On Nourishing: Drawing Power from Powerful Women Around Me

 

I start my mornings the same way. And while they’ve evolved slightly since I first reported on my morning a few things haven’t changed. I still wake up with several minutes of cat-cow. I still oil pull…most days. I still enjoy a cup of tea or coffee first thing. Newer additions include a few snuggly moments with the cats, this big stretch that I cannot wake without, and a few happy little “start the day” chants to myself as I brush my teeth.

A favorite new addition is The Live Journal Podcast, a series of conversations with powerful women making positive changes in their community and daily life. It is hosted by esteemed life coach Paola Atlason. Both ethereal and grounding, her guidance through the podcast and anecdotal stories feel like gentle mothering from afar. The first episode I listened to was EP31: “Daily Rituals” with Jenn Tardif. I found it because I truly enjoy listening to Jenn speak and hoping a could find a podcast that she had guested on for one of my long runs. After listening to all of EP31 I was hooked and added The Live Journal Podcast into my daily life.

 

Jenn Tardif

 

Throughout the series, Atlason interviews women from all walks of life: a chef, an herbalist, an artist, a writer. In each episode, there are major drops of wisdom, some seemingly obvious, that are often overlooked and that can — grain by grain — improve your day. In EP28 Tina Essmaker talks about morning pages and journaling, two things that I have welcomed into my life lately. In EP34 (my personal favorite so far) Zivar Amrami talks about mothering the self and the steps you can take to feel most like you.

As I’ve listened to all of these 30-35 minute episodes I started to realize just how much of this power and wisdom I was soaking in and truly internalizing. I started to be more conscious about it, ex: bringing my journal with me everywhere, and only felt the positive effects compound. I’ve found this, listening to the podcast and using it as a tool, to be a great lesson in the power of surrounding yourself with powerful women.

I thoroughly believe you need to learn to love your likeability, but I also feel that there’s a second step to that. You need to embrace your vulnerability. You need to love and appreciate your sensitivity, view it as a strength. I think for a long time I focused on the aggressive side of my personality, leaning into my Aries Moon & Aries Rising and yang. Listening to so many women speak so openly about their success and failure has been a beautiful teacher in nurturing the yin and mothering the self.

Surrounding yourself with powerful women, whether in person or through your phone, is a powerful way of absorbing the now and the future you want for yourself and if you need a place to start I recommend The Live Journal Podcast.

Personal Note: adapt. react. readapt. apt.

*100 Schrute Bucks to anyone who gets that reference*

 

Let’s get into it. A few weeks (months?) ago I took about five full days away from IG and it finally gave me the space to realize what I want to change about how I interact with the app, what I bring to it, and what I takeaway. I feel like the internet is full of these “epiphany” style posts, and that’s not what this is, this is a pivot.

On a walk last night, I started to spiral into my “here’s where the blog is and here’s where I want it to go” chats and found I was repeating myself, and that I had been repeating myself for weeks. I don’t see the future of the blog on Instagram. Do I see a presence there? Absolutely. Do I see it being the money-maker, the main focus? Not at all. In the past few months, I’ve spent so much time worrying about it and focusing on it that it’s pulling from what I truly love to do: write.

The blog is my website. Let’s pause and let that soak in. It’s my website. It’s my space to create, write, edit, adapt, react, readapt, apt. I do everything here for you. I want to create something that is worth your time and energy to read. I want you to gain something of substance from it, even if that thing you gain is “she is so wrong and here’s why…” I don’t see that same impact on an IG feed post.

When I started blogging it was as a creative outlet and I think I viewed “making it” as having tons of sponsored IG content, brand deals, promo codes, etc. Money, money, money. I’m currently in that position, where I continually have to turn down brand deals because I cannot take on the workload being offered to me. I feel so fortunate to get to work with such amazing brands and the volume has allowed me to be highly selective in who I work with. I prioritize working with companies that are led or founded by women, particularly women of color, and love every moment. I never work with fast fashion companies. I investigate every company I work with and ask myself “Can I ethically support and encourage others to support this type of a company, brand, CEO?” That is absolutely something that I want to continue in the future. Sharing those types of brands with you all is incredibly important to me and I want to expand and share them not only on IG but here as well.

