Back To Business

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There’s a photo on my inspiration board I made that simply reads, “It’s time to work a little harder.” Over the summer, my board sat tucked behind another piece of art in the corner of my room, amidst my unpacked boxes and bags from my August move.

Recently, I unearthed my board, and took a good look at that photo. This summer seems like a blur, but I’ve walked out of it not feeling like my best self. I’ve wanted to blame the heat, and work, and my move, but these things all boil down to excuses for not putting in the extra effort to achieve what I want.

For instance, I stopped writing for the blog because I was “too tired” or “didn’t feel in the mood”. Every day, I’d say tomorrow. The point of writing these posts was to motivate me to accomplish my dreams and pursue new interests alongside my cousin. It feels like when I stopped writing, I stopped thinking that I could do better.

In high school and college, I used to wonder what adults did in their free time. They didn’t have essays to write, practices to attend, plays to rehearse for, tests to study for. Now, as a graduate and semi-adult, I’ve forgotten what it was like to really give every day your all. I achieved so much with 24 hours, even while being a full time student with three part time jobs.

It’s still hotter than hell outside (fall doesn’t exist here), but I’m embracing the metaphorical season change with a new mindset. It’s alright to take a vacation and ease up on the throttle every now and then. What’s important is that you get back on the saddle and continue on your journey. The year isn’t quite over yet, and I want to spend the next few months refocusing my attention on my goals. It’s time to work a little harder, and I could not be more excited to do so!

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Write Right

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If there’s anything I’ve learned from, well, life, it’s that communication is key. Key to getting things done (and done correctly), key to learning and sharing ideas, and key to one’s well being. I’ve lived in southern Cali for almost a year now, and the one thing that eases homesickness is keeping in touch withphoto 1 my loved ones back east.

Luckily, today we have websites and apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to keep us in the know how. I can text my mom and Skype my dad and Snapchat my cousins all from my phone. Technology has been key to keeping me and the loop, and alternatively reassuring my family that I am, indeed, surviving out here.

One of my absolute favorite ways to say hello, though, is through a good old fashioned letter. This dates back to my American Girl stationery days – in cleaning my room, I’ve come across dozens of half-finished letters to schoolmates and family members (hey, I never said I wasn’t a procrastinator!).

Even now, there’s something fun about writing a little diddy to someone, popping it in the mailbox, and waiting expectantly for them to receive it. Because who doesn’t like getting something besides spam in the mail? It’s a personalized, handwritten treat that I think has gotten the shaft with the advent of tech.

Lately, my letter writing has gone into a slump, so over the weekend I “created” my own stationery to write to my grandparents on. A quick life summary later and voila! A letter has been born.

photo 3If you’re not feeling that ambitious, regular old stores like Target carry a variety of blank notecard & envelope packs that range from adorable to chic. The Paper Source is another letter writing haven, packed with cards to stamps and everything in between.

Happy writing!

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Derailed: The ‘oh too familiar’ journey back on track

UntitledAs you might have noticed, there has been some radio silence from the East coast. Posting, among other things, has fallen by the wayside these past few weeks. My nutrition, fitness, and temperament are just a few items on my resolution checklist that have not gotten the self care they deserve. It has been slightly scary how easily and quickly this derailment has happened. The mixture of stress, travel, and an over-abundance of “priorities” has caused my mind to turn to mush. So long to the daily workouts or the weekly budget check-in’s. For a quick second, I found myself believing that I was grounded in this stifled state.

So here we go. I will paint you the scene that is bringing me back on board.It is mid-afternoon on a weekday in downtown Boston. I sit with my Sam Adam’s Seasonal brew ( yes, not ashamed of my 2 o’clock hoppy pick me up) in this low lite restaurant. Why now, Why here? I will get to that soon.

I begin to realize that my motivators to keep me moving forward are the first things that get neglected. Once they have been neglected, I begin to feel stifled and stagnant. This increases my stress levels; which is what made me derail in the first place. This twisted circle is something I think we can all commiserate with. How do we get out of it?

I’m sure for most sitting in a pub isn’t the exact way to get back on track, but here are someways that I have…will use to ignite the momentum I once had.

1. Location, location, location- the factors that often push us over the edge are things that we surround ourselves with everyday. That is why, here in this pub, I am finding my way back. The hustle and bustle of the city is easing my stress and helping me to focus on what is important. It is just enough separation to get the job done. It is in this separation, I see a fuller, clearer picture. .

2. Be scared. I wrote a few months back about incorporating an element of fear into your life. I still work to do this daily. Often times, I get derailed into an overly comfortable state.  If I want to be this bigger, better person,I need to be scared and take the steps necessary to get me there.

3. Prioritize. I am very easily guilt-ed into situations. Whether it is babysitting my alien sister or spending that extra day with my man friend, I let others take more control of my decisions. Although these are positive situations to be in, I always neglect to consider myself. (This is where self care comes in) It is importance to prioritize yourself. I may not be number one on the list but I need to remember to do something that solely benefits me.

