How to Overcome Perfectionist Procrastination [ELR: 004]

Welcome to enRICHed life radio-- banishing guilt and empowering self care! Follow me on Anchor every Self Care Sunday at 6pm EST for more great podcast content. You can also find and download the full list of episodes on the iTunes store and Google Play

Weekly affirmation: "I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection." -Emily Ley

 

What is perfectionist procrastination?

Perfectionist procrastination is the idea of avoiding or delaying something because you want it to be perfect. I did this A LOT in school when I had a big assignment or paper due. I would want it to be "perfect" so I would delay finishing it or turning it in because I wanted to review it again or do some more research.

And then I realized this habit seeped into my adult life, especially blogging. Even now, I have an entire folder of "draft" posts that are mostly finished, but I have not hit publish because I want to review them more. I procrastinate in releasing them to the world because I want them to be incredible, amazing, and flawless.

I had to realize that the idea of "perfection" is not attainable. Society inundates us with the idea of being perfect, but that simply isn't realistic. If we, instead, hold ourselves to a standard of grace, instead of perfection, we allow ourselves the freedom to deliver our final product without second guessing ourselves or worrying about our flaws.

Plus, procrastination is nothing more than focusing on your fears instead of focusing on your desires. I know there have been times I fear completing a project because I don't want to be judged on the results, whether it is a failure or a success. 

So how do we overcome perfectionist procrastination?

1. Use positive affirmations to change your mindset

I wake up everyday reminding myself that "I am good enough" and "I have the skills I need to accomplish my goals". These positive affirmations give me to confidence in myself that I need in order to banish the doubt in my head.

2. Set a hard deadline

Give yourself a hard and fast deadline to complete your project or goal, and do not compromise. This will retrain your procrastinating mind to get to work because you want to give your best.

3. Enlist an accountability partner

Find someone you love and trust who may be on the same journey as you to be your accountability partner. Tell them your goals and give them your deadlines so they can keep you honest. They won't take no for an answer when they ask you if you have met your deadlines, so be ready for them to push you!

How do you retrain your brain to overcome perfectionist procrastination?

 

 

A Practical Review of 'The Little Book of Hygge'

Have you heard of the Danish word "hygge" before? Yeah, me either.

I was in Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago for something completely unrelated to this book. Isn't that how all the most amazing books are discovered?

Anyway... I stumbled on this book called The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living.  I have been challenging myself to try new things this year, so I figured I would give it a chance.

First of all, I had no idea the word was pronounced "hoo-ga". I spent the entire reading of the book saying "higgy" in my head, even though the phonetic spelling was right on the cover. Please forgive my ignorance. 

Hygge is defined as a feeling of comfort, coziness, togetherness, and well-being. The Amazon.com description of the book gives a great explanation of the feeling of "hygge".

Hygge is the sensation you get when you’re cuddled up on a sofa, in cozy socks under a soft throw, during a storm. It’s that feeling when you’re sharing comfort food and easy conversation with loved ones at a candlelit table. It is the warmth of morning light shining just right on a crisp blue-sky day.
finding my moment of hygge in bed with the book A Wrinkle in Time and hot tea

The Little Book of Hygge is a great, bite-sized look into the concept of hygge. Don’t expect any Doctorate level writing on the subject; the book- as the title suggests- is a ‘little’ glimpse into this Danish feeling of cozy contentment. And that's what makes it perfect to read. The act of reading this book is, in itself, an act of hygge. Normally I read books on my Kindle app for iPad, but this book should really be read in hardcopy, while cuddled in bed with the blankets wrapped around you.

Most of us have experienced this feeling in our lives, and now that I know there is a Danish word for the feeling, I will probably be more conscious of the times when I am in the midst of a hygge moment. 

And THIS is why I love the Christmas/Holiday season! Regardless of religion or belief system, there seems to be this sensation of warmth, coziness, and togetherness at the end of the year. I love seeing people smile more and find reasons to gather together as friends and family. I LOVE IT, and I wish we could embrace that feeling all year long.

