My New Word of The Year and 2021 Goals

I know what you’re thinking (maybe). “Why is she telling us her word of the year and her goals for 2021? It’s already nearly the middle of February.” You’re not wrong with those observations buuuut I think it’s so important for me to share my word of the year and goals with my blog. My Instagram peeps had a chance to know this information and you all didn’t and I don’t think that’s fair. Also, sharing these on my blog gives me another way to hold myself accountable and document my year. I plan on doing quarterly check-ins on my blog like I used to, and if you all never know the orginal goals, how can I check-in on them on the blog? I can’t! So that’s why this post just had to be posted, okay? Besides, that my word of the year has changed…I haven’t told Instagram yet so this is a themusingsofmara.com exclusive!

My word of the year this year was Discipline like it was the year before. However, a month into 2021 this word just doesn’t fit what I need for this year. Don’t get me wrong…I DO need discipline this year and ALL years, but that word just isn’t speaking to me anymore. I realized I didn’t even put it on my vision board (accidentally but that says something). I’ve decided to change my word of the year to EXECUTE. This year, I need to stop putting all my energy into planning things that I never execute. The only way I can thrive as a creator and person in general is to just do the damn thing. I can plan as many blog posts as I want but if I don’t type anything on wordpress, what good does that do. I can meal plan all I want but if I don’t meal prep, track my food, and focus on nutrition what good does that do? I need to EXECUTE. That’s why I changed my word of the year and I’m so happy I did!

My 2021 Goals need me to execute. I’m going to share a few of the goals I have and so you all my vision board for this year.

  • Eat more nutritious food.
  • Do more things that make my happy.
  • Workout 6x a week, Lift Weights 4x a week.
  • Find my post-grad job.
  • Pass the BAR EXAM.
  • Get my driver’s license and a car.
  • Monetize my blog.
  • Do more yoga.
  • Be consistent on my blog, Instagram, and my podcast.
  • Get 10K Instagram followers.
  • Go to the Beach.

These are my main goals for this year. If I can even do ½ of these, I feel that I will have a great 2021! I will update you all in at the end of March and let you know how much progress I’ve made on these goals by then. I will also do that at the end of the other quarters of the year. I’m excited to see what all I’m able to accomplish this year. P.S. I may or may not have done one of these things already. You’ll find out soon!

What are some of your 2021 goals? Let me know in the comments! I miss chatting with you all.

A Letter to my Readers and Some Life Updates

Hello Friends!

It has been…quite some time since I last wrote a blog post! I’m so sorry. Fall 2020 was my wildest semester yet. I gravely underestimated my ability to balance every obligation I had and because of this, all of my creative outlets suffered. It made me really sad and this semester I’m making a promise to myself that I will create more often. Not because I have to (I could easily never blog again and the world would keep spinning) but because I want to and need to for my own well-being. Blogging makes me so happy and I need to start doing more things that make me happy. I’m extremely happy to be writing this post right now.

I figured I should use this post to give some life updates because like I said…it’s been quite some time since my last post and A LOT HAS CHANGED. First thing that changed was I got a Peloton Bike! Y’all the Peloton Bike+ has been a game changer for my fitness, my mental health, and my life overall. I was struggling with staying consistent with my home workouts and there would be months where I was killing it and months where I could barely get myself to workout at all. Ever since I got my Peloton, all of that has changed. I workout at least 4x a week and I feel so good about that aspect of my life. I highly recommend anyone who can afford it (they have payment plans) and loves fitness to get one! Use my code: RTWNHY for $100 worth of free accessories.

The rest of the Fall semester consisted of me balancing my law school clinic work with being the Managing Editor of the Gaming Law Journal and my class work and just mentally preparing for hours of Zoom every week. It was quite draining. I honestly wasn’t sure how my finals season was going to go as I felt like I was scrambling through the entire semester, blinked, and then it was over. However, I’m happy to report that for the FIRST TIME EVER, I made the Dean’s List in law school! If you would have told liddle 1L me that one day I’d make the Dean’s List I’d tell you that you were trippin’. I still check read the e-mail to make sure it actually happened and that I didn’t dream it haha.

