GETTING OVER MENTAL BLOCKS

Every creative woman experiences blocks from time to time. Graphic designers, artists, chefs, writers and career women all suffer from the “banging my head against the desks until that next great idea hits” syndrome. As creatives, we identify with our ability to create. And when our creative abilities fail us, we think we are doing something wrong.

The good news is: you’re not doing it wrong and you don’t have to lose an entire day’s work due to a sucky creative block. Try out the tips below, and soon you’ll be able to tear down that dam and allow your creative juices to flow!

GO FOR A RUN

Or a hike. Or a simple walk around the block. As a student, creative, or career woman, you likely spend too much of your time cooped up in your studio or office. Break that habit by seeking inspiration in the beautiful gift of nature. The secret to abolishing your creative block for good is to get outside, girlfriend! Go into the great outdoors and get your adrenaline pumping. It’s amazing what some good ole fresh air can do for your body and mind.

FREESTYLE

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Not talking dropping 🔥 fire bars 🎵 (unless that’s what you’re working on of course!) But did you ever consider you’re obstructing your creative process by being too rigid?  expecting too much too soon? or playing it by the book too much? When you do this 24/7, you send your creative juices into hideout indefinitely. Release the pressure and allow your mind to freely express itself.

A good example of this is stream-of-consciousness writing. It’s an exercise often used by writers as a means to get the “creative juices flowing.” Forget grammar, spelling and all that, just start writing your thoughts and feelings on paper. The key is to not second-guess anything you’re writing, and really not force the process; Write whatever is on your mind.

SEEK INSPIRATION

Every creative professional has an industry hero or a digital sweet spot that motivates them to create something awesome. For a wardrobe stylist, it may be self-taught stylist June Ambrose. If you’re a stationery designer, you may enjoy the work of Ban.do founder Jen Gotch. Browse through your hero’s portfolio and become inspired to create your own work. Or jump on Pinterest and revisit some of your favorite inspiration and mood boards.

ASK FOR HELP OR AN EXTENSION

Worse comes to worst… simply ask for more time! No client likes to receive material beyond the deadline. However, many clients will understand an occasional delay. Timeliness is important, but sometimes an additional day or week will enable you to produce top-notch work.

Experiencing creative blocks are like pesky little summer gnats. You can put screens in your windows to keep them out, but they always find a way to break through the net. Lean in and stay resilient girlfriend! Even though you have little say in when or where your mental blocks appear, you can still work through them and strengthen your skills in the long run. Remember, inspiration doesn’t happen through your will alone. This is a period of rest for you. Take advantage of it, because your next creative surge is just around the corner!

Need an extra creative boost? You may just find your creative bff on Hey! VINA!

NUTRITION TIPS FOR GLOWING SKIN

Everyone wants a glowing complexion without the hassle of using expensive beauty products or tons of makeup. Having healthy, glowing skin naturally is a sign of good health and vitality. As a licensed esthetician and certified nutritionist, I am often asked how I have such amazing skin. I love sharing my secrets because beauty is so much more than skin deep. Check out my awesome nutrition tips to get your glow on!

TAKE YOUR VITAMINS

It goes without saying that taking your daily vitamins is a must for a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle. A multivitamin is always a good choice, however, women may find that a prenatal vitamin will include higher doses of the vitamins needed for beautiful skin. These are a few essentials I recommend.

Vitamin E is a long time favorite of mine because of its antioxidant benefits. Vitamin E assists vitamin A in reducing the effects of sun damage to the skin. Grab a handful of nuts to get a healthy shot of vitamin E throughout the day.

Biotin has become the go-to for all the hair, skin, and nail products in recent years—for a good reason. Biotin is part of the B-Complex family of vitamins. This group of vitamins works together to metabolize carbs and fats in the body. When you metabolize your food and process it efficiently, biotin will reach out to the skin surface and help keep it hydrated and supple. Biotin can be found in some nuts, cruciferous veggies, eggs, and some dairy products.

