Archive for June, 2014

07 jun

3 Purchases that Have Actually Improved My Life!

JennaSmithBeing a 20-something working girl, I lead a busy life–stress is part of the deal. Recently, I’ve been trying to work on my work-life balance by incorporating healthy techniques. I started maintaining a healthy diet and getting eight hours of sleep.

These changes were really beneficial. Regular exercise and stretching gave me an added boost too–but of all the changes I have made, there are 3 purchases I’m obsessed with and honestly could not live without:

1. Coffee Machine

I used to spend so much money and time in coffee shops it’s not even funny. Standing in line, frantically waiting for my overpriced latte while trying not to be late for work, was taking its toll on me.

So I decided to take the plunge and get a coffee maker and start making coffee at home. You would not believe how much this change has simplified my life, both monetarily and psychologically. Instead of forking over $5+ dollars, I simply pop in a cup and presto! My coffee is done within minutes. I do not have to wait in long lines and, because it’s so quick, I don’t have to worry about chatty customers making me late for work.

Since making the switch, I enjoy my coffee time at home and I don’t think I could ever go back to coffee shops for my morning java. My favorite perk of brewing coffee at home is that I do not add in all the unnecessary sugars and syrups that coffee shops use. Less calories and less money equals a win for me!

2. Massages

Working in the hospitality industry is a fast paced gig, which can be tough on my bones and joints. Most nights I come home totally exhausted and sore. Even though I started getting about eight hours of sleep a night, I would still wake up not feeling my best.

To better manage this problem, I started getting regular massages and this helped tremendously. That is, until I saw the bill. Keeping up with routine massages was incredibly expensive, so I opted for the next best thing: I looked up portable massage tables and bought one of my own. Getting my own massage table has allowed me to relax in the comfort of my own home.

3. E-Reader

After conversing and interacting with tons of people day in and day out, I need time to unwind and decompress. I have always had a love for reading and I try to get in a good book when I can.

To save on space in my apartment, I opted to get an e-reader. I checked out a bunch of options and decided to go with a Nook. I love my e-reader because it is specifically for reading. When I am on my day off or when I have a moment to myself, I plop down on my couch and read for hours. It helps me detox from my hectic schedule and restores my peace of mind. I can download books very quickly and I do not ever have to worry about having a million of books in my place. Plus, the battery life is great so I can get lost in books for a good period of time without having to worry about my device suddenly dying and interrupting my narrative flow.

I love my busy, on-the-go lifestyle. For me, it is fun keeping up with the hustle and bustle of my everyday life. With that being said, I know that I have to maintain my health both mentally and physically. Relieving the stress of depending on a coffee shop has helped me significantly both financially and emotionally.

No longer am I standing in long lines, yay! My portable massage table is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love to relieve all of the pressure that work and being on my feet brings. My stress level is at an all time low because of it too. Curling up on my couch with a good e-read is another favorite after-work activity of mine. These three purchases have changed my life for the better and are items that I surely do not want to live without.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on June 7th, 2014 in Diet and Fitness, General, Personal Stories | No comments

07 jun

It’s Never Too Late to Start Living the Life You Want to Live

JennaSmithFar too many people have a cynical outlook on life. They don’t think life is supposed to be anything special and, therefore, don’t expect much. These people might have had dreams and aspirations when they were younger but they got caught up in “real life,” and eventually those dreams fell away. Maybe those dreams were dismissed as “unrealistic,” and, instead, the cynics submitted to a life they thought they “should” be living based on the dictates of their families and society at large.

If you are not happy with the life you have now, please know that you have options. You don’t have to acquiesce and just accept things as they are. The time to make a significant change has not passed. It is absolutely still available to you.

If you are feeling the urge to turn things around, but are not sure how or where to start, here are a few tips that will hopefully help you make the changes in your life you have been seeking, whether those changes are in your personal or professional life.

Change the Way You Think

The life you are living now is likely largely based on the image that you have of yourself and the beliefs that you developed while you were growing up. Those beliefs are probably someone else’s (like your Mom or Dad) but you adopted them for yourself, after those beliefs were continually pounded into your head while you were growing up.

Guess what! Unlike your race, gender or DNA, beliefs and self-image are not unchangeable aspects of yourself. They are in your mind and aspects of the mind can be molded and even changed. Whatever good we believe is or will be true for us, we will always be more likely to tune into those things that seem to reinforce our negative beliefs about ourselves, and we will often mistake this for “proof” that this is, in fact, how things really are.

You can change your self-image. For example, right now you may see yourself as someone who is only capable of being a low-level employee because that is all you have ever been. The truth is that you can be more. To do that, you need to learn how to see yourself in a new light.

Here’s another example: You may think of yourself as someone who will always be overweight and will always fail at efforts to be thin, because that has been your experience so far. That can be changed too.

Do you know how to make these mental shifts? You make these changes by seeking out information that will help you make these changes. Try to find some personal development materials that resonate with you, whether those materials are books, articles or even YouTube videos.

Try to stay open to positive viewpoints, especially when they contradict long held self image issues. You will soon find that whatever you want to believe in or hope for really can be true for you. When you start believing in more positive things, you will notice more positive things in the world and, in turn, you will notice more positive things happening to you (and around you). When you change your thoughts you can change your whole world.

Steps You Can Take Right Now to Jumpstart This Journey

“Where we are now” and “where we want to be” can seem light years away from each other. This usually stops people right in their tracks and they give up before they have even started. Try your best not to think about all of that stuff. Just focus on now.

For example, if you have always dreamed about opening your own business, start looking for classes and seminars that are aimed at people like yourself, and sign up for one of them.

The point is that you should focus on taking some sort of step that will get you moving in the right direction. Don’t worry about figuring everything out right now—all of that will unfold in due time. Just commit to getting started. Do something right now, no matter how small it may seem.

You Will Feel Scared and That is Okay

Finally taking control of your life, and molding it to be what you actually want it to be is really exciting, but it can be really, really scary. It is important to understand that it is okay to be scared. A lot of us seem to think that the presence of fear, doubt or other negative emotions is the equivalent of a subconscious warning that we may not be making the right decision, but this is not true.

There are very few people in this world, if any, who are 110% confident in their decisions and proceed forward without any internal struggle. You are human. These feelings are natural. You can’t predict the future so of course you are going to wonder whether the outcome will be good. If you can accept these feelings as normal, you will be better able to deal with them. Try not to view them as something that “shouldn’t” be happening.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on June 7th, 2014 in Career, New Directions | No comments