Adopting These Habits Can Totally Change Your Life
We've all heard the saying, "Today is the best day of the rest of your life." But let's get real—that's only true if you're going to make the most of today. One of the best ways to make that happen is to commit to not doing what so many of us do daily—procrastination.
If you're good for getting to work 10 minutes early and/or paying your bills on time, you might not think that procrastination is an issue for you. Maybe. But before you dismiss it as being a potential obstacle in your life, here are some of the more subtle signs that it very well be a stumbling block for you. Complaining is a sign of procrastination. Quitting when things get too hard is a sign of procrastination. Justifying bad habits is a sign of procrastination. Remaining in a dead-end job or relationship is a sign of procrastination. Envy, anxiety and negativity? Yep, you guessed it; they are procrastination signs too (because these are the kinds of feelings that keep you stagnant).
The reason why it's so important to decipher whether or not procrastination is an issue for you is because there is no way that you can truly change your life until you get that nasty little issue under control. The good news is once you recognize what is keeping you from moving forward, you can start taking steps that will get you headed in a totally different direction. A direction that will have your life looking almost unrecognizable, in comparison to this very moment, in less than a year from now.
Are you ready to make the kinds of moves that will evolve everything about you, as soon as today? If so, read on.
Write Down 20 Things That You Love About Yourself
If I were to walk up to you right now and ask you to give me 20 of the things that you love most about yourself, how long would it take you to do it? Deeper than that, could you even do it? Not too long ago, recording artist Kirk Franklin was on The Breakfast Club talking about how, even with all of his success, he still struggles with insecurities. His candor is a reminder of the fact that it doesn't matter what someone else thinks about you, if you're not self-loving and self-confident, life is going to be really difficult, to say the least.
Currently, one of my favorite self-esteem quotes is by Oprah— "Self-esteem means knowing you are the dream." When you know that you are awesome, capable and worthy, c'mon. How can that kind of self-assuredness not cause you to totally change your life for the better?!
Send an Email to a Potential Resource
I can't tell you how many opportunities I've landed, all from simply sending a random email to someone who may seem "unreachable" on the surface. A lot of us spend—and by that, I mean waste—a lot of time thinking that a publication will never give us a byline or a producer will never listen to our music or a platform will never consider our story when the reality is when we are original, candid and concise, we can catch the eyes of all kinds of movers 'n shakers.
Shoot, the reason why you're even reading this article is because one day, I sent Necole an email. She told me that she happened to catch my message right as she was about to sign off. She pointed me to who I needed to speak with and…here I am.
One of the best things about the internet is, one way or another, you can find a contact to just about anyone you're looking for. If you're ready to change career paths, start your own company or you simply want ways to get your name out there more, peruse the site or company's contact info that you're interested in and send an email. This tip alone may be the very thing to drastically change your life. (Again, I would know.)
Sign Up for a Skillshare Class
Knowledge is power. That's not a cliché; it's the truth. If you're a creative who wants to brush up on your design, writing, illustration or photo skills, or if you're an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to get tips on how to thrive in that lane, Skillshareoffers all kinds of courses. Although they do have premium packages, the really cool thing about the site is that they have an entire section that offers free courses as well. Another thing that I really like about Skillshare is if you live by the motto "she who learns teaches", you can hit them up to apply to be an instructor as well.
Subscribe to Scribd
Author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, "Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary." So true, so true. Reading does everything from stimulating your mind and reducing your stress levels to expanding your vocabulary (and imagination), improving your concentration, developing your analytical skills and, of course, educating you.
If you want to make the time to read more, but you're having a difficult time looking for a particular book or your budget won't let you splurge as much as you would like, consider subscribing to Scribd. For one thing, it's the largest digital library around. Plus (after a 30-day trial), you only have to pay $9 a month to get access to all of the reading material—including audiobooks and magazines—it has to offer. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Download the Happier App
Some of us could totally change our lives if we simply made an attitude adjustment. If this is the category that you fall into, getting enough rest, releasing toxic relationships, exercising regularly and altering your diet a bit are a good place to start. Something else that can help is downloading an app like the Happier app. It's basically an app that helps you to focus on how to see the beauty in life and practice gratitude on a daily basis.
If you know that happiness isn't an emotion that you are able to tap into as much as you'd like, don't wait for your circumstances to change. Being happy is something that you can choose to be, despite what is or isn't going your way. And, a woman with a positive attitude is a force to be reckoned with. Period.
