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Confession: I never fell in love with my husband

And no, we aren’t getting a divorce.

falling in love

Turns out falling in love is more dangerous than I thought.

 

You see that picture up there? That picture is a part of history for me. It was the day my then boyfriend and I decided to enter an exclusive relationship. December 7, 2006.  I was barely an adult at the age of 18 and he was a typical college boy at 21. And in those last eight years a lot has happened. We’ve traveled. We’ve grown. We explored. We learned. We’ve fought. We gained trust. We nearly broke up. We made each other cry. We reconciled and vowed to be each other’s support system. But in all the years I’ve spent with  the man I’ve grown with, I’ve never fallen in love with him.

It’s not because I wasn’t fond of him and it’s not because I thought he wasn’t worthy. It’s because falling in love never seemed that appealing to me. Throughout my college years and early twenties I’ve seen what falling in love has done to even the strongest of my friends. They’ve gotten into things they shouldn’t have. Some forgot who they were. Some let the connection with their friends and family fizzle. Some of them plateaued, got comfortable and never grew. And some have fallen so hard in love that they lost their voice. I look back at it now, and can’t really say I can blame those friends who found themselves in a trap and fell in love.

After all,  there are so many catchy quotes about falling in love.

“Love can make you do some crazy things.”

“Crazy, stupid, love.”

or my favorite from Sex & The City: “She was a smart girl till she fell in love”

The list goes on and on.

Any of those ring a bell for you? They were certainly in the corners of my mind for years making the idea of falling in love unappealing to me. But even knowing all of those things, I still can’t say I was above the mistake of occasionally letting love get the best of me. I’ve certainly found myself in my fair share of unfortunate incidents due to the power and stupidity associated with love take over. I mean who hasn’t? I remember very vividly the times I went to parties or wore things I shouldn’t have when love clouded my judgement. But despite all the pathetic, stupid and down right absentminded things I did all in the name of love, I never once allowed myself to lose sight of who I was meant to be and I never ever fell off the pedestal I believed I belonged on. In fact, my husband did all he could to remind me of the reasons I belonged on that pedestal. Because of him, I never fell in love. With him, I’ve risen in love.

It’s a small tidbit most people seem to miss. I blame the blockbuster movies, the fairytales we’re told as children and the bad advice from our well meaning friends. We spend a countless amount of time trying to find the right person to fall in love with, when we should really be trying to find that special someone to rise in love with. Falling should never be the goal. Instead, the goal should be to rise together so you can experience new dreams, do good, and touch each other in the most meaningful of ways. Be inspired to rise and be a better person with the love you have chosen. You never want to be the one to say, “I’ve fallen in love and I can’t get up.”

love right person

All too often, we, especially women,  are willing to change who we aspire to be for the sake of keeping a man. It’s not something that happens so abruptly or consciously, but rather something that seems to happen gradually over time. Suddenly, the decision to skip that gym session every once in a while, drinking that glass of beer when you shouldn’t have, and refusing to enroll in that class you’ve been eyeing to please your other half becomes a habit and common place. It keeps happening oh see easily, until in a blink of any eye you don’t see yourself anymore. It’s only a matter of time until you feel lost, confused, unhappy or unable to recognize who you are. After all is done, you are most likely left wondering, how, when and why it happened. The answer is simple. You fell in love.

Now, I don’t want you to think this happened because the person you fell in love with is bad. It may be that the person is just bad for you. No matter how pure the love is, some just happen to bring out the worst in you instead of the best in you. If you are not sure, consider asking the following:

1. Do you feel inspired to be a better person when with your love?

2. Have you grown since entering the relationship?

3. Have you lost sight of goals, aspirations and desires you once had?

4. Do you find yourself engaging in new bad habits?

The answer isn’t always so easy. The grey areas surrounding love and whether or not you’ve fallen are infinite.  But I can assure you there is no question when you’ve risen in love. Not only will your heart skip a beat and smile with pure joy, but you can’t help but look around in awe as you realize how far you’ve gotten together. You’ll recognize all the positive that has happened since the person entered your life and you continue to strive to reach new heights. Most importantly, the love you have for yourself will grow even more.

I was fortunate enough to find a man who never made me fall in love, but helped me rise in love. With him, I’ve become a better person, reached new heights and accomplished things I never knew were possible. He’s never made me feel less then perfect and has inspired me to be a better person. With him I know I can the do the impossible.

Suddenly, when you rise in love all things are possible and your heart can’t help but smile. So to all those people in search of a partner to spend their life with, I encourage you to resist the urge to fall in love and choose to rise in love. And should that person not make it possible to uplift you through your heart and rise in love, I encourage you to rise in love with yourself.

