My Favorite 11 Letter Word

Good morning guys! Happy Monday! :)

So here’s a quick little story for you. I remember back around the time when I was graduating high school, at the last minute I decided to go to our Baccalaureate ceremony. Right before the ceremony, I was asked to be one of the students who went up on stage and read a randomly selected inspirational quote to our graduating class.

The quote that I randomly selected was:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act – but a habit.” – Aristotle.

If you’ve known me since then, or been friends with me on facebook since then, you’ve probably noticed (and been annoyed) that I constantly refer back to this quote. It changed the very nature of the way I looked at my goals and my dreams and it has impacted me in a very positive way.

I think I have recently undergone a lot of change in my life – for the better. I won’t go into anything too lengthy on here but I know for a fact that I am enjoying my life so much more and reaching goals that I have once struggled with in the past.

So to get to the point…my favorite 11 letter word? Consistency.

This has become my absolute favorite word lately because it has such a powerful ability to cause change in our life. A lot of times we look at the word consistency and associate it with things like diet and exercise (I do, too, obviously…considering my job haha). But think for a moment about things we consistently do on a daily basis!

I consistently brush my teeth ( I bet you were dying to know that)

I consistently prep my meals on Sundays.

I consistently devote time to my workouts.

I consistently devote time to my family.

I consistently devote time to reading enlightening books.

You get the point.

Aristotle said that we are what we repeatedly do. It makes complete sense.

If I repeatedly allow my surroundings to influence me negatively, I will constantly be in a bad mood.

If I repeatedly skip the gym, I’ll create a life that is no longer centered around my health.

If I constantly skip church, I’ll stray away from my spiritual values.

If I constantly neglect my friendships, I’ll find myself alone.

Consistency is the very essence of who we are. But the cool thing is that we can create new consistencies. We can create new habits that bring about positive change in our lives.

I encourage you to make a list of things that you consistently do. Start with all of the obvious ones (eating, showering, etc). Then go into the not so obvious ones – do you have a habit of talking down to yourself? Do you have a habit of complaining? Do you have a habit of cutting corners at work? Do you have a habit of watching T.V.? Can you change those habits into more productive “consistencies”?

xo Jacquelyn

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2 Minute Rule

In an effort to find balance in my every day life I have learned quite a few things. I have learned that I do my best work when I am surrounded by a clean and organized space. I know that my greatest energy comes in the early mornings. I have figured out that I absorb other people’s emotions and that it’s important to guard my mind. But one of the things that has completely altered my daily routine is this little thing called the 2 minute rule.

Given that we are only allotted 24 hours each day, it’s extremely easy to find yourself with less time than you think is necessary to complete all of the things you want to do! Amongst other things that I will post about later (prioritization, being organized, being deliberate), time management has been key for me to find balance. It might sound a little weird but I seriously feel so good when I come home to a clean house. A clean room. My bed made, zero clutter, and everything where it should be. In a perfect world my room and workspace would always be that way but let’s be honest….stuff happens. I have learned that I actually do have time to clean up clutter whereas before I was in a constant state of frenzy and would always put it on the back burner.

I’ve recently learned to ask myself “will this take 2 minutes or less?”. If the answer is yes, then I go ahead and complete it! It’s amazing what you can get done in 2 minutes. I’ve found that I can fold quite a bit of laundry in 2 minutes. I can put away quite a few dishes in 2 minutes. I can make my bed in 2 minutes and pick up clothes off my floor in 2 minutes. I can text and/or call a client in 2 minutes. I can shoot off a couple of emails in 2 minutes. But if I let them all pile up….it’s going to be hours of work that I end up doing on my days off! Days that I would like to spend with friends and family and working on things that I love!

The 2 minute rule has seriously been life changing for me. It’s silly, really. That something so simple could be so influential. But when I come home and sit down at a work space that is clean and organized I find that I’m excited to write and I’m excited to plan for all of the future projects I have bouncing around in my head!

I encourage you to give it a try this week! Before you overwhelm yourself and run out the door, take 2 minutes to do something you would have otherwise left for later. And see how it transforms your routine :)

xo Jacquelyn

Stop Enabling Your Weaknesses

I think the act of self deprecating is natural. It’s unfortunate, but it seems to be the way that we relate ourselves to others. How many times do you find yourself being complimented only to deny said compliment. I do it all. the. time. It’s like we don’t want to be seen higher up than those around us so we lower ourselves during conversation to be on the same level. The thing I’m worried about, though, is the sick cycle that begins once we start putting ourselves down.

A month or so ago I made a mental note to recognize whenever I was belittling myself or my potential in order to serve someone else. As you can imagine, I did it quite often. But what I didn’t realize was how often other people did it too. You know what I also realized? Once someone pointed out their weakness to me, it was something I automatically associated them with. Not in a judgement type of way…just as something my brain categorized them with.

Let me tell you something: if you continuously point out your weaknesses to others, then that’s going to be the only thing they see when they look at you.

There’s a sort of comfort in being the first one to lay it all out there. To go ahead and put all your insecurities on the table so no one else can pull them out themselves. But by putting them on the table you’re allowing other people to play with them. To use them against you. To seal them to your identity. You’re allowing the world to see those insecurities instead of your strengths. If you don’t put your strength out there to be seen – how will people know its there?

Let me tell you something else: you are not defined by your weaknesses. Why? Because they can be turned into strengths. YOU have that ability. They can and WILL change.

Something that’s really been helping me is learning to just say “thank you” when someone compliments me. If someone is going out of their way to point out something they admire about you, LET THEM. You are wonderful, and you serve a purpose, and other people see that. Let them see that.