I used to take a fish oil supplement as a way to keep my cardiovascular system running smoothly. But there is another upside to fish oil—it’s high in its omegas! Omega 3, 6, and 9 are wonderful for keeping your body running smoothly on the inside, but they beautify the skin on the outside. Fatty fish can aid in keeping skin supple and hydrated and acts as a natural moisturizer. Plus fish like salmon and mackerel are also higher in vitamin E!

LIMIT SUGAR

A good way to limit sugar is by knowing which sugar you need to limit. I often tell clients there are two types of sugars that they need to know about, simple and complex. Simple sugars are foods that contain processed sugar and are generally commercially prepared. Complex sugars are found in the form of carbohydrates. While avoiding carbs is good for your diet, that isn’t specifically the sugar I tell people to avoid. It’s the candy bars, chocolate, cake, cookies, and soda that are detrimental to the body and skin. These simple sugars rob the body of nutrients that can be found in much better resources.

YOUR BODY IS A GARDEN

When you want to grow beautiful flowers, you feed your soil with plenty of water and sunlight. Same goes for your skin. The key to a glowing complexion is hydration. My #1 rule for glowing skin is water. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Your body is mostly water and through perspiration and bathroom runs, we lose water, so it’s only right to replenish it. When we are dehydrated, we tend to have drier, duller skin. Drinking enough water will not only hydrate your body from the inside out, but it will also flush your body of toxins. Start by drinking half an ounce for every pound you weigh.

Beauty will always be in the eye of the beholder, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything to achieve a healthy, youthful glow. A well-balanced diet with adequate hydration can do wonders. Glowing skin starts on the inside and radiates out, so make sure you eat to shine!

Get connected with your vinas on the Hey! VINA app to keep yourself accountable on your way to a glowing you!

5 MEAL PLANNING TIPS FOR BEGINNERS

I’ve always been a planner. I’m a type A vina for sure. But… I’m finding that it’s nice to have a flexible meal plan, one that is sort of a “no plan” menu.

What I mean by that is, I do like to sit down at the beginning of the month and go through my favorite cookbook or my binder of accumulated recipes. I pencil them into my calendar printable, and we do one big grocery trip at the beginning of the month for all the non-perishables.

But do we actually STICK to the plan? Nope. Because the truth is… vinas have cravings! When the weather is cold, I want a grilled cheese sandwich. Or when I’m feeling down, I just want some freaking chicken fingers and fries, or macaroni and cheese.

So… if you need meal planning and you hate planning, here are some tips for you.

CONSIDER TRYING A MEAL SUBSCRIPTION BOX FOR A WEEK OR TWO

If you really hate the idea of sitting down to actually plan your meals, think about it! I wouldn’t say they are great for an actual replacement to meal planning, but if you are constantly ordering in or eating out instead of making your own food, this will save you money. It’ll also give you a more realistic meal plan when you’re starting out.

This is great if you have literally no experience or interest in planning your meals. It makes it SUPER easy, and it’s flexible—you can choose which recipes you want to try, they deliver the ingredients and the recipe book to your door, and you can cook them on whichever day of the week you please.

Plus, a lot of them have excellent discounted trials for the first week!

Here is my mini meal planning service review for the one we’ve tried:

HelloFresh – LOVED it. It’s definitely more expensive than cooking yourself, but you are paying for the convenience since they make it so easy. Even if you aren’t a total newbie with meal planning, it might be fun to try! We tried it when we were in frantic moving mode, and it was SUCH a lifesaver. And we kept all the recipe cards so we can make them again on our own! HelloFresh is available in Canada and the US.

Chef’s Plate – They are Canadian, and I don’t think they deliver anywhere in the US, but if you’re in Canada they are a good option. I did find the food didn’t stay fresh for as long as HelloFresh’s food did, though. And I was a little disappointed to find that their recipes included ingredients like “spice mix” that would make it hard to replicate later on, even if you keep the recipe card. Still, worth giving it a shot!

GoodFood – Also Canadian. The recipes we tried from GoodFood have been phenomenal. The food lasts quite a while—there was one recipe we made the day after the meat’s best before date, and everything was still delicious. The vegetables weren’t too gross, so it turned out awesome. They also have excellent customer service, though it is a bit slow.

I would say my favorite was HelloFresh, but GoodFood is right up there!

