Three Life Lessons I Learned from my Mentors

A mentor is a guide, an advisor, someone you trust (and sometimes imitate) before you find your own way. I’ve been lucky to have had many mentors throughout my life, and I’d like to join Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland (PS I’m the new Marketing + Communications Manager there) to celebrate the lessons I learned from my mentors.

Three Life Lessons I Learned from My Mentors

My Mentors

Lessons from my Mentors 01 :: Your Voice Matters

Every mentor I’ve had has been brazen and bold, unafraid to speak their minds. But what’s more is they encourage others to raise their voices as well. As women, we’re often taught not to speak unless spoken to, and when we do our opinions get dismissed based the the apparent mood of the moment. (That’s been my experience anyway). But, through my mentors, I’ve learned how to tactfully and effectively communicate my opinions, thoughts, and expertise.

For those of you still uncertain of your voice, learning to speak your mind doesn’t come easily. I’ve made many enemies, burned a few bridges, and embarrassed myself countless times. But it was worth it to get to a point where I trust my voice.

Lessons from my Mentors 02 :: Let Your Gift Shine

Another lesson we learn as women is to hold back our talent so that we don’t make others feel bad. This was a common self-sabotage I inflicted on myself until my mentors began celebrating my talents. I became aware of the way I downplayed my successes and brushed off compliments as if they belonged to someone else. Through my mentors, I learned that the best way I can make a positive impact in the world is by following my dreams and letting my gift shine.

Lessons from my Mentors 03 :: Have Fun

As a perfectionist, it used to be hard for me to have fun at work. Sure I laughed, made jokes, and had friends, but inside I was analyzing every moment of my day. My mentors knew that having fun was part of what made them successful (+ able to hustle when the time came).

September is Big Brothers Big Sisters Month

Celebrate Big Brothers Big Sisters month with me by sharing your stories of mentorship. Share your experiences on your own blog, or on social media using hashtags #MyMentor, #MentoringMatters, and #BBBSMonth. And, if that doesn’t curb your appetite, become a mentor and see firsthand the impact that mentorship has on young people.

If you think that sexism no longer exists, this…

A Toronto web design firm, Vestra Inet, is seeking a content and SEO specialist, but because the position requires reception duties, men need not apply.

Sexism in the Workplace

Shocked? I’m not. They simply stated what many companies refuse to admit.

Sadly sexism is an ongoing battle that we face every day. Women are paid less than men. Traditionally female roles are regarded as less important, less impactful, less valuable than traditionally male roles.

Let’s just take a hot second to recognize that receptionists hold companies together. But, the fact of the matter is that they are usually paid less than any other staff member. So, here’s what that job posting is saying:

We want a “specialist” in their field, but we don’t want to pay them as such, let’s hire a woman!

If you want a “specialist” don’t ask them to fill in for other roles. Would you ask an engineer to fill in for an architect? A doctor to fill in for an astronaut? They’re different jobs, have some respect.

Not to mention it’s a human rights issue. You can’t hire someone based on their gender. It’s the law.

I have much more to say on this topic, but let’s see where the conversation goes. Leave me a comment! Or better yet, leave them a comment!

How To Think Outside the Box

If you want to know how to think outside the box, you must first know how to think inside it, literally. I wish the steps for how to think outside the box were simply ::

  1. Obtain a box.
  2. Get inside the box.
  3. Think.
  4. Get outside the box.
  5. Think.

Sadly, the term is not a literal term, as you know. But I have a few techniques that have worked for me when I was, well, inside the box, so to speak.

When You’re a Big Cat in a Small Box… Think Outside It

I grew up in a small town and often felt like a big cat in a small box, weighted by a lingering feeling that there must be something more beyond these cardboard walls. I was right. In my “grown up” life, this feeling still creeps up, sometimes in the form of writer’s block, or lack of confidence, or boredom. Here are a few ways I’ve gotten out of the jam so that I could think outside the box again.

Think Outside the Box 01 :: Listen to New Music

If you’re in a jam, you might want to try switching them up… jamz, I mean. Listening to new music can get you into a new groove (pun intended!). I like to turn up something that makes me feel fierce, which lately has been “Bossy” by Kelis. But your mix up could simply be trying out a band you’ve never heard or a genre you rarely explore. I mean, who knows, maybe Mozart has what it takes to get your brain juices dancing. They do say classical music helps you learn.

