How I Chose My Word for 2018

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Now that we are a week into the New Year, we should be well aware if our New Year’s Resolutions are realistic or overwhelming. Everyone is different and I understand that. I had every intention of accomplishing all of my New Year’s Resolutions last year and honestly I only accomplished 2 or 3 of them, which is still good. The one way I was able to accomplish what I did accomplish was by choosing a word of the year. While the practice of making New Year’s Resolutions is common, that doesn’t mean that it is the most effective of achieving your goals. Another method I used to reach my goals last year was choosing a word to guide me throughout my various goals of the year. No lists, no action plans, just one simple word I could keep in mind. I believe this was one thing that really helped me reach more of my goals and tasks then previous year.

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My word for last year was MANIFEST. I thought long and hard about which word I was going to choose before I made my final decision. I chose the word Manifest because I was guilty of over-planning and not taking enough actions related to my plans in 2016. I had launched my blog but wasn’t making it a priority, I had started taking classes for the LSAT but wasn’t actually sure if I wanted to take it or not, thus wasting my money, I had wanted to do a bunch of things I planned but didn’t do. The word manifest is defined on Merriam Webster’s dictionary as “to make evident or certain by showing or displaying.” I wanted to make all of my goals certain by displaying behaviors that would allow me to achieve them. So that’s what I did. I studied diligently for the LSAT and got a 160 (in the 80th percentile) which is wayyy better than I thought I’d do. I started posting on my blog more and learning skills to take it to the next level in the next year through webinars and reading articles. I fell short in the area of weight loss, but I did gain the knowledge to allow me to achieve those goals this year.  I also was able to come up with my word of this year by figuring out what I was lacking last year that made me fall short in a couple of areas.

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My word for 2018 is DISCIPLINE. After reflecting on what did and didn’t accomplish this in 2017, I realize that the thing that helped me do well on the LSAT and what I was lacking to reach the levels I wanted to for my blog and weight loss journey was all the same thing, DISCIPLINE. I can plan all I want but if I don’t have the discipline to do what I’ve planned or said I’m going to do then it won’t work out. I changed my phone screensaver to a quote I found on google that reads “discipline is doing what needs to be done, even if you don’t want to do it” and I feel that was one of my biggest weaknesses last year. I only did things when I wanted to do or when they were convenient and that is no way to take anything to the next level.

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This doesn’t have to be the way you choose your word. I was telling one of my coworkers about this practice and she chose the word Patience because she decided that would be a guiding principle that would help her the most in this upcoming year. What’s important is that YOUR WORD is chosen by YOU after reflecting on your principles, values, and goals for this year. Once you do this you can take out the sense of overwhelm with long lists and just ask yourself “does this action align with my guiding word for this year or bring me closer to my goals?” If it doesn’t, you know you might need to make a better decision. It won’t be easy at first, but it might be easier for you than keeping a laundry list of resolutions and things you don’t want to do this year.

So get out there, reflect, and choose your guiding word for 2018!

Did you have a word or two in mind when you read this? Leave your word(s) in the comments and tell me why you chose it!

 

 

My First Time Running A 5K

When I was in college one of the annual events my sorority would do was the Breast Cancer 5K walk/run and we always walked it as a group that would eventually spilt up into smaller groups due to different paces of we all walked. I always wanted to try to run it but I was never in good shape enough shape (so I thought) until maybe my last semester of college when the 5K had already passed. I also have a sorority sister who was runs 5K, 10K, Half Marathons, and everything else. Seeing her train for these and reach her goals inspired me even more and this year I added “run an entire 5K” to my bucketlist. 


My first 5K was pretty cool! The 5K I chose was the Sugar Rush. When I was picking a 5K to run in December (because the LSAT would have my attention until Dec 2nd) it was between this one and the Resolution 5K. Sugar Rush just happened to be really close to where I live and I was familiar with the location so I went with that one. I’m glad I did! While I didn’t run the whole thing (I definitely walked/jogged more than I ran), I never stopped moving and I can say that is a big step up for where I have been health and fitness wise throughout these past years. 


