My last post I talked about setting goals in a way that allows for the best chance for success. Having a strategy when it comes to goals and little steppingstones along the way to the overall goal helps keep motivation high. Knowing that each successful step you take and each mini goal you hit allows you to reach your overarching goal keeps your ‘eyes on the prize’.
What I didn’t mention in the last post was somedays that intrinsic motivation will be low and your desire to even knock off a mini goal could be at a 2 on a scale from 1-10. That’s okay, because we are humans and not robots. We don’t wake up every day and have the option to turn our motivation knob up to 10. So many factors can play into why you just don’t have the motivation to get stuff done like you usually do, and this is when accountability steps in. Yes, intrinsically motivated accountability is something we all should have when it comes to reaching our goals, but somedays you need a little bit more than your self-talk. This is where having someone you know will tell you to get up and get whatever needs to be done, done (in the most supportive way possible) is super important. Yeah sure I have heard the sayings.. “work hard in silence”… “let your success be the noise”… “not all hustle is out loud”… “be quiet about your plans” .. the list goes on. There is some stock in those statements, one shouldn’t be boastful and put everything on display for the world to see, but you don’t have to keep your life a secret from those closest to you. Find someone that will remind you to get the little things done and give you that extra push on the days you are dragging your feet. You can also set reminders on your phone and alarms if you really want to make sure you get things done when they should be done. But those are easy to ignore and snooze when no one else knows what should have been done. It is a lot harder to look someone in the eyes (or through a screen due to our virtual living these days) and justify why you didn’t get something done, than it is to justify it to yourself.
I challenged you guys in my last post to create mini goals as checkpoints along the journey to your overall goal; I now challenge you to find an accountability partner(s) to help keep you on track, both on the good and not so good days. It will be good for all parties involved. You will be proud of yourself when you make your dream a reality and proud watching your partner(s) make their dreams a reality as well. When you pick this person you are going to want someone who will be honest with you, this isn’t the time to recruit your friend who is always telling you what you want to hear. This person should be driven as well, have goals they are working to achieve, and must believe in your ability to reach your goals and be unwilling to let you settle for anything less than you achieving them.
I understand that everyone may not have positive and motivated people surrounding them and pushing them to be their best selves; no worries because Smarter Athlete Fitness and Nutrition offers a built-in accountability partner when you sign up for either nutrition or fitness or a combination coaching plan. Your coach will design a program that is personalized to your goals and be there for you each week to make sure you are supported on your journey. If this is what you are looking for reach out via email to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
I am a super nerd, so I love learning. Whether it is through formal education, conversations with friends, picking up a new hobby, or enrolling in an online course. I have found that I have learned the most from talking to my friends about different topics, because it has allowed me to approach these topics with a new perspective. It is one thing to have knowledge, it is another to admit when you are wrong or less versed in an area than another person. Some of the smartest people I know are the most willing to admit when they are unsure about something and offer their best answer while leaving their minds open to further explanation and a differing perspective. The best way to continue learning is to surround yourself with people who see all of the amazing things you have to offer, and then push you to maximize your potential. It is always great to surround yourself with like-minded people, in that you all have some shared interest and the same desire to maximize your potentials. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people doesn’t mean to only interact with people who have the exact same opinions and thoughts as you do. Doing that is how you get stuck and never truly reach your full potential because you don’t have people who challenge you. Some of my best conversations have happened with friends and family who share the same fundamental view on life but approach this view in different ways because they challenge me to think a little differently on various topics and I love that from them. I am beyond grateful to have the people I do in my life because they support me whole-heartedly while still challenging me to grow each day and to never settle. They are also the people that inspire me to put my whole self into learning new things because I want to show them that I appreciate their support and by being my best I hope to show them they can also be their best.
With that said it is never too late to learn something new. You can in fact teach an old dog new tricks. It may not be picked up as quickly, but you will nonetheless learn something new. There have been studies that also show learning something new throughout your lifetime will help slow cognitive aging and help exercise your brain. Just like it is important to exercise your skeletal muscles and your heart muscle (which comes with skeletal muscle exercise), you need to exercise your muscle in your skull.
So, what I would like you to take away from this post:
- It is never too late to learn something new.
- Exercising your brain through continued learning is just as important as exercising the body.
- Knowledge is the greatest tool you can have.
- It is good to admit when you are wrong and be willing to listen to/ see something from a different perspective.
Get out there and pick up a new hobby, learn that language you’ve said you’ve been wanting to learn, join that group class that you have been interested in, and have deeper, more challenging conversations with your friends and family. You will be surprised what you learn about the people around you and about yourself.
Some of you may have seen my short post from about a month ago about COVID-19 and things it taught me. When I posted that social distancing and school closures had just occurred, so it was pretty early on in this crazy “new normal”. Now fast forward from that post to today, almost an entire month has passed, and I still stand by the things I said in that post, but I now have a little more to say. I will repost below what I said in my previous post as a refresher for y’all and for those that didn’t see my post to get a chance to see what I had to say.
