How I Stepped Up My Fitness Routines Thanks to Instagram

When it comes to exercise and fitness, if you are someone who is already very active and not a novice at the gym, it can be challenging to find ways to elevate your everyday workouts. Someone like myself who utilizes a gym membership by going on a regular basis, it is easy to gravitate towards the same weight machines and do the same moves all the time. Although I do make the effort to switch things up and change up the routines, I still feel there is more room for change. When it comes to any type of exercise, the body adapts pretty quickly which is why you need to incorporate various moves and activities where the body feels challenged on a regular basis or otherwise, it will not change over time. People often do not understand why they have reached a plateau and usually this is due to not challenging the body enough and doing too much of the same stuff.

Although there are many resources on YouTube and plenty of workouts you can probably access through an app, I actually find Instagram to be the most ideal place to find new workouts. There are many fitness professionals and enthusiasts who post their workouts on Instagram. To find a workout, you can use hashtags to find exactly what you are looking for. For example, you can type something like #legsworkout and you will find plenty of results where people post a short video of their routine or it might feature a single move. It is great because they are usually short clips versus watching a full hour of someone’s workout. On Instagram, there is also a way you can bookmark people’s posts so I have an entire bookmarked section, “Fitness” where I bookmark moves that I like from various people. I cannot always rely on my memory to remember everything I viewed which is why the bookmarking feature on Instagram is extremely beneficial as I can refer back to it at any time.

So before I go to the gym, I look through some of my bookmarked videos on Instagram so I have an idea what I want to do when I get there. I find that having the video is helpful for viewing the proper form of the exercise to ensure I can execute it correctly at the gym myself. When it comes to fitness, being that it is a very important component of my lifestyle and a self investment I will never neglect, I always want to find ways to try new things and pick up new challenges along the way. There are certain exercises I really like which I will still continue to do but there is always room for growth and improvement. As they say, “no pain, no gain” so rather than stay in the comfort zone, it is valuable to push yourself to maximize your long term results.

Instead of Comparing Yourself to Others – You Could Be Doing This

I recognize that it is natural for people to compare themselves to others as a baseline for how their own life should be carried out. One might feel by a particular age, there are certain milestones that should be achieved or maybe one might see something on social media which sparks a thought in their mind that they wish their life could be as “picture perfect.” With social media platforms often used as a way to see if they measure up to others and/or as a way to paint an extra grandiose version of self and life, it is easy to fall into the habit of comparing yourself to someone else. Again, I understand how making a comparison often happens but people need to stop wasting their time comparing themselves to other people as it often leads to negative feelings of insecurity and jealousy. The reason being that this comes from a scarcity mindset where one feels inadequate and that they are not enough. Nothing is enough to them because of the emptiness from within. They focus on what they lack rather than putting their energy into something much more positive–creating their own best life.

There are ways in which you can make healthy comparisons so I do not want to classify all comparisons as negative. It can become positive if you have the capacity to look at someone else and genuinely be happy for that person and aspire to elevate your life to a higher level. That brings me to what you can be doing instead. You can make life improvements and adjustments to enhance your current life. Remember, we are all in control of our destiny and a work in progress with our very own individual life path. That is why I stay in my lane and just focus on my path because I determine where that path leads on my terms and I know that the way in which I live is personal to me. Even if two people had very similar aspirations and perhaps are on the same career path, that does not mean they will both be going at the same pace or that their outcomes would be the same.

In addition to wanting to make the changes needed to live a better life, why not learn from others as opposed to making a negative comparison? If you happen to know the person in real life, you can ask them how they got to where they are and assign them as a personal role model and/or mentor. If the person is someone famous, I am sure you can google information on how they got started along with watching interviews to learn more about their lives. Everyone should really take the time to learn from other people while also paying it forward by teaching others because we are each other’s best resources. In my professional life, when I come across someone who wants to pursue makeup artistry or know how I became successful within my career, I want to do whatever I can to help that person get on the right track.

