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How to Not Bail on Your New Year's Resolutions: 5 Strategies to Stay Committed All Year Long

So many of us enter the new year with a positive attitude, with a set of goals we want to accomplish and the motivation to help us get a jump start towards achieving those goals. Then mid-January rolls along and the magic of the new year has faded. Either the new semester has begun or there aren't any federal holidays to give you that much needed three day weekend. We get stuck, we get bored, we give up.

It doesn't have to be this way though! Just because you spend a weekend (or week) completely ignoring all those things you promised yourself you would get done doesn't mean you should trash the idea for good. Instead, spend a little time prepping yourself so that once you do take the first step, you're ready to face any obstacles on your way to getting shit done.

Read on to learn what five things you can to do help yourself stay committed to your new year's resolutions and goals, then scroll down to the bottom to find the one thing I'm giving you to keep you accountable and inspired year round.

Related Post: A 10 Step Plan on How to Have Your Best Year Ever

Focus on less

Raise your hand if you're guilty of making a goal's list that is way too long to handle. *Raises but hands up HIGH* The more you put on your plate the less time you'll have to focus on each individual goal, so set some time aside to revise your goals for the new year. Try to choose those that matter most to you as well as goals that don't conflict.

For example, making the goals of exercising five times a week and spending more time with friends may not be congruent. You want your goals to fit together, meaning one doesn't get in the way of the other. If you're stuck on how to do this, try molding your goal to include the other, such as finding a friend to be your fitness ally throughout the year.

Make goals you can measure

If you can't measure your goal how will you know if you're making progress? Instead of making a goal like "read more," commit to something tangible such as, "read one book a month." By doing this you can see if you're meeting your goal on a regular basis, as well as give you the motivation to work harder or take a step back.

Related Post: The 10 Best Apps for Your Exercise and Health Goals

Actively track your progress

By making goals you can measure, you're helping yourself track your progress along the way. You can do this by keeping a log of how much weight you've lost, books you're read, or places you've visited. Keeping track of what you've accomplished so far will give you the motivation you need for weeks where you feel like you're nowhere close to where you want to be. In my case, I use my blog analytics to see how much I've managed to accomplish, so it's all about finding the thing that's going to keep you positive on those days that you rather just bail.

Celebrate the baby steps

Most people share their goals with friends and family right as they make them, but for some reason no one talks about the milestones and hardships that come with working towards your goals. Don't be afraid to post about where you've gotten so far, how you're lacking motivation, or anything in between. This is an easy way to track your progress while also receiving feedback from those around you.

Related Post: How to Choose a Word of the Year

Out of sight, out of mind

I'm a firm believer in putting out into the universe what you want to receive, especially when trying to achieve something that doesn't happen overnight. My favorite way to do this is through Pinterest, where I have an entire board dedicated to positive quotes to keep me focused. Print out your goals and place them someone you'll see everyday, change your wallpaper to something that will put you in a good mood, and set reminders on your phone for goals you're sure to forget about.

How are you doing with your new year's goals? Share your progress in the comments below!

PS: You can now sign up for the weekly newsletter for tips, resources, and MOTIVATION to help you make 2017 your best year yet. Signing up takes seconds, so make sure you get on the list!

Why I Deleted Half of My Facebook Friends (+Why You Don't Need So Many)

Sometimes I like to think I'm a special case, that for some reason I'm alone in feeling how I do much of the time. Then I snap out of it and realize there's no way that's possible, because aren't we all a bunch of millennials trying to figure out or next step and who's going to be beside us when we take it?

If you've been here for a while you know my story, I was born and raised in California, attended college in my home state, and through pure hard work managed to relocate to Washington DC with nothing more than a month's worth of rent and two suitcases. Relocating wasn't easy, actually, it was pretty fucking hard. I spent most of those early months trying to keep myself busy, crying in my empty bedroom, and wondering if I had made a big mistake.

