Not a fan of drinking water? I get it. Sometime the blandness of water can get you down and make it hard to drink, (especially when we live in a world of vast drink options).
When this happens, I have a few water substitutes that I go to and thought it would be useful to share. This is also really helpful for those who are looking to stay hydrated , especially during the summer months!
Water Infused with Fruit
Okay, adding fruit to your water may not add a TON of flavor, but you will notice a taste difference. There’s a never ending number of combinations that can be delicious for infusing water. Here are some suggestions:
Strawberry, Blueberry and Lemon
Orange and Lemon
Orange and Blueberries
Mint leaves and Cucumber
Lemon and Cucumber (my personal favorite)
The combinations are endless! That’s what makes infusing water so fun! You can…
Since the introduction of smart phones and social media the desire to be perfect has increased in our culture. While it’s a positive to set goals and aim high, it can turn negative if you begin to feel contradictory emotions while on the journey to achieve the end goal.
It boils down to adaptability and positive self-talk.
For example, if a non-perfectionist makes a mistake, they
can feel let down but also recognize that mistakes are normal and are willing
to use it as a learning tool. In other words, they do not self-depreciate themselves
when a mistake is made.
On the other side, a perfectionist will feel like a failure and frustrated by a mistake. Or they may be so scared to actually make a mistake that don’t even take action. This causes this type of person to become vulnerable to mental conditions such as depression, anxiety, frustration and other negative disorders.
Signs of Perfectionis
Fearing you’ll be judged for imperfections
Unwilling to make mistakes
Lack of self-care, due to overworking
Actions resulting in bad quality of life.
Break big goals into smaller goals
Start with a small goal such as, organizing your closet. Instead of giving it 100% do it at about 80% and experiment with accepting it.
Be kind to yourself.
Seek professional help
So remember, it’s not perfect to be perfect. We all make mistakes which are necessary for learning and growing. Life’s a journey and while you cannot control obstacles in your path you can choose how to handle them.
Do you want to handle your thoughts poorly or do want to
handle them positively?
The blue steller’s jay birds dance around the big and empty dirt parking lot, greeting us as we pull our stiff bodies up and out of the car.
It is early morning and although the sun came up two hours ago, the tall ponderosa trees are completely saturated in sunlight.
I pull out my day pack from the back of the car and unzip
the pocket, retrieving my trusty and worn headlamp. I leave my sunglasses on
the seat. It’s been a few years since I’ve done this trail and I remember to
not let the sun or its warmth fool me.
We follow down the familiar wide and worn dirt path leading into the forest towards the main event we came see. Shortly, upon our right side, a big brown trail sign greets us. Carved and painted in bright…
Have you ever been dehydrated before? It is not a fun ride to be on.
When you are not replacing the fluids in your body, you will become dehydrated. This is extremely easy to do in Phoenix, especially for us hikers.
Along the trails we can be sweating without even realizing it, seeing as it instantly evaporates off our skin.
When our bodies start to begin to become dehydrated the
first thing that happens is we feel thirsty. Yep! That’s right! If you feel
thirsty then you already dehydrated.
As we keep losing fluids our blood will actually become thicker, which tells the kidneys to start saving up any water left, stopping us from urinating. Your kidneys are literally holding on to what it can.
Due to our blood being thicker, our heart has to pump much harder than normal. This puts stress on our system, which causes it…
Remember what your teacher said about writing paragraphs?
That paragraphs are sentences on the same topic, put together in one block. We only start a new paragraph if we are transitioning to a new topic. Remember that?
Well, when it comes to blog writing you can take that advice and throw it out the window!
In order to create an effective blog you need to create white space and not have your sentences all jumbled together.
If you’ve never heard of white space (aka blank/negative space), it’s all this empty space around these words and in between these paragraphs.
You might be thinking, “Who cares about space?! What’s the
Well, it’s a huge deal.
Why White Space is Important
When you are blogging, your readers likely are not reading everything
that you are writing. Sorry to say! Most of us online readers are skimming the
page. It’s just what we all do.
Usually we are looking for pieces of information and just want to be able to find the answers and then move on. So in order to help our readers out, we create a lot of white space.
Easier to Scan With Our Eyes
With white space your eyes have a clear layout which allows the page to be easily and quickly scanned. Not to mention doing this also makes it easier to understand as well, providing a better experience for the reader.
