Gooooooood Morning!

Let’s just be real: getting out of bed in the morning SUCKS sometimes.

The warm covers seem to hold you captive.

You know that once you get up, the real work begins.

I’m going to share something with you that has made my mornings, and my entire days, go a lot smoother.

It’s a very simple thing that I never really added to my daily routine because I didn’t understand the benefits of it, but now that I do, I literally don’t go a day without it.

So what is it?

Stretching!

What…..really?

Yes! It’s fantastic.

Since I added Pilates to my routine, I feel so much better and stretching is a huge part of it. I don’t work out every day, but on days that I don’t, I still stretch.

This stretching routine is the one that I have been doing, but I’m sure there are TONS of them out there.

In fact, I found a yoga stretching routine the other day that I have yet to try.

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This is called the Sun Salutation. It supposedly stretches every muscle in your body, opens up your body systems, and helps you start off your day all nice and relaxed.

Is there anyone who would be interested in implementing this particular stretching routine into their day with me? I’m going to do it every morning for a week and see if I like it enough to continue doing it, and I just thought it would be fun to have someone do it with me and see if they liked it too 🙂

Regardless of what stretching you do, I would recommend at least trying some sort of stretching routine when you wake up for at least a week. Your body will begin to feel better, plus it’s a great way to wake up.

For extra bonus points, have a cup of tea with some coconut oil in it as well 😀

It’s not so hard to wake up and get to work when you start the day off right 🙂

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Busy as a Bee

Something interesting happened to me and I wanted to share.

Things have been kind of in a weird, stagnate place for me lately. I have been waiting on a job to start (which it finally has!) and couldn’t really start any new projects or make any decisions until the job went through. This left me with a limited amount of work to do, and I discovered that I HATE not working.

Don’t get me wrong; I was doing some things, but I had too much free time. I have known for a while that I like to be busy, but it was only when I realized that I didn’t have enough to work on that I remembered how much I hate it. To me, life is about pushing yourself to your fullest potential in every way possible.

So let me ask you this: are you pushing yourself or just floating along?

Do you have periods where you look around and realize that you could be doing or learning so much more and you’re just not?

If this is true, let me encourage you to make whatever changes you need to fix that.

Don’t allow yourself to stagnate when you could be flourishing.

One Thing at a Time

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Have you ever looked at your work schedule for the week and been overwhelmed?

The amount of work that you have to get done can sometimes be a daunting task to take on.

That feeling is all too familiar to me.

However, out of desperation to keep my sanity, I started doing something to help with this without even realizing it.

Instead of thinking about what all I have to do for the week, I just focus on what I have to get done that day. Even more specific, I only work on one thing at a time.

Never have I tried this before to the extent I am now, and it really makes me way less stressed.

I don’t even pay attention to what I need to get done the rest of the week, or the rest of the day. I throw all of my time and attention into the task at hand, and then when that’s done, I move on to the next one. It’s great! Not only do I get things done a lot easier without procrastinating because I’m too stressed to actually start anything, I enjoy what I’m doing more. Not only that, but since all of my attention and focus is on the task at hand, I also do a better job on them.

The way that I go about doing this is by making a list. I plan out what all I need to get done that week, and each day. This is subject to change of course. However, every day after I’m done working, I make a list for the next day and just cross things off as I go. I also give myself a general time frame of how long it will take to do each task. This is based on how long it has taken me to do the task, or similar tasks, in the past. This helps keep me on track as well.

I’m not sure why I started doing this. It wasn’t intentional. I’m to the point where if I try to think of all the things I have to do, I automatically just stop thinking about them. It’s actually kind of nice!

So, if you find yourself being stressed by a huge workload, don’t be! Stop for a minute; take a breather. Then, write down all of the things that you have to do for the day, and just do them one by one.

I’m sure there are other methods, but this is the one that I have come up with. I would love to hear about any others 🙂

Just trying to share my experiences so maybe someone can get something out of them 🙂

Much Love For All You Bloggers <3

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We’re all a bit like puzzle pieces.

We all try to fit in somewhere in this big ole world, in whatever way that might be.

Sometimes, we find ourselves in a place that just doesn’t feel right. We don’t quite fit in, no matter how hard we try to force it.

