Why You Should Say Yes & Take Risks

Let me first say that I’m all about saying no when it makes sense to say no. For example, I will always say no to anything I know I truly can’t commit my time to in order to get that project or task done. I think it’s important to know when you should say no because it helps you understand what your limits are.

Recently, I have noticed a trend in my life where I kept saying no so much that life wasn’t enjoyable. I let fear dictate every decision even if it was to meet a friend for happy hour after work. Living with anxiety isn’t easy, and it’s something that was truly affecting my ability to say yes. Instead, I kept saying no.

I become so comfortable with saying no, that I stopped saying yes to opportunities. I stopped taking risks even if they were GOOD risks!

No bueno. Am I right?

I became comfortable with saying no because I didn’t want to take risks. I was afraid to take risks. I had already taken some risks, so I convinced myself that I no longer needed to say yes and take risks in life. My life felt stagnant because that’s what saying no and NOT taking risks does: It leaves you in a space when you’re not gaining or losing anything. You’re at a standstill. And that’s boring, and it’s not what I wanted my life to look like anymore.

There are so many things I said no to even things I wanted to say yes to. But the uncertainty of failing and fear consumed my mind and heart so much that I kept saying no. I continued to sit at a stagnant point in my life and truly not succeed.

If you’re questioning if you should take a risk whether it’s for a career move, beginning your business, writing a book, a relationship, moving across the country—do it. Don’t sit back and wait. There might not be time later in life. You’re always going to have fears regarding the risk you want to take, or saying yes to an opportunity. And that’s okay!

It’s okay to be afraid, but don’t say no ONLY because you’re afraid. 

If we were to only wait to do things when we felt “ready,” we wouldn’t accomplish anything. REAL TALK: You’re never truly going to feel “ready” to ask for that promotion, move to a different country, start your business that you’ve always dreamed of, but allowing fear to determine your future isn’t the answer.

So, I’m making a change.

Today, I will stop living in fear of all the things that could go wrong, and focus on all the things that could go right. Live is too short to say no to opportunities that will help you grow and get you to where you want to be in life. I let fear control me and my decisions for too long, and now—it’s time to say yes and it’s time to take a risk.

There are a lot of risks I’m hoping to take this year. And I hope you feel confident and comfortable to take that risk you’ve been wanting to take, too. I hope you feel confident and comfortable to say yes to that new opportunity you’ve been thinking about. Because if it’s still in your mind, it’s worth taking the risk.

What risks do you want to take this year? What is an opportunity you want to say yes to, but haven’t yet because you were afraid? Make sure to share your experiences in the comments below!

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7 Things to Consider Before Graduating Early

For those who don’t know, my college experience was very unique. I graduated a year early from a private university; and I was able to get my Bachelor’s and Master’s, and a minor in four years. I loved and appreciated my college experience despite the fact it wasn’t your typical college experience. I want to share why I decided to graduate early, and what advice I have for current college students who are considering graduating early as well.

I’m going to be honest. My decision to graduate early was not an easy decision, and there were many factors that came into play. I knew going into college that I could graduate early because I had a lot of college credits from high school, so this idea was in my mind from the beginning of my college career. But, I didn’t think I would want to graduate early because college is a fun and I didn’t want to cut that experience short, but I had many reasons for wanting to graduate early.

If you’re on the fence about wanting to graduate early, here are some things to consider if you’re questioning whether you should or not:

1| Is it possible?

The first question you need to ask yourself is whether or not you can graduate early. Some academic programs are quite intense and rigorous with scheduling, lab requirements, internship requirements, etc. Make sure you consider all areas of your academic program. If you’re not to type of person who can handle six (or more) classes a semester, this might not be the right choice for you.

2| Find out the why.

Why do you want to graduate early? I personally had several reasons: 1. I knew it was possible. 2. I wanted to save money on my Bachelor’s and Master’s because I couldn’t afford to be in school for six years.  3. And I knew I could graduate early without feeling like I “missed out” on a college experience. Find out your reasons for why you want to graduate early as weigh the pros and cons of graduating in three years verses graduating in four years.

