Category Archives: Goals

5 Ways to Become a Morning Person If You Aren’t Already

Not everyone is a morning person and some people naturally work better in the evenings. For me personally, I like to start my day very early because it makes the days feel longer in which I can be much more productive. Over the summer months, I fell out of a routine of waking up early as I did not have as much structure but now I am back on track to being a morning person again. I will share a few habits that will help if you want to transition into becoming a morning person.

Start Setting the Alarm Earlier in Increments – If your goal is to start waking up at 6am everyday but you currently wake up at 9:30am, this can be a tough adjustment to do in a matter of days. Start off by setting the alarm at 8:30am for the next few days, then 7:30am, and work your way all the way down to your desired wake up time.

A Little Coffee Goes a Long Way – I was never a big coffee drinker until the start of 2020. I got into the habit of having a small amount of coffee in the mornings as a pre workout as I usually start my day at the gym before anything else. The energy boost is helpful in making my workouts more effective along with actually jump starting my morning. On certain days, I sometimes I have a little bit of coffee in the mid afternoon if I feel as though I could benefit from it.

Take a Nap if Needed – Not everyone is in a position with their work schedule to leisurely take a nap in the afternoon but if you can fit in a short nap at any point during the day, I do recommend it. I would say nothing over an hour or you might not be able to go to bed at an earlier time later that evening.

Start Getting Ready for Bed Much Earlier Than Bedtime – It is easy to get distracted at night so you may not physically get into bed as early as planned if you do not start getting ready soon enough. That is why I recommend getting ready for bed much sooner than your actual bedtime. This can include getting changed into sleepwear, brushing your teeth, washing your face, and doing whatever else your evening routine includes at a much earlier time.

Determine an Exact Bedtime and Actually Get Into Bed at That Time – If you have determined that you are going to go to bed at 10pm, make sure you actually get into bed at that time under no other circumstances. If it takes you some time to fall asleep at night, it might be a good idea to get into bed about 10-15 minutes sooner to ensure you fall asleep by your predetermined bedtime.

Most habits take some time to pick up so do not be discouraged if it takes you time to get into a good morning routine. It can take days or it can take weeks but if you work on staying consistent, you will find you can work towards becoming a morning person.

5 Ways to Improve the Quality of Your Life Starting Today

Over the years, I have taken the time to really appreciate the quality of life which for me means having more time to myself for leisure activities, an active social life, and of course much needed alone time to feel fully recharged. I strongly believe in hard work but it is just as important to be able to enjoy life–whatever that means to you.

Take Care of Yourself by Adapting a Healthier Lifestyle – I always preach about developing healthy habits which can include eating higher quality foods and paying attention to portion control. It is okay to indulge but again, it is all about keeping everything within moderation. Besides a good diet, taking the time to exercise each day is also very important for increasing your longevity and overall well being.

Make Time for Vacations and Day Trips – People who work a lot often times do not take the time to actually plan a real vacation. I would suggest thinking about new places you want to explore and putting the money aside for it including the flight, accommodations, and entertainment money. Besides planning at least one big vacation, it is also good to plan long weekends and local day trips. Life experiences like travel are incredibly rewarding so be sure to make the time for it.

Stay Organized in All Areas of Your Life – Organization is such an important life skill but one that sometimes gets overlooked, especially when you are super busy. This can first start within your home and your surroundings by making a conscious effort to keep these areas neat and clutter free. If that means getting rid of items that are not practical, then take the time to do so. Aside from your living space, it is also a good habit to keep a planner or to do lists to keep your actual life organized or at least provide some structure. This will help you improve the quality of your life by allowing you to gain more control of how you spend your time each day.

Sleep More – Take Naps If Needed – When you work full time and have what it feels like ten million responsibilities each day, it is very easy to cut back on the amount of sleep you are getting each night. If this applies to you, I would suggest finding spare time in your day where you can take a power nap or by getting in the habit of going to bed earlier or sleeping in a little if you have a schedule that can allow for that.

Turn Cell Phone Notifications Off – It is really hard to imagine life without a cell phone nowadays. As much as it has improved the quality of our lives by allowing us to easily stay connected with others, have information at our finger tips, and apps for just about anything, there also comes a time it is healthy to turn the notifications off. If you are with other company, trying to be productive, working, or in a situation where you do not need to be attached to your phone, it is okay to put it aside and not check it for a few hours. You would be amazed how much quality time you can add back to your everyday life just by putting your cell phone down every so often.