Other times, we look around and find ourselves surrounded by pieces that perfectly match us, and it is then that we feel at home.

So I just want to say, “Thank you,” to the blogging community for, well, just being you.

The more I blog, the more blogs I read, and the more that I see all this awesome people who are expressing themselves, sharing knowledge, enlightening the world. That’s what we’re all trying to do, and if you ask me, it’s working.

Creative people inspire me, and there’s no shortage of them here. Each and every blog is different, representing the personality and character of the blogger who created it. This gives me a chance to look at the words and stories of people and learn about not only the content of their post, but of the person who wrote it as well. To be able to have that type of access into a stranger’s world thrills me. I love people, and I love people “being around” people who take their interpretation of the world and express it the way that they know how.

So thank you, blogging community. (Can’t help but say the word “community” in the voice of Marcel the Shell, every time -_- ) I feel like I am among my people! Haha but that’s the truth.

Having messed around in the marketing/advertising niche for a while, I can tell a difference between that and this. Advertisers are competing against each other, so they tend to be a bit…secretive about their methods. The blogging community, and freelance as well, to an extent, compete in a different way. Here, if you are good, if your ideas and writing are good, then you have more followers and more success. It’s more of a reward system for being creative than a punishment for not having good advertising techniques. I know that the dynamics are different of course, so the niches have to be different. I just am more cut out for this one, and enjoy it more.

So for all of you inspirational, creative, intelligent, caring writers who take the time out of their day to write down what they think of things not only to express but to add to the wealth of knowledge out there, thank you. I am honored to be among your presence, and motivated to find my voice and join you in this great puzzle that we call life 🙂

Drink Wa-Ta!

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I’m not so great at drawing….

But I am pretty good at drinking a good amount of water!

Even when I’m really busy with work and errands and keeping everything clean and trying to have a social life, I make drinking water a priority.

Why?

Here are reasons 🙂

1. It’s usually free when you eat out.

It can cost to get water, especially if it’s bottled, but most places serve complimentary water. I also like to eat the lemons that come with the water, so that’s just a plus!

2. To get more out of my exercise routine.

Maybe you have been told to drink water before and after you work out, and you should. You should also be plenty hydrated before you even show up to the gym. Water helps transport oxygen to your muscles. When you start moving, your muscles will be able to work more efficiently with proper oxygen, making your workout smoother and more effective as well.

Not to mention that you need to make up for the water you will sweat out.

3. To maintain a healthy weight.

Instead of unhealthy alternatives like pop or fattening milk or kool-aid with a lot of sugar and fat in them that in turn transform into fat in your body, I opt for water instead. No worries about sugar free, or zero calories, or whether to get whole or skim. Magical water is all I need 🙂

4. To keep my skin healthy.

I have eczema, so my skin is naturally very dry. To combat this, I keep the largest organ I have, my skin, hydrated. This reduces the dryness, and was recommended to me by my dermatologist.

5. It helps rid your body of toxins.

I have been eating pretty healthy lately, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are certain toxins that get stored up in the body regardless, and water helps flush them out. Think of the advice that people give to cure hangovers, or to help you get over sickness faster: drink lots of water. It helps your body stay healthy even if you’re not nursing a hangover or a stomach virus.

These are most of the reasons why I choose to drink water mostly instead of other things. I wrote myself that note to drink a half gallon because the average recommended amount is about 8 cups a day, or a half gallon. I actually rinsed out a half gallon of milk and fill in most of the way up and drink it throughout the day. This helps me keep track of my water intake. I drink more if I sweat a lot when I exercise. This recommendation of 8 cups is actually referring to any liquid you take in, including other drinks, like milk, and the water in your food. That is why I only fill my half gallon jug most of the way up. I tend to drink one cup of almond milk and one cup of a Focus XT supplement every day as well.

Thank you, oh wise Post-It, for reminding me to make my health and hydration a priority, even among all the other things going on in my life. May this hydration benefit my health without causing an unnecessary amount of bathroom breaks throughout the day!

When Things Change

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I bet that if I asked some of you what scares you the most, you would say change.

Change is something that some people embrace with open arms, and others run and hide from.

