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Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Being Perfect

Have you ever tried to be perfect? Have the perfect body, perfect skin, be the perfect partner, employee, student—the list goes on and on. What is it about perfection that makes us chase after it?

What is perfection?

Perfectionism is an unattainable goal that’s driven by fear, shame and the way we want to be perceived. According to one of my woman crushes Dr. Brene Brown, it is “is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: “’If I look perfect, live perfectly, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.’” I think we’ve all struggled with perfection in some way, form or fashion, myself included.

I struggled with being perfect in many areas—primarily in romantic relationships. I remember being afraid to voice my thoughts, feelings, wants and needs or make mistakes or say the wrong thing because I feared confrontation, being seen as someone I’m not, being left or hurt. This left me overwhelmed, overthinking, overly stressed, just over everything. I felt like I was walking on eggshells with every step I took and it was very draining!

The downside of perfection

In a world where we strive to be perfect, we block out the things we truly crave, such as joy, love, and connection and fill ourselves with fear, unnecessary stress, gray hairs, and wrinkles; unrealistic expectations and the need to control.

All of this is exhausting and keeps us from growing by obsessing over our flaws. We start to procrastinate, have creative blocks and not think clearly. There have been numerous times where my thoughts were clouded because I was scared of doing or saying the wrong thing where I wound up confusing my damn self and acting in an inauthentic way. This all leads up to unhappiness and misery. Not only do you put your happiness on the line, there are other problems you can develop as well:

  • Issues falling asleep
  • Having headaches
  • Developing heart disease
  • Engaging in compulsive eating
  • Refusing to let go of control, mistakes, and imperfections

Why you shouldn’t worry about being perfect

What I’ve learned (and still learning) is that living this way is unnatural and much more stressful on myself, the other person or people and the relationships than it is beneficial. Perfection is like armor that we wear to keep us protected. And I get it protection makes us feel safe and who doesn’t want to feel safe. With that all being said you shouldn’t worry about it.

  • Life is too short

We’ve all heard this saying before, but it’s very true. Life is too short to be going around bottled up in fear trying to avoid making a mistake. Can you really see yourself going through life like that forever? It’s like holding your breath. And it’s time to exhale *exhales*. Ahh, imagine the relief.

  • Too much pressure

There are already enough things in the world to worry about, so we don’t need to add any unnecessary weight on us—and a lot of it is unnecessary.

  • Mistakes are inevitable

Let’s just face it mistakes are going to happen. Perfection is a mistake in itself because you aren’t being you and living life at its best. Yes, they’re scary and unpredictable, but that’s where our learning and growing comes from—our mistakes.

Be you and believe in yourself

Instead, focus on:

  • Saying no

This is difficult for many of us including me to do because we want to please the people in our lives even if we break our back in the process. We don’t want them to be angered or disappointed at us, so we shut up, smile and do what they say even though what we really want to say is hell no!

But, we have the right to protect and honor our boundaries and the things we do and do not want to do. Some people won’t like it and will even think you’re being selfish, they’re wrong. Saying no is not selfish it’s selfull.

  • Stop fearing failure

I don’t really believe that we fear failure. Speaking from personal experience, I believe what we truly fear is things not going the way we want or expect them to be and equate that to failure. However, the real failure is when we don’t dare to try in the first place. Things aren’t always going to pan out the way you want. That’s just the reality of it and needs to be accepted. So, if you’re really afraid of failing, make a move. And if you don’t succeed there are two things you gained from the experience:

  1. You’ve learned what you can do differently, and
  2. You get to try again.
  • Being yourself

A great philosopher by the name of Dr. Seuss once said, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Dr. Seuss knew what he was talking about. There is no need to be anything or anyone other than you. So embrace it! Inside and out. Flaws and all. Who you are is absolutely enough.

Perfection is safe and that’s the seductive part about it. You don’t have to be perfect to be loved or liked; or to create, grow and maintain healthy relationships. Give yourself a break and be yourself. Your perfectly imperfect self and that is perfectly fine. If you make a mistake, good! You learned something. Now you can get up and try again.

After I noticed my pattern of people pleasing and how that affected me I made a pledge. And that pledge is to give myself permission to be human and to honor me by not allowing the fear of failure and disappointment (and not beating myself up about it if things don’t go the way I want them to) keep me from doing what I want to do. Being who I’m supposed to be—myself and loving it knowing that’s just enough.