Think Outside the Box 02 :: Look at Cat Gifs

Seriously, I got the idea for this “think outside the box” blog post from the cat gif you see above! Not only will taking a break from your routine jog you out of a rut, but you may be inspired by what you see. Don’t limit yourself to cat gifs either. Google is your oyster.

Think Outside the Box 03 :: Dance

I’m a performing dancer in another life of mine and sometimes I apply my learnings to my work life. This means when I take a break, I often look in the mirror and shake my stuff, let loose. It makes everything better. You don’t have to be a professional, or even good, to dance, you just have to do it. Start by putting on a fierce tune (see Think Outside the Box 01), then bob your head, tap your toes, get your body into it. Jam out.

Think Outside the Box 04 :: Stop “I Can’t-ing” Yourself

I know what some of you are saying. But, Stephanie, I can’t dance, I don’t know any good music, what’s a gif?. Stop! Yes, you may have questions, you may have fears, you may fail, but there is one thing for sure, you can… at least try. Give it a shot, quiet your inner critic and start small. If Napoleon Dynamite can do it, so can you.

Think Outside the Box 05 :: Read Your Journal

When I feel starved for blog topics, I often read through old journal entries to see if anything sparks an idea. As a writer, I have a lifetime’s worth of material I can reference, but if you don’t keep a journal, old photographs could do the trick, or even old calendars that chronicle your schedule. You could even call your mom or an old friend and reminisce.

Think Outside the Box 06 :: Take a Class

Learning a new skill could be just the ticket you need to think outside the box. I always loved school—nerd alert—I was good at it. But you don’t have to be good a school to take a class. Nowadays you can’t learn in many different forms, even without leaving your home. What’s something you’ve always wanted to try but were too afraid? Get someone to teach you how!

Think Outside the Box 07 :: Get Outside Your Box, Figuratively

Don’t limit your world to four corners and a lid. Get outside your box by trying new things. Travel, go to events, take stay-cations, eat new food. Anything outside of your routine will help you to think outside the box. When you gift yourself a new experience, you add to your repertoire of reference. It’s worth it.

What do you do to think outside the box? Leave a comment and let me know!

Being an Introvert with Extroverted Aspirations

It’s the Quiet Revolution and introverts are on the rise. It seems we’ve found our venue to happily express our thoughts in a loud way that is soft enough to ease the tension of taking centre stage. It’s called the internet and I’m so happy I found it.

Being an Introvert with Extroverted Aspirations

Being an Introvert

Being an introvert with extroverted aspirations is both exhausting and exhilarating. I love people and I love their stories. I love dancing and performing and being the centre of attention. I love sharing my thoughts + stories too. BUT :: it’s exhausting. The energy I expel being excited for all the things means I often need timeouts. (Sometimes these timeouts are mental vacations in the middle of a conversation – sowy!)

I often wish I were an extrovert because I love talking to people and I love having company. I see extroverts in the world and it seems they have it just a little easier. Extroverts seem to get ahead because they have the conversation skills to make great connections. Extroverts seem to have more fun, more friends, more flirtations. But, as always, things aren’t always as they seem. All I know about being an extrovert is what I’ve read.

Truth is, I’m happy being an introvert. Though it’s taken a while for me to realize that shyness is not weakness, that anxiety is not uncommon and that aloneness is not a measure of my worth, I’m proud of my inner world, my happy little bubble.

Being an introvert means, yes, I’m kind of shy.

Being an introvert means my shyness is often mistaken for lack of confidence, or worse, lack of interest.

Being an introvert means I have more pictures of my feet + my lap than I do of my face + my friends.

Being an introvert means I often travel, walk and do shit alone.

Being an introvert means I go to events solo because I’ve waited last minute to invite a pal just in case I’m not in the mood. (Turns out most people make plans, who knew?)

Being an introvert means I dream and plan and wish.

Being an introvert means I’m part of the Quiet Revolution.

Creativity at Work :: How I stay Creative

Creativity at work is just like creativity anywhere else. You have to challenge yourself to really come up with something thoughtful + original. Someone once said that everything is just an imitation of something else, and yes, this is true, but that doesn’t mean that a) you shouldn’t still make it + celebrate it and b) you should settle for mediocre. Push yourself from good to great!

To help you connect in to your creativity at work, I’m sharing a few secrets for how I stay creative and push myself to be better.