Final Note: If you find you are someone who compares yourself to other people who you perceive have it better than you, take a moment to shift your mindset onto how you are fully capable of having it all yourself in your own unique way while doing some research as I mentioned. Lastly, do not forget to be grateful for what you do have right now while concentrating on what you want to manifest for yourself over time.

Why Going Back to An Ex Has A Negative Impact On Your Spiritual Path and Self Development

A friend had asked me a few days ago, “Do you miss any of your exes and wish you could go back to any of them?” Without a hint of hesitation, my response was, “Absolutely, NOT.” Does this make me a cold hearted individual? No, not at all. I look at it like this: The past needs to stay in the past. Life should be progressing forward. In order to spiritually grow and create a brighter future for yourself, the ship needs to sail to a new destination (in this case, a new relationship or happily single to work on yourself also applies here too).

You can still appreciate what the relationship brought to you at that moment and I encourage you to do so. With the good times, there were also life lessons. I never regret any of my previous relationships because that is what the Universe attracted into my life during that time and even though it did not last forever, it still served a purpose. No matter the duration, I never look at it as “wasted time” and no one should ever view it that way. Do you look at your previous jobs as wasted time if you did not stay at one company the entire time? No, of course not because this is what you choose to be a part of your life experience and most people explore multiple job opportunities within their career path.

Relationships shape you as an individual but they also prepare you for someone even better. Yes, you heard me. Your future is going to be far more superior than your past. In order for that scenario to play out, you need to believe that with every ounce of your soul (not just because I said you so) along with taking the ACTION needed to make that happen for yourself. This means completely letting go of your past without leaving any open doors for an ex to creep back in–unfortunately, we all know there are many desperate and needy people out there who try to knock on the door for another chance. This also means having the mental strength to not want to revisit the past either. In other words, it goes both ways. You have to shut the door but you also have to have the burning desire to want to start over with a clean slate. If you are despairingly in search of finding a new partner simply to replace your ex when your mind is still not over the last person you dated, then you clearly have not taken the definitive action that is needed to clear your past.

Whether you broke it off or they did or maybe it was mutual, cut your losses and move on with your life. Trust me, it is for the greater good for everyone because each person can grow from the experience and move onto a new life path. Personally, I find it exciting to know what the future will bring than to ever even consider pursuing a failed relationship. If it did not work out the first time, what is the point in going back? For security? Convenience? Comfort? Lack of belief that there is a better suited match? People tend to go back for the wrong reasons, settle for less than they deserve, and/or stay attached to a false hope that they will reunite with an ex. In certain situations, I think there is room for optimism but the majority of time, it just isn’t worth it. Remember, as I often like to quote from Frank Sinatra’s famous song title, “The best is yet to come.” You just have not experienced it just yet but keep your mind open to the possibilities because the Universe will make it happen (this does not only apply to love, it applies to everything in life!)–Trust the process and you shall receive its greatest gifts! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Don’t Like to Exercise? – Maybe I Can Convince You Otherwise

For me personally, heath and fitness have always been a huge priority in my life. I started exercising on a regular basis since I was in high school and although my routines have varied throughout my life, there was never a time I took an extended break from it or was too busy to exercise. The truth of the matter is, we are never “too busy” for the things we care about most. Being that staying healthy and in shape are important to me, a good diet paired with an exercise routine are both essentials. I do not believe that you can rely solely on good genetics–that is not enough. Although the science shows that what you eat has more of a higher impact on your overall health and well being than exercise, there is no doubt that putting both into practice will provide you with the very best results.

I actually truly do not understand people who do not exercise. People should want to take care of themselves and take accountability for their health. I suppose the reasons can vary from not enjoying it, too many professional and/or personal obligations, getting bored doing it, or maybe not looking at the long term positive effects of incorporating exercise into daily life. Even if you cannot find a little time out of your day to do it a few days a week, I always say that any time you can commit to yourself is always better than nothing.

If you are in the category where you never exercise or maybe you do so at random but there is no real emphasis on making it a priority, I would like to provide some reasons as to why you need to start making it a habit.

