A lot can happen in just ONE YEAR!

OCTOBER 2018 ➡️ OCTOBER 2019

One year ago I was 25 years old, still living at my parents house, looking at my 2 degrees and wondering why the heck I couldn’t get my life together. There’s no hopeless, frustrating feeling like staring at your Master’s degree, applying to all the jobs, revising your resume a million times, connecting with & contacting all the recruiters you can find on LinkedIn while making a whopping $0/month income, feeling like you’re getting nowhere.

You can see the stress and frustration on my face and in my body language. I looked at this picture right after I took it and knew that I had to make some changes. All I knew to do at the time was continue working on myself. That meant dragging myself out of bed early in the morning to get in a sweaty workout.

It’s almost coming up on one year (October 31/Halloween to be exact) that my mom gave me the crazy idea to start my own business. I was already helping my dad with their social media, so why not turn it into a business and help other small businesses as well? The wheels started turning. I told myself that if I ended up creating this business, that I would find a way to use my platforms to spread as much positivity and inspiration as I possibly could. I had no idea where the business was going to take me, but I knew this was going to be the start of something so life changing if I stuck to it. 

But, all things, whether it’s exciting or not, comes with various road blocks and frustrations. Over the last year, I’ve been able to create and accomplish things that I never even knew were possible for me. 

One year ago, I was confused, frustrated, overwhelmed, stressed and just wanted to get this thing called life figured out already. I was getting discouraged by seeing everyone else on social media seemingly landing prestigious jobs, buying houses, getting married, etc etc. I fell deep into “woe is me”, because that’s all I knew to do at the time. “Why is everyone else getting everything figured out except me? What am I doing wrong?”

My mom giving me the idea to start my own business ultimately lead to me to understanding that I am in complete control of getting my life where I want it to be. I had no idea what that meant for me, but I knew that I had to put my complete trust in my faith and the universe to guide me to where I’m supposed to be.

It meant taking chances and risks along the way so I could learn and continue to grow. 

Nearly ONE YEAR later and I can honestly tell you that I am in a completely different place than I was last year. It all started with working from the inside out. Believing in myself that I can do the thing that I never put thought into because I didn’t think I was capable of it. 

I hired a coach, put in the work, made mistakes, had mental breakdowns, experienced anxiety like I’ve never experienced before, connected with a whole bunch of awesome women, made investments, hired more coaches, curled up in a ball, cried some more, attended webinars, took notes, wanted to just throw in the towel at times and kept going.

Oh, I also moved out of my parents house into an apartment that I never thought I’d be able to afford. 

In the last couple months, I’ve felt an active calling to do more with my business. I’ve never known what people meant when they say they felt “called to do this/that”. But now I know exactly what those people are talking about. But, I had no idea what the universe was trying to tell me to do or how to even figure out what the heck I was supposed to do with this feeling. 

I’ve gotten comfortable with my social media management business and my current clients, but I started feeling like I needed to do MORE

I didn’t know what to do to figure this out, so I started reading. 

I’ve never been a big reader because reading usually puts me to sleep (lol). But, I honestly felt an active motivation & energy to pick up all the books I could find and start reading. I’d heard people talk about the You Are A Badass series by Jen Sincero, Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo and Best Self : Be You, Only Better by Mike Bayer.

So, I went to Amazon and ordered 5 books. 

  1. You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

2. You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero

3. You Are a Badass Every Day: How to Keep Your Motivation Strong, Your Vibe High, and Your Quest for Transformation Unstoppable by Jen Sincero

4. Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo

5. Best Self: Be You, Only Better by Mike Bayer

I also went to various Facebook groups and asked for recommendations of what to do. I learned about the power of meditation and manifestation. I journaled. A lot. I now have a new fire and understanding that I have all the power in the world to create something super powerful and fulfilling. 

I’ve hired another coach and I am happy to be in the process of building ANOTHER BUSINESS. 

I told myself that I would create a platform for change, no matter where the journey decided to take me. When you understand your worth and the power you have, you can truly do anything with your life that you want to. As long as you don’t give up on yourself

There was one part of You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero that really stuck out to me. 

“Can you imagine if your favorite musicians never let themselves make enough money to buy guitars or take lessons or hire producers or buy purple platforms boots and tight sparkly pants or pay thousands of dollars for studio time so they could record the songs that saved your ass in high school? Or if the people who build airplanes refused to make the money they need to pay for the research and the materials and the factories and engineers and the electricity and whatever plethora of other costly things that go into building the miraculous flying machines that allow us to travel the world, hang out on tropical beaches, and visit the people we love so dearly?”

