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5 ‘P’owerful Ways to Connect With Your Spouse

Please tell me I am not the only one who feels like sometimes life gets too busy…to the point that there are evenings when my husband and I are hardly able to chat in the evenings.  I have spoken with my chicks and my mom about this and it seems normal for life to cut into relationships — but honestly, no one likes to feel like they are not ‘connected’ to their spouse or significant other (SO).  Having been married for 13 years with two young children, it’s easy to let one busy evening become two nights in a row and then, before you know it, a week!

Here are some important reminders, the five ‘P’s, to keep your relationship on track and healthy:

Prioritize

Identify that you miss your spouse…this is an easy way to kick yourself back into gear. The best place to start is to communicate that longing. It helps get the wheels turning for you and for your SO. I tell my husband I miss him all the time, even when he is right in front of me. It lets him know that I am thinking about him and that time with him is a priority for me.

Secrets for winning at Relationships
Anil and Rina : Established in 2005
Plan

Remember, actions express priorities. So once you acknowledge that you miss each other, it is time to make a plan. We were so good about date nights in the beginning, but lately (in the last 3 years) not so much. This year, we want to find a way to get back to that place where we set aside time for each other. Making time to do things together (yes, without the kids and hustle of daily life) expresses priorities.

Play

Remember those little things you did when you had fewer responsibilities? In our case, it was watch a lot of movies, NBA basketball games, and walking around new parts of town. Those activities are fun, flirty, and lighthearted. Don’t just go out to a fancy dinner — go to sports bar and catch the game again, like old times.  Play time together is just as important for adults as it is for kids. Remind each other of the easy, playful times amidst the weight of growing responsibilities with families.

Sonia and Badal Celebrating 10 Years!

Sonia and Badal Celebrating 10 Years!

Physical Contact

Do you know it only take 60 SECONDS of physical skin to skin contact to get the endorphins going?  Take that playfulness further by sneaking in moments to flirt at home. These moments can be an unexpected hug or kiss in the kitchen, a slight touch of the hand as you walk by. Making sure to remember that even the slightest physical contact with your spouse can make the body have a positive biological response.

Pillow Talk

This one is great. It ties in with #2, planning.  Each night, when the lights are out, it is nice to have a little recap. I tell my husband a quick story about the kids or myself. He will tell me something funny that happened at the office. We try to keep the exchange lighthearted (and phone free), to help us laugh together and end the day with a smile.  Having this brief re-connectivity can help be a reset and recharge button for the relationship. I actually think about pillow talk throughout out the day and look forward to that moment of peace when it is just the two of us.

** Bonus ‘P’: Poetry**

When I first met my husband he would write me lovely snippets in emails, on cards, and on napkins (anything he could get his hands on!) from time to time, sneaking in a romantic thought here an there really drew me to him.  Since that time, I have see many other relationships use this fun way to communicate with each other.  Check out some of my favorite love poems written by my uncle in his book, The Start Of Something Beautiful.  Maybe scoop up a copy for your honey for old times sake, or check out some of our other ideas for gifts.  Here is a sample from the book:

God Exists Poem

Hopefully, you can use some of these tips. When I am on the same page as my spouse, I move through my day with confidence and positivity. When we are ‘off’, it affects me, the kids, my work, etc.  Are you like that?  Drop me a comment below on what you do to connect with your spouse.

Cheers,

Rina

 

5 Things I Have Learned Since Starting A Blog

Wow, it has been a roller coaster since launching Chicks And Salsa and, besides the time I have spent with my family, this has been one of the most gratifying year and a half of my life. Doing something that is centered on the betterment and understanding of myself was a hard transition to make but has felt amazing.  The blog has also had some unexpected benefits such as making my relationships with my parents, siblings, spouse, and children better since I had found an outlet for myself. It has served as an avenue to work through my thoughts and ideas in in a more organized fashion that my brain previously couldn’t. I am also truly grateful to Sonia, Avani, Komal, and Neema who have found a home on the blog for their voices and ideas. Compiling our passions, motivations, and insecurities has allowed each of us to grow beyond what we could have imagined. In reflecting on this past year, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the top five things I have learned since “becoming a blogger.”

