The February Slump 2018

Hi friends!

It’s been a bit, I know. 

Today I would like to talk about the February Slump. I know you know what I’m referring to.

You know that point in the new year where you start to slack off on all the goals you set out to accomplish this year. 

I knew this time would come. January was a month of making changes, and making lists, and plans for a better future. Putting things into motion and action. 

Then once February came, I started noticing myself slacking. Going to bed late, not reading/writing everyday. My daily goals getting distracted by life and the day to day. 

Overall, January was pretty great for me. I felt like I was forming a routine, and working out consistently, taking my vitamins, drinking a lot of water, carving out a day within the week to work on each of my big goals for the year. [SEE HERE by reading my- January 2018 Update]

But came February and a few late nights, family functions, and busy times and I started slacking. My goal was not to get angry with myself when this happened but to pick myself back up and hop back onto the routine I’ve started to create, improving it and crafting it as I go along. And that’s what I’m hoping to do this week. Thankfully I am on winter break and I can strive to plan things a little better. However, why is it that it’s only Monday and I already feel like the week is over. There’s so much I want to do, clean, research, make time to see friends and family. You know what they say, there’s never enough time in a day. 

I just need to get myself back on track and learn to balance my time to include my dreams, my goals, and my inspirations with my family and my friends, work, (tv shows, because #TVJunkie) and a social life. 

Balance is key. And that is what I need to build on in order for all of this to work. Life is a balancing act. Summers become Winters. Christmas becomes Easter in the blink of an eye. And before you know it, the goals you set out to accomplish in that year, are rolled over into the next.

This year I want that to change. I want inspiration, change, and determination to run through my veins. Change? Michelle, you want change? What? You hate change. No you don’t, your just scared of it.

Change is a scary word. But not all change is bad. And I think I’m starting to realize that in order for my dreams to come true I’m going to have to let change in. I want to take action. Take control over my life. There are things I always put on hold, things I just don’t force myself to do, habits that come and go. I let life lead me, rather than the other way around. And then I mentally scold myself for not accomplishing my goals.  

So…this year I’ve started to implement the necessary changes I need to do in order to reach my goals. Granted, it’s a slow climb. I’m definitely a work in progress, and I’ve definitely had my days/weeks where I’ve slacked off. The important thing is to acknowledge the slump and work towards moving past it. I know I shouldn’t beat myself up over it, because that’s not going to help me. And I can’t go back in time and change it. Getting down over it and scolding myself will only make me feel bad which in turn will hinder my motivation starting a vicious cycle and I don’t want that. So time to focus, time to revamp, time to balance.

Keep going girl, you got this! 

-<3-

*I do not take credit for any images used.*

 

 

 

January 2018 Update.

Hi friends!

How are those new year resolutions coming this January?

Surprisingly, I’m doing quite alright for this first month of the new year. Not perfect, but way better than I usually do. 

By now, I probably would have given up on things and accepted that they just wouldn’t happen. 

But this year, I don’t know- I just feel a little more motivated to schedule time for the things I feel are most important to me. 

I talk a lot more about my planning process for this year, in this blog post- you can read more HERE

This month I’ve been trying to implement a few new things into my weekly schedule to better my life and work toward achieving my main goals for 2018. 

For example…

I use my planner and then I have a yellow memo pad that I use for my daily/weekly to do lists.

So the first week of January was all about recovering from holiday stress and planning things out. I was researching a few things and getting ready to make some changes this month/this year. 

January 8th-12th 

Back to using apple cider vinegar.

-I’ve heard the many health benefits to having a glass of water infused with apple cider vinegar. I know you’ll read or hear mixed things. But my cousin’s a nurse and I spoke to her before starting this. She recommended Bragg’s Organic Unfiltered (with the mother)- it has a bright yellow label, that’s the purest one. I pour a glass of water, add two capfuls of the vinegar, add a splash of apple juice, mix and drink. The juice is just to soften the rough taste of the vinegar. 

Start waking up earlier- 9:30 AM. 

-My job has a later start so I was able to get up at like 10:30 every morning, but I wanted to start changing that and get up earlier so I can have more time to do things. I used to just wake up and get ready and have to rush out the house. I didn’t make use of my time wisely. 

Work out every week day morning- Monday-Friday.

