My 2021 Goals and Resolutions

Happy New Year everyone! I am very excited for 2021 and all that it has in store for us! I know that 2020 was a very difficult year for so many people, but I truly believe that things will be better this year, and that there is so much to look forward to!

I always get so excited when a new year begins because I feel so much hope for what’s to come. I also start thinking about goals I would like to reach and resolutions I would like to make. I know some people tend to laugh at the idea of “resolutions” because it is common for people to forget about them as the months go on, but I happen to be very determined, and I am not the kind of person who gives up easily on things that I really want. With that being said, I would really like to share some of my 2021 goals and resolutions with you all!

  • Go hiking once a month for twelve months

If you have been following me for a while, you may recognize this goal. This is something that my uncle and I have been doing for two years now, and we plan to continue again this year! I have a love for nature, and going on hikes really helps me to stay present and even get some exercise outdoors! We don’t live in an area that has too many intense hikes, but in the past, we have been able to go to a few different places. While I love a gorgeous mountaintop view, there is something serene and beautiful about flatland hikes as well. I am looking forward to another year of monthly hikes!

  • Stop procrastinating

I always knew that I was a bit of a procrastinator, but I didn’t realize just how much until recently. I noticed that I was putting off every little thing (even some things that I wanted to do). I started to get frustrated with myself! I recognized that if I keep making excuses for not doing these things, I will obviously never get them done. Whether it is cleaning or writing, I really want to stay focused and get on track to reach my goals. So, this year I want to stop making excuses and get things done, no matter how small.

  • Stay organized

I was looking back at my goals and resolutions from last year and realized that I wrote the exact same resolution for 2020. I wouldn’t say that I am very messy or someone who is completely disorganized, but I could definitely work on it. I tend to be a bit more organized with my school work, but at times, I will forget to do something small. I am not so organized with my room, so I have a plan to clean and organize my space once a week (including my bathroom). If life is stressing me out, a messy room can add to that stress, so I would like to keep things as tidy as possible. I also really love to plan things out, so ever since I got to college in 2017, I’ve kept a planner. Even though I’ve mostly used it for school in the past, I decided that this year, I would use it for everything in life. I want to write down any and all plans for the day/week/month, and I feel that by doing this, it will keep me on track. I love crossing things off my list, and it can feel really great and satisfying after a productive day.

  • Say positive affirmations daily

I have been on my self-love journey for quite some time now, and I am really proud of how far I’ve come. Of course, self-love can be difficult at times, but it is important to keep going. I feel like I stopped doing this for a while, so I decided it would be good to start saying positive affirmations again. It can be really beneficial to start your days off with positive thoughts about yourself or about how you want your day to go. You don’t have to say them out loud, but as long as you are thinking them, that is all that matters. Your mind is a very powerful thing, so what you believe, you will become. I’ve noticed that I will bring myself down at times by discussing the things I don’t like about myself. We’re all human though, and we all have things we may not necessarily love about ourselves, and that is ok. As long as you are working on loving yourself, then one day, those flaws will no longer negatively affect you. I hope to speak positively about myself more often, even if it is just in my own head. Remember: confidence is different than cockiness. Yes, it is amazing to love yourself, but you should never walk around thinking that you are better than anyone else.

  • Prioritize my overall health

As many of you know, I am very much into fitness. I have a plan to try to stay on track this year. In 2020, I ended up losing my motivation, especially in the second half of the year. My gym was not open for most of the year, so I was stuck with at-home workouts (and I still am). So, my plan is to do weight training and HIIT at least four times a week, and to continue doing my daily yoga. I have set up a workout split and I am hoping to get my motivation back once again. Hopefully sometime soon, I can go back to my gym, but for now I think it’s best to stay safe and stay home. Healthy eating has always been a bit of a challenge for me. I first started eating healthier in 2018, but over the past couple of years I realized that I was getting so bored of my usual healthy meals and snacks that I slowly stopped thinking about eating healthier. This year, I want to try to change things up a little bit, and find new ways to eat better. Of course, I won’t be jumping into it too quickly, but I really want to put healthy and delicious foods into my body, because I have experienced the overall benefits. I am also going to continue focusing on my mental health. I’ve been in a really great place these past few years, so I will do my best to continue taking care of myself in all ways. Happiness looks beautiful on anyone and everyone!

  • Weekly pamper nights

Sometimes we just need a little self-care. I recently bought a few new items to add to my pamper routine, and I am so excited to use them! I decided that I would have a pamper night at least once a week. While outer beauty isn’t everything, it is nice to keep up with my appearance, and it makes me feel beautiful and confident when I do. On this day, I can take my time, using things such as body scrubs, hair masks, and nail polish to make me feel pampered. Everyone deserves some time for themselves, and if you use that time to take care of yourself, it’s even better!