TRY GIVING EACH DAY OF THE WEEK A THEME

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For example, you could do Mexican on Mondays, pasta on Tuesdays, stir-fry on Wednesdays, vegetarian on Thursdays, and maybe a comfort food/free-for-all on Fridays. That gives you some structure, but then you can choose exactly what meal you feel like at the time.

Keep staples for those meals on hand, so that you can actually make them when you feel like. So for pasta, keep the pasta and some sauces around, some rice for your stir-fries, and your choice of meats and veggies. (You could get ground beef and chicken and just freeze it, so you always have it.)

Weekends can be even more flexible—you can use what you have left to make whatever you want, or just keep going from your categories.

MAKE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH EASY

Protip for meal planning when you hate planning: make it so you have to plan as little as possible. Keep a variety of options on hand for breakfast and lunches, and then you only really need to plan dinner.

We usually keep instant oatmeal, bagels, and cereal around for breakfast, and choose whatever we feel like in the morning. On weekends we often make egg sandwiches with turkey bacon (or regular bacon, low-sodium).

For lunch, my partner takes deli meat sandwiches because his job doesn’t really allow for him to reheat leftovers… and I usually do just take leftovers.

For snacks, we usually have Clif bars and boil some eggs to keep around for a filling snack (that protein keeps you full longer, and it doesn’t take long to do it). We also have rice crackers, veggies and dip, and trail mix (the ones with M&Ms of course!) You could do whatever you like.

Aaaand, boom! We barely have to plan the majority of our meals. No plan menu FTW!

KEEP REALISTIC LAST-MINUTE OPTIONS AROUND AT ALL TIMES

By this, I mean literally just frozen pizzas, instant noodles of some kind, and frozen chicken fingers and fries. (Whatever works for you.)

That way if you’re in a pinch, or you’re feeling lazy, you’ve got something to eat that is SO EASY you don’t have to try… and you’ll prevent yourself from ordering in every single time. Save that moolah!

So there you have it! 5 ways you can meal plan when you hate planning.

This post was originally published on FlightandScarlet.com.

Download the Hey! VINA app to find other meal-prepping vinas with even more tips!

ADULTING CHECKLIST: 5 THINGS YOU SHOULD BE DOING

Let’s be honest, being an adult can suck sometimes. The bills, the responsibilities, the assumed maturity (that you don’t necessarily have nailed down yet), the expectations, and, oh, did I forget to mention the bills?! What happened to the days of only having to worry about a homework assignment, or who kissed who behind the bleachers, or “when is homecoming again?” There are times when all I want to do is forget my name and play Nintendo all day (I know, I totally just dated myself).

But there are times when it’s completely amazing as well! Like being in your own space, with your own things, and having whatever you want in the refrigerator! If I want to live on Cheetos for the rest of my life, I can! You can’t beat watching a friend marry the love of their life, but it’s not something you get to see much when you’re 16.

Good, bad or frustrating, growing up is unavoidable. Some still pretend to be teenagers – I won’t name names to protect the guilty – but we all change with the seasons and move forward (even if only chronologically). We all have our own toolkit to help us navigate these changes, but there are a few things that every adult should be doing:

1. LEARNING TO BE QUIET

Our entire day is filled with talking, explaining, sharing, interacting and presenting. The act of being quiet not only helps us reset our minds but also allows us to be introspective. Emotional intelligence is highly underrated, and being in a quiet space develops and cultivates your inner voice.

2. BEING FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE

Granted, we’re all poor when we graduate, but learning to be responsible with the little you have now will help you build habits when you get that first fat paycheck! Financial health follows you your entire career and retirement thereafter, so it’s important to pay attention early.

3. PURSUING YOUR PASSIONS

Do you remember what you wanted to be at age 5? A veterinarian? A doctor? A lawyer? I wanted to be an Egyptologist! Super random, I know, but somewhere along the way life took over and that dream faded. I’m still curious about the way ancients lived, but working in finance, the two worlds don’t really collide. So instead, I’m following that passion by traveling as much as I possibly can.

