motivate

JUST ASK JO: How Do I Balance Blogging and Family Life

QUESTION: 

First, Ive been following you for awhile—I absolutely love your mission and passion you have for what you do and how much love you have for your family. Truly inspiring!

Secondly, I am a new mama and have recently started blogging, but I am having such trouble keeping my motivation to work on it (mostly because of being so focused on my sweet baby). I was wondering if you had any advice on balancing your work and family life, and how to stay motivated? 

Much love and thanks, 
Kenzie 

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ANSWER:

The ever so elusive question of balancing work and family life. First off, congrats on your blog. I know the excitement it feels to start jotting down thoughts, writing, and creating content that comes from the heart. It’s overwhelming at times especially when it begins to feel like you’re just standing in a dust storm trying to make sense of it all. Balance can feel like the same thing which is why I believe in harmony and taking things one day at a time.

The focus and motivation to work on my blog, create content, and to write ebb and flow. It’s probably one of the largest struggles that bloggers rarely talk about. If you’re like me than writing is a form of therapy and can almost be cathartic. Sometimes in your own writing you get overwhelmed add that with family life it’s a perfect cocktail for chaos.

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So here are some tangible things you can do to help balance out work/family life:

Create a schedule that works for you

If you’re freelancing, work for yourself, or have the flexibility to work from home at your 9-5 make sure to create a schedule that works for you, your work, and your family. Since working for myself I’ve adopted a 10AM - 6PM work day on most days and I love it!


My ideal day typically looks like this:

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  • 6:00AM - wake up

  • 6:30AM - go to the gym

  • 8:00AM - get back home. Hubs takes kids to school (Jonathan took on the role of stay-at-home dad when he went full time with his photography business over 8 years ago. So a lot of the drop off/pick up routines are still managed by him)

  • 9:00AM - breakfast/catch up with the hubs on the day

  • 9:30/10:00AM - start my work day

  • 12:00PM - lunch AWAY FROM MY DESK!

  • 6:00PM - dinner time

  • 7:00PM - unplugged hang time with the fam. This is so important to us and something we do our best to uphold.

  • 10:00PMish - bedtime and rinse and repeat

Set boundaries!!!

I cannot stress how important creating boundaries are for work/life balance. Boundaries are not walls. Boundaries are doors and you have the option and choice to open those doors whenever you want/need to in order to adjust to life’s constant changes. For me, boundaries aren’t actually put into place for the family, they are actually in place because I tend to be a work-a-holic and this helps me to keep my harmony while juggling both work and family.

One boundary that is pretty strict for me is the amount of time I spend working. I try really hard not to put in more than 30-35 hours a week of active work time. As a blogger/social media influencer I often get invited to social gatherings and that’s all part of the role of marketing. I also roll that time up into my work week so I don’t feel like I’m a complete slave to my work.

The other boundary that’s relatively firm is the day(s) I take coaching sessions with clients. Typically those days are Tuesday and Thursday and it really works well for me to keep that consistent.

The not so tangible…

Creative Motivation

The motivation needed to focus on work can be really difficult when you have young kids and all you want to do is hang with the babes. Listen to your instincts! If right now your focus is on your sweet baby then let it be. They are only little for a small period of time. But if you’re really looking to find motivation to write and work on your blog then maybe blocking out time to focus on two days of blogging/writing is what might work best.

Motivation can both be found external and internal. External motivation is when someone behaves in a way that is outside of that person. It often comes from parents, boss, coworkers, family, and salary or promotion (advancement). Internal motivation engages in a behavior that is personally motivating. Identifying which motivation is fueling your desire to work on your blog could be the first step to breaking out of this work slump you’re experiencing.

Celebrate the small wins!

Once you’ve broken out that slump, make sure to celebrate you. This helps create positive reinforcement to the steps you’re making towards your blogging/work goals. Celebrate even if the step happens to be opening your laptop, writing a few words, and closing it 20 minutes later. Celebrate the small wins, this applies to every area of your life.

Give yourself grace

This by far is my most important tip on regaining motivation in any area of life. Discipline gets you started on the journey, grace and self love keeps you going. Life is going to get messy and motivation, creativity, and the desire to pour into your hustle will ebb and flow. Don’t beat yourself up too much. Each area in life has a season and just like seasons they come and go.

Hope this helps!



How Positive Thinking Can Help Your Fitness Goals

Positive thinking plays a direct role in your fitness goals. Each thought we create manifests an energy flow internally as well as externally. If you think “well...I’m never going to get to my goals.” Then the energy that you expend will actually turn out to be negative and every action or choice that you make will turn out to become a negative force that works against your fitness goals.