Bloggers Are Awesome People

I was surprisingly met with good energy, positive vibes and smiling faces when I timidly introduced Chicks And Salsa to the blog-sphere.  I was worried about encountering intimidation and skepticism; but other bloggers were generous with their ideas and enthusiasm. After all, we are unique and have a different messages to share with the universe.  We have worked with many bloggers in developing our brand and truly credit them for the support that they have provided.  These women rock! They are hard working, creative, and smart and open to questions. DM your favorite bloggers and see what they say!  Pro tip: to really shortcut the process, join Style Collective. They have all the secrets, resources, and community support to justify what they offer for $10/month.  I wish I had found them much sooner than I did. I use their calendars and templates for emails and contracts regularly. I have also met new networks that have streamlined my outreach.

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Deciding to Start is The Hardest Part

My sister and I talked ourselves out of starting Chicks And Salsa for months. We kept thinking we were too old, too boring, too ‘whatever’ to have a blog.  And although that still may be true, doing it for ourselves has been the greatest gift. The fact that so many of our readers check in is the bow on top.  Sharing a piece of oneself with the universe can come with a host of insecurities, doubt, changes, attempts, failures, laughter, and tears.  It’s the constant pursuit of developing and defining your brand that really reflects who you are as a person. It forces you to reflect on your values and desires, an exercise that fuels motivation to try harder and learn more.  Then there is the challenge of incorporating all this sharing into your day-to-day life without it totally taking over (which it totally has the potential to do, see number 3.)  

Blogging is ALL Encompassing

With blogging, I find myself managing many media platforms. In order to succeed, you do need to be everywhere all the time.  Having my cameras always charged and planning out my content helps — that way I am not aimlessly taking pictures all the time.  I make my time count by being goal-oriented and then I either write the piece, get the picture, or make a list and move on. A bias towards action is important and acting with intention will help limit the blogging… keeping it from taking over your life!

Blogging is actually SO MUCH FUN!

Yes, it’s true. Deciding to do this was the exact kick I needed to get out of the funk I was in. For the first time in five years, I was home alone because my kids went to school full time and I had been working part time from home. The blog has taken my ‘me time’ to another level.  I have developed as a writer, photographer, digital content creator, and friend.  Not to mention, I have discovered a whole world of new social media supporters and friendships – some I have met, some I have not (yet!). It has been a rewarding journey that I am excited to continue experiencing. You, our readers, are a huge part of the motivation that drives me forward.  Thank you!

All Black Look
All Black Look
Loving The Learning
Loving The Learning
It Is Easier To Work Backwards

In the beginning, I decided to start a blog but I didn’t have a specific objective or purpose in mind.  Helpful questions to start with are ‘why do you want to blog?’,‘what is the end goal?’, and ‘are you seeking free stuff, money, to network, or travel?’.  I know it seems obvious, but if you want free travel, talk about travel; if you want free products, talk about products, etc.  Genuinely I think I started because I wanted to learn about blogging and I wanted to be informed.  I know now that Chicks And Salsa is truly a lifestyle blog that we have built to speak to all the layers of women, in particular mothers. Women tend to be the demographic who have limited time for themselves and cherish the time they get with their friends. Therefore, we found our mission after we decided to pursue the genesis of Chicks and Salsa. This important nuance helped us grow from the ground up into a purposeful blog.

Phew, what a round up! I hope you found this helpful. In the new digital age, the creative content that one can make and the audience that they can have is truly limitless. Use that indefinite space to find a corner that is yours. I hope that with Chicks And Salsa, you have not only found that you are part of our tribe but also that you are the origin of your own movement.

Cheers
Cheers

Cheers!
Rina

Put in Bay, OH – A Hidden Gem In The Midwest

Where? That is what I said when I my Dad told me that he had a wonderful, family friendly spot for us to visit this summer. Growing up on Lake Michigan, a destination on Lake Eerie truly felt foreign to me.  We had spent many holidays in Ohio but never visited this surprising gem.  To get to Put In Bay, you have to get to Toledo, Ohio and then ferry over by boat to this island in the Midwest (the Ferry is $8/adult and $17/car).  Not only is Put In Bay beautiful, but it is also has historical significance.