It is only the second day of 2021, and I have already learned quite a bit. I was speaking to my best friend and I was talking about New Year’s resolutions, and I questioned why we all wait until January 1st to start forming these new habits. It can be difficult and nearly impossible to change your life overnight. If anything, we should start in December! If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed or upset because you are struggling to turn things around and do better this year, you aren’t alone. Take it day by day, and don’t be too hard on yourself. It is important to be motivated and inspired, but of course this can come and go. Take your time forming these new habits, but stay disciplined. You don’t have to have it together all the time, but you should do your best to accomplish your goals, and work on bettering yourself daily.

Thank you all so much for reading my first post of 2021! I am feeling very inspired to create some fun and interesting content for you all this year! Everything from beauty and fashion, to fitness and health, to travel and entertainment! If you haven’t already, I would really appreciate it if you would subscribe to my blog, and share it with friends and family! I am wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and safe New Year!

What are some of your goals and resolutions for 2021? Leave me a comment below!

2020 Year in Review + Thank You

As 2020 comes to a close, I have been reflecting on these past twelve months. This year, many unexpected events occurred; both good and bad. I know that many people around the world have struggled a lot this year due to COVID-19, and this was something that absolutely none of us saw coming.

For me personally, I was able to take a step back and relax, spend time with my loved ones, take care of my overall wellbeing, and start/continue some projects that I had been wanting to work on. I am so extremely grateful that I live with a big family, and they made being in quarantine so much easier. I feel lucky to have them because I recognize the fact that not everyone has been able to be with their families, and some people have had to spend this year completely isolated from everyone they love. This crazy pandemic has affected everyone differently, but one thought that has been helping me through is knowing that the entire world is going through this challenging time together, and that (for the most part) people have been doing their part to stay safe and end this pandemic.

Today, I wanted to share some important moments and milestones that occurred in my life this year. While these events are all positive and exciting, I want to say that I don’t want anyone to think that I am being insensitive to all of the sadness that occurred this year. My heart sincerely hurts for those of you who have experienced pain, loss, and grief this year, and I recognize that this has not been the best or easiest year for a large number of people. 2020 may not have been the year that we expected, but I truly do believe that a lot of good has come out of it. It can be really difficult to focus on the positives at a time like this, but we have to try. I often describe myself as a positive person, so with all of that being said, I would really like to share some of the good moments that I went through in 2020!

  • Went hiking once a month for twelve months

In 2019, my uncle and I decided to try going on at least one hike a month for the year, and we completed that goal. I am happy to say that we reached that goal again for 2020! Every month we found a place to hike; some hikes were more intense than others, but we sadly do not have a ton of great hiking locations in our area. Still, there are some beautiful places to hike, and I really enjoy being out in nature from time to time. It always feels good to get up and get moving, and really anyone can go for a hike or walk! It was especially nice to do this when I felt like I was just in the house for too many days at a time. Some days, quarantining took a toll on me, so I was thrilled to spend some time outside!

  • Celebrated my four year anniversary of weight training

On February 23rd, I celebrated my four year anniversary of weight training! I truly can’t believe that I have been on my fitness journey for over four years at this point, and now more than ever, I am feeling ready to get back in the gym and push myself! Of course, this year my fitness journey took a bit of a turn and my motivation dropped significantly. I persevered and I did my best to continue working out through at-home weight training, HIIT, and even yoga! I began doing yoga daily in April, and I am proud to say that I have not skipped a day since! Yoga really became my main form of exercise this year, and while I do enjoy it, I miss weight training. My gym opened back up in September, but I won’t be going back until I feel safe to do so! I am feeling ready to reach new fitness goals in 2021!

  • Went on my dream trip to France

This was truly the trip of a lifetime for me! I had always dreamed of traveling to Paris, and in November of 2019, an opportunity came my way and I simply couldn’t refuse. On February 29th, I left for a week-long trip to Paris and Lyon! I was hesitant and nervous to go on this trip for multiple reasons, but I am so happy that I decided to go, and I have zero regrets! I am very fortunate to attend a university that allows for students to travel through multiple study abroad programs, and I never imagined I would have the confidence to actually go on one! It was my first time being away from my family for that long, but once I was there, I realized just how ready I was for something like this. I learned to be more brave, confident, and independent. One of my biggest dreams came true, and I was able to check the biggest item off of my bucket list! Click here to read about my trip to France!

  • Traveled locally

Sadly, our big family vacation was canceled this year due to COVID-19. We stayed hopeful, however things had not gotten much better by June (when we would have been leaving). I will not share exactly where we were going to travel just yet, but I am excited to share it with you when we reschedule the trip (hopefully for the summer of 2021)! Hint: it is a country in Western Europe! We safely booked a two week trip to the beach at the end of June, and we were able to get away from home for a bit! At that point, I was happy to go anywhere, because being at home all day everyday was getting frustrating. We stayed in a nice beach house at a private beach, staying as safe as possible. In November, my family and I also went on a weekend getaway to the mountains. Although our original travel plans were canceled, I was very grateful to be able to do some exploring this year!