Do I have setbacks? Hell yeah. Are my setbacks as bad as they used to be? Hell no. And now I’m much more at peace than I was before.

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Clothes You Need To Avoid Wearing For Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day can be a pain in the ass sometimes. Figuring out what to do and what gift to get is already stressful. But, the hardest part is finding something to wear! Because let’s face it, we want everything planned to go well, but we want to look good even more. There are so many articles out there saying what to wear, but depending on the type of date, here are some suggestive things you shouldn’t:

  • Something your date has already seen you in.

There will be plenty of times for your SO to see you in your favorite pair of leggings and novelty heart-print shirt—just not this time. That doesn’t mean you have to go out and get something brand new, but if you really have to or want to you can.

  • All black

I absolutely love black. As a matter of fact, half of my wardrobe is probably black. It’s sexy, mysterious and chic but it’s also safe and a little dull. Unless you plan on going to a Goth concert or a funeral, show your personality and liven up your wardrobe by adding some color like green or blue.

  • Distressed jeans

I own a couple pairs of ripped jeans. They’re cute and edgy, but for this occasion, they can come off as immature. Unless the occasion calls for you to wear jeans with tears in them, try opting for a sleeker polished look (meaning, no holes in your pants).

  • Anything that’s not you

This is the most important one on the list. Don’t wear anything that you don’t feel yourself in. Of course, you want to impress your date, but not at the expense of you feeling uncomfortable in the clothes you’re wearing.

We all want to look great on Valentine’s Day. And although these are some things to consider not wearing, if that’s what you feel good and sexy in then wear it. Rock those leggings! Share what you plan to wear on V-day in the comments section below.

30 Best Ways to Enjoy Valentine’s Day Alone

This time of year it seems like everywhere I go I’m constantly reminded of my singleness and if you’re single too you know what I mean. As soon as you walk into a store you’re bombarded with so many Valentine’s Day fixtures and ornaments you would think Cupid himself decorated the place. Then there are commercials, photos, and radio marketing romantic gifts and things to do to celebrate with your significant other.

But, what can you do when you’re single and almost everything seems to be catered to the lovebirds out there? The answer is, a lot and here’s a list of 30 things you can do to enjoy Valentine’s Day.

  1. Take yourself out for dinner.
  2. See what events for singles are going on in your city.
  3. Go speed dating—I think I’m going to try this because it sounds like fun.
  4. Be happy for the amount of money you don’t have to spend.
  5. Take a bubble bath.
  6. Indulge in decadent desserts.
  7. Have dinner with friends.
  8. Buy something nice for yourself—like that dress you’ve been eyeing for the last two weeks.
  9. Get a massage.
  10. Go to the movies.
  11. Pamper yourself. Get your nails, toes, and hair done.
  12. Have a movie night at home—wine and chocolate included.
  13. Volunteer. Spread your love with others that need love.
  14. Take a class.
  15. Think about what you really want out of a relationship.
  16. Getaway—go on a solo trip to somewhere.
  17. Spend time with your family—I’m thinking about having a Valentine’s Day photo shoot with my mine.
  18. Relax and have a spa day.
  19. Get adventurous. Try something you’ve never done before.
  20. Stay in bed, knowing you don’t have to get up and do anything.
  21. Have an Anti-Valentine’s Day party.
  22. Do a V-Day gift exchange with friends.
  23. Get inspired—write down your goals or read something motivational.
  24. Ask a guy friend out on a platonic date.
  25. Find a hobby or work on a current one you’ve been neglecting.
  26. Treat it like a normal day.
  27. Workout. A healthy body is a happy mind.
  28. Bake.
  29. Be productive—there are more areas of life to focus on than just your love life.
  30. And most importantly, love yourself!

Don’t allow being single on Valentine’s Day get you down in the dumps. Love it. And celebrate it. There are plenty of fun things to do without being coupled (or throupled—hey, whatever you’re into) up. What are some ways you enjoy V-day alone?

