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You Are Worth It: A Step by Step Guide to Creating the Life That You Deserve

health & nutrition Apr 27, 2019

Hey Queen! Thanks for being here.

Today, I’m going to share with you the top four  tools that I have implemented into my life that have made a significant impact in creating the life that I deserve (and that you deserve too!) These tools cover alllll the bases: financial, mental, physical, and emotional health.  

All too often, we forget that our health goes far deeper than eating a handful of kale or lifting a dumbbell. Our health is steeped in our relationship with money, who we choose to surround ourselves with, the media we consume, and our gut health.

I’ve compiled this list of tools because I know that taking charge of your health isn’t a simple task. We are always a work in progress; an ongoing project. We are always on a journey of creating the very best versions of ourselves.

This journey is not going to be easy, but I promise you that it will be worth it. So thank you so much for showing up today; thank you for caring about yourself enough to read this and to truly let it soak in.

Let’s create the life you deserve. You are worth it.

1.) Focus On Your Finances

Gaining control over your finances is a small drop in the bucket towards taking charge of your life. When you finally feel a sense of control surrounding your finances, you will feel more empowered to make those important moves in every area of your life. Let’s be clear: the amount of money that you do or don’t possess will never equate to your inherent worth as a human. I like to look at money as a useful tool that can be used to create epic and lasting change in your personal life, your professional life, and every area in between. And I get it. Dealing with money or lack thereof can feel overwhelming, intimidating, or just plain confusing. But it doesn’t have to be that way.  

Sometimes, the best way to care for yourself is to confront the feelings that are uncomfortable to feel. Engage with the ideas that scare you. Question your reality. What is real for you and what are you allowing and accepting simply because it’s convenient?  If you want change, if you want to level up, you have to think bigger. Expect more from yourself. CHOOSE the uncomfortable spaces to sit in. To challenge yourself. To prove to yourself that you will ALWAYS show up for yourself.

Here are three tangible steps to take charge of your finances that you can put into action TODAY:

Examine Your Relationship with Money

Managing and gaining control of your finances is crucial to understanding your relationship with money. Whether you’re a saver or a spender, or perhaps maybe a little of both, you have underlying beliefs about money. And I want you to know that there’s so much power in that. Your beliefs can trigger a catalyst for a positive change in your life, or they can simply hold you back. Let’s put it this way: you can have a million dollars in your bank account, but if your money isn’t working for you, your shit is broken.  Speaking from experience, I’ve worked hours at jobs and barely had enough money to pay rent. I’ve also had thousands of dollars in my bank account. In both instances, I felt broke. Why? My perspective of money was broken. My mindset around money couldn’t grow because it was planted in scarcity.

And I know I’m not alone in this. You’ve also probably been in a position where money makes you straight up uncomfortable. You avoid thinking about your finances, talking about your finances, or even looking at your bank accounts. Why? Well, it goes deeper than the amount of zeroes floating in your bank account (zeroes behind a number or just straight up goose eggs). Underneath it all, it’s not about the amount you have or don’t have, but rather your beliefs surrounding those amounts.

Let’s face it: we all have underlying beliefs surrounding money. Whether conscious or unconscious, these beliefs are present. We are often influenced by our childhood and the values we observed growing up. Maybe you observed the simple things your parents did, like clip coupons or complain that they never had enough money to buy the newest tv. Perhaps, you were given money in your birthday card with no hesitation or an underlying expectation with how to spend it. You could blow it on shopping or save it for college. There’s so many ways that our surroundings influence how we save and spend our money. Even deeper than that, our surroundings can inherently influence how we feel about money. Maybe,  swiping your card gives you a fleeting moment of jubilant relief. On the other hand, perhaps the simple act of swiping your card induces anxiety. In both instances, you may have the money to pay the item off, but your gut can be telling you two different things depending on your values and beliefs surrounding money. For example, let’s say you’re buying a new pair of shoes. Great! Fun! You’re getting new shoes and you have the money to afford them. But instead of being able to truly and completely enjoy the purchase, you hear your dad’s voice in the back of your head. “Jenny, I know you like those shoes. But think of the practical things you could be spending that money on. Do you really need those?” Feelings of guilt flood in. Again, it’s not the price of the shoes that made Jenny feel guilty; it was the simple act of buying them. When saving or spending money is associated with mindsets, feelings, and beliefs, we are more likely to respond in an emotional way. Jenny’s father expressed pride and joy when Jenny saved money. He expressed discontentment and disapproval when Jenny spent money on what he deemed to be unnecessary items.  Like Jenny, Sarah was also raised with a penny pinching father who stressed the idea of saving. However, her experience led to her respond in a completely different matter. Like Jenny, Sarah goes out out shopping for shoes. Without much thought, she decides that she wants them; she buys them. Her impulse to want and buy might stem from the conscious or unconscious deprivation she may have felt as a child. Like Jenny, if she wanted something “extra” growing up, it was seen as being impractical or irresponsible. Her father would frown upon frivolous purchases such as a pair of shoes. And although Sarah’s mindset surrounding money is  practically the opposite of what her father tried to instill in her, her mindset is still largely influenced, as is Jenny’s. As you can see, being content with our financial situation and how we view money goes deeper than the money that is or isn’t sitting in our bank account. Ultimately, financial freedom comes from the ability to form a healthy relationship with saving, spending, and mastering your overall feelings surrounding money.