The Sugar Rush 5K was cute because some enthusiastic runners dressed up as different candy-themed costumes. Lowkey, they were #RunningGoals. I decided if I do this one next year I want to dress up too. The thing I loved about the pre-race and post-race is that everybody was in such a good mood. I mean I know exercise creates endorphins but still…I haven’t that many people happy all at once as far back as I can remember. I even made a new friend after the race. Eveybody was just there to handle their 5K and enjoy themselves.


I originally wanted to run with someone but I have this thing about not liking to run or hike in partners/groups when I’m out of shape. I hate feeling like people have to wait on me when I need a break. That being said, I ran it by myself. Running by myself was actually quite therapeutic. It allowed me to have me-time and engage with nature. One challenge of running by myself is I could have totally walked the whole thing if I wanted to and nobody would know. I’m a woman of integrity so I did run whenever I could but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted haha. The race was quite interesting because at each mile we were given a full-sized chocolate bar and water. I left with a Twix, Reeses, and collected my medal after crossing the finish line and being given chocolate covered pretzels, one mini-donut, a chewy bar, and a candy cane. I didn’t eat it all but instead saved some of it for my family. 


All and all, I’m happy I was able to do this 5K even if I didn’t run the entire thing. I now know that if I can do it without training, I will only get better as I train for next year. I have now made it a goal to run one 5k every month of 2018. I will be tracking my progress on instagram with my hashtag #MaraRunsMoreThanHerMouth so keep an eye out for my posts on there. 
What are some health + fitness goals you have for 2018? Let’s talk about em in the comments below! 

Things I Do For Self-Care When I’m Broke

Due to the Holidays, Finals, and the New Year all being within the same two week time span, the end of the year can be one of the most stressful times in the year. If you practice Holidays that celebrate gift-giving, this time can also be a time that breaks the bank as well. This often leads to having to put our needs and wants on the back burner. Self-care is a trending topic and I’m all here for it. However, I don’t think that self-care has to necessarily require us to pay for a pedicure or face mask, or even buy anything at all. In this post I will be discussing 5 things I do for self-care that are completely FREE yet beneficial to my well-being.

  1. Go Outside and Ground Myself

So the art of grounding yourself can be defined differently by everyone but for the sake of this blog I’m talking about grounding myself with the earth. The most effective way to do this for me is by standing barefoot in sand (or grass now that I don’t live in San Diego close to the beach) and doing breathing exercises. It’s kind of like meditating but you are standing up. I love to ground myself because it reminds me that I’m part of something much bigger than myself and shifts my perspective on everything, even my problems.

  1. Turn Off My Phone For A Day (or a few hours)

As a blogger and a millennial I will say that one stereotype that I often fall into is that I’m always on my phone. As a matter of fact, I’m usually on my phone majority of the time I’m awake unless I’m at work. Lately I’ve been practicing leaving my phone in another room and just being content with sitting and doing nothing or reading a book in silence. Taking a break from technology is a good way to take care of ourselves.

  1. Cleaning and Decluttering My Space(s)

Okay so I don’t know about you all but as I’ve grown over the years I realize that if my space is a mess, it’s usually a reflection of my life at the time. Whether it’s my room, desk at work, kitchen, or whatever else if there is mess and clutter there simply cleaning it up can be a great morale booster and one of the best-practices of self-care (if you’re not the type to get stressed out by cleaning).

  1. Listen To Nature Sounds

Ever since I was a baby the sound of water has always made me feel at peace. My mom used to have to run the tub or faucet just to get me to fall asleep. As a former San Diego resident one of my favorite things to do used to be just going out to the beach and night and listening to the ocean waves. If you can do this in person it is awesome but there are also videos on YouTube that have these sounds as well. My personal favorite thing is this app I downloaded called Tide. It has recordings of different sounds of nature from forests to my personal favorite, rain, and other things in between. When I listen to these I almost instantly feel better and more at peace and relaxed.

