You know when you’re busy trying to juggle a million things at once and somehow your health gets pushed wayyy down to the very bottom of your priority list? Yeah, it happens to us all (even those of us who try to be healthy on the regular). I mean, if I’m trying to write a blog post, finish a work project, AND keep up with everything else in life, I’m probably going to reach for a chocolate muffin over an apple #LetsBeReal.
Unfortunately, if we keep prioritizing everything else in the world above our health, it starts to take a toll on the quality of our work and life in general because we’re operating with sleepy brains, upset stomachs, and hangry attitudes.
I’m here to tell you that being healthy isn’t actually impossible, even if you’re a super busy person.
There are some simple mindset shifts you can implement that make it a whole lot easier to take better care of yourself, and you’ll start thinking about health and wellness in a slightly different way from all of those marketing scams you’re usually bombarded with (no LOSE WEIGHT FAST ads here, my friends). Here are the most important things to remember to when it comes to healthy living:
Ingredients are more important than calories.
The whole point of eating is to nourish your body and take care of a basic human need. Your body is not asking you for calories alone; it wants food that makes it feel good and satisfied. Counting calories can be helpful if you want to see how much you really are consuming, but it’s not the best measurement for your health. For example, a handful of almonds has 150 calories which is about the same as a can of Coke. Because the almonds contain healthy fats, protein, and fiber, they’re going to fill you up and keep you satisfied for longer. Coke is mostly sugar which means you’re still going to be hungry later (and probably a cranky-pants, tbh).
Instead of looking at calories, take a look at the ingredients listed on the food label. Do you recognize what most of them are? If you don’t, you might not want that entering your body. Many people opt for fat-free or low-calorie versions of their favorite foods because they think they’re healthier, but these foods are often laden with additives in order to make up for the sugar or fat that’s been taken out. My best advice is to stick to foods that contain simple ingredients you can actually pronounce.
Exercise to feel good, not to lose weight.
If you think of exercise as something that can make you feel better, both physically and mentally, you’re more likely to actually do it than if you think you need to do it to lose weight. Our friend Elle Woods was right when she said that exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy. I know that if I exercise even for 10 minutes in the morning, I’m going to feel better and be more productive for the rest of the day.
You also have to make exercise fun for you. So many of us are opposed to exercise because of the effort it takes, but it’s important to find a form of exercise that feels effortless and fun to you. Don’t run just because everyone else is doing it (I’ve tried for years but I still hate it). For me, pilates and kickboxing are basically the only forms of exercise that don’t feel like work to me. Think about something you’ve enjoyed doing in the past, or try out something completely new. Maybe it’s dancing, karate, bowling, or even lip-syncing – think outside of the conventional box!
Healthy means something different to everyone.
Have you noticed that no one can agree on what it means to be healthy? You can’t post a recipe on the internet claiming it’s healthy without someone else commenting that it’s not healthy at all. Someone will probably disagree with the tips I’m sharing here ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Because there are so many different schools of thought on health and wellness, your best bet is to eat what feels good to you and experiment with different ways of eating if that’s something you’re interested in doing. Eating should make you feel satisfied and energetic (after all, food is energy), so if you feel like crap every time you eat pizza, maybe don’t eat it so much. It’s important to do your own research and remember that just because something works for one person, doesn’t mean it will necessarily work for you. You do you, boo thang.
Healthy doesn’t have to be expensive.
People are so quick to push their health aside because they think it will be expensive and time consuming. Your health is worth investing in, but you honestly don’t have to break the bank in order to make healthier choices. One of the best ways to start saving money (and improve your health in general) is to cook at home more often than you eat out at restaurants. Some people really advocate for organic food at every meal, but I just stick to Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen list. Also, there are so many free exercise videos and apps out there, and nature makes a great playground, so you don’t really need a gym membership in this day and age.
She’s beautiful, but so are you.
If I asked you to name all the things that you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?
We are so willing to compliment other people on their looks, but we are so against the idea of complimenting ourselves. You have to acknowledge that while someone else has a banging body and beautiful skin, that has absolutely no reflection on the state of your own body. In order to lead a healthy lifestyle, you also have to be conscious of your thoughts towards yourself and others.