So, on Instagram, to sum up, we’re having fun, you look young…but that’s not enough (another TV reference I hope you get). I’ve spent the past few weeks shifting my focus from IG to the blog and I am more in love with this space than I have been before. I’m turning down a lot of brand deals because they don’t want content on the blog, they just want a pretty photo on IG. Which I find a little odd because sure I have 13.8K followers on IG but the exposure of each post is maybe 1.2K. On the blog, I have over 20K monthly visitors, with each post getting about 2.4K views.

In the future, I am planning on pulling back slightly on IG content, specifically on the constant stories posting and focusing more on the blog. I’d love to build to posting 3-4 times a week and if that means not posting every single day on IG or seeing my IG followers count fall then I’m fine with that. My heart is, and has always been, in writing and creating. I love writing and editing, designing shoots, I love reading your messages, I love chatting with you all, I love hearing how you’re implemented my advice. I love every moment of this world. What I don’t love is when a pressure to post something, anything, on IG to compete with an algorithm.

It makes me stressed.

It strips the joy of creating, which is why I’m here in the first place.

Dear Molly, I feel directionless. How do I find my “north”?

I feel like I’m just floating around in life and have no idea where I’m headed. I’d like to have more of a “north”, like a calling. But I don’t know how to find that…

 

When I have moments of “Where am I headed?” (like we all do) I have two prompts that I ask myself –

/ What am I avoiding most in my life?

/ Where do I want to be in ten years?

These two questions have done wonders for putting me back on track. They target two of the largest “goal-blockers”, the tough things you are avoiding and the future you want for yourself. They are each big and scary, but approachable once you break them down.

 

What am I avoiding most in my life?

We avoid the things that are hardest. Look at places or times in your life when things were difficult and you walked away. Sometimes that’s in education (Are you second-guessing your major? Did you quit school and are having regret?), sometimes it’s in relationship (Are you deep in a relationship that you don’t want to be in? Do you feel like you’ve invested time in someone else and don’t want to “start at square one” with someone new?), maybe it’s in working through past trauma (We’ve all been hurt).

The tough moments in our lives aren’t roadblocks, they’re speed bumps. They’re a check engine light that asks you to slow down and assess. Sit down, set a clock for five minutes and write out everything difficult you’ve been or are going through. Everything you are carrying around. Take time away – 30 minutes, a full day, whatever you need – and come back to that list. Look at it from a third person’s view. What do you need to do to cross off each thing? How can you remove an obstacle?

Clearing your mental “slate” is essential for moving onto the second question.

 

Where do I want to be in ten years?

Goal-setting is easiest when based on a vision. Not a hazy “maybe this, maybe that”, but a rock-solid image that you can vividly see when you close your eyes. So, to form it, do just that. Get quiet, close your eyes, have time to yourself, and let your imagination run. Where do you live? Who are you with? What does your apartment look like? Or do you live in a house? Do you have a family? Do you have a dog or a cat? Where do you work? What’s your job like? How do you spend your weekends? How do you feel?

And write it out. Every detail. This is your north. It can, and will, change. Revisit it often, revise it often. I look at my goals at least once a month to make sure I’m still on a path that serves me.

Armed with your ten-year goal, you can begin working backward and finding what you need to do in the next five years to reach that ten-year goal. And what you need to do in the next year to meet your five-year goal. What actions do you need to take today to reach that one-year goal?

 

Finding your direction for today starts with finding where you want to be in ten years. You can only craft that if you are uninhibited, but the things you are currently wading through. Dive deep into all the shadows of your life to find how you are going to bring them into light and reach where you want to be.

 

xx

 

Dear Molly, I Don’t Want to Be a Quitter.

Why do I always give up on things I was once so excited about? It feels like the second something gets difficult or doesn’t go my way, I give up. It’s become a running joke of how much a quitter I am. I know it’s a confidence issue, but how do I fix this?

 

Personal Story

Feel you. Feel you hard. One day, when I was in elementary school I learned the word “quit” and immediately wanted to test it out. I went home and told my mom “I want to quit piano” and with five kids who each had a million after school activities, she was happy to have one less thing to take me to. I have a vivid memory of leaving my last piano lesson at the house with the blue fence and having tremendous regret. I was too stubborn to admit it then, but I really wish I never quit piano. What I learned that day is how easy quitting can be.

