5 personal growth quotes that will make you rethink your purpose

I know I’ve stumbled upon these quotes multiple times, but just recently they hit different.

It made me reflect on my purpose, direction and priorities.  And also gave me more motivation. Though,  I must say, quotes are flaky and can’t always provide inspiration.  On occasion they can make you stand up, re-evaluate and take action.

So please feel free to reflect on the words and enjoy the sunflower pics I took at Robintide Farms

What we fear of doing most is usually what we most need to do.

We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.

It’s Never Too Late To Be What You Might Have Been

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

 

So glad I can come back to my self-care rituals

This week was a great reminder as to why I need self care rituals.  On the days that I am pushed to my breaking point, by situations, by people, by context – it is my self care rituals that give me peace.

My rituals are the the part of my day that make sure when I am out there taking care of everyone and everything else – that I also make time for myself and my wellness.

Self care rituals are THE FORMULA to support your mental wellbeing.

It’s a built in way that you do something for your mind, your body and your soul everyday.

Another reminder: Get enough sleep, have gratitude and always be present (aka put your phone down and you head up) 

Start your new year right

It’s around this time of year that we see a lot of gift guides online. And as important and lovely giving the perfect present to someone can be – it can also be crazy stressful (hence said gift guides appear all over the interwebs).

And I know there are people like me that need to “get warmed up” for holiday shopping by treating themselves to something nice first ;)

A few weeks ago I shared some thoughts about systems. All the items below help me create routines (or systems). Having systems in place can be helpful when coping with change, creating healthy habits, being more mindful and knowing yourself better.

So here is the treat yo-self/start your (new) year RIGHT gift list for YOU! Sharing a list of items to help you create systems! (Of course, you can start doing these things without these items – but a visual ALWAYS helps!).

  1. Skin care: The first step to self care is about develop and maintain a healthy relationship with yourself. Honestly sometimes, you must demand that time of yourself. Putting yourself first is important so you can find balance with the other priorities of your life. Either an AM or PM skin care routing (or both) can be both soothing for your skin and for your mood. It just feels good to pamper yourself and having a consistent routine for your face (even if it’s just wash/moisturize daily and a weekly face mask) can make that happen for you.
  2. Dress to impress (for yourself): Don’t do it for anyone but you. Dressing up (even for WFH or on a lazy Sunday) helps you build consistency and confidence. Whether it’s a fresh pair leggings and a tunic style sweater, a beachy waves hair do or hoops and a red lip – get dressed for yourself. I always feel more organized when I’m not sitting in two day old gym clothes or when I have all my rings, layered necklaces and bracelets on (haha, don’t ask).
  3. Manifest: Which also includes meditation, journaling, affirmations, vision boarding and just being mindful overall. These activities are considered enduring systems, because they can help one reap long term benefits with permanent effects. What helps me is having a variety of journals (blanked, lined and prompts) and pretty pens – and I naturally gravitate towards this system.
  4. Water & Smoothies: I recently got back on smoothies. I love them because they are easy to eat, help with digestion and it’s a quick way to eat a variety of fruits/veggies. Even better when it’s is a smoothie bowl. Having a smoothie for breakfast or dinner has become a comfort now. I rather mindless sip a smoothie then a bag of chips.
  5. Wake up & Plan your day: Planning has become essential to me. I’ve gotten really good at weekly and daily planning but I’m working on going macro to micro (2-3yrs – today). I have my direction which guides me, but I really want to get more strategic.
  6. Feed your mind: Read, listen to podcasts/ted talks, take micro learnings. This is something that I do when I feel in a funk. Reading and learning is essential for building self esteem, improving memory and reducing stress. It’s also great for when you are feeling stuck, because it can light up your imagination and help get those innovation juices flowing.

My first #IamRemarkable session as a FACILITATOR

#IamRemarkable, Google Initiative, Self Promotion, Self Advocacy, Self Care, Women and Under represented groups

Success and milestones come in different forms.  But accomplishments are for everyone!

In the last year, I’ve attended 2 #IamRemarkable workshops as a participant.  Before attending, I had only heard about the initiative, but didn’t know much about it or how powerful it could be.

After attending the first one, I knew immediately I wanted to be facilitate the workshops for working/career moms and members of the BIPOC community.

ICYDK:  #IamRemarkable is a #Google initiative empowering women and other underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond.

It’s not bragging, if it’s based on facts!

Why am I so excited about being an #IamRemarkable Facilitator?