I’m always striving to make my mind a little more blissful (hence the name of this blog), and self-acceptance is an important part of that. I know it’s not easy to appreciate yourself every time you look in the mirror because we tend to see the negatives before the positives, but something as simple as acknowledging the parts you like about yourself each morning (including your awesome brain and unique talents) can make a huge difference.
A CHALLENGE FOR YOU!
Set one goal for your health for 30 days, and share it on Twitter or tell us about it in the comments below! It can be anything from checking the ingredients in your food to drinking a glass of water when you wake up. My goal is to exercise for at least 10 minutes every day!
What are the health truths you live by? How are you prioritizing your health this month?
There seems to be an obsession these days with the concept of a positive mindset.
Everyone wants to be happy, and everyone wants to be positive. Positivity is the answer to everything, right? Positivity alone will save the world.
Striving to be happy or positive 24/7 isn’t a realistic goal. You can’t be positive all the time, and it’s unrealistic to hold that as an expectation for yourself and others.
Everyone has their struggles, and even if you are a generally positive person, you can still experience moments of negativity. In fact, the fear of having a negative mindset can cause more negativity and make us think we’re failing at life because we’re not as positive as others are.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to obsess about having a positive mindset.
Positivity is not the be-all-end-all, and there are other goals to strive toward. Today, I’m sharing what you should focus on instead to improve your mindset in a healthy way.
The Problem With The Positivity Focus
The trouble with focusing solely on having a positive mindset is this: when you’re faced with a situation that makes you feel less than positive, you feel bad about YOURSELF for not being able to stay positive.
It’s an endless cycle that leads to further negativity.
The cycle ends up looking like this: Have negative thought → Feel bad about yourself for having negative thought → More negative thoughts
We can try and force ourselves to think in positives, but sometimes that can make us feel worse than if we just accepted our situation.
I’m sure you’ve dealt with something that felt like the end of the world only to have someone say:
“Look on the bright side.”
“Other people don’t have it as good as you.”
“bE gRatEfUl foR wHaT yOu Have!!1” <— that’s an exaggeration, but sometimes it feels like people are talking like this.
If you can’t find it in you to be positive in that moment, does that mean you’ve failed? Is the goal to eradicate all negativity?
My friend Sarah wrote a great post about why she no longer focuses on being positive. She explains that, “It’s really hard to run while holding your breath and it’s really hard to move through grief, adapt to change, and work through frustration if you try to sugarcoat it with striving to choose happiness over giving yourself permission to feel various emotions, thoughts, and feelings.”
There is power in letting yourself feel without trying to immediately find the light at the end of the tunnel. We are allowed to feel emotions other than happiness.
There’s a reason the human spectrum of emotion is so vast.
I’m not saying there’s no point in practicing gratitude and affirmations. I don’t want to downplay the importance of reframing negative experiences into something productive and healthy.
But trying to force a positive out of a negative doesn’t always get to the root of the issue. Gratitude and affirmations shouldn’t have to feel forced. The ultimate goal is to be at one with your emotions, both the negative and positive.
What To Focus On Instead
Humor me for a second and forget everything you’ve heard about a positive mindset.
Instead, what if we strive for a ‘healthy’ mindset?
Of course, there are so many different meanings to the word healthy, especially when it comes to physical health. But to me, there are two things we can strive for to build a healthy mindset:
Awareness and growth encourage you to uplift your mindset without pushing away the heavy stuff. They help you understand what’s going on within you and identify ways that you can keep moving forward.
When you experience a thought you consider to be “negative”, it’s important not to beat yourself up for thinking that way. This can lead to resentment and feeling like you’re failing yourself.
Instead, bring awareness to what you’re thinking. Learn to be aware without judging yourself for what you’re thinking.
Pay close attention to the way you think about yourself and others. Accept the thoughts you have and continue moving on with your day without letting them derail you.
Whatever’s causing you to feel negative in your life, remember to give yourself grace. It’s not permanent. It’s only a feeling. You are not your thoughts, and your thoughts are not always the truth.