Sometimes law school can make us doubt our intelligence and greatness but last semester (as hard as it was) was really affirming for me. My friend and I were in the same clinic and we helped our client get their case dismissed with our work. I was so proud and for one of the few times in my law school career, I felt like I could actually BE a lawyer. It was great. I even decided to return to clinic this semester and see who else I could help with my legal knowledge.

There were many other events like me taking driving classes (I still don’t have my license y’all), WRBLSA’s 53rd Annual Convention and Gala (that I was blessed to MC), having a few amazing guests on my podcast, and much more. The last few months have been A LOT. However, I feel like I’m coming into myself and even though we are still in a panera bread (pandemic), I’m grateful for where I’m at in life right now. IT’S MY LAST SEMESTER OF LAW SCHOOL (I’ll have a whole other post about this later). I’m alive and healthy. My family is alive and healthy. My mom is almost completely vaccinated. Everything is as good as it could be.

All of that being said, I’m still planning, working on executing, and doing more things that I ENJOY, starting with this blog, working towards my podcast, and just creating content that feels more me. A rebrand might be on the horizon but I’m still thinking about it haha. IT’S BLACK HISTORY MONTH so I got some wonderful BLACK CONTENT up my sleeve for the blog and Instagram. Stay Tuned.

If you’re still reading I love you and appreciate you. Thank you for all your support.

With Love,

Mara

Tips for Staying Motivated on Your Journey to Self-Love

Over the last few weeks, I have been experiencing what we call a creative funk here at themusingsofmara.com. I’ve talked about my process of dealing with creative funks in a post before, and one of the ways I deal with this is go to straight to the reason I create content: my audience! I asked my followers on Instagram what kind of posts did they want me to write. One of good friends and supporters wanted to know how to stay motivated while working on your self-love, even when it feels like you’re not seeing results quickly enough. I thought it was a great topic.

I’ll be honest, lately I’ve been struggling with my own self-love. My body-image has especially been a struggle since moving and the pandemic led to me gaining a good amount of weight and snacking wayyyy more than I was when I was going to a gym 4x a week. However, aside from that, I like to think I’ve come a long-way on my self-love journey in the last few years. In undergrad my self-talk was not kind at all. Now I catch myself when I am mean to myself. I’m going to try my best to explain how to stay motivated on your own journey to self-love.

Do something small related to self-love every day

I think when people think of cultivating their self-love, they think it needs to be a bunch of work every day. While that may make your journey progress faster (or not, it differs by person), you can also change your mindset by doing one small thing every day. For example, I have this fitness journal and one of the daily prompts in it is says “Today I love my body because _____” and then you fill in the blank. I notice when I’m adamant about filling this out every morning in like 5 mins, I have more positive outlook on my body for the rest of the day and overall.

Realize that you can’t rush it

There is no proper timeline for achieving self-love. There is no finish line. It is a lifelong journey that also works in cycles, at least that’s what I believe. By rushing yourself to progress, you will only frustrate yourself and create more negative feelings about yourself. Be patient with yourself and understand that you are trying to do a lifetime of negative self-talk and limiting beliefs. It will take time and that’s okay.

Track your wins & progress

The best way to stay motivated is to make note of your progress, no matter how small! Even if it seems like something that’s not noteworthy, write it down! For example, if you notice that you’ve gone a whole day without a negative thought about yourself: write it down! If you notice that you had a negative thought but then you countered it with a positive affirmation, write it down! If you remembered to say your positive affirmations every day for 3 days in a row: you guessed it, write it down! You will stay motivated if you realize you actually ARE progressing. Don’t undermine that progress and see where you need work.

Follow people/accounts that make you feel good about yourself

I’m obsessed with Instagram accounts that have positive quotes and illustrations related to self-love. If you follow me, you know that I’m always sharing these types of posts on my IG stories. As someone who spends A LOT of time on social media, it’s so important for me to create a space that makes me feel happy and work towards self-love and it’s just as important for YOU.

