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new year

Lifestyle

It’s the End of the Decade, and I’m Not Looking for a ‘Fresh Start’

December 30, 2019
los angeles

(via Unsplash)

The 2010s were unlike any other. This was the first decade spent entirely out of school, and entirely in L.A. It was a time when, sure, some friends got married, and a few had kids—but it was definitely a work hard, play hard decade. There was no shortage of social extravaganzas, or people to experience them with. This will probably be the only decade in my life like this.

I had a slightly bittersweet feeling when I began writing this because I remember exactly where I was and my state of mind at this very time in 2009. Not only did I have 10 carefree years of life ahead of me to play around and try to figure out life, but that new year (2010) would be one of the best of my life. Thinking back on the decade, I don’t know if I really ever really got back to the mindset or happiness I experienced that fateful year. But, then, as I finished writing this, and reflected on 2019, my mind took a different approach. I actually am empowered and confident now more than ever. Just because the journey there was a long, emotional one doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate where it took me.

The beginning of the decade was everything I could have wanted and more. There was something extremely special (which we didn’t realize then) about an Instagram-less life—heck, a life without Spotify. Everything was still new and exciting. The first half of 2010 was magical. I always joke about having the worst hair and horrible “style” choices back then, but had never felt better or more accepted. It was my favorite year in music of the decade, I landed my then-dream job, I had the most incredible trip to NYC, I had the best birthday I’ll probably ever have, I had so many friends, and I get a little misty-eyed when I think about my first one-bedroom apartment on 6th and Cochran in Miracle Mile. It was an odd area, but I seriously loved that little apartment with not a condiment or piece of furniture to its name. Ah, the good ol’ days.

(via Unsplash)

2011 was the most iconic year of the decade. Everything happened (for better, worse and all in between). The music was classic, there was an epic Vegas trip that will never be topped, I tried to create a book club, had an insane—yet—oh—so—memorable apartment experience on Kings Rd., had an enormous friend group fallout and attended a college roommate’s Oregon wedding, which—to this day—is the worst wedding I’ve ever been to. There were more ups and downs than my heart (or even an annual Magic Mountain pass holder) could handle. It was a time. 2012 and 2013 blended together, but there was definitely a vibe, and I look back pretty fondly. 2014 was when I think we all felt a major shift.

After departing the four-year job I had in 2014, everything seemed different. Instagram influencer marketing skyrocketed, music was sickeningly accessible thanks to Spotify New Music Friday, I noticed greys and wrinkles for the first time. Things felt different, but that was also probably because I was in a major rut. 2014 and 2015 are years I’d rather forget (despite proudly launching this blog and having some really awesome opportunities stem from it), 2016 was the year I excitedly got a new full-time job, but also felt like a prisoner living in someone else’s home during my short stint living in the West Hollywood Hills. I hated it so much, and my distaste for the situation played out into my lifestyle. It wasn’t the healthiest or happiest.

Things started coming together when I finally moved into a one-bedroom apartment again. 2017 had me seeing the light of day, but I still didn’t feel anywhere close to the person I wanted to be. I also started feeling the weight of the new world. Twitter, which was once a fun forum to basically text your friends on a public platform, was now a place for hate and political nonsense. Instagram, which had been a place to post blurry photos for your friends to see and giggle about was now where you post your professional portfolios and get judged by followers and likes. I didn’t give a crap about YouTubers who were suddenly emerging. I was still all for the traditional celebrity. Music was basically dead to me—and things really ended for me with the popularity of SoundCloud “rappers.” And we all know what happened once Trump was elected, so I’m not even getting into it. Everything related to society and pop-culture sucked in 2017 and 2018, and I majorly felt the burden of it all.

It wasn’t until last year, 2018, that I finally started moving in a direction of genuine personal happiness. My entire life, I always just thought one day it all happens—suddenly you’re 20 lbs. lighter, suddenly you own a business, suddenly you’re dating the love of your life. In 2018, reality kicked in. You have to work for what you really want. I’ve always worked hard in actual work because I’ve been blessed to do what I love (seriously, thank god!), and I’ve been raised to take your career seriously (as anyone should). But I guess you could say I slacked in many other areas.

los angeles

(via Unsplash)

Towards the end of 2018, I began taking my life into my own hands. But it wasn’t until 2019 that I truly began feeling strong in my progress, across all verticals: mind, body, soul. And I noticed that once I put out the energy and effort of the person I truly wanted to be, I began attracting the right people in my life; people who either inspire me, or are inspired by me. And I noticed a shift in relationships with people who refused to let go of the past. It’s either people who are unhappy themselves, or people who feel a sense of fulfillment holding on to my mistakes, unable to see me move forward with positivity. It’s really made the positive influences stand out, and has me so hopeful for where these relationships will go in the future.