Its location in between Canada and the United states provided the British army a strategic advantage during the War of 1812 (remember learning about that?!?)  In any case because of its historical significance, Put In Bay is a US National Park with a sunning International Peace Monument to commemorate the battle victory.  Although the island itself is only 3.7 miles long and 1.5 miles wide we were able to have a memorable visit there because of a few things that they island has done right in attracting tourism.

Casual Atmosphere

As soon as you get off the ferry, you are offered golf carts and bikes to get around the island.  These are truly the most practical ( and the most fun) way to get around.  A car is truly just unnecessary, parking on the island is limited and it takes longer to get to and in your car than it would just to walk most times.

The few hotels on the island are huddled together near the downtown part of the island where all the restaurants and shopping is located. The island generally is well manicured but the downtown is immaculately clean and welcoming, especially to families.  There are incredible parks, a carousel, indoor and outdoor dining, water sports, and boutique ice cream and retail parlors everywhere.  Its truly just picture perfect.

Engaging Park Services

Due to the historical side of Put In Bay Island and the large international Peace Memorial Park, it is impossible not to participate in the learning that is so ingrown to the community there.  The park service has a very nice free museum with a theater to make sure that everyone who visit understands that Put In Bay is more than meets the eye.

Island Life

I know, it sounds funny but truly being on a island, no matter where always kind of seems exotic.  There is water EVERYWHERE and it is part of every landscape.  Our favorite spot that we visited EACH day we were there was the South Bass Island Lighthouse, this tiny lighthouse is located on the edge of the island with the most stunning views and breeze.  The kids and I danced in the wind for hours wishing we had a kite with us.

With the bikes we were able to explore every nook and cranny of this island and I rode with my Dad at sunrise and at sunset.  It was such an amazing bonding experience.  ( Be aware that in the month of June, the island experiences an infestation of May Flies, large dragonfly looking insects that  are harmless but literally swarm the island for two weeks.)

All in all, Put In Bay ended up being a great little getaway in the Midwest.  We stayed at the Put In Bay Resort and Conference Center.  I would say it was an average hotel that has a pool, continental breakfast and spotty wifi.  Although it was just fine for our visit, with the tiki bar by the pool and ashtrays everywhere, the resort had a little bit of a ‘Spring Break’ vibe that I would probably veer away from next time.

If you are looking for a quick little Midwest getaway, check out Put In Bay, you won’t regret it.  To see other family friendly adventures, click here.

Cheers,

Rina

Beat The Bloat With Spanx

Having spent the better part of my life dealing with the symptoms of Endometriosis, I am no stranger to the occasional bloat.  Even when having a low-sodium diet, doing abdominal exercises, and with normal healthy food intake, I tend to bloat without warning.  It’s fine when I’m sporting my go-to leggings, but not so much when I have to “dress-up.”  As some of you ladies know, there’s no warning to the occasional bloat so I always have to be prepared.  This is where my ever-trusty Spanx come in handy (they don’t call them essential for nothing)!  

There comes that moment after finishing my makeup and hair, I realize that my bloat may come in my way of what I wanted to wear out.  Sure, I could just wear whatever I want and not really care about what others’ say or speculate.  Sure, I could wear a big baggy shirt and head on out. Sure, I can painfully squeeze into whatever normally fits me.  But is this all worth the pain?  The bloat doesn’t just look like I’m 3 months pregnant, but it’s probably one of the most uncomfortable feelings out there.  Also, I’m definitely not a delicate eater when I’m out and about — I like my food and I like seconds!  

Tummy Control Faux Leather SpanxHigh Waisted Faux Leather Spanx

Rina (photographed) is 5’7” and 140 lbs and wears a Medium in Spanx Leggings

Knowing that I have Spanx to depend on during my desperate “I need to get into this dress or I’ll be staying home tonight” protest helps a ton.  I’ve also found that not only do Spanx offer shapewear to hide and tuck in, but also they offer a wide range of uses.  For instance, my favorite Spanx have a dual purpose — not only do they help me make sure I can squeeze into my favorite dress but also as a grown-up’s version of “bloomers.”  You know, the shorts you wear under a dress or skirt for extra coverage under there.  When my two children were toddlers, I had no issues wearing summer dresses — I could easily change their diapers, run around after them in the park, or sit down on the picnic blanket without hesitation!  

