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5 Top Goals To Get Focused on Self-Improvement

September is National Self-Improvement Month and with a new season ahead of us it’s a great time to get setting some new goals. Here’s the top goals to set for yourself this month. *These are high level goals, over the next few weeks we’ll break them down more with tips, tricks, and ideas to soar to the top! 

1. Get Fit. A healthy body is a gateway to a healthy life and mind. It improves our overall happiness and helps boost our energy day by day. Find ways to add better eating habits and healthy exercise routines into your weeks consistently. 

2. Financial Organization. Set goals to build a budget and to stick to it, set savings goals. This goal is all about building more security and financial freedom into your life. 

3. Focus on Building a Healthy Mind. Daily affirmations and meditation are great ways to building a clear and strong mind and to help you manage stress better. 

4. Make “Me” Time for Yourself. It’s important to have time to yourself to decompress from the stresses of every day life. This helps you recharge and reflect for what’s going on and for what’s to come. 

5. Expand and Keep Growing. Never give up on your dreams. Make a list of things you want to accomplish and go for them. Take classes on topics that intrigue you, visit a new place, keep practicing that craft you love. 

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An Awesome Day: Sunday Funday : Brunch, Errands, & Shopping

Sundays are my favorite day of the week. Especially when I get to spend it with my Ma. Tackling some errands, a wonderful Sunday Brunch, and even snuck a little shopping in there…and it was National Hat Day! Not tooting my horn, but a lucky day it was since I found my wide brimmed hat that actually fits my head and doesn’t swallow me whole (I’ve only been searching for over a year!). 

Started the day out a little slow but on a wonderfully positive note. I love mornings that I don’t have to push myself out of bed! Cooked some scrambled eggs for my ma, myself, and my pup – yes I cook for my dog. C’mon cut me some slack she has a gluten allergy so that rules out some stuff for her…and well she’s my princess! Checked off some blog page updates off my to-do list and then got ready to head out for some errands – today was a #selfcaresunday so I wiggled in a quick hair mask treatment while I was getting ready. 

I was so excited to pick up my computer from The Geek Squad today – finally able to use my laptop efficiently again – woohoo! If you’re a blogger you definitely know this excitement! And then we were off to a Sunday Brunch – okay we added this one into the day…which meant a mimosa! We tried a restaurant called Susquehanna Harvest Season Grill – this was definitely added to our favorites list! The restaurant was farm to table and mostly organic which we don’t have too much of around here. The menu was amazing! I’m no foodie blogger but this meal was one to be noted. I tried a grapefruit juice mimosa – yum! A little sour for my ma but I was all over it. We started off with a local farms cheese board with an array of wonderful cheeses, candied nuts, an orange jam, a plum jam, and raw honey. For entrees we devoured fish dishes: I went with Artic Char and my ma went with Cedar Salmon, both came with fresh in-season vegetables. Oh my goodness and then the desserts. I love that they came in mini glasses so we could try a bunch! 

And then off for a little shopping. I am working on trying to be more mindful in my shopping…I think I did okayish, better than other days at least. Got my hat, which happened to be 50% off the sale price woot! woot! and then grabbed some pants and stockings for work, okay and some jewelry, and a tank…but all with the idea that they are for work, right? And they were all on sale! Listen to me making my excuses, I just really love clothes and that’s just that. Picked up my new brush pot from Color Me Mine that I painted at last weekend’s adventures with my son and some organic toiletries I needed to replace…2017 is also my year to transform all of my beauty products to organic/natural products. 

It was a good day, not a usual #sundaydinner post but a wonderful day. Wrapped up the evening with a facial (when I say facial, I mean slab on the at-home stuff) and an episode of BlindSpot and now I’m curled up (on my fixed laptop yay!) watching Black Mirror on Netflix catching up on some blog stuff. 

I hope all of you had a wonderful Sunday Funday too!!! 

Just me blabbing about my day <3

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My 10 Winter Essentials for Surviving the Blue Months

Let’s say I’m one of those types that thrives better in warmer climates…yet I live in the crazy-can’t make up it’s mind about weather state of Pennsylvania so come January it gets a little chilly around here. From January through March we get to enjoy the beautiful scenery of freezing rain and the occasional peaceful snow dump. Don’t get me wrong, I love snow, it’s beautiful – at first…then it turns into a slushy mess – and I’m just not feeling the so cold temperatures we get around here. I try and rebel so much against winter that I have flip flops with fuzzy soft sheepskin lining. But with all that said, Winter still comes every year so I make a point to survive and be happy about it.