Either way, it is something that we all must encounter, and that you can’t really prepare for, but that’s the great thing about it: it gives you new experience that you have never been able to acquire before.

The inevitable change can be a good or bad thing; it all depends on what you make of it.

When you suddenly have to move cities for your job, this could change the dynamics of your relationship. Perhaps your rent will be more expensive, or you will have to leave your pet behind.

You can allow this change to be a negative thing that holds you back by putting a strain on your relationship, wallet, and comfort of living, or you could use it as a way to better your life with the benefits of your new house being right by the gym or having a great view.

When things are changing, you must be adaptive.

We live in a world where scenes change as fast as every 3 seconds on television.

Technology is growing exponentially, leaving us with something newer, faster, smaller, better, every year.

School text books are revised every year as new information is uncovered and old information is done away with.

We must constantly learn, unlearn, and relearn things, as well as being able to apply them to our lives.

It’s the only way we will be able to keep up.

Here are four things that I have come up with based on my own experience as to how you can handle change and allow it to benefit you and your endeavors.

1. Don’t fight it.

If this change is something that you can’t stop, just roll with it! Accept it. It’s something that’s going to happen anyways, and fighting it will only cause you to spend unnecessary time, energy, thought, and emotion on things that are soon to be the past, which brings me to…

2. Let go of the pre-change plans.

In order to take on these new changes in your life, you must let your old plans go. Don’t try to hold on to them or mourn over them. Just move one and…

3. Meet the changes head-on.

Gather your forces, skills, and tools as best as you can, then tackle the change from a place of power. Be ready for it and you will come out on top instead of being dragged to the ground.

4. Accept the good and the bad.

When things change, it is inevitable that even when they are good changes, they will bring some side-effects of negativity along with them.There are people and things who will make this change more difficult for you and seem to want you to fight the inevitable.

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” – Alan Watts.

That Sweet Sound

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I am putting a pause on my story to share this with you 🙂

Raise your hand if you love compliments. Yeah, me too. As a writer, I thrive on not just compliments, but good reviews of my writing.

Why? One, because compliments make you feel all warm and tinglay! Two, because I need validation as a writer. I don’t need other people to tell me that I’m good. If I put enough work and effort into my writing and compare it to others and to the guidelines set before me, I can decide myself. However, when other people validate something that I write, I can KNOW, without a doubt, that it’s good. It’s not wishful thinking or hope or self-critical analysis, but real validation from real people that the things that exist in my mind and are channeled through my fingers are worth something. They are valuable. As someone who writes tons of things every day and has since they could write, this means a lot to me.

“You hit the ball out of the park! Great job (and I am very hard to please when it comes to writers)! Thanks very much! I will certainly use your services again!”

“If you’re looking for a writer, run, do not walk, to purchase this writer’s services! She did a fabulous job! She took the specifications and parameters I gave, and returned with a superbly-written article. It was error-free, grammatically correct, but more importantly, very good writing!”

Aaaaah, the sound of assurance that I am worth something in this world!

This is a review of one of my articles that I wrote for my Fiverr profile.

We all deserve to be proud of ourselves when we do a good job on something and brag a little bit 🙂 This is my version of hanging a really cool coloring sheet on my own refrigerator. Except I can’t ever stay inside the lines…

What is something that YOU are proud of yourself for? I’m interested 🙂

Respect and Gen Y: What’s Age Got To Do With It?

Relevant, and inspirational as well. Interesting blog by a writer that I really enjoy 🙂

Gen Y Girl

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I’m working on an exciting new project. It’s awesome, really, because I get to do something that I love.

I get to teach college students about leadership and about success at work.

Yes, I’m currently in the midst of trying to be productive…even though this is me on most days…

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Alright… so in an effort to find the right topics to discuss and the right stories to share with these students, I’ve had to reflect a lot on my experiences in the workplace.

And well…that hasn’t been fun.

It hasn’t been fun because I’ve realized something.

I’ve realized that although there are a lot of things that I can teach these students, there’s no way that I can control the hardships that they’ll continue to face as young professionals.

There’s no way that I’ll be able to rid them of the label that they’ll often be given:

YOUNG & INEXPERIENCED.