Just let that sink in for a second because this was so important for me to hear, I’ve read that paragraph many, many times. She’s talking about making investments and finding the money, but this also means that by not following your dreams & goals might mean not making the difference that you were supposed to make. There have been so many people throughout history that have made some incredible difference in the world. A difference that we are all reaping the benefits of every single day. Who says that can’t be you or I as well?


Over the last year, I’ve learned that sometimes the journey doesn’t look the same for everyone. We are all experiencing difficulties in our lives and obstacles that we are maybe a little bit ashamed of. But, if we can find the fire inside of us, we can truly make the difference that we were put on this earth to make. 

I truly believe that there’s more to life than just going to school, working until retirement, living for Friday and dreading Monday. What’s the point of that? With this new business that I’m creating, I hope that I can help empower & inspire others to understand their worth & reach their full potential. Stay tuned for more info! ❤

xo

My Fitness Journey | Choosing Yourself First

“You haven’t been yourself in about 2-3 years” is what my mom said to me a year ago. We were having a conversation about possible depression and seeing my doctor to get on an antidepressant. I didn’t have health insurance at the time, so we were trying to figure out how I was going to pay for the doctor visit, as well as the medication. I was a mess, my mental health was a mess.

I had just started a job that I thought was my “big break” I was looking for to get my career off the ground. I was trying to convince myself that I enjoyed this job, but I really didn’t. I hated it and wasn’t good at it, at all. I would pack a gym bag to go to the gym right after work, but would talk myself out of actually going because I was “too tired”. I really felt like I wasn’t in control of anything. Although, I tried. I would go home after work and try to figure out how to be better at this job. When I was with my boyfriend, I was thinking of this job, I would get to the office early to try to prepare better for the day. I really wanted to make this work and was willing to do anything to make it happen. The stress of my career was literally taking control of everything.

On Friday July 6, 2018, I walked into work and was immediately brought into an office and was fired at 6:45am. I was half relieved because the job was horrible, but half confused because I had no idea what I was going to do next. How was I supposed to expect an employer to hire me when I had 3 jobs in 6 months & fired from the last one after 5 weeks?

That same day just happened to be the Annual Memorial Golf Scramble I volunteer at yearly. I looked at the pictures we took and immediately realized that I needed to start taking care of myself better. I really didn’t “look” that bad, but I could tell how unhappy I was and crumbling under my own pressure to pull myself together & failing at every attempt. I was exhausted and putting on a smile to try to convince myself & others that I was completely fine. I wasn’t taking care of myself AT. ALL. I was lost & didn’t know what to do, or which way to go.


On Monday, July 9, 2018, I woke up without a job to go to for the first time in YEARS. It was a feeling that I was unsure to do with because I was exhausted, tired of trying to prove myself & my abilities to Corporate America. I knew I had a lot of potential, but was running out of ideas and options. I wasn’t sure where I was going to go next, but I knew I had to keep going in the only way I knew how- start taking care of myself and my mental health.

So, I went to the gym.

In making the decision to take actionable steps to take care of myself first, I have:
– learned how to love myself again
– worked out on a consistent schedule
– gained a healthy relationship with food
– started my own business
– started waking up with purpose every day
– moved out of my parents house (finally!)
– connected with amazing people
– become, really really happy
*I also no longer felt like I needed to be on an antidepressant.

NOW WHAT?

So, I woke up that day, exactly one year ago, and drug myself to the gym, with a commitment to myself. A commitment to turn this negative thing into a life changing experience, and that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t have a plan for my career, or anything for that matter. But, I knew that if I wanted anything to come together, I had to take control of the one thing I had complete control over: myself.

This moment was the first time since college that the chaos in my mind completely stopped. After everything, I had no desire to look for a job. It sounds weird, I had lost my trust in corporate jobs. I was frustrated at the fact that I had to prove myself to a company, leave a paycheck & benefits, for them to let me go whenever it was convenient for them.

I was lucky enough to still be living with my parents, so I had the security and stability to be able to take the time to figure things out. My dad had an (unpaid) opportunity for me at his startup business. I decided to give it a try, there was nothing I had to lose really. This was the time where I really had to understand that I had to take on every single opportunity that came my way. I really didn’t care what it was, I just had to take advantage of everything.