Have you ever fallen in love? How do you know when you rise in love?

TERRIfic Words: Why fall in love when you can rise in love?

Top survival tips for getting through any Zumba Class

zumba sweatI know this post is a bit left wing for a blog about mental happiness and success. But since being physically fit is helpful in claiming happiness, I figured a post about one of my latest fitness passions, Zumba, would be relevant. Unless, you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about what many call one of the most fun fitness crazes to hit the US since early 2000’s known as Zumba. And if you are a woman, you’ve probably been asked to take a class by at least one of your friends. I’m constantly inviting friends, relatives, entrepreneurs and colleagues to come join in on the Zumba fun.

Of course, lack of confidence, in-experience and fear of the unknown constantly keep people from joining my class and those of other instructors.

“I don’t have energy.”

“I can’t dance.”

“I’ve got two left feet.”

“I’m white so I have no rhythm”

These are just a few of the excuses I hear from people apprehensive about trying a Zumba class. Though I know it’s tough to shake the fear, Zumba class survival can be mastered by anyone. Just follow these tips and you’ll be a happy Zumba participant in no time.

1. Be social

The Zumba mantra is “Ditch the workout and join the party.” And what’s a party without some fun, laughter and friends. I know you may be nervous about surviving a Zumba class and making a fool out of yourself. But Zumba survival is much more fun once you lighten up and get to know the others in the class. Or think about bringing a friend along to enjoy it with you. Getting chummy with the others in class or bringing someone you already know helps foster a comfortable atmosphere for you. If you don’t know of any friends to bring, strike up a conversation with others in the class by asking what their favorite songs are, finding out the pace of the class or even showing each other your favorite moves. Once you get to know each other and socialize you’ll be much more likely to enjoy yourself during class.

2. Rock the moves you know

Forget having two left feet. If you love the salsa or kill the hip shaking but don’t know the other moves, make the most of it. It’s ok to muddle through the steps you aren’t too sure of. Just make sure you go big and accentuate the steps you do know. Going harder with your favorite steps will make the routine even more beneficial to your body. If swinging your arms in a salsa move is super easy to you make sure your really pump, lengthen and extend them to reap the maximum burn and benefit. Or if the instructor happens to move up and down a lot, make the most of those up and down movements even if it is as simple as a tiny lunge. Not only will rocking your favorite moves boost your confidence, but maximizing each step will help tone your glutes,lengthen your muscles and burn more calories.

3. Move at your own pace

Walk into any Zumba class and you’ll most likely find people bouncing continuously with amazing grace in-sync with the music. As someone new to a Zumba class, this can be understandably intimidating. However, the motto in my class is, “As long as you are moving, you are doing it right.” It’s best not to get too caught up mastering every intricate move. Instead, focus on mastering a few basic steps. In time, you’ll get the hang of it and start moving like a pro before you know it. Furthermore, if you are new to working out, it’s probably not the best idea to move at warp speed or jump as high as your 5’11 classmate. Instead, move at a comfortable pace, without pushing yourself too hard when you are new to the aerobic classes. Doing otherwise could lead to injury.

4. Avoid the last row

For some reason, there’s something really alluring about the back row to new and veteran Zumba-goers. I suppose something about being near the instructor is intimidating. Even those who have been coming to my classes for months and know the choreography like the back of their hands seem glued to the very last row.

I suppose I get it. There’s something very comforting and zen about hiding behind others; especially if the instructor can’t see back there. Besides, you figured it would be much easier to perfect the steps at your own pace all the way in the back corner, right? Wrong!

Consistently staying in the back row as a newbie Zumba participant is the worst thing you can do. First of all, depending on the size of the class, standing in the back row makes it more difficult to follow the steps of the instructor. If you are standing in the back for every class, you may never see the choreography clear enough to follow along. Secondly, the back row is notorious for having the least amount of room. That means it’s harder for you to move around freely and comfortably as you find your rhythm. If you really want to get better in Zumba, I suggest standing in the middle row. The middle row allows you to see the instructor better as well as the veteran Zumba enthusiasts who know the choreography well. Plus, you usually aren’t too cramped in the middle so you have enough space to move around without feeling constricted.

5. Practice at home

No you don’t need to run home and practice an entire routine until you get the moves memorized for class. But it can be beneficial to keep the workout going at home as well. Turn on the music and wiggle yours hips while washing the dishes to help get used to the hip movement in Zumba class. Or Bounce around during commercials to build stamina and endurance which are of great benefit to a high energy Zumba class. If you are really dedicated and ambitious, don’t be afraid to purchase a Zumba DVD or watch some Zumba on TV and follow along. Moving and dancing in the comfort of your home will help make everything you do in Zumba feel much more natural.