Realize you’re only human & won’t be perfect

Give yourself grace during your self-love journey. Some days will be better than others and as I mentioned earlier, there is no proper timeline for self-love. Striving for perfection stops progress. Achieving self-love ongoing process and you are human so you might not always be perfect at it. Do it anyways and be disciplined in doing so. If you are disciplined and do something related to self-love every day, you will be amazed at how far you will come in a year.

Fostering self-love is hard but completely worth it. You may feel like you aren’t moving towards self-love fast enough, but that’s not true! You’re moving at the pace necessary for your own journey. You’re doing amazing sweetie! Don’t worry.

Please refer back to this blog post whenever you need to and share it with your friends!

4 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Deciding to Collab with a Brand

Hello readers! It’s been a little over a month since I shared my last post (sorry!) I know y/all probably get sick of me and my excuses, but this semester has been a wild one. Virtual law school did not come to play with us this Fall 2020, okay?! So much has happened since then but two super exciting things that have happened include me ending my recording hiatus for my podcast, Handle Your Scandal. You can find my most recent episodes here and here. Additionally, I landed my first paid Instagram post with a company! I knew I wanted to land one by the end of 2020 so landing one two months before the year ended has made me so happy. I’m hopeful to have more paid opportunities in the future.

My paid post led to one my friends and fellow creative to ask to write a post on how I decide what brands to work with. I think this is such an important question. When it comes to being an online content creator who is either paid or gifted products to post, you have a responsibility to be super selective about what companies you decide to promote. In order to help you do that, I will give you a few questions I ask to navigate that decision-making process.  

1. Does this company align with who I am as a person?

If a company does not align with me as an individual, then I won’t work with them. Period. There isn’t really much more to add to that. Hopefully you know who you are and what you stand for. Don’t work with companies that conflict with that, no matter how much they are offering.

2. Does this company fit with my online brand?

Being clear on your brand is so important before you start working with companies, especially if there are certain aspects of yourself that don’t necessarily fit with your brand. For example, my brand is all about motivating millennials and gen z to live a well-balanced life. What I consider a well-balanced life includes making time for school/work, our own wellness, fitness goals, and personal development while I also run a blog. I also have other things that help me achieve this like drinking coffee/matcha, working out, and more. There are certain parts of my life that don’t really align with my brand. If I was to suddenly talking about being the perfect girlfriend or something like that, my followers would be confused. I keep this in mind and won’t really do anything related to relationships in my content because that’s not what my brand currently is. I could easily change that in the future, but for now, it’s not that. This means I maybe wouldn’t collab with a dating app UNLESS I felt that it would be useful to my audience, which leads to the next question I ask myself.

3. Does this company/product align with my audience and help them?

While it’s good to be clear on your brand, sometimes things outside of your brand could potentially help your audience as well. My audience (on instagram and my podcast) is made up of mostly women who are between the ages of 20-35. While a company might not align with my personal brand, it still might be something that could potentially help my audience. If something does not align with my brand at all, it would have to help me audience in a tremendous way in order for me to even consider working with them.

4. Would I use this product if I wasn’t getting paid to do so?

When it comes to gifted products, I’m a little less strict because I feel more comfortable telling my followers “This company sent me this and I tried it out, here’s what I think” as opposed to “You should definitely try this product!” If I know that I could not see myself using something if I wasn’t getting paid or something in return for it, then it I will not work with that company. Being authentic with my audience is extremely important to me and one of my top priorities as a content creator. I will not promote something to them that I know I don’t like/wouldn’t use.

These are some of the questions I ask myself before I decide to work with a company. If you struggle answering any of these questions because of lack of clarity in your own brand, then you definitely need to get clear on that before you want to get paid to post anything. Lacking clarity in these areas means that your brand needs some more work before you get to that stage of being an online content creator. You gotta crawl before you walk and walk before you run. If you are able to figure these things out, you will have no trouble knowing what companies you want to work with (and what companies you want to avoid.)

