So this is one of the blog posts that I've written quite a while back, revisited, and rewrote because so much has changed within the last couple of weeks in just JANUARY! As much as you could call this a late "New Years Resolutions" post, I prefer to use the phrase "2018 plans" instead, as it packs a more powerful punch and sounds a lot more ambitious than "NYE resolutions".
To be honest, 2017 was a year of finding myself. Personally, I reflect back on 2017 and am thankful for everything that's happened, but I will be honest when I say that it wasn't my best year. My health deteriorated from poor diet choices, my work stresses got the better of me, and I felt completely lost and unmotivated with my social media platforms for several months.
However, I've started 2018 with a BANG and a new mindset to change everything. This year, I'm ready to eliminate all of the negativity and stresses holding me back and am now embracing this year with an open mind and a determined checklist of goals to tackle.
In this post, I wanted to share with you guys a few plans that I aim to commit to for the long haul and I hope that you guys can follow me along on this journey to a happier life!
1. Waking up earlier.
For those who know me closely, you know that your girl never wanted to get out of bed past 10AM. Since January 2nd, I've been setting up my alarm and getting up exactly at 8:10AM. The first morning I did this felt like absolute hell, but I will admit that each and every early morning after Day One becomes easier. Nowadays, I feel pumped that I'm getting so much shit done before noon. If I really have to lay down longer, I casually browse through my emails or Instagram feed for a good 10-15 minutes before getting up, but I don't ever let my eyes close after that alarm or else...mission unaccomplished.
A quick tip for my snoozers out there - Cosmopolitan magazine states that hitting the snooze button is pointless because you're getting an inefficient and interrupted amount of sleep, so you might as well get your ass up and do something productive! Ever since I read that tip, I've successfully gotten out of bed without hitting the snooze button and I couldn't be happier.
2. Sleeping earlier.
This second point pretty much goes hand-in-hand with point one, but I thought that this was also an important topic to address. As a previous night owl, I was always guilty of staying up late (which is why I woke up late) and I realized that a lot of the things I did from midnight to 2:00AM were absolutely unproductive and useless. I didn't like being the last person to go to bed in my family and wasn't happy with the fact that I didn't use this time wisely. Since I wake up at 8:10AM nowadays, I make it a plan to sleep between 10:00PM - 11:30PM. Whoever says sleep is for the weak is wrong in my opinion because I believe that you can be your most efficient and productive self when you are well-rested.
3. Losing weight and being healthier.
Now this is a personal topic that I'm not as comfortable talking about, but I want my platforms to be about accepting your flaws, loving yourself and your body, and brainstorming solutions on what you can do to improve your situation if you aren't happy. I'm never somebody who wants to settle or accept things for the way they are, and always strive to change for the better.
So let's begin with the long-story-short version. Ever since the beginning of freshman year of college to now, I've gained 30 lbs in total. Thirty. Fucking. Pounds. When I went to my doctor's appointment recently, I was shocked at just how quickly undisciplined eating and lack of exercise could sneak up on you and take a negative toll on your body.
Now it's time for honesty hour. As much as I love the feeling of working out, I never pushed my body past its limits. Ever since I retired from my hip hop team (and thus retired from exhausting AF dance practices) and developed a burning discomfort that shot through my wrist called tendonitis, I always exercised casually and made excuses that I couldn't work out too "hard" because my wrist hurt. Little did I know that this laziness bit me in the ass several years later.
With family and the wrong crowd of "friends" (who are no longer my friends for obvious reasons), I've always been made fun of how much I eat. I was told that I ate too much, that I never stopped eating, and that I was fat. To be honest, I knew that they were right that I ate an unhealthy amount for an individual with my body size and height, but that doesn't disregard the fact that hearing each negative statement about my body stung.
However, with a New Year comes a new change. Several years ago, I went on a strict diet and had a consistent exercise regimen that helped me drop 10 lbs easily. If I did it once, I know that I can do it again. Honestly, I'm not so focused on the number on the scale as I am about how I feel/look physically and emotionally. Thus, my first goal is to drop 10 lbs first. From there, I will make another realistic goal until I reach a weight that I am happy with. After all, it's all about the baby steps and making realistic goals that you know you can stick to :)
I wanted to thank a LOT of you guys for giving me positive feedback on a type of "diet" that I plan to implement into my everyday lifestyle called Intermittent Fasting. With Intermittent Fasting, I essentially eat a healthy diet within an 8-hour time window and fast for 16-hours. To put it simply, the excess fat and weight that you have will be burned effectively if you stay dedicated to this disciplined routine.
It's currently Day 2 and the hunger is totally real (and torturous), but I'm motivated enough to keep going because I know just how rewarding it is to feel healthy in your own body. Not only does staying healthy keep my mind focused and stress levels lowered, but it definitely makes me feel like I'm more in control of my life and I end up making better choices when I treat my body right. I'll definitely write a blog post on my Intermittent Fasting progress and will keep you guys in the loop if you have any questions, so be sure to stay tuned on Instagram stories if you want daily updates ;)
P.S. For those who are trying to lose weight as well, the mobile app MyFitnessPal is literally a gamechanger! This app counts calories for me so I didn't have to, but don't forget to get your daily nutritional needs as well ;)
4. Improving my time management skills and achieving work-life balance.
I will be honest when I say that I personally felt that my time management skills sucked, even when I was a crazy planner lady using five planners at once. With time and learning more about the lifestyle of being a freelance creative in the social media industry, I learned that you need to be able to work hard, but also enjoy your life outside of work.
As an entrepreneur, I have to work more than the average 9-5 and same with a lot of other freelancers. After all, the hustle never stops when you're building your own empire. However, I should never be at the point where I drown myself at work and refuse to hangout with anybody because that kind of lifestyle isn't good for you either. I learned that making myself work over 12 hours per day just led to a lack of productivity, constant daydreaming, and inevitable procrastination. This is also why I'm not a huge fan of the 9-5 cubicle lifestyle - I just can't imagine myself chained to a desk for eight hours per day. I value days where I balance commuting for photoshoots and events or just blogging at my desk, but I will admit that this lifestyle can be very mentally and physically exhausting if you're not ready for the challenge.
To achieve work-life balance, I have to literally force myself to take a short break from work. One of my best friends knows too well that I refuse or hate taking breaks, but they are necessary if you want to refresh your mind. Also, if I need a break from my desk, I also use this time to exercise at the gym, then jump right back into work after a quick shower and meal.
So if you're a workaholic like me, my one piece of advice to you is to work hard, but remember to take necessary breaks. You'll find yourself a lot more productive in the end than working non-stop hours.
Which of these 2018 plans resonated with you most? Let me know in the comments below, and I'll talk to you guys soon!