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page

My Winter Essentials:

1.  A cup of hot tea (when I say a cup, cups of tea) – nothing feels better than having a warm mug of hot tea between my hands when I’m feeling chilly and tea is so soothing and calming.

2. Fuzzy socks – let’s be real here, as soon as I get home the fuzzy socks come out of the drawer and on my feet they go!

3. Organic Coconut Oil & Lip Balm – the cold weather is rough on my skin and my face so I make sure to provide my skin and lips with lots of extra moisture. Coconut oil is amazing, it leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth and it smells great. Just heat it up a little (it typically comes in a jar in solid form) and slather it on – note though, it can get messy so pour a little in your palms over the sink and apply a little at a time.

4. Beanies – I keep a beanie with me at all times. Always have to keep my head warm. I love my beyond Beanie alpaca blend hat – it doesn’t mess up my hair much either which is great for when I’m heading into the office. The best thing about beyond Beanie is that I am giving back with my purchase. Use promo code LROMBERGER15 for 15% off!

5. A great pair of boots – I think it may be a requirement to have a pair of boots in Pennsylvania. With the icy conditions we get, it is key to be able to stable yourself. But boots are also a great winter style trend. I am working on a little bit of collection of boots. I have my suede boots, my heeled boots, my wine colored booties, my every day booties, and my equestrian boots (which are probably my favorite because I can wear them with almost anything and they are super comfy!)

6. A good book – Reading helps me continue to dream in adventures during the colder months. I can’t get outside quite as much when it’s cold so reading gives me the opportunity to escape. I also love to use this time that I’m hibernated in the house to focus on self-development and growth and there are lots of great books out there to catch up on that. I’m currently reading “You are a Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero – this book is awesomely inspiring and motivating. Jen speaks in a very real tone which I find easy to relate to.

7. Leggings – I almost live in these during the winter. I wear them around the house with my fuzzy socks and a sweatshirt, I wear them with my boots and a sweater for lunch with my friends, I wear them with a sweater dress to the office…and of course I have my workout leggings for the gym. I’ve got a pair of leggings for everything.

8. My Sand Cloud Towel – this is super soft and is wonderful for wrapping up in when I’m sitting at my computer writing a blog post or curled up with my book. And it’s got that great bonus of going towards a good cause too! Shop Sand Cloud Towels and save 25% by using promo code RoLaura25

9. A comforting candle – nothing beats the warm glow and beautiful scent of a candle on a cold day – okay some things beat it but it’s pretty wonderful. (You can see a theme here) I love to light a candle and curl up in my leggings with my Sand Cloud towel with a good book…I’m telling you winter is a great time to cozy up and project yourself.

10. A cozy blanket scarf – this is a must have for me, and finding it is especially key to wear to the office…and in the office. They keep our office about as warm as a refrigerator!

As much as a winter person I may not be, I refuse to let the cold get me down, no winter blues here! I keep my arsenal of tools for joy and to stay cozy and warm and snug as a bug to keep a smile on my face…and I remind myself, “This is only temporary, Spring will be here soon.” <3

Check out some more of my favorite finds here – Winter Essentials

How to Build Self-Care into Your Lunch Break

Woohoo, rocked the morning! The mid-day mark has arrived, the work day is half over…this is usually where I start wearing down…don’t rush through lunch to barely slide through the afternoon. Keep your productivity up and stay feeling good through the whole day with these simple Self-Care routines during your lunch break.

How to stay pumped all through your work day:

1. Eat a healthy lunch – choose foods that are energizing. Lay off the heavy carbs that can make you tired.

2. Take a walk – get moving. If you can’t go outside, take a walk around the office.

3. Eat your lunch away from the computer – go to the break room, go out to restaurant, sit at a picnic table – separate your lunch from your work.

4. Drink water – staying hydrated will help keep you energized.

5. Meditate for 5 minutes – (or longer) – clear your mind so that you are level and prepared to manage the second half of your day.

6. Listen to an inspirational podcast or read – escape and re-motivate yourself.

7. Text a loved one – connect, communicate – bring the love into your day.

8. Check your to-do list, cross off what you’ve accomplished – this does two things: it reaffirms you of what you have completed already for the day and it mentally prepares you to plan for what still needs to be completed.

9. Watch a funny or cute cat (or dog or bird…) video – let go, laugh, de-stress.

10. Chat casually with a co-worker – but not about work! – the purpose of this is human connection, to relax, not to stress about the day…or vent to a friend if you really need to, get it off your chest so you can move on with your day.

The goal is to come back from your lunch break feeling refreshed and re-energized so you can rock your afternoon too!