Your subconscious mind is extremely powerful. In fact some say that it’s more powerful that your conscious mind. The subconscious mind does not differentiate itself from visualizations and reality. Do you ever have dreams that you that feel real and you wake up almost questioning if what happened actually happened? This is because your subconscious mind is not governed by time or space. You’re probably wondering...how does this all play into your health and fitness? Well picture this: you wake up discouraged to get started on a workout, actually you wake up with the single thought that the workout is going to suck. You’ve planted the seed in your mind that the workout is going to suck therefore your body will begin to react to your thoughts that the workout will be tough, a pain to endure, and you will probably lack the motivation to really put the best effort forward. Have you ever had one of these days? I know I have! Now flip the negative thought into a positive one and imagine those days when you’ve been fueled by so much motivation you felt like a speeding train and unstoppable. That is what you need to manifest in your daily thoughts in order to see the greatest impact in your fitness journey.

Setting yourself up for positive thinking is truly dependent on how you live your life and how you incorporate positive thinking to your everyday life. It’s about being in tune and aware of yourself and your surroundings. Some days I lace up my Teva Arrowood sneakerboots and go for a hike in my local county park. The Arrowood boot is waterproof and incredibly light because of "because of Teva's FloatLite™ technology, so they are perfect for the fall weather that’s getting my favorite park muddier in these colder seasons. The change of scenario always sets my mind in a better mood and ready to tackle the week.

But if you can’t do that, one of the most impactful ways I’ve been able to get myself out of a funky mood when I wake up is to meditate and say some simple affirmations as I sit quietly with my thoughts. When I meditate I like to picture myself enjoying the warmth of the sun and traveling somewhere warm, close to the water, where the skies are as blue as the ocean, like Santorini.

I start with these 5 simple ones:

  1. I am beautiful and strong.
  2. I have the power to live my greatest potential.
  3. I fully embrace and trust the journey I am on, both struggles and accomplishments.
  4. I create the life I want to live.
  5. I deserve to be healthy and happy.
Teva Flatform Retro in Sangria currently on  SALE .

Teva Flatform Retro in Sangria currently on SALE.

What are some of the things you do to infuse more positive thinking? I’d love to know what’s helped you push yourself just a little closer to your goals both in your health and fitness and your life!

Teva provided me with compensation in exchange for this sponsored blog post. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.

What to do when life throws you a jab

So hello...I've realized I've had a very very bad case of writers block and I finally realized today why. But before we go into that, let's talk about what to do when life throws you a jab, a curve ball, a rock, you name it. I feel like most of us in this world are ambitious go getters who like to have all their ducks lined in a row, checking things off a list to feel accomplished, and making sure that things are being done in sequence. *raising my hand sheepishly* But life doesn't always go according to plan. One of the biggest struggles I've had to learn to overcome is letting go of expectations and adapting as best as I can in situations of abrupt change. 

We do our best to set ourselves up for success. We prep our meals for the week, we plan out our workouts, we set our 3 month, 6 month, life long goals, and we do our best to go forth and attack them with intention and heart. And then something happens to derail us. It's easy to fall into the trap of disappointment, let down, shame, and all the other emotions that add to challenging our own self worth.

Here are 3 very simple rules I try to live by when things don't go according to my plans.

1. Let it go! There's a reason why God and the universe decided to throw you a curve ball and whatever that is you've got to listen and let it go. When we hang on too tight to expectations there are more chances of getting hurt. The quicker you can learn to let go of the idea that you have perfected your strategy in life, the easier it will be for you to move past the emotional onset of disappointment. 

2. Take time to reflect, journal, doodle, rest. Simply do something that allows you to think about what the universe is trying to tell you. Or what you're trying to tell yourself. Maybe you've been running too hard on trying to succeed in one area of your life and have been neglecting another area. Whatever the cause, there's something that needed to happen in order life to balance itself out. 

3. Adapt and embrace the change. I know that this can be really hard to do, but adapting to the new changes in life will help you pivot into a new direction and one that you're supposed to be on. You'll also learn new things about the skills and creative thinking that you come equipped with. 

Story time: Life recently threw me the sharpest jab ever, I just got laid off my full time job at VSCO. And although my messages on social media are true and I'm looking at this with positivity and full on opportunity. I'm not going to lie and say that it didn't hurt. I had been at VSCO for nearly 5 years and had watched that baby grow into what it is now. BUT this moment in time is giving me the opportunity to explore a new career in health and wellness coaching which is something I've been thinking about for the past year and a half. In a lot of ways I was comfortable with stability, its a good thing for my family. But what would I be teaching my daughters if I didn't try to pursue my dreams with my whole heart. On that note I start school on November 14th at Integrative Nutrition and I'm so excited and scared. And so with that I'll end with this quote:

Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that- that’s what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s really special and if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself
— Amy Poehler

 

 

What to do when motivation is low

What to do when motivation is low

Even after 3 years of committing to an active lifestyle of daily exercise I still wake up with those days where I just don't wanna...I'm human, I stumble, I have setbacks, and I also have the strength to pick myself up and GO! We all have these thresholds where we go through these funky moments. It's important to recognize when you're getting close to those thresholds are and assess them. Ask yourself: am I getting enough sleep, has something changed in my eating patterns, is it almost that time of the month (totally relevant)? The body is an amazing thing it's incredibly adaptable to change and can adjust itself when necessary. So if something is draining your normal energy source, take a quick moment to do some introspection. 