I hope this post helps you figure out exactly how to determine what companies to work with. When I was offered my first paid post, I was so excited! However, it’s important to remember your values and integrity as you navigate the influencer marketing world.

Do you have any more questions about deciding which brands to work with? Would you like to see more posts like this? Let me know in the comments.

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What My Week-Long Meditation Challenge Taught Me

Last Month I discussed wanting to participate in a Meditation Challenge. I wanted to do this because I wanted to clear my mind and work on calming myself down. I’m happy to report that I was able to mostly* complete the challenge and managed to meditate almost 20 mins every day for a week straight. I’m really proud of myself because I was unsuccessful when I tried to do a Yoga Challenge a few months back. I feel like I was able to calm my mind and lower my anxiety before bed. I learned quite a few things in those 7 days and I decided I should share those things for those who may consider meditating or are just curious about how it went for me. Here are three things I learned while completing my meditation challenge.

Morning Meditation is not for me (at least not for 10 mins)

Before I started the meditation challenge, my goal was to meditate 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes before bed. While meditating 10 minutes before bed was easy, I found meditating in the morning really difficult. I kept falling back asleep and even when I wouldn’t, it just didn’t like starting my day that way. I do think that if I had chosen 5 minutes for morning (or maybe even just a mindful minute) I would have liked it much more. However, meditating does not have to be done in the morning to be effective. There are other ways to practice mindfulness that don’t require meditating like __________. I will probably try to just sit in silence for 1 minute every morning because I did like not grabbing my phone first thing in the morning and having time to sit with myself.

Journaling before meditating reduces my thoughts being all over the place

Idk about you but my brain is always thinking of something else. However, during this challenge I realized that meditating without journaling beforehand really sets me up for a notsofocused meditation session. While learning to be focused is always a challenge regardless of what you do before meditating, a good old brain dump definitely helps me reduce the amount of times I stray off during my meditating. Even if I only journal/brain dump for 5 minutes beforehand, it helps me get a little more focused. If you struggle with staying focusing during meditation I definitely recommend this.

It’s okay to get distracted, mindfulness takes practice

Speaking of staying focused, if you’re new to meditating don’t beat yourself up about not being able to focus on your breathe or being present for the entire 5/10/20/however long minutes. Meditation is a practice and you will not be a superstar at it when you’re first starting out. We are used to the hustle & bustle of society and sitting in silence and trying not to think about anything is the polar opposite of that. It’s going to take time and HELLA PRACTICE. Be cool about it and you will slowly but surely get better at it. I barely improved between day 1 and day 7 but I did get slightly better at it. Progession is the goal, always.

I love doing challenges because they prove to me what I‘m capable of if I make it a priority. I think I want to re-attempt the Yoga Challenge but make it a week long like this one. I definitely want to keep incorporating Meditation into my daily routine. I like how it makes me feel so that’s enough of a reason. We are all trying to find things that calm us down during these times. Hopefully these lessons will help you decide if meditating is for you.

Do you practice meditation? If no, why not? Let’s chat in the comments!

Reflecting On My First Week of 3L Year

Hey readers! Long time no…post? Haha. As usual around around August, I got caught up in the back to school madness. I promise I’m working on planning & executing well enough in advance that I don’t disappear but it’s harder than it sounds. While I’m on the topic of school I have to let you all know this is my LAST year of law school aka 3l Year. There’s this age old saying (that I’ve probably talked about on here before) that says “1L they scare you to death, 2L they work you to death, 3L they bore you to death.” Now listen idk who they are but my 1st week of 3L was far from boring.

Monday

I don’t actually have Monday classes so my first* day of school was very chill compared to previous years. By having the 2nd best registration time slot (after part-time 4Ls) I was able to get every class I want this semester. I dropped Family Law because I was worried about being a managing editor for Gaming Law Journal and doing a clinic. Family Law was also my only MW class so now my Mondays & Wednesday are open. I plan to use these days to further prepare for the week, do some last minute readings, or complete my journal/clinic work. It truly depends on the week but I’m excited to have no Monday classes.

