the most. These are how you build your community. Every year we dedicate a whole entire day just to baking Christmas cookies (my fav desserts in the world). We invite our friends over and everyone makes triple batches of their favorite cookie and everyone leaves with a sampler of all of the different cookies, with usually enough to bring to neighbors, coworkers, etc. This brings the most cheer to a community because if there's one thing we all have in common, it's a love for food. Other traditions my family participates in is driving through neighborhoods on Christmas Eve looking at the Christmas lights, there's a community that has a contest every year for best display and they offer hayrides through it so we do that, and we binge watch Christmas movies and decorate the tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I'm sure you have your own traditions you do with your family, but these are what Christmas is about. These are my favorite memories and the only things I look forward to during the holidays.

Santa PSA

I rant about this every single year during the holidays. I understand that Santa is an important tradition for many families and I'm not asking you to give that up. I AM however asking you to ONLY give ONE present to each child from Santa. There are so many children who do not live in a family as privileged as yours. It is not fair and not right for a child to think they were a bad kid because they got one sweater for Christmas while their friend at school got an XBox and 30 other toys. GIVING ISN'T ABOUT JUST YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. If you want to give a bunch of gifts, even though I've explained that they'd rather have an experience, then make them from you and just one from Santa. Okay, rant over.

How to break the news

So if this post has been at all convincing then you're going to need to tell those in your circle why they're not getting a physical, material gift this year. There are a few ways you can break it to them. First, you could simply send them this post so they, too understand what you now know. Second, you calmly explain to them that they already have everything they need and your love for them cannot possibly be explained in a gift, but rather your experiences, your time, and your gratitude. This is also a good time to bring up that love and support is not synonymous with consumption. Thirdly, if they're kicking and screaming you can still buy them an experience. As a child I would have loved to go on the Polar Express instead of getting the presents much like the socks I mentioned earlier. If my circle would have decided that they were all going to pitch in for tickets instead of buying socks, that would have been much more meaningful because quite frankly I could not tell you more than maybe 5 Christmas presents I received as a kid, but I can explain to you all of the experiences I got instead.

I know traditions are hard to break and I'm not saying throw all of your traditions away. I'm simply saying that if you replace some of your traditions with new ones that make memories you'll notice an improvement in your family dynamic. I'm constantly hearing how this country "just doesn't have any good, old-fashioned family values" and how that's what's wrong with it. If you truly believe that, or at least believe it's important, then changing how you give really could change the world.

 

Minimizing Your Life - Not Just Your Closet
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But start with your closet...

Of course purging all of your crap is important and in fact you should start with your closet. You should donate everything you do not absolutely need for survival or for inspiration. My best friend pointed out to me that your closet represents your life, and she's right. If you want a life that is filled with only your priorities and no excess that will waste your time then you need to make sure your closet represents that. Mine is a little extreme and represents my perfectionist personality since all of my clothes are color coordinated, and then further coordinated by style of clothing. This is not difficult for me to organize though, because I only have the clothes that I wear every day in my closet. My friend's closet on the other hand is the exact opposite where clothes are just lucky to be hung up in the first place and it is full of things she never wears, but won't donate. If you start your minimalist experiment with your closet then you can set up the rest of your life to follow suit.

Organized clutter is still clutter, so get rid of it.

Now move onto the important things...

Most likely once you have started with your closet you have probably found that now your whole house has been purged because it's so addicting to watch negative space in your house emerge. I do not want this entire post to revolve around how to minimize your stuff. Like I said, if you do not find inspiration or need it to survive, donate it. Use this as your first step to taking control of your life and being a badass. With that out of the way we can move onto the important things... minimizing your life.

Minimalism is not about having less, it's about making room for more of what matters

Start with your email...

This is a giant task for many people, especially those who constantly have 1,000 unread messages. This might take you an entire day, and that's totally fine, I promise you it will be worth it. You need to move every single email that is junk into your junk folder so you stop getting emails from them. This will cut the amount of emails you get by at least half.

Next you need to make folders to organize your email. Again, organizing clutter still means you have clutter in your life, so junk as much as you can. My labels are receipts, subscriptions, student loans, other bills, and graduate school. If I get an email that does not fit my 5 labels then I have to deal with it as soon as it comes into my inbox. To create a label simply click on your labels tab - and create new. P.S. If you already have a bunch out out dated labels, delete them and all the emails they have in them!

Next, create filters for your labels. Every single receipt I get goes directly into my receipt folder and is there for when I need it and when I'm ready to look at it. Same for all of the other emails that have a label assigned. To create a filter select the mail from your inbox that you want filtered to that label and go to More - Filter messages like these - and it will prompt you through the set up.

