I love when I finally find a great product. Drinks, make-up, books, podcasts, etc.- it's great for someone else to weed through the not so good, and share the tried and true. The things I'm sharing today are my all-time favorites. These are things I have tested and loved for a LONG time and that have beaten out many other products of their kind. I figured summer is a great time to try new things, so I hope you enjoy!
Mascara: Benefit BADgal BANG! volumizing mascara
Podcast: The 5 AM Miracle Podcast and The Self-Helpless Podcast
Dry Shampoo: Klorane is my fave, but Batiste is a close second
Favorite Colored Pens: BIC Gel-ocity Quick Dry Retractable Gel Pen
Daily Planner: My Next 90 Days Daily Action Planner by Savor Success
Goal Planner: Cultivate What Matters Powersheets Goal Planner
It's no secret, I LOVE DATA!! I wasn't always like this, though. I use to think of data as a burden and a means for dehumanizing the very human work we do as school counselors. Now, data is my best friend! I'll tell you why.
Why data rocks:
Data to collect at the end of the year:
Each program is different and you may have other components of your program you need to track as well. The most important part of tracking data is consistency. You have to commit to the importance of tracking and plan thoughtfully and reasonably about what you can keep up with. If you only track for half a year or a few months, your data won't be usable. When you plan for next year, think about little changes you can make in your daily habits that will set you up to be able to easily and quickly pull some of these number!
Comment below some other types of data you round-up and I will add them to a list for a follow up post! :)
It's the most wonderful time of the year.
Most people might say that about the Christmas season, but the start of the new year is my absolute favorite component of the winter season. (I phrase it that way because I can't say it's my favorite time of year necessarily, I mean hello .. summer, but I do like it very much).
Being cynical about it is a fear response.
Many people laugh and tease about resolutions, since they often go unaccomplished, but I promise you it can be done. Something important to remember though, is that "there is nothing magical about January 1st". Lara Casey from Cultivate What Matters, author of my beloved goal setting method of choice, the Powersheets, says that phrase frequently. We should be reflecting, setting goals, and planning regularly throughout the year if we want to accomplish big things. Living intentionally, with purpose in this way has even been found in the research to correlate with higher income and living a longer life!
Methods for setting goals can vary.
The reason so many folks tease about resolutions, is because they have felt the disappointment and shame of not accomplishing something they've set out to. The reason I think most people fail is that they set a goal (usually only in their mind or carelessly written) and then do not implement a trusted system to help them stay on track and revisit their plans regularly. I use the Cultivate What Matters Powersheets for this reason- to keep myself on track. I have a lot of ideas naturally and have many different components of my life I am setting goals for, so this works perfectly for me. If goal setting is hard for you or you are challenged when trying to come up with goals, I would suggest reading the book The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. This will help you narrow your focus and start small. It works.
Where to start?
Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. -Mother Teresa
Happy 2018! Make it a great year!
5 Life Lessons I Learned from Ellen DeGeneres
In a world where the media is plagued by news of tragedy, controversy, and debate, let's take just a few minutes to glorify some great things that are happening in media, as well. If you've seen The Ellen DeGeneres Show, you can't deny the "feel good vibes" that radiate from this programming. I hardly EVER watch TV, as most of the programming leaves me feeling unproductive, brain-dead and like I've wasted valuable time. The Ellen Show leaves me feeling refreshed, happy and hopeful for a world where people are genuine, authentic, kind, and loving. The Ellen Show is one of the few programs on TV that give me inspiration and can be a valuable part of my daily self-care.
I'm a 25 year old new middle school counselor, and I often find myself emotionally drained at the end of a hard day advocating for students and navigating an often "lacking" educational system. Since my job requires me to be in my best mental and emotional health, I am so thankful to have such a simple yet effective media outlet to tune into for a funny/inspirational boost.
Here are 5 Life Lessons I've learned from Ellen:
1. Being comfortable in your own skin is the greatest beauty product on the market.
Ellen does some marketing/modeling for CoverGirl. This is cool and all, but I know that the GLOW we see on Ellen in her commercials, TV Show, and other appearances comes not from Covergirl Olay Simply Ageless Serum, but from her confidence and authenticity in her own skin. I would venture to guess it took some practice and hard work to become this authentic- we all face insecurities. Ellen's authenticity and radiance inspire me to make daily purposeful changes to the things I tell myself and the goals I make for myself. We can grow our self-love with practice and mindfulness.
2. Being vulnerable is to be lovable.
There is nothing more vulnerable than to choose to do what you truly desire and ignore the fearful part within you that screams "What if people think you're weird?!". To dance is to be completely organic. So few places in our country is dancing socially acceptable- night clubs, weddings, etc. So many other cultures dance daily! Some African cultures consider Dancing, Singing, and Instrument playing activities that occur in groups for EVERY occasion. You might experience more joy and vibrance at a Ghanian funeral than you would at some weddings in America! To dance is to use one's body to express personality and life in a unique and individual way.
When we watch these clips of people dance we get the warm happy fuzzies. Because of our viewing this, we deem these people lovable. Let us all rejoice in our individuality and dance! Choose to be vulnerable. We are lovable too.
3. We must embrace diversity within the human species to live a full and free life.
The Ellen Show is one of the only "talk shows" you can watch and consistently "meet" and hear from people and groups who are not already famous. This is because, Ellen sees the value in diversity. Ellen realizes that we ALL have strengths and talents, and OH what a magical world it is when we highlight each other's strengths and seek to learn from those different than us. Can you imagine how few ideas and inventions we would have if we were all exactly like Donald Trump?! If we were all like Matthew McConaughey? I thank god for diversity every single time my boyfriend and I try to pick a restaurant to go to for dinner. He gets out a list and uses his logic to narrow down the choices according to our needs. I'm usually already drowning in feelings, too hangry to communicate in a language other than grunts. We need each other! Our brains were designed to be together, and what a wealth of opportunity we miss when we consistently seek people and things that are just like us.
4. To give is to gain.
Most people I've met, regardless of religion or lack of religion, can agree that they aim to "do good" while they're on this earth. Not only does giving to others make us feel great but I believe that the good we do creates a chain reaction. This "pay it forward" mentality inspires others to do good and by being selfless and thoughtful we can work together to "grow" the good in our society. Ellen has this as a main priority on her show and in her life. I know that if Ellen were asked she wouldn't want to be glorified or praised for her giving, she would ask that we each go forward and use the energy to "pass it on". Let this be a reminder of that choice.
5. Play is an important part of adult self care.
Think of a child you know and what it looks like when they're playing. Children can play for hours, living in what seems to be a land of imagination. They play with things that "aren't toys" in ways that they "weren't designed for" and they often make up an imaginary dialogue to accompany their play that often exceeds the realm of logical, adult understanding. It is magical to watch a child play. We, as adults, still have this part within us. We need play, too! It's vitally important for us to break down the barriers that keep us from playing and having fun so that we can engage in this liberating form of self-care. Ellen has "play" down pat. "Play" is the atmosphere that encompasses the entire Ellen Show Studio. When the audience is filmed in transition or in idle periods, they are buzzing with energy and having fun! What a vibrant life we would live if we could continue this playful attitude into our daily lives.
Thanks Ellen & all of the crew at The Ellen Degeneres Show, for being you!
Hi there, I'm Alaina! I am an Elementary School Counselor in Pennsylvania. Prior to moving here, I was a middle school counselor in West Virginia and Florida. In addition to my role as a school counselor and teacher, I am a PRODUCTIVITY and SELF DEVELOPMENT junkie, planner addict, and new wifey!