- I don’t appreciate the beautiful place I live nearly enough. Charleston is an amazing place to live and has some pretty great options to be outside and I don’t take advantage of that nearly enough.
- Supporting local businesses is so important. I love my coffee shops and local restaurants but didn’t even think how something like this would affect their livelihood.
- While I joke that I live most of my life like I’m in quarantine I’ve realized that a lot of the things I enjoy doing involves me being around other people. (going to the gym, sitting by my pool, sitting at a coffee shop, laying at the beach, etc)
- People can be selfish, and the internet/social media can be a toxic place, but I’ve seen a lot of people offering to help others in various ways which is an awesome thing to see. Overall things are getting pretty crazy, but it is nice to see people are trying to help one another through this, showing that there is still good out there.
- Now that we are quickly approaching a month of living our lives in isolation and quarantine, with an end not in sight I have begun to think about how I intend to live once life goes back to normal. This thought actually stems from a conversation some of my friends and I had after a very thought-provoking question was posed. Individually we all had little things we brought up about how life was going and what we have been doing and are looking forward to when life returns to normal, but there was common theme we all seemed to share. We all said we want to be present in the moment when we are with friends and enjoy the little things more now that we have seen what life looks like without them. Just going out to dinner or sitting at the beach or in a coffee shop are things we missed being able to do and never realized how much we took for granted the ability to do that.
- Personally, I am going to work on making plans with friends more often and not saying no to going out and being with people as often as I did before COVID hit. I am doing my best to stay sane through exercise, getting some fresh air, and being in virtual contact with friends and family and these are things I want to carry over into my life when the quarantine lifts.
- I also found this has been a great time to do some personal reflection and figure out life (as best as I can because do you really ever truly get it all perfectly figured out). I’ve been doing some future planning, lots of reading, and some life hacking (basically trying to implement concepts from books I have been reading to live out my best life/self).
Yes, living life in quarantine has been and is still pretty wild/strange/annoying, but there have been some positive take-aways, and I am sure more to come being the end doesn’t seem to be insight. I would just love to see a continued sense of community and willingness to lend a helping hand once life goes back to normal and people become “too busy” with their own lives to concern themselves with everyone else’s. Stay safe everyone!
Hello, hello, hello!!
Haven’t posted anything in a while, but I am just sitting at a Starbucks(that I walked to from my lovely apartment) trying to do some school work but I keep finding myself drifting focus from my school work. I keep looking out the window and just thinking about life. I know I talk about finding what sets your soul on fire and determining your purpose in life, and honestly every time I think I have that figured out something changes. This is the one reason I don’t like school, and if you know me you know how much I love school and continuing to learn and gain knowledge. The more I further my education the more people I meet and the more life doors are opened to me. At the heart and center of what I want to do with my future I know I want to help people and make a difference in the lives of others, but each semester there are more avenues presented to me through which I can achieve that goal.
What has remained the same though, is that I know I want to do something with nutrition and do something with a gym, but recently other thoughts have come to my head about what I could do beyond that. Another thing that gets me is the idea of having to start over in a completely new place, if and when I get accepted to a PhD program. This idea scares me a little, unlike going off and starting college and graduate school away from my family, this time I don’t have the safety net of knowing I will have people who are there to support me. Whether that was my teammates during undergrad or my friends that remained in the area when I started grad school. Pursuing my PhD means leaving my comfort zone and potentially starting out somewhere where I would have no one I knew, in a place far away from those I love. That is a really scary thought to me and sometimes makes me question whether this is something I want to do. But those thoughts don’t last long because, in my gut, I know my purpose is to use the opportunities I have been fortunate enough to experience to help others who may or may not have been afforded the bountiful luxuries I have had in my life. The way in which I do use these opportunities may change in my mind from day to day, but the core purpose has remained the same for as long as I can remember.
I guess I’ll never really figure out this life thing, but its nice to think I’m doing what I can do it to the best of my abilities. So I leave you all with this; trust your gut and keep seeking out what sets your soul on fire. Even if you never really figure it out, you can get very close, and hey you may even do something amazing during the process.
My undergraduate years have come to an end. I am sad and still in disbelief that I have finished 4 years of college already. I have learned many things during my time in undergrad, both in and out of the classroom. So instead of boring you all with the academic things I have learned over 4 years I have decided to share some of the life lessons I have learned.
