Category Archives: Reflection

An Office Fitness Challenge

Fitness challenges have never really been my thing. Any time that family members or friends would invite me into one, I would maybe start it and then get over it and go back to my old habits because that’s what I know. But here we are – starting a “fitness challenge” in the office of my new full-time job.

When one of my coworkers came to me about this “challenge” – I keep putting it in quotes for a reason that I’ll talk about in just a minute – I was super hesitant. We have to pay money to weigh in each week so that there’s a prize pool for whoever “wins” and so that the participants feel a sense of urgency having tied up a bit of their money in the process. It’s extremely inexpensive though so that’s fine with me!

Now, I’m not thinking about this as a “challenge” right now. I’m thinking of this process as a reset – a way to retrain my mind in the idea that what I put into my body actually matters. Don’t get me wrong – I know that already. But lately, I haven’t been the best at making sure to eat well or move often, and I want to change that for the better and actually set some goals around that.

I like to think I’m approaching this in a very healthy way. Yes, we weigh ourselves each week, but it’s not focused on the number per se. It’s more so focused on the rate of change or the progress we’re making over the 10-week timeframe. I intend to focus on how I feel as the weeks go on; if I’m feeling like the “challenge” or reset is working well for me, then I’ll keep it up. If I start to feel like I’m thinking about things all wrong, then I’ll slow down a bit. And I’m gonna keep you guys updated through the whole process on this blog and on my social medias (linked in the About page of this site)!

Are you doing anything to keep your body fit and healthy? Let me know in the comments below!

Therapy and Me

What if there was a way for you to learn and reflect on your habitual mindsets and ways of relating to your fellow humans? And what if that thing – that way – could somehow help you to hone in on your deep-seated issues and consciously reverse negative thoughts over time? Well, there is such a thing; it’s called therapy.

I know – this is a little far out from my usual topics. But stick with me!

Even people who consider themselves “normal” (although I hate that word, but I’m working with the masses here) can benefit from going to therapy. It’s not all about finding out why you’re depressed – although it has been a giant help to me in managing depression and anxiety. Therapy is about learning more about yourself. You get to reflect on yourself with someone who doesn’t know anything about your life before you walked into their office.

When sitting with a therapist for the first time, a lot of participants will report experiencing “word vomit” all over the place. You tell your therapist that you’ve been feeling tired lately, then you regurgitate the entire argument you had with your husband last night which leads you down a rabbit hole of talking about your father and how you and him always used to butt heads, and then… You see where I’m going with this right? (Also, please note that all of that was just an example haha)

Therapy helps you get there. It can take someone who thought they knew everything about themselves and turn their world inside out with all kinds of new information. And sometimes that’s exactly what we need.

For me, therapy has been transformative. I have discovered layers of my psyche that I never knew existed let alone thought I’d be able to access. I know it sounds weird – sort of like hypnosis when you “wake up” not believing your friends who tell you that you just perfectly acted out the entire first act of Macbeth even though you’ve never even read the play. But it’s true – therapy has been a marvel for me.

If you’ve never been to therapy or if you’ve been out of it for a while, I would strongly encourage you to go. It may take some time to find the right person to sit and talk with, but it’ll be worth it in the long run!

Do you have any shareable experiences with therapy? Let me know in the comments below!

My 5 Most-Used Apps

Hey everyone! Today I want to talk about the most-used apps on my phone. As a photographer, digital media manager, and writer, I have a LOT going on – especially on my phone! My 5 most-used apps help me focus on individual tasks and be as productive as I possibly can. Keep reading to find out what they are and how I use them!

  1. Alexa App (free; Dot is ~$40 on Amazon) – I have an Alexa Dot and use it mostly for home organization; my husband and I can both add to our shopping list or to-do list and can set different reminders based on which of us is talking to Alexa at any given time. It does so much more than that, but that’s how we use it most frequently!
  2. Cozi (free) – This is another one of those that my husband and I both have which helps to keep our home organized and running smoothly. We use the Cozi app to sync up calendar items (and set who is attending each item) and to plan out our weekly meals and who is cooking. The app also has pre-loaded recipes that we’ll refer to when we run out of dinner inspiration!
  3. Productive–Habit Tracker (free) – I can’t say enough about this app; it has honestly changed my habit game. You can set multiple different habits and assign a “completion schedule” to each individual habit. Every morning, I wake up and check this thing and just start checking things off the list. The app also has a “stats” section where you can keep track of which habits you fail to complete the most often or how many perfect days you’ve had. So great!
  4. Forest (free) – Okay, I think you guys have seen me talk about this on my blog before, but I LOVE the Forest app so I’ll talk about it more. It works to get you off of your phone while you’re trying to complete a task (or series of tasks) while also giving you a chance to make a real-world difference. You set a timer in the app for however long you’d like to work without checking your phone; I usually set my timer for 25 minutes then give myself a 5-min phone break before starting to work again. While your timer is going, if you don’t check your phone, the Forest app starts to plant a tree in your “Forest” in the app. Once your timer is up, the tree is fully grown (the longer the timer, the bigger the tree). If you check your phone or exit the app while the timer is going, your tree dies. The more larger trees you have, the more in-app coins you can earn. For every 2500 coins you collect, the Forest app developers will plant a real tree somewhere in the world!
  5. LightRoom (free) – I couldn’t resist putting a photography app in this mix as well. The LightRoom iOS app is completely free (whereas the actual software for a PC or laptop will cost you a premium), and there are so many cool functions. I am currently playing around with LightRoom “presets” that allow you to apply the same editing macros to any photograph. This has helped me so much with my Instagram branding. The app also keeps any of your edited photos in its own storage silo in the Cloud so that you don’t have to worry about losing anything. So nice!