While there are probably 500 things I would do differently if I could go back and make changes throughout the decade, I cannot, and that’s ok because I’m sitting here now, the exact place where those 500 mistakes led me to, and I can’t complain. 2019 was the most clear-headed, positive thinking, productive year of the decade for me. It was a major reprieve from all the years wasted caring what other people think, being sad about people who aren’t worth my energy, and making poor lifestyle decisions. Balance has always been something I’ve lacked. And I think in many ways, I’m finally learning how to incorporate it into my life. I’m managing the ability to have fun, but still take care of myself; allowing myself to be sad, but maintaining a happy disposition when there’s an opportunity to look on the bright side. I want to look my best, feel my best and make the best decisions.

While I don’t feel exactly the way I felt at this time in 2009, I do feel that same sense of clearheaded hope. I’m starting to feel carefree again, and like there’s so much possibility. Ultimately, if I have one regret from this decade, it’s wasting so much of it on my emotions or lack of deep confidence, when I should have been out there working on myself and doing everything in my power to be the best version of me—now I’m looking ahead to the 2020s with a new set of lenses. In years past, I’d say I was “so excited about what’s in store for the new year” because you’re always supposed to sound optimistic when that time rolls around—but this year I really do feel different.

(via Pixabay)

Am I exactly where I want to be? Nowhere near it. But, I’ve planted plenty of seeds this year, and I think in 2020, I’ll see many of them grow. I’m not looking for a “fresh slate” now that a new year is approaching. I just want continued development. Now that my peers are older, wiser and more successful than they were when the decade began, there’s a greater sense of people supporting people. I’m amazed at how encouraging friends and colleagues are these days, happy to spread your word or purchase your product. If there’s a time to take a future as a business owner seriously, now is it. It’s completely different from this time 10 years ago.

So, what’s my takeaway from this decade? Well, I’ve lasted in L.A. for a really long time. This place tests anyone, and I’ve gained so much confidence and motivation from living here. I expressed all of my emotions this decade, and I’m leaving that in the past, too. Not to say I’ll be suddenly exempt from feelings, but there’s no way I’m letting emotions come before productivity. I’m ready to close this chapter and move on to the next, but not without some major laughs and smiles that come to mind when thinking back to this time in my life—and also expressing gratitude to the wonderful people who I’ve experienced life with this entire decade. Here’s to the next.

Lifestyle

Happy 2017! Here’s My New Year’s Resolution—and I Think It Applies to You, Too

December 31, 2016

Happy 2017, everyone!

Let me preface this by saying even though they are so cliche, I do think new year’s resolutions serve an excellent purpose (when applied properly). Really, who can disagree with a seemingly fresh start?

new-year-champagne

That said, I think most of us tend to go overboard with goals and expectations, which leads to maybe a few weeks at best of said resolutions, only putting us farther behind than when we started. Like I would love to say I’m going to workout five (heck, even three) times every week, or that I’m only going to have two drinks max every time I go out—but that is not realistic (for me).

This is why I think making even one minor change can lead to many more. Granted, I, too, in the past have held myself up to unrealistic standards, and clearly they didn’t get me anywhere. This year I am taking baby steps with the hopes of a bigger turnout.

I started a new job at the beginning of April, and one of the biggest perks of office life there is we are never left hungry (well, I guess I should say never left without food). Our fridge is non-stop stocked with almond milk, soda, every condiment, you name it. Our cupboards are piled high with coffee, tea, pita chips, Popchips, those really delicious kettle chips from that brand I can’t recall, every brand of Frito-Lay chips and the list goes on. Yes, snacks and beverages, they run aplenty.

new-year-chips

In previous places of employment, we’ve had a Bagel Thursday type of situation, or a catered lunch one day of the week, and then anything else we had to nibble on courtesy of the office, came via special deliveries from the Sprinkles Cupcakes publicist or something along those lines. To further my point, I was not accustomed to having free snacks at my disposal around the clock, so I was never hit with ongoing temptation.

This year, I found myself munching incessantly when I wasn’t even hungry—on things I don’t even normally eat! Sure, chips and guac are delish at El Compadre, but during my day-to-day doings? It’s never been a thing for me. Once I gave into this snacking free-for-all, it led to other overeating situations in general. Like coming home from work stuffed, but ordering delivery for dinner because it’s just there and it’s really good. I noticed my mood, my dreams at night—everything—was being affected by my poor habit, and I realized it needs to stop.

