January 3, 2014

Tips to Better Your Self & Life in 2014


New year, new decisions. With Panache Offblast, I've decided to incorporate more of my personal life musings, lifestyle discoveries and helpful tips I discover each day to better myself that will in turn (hopefully) better your life as well! Don't worry, I'll obviously still be sharing my fashion finds!

Naturally, at the start of every New Year, we sit down and make a list of goals and resolutions to achieve throughout the year. It's simply part of our instinct to strive for a bigger and better us. The dilemma is that when looking to make these changes, most of us yearn for grand achievements overnight. Not only is this unrealistic but it can be daunting and overwhelming, and ultimately why the majority of our resolutions don't last.

This time around, let's try to focus on slight shifts in our lifestyle that come about from minor tweaks in our daily thoughts, actions and behavior. These mini goals are much more achievable as we are able to work on them at our own free will on the daily. Whether you choose to focus on a better attitude, a happier mindset, a more health-oriented lifestyle or even a new hairdo, these little changes in perspective will guide you to a happier, more peaceful and overall healthier state of being in the New Year.

Let's work on these together!

Unveil Your Inner Optimist

There's nothing better than waking up each day with a can-do and go-get-'em attitude. I know that not everyone is wired to wake up early and think happy thoughts when life hands us lemons, but try your best to reprogram your mind. The first few minutes of your morning are crucial as to how your day will go about; so it's important to wake up with positive expectations which help to set up a powerful forecast for your day.

To keep the positive vibes blooming throughout the day, seek out the blessings and beauty in what's around you instead of pinpointing the worst. Focus on the good which will not only help you think more optimistically, but will help you be in touch with the goodness surrounding you. Trust me, there is good out there despite running into bumps every now and then. I'm a sucker for quotes and lyrics, so I make sure to go on Pinterest for some motivation boosting when I need it. Whatever helps you, go with it and stick to it!

Resting Bitch Face

We've all been there: "Are you ok?" "Why are you so upset?" "Is anything wrong?" with our answer always being the same... "Yes... I'm fine. It's just how I look!" Then the term was coined: Resting Bitch Face Syndrome. Well this year, it's time to own it. Why? Research indicates that women smile more than men, which most would deem as a good thing, but it's actually not. This is because from a young age, we as women are taught to smile at all times - often even inappropriate times - to appear lady-like and make friends. The problem is, fake smiles not only hurt our faces after a while, but it makes us look phony. So from here on out, smile less often but with purpose; as in, smile like you mean it and when you mean it. Otherwise, keep your usual facial expression on... but maybe make it a little more pleasant if you're not in the smiling mood.

Meditate More

Oftentimes we feel that quick fixes are too good to be true: six-minute abs, five-minute protein-packed meals. We simply want more (hey, treating number one is important). When it comes to meditation though, a few minutes are not only doable but they're beyond beneficial. I say this from experience as it's helped me get through rough days and even weeks.

Even if practiced for just one minute, meditation can have a major effect on both your mind and body, with the ability to lower blood pressure, increase immunity, relax muscles and make even the busiest of us women feel less stressed. If you don't have time for a full yoga or 30-minute meditation routine, a one to five minute practice can completely transform your life. I promise. Reconnect your breath, find your center, and eliminate stress.

Find More Girl Time

Even if you're not a girl's girl, we all need some girl time every now and then. We're known for multitasking, but between kicking ass at work, spending time with our families and running errands, finding time to just sit back with your girlfriends can be tricky! Not only is this precious time a source of laughter and relaxation, but it can also boost happy signals in our brain and help our bodies get a fresh start.

Quality friendship helps reduce stress and ward off any anxiety and negativity that may be trickling up in our lives. The next time you find yourself with some free time, grab your besties and do something new with each other. My new roommate and I - who just so happens to be my long-lost-twin-but-not-twin - instantly found ourselves crafting together. It's a way of bonding, getting to know each other better and just letting off steam when we need it. Plus, we get to show off our nifty creations and prep for our next ventures! Everyone needs at least one girlfriend like this in their life.

Tweak Your Exercise Routine

Let's face it, not all of us were born to run, stick to a pilates routine or keep a zumba membership. Especially nowadays when many of us are required to work overtime while finding play-time, we just can't seem to find a minute to get ready for the gym, get to the gym, work out then make or head out to dinner afterwards. If this sounds like your rut, don't let it discourage you; a simply shift in the way you exercise can help you burn those calories and stay fit without taking a chunk out of your already cramped day.

Within walking distance to a drugstore? You better be walking. Start shopping in-store rather than online (I know, it's hard), pace while you're talking on the phone and even try whipping up a meal from scratch and cutting your own fruits & veggies instead of chopping them. You can even incorporate light exercises while at the office (see chart above). These minor lifestyle exercises can help you reach the equivalent of 30 minutes of exercise throughout the day. Of course, I would still recommend a basic yet highly effective 10-15 minute morning routine whether it be yoga and/or light cardio (you can spare that time, trust me).


Do Less, But More



We want to have our cake and eat it, too. Again with the multitasking and taking on project after project, it tends to get overwhelming but some of us just can't help but enjoy keeping busy (I'm definitely one of these people!). For those of us who like to do it all, we need to ditch the idea of channeling Wonder Woman herself and instead, try to discover and reveal our own inner superheroine. Not only is this more realistic since, well, we're not fictional beings, but it will help to keep self-expectations in the doable realm, take away any added pressure and eliminate stress from our constantly growing schedules.

This isn't to say we should cut out new projects from our life but it's definitely important to maintain a steady, more well-balanced regime. Ditch little extras like doing favors for friends left and right in favor of some you time for meditation, relaxation and pampering. Don't strive for perfection but instead opt for feeling great and keeping your sanity. Overall, find time. There is always time.

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