Over the last few years, I’ve learned that mentorship and coaching can really improve your circumstances and your surroundings (not only for the mentee, but also the mentor/coach).  #IamRemarkable offers a mentor/mentee partnership where benefits are realized almost immediately.

And since hosting my first #IamRemarkable workshop as a facilitator, I saw how participants resonated with the experiences shared.  As a facilitator, I got out of my comfort zone & shared my own accomplishments, but more importantly the participants were inspired by my stories and felt empowered by the workshops’ exercises.  By the end of the session, everyone left feeling powerful, confident and more joyful.

If you’ve ever spoken about yourself, you may know that self promotion and self-advocacy can feel awkward and be challenging for most people.  But mix in culture, societal or modesty norms and it’s usually women and under-represented groups that suffer the most.

Another reason why I knew I wanted to be an #IamRemarkable facilitator was because I’ve learned through my mentors that our careers aren’t just about working heads down all hours of the day.  We need to find ways to enjoy the journey!  It’s about making space for opportunities/stretch goals, building your personal brand, actively seeking out your board of directors and leaning into your growth mindset.

Don’t get me wrong: working hard is still important but there is more to your work life than that (ahem hustle culture) so you need to find the harmony that works best for you, your home life and your mental well being.

And when your hard work pays off and you have accomplished something big – you have to know that accomplishments won’t speak for themselves.  You have to actively share your achievements!

That is what #IamRemarkable is all about!  Learning to talk about your accomplishments in a way that is true to you.  It’s also about challenging the social perception around self promotion!

Even if you are confident in speaking about yourself, you’ll learn about how to build a safe space for others to speak about their accomplishments and the art of active listening as a leader or person of majority.

If you have the chance to attend a workshop, I would highly recommend it!  Feel free to reach out in the comments below and share your thoughts on self promotion, being marginalized, unconscious biases and holding space for listening to other peoples accomplishments.

My Ideal Day

Outfit, Fashion, OOTD, Habits, Productivity, Goals, Healthy, Running, Goal Setting

I truly feel alignment is the spice of life.  Aligning to my goals, hobbies, dreams, passions, career and community – as much as I can EVERYDAY.   Of course there are days where what I want do is “align” to comfort (aka binge watch a series on Netflix!!)  But by choosing alignment, I make a conscious decisions when it comes to to re-aligning or readjusting my day to handle priorities or new needs.

Outfit, Fashion, OOTD, Habits, Productivity, Goals, Healthy, Running, Goal Setting, Journaling

I recently did the daily habit score cards as outlined in Atomic Habits.  What you need to do is write down every thing you do most days.  Things like brush your teeth, drop your kids at school, read on the train, scroll IG while making a coffee, take a walk over lunch,  meditate before bed are some of the habits that I would need to record.  Even the habits you don’t think are important like snooze the alarm or set the alarm for the next day are recorded in this list of habits.  Then I used a +, – or = to denote positive/beneficial habits, negative habits and neutral habits.

Outfit, Fashion, OOTD, Habits, Productivity, Goals, Healthy, Running, Goal Setting

What this exercise did was help me visually see and recognize habits that weren’t helping me get to where I see myself in the future or on path to attain certain goals.  It’s a helpful way to honestly look at and become more aware of your behaviour.

Outfit, Fashion, OOTD, Habits, Productivity, Goals, Healthy, Running, Goal Setting

What it got me thinking about was, what my ideal day would consist of  (ie: turn my habits into goals).  It made me aware of what activities make me feel energized, bring me joy and what things I want to do to improve my everyday.  What I saw was those activities were grouped into the following categories:

  • Growth (Professional, Personal and Spiritual)
  • Exercise/Eating healthy foods
  • Quality Family Time
  • Being prepared
  • Doing Work that I enjoy and is a priority for me
  • Having fun
  • Getting Enough Rest

So here is a snapshot of what I see as my ideal day:

Wake up (without an alarm!), meditate and journal (optimal journalling practice for me would be either a brain dump/artists way writing, combined with gratitude, goal setting and a to do list).   Drink a bottle of water and then get dressed in my workout clothes and spend 15 minutes reading before the rest of the house wakes up.   If it’s a Wednesday or a Weekend, I’d probably wear a facemark. When the kids wake up, I’d help them get ready for the day and we all head downstairs. The kids would have breakfast and after dropping them off at school I’d do my outdoor workout (tempo run through a forest, HIIT or heavy weight training).  Getting back home, I’d drink water and have a healthy breakfast that I prepped the night before.  I’d make tea and refill my water bottle and get to work where I contribute to and add value to peoples life with both a tech and human centric approach.  I would schedule meetings for the afternoons because my most productive time is between 9am-2:30pm, I’d want to use that time to work, write, photograph, create, ideate, research, work on projects, strategize or consult.  I would break for lunch (to eat something I prepped the night before with lots of veggies/fibre, fish or eggs and a complex carb with more water) and definitely take a leisurely stroll to energize and also digest the meal.  I’d spend the remainder of my afternoon drinking more water and either in meetings, training or creating.  Before picking up the kids, I would love to have a tea break or coffee chat with a colleague or business partner.  After, picking the kids up from school, we’d have an afternoon snack and do homework or get to after school extra curricular activities. Dinner would be prepped or at least planned and we’d eat as a family. Before bed we’d hang out (go for a walk, bike ride or play a game or watch the WNBA game).  After the kids are in bed, I’d prep for the next day before taking some me time to either study, stretch/foam roll, shower, netflix or blog. I’d end the date with a peppermint tea with a few pieces of dark chocolate or home-made cookies. Definitely would want to be in bed by 10:30 after brushing/flossing my teeth and taking time to spiritually self reflect.

Wow just writing that out was so relaxing.  And of course things may come up where I’d have to adjust my attention to handle a priority but the hope is keeping my day as closely aligned to my main goal categories.  Every small step would create a ripple effect towards my goals.

Practicing Self Care during Physical Distancing

It’s been over 10 weeks since we started physically distancing.

Information is changing constantly and of course I am hopeful and I am also realistic. But I think I am extra sensitive these days.

Flowers in a Vase

Initially, it felt great having “extra time” but then life at home got busier with full time everything all the time!

Having to facilitate remote schooling, preparing wholesome learning activities, tutoring, all day child minding along with being a housekeeper, cook, partner.  Mix in part time school and WFH – it literally left no time for anything else.

And then something clicked and I realized that this wasn’t going to be a sprint – but a marathon. I also realized I needed to re-adjust the action plan for the long haul.

The feeling of being extra sensitive comes and goes in waves – I’m trying to figure out what and when I’m triggered and remove those triggers from my immediate attention (I am sharing this in case others are feeling the same but also to share that this activity is part of the readjustment for the long haul).

WFH Outfit

So now I am taking it one day at a time, learning to relentlessly triage, give myself grace, slow down all while enjoying this special-unusual-new normal as much as I can.

I also remind myself of this:

  • happiness isn’t a destination
  • being positive is knowing things will get better even if they aren’t great right now

Self Care Physical Distancing

Apart from these thoughts, there is always a loud voice telling me to be creative.  When I am not writing/taking pictures regularly I just feel off. So with whatever time I can manage, I’ll try to make space for creativity.

With all that said, I hope you are doing well and in case you need a recharge as we enter week 11 of physical distancing I’ve included some self care ideas to keep you going for the long haul.

  1. Create a (new) routine. Realizing I didn’t have my commute, my morning step count/city walk, my time to scroll IG, read a book or catch up/make lists/plan. Although I don’t have a routine that makes me grounded, I had to be okay changing things up.  Steps around the house or a quick walk with the girls around the street, read in bed while the house is closet/before getting up to start the day.  Part of the routine also includes remote learning for the kids as well as teaching them about when we have work tasks/meetings.  It’s a tricky balance but we are getting there.
  2. Get dressed in something cute every morning.  Ok I am definitely not wearing dress pants, skirts or blazers.  But a fresh pair of leggings and a cute sweater can make all the difference.
  3. Exercise and find ways to be active.  Workouts have changed.  Running outdoors doesn’t feel the same.  I have to really fight for my 10k steps.  But I do it anyways.  I take the stairs more than I have to.  I chase the kids.  I try not to stand still and walk during meetings.
  4. Talk to someone.  I think since 2020 started, I realized that I became an introvert in adulthood.  Or maybe I just crave my own space, quiet and stillness.  But then I found that I needed to talk to people who filled my cup. I needed to surround myself with positivity and clarity.  Thankfully I have a few people I can talk to.
  5. Drink tons of water.  Water/Sparkling/Herbal tea + multiple trips to the bathroom :)
  6. Conscious Eating.  We’ve started meal planning again or atleast writing a list of meals for the week so we can prep in advance or not have to think of options when it’s time to eat.  Make grocery lists.  And decide on when we want to indulge (because that happens!)

Creativity