  • Celebrated my 21st birthday

On July 14th, I turned 21, surrounded by my family and my best friend! It felt really nice to simply dress up and feel special for the day! Every year for my birthday, I always choose to eat dinner at The Melting Pot, which is a delicious fondue restaurant! We hadn’t been out to eat since early March, but we decided to eat out on this day. We did this as safely as we possibly could by going a bit earlier in the day to avoid crowds, wearing our masks, and sitting in a private room. Later on, we had some cake and I opened a few thoughtful gifts. The years seem to go by faster and faster the older I get, but I was never one to be afraid of growing up. I was excited to turn 21, and I am happy to be in such a good place in my life, surrounded by some amazing people!

  • Fell in love

They say that the best things happen when you least expect it, and I can say that this is 100% true. Over the past few years, I’ve really been taking the time to learn how to love myself. It hasn’t always been easy, and it is something I am working on each day. Little did I know that by starting my self-love journey, it would eventually attract the right people into my life. I ended up connecting with someone who now holds such a special place in my heart. I truly feel like the luckiest girl in the world, and I wake up every day feeling confident, happy, and grateful, and he is such a big reason why! He is patient, understanding, generous, loving, kind-hearted, funny, witty, and everything I could have ever wanted in a person and more! I have felt things this year that I didn’t even know a person could feel. At one point in time, July 22nd was just another day, and now it is the most special day!

  • Celebrated one year of “Compass to Confidence”

On August 15th, I celebrated one year of blogging on Compass to Confidence! It is so crazy that I launched my website over a year ago now! I remember how nervous I was to put my personal writing out there, but now my words have a home in this world, and I am always very excited to share more content with you all! I have always had a love for writing, and I have big plans for my blog in the future! I want to continue to share my passions, give tips, and inspire anyone who reads my writing to be confident. I am very outspoken when it comes to self-love and self-care because I have directly seen the benefits in my life, and I think everyone deserves to feel this way. I have a lot planned for my second year of blogging, so I hope that you will stick around, or if you are new here, I would really appreciate it if you would subscribe, and share my blog with your friends and family! Thank you so much for the support! Click here to read about my first year of blogging!

  • Started my senior year of college

My second semester of my junior year ended differently than I had planned. After I got back from my trip to France, everything changed and we very quickly switched to virtual learning. Although it was a little bit sad, stressful, and even confusing at times, I got through and completed my junior year! I truly can’t believe how fast my college experience is flying by! I’ve been working really hard, and I just recently finished up my first semester of my senior year, and I will be graduating in May of 2021! This is an accomplishment that I am already so proud of, and although I am nervous, I am also excited to see where life takes me after school!

I feel like I’ve learned so much this year about patience, self-care, love and relationships, and even myself. While of course this year was not perfect, I’ve been able to find so much beauty in it. If I’m being honest, I was a bit hesitant to share this blog post because I feared how others would perceive it. I don’t want anyone to think that absolutely nothing went wrong for me this year, or that I never had a bad day, because this wouldn’t be true. But I do believe in expressing gratitude and sharing positivity, so that is what I am doing.

I also wanted to share this blog post to say thank you so much to those of you who read my blog. It means the world to me to have your support! I know in my heart that helping others through my writing is my purpose in life, and I will never stop working toward that goal. Whether my writing reaches ten people or ten thousand people, I will be living my dream! I hope to grow my blog and the Compass to Confidence community. If you are a returning reader, I hope that you will continue to follow me along on this self-love journey, and I hope to help guide you through yours. If you’re new here, welcome! If you are curious as to what “Compass to Confidence” is all about, click here, and I hope you will stick around as well!

Thank you all so much again! I am feeling so positive and hopeful heading into 2021! I know beautiful things are coming our way. I am wishing you all a happy, healthy, and safe 2021, and I’ll be back with fresh and exciting content in the new year! Until next time!

What I Planned on Wearing in 2020 vs What I Actually Wore

2020 has been anything but normal, that’s for sure! As someone who loves shopping and fashion, I really enjoy planning out my outfits for different days/occasions/seasons etc. Well, in March, any plans I had went out the window! Today I wanted to share a fun blog post with the outfits I would have worn this year, but never got the chance to!

Outfit #1:

I really love looking put together, and adding a blazer to an outfit can instantly add a fresh and professional vibe. I really love that this outfit is completely neutral (black and gray), and I really like the windowpane pattern on the blazer! Underneath, I chose to style a simple black tank top and black skinny jeans. For my shoes, I went with a pair of black block heels. I feel that this look is professional yet stylish, and I would honestly wear this most places! This would be a perfect winter/fall outfit!

Outfit #2:

This look is my favorite out of all of them! I find it difficult to describe my personal style because I enjoy wearing so many different things, but for the most part, I love anything feminine and pretty. I love the bodysuit I chose for this outfit because it is both sexy and beautiful. The earthy florals against the white is stunning, and the back is all lace! I thought it would be nice to add a black wrap coat on top for cooler spring days! I love the material of this because it is super light, and it can be worn during any season! If you follow my fashion blogs, then you would recognize this piece (I wear it so often)! I then decided that I couldn’t go wrong with my favorite pair of jeans! These light blue ripped jeans are from PacSun! They are high-waisted and so comfortable! If you don’t own a pair of PacSun jeans, I highly recommend them! I went with a pair of short, nude block heels to complete the look!

