9 Tips For Having A Kickass 2019

We’ve all heard the same old phrase in regards to starting a new year. Many of our friend rush to social media to exclaim “new year, new me!” It’s basically become a running joke on Twitter, Instagram, and even Facebook at this point. While many people find this to be ridiculous, I do think new years can serve as a good time to start fresh. I don’t personally believe in “new year, new me” but I can totally get behind “new year, new habits” or at least that what’s I’M trying to incorporate into my 2019. My goal of establishing some new habits for the New Year inspired this post. Here’s my list of what YOU should do to make sure you have a KICK ASS 2019.

Do Something for YOURSELF, Every Day

2019 is the year of making sure we take care of ourselves! No more putting ourselves and our joy in the backseat on the journey of this thing called life. This year I challenge you to make time for yourself every day. Even if it’s only ten minutes of reading a fiction novel you’ve been trying to read for the last few months or five minutes of meditation, take time for YOURSELF. Your year will be so much better if you commit to this one goal.

Express GRATITUDE As Often As Possible

I’m not sure about you but I’m someone who believe that The Universe gives us whatever it is we are focusing on (Law of Attraction anyone?) I noticed that last year I had really good experiences when I made expressing gratitude for the things I had or were going to have. When I focused on what I didn’t have, it left me always needing more. One way I like to express gratitude is telling people that I appreciate something they have done for me. Not only do I get to express gratitude, but they also feel appreciate and sometimes that’s enough to brighten someone’s whole day.

Speak and Write Things Into Existence

The power of our words is powerful. Over the last two years I have been very mindful over not speaking negatively over my life. Not saying that I’m perfect and only say positive things but it is something that I try to practice as often as I can. The strength of the written word is powerful as well. There have been many times I have manifested my wants by speaking them out loud or by writing them over and over in my journal. Pro-Tip: you MUST believe what you are saying is possible and you must do the work as well. Faith without works is dead, okay?!

Practice The Art of Brain-Dumping

If you’re anything like me your brain is like a computer with 20 tabs open all at once. This sometimes makes focusing on one thing during the day impossible and even more impossible at night when my thoughts are free to wander. One way I have cut down the tossing and turning at night as I try to fall asleep while also contemplating what I would have said in that conversation I had three days ago is by brain-dumping. A brain dump is when you have a blank sheet of paper and just write down everything that’s on your mind thus dumping it out of your head and onto the paper. Sometimes this sparks a need to journal but often times just getting it out is helpful and allows me to focus on whatever I was trying to do. By getting in the habit of doing a brain-dump whenever you find yourself struggling to focus, you will be able to be more productive with your thoughts and time.

Take Care of Your Body and Your Skin

Whenever I tell people to take care of their bodies the first thing they think of is working out. While working out is one way to take care of your body, it’s not the only way. One of the most obvious ways is by being mindful of what you eat. I’m not saying you should only eat kale and acai but incorporating more veggies into your diet can’t hurt. Often times taking care of our bodies is the complete opposite of working out and we need more rest or to simply stretch. Your skin covers your entire body so taking care of your skin is important too. If you wear make-up, make sure you take it completely off before bed. Change your sheets and pillow cases often. Drinking water can have some benefits on your skin too, so I’ve heard, which brings me to my next point…

Drink MORE Water

THIS YEAR WE ARE STAYING HYDRATED, PERIOD. If you are one of those people who “doesn’t like water” or doesn’t drink water…please love yourself. Sorry I’m not trying to be judgey but water is an important part of our well-being. Our bodies are mostly made up of water and if you are dehydrated it is impossible for you to being functioning at your highest potential. Yes it’s annoying to have to pee every 20 minutes but once your body gets used to it that won’t happen anymore. Also, drinking more water keeps you from mindlessly snacking sometimes so it’s a double win!

Mind Your Business

My quality of life improved so much when I stopped worrying about wtf other people were doing. I can’t really pin point exactly when that was but it’s the truth. Honestly minding your business can go past not engaging in gossip or whatever else. Minding your business means not comparing yourself to your friends or random strangers on instagram. Comparison is the thief of joy and judging others won’t make you better than them or make you any money, so just don’t do it this year, or ever.

Show Up and Show OUT

Last but certainly not least is SHOW UP AND SHOW OUT. This can have many meanings but when I say this I mean be present when you are doing things. If you go out to dinner with friends, focus your attention on spending time with them in the moment. If you have a job interview be on time and be confident. When you engage in your creative endeavors give it everything you’ve gotten. We are leaving being distracted and uninspired in 2018. Say bye bye to self-doubt and know that you are BOMB all 2019. If you approach your year with this attitude I’m 95% sure your year will be more enjoyable.

