Archive of ‘Business’ category

How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions // Setting SMART Goals

So, it’s the first week of January, which means we’re all being super diligent with those New Year’s Resolutions we made, right? I mean, if you’ve already fallen off the wagon, I’m not sure there’s any hope for you…JUST KIDDING — keep reading/watching!

Today, I want to give you a few tips for how to make resolutions you can keep.

1. Choose goals that are important to you. You may have a hundred things you want to do differently this year, but don’t put them all on the list. That might sound obvious, but I’m sure we all get tempted by tons of things we should do, but don’t want to do. Yet, there are also probably a lot of things that we should do that we also want to do, so pick those goals. That way, you’ll be less inclined to half-ass it…and you should always use your full-ass.

2. Choose goals you believe you can achieve. Believing in yourself is really helpful with being able to kick your goals in the butt.

3. Establish a routine with trigger actions. For example, if you want to read a certain number of pages in however many books this year, then alter your routine to make that happen. For example, a trigger action for that could be, while my evening cup of tea is brewing after work, I’m going to grab my book and put it on the couch so that when my tea is ready, I’ll read my 25 pages. Or, every day after work, I’m going to change immediately into my workout clothes and head back out the door for a run.

4. Adjust your surroundings. If you can change things in your environment to help you to achieve your goals, then do it. For instance, and this isn’t necessarily one of my goals, but I often resort to working from my couch instead of my desk. I know I’m more productive at my desk, but I use it as a storage space and it gets hectic, so I don’t like to sit there to be creative and productive. By giving my desk a little makeover, it makes it more inviting as a workspace and that much easier to change my habits and actions.

5. Identify reasons you might fail. That way, you’ll be prepared to face them and fight them when those roadblocks come up. Imagine all the possible reasons why you might break certain resolutions or not reach your goals, and then think of actionable plans for how you avoid falling into those traps.

6. Make sure your goals are measurable, and set up recurring times to track your progress. Saying “I want to eat healthier and lose 10 pounds” is fine, but setting up benchmarks and timelines for how you’re going to get there, and how you’ll be able to track your progress against certain milestones is very important. Tracking your progress is great because it’s encouraging and exciting to see yourself move forward on your goals, but it also helps you to assess what else is needed and any adjustments you should make to your habits in order to make sure you’re going to achieve that goal at the end of the year.

Thanks for watching and reading! What are your New Year’s Resolutions or goals for 2015? Here are my resolutions/goals for 2015.

2014 Year In Review / 2015 Resolutions

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2014 was a big year. When thinking back on it, the best word that comes to mind is TRANSITION. There were great transitions – AMAZING ones – but there were also really tough, shitty ones too. Here’s my top 5 of 2014.

  1. I got engaged!!! (read the story and watch the proposal here)
  2. I lost my Nana. (see how beautiful she was here)
  3. I left a company I’d been at for 4 years.
  4. and then…started my own business! (more on that later)
  5. I started living about 50/50 between Santa Barbara and Hollywood and finally started to really remodeling my house in Santa Barbara.

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As you can see, these are all HUGE things. All transitional, major life changes. Most totally awesome, some tough and uncomfortable, and fewer (thankfully) really sucky. And yet, I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I have a very good feeling about this coming year, that all the grinding and discomfort of the past year will really be paying off in big ways, that a lot of things will fall into place. Anyone else have that feeling?

And without further ado, here are my 2015 resolutions. Actually, there is “further ado”…the word “resolutions” is such a loaded term. So many people “don’t make resolutions” or “don’t believe in them;” I’m not really one of those people. Let me be clear, I don’t think you use the excuse of the New Year to change bad habits or make important life changes – you should do that when you need to do it, not just at the end of the year. But I also feel very strongly that you should set measurable, actionable goals for yourself, your career, and your life each year. So, my 2015 goals = my 2015 resolutions. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to. Here they are… (and yes, it’s gonna look long, you’re gonna think I’m hyper-ambitious, and you might even think I’m going to fall flat on these by February…but let me prove you wrong. Sidenote: If you want some tips for how to keep your resolutions, check out this video.)