Tuesday

Tuesday was a wild ride. I forgot how taxing being on Zoom for extended periods of time is. My first class it at 10:30am which I love because it allows me ample to start my day unrushed, even if I wake up at 9:30am (which I definitely did since I’m adjusting to not being a wild night owl like during the summer. I think I picked some great classes for my first semester of 3L and I truly interested in all of the subjects. I need to get a better office chair or I will have back problems by the middle of the semester. I forgot about that too. I still need to get my books but FinAid still hasn’t come through. (update: STILL hasn’t come through)

Wednesday

Since I didn’t have class and had all day, I decided to go into my office. Yes, as the managing editor of GLJ, I get my own office space which is pretty cool! I love that it gives me somewhere to go to get out of the house but still safely practice social distancing. I can’t wait to decorate. I also got so much more done than I would at home. I think I will be utilizing the space more often than not.

Thursday

A mess. This day was a complete mess. I did get a lot done the day before but unfortunately one of those things was not my Civil Rights readings because 1. They were long as hell 2. I was just overwhelmed and didn’t expect her to cold call us. Welp, I was wrong! Guess who she called on (or at least let us know she was going to call on) ME. I had to tell her that I was not prepared. If I had any ounce of shame I would have been embarrassed but I don’t so. I mainly felt bad because I admire this professor and didn’t want to disappoint her. However, sometimes a girl just doesn’t feel like reading. I’ll be prepared from now on. I think I was just overwhelmed with everything else going on in the world.

Friday

Earlier this week my good friend Aariel reached out to me to see if I wanted to take some pictures in honor of being 3Ls. She knows I’m always looking to shoot content so I was excited when she asked. Today we came to the school at like 9am and got soooo many great pictures. I’m super excited to share them over the next few weeks. There are a few in this posts. I spent the rest of my day in my office. I had a meeting for clinic from 10:30-12:30pm, went to buy one of my books, got some food, and planned some stuff out for the next week. I also wrote a couple blog posts, including this one. I said it already but I love being in my office space. I do need to make it more home-y and buy some eating utensils for when I forget mine.

Overall this week was a lot. 3L year is going to be far from easy. I forgot how taxing being on Zoom all day is. I just always feel super tired on my Tuesdays and Thursdays when I have 3 classes. I know it’s for the better but your girl is tiredddd. I really hope it’s safe to come back to school in the spring. Until then, I’m going to have to get used to Zoom School of Law again (for tips on that, check out this blog post). Wish me luck y’all.

Are you currently in law school? What year are you and how do you feel about this school year so far? Let’s chat in the comments!

Why I’m Doing A Week-Long Meditation Challenge

The last few weeks I have been entirely too stressed out. Between work assignments, deadlines, and getting ready to go back to school, my stress levels have been through the roof. It seems that as I’ve gotten busier, I’ve neglected some of my wellness habits. I’ve definitely been slacking on my on my meditation and journaling and I’m feeling the effects. I used to meditate every few days or so and I really enjoyed how my life was when that was the case.

There’s this quote that says “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour.” I figured now is the perfect time to try and get back into the habit of meditating and even more so to do it daily. What better way to do so than a meditation challenge? By making it into a challenge, I will more than likely feel more motivated to do so just as I was more motivated to workout when I made it a personal challenge to close my apple watch rings every day!

meditation

The challenge will consist of the following:

  • Meditating 10 minutes every morning before using my phone
  • Meditating 10 minutes every night before I go to sleep
  • Meditating every day for 1 week.

I’m excited to dedicate 20 minutes a day to meditating for the next week (starting tomorrow). I know the benefits will be great and I really hope to be able to stick to it! I can do it. If you’d like to follow along with me, follow me on Instagram: @musingsofmara. I will also have the following template on there and update it every day! Hopefully in the next few days, you read a blog about me sticking to it and not a blog similar to my failed attempt at a yoga challenge (read about it here). Wish me luck!