My Version of Hygge

The Little Book of Hygge review Steph Thorne

I’m currently writing this while sitting on the couch with my son. We have the space heater set to low, a large throw blanket covering our legs, and a bowl of popcorn between us. I'm drinking hot tea with milk and sugar out of my favorite mug. And Netflix is playing Secret Life of Pets (again). It’s our traditional Friday night movie night, and in true mother-son fashion, we will probably be asleep in about 20 minutes.

I look forward to this time all week. I get to spend some time with my son, and I get to unwind from a long work week. I'm warm and cozy, and I feel the most refreshing sense of contentment. It is proof that happiness is not difficult or expensive to achieve; it can be found in the simplest moments with the people we love.

How do you find moments of cozy contentment in your life?
 

 

Coloring Outside the Lines: Reconditioning our Brains to Be Free [ELR:003]

Welcome to enRICHed life radio-- banishing guilt and empowering self care! Follow me on Anchor every Self Care Sunday at 6pm EST for more great podcast content. You can also find and download the full list of episodes on the iTunes store and Google Play

Weekly affirmation: My thinking is creative and unique, and I always come up with great ideas.

 

Last weekend, I took my son to a kiddie Paint and Sip. It was adorable! They got to "sip" on apple juice, while getting messy in painting supplies.

The instructor leading the children encouraged each of them to embrace their creativity and let their imagination lead them. And the results were amazing!

It's astounding what children can create when they are lovingly encouraged to expand their imagination, rather than being constantly forced to "color inside the lines".

I know it can be a lot harder for us as adults to find that same comfort in letting loose with our imaginations. But what is stopping us?

Fear. Conditioning. Guilt. Worry.

Each of those negative aspects of our thoughts has stopped us from taking a leap outside of our comfort zone. 

But how do we combat that?

I found an article from Entrepreneur talking about this exact thing: 3 Ways to Think Outside the Box. The article is geared toward businesses, but I find the suggestions can be implemented in all aspects of our lives.

1. Set Parameters

Set a timer for 10 minutes and write or type everything you can think of. Try to get as many thoughts as you can down on paper in that timeframe.

2. Aim for quantity, not quality. Don't edit.

This is the hardest part for me. I want to stop and fix spelling or grammar, but in this particular exercise, try to let your mind just flow with ideas. You can worry about editting later.

3. Change your environment

If you want to experience something new, you can't stay in the same place. Take your laptop or tablet outside, and try the 10 minute exercise in the sunshine. Use your senses as inspiration to think differently about things.

What are your suggestions for ways to think outside the box and color outside the lines?


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An Inspirational Roundup of Some Amazing Self-Care Bloggers

I recently started following the hashtag #selfcareblogger on Instagram (LOVE this feature!), and I have discovered some amazing bloggers who love to talk, write, and teach about self-care. Plus, it's Women's HERstory Month, and I love seeing other women's success.

Check out some of my favorites, and consider giving them a follow. You won't be disappointed by the inspirational photos. And if you haven't already, please consider following me as well! 

Follow me on IG @pinupgirlsbeauty

Born to Conquer

My first IG self-care blogger is Sabrina Martinez from @brntoconquer. Her mission is to "inspire you to push the reset button, and live fearlessly outside the box". She blogs and posts about skincare, natural hair care, makeup, and journaling. You can find some of her latest writing at Born to Conquer.


Pine Tree Häus

I recently started following Sarah at @pinetreehaus after reading The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living (which I plan to review next week). Sarah is a freelance blogger, massage therapist and holistic health practitioner who is "driven by the belief that healing and wholeness is possible for anyone with discipline, inspiration, and a tribal community to cheer you on."

I love Sarah's practical approach to abundant living through her writing. And I am especially interested in trying some of her recommended oils for hormonal imbalance. You can find her writing at Pine Tree Häus


Morning Coffee with Dee

Deanna at @morningcoffeewithdee is a blogger and social worker who  has created a community "for those who have a desire to live passionately, embrace creativity, experience true happiness, and grow authentically." 

I love that she provides free resources in her blog to help advance your self-care routine and improve your life. You can find her blog at Morning Coffee with Dee.