More Than Tummy Control — Underarms and Back Too!

Also…Spanx doesn’t just offer undergarments, but also some pretty fashion forward leggings! And of course — these tuck in, squeeze in, and are so comfortable all while looking as if this cardigan-wearing teacher mom knows how to go out in style!  I can style these with a casual white tee shirt or a lace blouse — with heels or flats…the possibilities are endless.  This is a huge, HUGE help when I’m trying to find something to wear in a hurry!

So go get out there mama’s — no reason to stay in because of the ever-so-common bloat issues! Spanx it and have a blast!

Cheers,

Your brainy chick, Komi

   

Life-Gramming with Snap Spectacles : To Buy or Not to Buy?

Come on ladies, we have all been there: whipping out our phones every second our children look cute at a party, school or on the playground. As fun as it is to capture these moments, tying up our hands and pointing a phone in their face can be a bittersweet experience. I have been waiting for an organic method to capturing memories in a real-time way for years and that moment is finally here, or so I thought!  

The Product: Snap Spectacles

Snap Inc. (formerly SnapChat) has come out with Spectacles. While other people have many reasons for wanting these (e.g. documenting intense adventures hiking on mountains or whitewater rafting), my purpose is singular: to find a more natural way to capture moments with my kids — not for social media, but for myself.  

The Spectacles have decent video and audio quality and a fairly minimal profile that makes it easy to use around the kids without ruining ‘the moment’. Although they only have sunglasses version out now, I suspect the next round of specs will have more nighttime and indoor friendly options.     

The glasses are really easy to use, it nice to not have to dig through your purse every time you want to capture something.  They stay paired with your phone at all time so you don’t need to wonder if you will get the shot when you hit the button on the frame (believe me I kept checking to see if it saved and it did every single time.) The shades run 90 minutes on a full charge (the minutes really stretch since it records 10-60 seconds at a time), which could be nice for adventures with the kids (like going to the the zoo, amusement parks, or even a walk at the park) except that ten seconds with kids on camera tends to feel like one, the ten second window seems to fly by.  Also, since the Snapchat app can take photos, I was disappointed that I could not take a picture with the specs, it only records videos. 

Check out more reviews and videos here:

I'm a Cool Mom - Right?!?!
I’m a Cool Mom – Right?!?!
Verdict

BUT, in the end, I ended up returning my Spectacles because I found it annoying to not be able to have a continuous shot, even with a 60 second setting, the video gets broken up into six ten second clips when saved to your story.  Ten seconds and no photo option is just not going to work for me!  This device is so close to something I could and would use.  Maybe when they expand the recording options and create a clear lens frame I may be interested in trying this out again but for now, I will probably spend more time fiddling around with the spectacles rather than with the kids which would defeat my original intent for buying the glasses all together!  

I hope I was able to ease your curiosity of this device I know that I needed to try it to know for myself.  Anything else you have your eye on? Let me know, I will review it and keep you posted.

XOXO,

Rina

Chicks Picks: 


Park City, Utah Will Give You Life

When I first became a mother I was told by veteran Mom’s that taking time for yourself is important. When my kids were infants I found it difficult to separate myself from family life and always carried a feeling of “mom guilt.”  Now that my kids are 5 and 7, I understand why that advice is so important.  With no diapers, bottles or sleep schedules, I have a lot less “mom guilt” leaving the kids to spend time with their dad or grandparents to have some “me” time.

Destination: Park City, Utah

Back in October, I went with four friends to Park City, Utah. We stayed at the Montage in Deer Valley. Though it was off-season, and we didn’t go for skiing, there was still plenty to do! We rented a four-bedroom residence which offered a kitchen to make at-home meals or store late night snacks. We didn’t really make good use of the kitchen since we were trying to escape the daily routine of family life including cooking and dishes!  The Montage offered complimentary coffee and assorted teas in the morning which was a nice, and much needed, touch.  

