Happy New Year to everyone reading this! As 2019 has arrived, it is a popular time for people to be making New Year’s resolutions. These are notoriously hard to stick to, but check out these tips and tricks to help follow your freshly-made goals! As an example, I’ll be sticking to going to the gym as our main goal—but they are easily applied to any and all objectives you may have in mind.


Don’t let the past control your present mind. The past is a series of moments which can never be relived. The future is moments which you can look forward to. Instead, to get yourself to stick to your gym plans (for example), you can look forward to how healthy you will feel after your workout or the fun of buying new gym clothes. This will keep you motivated to reach what you want.

I suggest using the SMARTER goal acronym. S: specific, M: measurable, A: attainable, R: realistic, T: time-bound, E: economical, and the final R stands for reward. An example of this would be losing 10 pounds in six months—this is specific. Measurable means how you will measure your success, for losing weight you would use a scale. For the goal to be attainable, you would have to make a plan. For example, starting a schedule to go to the gym five times a week, or setting aside Sundays as your day to prepare meals.

For the goal to be realistic, you must determine if it can actually be achieved. If the goal was to lose 10 pounds in 10 days, that wouldn’t be realistic. However, the time frame and goal is something that can actually happen with a plan. Time-bound is the time frame which you will try to achieve your goal, six months, for example. Economical refers to how much it will cost. If you are trying to lose weight and you hire a personal trainer, that will cost money. If this is too expensive for you, then it wouldn’t be economical. It is important for a goal to be within your budget or it will cause added stress, making your goal harder to achieve. Finally, you must reward yourself. You should plan the reward before you start trying to achieve your goal; this will give you something to look forward to. Setting realistic and achievable goals will help you stay true to your resolution.



This resolution is a new part of your life. You must let yourself ease into it while breaking an old habit and forming this new one. For example, if your goal is to go to the gym five times a week, start with once a week for the first week. Then go twice a week for the next two weeks. After this, go three times, four times and so on. Starting out at five times a week would be overwhelming and could make your resolution harder to keep.


What this means is you promise yourself that you are going to keep your resolution. It should be specific and realistic. I suggest writing it down and reading it every day. Vowing to yourself is an important step.

To go along with the SMARTER goals and making vows, writing them down and placing them in your everyday environment also helps. Write down your goals and promises on sticky notes and put them where you will see them as daily reminders to keep striving for the goal. Also, writing positive affirmations can create a positive environment, which makes keeping the resolution easier. My favorite positive affirmation is, “Everything I need comes effortlessly and naturally.” I have mine in my bathroom, bedroom and kitchen, as well as my screen saver on my phone and laptop. Some people like to put them in their wallet, car, or on something related to their goal, like a treadmill for example.


You can do this to whatever extent you want: telling just friends and family versus posting on social media. Or shouting it from your window, and filling your uber driver in on your way to work. Whatever works for you! Either way, making your goals known will hold you accountable for keeping your resolution.

Let’s face it. New Year’s resolutions are not easy to keep, because they are often about changing something big in your life. My greatest piece of advice is to use these tips for any and every change you want to make, and don’t wait until the next new year. 2020 is far away, and you have a whole year to make your life amazing. Most importantly, live fearlessly and have a happy New Year!

Is your new year’s resolution to meet tons of new BFFs? Hey! VINA has you covered—start swiping! 


It’s January which means “new year, new me”—right?

Every year my New Year’s Resolutions are all about self-improvement. I make a plan to read more books, go to the gym more often, or finally find a haircut that won’t make my hair look so frizzy all the time… things like that.

And while these resolutions generally help me set good goals for the year, last January I realized that none of my recent self-improvement resolutions helped me to improve my social life. So, last year I decided that my new year’s resolution should be to try new things, get out of my comfort zone and even gain some new life experiences. And that’s when I set a goal to branch out. Boy oh boy, did I do it. I found myself making new friends, trying new things, and learning a lot about myself along the way.

While your new year’s resolution may already be underway, you can use these four tips to branch out this month and see where it takes you.


It didn’t take long for me to realize one of the easiest ways to start branching out is to simply break your routine. It’s so easy to get into daily habits, especially when you’re so busy with work and mundane chores that you don’t have the energy to do anything else. You find yourself doing the same thing every single day, never giving yourself the opportunity to change it up.