Outfit #3:

This outfit would be perfect for those hot summer days! It is a very simple look, however anyone can rock it! This black bodysuit is something I reach for so often because it truly does go with everything, and I like the look of a tighter top tucked into loose bottoms. The paperbag shorts are adorable, and the pastel multicolored stripes are subtle, yet the colors are perfect for summer! For my shoes, I decided on the same nude block heels from the previous outfit. They are very comfortable and easy to walk in, however sneakers, sandals, or flip flops would be fine with this outfit too (this may depend on the style and color of shoes).

Outfit #4:

The last outfit is a bit more edgy and fun! I bought this gorgeous green dress while walking through the Latin Quarter in Paris earlier this year! I realized that there are so many ways to wear this dress. You can make it more feminine or you can go a bit bold. I decided on the latter for this look. I wanted to style this dress for fall, so I added a black leather jacket with gold detailing. A leather jacket instantly makes any outfit 10x cooler, and I really love this one! I thought that my black pointed toe ankle boots would be perfect, and that a pair of cat-eye sunglasses would complete the look beautifully!

And here is what I ended up wearing most days:

Since most of my year was spent at home, I ended up wearing very casual and comfortable clothes. This look is simple but cute, and it is an outfit that I wore very frequently! I bought this cropped tank top in four different colors (pink, baby blue, gray, and black), and I love them because they are so easy to throw on. I recently bought these capri pants on sale from Old Navy and I am actually obsessed with them! I love the pattern and the light fabric is perfect for warmer days. I lounge around in them often, but I would still go out with them on as well.

Although these outfits never really got to see the light of day, I guess there’s always next year! If that doesn’t work out, well, we’ll always have Instagram!

Thank you so much for reading! Leave me a comment and let me know which outfit is your favorite! Also, check out my Instagram @sacchere14 to see a new reel I created using these outfits!

My November Ipsy Glam Bag

Hey everyone! I am so happy to be back with a new blog post today! It’s the end of the month, which means that it is time to share and review what I received in my November Ipsy glam bag! I’ve always loved experimenting with new beauty products, and I was looking forward to this month’s bag!

This month, Ipsy reminded their members that it’s ok to indulge this holiday season, and to treat themselves with some new beauty! I really liked the #BePresent theme, and I absolutely loved the bag! I love the three different shades as well as the pop of color on the zipper! I felt that it was the perfect bag for November! I rated my overall bag 4/5 stars because I was very happy with the products I received.

Inside the bag:

  • 111SKIN – Y Theorem Day Cream NAC Y2 (my pick)

This is the product I chose to receive this month, and I am sad to say that it was not my favorite. When I tried this day cream, I first noticed how strong the scent was. I think it is probably best to avoid overpowering scents in facial products because it can irritate sensitive skin. I also have acne prone skin, so I try to be careful with this. The cream felt a little bit thick on the skin. The product includes anti-aging ingredients, vitamins, and antioxidants. I may need to try it again, but for now, I am not sure what I would rate this product.

  • Avette – Fresh Clean Coconut Mild Foam Cleanser

I was in need of a new cleanser, so I was happy to see that this was in my bag! I’ve used it a few times, and I have to say, I really enjoy foam cleansers! This one felt light, and I felt like it truly was cleansing my skin. It did have a somewhat strong scent, but this one smelled more fresh than the day cream. I plan to continue using this product, especially after wearing makeup or after long days. I rated this cleanser 4/5 stars.

  • Bobbi Brown Cosmetics – Vitamin Enriched Face Base

I haven’t had too much of a chance to try this out, but I was able to use it a couple times. I was really excited because I had never tried any Bobbi Brown products before! This primer made my skin soft, and it made applying foundation a smooth and easy process. I was able to blend out my foundation beautifully! This product doubles as a moisturizer, and my skin did feel hydrated after applying it. The ingredients are very beneficial for the skin as well (it includes: shea butter and vitamins B, C, and E). I rated this product 4/5 stars.

  • CONTEXT SKIN – Matte Lipstick in Sweet Emotion

I was thrilled to see that I would be able to try out a new lipstick! What can I say? I am a lover of lipsticks! The shade is something I normally would not go for, but it is absolutely perfect for fall! It is more of a rusty nude color, and it can be worn with a variety of makeup looks. It is creamy and applies easily as well, but I wouldn’t say that this is a matte shade! For me personally, I would recommend keeping the eyes very simple and natural and adding some color with this lipstick! I rated this 5/5 stars.

  • Eyeko – Rock Out and Lash Out Mascara in Carbon Black

I did not have high hopes for this mascara, but I was pleasantly surprised when trying it out! The wand is a unique shape, and it did make the product just a little bit difficult to apply. I really loved the way that this mascara made my lashes looked fanned out and it lengthened them pretty well. I had to apply a couple coats, and there was a moment when I thought it was beginning to clump my lashes, but it actually separated them well! I think this is the perfect everyday mascara! I rated this 4/5 stars.