Do you practice meditation? Have you ever wanted to? Let me know in the comments below!

 

How To Prepare for A Successful First Semester of Virtual Law School

We are basically half-way through which means that those of us in school are getting ready to go back to school! If you’re reading this, you may even be getting ready to start your first semester of law school in general (online, at that!) First of all, congratulations! Getting into law school is no easy feat, and you’ve made it this far! However, things are about to get really real so make sure you sit down, get comfortable, and read this post with some tips to help you succeed in your fist semester of virtual law school.

Tips for Virtual Law School

Set Alarms/Reminders for Your Classes

When you’re in a law school building, it’s kind of impossible to forget to go to class because you either know people who are in your class or everyone else is going to class so you know you probably have a class too. With virtual law school in the comfort of your own home, it’s soooo easy to forget you have class. This probably sounds ridiculous, but this happened to many of my friends last semester! I personally set a few reminders (30 mins and 5 mins before) so I can give myself enough time to remember to eat before class, fill up my water bottle, use the bathroom, and everything else I need to do before class begins. I try to mimic what I would do before my in-person classes as closely as possible.

Create A Schedule For Your Non-Class Responsibilities

It’s easy to set aside time for the classes that you have to be present for. The harder part of your first semester of law school is making time for everything else and making sure you don’t neglect anything else. I was guilty of this my first two months of law school. I barely had a schedule that didn’t consist of reading for class, writing case briefs, and attending those classes. It literally took over my life. Don’t be like me. You want to put in enough effort but not let it consume you. The semesters where I did better grade wise were definitely the semesters when I made time for my hobbies, family, friends, me-time, and whatever. If it’s scheduled, it will be easier to adhere to.

Go To Virtual Office Hours (and schedule other appointments after that)

It’s already hard enough to stand out to your professors when classes are in person. Virtual law school makes it even harder! One benefit of virtual law school is that some professors have made themselves even more available to talk to students at different times since they are at home. Your first semester of law school is super challenging and I distinctly remember doing better in the classes that I made an effort to attend office hours. Professors can answer questions and help you understand things you are having trouble grasping. They should want you to succeed so make sure you help them help you. Even if it’s not for grades, it’s also good for future letters of recommendation. They might not even write you one if they don’t feel like they know you well enough to vouch for you, so make them know who you are!

Use Google Calendar

I love a good google calendar. While I also love a good paper planner, google calendar gives you flexibility to move things around in case something comes up. You can still keep the time blocks and whatever else you put in the description. This one is pretty straight-forward and it will help you keep a google schedule. If you are a visual person like me, seeing everything laid out helps you do everything you need to do.

Plan Out Your Me Time (preferably unplugged)

I already mentioned this earlier but it’s so important it needs repeating. Plan your me-time. Plan your me-time. PLAN YOUR ME-TIME! It is so easy to neglect your own personal needs during your first semester of law school. Don’t do it! You will inevitably burn out at some point and it will be hard to bounce back once that happens. Since law school will be entirely online, I recommend your me-time include doing something that’s not related to technology at all. Take a walk. Read a book not related to law school. Maybe even listen to music (this is kinda technology but as long as you’re not also on your phone it’s okay.) Meditate. Whatever you need to do, do it! It will help with your preservation in the long run.

This list is by no means all-inclusive but it does consist of things I personally find really important going into your first semester of virtual law school. Talk to other 2Ls and 3Ls at your school to gain their insight on your specific school. Good luck this semester and if your school is still giving out grades, may the curve be ever in your favor!

Are there any other law school topics you want to learn more about? Let me know in the comments below!

5 Must-Read Personal Development Books for Millennials Trying To Get Their Life Together

Do you want to know what is one of the biggest things I love about summer and what I miss about the two years I took off from school? I miss having time to read for leisure instead of for work or school. When I was a child, I loved reading! I stopped reading for fun once I started college and started again once I graduated. However, once I started law school, I stopped again. It’s just a cycle at this point.