- It is okay to not know what you are doing with your life
- It is unfair to place that kind of stress on yourself upon entering college. How can someone expect you to have everything figured out the minute you walk onto your college campus, if for the past 18 or so years of your life you have been told what to do and have been treated like a kid? You do not need to map out your life just because you are now a freshmen in college. Which leads me to my second lesson
- It is okay have a plan for your life, and then change that plan
- So if you are like me, and you like to make plans and set goals and check off boxes from to-do lists, then you may have a plan for your life well before entering college. I had been telling people my grand plan for my life since my freshmen year of high school and was positive(or I thought I was) that this plan was all I ever wanted in life. That is until I changed my mind. It took me until the spring semester of my junior year (yes, my junior year) to realize the path I had chosen for myself did not light a fire inside of me. I was so worried to tell people that what I once wanted I no longer did because I thought changing my mind (about my own life mind you) would look like I was quitting and that this change would mess everything up. None of these thoughts were true, and in the end who cares what everyone else thinks. The only person’s opinion on this that matters is your own. You have every right leave something if it isn’t what truly makes you happy. Which leads to my third lesson
- It is okay to say no
- Plain and simple, if you don’t want to do something you can say so. You don’t owe anyone anything and if you want to stay home and binge watch Netflix instead of going out on the weekends, then do it. Don’t let people make you feel like you have to do something that you don’t want to do, and if there are people like that in your life you have every right to remove them from your life. Saying no can mean saying no to anything from friendships to parties to dinner plans. This isn’t a justification to never have fun or to always be studying. Saying no is finding the balance between enjoying being young and starting to grow up. As strange as that sounds, saying no is you learning what is important to you and prioritizing the important things.
- It is okay to do things alone
- I said above that it is okay to say no, so that means there will be times people say no to you. That is okay. If you ask someone to go get dinner with you or go to the beach or go shopping or whatever, and their response is no, that doesn’t mean you should not do what you wanted to do. Go get dinner by yourself or go shopping or go to the beach. You will be surprised that you are actually awesome company and these moments alone are perfect opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and learn a little more about yourself. I love alone time, it allows me to unplug and just think about different things, and recharges me for when I am around my friends.
- Do something to give back
- You have something that makes you special and makes you unique. Whatever that something is, share that quality with someone who might not have that in their life. Some of my favorite memories from college are the days in which I spent time volunteering. The past 3 years I volunteered with an after school program that was run through my college for elementary through high school aged students. There were some challenging days, as is expected when working with middle school students in particular, but the kids I met through this program are all so amazing. They made me want to pull my hair out and hug them and joke around with them all at the same time. I will definitely miss them now that I have graduated, but I wouldn’t trade the memories and moments with them for anything.
- There is a difference between hearing and listening
- This is something I learned as I began to figure out who my true friends were and who I was as a person. Listening involves begin actively engaged in conversation with someone. The best example I can give of this is when you are driving with the radio on. You are 100% hearing whatever song is playing on the radio, but listening involves hearing the song and processing the lyrics and the instrumental accompaniment. I learned that if you want to be a better friend you need to listen to and not just hear what people are saying to you. Listening lets you ‘hear between the lines’. You never know how much this could mean to someone.
- Let people know what they mean to you
- I know for me personally it can sometimes feel like you are not appreciated or that you are an after thought. So it is nice to hear that you mean something to someone. You really never know what someone is going through and just reminding them that you care about them and that they make your life better by being in it can change their day or even their life. Life is too short anyway to keep your feelings locked inside. Share what is on your mind and in your heart any and every chance you get. You never know when the next opportunity to tell someone what they mean to you will be. Live in the moment, say I love you when you hang up the phone and when you say goodbye(only if you mean it though. Don’t dilute the word love by saying it to everyone). This is something I can do more of, because I know there are people that I should be reminding and telling how much they mean to me.
- Dwelling on the negative casts a shadow on the positive
- First hand experience here when I say this. There was a good month/month and a half of my sophomore year where I was just a Negative Nelly. This little period made me realize while I was busy complaining and looking at the negatives I was missing out on the positives in my life. I couldn’t see the silver lining in anything and I wasn’t taking in good times. I finally got tired of being negative( I was annoying myself). I made the choice to stop complaining and start being grateful for things. This lead me to journaling and to becoming more mindful of when I complained. This change was one of the best changes I made. I am so much happier and really don’t complain all that often, if at all. Someone actually told me the other day that I don’t complain and that made me really happy because it was proof that I was accomplishing what I said I wanted to accomplish. This is kind of like the Law of Attraction. What you think is what you manifest and if you don’t want negative things to happen in your life, then stop thinking negative thoughts. Simple as that, lol, but actually of all the changes you need to make in your life, start with cutting out negativity. It is amazing how much better you will feel when you don’t have negative energy surrounding you.
Anyway, my list could probably go on forever, there is no shortage of things I learned these past 4 years. My favorite thing (outside of my major) that I learned these past years was who I am as a person. Not to sound full of myself or anything like that, but I am one of my favorite people I met at college. I really learned a lot about myself and what I want from life and what my strengths and weaknesses are. I am proud of how far I have come since my freshmen year and I am ready to embrace whatever comes next for me.