6. Stop thinking

The phrase “Dance like nobody is watching,” is definitely true when it comes to Zumba survival. Too many people in my classes are more caught up in dissecting the step than they are doing it. I can’t tell you how many times people tell me they get so nervous because they keep thinking a step will never look the way I do it, but when I ask if they tried to let loose I get blank stares. Clear your mind of stresses from work, what’s for dinner, and shaking your hips at the same pace as the instructor. Once you stop thinking, cut loose and allow yourself to get caught up in the music, you’ll soon see that Zumba class survival and having fun are much easier than you once thought.

 

What intimidates you about Zumba? What things have helped you survive class?

 TERRIfic Quip: Trust the music in your heart; it won’t steer you wrong.

The best way to stay positive in a crappy year

crappy yearI’m not going to lie. Despite declaring that 2014 was going to be the most amazing year ever, it wasn’t. As a matter of fact, it was a pretty crappy year for my family. Normally, I’m one of the biggest proponents of claiming the good fortune you seek. However, last year reality proved that it’s not always possible. While my family and I tried to stay positive and claim the amazing year we felt we deserved, it turned out to be the complete opposite. I’d go as far as saying it was probably one of the worst years I’ve experienced in a long time.

All year, I’ve dealt with or witnessed people close to me dealing with job loss, miscarriages, business failure, death, car accidents, rejection and severe illness. And these weren’t just one time situations. It kept happening throughout the entire year…. There was barely any time in between each incident for recovery. If it wasn’t one thing it was another. These downward spirals were continuously thrown at me. So can you blame me for saying that 2014 was absolutely horrible?

Yes, I know the fact that I managed to wake each morning with a roof over my head was enough to make 2014 a fortunate year. I know a few people who weren’t that lucky. But a person can only take so much. It’s only a matter of time until you get depressed and begin to give up all hope .However, being the stubborn person I am, I wasn’t going to let that happen. I tried everything possible to lift my spirits and stay positive during the trying year.

happy-balloons

Of course, I consulted my trusty list of fun and quirky ways to be happier, played with some play-doh, took lots of showers, worked out and even spent some time with family. While engaging in those activities helped lift my spirits, the feeling never lasted as long as I had hoped. In fact, the positivity quickly waned as soon as another unfortunate incident presented itself.

Only one thing seemed to work in terms of staying positive and it was the most unlikely thing I would imagine. The negativity and depression of other people. But not just any people – my family and friends. How many times have you heard that in order to remain positive you should try to distance yourself from negative people? “You are the company you keep,” they say. For the most part, I’ve found that to be true. After all, another person’s negative attitude can certainly be contagious – not to mention extremely draining to deal with.

But it’s not always easy to distance yourself from negativity when it’s from the people you love the most. Rather than distancing yourself from them, you find yourself drawing near and wanting to wallow with them. Generally, hugging, sympathizing and sharing tears with one another seemed to be good therapy. However, much to my surprise the tears always seem to dry out enough to see the pain and suffering of that special person. And once you see that broken spirit, you want nothing more than to restore the smile and faith in your friend despite the pain you feel.

At that moment, you make it your mission to cheer up your depressed friend by any means possible. If you are anything like me,  it means a random tickle fight or breaking out into a dance off. The tears dry up, the personal issues are disguised,  the fake smile appears and you muster the strength to laugh even though you a plagued by weakness and sorrow. And then something unimaginable happens. You’ve gone from trying to cheer up a dear friend to genuinely cheering up yourself. Throughout my treacherous 2014, it never failed. Time and time again when I was faced with hardship and misery it always seemed to disappear once I encountered a friend who was just as down as I who was in desperate need of cheering up. Why?

As Mark Twain once said, “The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer someone else up.” After all, those good feelings you try to transpose onto someone else are surely contagious. No matter how much you’d rather be selfish, wallow in your self pity and turn your back on the world when experiencing hard times, the desire to be needed and lend a helping hand somehow turns out to be greater. So I say, put away the play-doh, turn off the romantic comedy and cease all tickle fights with yourself. If you are truly seeking away to lift your spirits during a rotten year, find a downtrodden soul needing spirits lifted just as much as you do. You both will surely reap the benefits.

What have you found to be the best method for cheering up? Have you “accidentally” cheered yourself up when trying to make someone else happy?

TERRIfic Quip: Life is too short to be miserable. If you can’t laugh at yourself, call me and I’ll laugh at you!

The Bright Side of Disappointment – Yes, It Does Exist!

