Ladies, can we talk about how your year is going and how you felt coming into 2023? I feel like January gets a bad rep because of the crazy new year's resolutions pressure. I don't know about you but this year was different for me and it's because I changed my mindset about how I wanted to start it off. Instead of focusing on the LONG LIST of things I could do differently or "better" I decided to focus on how I wanted to feel going into this year and what things I could do to help myself get to that point. My goal for 2023 is honestly just about feeling happy and healthy and creating new habits to help me get there. I'm not looking at numbers on the scale, I'm not counting calories and I'm certainly not beating myself up over how many miles I didn't run or bike that day. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with doing those things if they're working and bringing you happiness. However, if they aren't and they just keep making you feel like you're failing at something then it's time for a new approach. Instead of looking at all the ways I had failed in the past, I needed to take a different approach to build myself back up and get back to a healthy and confident place. Here are a few things that have helped me continue on a path toward success.
Headspace: As someone who battles with a lot of anxiety and has PMDD it's critical for me to work on a healthy headspace. Let's be honest, some days you're in a funk or just feeling negative and it's hard to shake it off. Instead of staying in it, I turn to these things to help me change the mood and tone for my day.  
  • Podcasts: I LIVE for podcasts these days and truly can't imagine life without them. It's a free way to hear from some people you can relate to and learn from right from your device. Whether you're doing the dishes, on a morning walk or traveling for work you can always pop it on in the background and learn about something new or just be entertained by a topic you love hearing about. (Podcasts I love: The Mel Robbins Podcast, Ted Talks Daily, The Rachel Hollis Podcast, Lewis Howes The school of Greatness)
  • Audiobooks: I'm not proud of it but I honestly never read. When I finally sit down to do it I just fall asleep or a child somehow finds me and interrupts my quiet moment. Instead, I turn to audiobooks and listen to books I'm wanting to read but honestly never make happen.
  • Your Community: This one sounds like it would be easy but honestly it can be the hardest. Who you surround yourself with can make a HUGE difference in how you feel about yourself and your motivation to create the life you truly want to live. It is KEY to surround yourself with people who are also wanting to continue to grow in life and who will encourage you to keep going on your journey. I'm not saying to only be friends with people who are just like you but instead to surround yourself with friends or family who encourage, support, and inspire you to be your best self.
Getting Active: I can't stress this one enough!!! I have now become the mom who makes other moms meet her for walks to hang out and I honestly love it. I felt like a nerd at first but then I noticed how awesome it was to get to know my friends even better while also working on my health. To kick it up a notch, I started a free challenge group with my Sweetly Striped followers on Instagram to complete the Couch To 5K program with me. Not only did I push myself to do something I didn't even think I could do anymore but I also showed up for other women who also challenged themselves. I held them accountable and cheered them on one completed run at a time. I wanted to create a space for us to feel proud of where we started and how far we have come. Whether it's walking or jogging around your neighborhood or trying out a new workout class with a friend, I challenge you to put yourself out there! Another fun way to get excited about working out is fun new workout clothes. This journey has led to me bringing in new athleisure on the website so feel free to check out the latest looks here:
Gratitude: This has been a game-changer for me! Every morning I take a few minutes to myself and acknowledge all the things I am grateful for and the blessings I have in my life. It's easy to get caught up in the LONG to do lists we all have but if we start with the things we did accomplish and are proud of and the amazing blessings we do have it truly starts the day off on a better tone. Journaling is also a great thing way to practice gratitude and something I'm trying to do more of as well. Here's a journal I bought and love to incorporate into my daily routine.
I hope these ideas encourage you to work on your own health and happiness this year. I will NEVER claim to be a health expert or tell you what you need to be doing for your specific health needs, this is just what as been working for me. I just want to be a cheerleader for other women working towards a healthy life that is both happy and fulfilling for them. As women, we unfortunately sometimes find it selfish to put ourselves first and end up putting our needs on the back burner. We can't show up for others if we can't even show up for ourselves and we deserve to feel confident and happy in life. 
I hope you find at least one thing helpful in me sharing my journey so far with you. I still have a lot to learn, but for the first time in a long time I feel confident that I can do this and that I actually deserve to do it as well.


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