Get MORE Sleep

I’m going to keep this one short: you can’t be your best self if you are sleepy or relying on caffeine to function. Similarly to how we need water, our bodies neeeeed a certain amount of sleep to live up to our full potential. Our culture romanticizes “I’ll sleep when I die” type of attitude and honestly that is so bad for us. Get some fucking sleep.

While the New Year can be a great time to start anew and build better habits, keep in mind neither Rome nor Beyoncé were built in a day. Don’t beat yourself up about it if you don’t succeed at adapting these overnight. Practice and consistency are going to be the determining factor of if you can establish these lifelong habits for a better year and hopefully an overall better quality of life.  Now get out there and KICK SOME ASS!

Which of these habits are you looking forward into incorporating into your daily life? Which ones do you already do? Sound off in the comments!

How I Chose My Word of the Year for 2019

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We are almost a week into the NEW Year and it has been interesting already! While the practice of making New Year’s Resolutions is common, that doesn’t mean that it is the most effective method of achieving your New Year’s goals. I personally haven’t really been in the practice of making New Year’s Resolutions for the last two years. When I have made New Year’s resolutions in the past, it often discourages me from trying at all if I don’t move towards them quickly enough. In the last few years I have chose a word of the year that guides all of actions towards reaching the goals I hope to accomplish in the New Year.

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My word for last year was DISCIPLINE. I chose the word Discipline because that is what was lacking from my reaching some of my goals in 2017, especially in regards to weight loss. I hired a trainer, I meal prepped more, I went to the gym more often, even when I didn’t feel like going. I also was more disciplined in putting out content for my blog (before my Nana passed away, and I started law school). After a few a set-backs, I stopped really embracing the word discipline because I was really just trying to…get over the sadness from different things that happened earlier in the year. I realized that at times I was disciplined but at other times I wasn’t. That led to me choosing my word for 2019.

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My word for 2019 is CONSISTENCY. This is what was lacking from my life last year in many areas from health + fitness to blogging to even studying for school. Similar to the reason I chose the word discipline last year, I need to consistently do things (even when I’d rather not) in order to reach the goals I’ve set out for this year. The times I did manage to remained disciplined, I lost a decent amount of weight, I got into law school, and I posted some quality content. (Read my favorite posts from last year HERE). By being consistent this year, I know I will be better off when the countdown for 2020 happens.

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This doesn’t have to be the way you choose your word. 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.

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!

5 Tips For Building Confidence in Your Twenties

The other day I was trying to generate ideas for posts for my blog (being in a creative rut is rough) and I asked my friend “what are somethings you’d like to know as a twentysomething?” She is turning 21 in November so I’d figured now would be a good time to ask her as she slowly transitions into the Twenty-something life. She said “One thing that I think separates you from me if how confident you are, so maybe right tips on how you went about gaining that confidence.” This posed an interesting question because I definitely wasn’t always the confident person and I still struggle depending on the area of life that it is. However, I do think I have been alive long enough to give advice on how to gain a mostly* confident demeanor. That being said, here are some of my tips for being a confident person.

  • Fake it til you make it!

Being confident isn’t always easy and sometimes you may be feeling insecure and doubt yourself. That’s okay. It’s okay visit insecurity but don’t make it your home. My biggest way of becoming confident was acting how I saw people I believed to be confident act until I actually possessed the confidence I wanted. By exuding a fake confident energy, I fooled everyone around me into thinking I was confident until I eventually believed it myself. This was back in high school and maybe again in my early twenties but it did work for me.

  • Don’t base your confidence on what other people think

Having self-confidence in a rigid society that defines success in such a narrow way is hard. The truth of the matter is you can be the best looking, intelligent, physically fit, wealthy person and somebody is still going to have some shit to say about you, so don’t worry about what other people think of you. I think I was able to gain confidence when I stopped giving a shit what people think of me. The thing is most people, even the people who always have something to say, are concerned with themselves so they don’t really have to think about you as often as you believe. If you don’t thibk you’re the bomb.com, nobody else will either. Coco Chanel said it best, “I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t think about you at all.”