 

Disappointment: It casts a shadow over your strongest desires but sheds light on the goals hidden within your wildest dreams.

Disappointment: It casts a shadow over your strongest desires but sheds light on the goals hidden within your wildest dreams.

No matter how often we experience it, disappointment is always difficult to deal with. I should know – as I write this I’m currently dealing with disappointment. Despite my best efforts, I did not make the Trenton Freedom Dance Team this season. To say I was crushed is an understatement. Upon getting that rejection email, I felt depressed, defeated, ugly and as though I was a major loser. The crazy thing is I felt the disappointment coming, but that didn’t lessen the blow of the hurt I felt once it arrived. It didn’t help that most of my friends made the team. So not only did I not achieve my dream, I was now also the outcast of my friends. Atleast, that’s what I thought…

Like most wives, I decided to wallow in my sorrows and real in the disappointment in the arms of my husband. I’m ashamed to say that wasn’t my first choice though. I had preferred to go for a jog, head to the gym or climb a pole, but the time of night did not allow for that. However, that time spent in my husband’s arms turned out to be the best thing I could do when dealing with a case of disappointment. He tickled me, we watched TV and had fun eating snacks in bed and then we finally discussed the inevitable… my disappointment. He encouraged me look on the bright side. “What bright side,” I thought. I just got told I wasn’t good enough to reappear on the team. While there where no tears, I surely thought there would be as I mourned the death of a dream. It wasn’t until my husband pointed out that my rejection from the dance team wasn’t the death of a dream, but the end of a dream realized and the beginning of a new one becoming reality. Of course, I thought he was crazy.

How could my disappointing rejection mean the reality of a new dream entering my life.? That’s when he reminded me of my bucket list. I had created two bucket lists – one titled 30 before 30 consisting of things I wanted to accomplish before my 30th birthday and one titled pre-pregnancy. Of course, “be a professional dancer on a dance team” was on both lists along with a bunch of other aspirations I made for myself. How could I have forgotten that? The mere fact that I was able to cross an item off both lists was enough to say that I accomplished my dream. And as much as I hate to admit it, my sometimes clueless husband was right. The close of that chapter in my dream, truly did mean the beginning of a new one becoming a reality. After all, had I continued to dance on the team there would have been little time for me to work on achieving the rest of my goals on the lists. Then it would’ve been a matter of time till my disappointment resurfaced upon realizing I never got to finish the items on my lofty bucket lists.

It was at that moment I realized the true purpose of disappointment. It wasn’t cast upon us to make us feel worthless, give up and go through life without hope. It’s a chance for us to reaffirm a value, reevaluate purpose and reassess our dreams. It may even appear to set us up for an even better opportunity. I now have the time to focus on my other endeavors – something else that makes my heart smile and my passion soar while crossing items off my bucket lists. Maybe fate has something more meaningful in store for me. Had I made the team, I’d never have the time to find out.

That’s the funny thing about disappointment. It  casts a shadow over your strongest desires but sheds light on the goals hidden within your wildest dreams. I know I can’t be the only one it’s happened to. I’m pretty sure if you think about it, you’ll be able to recall moments of disappointment that led you to moments that made you smile. Maybe you didn’t get a job you applied for and then was offered an opportunity of a lifetime two weeks later. Perhaps you didn’t get the house you put an offer in, but a few months later you realized it set you up financially to get a nicer home. Or what about the time you didn’t make the basketball team only to be asked to mentor student athletes at a school? That’s the strange but almost guaranteed bright side of disappointment. You may not always see it, but it’s always lurking somewhere quietely in the corner waiting to jump out and surprise you.

It only goes to show it’s true what they say. When one door closes another bigger and better door opens. Thanks to my dear hubby and realizing there truly is a bright side to everything, I can now cross an item off my list and proudly say, “on to the next one.”

What have you learned from disappointment? Have you ever experienced a bright outcome after a gloomy disappointment?

TERRIfic Quip: Don’t let todays’ disappointments dim the light on tomorrow’s promise.

Why You Should Celebrate Yourself This Boss’s Day!

Forget your boss. It's about time you celebrate yourself. Happy National Boss's Day!

Forget your boss. It’s about time you celebrate yourself. Happy National Boss’s Day!

It’s October 16th – also known as National Boss’s Day. Depending on who you ask it may actually be the most awkward made-up holiday of the year. (Yes, even more awkward than Valentine’s Day) It’s hard to tell whether you should get a gift for your boss or not no matter how amazing he or she may be. If you do get a gift, it’s a fine line between looking like a suck up and not appearing to suck up enough. And of course, if you believe you have the worst boss in the world you’re wondering why you should even celebrate  them at all… unless you think you’ll face repercussions for ignoring the holiday. The last thing you want is to not get approved for your time off because of your refusal to slap on a party hat and invest in some Happy boss’s day chocolate cake. So what’s a confused employee to do?