Keeps You Young and Looking Good – People who take the time to exercise regularly always look way younger than their physical age. I will admit, this was always one of the many incentives as to why I stuck with it was because I knew that it would preserve my youth over time. Aesthetically, I also always wanted to stay in shape and knew that the work (aka exercise) would provide the results I was looking for.

Improves Energy Levels / Mood / Mental Health – Without a doubt, after a good workout, I feel amazing. This includes feeling accomplished, energized, strong (both mentally and physically), productive, happy, and so much more. I am naturally a positive and happy person but by adding a solid workout to my day really takes it to a higher level by uplifting my mood and building my mental strength.

Prevents Potential Health Problems From Occurring Later in Life – Exercise cannot prevent everything as we know that certain health problems are genetic and are completely out of our hands no matter how much we eat well and exercise. However, keeping the body healthy definitely adds a layer of protection in preventing serious health problems to arise.

Helps with Weight Management – As we age, it is natural for the metabolism to slow down and unexpected weight to appear out of no where. Even if you have consistently been a relatively healthy individual, it is still easy for the body to put on weight over time. This is where exercise helps by burning excess calories and if you also weight train, the muscle you build will aid in weight management by keeping the body lean and trim. (If genetically, you are thin to begin with, this does not give you a pass to not have to exercise. Even though you might not be looking to lose weight, you can still exercise by lifting weights to add muscle to your body which is ideal).

Increases Longevity – I know for some, people live day by day, not thinking about their future, let alone tomorrow. However, if you could live a longer and healthier life, wouldn’t that be the best scenario? By adding exercise, you are staying healthy and ultimately extending your life by investing in your health.


Even though these are all reasons that you probably are familiar with and they are nothing new to you, at the very least, I hope reading this can inspire you to make a healthy life change and open your mind to the idea of making exercise a part of your lifestyle–not just a temporary resolution that you make and fail to keep each year.

How to Get Started TODAY: The best thing you can do is start incorporating small amounts at a time and vary the activities. Ideally, find things that you enjoy. If you like going on nature walks, I would still count that as a form of exercise because at least you are moving. Over time, you can increase the amount of time you allot during the week and increase the intensity. Again, start small and gradually you can always do more as time progresses.

* If you are totally clueless when it comes to working out or what would be the best moves for your current fitness level, consider hiring a professional who can personalize a routine just for you and teach you how to exercise properly.

* If you really want to take it a step further, write down your activity each day. Even for someone like myself who has the self motivation to exercise daily, there is still a need to stay on track and record the progress. How do I stay disciplined and regimented? — I write it down every single day! I simply record the activity and how many minutes along with what I ate that day. As I mentioned, a nutritious diet and a fitness regime are the golden combo when it comes to staying healthy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Fixate on Everything You DO Have (Not What is Lacking) to Increase Positivity and Abundance In Your Life

Often times I have conversations with people and I cannot help but notice how unhappy and empty they appear to feel inside. This can range from someone complaining about every little thing, making excuses as to why their life is the way it is (aka miserable), and/or their energy is focused on everything they are lacking. I believe that often times, the greatest barrier that is preventing someone like this from growing and attracting abundance into their life stems from their mindset–a very negative, limiting, and weak one. This is where you need to make a conscious effort to stop yourself from clouding your mind with these negative thoughts and get into a habit of developing more positive ones. The truth is, life is not going to be sunshine and rainbows at all times. There will be storms and dark clouds (spiritually speaking) along the way but you cannot focus on the darkness because it will eventually subside and it is only temporary. Remember, it is as temporary as your mind determines it to be so the quicker your mind can move on from the negativity, the better. Although it is natural and okay to feel moments of doubt and unhappiness from time to time, you cannot allow these feelings to dominate your mind on a regular basis–you need to consciously detach yourself from developing these into permanent feelings.