A few years of being an exemplary “quitter” later and another vocab word changed my outlook (shout out to NHMS). I learned what “tenacity” was and I wanted that. Badly. So I started, every day, practicing little acts of tenacity. Relishing the moments when the going gets tough and using every difficult moment as life training to become a stronger person. I gave myself a “love the pain” mentality. The point of sharing this with you is to show that mental toughness is something that you can learn and strengthen. Like a muscle, it requires a little training, but if you have the desire to move past being a “quitter” then you’ve already taken a major step.

 

When we meet something new

Laying the premise to keep in mind throughout this post: Despite the name “quitter”, you are not defined by the things you do or do not continue. You are defined by the actions you take. Do you take actions that are bettering you as a person or moving you forward to the person that you want to be? Then who cares (and who’s business is it) what you leave behind along the way? Trying things out, finding that they don’t work for you, and walking away is a strength. Blindly staying with something out of spite is not. Quitting is not just walking away from something. Quitting is what happens when you walk away from a challenge.

That being said, sometimes we walk away from things we care about. Whether it’s out of boredom, because we aren’t getting the results we expected, or judgment from others, these are the times that we need to hold our feet to the fire and carry on. Persevering beyond the “honeymoon phase” and through the “growth periods” are importing aspects to our growth overall. When we try something new we go through three stages:

Honeymoon Phase / This is when the project or thing is new and exciting. You might have a lot of support from people around you or feel all fiery when you think about it. It’s your new love, it’s exciting, it seems abundant with potential and you are psyched about it.

Growth Periods / This is when you leave “tutorial mode” and start struggling. Problems you didn’t see before arise and you start to get overwhelmed by what’s in front of you. This is when you become a stronger person. This is not the time to walk away from a project. This is the time to press on and truly grow.

Perspective / This is when we decide to accept something into our lives and use it for our development or when we walk away because it isn’t serving us. Perspective is the time after a little win when you look back and think something like “that wasn’t so bad”. This is when you are able to have more perspective on whatever you are currently working on and make a rational decision about whether or not to continue.

A perfect example is learning to ride a bike. We have a Honeymoon Phase riding around with our training wheels on and a parent holding the seat. But one day we take the training wheels off and move into the Growth Period. We struggle and are wobbly on something we used to be so excited and steady on. It stops being just “fun” and starts requiring “work”. It’s when we want to quit or go back to the safe zone of training wheels and parental support. Pushing past this, into your first “win”, is what allows you to reach the Perspective stage. Decide if you want to continue only after you’ve successfully peddled a little while. We all want to quit in the midst of a struggle, so wait to make that call until you’ve had a mini-win and can see with clearer eyes. Start looking at the difficult moments as speed bumps, not roadblocks.

 

Putting it to practice

You can’t fix something that you don’t know the cause of. In my life, there have been three major reasons why I would end up quitting. You have to determine why you quit and then address it, both mentally and behaviorally. Change not only what you are physically doing, but also how you talk to yourself around challenges. Changing that internal conversation will change how you treat new challenges.

