Self-development, Self-Discipline, Selfcare Tips

I’ve been dying to ask you this! 💬

Habit coaching session. Coach asking student an important question for personal development.

So. I see you made it to my post. Well thank you for supporting me 🙏❤

But most importantly, CONGRATULATIONS! Seriously, congrats for taking the first step in your personal development journey.

“Uhm Ella… what do you mean ‘first step’? What other steps are there to take?”

Well I’m glad you asked! Generally speaking there are only two steps: (1) figure out what to do (2) do it.

That leads me to a question I’ve been dying to ask you:

Are you an anchor or an engine?

Have you actually been implementing these motivation Monday tips I dish-out in my posts? Or, have you been reading them, saying “seems cool”, and then going back to your daily routines?

Dude, you gotta be an engine!

Be an engine!

You have to take action when you think it might be helpful. If you have a problem – any problem at all – it will persist UNTIL you actually do something to solve it.

Inaction = stagnation
Action = progress

Don’t create a habit of inaction when you could spend your moments pursuing answers to your questions and solutions to your problems.

Don’t be an anchor. Don’t hold yourself down when you need to move up in the world.

Don't be an anchor. Boat anchor.

START YOUR ENGINE TODAY… AND HERE’S HOW TO DO THAT:

Fuel Up.

You need to put yourself (your mind and your body) in a position where you are able to take action.

1) Fuel-up using your mind

Belief, gratitude, discipline. Those are three things necessary for your mental development. Belief in a goal, being grateful for your opportunities to reach that goal, and being disciplined in your positive thoughts will you help create that “moving up in the world” type of mindset.

Affirmations, happy thoughts, I am kind, worthy, and hard working.

2) Fuel-up using your body

Nutrition, fitness, intuition. Those are three things that will improve your physical health that will in turn improve your improve your brain health. Your brain is connected to your physical wellbeing in more ways than you think.

Proper diet and exercise prevent inflammation in your gut. In fact, recent studies show that “microbiome [(the good bacteria that live in your gut)] may influence cognition and behaviour by altering the functioning of the immune system.” So your ability to have a healthy mindset depends largely on whether you have a healthy body.

By giving your body the vitamins and nutrients necessary to thrive, you will be in a better position to push to new limits. You will be less fatigued, stronger, and more importantly you will learn to intuit what type of food and exercise works best for your body.

Healthy and nutritious fruit bowl

… And just when you thought I wasn’t going to include a nifty analogy to explain why you need to FUEL UP … BOOM here is it:

You’re at home Saturday morning and you want to make a nice meal. …but you have NO FOOD in your house. So you decide to TAKE ACTION.

You get in your car and put the key in the ignition so you can go to the grocery store for food. But wait … YOU HAVE NO GAS IN YOUR CAR!

That’s a problem because no gas means you can’t start your engine, and that means you can’t get food at the grocery store.

You need to fuel up. And in order to be in the proper position to fuel-up, you need to (1) locate the nearest gas station on a map, and (2) have your driver’s license.

If you’d like to wake up every morning motivated to reach your goals and thankful for your opportunities, you have to fill up your gas tank.

Fuel up so you can reach your goals. Fill up your gas tank

In conclusion …

… it’s not just about taking action, it’s about being it the right physical and mental space so that you can take action efficiently and strategically.

So pick a problem in your life. Start small and start with you. Don’t be concerned with rearranging the world around you until you address your personal short-comings. And if you want to start today, make sure you check out this blog post where I show you how to identify areas of your life to work on.

I hope you have an amazingly productive day and as always, have a very Happy Monday ❤✌

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Selfcare Tips

🤔 How to be Happy On a Monday

Happy Monday! … Right?

*insert awkward silence*

… What?

You mean you’re not happy? You’re telling me you’re miserable because you have 5 days left of work before you can relax again?

Damn…

Ok, well I really want you to be happy! And before you start questioning whether I’m oblivious to life’s problems, I’ll straight-up tell you I DO NOT THINK happiness is a 24/7 state of mind. I think happiness is something we choose to feel or find so that we can more easily be resilient in the face of adversity. This means you can be sad, anxious, stressed, or have any other negative reaction but you still decide to learn from experience, find positive aspects of your experience, and figure out how the hell you can keep moving forward.