I say rather than celebrate your boss, take a moment to celebrate yourself. After all, I’m pretty sure that outside of the office you are indeed in control of several aspects of your life. Think about it, if you are the head of the household you are most likely the boss of your kitchen. If you are a college student, you are in control of events in your extracurricular activities. And if you are the younger sibling, you may even be the boss of birthday and Christmas traditions. And if you are not in control of anything, you have the ability to change that.

Whether your role in the household is minuscule or the contempt of your real boss is extremely strong, you hold the power in your hands to make a change because you are the boss of your life. Whether or not you realize it, the job you hold, the awards you won, the skill you’ve honed and the care you show others should not be credited to your boss. You are the one who made that happen. As the boss of your life, you were the one who found the motivation to apply for and land your current position. You were the one who learned how to channel Facebook for a good cause by wishing your friend a happy birthday. It was your will power that allowed you to educate yourself and build up your hobbies. It’s about time you celebrate that. Even if you received help from friends, family or mentors, you acted as your own boss when you decided to move forward. That should not be taken for granted.

Boss or not, you are responsible for getting to where you are today. So forget your traditional boss and give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it.  (And maybe get your work boss a card) As a  self-employed journalist and freelance writer, who has been “boss -less” for the last four years, I know I’m certainly celebrating myself.

 

How are the boss of your of your life? In what ways have you chosen to honor yourself this boss’s day? 

TERRIfic Quip: You are the boss of your own destiny.

Yes. It’s ok to be lazy!!

In a world that’s obsessed with being busy and productive, I’d like to reintroduce you to the world of lazy. If you are anything like me or my husband who are recovering workaholics, you probably don’t even remember what it means to be lazy. When I say lazy, I’m talking about those days in which nothing but sitting on the same spot on the couch for hours while you watch the Fresh Prince of Bel Air marathon seems right even if you have a list of things that need to get done. Have you forgotten how good it feels to do that? I can’t blame you. After all, we live in a society where you’ve been brainwashed to believe that being lazy is a punishable offense. (Cue the flash back to your mother yelling at you for opting to watch Saturday morning cartoons in a room scattered with the best matchbox cars or Barbie shoes.)

However, despite what mom and society says, I’m here to tell you that being lazy can be a good thing. It’s time you embrace it! In fact, several studies have found that allowing ourselves to be lazy can improve creativity, motivation, restore our attention and make us happier. Think about it. Aren’t you usually extremely cranky, tired and unmotivated after going a full week with nonstop work and no break? I know I certainly am!

Ok, so now we can all agree that being lazy is good for you! You’re probably thinking”But Terri, Just because being lazy is good for you doesn’t mean it’s easy for me to do.” Trust me, I know. Sometimes it really does seem next to impossible to not do anything when you are staring at a never ending to-do list, an inbox of 1,000 plus emails, and several text reminders of bills that need to be paid. When dealing with all of that, squeezing “lazy” into your busy schedule can end up feeling like torturous work that only be punished for. Rest assured, being lazy doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In fact, all it takes is listening to the natural cues around you to fit “do nothing” into your schedule and feel that overwhelming bliss. *Sound the halellujah chorus* Below are five examples being lazy can feel natural and make you happier without the fear of repercussion.

 

1. Time with significant other

Everybody loves spending time with their significant other. What’s not to love about lazy times spent cuddling on the couch while eating some fresh popped popcorn together? Sure you might feel guilty about not being productive while the pile of dishes in the sink continues to get higher, but it can actually be doing you some good. The time you spent lounging with your love can help strengthen the bonds of your relationship making you less stressed. The lessened stress makes it easier for you to accomplish those oh-so important tasks more seamlessly. So don’t think about the time spent with your love interest as a waste of time. Instead, consider it another way to streamline your workload.

2. When you are stressed

Did I mention I am a workaholic? When I’m not getting any writing done, choreographing something for my Zumba or Sexy Flexy class, I need to go on a deep cleaning frenzy. Of course, all that constant moving and thinking only succeeds stressing me out to unhealthy levels. Of course, it turns out that its actually the best time for me to stop and indulge in a bit of laziness for a while.

When you find yourself overwhelmed about bill management, cleaning, work, and more, it’s best you take an hour or two to do nothing. Sure you may not be getting anything done, but it will give you the opportunity to calm your self and attack whatever it is you are working on with clear head. Besides, working yourself up so much that it stresses you a lot isn’t healthy. Taking that break will do wonders for your blood pressure.