Creativity at Work :: How I stay Creative

Creativity at Work

1. Break rules.

To break the rules, you have to know the rules. To master your craft, you should first master the basic principles + rules of your medium. Once you know what you should do, you’ll then be able to manipulate the rules to your advantage and push the boundaries of your art. Like in poetry, you may choose to forgo punctuation for mood. Or, in photography, you may choose to blur your subject for effect. But the key is that it’s intentional. The same goes for creativity at work. Take time to understand the rules of your position, your duties, then break the rules that will make you stand out in a sea of drones.

2. Don’t settle for good.

Creativity at work, and everywhere else, is more than just being different, it’s about being the best you can be. So often, we settle for something that’s good when we could be challenging ourselves to create something outstanding, exceptionally rare, viral even. If you sign up + listen to my website shame recovery part 04 video, you’ll see the process of how I evolved my newsletter opt in from drab, to pretty good, to super cute amazing I love it! That’s the kind of creativity at work I’m talking about.

3. Edit. Edit. And edit again.

Your first draft is never going to be your final draft. It shouldn’t be. When I’m writing a short story or a piece of creative non fiction, I edit, edit, and edit until my brain explodes with excitement at how refined I’ve made my work. Sometimes I go through upwards of 50 drafts before I send my work in for publication. And, guess what. This process of refinement is my favourite part of creativity at work. Plus, the elation of the final product is what makes that work so fulfilling.

4. Let go.

Now that I’ve talked about perfectionism, it’s time to tell you about the value of letting go. Creativity, including creativity at work, can come from a place of complete release where you eliminate your need to be good, or the best even, and allow yourself to just be. One way you can access this raw, purified creativity is through free writing where you write non stop for 15+ minutes without worrying about grammar, punctuation, format, or diction. You just write. Or, you could dance, with your eyes closed, moving with your breath, without worrying what you look like, just how you feel. I mean, I never would have been able to create my vlog intro if I was too worried of looking dumb, narcissistic, and childish. But it was so much fun!

Get that Funk Out :: How to Stay Motivated

Being an entrepreneur is harder than it looks. While some may think your job consists merely of leisure coffee shop excursions + long hours perusing blogs all day, you’ll know the truth, that entrepreneurship is more blood, sweat, and tears than the gruelling workout you sneak in now + then. Your business woes will keep you up later + more often than your horrific dating life and may even replace it altogether. All that and it pays just a fraction of the cushy job you left, gave up, or couldn’t get. You work twice as hard for half as much or less. At least in the beginning.

So why do you keep going? Or rather, how do you keep going when all you want to do is quit? How do you get that funk out + stay motivated?

How to Stay Motivated

How to Stay Motivated

In my first year of business I found a few ways to get that funk out and I learned how to stay motivated during those down times. Here they are.

How to Stay Motivated :: Tip 01

Turn the tunes on.

It’s funny how such a small thing can turn up the gears so quickly. When I find it hard to get going in the morning, or the late afternoon, I crank my special tunes + hum along while I get to work. Lately, I’ve been loving Lykke Li’s new album or Beyonce or Lana Del Rey and always Rihanna. What’s your motivate-me-music?

How to Stay Motivated :: Tip 02

Get silly.

I love this one because it seems to happen without actually trying. When I’ve been hustlin’ hard I tend to slip into this silly mode where everything is funny, to me at least. But it works. It gets me motivated to keep going because I’m having so much fun. But here’s the thing, you have to take that time, shut the technology off for a few minutes or hours + let loose. Call a friend because this how to stay motivated tip is best when accompanied by another silly soul.

How to Stay Motivated :: Tip 03

Make a plan.

Sometimes the biggest thing standing in your way is yourself. You’re overwhelmed, you have a to do list longer than your bucket list and you don’t know where to start. Here’s where you set aside a whole day just to plan. Layout your monthly, weekly, and yearly goals to keep you focused.

How to Stay Motivated :: Tip 04

Set a routine.

Setting a daily routine will get you in the habit of staying motivated. It starts with your morning. If every day you wake up with the top few habits that keep you motivated, then the rest of your day will surely follow. I like my mornings to consist of dance tunes, a tasty smoothie, emails, earl grey tea, and lots of water. Sometimes I’ll throw in a bit of stretching or a dance break mid morning to shake things up a bit. What’s your morning routine?

How to Stay Motivated :: Tip 05

Get out.

Get out of the house. Get out of town. Get out of your head. Just plain get out. It’s time for a break, girl. All you could need is a little refresher to refuel your creative juices. I used to work so much that I wouldn’t even take a weekend off. But now that I’m reserving some important fun time, I’m able to hustle even harder than before. Plus, the reward is sweeter because I’m rested enough to enjoy it.