Thankfully over time things got easier, I made some friends, met a boy, and found a few jobs that helped at least take away the financial stress. I'd be lying if I said it was easy now, actually, I'd be lying if I didn't sometimes still find myself crying over my decision to move to DC. Do I regret it? Not for a moment. But I did learn one thing on this journey, Facebook is not an actual representation of life, mine or anyone elses.

Related Post: 5 Simple Ways Distance Has Strengthened My Friendships

Think of who you actively reach out to

Moving across the country was a big adjustment for me, more so than any other move I had made prior because I knew this decision was permanent. The first few months of adjusting to my new routine were tough, which is why I spent a lot of time reaching out to friends to help pass the time.

As the months passed I began to notice a trend, I was only calling the same four people when I was having a moment. My call history showed the people I could rely on, those that actively worked to keep in touch with me, as well as the ones I only spoke to on holidays and anniversaries.

Related Post: A 10 Step Plan on How to Have the Best Year Ever

Is what you post online authentic?

No matter who you are, chances are you choose to post only the best moments on your social media. Graduations, birthdays and concerts are all things we want to share with others, but what about the small everyday moments that affect us much longer than any celebration?

Chances are, after graduation some of those big moments will start to happen less and less often. I found myself with few things to celebrate, unless people wanted a monthly reminder that I had managed to make rent this month. Only posting the highlights of my life made me feel as if my online life looked fake, especially with all that was going on behind the scenes.

Sure i could have posted the real moments, the type where I was stressed about money or had no one to attend a gallery opening with, but 95% of my online friends wouldn't understand since all I ever shared was how happy I was. So I made the decision to post less, because back then, I was still hanging on to the idea that all of my Facebook friends were created equal.

Your news feed shouldn't make you feel worse

It's no secret that your twenties can start to feel like a competition the closer you get to 25, especially with all the wedding announcements and extra degrees everyone starts announcing. While I don't recommend you unfriend everyone who has something positive to announce, if you find yourself growing resentful of that person I do suggest you just hide their posts from your feed for a little while. There's no shame in needing to focus on yourself, and I know that can be hard to do when you're caught up looking at wedding registries and vacation photos.

My first year in DC was the toughest, especially when it came to watching my best friends continue to all get together without me. As much as I missed them and appreciated their support, the jealous side of me wished I could be with them in person. For a few months I hid their posts from my feed, just until I could get my life together enough to not feel sad about all the trips and nights in I was missing out on.

Related Post: 11 Things to Do In Between Your College Classes

Prioritize those you want to stay connected to

The reality of moving far from home means many of your friendships will slowly disappear, through no fault of anyone involved. Staying in touch can be hard, but factoring in time zones, work schedule and new friends makes keeping in touch incredibly difficult.

To avoid losing those you are especially close to, prioritizing those friendships is your best option to make sure you don't fall out of contact. Ways of doing this include making sure their posts show at the top of your news feed, creating a group chat and having a scheduled appointment where you both actually speak whether over the phone or through Facetime.

By doing a handful of these things I've managed to keep in contact with a handful of people back home, even though I haven't seen any of them in over two years. Staying close is possible, it just requires work on both parts and a little creativity.

So tell me, how many Facebook friends would you estimate you have? Do you actively interact with everyone, or pick and choose who to keep up with instead?

PS You can now sign up to receive the weekly newsletter with the best content from here and around the web. Signing up take seconds, make sure you're on the list!

20 Tips for College Seniors

Whether you're entering your senior year of college or pushing through your last semester, chances are you're panicked either way. Even though it was years ago I can still remember the first day of my senior year, sharing a room with a girl I had met just a few weeks before, preparing an application for an internship program I had no idea would change the course of my life.

My last year of college was spent writing for my university's blog as well as for Her Campus, meaning I was so focused on gaining experience to prepare me for graduation that I wasn't fully enjoying the experiences happening in the current moment.

