Is Instagram Making You Poor?

I follow hundreds of people on the popular social media platform: Instagram. Many have referred to Instagram as a “highlight reel” of ones own life. Nailed it. People post what they want you to see. They want you to see them at music festivals, eating out, and sporting their latest fashion finds. As a viewer, I give praise, and even downright envy some people who seem to live a “better” life than me. And I’m not only referring to Instagram models, I’m talking about people I know and even my own friends.

What goes on in our minds

I see they have somehow made it to three music festivals this year and think to myself; ‘I need to be more fun, money is just money’. I see they eat out at nice restaurants regularly and think to myself: ‘there’s a cute bakery a few miles away that would be such a cute post’. I see them in amazing clothes and think to myself: ‘If I put less money toward my 401(K), that would be one shopping spree a month and I could dress like that’.

What happens

We spend more. We spend more to attend the parties and events just to post about it. We eat out more so that we can tag our location in the Instastory. We charge our credit card so we have the latest shoe that is all over our feed.

We constantly chase a lifestyle that is beyond our means.

We all do it. Even the people we ‘envy’ are doing it to follow someone else. Over 30% of millennials have $0 in their savings account. And roughly 70% have high balances on their credit cards. We are drowning. And it’s because we try to keep up with an unrealistic unattainable lifestyle.

What needs to happen

We need to realize that Instagram isn’t reality, far from it. That the smiling people we see in posts are just like us, with good days and bad, and most likely worrying about how they are going to afford their next vacation, too. I know nothing huge will change, posters are still gonna post; but if we can take a step back and realize what’s happening, maybe we can inch our way toward smarter monetary decisions for ourselves.

 

5 Tips for Staying Healthy When You Have a Busy Schedule

For those with busy schedules, a hectic life can get in the way of your healthy priorities. But, there are ways you can incorporate healthy decisions into your already busy life.

1. Meal Prep

When you’re busy, nothing is as precious as time. And meal prepping for the week will save you tons of it. Take about two hours aside on Sunday and make your lunches and dinners for the following four to five days.

2. Incorporate Exercise into your Routine

There are a few things you can do that really take no extra time at all. Opt for the stairs instead of elevator. Walk over to a colleagues desk instead of instant messaging them. Walk to the store if its close (parking is what takes forever). There are many other things you can do to make your day to day activities a little healthier.

3. Don’t let stress take over

Many people turn to food when stressed. After a long hard day at the office, you may think you deserve that ice cream or donut for all your efforts. You may turn to a few glasses of wine to ‘wine’ down at the end of a hard day. Even at lunch, in a stressed rush, you may turn to the unhealthy, easy to eat quickly, candy bar. Don’t let stress control your diet. Instead, turn to salads, or sandwiches and remember to stay healthy!

4. Try 20 minute workout sessions

You really don’t need much time to work out. There are many HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts that are no longer than 20 minutes, and boy, do they work. Learn a few different variations, some for arms, abs, legs, and butt. All you need is 20 minutes each morning, c’mon, you can spare that!

5. Try incorporating exercise as group activities like family time

Every afternoon, after dinner, take your family on a 30 minute walk. Maybe its to a park, or frozen yogurt, or just around the neighborhood with the dogs. Sunday mornings are a great day to go hiking with the girls. Whatever you do, include others, because then it’s something to look forward to and valuable time spent with loved ones.

3 Tips for Self Motivation

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Make a Plan

Sitting down and making a plan is motivational in itself. When you have to think about what you want to accomplish and how you’re going to get there; you become eager to get started. Make your plan broken out in steps, and make those steps easy, achievable, smaller goals.

Track Your Progress

Whatever goal you’re reaching for, take before and after photos or notes. It’s hard to see how far you’ve come when you’re focused on the smaller steps in your plan. You can get caught up in looking at how much further you have to go instead of looking back at how far you’ve already come.

Stay Positive

Even if you aren’t seeing the outcome you want, as quickly as you want, stay positive! Changing a habit, your body, or completing a goal takes time. Take another look at how far you’ve come since you started. And remember, things take time.

Do These 3 Things Every Morning to Lose Weight

Do these three things every morning, in this order, to shed the weight!

Drink a cold glass of water right after you wake up

This detoxes the body and really gets your digestive track going. This will increase your metabolism and wake you up. Plus, if you’re struggling to drink enough water, this gets one glass out of the way!

Exercise

This also gets the metabolism going. Studies show you will burn up to 200 calories more the rest of the day doing nothing than if you don’t work out. You are also more likely to make better health decisions if you start your day with a workout. Plus, this is a great way to ensure your workout doesn’t get skipped!

Relax

Take ten minutes to breathe and relax. Think about what you hope you accomplish that day, encourage positive thoughts, and take time to reflect.

Do This One Thing to Lose Weight

Losing weight is just as much of a mental challenge as it is a physical one. Because our mentality plays such a big role in fitness, you can often trick your mind into helping you deliver the results your after. For example, when using smaller plates, less food looks like more, and you actually eat less. By tricking your mind, you’re able to alter your behavior, like eat less. But that’s not all, there is one thing you can do daily that is proven to help you lose weight.

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Weigh yourself daily!

By doing this, you are triggering your self-regulatory process.  This in turn, can promote a behavioral change. If you weigh yourself every morning, you are more likely to make better dietary and exercise decisions later. Now, of course I was originally nervous to promote this. I would never encourage someone to be obsessed with a number on a scale. But, numerous studies have proven this works. Those that weighed themselves daily lose more weight than those who did not.

 

Studies Show THIS is the Key to Happiness

What most people want in life is to be “happy”. Some believe earning more money, losing weight, or getting married are what will make them happy. But what can you do to really make you happy?

Studies show that happiness is strongly linked to gratitude. When asking people why they are happy they typically say because of family, friends, and for just being alive. They are simply grateful for what they have.

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If you live your life gratefully, constantly counting your blessings, your quality of life increases. It’s hard to not be happy when you’re constantly reminding yourself of how fortunate you are. If you incorporate a grateful moment every day, you’ll be happier overall.

Do this one thing every day to live a happier life:

Take one moment every morning to say something you’re grateful for. 

I hope you give this a try and I hope you notice a positive difference. I strongly believe that you can always find something to be grateful for!

 

How to Wake Up Early and Work Out

I’ve shared that my morning routine begins with a workout and what a game changer that’s been for me. Nothing starts your day like getting your workout in early. But, for most people (myself included), it can be difficult to get up that much earlier and go to the gym first thing. I’ve learned a few things that work for me and have allowed this to become a part of my routine. I now feel weird if I don’t do it! Keep reading for my tips and tricks for waking up early and working out.

Set an alarm, and don’t hit snooze. Studies show hitting snooze actually makes you more tired.

Sleep with the curtains drawn. Waking up to natural light is much easier than waking up in the dark.

Lay out your workout clothes the night before. They say visualization helps!

Don’t question it, you’re doing it! Don’t let working out be an option for you.

Think of how good you will feel after you do it. Thats the best feeling!

Try a five day “trail run”. Give your self a count down. That way you can think “only three more days then I’m done”. But then keep going!

Join a class. Even better if they charge you for canceling, then you’re really forced 😉

Have a workout partner. See if your significant other will get up and crush it with you! Or have plans to meet a friend for a run. It’s harder to bail when someone is counting on you.

I hope these tips work for you. I promise, once you make a habit of it, you’ll even start looking forward to waking up and getting your workout in!

Sincerely,

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