You can find the key to happiness. I think I found it. Finding it was incredibly hard, but so incredibly worth it. Remember inner peace, positive mind.

That said, I need you to learn the key to happiness for the betterment of your health, your relationships, and your productivity. And as you may have guessed, I am going to tell you that key using this nifty analogy:

Think about the lightbulb in your kitchen. You know, the one you turned on this morning to make a cup of coffee before heading out the door.

That light works because a small wire inside the lightbulb creates a circuit of electricity, and that electricity is drawn-in from whatever source the lightbulb is plugged in to. So when you turn the light on…BOOM, HAPPINESS…wait no, I mean LIGHT! Hmmm… they are quite similar, don’t you think?

A lightbulb shines from within. Just like the lightbulb, you can find true happiness and shine from within.

Imagine yourself as that lightbulb.

If you want to shine, the little wire circuit inside of you has to (1) create a closed circuit, and (2) be plugged into a source of electricity.

So just like the light, happiness comes from within you; it is a decision you make to regard at least some part of an experience as positive (even if that just means learning from something shitty). HOWEVER you can’t forget about “plugging-in” to good sources of electricity like family, friends, content such as books and films, work, hobbies, etc.

But… remember that even if you’re plugged-in to the right things, you can’t find true happiness unless the wire circuit inside you is complete.

To find true happiness, you have to follow the personal development loop. What this means, is you have to give yourself the right doses of self-care, self-development, and self-discipline in order to live a balanced life.

Stressed from work? Use your lunch break to assess why that is.

Concerned about money? Take 2 hours on a weekend to set-up a budget.

Want to wake up earlier? Work on getting more restful sleeps then accept that you need to wake up when your alarm goes off EVEN THOUGH that will be hard.

You can do it. But that “it” you’re looking for can only come from you.

And to clarify again, I am NOT telling you to become happy 24/7 and therefore oblivious to the challenges of life. I AM telling you it is possible to learn how to manage shitty circumstances. Because the quicker you can bounce back from a tough time or pull through a struggle, the quicker you will get back to happiness.

So why is happiness important?

1) Your relationships will improve because others will enjoy being around you.

2) Your outlook on life will improve, therefore bettering your mental health.

3) Most importantly, happiness will motivate you to continue developing yourself.

And speaking from personal experience, my focus on happiness has VASTLY reduced my stress, improved my patience, and even improved my general attitude towards life.

Because I’ve trained myself to see the positive aspects of life while also learning from the negative aspects, there’s nothing that can stop me from moving forward.

So in conclusion…

… remember to be like that lightbulb in your kitchen. Because once you are, you’ll shine bright for everyone around you….once you are, you’ll be happy.

Shine bright like a lightbulb, bright with happiness.

So as always, I hope you have a very happy Monday ❤✌

“Outside, winter’s darkness closes in. Inside, you have found your own Light.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Self-development, Selfcare Tips

So You Want to Better Yourself… But You Don’t Know Where the F*** to Start – READ THIS

Last week, one of my buddies asked me a fantastic question, what is the first step to re-training your brain?

I thought it was an easy answer. And then I realized I was incredibly wrong. DAMNNNN. How have I not written a blog post about this yet!?

So here I am about 10 days later, sharing the very first step you need to take to re-train your brain.

– LIFE AUDIT –

Retrain your brain through the power of habit. Self-care, self-development, self-discipline.

Have you ever done an audit? Not the kind you do at work which looks at policies or finances etc… For this audit, I want you to look at 6 main categories within your life. I want you to assess your daily routines so that you can make necessary changes for success.

HOW TO:

Step 1 –

Grab a pen+paper, then divide the page into 6 sections. Each section gets 1 of the following headings: Family/Relationships, Work/Business, Health, Personal Development, Spiritual, Finances.

(If you want to add or replace a section that fits your life better, feel free to do so.)

Step 1 of life audit. Family/relationships, work/business, health, personal development, spiritual, finances.

