Own Your Strength Shirt and Apparel Discount

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In case you missed it, the Own Your Strength Shirt design is now available in The Chic Life Spreadshirt shop (click to view t-shirt and tank top options).

Own Your Strength Shirt

One of the other Own Your Strength shirt design options had a ton of votes, too, and also has a different feel, so I’m hoping to add that to the shop later. Plus, I had a couple other ideas for fun shirts I’m hoping to roll out in the next couple days (or maybe tonight?!), including one fun one that I think will be fun to wear at Zumba Convention.

I’ve talked before about why I like the Own Your Strength line, but I really do feel like it’s an empowering message that you can take with you from everyday life to the gym. Many people look for strength without realizing how strong they already are. Own Your Strength!

*APPAREL DISCOUNT*

From now till August 12th, save 20% on orders over $30 with discount code SUMMER14. Happy shopping! :)

Don’t Forget to Live {Motivation Monday}

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I don’t know how it happened, but I feel like I’ve spent the last few years taking life a little too seriously. Like I was focused on work and goals and I had to get everything done before I could take a break and nothing ever seemed quite done enough so the breaks never (or rarely) came. I have a hard time resting when I feel like things are incomplete. It leaves me with this annoying, unsettled feeling. But, I’m learning that sometimes you just have to carve out time for breaks, rest, and…well…fun!

Don't Forget to Live {Motivation Monday}

This quote sums up what I’m realizing lately:

“Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live.”

~Margaret Fuller

I’m an analytical, Type-A, goal-oriented person. Goal-oriented. Not fun-oriented. If I think back from even college, it seems the goals have been: get a job, get an apartment, get a better job, get a house, work on a bigger project at work, work on the house, etc. Work, work, work! But, what about getting a life? I’m thankful that many of my hobbies, though sometimes crossing over to the work lane, are mostly fun and stress-relieving. But, trying to do much of anything, even good things, can be overwhelming if you don’t balance things well or at least remember that hey, these are things you’re doing because you enjoy them. Sometimes, it’s about your point of view.

I’ve been immersing myself in a lot of interesting books that are helping me change my perspective on things. One standout is You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. I listened to the whole audiobook in my car over many trips to work and a couple road trips afar. I loved it, took many notes, and promised to listen to it again soon. I even got the paperback version so I could reference it and go through some of the exercises. I’d forgotten about it in the last few weeks. But, just as I was having a low moment in the last week or so, I re-stumbled upon this chapter, and it was exactly what I needed to read…especially the last page:

Don't Forget to Live {Motivation Monday}

Here are a couple stand-out lines from the chapter called “The Drama of Overwhelm”:

“The belief that taking time off will cause your entire life to collapse is not only unhealthy, but it’s arrogant (the world will go on if you stop working, you see). If you don’t take time off, our body will eventually put its foot down and make you sick.”

“…making time to do the things that inspire you should also be a priority because, um, what’s the point of living life without them?”

“This is not a luxury reserved for people who are richer, smarter, or less bogged down than you are. It’s a luxury reserved for people who take the time to figure it out and choose to design a more fun-filled life.”

So, readers, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed like me, remember to make time for rest and fun. I know it’s one of those “easier said than done” kinds of things, but I really do believe that you simply have to make the time for it. This is something I find challenging myself, but I’m ready to work on it. What about you? Enjoying life isn’t a special gift reserved for everyone else. It’s ours if we want it! Let’s take it!

Follow Your Dreams

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I believe in always keeping an eye out for signs. And this one showed up right in front of my face just yesterday – Follow Your Dreams:

Follow Your Dreams

{This isn’t an actual photo of the sign. I made this graphic using a photo I took on vacation. But, I still wanted to pass the message on to you guys.}

I’m at the beach taking my first vacation of the year. I’ve been hoarding my vacation days, and I’m so ready to cash some in. The plan: spend a few glorious days at the beach with my family. On the agenda: eat good food, relax, sleep, think, rest, read books, veg out, chill, cook, and dream. I also brought along a couple books to get my wheels spinning on some analysis (on the blog and myself, mostly). Times like this where my mind isn’t so cluttered with work problems and what not from the daily grind are great for planning and soul-searching.

Anywho, this quote is something that I currently find both highly motivating and frustrating at the same time. I love hearing success stories of people who have followed their dreams, and I hope to have a success story of my own to share one day. My current dilemma is that in order to follow your dreams, you have to know what they are, and many of mine aren’t fully defined at the moment. I’ve always been a very goal-driven person, especially growing up. There were many levels of goals to work towards when I was training as a figure skater, and I was also very driven in school. But, my goals have gotten a little hazy since then.