Don’t let adult responsibilities be your excuse for losing sight of that joy. Find an alternative way to tap into the kid that used to jump out of trees (maybe that was just me) or treat all your sick stuffed animals with Band-Aids and wraps.

4. PRIORITIZING YOUR HEALTH

Healthy is the new sexy. We’re not all supermodels, and what’s healthy for me isn’t necessarily healthy for you, but we all know what healthy FEELS like. I don’t care if you think you’re “slim-thick,” “rail-thin,” somewhere in between, or no definition applies (I actually prefer to avoid categorical self-identifiers. We’re all beautiful!), being healthy is mandatory. As women, we often take care of others before taking care of ourselves. Ladies, put yourself first and take care of you. We can’t be there for our families and friends if we’re in the hospital or worse. Me Time is REAL!!

And last, but certainly not least:

5. KNOW YOUR WORTH

This is across the board! Not just at work, in friendships or in relationships. We are beautiful, strong women and deserve to be treated as such. Knowing who you are and what you contribute is an invaluable feeling that holds so much weight. When you know your worth, you won’t tolerate being treated as anything less. Self-esteem is a huge issue for many teenaged and adult women who don’t know their worth. Remember who you are and how wonderful you are. Never let anyone smother that fire that you have.

It can be rough being an adult, and there are days when we’d all like to be back on the playground. But to be honest, there’s a reason I blocked out high school, and no amount of money could EVER make me go back there. So for now, I’ll take being able to travel whenever I want to (in accordance with my work calendar that is), come home to a quiet house with my Cheetos and enjoy staying out past curfew! Something tells me that you feel the same.

If you’re looking for some new vinas to conquer adulting (and brunching) with, start swiping on Hey! VINA today!

IMPRESS YOUR VINAS WITH THESE COCKTAIL-MAKING TIPS

Vina: bold, intelligent, badass. She’s the life of the party. She can mix a drink.

To help bring out that life-of-the-party vina that’s inside of you, I’ve compiled a tried-and-true list of cocktail-making tips so you can be that girl wherever you’ll be celebrating next.

Before I started following these five simple steps, not even my most beautiful glasses, stainless steel shakers, or a phone full of Pinterest recipes could save my drinks from coming out too strong, too sour, too much like juice, or too much like toxic waste. These tricks have helped me become more creative behind the bar and have given me a better understanding of how much alcohol each drink needs, all while keeping things simple, sweet, and cheap.


1. LESS IS MORE WHEN IT COMES TO INGREDIENTS

A good cocktail doesn’t need to be complicated. Many of the best cocktails have three or fewer ingredients. The important thing to know is what mixes well with what. Here are two of my favorite simple drinks that have less than three ingredients:

The Paloma: 1/4 cup of tequila, 1/4 cup grapefruit soda (like Fresca or Jarritos), served on the rocks with a lime wedge. Add a salted rim to feel like a real pro.

The Bellini: 2 ounces chilled fruit purée (traditionally peach), 3 ounces prosecco. Usually served in a champagne flute, start with the fruit puree on the bottom, then pour the prosecco over the top. Feel free to add a fragrant garnish to up your bar cred.

These and other gorgeous two-ingredient cocktails can be found at http://www.mydomaine.com/two-ingredient-cocktails

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WHEN IN DOUBT, STICK TO THE CLASSICS

Who’s ever turned down a whiskey and Coke or vodka and soda? These drinks are well known for a reason and are simple to make. The best part about their simplicity is that it makes them easy to customize and dress up. Put your own original spin on any of the classics with fresh herbs, splashes of fruit juice, or even a simple lime or lemon to impress your vinas.

GET CREATIVE WITH FRESH FRUIT AND KOMBUCHA

When you’re drinking, you ’re probably not drinking for the health benefits (unless you’re one of those red-wine-with-dinner people). Still, it’s nice to mix up a fun drink that ’s light on guilt sometimes. Fresh fruit, kombucha, and even Perrier can make awesome additions to classic drinks. (HINT: The Real Food Dietitians suggest replacing the ginger beer in the classic Moscow Mule with kombucha and adding fresh ginger, mint, and cucumbers.)