Step 2 –

In each section, write down 1-3 goals that you’d like to achieve. They can be big or small; anything from mid-afternoon goals to goals that could take 1,5, or 15 years to accomplish.

Don’t worry about the details of the goal yet… just write down what the goal actually is. Go with your gut. If what comes out seems unrealistic, the next part of the audit will dissect the concrete from the exaggerated.

Add 1 to 3 goals under each section of life audit. Goals for success.

Step 3 –

Picture your life.

Visualize your in your mind, then scroll out like you would in google maps so you can take a look at your life through a giant objective lens.

Think about what do you from AM to PM 7 days a week. What routines do you take part in? What things should you stop or change-up?

Based on what you analyzed, write down 1-3 new routines that you need to implement ASAP in order to reach the goals you just set-out for yourself.

Make sure these new routines are realistic and practical, but also make sure they are challenging. Because no pressure means no diamonds…right?

Write down 1 to 3 routines/habits you need to implement in order to reach your goals.

Now start making changes. And because your changes and goals will continue to evolve, I recommend coming back to this audit every 6 – 18 months.

Keep in mind, you will have to work hard.

And if you aren’t prepared to work hard, then you aren’t prepared to change.

And that’s it! That is the first step to retraining your brain. If you’ve completed this audit, but you need help implementing your changes, let’s work together! I want to help you be successful. And SWEET BONUS: I am offering the first coaching session FREE to anyone who reads this blog post. Just make sure you send me a picture of your audit!

Alright, I hope you kick butt this week! And as always, have a productive and happy Monday ❤✌

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Selfcare Tips

How to Finally Feel Comfortable in Your Own Skin (Learn to Be Yourself in 3 Steps)

Be comfortable in your own skin

Socialization has a funny way of eating away your self-confidence.

… Don’t you agree?

Think about it, you were born a happy little baby, but as soon as you were exposed to society – whether that was through school, social media, or recreational activities – the self-judgment began.

“I want those new Jordans because they are the fly-est shoe.”
“I want a thinner waist so I can look hot on the gram.”
“I need bigger lips to make me feel pretty.”
“I need to do squats everyday so my ass can look bomb.”

Stop. You don’t need to punish yourself like that.

You want to feel good about yourself – I get it. Who the hell doesn’t want that? But (and here comes the shocker) did you know you can legitimately feel good about yourself just by owning the body and the personality you were born with??

I know that may sound crazy (especially if you’re under 20), but if you read this post til the end, I’ll teach you 3 things you can start implementing in order to become comfortable in your own skin.

1) Physically remove the nonsense.

Yes I said “physically”. There is no way I’d sit here and tell you to start by mentally ignoring things and people that don’t serve you because that requires a lot of willpower. And let’s not kid ourselves, very few people in the world have that kind of willpower, and they are probably not reading this post.

So if you’re starting from square one like most of us are, please go ahead and start the implementing the following: unfollow, block, mute, unfriend, and delete. Do whatever it physically takes to cut out the things and people breaking-down your self-confidence.

Delete fake friends

With that will come the end of comparisons.

Keep in mind, unless you can magically become another person like some “Freaky Friday” shit, you have approximately 0 reasons to compare yourself to others. You would not compare apples to oranges so why in the hell would you compare your life to the life of another person?!?! The fact is, you don’t know what’s going on inside anyone’s head, anyone’s home, or anyone’s life. So please stop wishing you were people you don’t know anything about.

2) Realize that other people want what you have.

There are literally 7 billion people in this world. The chances that at least one of them wants hair like yours or a personality like yours or a nose like yours etc., is f***ing high! We all want what we don’t have. Well the tough news is, you only have what you have!

I think it is f***ing sick that there is nobody else in the world exactly like you. Even identical twins have differences in personality and behaviour!! BABE, you are LITERALLY 1 in 7 000 000 000 000! That in and of itself is a lovely freaking miracle!

Unique and lovely

Please understand that no matter how hard you try to not be you, your true self will always shine through. Always and forever, you will be lucky enough to be yourself, and that my friends is a beautiful thing.