Loss of Interest
    • WHY /  Are you starting things for YOU or for others? If you aren’t 100% into it at the beginning you will lose interest fast. You’ll get bored. You cannot motivate yourself based off of someone else’s desires or passion. Is this something that you yourself are at all interested in?
    • MINDSET / Before starting something new ask yourself the hard questions. Are you doing this for you? Are you doing this for your parents? For someone you’re interested in? Or maybe just because it seems like the “thing” to do? Be 100% sure that you are the fuel behind a new project and not someone else before starting.
    • BEHAVIORAL CHANGE / Find your motivator to push past the monotony. Start each new thing with an intense commitment you cannot walk away from (social pressure, financial investment, etc). For me, I know that if I’ve sunk money into something I will stick with it. I started and stopped blogging several times since high school, but the reason that it stuck this time is pretty easy, I bought a domain for three years. I told myself that I could quit after three years if I stuck it out for that time.
When Success Not Coming Fast Enough
    • WHY / Success does not come overnight. We’ve all heard it before, but it’s true. In a world of viral videos, it’s hard to continue drudging along when someone else seemingly “explodes” overnight. When it feels like we are stuck in the mud and that all our hard work is going nowhere it’s easy to quit.
    • MINDSET / If you hear yourself say “I’m wasting my time” double-check if you are actually wasting time, or if you’re just discouraged at the seemingly small amount of progress you’ve made. When you start to get that sinking feeling of “I’ve gone nowhere” remember to look backward and not just forwards. Be gentle with yourself. Relish the experience, not just the results.
    • BEHAVIORAL CHANGE / Make a list of all the small accomplishments you have made along the way so you have a tangible list of all your successes. Aggressively track your progress and give yourself credit for each win. I have a habit of being too hard on myself and sometimes it takes moments to look back and relish in a little moment of pride, to feel the psych come back.
Confidence
    • WHY / This is a big one. When you lack confidence you don’t move forward, you don’t take risks. External factors can heavily influence this, whether that be comparing yourself to someone else’s success, receiving “hate” from people you care about, or feeling like you’re going to fail before you begin. Each of these things shakes our confidence in different ways. If you don’t have a strong foundation of confidence you will have tremendous difficulty during Growth Periods and will find yourself giving up when you fail.
    • MINDSET / Being a runner I always think back to the advice my dad would give me before a big race. “Don’t hope to do well, work for it, and think about it all the time. If you think you’re going to lose, you’re going to lose.” He instilled in me a “winner” mindset. I always envision myself “winning” and that has made all the difference. Next time you talk to yourself, check if you are talking down to yourself. Are you anticipating failure? Are you anticipating you will quit? And then redirect the conversation. You are a winner. You are tenacious. Remind yourself why you started this project. Remember that the past does not dictate the future. If you flip a coin 100 times in a row the 101st time still has 50/50 odds. Every new thing you undertake is a new opportunity with fresh odds. 
    • BEHAVIORAL CHANGE / If you find yourself overly concerned and worried about what others will think of your new passion don’t share your goals so readily with people. Give yourself the room to struggle, fail, leave projects, adapt, without stressing what other people say. Other people are not entitled to force their opinion on you. You are allowed to protect a new, delicate passion project from them.

 

Start with something small. If you find you get bored of things often start with the small goal of finishing a novel that you keep putting down. If you don’t get success as often as you’d like to, make a 7-day, 15-day, and 30-day goal sheet for a project you have. Track your progress at a daily level so you have the ability to look back at your success as motivation to continue on. It’s hard to see how we’re doing when we’re in the thick of it, so give yourself the ability to zoom out. If you are struggling with confidence the biggest advice I can give you is to relax. Treat yourself with grace and kindness. Remember that failing is not an indication of your worth and you’ll find it easier to stand up and try over and over again.

 

xx

 

Dear Molly, I’m Searching for Confidence.

I’ve been really interested in starting an Instagram page for my photography, but I’m not sure where to start. Every time I start posting my photos I get really self-conscious and end up deleting all of them. I tried starting a new account, but am still struggling with what all my friends and family will think. I’m not trying to get famous or something, I just wanted to share what I’m doing and try to build my photography into a business. How do I stop caring about what other people think?

 

Starting something new is always difficult, no one likes to be a beginner. Starting something new on social media is worse because there is a massive feeling that everyone is watching you like a bug under a microscope. And worse than watching, it’s easy to fear that people are judging. And maybe they are, but the vast majority of people around you will be supportive as you venture into something new. If they aren’t then they aren’t people to surround yourself with. You are the sum of the people you spend most of your time with if those people aren’t making you feel supported it’s time to reevaluate that list.

But I’m not here to judge your friend group, I’m here to build you up. In my first year of the blog, I received just about every opinion you can imagine. People thought it was great, thought I was vapid, thought it was a phase, thought I didn’t know what I was doing (I didn’t). The confidence to keep going through it wasn’t easy to find, but I largely credit it with the confidence the runs throughout my life today.

When I started the blog I did so because I knew it was a bucket list item for me and I didn’t want to look back at 60 and wonder why I never started it. Putting off your goals because of what someone else thinks is not the way to live life. It’s a way to get through it. Life is meant to be aggressively lived, and that means ignoring the judgments by others and going for what makes you happy and what you want. I made a deal with myself, buy a domain name for three years and give myself that amount of time to build and build passionately. Every time someone sent me hate or rolled their eyes when I mentioned the blog I didn’t let myself retreat in shame, I remembered the deal I made with myself, held my head up, and continued on. Every time I did that was laying, brick by brick, the foundation of self-confidence I now have with the blog. Do that and every time you see reward you will know it’s because you were true to yourself and every time you experience failure you will be able to stare at it even-eyed knowing that you failed being honest with yourself.