3. When productivity stops

So we’ve already covered that being lazy is often related to being unproductive. However, doing work doesn’t mean you are being productive either. Mindlessly doing task after task, can be doing more harm than good if you are doing things half way that will only cause more work in the future. Or what about those times when you have a mind block and you find yourself staring at a blank piece of paper because your mind won’t come up with something witty to write on it? During these times, you are probably better of being lazy and taking a nap. The temporary laziness will allow you to get back to work refreshed and recharged.

4. At completion

Seems like a no brainer, but it really is hard for some people to be lazy when their job is complete. I am totally guilty of this. How can you blame me? Society, seems to reward those who always have something going, a new project to work on, or cause to promote. If I stopped, I wouldn’t be able to reap the invisible benefits from society. .. However, stopping will allow you to reap the benefits of sanctity while you reflect on what you accomplished. After all, isn’t that the point of your to-do list? To finally revel in the satisfaction as you cross the last item off your list? What’s the point of the list if you’re just going to make a new one right away without a breather in between? You finished it. Relax!

5. When you forget the little things

I never forgave myself the day I missed baby birds being fed in the next outside my window. I missed it because I convinced myself that finishing up the one last post would help me out the next day. But all it managed to do was make me upset that I missed something so small yet beautiful. Instead of experiencing regret for missing life’s treasures, vow to take a few minutes to remember the blessings. Stop writing the essay for 10 minutes so you can watch the sunset or postpone calling the insurance adjuster so you can look in the mirror to admirer your beauty and good health. That short break of laziness, just might give you the inspiration and motivation you need to get through the day strong.

 

What is your favorite time to be lazy?

TERRIfic Quip: Relax into happiness.

It’s Not too Late to Make 2014 Amazing!

It's not too late to make the rest of your life the best of your life.

It’s not too late to make the rest of your life the best of your life.

Winter dragged on. Spring showed promise and summer flew by us. And in the blink of an eye it’s fall and we’re staring at “OCTOBER” in giant letters on our calendars. If you are anything like me your thoughts probably sound like this:

“Holy crap! Where has the time gone? The year is almost over and I haven’t done anything.” That’s when you peek at your new year resolution list and recognize that you’ve barely scratched an item off. And with the reminder that it is October, you feel like you have no time left, you need to give up and simply focus on making 2015 amazing.

But I say, hold that thought. You’ve got almost three full months to do something meaningful. Instead of giving up on this year, it’s time to kick all those plans you had into high gear. It’s never too late to make a difference. Three months is a lot of time to see the fruits of your labor. Think about it…

In three months you can:

Get those flat abs you’ve been dreaming of

Grow a beautiful and lush vegetable garden

Draw up a business plan for that online store you’ve always wanted to start

Sign up, attend and complete classes for a professional certificate you’ve been dying to earn

Make a decent dent in the emergency savings fund you’ve been putting off.

Lose those last 10 pounds…

The list goes on and on.

So now that you know you still have time left and there’s still several feasible goals to accomplish, you’re probably wondering where you can start during this last ditch effort to make 2014 amazing.

Dig up your goal list from January and see what you can tackle. Didn’t make a list of goals at the start of the year? No problem! Now’s your chance to get some scrap paper or pull up the  “notes” app on your phone and create one. And no, it doesn’t matter if you failed at every single goal you jotted down earlier this year. That was in the past and the past is behind us. Right now, we’re focusing on making these goals work out now and in the future.

But don’t just rest at picking a goal. Go a bit further by making a plan. After all, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

Most importantly don’t give up because you feel like the year is almost over. It’s not too late. Get off your butt and do everything you can to make 2014 amazing. I know I am. Who’s jointing me?

What do you plan to do to make the rest of 2014 AMAZING? I want to know what you are doing!

TERRIfic Quip: Life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.

25 Things To be Thankful For Everyday

It is September 30th. I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t written a new post for this blog in nearly three months and I have no

Sometimes all you need to do is stop and smell the flowers to recognize all things you are thankful for.

Sometimes all you need to do is stop and smell the flowers to recognize all the things you are thankful to have.

excuse for it. I could tell you that I let life get the best of me pulling me  away from brainstorming uplifting posts for this blog. Or I could tell you that I’ve been so busy teaching a bunch of classes such as Zumba, Ballet and sexy flexy that time got away from me. But I won’t. Instead, I’ll hang my head in shame as I explain that I simply did not make the blog a priority. As a result, TerrificWords blog fell by the wayside. However, there is a bright side. My hiatus from the blog allowed me to stop and smell the roses. Despite the hectic, crazy and sometimes depressing days, my ability to do some soul searching and recognize all that was truly important. In the hopes that one day you will soon be able to recognize the little things, I’m sharing my list of 25 things to be thankful for everyday. Perhaps, in time recalling these small blessings will help you recognize your many large victories.

