motivation

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!



JUST ASK JO: Number 1 Tip for morning motivation.

JUST ASK JO is back! I skipped a week or two because of travel and I've got a ton of questions to get back to and I promise I will, but I needed a bit of a break. If you follow me on Instagram you'll know I had a bit of a mental meltdown and truthfully I think I'm still in the works of rewiring myself so that I can prevent them from happening. This week I'm answering questions about motivation and how I manage to get myself going for the day.

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Question:

Hi Jo,

Just wondering your tips for morning motivation? Up and out early, just how do you do it? 
Real big sticking point for me. 

Many thanks,

Lhaann


Two years ago I wrote a blog post on 10 Ways to Slay the Day, a lot of those are still something that I refer back to you these days when it comes to my day, but ultimately what keeps me motivated is to remember my WHY

When I first started this fitness journey I had a goal and that was to be the healthiest version of myself in my 30s both mentally and physically. I definitely think that when we remind ourselves of our why or our intention we're able to connect our values with our actions and then it slowly turns into a habit. It's ok to have setbacks, we all do. I've been through many ups and downs in this health journey of mine and there have even been moments where I've felt as if I failed to keep myself in shape after my competition days. But at the end of it all, I'm still the healthiest and happiest version of myself. 

Along with remembering YOUR WHY here are some other helpful tips to get you going in the morning. 

1. Get an extra hour of sleep.

Sleep is probably the most underrated tool used in our own well-being. We're so stuck in this culture of go go go, that we often forget to rest. I'm guilty of this too, but sleep is key! I always set the intention of heading to bed by 10 PM. It doesn't always happen, but I do my best to try. 

2. Prepare all the things you need for a successful morning the night before. 

When I worked my 9-5 corporate job, I would pack all the food I needed to bring to the office, my change of clothes in my gym bag, and I would go to bed with fresh workout gear or lay it out on top of my dresser or by the side of my bed in order for me to just grab it and change into it. This just helped me from wasting precious time in the morning.

3. Don't hit the snooze button. 

As painful as it is to have your alarm waking you up at 4:30 AM or 5:00 AM, don't hit the snooze button. Creating habits takes time and you've got to give yourself the opportunity to make that turn that small change into a habit. Studies say it takes 66 days to turn a new behavior into something automatic, so don't give up after the first week if you really want to make this morning routine an integrated part of your life. 

4. Ask for support!

This one was probably the hardest one for me to do. When I worked at VSCO I would commute over 30 miles to get to work and sometimes during the thick of commuter hours I would sit in traffic for up to 90 minutes. It sucked and after almost 2.5 years of silently dealing with the frustrations, I turned to my husband for some advice and help. He generously took over the morning routine with our girls, which allowed me to get up at 5AM before commuter hours to get my gym time in before work. 

5. Create a morning ritual that works for YOU.

A few weeks ago I experienced a mini mental meltdown. I realized it was caused by the lack of putting myself first before all the other responsibilities in my life. I wasn't practicing what I preached and needed to create a new morning ritual that worked for this stage in my life. Morning rituals allow you to settle into your day. It's an opportunity to set your intentions, write down your top priorities for your day, and simply DO YOU!

Remember this: success is nothing more than a few disciplines practiced daily.  You got this babe!

Why Fitting In Sucks BALLS

Today I woke up feeling alone. And not in the sense where I'm battling another episode of depression, but just alone. The crazy thing to me is that I know that I'm not alone. I have so many blessings in my life that I'm grateful for: husband, family, and people who genuinely love me for me. But today as I sit here writing I there's this void inside that I'm searching to fill. 

Growing up, especially in high school I thought the void was from not belonging to a certain group of friends. I spent most of my lunches in high school developing photos in the photo lab or working on graphic design projects from my Digital Business Academy I was in. I knew I was special and unique, but I couldn't help but feel like I was supposed to "fit in." 

The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.
— Albert Einstein

As soon as I became an adult I started to feel the same especially as I embarked on my career as a hairstylist. I remember not quite feeling like I could embrace the same philosophies that some of my classmates had in beauty school and quickly feeling like my choice to be authentic to myself and help my clients find their personal style with their hair, was quickly isolating me from others. I was so career driven. I knew what I wanted out of that career for myself and put all my efforts into getting it. Soon enough I found myself in a community of stylists that had the same philosophies, until I became pregnant with our first. Being the first mother amongst most of my friends made me feel really alone. It wasn't easy having to juggle a career, motherhood, and relationships with friends that just didn't quite understand the struggles of motherhood at an early age. 

Throughout all of these life shifts I've learned that fitting in sorta sucks and here's why:

Fitting in takes a lot of energy and effort. Let's think about this one for a minute. There are so many different ways society tells us to fit in and there's not enough hours in the day to live up to any of those standards. Fitting in takes up so much of our energy and focus into living our authentic selves. It's like a little bit away of your authenticity chipped at every time you do something that's not truly who you are. 

You stop listening to your intuition. Each person has this little tiny burning voice inside of them, its called their intuition. Do you ever notice that little voice inside of you that tells you when something doesn't feel right? How many times have you silenced it? Then at the end of the experience you sorta fall straight on your ass because you didn't listen. Your intuition is such a powerful thing and its probably something we often take for granted. Inside of each of us is this guiding light that helps us navigate to living our highest frequency, when we choose not to listen to it, we silence the truth inside us that's telling us how to thrive. 

Fitting in stunts personal growth. When we fit in, we swim with the crowd and when we do that we take away from getting lost in new experiences that help us grow as individuals. Fitting in keeps us comfortable in what we do, who we know, and what we've experienced. It keeps us from living our greatest potential because of fear of fitting out. 

No one likes a copy cat. Life is about self discovery and finding out who you are and sometimes that leads us into a path where we feel alone. Some days blazing a trail to create a life you're excited to live can lead to a lot of pain. But out of the struggle is always something beautiful waiting to blossom. Blazing a trail gives you and others the permission to live in their divine truth. But fitting in only gives the people around you and yourself the space to live just like everyone else. 

At the end of the day feeling alone sucks. But if we attempt to fit in to all the expectations of life and society, we'll never know who we're really made of. Today I challenge you to think of the one thing you could do this week to not fit in. How would your life be different if you took that one risk to create the life you wanted? Who would you become if you chose to do something a little against the grain?

Enjoy the little video below, Inner Workings,  from the amazing creators at Disney. People who are always going against the grain to create something enjoyable for the world to see. Hopefully it inspires you to follow your heart and listen to your insides just a little more. 

 

 

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.

10 Ways to Dress Yourself in Self Love

10 Ways to Dress Yourself in Self Love

Self-love seems to be a really popular term these days especially when it comes to social media. #Selflove and #SelfCareTime seems to be the number one thing, besides balance in life, that people are striving to find these days. According to the dictionary, self love is regard to one’s own well-being and happiness. Sometimes, it’s confused with being narcissistic or loving yourself above all else without the regard for others. I believe that self-love is one of the most important things we can practice and its often the one that is most neglected. We all deserved to be loved, not only by others around you, but most importantly — YOU.