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CHEAT SHEETS ARE A VINA’S BEST FRIEND

Now that you have the inspiration, it ’s time to get technical. You don’t want to make your drinks too strong or watered down. To ensure that you pour just right every time, check out this amazing cheat sheet that explains the use of “parts” in drink recipes. You can always print it out and keep in your kitchen so you ’re ready for your next soirée.

USE THE TOOLS AVAILABLE

There are so many amazing resources where you can find easy drink recipes. Use them! There’s no shame in borrowing a few tips and tools from the pros. Here are two personal favorites:

Now that you know the tricks of the trade, I fully expect to see you giving back to the Vina community by hosting a meet and greet cocktail party with your new matches!

Find some new vinas to invite to your next cocktail party by downloading Hey! VINA on the App Store today! You’re new best friend could be just a swipe away! 👯📱

15 OF THE BEST LIFE LESSONS

Blackstone’s Byron Wien, Vice Chairman of Private Wealth Solutions Group, gave a speech laying out the wisdom he learned during his 80 years. Here are 15 of Wien’s best life lessons, which teach us about improving our productivity, sleep, burnout avoidance, and everything in between.

1. “Concentrate on finding a big idea that will make an impact on the people you want to influence. The Ten Surprises, which I started doing in 1986, has been a defining product. People all over the world are aware of it and identify me with it. What they seem to like about it is that I put myself at risk by going on record with these events which I believe are probable and hold myself accountable at year-end. If you want to be successful and live a long, stimulating life, keep yourself at risk intellectually all the time.”

2. “Network intensely. Luck plays a big role in life, and there is no better way to increase your luck than by knowing as many people as possible. Nurture your network by sending articles, books and emails to people to show you’re thinking about them. Write op-eds and thought pieces for major publications. Organize discussion groups to bring your thoughtful friends together.”

3. “When you meet someone new, treat that person as a friend. Assume he or she is a winner will become a positive force in your life. Most people wait for others to prove their value. Give them the benefit of the doubt from the start. Occasionally you will be disappointed, but your network will broaden rapidly if you follow this path.”

4. “Read all the time. Don’t just do it because you’re curious about something, read actively. Have a point of view before you start a book or article and see if what you think is confirmed or refuted by the author. If you do that, you will read faster and comprehend more.”

5. “Get enough sleep. Seven hours will do until you’re sixty, eight from sixty to seventy, nine thereafter, which might include eight hours at night and a one-hour afternoon nap.”

6. “Evolve. Try to think of your life in phases so you can avoid a burn-out. Do the numbers crunching in the early phase of your career. Try developing concepts later on. Stay at risk throughout the process.”

7. “Travel extensively. Try to get everywhere before you wear out. Attempt to meet local interesting people where you travel and keep in contact with them throughout your life. See them when you return to a place.”

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8. “When meeting someone new, try to find out what formative experience occurred in their lives before they were seventeen. It is my belief that some important event in everyone’s youth has an influence on everything that occurs afterwards.”

9. “Take the time to give those who work for you a pat on the back when they do good work. Most people are so focused on the next challenge that they fail to thank the people who support them. It is important to do this. It motivates and inspires people and encourages them to perform at a higher level.”

10. “At the beginning of every year think of ways you can do your job better than you have ever done it before. Write them down and look at what you have set out for yourself when the year is over.”

11. “Don’t try to be better than your competitors, try to be different. There is always going to be someone smarter than you, but there may not be someone who is more imaginative.”

12. “When seeking a career as you come out of school or making a job change, always the job that looks like it will be the most enjoyable. If it pays the most, you’re lucky. If it doesn’t, take it anyway, I took a severe pay cut o take each of the two best jobs I’ve ever had, and they both turned out to be exceptionally rewarding financially.”

13. “There is a perfect job out there for everyone. Most people never find it. Keep looking. The goal of life is to be a happy person and the right job is essential to that.”

14. “When your children are grown or if you have no children, always find someone younger to mentor. It is very satisfying to help someone steer through life’s obstacles, and you’ll be surprised at how much you will learn in the process.”