Over the past few months I've been sorting through Facebook posts, photographs and notes to myself from that period of my life, in the hopes that I can take my mistakes and successes to help you have the senior year you deserve.

Related Post: The 10 Most Effective Ways to Help You Study Last Minute

1. Be part of an organization for at least a full academic year. If you haven't yet joined a campus organization now is the time to start!

2. Visit the career center or better yet, attend the networking events and workshops hosted by the career center. You'll thank yourself later.

3. Don't graduate without first having your resume revised by a career counselor.

Related Post: How to Make the Best Resume with 10 Easy Tips

4. Find three professors to write you a letter of recommendation either now or in the future.

5. Take graduation photos weeks before graduation. It will save you the stress of having to deal with crowds.

6. Try to earn some relevant experience, either through work or internships.

7. Go back to your freshmen year dorms and soak in all the nostalgia. If possible, attend a welcome week event.

8. Don't buy your cap and gown on campus, just like books, buy that shit online.

9. Say 'yes' to every free event on campus. Stuff in the real world ain't free and it requires an RSVP.

10. Make sure to visit your academic counselor to make sure you're on track to graduate on time.

11. Did you study abroad? You might still have the chance too! Visit the study abroad office to discuss your options.

Related Post: 10 Reasons to Study Abroad While in College (from someone who did, twice!)

12. Join the alumni association.

13. Sell whatever textbooks you no longer need/want before you're off campus. Doing so will be so much harder once you're not in a university setting.

14. Visit your freshmen year dining hall one last time.

15. Attend graduate school fairs, even if you aren't ready to apply.

16. Research the deadlines for medical, law and graduate school. Don't be caught off guard at the last moment.

Related Post: 10 Stupid Mistakes I Made My First Year of College

17. Think about retaking that class that impacted your GPA negatively.

18. Start looking for jobs before you graduate, just to get comfortable with the process.

19. Spend time with friends as much as possible. Soon most people will go different directions and reunions will be rare.

20. Explore the area your university is in. Chances are you won't stay in the area, so make the most of the time you have in that city.

Related Post: 11 Things to Do In Between Your College Classes

Bonus tip: Enjoy this last year/semester/moment.

Without a doubt, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed my four years of college. Between meeting new friends and exploring foreign countries, my time at my university was spent both enjoying the moment while doing what I could to prepare for the future.

My last quarter in college was spent in Washington, DC, where I interned in the city and eventually learned this is where I was meant to be. While I dreamt of this experience since I was 13, the internship program meant I wasn't able to enjoy the last few weeks with my college friends.

With graduation coming up and friends announcing their postgrad plans, don't get caught up in figuring everything out just yet. Enjoy the moments you can only have when you live blocks away from all your friends and your only responsibility if passing your courses. Now that I'm out of college I almost never see my friends, my days are soaked up by my job and I envy the days where weekends were for more than rest and relaxation.

Senior year is important, and the actions you take can have an impact on your postgrad life, but make sure to leave a little room for fun and spontaneity in your schedule. Ask anyone who no longer is in college or lives in their college area and they'll tell you things are never the same. Life after college is great in it's own ways, but no time will ever be as carefree as the four years I spent earning my degree.

Are you a senior in college, or have you already survived that tough time in your life? If you are currently a senior, leave any questions you have in the comments below! Otherwise, share a tip you wish you knew your last year of college. 

For more tips on how to survive your college years, follow my >SURVIVING COLLEGE< board on Pinterest for tips on studying, internships, and all things college related!!

8 Simple Ways to Practice Self Care Every Morning

Popular media depicts life in your twenties as one long marathon of fun. Days are spent at jobs where we have our best work friend to pass the hours with, followed by nights at happy hour where you seem to meet a cute guy everywhere you go. 