-So I’ve been wanting to work out consistently for so long. I started in the Summer and tried sticking to a 3 day routine and it worked for like 2ish weeks and then something happened to distract my schedule and I just stopped and never went back. So this time I wanted to do something that targeted the areas I want to make a change in. So I found this blogilates video and built up from there. If a workout is too long or I have to stay focused on a video, I won’t do it. So this video hits specific areas and it’s short- can’t beat that!

Make my bed every morning [I let it slide on the weekends ;)]

-This just helps tidy things up. And makes my room neater. 

Remember to take my vitamins every morning, (Vitamin D3, and Iron)

-I know everyone takes different supplements, but these are the ones my doctor recommended me taking. 

*Tip: Iron pills used to really hurt my stomach, so now I take slow release tablets instead and it makes all the difference. 

Drink lots of water

-Try infused recipe- blogilates on YouTube has a good one that I tried recently…

I don’t mind drinking plain water, but sometimes I’ll buy some fruit to spruce it up every now and then.

January 15th-19th

I carried over all my habits from the previous week, but began adding a few new things. 

Wake up at 9AM

-I want to start making the most out of my hours, so I’m slowly increasing my wake up time. Because if I do it all at once, I’m sure to hit that snooze button, and roll over. 

Add to workout

– I added a bit of an extra crunch routine. Again slowly building up my work out routine, little by little. I’m not one to workout consistently so I know my body won’t be able to just jump in full throttle, and I won’t enjoy it.

Write more

-Mostly refers to my blog posts schedule- Mondays & Thursdays. But my writing time in general will grow too!

Research 

-This refers to a few things-Wedding related things for my best friend’s wedding, career planning, wellness, etc. 

January 22nd-26th

I carried over my habits from the prior weeks.

Go to bed earlier.

-I realized I wanted to start getting up at 8:30 AM now, so I realized I would have to go to bed by 12:30 AM in order to allow a good about of sleep. I push it til 1/1:30 here and there, because well I’m a night owl and sometimes I just can’t go to bed early. And it’s been okay for me.

Wake up at 8:30 AM

Read before bed

-I have been wanting to read more for as long as I can remember but I always find other ways to use my time. But I’m trying to incorporate it into my routine this year, even if it’s just like 10 or 15 minutes before bed. Currently I am reading, BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert. 

Add to workout

-I added some stretching and my simply fit board. 

^ Yes I have one of these! 😉 I will usually throw on a fun song and just swivel around for a while. And let me tell you, you will feel it! 

Eat healthier

-I’ve been trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, but I don’t deprive myself either. If I want a donut, I’m going to eat it. But I definitely want to just keep striving to make healthier eating choices. 

**A few of the things I have on this week’s list, I had on last week’s list and I didn’t get to implement them, so I moved them to the next week. I didn’t just forget about them. That’s what I’m trying to work on- my mindset. If I don’t get to it one week, that doesn’t mean all is lost. As a list maker, I can really put pressure on myself to finish everything, and it becomes like a stressful race to get it all done. I end up sacrificing time with family or friends or quality of what I’m doing. I know I write this super crazy lists and then mentally scold myself for not doing the 20 things on the list in two days. We cannot do that to ourselves. Write the long list, but then make a smaller, more important list. Things you really know you want to get done and work on getting those done above all else.

Schedule of important things.

-I’ve been trying to pick a day to work on each of the important goals I want to accomplish this year. And I came up with this schedule this week and am hoping to carry it over.

Monday– Bulk Blog (Write blogs for the week, post Monday blog and post to social media accounts.) Get all my supplies ready for work week- make copies, do research, etc.

Tuesday– Work on writing projects!

Wednesday– Career Planning and Research.

Thursday– (Post Thursday blog and post to social media accounts) Wedding Shower/Bachelorette Party Research for my best friend.

Friday & Saturday– Time with Friends/Family.

Sunday– Church/Family time (Sundays are usually the day I spend time with my new little baby niece! She’s just like pure sunshine! I’m so obsessed!) Self-care (grooming, mani/pedi/facial mask, etc.) Food shopping.

**Granted this schedule is tentative, it worked for the most part, but it’s not always going to work as it is written. Sometimes my pamper time will end up on a Monday, or my blog will take longer to write and need an extra day. As long as I get to stick to my M-F schedule as best I can, I try to let myself breathe on the weekends. 