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A quick note: For those of you who have altitude sickness, Deer Park sits at almost 7000 feet so you might want to come prepared with some extra oxygen or Advil for minor headaches. I suffered my first night there, but staying hydrated helped get me back up and running the next day! Learn more about altitude sickness here.

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Sundance and North Forty Escapes

Two excursions that we really enjoyed were our trip to Sundance and our trip to North Forty Escapes.  The Montage was kind enough to offer a complementary car for us to drive out to Sundance. We did a hike to Stewart Falls which made for the perfect outdoorsy addition to our girls trip. If you decide to make your way there, bring a sweatshirt or light jacket…there are several microclimates along the hike which make you both hot and cold (be prepared)!  It’s not overly strenuous but also not easy so make sure you are wearing proper shoes.  

Our drive to North Forty Escapes took us through the weaving back roads of Park City.  If you plan to drive yourself, be sure you have your bearings and directions..we lost cell service… you don’t want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere!  When we arrived we did some clay shooting and horseback riding.  It made for a fun and productive way to be together in the great outdoors.  The sign for the ranch is small so be sure to keep your eyes peeled on your drive in.  

Tried Shooting For The First Time
Tried Clay Shooting For The First Time (not hunting, I am a vegetarian and animal lover!)


No trip is complete without food!  As a vegetarian, I can be picky about the places I suggest. Two dinner spots that stuck out were, Chimayo and River horse.    Chimayo is a quaint restaurant which offers Mexican fare.  I would recommend the wild mushroom enchiladas with a delicious spicy margarita.  River horse was a more dressy upscale restaurant that offered live music and delicious food!  The pot-stickers and tofu dishes were outstanding!  Both were beautiful in their own ways and accommodating to food requests.

When it was all said and done, a quick weekend trip away was just what the doctor ordered. The spa at the Montage (the #1 spa in Park City) was the cherry on top!  When I came home I was ready to get back to the routine and daily life of being a good wife and mom to my family.

Your Chick,

Sonia

Sonicblend Brush VS Beauty Blender

When I received the Michael Todd Beauty Sonicblend Brush for the holidays I was super excited to try it and see how it compares to my tried and true Beauty Blender.  Make up application is a part of my everyday routine, I have simply made it a habit to never leave the house without it.   I am always looking for new ways to speed up my routine and love seeing what new products are out there.

Sonicblend Brush VS Beauty Blender

Check out my video to see what happens when I apply foundation to half my face with the Beauty Blender and apply foundation to the other half with my new Sonicblend brush.

Although I still LOVE the Beauty Blender I dare say that the Sonicblend Brush has a more ‘done up’ finish (which I prefer!) whereas with the Beauty Blender you can still kind of see your skin through the application which creates a more natural looking finish unless you layer up!  Also the Sonicblend brush does not require water for application so your finish benefits from the full foundation coverage whereas with the Beauty Blender your foundation can get watered down.


I loved testing out this new product and lately I have been sharing my thoughts on our YouTube channel, tell us what you think and if you like what you see, hit subscribe!  For more of our other beauty hacks, click here.

Cheers,

Rina

The Chicks Take Miami – Our Top 3 Must See Spots

All of this cold weather has us dreaming about this past summer when the chicks came together and agreed that a little getaway was in order. We rounded up childcare, got the husbands to buy into a getaway for the gals, shopped, planned, and shopped some more (see our airport looks here) and finally booked our tickets for the famous Miami Beach.

It had been AGES since any of us had been there so we did a lot of research and mixed a little old with the new when we planned our stay.  For nostalgia’s sake we went to the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Towers for our stay, in our 20s we used to enjoy spending time in their gorgeous lobby bar, Bleau Bar.  Our suite was heavenly, water on both sides and up in the  sky, we knew when we stepped into the suite that no matter what we had planned for the weekend that we were going to have a great time.  The suites in the towers at Fontainebleau  are fully stocked with a full kitchen and COFFEE!  Thank God, mornings without coffee are just awful especially after a long night!  The rooms were so comfortable and spacious, we all had room to breathe, spread out, take a break/nap, and gather.  We had all the right ingredients for an amazing weekend: good company, gorgeous location, no agenda, good vibes, and for the next three days NOTHING TO DO.  We left laptops, books, and to-do lists at home.