  • Find something you’re really good at and be proud of it

One way I built confidence in high school was by playing sports. Seeing how far I could push my body gave me an extreme level of confidence in an otherwise typical insecure teenage life. When I went to college and became an adult jr., I was always confident in the fact that I was now naturally an athletic person due to how I grew up playing sports. As I’ve grown into an actual adult and less in shape than my teenage athlete years, I’ve found a new confidence in doing dancing group fitness classes like MIXXEDFIT, Zumba, COMMIT, and others. When I’m in these classes I FEEL LIKE I’M THAT BITCH and nobody can stop me. While I personally love physical fitness as my thing, it doesn’t matter what your hobbies are just pick one thing that you can get really good at be proud of.

  • Stop the comparison game

Just as you could be the best looking, intelligent, physically fit, wealthy person, so can somebody else. The reality of life is that is always going to be somebody better than you at something. On the flip side, you will be better than others at certain things so there really is no need to compare yourself to anyone. I’m in the school of thought that we were all put on this Earth for our own purpose and comparing yourselves to others diminishes your ability to do what you are meant to do! On social media (where most comparisons for us millennials and Gen Z occur) people portray what they want you to see. Most people don’t show their full story, which is their right, so you can’t compare yourself to something that isn’t a true representation. So what if that person landed their dream job at 23. So what if they graduated with a 4.0. So what if they have the life you think you deserve. Everything ain’t for everybody and when you focus on comparing yourself to others you open the door for insecurities and jealously, which is the opposite of confidence! So don’t do it and just FOCUS on yourself. That’s how you become confident in who YOU are!

  • Don’t talk badly about yourself

Yes I wish I had a flat stomach and had extra inches in my height but I am who I am! Talking badly about the things you “hate” about yourself will not boost your confidence. It’s okay to want to improve things in in your life (whether they be physical, mental, or whatever else) but calling yourself dumb won’t make you any smarter. Saying you hate your back rolls won’t make them disappear and complaining about yourself in general never makes you a better person. While venting is okay, it’s important to be mindful of the way you talk to and about yourself. A good rule of thumb is to not say anything to yourself that you would drop a friend or romantic partner for saying to you.

It’s hard to be 100% confident all the time and there are days when you won’t feel that great about yourself. The key to confidence is to remember no matter what your shortcomings may be, you are still AMAZING and uniquely made.

What’s one thing you’re great at and proud of? Do you have any tips for building self-confidence? Let me know in the comments!

3 Signs You’re The Toxic Person in Your Life and How To Fix It

I’m not one of those people who believe in “good vibes only” or only focusing on the positive things in life. Being a constantly positive person is hard and, in my opinion, impossible for most people. As humans we aren’t perfect and there are times when we’re going to have a shitty day and be in a shitty mood. This is fine. However, there is a difference between having a bad day or week and being the toxic person in your life or the lives of others. As someone who has gone through these moments at earlier times in my life, I’ve discovered 3 signs that will tell you if you are the toxic person and how to fix it if you are.

1. You are always angry/in a bad mood and take it out on others

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As I said earlier, it is perfectly okay to have a bad mood for a day or week. Some people even have bad months depending on what they are going through in life. What’s not okay is constantly being in a bad mood and taking this out on those around us. Nobody wants to be friends with the person who is always angry, never has anything nice to say, and acts like an asshole to most people around them. Even if you disguise it in constant sarcasm, slick comments, passive aggressive behavior, or whatever else, it’s annoying and toxic to others and yourself.

How to fix it: Find out why you are so angry

Unless you suffer from a disorder that makes your emotions not at your own will, most people experience another emotion before anger. Figure out what emotion(s) you’re trying to mask in anger. Are you sad? Are you hurting? Is there a trauma you don’t want to deal with? Ask yourself these questions and similar ones to find out the root of your anger. This is the only way you can address this anger and move on to a life not plagued by it.

2. You’re jealous of others and their accomplishments

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Being a hater is one of the most toxic things to your well-being. I don’t mean the haters everyone swore they had in high school but a genuine hater who hates to see others do well. A hater is someone who constantly hates on others’ magnificent accomplishments. Do you find yourself getting jealous of strangers or even worse…your “friends?” Do you hear about people’s new promotions at work or their new PR at the gym and find yourself looking for a way to cut them down or “humble them?” If you’re this type of person you’re toxic to yourself and others and people will definitely pick up on it even if you never say anything out loud. They will stop telling you the good things that happen to them because you’ll always be known as somebody who is a hater and has nothing good to say when people share their accomplishments.