Move onto your social media...

Unfollow and unfriend everyone you don't know or are sick of in each of your social media outlets. The less people you follow or friend the less noisy your social media will be and the happier you will become. This does not include linkedin, you need as big of a network there as possible. This can also be a daunting task, but if you take it one outlet at a time I promise it isn't that crazy and quite frankly it feels good to prioritize people. AND TURN OFF YOUR NOTIFICATIONS! You do not need to look at Facebook every time someone likes your post. I do not even have Facebook as an app on my phone because it's a waste of precious time. I also do not have twitter for the same reason.

Also go through your Facebook posts, twitter posts, etc, and rid yourself of anything you have said that does not aid you in the creation of the image you want to be attached to you. You have to always be thinking about your brand and each and every social media post is apart of that brand so go through them with that in mind. One of my vices was Pintrest, I pinned anything I found remotely useful and it was getting out of control, I went and deleted all of my boards and recreated ones that fit my brand. This is super important!

Your computer...

This actually took me a long time. I had to go through old assignments from school and see what papers I wanted to keep or get rid of. Going through pictures took me almost a whole day in itself. Everything I absolutely felt I needed I put in Google Drive so I can never lose it even if something happens to my computer. There is virtually nothing on my computer now and it feels so great! This is an important feat once you complete it. Plus your computer will run so much faster because of all of the new added memory.

The hard part - your schedule...

My motto works for your schedule too. If it isn't going to provide you with inspiration or aid in your survival (such as your job that is paying for your food), or make you a better person then stop allowing it to use precious time. For example, once I cut out watching competitive cooking shows out of my life I suddenly had time to meal prep. Obviously this does not mean cut out all TV, but you definitely need to prioritize your life this way. Say no to people who are asking too much of you and begin to live mindfully.

Make a daily routine to start. Once you have it down you can stray from it, but start out planning your whole day down to the hour. Budgeting your time is extremely important and will help you to be more productive so long as you only spend time on the important things.

Spring clean your schedule, not your stuff.

The happy part - your budget

I'm not a psychopath I understand that budgets aren't usually happy. This one will be different however, I can promise you that. Guess what is about to happen with your budget? It's about to get BIGGER. Want to know why? Because you're about to stop buying crap! Yay! More money in your savings! You just purged your whole house, why would you go out and start buying more stuff to fill it with? That's regression. You're only buying survival items or items you absolutely love and will inspire you.

Really though, you need to sit down and see what you can cut out of your budget. If you're not prioritizing TV then you probably don't need that Hulu subscription and you definitely do not need cable television (although I keep Netflix for sick days when I want to binge watch shows and they have great documentaries). You will listen to more podcasts (that are free) instead of music because that's less time you will have to spend reading about that topic, so you probably don't need Spotify either. Once you realize you do not need so many luxuries you're going to have more money to spend on important things and it'll make you happier!

Other ways to save money and have less stuff: get a library card and check out books (since you should be reading every single day) or movies, they're free and you give them back when you're done, meal prep so you're not eating out and wasting food you let go bad because you didn't prepare it, start a worm composting bin so you don't have to buy fertilizer or waste uneaten food, switch all of your accounts to paperless to save trees and have less mail and while you're doing this you'll see what accounts you can close, and stop going to sale sections of the store unless it's on something you absolutely need to survive (like food).

Side note: Excel has budget templates, you just fill in your amounts and labels and it'll calculate your spending for you!

He who buys what he does not need steals from himself - Swedish Proverb

Tend to your mind like you tend to a garden

Push out the negative vibes from your life like weeds. Are there negative people in your life? Quiet them or push them out. Practice mindfulness. Keep your mind clear of distraction and free from anxiety. If you only allow the good in and push out the bad your mind will be as beautiful as a manicured garden (and I promise you'll sleep more efficiently as well). Read books that will fill you with inspiration and positivity. Practice the art of being content. Yes, our aim is to be happy, but that's not stable and it fluctuates too much to rely on it. Be content with having less stuff and your life in general and it'll keep you from worrying, which means more positivity.

Now bring in the positive vibes

When your house is only full of things you absolutely love, and you're only spending time on things that bring you inspiration, and your not stressed out about money, and your social media life becomes quieter, I promise you the good vibes are going to flow. Your priorities are going to become clear to you because your mind is going to have room to think, plan, and categorize what is important and what is not.

To close...