I started small and took baby steps. Every night, I would come home from work feeling exhausted, eat dinner and go straight to bed. I thought it was about time I changed things up. I set a goal to go out with friends to a new place at least once a week. It wasn’t a big change—going out with some friends for sushi or going bowling, but it was just enough to make a difference to my routine. It helped me go to new places, meet new people and I had a lot of fun.

You can do this, too, by finding a spot in your day that you have room to switch up. Maybe it’s changing your path on your evening jog or watching a different news channel in the morning. Changing your routine can open your mind to new things and give you an opportunity for new experiences!

silhouette of four people against sun background

Photo by Dennis Magati on


I’ve always been a bit of a picky eater. I know what I like and always find myself sticking to the safe option at a restaurant, something I know I like or I’ve had before. I even find myself going to the same restaurants over and over because I know the food will be good, and I knew that in my quest to branch out this had to change.

I ended up making a sort of game out of it with one particular friend. Whenever we’d go out to eat, we’d try to find a place we’d both never been to before. This was pretty easy to do in my city, as there are always new places popping up. Or, when I was alone, I’d go online and look up places to eat.

Some of the restaurants I went to were amazing, while others I’d for sure never go back. But either way, I was so excited to learn more about food and about what I like. I always thought I was a picky eater, but it turns out that there is a lot of food I like. I love shabu shabu, all kinds of Indian food, and even squash on pizza. It broadened my palate, expanded my culinary interests and even opened my mind.

It’s amazing what a change of scenery (and menu) can do.


I found that one of the best ways to branch out is to take a class. If you’re having flashbacks to math tests from high school, don’t panic. These classes don’t have to be hard. In fact, they should be fun.

I had a great time taking a ballroom dance class at the local junior college and took an oil painting class at a community center near my house. While I loved learning about painting, my favorite part was talking to the other students in the class. We had a lot in common because we lived in the same area (and liked to paint), and I ended up learning something new and making friends at the same time.

Think of something you’re interested in (and would like to know more about) and find a class near you. Maybe you’re interested in cooking or scrapbook making. Maybe you’re interested in taking a philosophy course, gardening, or vinyasa yoga. Make a list of classes you’d like to take and do a quick internet search in your area. You’ll probably be surprised at how much you find!


Volunteering is a great way to branch out because, not only is it a great excuse to meet new people and help others, but it might also help you try something new and put you out of your comfort zone.


Recently I signed up to help plant trees and had such a great time. I’m not usually one to garden—I don’t have a backyard and am used to living in a suburban area, so I don’t often find myself out with nature. But it was so fun to be outside with my hands in the soil. Not only did I get to feel good for helping out with a great cause, but I got to try something new and learn that I really do enjoy being out in nature. Maybe one day I’ll even find myself moving into a house with a yard and tending my own garden.

Looking for the ultimate way to branch out this year? Download the Hey! VINA app now and start swiping!


Hey, vinas! If you’re like me and have a hard time starting a conversation with someone you just met, fear not! You’re totally not alone. To help break that ice (and award silence) with soon-to-be friends, check out these 10 conversation starters to put to use on your next vina date!


A hobby? Guilty pleasure? Simple passtime? This one can be anything!


Let me guess, cell phone? Same.


A must know, obvi. Whatever the answer may be, you can use this one to plan a second date at your fav cafe!


Whether it’s your fav pair of fuzzy socks, or a gold plated CK watch, we’ve all got a little accessorize in us!


Besides your native tongue, of course! French, Latin, Mandarin, Swahili…the possibilities are endless!



Think hard, vinas. We all get a little crazy sometimes!


What are you hiding form the world, you talented gal?!


Art comes in all shapes and sizes, so this could mean a lot of things for you and your vina! A painter, musician, sculptor, poet, dancer, photographer…again, endless possibilities!


Dream big, vinas! You only get one life…or something like that 😉


How about the country? The continent? Find out just how much of this big, beautiful world you and your vina have seen! And maybe even learn a little bit about foreign cultures!

Swipe on over to the Hey! VINA app and find your perfect match to get chatting with! 