Need some more inspiration? Check out these reads:

10 Benefits of Walking

How To Stay Motivated & My Top TED Talks for Motivation

How Meditation Benefits You

How To Keep Joy In Your Life

My ex says to me, “You just want to go and be seen all the time.” His comment really irked me. It made me feel as if he was implying I was a show-off which doesn’t really fit my personality or my values and it bugged me. The comment stuck with me, it kept nagging at me and I kept analyzing it over and over. Driving home from the grocery store, laying down to sleep at night – I’d think of it. Such a simple comment that had become ever-so annoying to me, sticking in my mind. Last night it hit me, he was right – in a way.

I do want to be seen, and I want to be recognized not because I’m proud but because I eagerly want to be a part of this world. We should all want that, being together brings us joy. We were created to connect and to unite and to help each other. And yeah, I want a part in that, a chance to be part of something great, a part of our great humanity. But to understand that I had to change my perspective of his comment. After thinking that out I made a list of my rules for keeping joy in my life around the thought of how we should be living in this world, as part of this world, rules I live by every day. If you want to be truly joyful, you need to shine your light where ever you go, let that bright ray of sunshine from in you fall upon the world! 

2017 Magical Manifesting Diary Review

One of the things I love so much about blogging is the opportunity to meet so many like and loving souls. I met Shan – I felt an instant connection to just in the little bit of time we’ve chatted. I feel like we are kin spirits, aligned in our journeys, with paralleled thoughts. She gave me the wonderful freedom of reviewing her 2017 Magical Manifesting Diary. It really is a magic-making book! 

I absolutely love the theme of this diary, adventure. That is my own theme of life as well, spread love and adventure all throughout your life.

The illustrations are wonderful, simple yet crafty. I truly enjoyed the positive direction of the planner. It is very motivating and uplifting. She keeps the instruction thorough yet simple and easy to follow. I really found myself connecting and relating to what shew was saying. This diary gently guides the reader into a wondrous world of thought and discovery. The poetry of the words make me follow my imagination, feeling like a little kid again filled with enthusiasm and ambition.

I love how she includes great spiritual tips, habits, and practices throughout the diary. They were spread out wisely so not to be overwhelming. This diary is set up perfectly to unleash creativity in anyone, positioning so many great images and space to color and doodle but in a way that creates balance between release and organization. Wonderful list of resources at the end as well for soul-reading throughout the year.

This is a great diary and I am very much looking forward to diving into it!

Get your own copy here – https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/ErthnAustralia

And check out more beautiful things from Shan at – http://www.erthn.com.au/blog/ or on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/erthn

 

How To Not Freak Out In Christmas Crunch Time

Time is ticking…I’m feeling the pressure. I feel the anxiety creeping up, “Christmas is so close, I still have so much to do!” But this year, I’m not letting that get the best of me, no Bah-Humbugs here! 

My top 5 tips for keeping your cool when Christmas is so close:

  1. Breathe. It’ll all get done. Christmas is about time with loved ones, not checking off the to-do list. If you run out of time, get creative. Don’t have your best friend’s gift quite together yet? Schedule your best buds wine & gift swap for the week after Christmas. It still counts!
  2. Spread your tasks out over the next few days. Still have all your gifts to wrap? Wrap some each night instead of pulling an all-nighter. Don’t burn yourself out trying to catch up.
  3. Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect to be magical. No time to bake cookies this year? Stop by a local bakery and pick up some sweet treats.
  4. Don’t wait until last minute to do your grocery shopping for Christmas Dinner. Go a few days before Christmas. And make a list of what you need before you go. Going early, you’ll miss the stressed-out, crazy last minute shoppers on Christmas Eve plus you’ve given yourself a few extra days cushion in case you forgot the hot cocoa for Christmas Eve cuddles.
  5. Take a moment each day to think of what you’re thankful for and why the holidays are meaningful. This will help keep your mind positive and focused on the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas is a time to celebrate love, family, and friends. It is a time for us to all get together and celebrate all that we have together. Don’t allow the busyness of that the holidays bring shadow that truth. Keep it cool and together this year so that you can truly enjoy the spirit of the holidays. 

Photo Credit: Anthony Machcinski https://www.facebook.com/PhotoByChinski/?fref=ts

 

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5 Powerful Steps to Reaching Your Dreams & Crushing Your Goals

As you get to know new people, you will find that we each hold our own story of tragedy and sorrow, we each have experienced challenges and trials that have helped shape us into the people we have become (or are becoming). Some stories are longer and more intense than others and some are shorter and more gentle but we each have our own. At the end of each story though, isn’t about what had happened, it’s what we chose to learn, what we chose to make of it all, what we chose to become from it. I recently met a beautiful woman through a Facebook Group named Kylie Travers, she has quite the story to tell, facing many challenges in the past several years, challenges that could have sent her spiraling down but instead she took her obstacles and used them to propel herself to a multiple international award-winning CEO, author, speaker and charity ambassador. When I reached out to her to guest post for www.dofivethingsaday.com, to share her story with all of us, she didn’t come back with a list of all of her challenges, she came back with a focus on action steps on how she became who she was meant to be. It reminded me of how strong we can be, on how if we choose to control and shape our perception then we can make anything possible. 