Real life goes a little more like this, you wake up to go to work, where most likely your best friend doesn't sit next to you all day. Happy hours are occasional, but most often you have a ton of other shit to do like buy groceries, do that laundry that's been piled up for weeks, and don't get me started on the mess in the kitchen you swore you'd clean up last night. For some people, including myself, you also have the responsibilities that come with attending grad school, ie homework!

It can be hard to take care of yourself when you feel like you're juggling a dozen things at once, but practicing self care doesn't have to be hard, or take up a bunch of time. There are plenty of things you can implement into your daily routine that won't disrupt your day or feel like another thing on your to do list. Read on to learn about eight things you can do each morning to take care of yourself first thing every morning. 

1. Create a morning only playlist

We all have our favorite songs, but I think a few of us are guilty of playing those songs on repeat until the allure of them is gone. Start each morning off right by listening to a morning only playlist. Try to keep the songs upbeat and positive to keep your mood lifted.

2. Do some physical activity

I know, I know!.There's no way in hell you want to get out of bed, let alone workout first thing in the morning, but hear me out! No one is saying you should go for a run or jump out of bed and into pushup position, but doing some early morning stretches or quick yoga get's your blood flowing while giving your brain some time to fully wake up. Plus, I think by now we all now what endorphins can do for the body.

3. Unplug for a moment

Raise your hand if you like to wake up, roll over, and scroll through your notifications. *Raises hand all the way to the ceiling* I know it's fun, most of the time, and I know there's some important info on there, but maybe the best way to start your morning doesn't include the highlights of people's lives. Save the mindless scrolling for your commute, use your mornings for something more productive.

4. Light a candle

I don't know about you, but up until a few weeks ago I had convinced myself candles were not to be lit unless it was dark outside. That or I was waiting for a hot date, but that's not the case! Find a scent you love and light it on mornings when you need a little something to boost your mood. If you have pets like me, wax melters are a safe alternative to use around animals, even when you're not home.

Related Post: How to Become a Morning Person

5. Call your best friend

Growing up my mom used to wake up at 5:30am to get herself ready for work and pack everyones lunches. Some mornings she would call her best friend and have full on conversations before the sun was even up, as in loud, gossip swapping, stomach cramp type of laugh, conversations. If you have a friend with a simialr schedule to you, try catching up in the morning as you get ready for your day. Just make sure he or she is okay with you calling early first!

6. Make an already done list

Making a to do list is my form of therapy, which is probably why I have entire notebooks (yes, plural) dedicated to lists of things I'd like to get done today, tomorrow, and in the future. But here's the thing, all those journals are full of things I have yet to accomplish. Go the opposite route every once in a while and create a list of things you've already managed to get done, big or small. It may seem dumb, but starting off your day feeling like you've already got a jump start on your goals sounds much better than being bogged down by a long list of tasks.

7. Eat something nourishing

I know, again with the healthy lifestyle shit, but hear me out. I love cookies as much as the next person, probably more than the average person, but I feel so much better about myself when I manage to eat a healthy meal instead of a processed treat. Your something nourishing doesn't have to be all green and full of vitamins, but try out something that won't lead you to crash or feel icky within a few hours of ingesting it. 

8. Wake up a little earlier

I think I know what's playing in your mind right now. "Is she fucking crazy, I thought this list was to take better care of myself, what's better than a little extra sleep?!" Hold on a second before you close the tab and call me crazy. Waking up earlier doesn't mean you have to lose out on precious sleep, especially not if you just give yourself an extra 15-20 minutes each morning. By giving yourself to go to bed a tiny bit earlier and waking up earlier, you give yourself a little push room to frantically look for your keys, perfect that eyeliner that will make you feel like a badass all day, or just take your time doing the things you're usually rushing to get done.

What are ways you practice self care in your daily life? I start a new job this week, plus my last semester of grad school, so I'd love any recommendations!

PS You can now sign up to receive the weekly newsletter with the best content from here and around the web. Signing up take seconds, make sure you're on the list!

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