Espanola Way

We started at the tried at true Espanola Way for an immersive ‘Welcome to Miami’ moment.  The weather is always just perfect in Miami, no wonder you can’t help but feel happy when you are there.  Espanola way is so unique, with its cafes that spill out into the streets, string lights that stretch the entire block, aromas from foods all over the world, and live music that sets the mood which makes this block one of a kind.  Even though the temptation to stop into the first place you see is real, walking all the way down to Tapas N Tintos is well worth it.  This has been a chick favorite for ages, the flamenco dancers, tapas, intimate seating and cute servers make this restaurant a truly unique experience that can only be found in this corner of Miami.

Wynwood Walls

We popped into Blo BlowDry Bar for a little pampering the next morning before we started on the day’s adventures, we had an amazing morning with the staff there, so patient and hilarious, nothing like fun people to really elevate a girls weekend.   Since our last visit, Miami has become home to many creative hotspots and hosts amazing events like Art Basel each year.  Since we were just popping in for the weekend, we were determined to check out the installments at Wynwood Walls which was only about a ten minute cab ride from South Beach.  This enormous indoor/outdoor installment is not only beautiful, but also a bloggers dream come true! Backdrop after backdrop grace the grounds and alternative structural installments capture the imagination.   After strolling through the walls, we wandered around the corner and popped into KYU a vegetarian friendly restaurant where we ate the most amazing grilled cauliflower head with avocado drizzle.  This restaurant was so yummy and such an unexpected find.

After a fairly relaxing day, we were craving a high energy, high intensity environment.  LIV nightclub has been on our list, but they were closed for renovations so we headed to Rockwell to get our groove on.  A crowded nightclub may have been a little bit different than we remembered but we had a great time.

We knew that we would not want to leave Miami without a dip in the ocean, so we headed over to the beach the next morning to really just get the 360 experience, and the water was so warm, it was hardly refreshing against the Florida heat but it was still so liberating.  Something about the way salt water makes you float just makes us tick.  We floated for what seemed like an hour with nothing but a view of the sky, definitely one of my favorite moments of the weekend.  With a few of our favorite beauty products in our bags, we were good to go!

By recommendation, we headed to the stunning Scarpetta Lounge for dinner, conveniently for us located in Fontainebleau.  This restaurant makes you want to sit straight, look on point, order a fancy drink, take pictures, and just relish  the moment.  The food was excellent; they were accommodating for our vegetarian needs, and made dishes especially for us.   This was an expensive meal, but it was worth it!  Next stop was the hotel lobby bar where we had so many memories and laughs from years ago.  The bar is just stunning and massive!  Our cocktail for the night was a French 75, it’s a mix of champagne, lemon juice and simple syrup and a whole lotta sexy.  It’s a must try and the bartender at the bar NAILED IT!

SLS Pool Party

We were on a roll; we called it a night since our last day was going to be spent at the SLS pool party by recommendation the next day.  I am still speechless when it comes to our experience at SLS.  Please know that this weekly pool party books up months in advance so if you are going to Miami and want to go to this book it ASAP here.  SLS took a few tips from the Las Vegas pool party model and blew it out of the water literally, we spent eight hours there in total (thank god for physical sunscreen) and each one was different and unexpected.  The crowd was diverse but not stuffy, the staff were friendly and attentive and the venue was just breathtaking and intimate.  They have mastered the flow of this event and have good control over the crowd which we really appreciated.


Needless to say, we used the flight home to catch a quick cat-nap and hydrate.  In summary, our trip was epic and hopefully the start of a tradition with the chicks.  A little mommy getaway does the soul and spirit good. We were thrilled to get back to our families but super grateful for the break.

If we had to narrow it down to our top three things that you just can’t negotiate and miss on your next trip, they would be a visit to:

Tapas N Tintos – Espanola Way

Wynwood Walls

SLS Pool Party

These are a MUST MUST MUST!

What is your favorite thing to do in Miami?

For more travels posts, check out our post on a recent trip to Sao Paulo in Brazil.