I also want to point out that everyone is born with special gifts and talents which we need to continue to build and expand on. Don’t focus on what you are missing, focus on what you got going for you. EVERYONE has SOMETHING to offer! What is your special gift? What gives your life purpose and how can you provide value to yourself and others? Look at what you have going for you and learn to be thankful for all your amazing attributes instead of complaining about what you don’t have. This most certainly applies to your looks too. So what if you’re not that tall? So what if you don’t like the shape of your nose? Whatever it is that you perceive as an “imperfection,” why are you not acknowledging your very best features? People tend to complain about what they wish they had and might go through drastic measures to change them when they should be owning what they do have instead. I do not want to hear that you cannot live a better life or be happy because of something you are missing which stems from what is missing on the inside. Continue to focus on what’s great. At the end of the day, you need to work with what you have and fully go with it!

A Quality Often Overlooked Within a Relationship But Quite An Important One

There are many qualities to look for when in the pursuit of a meaningful relationship and everyone’s personal criteria and love map can vary. This can also change over time in which something you valued in your youth might not even be within your current criteria. Perhaps there was a quality that you thought was a high priority only to find that after experiencing it, you came to the realization it is not something you want anymore. My point is, there are many qualities that exist with some being more important than others just depending on the person you talk to or someone you choose to date. If you were to ask someone what they look for, common answers can include: Trust, intelligence, career driven, generous, wealthy, physically attractive, etc. However, a quality that I do not hear too many people talk about but I find to be quite an important one is examining a person’s emotional stability.

Emotional stability to me can translate into many things and is something you can really pick up most through a person’s behaviors and (re)actions (actions as well but I want to emphasize reactions). I do not think you can really ask someone how emotionally stable they are and expect a direct and honest answer in response. This is why you need to pay close attention to how a person behaves and reacts to really get a good assessment. More specifically, here are some things to consider:

– How does this person handle rejection?
– How does this person react (ex: anger, sadness, indifference, etc.) during a conflict?
– Is this person able to take accountability and apologize when they are wrong?
– How does this person cope with a failed relationship?
– Does this person have trouble letting go of any emotional baggage from their past?
– What happens when something does not go their way?
– How quickly can this person bounce back from a bad situation?
– How does this person react towards a major life crisis along with more trivial matters?
– How does this person treat their friends and family when there is a conflict?
– How are you treated when there is a problem within the relationship?

I can probably make a longer list but these are some questions to think about when you are in the process of getting to know someone new. You might not be able to get all the answers immediately but you should absolutely keep these in the back of your mind from the start and during the course of the relationship. Emotional stability is an important quality to look for because it is a fundamental component needed in building a healthy relationship which often will increase the chance of long term success.

When You Have to Pay, You Pay Attention – How I Became Financially Savvy With These 5 Money Principles

When it comes to personal finance, I think this is an area in life where people can always improve and there are definitely ways to plan ahead to ensure that you are on a road to a better financial future. I am fortunate in that I had strong parents who taught me very good money lessons at a young age which shaped me into the financially savvy person I am today. I would not say I am an expert but I can provide some basic money principles that work and it is never too late to adapt them into your life no matter what your financial status is right now. With the right practices put into place, you can achieve your money goals and become a financially independent individual along with passing these money principles down to your children and the people you care about most.

I want to start off by saying, this expression is absolutely true when it comes to money–“When you pay, you pay attention.” Meaning that when you have to pay for everything, you do very well pay attention to what you are spending your money on and every little cost along the way. As soon as I could get a job as a teenager, I was held accountable for paying for everything. My parents never paid my cell phone bills, car insurance, clothes, entertainment, etc. Although they were never poor and as an only child, they easily could have covered all these costs–they still refused to pay for these things. Think about it: If they provided me with all these basic necessities, what would be the incentive to go out and get a job? Their attitude from the start was, “If you want something, you need to work for it and figure it out yourself.” Their underlying message was that I had to work for things like everyone else in this world while also instilling their full confidence that I had the capacity to earn it all by myself without relying on their credit cards and bank accounts. Their tough love approach was effective as it provided me with a burning drive at a young age to work hard along with becoming money motivated for not only survival purposes but for everything beyond that. In other words, besides paying bills and basic needs, anything else I wanted that extends beyond that such as a nice vacation, I can create the resources to make it happen. ๐Ÿ˜‰ [Side note: It is for this reason, when people I know tell me their children are spoiled, don’t appreciate anything, and don’t work–my response is to cut them off financially. Sounds harsh but it is the dose of reality and tough love that is needed to build their autonomy, confidence, work ethic, and self worth while also doing them a huge favor in the long run. Trust me.]