  1. Get a Good Night’s Sleep (and make it a habit)

Honestly, this is something I struggle with. I should always be doing this but life sometimes gets hectic and nights with only 4 or 5 hours of sleep happen. If this is the life that you also typically lead find a way to get a few nights of good rest. There are few things better than waking up from an ample amount of sleep. Making sure you are well rested is one of the best ways to take care of yourself, your body, and your mind. If this is not possible I also encourage naps. In college even a 15 minute power nap had a drastic effect on my day.

While charcoal masks, online shopping, and eating at your favorite restaurant can be good ways to practice self-care, they are always free and feasible. All of these tips can be utilized at any point during your day. I hope that you are able to practice these free self-care tips and they transform your physical and mental well-being.

What do you do when you need to practice self-care but you have to spend your money elsewhere? Let me know in the comments!

2 Things You Must Do Now For A Successful New Year

Towards the end of the year EVERYBODY and they mama wants to tell you what you need to do before the New Year. Trust me, I get it. I listen to a lot of podcasts (A LOT) and a majority of them have told me what I need to do to get my sh*t together for 2018. BUT SERIOUSLY, if you don’t do anything else, these next 2 things I’m about to tell you will help you set the momentum for 2018. These are literally the most thought provoking yet simple things that will get you on track for having one of the best years of your life and you HAVE to do them before next year. I actually think you should do them now before November is over.

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  1. Write Down Your Wins of This Year (and continue to do so, forever)

The idea for this one I got from one of my most favorite podcasts, Behind The Brilliance by Lisa Nicole Bell. (sidenote: check out this podcast, seriously! Lisa Nicole Bell is so knowledgeable and gifted at telling you what you need to hear while being funny as hell and relatable) Anyways, on one of her most recent episodes titled “8 for 2018”, one of her tips was to track your wins in the New Year, every week. If you’re like me, when you first try to think of your “wins” for this year, your mind goes blank. You might still have credit card debt even though you said you were going to pay it off (guilty) or you didn’t hit that weight loss goal you set back in January (also guilty), BUT I guarantee even if you had your roughest year yet, you still have some wins you can write down. If you’re reading this I’ll give you a free one. In all the craziness that has happened this year a solid WIN would be “I survived this year so far!” Honestly, as someone who has lost two people in my family this year, I’m so grateful to be alive and able to pursue my passions and dreams. Your WINS don’t have to be large scale. They can be as simple as you finished reading a new book that taught you something new, or you fell in love with yourself. Think of the small things that you didn’t give yourself credit for this year and WRITE THEM DOWN. I personally believe November is an excellent month to do this because 1. It allows you to see all of the greatness you’ve accomplished so far 2. It motivates you to finish this year out strong. 3. It helps you keep up the positive energy going into 2018. That being said, you should go ahead and write those WINS down, NOW!

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  1. Write Down Your Goals for 2018 (yes, already!)

Now if you’ve been following my blog for a while you know I am totally the person who starts thinking about what I want to get done the following year in November before that New Year’s Eve. That being said, I encourage everyone to write down their goals for the New Year NOW! Not tomorrow, not next week, not New Year’s Eve drunkenly on a bar napkin, RIGHT NOW. Procrastination is the enemy of progress so the sooner you start writing down those goals, the sooner you can start writing down the steps you need to take to reach those goals. One you write the steps down you can start taking those steps…you guessed it, THIS YEAR! This process is all about establishing our good habits and getting some trial and error out of the way that way come January 1st we don’t look like a dear in the damn headlights.

The end of the year can be a tad bit overwhelming and the possibilities of the New Year can be intimidating. However, if you look at all the wonderful things you’ve done so far and plan for the even greater accomplishments in your future, this time of the year can exciting and inspiriting. Take time to reflect, organize, plan, and even start executing so you can live your best life now and continue to do so into the New Year. Go ahead and drop whatever you’re doing and write down those wins for this year and goals for next year. Do it! You won’t regret it.