So there you have it. My top 5 how to stay motivated tips to get that funk out of you. I hope I’ve inspired you to keep pushing through the rough patches because you know what they say, “no risk, no reward…” or something like that. What’s that quote again?!

Now it’s your turn. What are your how to stay motivated tips? Wanna share your playlist? Leave a comment + let me know.

Make Friends Online in 3 Easy, Non-Scary Steps

Online entrepreneurship can be a lonely place. For me, my home is my office + sometimes I transplant a mini bubble office at my favourite local cafes where I can observe + be observed. But, for the most part, I’m working solo with interspersed one-on-one consultations via Skype.

But here’s my secret. You can make friends online to ease that entrepreneurial silence. Here’s how.

Make Friends Online in 3 Easy Steps

Make Friends Online in 3 Easy, Non-Scary Steps

1. Find them.

To make friends online, first you have to find + nominate the potentials. Here’s where to look. Check out your favourite Facebook groups, blogs, forums, social media lists, and other online hangouts. If someone seems interesting start following them, comment on their shit, and build a rapport. Does this seem intimidating or even creepy to you? Well, here’s what I have to say about that. Folks posting online are posting online willingly + often to get noticed. As entrepreneurs, bloggers, and, well narcissists ( most of us ), we like to feel important. More traffic, more comments, more engagement is like sweet crack in our blog ego pipe. (Wait, how do you smoke crack?) Anyway, you get the picture! Start buttering them up.

Still feeling nervous? Check out my tips for making friends when you’re an introvert

2. Reach out.

Now that you’ve nominated your new friends, it’s time to reach out + introduce yourself. Email is your best bet, I’d say. I mean you want to make friends online, right? Be polite, clear, and quick. Don’t tell them your life story, just tell them what they need to know to see that you’re a fan + want to connect. Be up front about what you want. No one likes a sneak-in sale so just tell ’em how it is, you want to make friends online. Remember, some entrepreneurs get hundreds of emails in a day, so don’t freak out if they don’t reply right away. After a few days send them another quick email to introduce yourself + your friendship request again.

3. Follow up.

Part of the trick to make friends online is following up after you’ve made the initial connection. Maybe you met over Skype or in Google Hangouts + the conversation was fun, light, and helpful. Tell them so. Also, it’s important to suggest a followup conversation, hangout, or event. Don’t assume they will take the initiative + don’t assume that if they don’t they’re not interested. People are busy, girl! If you want to make friends online you have to be bold + ask!

13 Silly Lorem Ipsum Alternatives

I don’t use Ipsums very often, but since I’ve been redesigning my site, I thought I’d look for some silly lorem ipsum alternatives to use as placeholders while I write out the new copy for my new services. I’ve known of Cupcake Ipsum for a while now, but I was surprised to find an array of other alternatives to lorem ipsum out there. Even if you don’t need a silly lorem ipsum alternative, they’re still fun to play with. Have a look see for yourself!

13 Silly Lorem Ipsum Alternatives

Cat Ipsum

1. Picksum Ipsum

With Picksum Ipsum you get to choose Ipsum from a few badass actors. The one below is Michael Caine. Love him!

pull my finger! when i get back, remind to tell you about the time i took 100 nuns to nairobi! yes, i used a machine gun. your were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off. jasper: your baby is the miracle the whole world has been waiting for. my lord! you’re a tripod. you know, your bobby dangler, giggle stick, your general-two-colonels, master of ceremonies… yeah, don’t be shy, let’s have a look. you are as precious to me as you were to your own mother and father. i swore to them that i would protect you, and i haven’t. you’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off! it’s not the size mate, it’s how you use it. i took a viagra, got stuck in me throat, i’ve had a stiff neck for hours. at this point, i’d set you up with a chimpanzee if it’d brought you back to the world!

2. Lorizzle

Lorizzle is a fun gangsta ipsum. Fo shiz.

dolizzle fo shizzle mah nizzle fo rizzle, mah home g-dizzle amizzle, sizzle gangsta elit. Izzle shit velizzle, fo shizzle away, suscipizzle quis, gangster vel, bling bling. Pellentesque eget sheezy. Uhuh … yih! eros. Fusce nizzle dolor dapibizzle bizzle fo shizzle black. Maurizzle i saw beyonces tizzles and my pizzle went crizzle nibh crackalackin check it out. Shizzle my nizzle crocodizzle izzle ghetto. Pellentesque break it down rhoncizzle sheezy. Da bomb hac habitasse bizzle dictumst. Gizzle dapibizzle. Curabitur tellizzle urna, pretizzle daahng dawg, its fo rizzle ac, eleifend vitae, nunc. Mah nizzle suscipit. Fo shizzle my nizzle sempizzle yippiyo sizzle purus.

