GOOOOAAAALLLL!!!!!!

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Every December 31, people all over the world make a promise or goal for themselves to fulfill during the following year. How many times has the same person made the same “I’m going to go to the gym!” or “I’m going to start eating better” or even “I’m going to quite smoking” promise for several consecutive new year celebrations? My guess is: a lot.

Unfortunately for some, what results is a fatigue of the effort it takes to achieve said New Year’s resolution, followed by unworn sneakers and sports attire, spoiled fruits and veggies, and a drawer full of nicotine patches and gum.

It is now 19 days past the first of the year, yet not too late to set a goal and begin working towards achieving it.

For as long as I can remember, I have constantly set goals for myself. No matter how minute or far-fetched they might have been, I went about achieving them the same way.

1. Write it down!

Ok, maybe you’ve heard this one before, but it REALLY HELPS! When you set a goal, physically grab a pen, pencil, stick of eye liner, blood (ew) and write it down! Write it over and over again and maybe in several places, if need be. Trying to be more confident? Scribble it on a sticky note and keep it on your mirror so you see it everyday. Trying to eat better? Put a picture of Hugh Jackman in your fridge as motivation…….I feel deeply motivated by him in so many ways. Writing down your goal(s) makes it real, concrete, tangible. Want to take this one step further??? Also write down the steps necessary to achieve that goal, that way, as you complete each task, you can physically check it off. That small, simple act can immediately provide the satisfaction needed to remind you that you’re one step closer to getting what you want.

2. Allow it to become a part of you

No matter what the goal was, I always made it the first thing I thought about when I woke up and the last thing I thought about before going to sleep. Crazy? Maybe. Too far? Possibly. Driven? Absolutely. My mom raised me to see the importance of working tirelessly for the things I want, because rarely in life are things simply handed to us. Yes, there were moments I didn’t want to practice my form 20-30 times twice a day and I wanted to cry, but then I wouldn’t be able to say that I hold 5 world champion titles in TaeKwonDo. Yes, I was too nervous to sing in front of people or even in my room out of fear of someone overhearing me, but then I wouldn’t have made the varsity choir my sophomore year of high school, wouldn’t have become a part of our show choir, and definitely wouldn’t have been accepted into a professional musical theatre academy at 15 years old. In my opinion, setting a goal for yourself isn’t just something you say you are going to do. It’s something that you live and breathe, and every chance that you’re given to work towards it is a gift.

3. Accept the fallbacks

It’s true, every journey has its obstacles. Sometimes you have those moments where you want to give up, or the temptation is too strong, or a task doesn’t pan out the way you want. I’m currently 10 weeks out from my next powerlifting competition and I’ve had some really rough training days where I start to think that maybe I’m not good enough – the weight seems way too heavy, my form is off, my head isn’t in the game, etc. This happens to even the greatest of athletes, musicians, artists, you name it. You’re going to fall or have a setback. Welcome to life. Things happen. It’s about how you pick yourself up and keep moving that matters. Take it one step at a time and use each fallback as learning tool.

4. (Optional) Keep it to yourself

Though I wear my emotions on my sleeve, there are times when I’d rather keep something inside where I can keep it close, not to be tarnished by the outside world. Currently, I have 2 big goals: (1) Set meet PRs at my next powerlifting competition in April and (2) …..it’s private. My private goal is something that I have not mentioned to anyone. I don’t want it tainted by the judgments of others and I don’t want it to be something I talk about – not yet anyway. If you like to internalize things like I do or to be fueled by an inner fire, maybe give this a try (not the most healthy way of living, I’ll admit,  but I stand by it in this case). Still write it down, but keep it in a place no one will read it. Allow it to become something that is a precious treasure and the only way to keep it safe and all yours is to keep it locked away inside of you. Do NOT get this confused with #2. Again, this is just a personal preference, and maybe there will be judgments for this, but I know myself and I know the goal. And that’s all you can do: know yourself, know the goal.

With that, I wish everyone reading this a very happy 2016. 🙂 Thank you for reading!

 

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Adventure is Out There

Hi, friends!

I am a tad bit late on my posts, but the past two weeks of life have been quite the adventure! On September 28, 2015, I started a new job as Features Editor for Your Coffee Break – an online magazine for women that focuses on fashion, lifestyle, beauty, PR, careers, and entertainment. Based in London, the founder and editor-in-chief who interviewed me allowed me to work from home here in CT for a month, given that all my work could be done via email and Skype calls. Once the month was over, if I thought it was a good fit, I’d be off to NYC to work with the representatives there.