And as far as your self talk goes, I think it’s important to be your own best friend. You can’t count on other people to uplift you because unfortunately that’s not always going to happen. So I challenge you to mentally correct yourself whenever you catch self deprecating thoughts going through your head. You’ll be amazed at the difference in your self esteem!

Happy New Years, guys! Let’s make 2015 a great one

xo Jacquelyn

How to keep a fitness routine when routine goes out the window

Life happens. Whether you’re travelling or weighed down with extra work, there always comes a time when fitness takes the back burner. As hard as we try, these phases will always be a part of our lives. So how do we stay active?

My schedule has been far from routine lately. Ill plan something out and end up stuck on a subway for an hour due to construction. Or I’ll be exhausted from the 2mile walk to the grocery store carrying everything. Some days we go into work early and other days we go in late. I’m all out of whack!

But I’ve found a few tricks that have helped me immenslely!

1. Short & sweet: honestly I’m one of those people who loves working out so much that i get excited when i can devote an hour and a half to my workout. But that’s not always the case! I’m falling in love with tabata style training. Basically doing full body movements for 20s and 10s rest. This style of training is extremely effective and can be done in 30min or less. I’ll be doing a detailed post on tabata training this week! Another thing? Sprints. Gets the job done quick so you can go about your day!

2. First thing: have you ever heard that quote about swallowing the frog? Getting the hardest thing done first will make the rest of the day go by smoother! Wake up and get your sweat in first thing in the morning so none of life’s surprises can keep you from your goals!

3. Incorporate it into your day: have to take the dog out? Play a quick game of tag with them. Walk through the park when sightseeing on vacation. Take the stairs. Do physical activities for your planned excursions.

Remember that these phases are usually only temporary. We don’t have to be world star athletes year round, but incorporating fitness whenever we can will keep us from falling down that slippery slope!

What do you do to stay active

Xo Jacquelyn

First Days in NYC

(Long post alert!)

This has already been such a huge whirlwind and I’ve only been here for 4 days!

My overall impression so far? Amazing.

I’m proud of myself because I feel like I’ve somewhat mastered the subway system so far. I definitely have a couple moments of confusion – but I was able to give someone directions today so I think that qualifies me as a professional haha. To be honest, it wasn’t as intimidating as I thought it would be! Which brings me to another topic…the people. The way people described NYC to me was basically that everyone was rude, people would give you crap, I’d stick out like a sore thumb, yada yada yada. None of which is true! This place is less intimidating than some of the places I’ve been in Florida! In Florida you get retired people who are spoiled and indulgent. Here, you’re (mostly) surrounded by hard workers who are minding their own business. I mean, I’ve seen a few crazy things already (lady cursing anyone out who made eye contact with her on the subway for the whole 10min ride) – but for the most part people have been pleasant and more than willing to help. And unless you ask someone for help, no one even notices that you exist. It’s possible to be alone in a sea of people.

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One of the most exciting feelings in the world was when we caught glimpses of the city as we started to land!

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Our first stop was Times Square! We didn’t waste any time. We checked into the hotel and immediately went down to ask the lady at customer service how to use the bus system. We figured it out pretty quick and had our first bus experience. We were in the city by 3pm after landing around 1. We used our first night just to dip our feet in the water so to speak. It was so invigorating to step up out of the subway and be right in the middle of Times Square. Also, I’ve never had cart food before. So I went for the famed hot dog and pretzel – I was not disappointed!!

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The next day we spent getting me acquainted with the subway system. I did the entire commute from where I would be staying down to work and back up again. This took a big chunk of our time. At the end of the day though, we met up with one of my mentors and he showed us around the offices before we all went to dinner together. I’ll be working in The Trump Building and these are some of the views. I don’t think I’ll be able to get any work done…absolutely breathtaking in person! And you guessed it – that’s the Statue of Liberty out there! We went to a place called Donahue’s Steak House for dinner. It was INCREDIBLE! I ate lamb for the first time…it literally melted in your mouth. I also got an amaretto sour to drink (my favorite drink of all time) and this was by far the best one I’ve ever had!

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On Saturday our big adventure was going to the Rockefeller Center and doing the Top of the Rock. It was so surreal to actually be way up there looking down on everything. You can literally see everything from up there! The cars at the bottom looked like little ants. I took about a million pictures, but I didn’t want to overload you guys ;). Oh and the food? Absolutely horribly delicious. I was on vacation this weekend so whenever I got the chance to eat authentic NY food, I did! The pizza was amazing…the crust…oh my gosh. The Chinese food!? Food coma. It was so good. So so good!

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Yesterday the big event was me checking into my apartment with my roommate. My Dad flew back to Florida in the early evening so we only had the afternoon hours to do stuff. I’d heard about Dinosaur BBQ from several people and several different websites…and alas, one was walking distance from my apartment. I probably will never eat the so-called BBQ down in Florida ever again haha. This stuff was amazing! I got the Memphis pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw. And at the end, we figured “hey, when’s the next time we’ll be in NYC together? Who knows?” So we got dessert. We split cheesecake and key lime pie and let me tell you…they were both incredible…but that key lime pie…out of this world! After lunch we desperately needed to walk to help burn some of the stuff we’d been eating. We walked down to the pier and basked in the Sun a bit. We looked over the river and could see Jersey City from where we were! It was so beautiful. I’m pretty excited that it’s walking distance from me because I’m sure I’ll be spending some time there!

So now my “vacation” is over! I start my internship today with Cenegenics and I couldn’t be more excited. If the past few days are any indication…this is going to be an incredible 6 weeks! :)

xo Jacquelyn