In Memory Of The Route 91 Shooting Victims: #PrayForLasVegas

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Exactly one week ago my hometown, the city of Las Vegas, was shaken by a horrible tragedy. A terrorist who I refuse to call by name opened fire on festival goers at Route 91, a country festival that takes place near the strip. The results of this were 58 people killed and over 500 injured. Honestly even typing it now I can’t really believe it. This past week has been one of the longest and saddest of living in Las Vegas. As someone who recently attended my first music festival, it breaks my heart that thousands of people just came out to have fun and see some of their favorite artists and that someone could be so evil to turn what should be a wonderful memory into the worst day of those people’s lives. That’s the weird space I’m in because even though I wasn’t there and wasn’t anywhere near the strip I still feel so sad, scared, and forever shaped by this shooting. If that’s how I feel…imagine how those who were there feel. I can’t even imagine how the families and friends of those who lost their lives feel. I can’t imagine the trauma of the festival goers who survived and how deeply this will impact their lives…forever.

If there’s one positive thing I can take away about this nauseating event is that it has showed me how much the people of Las Vegas come together when shit gets rough. The next morning (literally) the blood banks had lines that took all day to stand in. Various businesses across down are making donations. Some companies are event donating 100% of their proceeds to the victims and their families. These are just a few of the many ways the city has come together after a weekend that will certainly change the dynamic of our city forever. I’ve always been someone who is proud as hell to be Vegas Raised. In undergrad at San Diego State people knew I was from Las Vegas, NV within .5 seconds of meeting me. I even got a tattoo of Nevada with a heart where Vegas is my freshman year of college because of how much I missed my city. Vegas is somewhere that’s hard to describe to people not from here. You really just won’t understand the vibe of Las Vegas unless you live here for an extended period of time. Contrary to popular belief, Vegas is a small place to live in. Everybody damn near knows everybody. That being said every person who lives here probably knew someone who was at that festival. That’s what makes it even more…real. I had two co-workers who went and I was relieved to know they were okay within moments of the news breaking. Others weren’t so lucky to receive this news. It’s different when you read about these things happening in places all over the world and when it happens right in your backyard. One thing I know I will be able to say now is that Vegas sticks together when it matters.

I originally wasn’t going to say anything about this on my blog because I couldn’t process this tragedy (and I’m still struggling with it) but I decided that wouldn’t be fair to those who no longer are able to say anything. I want to say that I will keep my thoughts and prayers with the families and loved ones of those who has passed, those who were there and survived, and my city overall. During this time I hope that everyone is taking time to take care of themselves. Self-care is essential. Life is short and you never know when someone’s last moments are. Love a little harder and be kind, to others and to yourself. I love this city and my love for it has grown even more after this. We are Vegas Strong.

This post is dedicated to all the victims of the Route 91 shooting. Rest In Peace.

“When you lose someone you love, you gain an angel you know.”

Things I’ve Checked Off Of My Yearly Bucketlist So Far

At the end of every year I set out to ensure that I try new things in the upcoming year by creating a bucketlist and last year was no different! My bucketlist this year was small due to the fact that I had so many non-bucketlist goals I wanted to achieve. So far I have checked off 3 things on my Bucketlist for 2017.

1. Take a pole dancing class (aka channel my inner stripper):

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This year I turned 24 and I wanted to celebrate by doing something I had never done before. While I did do the go out to eat during the day and get hella drunk cliché thing, before all of that my friends and I took a “Stripper 101” class and it was quite the experience. Let me just say 1. I wish I was drunk for this. I probably would have been a little loose and able to do more. 2. Being a stripper is fucking hard. Like seriously, shoutout to all the strippers because that class was not easy. Even with all these things I still had a blast with my friends.

2. Bought my own domain

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This is something I needed to do sooner rather than later because I’m trying to be a successful blogger and develop my personal brand. The .wordpress.com got too be too much to tell people when sharing my blog with them so I finally just bit the bullet and did it. I’m happy I put this on my bucketlist because I was lowkey putting it off for a long time. Procrastination and I are in an on and off again relationship so it’s good I got this out of the way.