With a brand-new job comes a new place, new coworkers, and a new set of rules to get used to. I recently snagged what I call my first “big girl” journalist job, and I’ve been crazy busy adjusting to life with a full-time position. I’ve been learning the rules of the road and putting my kick-ass writing skills to the test. Now that I’ve seen a few things, I’ve got a few tricks of the trade to share with all you fellow boss vinas! To help you feel confident and prepared in taking the plunge into adulthood, keep reading for five ways to rock your new job and bring out those #LadyBrag vibes.


Staying organized is one of the MOST important things you can do. If you’re unorganized, you get sloppy and that’s how mistakes are made. Honestly, post-it notes are a lifesaver. Whenever I have tasks that I need to remember, I write memos on post-its and stick them to my computer. I keep a journal for all of my day-to-day notes (which also serves as a reference book when I need to double-check myself), and a planner for important dates, deadlines, and meetings. And hey, going as screen free as possible is also good for the eyes, and mind! Bonus!

5 ways article


This is something I’ve already learned in my short time with the company: sucking up gets you nowhere. It may seem like a beneficial short-term solution that makes you look good, but it’s not smart–it’s desperate. You are worth so much more than that. Get to where you want to go by being efficient, open to criticism, and always ready to jump into action. Keep that eye on the prize vinas!


You’re there to work, yes, but you’re also there to make connections and start friendships that could last for years to come. These people will be your lifeline eight hours a day, so start building bridges! Go out for drinks when a coworker invites you, take that extra minute to chat with someone in the hallway, or write a funny post-it note and stick it on her desk. Life is all about the little things, even at the office!

5 ways article 2


There’s a stigma that comes with asking a lot of questions, especially when it comes from a woman. We’re often worried about being too much, or asking for too much, but there is power in knowledge! Always ask questions if you need reassurance. Don’t bite your tongue in fear of what others will think, odds are, they’re wondering the same thing! Be the person to speak out. Taking the time to double-check the little things shows dedication on your part, even if you’re 98% sure you’re right.


Girl, when it comes down to it, it’s a whole new job with a whole new set of rules that you’re still adjusting to. You’re allowed to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them. Don’t beat yourself up. Do what you can, pour yourself a glass of wine when you get home, and remember that tomorrows a new day. When in doubt, text your vinas for a little extra support!

Download Hey! VINA to find fellow boss babes to share all your #LadyBrag moments with!


The first thing you need to know about depression is this: it is so OK to be depressed and you are not abnormal or crazy if you are depressed. According to the ADAA, “in 2015 around 16.1 million adults aged 18 years or older in the U.S. had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the last year. That represents 6.7 percent of all American adults.”

So if you do find yourself thinking you might be showing signs of depression and may need to seek treatment, don’t put it off or convince yourself you don’t need it. So often, people are embarrassed or unwilling to admit that they have a mental disorder because they think that it automatically separates them from “normal” people or somehow changes the premise of their entire life. What happens then is that person sinks deeper and deeper into a state of depression trying to fight their own mind, all the while showing more and more signs of the original underlying depression. Trying to mask these initial feelings will likely end up in avoiding social situations, sleeping too much or calling in sick often or using alcohol or any substance abuse as a distraction. All of these are actually some of the most common signs of depression.

One of the most challenging factors about clinical depression is that it mimics the symptoms of other less concerning issues. In the same way that anxiety and panic attacks can mimic the symptoms of a heart attack or other cardiovascular complications, depression can have the same effects as a strenuous lifestyle.

Here’s how to tell the difference:

If you no longer have time in your daily schedule to enjoy hobbies, social activities, or just “me time” in general, it’s probably time to sit down and take a look at your schedule. It might be too full, causing you to be stressed. If you find yourself no longer having the desire to do anything fun or even anything at all, (i.e. eat, shower, talk on the phone, or even watching TV) then this is a sign that you could be depressed.

If you notice yourself being extra tired at night, not getting a good amount of uninterrupted sleep, or sleeping late, take a look at your daily life. Are you always on the go, running from here to there with your mind constantly racing? Stressed.

Are you spending more time on the couch, eating lots of empty carbs, sugar, and saturated fats? Are you regularly worrying about anything and everything and end up doing nothing because you don’t even know where to begin? Depressed.

Both stress and depression can cause you to become physically drained and interrupt your REM cycle, but the root problems should be addressed differently.