This is just a short list of suggestions for improving the quality of your life that have really worked for me in recent years and are good things to apply if you do not already. All it takes is some added mindfulness and taking small steps to make these daily changes that will make an impact over time.

Achieve Your Goals with Exceptional Habits

I think before achieving any sort of goal, everything does originate within the mind. What do you think about? What are you looking to achieve? More importantly, how badly do you want these things? I am a big believer of taking the time to write your goals down on paper so it is more tangible and you can look at them on a regular basis to remind yourself of these goals.

However, let’s be real–staring at your goals each day is a good initial step to get the manifestation process going and making them a reality but you’re going to have to do much more to achieve them. The next component requires being proactive and taking action with the necessary stepping stones to make it happen. This is where many people fail reaching their end goal due to a lack of patience, giving up too easily when the going gets tough, and the fear of failing–along with other limitations (aka excuses).

So how can you really manifest your deepest dreams and desires? It is crucial to focus more on your habits even more than the end goal because your habits will allow you to get on the path that you want to be on. For example, often times you see new people at the gym in the beginning of a new year only to find that they completely drop off within a matter of weeks or even a month. Their main goal could be to lose weight in which taking action by obtaining a gym membership was definitely a step in the right direction. However, if the person was not getting the results they wanted, they might end up quitting too soon in which they gave up on a positive habit which could easily deter them from their end goal of losing weight. This is absolutely why you need to focus on your habits and developing good ones by knowing that over time, these habits will lead you to achieving your goals. You might have days where your habits are not as good as others but that is where you need to consistently focus on developing them and adapting them in your every day life.

You Need to Be A Catch Before You Can Catch the Best Fish

I was having a conversation with someone who needed some advice about dating and was not having much luck with it. I think the dating world can be a tough place to be in, I understand that but if you find that you are consistently unlucky in terms of finding matches or people who want to date you, then a different approach is needed. The main focus should be on yourself and what makes you a desirable person. I think often times many people set very high standards for the type of person they want to be with and can be very picky in terms of who they want to date. That is great to know what you are looking for and setting the bar; however, are you also setting the bar that high for yourself? If the question is no, then how can one expect to attract the best matches or any match to begin with?

I come across this quite often when people tell me that they cannot really meet someone and it is very obvious the reason. The harsh reality is this: The person does not have much to offer. There could be one or many contributing factors that lead me to that conclusion such as a lack of self care, unhealthy habits, no clear career path, money problems, lack of self love, etc. In order to be ready for the dating world, wouldn’t one want to be able to offer their best version of themselves to the world? The first step is to become that best version of self because in the process of doing so, I can guarantee that you will automatically without putting any effort into impressing someone else attract someone who would want to pursue you. That essentially is how the law of attraction works. You put in the right positive energy (in this case, investing in yourself) and you attract that positive energy back your way.

At the end of the day, you need to be a catch before you can catch the best fish. 😉 This does not just apply to dating, this can apply to anything such as landing a job or receiving a promotion. You really need to focus on being a catch first and everything else will follow. You will be able to catch the best fish and by this I mean opportunities simply by putting in the work necessary to be best version of yourself. You also have to really want this for yourself before you focus on wanting to be with someone else. That should always be your first priority.

Stuck in the Past? – A Guide to Detaching and Keeping Your Eyes on the Prize (Your Future)

Many people get caught up in their past, whether it be what they miss most or ways their life could have played out differently. Although I am all about reminiscing about the good times and revisiting memories, there comes a time you need to refocus on your current reality: The present moment and planning for your future. The past can shape your life’s path but do not let it control your mind or stop you from progressing forward. Remember, it is in the past for a reason! That ship has sailed away and is ready for the next destination! 😉

So how do you let go of the past? What are healthy ways to detach and keep things moving in the right direction?

Create a Bucket List – If you do not have one already or you have some in your mind, actually take the time to write down what you want to accomplish, places you want to go, experiences you have yet to experience, and/or whatever it is that you want to do! Some you might be able to obtain more easily while others could take many years but the value behind this is giving yourself something to look forward to for your future! It is exciting to think about and knowing you are currently on the journey to manifesting all these great things.