3. Pommy Ipsum

Pommy Ipsum is bri’ish.

Pommy ipsum for sooth cobbles rambunctious, for sooth half-inch it how’s your father blummin’, curry sauce the lakes devonshire cream tea. Off t’pub every fortnight ’tis red telephone box off t’shop, in the jacksy jammy git. Ridiculous Victoria sponge cake is she ‘avin a laugh know your onions rambunctious give you a bell and thus queer as a clockwork orange middle class Union Jack, air one’s dirty linen beefeater indeed bowler hat collywobbles pork dripping jellied eels atrocious. Victoria sponge cake bloody mary knackered fancy a cuppa, scrubber jammy git. Goggledegook jammy git shepherd’s pie one feels that Victoria sponge cake, guiness red telephone box.

4. Space Ipsum

Space Ipsum. It’s outta this world. Hah.

Buy why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may as well ask why climb the highest mountain? As I stand out here in the wonders of the unknown at Hadley, I sort of realize there’s a fundamental truth to our nature, Man must explore . . . and this is exploration at its greatest.

5. Kiwi Ipsum

Kiwi Ipsum is not about the fruit, but the people.

Cuz, right as rain, just a little bit, ay. Technology has allowed heaps good holdens to participate in the global conversation of bung wet blankets. The next Generation of primo manuses have already cooked over at the sausage sizzle. What’s the hurry Rangi? There’s plenty of pieces of pounamu in the wop wops. Rangitoto Island holds the most choice community in the country.. Lomu was pashing when the mean as burning my Vogel’s event occured. You don’t know his story, bro, this carked it housie is as fully sick as a sweet chick. Mean while, in West Auckland, Fred Dagg and Uncle Bully were up to no good with a bunch of bloody pavlovas.

6. Cheese Ipsum

Something stinks. Must be that Cheese Ipsum.

I love cheese, especially bavarian bergkase brie. Halloumi manchego cheese strings stinking bishop macaroni cheese camembert de normandie cream cheese cheese on toast. Port-salut boursin pepper jack cheese strings melted cheese emmental halloumi cheesecake. Squirty cheese monterey jack taleggio cheeseburger.

7. Hipster Ipsum

You know you’re Hipster Ipsum when you used it before it was cool.

Farm-to-table actually Vice Marfa. Twee Schlitz Blue Bottle, next level YOLO Tumblr ethnic actually banh mi church-key hella. Chia stumptown plaid kogi tattooed, fashion axe Cosby sweater 90’s try-hard asymmetrical authentic craft beer. Direct trade Pinterest food truck ethical plaid Vice. Austin gastropub pop-up Blue Bottle, PBR&B wayfarers Pinterest mumblecore gentrify. Photo booth fanny pack fixie, pop-up American Apparel whatever polaroid readymade paleo. Lomo YOLO fap narwhal stumptown letterpress viral.

8. Whedon Ipsum

If you’re a Buffy fan you’ll like Whedon Ipsum.

The gentlemen are coming by. So I skipped intro to evil or whatever, but how is it that I get an F, when this guy that we’re reading, Chauncey, can’t even spell? So we’ll integrate non-progressional evolution theory with God’s creation of Eden.

9. Cat Ipsum

Cat Ipsum may be the cutest on the list.

Hate dog shake treat bag, stare at ceiling inspect anything brought into the house all of a sudden go crazy or play time find something else more interesting. Leave hair everywhere run in circles so run in circles. Flop over. Make muffins. Leave hair everywhere. Shake treat bag play time but behind the couch so stare at ceiling so climb leg mark territory. Hopped up on goofballs hunt anything that moves, chew iPad power cord, but make muffins missing until dinner time. Rub face on everything missing until dinner time. All of a sudden go crazy all of a sudden go crazy behind the couch stick butt in face or intently stare at the same spot for intently stare at the same spot leave hair everywhere.

10. Newfie Ipsum

As a Canadian, I can appreciate Newfie Ipsum.

