Hello everyone! Welcome to another post where I talk about myself.
hehe ☺️ –>
Recently while doing brand research (exciting things coming) I came across a quote by online marketing guru, Neil Patel which read,
“Building a brand isn’t about feeding your ego. It’s about giving yourself more opportunities to help and connect with people in your industry.”
“Hell yeah it is,” was the immediate thought that came to mind. This dude put my thoughts into the words I haven’t been able to gather!
As I mentioned I was doing research on branding, which is what led me to this quote. A key point I have learned through my journey is that to be your best self you have to invest in yourself.
Each person has a unique set of needs that are critical to thriving in life. These needs link back to Abraham Maslow’s psychological theory, Hierarchy of Needs.
Essentially the theory entertains the idea that each person must meet their specific needs to operate optimally.
One of my needs is stimulation. These needs can be met in infinite ways.
To meet my need for stimulation there are goals I set to achieve each day. These small, attainable goals build confidence and are proven to encourage people to achieve more goals.
Getting in at least 30 minutes of activity (walking, lifting, running, shopping, etc).
Completing at least one personal task (journaling, reading, meditating, etc).
Interacting with individuals who push me to think outside the box.
There are a lot of things I set out to do in a day. That is because I know prioritizing my time properly will benefit me in infinite ways.
In the past (and even sometime now) I spent many, many days running around (both literally and figuratively) like a crazy person. Yet at the end of the day, I completed nothing. I may have worked a bit on quite a few tasks, but nothing is finished.
The determining factor is how we choose to delegate our 24 hours. We all have the same 1440 minutes to be our best selves daily.
Time management to the minute can be incredibly helpful for planning your day. Especially if you’re new to actually following a schedule, like me. ☺️
4:40am – 5:10am
I know this is early and that sucks. But something that makes it a bit more enticing is pairing the thing you dislike (waking up early) with something you enjoy (ex. coffee)!
Another help has been an app I downloaded in December called Sleep Cycle. The app runs overnight and monitors your sleep cycle (duuh). It is able to track the various levels of sleep (REM sleep, light sleep) and wakes you up while you’re in your lightest sleep level.
This is meant to promote a more satisfying, refreshing and pleasant morning. Which I can attest to.
5:15am – 5:20am
Depending upon when I am in my lightest level of sleep I have woken up, made my bed and am brewing a cup of coffee by 5:15am. While my coffee is brewing I check in with my physical self to see if I’m hungry. If so, I will snack on a few rice cakes with PB or a mini bowl of granola with my morning coffee.
Once my caffeine supply is restocked, I go back to my room and get ready for the gym, or whatever workout, I have planned.
I lay out my gym attire the evening before so that in the morning I just have to go through the motions. There are quite a few articles I came across which encourage sleeping in your gym clothes. It allows you to spend the least amount of time getting ready in the AM. Interesting.
5:30am – 6:05am
This is my time. I spend this time doing something I enjoy, whether that be reading, journaling or meditating.
I do my best to ensure I do those three things each day. However, framing my morning with enjoyment leads to a better mindset for the day.
6:05am – 6:10am
During this time I prep to leave for the gym. Brush my teeth. Gather my lifting gloves. Tie my shoes. All that good stuff.
6:10am – 8:00am
swole, adjective: fit, muscular
I don’t work out this entire time. It is also factoring in the commute to and from the gym.
My workout for the day will be something like a strength training circuit, a group class or yoga stretching — whatever gets me moving.
Presently I am 21 years, 2 months and 28 days old. What makes me in the slightest bit qualified to give advice on living your early 20s when I’ve barely experienced them?!
I reached out through my Instagram story asking peeps (ages 20 – 27) to share with me some of their most important life lessons. Everyone I have spoken to about this have had, or are having, wavering feelings of self-doubt and uncertainty — myself included. My personal experiences living and growing as a young adult, along with gaining insight into the lives of others inspired me to create this post.
