You can’t crush your goals if you are running on empty.
Over the past couple of years, I started to allow more time for self-care and self-development practices during my weeks and introduced some new rituals into my regular routine.
Having these 10 things be part of my day indirectly affected my life, and in turn, my travel and career goals.
These practices helped me see a clearer big picture, focus on certain steps that would make a massive impact on my goals, and help me move forward with creating the lifestyle I desire, such as landing more work and travel opportunities, growing my blog over time to reach more people, and feeling more in alignment when I am doing things I love, like creative projects.
Here they are—perhaps you’ll decide you may want to include some of these in your daily or weekly routines as well!
1. Having a creative outlet
I’ve been blogging for years, and even before I was blogging I was taking and editing photos. I wrote for online fashion magazines back in college. As a child, I would create my own “magazines” on Microsoft Publisher and email copies to friends. I would edit together home videos for fun.
Creating for the pure joy of creating is something I’ve always done and always will do.
Sometimes I make money from the work I produce, sometimes I don’t. But I know that it is a constant in my life and getting a motivation wave (being in a “flow state”) fills me up. Allowing myself to take time for creative work feeds my soul and gives my thoughts and ideas the attention they deserve.
Writing and self-publishing my book a little over a year ago? That started out of pure flow state. I was writing an email for my weekly #MotivationMonday newsletter and kept going and going. I came to the realization that this would be the beginning of a book, and I had to put it out there. There was no moment where I was like, “Hmm, should I write this or not? What if no one reads it?” I didn’t have a choice. I was feeling called to create, no matter how many people would or wouldn’t read it. Knowing there are a few people reading or watching my creative work who tell me it has inspired or helped them in some way is simply icing on the cake.
If you find joy out of creating anything—art, writing, photography, gardening, building, whatever—make time for it, even if it is just a few minutes a day or an hour a week.
2. Keeping a “just do it” mentality
There’s a reason why “Just do it” is Nike’s famous tagline.
Sometimes you don’t need a bunch of reasons to do something big.
Sometimes we hesitate on taking action toward big goals because we are afraid we’ll fail (or we may even be afraid we’ll succeed).
If you want to say YES to life, to move closer to where you want to be, there will be times where you have to think, “Just do it.”
For me, the “Just do it” mentality helped me start my travel blog years ago, accept a job on the opposite side of the country only days after getting the offer, move halfway around the world to work in Italy, solo travel around the world, and so much more.
Where in your life are you hesitating on making a decision?
What does your intuition tell you to do?
Just do it.
3. Reading good books
I love to learn. Call me a nerd, I don’t care!
I enjoy learning about new topics, business, and ways to improve all areas of my life, whether that’s through YouTube, social media, podcasts, in-person events, or books.
One of the best benefits to reading is that it forces you to be in the present moment. Sometimes you zone out and get to the bottom of the page without remembering what you just read, but then you have to go back and reread it to comprehend what it says. When you’re reading, you can’t register what you’re learning if you get distracted on your phone or your friend sitting next to you strikes up a conversation.
It forces you to be present and eliminate all other distractions while you learn.
I’d call that a win-win!
4. Starting a Miracle Morning routine
I read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod a few years ago and still make time for my “Miracle Morning” routine every day.
Elrod’s “Miracle Morning” is made up of his “SAVERS” method, which consists of six steps: Silence (meditation), Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing (journaling/writing).
If it feels overwhelming to do all of the above before your morning cup of coffee, Elrod says you can get started by doing your Miracle Morning routine for just six minutes a day. Try each of the activities for one minute and work up from there if you’d like.
Even if I only do a few steps of the routine, I instantly feel more grounded and prepared to take on the day.
The busier I get, the more sacred that morning routine is. If I have a crazy schedule, it’s that quiet “me time” in the morning that keeps me centered throughout the day.
5. Living by The Law of Attraction
I used to think the “Law of Attraction” was pure BS.
Years ago my mom told me she read The Secret. She said I had to read it, that I’d love it.
I rolled my eyes at her, saying, “Ohhh-kay, yeah, just think positive and make a vision board and all your dreams will just magically come true.”
Oh. My. GODDDDD. If I could reach back in time, shake my shoulders, look into my eyes, and say, “ALLY, be open-minded and give this a chance!” I would.
Alas, I continued staying close-minded to the thought of Law of Attraction and tirelessly worked toward my goals.
It’s not like I didn’t get anywhere on my goals, but when I eventually discovered this Wayne Dyer audio that pretty much sums up the Law of Attraction, I couldn’t believe I never gave this idea a chance.
I’ve shared that audio clip on my blog countless times. I’ve shared it with all my family and friends. I’ve listened to it at least 15 times over the past year.