The point of all of this is that I am going to (try to) cut excess from my life in the new year—and I’m starting with all the senseless snacking. Sure, there will definitely be moments where I’m so-called “bored” (I know, such a damaging word) and I may want a nibble or two. But that’s when healthier (and far more filling) options like apples, water, mixed nuts, celery and almond butter come into play.

new-year-mixed-nuts

By training my mind to cut these unnecessary additions from my day-to-day diet, I am hoping it will guide me to cutting excess in other areas of my life, too. It’s all about starting small.

I think it is fine to indulge in that plate of lasagna once in a while, but is it necessary to eat all of it in one sitting, and eat it all the time as if it isn’t a treat? Definitely not.

There are certainly times to do things in excess, but they shouldn’t be done excessively, and I think every one of us is guilty of doing something or another in this way—some things more than others. Try to take one of the smaller things and eliminate it, and see if it leads to other rightful eliminations. I guess I’ll have to check back in 2018 and see how this went!

With that, I wish everyone a happy, healthy, safe new year, and hope that whatever self-improvement road you choose to take (if any) leads you on a successful journey!

Beauty Food

These Three Ideas Are Sure to Keep You Healthy and Fit from 2016’s Start to Finish!

December 30, 2015
Fit young woman fighting off fast food

Photo courtesy: iwanttobefit.com

So much for prioritizing fitting into that skintight sexy number when the ball drops!

I’ve never met anybody who started a diet in December. In fact, most people I know excuse every bite and morsel during the holiday season with an “I’ll start up again in the new year.” We tear through cupcakes, multi-course dinners and booze-filled parties while we offer apologies under our breath and promise that come January 1st, everything will change.

Once the new year arrives, life happens and it becomes hard to keep up with our health resolutions. We’ve all seen the mad rush at the gym the first weeks in January only to witness numbers dwindle and only the regulars up on the machines come February. Luckily, new brands and services popped up in 2015 that can help us continue with our goals well into 2016.

Below, skyelyfe put together a list of ideas and programs that will make sticking to your goal easier than having that second (or third, or fourth…) glass of champagne this New Year’s eve.

Subscribe to a Food Delivery Service (Yes, you can find ones that don’t break the bank!) – Not all food delivery services are made the same. Most of them are also a bit out of budget after holiday season splurges settle in. A great alternative is a service that will deliver ingredients for you take make your own healthy meals. These remove the cost of food preparation and some offer values similar to what you would spend should you buy the groceries yourself. One of the originals, Blue Apron clocks in at only 500-700 calories per meal. Breakfast and lunch are easier to keep light (ideas include nonfat Greek yogurt and nuts for breakfast, salad with protein for lunch) when you are in a hurry. Services that provide you with premium, seasonal ingredients and calorie counts take the guess work (and not to mention temptation) out of dinnertime.

Should one of your goals be to consume more organic, non-GMO meals or to start a paleo or vegetarian diet in 2016, Sun Basket will be your ally. Most clock in under 700 calories, but be cognizant of the recipes (and reduce portion size) for those that go a bit over.

Sun Basket's Coconut Braised Pacific Cod

Sun Basket’s Coconut Braised Pacific Cod

Blue Apron's Boxed Deliver

Blue Apron’s Boxed Delivery

Don’t Let Hunger Strike! – One of the easiest ways to fall off your diet wagon is failing to prepare. Life gets busy and it’s easy to find ourselves skipping a meal in order to finish a presentation or squeeze in a couple more emails at work. Keep healthy snacks near you, in your desk drawer, purse or gym bag. This way you are less likely to bite into the first chocolate bar that makes eye contact with you at the office vending machine. Sakara Life is a new company based in New York that sells everything from watermelon jerky to probiotic chocolate. One of their best options is their Empower Bar Collection. For $29, you receive convenient, nutrient-dense, whole-food nourishment with a side of holistic healing. The “flavors” include clarity, manifestation and beauty.

Sakara Life's Manifestation Bar

Sakara Life’s Manifestation Bar

Start a Workout Club – We’ve all heard about the fatty version of this – a dinner or wine club. The concept is the same, but instead of somebody hosting dinner at their home or inviting everybody over for a great bottle of red each week, you explore new workouts in your area and invite your “club” to partake. Similar to the more common clubs, you are held accountable for providing an activity for the group on your set date. You can try that new aerial yoga class you were too embarrassed to sign up for alone, make accommodations for the group at a gym or prepare hiking routes, cycle paths, etc… for everyone.  This will help keep workouts fun and fresh well into the new year. It will also guarantee that you continue seeing your friends once the mad rush back to real life starts after the holidays.

Workout Club Activities

Workout Club Activities

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