Thank you so much for reading today’s blog post! Let me know what you received in your November glam bag in a comment below! I would love it if you would check out my Instagram, @sacchere14 to see a video I put together where I create a makeup look using these products!

If you would like to become an Ipsy member, click here!

Fitness Update: November 2020

This year, my fitness journey took a turn. It was an unexpected turn, to say the least. We have all had to adapt to a new way of living, and the gym was no longer an option, at least for me. I’m not going to lie, I did not make a ton of progress this year, and that was to be expected once COVID-19 became widespread. However, I did my best to maintain my physique. Today, I’ll be sharing a brief update on my fitness journey. My last update was posted back in June, so I felt that it was time to share another!

Back in March of this year, I was just returning from my trip to France. I was on a high because I had just experienced one of my biggest dreams. As soon as I got back, I realized just how serious COVID-19 was getting in the United States. Not long after that, things began shutting down, and since then, we have pretty much spent the year at home. Of course, my gym closed down, which I think was the right decision to make. A gym is probably one of the worst places to go during a global pandemic.

I really had to get used to at-home workouts, and this was a bit of a challenge for me. I find that being at home means I tend to get a bit more distracted, and I am not as motivated as I am in the gym. It took a few weeks for me to get a little routine down, but once I did, I was feeling good! I don’t exactly remember how many times a week I was weight training, but I would say maybe three. I was doing cardio around two or three times a week as well. I began to enjoy at-home workouts, though I did miss the environment of my gym.

Earlier in the year, I said that I wanted to try a new form of exercise. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but in April, a couple of my family members and I decided to try yoga. We have now been doing yoga every single day for seven months! We typically practice yoga for 10-30 minutes daily. This is something that I am really proud of. I honestly did not expect to enjoy yoga, and I originally had my doubts, but I have seen and felt the many benefits of the practice. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of yoga and mindfulness, I wrote a blog post about my experience recently (click here)!

As the year went on, I felt that I was losing my motivation to lift weights. Yoga became my daily workout, and weight training was something I did once or twice a week. I tried to keep up with cardio, but I would say that I did it once a week.  There haven’t been very many changes in my workout split since. I am doing my best to stay on track, and to not be too hard on myself. While I may not have made a ton of progress this year, I have remained active, and that is very important to me.

When it comes to healthy eating, I have to say, it was also quite difficult. For me, this has always been the hardest part of living a healthy life. I’ve noticed that when I’m weight training, doing cardio, and staying very active, my appetite is bigger. This year, I don’t think that I’ve been eating as much as I used to, or drinking enough water. My meals haven’t been very unhealthy, but they definitely could be better, so I am trying to work on this.

I recently discovered a very small issue with my health, so after speaking to my doctor, I now know what I have to do to keep myself healthy. This has actually sparked some motivation in me, and I am feeling more excited to lift weights, do cardio, and continue with yoga. I am also going to do my best with eating more and eating healthy, as well as drinking enough water.

I know that this year has been challenging for many people across the globe, and we have all been much more aware of our health now more than ever. Some people may have gained motivation and killed their at-home workouts, whereas other people may have struggled a bit more. Wherever you are on your fitness journey, take a moment to say thank you to your body. It has carried you through another year, and (hopefully) you are healthy and safe. It’s ok if working out or eating healthy was difficult this year (it was for me too). As long as you did your best this year, then that is enough. Be proud of how far you’ve come, and continue to live an active and healthy life. I know that for me personally, one of the biggest reasons I stuck with weight training is because of the way it makes me feel afterward. Even when I struggle to take out my weights and put on my workout gear, I always feel my best after a workout. Take a look back and remember why you started in the first place. This is how you will get your motivation back, and this is how you will continue on.

The holidays are right around the corner, making healthy eating and working out even more of a challenge. So please remember to do what you can to stay healthy (physically, mentally, and emotionally), but also spend time with your loved ones, and enjoy the holiday season! Take care of yourself, love yourself, and even through the challenges, continue on your fitness journey!

I hope you enjoyed reading this fitness update. I wanted to be honest and discuss the fact that I was not heavily motivated this year, however I am looking forward to my five year anniversary in February, and beginning my sixth year of weight training! Thank you for checking out today’s blog post! Until next time!

How to Recognize and Balance Your Priorities

As we get older, it is common to have a lot of responsibilities in all areas of our lives; whether it’s with work, our homes, our loved ones, or even ourselves. It can be overwhelming and difficult to really recognize and balance our priorities when we become busy. Everyday life will continue to pass us by, and we may come to find that we are neglecting important people or responsibilities in life.

For me personally, I have a few different things that I have to do in a week. For example, I am a college student, so I prioritize my schoolwork as well as the work that I do at my internship. I also prioritize spending time with my loved ones. I really enjoy being with my people (this includes family, a boyfriend, and friends), and they mean the absolute world to me, so I want them to know that. I also like to set aside time to focus on my passions/hobbies, whether that’s writing, working out, or spending time in nature. And of course, I prioritize self-care. It is so important to show love to yourself, and this is something that I practice daily.