Hire a Financial Advisor

One day, a friend of mine told me about her experience working with a financial advisor and how it completely changed her life and her business. She recommended that I work with a consultant at AdvisHER.  Founded by, Brittan Leiser, a female financial advisor, AdvisHER is designed to serve as an empowering, educational, and less overwhelming way for women to learn more about the wonderful world of personal finance.

Brittan Leiser, head of AdvisHER, has a deep-rooted passion in helping women reach their full potential. “In general, I am incredibly passionate about helping women see, feel, and know their value. I believe all women can and should take steps to managing their finances because they’re worth it.”

Download a Budgeting App

If working one on one isn’t you thing, consider downloading an app to budget and track your finances. My current favorite tool for this is called Mint. It’s a free app that I put all of my monthly bills and paychecks into. As I spend, it updates me periodically throughout the month. As we age, we tend to get more bills under our belt. As we get more bills, it becomes more difficult to remember the due date, when they will be taken out of our account, etc. In turn, we end up thinking about these things WAY more than we need to. Sometimes, a simple act of allowing an app to help you will alleviate the impending anxiety that we often feel when it comes to paying or managing bills. Mint will notify you when your phone bill is coming out, update you on how much money you’ve spent on food this month (allowing you to feel better about that coffee date with your bestie), or how much extra money is left in the miscellaneou portion of your budget - creating a sense of ease when it comes to buying your nephew’s birthday present. He wants a new tablet. Now’s your chance to be Auntie of the Year by coming in strong with your budget game.

Let me just reiterate this: your financial stability is not measured by how much money you do or don’t have in your bank account. Your financial stability is created and cultivated through being honest with yourself and how money makes you feel. Explore these questions: Does the thought of spending money excite you or scare you? Does money create a sense of freedom and opportunity or scarcity and discomfort? Now, explore the answers to those questions. Really, take time to listen to what your mind is telling you. Too often we bury the uncomfortable feelings. I challenge you to identify the underlying beliefs and feelings surrounding your finances. Then, and only then, will you will be able to authentically move forward in every area of your life. Hiring a financial advisor, downloading a budgeting app, or simply discussing your plans and thoughts with a friend are all helpful and practical tools to help you get started. And that’s the key word. Just start. Start when it’s scary. Start when you’re sitting in those uncomfortable feelings. I challenge you to stop putting off the important moves and replacing it with “someday”. The time to invest in you is right now. Invest in your mental health. Invest in your physical health. Invest in your personal growth. Know that you are worth it.  

2.) Cultivate a Community

As a famous chubby guy once said, “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.” Oh yeah, that inspiring chubby guy was Buddha, and he sure dropped a lot of wisdom bombs back in the day. But seriously, if you think about it, that statement is so true.

If you’re surrounding yourself with low-level thinkers, you will be a low level thinker. That’s just facts. And science. They did a study to test the famous theory of “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. What did they find out? Well, your life is actually influenced by way more than five people. In fact, people you haven’t even met yet can and do influence you. Yep. You are actually influenced by your friends, your friend’s friends, and even the friends of your friends! Crazy stuff, huh? Yup. Your circle may influence lifestyle changes such as weight gain or chronic habits such as smoking or exercising. It’s not all negative, though. Studies show that having happy friends can make you 6% happier. So the moral of the story is, you are who you surround yourself with. And who your friends surround themselves with. And so on. Your environment heavily influences your thoughts, actions, and mindset. So, unless you’re isolating yourself under a rock and pulling a Patrick from Bikini Bottom on us (Spongebob reference, anyone?), you’re most likely influenced by the characters and actions of others. So the question is this: If influence from our environment is inevitable, how can we cultivate a community of higher level thinkers?

Consider these five questions:

  1. What are your values and what values do you want to be aligned within the community?
  2. What is the purpose and goal of creating or joining a community?
  3. How often do you want to engage with your community (ex: daily, weekly, monthly, etc.)?
  4. How do you want to structure your community (ex: private Facebook group, Meetup, Google group, in-person meeting, dinner party etc.)?
  5. What do you have to offer the group and what do you want to receive? How can you share and collaborate?