Focus on Self Improvement – I think that working on ourselves is a mission we should carry out throughout our lifetimes. As we age, we might physically and mentally feel like our youth is slipping away but this does not mean that our lives have to be going downhill, heck it should be getting better. We need to find ways to make improvements and upgrades in our lives by setting higher bars and goals to achieve. There might be instances where we face bad times or unfortunate life circumstances but we have to stay committed to getting things back on on track and making gradual improvements.

Take the Time to Reflect – Everything in life happens for a reason. It could have been for the greater good of tomorrow and/or to serve as a life’s lesson. The past cannot be erased and I would never encourage someone to erase it from their minds in its entirety or to suppress the emotions attached to your past but to take the time to reflect on these thoughts and feelings. You can reflect by asking yourself these questions: What did you learn from this past experience? How can you become a better person from it? You can answer these questions by talking to someone you trust who will genuinely listen to you or maybe self reflect by writing in a journal. I think it is healthy to reflect on the past individually or even with others but to then leave it where it belongs–in the past. This takes mental effort and patience but by practicing mindfulness, it is quite achievable.

I want to end by saying, “The best is yet to come.” Frank Sinatra might have sang about it but there is much truth to this if you choose to actually believe in it. There are many things you can look forward to but it all starts with you. The greatest thing you can do as I stated in the title is to keep your eye on the prize which is your future. Take the necessary planning steps needed and get excited for what is in store for you to the point where you are not even thinking about your past anymore. (Out of sight, out of mind right?)

Authenticity is More Valuable Than Perfection

I am sure you can recall a time in your life where striving for perfection was your ultimate goal. It can be in school where you were studying to get a perfect grade on an exam or any type of game where you were trying to get a perfect score. I will never say that you should abandon these goals or that it is a waste of energy to want to put in the effort to obtain perfection; however, I think that authenticity holds more value and should be the greater goal in life. By being authentic, that means you have the capacity to acknowledge your strengths but also acknowledge your weaknesses. We as people are simply NOT going to be perfect at everything we pursue or try out so rather than stressing ourselves to be perfect at most things or at all times, we just need to fully accept ourselves for what we do have to offer in this world (and trust me, everybody has something positive to offer 😉 ).

I not only believe that people are more drawn to authentic people but that having authenticity will lead to greater success in life because there is a higher focus on what makes you who you are while also adding dimension to your personality which definitely makes you more attractive both on a professional and personal level.

Looking at the life I created for myself, I will have to admit that there have been many instances in which I wanted to be perfect at something but at the end of the day, being authentic was really more of an overpowering force that lead me to make the right life decisions rather than chasing an unrealistic expectation. Rewinding back to my days at college, going to college was not only an opportunity for me to find myself as it is for most young adults but it gave me the reality check I needed: I did not belong in college. Now I know you might be thinking, “Well you still graduated with a degree, right?” The answer might be yes but going to college made me realize I was not built for it. I could study for hours for an exam and still not receive an A. I could put my absolute best effort and still fall short. I was forced to take all these courses unrelated to my major that I could care less about. Often times I question how I even got through college but the simple answer to this is this: Free Electives. Every free elective I possibly had the opportunity to take a subject of my own free choice, I opted for an Art class. I almost picked it up as a minor but figured Sociology as a minor paired up rather nicely with Psychology. It was not until college that I learned very quickly that my strength was NOT studying and cramming information that I could barely store for a single exam but that my true strength was my ability to create and thrive in an atmosphere where I could be in a constant state of creation. Even though I was content with my final choice of Psychology as my major (I entered my freshman year undeclared but knew it was going to be Psychology or Secondary Education), I remember midway through my Sophomore year of college making the firm decision that graduate school was just not in the cards for me. Coming from a family where education was prized and my parents set the bar that graduate school was the bare minimum, I thought I would take the same road as them and continue my studies after being an undergraduate. At that time, I did not know what my future was going to hold upon graduation if I was not going to continue school until the day before my senior year of college I made a bold decision to check out a makeup artistry school in NYC by myself. I always liked the idea of being a makeup artist but never really thought I would take the time to examine this as a career option. Stepping foot into the makeup school was all the assurance I needed to know that this was not only going to be my destiny but that it would also allow for me to be my authentic self even if that meant it was not the most socially acceptable choice. I could have settled for the “safer” path of continuing my academic studies and trying to strive for a perfection (while stressing myself in the process) that just never would have existed. I chose to be authentic which I personally find to be more valuable of an asset and one that I encourage other people to choose to be. As a result, it lead me to a successful career that I genuinely love now as much as I did as I was learning my craft and most importantly, I fully accept myself. I recognize what I am good at while also knowing what did not work for me and there is nothing wrong with that. Again, we cannot be perfect at everything but we surely can be as authentic as possible! 🙂