30 Simple Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is coming and I know people are wracking their brains trying to figure out what grand gesture can they do. I’m all for grand gestures. They’re fun, exciting and can make a person feel special. But let’s just be clear about one thing, Valentine’s Day isn’t the only time you should show your partner, lover, SO, boo-thing an extravagant gesture of love. Ok, I’m done with my mini rant. As we enter this Valentine’s Day season let’s keep in mind that small gestures are just as meaningful as the big ones and less expensive, just saying. Here are some small romantic things you can do to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

  1. Do something small every day leading up to Valentine’s Day. Hmm, I may have to do this one myself.
  2. Make breakfast in bed.
  3. Do a photo shoot. Feel free to spice it up if you want.
  4. Make handmade cards.
  5. Have an indoor picnic. I’ve personally done this and it was amazeballs!
  6. Leave a cute note on the bathroom mirror for your significant other to see.
  7. Make dinner together.
  8. Plan a day to do his/her favorite things.
  9. Send a sexy picture. Who wouldn’t like that?
  10. Wake up and do all the chores and errands—without being asked or complaining. Just do it.
  11. Leave a rose on his/her windshield with a note attached—guilty as charged for doing this one too.
  12. Wash the car.
  13. Buy his or her favorite cologne/perfume.
  14. Make a creative coupon book (free favorite meal, free massage, etc.).
  15. Get adventurous. This is right up my alley. Whether it’s skydiving or snowboarding, the experience will bring you two closer together.
  16. Make your boo lunch for work—and hand it to him/her when he or she is heading out the door.
  17. Take a trip down memory lane and visit the place you two first met.
  18. Run a warm bubble bath.
  19. Write a poem.
  20. Introduce him/her to your parents. That’s when you know things are serious.
  21. Try an activity that your partner loves to do, but you don’t really do with him/her.
  22. Go to the park and play. Unleash your inner kid.
  23. Wear some sexy pajamas to bed—especially if you typically go to sleep in sweatpants and t-shirt.
  24. Wake up and randomly start kissing your SO.
  25. Lay up in bed all day with your partner.
  26. Make a playlist of lovey dovey songs.
  27. Open the door for your partner. Men don’t seem to do this much nowadays, but ladies, it’s okay for us to do this too.
  28. Iron his or her clothes for work.
  29. Make a scrapbook of you and your boo’s memories.
  30. Surprise your partner with a quirky gift that shows how well you know him/her.

Love shouldn’t cost a thing—well, at least not a lot. There are so many little things you can do to show your significant other love. Here’s a longer list by She Knows that has 100 small gestures you can do. Comment below on which romantic ideas you’re thinking about doing or any other ways you have to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

How to Make a Beautiful Digital Vision Board in 60 Minutes

This year was my first time doing a digital vision board. I made one because I wanted to have a reminder of my New Year’s goals to easily look at wherever I’m at. If you’re always using a computer, phone or tablet creating a digital vision board is a great, simple and fun way to keep your eyes on the prize throughout the year and here’s how in 60 minutes or less:

1. Identify Your Goals (time: 10 minutes)

It’s time to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard—or phone screen, whichever floats your boat and write down your goals. This will make it easier to find images for your vision board.

2. Find images (time: 20 minutes)

Once you finish writing down your goals, find a few images that resemble them. You can find these photos on the Internet or if you want to get creative you can take the pictures yourself. After you found your images, save them down to your computer.

3. Create the Design (time: 30 minutes)

BeFunky homepage

Now, the real fun begins—designing! I recommend using BeFunky. It’s a photo editor and collage maker, which is perfect for this project. This platform is easy to use and has awesome features, such as overlays, templates, and patterns—the whole shebang! To make your collage, here’s what you have to do:

  • Open BeFunky
  • Click the Collage Maker tab

screen-shot-2017-01-24-at-3-26-15-pm

  • Go to the Layouts icon and choose one of the preset layouts or Create Your Own.

They layouts section of BeFunky's collage maker

  • Select the Image Manager icon
  • Hit Computer and upload your images

screen-shot-2017-01-24-at-3-30-49-pm

  • To add your images into the collage, you can either drag them one-by-one or select AutoFill

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  • Once you’ve added your pictures to the collage, you can edit and rearrange the images; change your background color, add graphics and include text

4. Save

After you have your vision board looking beautiful and amazing, save it.

Now, it’s your turn! Making a digital collage is a quick and easy way to take your goals wherever you go. You can do it while watching TV, on the phone or in class (I know you’re not paying attention to your professor the entire time). If you’re having trouble creating your vision board, comment below and I’ll help you out.