Minimalism is a lifestyle so you need to make sure you're ready for it before you begin this challenge. It will be very overwhelming for you if you keep buying stuff and you keep purging, plus it's a waste of your time. If you're sentimental to your stuff then you need to seek therapy and see why that is because it has been proven to be unhealthy and a side effect of serious trauma. Minimalism is a lifestyle shared by those who have their priorities in check and are usually more successful and happier than their peers living in giant houses full of stuff.

 

 

How to be a Badass Bitch Who Gets Shit Done

Pardon my french... but actually don't because I'm not sorry for it. I suppose the weaker version of this post would be "how to be a well functioning adult who has their life together", but it doesn't have the same punch. So anyways... I'm not an expert on this topic, yet, but I do spend a lot of time on self development and have always just had a knack for getting my life together. So here are my tips that if you follow somewhat religiously, I promise you that you will be the most badass version of yourself.

Exercise!

If there was only one tip that I could give you to be successful, this is the one. I don't care what excuse you have, badass bitches are not lazy. If you do not want to get off of your butt and exercise then you do not want to be the best version of yourself and you can stop reading this post right now. And I am not telling you to exercise to lose weight, that is just a pleasant side effect of working out, I am telling you to because you will feel strong, motivated, and ALIVE. You will gain the confidence held by all badasses because you're going to feel good about yourself and you're going to prove to yourself that you are disciplined enough to get your freaking life together.

TIP: Running is the most efficient form of exercise and it's free, end it with some cool down yoga and a protein shake and then move onto the other steps.

Stop eating garbage!

Seriously, I'm not going to tell you that you need to throw out your chocolate and eat kale, but stop treating your body like a garbage pit. Badass bitches hold themselves to a very high standard and they not only take responsibility for their actions, they OWN it. Yes for breakfast I have an organic boiled egg and green smoothie because I'm fucking worth it. I'm worth so much more than cereal or McGag-me sandwiches. And don't you dare try to tell me a McGriddle just "tastes so good". No, actually, it really doesn't. You want to know what's better than a processed piece of trash? Knowing that you're going to be able to succeed and make something of yourself because you're giving your brain actual food that it can use to think of clever ways to get ahead. Stop allowing yourself to eat mediocre food, badass bitches are not mediocre.

Stop apologizing!

If I hear one more girl say "I'm sorry" when a man walks into her I'm going to lose it! Stop apologizing for things we all know you're not sorry for! You gave someone room-temperature coffee? Do not apologize they can get their own damn coffee. Someone wants to go to a club and you want to stay home and be introverted? Sick, just tell them that and don't apologize for it. Apologizing is basically the same thing as lying to avoid hurting someone's feelings and it WILL lead to codependency. If you are not genuinely sorry for something you have done or said do not apologize. And then when you say your sorry it'll actually mean something.

Side hustle!

Badass bitches do not have only one goal in life, unless that goal is to be badass. You need to have multiple projects going on because the world needs help and most of all it needs you to work on it, whatever that means. For example, I work full time, maintain this blog, just started a podcast, I'm completing a 2 year graduate program in 1 year and starting a non-profit... and I plan on writing books, and probably 70 other projects because I'm ambitious. A common theme here amongst powerful women is they do not settle. If the only thing in my life was my full time job I would be so depressed and would probably also be addicted to TLC shows about morbidly obese people because I would be looking for inspiration. Don't be that person, be a badass bitch who has projects going and is constantly trying to be even more successful. Badass bitches are financially independent and that means it's a clever idea to have back up incomes just in case you lose one.

Be a feminist!

Personally, I don't even believe this is really a thing, you're either a feminist or your sexist. With that said... be an assertive female who acts just as a badass man would and stop allowing people to treat you differently based on your gender. Stop letting men (or anyone for that matter) interrupt you, bump into you, yell at you, or do anything that treats you as lesser of a human being. Example: you do not need to "smile" and look friendly at all times, RBF is not a thing, men do not walk around smiling either.

Discover yourself!

Over and over and over and over again. You know what is the best superpower? Having complete control over your self esteem. If you know that you're a strong, independent woman who is beautiful, takes care of herself, is healthy, and is a productive member of society, nobody can hurt your ego. Nobody can make you feel like any less of a person than you do now because you know exactly who you are and what you're worth and nobody can take that from you. To get to this stage you need to be in love with yourself. Obviously this does not mean you need to be a narcissistic asshole, but you do need to love who you are and who you're trying to be. That positive self image will be your superpower. So get to know yourself and work on the parts you don't like so you can be the best version of yourself.

Go for it!