The Power of Affirmations – Why They Work on Some and Not Others and How to Make Them Work for You

Often times people associate affirmations with the law of attraction or as a way to set goals. I believe affirmations can be very effective when used properly. An affirmation is a firm positive statement that should be written in the present tense as though you are currently experiencing it and in a first person point of view. The best way to utilize affirmations is to repeat them on a daily basis and I even strongly suggest writing them down on index cards so you can read them whenever you want on a daily basis.

There are many benefits to writing positive affirmations and they are indeed very powerful. Here is a list of reasons why they can enhance your life and bring you closer to everything you desire:

– Affirmations keep you laser focused on the things you want. The more your mind focuses on something, the more it will find ways to achieve the desired outcome. People have to understand that this is not an overnight process but if you constantly are thinking about what you want, you will be taking those steps to get there.

– The subconscious mind is said to be more powerful than your conscious mind. Knowing this, feeding your subconscious mind with affirmations along with images of the things you want will program your subconscious mind towards success, confidence, and overall a stronger mindset that will help you obtain your deepest desires.

– Positive affirmations are meant to keep you in a positive state of mind! It is easy to have negative thoughts every so often but when you make a conscious effort to stay positive through the use of positive affirmations, you are eliminating those bad thoughts that might be preventing you from reaching your goals.

So why exactly do affirmations not work on everyone? The problem is, if you have mental road blocks and reasons in your mind that your positive affirmation statements are not valid or accurate, then repeating these positive statements are never going to sink into your subconscious mind. For example, if you truly believe that you put on weight easily from everything you eat, then an affirmation stating that you are happy being healthier and at your ideal weight is never really going to manifest. You have two very conflicting thoughts going on simultaneously and the one that you actually believe in (in this case the negative one) is going to overpower your efforts to stay healthy and fit. When writing your affirmations, you need to focus on what you WANT and not what you don’t want. If you write something along the lines of, “I do not want to gain weight,” even though that is an accurate statement, it is not really written in a positive way. Instead if you were to write, “I am in love with my sexy, fit, and healthy body” then your subconscious mind is under the belief that you possess a healthy body, NOT that you ‘do not want to gain weight’ which means that you are unfit because you are telling yourself you are this way. Do you see the difference between these two thoughts?

How can you maximize the results of positive affirmations so they work for you? For starters, you really need to dig deep and think about exactly everything you want at the present moment. It is okay and highly recommended that you think big even if it is so far from your current reality. Now write everything down and include as many specific details as possible. After you write your ideas, now craft them into positive affirmation statements. As I mentioned, I like writing them on index cards and/or keeping them in a journal as well. I personally like to write the date that I wrote the affirmations on the card so I remember when I wrote them and I can then assess how long it took me to manifest my goal. For the positive affirmations that are specific goals, I do like to assign deadlines however; I do not assign exact timelines for everything as certain affirmations are ongoing and ones I carry throughout my lifetime (such as health related affirmations). The key is to now repeat them on a daily basis. It is recommended that they are repeated when you wake up and when you go to bed. Personally, I only like to read them before bed but I advise the more often you read them, the better because then your mind is constantly focused on them. I look at it like this, positive affirmations are like vitamins–you take them every day and in this case, they are meant to help make your mental wellbeing become healthier and stronger over time.

Final Note: Did you know that Jim Carrey back in 1985 wrote himself a 10 million dollar check for acting services that was dated for 1995 in which he kept in his wallet? Can you guess what happened 10 years later by 1995? By November 1995, he got casted for “Dumb and Dumber” for the amount of 10 million dollars. Coincidence? I think NOT.