How to fix it: Realize you are an adequate being and what is for you won’t pass you by

Many times when we try to dull someone else’s sparkle it’s because we are insecure about our own shine. As people we have insecurities or feelings of inadequacy sometimes. What’s important is that we don’t let these feelings consume us so much that we can’t be happy for the next person. Another reason people become haters is because they want what someone else has. There are very few things that are in such scarcity in the world that you need to covet those who have them. What is meant for you is FOR YOU so long as you take the steps needed to achieve it. Hating on the next person won’t get you any closer to your goals. Aspire to be inspired by those who are we’re you want to be and learn from them instead of wishing them bad.

3. You only call/text your friends to talk about yourself, your problems, or other people

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There is nothing that toxic people are better at than maintaining one-sided friendships that only benefit them. If you’re constantly reaching out to others with no intentions of seeing how they are doing, you might be the toxic friend. I’m using the term friend loosely here. But seriously, if you only think to hit people up when you’re going through some shit, they aren’t your friend…they are your therapist and honestly that’s not fair to them. This isn’t the same thing as a friendship where the energy and effort is mutual and you both help each other through hard times. This is you not checking in with someone unless you need something from them and they are helping you in some way…it’s toxic. If you only reach out to a friend to talk badly about other people that’s toxic as well and not good for either of you. Only equally toxic people want friends who never have anything good to say about others.

How To Fix It: Get a therapist and a journal

One way to make sure you’re not the friend who only keeps in contact to talk about the shit going on in your life is to have someone whose job it is to let you vent to them. Therapy is often looked down upon (especially in communities of color) but if you have this tendency you could probably use someone with the proper skills and knowledge to help you through these times. Another way to master your emotions and feelings is to write about them. I know I say this all the time but it works, okay? Ever since I’ve started journaling I have become better at dealing with my emotions. This can help you too. Also, if you find yourself consistently gossiping about others, you need to figure out what insecurities you are trying to hide by doing so. As I mentioned earlier everyone has insecurities and it’s okay but talking badly about others won’t make anything within ourselves better. Find the problems within yourself and handle them.


I believe that everyone goes through a phase or two where they are the toxic person in their own life as well as the lives of others. What’s important is being able to recognize this and taking the steps needed to check ourselves and deal with our problematic behaviors. The first step is awareness so if any of these signs rang true for you I hope you take my suggestions. Help yourself live a peaceful non-toxic life. You are in charge with how you deal with life so take the steps towards happiness not bitterness.

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!

 

 

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.

How Getting a Passion Planner Changed My Life For Better

 

I was introduced to Passion Planner during a very hectic part of my life. It was during my 5th year at SDSU and I had never ending anxiety about EVERYTHING. A sorority sister of mine had died from a sudden heart attack which caused me to have sadness about her passing as well as anxiety about my health. I was supposed to start preparing to take the LSAT when fall semester started but I stopped because I realized I was exhausted and burnt-out from school and all my other commitments. I was going to school, clocking in 15 hours a week at my unpaid internship, working another 15 hours at my job, in a sorority, and preparing for graduation. My idea of self-care was a night out on the town instead of the rest my body probably desperately needed by the time the week ended. I eventually got sad when I had to go out because it started to feel like a chore. Panic attacks were a regular occurrence and it go to the point when I would have at least one a week if not more and battled sleep paralysis every so often as well. My life was rough; it felt like I was watching my life happen to someone else instead of living my life.

 

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(live footage of my Final year of undergrad before I discovered Passion Planner)

I’m not saying that Passion Planner completely got rid of all of my problems overnight or even now, years after I discovered it, not at all. However, Passion Planner did give me a space to evaluate what I truly wanted from my last semester of school & the rest of my life and how to make sure I got it. As someone who was crazy busy, Passion Planner allowed me to keep track of my multiple commitments and everything I had to do as well as make time for the things I wanted to do that made me happy. I was able to change my idea of self-care from going out to working out and decorating my planner. I spent more time at home just enjoying my own company. It truly changed my life for the better.

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I have long since graduated (okay not really only a year ago I just like how “long since” sounds haha) and I still use Passion Planner to make sure my many commitments and passion don’t get out of control or put on the side. As an aspiring law student, a blogger, someone with 2 jobs, and many other side hustles I’m currently working on having an effective planner with a little extra push towards my goals is perfect for me. Passion Planner is all that and more. Do you want to live your best life? Buy a Passion Planner today and change your life for! GET 10% OFF of regular priced items at passionplanner.com using code MARA10

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Stay tuned for my “Plan w/ Me” Periscope Date Announcement COMING SOON!