I’se da b’y dat copies de text and I’se da b’y dat pastes her! I’se da b’y dat mockups da page and takes it home to Liza. Hip-yer-partner Sally Tibbo! Hip-yer-partner Sally Brown! Fogo, Twillingate, Morton’s Harbour, All around the circle! Sods and rinds to cover your flake, cake and tea for supper! Cod fish in the spring of the year, fried in maggoty butter Hip-yer-partner Sally Tibbo! Hip-yer-partner Sally Brown! Fogo, Twillingate, Morton’s Harbour, All around the circle!

11. Far Far Away

You can choose from a few Ipsums here. But, Far Far Away is my favourite.

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar.

12. Fillerati

Fillerati is for all you scholars out there. Took mine from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

‘Why,’ said the Gryphon, ‘you first form into a line along the sea-shore—”Two lines!’ cried the Mock Turtle. ‘Seals, turtles, salmon, and so on; then, when you’ve cleared all the jelly-fish out of the way—”THAT generally takes some time,’ interrupted the Gryphon.’—you advance twice—”Each with a lobster as a partner!’ cried the Gryphon.’Of course,’ the Mock Turtle said: ‘advance twice, set to partners—’

13. Fuck Lorem Ipsum

Fuck Lorem Ipsum gives you a few options to choose from too. I chose TV Kids’ & TV Dramas.

Hey, hey, hey! It’s Fat Albert! Now I’m gonna sing a song for you, and this is gonna show you a thing or two. You’ll have some fun now With me and the gang, learning from each other While we do our thing. Na na na gonna have a good time! Na na na gonna have a good time! Hey, hey, hey! This is Bill Cosby coming out with music and fun and if you’re not careful, you may learn something before it’s done! Hey, hey, hey!

How I Lost 45 Pounds In One Simple Step

Now, I know what you’re thinking. What’s the catch? How could you shed all those pounds without even trying? How could you wake up one morning 45 pounds lighter as if it’d been wished upon you? It’s not fair. That’ll never happen for me.

Or, you’re thinking yeah right, I don’t even want to lose weight. I make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight every year and it never happens. I’ve tried everything, so what’s this all about anyway?

Well, I’ll tell ya. It’s not about weight loss. It’s about making a small change. It’s about achieving your goals step by step. It’s about doing what makes you feel good.

So, how did I do it anyway?

But Here’s How I Lost 45 Pounds, Without Even Trying

How to Lose Weight

How I lost 45 Pounds Without Even Trying

Just one step. And then another, and another. Literally. Walking. Walking to the bus stop. Walking to the grocery store. Walking to the bar. Walking home from the bar. Walking under the sun. Walking in a blizzard. Walking at the park. Walking to work. Just plain walking.

You know what I did even? I parked my car. I put my car insurance on hold and left it on my parent’s driveway. Crazy, I know. What was I thinking?

Here’s why it worked. Why, finally, after years of wanting to be thinner, how I lost 45 pounds practically in my sleep. It’s because my weight loss was a result of something else. A result of a bigger goal. A result of what I really wanted, which was to reduce my carbon footprint, spend more time outdoors, and, frankly, save money on my seriously lacking student budget.

I want to say it was a fluke, but really it was a bonus, a reward, for sticking to my other goals. And, because I was so passionate about nature, essentially, it wasn’t a chore to head out the door. I mean, I didn’t even have to wear workout clothes. I could wear whatever I wanted, a dress & heels, shorts & Birkenstocks, or jeans & wedges. All I was doing was showing up, feeling happy, and doing something fun.

And, that’s what For A Year Of Magic is all about. It’s about committing to our simplest, yet sort of hidden, wishes. Being in nature. Eating more exotic fruit. Honouring mother earth. Creating beautiful art. Connecting with inspiring people. You name it, I know you can accomplish it.

Want some one-on-one help achieving your goals in the New Year?

For A Year Of Magic is a day planner & eCourse full of goal-setting worksheets, motivational newsletters, weekly inspiring quotes, monthly writing prompts, and a Facebook group dedicated to connecting you to a bevy of like-minded people. And, now, you can have one-on-one coaching sessions all year long (or just a few sessions), with me, to make sure you’re setting the right goals, keeping to them, and creating the best year ever.

The Other Top 9 Things I Did To Lose 45 Pounds

Make sure you become a Stylings & Stories VIP if you want to know the other top 9 things I did to lose 45 pounds. I’m sharing my tips & tricks & stories, but only with my lovely VIPs.