Lifestyle by Stephanie

I love Stephanie from @lifestylebystephanie, not just because we share a first name, but also because we have a similar love for organization and planning. Plus, her 30 Day Money Saving Challenge is a great resource for anyone just starting out on their financial self-care journey.

Stephanie's mission is "to inspire others to take action & achieve their goals by providing the steps on how they can live their dream lives." You can find her writing at Lifestyle by Stephanie.


Who have you been following lately that inspires you to make your self-care a priority?

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3 Incredible Personal Development Books to Get You Motivated [ELR:002]

Welcome to enRICHed life radio-- banishing guilt and empowering self care! Follow me on Anchor every Self Care Sunday at 6pm EST for more great podcast content. You can also find and download the full list of episodes on the iTunes store and Google Play

Weekly Affirmation: I am in charge of how I feel and today I am choosing happiness.

 

I was asked a few weeks ago to give my top three favorite personal development books, and I didn't know what to say. There are SO MANY amazing books around that narrowing down to three favorites is not an easy task. There are a few books, though, that I can consume over and over again, and I find something different in every reading!

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Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Subtitle: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person

Can I just start by saying I LOVE Shonda and ShondaLAND! I bonded with my college roommate over Grey's Anatomy (when we literally had NOTHING else in common), and I still get excited to see the live tweets of Scandal, even though the show has turned in a direction I didn't expect.

Year of Yes found me at the perfect time in my life. I was working on a big project, and I didn't think I had the skills to complete it, despite being told by many different people that I was more than capable. Shonda told me I needed to step outside my comfort zone and believe in myself. I had to stop saying, "who me?" and shift my mindset to "why not me?"

Shonda tells her story about her "year of yes" in a simple, funny, and motivating way, through real life stories and funny anecdotes. And because she shared her vulnerabilities in this book and embraced the idea of saying yes to the things that scared her, I knew that I could do the same.

Pages: 337

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Subtitle: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

I read You are a Badass right before finding out that the author would be the featured speaker at a conference I was attending. What I loved most about seeing her live was that she took the time to talk to each and every one of us about our ideas and excitement for her book. 

This book was my first introduction to the Law of Attraction, which basically states that what you put out into the world is what you will receive back from it. This book challenged me to make positivity my main goal, so that I can receive the same back from the universe.

Pages: 258

Make Sh*t Happen Series by Kat Loterzo

I'm cheating a little bit because this is a series of six ebooks, and they are only available on Amazon Kindle. BUT! If you have Kindle Unlimited, five of the six books are free to read! And they are all short works, with less than 150 pages, chock-full of no-nonsense advice to motivate you to "make sh*t happen".

How to Journal and Make Sh*t Happen

Subtitle: The Book Every Woman Craving an Exceptional Life Must Own!

I started with How to Journal and Make Sh*t Happen as a way to get focused on my journalling time. This book really helped guide my journal writing and bring my goals into focus.

Pages: 93

What books get you motivated to enhance your skills and mindset?

Please feel free to tune in next week on Sunday at 6pm ET to enRICHED life radio, where we will be talking about coloring outside the lines.

 

3 Easy Tasks Women Can Do Every Morning to Increase Our Productivity

I admit that I am NOT a morning person. I used to grumble and complain every time I had to drag myself out of my warm comfortable covers to get ready for the day. And you know what? When I grumbled in the morning, I found myself continuing to groan and complain for the rest of the day too.

I had to retrain my mind towards positive thinking in the morning, despite my 5:30am daily alarm.

And even if you don't have a set time to wake in the morning, it is still a great idea to set a routine. Studies have shown that people with a steady morning routine are more productive during the day, and they ultimately have more success in their life.

Are you ready to start your day with focus? Add these three things to your morning routine to increase your success throughout the day.

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1. LISTEN TO POSITIVE OR MOTIVATIONAL MUSIC AND MESSAGES.

I have a playlist titled "morning motivation" and I have my alarm set to play this playlist every morning at 5:00am. This serves two purposes: first, I like to sleep in as long as possible, so I know which song I can sleep through, and which song means it is time to get out of bed. And second, I am not jarred awake by a horrible alarm; I wake peacefully, starting my whole day on the right foot.