 

1. The loose change in your pocket or money in the bank.

Even if it’s not a lot, it’s certainly more than what many people have. You are rich even if you don’t realize it.

2. All the major and minor setbacks you’ve encountered.

Even if you don’t see it now, those setbacks have made you the strong person you are today.

3. The tears you’ve cried.

When there are no words, you can always count on them to express what your voice can’t.

4. Imagination.

For allowing you to dream big.

5. Your laughter no matter how hideous it may sound.

The sound of a hearty chuckle or gently giggle is like music to the ears

6. Your nose and the ability to smell

For giving you the opportunity to stop and smell the roses.

7. Your parents

Even if they were horrible, you can’t help but smile knowing that they gave you life.

8. Internet access

Though second nature to you, it’s often not in reach for others.

9. A warm coat

As the temperature begins to drop on the east coast, remember you are one of the few who can reach in the closet for clothing to protect you from the blistering cold.

10. The ability to love

Even if you haven’t found “the one” imagine  what a different world it would be if you couldn’t feel love’s embrace.

11. Your mind

It may not be as sharp as you’d like, but I’m willing to bet your mind has helped you think, dream and come up solutions you never thought you could imagine.

12. Phones

For making it easier to connect and build meaningful relationships

13. Passing Time

You may not think there is enough it, but it’s certainly something we shouldn’t take for granted. There are far too many who’s time has run out.

14. A bed to sleep on

The bed you lay your head on is responsible for those peaceful nights

15. The ability to read.

The fact that you are reading this now, speaks volumes. Many can’t do the same. Be thankful that you can.

16. Pain

Though not pleasant, suffering has allowed you to recognize life’s simple pleasure and know a richer and more fulfilling life when you see one.

17. Scandal

I may not be a fan, but I know some people are extremely thankful the television show has returned to give them something to do on Thursday nights.

18. Your voice

For allowing you to express yourself.

19. Diversity

For learning to appreciate people from all walks of life. Can you imagine what this world would be like if we were all the same?

20. Sun

For lighting up the world when we need it most.

21. Hair

It may just be dead protein growing on your head, but that protein has a way of making us feel beautiful. That’s a beauty many people long for.

22. Passion

Whether it’s cancer research, a hobby, or an injustice, be thankful that you’ve found something you are passionate enough to fight for. Sometimes those are the things that make life worth living.

23.  Holidays and birthdays

A reason to celebrate is ALWAYS something to be thankful for

24. Your ability to learn

Your ability to learn is only a sign of your immense sign of potential. As long as you are armed with knowledge, there’s nothing you can’t do.

25. You

Be thankful that you are here and the person you are as I’m sure you’ve certainly touched someone with your presence.

 

Did I miss anything? What things are you most thankful for in life?

TERRIfic Quip: There is happiness to be found in every moment.

Fearless Quest 20: Tackling Confrontation

I don’t like confrontation and will do anything to avoid it. Sometimes that is not always a good thing. I’m more likely to backdown and apologize even if I know something is owed to me. This week was dedicated to confrontations and getting what is deserved of me.

 

June 19: Asked a teammate for extra tickets for the football game. As you may recall, I’m a member of the Trenton Freedom Football team. For each game, we only get two free tickets. That’s usually never enough and most people end up asking other team mates for me.For the first time ever, I took a cue from one of my teammates and asked everybody if I could have an extra ticket. After a few days, I finally got my free ticket and I don’t think I was a nuisance to anyone. Fear averted.

June 20: Asked for a free ebook in exchange for a review.  A company tweeted a deal for an ebook sold at $19.99 about not paying student loans. Considering there were no reviews for it, I figured I would ask for a free copy in exchange for a free book. The writers didn’t budge, so they are without a review and I’m without an ebook. The plus side is no one criticized me for asking! Fear averted.

June 21: Wore my hair in a puff/afro.  I love my natural hair, but I’m always worried that everyone else might not. My dance coach always asked me to wear my hair very curly for dance team performances, so I decided to wear my hair in it’s natural curly state in fear that it wouldn’t be well received. Much to my surprise, most people loved it and I got several compliments.

