Wednesday, February 1, 2012

It's February!

Happy February everyone! It’s the month of love! Love for your significant other, love for your friends, and perhaps most importantly, love for yourself. You are all officially my Valentines – I LOVE my readers! Have a fantastic day!



Sandra Bullock


“My goal now is to remember every place I’ve been, only do things I love and not say yes when I don’t mean it”
- Sandra Bullock

Real Girls Aren't Perfect


V-DAY



I recently stumbled upon an organization called “V-DAY”. V-DAY is “an organized response against violence toward women”. It stands up against violent acts toward women all around the world; working to raise awareness, make communities safer, and to aid those who have been victims. The word is being spread throughout college campuses, through different campaigns with all sorts of target areas, and proves to us how important, and achievable it is for women to have a voice. The site (link below) seems to be very well organized, super informant, and completely pink. To clarify just exactly what V-DAY stands for, here is the mission statement:
  • V-Day is an organized response against violence toward women.
  • V-Day is a vision: We see a world where women live safely and freely.
  • V-Day is a demand: Rape, incest, battery, genital mutilation and sexual slavery must end now.
  • V-Day is a spirit: We believe women should spend their lives creating and thriving rather than surviving or recovering from terrible atrocities.
  • V-Day is a catalyst: By raising money and consciousness, it will unify and strengthen existing anti-violence efforts. Triggering far-reaching awareness, it will lay the groundwork for new educational, protective, and legislative endeavors throughout the world.
  • V-Day is a process: We will work as long as it takes. We will not stop until the violence stops.
  • V-Day is a day. We proclaim Valentine’s Day as V-Day, to celebrate women and end the violence.
  • V-Day is a fierce, wild, unstoppable movement and community. Join us!
I highly recommend taking a peek at the website and getting involved if you feel strongly about what the cause works toward.
Link to the site: http://www.vday.org/home


How To Live Your Life


8 Fitness Secrets to Steal from the Boys


Find out what guys know (and you don’t) about getting in shape
By Brynn Mannino
Not that we’re envious (actually, yes, we are), but guys seem to have a much easier time getting fit than women. Sure, their bodies are different, but what if there’s more to it? After looking at men’s traditional workout habits versus women’s, we found that they have a few tricks up their sleeves. For one thing, strength training burns way more calories than cardio alone, and post-workout protein shakes are more than just an excuse to drink a smoothie. But that’s not all! Read on to find out how you can improve your own fitness routine by taking a few tips from the boys.

1. They work multiple muscle groups at once. 
The more muscles you work at one time, the more calories you’ll burn at one time—not only at the gym but during the days following, as your muscles rebuild, says Myatt Murphy, coauthor of The Body You Want in the Time You Have. Compounding exercises, like squats, dead lifts and bench presses, will give you the most bang for your buck, as they engage multiple muscles in your upper or lower body simultaneously. Revamp your routine by including exercises that work more than one muscle group or combine two moves (like doing biceps curls on a stability ball) in order to make the most of your time spent at the gym.

2. They leave magazines out of it. 
Reading while on a cardio machine could not only stifle your workout by interfering with your form, but it might also shorten your workout as well. “Looking down can hinder the oxygen flow to your lungs,” says Murphy. “The less oxygen you breathe in, the quicker you’ll exhaust yourself.” If you need a little more mental stimulation than you get from logging miles on the treadmill, Lou Schuler, coauthor of The New Rules of Lifting for Women, suggests doing calisthenic-style exercises, which mix short bursts of cardio with strength training.

3. They get their sweat on. 
If there’s one place sweating is socially acceptable, it’s at the gym. Not only does getting a good sweat on mean your body is heating up and, consequently, expending energy (read: burning calories!), it also detoxifies your skin, says Monica Vazquez, personal trainer at New York Sports Clubs. So don’t be afraid to break a sweat and push yourself as hard as you can to ensure you’re burning the maximum amount of calories.

4. They flex their muscles.
“When you strength-train, you’re not building muscle—you’re breaking it down,” says Murphy. Contrary to popular belief, the building-back-up part happens over the next 48 hours, mostly while you sleep, he explains. Contracting (a.k.a. flexing) your muscles right after a weight-lifting set continues to break down the fibers, even if only slightly. And the more you break them down, the more they’ll build back up, Murphy says. “In other words, boosting your ego can boost your results!”

5. They eat after they exercise. 
After you’ve depleted your energy, it’s important to refuel, “especially after you exercise, when your body is desperate to replace the stored energy it just used and will pull it from wherever it can,” Murphy says. Ideally, you want the energy to come from your stored fat, but your body may also pull from the calorie-burning muscle. By eating a mix of protein and carbohydrates after you train (thus the protein shake!), you can prevent your body from turning on its muscle, since it looks to your stomach first for fuel.

6. They hone in on a different set of numbers. 
Rather than fixating on how many calories they’ve burned or how much weight they’ve lost, men tend to focus on how much of a certain task they’ve accomplished—and how much more they should do next time they hit the gym. According to Schuler, steadily increasing speed (cardio) or weight (strength training) in increments contributes to improved strength and energy, and consequently, more muscle and better workouts in the future. Focus on improving your exercise stats (reps, workout time, weight lifted, etc.), rather than the number on the scale. 