The community I’ve built on with Molly and through Instagram are both incredibly important to me, but the person that is most important to me is me. Be selfish in your self-love and selfish in your goals. No one can champion harder for you than you. When someone comes at you with hate vise-grip your goal, grit your teeth, and walk away. Don’t delete your posts, don’t delete your passion.

 

xx

 

How to learn to follow through, foster your goals, and complete them

PERSONAL STORY

One day, when I was in elementary school I learned the word “quit” and immediately wanted to test it out. I went home and told my mom “I want to quit piano” and with five kids who each had a million after school activities, she was happy to have one less thing to take me to. I have a vivid memory of leaving my last piano lesson at the house with the blue fence and having tremendous regret. I was too stubborn to admit it then, but I really wish I never quit piano. What I learned that day is how easy quitting can be.

A few years of being an exemplary “quitter” later and another vocab word changed my outlook (shout out to NHMS). I learned what “tenacity” was and I wanted that. Badly. So I started, every day, practicing little acts of tenacity. Relishing the moments when the going gets tough and using every difficult moment as life training to become a stronger person. I gave myself a “love the pain” mentality. The point of sharing this with you is to show that mental toughness is something that you can learn and strengthen. Like a muscle, it requires a little training, but if you have the desire to move past being a “quitter” then you’ve already taken a major step.

 

WHEN WE MEET SOMETHING NEW

Laying the premise to keep in mind throughout this post: Despite the name “quitter”, you are not defined by the things you do or do not continue. You are defined by the actions you take. Do you take actions that are bettering you as a person or moving you forward to the person that you want to be? Then who cares (and who’s business is it) what you leave behind along the way? Trying things out, finding that they don’t work for you, and walking away is a strength. Blindly staying with something out of spite is not. Quitting is not just walking away from something. Quitting is what happens when you walk away from a challenge.

That being said, sometimes we walk away from things we care about. Whether it’s out of boredom, because we aren’t getting the results we expected, or judgment from others, these are the times that we need to hold our feet to the fire and carry on. Persevering beyond the “honeymoon phase” and through the “growth periods” are importing aspects to our growth overall. When we try something new we go through three stages:

Honeymoon Phase. This is when the project or thing is new and exciting. You might have a lot of support from people around you or feel all fiery when you think about it. It’s your new love, it’s exciting, it seems abundant with potential and you are psyched about it.

Growth Periods. This is when you leave “tutorial mode” and start struggling. Problems you didn’t see before arise and you start to get overwhelmed by what’s in front of you. This is when you become a stronger person. This is not the time to walk away from a project. This is the time to press on and truly grow.

Perspective. This is when we decide to accept something into our lives and use it for our development or when we walk away because it isn’t serving us. Perspective is the time after a little win when you look back and think something like “that wasn’t so bad”. This is when you are able to have more perspective on whatever you are currently working on and make a rational decision about whether or not to continue.

A perfect example is learning to ride a bike. We have a Honeymoon Phase riding around with our training wheels on and a parent holding the seat. But one day we take the training wheels off and move into the Growth Period. We struggle and are wobbly on something we used to be so excited and steady on. It stops being just “fun” and starts requiring “work”. It’s when we want to quit or go back to the safe zone of training wheels and parental support. Pushing past this, into your first “win”, is what allows you to reach the Perspective stage. Decide if you want to continue only after you’ve successfully peddled a little while. We all want to quit in the midst of a struggle, so wait to make that call until you’ve had a mini-win and can see with clearer eyes. Start looking at the difficult moments as speed bumps, not roadblocks.

 

PUTTING IT TO PRACTICE

You can’t fix something that you don’t know the cause of. In my life, there have been three major reasons why I would end up quitting. You have to determine why you quit and then address it, both mentally and behaviorally. Change not only what you are physically doing, but also how you talk to yourself around challenges. Changing that internal conversation will change how you treat new challenges.