The first step to recognizing your priorities is to write them down (and you can even try to list them from most important to least). By doing this, you will be able to really see each activity right in front of you, and you may even realize that it isn’t as overwhelming as you originally thought. Ever since I started college back in 2017, I haven’t been able to live without a planner. Most of the time, I only write down school assignments in my planner, however it can be very helpful to have a personal planner as well.

Every day is different. Some days I have a lot to do, whereas other days are more relaxed. There are certain things that I like to do/have to do daily, so sometimes I will write down each task I would like to do for the day. You can do this either on your phone, or you can grab a pen and paper. For example, on Mondays, it’s often a goal for me to do some writing/blogging, take some time for self-care, spend time with loved ones, workout, and write down/begin my school assignments for the week. Of course, I may not cross everything off of this list every day, but I do my best to focus on the most important tasks, and that is what matters most.

I may not be the busiest person in the world, but life can get overwhelming and stressful sometimes. There are times when I feel that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day, and I can be hard on myself if I fail to complete every single task on my list. I think that it is extremely important to pause each and every day, and remind yourself that you can handle anything that comes your way. It all comes back to self-care. Take some time out of each day to take a breather and do something that makes you happy, even if that means relaxing and watching your favorite TV show. In order to get things done, you need to be in the right headspace, and you need to feel prepared. This is why I believe planning out your day is so important. Just make sure that you don’t fall into any bad habits, or that you spend too much time relaxing. Balance is key.

The people who love you are going to want to see you at your best, and that is why I always say that you should be your main priority. Taking care of yourself should be a main priority. Only then can you truly make time for other people and other things. If life is getting a bit too hectic and someone asks you do something, it’s ok to say no. It doesn’t mean you don’t love or care for the person, it just means that you need time for yourself, and if that person loves you, they will understand. I’ve always had trouble with saying no, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve really recognized the importance of standing up for myself and doing what’s best for me.

I think that for myself, having a routine helps me a lot. I know that everyone’s lives are different, and for some people, each day can look very different, but if there is even one thing that you can do at a certain time every day, this can help. I’ve always been very self-aware, and this becomes more and more true as I get older. I am very in touch with my feelings, and if I’m being honest, I don’t hide my emotions very well. The good thing about this is that I can very easily recognize when I’m reaching a breaking point, whether it’s emotionally, mentally, or physically. There is beauty in discovering more about yourself. There is beauty in alone time. Utilize this time, and get to know yourself.

I understand that it can be difficult to really recognize and balance your priorities. However, when you stop and think about it, it comes down to your attitude, your values, you goals, your work ethic, and your passions. If you find that you are neglecting yourself, your loved ones, your work etc., take a step back and remind yourself of what’s important to you and go from there. We all have our bad days and bad moments, but you have the ability to turn things around. Remember that difficult days don’t last, and you can and will get through them. Priorities can change over time as well, so take the time to learn what they are, and rearrange accordingly. Just remember that you should be a priority to yourself as well. Never forget that a little self-care can go a very long way.

I hope that you found this post helpful, and that you share it with your loved ones as a gentle reminder. Thank you so much for reading! Until next time!

The Benefits of Yoga and Mindfulness

Hey everyone! If you have been keeping up with the “Fitness and Self-Care” section of my blog, you may remember my post about doing yoga every day for one month. Well, I have continued to incorporate yoga into each and every day since April! Earlier this year, I told myself that I would try to find a new form of exercise, and I am happy to say that I did just that!

As many of you may be aware, I have been weight training for almost five years now. That journey has taken a bit of a turn this year due to COVID-19. My gym closed down sometime in March, and it opened back up in September. I have not gone back because I do not think that I would feel safe to do so just yet. Plus, a gym is probably one of the worst places to be during a pandemic, so I have chosen to continue with my at-home workouts for now. This year, I would say that yoga has become my go-to form of exercise. Though I have continued with weight training, I have not been doing this as frequently.

Initially, I was not incredibly interested in trying out yoga. I remember doing it once quite a few years back but I never stuck with it because I felt that it was “boring”. Things have definitely changed since then. I have been using a program that includes a variety of workout videos, ranging from strength training to yoga. Although I haven’t tried any of the other workouts besides yoga, I plan to do so one day.

I originally thought that only flexible people could do yoga. I did not think that yoga would be considered a workout either. I thought it would be very relaxing 100% of the time (I was definitely wrong about that). I was also not aware of the many benefits that yoga can have on the mind, body, and soul.

I believe that when some people think of yoga, they think of a very hippie-ish way of living, and they even write it off as silly. I think that these people have most likely never tried yoga. In reality, yoga can be intense, challenging, and rewarding in more ways than one. Not only can yoga change your body and appearance, but it can change your entire mindset too.

Some of the physical benefits of yoga include: increased flexibility, weight reduction, improved respiration, and increased muscle strength. Some of the emotional/mental benefits include: an increase in body awareness, relieves stress, sharpens attention, and calms the nervous system. For me, working out has always been an escape from everyday stress. As someone who tends to be very anxious and a bit of a worrier at times, working out has always allowed me to simply focus on me and my body, and it has given me a goal to work toward. Time for yourself is so important, and if using that time involves staying healthy and active, that is even better!