15. “Every year try doing something you have never done before that is totally out of your comfort zone. It could be running a marathon, attending a conference that interests you on an off-beat subject that will be populated by people very different from your usual circle of associates and friends or traveling to an obscure destination alone. This will add to the essential process of self-discovery.”

Follow us here and subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.

— Originally published on December 3, 2018 on THRIVE Global.

7 TIPS FROM CEOS ON MORNING PRODUCTIVITY

Do you wake up and check your email while your eyes are still half closed? If so, you might want to rethink your morning routine. The early hours of the day set the tone for everything to come, so it’s no surprise that so many successful people take an intentioned approach to what they do first thing.These hyper-successful CEOs reveal their morning routines that help them prioritize calm, concentration, and the meaningful stuff — without sacrificing productivity.

1. JEFF BEZOS CARVES OUT A MORNING PAUSE

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos tries never to schedule a meeting before 10 a.m. “I go to bed early, I get up early, I like to putter in the morning,” he said in a speech. He spends his mornings reading the newspaper, having a cup of coffee, and eating breakfast with his children, he explains, taking some time for himself and his family.

2. RESHMA SAUJANI STARTS EACH DAY WITH TIME FOR HERSELF

Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, opened up to Arianna Huffington on the Thrive Global Podcast about prioritizing time to exercise in the morning as a new mom. “One of my best friends told me, ‘Every new mom gets to pick one thing and make sure you pick it and stick with it,” Saujani told Huffington, “Because everybody else will eat up all your time.’” Saujani explained that this advice made her decide to find time in her busy morning to exercise. “When my house is basically being activated, that’s when I picked my me time,” she shared, “So that everybody understood, including myself, that I was going to put myself first and not always put everybody else before me, for one moment in the day.” Science backs up her ritual, too: Exercise is incredibly beneficial for both your body and your mind.

3. OPRAH SAYS THANK YOU FIRST THING IN THE MORNING

“I wake up in the morning, and the first thing I say is ‘thank you.’ Even before I’m awake, even before my eyes are fully open. I say ‘thank you.’ I can feel the gratitude, like, ‘I’m still here. I’m in a body. Thank you for that,’” Oprah revealed in a conversation with Van Jones on CNN. Oprah knows what’s good for her (and you). Research tells us that gratitude improves mental health.

4. TYLER HANEY TAKES ADVANTAGE OF THE SNOOZE BUTTON

Tyler Haney, CEO of Outdoor Voices, has a morning alarm set for 6:50 every day, she tells Women’s Health. But she doesn’t get up immediately. “I give myself a minute and a half micro-snooze, which feels like the most glorious 90 seconds of my life,” Haney said.

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5. ARIANNA HUFFINGTON KEEPS EMAILS OUT OF THE BEDROOM

“I make a point not to answer email right when I wake up, and I avoid the temptation by not keeping my electronic devices charging in my room,” Arianna Huffington, Thrive Global’s Founder and CEO, revealed in the book My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired. Thrive’s phone bed charging station takes Huffington’s metaphor of putting your phone to bed and makes it a reality, but phone bed or no, leaving your phone outside the bedroom is a great trick to keep those first few minutes of wakefulness calm.

6. SUNDAR PICHAI READS A PHYSICAL NEWSPAPER

“Believe it or not, I read a physical paper every single morning,” Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, revealed in an interview. He’s getting some early morning respite from screens by doing so, and he’s tapping into research that says reading sharpens your mind, too.

7. GARY VAYNERCHUK CATCHES UP WITH LOVED ONES

Gary Vaynerchuk, VaynerMedia co-founder and CEO, has counseled and invested in more than fifty startups, including Twitter, Tumblr, Medium, Birchbox, Uber, and Venmo. But he still makes a point of calling his family members every morning, he wrote in an article for Business Insider.

“I call my mom, dad, or sister, depending on who I called last. I catch up with them. Talk to them. Just learn what they’re up to. I really value those small moments.”

Follow us here and subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.

WHY IS IT SO HARD TO KEEP HEALTHY HABITS?

Remember when you signed up for the gym and vowed to go every day? How are you doing on your weight loss goal? Just this morning my sister texted me saying, “I’m going to try and eat clean this week. I can’t stand the way I’ve been feeling.” So why do we make plans to make HEALTHY changes to our habits and fall short on the follow-through?