This is not to say your 20s aren’t a time of euphoria, entertainment and rebellion — because they totally are. Some of these lessons were prefaced with my favorite memories! I mean, come on, we all have a good “I Need to Take a Break from Drinking” story, right?
Thank you so much to the amazing people who took the time to share with me.
These lessons are in no particular order. They are equally important.
YOU ARE YOUR OWN BIGGEST CRITIC.
I want to share that many of the women who responded to my question touched on self-confidence or body image issues in someway. It has taken me my entire life, and I am still working through, learning to love and accept myself. “You are more than the sum of your parts,” is a quote I have reflected on daily for quite sometime now. It continues to remind me how far I have come in life and how much more potential I have beyond my corporeal self.
As some of you who follow me on social media may know, I am currently watching Mad Men. The show is amazing for many, many reasons. One of which being alpha-male character, Roger Sterling. His witty comments, alcohol-loosened mind and complex personality make him one of the most beloved characters. At some point in season 5 (I think? They all run together when you binge watch) Roger says, “It is far healthier to be flawed than insecure.” This line is one that really hit me. I paused the show, wrote the quote down and began to brainstorm what it means to my life. I’m telling you — great show!
In dark times it is easy to fall into patterns, allowing yourself to fall out of priority. Something or, often times, someone is used as a substitute. You cannot love someone else until you love yourself. While the distraction may work, it is not sustainable. The root issue of self-love needs to be attended to otherwise you will continue missing something in life.
CULTIVATE AND VALUE RELATIONSHIPS.
Whether it be platonic, romantic, professional, etc. all relationships should be respected. Although this may seem obvious, I cannot stress how important it is to establish and build a good name for yourself in the world. Life is wild and it will take you all over. It is unknown who you will bump into later in life or how they may impact you. For example at my previous job, I spent a bit of time working closely with old co-workers, including my manager from a couple years ago!
I cannot even begin to tell you the countless stories of my social webs somehow intersecting. This is why it is so important to have a diverse integration of people in your core circle. Keep the people who you enjoy spending time with close to you. Take comfort in knowing there is always someone in the world who loves you, although you may not know it. And remember, everyone wants to feel loved. Once you find the people you are able to communicate open and honestly with, be sure to show your appreciation and gratitude for them — they are not easy to come by.
LEARN TO ACCEPT AND GROW FROM CRITICISM.
Many of us, myself included, have received a critique we’ve struggled with accepting. A standout moment for me happened fall of my freshman year of high school. I remember the moment so vividly… My grandma and I were standing in the kitchen as she cooked dinner. She told me about her day at work, I told her about my day at school. Then she blindsided me. “Alexandra,” she said, “maybe you should make your eyeliner a bit thinner. It looks a little harsh…” She was absolutely correct! But at the time I thought I knew everything, so of course I wrote her off as a “hater” and continued to wear my eyeliner absurdly thick. While this critique is not as important as others may be, accepting you are not always right can be a hard pill to swallow.
Fellow Philly blogger and Positivity Publicity author, Camille Mola, shared her early 20s “were a time of some serious growth — whether I knew I was growing or not.” Camille attests that during this time of chaos, it was easy to feel like “everyone else has it all figured out, except for me.” It takes time to realize no one really knows what they’re doing! I find comfort in the fact that we are all playing along in this life trying to figure it out.
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT AND COMMUNICATE IT.
COMMUNICATION IS SO IMPORTANT!!! Without properly being able to convey your feelings, the person (or people) you are dealing with will not understand your perspective. The same applies for the other side. In romantic situations is where I personally have found this communication to be very useful and empowering. In my personal experience of dating as a young woman I have taken notice, more often than not, there are expectations associated. This blame can be placed on a number of things, such as Tinder or Grindr, apps which condone immediate gratification. However, it can also be to blame on a lack of communication.
Just like communication, boundaries are integral to a healthy relationship. If you are in a situation in which you would rather be alone, say it. You are allowed to say no. You are allowed to leave a bad date and not call them back. You are allowed to speak up if you want a specific project role. No one will know unless you make it known.