Awareness also helps us to realize when we are having good and positive thoughts. If you spend all of your time believing that you only think negative thoughts, you’ll miss the times when good thoughts do come your way. Meditation and journaling are great tools for improving your awareness.
The idea of a growth mindset comes from Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset. Dweck talks about how some people have a fixed mindset and others have a growth mindset.
Those with a fixed mindset believe that you’re born the way you are and things can’t really change. They also believe that situations are fixed and there are no better options. Those with a growth mindset believe that things can always be learned. They believe that anything can be achieved if you put in the time and effort.
When you have a growth mindset, you ask yourself how you can move on from negative experiences. Rather than trying to force it into a positive experience, you ask, “How can I grow from this?” or “What is this teaching me right now?”
We’re all human, and we all experience dark, deep, and intense thoughts. Don’t be afraid to dig into them and see what you can learn from them.
Do you agree with this post?
I hope this post has challenged you to think outside of the box and recognize that you don’t always need to strive for positivity. Think of a healthy mindset as the ultimate goal because it encourages positivity through growth and awareness.
Try to bring awareness to your thoughts, and allow yourself to grow from them rather than pushing them aside.
I’ve been thinking about ways that I can “uplevel” my life this year.
You might have heard the word uplevel floating around on the internet, and I think it’s a good way to describe moving up to a higher place from where you once were (maybe it’s supposed to be level up, but I’m sticking with the term uplevel).
I want to be more in tune with myself, hustle a little harder (while still taking care of myself), be more efficient, and be less concerned with what people think of me.
If you’ve been feeling stuck or like you’re not where you want to be in life, maybe it’s time for certain behaviors, habits, or mindsets to shift. In this post, I’m sharing 7 ways you can be more intentional this year to uplevel your lifestyle.
What Does Uplevel Your Life Mean?
To uplevel your life means:
Being better than you were in the past
Letting go of the things that have held you back for a long time
Letting go of self-sabotaging behavior
Not living on autopilot
Making choices and decisions that align with the bigger vision you have for your life
This can all sound a little woo-woo, but I’m sure you have that little voice in your head that tells you that you could be doing something more or something greater with your life.
In a way, upleveling or *leveling up” is similar to playing a video game. You improve your skills each level you play, and you move up to the next level once you’ve conquered a certain stage.
“You only have control over three things in your life – the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take.”
I’m sure you’ve said to yourself on occasion (or maybe all the damn time) that you need to make changes in your life. Maybe you see other people living a certain lifestyle and wish you could have the same thing. You might feel stuck where you are with no sense of fulfillment in your life.
When it comes down to it, we all want to feel fulfilled in our work, our personal lives, and our relationships. If we start to act with more intention, we create the foundation needed to make changes in our lives instead of just wishing for them.
You can design your life in any way that you want to. You just have to be clear and committed to your idea. There’s no point in making a plan you’re not going to stick to.
How To Uplevel Your Life
There are countless ways you can be more intentional and change your life in a positive way. Here are some of the things to consider focusing on:
Improve the way you talk to yourself
Expand what you believe is possible for yourself
Focus on the current moment more than the past or the future
Identify your top five values and what they mean to you
Commit to activities, experiences, and people that uphold your values
Keep your values written in a visible place so you are reminded of them often
Write down your vision for the future and what you would like to achieve
Set goals for yourself that align with your vision
Revisit your vision often so you are reminded of your intentions
Commit to habits that align with your values and vision
Develop a morning routine that nourishes your mind, body, and soul
Set daily intentions that encourage you to keep showing up in your life
Plan action steps that align with your goals
Map out your daily and weekly workflows
Focus on sticking to the plans you set for yourself
Actions & Decisions
Make choices that align with your values and priorities
Listen to your inner guide when making decisions
Get out of your own head and take imperfect action
Hold yourself accountable to your intentions
Stop wasting time with distractions and procrastination
Set clear boundaries with your time and energy
Review the list above and make note of the things you want to work on. Revisit your notes often as a reminder to be more intentional with what you do on a daily basis.
Have you heard everyone talking about self-sabotaging?
Maybe you’re wondering what that actually means. After all, you’d never sabotage yourself, right?