3) If you want to succeed at anything (…and yes, I said anything) you HAVE TO work at it.

And, believe it or not, that includes being comfortable in your own skin! I know it may seem shocking that you have to practice such a thing. But being comfortable with yourself in a socialized world does not come naturally.

Have you ever realized that adults get embarrassed less often than kids and teenagers? That is because they’ve been being themselves for a longer time!

So the good news is, you’ll get there too. And you can get there quicker if you start to do little things every day that will make you feel confident. Start by doing your hair the way you want, then wearing the clothes you want, then working the job you want … then one day, a few years from now, you’ll wake up and realize you are absolutely full of happiness because you fully embraced the real you!

Decide right now how you are going to practice self-confidence over the next 7 days. Write down the way(s) in your calendar or agenda or on a random scrap of paper, then COMMIT to doing those things. 7 consecutive days is all you need to get the “confidence ball” rolling.

In conclusion, I need you to start being brave enough to feel vulnerable. Confidence can become a habit just like anything else can. It won’t happen overnight, and it will be hard as f***, but I swear the day you realize you love who you are, you’ll realize it was worth it.

As always, Happy Monday ❤✌

Love yourself

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Self-development, Self-Discipline, Selfcare Tips

The Horror of Habit: Why Too Much of a Good Thing Can Seriously Break You

It’s easy to get stuck …

… in your daily routine, in your job, in your relationship.

The explanation for this? … Habit.

My Monday morning habits!

Since starting this blog, I’ve talked a lot about how staying disciplined to good routines can help you create good habits – therefore making the challenging things in life easier.

And if you haven’t guessed yet, my advice for sticking with a good routine is to practice self-care, self-development, and self-discipline, in that order.

(Side note: If you haven’t read my three-part series on self-care, self-development, and self-discipline be sure to check it out by clicking link 1, link 2, and link 3 which will open in a new pages.)

But did you know those three phases occur in a loop?

Let’s call it the “personal-development loop”.

The Personal Development Loop: self care to self development to self discipline.

My goal for you is to make moving through the personal-development loop a continuous habit. However, just like moving through the loop can become a habit, staying in one phase too long can become a habit as well … a bad habit that is.

Now why can habit be a bad thing?

Because it makes you reach for ice cream when you feel sad, and it causes you to change lanes without checking your blind spot. And believe it or not, it can also lead to laziness as an excuse for self-care, unorganized activity as an excuse for self-development, and over-working yourself as an excuse for self-discipline.

And now I’ll admit something embarrassing:

Not too long ago, I realized I was stuck in a bad habit of self-care. I needed to un-f*** … ugh sorry, autocorrect … I meant to say I needed to un-stuck myself.

This all started when I was caught in an equally bad habit of self-discipline. I worked my brains out, and because I stopped moving through the personal-development loop, I burnt out. I sought help and learned how to implement self-care to get back into the swing of things.

So I started practicing gratitude and meditation. I started sleeping-in when I woke up tired after a crappy sleep. And I started drawing when I had spare time after work. I pressed pause on my competitive edge and learned how to take care of myself first.

Here’s where the problem started…

Once I was ready to take the next step in the personal-development loop (i.e. self-development), I couldn’t break my self-care routine. I became too cozy in my self-care lifestyle that I let it turn into a bad habit.

So instead of waking up to my alarm each morning, I started sleeping-in because I thought I was “doing my body good”. And instead of doing my regular high-intensity interval training, I drew pictures because I didn’t want to “over-work” myself. What I was really doing, was justifying laziness by calling it self-care; I got so used to my former self-care lifestyle that I was inhibiting myself from personal development.

Now let’s look a little deeper at how habits form.

I am currently reading a book called The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (and I freaking love it). The book explains that habits are formed in a part of the brain called the basal ganglia (see the figure below).

Your brain on habit - the basal ganglia.

The book states, “Habits never really disappear. They’re encoded into the structures of our brain […]. The problem is that your brain can’t tell the difference between bad and good habits […].”

The good news is, “once someone creates a new pattern, studies have demonstrated, going for a job or ignoring the doughnuts becomes as automatic as any other habit” (page 20).

