Posts tagged productivity
Gratitude : The real secret to happiness, success and healthy relationships

Get ready for the best piece of advice I could give to anyone. The most important lesson I've ever learned is that gratitude should always be your number 1 focus. Here's why...

You'll be happier

Newsflash... happiness is not a destination. You can't book a flight to happiness and spend the weekend. If you want to be happy you need to be happy that you even get to focus on your happiness. You need to be GRATEFUL that you get to work towards a goal. You need to be GRATEFUL for all of the experiences, materialistic things, and lessons you have had throughout your life because they were blessings. Whenever I get pissed about something not going my way I look back to who I was in 4th grade... if I had no experiences I would still be that person and there is no way in hell I would rather hang out with my 4th grade self than the woman I am now. I'm thankful that I've had and will have the opportunity to grow. So now when something shitty happens in my life I can look at it as a lesson and say thank you to the universe for helping me grow. I have nothing to be sad about when I look at life that way leaving only room for happiness.

You'll be more successful

Because guess what? You're going to be grateful for your day and actually use all of it to its full potential. You're going to be grateful for any handouts, advice, help, or advantages that come your way and you're going to use them to help yourself be more successful. You're also going to be grateful that you received so much help and give back when you have the means, which builds you an army of loyal followers instead of enemies you stomped on to get where you are. You're going to be grateful for your success, you're going to thank the universe (or God or whatever you want to call it) and in return for your gratitude it'll supply you with more (I mean look at Oprah she can't give money away as fast as she earns it, but the flow of energy keeps in coming in).

You'll have healthier relationships

I'm not a relationship expert, but I do know that if someone does something for you and you don't say thank you, resentment will build and it'll leave a crack in your foundation. I literally say thank you for every single thing like letting me eat your leftovers or even just hanging out with me. I've never met anyone who ever said "I don't want to hang out with so-and-so because they're just so grateful for everything I do for them". I have, on the other hand, heard the opposite on multiple occasions. The more gratitude I get for doing things for other people the more things I want to do for them. I mean just be grateful that they're even in your life and watch how the relationship builds. BTW this includes romantic, familial, and platonic relationships.

Oh and...

you should be grateful regardless because if you're not you look like an asshole to anyone who has less than you do. Go stand in front of the kids living in landfills in Brazil and talk to them about how rough your life is because you got a speeding ticket WHILE SPEEDING. You're problems are only problems because that's what you've labeled them. I call them lessons or maybe even inconveniences, but my problems are not problems compared to 99% of the problems everyone else in the world has. Show some respect.  

 

 

 

Why Having Weaknesses Is A Good Thing

Self-esteem is a tricky thing. Something that I've noticed recently, though, is that everyone is so obsessed with focusing on their weaknesses because they see someone else who is better at it and they covet. I'm going to explain why you need to see having weaknesses as a GOOD thing.

Self Awareness

Most importantly... be grateful you can even see your own weaknesses. This means you have some level of self awareness. If you think you don't have any weaknesses you're delusional and it's going to stunt your growth. For those of you who know what your weaknesses are, great, good for you. I'm proud of you for internalizing your talents and realizing what you're not so good at. Keep doing this your whole life. Think of what comes easy to you and what you have to really force yourself to try to do.

Narrow Your Focus

Weakness help you to narrow your focus. You know that you're following your life's path when everything seems to come easy to you. For example... it is really difficult for me to be around dark, negative energy for long periods of time, so being a social worker probably isn't the best career choice for me. I know that taking on people's problems as my own is a weakness, and therefore I never pursued a career that would make me do that.

If you're starting a business you can recognize your weaknesses to outsource and do your strengths yourself. If you're great at design, but you're lost with programming, hire an IT person and stick to the design. Focus on your strengths and allow others to come in and beef up the weaknesses.

Stay Humble

Knowing your weaknesses is going to make you stay humble. Humility is such an underrated attribute. Not only are you going to be able to focus on your strengths to be more successful, but while you're doing it you're going to appreciate other people who's strengths are your weaknesses and nothing makes a person like you more than when you appreciate them. This isn't always everyone's biggest concern, but when I look around at the successful people who stayed humble, they're the ones who are not only successful materialistically, but they're leaving a legacy.

How To Change Your Life By Starting A Bullet Journal

I know the title of this post seems pretty dramatic, but starting a bullet journal changed my life for the better. I've been talking about bullet journals in my posts and podcasts so I feel like it's really only fair if I explain how to start one, why you need to start one, and give you a peek at mine for an example (examples always help me visualize the point of things).

My bullet journal looks like it's been beaten up pretty badly because it has... I bring it with me everywhere.

My bullet journal looks like it's been beaten up pretty badly because it has... I bring it with me everywhere.