This makes…

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How It Began

Hello! For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Monica. I have another blog at www.senseoutofchaos.wordpress.com That’s the one I use for pleasure writing mostly. This blog is going to have an entirely different purpose, which I will explain later. First however, I need to explain the things that happened to lead me to start this blog.

By the time I was a sophomore in high school, I was sick of school. By the time I was a senior, I loathed it but never really thought much of it other than to complain. There were still at least four more years to go in college, so I just figured that I would have to get over it.

As a senior, I had to figure out what college I was going to go to. I knew that I could go to most colleges in my home state of Oklahoma and the price wasn’t really going to be a problem. I graduated salutatorian with a 3.98 GPA and a 30 on my ACT. My senior year alone, I was the class president, student council president, academic team captain, on the newspaper staff, and had received various awards like the ones at curriculum contests and those goofy ones they give out at the end of the year assembly. Colleges like these things, so I pretty much had my pick of any college in Oklahoma for almost free, excluding OU, OSU, private schools, and a few others.

I lived in a college town (well, right down the road) but I wanted to get away. It’s that thing that everyone does whenever they get old enough. I wanted to explore the world and myself and figure things out on my own. I wanted to see if I could make it. So, I chose to go to Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. I picked this college for the two reasons I mentioned: price and distance away from home. The honor’s scholarship that I received paid for all but about $500 a semester and it was 3 hours away from home; not too far to drive if I wanted, but far enough.

There were a few things that I really enjoyed about being there. The first and foremost was the people that I met. I made some really good friends that I care a lot about and had some really good times with. The people that I met there will always be in my heart. They’re the people that I will look back upon when I’m old and smile about. Something else that I enjoyed was learning about people. I learned a lot about how people work. I learned for the first time that everyone has a different way of viewing the world and of going about doing things. This diversity excited me when I discovered it, and still does. The last thing that I will mention that I enjoyed about being at college is how much I learned through experience. The main thing I will mention is that college is not like high school. You have to be responsible for yourself, or you will fail. Don’t want to do your homework, show up to class, study for a test, get your business in line? Fine then. Don’t. Nobody cares whether you do or not, so it’s completely on you to get it done and if you don’t, you’re the only one who will suffer. That showed me how to take care of things myself, prioritize, time manage, have self control when it comes to telling people no when I have responsibilities to take care of.

Other than that, I hated college. I hated the summer camp feel of the dorm life and classes. You’re just one of many. It made me feel like a product off of an assembly line. I hated the slow pace of the classes. I hated that I could learn everything they were taking an entire semester to teach me by myself by reading books or researching things on the Internet. I also hated the town, where there was nothing to do. The more thoughts like these that I had, the more dissatisfied I became, and the more I looked for alternative. So, I spent hours upon hours upon HOURS Googling things like “Do you have to have a degree to be successful” and evaluating adults and the jobs that had and whether they had a degree or not and if they actually used it. What I found was this: unless you’re going into a technical field, a strong portfolio is a good as a degree. There are exceptions of course, but most employers want to know that you have a degree simply because they want to know that you’re the type of hardworking, smart person who can obtain one. However, if you can gather a portfolio and show that you run a small business online, are a member of your city council, and other things of this nature, then that can speak of you and your value as a worker just as much as a degree can.

So, after learning this, arguing with myself and trying to find all the holes in my plan and figuring out solutions for them, I threw away a $40,000 honor’s scholarship and withdrew myself before the semester was even over. I finally got to the point where I realized what I wanted to do, and the next day, I just did it. I didn’t talk to anyone about it. Not my boyfriend, parents, best friends. I just did it. As scary as that was, I didn’t feel like it was a mistake, or I wouldn’t have done it, of course.

There are many stories as to what has happened since then, but I’m going to leave this there. That was my thought process and the events that led up to me quitting college and beginning to work out my career in order to achieve what I consider to be success. No, I don’t regret it and I never will, no matter what? Why? Because I don’t consider success to be having the most money or being the most famous or the boss of most people. What I consider success is being excellent at what you do, and always striving to be better. And that’s something that I will always, always do.

We’ll see what happens from here, and who knows: You may learn something from my actions, mistake or good decision, along the way.