3| Make a plan.

I made my plan for all four years of college during my freshman year. I knew that if I was going to graduate in four years with two degrees, it was going to take conscious planning and effort. I planned all my classes for six semesters, which included courses for my B.A. and M.A. in addition to planning my internship requirements, when I would study abroad, what organizations I would be involved in, etc. Consider everything that goes into your college experience and make sure you write down a plan.

4| Stay dedicated.

Most people tell me that they have considered graduating early from college, but by their third year, they lose motivation and focus, and decide to come back for that final year. Don’t put in time and effort if you’re going to sell yourself short, and not follow through with your plan. It’s so important to keep reminding yourself of why you wanted to graduate early in the first place. Remember the money and time you’re saving, or any other reason why you’ve decided this in the first place. You got this!

5| Don’t overthink it.

I remember overthinking my decision a month prior to graduation back in 2015. I was done, and I was about to go on to finishing my M.A. in my fourth year of school, and I was overthinking whether or not this was a good decision. “But what if I don’t pass my Master’s thesis, and this was all for nothing?” “What if I regret not spending that extra year in school?” Don’t let the “what if” questions get to you because it’s not worth losing sleep over. Again, remember why you started this journey, and follow through.

6| Don’t let school take over your life.

I can’t tell you how many people thought that just because I was graduating early meant that I did nothing but study and focus on school. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I had a social life, I was involved in organizations on campus, I had internships, I blogged, and I took care of myself by getting eight hours of sleep, working out three days a week and giving myself breaks to relax. It’s so important to NOT only focus on school so that you can have a life outside of studying and working.

7| Don’t settle.

I think people settle on a potential job or graduate programs because they’re graduating early from college. If you have dreams to graduate early, but you also want to move to a big city and follow your dreams of working in a law firm—do it. If you want to graduate early, so you can have money to travel abroad for a month, or to start your own business—do it. Don’t let your current decision to graduate early affect the plans you set for yourself after graduation. Always follow your dreams and go for it.


If you’re considering graduating early, I hope this post helped answer some questions and gave you some insight on what goes into the process of graduating early. If you decide that this isn’t the right choice for you, that’s completely okay. But, if you do find that graduating early is right for you—Make a plan, stay dedicated and keep moving forward. I promise that the hard work and dedication will pay off!

Did you graduate early, or did you attend college for all four years? If you could go back, would you consider graduating early from college? Why or why not? Make sure to leave a comment below!

 

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5 Tips for Focusing on Health [When You’re Unmotivated]

We’ve all been there.

We set out goals for ourselves and we have been great with meal planning and sticking to our workout schedule. Then, life gets busy and slowly, but surely, your health seems to take a backseat in your life. Girl, same. I feel you. I’ve been there more times than I can count. So, how do we find the motivation to get back on track and focus on health? Keep reading below as I dish out five tips that will bring bliss (and health) to your life!

1| Remember why you started.

Why did you decide to eat healthier and workout regularly? Are you doing it simply so you feel better? Are you working toward running your first 5k? Whatever your goals may be, write them down and leave them in a place where you’ll be able to see them every single day. You’ll never have to forget why you started with a daily reminder of your goals!

2| Drop the comparison game.

You might be losing motivation with workouts and eating healthy because you are constantly trapped in the comparison game. Girl, let me start off by saying that you are not alone. But you don’t need to compare your journey to someone else. Your chapter in your health and fitness journey will look completely different to the everyone, and that’s okay. Embrace your journey!

3| It’s not about looks.

It’s completely okay if you’re trying to build muscle, lose weight, or any other goal you’re trying to set for yourself. But it’s also important to not ONLY think that working out and eating healthy is about physical results. Working out and eating healthy is also wonderful for your mental and emotional health, too! Working out will help you relieve stress and help you if you’re having a bad day. It’s important to not lose sight of this, especially when you’re in a period of feeling unmotivated.