Unfortunately, most of us do.
When it comes to making progress, we are often our own worst enemies. Maybe you feel frustrated or defeated that you’ve worked so hard but things are still the same. It’s easy to blame outside circumstances for keeping you stuck.
But what if your thoughts and actions are the things holding you back? What if, deep down, you don’t really believe you’re capable or worthy of success?
If you’re anxious that you’ll never get to where you want to be, you might be dealing with self-sabotage and limiting beliefs.
In this post, you’ll learn what self-sabotage means, why it happens, and how you can start recognizing it for yourself.
What It Means To Self-Sabotage
You’ve probably heard people say things like, “get out of your way” or “stop self-sabotaging.” You might be wondering what that really means.
What exactly is self-sabotage?
Alyce Cornyn-Selby describes self-sabotage as this:
“Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn’t happen.”
You might not think you’d ever do that to yourself. It sounds so…cruel. But, you’re most likely doing it without even realizing it.
The problem is that we love to blame our situations for our lack of success. Maybe you think your job, partner, family, or environment is holding you back.
These things all play a role in your success, but you also have to take responsibility for your actions and avoid playing the blame game.
There are many reasons you might not feel successful, but most of the time it’s because of your thoughts and behavior. The truth is that you might be treating yourself like your own enemy.
Imagine your middle school enemy who makes your life a living hell. She puts you down in front of others, distracts you in class so your grades slip, and writes mean notes telling you that you’re worthless.
Now, think about this: Do you put yourself down in front of others? Do you let yourself get distracted from your work? Do you think to yourself that you don’t deserve success?
These are things we all do that sabotage us from being successful, and this time, there’s no one else to put the blame on.
Why We Self-Sabotage
One of the best explanations for why we self-sabotage comes from Gay Hendricks’s book, The Big Leap.
Hendricks describes that we all have limits to how much love, success, and creativity we will let ourselves enjoy.
When we reach that limit, we end up self-sabotaging.
For example, when things are going well in our lives, we wonder if it’s too good to be true.
Because we don’t quite believe it, we imagine things will start to go wrong. We think that we don’t deserve to feel this good.
As soon as these self-sabotaging thoughts begin, you fall back into old habits. You do something that pushes you back into your comfort zone where you feel secure. You might even do something drastic that causes you to be further behind than you once were.
Hendricks gives four reasons you might sabotage your success:
You feel like you’re flawed and don’t deserve good things
You fear others abandoning you because success brings change
You believe that success will make you a burden to others
You don’t want to outshine others with your successes
What have you learned about yourself from this post?
I hope you have a better understanding of what’s been keeping you stuck for so long (hint: it might be yourself). The good news is that self-awareness and commitment to self-improvement will get you out of this pattern for good.
I am sure you have heard that it takes 21 days to form a habit, but unfortunately, that’s not exactly true. It can take closer to 60 days to stick to new habits which is pretty daunting to think about, I know I am sad too.
Doesn’t that make you think about giving up? Well, don’t let it stop you!
The things is, I was thinking about the habits I’ve had in the past and how hard it was to change them. It definitely took longer than 21 days to be consistent.
And then there’s my current habit of snoozing my alarm [rolling my eyes] that I’m determined to change.
It is just so hard for me! Does anyone else have the same problem?
It can be really overwhelming to create new habits, especially if you keep trying and failing over and over again. Though we may blame it on lack of our own willpower or ability, that’s not a good enough reason to stop trying.
In this post, I’m sharing what mindset shifts need to happen to help you form new habits and make them stick, it’s always about your mindset, right?.
Your Mindset + Habits
Going from bad habit to good habit can be frustrating when you’re having trouble maintaining it, and also kind of discouraging.
If you’re not making progress and keep going back to your old habits, you might create a story in your mind that you don’t have the willpower to do it.
It’s not true!
But if you’ve been doing your current habit for a prolonged period of time, your body and your mind are used to doing it.
You’re going to default back to it because it’s familiar and comfortable.
For example, if you want to start exercising daily for 30 minutes but you don’t currently work out at all, you’ll naturally think it’s too hard and find ways to get out of doing it.