10 WAYS to do to slay the day

We have a tendency to over complicate life and make it even harder for us to focus on our goals. As I was writing this blog post I thought to myself, "dammit JO, this is a #note2self". Mondays can be a challenge for every busy adult to set the priority for their health. Below are 10 key things you can do to slay the day! 

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1. Determine your goals.

Each morning or the night before try to list down the things you need to get accomplished for the week whether this is in work, personal life, or fitness. If you're the type of person who loves check lists, like me, then checking things off your list probably gives you the extra boost of confidence when you feel accomplished. Setting weekly goals is important. So if you're trying to lose weight or working on a fitness goal, start off by breaking down weekly goals and have your larger goal in mind. By breaking it down into smaller chunks you'll be able to feel like you're working towards some thing more attainable. 

2. Maintain a positive attitude

Disappointments and setbacks are bound to happen during the week, especially the things that are out of your control. Always focus on the positive vs the negative of the situation. I take some of the practices I have as a manager at work into my fitness life and that's really helped me continue onward. Here's a tip I tell my directs at work: assess the situation, look for the fresh perspective, hang on to the good things, leave the bad, and move on. Always focus on the positive outlook. Even if you didn't succeed the first time, you gave it a try and that's more courageous than not. 

3. Leave personal problems aside

Okay. This one is definitely more professionally related, however it plays a similar role in your workouts. A work out session is task oriented. You have your predetermined exercises that you've got to get accomplished within a set or time frame and you have to stay focused. Leaving your personal problems out the door when you walk in will help to keep your mind on track. This can definitely be a hard practice and will ebb and flow from week to week. Do your best to make some headspace and let your mind lead your workouts.

4. Upgrade your knowledge and skills

Fitness is lifelong learning. Every person is different and what works for your friend may not work for you. The best thing about fitness is that there are more than one ways to stay in shape or get in shape. Some people enjoy spin classes, running, weight lifting, or crossfit; while others may enjoy pilates, yoga, dance, etc. This goes the same with nutrition and diet. Some forms of diets will work for others while it may not work for you. Instead of getting frustrated with the lack of results, give it a good 4-6 weeks, then learn something new. The best thing is that you've been able to try something out with enough time to make it a habit, but if its not working then give something else a try. 

5. Be passionate

This one is so simple. Be passionate about your endeavours for healthy living. Being healthy is a privilege. There are some out there born without the ability to move and some are fighting for the essentials of life. Arm yourself with heart and hustle, success will soon follow.

6. Decrease energy drains

Most of us are using smart phones and as convenient as technology has made it for us to stay connected, it can also steal the most time and energy from us. DO NOT DISTURB is one of my favorite iPhone features and it's one that is turned on often throughout the day and especially during my workout time.  The other big energy drain for us adults are relationships with people and or things that only unnecessary stress and anxiety into our lives. Whatever you do, make like Elsa and "let it go."

7. Practice Self talk

This one is the one that most people think I'm crazy for, but its a good one! Self talk allows us to reevaluate our actions, become more self aware of any situation, and gives us the tools to solve any problem and move forward. Talk to yourself like you would talk to a good friend. When a good friend comes to you with a problem or an issue that they need you to be a sounding board with, you offer a unique perspective. Try doing this to yourself too. Practice writing in a journal or a personal blog. Most of the time the captions I write on Instagram are actually for me more than they are for others. It allows me to reflect back on my own thought processes to see if there's a different perspective I never thought of. When there are people who can relate to what I have to say it gives me a sense of belonging and deeper understanding with myself. 

8. Confront challenges and fears

The only way to grow and learn in life is to face the fears the same way David faced Goliath! Some of the biggest challenges you overcome in fitness is not about the heaviest deadlift or the most brutal HIIT session, its actually the fear that has instilled in your mind. The greatest challenge is that voice that says "you can't do it, why bother, who do you think you are..." These voices can be so crippling, but by overcoming daily challenges and fears you gain the confidence you need to silence these thoughts.  

9. Meditate

I just recently started to meditate, especially on the days the voices of doubt and insecurity begin to grow louder. For me those days are often the ones that are filled with back to back work meetings or a daily schedule that has become more demanding. Find some time to clear your mind, make some headspace, and find recalibrate your focus. 

 10. Acknowledge your small victories

Non scale victories to me are more important that the ones on the scale. These can be anywhere from being able to lift just a little more weight than the last session or killing it during your HIIT, going to bed at your bed time so that you can wake up in the morning for your workout! Always acknowledge your small victories to yourself and even to others. Cheer yourself on, be the push you need for yourself, and always remember that self motivation is the best motivation you can have! 

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