4| Reevaluate your methods.

TBH if you’re running on a treadmill four days a week and you’re hating your life doing the same workout for months at a time—it’s time to try something new. Maybe you’re losing motivation because you’re tired of your routine, so shake things up and try something new! Or, if you haven’t been feeling your best, make sure you’re getting enough sleep and drinking enough water. It’s important you’re taking care of yourself when you’re eating healthy and working out. Maybe these are contributing to you feeling unmotivated.

5| Get serious.

Set a plan to get back on track. Maybe you’ve had a crazy month at work and your gym sessions have fallen by the wayside. That’s okay. But now, you have to get back on track. Plan out your workouts like you would plan a doctor’s appointment—it’s mandatory. Follow through your health and fitness goals and plan accordingly if you know you’re going to have a busy week. Once you’ve been back in your routine for a few weeks, it’ll be easier to gain the momentum and keep your motivation high.

Have you ever felt unmotivated to keep up with your health and fitness goals? How did you get yourself back on track? How do you keep your motivation strong with your working out and eating healthy? Be sure to share all your tips in the comments below!

 

 

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Minimalism is More than Decluttering

I don’t want anyone to think that I’m not giving props to the people who donated/tossed/sold more than 50 percent of their wardrobe. (Seriously, that is something to celebrate because it’s a HUGE achievement in your minimalism journey.) But, I think it’s equally important to know that your journey shouldn’t end with your closet and your belongings.

At first, I thought my experience with minimalism was going to begin and end with my closet. Once I began to practice minimalism in my everyday life, I realized that I craved to live a more simple life altogether. I wanted to have more time, more happiness and less stress or worries. I wanted to practice mindfulness and simplicity in a busy, hectic life.

It took awhile to learn what would be the best way to achieve my desire for a more minimalist lifestyle that went beyond my closet. Here’s how I took my minimalism journey to the next step:

1| Practice conscious shopping

Stop unnecessary shopping. We have all been in that situation where we haven’t been shopping for a few months, so we treat ourselves after spending freezes on good deals, etc. Instead of treating yourself to a jacket or makeup, treat yourself to an experience like a nice dinner, a spa day or an overnight trip with your friends. These will mean much more than a sweater you found on sale that you don’t need. Also, ask yourself if you truly need that item you’re looking to buy. If you don’t, be strong enough to walk away.

2| Practice saying no

“Ma’am, would you like a free gift with purchase today?” If you don’t need it, say no. If a friend offers an old handbag, say no. If a store is offering free, trial samples for beauty products, say no. The more you practice saying no, the easier it will become. The goal is to be ruthless of what you allow into your home. Your sample-sized beauty products are going to sit in a box and you’ll forget about them within a few weeks. If you truly don’t need it, say no.

3| Practice mindfulness

Instead of rushing with a cup of hot coffee in a travel mug to get your breakfast sandwich, wake up 20 minutes earlier to enjoy your coffee and breakfast at home. Instead of rushing your morning routine altogether, set your alarm for an hour earlier than you normally would. This way, you’ll give yourself enough time to get ready in the morning without forgetting your lunch and presentation information. Enjoy the little moments of each day. This makes a huge difference.

Although decluttering and getting rid of anything non-essential is a huge component of minimalism and practicing a minimalist lifestyle, it isn’t the only component of that lifestyle. It’s about working toward living a simple life where there is less stress and more time for happiness. That is why this lifestyle is appealing to many people.

Are you on a journey toward living a minimalist lifestyle? What has been the easiest or most difficult part of that journey? Make sure to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

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10 Questions to Help Declutter Your Closet

Are you ready to tackle your closet?