There is a definitive line between being overworked physically and overworked emotionally, but that line is just as easily blurred. The thing is, the solution is different for everyone. So don’t automatically assume that you’re going to be on a medication regime the second you reach out for help. In some cases just talking things out with a professional makes a world of difference and can also improve your mental health and wellness. However, stress should not be minimized. Putting a strain on your body both physically and mentally can have serious long-term effects.

Among other remedies are lifestyle changes such as improving your eating habits, increasing your amount of physical exercise, or taking up a new personal hobby. (Especially one that connects you to the earth, like gardening or adopting a pet/volunteering at a shelter, can change your mood and overall outlook on life.)

There are also many herbal treatments that have proven great success for individuals diagnosed with depression. Ask your doctor to look into homeopathic and other natural remedies, or make an appointment with a naturopathic specialist.

Whether you have taken on a little too much in your personal, educational, or professional life or have a deeper emotional issue that needs healing, there is a fix for you. That is why it is essential to make yourself, and your healing, a priority to find that unique fix. What works for one person might be totally different for the next. Be well, vinas!

Surround yourself with vinas who support your healing journey by swiping left!


Ah, jealousy: that ugly green monster that comes out more often than we’d like. It’s a normal human emotion; and yet, we’re drenched with shame once we look in the mirror and see that we’re “green with envy.”

I probably get jealous just as much as the average millennial vina, but it feels as though I get jealous way more than I should. As I have been told time and time again, and what I am telling you at this point, being jealous is nothing to be ashamed of, it is only human nature. You wouldn’t judge a toddler for crying because they want their mommy to play with them and not the other children. So, why judge each other?

And we’re not alone: About 80 percent of people younger than 30 reported feeling envious in the last year, according to a 2015 study.

However, the actions that come along with the jealousy, that’s something you need to watch for, though. No matter if you’re in a relationship or just jealous from feeling FOMO, your actions can do harm. They can do much damage mentally, physically, and socially to most, if not all, parties involved. Something seemingly harmless along the lines of a little social media “stalking” can do damage given the wrong circumstances. Especially if you accidentally double-tap their Instagram post from 2015. (sad to say we’ve been there and not looking to go back). 


The best way that I deal with jealousy is just by talking about it. Talk about it with your friends or family, or even the person(s) in question; if you are jealous of your partner’s success or the fact that they hang out a little too much with “Cheryl,” tell them how you feel in a calm tone. Remember that unless they have a mind-reading ability, they might not know how you exactly feel. Nobody likes to be accused, even if he or she is a guilty party. If you go around pointing fingers, people will be quick to shut it down. The takeaway? Talk to your partner about your feelings but in the right place and right time. Explain to them why you’ve been feeling jealous and communicate with your S.O. on your feelings and why they may be flaring up. If it’s something that may require talking to a therapist or going to couples’ therapy together, there is absolutely no shame in that, vina.

To figure out where your jealousy is stemming from, we suggest that you start to write down your feelings of jealousy and when they come about. Try to analyze what you see and how you can address those feelings. If you tend to feel really jealous after spending time on Instagram, for instance, maybe it’d be better for you if you invested that time on reading a book or trying a new hobby instead of scrolling through Insta. Try it for a week and see if you notice a difference in your jealousy.

You also might want to remind yourself why your life is pretty great, too. To combat feelings of jealousy, spend some time thinking about affirmations and what makes you happy in your life. That way, if jealousy is getting the best of you and you feel it creeping back in to steal your happiness, you can think back to this affirmation list and talk that green-eyed monster off.

Did you know that expanding your social circle can make you feel happier? Stop with the FOMO and make plans with new vinas here!




Alone time is essential in blossoming into a strong vina; but books can also be a great conversation topic and a window into the world of another’s soul. Reading is one of the best ways to unwind, pass the time, explore new worlds, and bond with yourself. The way we interpret texts and the influence they have on our everyday lives says a lot about our character. I love discussing books I have read with my grandma (she reads even more than I do). I am a strong advocate for reading and an even stronger advocate for book clubs.

So… We’re starting one! Download the Hey! VINA app and meet other vinas in your area; get together and discuss the books we’re reading. Instagram a pic of your book, or your book club meet up and use the hashtag #VINAbookclub. Join us in this intellectual adventure; broaden both your mind and your vocab.