So yeah. That opened my mind up to Law of Attraction, and the best things started happening left and right. I’m being 100% honest. It’s crazy! But it works!
I think the biggest difference I’ve personally noticed before and after implementing the Law of Attraction is that I feel good most of the time. Who doesn’t want that?! I am also quicker to recognize when I don’t feel good, which is an indicator that I can work on changing something such as my thoughts, mindset, or actions.
However, I always say that the Law of Attraction is nothing without action.
You must think positively, visualize the life you want to create, and then do something.
Things appear and the universe conspires in your favor, but you must follow your intuition and take steps toward where you want to be.
6. Practicing yoga and mindfulness
Last year I started doing more yoga because I’ve always enjoyed the practice and found a great outdoor class that looked over the ocean—the views were incredible! I liked balancing my Orangetheory classes with something slower, like yoga.
The more I did yoga, the more I focused on the breathing and meditative side to it.
Finding moments to work on being in the present is so important, especially these days when we are constantly connected and tend to be too busy for our liking.
I used to not be very “Namaste,” but…wow. I can certainly say I have a “Namaste” side to myself now. (Maybe living in California has caught up to me!)
When you continue to consistently work on your practice, focus on being in the present, and feel gratitude for the simple things in life, you may be surprised at how yoga can add a sense of peace to your life—and it may even bring you closer to your spiritual self.
7. Planning ahead of time: nightly, weekly, quarterly
I’m a big planner. I like to know what is coming up and am far more productive when I have a list of tasks I’d like to accomplish versus aimlessly letting my day slip past me.
Focusing on forward-moving tasks first thing in the morning is a game-changer for your work day.
From there, the simple step of planning out and prioritizing tasks for the following day (and weeks, months, quarters) can significantly impact your productivity as well.
If you haven’t tried this, try it!
Every night, get out your planner or Google Calendar and schedule out your work, appointments, etc. for the following day. Then add in tasks for everything else you need to get done, including errands.
If you feel rushed in the mornings before work, lay out your clothes the night before and meal prep your lunch.
The less decisions you need to make earlier in the day, the more brain power you can allocate to tasks of higher importance.
8. Investing in yourself
This one can feel difficult to justify if you aren’t in the best spot financially.
There were a few moments in my first year of freelancing where I found it hard to justify spending money on any tiny thing that wasn’t absolutely necessary.
I’m all about proper budgeting and cutting unnecessary expenses, but sometimes you have to live a little… and most importantly, you need to invest in yourself (and your business, if you have one) in order to thrive and grow.
For example, when I was planning a trip to Southeast Asia, I realized I had an opportunity to fly to New Zealand from Hong Kong for far less airline points than it would be if I were to go home and take a separate trip from the US.
However, this was only a few months into working for myself and I knew that the cost of traveling in New Zealand and Australia were much higher than Southeast Asia.
After much debate, I seized the opportunity and booked the flight. I knew I would regret not taking the chance to see two countries high on my bucket list.
I was filled with rich travel experiences, countless memories, new travel friends, and even knocked out a ton of client work during the end of my trip. And I was still able to budget that portion of the trip—it just took some extra planning.
Same goes for business expenses. You have to spend money to make money. Obviously you want to earn more than you make, but there are times where you may consider taking a chance to invest in something that can elevate your business, career, or life.
9. Keeping a money mindset
On that note, “money mindset” is something else I’ve worked on over the past year as well. I’ve learned that financial mental blocks, often subconscious thoughts, are part of what keep many people from getting from one place financially to the next.
It’s also important to really try and release the feeling of stress when it comes to money, and releasing any guilt for having money.
It’s easier said than done, but I’ve found the following resources helpful. You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero is a great book on money mindset, as well as How Rich People Think by Steve Siebold. I also recommend the podcast “For the Love of Money” by Chris Harder.
10. Paying it forward and giving back
You don’t have to donate huge sums of money to charities in order to give back.
Tony Robbins suggests starting by giving 10% of what you earn, no matter how big or small that is.
You could also donate small amounts, such as rounding up your change for charity at the grocery store checkout if that is an option or donating your old clothes to a local organization instead of throwing them away (which is better for the environment, too)!
However, there is more than donating money to charity or volunteering your time.
I believe you can pay it forward and give back to others by taking care of yourself, so you can be your best self.
That in turn will help you spread positivity and kindness to others. You never know how your positivity will change someone’s mood, or even their day. You never know if you turned a stranger’s day around by simply being kind or by or smiling at someone in passing.
That said, take things one day at a time. Small steps add up to big improvements.
Even if you start small, you’re steps ahead of those who don’t start at all. You’re ahead of where you were yesterday.
Add up those small steps day after day, and you’ll realize you’ve eventually walked miles.
Cheers to you and a lifetime of happiness, friends.