The crazy thing is, the moment I stopped actively looking for opportunities, is the exact time when opportunities started coming to me. I had gotten myself on a exercise routine, making better food choices, taking care of myself and that’s when things started falling into place. I would not change a single part of my journey because every experience had lead me to where I am today. Those experiences will still continue to evolve, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

WHAT I’VE LEARNED

We are taught to work hard and keep working towards your goals, right? That’s exactly what I tried to do and I ended up running myself into the ground. It’s not my fault- I was just doing what I thought I needed to do. I was working hard towards a goal that wasn’t meant for me. I’m not the only one who has done this, right?

But, these moments are meant to happen and are necessary for success and growth. The best thing I did in my time of confusion, was to start taking care of myself. If you have chaos in your mind like I did, things will start coming together when you calm your mind. It sounds cliché, but it’s so true!

Take every situation, good or bad, as an opportunity to keep growing and getting better. I had always heard that those “bad” moments are a sign that an incredible breakthrough is about to happen. I wish there was a magic piece of advice that I could give. It’s hard and uncomfortable, but I promise something amazing is about to happen! I had absolutely no idea that getting fired would lead me to starting my own business and working from home. But, I’m so happy that it did.

The best thing you can do in a time of chaos and confusion is start taking actionable steps towards taking care of yourself. I had no idea that stepping into the gym one year ago would be the start of the most amazing journey. I had no idea all of these amazing possibilities that are waiting for me and I know there’s so much more to come. 💗🙏🏼 I’m truly living my life- not just going through the motions of the day and hating everything & everybody.

3 Tips for Early Morning Workouts

If you are even considering making the decision to switch to early morning workouts, this is definitely the post for you!

IMG_3071I’ve already talked about how much I love going to the gym first thing in the morning, you can read all about in my post How/Why I go the the Gym at 5AM. Even though I’m a morning person, it wasn’t an easy transition. I used to go to the gym in the evenings, but have noticed myself having a hard time staying motivated throughout the day. I have seen a MASSIVE difference since making this adjustment & I want to share all of my secrets with YOU! Considering the fact that most people cringe at the thought of working out first thing in the morning, I thought I would lay out some of my main tips that helped me make this transition!

Here are my top 3 tips:

Adjust Your Mindset.


In order for you to be able to successfully make this transition, you have to adjust your mindset from how horribly early it is, to all the positive things it can do for your life. In order to even think about making the transition to early morning workouts, there has to be a reason for wanting to do it in the first place. If you truly think this is going to make a difference in your routine then this is the very first step. If you keep telling yourself how absolutely horrible & miserably early it is, you are not going to get very far.

Instead of thinking, “But it’s soooo early!”

Try focusing on the positive things:

“I get my workout done and out of the way before my day starts”

“I don’t have to worry about talking myself out of working out throughout the day”

“It frees up my evenings so I can do other things”

“I don’t have to worry about choosing between working out and hanging out with friends”

“I have more time in the evening to spend with my kids/family”

“The gym is emptier earlier in the morning”

I can think of a laundry list of potential benefits that could replace that one negative thing about waking up for an early morning workout. But, maybe working out later truly does benefit your schedule better, & that’s OK! But, in order to even begin a successful transition, you have to shift your mindset!

Ease into it.


OK, so you’ve shifted your mindset into thinking about all the potential positive benefits of an early morning workout. GREAT! But, now we have to think about the realities of our bodies having to adjust to this change. If your body is used to sleeping until 7:00am and working out at 5pm (or not working out at all), you can’t expect you will be able to be used to this change right away. You need to give your body time to adjust!

When I first made this transition, I was so tired on day 3, I felt drunk at work by 4:00pm and didn’t have the energy to workout for the rest of the week. My body wasn’t used to it yet & I was feeling the effects of not allowing myself to ease into this transition. So, here’s what I did to help get my body adjust:

  1. Not working out everyday. My goal was 3 early morning workouts a week at first. I did this for only a couple weeks. You have to remember, it takes 3 weeks to form a habit, so after a couple weeks, I started noticing myself gaining more energy & feeling less and less tired throughout the day.

If your schedule allows some flexibility, you can even try starting out doing a couple morning workouts and a couple evening workouts throughout the week. This is also a good idea to start getting your body adjusted to this change, then start dedicating more days to early morning workouts.

  1. I started out with light workouts. Instead of going right into heavy lifting and intense cardio right away, I started out light (Not that even felt like engaging in a rigorous workout in the beginning). So, I would focus more on stretching, light lifting, elliptical and walking on the treadmill for light cardio. I did that for several weeks until I felt my body get ready to do more challenging workouts. I listened to my body and adjusted as I went along. It’s important to not beat yourself up and get frustrated if you’re not working out as heavily as you’re used to. Give yourself time & your body will catch up! Stressing out about it & forcing your body to engage in activity that it’s not ready for is not going to help, trust me.