My point at the end of all of this is, in order for your positive affirmations to work for you, you need to believe it 100% and repeat them constantly!!! Get rid of your negative thoughts and anything that could be deterring you from the big picture–the life of your dreams! You deserve it! Now go manifest it! 😉

How to Manifest What You Want in Life by Creating a Vision Board / Universe Journal

A few months ago, I wrote an article about manifestation and how the very first step is to simply just think about the things you want because often times “thoughts become things.” Of course just thinking about something will not make something you want magically appear because there needs to be some action to get you towards the end goal. Before taking actual action steps, I want to talk about an important spiritual tool that will get you in a manifestation state of mind. Many people talk about making a vision board although I have what I like to call a “Universe journal” which pretty much represents the same thing. A vision board is a visual representation of the things you want in your life which can be created by making a collage with photos and pictures to represent this. It can cover something very specific such as your career goals or cover a wide range of areas in your life such as home, relationships, travel, health, etc. It can also include words such as quotes, affirmations, and anything that would keep you inspired and motivated. I actually do not have a vision board but as I mentioned, I keep a Universe journal which I created a few years ago and I add images or write things down in it every so often whenever I stumble across something I want to add or whenever I read something inspirational that I want to store permanently. I like keeping it in the form of a journal so it is like a book that I can reference at any given time.

In terms of where to keep it, the best thing to do is place it on your nightstand so you can look at it at night before bed and/or in the morning when you first wake up. It has to be within your sight or else, out of sight, out of mind. I believe the more times you look at it, the more these images are imprinted in your subconscious mind which will propel you to want to manifest it and make these things come to life.

In addition, I do like to write down my goals on index cards in the beginning of a new year (“Universe cards”) and sometimes I will write some new ones throughout the year when I think of new things I want to attract into my life. They key is being very specific and writing down as many exact details as you can. If you write down that you want to buy a house, this is a good goal but you should think more about the specifics such as the location, budget you have in mind, how many rooms, the layout, etc. If you are not exactly sure of the details, you can always add them later when you reflect on them more. I think it can be helpful to write a deadline although I would not get too hung up on this unless it truly is a time sensitive goal. Many things in life can take time and so you cannot expect this to be an overnight process.

I know there are people who are going to be reading this and think this is all made up. I notice the people who are not in touch with their spirituality usually consider this to be a waste of time or just do not believe in the power of manifestation along with the concept of the laws of attraction. If you possess a negative attitude towards this activity, then it probably will not work because you truly need to believe in it.

I did not become very aware or in touch with my spirituality until probably after college. It truly amazes me how much I want actually has manifested over time (and currently is in the manifesting process 😉 ) through visualization. It works because you are putting a greater mental focus on your goals when you actually take the time to lay them out visually and then look at them frequently. Sometimes when I manifest something, even I cannot help but think to myself, “Wow, it is unbelievable this is working” which is why I continue these spiritual practices and I encourage people to do the same. `

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Red Table Talk – Thoughts on Her “Entanglement” and What to Do if You Find Yourself in the Same Situation

When it comes to celebrity gossip, sometimes it grabs my attention but often times I do not know what is going on unless it makes some sort of headline news. For whatever reason, I kept seeing headlines regarding the relationship status of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith within the past 48 hours which lead me to do a little of my own research and find out what this whole “Red Table Talk” of theirs was all about. I could not tell you much about Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith other than I know they have been married since the 90’s and seemed to be going strong although based on the recent headlines, I found out otherwise. More specifically, years ago she had an affair with August Alsina who is a singer and happens to be a friend of their son. The truth of the matter is, things might appear great on the surface but you truly do not ever know what goes on behind closed doors. Their relationship has proven to be an epic example of this. I realize their business is no one’s business but at the same time, they came out publicly and recorded their conversation to let people know what was going on between them. This leaves room to analyze the situation in which I will point out some things I picked up from what I watched. Again, I do not know all the details of their relationship and of course many details are kept private but I can at the very least make some observations of what I did learn from their recent discussion on Jada’s Red Table Talk which is a podcast you can find on Facebook.

The reason I find that this is worth bringing to the table (in this case written about in my blog) is because I would not categorize this as “Oh this only happens in celebrity relationships.” Whether in a stage of separation or not, basically an affair occurred and this unfortunately is quite common within personal relationships and even more sadly within marriages. I will point out some things that stood out to me from their public discussion and then share how I would handle the same situation.

Some quotes from Jada Pinkett Smith:

“I got into a different kind of entanglement with August.” – I am sorry but is “entanglement” a code word in 2020 for affair or relationship or just what exactly? That in and of itself is distasteful to me because we are adults here. Can we just call a spade a spade and just simply be straightforward and say, “I had an affair with August?” I do not understand why she cannot be more upfront and just say this out loud. Funny enough, Will Smith tries to call her out on that term and she still uses it!