Well folks, that’s it – my 5 most-used apps. Do you have any apps you use on the daily that you think your fellow readers would enjoy learning about? Drop them in the comments below!

I hope you enjoyed this blog post (a day late – whoops!). If you did, be sure to hit that “Like” button or subscribe to the blog – I would really appreciate it. Until next time!

doing what’s right

for you.

Stop trying to please everyone else.

Stop saying “Well, I’ll get to me next week.” Next week never comes.

Stop worrying about upsetting someone else.

What if you go your whole life never doing what you want to do because you think it will make someone else unhappy? Do you think you’re going to feel good about yourself or about your life? Do you think you yourself will be happy?

At the end of the day, you are the only one who has to live with you. You can’t cling to other people when the Grimm Reaper comes calling. You can’t bring them with you to wherever it is you’re supposed to go. So why are you putting your life on hold for them in the first place?

I’m not saying to completely disregard others’ feelings. I’m not saying to stomp all over everyone else and do only for yourself. I’m saying that if there’s something you know you need to do for you, but someone else doesn’t want you to do it – you shouldn’t have to worry about that.

Go for it anyway. Do what right’s by you so that you can open yourself up more fully to others later on. Take it from me, when you’re unhappy with your life or your situation, you’re not going to be thinking about how to best help other people anyway. You’re always going to be wrapped in regrets like a burrito – and not the good kind. I’m talking a 50-cent burrito you bought on the side of the road in a one-stop-light town because you didn’t have time for anything else that day. It’s going to mess you up so bad that it’ll be all you can think about. Don’t do that to yourself. Take the time to order the burrito you actually want from that really nice Mexican restaurant; it’s going to satisfy you so much that you’ll want to help others order one too.

And that’s my analogy for today. Night folks.

New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! It’s that time again – when a lot of people start to think about how their lives are going to be different in the New Year. They wrack their brain for ways they can improve, and then come to the conclusion that something needs to change. So they come up with what have been called “New Year’s Resolutions” to help them turn those thoughts into actions. I’ve come up with my own resolutions for the New Year, but I didn’t do it the way most people would – just a list. No, no. If you know me, then you know I had a step-by-step process to write out my resolutions. And here it is…

Step 1: Find Out What’s Lacking/What Needs Improvement

You can’t change part of your life without knowing exactly what needs to be improved upon or why you should change it in the first place. I sat down towards the end of December and made a list of all of the things I’ve been doing that haven’t met my standards of living a successful or fulfilled life.

Step 2: Clear Off Anything on the List that Isn’t Coming from Your Own Head

This one seems unclear, so let me explain a little more. You need to make your own choices for your own reasons; it’s important that the list of things you need to improve be what you actually think needs to improve – not what your mom, your partner, your second-cousin-twice-removed-on-your-great-grandfather’s-side told you to fix. So cross off/erase/black-out anything that isn’t truly from your own thinking about your life. (And don’t pretend that you didn’t write some stuff other people told you to do – everyone writes something like that.)

Step 3: Come Up With Your “New”

Okay – so you’ve got a list of stuff to improve. But that doesn’t help you unless you know what those improvements really look like. Hence step three – writing out what each fix truly looks like in your everyday life. Think about what you want to be doing a week, a month, or half a year from now. Pin down exactly what you’re doing in this improved life as a result of changing/updating/fixing your list items from steps one and two. Be specific! Then…

Step 4: …Write Your Resolutions!

Now that you know what your improvements look like, you can list out what you’re going to do to achieve those improvements. Resolutions are like goals – you need to make sure that you have them in order to really get anything done. But to make sure that you’re reaching these goals efficiently and effectively, you should go the extra mile to make sure that they’re SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound).

We’ve already got you covered on the R part (you made, like, three lists already making sure this stuff was relevant to you). Now you have to make sure you cover the SMA and T parts. Your goals need to be specific to your lifestyle – day-in and day-out of you. You need to have a clear method of measuring your progress towards those goals. Of course your goals have to be achievable – you don’t want to set the bar too high because there needs to be visible improvement in order for you to stay motivated. And lastly, you need to assign time-frames to each goal – the amount of time in which you’d like to achieve each thing.

***

I know this sounds very methodical, and that’s because it is. Most people tend to skip right to the last step and just write out basic resolutions about surface-level things they think they want to change about themselves. But that’s not the best way to go about it. You need to make sure that you’re writing these resolutions with the intention of actually doing them! And to keep that intention clear in your mind throughout 2019, you might just have to get a bit methodical.

Click below to read my 2019 New Year’s resolutions!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fgraygraphicsphotography%2Fposts%2F2001013343532110&width=500