Find what works for you.

As you make moves to  seek out and cultivate your ideal community, keep in mind that it’s natural to feel a little lost and out of place sometimes. We are all unique humans trying our best to navigate this life; that’s why having a supportive community that truly resonates with your core will be imperative to your success. And I get it, we’re all different. Some of us are introverts, some are extroverts, and heck, there’s even some ambiverts out there. What lights my fire might not light yours; that’s okay. So maybe going to community events isn’t your thing; perhaps you’d rather just stay home. I totally get it. I have great news for you. There’s a way to cultivate girl boss communities from under your Sherpa blanket as you’re curled up in fetal position. The answer is: Vina.

Vina is an app made for women, by women. Think of it kind of like a Tinder app but instead of using it to meet a partner, you’re using it to link up with other boss babes in your area.

As you begin to use the app, you’ll start setting up your profile by taking a little personality test. It’ll prompt you with statements like, “When it comes to by job…” and you’re able to pick an answer in a venn diagram. So you may answer, “Live to work”, “Work to live”, or the best of both worlds, “A balancing act”. This allows you to find other women who have compatible values and mindsets. After six short questions detailed with super cute graphics, you’re prompted to join a community. Communities include: artists and designers, athletes, bloggers, cancer survivors, cat owners, chic geek, dancing queens, divorcees, DIY enthusiasts, dog owners, entrepreneurs, foodies, LGBTQI…. And the list goes on. As you can see, you have leverage to gain connections through personal interests as well as your career of choice. You’re able to select as many communities that resonate with YOU. Next, you fill out a small section of your profile that details more about your intentions of creating this profile. Samples include: “My idea of a good time is…” Or, “I’m looking to meet…” So, you can see where the similarities to Tinder come in. Except for instead of a possible creepy and regrettable first date, you’ll be interacting with women who have explicitly matched with your specific interests and ambitions.

Overall, it’s absolutely imperative that you are intentional with who and what your spending your time on. Time is a nonrenewable resource. Once today passes, it’s gone forever. So use your precious minutes to grow, to flourish, and to seek out events and people that light your soul on fire. Recognize the unlimited power in uniting with others who are feeding the same flame. Good luck and happy swiping, sis.

3.) Consume with Caution   

I get it. We all love bumping to “Thotiana” or Drake from time to time. And while it’s fun to improve our twerking skills, it’s even more fun to improve our mind and connect to sources of inspiration. Here are some of my favorite lady bosses that inspire me on the daily. Soak in some inspo from women who are killing the game of business, life, and mental health:

Earn Your Happy: Lori Harder

Lori Harder is a self described one of my favorite lady bosses of all time. She keeps it real when it comes to sharing some of personal struggles regarding childhood trauma, body image, and overcoming obstacles as an entrepreneur. When you’re listening to her podcast, it’s as if you’re listening to a friend. As you begin to listen, you’ll quickly discover that you have a lot of bags to unpack. Bags that you never even thought were full. This podcast creates a bridge between the “grind” mentality and taking time to listen to what your body and mind are telling you. I highly recommend this one if you struggle with showing yourself patience.

I recommend:

342: Fear Is Here To Help You

FEAR. Let’s talk about it. If fear didn’t exist, I bet you that we would all be out here doing the things that we WANT to be doing. We let fear guide us away from all the things we want in life, and it’s about time we stop seeing it as something negative. Today I’m sharing how fear has held me back, and how I’m using it as a positive tool to live the life I know I deserve. (And how you can, too!)

Unf*ck Your Brain: Kara Loewentheil

Kara is a former lawyer who describes herself as a fun, non-judgmental combo of wise elder, feminist mentor, and hilarious best friend... except she gives way better advice than your friends. UFYB podcasts delivered as if you are in a life-coaching session, while still having a few hearty laughs in between the serious stuff. This one is a perfect listen if you’re needing a pep talk or someone to tell you like it really is.

I recommend:

UFYB 67: The Struggle Buss (How to Deal with Negative Emotions)

You don’t have to change your negative thoughts right away - it’s okay to sit with them for a bit. I like to call this the Struggle Bus. You might be struggling with some negative emotion, but you’re still moving forward. You’re still showing up to everything you need to do.

The Marie Forleo Podcast: Marie Forleo

The Marie Forleo Podcast: take one 7 minute podcast daily and use as directed. This podcast is a perfect option for busy mom’s, aspiring entrepreneurs with little to no free time, or simply a woman with a short attention span. She keeps it short, simple, but effective and powerful.