If you are more of a spoken word person, consider downloading motivational audio books or podcasts (like enRICHed life radio!) to get your mind focused in the right direction.

2. WRITE DOWN 3 THINGS YOU NEED TO ACCOMPLISH DURING THE DAY.

I have a planner with three colored sections that I use to write these priorities down. I know that no matter what happens during the day, I MUST get these items completed. I have found that when I check these items off my to-do list, I feel more confident to complete even more tasks, and I sleep better knowing my day was productive.

3. PICK A MOTIVATIONAL QUOTE AND REPEAT IT TO YOURSELF.

This is my favorite part of the morning. I usually pick a quote the night before, write it in my planner, and take a look at it when I wake. Then I repeat it to myself as I shower, dress, put on makeup, and eat breakfast. I say it out loud, I say it in my head, I shout it, I whisper it; I say it so many times that it feels like water flowing out of my mouth and into my thoughts.

All this may seem funny or weird at first, but as your brain gets trained to accept the positive, you will find your days are more productive and you will be on your way to having the success you have been seeking.

What do you add to your morning routine to make sure you have a productive day?

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My Thoughts on 'Black Panther'-- From a Non-Comic Fan [No Spoilers]

I left the theater yesterday afternoon reeling in the cinematic genius that is Black Panther. And I'm sure you're wondering by the title of this post why I even went to see a comic book superhero movie in the first place.

You're right-- I haven't seen Captain America Civil War (or even the Captain America before that). I have only seen bits and pieces of the other Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies, either on TV or in the cardio theater of my gym. And I definitely haven't read any of the original comics. I am more of a Harry Potter/Hunger Games/A Wrinkle in Time kinda girl.

So, what brought me to the theater for this one? (Other than an excuse to finally wear this skirt...)

 Caught in the middle of reading reviews as soon as I walked out the theater. I was HYPED!

Caught in the middle of reading reviews as soon as I walked out the theater. I was HYPED!

I can't lie-- I'm rooting for everybody black.

Of course that's a bit of a simplistic answer. The truth is I wanted to see this movie do well in the box office. I was stunned and thrilled to see this amazing cast list-- bringing seasoned vets like Angela Bassett (Queen Ramonda) and Forest Whitaker (Zuri) together with the amazing young talent of Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa), Michael B. Jordan (Eric Killmonger), Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi), Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Winston Duke (M’Baka), Danai Gurira (Okoye), and Letitia Wright (Shuri).

And I had no idea how empowered I would feel to see such strong women take on the roles of fierce warriors, badass spies, and technological geniuses! The honor and respect for women in Wakanda is definitely a lesson many people need to take from this film.

I knew that if there is any chance of seeing more movies with this many powerful women and people of color cast in them, Black Panther would have to do well in ticket sales.

  Black Panther  Cast | Image via  Marvel Studios

Black Panther Cast | Image via Marvel Studios

Since I paid my hard-earned money to see Peter Rabbit and Fifty Shades Freed, I sure as heck was going to show the box office gods that I want to see more black people as kings, queens, princesses, warriors, protectors, and superheroes. I hope the success of this movie paves a way for more films and TV shows to cast people of color as main characters. Plus, this gives my son (and myself) more options for Halloween costumes, right?

So what did I think of the movie?

This movie was EPIC! The cinematography was brilliant, the music was DOPE, and the acting was so believable. And I didn’t have any problems keeping up with the plot, despite having not seen any of the other MCU movies in full.

I definitely need another viewing of it to catch some of the deep themes I may have missed in this first showing. But what I know is that this movie did a great job of keeping true to the action and fantasy we would expect from a superhero movie, while also subtlety throwing in some commentary of gender and race relations felt in the United States and around the world. 

I was proud to stand in line at the theater this weekend among other happy and excited movie-goers as we struck up conversations about the reasons we were there to see Black Panther. And I got a quick and dirty MCU lesson to give me some context of these characters with the rest of the Marvel universe. Thank you, kind comic book junkie in front of me!

In a few weeks, after most people who are interested in the movie have a chance to see it, I plan to go live on FB to talk about all the details and spoilers. I don't want to ruin it for you right now-- you need to see it for yourself! I will let you know when that's happening, and I hope you join me in the conversation.