Actually get ready for the gym.


When I first started, I would sleep in my workout clothes and set my alarm for 10 minutes before I wanted to leave my house. When I did this, I still felt like a zombie when I got to the gym and didn’t have all that much energy.

Now, I have learned that waking up even earlier and giving my body time to wake up & get ready for the gym has helped SO MUCH. The hardest part is actually getting out of bed. By the time I’m done getting ready for the gym, my body is awake and alert and ready to go. This is what I do:

-Set an alarm on the other side of the room so I HAVE to get out of bed

-Drink 8-16oz of cold water

-Make my bed

-Get dressed

-Wash my face with cold water

-Brush my teeth

-Make myself my favorite preworkout snack

-Out the door

Actually getting your body moving & giving it time to wake up is SO HELPFUL! It makes a huge difference not showing up to the gym feeling like a zombie!


There ya go, my top 3 tips for early morning workouts. The most important thing is to do what works best for you. Experiment with a routine. I do early morning workouts Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. I sleep in on Wednesday’s & go to hot yoga at 7pm. It’s what I have found to work best for me, but that doesn’t mean it will work for anyone else. Like I said, it’s important to make sure you are finding a routine that is best for YOU!

If afternoon/evening workouts make more sense for you, then that’s OK too! Maybe you’re a night owl & would prefer to go to the gym at 10pm, that’s OK too! But, if you truly think early morning workouts would be beneficial to you & your routine, then give my tips a try! This has seriously worked wonders for me and I hope it helps you too!

Please let me know if you found this helpful at all! I would love to hear any and all feedback! 🙂

- Blissfully Jess2

Who do you workout for?

The new year is a time when people make resolutions, usually having to do with enhancing their lives in some way. As known, one of the most common New Year’s Resolution is to go to the gym and get in shape. But, what about a resolution to NOT go to the gym?

Going to the gym & getting in shape should be done to feel better about yourself, and enhance your overall well-being. Fitness can have so many positive mental & physical impacts, but a recent conversation with a friend completely baffled me & inspired me.

A couple weeks ago I was having a conversation said friend and they (I’m choosing to keep them completely anonymous) said something to me that really got me thinking. This is the gist of how the conversation went:

Friend: “My goal for 2019 is to not go to the gym at all this year”

Me: *confused* …“what?”

Friend: “Yeah, I started to realize that I was going to the gym to look good for others, not to make myself feel better.”

To be honest, I was in a state of shock. But after a while, I started thinking about how powerful and inspiring that is. “I started to realize that I was going to the gym to look good for others, not to make myself feel better.” First and foremost, I am so proud of my friend for acknowledging the fact they were doing something to impress someone else, not for themselves. Making a decision to do something that is completely opposite of the norm because you realized you are doing it for all the wrong reasons is so powerful. Seriously! Going to the gym should be about YOU! It never occurred to me to think about it this way.

After thinking about it for some time, it made me realize that I needed to take a step back and make sure I am doing things for myself, not for others. Actually, I think we all need to take a moment to stop and think about whether we are doing things for no other reason than for ourselves.

*To clarify: I am talking about “things” related to self-care. Like, working out, in this scenario.

Working out is such a great way to improve our overall physical & mental health, but we have to make sure we are doing it for all the right reasons.

 Ask yourself these questions:

Are you working out to impress someone?

Are you working out to look good for someone else?

Are you working out to post a gym selfie on Instagram?

OR

Are you working out to get in shape & feel good about yourself? 

Especially with social media being so powerful, we are always cautious about what others are thinking of us. We want to post the most beautiful images of ourselves & are constantly worried about what others will think. But, at the end of the day, we do need to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves, taking a mental break from looking good for others and make sure we are truly taking care of our well-being.

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For me, fitness has completely changed my life in so many ways. I feel so much more confident & happy and I can’t imagine letting go of my workout routine. The last time I did that, I fell into some serious mental health issues. But, for me, I decided to get back into the gym for myself. It’s something I use for self-care & something I identify with!

While I still believe that health & fitness is important, this recent conversation has left we thinking about it in a whole different perspective. It made me really think about making sure I am making these decisions for myself, rather than for the acceptance of others.