I recommend:

201: How to be Kind Without Being Viewed as Weak or Naive

When it comes to being a leader in the workplace, kindness can often be looked at as a negative attribute. From the lens of a self-proclaimed eternal optimist, Marie dives into core strengths and how we often stifle the parts of us that make us the strongest, the most unique, and resilient individuals. In the words of Marie herself, “strength isn’t pretending to be something you’re not. It’s having the courage to live from the truth of who you are.” This episode is that little extra push for anyone who may be struggling with self-doubt, self-confidence, or simply living in the truth in who you are, especially within the workplace.

4) Happy Gut = Happy Life

Have you ever had a "gut-wrenching" experience? Do certain situations make you "feel nauseous"? Have you ever felt "butterflies" in your stomach? We use these expressions for a reason. The gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion. Anger, anxiety, sadness, elation — all of these feelings (and others) can trigger symptoms in the gut.

Our gut typically has four types of bacteria that reside in it: Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteriaor Proteobacteria .

It may help to think of your gut bacteria as superheroes and villains. To make it extra fun, we’ll title it something like: “Battle of the Gut Bacteria: A Fight To Preserve Our Gut Flora”. Our good bacteria is constantly fighting to save our gut flora and fight off the bad bacteria. But, just like Superman, our good gut bacteria also has a kryptonite. Instead of a green, crystalline material that we are accustomed to seeing in the comic books, our kryptonite comes in the form of refined carbohydrates, excess sugar, lack of fiber, alcohol, lack of physical activity, lack of sleep, smoking, too much stress, and not enough pre/probiotics. So, as you can see, our good gut bacteria has plenty of odds stacked against its battle to preserve our precious gut flora. But, the good news is, all of these are lifestyle choices.

You might be thinking, “Oh wow, Angie. I do a lot of those things. How can I tell if my gut flora is ‘off’?”

Here some telltale signs that your bad gut bacteria is winning the battle inside of your body:

1.) Upset Stomach

Stomach disturbances like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn can all be signs of an unhealthy gut. A balanced gut will have less difficulty processing food and eliminating waste.

2) Increased sugar cravings

The more sugar and processed foods in your diet, the higher your cravings will be. An imbalanced gut caused by sugar will manifest in the form of inflammation.

3.) Gaining or losing weight without making changes to your diet or exercise habits

An imbalanced gut can impair your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar, and store fat.

4.) Sleep disturbances such as insomnia or poor sleep.

The majority of the body’s serotonin, a hormone that affects mood and sleep, is produced in the gut.

WHY is gut health important?

“Numerous studies in the past two decades have demonstrated links between gut health and the immune system, mood, mental health, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders, skin conditions, and cancer.”  As a bikini competitor, it is imperative for me to monitor my hormones to ensure sure that I am staying on track with my goals and at optimum health for MY body. Keep in mind, health looks different on everyone, so be sure to find what works for YOU and your body. Be mindful of what you’re consuming and how it’s affecting your body. Here are some helpful ways to take control of your gut health:

 

  • Consume Probiotics.

 

Probiotics are fermented products that feed our good gut bacteria, resulting in a healthier, more functional gut. Some of my favorite ways to get probiotics in are:

  • A probiotic supplement
  • Kombucha
  • Kimchi
  • Greek yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Tempeh

2.) Assess Food Intolerances

Food intolerances are different than food allergies. A food intolerance occurs when your body has trouble breaking down your food, resulting in gas, bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea.

If your gut health is affected by any of these things, you may benefit from a tool that I’ve used in the past: Everlywell at home lab testing. Everlywell tests allow you to see the exact hormones and foods that may be affected by your lifestyle habits. For example, they offer a food intolerance kit to test your body’s reaction to over 96 foods. This will give you a pretty good idea if that big pot of chili you make on Superbowl Sunday is doing you more harm than good.

3.) Limit Sugar

Added sugar is in practically everything. Now, I’m not saying go totally cold-turkey and become restrictive with your diet, but more so increasing awareness about what you’re putting into your body. In order to work on overcoming our habits surrounding sugar, it’s important to look at the long term effects of your choices. Would you rather enjoy that cupcake right now and enjoy a fleeting 20 seconds of happiness, or would you rather enjoy a day or even an entire WEEK filled with energy, joy, and clarity? Your emotions are directly related to what you’re consuming on a daily basis. And if you’re really serious about reaching your maximum physical and mental health gains, remember: goals > cravings.

Today is the day to take charge of your life. It’s time to start making your health, your wealth, and your mental fitness a priority. I believe in you. And I’m here for you.

Angie

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