The past few years have been some of the worst and some of the most successful years of my life. I have gone from a homeless single mother of two to multiple international award winning CEO, author, speaker and charity ambassador, in under 4 years. During this time I also overcame Borderline Personality Disorder, started a new relationship, had paralysis issues for 7 months, a cancer scare, a few surgeries, moved across the country and helped my daughters overcome their learning disorders which were classed as extreme.

Despite facing multiple obstacles, I have a life better than anything I could ever have imagined. Instead of focusing on ‘my story’ (which if you want to know more details about, you can find on my site), I want to focus on what I did to turn my obstacles into opportunities.

1.) Have an attitude of gratitude
As hard as it is when you face issues in your life, being grateful changes your perspective. Find something to be grateful for every day. I keep a gratitude diary where I write in it 3 things I am grateful for every day. Keeping an attitude of gratitude helps maintain a more positive outlook on life, which assists in problem solving the issues you face.

A week after my daughters and I left their dad (my ex husband), we were robbed of everything in our new home, including my underwear. At first, I broke down. It felt like too much to handle with what I had already faced leaving an abusive relationship, being stalked and assaulted.

I managed to pull myself together then wrote a gratitude list outing what I could be grateful for in that situation, what lessons I could learn from it and what opportunities might come as a result of being robbed. I managed to come up with quite a few things including the fact we were not home when it happened, it was only stuff and we had insurance, I hated everything I owned because it was remnants of my marriage, now I was able to replace it with insurance money instead of having to save up my own money and replace things as I could etc. As you can see, once I got into that frame of mind it became easier.

2.) Use affirmations and positive quotes
I used to roll my eyes when people suggested it, until I found myself crumpled in a heap on the bathroom floor sobbing my eyes out and the only thing that seemed to calm me down was repeating my favorite quote “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” by Carl Jung. I needed to believe that was true. I needed to know that despite being at rock bottom – abused, robbed and homeless, I could change my life.

I had my favourite quotes stamped on some bracelets for my wrists. I wrote quotes that inspired me in permanent marker on my mirrors (it wipes off with window cleaner) and I kept them as screen-savers on my devices. These constant reminders helped shape my thinking.

3.) Be clear on where you want to go
I have always had goals, but in this situation I got more strategic about it. I worked out my core values, created a personal mission statement, set goals in 7 key areas of my life (family, finances, career/business, travel, health, personal development and organisation), then using those goals I create a vision board.

I would spend time every day envisioning what my life would be like, looking at my vision board and actively taking steps to get me closer to my goals. All the planning in the world will do nothing if you don’t take action. Get clear on where you want to be, write your plan and go after it with pure determination.

4.) Meditation

I allocated at least 20 minutes a day to meditation, which I still do. It relaxes you, makes it easier to think and I notice it on days I don’t meditate. I struggle, have less energy and can’t think as clear if I don’t meditate in the morning. Not all mediation is about sitting there and saying ‘Om’. Find the method that works for you and implement it into your daily routine.

5.) Take care of yourself

I allowed myself to get too busy and overwhelmed running a business, doing public speaking, rushing from event to event, taking my kids to school, therapy and extra curricular activities. I said yes to everything anyone asked me to do and in the end my body decided I couldn’t continue. One morning I was getting ready and my back seized up. I thought I had aggravated an old spinal injury and asked my very new boyfriend to take my kids to school, assuming I would be ok the next day. I was unable to walk properly for 7 months. If I stood up or spoke at an event it required nerve blockers, pain killers and resulted in 4 days in bed after the event with excruciating pain and paralysis.

During this time a test came back positive for the cancer my mother died from. After a surgery it turns out I have a rare condition that presents itself the same way and I have to have annual surgery. I had surgical treatments for my spine and the whole year was stressful. My new boyfriend was my carer and immediately a dad to my kids instead of us being able to get to know each other slowly.

By not taking care of myself, I nearly ruined us financially (he was now unable to work as he had to care for me, and I barely worked because of the pain and issues) and nearly destroyed the relationship completely. I was unable to be the mum I had been and that broke my heart, seeing my kids play and having them be sad I couldn’t do things with them anymore.