What is a bullet journal?

After I graduated college my dad bought me a journal as a graduation present to write down the next stage of my life. I didn't know I was going to turn it into a bullet journal at the time, I just knew that I had a lot of planning to do so I started to use it for that. I was looking for ideas on pintrest and found out what I was doing was called bullet journaling. I'm not entirely sure what the proper definition of one would be, I would describe it as a customized life planner. The overall purpose of one is to plan your life, your entire life, or at least whatever portions of it you feel you need to write down.

Why start one?

If you're anything like me you have all of these ideas that you want to accomplish, but you're not really sure how to. Bullet journals are the vehicle to help you actually achieve your goals and become more productive. I'll list out my different pages later, but anything you want to learn, or accomplish, or track, you can keep it all in your bullet journal. PLUS if you're a creative, like me, outlining the different pages are my version of those adult coloring books that everyone is obsessing over right now.

A peek at my bullet journal

I think it'll be more clear if I show you pages from mine. You can click through a few of them below. I'm not going to show every page because that would be like taking pictures of a private journal and I'm just not ready for that yet.

I'm working on my 2017 bullet journal now and I decided I wanted grid lines to make charts easier. Here is a list of pages that my 2017 bullet journal will incorporate:

2017 goals, Places I Want To Go, Reading List, Spiritual Goals, Workout Tracker, Yoga Tracker, Meditation Tracker, Packing List, Gratitude Tracker, Savings Tracker, Daily Routine, Weekly Routine, Monthly Routine, Daily Goals, Weekly Goals, Monthly Goals, Blood Type Diet Foods (look into this if you haven't!), Gardening Planner, Trip Planner, Level 10 Life, Monthly Tasks, Budget, Bill Tracker, Non Profit Planner, Brain Dump, Dog Tricks, Self Care Ideas, Spiritual Journal, Podcast Ideas, Blog Post Ideas, Blog Goals, Challenges

Those are what I have so far at least, I'm constantly adding pages whenever I need to plan things.

Explanation of some pages

Level 10 Life: This page is honestly where you should start. You come up with 10 categories (you can see mine listed above) and then you write down your 10 goals for each category. I have at least one daily goal, one weekly goal, one monthly goal, one yearly goal, one 5-year goal and one 10 year goal for each category and the other three are fluid. The reason why this is crucial is because it is going to help you prioritize your goal so when you go to make daily, weekly, monthly, yearly tasks you can refer back to this page. For example, if your goal is to read one book per month then when you're writing your monthly goals you add "read one book" and since you know you're going to have to read every day for your daily goals you write "read 30 minutes". It takes your larger goals and forces you to narrow them down into daily tasks. Another example would be for one of my spiritual goals I have "become a yoga instructor in 5 years" so I will need to construct a timeline that breaks down what I have to do every year, every month, every week and every day to reach this goal in time.

Savings: To track my savings I make a rectangle with what I'm saving for written above it. I then calculate how much I am going to need and divide that amount by how many months are between now and the due date. I make a box for each month with the accumulated amount written in each box and when I go to do my budget for the month I know how much to extract. For example, If I need $500 in 5 months for a trip I'm planning, I make a rectangle with 5 boxes and "$100, $200, $300, etc" marked in each box. When I've saved the amount in the box I color it in.

Brain Dump: This page I use for all of the ideas that run through my head no matter how crazy. They go here if I'm not sure if I want to dedicate a whole planning page to them, but I don't want to forget about them either. A lot of the time they're just notes to myself like "do a photoshoot with grandma soon and write a post about her"... stuff like that.

Trackers: These pages are what keep me motivated. You can see my workout tracker in the slideshow above. In each square I marked A, B, C, or D and these correspond with a youtube playlist of workout videos (because for those of you who don't know I hate gyms and the commute to one and back is a waste of precious time). I like to work out at home or run, hike, etc. I just go to my tracker and look at the day I'm on, go to the corresponding youtube playlist, and click shuffle so I get a random workout. After I complete the workout I color in the square. When all the squares are colored in I get a massage. Easy peasy and I'm motivated to do it.

Trip Planner: I use this page to calculate every single detail of a trip I'm planning. I mostly do this so I know EXACTLY how much to save for. I plan for gas by mileage, hotel, meals, everything. It also helps the other people I'm traveling with so they know how much to save for as well and what we're doing, etc.

Index: It is super important to keep an index because you're going to have a lot of different pages and looking for each page is going to be a waste of time.

These are just a few of my pages... if you have any questions or want any explanation of the other pages comment below or message me on Snapchat, whatever works! I'd be happy to explain or send you a snap of my page.  I will also be writing future posts about bullet journaling because I really believe it is what ambitious, but overwhelmed people need to be successful.

 

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