2018 Reflections, Onward to 2019!

2018 Reflections, Onward to 2019!

Last year, 2018, marked the hardest year of my life so far. Countless days of studying for standardized tests, working through the most difficult semesters of high school (junior spring + senior fall), applying for college, and struggling to resolve family matters took a tremendous toll on my wellbeing. But, highs always come with lows, and as I scrolled through my camera roll at all of my pictures from the past year, I know that there is much to be thankful for.

2018 began with good food and family time…

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1/1/18 breakfast at the best coffee shop with my family

And continued with friends…

 

Travel to old and new destinations…

 

Many trips to my favorite city, NYC…

 

Lots of golf with my favorite team…

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Exploring my passion for sustainability…

 

And of course, indulging in lots of food…

 

Thank you, 2018, for all of the struggles and new experiences!

I hope that 2019 will bring lots of growth for me, as I complete high school and embark on my college journey. I usually don’t make “resolutions,” but I will set new (and hopefully attainable) wellness-focused goals for myself to start off this year.

  1. Food – this winter break, I indulged on practically every meal. With the holiday season and large family feasts, I made it a habit to finish everything on my plate, even if the amount was too much. As a result, I didn’t feel healthy, and tried to offset my meals by working out. But I know from experience that diet is the single most important factor in a healthy lifestyle, and these are my food goals for 2019…
    1. Break the habit of eating past 8pm! (Only do this on special occasions)
    2. Portion control (only one plate of food/meal)
  2. Prioritize sleep and try to wake up earlier – After watching many productivity/lifestyle Youtube videos, I have been feeling very inspired to start waking up earlier. My goal is: wake up at 6:30 AM everyday, with the hope of reaching 6AM. Of course, this will mean that I have to sleep earlier.
  3. Write one blog post/month!
  4. Read more books for pleasure…I’m currently reading The Girl on the Train…would recommend for those who enjoy psychological thrillers and mysteries!
  5. Be more respectful of parents
  6. Work hard and play hard

 

What are your New Year’s resolutions, and what have you learned from 2018?

Love,

Serena

 

 

Simple Ways to Have a Healthier 2018

Simple Ways to Have a Healthier 2018

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed in the beginning of every year. Wherever you go – social media, the magazines by the check out aisle, commercials – we see this “new year, new you” message.

I completely recognize the reason behind this message, but at the same time part of me hates how self-deprecating this can be. So what about your old me? Or your present me? Why do I have to change? The word “new” is too drastic and extreme for me. I think the word “improved” or “progressed” is a better fit. Each new year is one more chance to become the best self you can be, NOT the best self that society imposes you. If you want o read more about this, check out my “healthy” post from last year.

Stepping off the soapbox, I wanted to share a few of my tips that are SIMPLE and effortless to make your 2018 a bit better.

DRINK MORE WATER // Serena and I are known by our friends as water monsters. We are always seen carrying our waterbottles and constantly refilling them. And it’s not for bad reason – staying hydrated makes you feel more energized (it’s my go-to alternative for coffee) and allows you to be more clear-minded and more headache-free.

Serena loves her Nalgene and I adore my Hydroflask – both great options that will stand the test of time!

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Serena with her beloved Nalgene

 

GO TO A DOCTOR FOR REGULAR CHECK-UPS// This might seem super obvious, but I know a handful of friends who don’t go to the doctor because they’re not sick. Now, this is not a good reason to have – we don’t always go to the doctor because we’re sick. We go to treat current illness but also to prevent future illness.

Below is an useful graphic from hims on what check-ups you should book an appointment for depending on your age. I love the sentence the graphic has at the bottom: “Having an issue isn’t weird. Not dealing with it is weird.” Ditto that.

Hims Health Checklist

Check out this blog post for even more information from hims!

LISTEN// This advice runs the gamut from eating habits to sleep needs. Our bodies are wonderfully made and are incredibly smart — they know what it needs and will do all they can to let you know. Trust what you feel and give your body what it truly needs. On certain days, that might mean a kale salad topped with salmon, but on other days that mean Chick-Fil-A, and that’s completely fine. This is easier than you think. Eat when hungry. Stop when full. Get sleep when you’re tired. Get exercise when you’re craving some movement. LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN

I truthfully think that these tips all together will allow for a 2018 that is in the smallest of ways healthier and more fulfilling.

What are your go-to tips for a healthy life?

xoxo,

Stephanie

 

Stephanie’s New Year Resolutions

Stephanie’s New Year Resolutions

Today, after sharing how to set New Year’s Resolutions that actually work, I wanted to share my New Year’s Resolutions with y’all.

I did post my New Year’s Resolutions last year, however, looking back now, I think they were far too spread out in categories and too ambitious that I barely achieved any of them. However, never one to be discouraged, I’m sharing my New Year’s Resolutions – which I’ve condensed to THREE! My mantra for 2017 is to be healthy and happy!