On average, it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic. Two months doesn’t seem like a long time, but when you are attempting to make a healthy habit a part of your daily living, it can feel like decades. As humans, we gravitate toward the familiar, and we enjoy the sense of security that the repetition of our habits give us. We dish out some steps to overcoming that obstacle and getting that healthy habit to stick:

BE CLEAR WITH YOUR HABIT CHANGE

When you’re trying to set up a new healthy habit, it is very necessary to be as clear as possible with what you are changing. When you are thinking of your habit, view it as something you are already including with your daily life. When you make the habit precise and already in progress, your mind will subconsciously make the habit take affect. For example, if you want to drink more water, you can say, “I am having a bottle of water with my spinach salad today” or “I will refill my 20 ounce water bottle two more times before I leave the office.”

BITE-SIZE PIECES TASTE JUST AS GOOD

I have found that the smaller the habit change, the easier it is to keep it. Smaller scales mean smaller measurements—literally, if you’re counting calories! I take the ultimate goal that will result from my health habit change, and I break it down into small pieces. Let’s say I want to lose 50 pounds. Instead of looking at the BIG picture, I simply set my standard to 5’s. I measure my success on five-pound increments, 230 pounds, 225 pounds, 220 pounds, and so on. Each five-pound loss is a success and, eventually, they will accumulate to my overall total.

ASK YOUR VINAS FOR SOME HELP

Holding yourself accountable can be difficult, but very well worth it. There are a lot of apps that help remind and track your habit changes. If your phone is stuck in your hand most of the day, what better way to get into your healthy habit than with a pesky notification reminding you? The tried-and-true method of paper tracking is still a great option for people that use planners and rely on them for their daily tasks.

One of the most effective ways of accountability is inviting a friend along. Choose a vina that you trust, can be honest with, and will have your best interest at heart. Leaving yourself open and vulnerable to hearing feedback from your vina will persuade you to make the right decisions and follow through with your healthy habits.

Habits are hard to break. The ones that we have already formed have been a part of our daily lives and have given us to comfort and solace that we are always seeking. Creating a new healthy habit out of an old one will take time, but once you see the change you expected, it will be worth it.

Join other vinas trying to keep healthy habits on Hey! VINA, hold each other to your goals, and, most importantly, support each other!

WHAT IT MEANS TO INVEST IN YOURSELF

You’ve heard it countless times—take time for yourself and secure your future. But what does that really mean and how do you about it? Essentially, investing in yourself works the same way like putting money in the bank. The more you put in, the more you’ll reap. We can get so caught up in everyday life, we forget that the most important investment we’ll ever make is the time we give ourselves in order to flourish.

The month of January calls for a fresh start and new healthy habits! Here are some ways you can invest in your wellbeing and get more out of life.

GET MORE OUT OF YOUR DAY

For a good part of my young adult life, I always believed I was a night owl. I thought it was just in my genetics to go to bed at 3 or 4 a.m. and wake up until noon. This was the least productive habit I ever adopted. You don’t need to wake up at 5 a.m. every day, but getting a head start definitely helps. If you’re a writer, get up earlier to write. If you like to read, do it in the morning. Whatever you enjoy doing and never have enough time for, getting up a bit earlier to do it will make you feel so much better!

INVEST IN YOUR HEALTH

Fitness is the first step I took when I decided to invest more in myself (and I saw results!) I enjoyed ending a long day by going to the gym. An hour of working out gave me the alone time I craved after a busy day socializing at my day job or with friends. It allowed me to unwind, and I felt so much better afterward. Over time, I saw results and learned so much more about my body and overall health.

INDULGE IN YOUR INTERESTS

If you’re struggling with this one, don’t worry—I did too. If you don’t currently have an interest you’re passionate about, then start with an idea. I would look at water-coloring tutorials but never trying it out myself. One day, I bought a starter kit and followed a video and made a cute work of art! The process was very therapeutic, and now it’s a fun hobby I get to share with others. If there is anything you’d like to try out, then try it! You’ll be amazed at what comes from just attempting a new hobby—plus you’ll feel good about yourself. What an accomplishment!