Until then, #WakandaForever!

Are you planning to see the new Black Panther movie? If you have already traveled to Wakanda, what did you think of it?

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5 Fabulous Ways to Love Yourself More This Year [ELR:001]

Welcome to the first episode of enRICHed life radio-- banishing guilt and empowering self care! Follow me on Anchor every Self Care Sunday at 6pm EST for more great podcast content. You can also find and download the full list of episodes on the iTunes store and Google Play

Weekly Affirmation: I am enough. I have enough. My gifts will make a way for me. I have all that I need.

 

I just finished the last of my Valentine's Day candy and Girl Scout cookies, and now I am looking in the mirror wondering what is wrong with me.

I notice that sometimes the words in my head are full of negativity and self doubt. And when those negative thoughts become habit, they manifest into body shaming and self-hate. Have you ever had those thoughts and feelings?

Well if you have, I wanted to give us all a few ideas to help us love ourselves and our beautiful bodies even more during this "month of love".

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Here are my 5 ways to love myself more this year:

1. Take time to step away from the noise

My phone and computer are filled with too many ways to get distracted: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Gmail, blah, blah, blah... 

And most days, I can manage my time without being overwhelmed. But lately, the noise has been negative and trivial. Those are the times where unplugging from the technology is key.

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2. Work my goals at my own pace

Along with the general overwhelm of social media, there is also this urge to compare myself with what other people (especially bloggers and small business owners) are doing. 

It's easy to feel like I am not achieving my goals as fast or as frequently as others on my timeline. Or I over-analyse my work after viewing an amazing post or brilliant photo on someone else's feed. I have started consciously reminding myself that I am working at my own pace, and my success will look different from everyone else's.

And for you, if that means unfollowing some people on social media, or limiting your conversations about your goals with your acquaintances or coworkers, do it. Take time to map out your own milestones, and stick to it! 

3. Learn how to say "NO"

We all want to be involved and helpful when someone asks us a favor, or requests our presence at an event. But I found myself burned out and stressed in 2017 because I tried to DO EVERYTHING and BE EVERYWHERE, even when I really didn't want to be there. Why was I doing things that don't make me happy? 

This year, I am learning the art of saying "no" without being rude. I am actively using my planner to balance my work and family. And if there is a conflict when someone asks for a favor, I politely decline so I can put my life, business, and family first. By setting these boundaries, I am not stressed and spread too thin; I can focus on my goals without distractions.

4. Consume personal development material

With all the crazy information we get bombarded with everyday, we have to remember to consume information the same way we consume good foods- we are what we consume.

So I have been getting back into reading personal development books and listening to motivational podcasts. Not only do I get a fresh, uplifting perspective, but I am also strengthening my skills and knowledge in content development. 

I usually combine this with my moments of relaxation-- listening to podcasts while I walk or reading a book while I relax in the tub.

5. Start and end the day with positive words

My new favorite part of my morning routine is sitting at my vanity, staring in the mirror, and repeating my morning affirmations. These words fill me with the power and motivation to glide through the day. I find that  on the days I say my affirmations out loud in the mirror, I have more confidence, I make better decisions, and I feel great about how I look.

Similarly, before I go to bed, I spend a few minutes writing down everything that went well during the day. I give myself credit for my daily accomplishments, which enforces that I am making progress toward my goals.

I find that I am much more loving and accepting of myself after I have done any one of these five things. 

What do you Do to love yourself more?
 

Please feel free to tune in next week on Sunday at 6pm ET to enRICHED life radio, where we will be talking about some of my favorite personal development books!

 

I bought a Groupon for the Bethesda Salt Cave- Here's How it Went

Last weekend I had tickets to attend a formal charity ball at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda, and I decided to make it a whole self-care getaway, so booked a room at the hotel for the night. And as I was searching other attractions in the area, I found the Bethesda Salt Cave. Google maps said it was literally a one minute walk from the hotel. Score!

To my surprise, they happened to have a current Groupon promotion going on. I chose a 45 minute salt cave session, which is normally $45, but with Groupon, it was only $28. Plus Groupon had an additional 20% off code, so I actually only paid $22.40!