Don’t be overwhelmed. You got this, girl! Today I’m sharing some of the questions I ask myself when I’m decluttering my closet and what I find to be the most helpful. All it will take is a little time an patience to work through your closet and ask yourself the following questions.

1| Do I need it?

Be real with yourself! If you don’t need it, don’t keep it. It’s seems simple to say, “Of course I need this.” But dig deeper. Why do you need it? Are there other reasons why you want to keep it? Do you truly need it? Be honest about your answers. Then decide if you need it.

2| Do I love it?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve kept something even when I don’t truly love the item. This is no bueno and you shouldn’t do this. Make sure you’re only keeping items you truly love and that bring you happiness to wear. You’ll love getting dressed when you have a closet of clothes you love.

3| Does it look good on me?

We all that one top that doesn’t fit right or a dress that doesn’t flatter our figure. But you don’t want to donate/sell it because you feel like you’re wasting the item. Remove the idea of waste from your mind. If you’re keeping an item in your closet and not wearing it—you’re wasting it. So, grab your BFF, husband, or mom and get a second opinion from someone else who won’t steer you wrong.

4| Does it fit my style?

Y’all, I know you have some clothes that don’t reflect your personal style lying around in your closet. And you know you’re not going to wear them anymore because your personal style has changed drastically since high school. This was also me. I held onto clothes I LOVED in high school but they simply weren’t my style anymore. “But I LOVED it back then,” I told myself. Well, you don’t now and you won’t wear it. So get rid of it.

5| Can I pair it with 5 other pieces in my wardrobe?

There’s nothing worse that having a piece of clothing that you can’t ever wear because you have nothing to wear it WITH! AKA, several skirts with awkward colors and patterns that truly didn’t look good (even with neutral tops). Yet, I held onto those skirts for years without wearing them because I felt guilty. So they collected dust before I finally decided that it wasn’t worth keeping them anymore. I know they probably have found a better home now.

6| Do I wear it regularly?

There are some articles out there that can break down how often you wear an item to see if you’re truly getting enough value out of an item based on what you’ve spent and how often you wear it. But, you know if you’re getting the wear and use out of an item. If it’s past its prime, or damaged—toss it. If you wear it a few times a year, note it as a special occasion item. Remember to consider your lifestyle when you’re asking yourself these questions.

7| Am I keeping this out of guilt?

Because you don’t want to get rid of your bridesmaid dress from your cousins wedding from seven years ago even though you’ll never wear it again because it doesn’t fit. Don’t keep something out of guilt. Donate to a good cause like a Prom Dress Drive or a similar charity. Someone will be able to use it and love it. That reason alone should be enough for you to donate it!

8| Have I worn it in the last year?

To keep myself in check on this, I set all my hangers facing the opposite way of how I would hang them. Once I wear something, I make sure to turn the hanger the right way. It works as a check mark saying, yes I wear this piece. After six months or a year, see what items are still facing the opposite way. Do you love these pieces? (I mean…clearly you don’t.) Run through the other questions and see if it’s an item you can donate or give to a friend.

9| Am I saving this “just in case?”

But let’s be real for a minute. Saving it just in case of what? You might find that after three years of not wearing the sweater, you might fall in love with again if you keep holding onto it? It doesn’t work that way, girlfriend. Donate or sell those items, and you won’t have to worry about keeping anything “just in case” ever again. #amiright

10| Why do I feel like I can’t get rid of it?

Sometimes, I’ve been stuck after asking myself the above questions. And I find that I always come back to one of the above answers: feeling guilty about getting rid of it, keeping an item “just in case,” etc. You’re only human. This is why I will sometimes default to the 3-month box. I’ll keep a small pile of items I’m not sure about and if I try to go looking for that piece, then I know it’s time to get rid of that item. But make sure you don’t keep adding pieces to that box and not doing anything with them later.

When is the last time you took time to declutter your closet? What questions would you find the most challenging? What other questions would you ask yourself if you were decluttering your closet? Make sure to share in the comments below!

 

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