What do you want to be when you grow up? I haven’t figured this out, though I do know at a high level that I want to live this: “Do what you love, love what you do.” Some other high level guidelines that motivate me are: to help others, make the world a better place than I found it, and lift those around me.

And though I may not have the big picture fully figured out, I have some small goals in mind.

One thing I’ve been wanting to do for awhile is create a web site to help people like me (and maybe you!?) find local restaurants that may have any or all of the following: support local farmers, use organic ingredients, are eco-friendly, use non-GMO ingredients, etc. I believe this site would help not just the locavores or organic eaters, but small business owners and farmers, too. I think about this site all the time when I’m looking for a new restaurant to check out in town or when I’m on vacation. In fact, this site/app would have been extremely useful on my current vacation. Why doesn’t this site exist yet so I can use it? Oh right, because I haven’t made it yet. Slacker.

Seriously, I blame much of my progress on lack of time, but if I’m being honest, I think I have a common problem that many of us face – fear of failure. I’ve done so much (educated myself, networked, attended conferences, and more), and yet something holds me back. I thought it was time for awhile, but the fear of failing makes a lot of sense.

So, what’s next? Get over the fear and get going. It’s easier said than done, but taking small steps will help.

Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take small steps.

~Saul Bellow

It’s time to get over the fear. To think positively. To take steps, no matter how small, towards the end goal. It’s time to heed the sign: Follow Your Dreams.

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Do you think you’d be interested in using a web site/app to find local restaurants in your home town or when you’re traveling? I’d love to chat more! Leave me a comment or shoot me an email at thechiclife at gmail dot com.

Thanks for stopping by!

How to Succeed – Keep Trying {Motivation Monday}

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I’ve been reading a lot of self-improvement books lately, and I’ve been learning some great stuff as I go. Many of the teachings remind me of the Project Think Positive challenge I hosted a couple years ago here on The Chic Life. I tend to get a little negative at times, so I’m working on injecting more positivity into my everyday life. One thing I’d like to do is start the week on a positive note by sharing a quote that inspires me.

This week, the quote I’m sharing is about How to Succeed – Keep Trying {Motivation Monday}:

How to Succeed - Keep Trying {Motivation Monday}

In case you can’t see the image, the quote reads:

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ~Thomas A.. Edison

I’ve felt like many things I’m working on in recent months just aren’t going my way. It’s like no matter how hard I try to make something work, it just doesn’t go as planned. It’s easy to keep going at first. Or when it’s only one or two things going wrong. But when things start piling up, the outlook starts getting more bleak. The easy out is to quit. It’s simple to not try new and interesting things. But, if you want to live an exceptional life and the best you that you can be, you have to keep going. And when hope is low, you have to pull from your will to try one more time. And then one more time again.

I developed a strong sense of determination from my years training in figure skating. When you’re working on a new jump, spin, or other move, it may be months or even years before you finally nail it. If you quit the first time (or even first hundred times) you tried something new and it didn’t work, you’d never learn how to do any moves. You’d never be great.

I remember when I almost gave up on my dreams of being a dance fitness instructor with the company I’d danced with for over two years. I auditioned in 2009 and didn’t make the cut. Luckily, the auditions were held privately, so although most people knew, it was somewhat easy to move on from that failure. Over the next year, I worked with a couple of my instructor friends to learn about how to be an instructor. By the next year, I felt pretty prepared but also extremely apprehensive about auditioning again. Not only could I not imagine how I’d deal with not making it two years in a row, but the last round of auditions was public. Like one of the biggest classes you’d ever teach, with almost a hundred people in the room public. Once the application process opened, I waffled. I was scared of failing again. But, my resolve to become an instructor was greater than my fear of failing. I knew I had to try at least one more time. I pulled out all the courage I had and just went for it. And this time, I made the team! I’ll actually be celebrating my four year dance-versary (anniversary of teaching my first full class solo) this month, and I can’t really imagine it any other way.

Whatever challenges you’re going through now, consider this quote to help motivate you and remember to try just one more time (again and again). Keep going and work towards reaching your fullest potential in all your endeavors. Maybe print the graphic above and post it on your mirror or put it on your desk at work. I’m working to surround myself with positive and motivational words and images, and I’m loving it so far! It definitely puts me in the right frame of mind for success!

What’s your One More Time success story?

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