White space allows to visually show how your blog post is organized. It also helps you keeps your place, in case you look up from the page for a second. You’re able to turn right back to the page and quickly find where you left off.
Think if you had the page all jumbled up. It would be too cluttered to scan and to visually map out.
I like to use headers on each topic so that it’s easier to scan as well. I feel like this leads your eye to the important information that you are seeking.
Appealing to Readers
White space also makes your post more attractive and keeps your readers intrigued and engaged. Too much clutter is a post is no good! It doesn’t lead the eyes to important information and instead of figuring it out, your readers will just hit the back button and find a new website to get the answers.
If you’re unsure of how to use blank space, then look at the blogs that you enjoy reading and see how organize it. While it sounds easy, there are many different ways you can create this blank space and use headers.
And if you’re still reading this then I guess I did something right in my use of whites pace! Remember that it’s an important tool to use and never underestimate the power of white space!
While I was getting my undergrad degree in English, in all
my writing courses we would have numerous peer review days. This was when you
would give a draft of your story to another classmate and have them review and
I dreaded these days.
At first, it’s a really scary feeling to give your piece of
writing to someone else to critique. I mean, it’s your baby. It’s something
that you’ve created and put your heart into. But feeling scared happens when
you actually care and are passionate about your writing. So relate the feeling
of being scared into a positive factor.
In my imagination I would think that someone would
completely mark up my page and tell me I sucked at writing. But, you know what.
That never happened. And it won’t happen to you either.
Instead it would just be a few markups, some grammar errors and some suggestions. In fact, most of the time…the suggestions helped me out and made the paper flow and sound better. As I looked around the room, in the sweet relief that I wasn’t told I was a sucky writer I saw that everyone received some type of mark up in red ink on their draft. I wasn’t the only one.
As I continued with my classes my anxiety about peer review
day began to decrease week by week.
Overtime, I began to look forward to the peer reviews. I also learned to take suggestions….as just that. A suggestion. Most of the time I felt the suggestions helped the piece and I used it. Other times, if I didn’t like it, I didn’t use it. I mean, ultimately it’s your creation. So you can do what you want with it.
I feel that all people have the ability to offer you great
feedback. But, sometimes you have to look at the source of that feedback before
taking it too personally.
For example, I had a business owner tell me not to use so much white space in my blogs. Which, I hesitantly had to accept and follow. I mean, it was his website and if he didn’t like the white space I could limit it. But, what this business guy didn’t care to understand was how important white space in a blog. So, while he wasn’t a fan of white space, I personally am. For his company’s blogs, I didn’t use white space. But going forward with my other blogs, I used white space.
Again, his suggestion wasn’t the say all end all for all
blogs out there. It was just his opinion. And just like all opinion you can
decide to take it or leave it.
I also look and think about who is giving the suggestion. I
have some people in my life that are amazing writers and have grown into being very
successful writers. Due to their experience and success I respect and follow
their feedback with a higher regard than someone who doesn’t make a living from
In any industry you should always be learning, growing and listening.
Feedback is one of the greatest sources to improve your writing and should
always be welcomed with an open mind. Again, while it may feel scary at first,
the more you do it the more you will feel comfortable and even enjoy the
Forming any new habit can be hard to stick to. The first
week you may be revved up and hitting all your goals but shortly after this you
may find yourself hitting a wall. The
motivation wears out its welcome and find yourself going back to your old ways.
This seems especially true when it comes to working out.
Working out can be one of the top activities where you can
find an excuse to get out of it. The excuses of not having enough time, not
feeling like it, having an injury or headache, and so on. The only real reason
why these excuses are coming up is because you allow it. If you really want to
form a new habit you have to ignore the excuses in your head and just do it.
(Just like the tennis shoe!)
In order to create a new habit of working out, here are some suggestions that hopefully will help you out.
Tips for Creating a Lasting Habit
The first thing is to get real with yourself and set
realistic goals that you know you can do. You don’t want to set your goal so
high that it’s impossible to reach. It’s not fun and motivating to not reach a
goal. Instead, make it a goal you know you will be able to easily handle.
In other words, if you haven’t been to the gym in over a year, what makes you think you can realistically show up there 5 days a week? Take it down a notch! Try to do about 3 times a week and if you show up on more days, then considered it a bonus and reward yourself for the bonus days! Shit, set your goal for 2 days but go 3 days and really reward yourself for doing that 3rd day!