  1. Career Goals (Commentary: I started my own business in August 2014, and it’s been an exciting and fulfilling ride thus far. I’m excited to see it continue to grow!)
    1. Email 5 new client prospects each week (and then continue to follow up with prospects on a weekly basis).
    2. Primarily sell my standard 3-month or 6-month social media plan.
    3. Earn a specific income amount by working a specific amount of hours.
  2. Fitness Goals (Commentary: Ever since I stopped working 9-5 in an office – or more like 8-7 – which I in no way regret, it’s been tougher for me to maintain my healthy diet and exercise schedule, so I’m feeling a little out of shape these days! And I’ve got a wedding in 8 months, so I gotta get fit!)
    1. Get back to peak fitness.
    2. Workout 4 times per week for at least an hour.
    3. Allow myself 2 cheat meals each week (as long as I do my 4 workouts).
    4. Do 2 races (like a Tough Mudder, a half marathon, a 10k, etc.).
    5. Log food and exercise each day in MyFitnessPal.
    6. Drink a gallon of water each day.
  3. Blogging & Vlogging Goals (Commentary: I LOVE blogging and vlogging, and I only recently decided to take it much more seriously so that I can do it more and more…heck, maybe it turns into my job. *Dreams.* So, this year, I’m really going to dig down and build this blog! Stay tuned.)
    1. Stick to my weekly vlogging and blogging schedule (which I’m already a day late on, due to temperamental internet while I was trying to upload this week’s vlog yesterday…grr…). Said schedule is one weekly uncut vlog (typically Tuesdays), one weekly video tutorial, review, or list of tips (typically Thursdays), and one weekly photo- and text-based blog post.
    2. I also want to do more partnerships and collaborations in the coming year. There are so many amazing bloggers, vloggers, and brands out there that I love to follow, and I want to team up more! (hint hint…if you’re interested in collaborating, contact me!)
    3. Go outside and take photos at least once a week. This doesn’t have to be for a specific blog post or anything like that. I spend so much time on my phone and computer for work – and I love that! – but sometimes I don’t take time to get outside and just ENJOY being out in the world and in the moment. (The photos in this post were from this past weekend’s photo sesh during a super-casual walk Charlie and I took in Hollywood!)
  4. Travel Goals (Commentary: I worked really hard this past year, and while I played hard too, I haven’t done much traveling lately, and I don’t want to get in the habit of letting that slip by the wayside. I love to travel. It doesn’t have to be some extravagant trip or anything, I just love to see new places, and I want to do more of that this year! Here’s where I want to go…)
    1. D.C. (girls trip planned with friends from college in the Spring)
    2. Savannah, GA (trip planned in February)
    3. Tahoe
    4. Camping trip
    5. Tropical Vacation for HONEYMOON (!!!!!!)
  5. Go to church twice a month. Because I’m living between Santa Barbara and Hollywood so much these days, I’ve been bad about going to church regularly. My “home church” is in Santa Barbara, and we don’t really have a church in LA, so that doesn’t help. So part of the process will be to find a church we really like in LA and to get involved there and start going.

What are some of your goals for 2015? How do you plan to keep track of them? How do you plan to kick them in the butt? I wanna hear!

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How To Be Instantly More Confident

I am a very naturally confident person. I don’t often doubt myself, my abilities, or my beliefs. I’m very grateful for this, and I know that I owe a lot of that to how my parents raised me — to always believe in myself and to believe that nothing is out of my reach.

For some people, though, confidence is really hard to come by. And even for those of us who are really confident, sometimes we’re faced with things that make us uncomfortable and fill us with self-doubt.

There are a lot of things you can do to develop true internal confidence, but there are also a few tricks you can do to instantly appear more confident on the spot.

1. How You Sit and Stand — Good posture is key. Don’t slouch. Sit or stand up as tall as you can, put your shoulders back and down, and hold your head up. Not only does good posture make you appear more confident and help you assert yourself as a strong person, but it’s good for your body. 

2. How You Speak — Enunciate. Pronounce your words clearly. Project your voice so people can hear you, and don’t speak too quickly. When we get nervous, our tendency is to speak very fast. In those situations, try to speak more slowly — it will probably feel like you’re talking in SLLLOOOWWW MOOOTIOONNN, but out loud it’s probably just fine. Being able to deliver what you’re saying clearly and intentionally — not fumbling around with your words — presents a much stronger picture than if you’re using filler words like “um” or “like.” Another thing, confident speakers are comfortable with pauses — don’t worry that if you need to take a moment to think about what you’re going to say next that you’re going to appear weak or dumb or something ridiculous like that — if you’re talking with someone, taking an intentional pause is much better than saying  “ummm…” Oh, and a huge pet peeve of mine…don’t start sentences with UM. Just start saying what you’re actually going to say, amirite?

3. SMILE! Not only is smiling good for your health (it’s science!), but it will make the other person more comfortable, which will likely make you more comfortable — even if you’re feeling a bit terrified inside. Now, obviously if you’re having a serious conversation, don’t smile too much, that could be really inappropriate. Also, avoid the creeper smile or a forced smile. Real, genuine smiles, folks.

4. Eye Contact. Eye contact is a HUGE sign of confidence. When you meet someone and shake their hand, look them in the eye! When you’re talking with someone or listening to someone, look at them! It’s the grown up thing to do. I feel like people are getting worse and worse at making eye contact these days, and most of the time, a lack of eye contact does not translate into something good — it signifies discomfort, disrespect, nervousness, you name it. (Now, I realize that’s not true in all cultures, but in the U.S., eye contact is generally GOOD). Of course, if you feel like you’re going to burn a hole in the person you’re talking to or make them burst into flames by the power in your eyeballs, scale it back a bit.

5. Get out of your own head. Don’t over-think things; don’t doubt yourself. Get all that crap that’s making you feel less than how you should OUT, and replace it with more empowering thoughts…I’m awesome, I am SO funny!, I’m going to kick-ass today, I am THE best…I mean, maybe not those words exactly, but you get the idea. 🙂

Hope this helps you when you’re feeling like you need a bit of a confidence booster! I believe that the whole “fake it ’til you make it” mentality works in a lot of areas — and this is one of them! Inside, you may not feel more confident immediately, but if you practice the things that I just mentioned, over time you will become a more naturally confident person.

If confidence is something you struggle with, take a look at the following books. I haven’t read them, so I can’t personally recommend them, but I’ve heard good things about them from other folks, so check them out!

  1. The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know
  2. Confidence: Overcoming Low Self-Esteem, Insecurity, and Self-Doubt
  3. Confident Heart Devotional, A: 60 Days to Stop Doubting Yourself (A Confident Heart)

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(And if you’re interested… my kick-ass coral/orange lipstick is Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick, Creme, in Siren topped with some Dose of Colors Lipstick in Coy in the middle of my lips.)