January 29- Feb. 2 -Current Week-Just Starting!

Continue those habits!

Write more.

-I want to write a little something everyday.

Make use of my morning free hour.

-After my workout, I usually have an hour before I have to start getting ready for work, so I usually will work on a writing project, or do some research, or in today’s case- write a blog!

Research weights/and workout videos using weights.

-I know I need to expand my workout routine and include some arm workouts.

Look into buying new workout clothes.

-Why are workout clothes so expensive???

Make plans with family and friends I haven’t seen in a while. (For the weekend)

Add to workout

-Added some more stretching time, and some push-ups on Monday.

-I want to add full crunches too. 

 

So that’s my January 2018 so far!

I’m super happy with my progression from week to week, and I am going to try to keep pushing myself. Forcing myself to update you at the end of each month. 

The only thing I wish I could do differently is not be so consumed by this schedule or these lists. I feel like I get tunnel vision and then I don’t get to be in the moment with my friends or family. I throw myself into a determined isolation. I’m hoping it’s only because it was the first month of trying to build a routine and that once I get it down I won’t feel so crazed. I don’t want to ignore the moments around me. It’s a balancing act, and that’s going to be something I know I need to work on. 

Cheers, to a happy, healthy week! 

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Inspiration and Planning Ideas

I’m a planner and I love to know what’s ahead of me. Granted, I realize that’s not always possible, but having some vague plan in mind, tends to lessen my anxiety so I go with it.

I recently bought myself a new planner. Nothing fancy, as much as I love how they have all the stickers and the sticky notes and all that, I just don’t think I would actually use them. So I just went to my local Walgreens and picked up a Blue Sky, monthly/weekly planner. 

When I start to plan for the new year, the first thing I like to do is reflect on the year that just passed. As you can see in my- 2017 Memory Jar Review post.

I go back through my memory jar, my instagram posts and my blog posts and see what I accomplished. I also review my goals list and check off the things I accomplished, and narrow in on the things I still want/need to work on, or continue to implement. 

img_1114

Because even if I did accomplish a specific goal in 2017, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t carry over into 2018. For instance like personal growth- and working on my anxiety, that’s a goal that’s on going, bettering my mental and physical health is always a goal every year, as it should be. 

After I reflect, I review my old goal list, and check off, or add to it. And then eventually I’ll probably make a new list. 

After that I will look at the many many things on my list and realize that it is VERY overwhelming!

So this year I’ve decided that from that big list I will pick 4-8 things that I want to ABSOLUTELY accomplish this year. And so that way my brain knows what it needs to focus on. Categories can help- so for instance- Health/Self-care, Relationships, Career.

After that, this is where my planner comes into play. 

I like these planners (Blue Sky) because they have the monthly calendar and then the weekly where you can write in things per day.

However in hindsight, I usually end up needing more space, no matter what. So I’ll either use post-its or a separate sheet of paper/notebook or notepad for daily To-Do Lists or if something I’m working on needs a little more planning. 

I’m debating getting just a desperate notebook for To-Do Lists, because I feel like I make them so often, I end up with all these sheets of paper all over. So we shall see. 

It’s only January, things are definitely going to change as we go along.

I’ve started to do like weekly to do lists, and goals, and also I think eventually I may try monthly. Let’s be real January is a total hangover month. I’m still on 2017 time, so everything is trial and error at this point for me.

And that’s totally okay, because you don’t need a new year, to make a change. I kind of feel like I implemented some new things into my life last year around fall time, because I felt inspired to do so with the new school year starting up again. So you can always renew, revamp, and reflect. There are no rules. 

Last year I said my “mantra word” was CHANGE, and ALOT changed around me, and I adapted and am continuing to do so, and although I feel I made some changes for myself too, I want to continue to grow and change on my own this year as well. However, I’m going to add another word to my mantra this year and that is DETERMINATION. There are certain things I want to do, that are big, BIG CHANGES I want to make in my life, and in order to do them, I’m going to need that fire, that determination. So I’m going to aim to up that factor in my life this year, because let’s be real, we all get in our lazy funks. It’s winter after all, and there’s a huge snow storm outside. So nothing says “it can wait til tomorrow…” more. But here I am trying to stick to my Monday/Thursday posting schedule anyway, while the tv is calling my name- waiting for me to catch up on all the shows I’ve missed over the past few weeks. Determination, Michelle, DETERMINATION.