These are just a few ways you can invest in yourself day-to-day. It’s going to be different for everyone. These are just a few things that worked for me! Looking after yourself, learning a new skill and taking a break from all the hustle and bustle is more important than you think. The first step to being good to others means being good to yourself!

Looking to have a support group to motivate you into taking care of yourself? Join our communities on Hey! VINA to find the squad you need. 

CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK FOR A HAPPIER LIFESTYLE

You changed jobs or moved to that new city. You’ve switched partners, became single to focus on you, or tried to shake out your routine. Yet you still feel like happiness is unreachable. Why is that so? Read on for ways to change the way you think and start living a more content life!

BEAT BAD HABITS

There are certain habits that we don’t know that we have.  You might spend too much time on social media and not get enough work done, and this may frustrate the people around you.  The problem isn’t the social media—the problem is that the work isn’t being done.  Their reaction to you may shock you and upset you because, in your mind, you didn’t deserve it.  But if you think about it, nobody would have gotten upset over your social media habits if the work was done on time.

Someone might have said something to you like “It’s always the same thing with you” or “this is exactly what happened last time.” I believe that sometimes, it really is just the situation you’re in.  But other times, when it’s easier to blame the situation rather than do some introspection and change yourself for the better, I think that is the time when you really have to knuckle-down and brave face through the transition that will ultimately change the entire trajectory of your life.

If you start noticing a pattern or a continuous thread of responses from the people around you, it’s time to seriously start thinking about the impact your attitude has on your everyday life—and especially your future.

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THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS ARE CONNECTED

Activating your brain to start noticing the things you do that is causing you to behave in ways that may be destructive to others is no easy task.  You basically have to dissect yourself and find out what the root of your behavioral issues are.  And that is daunting.  I’ve been listening to Dr. Caroline Leaf recently and find her books very helpful.  She speaks about controlling your thoughts and switching on your brain. This is basically the idea that your thoughts control your feelings, and your feelings control your behavior.

If you can control your thoughts and how you think, you can control how you feel—which means you can control your reactions to different triggers and situations.

We all think that we can’t help how we feel.  And perhaps we can’t, but we certainly can help how we respond to our feelings. Have you ever thought yourself into a bad mood?  If you can do that then, as hard as it sounds, surely you can think yourself into a good mood.

FOCUS ON YOU

If you feel that you are always unlucky, that the world is always against you, or that everyone always treats you with disrespect and nobody sees how much you do for everyone, maybe you should go back to the beginning and work on yourself first.  Take some real time out. Away from everything and everyone.  Take a diary and write down all the things that affect your emotions and ask yourself why they do. Write down everything that makes you happy and what you can do to motivate your happiness.  Write down ways you think you can experience that happiness more often and how you can increase moments of happiness into a longer lasting state of being—rather than just bouts of happiness which are dependant on external influences.

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CHANGE YOUR POV

The best way to change other people is to start by changing yourself.  And I know that they say you can’t change other people, you can only change how you react to them.  But I believe something different.  I believe that if you work on yourself and develop skills that will conform to you – not to anyone else’s standard – the people around you and the relationships you have will automatically change.  And in that and as much as you don’t really change the people around you, you certainly change their perception of you and the way that they respond to you.  For instance, if you walk past a colleague for months without saying hello to them, chances are that they won’t see the need to say hello to you.  But if you change the way that you see them and stop one day to find out how their evening was, chances are that they will respond well to that and then one day, they might even start the conversation with you.  Do you see how the colleague in that scenario “changed” from not seeing the need to say hello to you to initiating the conversation?  In this scenario, you might think “Wow, the colleague really changed a lot” but, when you unpack it, you find that the real person who changed was you.

If we focus our energy on ourselves, we can all change the way we respond to situations.  You might think that you can’t help yourself, but if you put the same dedication into yourself that you put into trying to change everybody else, you will soon learn that you can help yourself.  You can change how you think and feel.  You can decide not to blow up a situation.  You do have the power. It resides within you.

Surround yourself with positive influences—download Hey! VINA to meet supportive vinas today!