It truly was a great experience. I had to work on London time, which is a solid 5-hour difference from EST. My Monday-Friday schedule looked like this:

5:30 am – Wake up

5:45 am – make breakfast and coffee – roasted, brewed, and sent from the heavens by my coffee compadre/dad/Rusty

6:00 am – Turn on computer, log on to Skype, start working

6:00 am-12:00 pm – Converse with editor-in-chief, pitch to potential clients, arrange and manage client calls, assign editorial projects to writers, negotiate with marketing agencies, etc.

Then on some special days, I’d finish working for the magazine at noon then have to be at my other job as a sales associate at Victoria’s Secret for 1:00 pm. Normally this would stress me out, but I happened to love both jobs and working for them, so those long days were actually kind of fun! *Yes, I watched a video on the founder of VS and no, I still don’t know what the darn secret is*

Sadly and much to my surprise, after only two weeks of working for the online magazine, I started my workday this past Monday with an email from the editor-in-chief stating that she was in the process of selling the business and therefore it needed to be put on hold until further notice. Just like that, I was out of my first big girl job. On the bright side, I wasn’t fired and I hadn’t lost a source of income, but getting this job was the first experience since graduating that didn’t make me feel like a loser who was ‘home living with the parents.’ Fortunately my coffee had greatly kicked in at this point, so before 10:00 am, I had already applied to eight other jobs between MA and NY.

Sigh….This minor hiccup has left me slightly disappointed, but life is full of moments like these and you just have to roll with the punches.

The Bitter Battle Between Wants and Needs

When I was growing up, my older sister and I were often told to clean our rooms, help clean the house, help keep the yard looking presentable, etc. These tasks were considered our daily/weekly chores. What kid ever really likes doing their chores? Well, my sister and I certainly did not. We liked to team up and come up with “alternative activities” such as: “Uh, mom, Taylor and I are going to a movie today. Bye.”  *my sister did all the talking back to my mother. She had more guts than I did*

However, our mom would consistently tell us that sometimes in life we will have to do things we don’t want to do. *cue a tiny Taylor-tot pouting her lip and furrowing her brow and stomping off to her room*

Alas, life went on; the years went by, experiences took place, bitter moments occurred, and yes, I did and still have to do things I don’t necessarily want to do. In college for example, there were times that I had to say “No, I can’t go to the party tonight. I really want to but I have to get some homework done.” *this wasn’t until junior and senior year, though. My freshman and sophomore year were….sub par*

+++fast forward to September 2015+++

This past Saturday was Hofstra’s Fall Fest! There were carnival rides, a parade of floats created by student clubs and organizations, and a live concert with different performers every year. This year’s headliner was LUDACRIS!!!! I’m not kidding!! Can you imagine that performance?!?!? Ugh! Utter madness!! One of my best friends, Rebecca, is his biggest fan and I can only IMAGINE her excitement and complete whirlwind of happiness when he walked onto the stage. I may have graduated, but you bet your big booty that I wanted to go! My friends that still attend school would be there as well as my fellow 2015 graduates who would be returning for the fun! Let’s be real, I would have gone crazy! *disclaimer: by ‘crazy’ I do not mean ‘gotten drunk’ or ‘inebriated.’*

But, as you can probably deduce from the overall feel of this post, I had to say no to attending this incredible event. For me, now living in northern Connecticut with no income (yet) and no means to transport myself back down to Long Island for the day, was left with nothing but a resounding “I really want to go, but I can’t.” *cue a slightly less tiny Taylor-tot pouting her lip and and furrowing her brow and stomping off to her room*

I spent the entire day constantly checking Snapchat and Instagram to see how many of my friends were there and to just get a glimpse of what I was missing. Yes, my friends were having an amazing time. Rebecca even managed to (somehow) get herself to the very front of the stage. *knowing her, I would expect nothing less* Interestingly enough, though, I realized the extreme amount of friends who weren’t there; friends who graduated with me and have moved far away, have started a career, or just couldn’t go, and yet they didn’t appear to be letting it get the better of them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still sad I wasn’t in attendance. But when I took a step back and looked at the facts, going to Fall Fest wasn’t feasible for me at the time. Sometimes certain factors force you to make a choice and you have to think about the long-term effects.

******Disclaimer: if P!nk ever performs at Hofstra I will crawl back to Long Island if I have to and camp out for days on the fields until she arrives******

A Day-cation to Start the Fall

I’ve been struggling to decide what to write about for this second blog post. Do I want to be funny? Do I want to vent about people and things? Do I want to discuss how “life is exciting” and “full of surprises?”