Cheers,

Rina

Chicks Picks:


5 Realistic Resolutions You Can Keep in 2018!

Transitioning between jobs, friends, or even years is usually accompanied with a sudden desire to do things differently — and, if possible, better than the time before. A new year is upon us as is another opportunity for us to, yet again, try to better ourselves and our choices.  What have you considered improving in the next year? Are your goals personal or professional?  As a band of moms, we have collaborated on a few resolutions and goals for the next year and found five common themes in New Year’s goals — but not only do we have themes, we ideas how to actually accomplish those goals:

Don’t Say “ I Will Spend Less Time on Social Media”

The Social Media Addiction is Real (especially for bloggers!)

The Social Media Addiction is Real (especially for bloggers!) It is amazing how this problem affects everyone. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what gender you are or where you are from, everyone is known to ‘spiral’ on social media. In some ways, the natural shift in our society towards social media is natural; but if this is something you are trying to reduce, start with small goals. Find a way to resist the urge once a day. Whether this means putting your cell phone away in a drawer for an hour or two or going on airplane mode, this realistic goal will give you a place to start.  My sister also takes periodic respites from various platforms by deactivated for an amount of time. For many, including my sister, the all-or-nothing tactic can prove to be cathartic and therapeutic.  Also when using media, be mindful of what you are posting, check out our post on Social Media: Friend or Foe for what we mean. 

Don’t Say “I Will Lose Weight”

Instead, consider starting with being more mindful of your weight. What this means is that instead of weighing yourself obsessively or subconsciously avoiding the scale out of fear, setting periodic times to check your weight is the first way to face the facts. Whether it is even 3 or 4 days or on a weekly basis, being mindful will subconsciously stay with you as you move through your day — in turn, helping you lose weight.

PS Of course, studies have shown that tracking your calories on platforms such as My Fitness Pal will help dramatically. But always remember that the key to this method is to stay committed!

Don’t Say “I Will Eat Healthier”
Salad with Dinner
Salad with Dinner

Instead, commit to eating a salad with dinner each night. This is an example of starting small, especially if salad isn’t already a part of your diet. Such a strategy will not only taper your appetite, it will also help you get your greens and fiber!  This modification is easy to add to your diet, especially with the tasty ready made salads now available at most local grocery stores. Our favorite is the Sweet Kale Salad available at Costco (see some of our other Costco favorites here).

Don’t Say “I Will Spend More Time With the Kids, Family, and/or Friends”
No Phone Zone
No Phone Zone

Be specific about how you plan to do this.  Consider starting with phone-free meal times or designated phone-free zones in your home such as kids rooms.  Also, by announcing these goals to your family, they can help keep you accountable (I know my kids love to tell me when I have broken the rules).

Don’t Say “I Will Be Less Stressed”

This could be one of the most difficult on the list. We often think our stresses are out of our control. We can perceive our stress as something that happens to us but in fact, we can control our stress. Begin by creating a plan, and starting small. We don’t want to sound cliche but meditating (AKA just not thinking about anything) can be a useful way to tackle stress. Downloading helpful apps such as HeadSpace or SimpleHabit can be a great first step. Set daily alarms on your phone to check in with yourself and meditate! There is a reason why meditation gets a lot of hype and it’s because it works.  Just three minutes of peace and quiet can keep you focused for the rest of the day.  It’s true, I have been mindfully meditating several times a week for years — and it definitely took some getting used to.  The advantage of using this strategy is that you can do it anywhere, it requires no materials, and does not take a lot of time.

Don’t Say “I Will Be More Positive”

This one is also hard, especially if you have young children or complexities at work. BUT  instead of focusing on how to see the glass half full, if you pay attention to how often you see the glass half empty, you will inadvertently start seeing things on the bright side.  By tallying your complaints each day, you will become more aware of your negative tendencies. Doing so can hone one’s optimism and avoid negative thinking.  Don’t believe me? Just try it!

Hopefully one or some of these resolutions resonate with you and hopefully you can find a way to incorporate these suggestions into your life in the coming year.

Thanks for your support this past year.  We will continue to develop our content in a way that is meaningful to you in 2018, stay with us!

Xo,

Rina