My point in sharing this is to show how I became financially savvy at a young age because my parents taught me the value of money by having me always have to work for it. These are principles I have applied since my youth and that I continue to live by to this day.

Spend Less Than You EarnHow often do you see people spend money that they don’t really have? I see people do this all the time where they barely can pay their bills and do not really have a savings in the event that they need it for an emergency (such as the current pandemic) which is why I would rank this as the most important money principle. It is essential to spend under your means in order to prevent sinking into debt and giving yourself the opportunity to bank more money into your savings/investments.

Focus on Excelling in Your Profession – It does not matter what professional field that you chose as there is always room for you to build your career which typically means a higher salary over time. If you are extremely good at what you do, people will want to pay you for it and/or promote you so focusing on your career should be a main focal point for both personal development and financial growth.

Find Multiple Streams of Income – I suppose if you chose a career path that already provided you a hefty salary, there is not as much of a need to find multiple streams of income but I do believe this is something people often overlook and is a missed financial opportunity. Most people are content with just having their weekly job and will call it a day which in certain situations, I understand if the job is incredibly taxing and takes up the majority of your life where there is little room for free time. However, what if you found something that you loved to do and could also make a little extra income? Anyone can turn any small hobby into a few extra dollars or sometimes a ton of money (hey, why limit yourself? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and there are always people willing to pay for services that they may not like or have the expertise in but you do.

Save As Much as Possible (Every Penny Counts) – People often underestimate that every little bit saved adds up to a big amount of money over time. For example, if you enjoy getting a cup of coffee everyday, you might think it’s such a small expense, why not treat yourself every morning; however, so much money can be saved just by cutting back the amount of days you go a week or simply by making it yourself at home. My point is, every little bit saved is extra money in your pocket that can be used for bigger and better things for your future.

Make Investments to Grow Your Money Over Time – There are many things one can invest their money in, such as real estate but first and foremost, you absolutely need a retirement fund. I know it is something most people do not really think much about until they are actually getting closer to that stage of their lives but this is where you need to think long term and start investing NOW! I always contributed towards an IRA thanks to having a financially savvy mother who had me open an account when I was 18 years old (all my money of course, not a cent from my parents) but looking back, I wish I was putting in much more as I could be benefiting from all the compound interest. As I mentioned before, the good news is–it is never too late to start investing and now I maximize my IRA every single year because I am more consciously aware of investing and have the money to do so. Even if you are not currently in a position where you can maximize your contributions each year, remember that every little bit you invest now will grow into much more money in your future so anything is always better than nothing. The key is to start a retirement fund if you have not already done so and to consistently add what you can each year.

An Everyday Motto to Live By – “Fantastic and Only Improving”

I was watching the news the other day where I learned that Brooke Baldwin is leaving CNN in which I strolled onto her Instagram (I wanted to send her some well wishes) and found her wearing a sweatshirt that read, “Fantastic and Only Improving.” She explained that whenever she asked her security guard Ant Diggity how his day was, he would always respond with that exact phrase. I loved it so much that I just had to share it with my readers! ๐Ÿ™‚

What I like most about it is that it is declaring a firm positive state of mind of being fantastic (not just your typical, “good” or “okay” response). Then it is followed up by, only improving. This is really the key to living a fulfilling life full of abundance and leading to a path of growth, success, and happiness–which is by focusing on making self improvements and bettering yourself on a regular basis! No one is born perfect but at the very least, we can always strive for the very best things in life and make a commitment to be a better person each and every day.

So the next time someone asks you, “How are you doing?” Just look the person straight in the eye and reply with conviction, “Fantastic and only improving.” ๐Ÿ˜‰

[On a final note, I am snowed in today in NJ and was thinking about taking a nap; however, after writing this post, I am actually self motivated to do more productive things instead. It goes to show that you can stay motivated with the right mindset].