New Year’s Goals: How-to Successfully Set Them

With us going into the fourth week of January, how are everyone’s New Year’s goals coming along? Are you kicking ass and striving towards them? Or, have you gone off course and stopped? If you’re on the kicking ass side of the fence, great job! Keep up the good work. If you’re having a challenging time, don’t feel discouraged or ashamed.

I was reading this great article from Making Sense of Cents that stated, “only 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions each year. And, only around 75% of those who set goals follow through with them after the first week of the year.” Yes, the lack of will power plays a part, but another huge component is poor goal setting. But rest assure, I’m going to guide you step-by-step to help you get back on track to reach your goals in 2017.

successful-goal-setting-2

1. What is Goal Setting

Goal setting is going beyond what it is you want to accomplish. It’s a process that’s broken down into smaller measurable goals with a specific timeframe to achieve the big goal.

2. Reflection of 2016 (successes and failures)

Take some time out to look back on everything you did in 2016. What were your goals then? Did you achieve them? What would you do differently? These questions will help you develop your new goals.

Here’s a review of what my goals were in 2016:

  • Goal 1: Save 10 to 15-thousand dollars—Success. 🙂 It wasn’t easy. This took a lot of budgeting and smart shopping.
  • Goal 2: Volunteer every other month—Fail. 😦 Volunteering is a goal of mine to do this year, but not every other month. Looking back, I realized that was too much of a commitment for me to fulfill based on my circumstances at the time.
  • Goal 3: Try something new every month—Success. 🙂 I made it my mission to get out and do something I’ve never done before. Even if it was something as small as going to a new restaurant or something more adventurous like going ATV riding, I did it.

3. State Your Goals

What is it that you want? Lose twenty pounds by the summertime? Start a non-profit? Become richer than Oprah? Ok, that one may not be the most realistic (especially in a year’s time), but you get the point. Once you figure out your goals, write them down.

4. Why Those Goals

Why are your goals your goals?

Get clear on your intentions for the goals you have. Do you want to lose those twenty pounds, so you can look and feel good in that cute bikini? Do you want to save twenty thousand dollars, so you can pay off your car? Knowing why you have these goals will serve as a reminder to keep you working towards them, especially during the difficult times.

5. Prioritize your Goals

Without priorities nothing would get done, because you’d be running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to focus on everything. Prioritizing your goals will help narrow your scope to only a few. This way you can start working on those immediately and won’t become overwhelmed.

To start prioritizing your goals choose the three most important ones from your list. If you don’t know which goals are most important, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is important to me right now?
  • What needs to be immediately done?
  • Are there any goals that need to be completed before others?
  • Which three goals grab my attention the most?
  • Which ones excite me the most and motivate me to get up and start working towards them?

6. Develop SMART Goals

Ok, this is a biggie right here. I’m sure we’ve all heard of SMART goals and learned about them, but did you apply these principles when mapping out your New Year’s goals? I didn’t at first and was completely loss. SMART goals work as a blueprint to help layout the actionable steps you need to take to achieve your goals—and by when. A SMART goal is:

SMART goals

  • Specific — Be simple and straight to the point. What exactly do you want to? If your overall goal is to make an extra ten thousand dollars this year, how do you plan to do that?
  • Measurable — How are you going to monitor your progress? What are you tracking to make sure you’re on the right path?
  • Attainable — What are the ways you can make your goal come true? Be sure to see how attainable your goal really is based on your resources, circumstances and time. These elements will help determine if you are able to take the actions needed.
  • Realistic—To find out if your goal is realistic or not, consider your current circumstances and your willingness. Even if it’s a high goal that you have to stretch for, you have to be willing and able to do the work necessary to achieve it.
  • Time—Having a timeframe to accomplishing your goal by.

7. Break Your Goals Down into Smaller Goals

Figuring out your goals and what all it entails to achieve them can look like a mountain and have you wondering, “How in the world am I going to get to the top?” and wanting to turn around before you even get started. Having mini goals for each month will not only make that mountain seem smaller, but keep you motivated in the process by seeing the progress you’ve made. This is how my monthly goals look for wanting to create a second source of income as a freelance blogger:

  • January—Find my niche
  • February—Come up with a blog idea and name
  • March—Create blog and strategy
  • April—Publish 4-8 blog posts
  • May—Create social media pages and strategy
  • June—Develop editorial calendar
  • July—Guest post on 5-10 sites
  • August—Attend a blogger-related event (online or in-person)
  • September—Grow email list to 1,000 subscribers
  • October—Grow social media accounts by 100 followers
  • November—Submit profile to freelance-related sites
  • December—Officially a freelance blogger!