Here is to getting back into my rhythm, cheers!

Jess (2)

Eye on the Prize

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This past holiday weekend, I got all cozy and watched Chef, a movie recommended by my boyfriend. It’s cute, funny, and very modern – check it out on Netflix when you get a chance. The story centers on a chef who, at the end of the day, just wants to cook good food for people. It’s his passion that motivates him, and ultimately what helps to bring his family together again.

Watching the film made me almost envious over the chef’s intense love of creating new dishes in the kitchen. His fervor was infectious; the next day, I sat down at a Barnes and Noble Cafe and wrote for several hours, something I’m passionate about.

This got me to thinking that I wanted more inspiration, to help boost my spirits and keep me not only thinking about my goals, but actively desiring them. So, with the help of some Scotch Spray Mount, old foam core board from work, and my Tumblr blog, I got to work!

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imageimageI ended up grabbing photos/quotes/inspirational figures that most closely resembled my current goals: fitness, nature exploration, and creative energy. I didn’t mean for it to come out so…neat! The amount of photos I chose just so happened to fit like that on the board. In the future, I want to continue adding and updating it as my goals change. For now, though, it serves as an awesome visual reminder to keep changing those can’ts into cans & dreams into plans ❤

 

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Wanted: {Inspiration}

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Well hello everyone, and welcome to 2015! If you’re anything like me, you’ve been struggling to get your head back into your typical routine. I had such a magical time on the East coast with my family that it’s been surreal being back at work trying to remember how to do my job (the key, really, is to make sure the executives have caffeine).

It wasn’t until I picked up my copy of Grace Helbig’s The Art of Pretending to be a Grown Up (a really funny, relatable read by YouTube personality Grace Helbig) that I realized that I was lacking inspiration! In her chapter on balancing work and play, one of Grace’s points is that in order tokeep motivated in any capacity, you should seek inspiration. Grace’s suggestion was to look up child prodigies on YouTube. In case that isn’t doing it for you, I have a few ideas of my own:

  1. Follow your idols on social media. I’m on Instagram everyday, and someone I’ve subscribed to is Reese Witherspoon. Her account is positive, bright, and chock full of inspiring quotes/photos (every Monday she posts a #MondayMuse). Seeing her accomplish her goals makes me want to do the same!
  2. Surround yourself with things that inspire you. When decorating your bedroom or cubicle at work, or even picking out a desktop for your computer background, think in terms of what is going to bring out the best in you. Maybe it’s photos of family and friends. Maybe it’s a vision board covered with photos of your goals. Or, it could simply be a quote that energizes you.
  3. Find someone who is better at something than you, and use it to motivate yourself. I went to college with a young woman who is a perpetual volunteer and defender of women’s rights. My volunteering record is sketchy at best. Learning about her exploits and reading her blog make me want to be on her level.
  4. Celebrate your accomplishments! Sometimes I look at my to-do list at the end of the day and am disappointed by all the things I didn’t get to. It’s then that I have to remind myself to be proud of everything I did do! Life is short, chores stink, and we’ll never get them all done. We might as well celebrate what we did manage to accomplish.
  5. Be your own best cheerleader. As adults, we don’t always have people patting us on the head and saying, “Good job!”, nor do we always have a personal trainer egging us on to do better. At the end of the day, you are the only one responsible for how you feel and how much you get done. I used to rag on myself whenever I didn’t get up early enough to go to the gym – it would ruin my entire day. Then, I decided to adopt a more forgiving attitude, one where I would cheer myself onward towards waking up during the wee hours of the morning. And if I decided to back to sleep? Not the end of the world.
  6. Immerse yourself in activities that make you excited to jump out of bed every day. Read Amy Poehler’s new book. Look at this article about celebrating women’s bodies. Listen to a song that makes you want to jump up and down. Try your hand at creating something. See a pretentious art film that makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time. The possibilities are endless, but what counts is that it makes you happy and re-energizes you to take on the world!

Also…don’t forget the cheesy Pinterest quotes!

At any given moment you have the power to say:  This is not how the story is going to end today.     #motivational - you have the ability to make a difference in your life.

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After getting over the Hump Day with the help of a revamp workout play list (thanks Aubrey!), I like to begin the down slide o“This is what separates artists fromf the week with a little inspirational fun. I thought to myself, what is my inspiration? Just as I did, my mouse hoovered over the the corner button on my Windows task bar. This allowed me to see my wonderful desktop background. I like to have my backgrounds be something of inspiration-perfect timing for this post, right?!

My current background is a quote from author Anne Lamott. I stumbled upon this quote during one of my Pintrest benders. I haven’t read any of her books yet, but they look like amazing reads! This quote inspires me to be persistent and strong through any challenge.  Check it out, let me know what you think!

This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won’t wash them away. I think this is a wonderful kind of person to be.

-Anne Lamott

Jess (2)