New year, new direction

Happy New Year friends!

I am starting a new project called Journal Thursday, where I will create digital journal pages with different prompts, questions, and challenges. The pages will be posted on Instagram and here weekly.

I’m starting this project primarily because I want to be more engaged and authentic with my social media presence.

In other news, I am looking to make changes to the way I blog and share information on this site. I want to focus a little more on photography and visuals so I will be sharing more things along those lines. I hope that you all find this content useful and we can grow together.

With all that being said, here’s the first Journal Thursday

Enjoy!

Healthy Habits: Meditation

Meditation is truly a life-changing practice and for various reasons has gained popularity in the wellness space. It has been shown to increase happiness, improve concentration, promote relaxation and create structural changes in the brain. Many people get stuck on the how when approaching meditation, but one of the reasons meditation is so great is that it’s all about what resonates with you.

There are many resources to help you start a meditation practice. Calm is a great place to begin your journey, it features a user-friendly website and mobile apps for iOS and Android. Calm provides users with mood music, various meditations and a deep breathing tool. Another great feature on Calm is the ability to meditate for as little as two minutes at a time. Headspace is another great resource for beginners, with guided meditations accompanied by interactive videos to help users better understand meditation and make it a regular part of their day. Headspace is awesome because it explains meditation, and why we should do it regularly in a way that everyone can understand. Both platforms offer notification reminders to assist with consistency. Last but certainly not least, good old YouTube has countless guided and unguided meditations. YouTube is my personal favorite because you can search for meditations based on what you need for the day.

Meditation is one of my favorite healthy habits, because it has made my days better and easier to navigate. The basic purpose of meditating is to just have a moment to yourself. When I first started my meditation practice, I didn’t understand how to do it or how to make my thoughts stop. It really is as simple as closing your eyes, taking some deep breaths and focusing on the inhales and exhales. Inevitably, when you begin meditating it will feel as if you’re doing it wrong because you can’t stop your mind from focusing on everything else. It is more important to let thoughts pass without judgement, than try to prevent them from coming. Meditation is a practice of being in the moment; so if you close your eyes and can’t stop thinking about a million things just allow the thoughts and feelings to continue to flow in and out without judging them. With consistency, meditation places you in an observant space of your thoughts, instead of being stuck in your head. It can help you develop a pause in your daily interactions and allow you to respond instead of react. Consistent meditation can provide you with a deeper level of understanding and control over your cognitive experience.

I have created a survey about meditation, in hopes of conducting my own research about its impact on people’s emotional and mental states. It takes about 15 minutes to complete, if interested follow the prompt below to participate.

Design Your Life: Part IV

Goal Setting
Design Your Life2018 (2)

We have officially made it to 2018! First I would like to say congratulations for making it another year. Although this series has been all about setting goals for the next year, remember the most important thing you can do in 2018 is be fully present in every moment.

Now its time to discuss the final part of the Design Your Life Series, its all about setting goals that are relevant and realistic for you.

If you have followed along in the series, you should have a map or picture of where you want to go next in your life. So at this point setting the actual goals should be fairly easy because you have an outline to work with.

In order to set the right goals for you, revisit the previous parts of the series, review the bigger picture of what you want and list out your goals for the year according to that.

Some questions you can ask to help with setting your goals include: What are the things I have to do for 2018 to be a successful year? What are the most important things I would like to accomplish this year? What are 1 or 2 things I’ve always wanted to do, but have not made a priority?

Some tips for setting goals:

  1. Be realistic
  2. Set goals that make you excited
  3. Think less is more, try not to set too many large goals for the year. A goal can be as simple as calling a loved one once a week.
  4. Make as many time sensitive goals as possible, it helps with accountability
  5. Remember, time flies
  6. Set at least one goal for every area of your life
  7. Try not to over extend yourself
  8. Set checkpoints throughout the year to keep you accountable and make adjustments as necessary
  9. Have your goals written somewhere that you can access easily (journal, cell phone, etc)
  10. Don’t be hard on yourself, as important as having goals are, it is just as important to remember we have limited control over what happens. If you don’t accomplish something, don’t beat yourself up about it, just keep swimming.

I hope you all enjoyed this series and are looking forward to more on the blog! I have so many ideas that I’m excited to share with you all!

Happy New Year!!!