Tomorrow is National Book Lover’s Day and while I don’t prioritize reading all the time, I definitely still consider myself a book lover. I have a bookshelf full of books and I’ve read most of them (still working on it). I think reading (or listening, shoutout to audiobooks) books enables us to expand our perspectives and grow as people. This is so important to me and who I strive to be as a person. Books are essential for personal development.

When I took my two years off before law school, I was definitely obsessed with the self-help/personal development genre. Even now I would say that I am always working on my own personal development and trying to help others do the same. In light of this goal, I have decided to compose a list of some of my favorites in the self-help and personal development genre.

Here are my favorites:

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

fouragreements

I revisit this book at least once a year, sometimes more than that depending on the type of year I’m having. When I used to work at a Recreation Center, I printed out the Four Agreements and posted it in the area where all the staff would keep their stuff. It helped me keep them in mind when I had to deal with particularly mean community members or even when I was frustrated with a co-worker. I also thought it might be useful to others. This book is one of my favorites because Don Miguel Ruiz provides such wonderful insight on just living a better life. I know that when I started applying to the Four Agreements to my life (still a work in progress because I’m human after all) my life had way less inner turmoil and bullshit with other people. It’s truly a great book that I recommend to anyone who will ask.

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

badasss

I really enjoyed reading this book. I think Sincero does a good job of making herself appealing to younger aged millennials like me by writing about self-help in a very relatable and basic language. I found her book hilarious because she has a knack for cussing while delivering her points (anyone who knows me knows that’s my MO as well). I found this book a little bit more exciting than other books of its genre. Sincero is very good at narrating her life experiences and teaching concepts from them. While there were some parts of it that I didn’t necessarily agree with, (I do not like the way some modern self-help books discuss things like depression) the overall concepts of the book were extremely helpful for me during my post-grad journey and even when I revisited it later. I realized that certain parts stick out to me depending on what is happening in my life at the time. This is definitely a book to pick up if you want to get into self-help books and have a wild sense of humor!

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

yearofyes

Okay so this book is by Shonda Rhimes aka the mastermind behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder. I really enjoyed this book because it encouraged me to take more chances in my own life and not hold myself back once I read it. Rhimes wrote this book because her daughter told her “you never say yes to anything” and that was a wake-up call for her. Truth be told I haven’t read this book since 2018 and I probably could stand to read it again. Due to her daughter’s assertion, Rhimes took on a year of saying Yes to everything, even the things that terrified her. The book details her life during that period and gives us an up close & personal view of how that new resolution played out. Now that I’m writing this, I’ve decided I’m going to re-read it! I will give a more detailed post on it in the future. Hold me to it!

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay, PhD

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The thing I enjoyed about this book was how much applicable advice it has for twentysomethings going through the post-grad struggle. From finding a job, to relationships and marriage, and even family planning, this book touches on topics that many of us like to put off as some abstract thing in the distant future when really…the future will be here before we even have time to blink. I also like this book because for once, there is a book talking to twentysomethings instead of about us. I wrote a more detailed review of this book here if you’d like to know some of my favorite quotes and parts of the book.

Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy

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This book is one of the shorter personal development books I’ve read but make no mistake, it teaches you a lot in less than 200 pages. What I really enjoyed about Tracy’s book is that it does not have any fluff and gets straight the point. Often times in self-development books they take many many words to say something that could be effectively understood in less words. Tracy does this and that’s why I decided I must re-read this book again just because it was so good at teaching me something. I honestly couldn’t put the book down and finished it in only 2 days. It’s based on careers and businesses but you definitely can take the concepts and apply them to any area in life. If you need help to leave procrastinating as a thing in the past, check this book out!

Have you read any of these books? Do you have another book I didn’t mention that helped you get your life together? Leave a recommendation in the comments below!