Loss of Interest
  • WHY Are you starting things for YOU or for others? If you aren’t 100% into it at the beginning you will lose interest fast. You’ll get bored. You cannot motivate yourself based off of someone else’s desires or passion. Is this something that you yourself are at all interested in?
  • MINDSET Before starting something new ask yourself the hard questions. Are you doing this for you? Are you doing this for your parents? For someone you’re interested in? Or maybe just because it seems like the “thing” to do? Be 100% sure that you are the fuel behind a new project and not someone else before starting.
  • BEHAVIORAL CHANGE Find your motivator to push past the monotony. Start each new thing with an intense commitment you cannot walk away from (social pressure, financial investment, etc). For me, I know that if I’ve sunk money into something I will stick with it. I started and stopped blogging several times since high school, but the reason that it stuck this time is pretty easy, I bought a domain for three years. I told myself that I could quit after three years if I stuck it out for that time.
When Success Not Coming Fast Enough
  • WHY Success does not come overnight. We’ve all heard it before, but it’s true. In a world of viral videos, it’s hard to continue drudging along when someone else seemingly “explodes” overnight. When it feels like we are stuck in the mud and that all our hard work is going nowhere it’s easy to quit.
  • MINDSET If you hear yourself say “I’m wasting my time” double-check if you are actually wasting time, or if you’re just discouraged at the seemingly small amount of progress you’ve made. When you start to get that sinking feeling of “I’ve gone nowhere” remember to look backward and not just forwards. Be gentle with yourself. Relish the experience, not just the results.
  • BEHAVIORAL CHANGE Make a list of all the small accomplishments you have made along the way so you have a tangible list of all your successes. Aggressively track your progress and give yourself credit for each win. I have a habit of being too hard on myself and sometimes it takes moments to look back and relish in a little moment of pride, to feel the psych come back.
Confidence
  • WHY This is a big one. When you lack confidence you don’t move forward, you don’t take risks. External factors can heavily influence this, whether that be comparing yourself to someone else’s success, receiving “hate” from people you care about, or feeling like you’re going to fail before you begin. Each of these things shakes our confidence in different ways. If you don’t have a strong foundation of confidence you will have tremendous difficulty during Growth Periods and will find yourself giving up when you fail.
  • MINDSET Being a runner I always think back to the advice my dad would give me before a big race. “Don’t hope to do well, work for it, and think about it all the time. If you think you’re going to lose, you’re going to lose.” He instilled in me a “winner” mindset. I always envision myself “winning” and that has made all the difference. Next time you talk to yourself, check if you are talking down to yourself. Are you anticipating failure? Are you anticipating you will quit? And then redirect the conversation. You are a winner. You are tenacious. Remind yourself why you started this project. Remember that the past does not dictate the future. If you flip a coin 100 times in a row the 101st time still has 50/50 odds. Every new thing you undertake is a new opportunity with fresh odds. 
  • BEHAVIORAL CHANGE If you find yourself overly concerned and worried about what others will think of your new passion don’t share your goals so readily with people. Give yourself the room to struggle, fail, leave projects, adapt, without stressing what other people say. Other people are not entitled to force their opinion on you. You are allowed to protect a new, delicate passion project from them.

 

Start with something small. If you find you get bored of things often start with the small goal of finishing a novel that you keep putting down. If you don’t get success as often as you’d like to, make a 7-day, 15-day, and 30-day goal sheet for a project you have. Track your progress at a daily level so you have the ability to look back at your success as motivation to continue on. It’s hard to see how we’re doing when we’re in the thick of it, so give yourself the ability to zoom out. If you are struggling with confidence the biggest advice I can give you is to relax. Treat yourself with grace and kindness. Remember that failing is not an indication of your worth and you’ll find it easier to stand up and try over and over again.

On Why: You should make a resolution every day

It’s February 1st, how’s your NYE resolution going?

Every year, right after the ball drops, the same question ripples through the room “What’s your New Year’s Resolution?” I’ve found, in my own experience, the practice of setting NYE resolutions to be a futile effort. They are always either unrealistic, too ambitious, or simply not aligned with my greater goals. I’ve had all the typical goals: get in shape, eat healthier, spend more time with family, etc but if any progress is made on them it happens in the first 1-2 months of the year, in a minimal way, and then stops, D. O. A.

And I’m not the only one who has this experience. While a change for the better is an excellent idea, the reality is that of everyone who sets an NYE resolution about 88% will fail. Of that 88% more than 23% admit to forgetting their NYE goals. How is that a positive strategy for change? You’ll even hear of people who put off changes they want to make in December, as they plan for a January execution.

NYE Resolutions have never worked for me and for the first time on January 1, 2018 I didn’t set one. An experimental year of making changes when and where I wanted to, and not feeling like a failure because my path changed over the course of 365 days. In some ways, I did make a small, underlying resolution: no expectations.