I also wanted to discuss the benefits that I have noticed personally from doing yoga for six months. First, I realized that yoga was helping me to relax and de-stress. This was exactly what I needed, and still do! I tend to hold tension in my shoulders and in my jaw, but now, I can more easily recognize when I am doing this. I can relax my jaw and drop my shoulders and simply focus on my breathing. Also, I am much more aware of my posture. I feel that I’ve always had pretty good posture, but yoga has made this even better. When I am sitting down to do my schoolwork or if I find that I am tilting my neck downward a lot, I try to use books or something tall for my laptop to sit on so that it is more eye-level, and I am not hunching over.

I feel that I am a much more relaxed person. I do not get stressed as easily anymore, and I am much more aware of negative thoughts. If I notice that I am starting to worry or stress about something, I can recognize this and turn those thoughts off rather than letting them take over. I feel that I am much more aware of my thought processes, and I know what is going to help me and what is going to hurt me. I have been practicing mindfulness a lot lately, and it has changed everything. I feel that I have much more control over my mind, and I can lead a happier and more positive life because of it.

I have also noticed that my body is much more toned. Yoga is a full-body workout, and I was not really aware of this in the beginning. It is not just about working your core, it is about working your entire body. I guess I didn’t think I would see changes to my body unless I was using weights or doing cardio, but yoga has changed my appearance. When weight training was what my workouts truly consisted of, my body did look different. I had more muscle and although I did tone up from weight training (and cardio), I feel that I have noticed it a bit more with yoga. Granted, my appetite is different when I am weight training 5-6 times a week vs doing yoga every day. The human body is truly incredible, and it has the ability to change very often throughout life. The choices we make matter, and the food that we put into our bodies as well as the way that we stay active matters. All of it can affect the way that we look and feel.  Working out was never really about looking good for me (that is a bonus that comes from it). The way that it makes me feel is why I truly continue to do it.

Lastly, I feel that I have gained flexibility. I have surprised myself many times during my yoga practices. In poses such as downward dog, I can straighten my legs quite a bit, and when I do wide legged folds, or just folding in general, I can get pretty low and deep. When I first started yoga, I was not the most flexible, so it has been exciting to notice my growth! In the beginning, I struggled to keep my balance as well. Eagle pose and warrior III were especially frustrating. Now, I can stay in these poses a little bit longer without toppling over (of course, this does still happen some days). I am able to keep up with practices that are faster paced, and for the most part, I do not have to modify the poses. I never really took much time to stretch before or after workouts and even in general, so this is something I have been doing a lot more of now. Yoga has allowed me to focus on stretching, flexibility, strength, and endurance.

It is so crazy to think that I began doing yoga six months ago, and I have never skipped one day. I have always been very determined, but I honestly didn’t think that I would enjoy yoga. Once something becomes a part of your daily routine, it is so much easier to do. Even on the days when I am very busy or I simply don’t feel like doing it, I get it done because I know how it will benefit me overall.

I really hope you enjoyed today’s post! What are your thoughts on yoga or mindfulness? Have you ever tried yoga before? I would love to know! Thank you so much for reading!

Where True Love Lies

Love is a very powerful thing. When we think of love, we often think of romantic love. We forget to put ourselves first. Many go looking for love in other things and in other people. While it is great to find love and happiness elsewhere, the most important place to find it is within yourself. This is what will change your entire life.

I believe that so many people choose to take the easy way to finding love, and that is by searching for it in others. Deciding that you want to love yourself is actually a very difficult first step. This is why so many people skip over it. It takes time, hard work, and serious dedication toward growth, acceptance, and self-love. Although it is challenging, I can honestly say that it has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done.

I’ve mentioned this before, but loving myself has truly brought me so much joy, confidence, and bravery. Not only that, but I feel that all of my relationships are blossoming in a beautiful new way. Don’t get me wrong, I am not where I want to be just yet, but like everyone, I am a work in progress and that is ok. I am proud of how far I’ve come, but I am not stopping here. I want to continue to grow and better myself. Self-love really will bring you anything and everything you could want in life.

If you go looking for love in other places before looking deep within yourself, there is a good chance that things could turn sour. Insecurity and a lack of confidence can ruin a lot of things that could have otherwise been beautiful. Part of what builds a strong relationship is loving yourself. I truly believe that once you start this journey, you will soon be able to freely give and accept love to and from others. There will be no holding back. What makes this even better? Finding a partner who has also learned to love themselves.

I truly feel that what you put out into this world, you will attract. It all starts with you. Once I realized this, everything changed. For the most part, I have always been a positive and optimistic person. However, when insecurity ruled my life, so many people and things seemed to bring me down continuously. It wasn’t until I made the conscious decision to love and respect myself that I started to attract all of the right things into my life. Some of my biggest dreams have even come true because of it.

Remember that there is nothing wrong with taking some time to learn about yourself. There is nothing wrong with being single. There is nothing wrong with alone time. And there is nothing wrong with you if you struggle to accept yourself. It takes time, but you can and you will get there.