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ONE // Be a physically and mentally healthier person (read: this is very vague, but as explained on yesterday’s post, I’m going to be giving the details below)

Physically:

  • Until spring break 2017:
    • Continue exercising (ideally 5x a week)
    • Fit comfortably back into my old clothes
    • Lose 2-3 pounds per month (losing ½ pound per week)
      • I like to set my deadlines to academic breaks as I am away at home for the academic year and only get to come home during breaks so it’s a nice physical divide
  • Until summer break 2017:
    • Exercise 4-5x a week – obviously with summer camps and summer trips, it’s hard to exercise as often as during school where there are rigid schedules and times
    • Work on maintaining weight the record weight beginning of summer and check on weight every week
  • Until the start of the school year (fall 2017) and for the rest of the school year:
    • Continue maintaining weight à as you don’t have a weighing scale at school, take a picture of yourself every other week
    • Exercise 6x a week (I’ll probably be doing cross country, if I hopefully don’t get an injury…. so running 6x a week is a given)

TWO// To be truly happy

  • To journal everyday | I’ve found the benefits of journaling truly transforming. I am a worry-wart and a pessimist by heart, so I need to rant my feelings somewhere such as with a journal and pen or else I can be very mean and scary!
    • Until spring break:
      • Journal twice a week
    • Until summer break:
      • Journal four times a week
    • During the summer:
      • Journal everyday
    • After school starts until the end of the year:
      • Journal five-six times a week
  • I think every week (either Saturday night or Sunday night) to end the night by listing out 5 things I am grateful for during that week. I think in this day and age, it’s easy to get caught up and forget about how blessed and spoiled we are. And sometimes, all we see on media are the indulgences and luxuries of others so we tend to complain instead of being thankful for we have right now.
    • No specific deadline – I should be able to be grateful for at least 5 things every week

THREE// Invest more time into Avolicious

 Of course, saving the best for last! I started this blog as a way to share my passion for healthy eating, exercise, and writing, but I definitely have to admit that I fell out due to school. However, I WILL NOT MAKE THAT EXCUSE for 2017. I will make a concrete time out of my schedule to dedicate to Avolicious. Thank you to all who have been following and supporting us – it means the world!

  • Until spring break:
    • Post twice a week
    • Post on Instagram three times a week
    • Read and comment on other blogs for 10 minutes per week
  • Until summer break:
    • Post two-three times a week
    • Post on Instagram three times a week
    • Read and comment on other blogs for 15 minutes per week
  • During summer break:
    • Post 4-5 times a week
    • Post on Instagram daily (along w/ Insta stories)
    • Read and comment on other blogs for 25 minutes per week
    • Try a different social media platform (Facebook, Twitter)
  • Start of the school year until the end of the year:
    • Post two-three times a week
    • Post on Instagram three-four times a week
    • Read and comment on other blogs for 15 minutes per week

I wanted to make this year’s New Year Resolutions short and sweet but also meaningful to me. I’m trying to stop comparing and judging myself to others and instead, go at my own pace and do the things I love.

Good luck in 2017!

What are your New Year Resolutions for 2017?

xoxo,

Stephanie

How to Keep Up with Your New Year’s Resolutions

How to Keep Up with Your New Year’s Resolutions

 

Happy New Year’s Eve! I hope you had a great holiday season catching up with family and friends.

The new year of course means a fresh start with new goals to accompany to them. I personally hate how people look down upon New Year’s Resolutions. People expect you to fall out of your resolutions when they gleefully smile at you and ask, “How are your New Year’s Resolutions going?”

This year, make your answer to those questions as “My New Year’s Resolutions are going great, actually,” by following these few tips and tricks that I found helpful to maintain and sustain my goals.

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image source

 

ONE // Set subset goals within one big goal

A lot of people, when they set their New Year’s Resolutions give a generic and vague goal such as “I want to lose weight,” “I want to lose x pounds,” “I want to start eating healthy,” “I want to go to the gym more,” “I want to get better grades,” and many more.

Instead, set mini or subset goals on top of these big ones. Ideally, make these goals monthly. For instance, for the goal of eating healthy, set a goal such as eat one healthy meal every day. So whether that be breakfast, lunch, or dinner, every day, have ONE meal that is healthy. Then the next month, up that number to TWO meals. Then for the third month, have 4 out of the 7 days where ALL THREE meals are healthy. And then work from there.

The same goals for any other goal. While yes, this does require more work and planning, at the long term, you will have more fruitful results.

 

TWO // Set a specific goal whether that be a number or a certain result

It’s easy to say that you achieved a goal when you don’t have a certain threshold to pass. For instance, if you set your goal as I want to eat healthier, but you never set the number of days in a week or number of meals in a day you want to eat healthy, as long as you eat one healthy meal, that means you achieved your resolution, right?

Instead, set a specific numeric goal. For losing weight, going along with the previous tip, set a certain amount you want to lose each month. So on January, I want to lose 2 pounds, and then work yourself around that. If after January, 2 pounds was too easy on you, then make February 4 pounds. If it was too hard, make it 1 pound.

Set a number, a specific threshold that you want to pass.

 

THREE // Find yourself inspiration

 Just as I find that fitness motivation is important, inspiration and motivation is vital in achieving your goals. For eating healthy, follow Instagram accounts that posts pictures of fresh and clean meals. For exercising, follow Instagram accounts that are focused on fitness. For getting good grades, list some role models that are attending or have attended your dream school or is doing your dream job. Make your destination – as hard as it may be – a constant reminder wherever you go.

So that wraps up my tips for New Year’s Resolutions! I know it was short with only 3 tips, but I believe with these tips, you guys will be all set!

 

I will be posting tomorrow my New Year’s Resolutions, following these very tips!

Good luck and make 2017’s New Year’s Resolutions actually work!

 

What are some of your New Year’s Resolutions?

xoxo,

Stephanie