Considering recent happenings, I’ll write about something else: a fun ‘daycation’ I just took to Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

*Taylor, that’s boring.* No it’s not, silly head! I had a pumpkin spice latte for the first time in my life so it was actually an amazing, life-changing experience.

+++

The wonderful, loving, and downright gorgeous parents I’m living with in Connecticut (henceforth referred to as “mom” and “dad”) and I drove up to Stockbridge, MA to meet up for the day with mom’s mother (henceforth referred to as “G Mama”) who resides in Queensbury, New York. *Full disclosure: when I say ‘gorgeous,’ I mean it. Put this couple who has been married for 29 years in a magazine or on a billboard for crying out loud.*

I got all dolled up in my new black dress, caffeinated myself, and off we went! As soon as we arrived, the temperature was a beautiful 65 degrees, the sky was a crystal clear blue, and the trees and mountains were beginning to turn beautiful fall colors. We began the day-cation by perusing through the Country Store gift shop. They had everything from candies of the older generations, to handmade soaps, to toys and trinkets. However, every aisle was incredibly close together and it wasn’t particularly enjoyable to have to brush up against a total stranger just to look around.

We walked the beautiful Main Street, enjoyed the quaint Yankee Shop, fell in love with the Red Lion Inn where there was a live pianist serenading the patrons with ballads that made you want to sing along while sharing the bench with him, and ate a delicious lunch at an adorable cafe called Once Upon A Table. I must say that our waiter was an eccentric and lovable man who rocked American flag high top Converse. He definitely made the lunch experience 1,000 times more memorable. The absolute best part of the day-cation took place immediately after lunch, where the four of us entered a shop called Peace, Love, and Chocolate. Let me tell you something, this place was MAGNANIMUS!!!! *that’s my personal way of saying “magnificent” and……..some other word that doesn’t yet exist to describe something so wonderful* There was chocolate-covered EVERYTHING! They even had free samples which, if you’ve ever met me, is a sure way to get me coming back for more. They also served specialty coffees. Naturally, dad and I had to get something, given our deep and sensual obsession for coffee. *I could use a different word instead of ‘sensual’ but I need for you to understand how serious our love for coffee is* It was here that I enjoyed – NO – luxuriated in a pumpkin spice latte for the first time in my life. It was in fact, love at first sip. I now see what all the other female PR majors are constantly raving about. I am now a proud member of that stereotype that does in fact exist but few are able to notice because they do not live in our world of relations with the public.

The day was beautiful and there were a tremendous amount of laughs as well as the occasional sass given by yours truly. C’est la vie avec la femme fatale……………moi. 

Even though our lovely spaceship – I mean, dad’s car – stalled two times because the battery died, we managed to get home to CT safely and before it got too late. It was a wonderful day that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I’m thankful to have spent welcoming the fall season with my “parents.” I hope they realize how much I love them.

You’ve Got to Start Somewhere

Hi everyone!!

Thanks for following my new blog Live, Love, Laugh, Lift. I’ve never done something like this before (discounting the mandatory blog I had to create in class back in college because I was a PR major) so I’m hoping you’ll go easy on me. I didn’t really know how to start a blog and – even more importantly – how to be creative enough to keep people coming back for more. I’ve decided to simply provide an overview of my purpose here.

I’m hoping that this “lifestyle” blog can serve as a means for people to get to know me better and hopefully gain some positive vibes. I’ll talk about pretty much anything that comes to mind during my day-to-day life. *Don’t worry. This will not become a nonsense, online diary where I vent or complain or become overly dramatic (I have an actual diary for that).* Instead, I’m hoping this blog will fall under the lines of “motivational” or “uplifting.”

“But Taylor. Why does it say ‘lift’ in the title?” Thank you for asking, anonymous stranger! If you don’t know, I’m a competitive powerlifter and have now taken up Olympic weightlifting and CrossFit to add to my bag of tricks. I’ve always been an athletic person, but in my recent struggles of post-college grad life, going to a bar[bell] every night has served as an amazing, healthy, stress-relieving outlet for me. **cue Elle Woods from the outstanding Legally Blonde: the Musical – “Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make people happy. Happy people don’t kill!” —-I’m no scientist, so I hope she’s right**

Anyway, this might be total nonsense to some of you, but that’s just how my mind works and frankly, this is going to be how I chose to spend my time. Maybe this won’t be the most professional, sophisticated blog you’ll ever find, but it’s something.

It’s me.