Inspired Post: Sequins & Stripes Blog On What Is Important

{Check out the inspiration for this post: the amazing Sequins & Stripes!}

January 2014 is winding down. We’ve almost made it through, surviving the first real snow storm of the season, and now it’s time to reflect.

A show of hands: How many of you have made some sort of resolution, goal or plan for the year? Come on, don’t be shy! I commend you for having the courage to review your life and evaluate what could be improved, what changes need to be made (for health, happiness, success) and most of all, what is really important.

I arrived at the end of 2013 with a whole lot of life choices to evaluate; missed opportunities, second guessing my abilities, shortcomings, limitations. I made a promise to myself to recuperate the strength and energy so I could approach the new year very strategically. I realized I have a lot to “work on” (sigh) but I also have the potential and guts to achieve greatness–I can make it happen. Holla!

It’s scary to look into yourself and look at your life for what it really is. Sometimes you need to enlist the help of family and friends to help you put it all into perspective. Once you get past the ugly fears, you will feel lighter, liberated, like the fog is lifting and for the first time in a long while you can see all the colors of your life. Oh, how beautiful this view is!

Now that you can see things more clearly, your vision will become so vivid that you cannot ignore it. Don’t just look behind or ahead. Look all around you. The more you take in, the easier it will be to see the paths laid out before you. The better you can discern all the signs and how they make sense in your journey.

This post from Sequins & Stripes inspired me to really, truly consider what is important to me during this time. Check it out. Think it out. Write down what you didn’t get to achieve last year, why you didn’t follow through and what consequences this caused. Then think about this year and what is important for your life (including what is important to let go). Let that be your priority. Identify, very specifically, what it is you want this year and then focus on each item. What kind of time, money and effort will it take to achieve (i.e. losing weight, buying a house, going back to school and etc.). Not sure where to start? Do the research and seek advice from friends and professionals.

The only way to make progress is to face each goal head on. Make a plan, write down each step and milestone, follow your timeline and budget and ask those you trust to help keep you accountable. For me, I get so excited about the big picture that I can actually overwhelm myself with all the details at once. BITE SIZE. Break it down into parts that make sense to you and tackle it every day. Procrastination can stem from laziness or fear. Laziness or lack of passion and motivation could indicate that this goal is not that important to you (if you really want it, you will not make excuses). Fear or doubt can cloud your vision and make you focus on potential failures instead of success.

Here are some inspirational quotes to give you that kick in the booty. Save them as your phone or computer wallpaper so you are constantly reminded of the great things you will achieve!

XOXO Liz Signature

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Surviving a Manic Monday & Other Uplifting Thoughts

monday

It’s Monday. Again. My beloved coffee press has to break before 7 AM. Is this a bad omen?

Not necessarily. One might say it’s a matter of perspective. For instance you might be at work right now, at a job that you either hate, couldn’t care less about or perhaps you are incredibly fortunate and are living your dream. Boy, do I hope you are experiencing the latter.

For the rest of us who are still searching for a career vs. a job, something with a purpose and perhaps a few perks…please read on!

What do you do when you work full-time and feel drained, emotionally and physically? You’re thankful to be employed at all; perhaps you know the feeling of instability and uncertainty that comes from being unemployed or stuck in the temp-to-hire cycle. Do you spend every possible moment that hasn’t been sucked out of you to rest (a.k.a. retiring to a quiet spot to stare at the shadows on the wall) or even sulk? Or do you dedicate whatever time and energy you have left from the day to find inspiration or inspire others?

I have to admit, when you fill up your schedule trying to make the most of each moment and opportunity, you may feel fulfilled and accomplished but you can easily become exhausted trying to balance the “day job” alongside the pursuit for your “dream job“. Even more so–If your day is dedicated to projects or obligations that do not capture your creativity or do not have a meaningful connection to your passion, you are well on the path to becoming disengaged and in some way, a shell of yourself–going through the motions to get things done, make the money, pay the bills and do it all over again (darn you, $tudent loan$!).

Enough. I’m learning how the negative energy that arises from being in a rut or a slump just breeds more energy-sucking negativity. I firmly believe that when you are dedicating your life to something with substance and meaning to your soul, the energy you put into your work will regenerate you, not deplete you. It requires determination, courage and strength to stop the cycle and reclaim control over your life path. Yes, you are in the driver’s seat and you better believe there is a destination and destiny that is far greater than the road blocks you might be facing lately. Embrace it. Own it.

What do you to find inspiration and how do you keep the momentum going once you find it?

I believe it is imperative to surround yourself with a core group of family, friends and colleagues who respect you, your dreams and your struggles. This group should be a source of support and motivation and they should also dole out tough love when you need it. I also believe it is key to embrace your community and be an active contributor to it. There are so many causes that could use your support and that’s a great push to get “out of your head” and focus on things much greater than yourself. Giving your time and effort to others and to improving your community benefits you in so many ways. It’s kind of like sending positive energy out into the universe and getting some of that right back.

I think the hardest part is putting yourself out in the world so you can take advantage of all the opportunities that you can’t find sitting at home or at your desk job. These opportunities may not always be what you expect. They could be lessons on what not to do, who not to trust. But learning these important lessons can save you a lot of time and heartache later on. This part is hard for me at times because it can make me feel vulnerable. But it is in these raw, honest moments that you can experience the most fulfilling and life-propelling moments and meet the right people who can help you on your mission. 

Yes, I believe your skin needs to be thick if you want to make it in the ‘real world’ and the more you expose yourself to challenges and rejection, the savvier and more shrewd you will become. But be open to the opinions of your core group of support, they will know you best and therefore have the most concern for you and will help keep you grounded. Having a thick skin does not mean you need a heart of stone, or that you need to be cynical or ruthless. Remain humble, no matter how great your success or failure.

I’ve gathered a few of my favorite inspirational quotes, thoughts and advice in this slideshow. May these nuggets of wisdom spark the flame of your passion and help you find meaning in who are and what you do : )

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Here are a few of my favorite career entries found on The EveryGirl. The stories behind these amazing women will certainly kick your motivation into gear:

BRIKA FOUNDERS JENNIFER KOSS AND KENA PARANJAPE

SELF MAGAZINE SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR STEPHANIE MILLER

CECILIA WONG OF CECILIA WONG SKINCARE

XOXO Liz Signature