8. Write Your Goals Down

I had to write down my top five goals for 2017, because I’d only remember the first two if I didn’t. Writing down your goals will help you remember them and here are some great ways to do that:

  • Put sticky notes of your goals around your home and/or office.
  • If you’re like me and always have your phone in your hand or in arm’s reach, set reminders or make a to-do list.
  • Create a vision board. This is a fun and creative way of writing your goals, and if you don’t know how to make one, I’ll show you (future blog post spoiler alert!).

9. Have Accountability for Your Goals

Share your goals! Tell your friends, family, significant other, dog or cat about what you set out to accomplish this year. Sharing your goals with others will put some fire under your butt to actually get things done, because at some point in time they’re going to check-in and ask how your goals are coming along—what will your response be?

10. Speak Your Goals into Existence

If you plan to reach your 2017 goals, speak them into existence. Tell yourself, “I can do this.” What you believe you will conceive. So, imagine yourself accomplishing them. Envision what that will look and feel like. Then claim it.

11. Bonus Tip: Celebrate The Little Victories

Along the way, don’t forget to celebrate your mini goals, because they’re the building blocks leading you to the big one.

Now you’re ready to successfully start and finish your goals for 2017. It may seem like a lot—and truthfully, it is, but it’s totally worth it if you really want to reach them. What type of goal setting techniques would you like to share?

My Top 5 Goals to Accomplish in The New Year

Is it just me or did 2016 fly by, because I can’t believe it’s already 2017. I hope last year was great for everybody and if not may this one be. I’m not one who chants “New Year. New me,” not because it’s cliché or that it’s a bunch of hogwash, but because I believe that I can be a new me anytime and any day of the year. On the other hand, I do love how the New Year gives people the sense of hope and motivation to start over. It’s the time of year where we sit down, reflect over the previous year and set new goals for what we want to accomplish. Myself even wrote out some goals for 2017—12 actually, but I want to share my top 5 with you.

 

1. Start a blog…and be consistent with it

Back in my undergraduate days I had two blogs—one was centered around fashion while the other one was focused on fitness. Neither of them was successful, because I was never consistent at promoting them and producing content. Over time I felt like my voice wasn’t being heard. So, I wanted to use a platform where I can share my voice and stories to not only help myself, but to inspire others as well and I thought a blog would be perfect—thus, She’s a Millennial was born. Although starting this blog was part of my goal, the real goal and challenge is being consistent.

2. Create a 2nd source of income for myself

It all started when I was having a drink with some classmates after we gave the biggest presentation of our graduate school career. We were talking about our plans after graduation, which soon after transitioned to earning extra money and it got me thinking. By having a 2nd source of income I can pay off my car by next year and start putting some money away for retirement.

3. Discover, embrace and love myself

One of the things I learned about myself is that I’ve spent a lot of time, space and energy on other people. Unfortunately, I wound up rejecting myself in return, which caused a lot of insecurity. Although that seems bad, the positive side is that I recognized this. Now, I can take everything that I was giving to everyone else and give it to myself. It may come off as selfish for those on the outside looking in, but for me it’s some well-deserved and needed TLC.

4. Travel

Last year I went on my first cruise to the Virgin Islands and had a blast! We stopped at five islands (I have no idea what their names are, sorry 😦 ). On the cruise, I realized the world is full of amazing places to visit, so I promised myself to start traveling more. My goal is to go somewhere at least once this year whether that’s within the United States or internationally. As a matter of fact, I booked a flight to Barcelona in March and will be going to Hawaii in June for my birthday, so I already got the ball rolllin’ on this one.

5. Learn how to change a tire

You probably have a “what the f**k. You can’t be serious.” look on your face right now after reading the last four goals, but I’m very serious. Did you know that 40 percent of Americans don’t know how to change a tire? I didn’t know this until I began doing research for an automotive client and discovered that statistic. Now, I understand with there being roadside assistance people wouldn’t have to change a tire themselves. However, we all know that roadside assistance can take forever and a day to come, so I’d rather learn to assist myself.

These are just a few of the goals I plan to accomplish in 2017, but the most important ones. What are your goals for the New Year? Let me know in the comments.