I left the question of “What will the next year bring?” completely open-ended. Granted I’ve always been a goal-setter and I even wrote a post back in April about what my plans were, but I wanted to be sure that 2018 was not about completing a checklist or brushing off missed goals. My favorite part of that Spring piece is a simple sentence that has become my mantra:

Someday isn’t coming.

Now before I start to sound like a massive pessimist (if I haven’t already) please know that the meaning behind Someday isn’t coming isn’t meant to be negative, it’s meant to be motivating. It’s the idea that Someday is so abstract that basing your life on it is the worst thing you can do. I think that NYE resolutions reinforce that Someday is coming. And that if you fail “There’s always next year”.

But where is the sense of urgency?

This is YOUR life.

Why are you waiting?

Having a “no expectations” year is what led me to take every opportunity in stride and continually shift and evolve my goals & plans. I started a blog, I worked out more days this year than any year since leaving school, I traveled more, I paid off $9,000 in credit card debt, I grew in my relationships. I am closer now to achieving some MASSIVE goals that I have had for 5+ years than I ever was when those same goals were on my NYE resolutions list.

So why would an NYE resolution have worked against me and my current achievements? Because I never once felt like a failure, even when I “failed”. I pushed myself far outside of my comfort zone because I hadn’t predetermined how far I was willing to push myself. And I didn’t have abstract resolutions like “be more outgoing” or “grow self-confidence” which allowed me to hone in on specific goals I’ve had for years. In short, it allowed me to focus on my “bucket list” instead of a “to do list”.

I’ve wanted to grow my self-confidence for years and 2018 was the first time I felt that little ping that later erupted into the buzzing aura of confidence that surrounds me every day. Starting a blog was one of the scariest things for me because I was so incredibly paranoid about what other people would say or think of me. I think a lot of that comes from the fact that any time I had previously tried to blog I wasn’t writing what I wanted to, I was writing what I thought others would want to read.

Now I truly feel like I have a blog that is my on and reflects me through and through. I’m not just out here mimicking what I’ve seen work for other bloggers. I don’t want to be a carbon copy of every other “girl with a blog”. I wouldn’t have even taken a mild step toward the direction of starting a blog if I hadn’t set a zero expectations precedent for myself at the start of 2018.

And now look where we are!

Every month, week, day, I’m finding new things that I want to do and acting on those motivations. There’s no waiting for a Monday start, a “fresh” month, or a new year to jump start. If I want to do something I’m starting now. Having a year outside of the standardized goal-setting of NYE resolutions allowed me to start my own clock, whenever I want.

Instead of looking forward in 2019 as a tool to fix your life and make the changes you want, look in the mirror. You are the one in charge. You are the one who decides when and where. If it’s day 32 of the year and you’ve “messed up” your NYE resolution shake it off and start again now. Not next year, not next month, not next week, not even tomorrow.

Start now and get away from the mindset that you’ve “failed” at all because you, my friend, are shiny, evolving, and able.

Checking In: a new look, a new outlook

Hello 🙂

Things here may look a little different than you’ve previously seen on my site. I wouldn’t call this a complete “re-vamp”, but withMolly has definitely seen a few changes over the past several months.

About six months ago I found that using Wix.com was not conducive to my goals for the blog. Contrary to what their enticing Karlie Kloss ads will have you believe there are significant faults within the customization options of their site. And, because it’s built on a “drag-and-drop” model, the CCS and HTML coding is very sloppy which makes adding any custom CSS pretty tricky. This creates a fairly big issue if the customization you are looking for isn’t available through their interface. For example, they do not offer the ability to edit the font size of a blog post. How BASIC does that function seem? I truly despised looking at my blog posts for so long because I felt like the font was that of an “easy-reader” e-book.

So I go to work rebuilding my entire site on a new platform: WordPress.

While doing this I refrained from posting new blog content, which is why it’s been MONTHS since you’ve seen new content. While I wish this hadn’t been a side effect of the Wix > WordPress move it was necessary. Rebuilding and recoding the site took a lot of time, was very frustrating, and seeing content go up on my old Wix site would have driven me up a wall. Why dig deeper into the ditch you’re trying to escape at the same time you’re building a ladder?