“I just wanted to feel good.” – Jada justifies her actions for wanting to feel good. I understand if there is any type of friction or hardship in your current relationship/marriage, then you are going to rely on other sources for providing you that happiness or a “feel good” feeling. However, starting essentially a new relationship or as she labeled it a “friendship” with someone of the opposite sex is just a recipe for disaster on many levels. I am sure it started out innocently but the problem is it allowed her to get too vulnerable which later lead to an affair. By that, I mean both emotional and physical cheating, just to put all the facts on the table.

“I learned so much about myself.” – Jada makes this statement but does not really elaborate on what exactly she learned about herself and more importantly, their relationship. If someone told me they cheated and then followed it with, “I learned so much about myself” — it is like, “Oh okay, that is nice you learned more about yourself but do you care about how that impacts our relationship?” Which leads me to the point that I have a major issue with the fact that NOT ONCE did she ever take ownership for her actions or apologize for the mistakes she has made along the way (aka having an affair). This shows to me a lack of empathy which is a huge red flag because that means she is unaware of how her actions affect other people and in this case her husband.

“One of the things that I am deeply grateful for between you and I is that we really have gotten to that place of unconditional love.” – I would not say this is “unconditional love.” Maybe on Will’s end because despite everything that has happened, he is willing to stay and make it work. (To be honest, I do not even think I could call this unconditional love but rather a lack of love towards himself which I will further explain later). For Jada, I do not think her actions have really proven that she has an unconditional love towards her husband. I would say a lack of respect towards him and their marriage, yes. Perhaps if she made some type of an apology or had any hint of remorse, I could reconsider my viewpoint but that was not the case based on what she said publicly.

Okay so now what? What to do if you are in a similar situation? If it were me:

Personally, my perception of self tells me that I deserve the very best, I have a lot to offer to the right person, and I am a hot commodity (lol I know that might come off a smidge conceited but when I say that, I am just saying that I can attract someone new if I really wanted to). So if within a committed relationship, a person is betraying my trust, not empathetic towards my feelings, and has no respect for their relationship with me, how is it possible for me to stay with that person? For one, that is not what I define as a commitment. Furthermore, it is in COMPLETE contradiction of my perception of self and what I want to attract in my life. A guy having a sidepiece (temporary or not) in addition to me? THAT IS A HUGE HELL NO!!! I am all or nothing with most things in life, especially my relationships. If someone cannot provide me their all, then I want nothing.

At the end of the day, I love myself greater than anyone I could ever choose to be with. I generate my own personal happiness with or without someone. People need to get in that place with themselves where they are completely in acceptance and love with self and their life. That is not an easy place to get to for most people but like anything in life, you work on it! You work on bettering yourself, you work on focusing on what brings you true happiness, and you work towards your life goals.

Walking away is never easy, especially when a good length of time is invested (in their case, 25 years)! However, when you love yourself and know what your self worth is, it is a rather easy decision to want to move on. By settling, you are settling on mediocrity and that just doesn’t cut it for me. I strive for excellence, not mediocrity. If you set the bar high, you will not be in a place of settling for anything less than what you authentically desire.

Although time can heal most situations and so can therapy, I do not think I could really fully recover from someone cheating on me and have any inclination to “make it work” with that person. Those actions cannot be taken back and the emotional pain endured just does not make it worth it for me to stick around. I could maybe keep things cordial but ultimately, the final decision would be to let the person go and create a brighter future for myself.

10 Habits to Stay Young and Healthy AF – (What Works for Me)

I strongly believe that health is wealth in which living a healthy lifestyle has always been one of my top priorities. When people are very young, they often times think they are invincible and do not look at the long term effects of their current health habits. I was always a little more wise beyond my years where I developed good health and fitness habits from the jump. No one really encouraged me to be this way, I just knew that I wanted to take care of myself both on the inside and outside. I also feel as though everyone should want to take personal responsibility for their well being by doing their very best to make the right choices. Our genetics might have control of our health in certain areas but the health choices we make in our daily lives actually have a significant impact on our health over the course of our lifetimes. If you have not done a very good job taking care of your health over the years, the good news is that it is never too late to make a change or get on the right track. Although many of the habits I share might not be anything new, these are all things I personally do to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I will include some specifics in the description but do not feel you have to do everything I do exactly. I understand that for some, much of what I do or think is important might appear extreme or “too high maintenance.” Even if you can or only want to adapt a few, that is still better than nothing.