Also Download the Offtime App
It's been reported that we spend around 11 hours each day engaging some sort of media. The real reality check about that comes from reading articles like "101 Things to Do with an Extra Hour". It lists everything from taking a bubble bath or catching up with a friend to creating a budget or planting flowers in your garden. And that's just after one hour.
If you know (that you know that you know) that you spend entirely too much time with electronic devices, another app worth looking into is the Offtime app. What it does is provide you the option of temporarily restricting you from sites/applications that continuously distract you while also providing a report of how much time you spend (or is it waste?) on them. You might be surprised by how much of your life you can get back, if you simply make the decision to unplug a little more often.
Shoot Your Inner Circle an Email
Something that I used to do, at least a couple of times a year, is send an email to my friends (BCC on the email addresses). It consisted of what I appreciated about them being in my life, where I was in a particular stage in it and what I was needing from them, moving forward. I asked what I could do for them as well. I don't regret any of the messages that I sent because, every time, at least one person wrote me back thanking me for the clarity they got and/or they hit me back to share something that they needed that I wasn't giving them, or some kind of transition that they wanted to make me knowledgeable of too.
I share often that one of my favorite relationship quotes is "People change and forget to tell each other." A lot of people—people who truly care about each other—grow apart, simply because they weren't open, honest and consistent when it came to communication. Just one email could breathe new life—or set necessary boundaries—into your relationships. It's worth the 30 minutes it takes to write and click "send".
Implement These Five Travel Planning Hacks
Over here at xoNecole, we're so fond of traveling that you're gonna see at least a couple of articles on the topic, pretty much on a weekly basis. If the farthest you've gone lately is to your favorite restaurant, it's time to plan a trip. Travel is educational, relaxing and a great way to expose yourself to new people and things.
If you know all of this, but you can't figure out how in the world to pay for one, I've got a few hacks that you should implement. First, sign up for some cheap flight newsletters; they typically feature deals that you wouldn't hear about any other way. Next, when you're shopping around for rates, do it while your browser is in "incognito mode"; that way, your browser won't collect any cookies and sites won't raise prices based on them knowing that you're planning a trip and where it is that you are trying to go. Third, when you're booking a hotel, don't do it through travel sites like Expedia or even hotel sites like Hotel.
Call directly for deals and to negotiate. Online sites tend to get paid by commission which means they tend to jack up prices (better yet, rent a vacation house; it'll give you so much more bang for your buck. Just go to your favorite search engine and put "vacation house rentals" in the search field). Fourth, if you don't mind living on the edge a bit, visit sites like Last Minute Travel and HotelTonight. Both provide some pretty great deals if you're willing to wait until the last hour to book your flight and/or accommodations. And finally, don't go alone. Split the costs by going with some friends. Let me get more specific—friends who will be prepared to put down deposits so that you don't end up paying for everything…at the last minute.
When it comes specifically to procrastination, artist Pablo Picasso probably said it best—"Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." I think that one of the most overlooked issues with procrastination is it's a very arrogant way to look at life—I have tomorrow or even next week to get around to doing such-and-such. Really? Who said?
Right now, I have a pile of T-shirts that are sitting on a wicker basket in my room. Guess how long they've been right there, all because I've been saying for two weeks now that I'll go through them…later. Really, it's a bit of a visual on procrastination because I've ordered a couple of more since then (these T-shirt lines are so addictive to me) which means the pile is only getting bigger. That's what procrastination does—turns small things into big things, overwhelms you and, usually makes a big mess in the process.
That report at work, that treadmill that's collecting dust and/or that hard conversation that you need to have with someone in your life—handle that ASAP. An organized life is a stress-less life. A stress-less life is a totally-changed-for-the-better one.
Try Something New
To tell you the truth, any article worth its weight is going to offer up this tip because if you want to evolve, you've got to do new things. You've got to get out of your comfort zone. You've got to attempt something that makes you a little anxious. You've got to be open to people, places, things and ideas that you've never really considered before.
If you need a little inspiration, call that crazy friend or relative who always seems to do stuff that has you responding like, "I'm sorry, you did…what?!" or check out Insider's article "50 New Things You Should Try in 2019". I can personally attest to the fact that once you go on a blind date, try a new food or visit a new place, it's going to expand your way of thinking.
And the moment that happens, even if it's initially unnoticeable, something about you has indeed immediately, changed.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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Featured image by Stephen Zeigler/Getty Images