3. Participated in a paint and sip class

This was honestly one of the best things I’ve done this year! It was so relaxing and fun. I took my mother for her birthday and we both had such a good time! The wine was great, the instructor was hilarious, and I got to paint something I would have never thought was possible for me prior to going to the class. I highly recommend that everyone does this at least once to see if it’s something you love.

These three things were great to experience. However, I still have other things I want to do before the year is over. Here are the most important things I want to do before the year is over.

1. Go to a kickboxing class

I went to a turbo kickboxing class when I was in undergrad and I loved it but I’ve always wanted to go to a legit kickboxing class where there are gloves and the whole nine. This is definitely something that I MUST do before the year ends or I will be upset.

2. Go to a shooting range

There is something about being able to shoot a gun (without hurting myself) that sounds so invigorating! Hahaha. Honestly, I can just picture myself embracing my baddassery as I fire a gun and hit my mark on a target. I eventually want to get a gun license so going to a gun range is the first step.

3. Run an entire 5k

One of the things I’ve wanted to do for a while is run an entire 5k. I’ve walked in many 5Ks in the past and always wanted to be one of the people who run past everyone. As someone who has never excelled at running long distances, running one would be a huge accomplishment for me. This would prove to me that any of my fitness goals are possible. I hope to run one on New Year’s Eve so I’ll start training sometime next month to make sure I’m ready. Wish me luck.

These are the majority of things on my Bucketlist for 2017. Some of these things are things I’ve always wanted to try and others are things that will get me out of my comfort zone. I feel that everyone should have a bucketlist each year to encourage themselves to try new things and live life to the fullest! It’s not too late if you haven’t made one for this year; we still have a few months left. Who knows, you might find a new hobby you love and enjoy.
Have you ever had a bucketlist? What’s on your bucketlist? If you don’t have one will you think about making one now? Sound off in the comments!

Why I Decided to Transition to a Mostly Plant-Based Diet

One thing most people don’t know about me is that I stopped eating meat (read: chicken, beef, pork, and other land animals) at the beginning of this year. My reason for this dietary modification was not because I watched a documentary on Netflix or because I’m an animal rights activist (no shade to those who are). My reason was that this lifestyle is what was best for my health and how I feel.


Back in 2016 I went to my doctor for a regular check-up. When I got my blood work back the doctor informed me that my cholesterol was too high and I needed to stop eating red meat temporarily. Girl, bye. Whatchu’ mean I can’t eat red meat anymore? Have you had carne asada or a realllly good burger? She said I had to in order to fix the problem while I’m still young. Long story short, I didn’t listen to her. Taco shop food was basically its own food group when I was in undergrad and carne asada and adobada were my favorites. I told myself I would only eat it every so often but that turned out to be…false. So all of 2016 passed me by and I was still eating red meat.


At the end of last year I decided that I should listen to my doctor and stop eating red meat. Becausew I’m an extremist and always have to do the most, I decided I might as well just stop eating meat all together! Luckily for me, this wasn’t a change I had never tried before. My junior year of high school I stopped eating meat for 6 months just to see if I could do it and I did! This time however I opted for the pescatarian route because if I was giving up carne asada…sushi had to stay.


However, as I’ve been on this pescatarian journey I’ve decided that at some point in my life I would like to make the transition to a more plant-based diet. Plant-based is defined as “a diet based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products.” This is different from vegan because Vegans don’t eat meat at all and they also don’t use animal products in their lives at all. My main reason for wanting to transition to plant-based is because when I eat plant-based meals my body feels the best. I have more energy. When I still ate meat I would eat meals and feel groggy, gross, stuffed, sleepy, and overall shitty after I was done. I can’t remember the last time I felt like that. Overall, I feel healthier and more energized and less bloated.


I’m excited to see where this new lifestyle transition takes me. When it comes to your day to day diet and eating habits it’s best to know what works for your body. If you have always considered being a pescatarian, vegetarian, or plant-based leave a comment below! If you have any further questions about my lifestyle change e-mail me at themusingsofmara@gmail.com