No matter what, at the end of each and every day, you have yourself, and that will always be enough. You should be your first love. I will always be proud of myself for learning that first and foremost. I wouldn’t change a thing because everything has led me to where I am today, and I feel more in love with myself now than ever before. It is freeing. It is powerful. And it is life-changing.

Instead of looking for love in other people or in other things, look inside and you will come to find that the true love you are looking for has always been and always will be yourself. Once you find this, the world is yours for the taking.

If today you let negativity, self-hatred, and insecurity win, you can try again tomorrow. You don’t have to let this pattern continue, and there really is no deadline. Your life is yours, and you can choose what direction you go in. You don’t have to stay stuck. I promise, once you begin to love yourself, everything will change for the better. Take your time growing, loving, and accepting. Remember that your self-love journey is your own, and every day will look a little different. As we go through different phases of life, self-love may look different. This is ok, and it is all a part of the journey. Continue to do your best, and never stop showing love to yourself and to the world around you. It will eventually make its way back to you in ways you’ve never imagined.

Thank you so much for reading today’s blog post! I hope that you found this message helpful, and I hope you will share it with someone you care about. Until next time!

The Problem with Overthinking

I always want my blog to be a safe space where I can openly share what is going on in my life. While I love sharing all of the positive moments I experience, I am human and I struggle a lot as well. I always talk about the importance and beauty of vulnerability, and today I am going to be opening up a bit more about my personal life and some struggles that I frequently face.

I have always been an overthinker; to the point where it has stopped me from doing certain things that I have really wanted to do. I wasn’t always so aware of the fact that I was an overthinker, but I would say that in the past few years, it is something I have become more aware of. It can be really difficult to control your thoughts, but eventually you may get to a point when you’ve had enough.

Most of the time, I am a very happy and positive person, however, I feel my emotions very deeply. This means that when I am happy, I am really happy. And when I’m upset, I am really upset. Many would describe me as “emotional”, but I’ve come to accept this as a strength rather than a weakness. As long as you have control over your thoughts and emotions, there is nothing wrong with allowing yourself to feel whatever it is that you’re feeling. When something is bothering me, I let myself get sad, angry, or frustrated. But I try to move on from these negative feelings sooner rather than later, because I don’t want to stay stuck in that mindset.

When it comes to overthinking, I’ve realized I do have a problem. Even when I am happy, I will sometimes start to overthink. This is when it can be most detrimental. If you are overthinking or worrying when you should be enjoying life’s highs, you could be (consciously or subconsciously) sabotaging some of the greatest things you will experience in life.

It is really challenging to turn off those negative thoughts sometimes, but I am doing much better than I used to. I think that recognizing the fact that there is a problem is a really great first step. Every time I begin overthinking or worrying about something a little too much, I try my best to shut down those thoughts. I don’t necessarily feel that overthinking is always a bad thing though. I would say that it’s better to overthink things a little bit than to not think at all. Overall, you should never let negative thoughts take over your life. You will never allow yourself to be happy if you do. Whether it is a relationship, a job, or a once in a lifetime opportunity, I never want to be the person who ruins something good by worrying about it.

Sadly, there is no off switch to overthinking, but there are things you can do to stop these thoughts in their tracks. I think that many people can relate to this, but when I have a little too much time on my hands, that’s when my mind starts racing. I like to keep myself busy when these thoughts come up. For myself, I enjoy writing, dancing, working out, listening to music, spending time with loved ones, and going on walks or hikes. These are activities that I participate in pretty much daily. Not only are these things good for me, but they really do help me get my mind off of anything negative, even if it is just for a little while. School is another thing that keeps me busy. I am in my final year of college and school work does take up quite a bit of my time. You should look for the things that make you happy. Focus on your passions, your goals, and what brings you the most joy, and follow that.

Any time I struggle with these thoughts and feelings, I try to remind myself that I am still growing, and I am human. I am doing my best, and that is all that matters. I don’t believe in suppressing my emotions. Whether they are good or bad, I allow myself to feel, and I think that this is something to be proud of. If you are anything like me and you overthink and worry about even the smallest things, know that you are not alone in what you are going through, and these things do not and never will define you. Just remember that you have control over your thoughts. If you notice that your thoughts are not helping you progress, you need to learn to recognize when you need to back away and focus on the positives. It isn’t always easy, and I have my great days and my not so great days. What matters is how you bounce back and that you are actively working to become your best self. Growth in every form is so important to me, and I want to continue to flourish and become the woman I know I am capable of being. The woman I am becoming does not let negativity cloud her mind, and she does not allow anxiety to rule her life. While these things may still affect me in the future, they will never affect me to this degree ever again, and that is because I am growing and evolving every single day. And I refuse to let stress, worry, or anxiety win.

This has been on my heart for a little while now, and I am really grateful that I have this space to share my thoughts and feelings. I hope that you found this post helpful, and I hope that you will pass along this message to someone who you believe needs to hear it. Thank you so much for reading today’s blog post!