7. They focus on getting stronger—not thinner. 
If you’ve ever tried to compliment a man by telling him he looks slim only to have it backfire, then you know: Men tend to want to look “big,” which denotes strength, while women usually want to look slim, which suggests a low percentage of body fat. Why is the guys’ way more effective? Strength means more muscle; muscle not only burns calories, but shapes your whole body. “If you’re aiming to change the way you look, you must change the shape of your muscles,” says Vazquez.

8. They log their workouts. 
Because of the nature of weight lifting (you should consistently increase the weight you lift) it makes sense that men record their workouts. Frankly, it’s hard to remember all those numbers! But there are other advantages to writing down workout stats that everyone could benefit from, explains Vazquez. “Not only does it keep you honest about how much you’re really working out, but it makes your success tangible,” she says. Figure out a system that works for you, whether that means jotting things down in a small notebook or creating a cheat sheet on your mobile or portable audio device, so you can build upon your improvements each time you work out.

Look For The Beauty In Everyone


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Matthew Gray Gubler


Take criticism, smash it into dust, add colour and use it to paint breathtaking images of unicorns frolicking through fields of greatness.
-Matthew Gray Gubler

28 Ways to Stop Complicating Your Life


Life is not complicated.  We are complicated.  When we stop doing the wrong things and start doing the right things, life is simple.
So starting today…
  1. Stop berating yourself for being a work in progress. – Start embracing it!  Because being a work in progress doesn’t mean you’re not good enough today.  It means you want a better tomorrow, and you wish to love yourself completely, so you can live your life fully.  It means you’re determined to heal your heart, expand your mind and cultivate the gifts you know you’re meant to share. May we all be works in progress forever, and celebrate the fact that we are!
  2. Stop doing immoral things simply because you can. – Start being honest with yourself and everyone else.  Don’t cheat.  Be faithful.  Be kind.  Do the right thing!  It is a less complicated way to live.  Integrity is the essence of everything successful.  When you break the rules of integrity you invite serious complications into your life.  Keep life simpleand enjoyable by doing what you know in your heart is right.
  3. Stop meaning what you don’t say. – Start communicating clearly.  Don’t try to read other people’s minds, and don’t make other people try to read yours.  Most problems, big and small, within a family, friendship, or business relationship, start with bad communication.  Someone isn’t being clear.
  4. Stop wasting time and money trying to acquire more of everything. – Start focusing on quality.  High quality is worth more than any quantity, in possessions, friends and experiences.  Truly ‘rich’ people need less to be happy.  Live a comfortable life, not a wasteful one.  Too many people buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have to impress people they don’t know.  Do not spend to impress others.  Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects.  Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you.  Read The Millionaire Next Door.
  5. Stop spending time with negative people. – Start spending time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.  Relationships should help you, not hurt you.  Surround yourself with people who reflectthe person you want to be.  Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it.  Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  When you free yourself of negative people, you free yourself to be YOU – and being YOU is the simplest way to live.
  6. Stop trying to change people. – Start accepting people just the way they are.  In most cases it’s impossible to change them anyway, and it’s rude to try.  So save yourself from needless stress.  Instead of trying to change others, give them your support and lead by example.
  7. Stop being lazy and cutting corners. – Start avoiding future headaches by doing things right the first time.  Always put your best foot forward.  Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.  Why give less than 100%?  Life is too short to waste it by living below your full potential.  If something is worth doing, then it’s worth doing well.
  8. Stop procrastinating. – Start taking action and making changes.  Action and change are often resisted when they’re needed most.  Get a hold of yourself and have discipline.  Discipline is choosing what you really want over what you want right now.  Putting something off makes it instantly harder and scarier.  What we don’t start today won’t be finished by tomorrow.  And there’s nothing more stressful than the perpetual lingering of an unfinished task.
  9. Stop worrying and complaining. – Start focusing on the things you can control and do something about them.  Those who complain the most accomplish the least.  And when you spend time worrying, you’re simply using your imagination to create things you don’t want.  It’s usually only as good or bad as you think it is.
  10. Stop being dramatic. – Start spending less time gossiping about problems and more time helping yourself and others solve them.  Stay out of people’s needless drama and don’t create your own.
  11. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Start focusing on being everything to someone.  Helping or pleasing everyone is impossible.  But making one person smile can change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus and be yourself.
  12. Stop making promises you can’t keep. – Starting under-promising and over-delivering on everything you do.  Period.
  13. Stop blaming others. – Start accepting responsibility for everything in your life.  Blaming others accomplishes nothing and prolongs the complications you’re facing.  Either you own your problems, or they will own you.  Your choice.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give up your power over that part of your life.