If you want to do something then find a way to do it. If you want to travel then find a way. Make a budget and stick to it and live your dream. Literally anything is possible if you take the time and effort to make it possible. For example, I wanted to start a non profit so guess what? I researched how to and I'm in the process of starting it with a whole support system behind me ready to help when I need them. Just do it.

Ask for help!

You're not an island. Life is so much easier when work is divided. People are going to surprise you with how willing they are to help you with whatever you need. I needed someone to take photos for this blog because I don't have a lot of time for that particular task, so I asked my sister and she's been an amazing site model. And the more successful you become the more people you'll have volunteering to help you. If you need a work out buddy, or advice on something, reach out to someone who seems to have it together. Build your community. Badass bitches are badass because we stick together and lift each other up.

Read!

AT LEAST 30 minutes per day. Read self help books, business books, fiction, non fiction, whatever! Your vocabulary will improve. You're going to be more interesting because you're going to have more to talk about. Your thought process is going to become more well rounded. You can tell the difference between a person who reads and a person who watches E! News for current events. It makes a difference. Also, listen to podcasts on your commute instead of always listening to the radio. They are a much more productive use of your time (not that I don't also love music...)

Stop settling!

Stop having shitty food, shitty coffee, shitty sex, shitty relationships, shitty friends, shitty drinks, and a shitty life. You are an amazing person who deserves to be surrounded with amazing experiences. (This does not mean blow your cash on expensive tequila btw). What I mean is... do not drink if you cannot afford to drink the good stuff. You need to be at home working on your side hustles if you're in that situation. Do not have a relationship if it is not going to make you the best version of yourself. Stop allowing mediocre things into your life or that's what you're going to be.

Be proactive!

When your alarm goes off in the morning GTFO of your bed. Get your morning routine down so you are at your most productive state throughout the day. Get your evening routine down so you can go to bed and sleep efficiently as well as have an easier morning routine. Organize your thoughts and plan out your time (I like bullet journals, but do whatever works for you). Do you really think Beyonce is hitting her snooze alarm in the morning? No. Do you think she's having a caramel frappacino and a McGriddle for breakfast? No. She's eating like the Queen she is because she knows that's how you are at your most productive state. Stop making excuses for yourself and get your life together.

PSA: A great app is the sleep cycle app if you don't have an apple watch or fitbit. It will track your REM cycles and wake you up at the end of a cycle so you're not jolted awake in deep sleep. I'm not a morning person so this app is the only reason I can get out of bed without hitting snooze.

Use self care!

And although face masks and pedicures are versions of self care, they are not really what I mean. I mean take care of yourself. Go to the dentist, the doctor, get your oil changed, and do the adult things in your life that aren't super fun, but WILL make you feel better. I feel so relaxed after I've given my car an oil change, bath, and good vacuum. I feel like I can take on the world after that. Self care means taking time to do things that will take stress out of your life. 

Say no!

If you're overworked then tell your boss no. If you do not have enough free time for the things you want to do then tell your friends and your family no. This is critical. You need to make sure your pitcher is full before you can pour into other cups. It does not make you a bad person, it makes you an aware, assertive person and people will respect you for it. 

Be a good fucking person!

Badass bitches are NOT stuck up snobs who think they're better than everyone else. You have an obligation to be a productive and decent member of society. Badass bitches recognize this and they fight for this and they're a beacon of light in a very dark world filled with shitty relationships, shitty alcohol and shitty people. Your success is not about just you, it's what you can do with your success. I want power so I can help people with it, not because I'm a power hungry egomaniac. Educate yourself before you have opinions on political issues, or really any issues, and be that breath of fresh air everyone is craving.

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How To Have A Healthy Relationship With Your Roommate

There are many important, yet unpleasant, conversations you will need to have with your roommate/roommates. Knowing how to handle certain situations is critical to a harmonious relationship.

As soon as you move in, discuss boundaries.

Boundaries are incredibly important for many reasons that I have explained here. If you want until your top pet peeves happen to talk about them, you’ve already risked an unpleasant encounter. You should talk about your habits within the first week of moving in. I, for example, mentioned how I’m a light sleeper, I need sleep on week nights because I wake up early, and I’m very clean. Those are my top three bug-a-boos and I made sure to let my roommates know them ASAP. This prevented an unpleasant “turn down the TV I’m trying to sleep” conversation.