June 22: Emailed a business in regards to diversity. I browsed a dance clothing company and realized that 95% of people in the catalogue were blonde. There was no sign of anyone with any diversity. I decided to email an administrator at the company to confront them about the lack of diverse representation and suggested I be the first African American model. While they didn’t offer me a modeling job, they also didn’t scold me for being so bold.  Fear averted!

June 23: Confronted a business about low wages.  I came across a job post advertising content creation job consisting of writing health related blog posts of 500 words at $10 each. Rather than ignore the post, I risked scrutiny by emailing the person and letting them know that they are essentially paying way less than minimum wage once they figure in the time for research, writing and edits. Of course I didn’t get a response back.

June 24: Called Rider University Financial Aid. No body likes speaking with employees for the companies they own money to . I think that feeling of fear and hate is intensified when it comes to student loans. However, I had to make the phone call to inquire about a payment I was late on. Though it wasn’t a pleasant conversation, I didn’t get yelled at or belittled and I was able to make my payment. I think it’s safe to say, Fear averted!

June 25: Took the lead on planning a friends party. I never take charge. It’s so much responsibility and it stressful. But today I ignored the stress and fears of messing things up by agreed to lead the planning of my friend’s going away/girl’s night out get together. The planning has only just begun so I can’t report anything yet. But I’ll keep you posted.

The Best Way to Enjoy Summer: Unplug and Disconnect

I don’t say I hate things a lot, but I HATE Facebook. However, judging by the post I wrote on it a few months ago and the unplugamount of times I log onto it every day, you’ll never know it. As annoying as it is, there’s something about seeing the messy posts your ‘friends” make about their crappy boyfriends, horrible jobs  and struggle with loans. On the other side, it can be somewhat depressing to learn of a “friend” who just bought a house while I’m still managing to deal with my student loan debt. And no matter how often I complain about it, I still manage to find myself glued to Facebook rather than connecting with friends, family, business partners or the great outdoors.

If it’s not Facebook, it’s Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram. Is it time consuming? Yes it is. But every time I questioned it, I reminded myself that it’s my job to be connected.  It wasn’t until recently that I realized that was a bunch of crap. Sure my job is to stay connected, but is being attached to my iPhone, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Pinterest and my tablet helping me do that?

Judging by the amount of times I’ve had to decline in-person networking events because of the amount of emails I had to read or the countless number of ignored  press event invitations because of the need to  “live-tweet”  a Twit chat, I would think not. Just because “connection” is only a few clicks away and only requires I be behind a screen doesn’t mean I’m connected. In fact, other than their font of choice, I’m convinced I don’t know these people at all.  

That’s why it only makes sense for me to unplug and disconnect for the summer. Starting July 1st, I am disconnecting from Facebook so I can focus on developing true connections rather than the artificial ones that we’ve become accustom to. I want to remember what it’s like to make a client laugh when discussing similar work stressors over lunch. I want to remember what it’s like to breathe in fresh summer air. Most importantly, I want to revisit the tingly feeling I get when recognizing that I’ve built more than just a business partnership, but a relationship. Unfortunately, I’ve found that it’s not possible for me to experience any of these things when dealing with the urge to be plugged to all things social media and technology. My guess is you can’t either.

If you are anything like me, you’re probably shaking your head in disagreement because you are such a fabulous multitasking-pro who has no problems plugging into the real world and technology. Don’t believe me? When was the last time you were able to engage fully on Facebook providing meaningful responses while being completely present in your family’s life? How about the last time you had no issue ignoring the email notification or Facebook alert on your phone while on a lunch date with your spouse? I’m willing to bet you weren’t as present in either situation as you would like. You might even say you were disconnected.

The truth is our brains are exhausted from attempting to doing it all. We’ve over exerted ourselves trying to be inclusive online that we’ve gone M.I.A in other areas of our lives making us miss out on true connections. I say it’s time for us to take a rest for the summer.

Deactivate Facebook, put down the smartphone and limit your time on email so you can truly connect. We won’t be able to truly plug into to people, nature, passion and summer unless we learn to unplug from the things that has taken over so much over lives. 

If unplugging for the summer sounds hard, try unplugging for an hour or even one day. You might be amazed with the change you’ll experience. Disconnecting might even make you happier, less stressed, a better employee and more positive and a networking machine. After all there’s more to life than recognizing a carefully selected profile picture and concocting Facebook statuses to earn hundreds of likes. And if you are worried about all the drama you’ll be missing from high school friends, think about how happy you’ll be when you’re electric or phone bill is much lower due to decrease in data and electricity usage.

 

Do you think you’ve missed out on a lot by living in connectivity? How do you plan to fully plug into the summer?

 

TERRIfic Quip: Sometimes it takes losing yourself in to really find yourself again.