  14. Stop reacting without a plan. – Start planning and working toward specific goals.  Make a list of your top 3 – 5 goals.  What’s most important to you?  What do you value most?  What 3 – 5 things do you most want to do in your life?  Simplifying your life starts with these priorities, as you are trying to make room in your life so you have more time for these things.  Having a plan, even a flawed one at first, is better than no plan at all.  There is good reason why you should wake each morning and mindfully consider what and who you will give your day to: Because unlike other things in life – love, money, respect, good health, hope, opportunities, etc. – time is the one thing you can never get back once it’s gone.
  15. Stop confusing ‘being busy’ with ‘being productive.’ – Start tracking and measuring your progress.  Being busy and being productiveare two very different things.  Results are more important than the time it takes to achieve them.
  16. Stop over-committing and trying to do too much at once. – Start saying “no” more often.  If you never say “no,” you will take on too much and get nothing accomplished.  In the beginning, you need to say “yes” to a lot of things to discover and establish your goals.  Later on, you need to say “no” to a lot of things and concentrate on your goals.  Once your goals are established, focus on doing one thing at a time and doing it well.  Also, leave space around commitments in your day.  Whether you have appointments, or things you need to do, don’t stack them back-to-back.  Leave a little space between things you need to do, so you will have room for contingencies, and you’ll go through your day much more relaxed.
  17. Stop being inefficient simply because you’ve always done it that way. – Start opening your mind to making positive changes.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Many times we live with unplanned, complex systems in our lives simply because we haven’t given them much thought.  Instead, streamline your life by finding better ways of handling common tasks.  Focus on one system at a time (your cleaning system, your errands system, your paperwork system, your email system, etc.) and try to make it simplified, efficient, and logical.  Then, once you have it perfected, stick to it.  ReadGetting Things Done and The Power of Less.
  18. Stop cluttering your space. – Start clearing clutter.  Get rid of stuff you don’t use and then organize what’s left.  If you have a cluttered living or working space, it can be distracting and stressful.  A clear space is like a blank canvas, available to be used to create something great.  Getting truly organized and clutter-free can vastly improve anyone’s life.
  19. Stop overloading your mind by consuming useless information. – Start unsubscribing from useless e-lists and news feeds, and keep the TV off.  Limit your time on Facebook, Twitter, CNN.com and your other favorite websites, etc.
  20. Stop obsessing over the past and future. – Start being present. Paying more attention to the current moment can make a huge difference in simplifying your life.  It keeps you aware of life, of what’s going on around you and within you.  It does wonders for your sanity and stress levels.
  21. Stop waiting for things to be perfect. – Start thinking of how many things don’t get done in this world simply because people are waiting for the perfect time, place and circumstance.  If you’re waiting for the perfect conditions, ideas or plans to get started, you’ll never achieve anything.  A good idea without action is nothing at all.  Keep it simple and just start.  Focus on the next positive step forward.
  22. Stop focusing so much energy on trying to avoid mistakes. – Start learning from your mistakes, then smile and move on.  No matter how smart you are, you will make mistakes.  Trying to avoid them will only waste time and complicate your life.  There is a lesson in every mistake you make, and learning the lesson is how you move forward.
  23. Stop making emotional decisions. – Start taking a few steps back so you can think things through.  When you’re caught up in the moment and your emotions are soaring, you’re bound to make poor decisions that will lead to needless complications.  The best advice here is simple:  Don’t let your emotions trump your intelligence.  Slow down and think things through before you make any big decisions.
  24. Stop being unhealthy. – Start taking care of your body.  Start sleeping eight hours every night.  A tired, malnourished mind is over-stressed and rarely productive.  Your health is your life, don’t let it go.  Eat right, exercise and get an annual physical check-up.  The The 4-Hour Body is an insightful and entertaining read on this topic.
  25. Stop holding on to intimate relationships that make you unhappy. – Start looking out for yourself when it comes to intimate relationships.  It’s better to WAIT, and give your hand to someone who will never let go, rather than holding on to the outside of a hand that has never fully opened for you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  Remember, anyone can come into your life and say how much they love you.  But it takes someone really special to stay in your life and show you how much they love you.  So slow it down.  True love is worth the wait.
  26. Stop holding on to hate. – Starting letting hate go!  Keep your sights set on the future.  Holding on to hate and anger is like grasping hot coals with the intent of throwing them at someone else – you are the one who gets burned.  If you want to forget someone, and move on, you must give up hating them.  It’s hard to forget someone you hate, because hate takes pieces of your heart – thereby keeping this person within your heart.  If you want to forget them, let go of the hate, and create peace in your heart instead.  Also, remember that whenever you hate something, it usually hates you back: people, situations, and inanimate objects alike; which will only further complicate your life.
  27. Stop pretending like you know everything. – Start accepting the fact that there’s a lot you don’t know.  Nobody has it all figured out.  Nobody knows more than a minuscule fraction of what’s going on in the world.  Why?  Because the world is simply way too vast for any one person to know everything well.  And most of what we see is only what we think about what we see.  The sooner you accept this, the sooner you will stop making the same unnecessary mistakes, and the sooner new doors of opportunity will open in your life.
  28. Stop giving what you don’t want to receive. – Start practicing the golden rule.  If you want love, give love.  If you want friends, be friendly.  If you want money, provide value.  It works.  It really is this simple.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012