Don’t be ridiculous, though

Yes, you need to tell your roommates your pet peeves, but you’re not a dictator and they need to be able to live their lives. For example, yes I need to sleep and I’m a light sleeper, but if you want to have a raging party on a Friday night when I don’t have to wake up early the next morning, that’s totally fine. It’s your space, too. Yes, I’m extremely clean, but if you leave some dishes in the sink and it’s bothering me then I’ll do them. I expect you to be reasonably clean, but not Type-A, so if I want the space cleaner than reasonable, I’ll clean it myself. You do have to compromise on some things.

Be assertive, not passive aggressive

If something your roommate is doing is bothering you, do NOT be passive aggressive. I promise it will lead to resentment and weaken your relationship. If you want them to take out the trash because they never do you do not say “if you wanted to take out the trash once in a while that would be cool”. No no no. Instead you say “I know you’re super busy, but I’ve noticed our trash can fills around twice a week so if we could each take out the trash once a week I’d really appreciate it”. There, that was easy. No defense will go up because you didn’t imply that they’re lazy or dirty for not taking out the trash. Actually, you even acknowledged how busy they are and gave them sympathy (which is one of the quickest ways to win a person’s approval btw). Being assertive in general is super important and there is a great resource that explains how to be assertive here.

Be nice (shocker)

For real. This applies to getting anyone to like you. Genuinely care about them. Pay attention to their moods and when they happen. Ask your roommate about their day and let them talk about themselves when you know they’re in a talkative mood. When they complain, sympathize with them. Like I said, sympathy is something every human craves so giving it to them will make them like you. If they like you, then they will go out of their way to be accommodating. They will also not be quick to jump to anger when you ask them to change something or do something. Think about it. Would you rather have your best friend tell you that you’re being too loud or a stranger?

Be considerate

Be the change you wish to see in the world. No, but really. Be as clean as you want them to be. Keep the noise at the level you would want it. When they tell you to change habits, like do the dishes more, do it. And then they’ll also feel inclined to do the same. Monkey see, monkey do.

And remember…

The only person you can comfortably live with is yourself. If you’re doing all of these things, setting boundaries, being assertive about your feelings, being nice and considerate, then you’re probably going to have a great relationship with your roommate. If you’re doing all of these things and your roommate is still ridiculous, you should probably look for a new place to live because your piece of mind is more important than your location.

4 Reasons Why Boundaries Are Important and How To Implement Them

What is one thing every happy and successful person has in common? They set boundaries. Here’s why you need boundaries and how to implement them in your life.

1. Boundaries prevent you from being taken advantage of

This is extremely important for your happiness. Think to the last time you were taken advantage of. How did it feel? Horrible right? If you set standards for how you allow people to treat you they will respect you more. It’s really difficult to take advantage of a person who does not allow you to take advantage of them (obviously...)

2. Boundaries keep your self esteem high

If you do not allow others to make fun of you or make you feel bad then your self esteem will stay high. When people aren’t taking you for granted you feel better about yourself. Self-respect is going to feed your self esteem and you’ll be thanking me when you’re happy and surrounded by positivity.

3. Boundaries strengthen your personal relationships

If you allow people to walk all over you, you are going to resent them. By clearly defining what you will allow and not allow in your life you’re not setting your relationships up to fail. You cannot expect people to read your mind. If you do not show that you’re hurting then it is not fair to the person hurting you, how could they know? Setting boundaries will allow for trust to be built. Your partner or friends or family can trust that the emotions you’re showing are real.

4. Boundaries prevent abuse

Mental abuse is not always as easy to pinpoint, especially in romantic relationships, as physical abuse. If you have set up boundaries and notice that a person is constantly ignoring them, it is probably a good sign that they need to leave your life. That is a sign of abuse and you will be happier without that negativity, believe me.

How to implement boundaries:

  1. You need to clearly define what boundaries you want to set in your life. Do you want people to know they cannot ask you for money? Perhaps you hate when people talk about dieting around you. Maybe you would prefer if your family stayed in a hotel instead of your home. Write these down and put some real thought into them.

  2. If you’re having trouble use the “list 5 things method“. List 5 things you want people to stop doing to you, such as ignoring you. 5 things to stop saying to you, such as “you always give up”. And 5 things you want people to stop doing around you, such as gossiping about colleagues.

  3. Own it. You have a right to every single boundary you want to set and you need to be confident in each one. If you allow the boundaries to be crossed then you are losing respect and happiness simultaneously.

  4. At first those already crossing your boundaries are going to object. Remember to always stay calm, explain them as simply as possible, be responsible of your emotions, and if you need to compromise you can, as long as it feels right.

 

P.S. The best part of implementing boundaries is that it will ward off manipulators. Your life will soon only consist of well-meaning relationships.