Which, this is a great transition to get to the fun part of setting up new habits. The rewards!
Our brains are wired to repeat actions that bring us
pleasure and to avoid actions that we don’t necessary like to do. That’s how every single human on this planet
behaves. There’s no denying it, there’s no changing it. This is just how we
are. So for that reason you need to find out what you can do to trick your
brain into thinking that working out is a pleasurable experience.
In order to do this….you need to reward yourself. And don’t be stingy about it! In the beginning plan a reward for yourself for every week you accomplish your work out goals.
Some people like to create a calendar and mark off the days they did their workouts, with fun stickers. This allows you to visually track you getting closer to your goals and it makes them happy to see it. Once the week is over, now give yourself the reward.
Types of Rewards
This is the most important factor make your reward a non-food related item. And as the weeks keep growing,
make the reward better.
So for example, for the first week reward yourself with a manicure or pedicure. Or hell, even just buy a new nail polish color that you love. The second week, reward yourself with a new water bottle or cup. Third week, get a new workout shirt. And the fourth week, treat yourself to a massage! I mean, if you did a month straight, that’s amazing!!! Reward yourself and keep it coming!
After this first month, start it all over again for the next month. Over time, going to the gym and working out will become easier to do and at some point it will just become a habit. You’ll no longer think of excuses but instead find yourself easily heading to the gym, without much thought about it.
Make Your New Habit Fun
It’s also a good idea to do exercises that you love to do.
Make it as pleasurable as you can. So, join a Zumba class if that makes you
happy. Or a boxing class. Or walk on the treadmill if that’s your thing! In the
beginning as your growing the habit, don’t worry about following a routine or
doing a work out you “think” you should be doing. Instead do workouts that
bring you the most joy and then reward yourself for it!
No one enjoys reading a research paper. Even if it’s the most interesting topic you can imagine, putting it in a research theme type of paper, can quickly become snoozefest. If your blog is too formal it can feel like a monotone robot spewing out information. Which, people in academics seem to love but the rest of us searching online need a little bit more fun and engagement.
For this reason, when writing a blog it is highly necessary
to write as if you are talking.
By keeping this friendly and human tone it shows personality
and therefore is engaging. I mean, if you’re still reading this…then I’ve kept
you engaged. See? It works!
It also makes you more approachable to your readers. If you’re approachable then people will actually enjoy and look forward to your blog posts. I mean, that’s the goal of writing a blog, right? To connect with other people with similar interest and learn from each other.
Plus, isn’t it more fun to write like you talk? To show your
personality while still giving out vital pieces of information? I think so! Comment
your thoughts! I would love to hear them!
Besides me, who else on the trail has hiked past litter? Ugh. It can completely ruin the hike.
Right when you feel as if you are in the middle of nowhere and one with nature, you look down to find a bright white used Kleenex laying on the dirt ground. Or a plastic water bottle. Or a Circle-K cup. Or candy wrappers. Or a variety of these items all scattered around. Nothing can take you out of the feeling of being in nature than seeing litter along the trail.
I can’t understand why people would litter in the first place, but then especially while on a hike.
Along the Phoenix hiking websites and trail signs you may have noticed signs informing hikers of the “Leave No Trace” policy. This policy is exactly how it sounds. Leave No Trace that you were ever there.
I don’t know about you but for me the thought of actually being a freelance writer fills me up with so much excitement that I feel like I’m going to explode!!! My immediate reaction is to jump in and take action. Although before the real action can take place, you need to organize and do your research of who it is that you want to write for.
The best tips are to write what you know and what you are interested in. So, if you don’t know, then you need to sit down and really think and imagine about topics that you are passionate about writing about.
Once you have narrowed down your niches then you want to start researching publications that you would want to write for. Before you begin pitching away, you need to make yourself familiar with the company. Spend time learning the tone and topics that they are covering. This way you can send a more personalized pitch and that demonstrate you understand their company.
As a writer you need to know who your audience is, right? Getting to know the publications readers is also a high priority.
The best method to research who the readers are, is to pay attention to the publication ads. If there’s a car ad, is it a Mercedes ad or a Ford Focus ad? If it’s a clothing ad, is it selling young people clothes or older peoples clothes? By looking at the ads you can tell which demographic the company is projecting to.
So, while at first you’re excitement level may might want to begin the pitch process, the first real step is to get organized. You need to figure out your niches, the publications and the readers.
Then you can get started with the pitching process!