Pursuit of Independent Happiness – Why It Is Needed Within Your Personal Relationships

I know the title might sound like a bit of a contradiction. On the one hand, you should pursue your own independent happiness yet how can a personal relationship survive if you are only focusing on your self development and life goals? That’s a good question but I am here to provide you with an explanation as to why it is important to continue your pursuit of independent happiness for the greater good of your personal relationships.

Often times when people get locked into a serious relationship, there are sacrifices that are needed to be made to keep the relationship going which can include one or both partners being in a position that they are forced to put their personal goals in the back burner. In addition, usually one although sometimes both people might become too overly dependent on the other person as their primary source of happiness. This is where relationships can become unhealthy and ultimately fall apart over time. Why? You need two independently happy individuals. Each need their own set of life goals, interests, social lives, and things that they do that is completely separate from their partner. Together, they can build each other up and support each other but each person needs to still prioritize their own best interests and build a strong foundation from within above anything else as opposed to giving all this up once finding someone to share their life with. If you have one person on a path of success while the other is still “figuring it out,” I do not think this is an ideal match because being at two very different stages of life can create its own set of challenges unless the more successful partner is okay with this dynamic and can accept things as they are. Remember, any relationship has the potential to last but this requires the right amount of effort, patience, and commitment from two people who are willing to put in the work to preserve the longevity of the relationship.

If you find that you are not happy where you are in the current state of your life, then continue to work on it! Think positively by knowing that many great things in life take time to manifest and are worth the wait. Stay patient, determined, consistent, and stay on a focused path to get to where you need to go in your life to provide you the independent happiness you are striving for. Even if that means forgoing being in a relationship right now, know that investing the extra time in yourself is ultimately the best investment you could be making not only for you but for when the time is right for that special someone to walk into your life. ๐Ÿ˜‰ By the time you are ready, you can then actually offer them the very best version of yourself which is a key component in building a healthy, fulfilling, and everlasting personal relationship.

5 Thoughtful Valentine’s Day Gestures That Won’t Break the Bank

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, it is that time of year that people like to express their love and show gratitude towards their partner. Although we know that this should be done on an every day basis as opposed to focusing it only on one day, it is still nice to do something thoughtful for the person to show that you care. Some people like to spend a good amount of money on gifts but sometimes the nicest gifts are not of high monetary value. Here I will share a few thoughtful things you can do to make Valentine’s Day special that does not require overspending.

Make a Card Instead of Buying One – It does not have to be fancy or over the top but I always believe that a hand made card is always more thoughtful than buying one because it is one of a kind and made from the heart. You also do not have to be overly artistic to make one.

Create a Valentine’s Day Playlist – You can create a playlist with love themed songs or choose your partner’s most favorite songs. It can be played on Valentine’s Day but best of all, it can be played at any time.

Invent a “Love Potion #9” Drink – This is actually the name of a movie that came out in the 1990’s but according to mythology, a “love potion” is a drink that one drinks to fall in love. So why not for fun invent your own love potion drink for your partner that you can both enjoy together? It can be a special cocktail of their favorite flavors or maybe a unique fruit punch.

Take Selfies With a Polaroid – Creating and capturing memories are some of the most valuable gifts that you can cherish for years to come. I suggest taking the photos with a polaroid camera as the photos print instantly and then you have copies that you can each keep. If you do not have one, you can still take the photos with your cell phone or a regular digital camera and order prints directly from your phone.

Give a Scrapbook or Memory Box – Take the time to gather some mementos you might have including things such as photos, ticket stubs, business cards and/or brochures of places you went to, souvenirs, etc and put them together in a scrapbook or put them in a box to give to your partner. It is special because it is an accumulation of things that you both shared together and you both can continue to add more mementos over time.

Remember, no matter what you decide to do for Valentine’s Day, as long as you put some thought and add a personal touch to what you do, your Valentine is guaranteed to be very happy! โค ๐Ÿ™‚