While social acceptance is a human necessity, I do think we all as a society could start thinking more about our mental health as well. In my personal experiences, when I start taking care of myself & my mental health, social acceptance follows.

So let me ask you this…

Are you really doing things, like working out, for yourself or for others?

- Blissfully Jess2

How/ Why I Go To The Gym At 5AM

“You go to the gym at 5am?! You’re crazy.”

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Almost every time I tell someone that I go to the gym at 5am during the week, I get a “OMG you’re crazy!!” Every. Single. Time. You know what’s crazier?? I have the flexibility to workout at a later time, I choose to go that early.

In college, I would go to the gym in the afternoon, evening, whenever I had time. I was extremely flexible with when I could go, depending on my schedule. Sometimes I even went around 9pm. My first year after college, I also went in the evenings, typically 5:30pm-7:00pm after work. Eventually, it became a hassle get myself motivated to go to the gym at that time.

The last couple years, I have gone through a lot of changes, like most people. My schedule has changed, I’ve changed. Getting myself to the gym started becoming a hassle and a chore. I kept bringing my gym bag with me to work and end up talking myself out of going. I knew I wanted needed to go, but my desire wasn’t there. By the end of the day, my motivation & energy was almost gone. I just wanted to go home and relax. Even if I did end up going, I did not want to be there would typically end up getting in a very mediocre workout. Plus everyone goes to the gym at 5pm and it’s super crowded. Ugh.

That is why I decided to make the change.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about myself and what works best for me. Contrary to most people, early mornings is when I have the most focus and energy. I know I need to get my most important tasks done first thing in the morning because that’s when I’m at my best. So, I had a crazy thought to try getting in my workout before work. Get it out of the way so I can spend the rest of the day not worrying about it.

I love the peace and quiet of early mornings. There’s something so refreshing about being able to put in my headphones & crush a workout before the sun comes up & everyone else wakes up. You know what’s also crazy? There’s even “crazier” people in the middle of their workout when I get there.

Here’s what I noticed from making the change:

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  • I haven’t talked myself out of a workout since making the change
  • My mood is much better- I was waking up in a horrible mood almost every morning
  • I make healthier decisions throughout the day
  • I have more energy
  • I have much better focus
  • I get a quarter of a gallon of water in by 7am
  • My workouts are much more intense
  • My workout is done and out of the way by 6:30am

Granted, it took about 2-3 weeks for my body to get used to this new routine. I remember falling asleep at 4pm on day 3 of it. I started out with less intense workouts & stuck with it until it became a habit for me.

The thing is, you have to know yourself. Early morning workouts are not for everyone. Some people have much more energy in the evening, so that makes more sense. Going to the gym at 9pm sounds crazy to me! I prefer to be deep in REM sleep by 10pm.

You also have to be able to make adjustments throughout the years. Listen to your body and know what makes the most sense for you. 5am workouts may never be feasible for some people & that’s OK. For me, this is what works.

Fitness is a very important part of my life. Most people who get into fitness get this feeling because it’s almost like you get to experience life in a whole different way. You feel better about yourself, you have more energy, you’re pleased with what you look like. There are so many benefits. I felt lost & insecure with myself when I was trying to get myself motivated to go back to the gym.

For me, at this point in my life, going to the gym at 5am is what works for me! Maybe… just maybe you will like it too if you give it a chance. 🙂

-Blissfully Jess

The Journey Begins

Welcome to Blissfully Jess!

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First off, I want to wish everyone a happy new year! The new year is always an exciting time to reflect on the past year & make new, exciting goals for ourselves for the upcoming new year. It’s like a fresh start! Which, is often needed as we all seem extra tired & ready to start over after the excitement of the holidays.

This year, I am embarking on a new journey. I have launched my own business as a freelance social media manager & have decided to start lifestyle blogging as well. Life is a crazy, amazing journey. I, as everyone else have had many, MANY ups and downs so far. I’ve learned that sometimes sharing personal experiences helps other people going through similar experiences.

*Disclaimer

I am in no way trained or qualified to provide any clinical advice. This blog will be about sharing my own personal experiences, with the hope that it will help someone else.

I’ve had young women reach out to me and tell me about how they admire the way I carry myself positively. That is something that means so much to me because that it exactly what I want to do with my life. I want to do whatever I can to help and inspire as many people as possible.

I hope to develop a positive platform where anyone can come to to positivity and inspiration. With all the negativity & hate that seems to be going around, let’s make 2019 the year of positivity & inspiration!

- Blissfully Jess2

 

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’! — Audrey Hepburn

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