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But thankfully we’ve come out the other side! In so many ways this site is similar to my previous blog (I did love the design), but in other ways, it’s very different! The overall design is cleaner with less manual updates required. Of course, there are branding updates (will I ever settle on a logo?) but I’m most excited about the footer – it’s so beautiful! The footer on my OG site was created through Wixes drag and drop features. This new site required actual coding which has taken FOREVER to get right. I’m sure you’ll still see minor tweaks to it in the coming weeks as I learn more about coding, but for now, it’s a huge source of pride for me. 🙂

When thinking up new ideas I knew that I wanted this space to be much more visual and pleasing to view (you all deserve it after that massive font — clearly that’s a sore spot for me!). I also really enjoyed this opportunity to get more into coding and use it to completely customize how everything looks, feels, and interacts with each other. I’m self-taught at coding so it’s been tricky, tough, and frustrating, but absolutely love when it works! (PS: if you have a solid strategy for importing a .JSON file into HTML or PHP please hmu…).

But, I digress … I’m very excited to step forward with this NEW and IMPROVED site 🙂 There are several new surprises coming down the pipeline for you all and I cannot wait to share every piece with you all.

Thank you all and I love each and every one of you!

xx, M

*if you are not seeing the new site please clear your cache and refresh the page!*

make believe: warm neutrals & a place to curl up

Have you ever seen the way cream folds into coffee? It’s heavenly. There’s something about warm neutrals that is so relaxing, comforting and homey.

I think part of being drawn to white and cream is also drawn to its renewal significance. It’s the blank slate everyone wishes they had. It makes you feel fresh and alert and after an excess of me me me time, that may be exactly what I’m needing.

 

 

 

Embrace the change of season with these bits:

this teddy sweater for early, chilly mornings.

a warm, creamy cup of coffee.

fresh bread baked by you.

set the mood in your living room with this rug.

gathering for dinner with loved ones.

Checking In: where we’re going

“Enjoy yourself; that’s what your 20s are for. Your 30s are to learn the lessons. Your 40s are to pay for the drinks.”

Sex and the City

 

Sadly I have to disagree with one of my favorite, fictitious (although she’s quite alive in my mind) characters, Carrie Bradshaw. Your 20s are for more than just enjoying yourself, your 20s are the time to lay a foundation for your career, relationships, morals, and to find where you stand and fit into the larger picture.

I’ve always set massive, 10 y down the line goals for myself. I know that by the time I am 35 I want to be full time devoted to an entrepreneurial project that I have created. I’ve started and stopped so many small projects that I’m taking with Molly one day at a time. No pressure, just enjoying the process.

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I think the realization that in my mid-20s I still know nothing and that I am just waking up to who I am and what I want has been incredibly grounding for me. It’s made me wake up and toss out the “oh me oh my” routine that baby boomers claim plague my millennial generation.

Getting myself to NYC by my birthday (end of October) is a huge goal for myself, and something that I was surprised to see on paper. There are a lot of things that need to happen before I get there. I’m digging myself out of debt, keeping my head above water at work, and planning for a future with my boyfriend. Getting myself to NYC by my birthday…is a huge goal for myself, and something that I was surprised to see on paper.

Digging into my financial life, and seeing where I need to make cuts and adjustments to reach my goal of moving to NYC is something that has put me in the driver’s seat of my own life. I started this project at more than $8K in CC debt. After nearly six weeks of trimming back in every way I can, learning how to not online shop and fill my time with other things, and learning how to skip eating out in order to save $, I have knocked that number down to $3,652. This is a huge success for me and made me that if I want something I have to go for it. Sitting around hoping that my boyfriend will get an NYC job and I can ride to my dream city on his coattails is ridiculous and childish.

It seems like this should be the most obvious, but it wasn’t to me, until now.

Setting a massive goal for myself, to dig out of $8K+ debt, save more than $15K, and move to NYC without a job, just to chase a dream, that’s a new frontier for me. I spent four years of dreaming of New York, taking day trips every chance I could, and focusing on someday instead of taking ownership of the situation and slapping a tangible date on someday.

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Someday isn’t coming. I’m using my 20s to find and kick out all the places in my mind where I focus on an aspiration without working for it. We are surrounded by aspirational marketing every day, through social media, magazines, and more. Trust me, I know, it’s my job.

I thought I would move to the city of my dreams someday, but I decided to determine when someday will be.