Put yourself first. Exercise, eat right, get enough sleep, ask for help when you need it, outsource the cleaning or anything else you can to free up your time. Life is too short, don’t make it harder on yourself by overwhelming yourself.

You can achieve anything you put your mind to. How have you turned obstacles into opportunities?

Bio:

Kylie Travers went from homeless single mum of two daughters because of domestic violence to multiple international award winning CEO, author, speaker, marketing specialist and charity advocate in the space of a couple of years. Through all her work she focuses on sharing practical advice on ways to make and save money, turn your obstacles into opportunities, practice gratitude, travel and create opportunities to improve your life and excel in the areas you want to.

Her areas of expertise are marketing, social media, blogging, finance and travel. Her company specialises in digital marketing with influencer programs, marketing strategies, training and consultations. Personally, Kylie likes to focus on public speaking, freelance writing or consults around finance, travel, lifestyle or blogging, along with being actively involved in charities that help end homelessness and domestic violence.

As a result, she has been the recipient of many awards, including The Plutus Foundation Service Award for 2015, Finalist Young Australian Of The Year, ACT, 2015 and winning Best International Personal Finance Blog twice, among other awards.


You can find out more about here at http://www.kylietravers.com.au

Social links: 

http://www.facebook.com/KylieTraversAus

http://www.twitter.com/KylieTravers_au

http://www.instagram.com/KylieTravers_au

 

*all images used in this post of ownership of Kylie Travers.

10 Simple Morning Self-Care Routines for an Amazing Day

The start of the day is the moment when we stage how our day is going to roll out. We can decide in those moments if we are going to make it a good day. Set yourself up for success by practicing self-care rituals to strengthen yourself for anything the day may bring.

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  1. Before you get out of bed, take three deep breaths. Clear your mind of any lingering thoughts before getting up. My rule is that I do not get up until I have breathed and let go and cleared my mind. I tell myself that I refuse to take negativity into my new day.
  2. Get out of bed and stretch. Stand tall and reach up high, elongating your body as much as you can. Reach back and pull your body into an arch, then lean forward and touch the floor. Or do a Morning Yoga Routine – https://yogainternational.com/article/view/graceful-morning-flow
  3. Make your bed. Tidy up your room. Create a clean area for a clean mind, an open mind.
  4. Make a cup of tea. Tea has been proven to be calming and cleansing. Creating a calm atmosphere prepares you for a calm day.
  5. Review your planner. See what is on your agenda for the day, create your thoughts around planning for an efficient and productive day.
  6. Read an affirmation or a Mantra. Read it aloud to yourself, write it down. Here are some I use for my Self-Care:
  7. “May my heart be brave, my mind fierce, and my spirit free.”
  8. “My soul is ready to live the life of my dreams.” ~ Sarah Prout
  9. “Special things are about to happen for me and I am ready to allow it.”
  10. “I am focused and persistent. I will never quit.”
  11. “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.” ~ Wayne Dyer
  12. Be still and just listen. After reading your mantra, take a moment to process it. Listen to the sounds around you, whether it is rain falling, birds singing, or cars bustling by on a busy street, just listen, find peace in the morning sounds.
  13. Write down three things you are grateful for. Write them in your planner so that you can be reminded of them throughout the day.
  14. Give your pup or your kitty a hug. Or child, or parent, or significant other, or your best friend… Feel the unconditional love they have for you fill you. Let that unconditional love stay with you all day. When you become frustrated, think of them.
  15. Before you walk out the door, say to yourself, “I’ve got this. I will make today amazing. No matter what today brings, I can handle it.” Say this as many times as you need to today because you do have this. You are strong enough to handle anything, you just have to believe it.

So go out into the world today and have a wonderful day, not because of what happens to you, but because you choose to.

I Do Not Want To Be Finished…I Want To Be The Mess.

“Embrace the glorious mess that you are.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Messy

I am a canvas of life, an amazing piece of art still being created, a creation that has the ability to transform into anything I can dream of each and every day. Just as paint starts in a tube and then becomes a magnificent blob of wet paint on a palette, spilling and pouring among the surface which it lays on until a paintbrush picks it up and splatters it onto the canvas, so fluid, so free – that is what I want to be. I do not want to be a complete statue in a museum, to be looked at in awe, not yet. I want to be the wet clay still being molded. I want to be the photographs still developing in the dark room. I want to be the uncompleted drawing. I want to be the ever-moving stage during the play.

Right now, I just want to be the process of the artist because when I do pass, I want to be the great masterpiece of my long, vivid life.