  Posing in front of the salt lamps for sale in the lobby.

Posing in front of the salt lamps for sale in the lobby.

I read both some skeptical news articles and some awesome reviews about the benefits of breathing salt, most of which included clearing up nasal passages and reducing asthma. I didn't really have any of those issues; I just wanted to try something relaxing. And a little positive energy never hurt anyone, right?

I bought the Groupon on a Wednesday, and called the Bethesda Salt Cave the next day to schedule my appointment. After ten minutes on the phone with a pleasant lady named Ann, I was booked for that Sunday at noon. 

I received my confirmation email that Saturday, with a reminder to arrive 15 minutes early, wear clean socks, and park my car at the metered parking garage on Montgomery Ave. Since the location was so close to the hotel, I decided to keep my car parked where it was and walk instead.

himalayan salt lamps for sale at the Bethesda Salt Cave

So what did I think?

I enjoyed every minute of the experience. From the check in process with Ann (the same pleasant lady who booked my appointment), to the energized, cozy feeling of the cave, I was pleasantly surprised at how relaxed I was through the entire session.

I especially liked the zero gravity chairs, though it took me a few tries to figure out how to work it. Once it was locked in position, I felt like I was floating.

When the session starts, the staff turns on the air to move the salt throughout the room. And even though the salt was everywhere, I never got a salty taste in my mouth, like I sometimes do at the beach. 

Here are my tips for the best experience: 

  • The temperature in the room is kept at 68 degrees, so if you tend to be cold, dress warmly.  
  • Leave any valuables in your car, or ask the helpful staff to lock them up for you behind the counter. There is a coat rack at the entrance, and you can leave your shoes in the waiting area.  
  • If you love dogs, you will be greeted by Flex, the friendly golden retriever mascot for the spa. He is a great dog, and I had a lot of fun petting him. But if you have pet allergies, be aware that he will be your greeter at the front door. 
 This is Flex, the sweetest golden lab and the Salt Cave mascot! Image via  The Bethesda Salt Cave Instagram

This is Flex, the sweetest golden lab and the Salt Cave mascot! Image via The Bethesda Salt Cave Instagram

Have you ever thought about trying a salt cave? Would you give this one a try if you had the Groupon?


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What is National Wear Red Day, and Why Do We Observe It?

Today is the first Friday in February- National Wear Red Day, and my entire office is decked in red dresses, shirts, and ties. But why do we observe this day, other than to kick off the Valentine's Day season?

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February is National Heart Month

In addition to February being the month of lovers, this month is also special because the American Heart Association brings awareness to heart disease and stroke all month long. Since 2004, the first Friday of February is noted as National Wear Red Day as a way to kickoff the Heart Month awareness campaign.

The Go Red for Women campaign indicates that heart disease and stroke kill one in three women in the United States. 

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women - killing more than all forms of cancer combined. For more than a decade, the red dress has been the symbol of  women joining together to end heart disease. When you wear the red dress, you are raising your voice to save the lives of women.

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Why am I so personally involved?

When I was a young girl, my grandfather was rushed to the hospital, and we found out later he had a heart attack. He had to have a quadruple by-pass surgery, and the recovery forced him into retirement after 49 years of working at his job.

Since then, I have heard story after story of my family members and friends being affected by heart disease and stroke. At the end of my own pregnancy I had a few complications due to high blood pressure and my family medical history of heart disease. So I no longer take the signs and symptoms lightly when I hear about them.

How Can You Support?

  • It's easy: wear red today! Show your support, and help spread awareness for the cause. Hashtag your outfit on social media #RockYourRed and #GoRedWearRed
  • You can also visit the Go Red for Women website to learn more or make a donation to research and education.
  • If you shop at Macy's, consider picking up a Go Red for Women button, and you will receive 25% off your purchases, from now to Monday, February 5.
  • AND! If you are in the DC Metro Area, consider attending this awesome Rock Your Red Affair to benefit the Go Red for Women Campaign while also having a great time at 1942DC Bar and Lounge.
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How are you planning to #RockYourRed this month?