The Year Of Your Best Self

Happy New Year everyone!
The new year is always a time for us to make new resolutions and plan to make epic changes in our lives. However, once the holiday decorations have been packed, these resolutions become a bit harder to keep and by the time it’s Valentine’s Day, some of us are so set into our old ways that we have forgotten about the decisions that we had made when ringing in the new year. I’ve experienced that rather than making drastic changes such as strict diets, it’s best to gradually make life changes that will help you attain the desired goal. The following are four ways that anyone can help improve their lives without drastic measures:

-Positivity: while many of us may have never purposefully included positivity as a goal when making resolutions, being positive about our outlook on life plays a great part in us achieving our goals. It’s important for us to focus on the good things that happen in our days rather than the negative, no matter how large it might seem. Eclipse the bad from your mind, learn the lesson it was meant to teach you, put it away and work on making tomorrow better. Being positive will motivate you to make all of the other changes that you want to make in your life.

-Love your body: yes, you may need to lose a few pounds and should probably go to the gym; however negative self-talk will never help you accomplish your goal of losing the weight. And while you may be disappointed with it, always keep this in mind “Someone might be wishing they had your body”. Instead, be sure to properly maintain your body both inside and out: stay active, eat food that will enrich your system, drink plenty of water, and lastly be sure to give your body appropriate rest.

-Meditate: be sure to take some time to reflect on everything in your life from time to time. Meditation allows for us to put various aspects of our lives in perspective. Take some time for yourself, whether it is for some alone time at the beach, a yoga class, or for a massage: some time alone for reflection helps you reboot your system and better prepare yourself mentally for the daily activities.

-Reach Higher: let your focus always be to make tomorrow better than yesterday was. Always push yourself mentally. Strive to reach higher and don’t sell yourself short! In all aspects of your life, be sure to always try to reach another level. Be sure to periodically reevaluate your goals, finances, and growth. Create a vision board to help you, and place it in a visible place where you can keep it as your motivation so that when you start your day, you can remember to reach higher.

As we go through the year, challenges will continue to arise but keeping these four simple reminders will ensure that we work daily to improve and at the end of the year emerge a better version of ourselves.

Take care,

Reese

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Sticking to your diet!

Summer is fast approaching and we are all planning on heading on vacation and for most of us, our destination will most likely include a pool or a beach and this means a bikini ready body! So in order to prepare for our beach or pool days, many of us have started watching our weight or heading back to the gym. While the intention is always there, for many of us, the motivation dies quickly after about a week. Since I’ve also been in this situation many times, I’m going to share with you four tips that really helped me tick to the plan. Whether you are choosing to diet or simply make regular trips to gym, these tips will apply:
– Have a piece of clothing as motivation. Is there one particular outfit that used to be your go to for a boost of confidence? Maybe lately, it’s not fitting quite the same? Then put that dress on display in your closet and make it your goal to get back into that outfit!
– Get a work out partner/coach that will motivate you or a diet buddy. Sometimes the intention to go to the gym is there, however, after a long day of work, you simply want to leisure walk on the treadmill to fulfill the “working out” requirement. However, we all know that leisure walking on the treadmill while it will still help your heart, will not get you any closer to shedding the pounds! Find a workout partner who is just as serious about losing weight or getting in shape and be each other’s motivator. You must establish trust between the two of you because there are days that there will be some yelling involved and you will need to remember that it is out of love lol. If you decide to go on a diet, find someone to do it with you and be each other’s motivator, share recipes or have meals together to keep each other on the right path.
– Find alternative recipes. Whether you are simply working out or have chosen to maintain a different diet as well, alternative recipes to mainstream foods rich in carbs and fat will be beneficial. Today there are so many alternative recipes that are so tasty, you will never want to go to the less healthy version! (Look for my alternative to the regular burger in the Beauty & Health section http://wp.me/p5DKT0-2B).
– Set a goal date. Whether it is the beginning of summer, maybe your birthday, or better yet an event to attend, set your goal date and keep working towards your goal and do your very best to achieve it! Keep the calendar handy and you will feel the pressure (and motivation) build as the date approaches.
At the beginning of the year, I had set a goal to get my stomach as flat as possible for a wedding on Memorial Day weekend. I purchased a dress that I know would require the type of stomach that I wanted to achieve (as the material was spandex), and made sure that my trainer knew my goal. With her help, I cut out many of my favorite carbs or found better alternatives, did boot camp style workouts three times a week and for the last month I also went walking for 45 minutes on my off days. While I did not gain a six pack yet, I was happy that I wore my dress and no Spanx were required!!! Furthermore, there is a feeling that you get once you start seeing results that just makes you even more motivated to continue with your workouts or your diet. I hope that my suggestions will help you as well and remember that the most important goal is to feel good in your body and to be healthy!
Have fun!
Reese

Dear High School Graduate

As the school year is coming to an end, many of us will be attending graduation ceremonies. This is one of my favorite times of the year as I love to watch students get recognized for their hard work. College was a great time in my life and while I did not have the traditional college life, I wouldn’t trade that experience for another as I believe it helped shape me into the adult that I am today. While graduates are usually told to expect become more responsible, learn independence, how to do laundry etc. There are some advice that I wish graduates would hear more often. Here are some of the advice I wished someone had told me (I discovered some of those on my own and fortunately took advantage):
– Select a major that you are passionate about – the worst thing that you can do is pursue a degree in a certain field because it is lucrative. While you may complete it (some students don’t and end up switching majors two to three years into the program), chances are you will become miserable once you enter the workforce. Every career has some requirements that are less desirable, however, if you are if you are passionate about your career, you will enjoy even the downfalls.
– Take advantage of all of the interest clubs and organizations – especially while in your first two years, it is the easiest time to participate in all types of organizations while still taking your general education courses. Clubs and organizations help you explore different careers and help you decide which path you want to take (if you are unsure) but they also provide you with further exposure in that field and hence increase your chances of obtaining internships and scholarships.
– It’s okay to attend a two year college first – choosing to attend a two year college after high school is the ideal choice, unless you have secured a full ride scholarship to a four year institution. Two year colleges not only facilitate the transition from high school into college, they eliminate having to sit in an auditorium where you are nothing but a number to the professor. Furthermore, they share plenty of the clubs and organizations present in a four year university and many of the times they also share faculty with nearby four year institutions. However, the best advantage of two year colleges is that they are less expensive! So if you (or your parents) are paying out of pocket: this should be a no brainer.
– Travel abroad – this is probably the cheapest method for you to travel around the world! Most of the time, travel abroad costs usually include airfare, lodging, and transportation. So this only leaves you to cover your with meals and even those are sometimes covered in the fees. So pack up that suitcase and take that trip, you are bound to have the experience of a lifetime and if you can do so with some friends, even better!
– It’s okay to have a goal – while in college, I was determined, I had waited a year after graduating high school to start and decided that it had been vacation enough and wanted to recuperate the time lost by attending school year round full time including the summer. Meanwhile, I had former classmates who decided to “enjoy the college life” and skip terms instead. Needless to say, by the time they graduated, I was already in my second semester of graduate school.
– Do not stop at your bachelor’s – the workforce is becoming more and more filled with individuals with degrees so the more specialties you can learn (certificates included), the more marketable you will be.
Remember, these four years will definitely change your life! You will grow and may even adopt a different lifestyle (hopefully in a positive way lol), however, they will forever leave an imprint in your life and will also shape you for the workforce. Be sure to enjoy yourself but remember to keep your eyes on your goal. Ultimately, there is only one person directly affected by your choices and that is you.
Congratulations graduate, the world is yours to conquer!!!
Reese