So, instead of blaming yourself for not having the willpower to change, give yourself some credit.
It’s hard to change something that you’ve done for so long.
Don’t let your old beliefs convince you you’re not capable of change, because you are!
Right now I’m working on not snoozing my alarm and getting out of bed earlier.
I thought I was being smart by putting my alarm far away so I have to get up to turn it off. But what happens is I get out of bed to turn off my alarm and then immediately climb back into bed. I tell myself I’ll rest for a few minutes, which of course leads to me falling back asleep again.
There was a time when I would wake up and read in bed, and that worked for a while but only because I can’t fall back asleep if I’m sitting up. Now the real habit I want to achieve is to get out of bed earlier.
Otherwise, I could wake up at 7 am but stay in bed until 8 am reading.
I’m not trying to create loopholes for myself.
Ultimately I want to jump out of bed as soon as my alarm goes off and not talk myself out of it. I know there’s Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule, but I haven’t had much success with that.
Part of the problem with my current habit was that I didn’t have a specific action to take as soon as I woke up.
Often I’d get up and didn’t know what to do first – should I make breakfast, workout, read, meditate?
What does your typical morning before work look like?
Do you stick to a routine?
Do you just wing it and fly by the seat of your pants?
Well, whatever it is its time for a new routine!
Let me know if this sounds familiar.
You spend way to much time scrolling though instagram, and you end up scrambling to get your pants on and out the door!
Don’t worry I am raising my hand too! (in a metaphorical way, because well I work from home, not to brag or anything 😉 )
Trust me, we’ve all been there.
In my opinion, it is hard to jump out of bed and immediately be ready to go he’d first into you busy day.
I need some me time, in the morning.
And you do too!
So, I decided I didn’t want my morning to be so hectic anymore, I want to have some time to write, relax, reflect and drink my morning coffee in peace.
If you’re thinking, “yeah, because that sounds realistic,” it is, so just keep reading.
*I wanted to feel prepared for the day, but mostly I wanted to be reminded of the goals and bigger purpose behind what I do everyday.
Normally, when morning routines are talked about, I hear things like going to the gym, eating healthy, and those are important too, but today I want to talk more about the mental side of your morning routine!
Today, I’m sharing the morning mindset ritual that’s been helping me feel ready, motivated, and focused before I start my day.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your mindset and make your mornings more intentional, I hope this gives you some inspiration.
My Morning Mindset Routine
Review my yearly goals
I have a spreadsheet saved in my Google Drive of the goals I want to accomplish in 2020 (I use google drive for literally everything).
I open my Google Drive app on my phone and read through the goals I’ve set to remind myself of what I’m working towards.
This is probably the task that motivates me the most to get to work in he mornings!I have to do this on a regular basis or I will literally forget my goals, I know I have a terrible memory!
Write in my journal
My Top Three Goals
Even though I’ve already reviewed my yearly goals list on my phone, I find that physically writing down my goals adds an extra level of accountability to it.
My yearly goals list has 10-15 goals on it, but I write down the three goals that feel the most important in the moment.
This reminds me of what to focus on and keep in the back of my mind for the rest of the day.
A self-belief list is similar to writing affirmations, but instead I write down 3-5 things that I believe to be true about myself in a positive way.
Example of some of my self beliefs:
I believe I am helping people create their dream life
I believe I am a genuine person
I believe I am loved
Sometimes affirmations can feel like you’re trying to force something that you don’t necessarily believe about yourself. Self-beliefs are things you already know are true, but you just need to be reminded of them.
What’s On My Mind
I take a few minutes to journal anything that’s on my mind.
These thoughts are usually related to my goals or the day ahead, but sometimes they turn into mini-therapy sessions depending on how I’m feeling.
If you are short on time try a brain dump!
3 brain dump topics
What are you anxious about
What are you excited about
What do you need to get done for the day
Though my mind is usually feeling pretty clear by this point, I still take a moment to list out anything that needs to get done (either today or in the future). This could be emails to send, tasks to work on, or groceries to buy.
I hope my morning routine has given you some inspiration to make your mornings more intentional and less stressful. Let me know what you find the most helpful, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!