Lift Weights – It does not matter your gender, when it comes to working out, I think weight training is ESSENTIAL. Everybody should be hitting the weights to some capacity. They say you only need to weight train a few days a week which is considered enough but I personally aim to lift weights every day for approximately an hour a day. Of course sometimes I cannot fit that in every single day because of my work schedule and social life but that is how much time I like to put in. I prioritize weight training because I care about maintaining a healthy body composition (visually, I prize a toned aesthetic) and building muscle by lifting weights is what keeps the body in shape. While many obsess over losing weight or the number on the scale, I am all about maintaining that waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) so if that means working the muscles, I will put in the work needed and do what it takes to achieve those results.

Running (or Cardio of Your Choice) – It is hard for me to date back to when I became a runner but running is probably my favorite form of cardio. It is not only a good way to keep the heart rate up and burn a good amount of calories within a short amount of time but it gives me an opportunity to listen to music and clear my mind. Running serves as both a great mental and physical activity for me. I try to run outside on a pretty daily basis (weather permitting) but other forms of cardio I enjoy include the rowing machine, stationary bike, cardio kickboxing, and even going for a walk. I like to switch it up if I can and think cardio is important mainly just to keep the body moving.

Focus on Quality Foods – Maintaining a healthy diet is crucial and what you are actually eating is more important than how many calories a food item contains. I try to eat mostly natural foods that do not even have a food label but if I have a food label on hand, my number one concern is the ingredient list because again, I want to know what exactly I am consuming. I tend to gravitate towards buying organic foods and my diet is mostly a high protein (again to maintain muscle) and low carbohydrate. This seems to work best for me so I have kept up with this for many years now.

Watch How Much You Eat – I think portion control is definitely an important factor to consider because if you consume too much on a daily basis, it will catch up to you over time and you are more likely to gain some unnecessary weight. I try to be very mindful at each meal of how much I’m eating and pay attention to when my body tells me I am physically full.

Make Healthy Green Smoothies – I start most of my mornings with what I call a green smoothie. This is really when I get a good dose of my fruits and vegetables in for the day. I also like to add a whey protein powder for extra protein. I sometimes will make one as a quick meal replacement or as a post workout drink but usually I make one in the morning to start my day.

Drink Tea – I brew various teas and drink tea daily not for the taste but for its health benefits. I mostly drink peppermint tea everyday as I do happen to like the taste and it is good for digestion. I also look for detox teas or ones with energy boosting effects. If I am not drinking tea, then I will drink water. I think it is very important to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Invest in Good Skincare – I recommend that everyone at the very least should wear moisturizer every day. I typically moisturize both in the morning and at night before bed along with incorporating a face toner and serum which also nourish the skin. I buy skincare with ingredients such as glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, and retinol–these are all great anti-aging ingredients.

Wear SPF – It has been said that wearing sunscreen is one of the best things you can do for your face to prevent wrinkles, cancer, and overall damage to your skin. I am not always the best about applying it to my body but I always apply it to my face, a minimum of SPF 30.

Get Enough Sleep (Take Naps if you Have to) – There is no doubt that you need to get a good amount of rest each night. I have a tendency to get up early and sometimes stay up later than I want to so that’s when I incorporate a good afternoon nap on days I did not get enough sleep. I wear a Fitbit which tracks my sleep and a good day for me is a minimum of 7 hours.

Stay Consistent Over Time – Listen, no one is perfect and neither am I. It can be a challenge to stay disciplined at all times but staying pretty consistent with occasional off days is totally acceptable and normal. I might have a not so healthy day but that does not mean I cannot start over and make it a good one the following day.

If you are not doing so already, it is time to make it a point to focus on making healthier life choices and taking personal accountability for yourself. That might mean some extra discipline and some sacrifices but you have to think of it as an investment towards your future. Even if you feel good and look good now, it is important to get into good health habits early in your life so as you age, you will slow down the process and also prevent potential health problems from occurring down the line. It is Ben Franklin who said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” I could not agree more, amen to that!