For our first round we picked a fun and relatively quick read, written by a vina of many talents. Arden Rose is a “person of the internet” with one of the longest held and most strongly followed YouTube channels; a couple of acting gigs; a book titled Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together (Sort Of). I, myself, am one of those Youtube subscribers, Instagram followers, and an all around proponent of Arden Rose. Recently, a friend of mine said that I remind her of Rose; now I cannot help but notice the similarities in our character, humor, and couch potato-ness. Maybe we are kindred spirits, or maybe she is just so damn relatable. She broaches sex, role models, mental health, body image, etc. in the most relatable and agreeable of ways.

As I started reading, I decided to take everything very seriously; so when Rose advises that we “sit back, grab a large mug of tea, and let’s get into it,” I jumped right up and made myself a large mug of White Tea with Blueberry and Elderflower. Only then was I truly ready to begin.

In the chapter entitled: “Creating the Perfect Apartment without Wads of Cash or Buckets of Tears” she shares her theories on how to best utilize your space (no matter the size) in order to maximize specific function and productivity whilst minimizing stress. She always suggests adding greenery to make your house a home, and if you can’t keep plants from withering up or turning brown in two days time… stick with succulents.

There is one page in this chapter in which she commands you to separate your work and sleeping spaces, clarifying that “you don’t want to become some weird person who ends up sharing a bed with a cup of coffee and a notebook.” Upon taking my nose out of the book, I found myself leaning deep into my pillows, Almost Adulting in hand, a pen and pad within reach, and the previously mentioned mug of tea precariously perched atop my duvet cover…. at least it isn’t coffee. While this is obviously not the first time this has been suggested, it may be the first time I take it into consideration. Although she is just about my age, I feel like Rose is this authoritative figure to be taken seriously and she knows what the hell she’s talking about.

Another insight Rose gives within the narrative of her life is the summer she molded herself into a morning person. She has always thought she was a “night owl,” (as have I) however she concludes that this is a made up term and with enough will power and a reasonable bed time, we are all capable of rising with the sun and getting shit done. She recalls how adult she felt those couple of months when she was going to bed before midnight and waking up before seven. I too spent a summer utilizing my mornings and I wish I had never broken that cycle. I was adulting better at the age of seventeen than I am now. 


Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get it Together (Sort Of) serves as a guide into the tricky waters of adulthood. A quirky read full of anecdotes and so many jokes that flow effortlessly and make you lol at nearly every turn. Rose takes some of the most difficult and salient obstacles faced by young adults and adds humor and approachableness to it. Informing us on the many strategies to overcome these obstacles; all the while reminding us that we are all human.

Grab a copy and get going! Make sure to tell us about it– tag us in an Instagram picture of your book/club and make sure to add the #VINAbookclub.

(feature image via @paolahueck)



We get asked all the time: What should I say to that woman I matched with on Hey! VINALuckily, it’s easier than ever to communicate with your vinas, and we’ve got some tips for you right here:


To create the perfectly personalized first message, you may need to look around your new vina’s profile a little bit. Read her bio again, check out her quiz results, and read her answers to the 3 essential VINA questions. You’re bound to discover something interesting about her that you’re genuinely curious about or find something that you didn’t realize you had in common! Both are fodder for a great first message. 😊


There’s no reason to get fancy with it! Just say hey, introduce yourself, and ask her meet up. Chatting through the platform forever won’t get you your new best friend. You have to meet up IRL. The best way to do that is just to make plans right away!

Screen Shot 2016-09-26 at 2.32.38 PM.png


pin me!

Lucky for you there a ton of new-ish features you might not have taken advantage of yet, but that can definitely help you craft the perfect first message to your new vina!

  • Communities – Swiping in a Community guarantees you have something in common with your match! Simply tap the “VINA” on the top of the profile swiping page and choose your Community. Your stack will be updated with vinas in that Community! Matched with a vina while swiping in the Yogi Community? Ask her to try out that new class with you.
  • Personalized introduction messages – Your introduction message from Olivia at VINA is now personalized! The message now takes you and your match’s quiz answers into account. She’ll tell you what you have in common and take the guesswork out of choosing a first vina-date!
  • New quizzes – Hallelujah! We are now rolling out new quizzes so you can get to know your vinas even better through our app and have something to do while you wait at the dentist. 😉 Now you can message your vina about her results (are you a Venus or a Saturn?) and compare answers.

Hope these tips help! Now go forth and message all the vinas!