If we want to form good habits, we need to start very clearly laying out our goals. We need to be self-aware and recognize when we are stuck in a bad habit. And to break a bad habit, we need to start implementing new cues.

Want to wake up on time? Write out your daily schedule down to the minute. Want to work-out in the morning? Sleep in your workout clothes. Want to stop with the ice cream? Stock up on frozen fruit.

So don’t fall into the same trap I did. Personal development is a loop and a balancing act. Create good habits, even though it will be hard.

But I promise once you create good habits, your routines will rock and you’ll truly begin to understand the power of habit!

If you want more information on habits, I highly recommend The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Click here to get yourself a copy.

Have a happy and productive Monday! ❤✌

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*Disclaimer: Please note that some links may be affiliate links which means I will make a small commission of each purchase. Any commission I make will help me to continue creating free content.

Self-development

How to Seriously Advance Any Career

Pressure

Societal, family, peer … I guarantee we’ve all felt it from one source or another.

As a “millenial“, I’d say one common pressure felt by a lot of Gen Ys and Zs is that university degrees allow you to achieve your dreams.

*insert eye roll*

For the record, I am not saying university is a bad place to be, especially if you need and / or want a particular degree (says the chick with 2 degrees herself). BUT, what I am saying is presenting university as the best place to be is misleading people whose wants lie elsewhere.

Alternatively, in the past year or so, I’ve noticed a huge push on social media for entrepreneurship.

Similar to the idea of attending university, entrepreneurship itself is not a bad thing (and I personally think it is a great alternative or complement to university based on the way the education system seems to be headed). BUT entrepreneurship should also not be presented as the best option for young people.

Let me provide some examples to better explain why.

Example 1) The other day I saw an Instagram post that said something like “most of us serve a life sentence in a 9-5 job.” … this person actually compared a life prison sentence to legitimate work. Seriously!? I can see what they might’ve meant but I think that comparison is both dramatic and unfair.

Example 2) The same night I saw a Facebook post where someone mentioned that “entrepreneurship is the most courageous thing to do on this planet”. Yes, that was the exact quote. The most courageous thing!? What about firefighters who often literally risk their physical wellbeing just by doing their job? Or those who go to the police after being raped? Or those who realize that they hurt someone in the past and need to apologize? Or neurosurgeons? Or people just trying to live in war torn countries!?!

Simply put, I do not recommend we push people in the wrong direction by telling them university is the best place to be, but it is equally as dangerous to push people into entrepreneurship. Instead, I think we should encourage people to be problem solvers and teach them how to grow within the career of their choosing.

If you want to promote entrepreneurship because you think it is amazing and we need more entrepreneurs in the world, go for it. I might actually agree with you. But to tell people that having a 9-5 job working for an employer is a bad decision!? Stop. And then to say entrepreneurship is the most courageous thing to do on the planet!?…..that is just wrong.

A 9-5 can provide you with benefits, a good wage, minimal stress compared to entrepreneurship, and work-life balance. That sounds freaking awesome to me. In fact, I lived that life for 3 years and I have no complaints about it.

Telling a mass number of people that working a 9-5 is like going to prison, is a very bad idea (if you ask me) and you’re probably not doing the world any favours. Imagine we lived in a world where we had more entrepreneurs than employees. How would any business survive? The entrepreneurs wouldn’t have anyone to work at their companies! The world needs journalists and sales associates and dental assistants just like it needs people like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. And people who choose to work as employees instead of employers are hopefully doing it because they want to and because they are capable of that style of work.

Instead of making entrepreneurship the end-all be-all, I think we should advertise creativity.

We should tell people, that no matter what their job is, they should read books and problem solve on a daily basis so that they can make their place of work (where ever that may be) operate more efficiently. That might mean inventing an electric car, proposing a new curriculum for primary school students, or having the courage to propose a new working style to your manager.

So before you hop on social media to bash or promote a certain lifestyle, please consider something the world may actually need more of: creativity, analytical thinking, courage, and logic.

Work hard, be smart, and remember what’s right for you might not be right for the person next to you.

As always, Happy Monday ❤✌

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