Another thing I find that inspires me is looking up videos on YouTube. Some of those ladies make the most inspirational planning videos! And they just give you the pep you need to get planning.

I’ll link a few below, that I’ve watched this year for inspiration. I’ve definitely pulled from them when doing my planning.

I also like to have a visual to display so that I can see it. I never shared last years with you-(it was just a bunch of fun images with the word CHANGE), but after a while, it ended up getting buried in a corner of my room when I was reorganizing, but it’s back up and I’m going to add one near it to display images of my 2018 MAIN GOALS and the word DETERMINATION! 

vision board 2018

***

So to review the steps I use to plan:

Step 1: Reflect on the past year

Step 2: Review 2017 Goal List/Write a New One

Step 3: Narrow Goals Down (to the most important you want to focus on)

Step 4: Buy/Use a planner/To-Do List (to keep track of everything)

Step 5: Find inspiration (if you need help planning your goals)

Step 6: Choose your mantra word (the theme for your year)

Step 7: Create a vision board (to keep visible as a reminder of your goals for this year)

Step 8: Breathe & Believe in yourself ❤

MY MAIN BIG GOALS FOR 2018

*Get healthier- mentally/physically/emotionally

*Take the next step in my career

*Save money for my best friend’s wedding festivities!

*Get my permit/take driver’s ed (yes I know I’m way behind on this, in life- but hey I live in NY, technically- I don’t NEED to drive) 😉

*Work on relationships

*Self-publish a body of work (not on this blog, but elsewhere)

*Write my Pilot episode

Now that I have this locked down, I can go through and plan how to accomplish each one, step by step. I haven’t done that just yet, but…I will. The year is new, the year is young. 

Happy 2018! Now let’s crush it! ❤

Tell me how you plan for your year ahead in the comments below, and if you have any other YouTubers you find inspiring!

-<3-

*I do not take credit for the images used in my edit or otherwise.*

 

 

 

 

 

This one’s for all my To Do List Makers

Things to Do.

I’m a To Do List girl.

It helps me to visually see the things I need to get done on paper or in a memo in my phone.

However, even though I find them extremely helpful when trying to organize my life and get my shit together, the longer the list the more daunting it feels. The anxiety to get it all done is real. You feel like you won’t be able to get it done. And sometimes that can hinder any progress at all. It’s a weight on your shoulders. And your deadline to do these things becomes something you try to avoid. And procrastination rears its ugly head.

Why do we do this?

When January started, I came up with this idea to write out my mega long To Do List for reference, but then to make a smaller goal for each month. A sub To Do List if you will. Well, that lasted and worked for about a week and the lists got lost in the shuffle of life.

Lately I have been feeling a bit out of sync with the things I’ve been wanting to accomplish this year. I still make To Do lists but I just feel like the items continuously get pushed back to the next day’s list and nothing gets done. I know I’m not the only one who faces this problem, I know life happens and when you have crucial day to day things that need to get done and a job you need to plan and prep for, it’s hard to not let the ball drop every now and then.

But recently, I got out my mega To Do List, to regain focus and as I went through it, I realized how many things I have been doing and what I needed to still work on. It was incredible to see that even without the list in my face, my focus hadn’t completely left its rightful place.

Granted I still have a lot of work to do. But as someone who deals with anxiety and can sometimes feel overwhelmed by life and it’s ever changing ways and long strain of to do lists, I’ve found that I’m capable of so much more than I think I am. And I also realize that To Do List do inevitably work for me as an organization tool. Because when my mind is all over the place and there’s so much going on, I can’t trust my brain to remember everything. Writing it all down helps. There is a strange satisfaction that you feel, when you are able to work through your list and check things off one by one. It makes you feel productive, like you’re getting shit done.

So if you are in need of an organizational brain spring cleaning, start with a To Do List. Keep it short. Don’t make yourself anxious by trying to do everything in one day. I do that all the time and then I get discouraged when I can’t accomplish everything. When you break your list down to what’s most important, you will be able to see what can wait til the next day.

Trust me. To Do Lists. They work. Get it girl. Organize your life. 😉

 

* I do not own any images used. *

-<3-