Lessons I Learned From Blogging Every Weekday For A Month

Hey readers! It’s been a while (compared to blogging every weekend)! I hope you are doing as well as can be given everything going on. As I’ve mentioned many times (here, here, and here), last month I participated in Mattie James’ Consistency Challenge for blogging. We had to blog every Mon-Fri and I talked about how hard it was on my last post. However, I did say that I learned a lot about blogging on that post as well and I figured I might as well share these things with my readers.

Before I tell you the lessons I learned, I want to l talk a little bit more about the challenge (just a little, I promise). The grand prize was $1,000 and while I didn’t win the money, I did have some other personal wins! My analytics improved across the board and it really helped me re-discover myself as a blogger. Here are some before and after of my analytics.

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Isn’t that wild? My monthly views went from 397 to 598. My visitors went from 234 to 397 (also kinda strange that number appears twice). My likes went from 9 all the way to 65 and my comments went from 4 a month to 17! Now, I would like to increase these numbers, but I also know where I fell short as well. I’m going to talk about that on the next part of the blog.

I know many of you are have started your own blogs or are interested in starting one. The rest of this post will have some lessons I learned along the way during my 4-week blogging challenge. Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and improve your own blog as well!

Lesson #1: Writing a blog post every day is not sustainable (not for me, at least)

I love writing blogs. I actually enjoy writing blogs more than I enjoy writing most things these days. Even though they’re longer writing blogs is even easier than writing Instagram captions for me. All of that being said, writing a blog every day because I failed to plan a head was draining! This was especially true when I had a particularly busy week at work that was loaded with dense legal research. I definitely do not recommend trying to write a blog every day. I knew this already and even talked about “batch work” in a previous post, but this challenge really hammered in on that point for me. NEVER AGAIN!

Lesson #2: Promoting your blog posts is just as important as writing it!

This sound so obvious but there was a point towards the end of the challenge when I was barely finishing the posts at 11:50pm and promoting my posts on Instagram just fell to the wayside. What was the point? It was already midnight and by the next day I had a different post to write. I honestly slacked on my entire Instagram the entire month of July but that’s a whole different blog post for another day (actually no, but you get my point). I also realized that I should have been promoting on ALL of my social media platforms, not just Instagram. My blog posts actually started to get quite a few RTs on Twitter which really helped me reach a wider audience. I definitely want to start incorporating Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram when I promote my blog posts. More things I have to learn, yay!

Lesson #3: I learned what type of posts I enjoy writing

You probably raised your eyebrow when you read this but surprise surprise, prior to this challenge I had a rough idea about the type of content I thought I should make (it hasn’t really changed) but this challenge helped me realize which content is actually the easiest for me to write/which content I enjoy writing about the most. The content I had the easiest time writing was all related to helping other bloggers, law students, and wellness related topics (most of the time). Now that I know this, I can plan these posts super in advance and get as many of them written as possible when I’m feeling inspired or on a roll. It certainly doesn’t hurt to know what kind of content you enjoy writing for your blog.

Lesson #4: I also learned which content I struggle with writing (even though I enjoy it)

During the challenge, I decided to make each day a different theme and kept those post on those days just so I wouldn’t get too overwhelmed. Mondays were blogging/content creation, Tuesdays were law school posts, Wednesday were wellness posts, Thursday were fitness posts, and Friday were personal development posts. It never failed….every Thursday and Friday I struggled on deciding what freaking fitness and personal development topics I wanted to blog about. It was actually so annoying. However, now that I know that sometimes I struggle with this type of content, I can be sure to brainstorm for those specific posts way in advance so that I’m not stuck when it comes time to write about them. I just have to work harder if I want to keep writing about those topics, which is fine! I actually have some ideas already planned for the next few weeks. Win!

Blogging every week day was a little too much for me but I DO want to start blogging 3x a week. I feel that doing this will help me grow my audience and ultimately help me reach more people and thus help more people! While the challenge did kick my ass, I’m so glad I participated in it! I recommend any aspiring blogger try it and see what you learn about yourself and your blogging style at the end of 4 weeks. Try it!\

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