How To Use Envy As A Tool (Yes, For Real)

How can you use envy as a tool? If you're looking for motivation tips or productivity advice, you might find it in envy. Click through to read more! #motivation #selfhelp

 

I’m scrolling through Instagram as I wait for my coffee to brew when I’m hit by a wave of envy – mouth twisting, eye-narrowing, I-should-click-away envy.

I stare at my screen, fantasizing about the day I can do what this woman does. I feel weak just imagining it. I give myself over to daydreaming about what life would be like if I could do this, too.

What was it that filled me with envy, that morning as I stood in my kitchen?

It was my friend’s Instagram bio. 

“Founder of ______. Dog mom, cheese-eater, carry-on only traveler.” And then her IG feed was fun random photos of her dog and her vacations! No carefully curated, on-brand photos. No push to watch her webinar. No sales pitches. No ‘calls to action.’

She just shared photos of stuff she liked and that was it. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE????

And until that moment, I hadn’t even realized that was something I wanted – to ‘just’ be a business owner, without the pressure of selling and strategizing and monetizing and sharing everything, ever.

(I’m working on it.)

And this epiphany was brought to you by envy – an emotion that gets a bad rap and we all try to avoid. We view envy as weakness or insecurity or a character flaw.
What if we used our envy to learn more about ourselves, what we really want, and what’s possible? Click To Tweet

View Envy as an educator

One of the most common things I hear from students and clients is “I don’t know how to get what I want because I, uh, don’t know what I want.”

To which I say “Good news! One of the fastest ways to figure out what you want is to look at who + what makes you feel envious.” (If you need help figuring out what makes you happy, this free workbook will help!)

For example, I have a friend who owns a gorgeous apartment in a doormanned building in Manhattan. Not envious.

I have another friend who lives in Tulum, has a double-take worthy body and an Instagram following of 95k. 100% not envious.

But my friend who runs a successful company without being on ANY social media? So envious I could weep.

The friends who bought a house on the water, in a Minneapolis suburb, for less than $300,000? Teeth-gnashing envy.

So what does this tell me? It tells me that I want to step away from social media and live on the water. I want to get a good deal on a house. I don’t want to live on the beach or wear my swimsuit all day, every day. I never need to live in NYC.

These might strike you as rather obvious epiphanies, but until I examined my envy, I didn’t realize these things about myself. 

I could very easily have spent years chasing an apartment-in-New York dream or a live-on-the-beach-in-Mexico dream. But when I noticed that my friends had those very things and I didn’t particularly care, I gained insight into the things I truly want.

View Envy as evidence of what’s possible

When we see something that makes us green with envy, it’s easy to think “They got it now I’ll never have it I HATE EVERYTHING.”

What if we viewed envy – and the things that make us feel envious – as evidence of what’s possible?

The fact that Alex can run a very successful writing business from a small town in Hawaii, while being on zero social media platforms is evidence that such a thing is possible. Finding clients, working from a far off time zone, without a funnel or webinars or optimized blog posts? It can be done!

My friends found a house with great bones, at the end of a cul de sac, overlooking a lake, in a first-ring suburb of Minneapolis for $270,000? Sure, they got lucky and they’ve done some work on said house but the fact that such a house was even on the market? Makes me hopeful we can find our dream house. 

Instead of “they have something I want and now I can’t have it” we can view someone else’s success as “they have something I want and now I know that someday I can have it, too.” Click To Tweet

I’d love to hear about your relationship with envy! Do you struggle with it? Resist it? Use it to figure out what you want?

P.S. Hope to see you at The Get What You Want Workshop on Monday!

Web Time Wasters

via hello sunshine

How was your week, friends? I spent Monday – Wednesday on DIY writing retreat (aka holed up in a hotel writing till my hands cramped.)

I’m working on an idea that
a) very much aligns with my values + interests
b) has almost nothing to do with anything I’ve written about here

It’ll be a minute before there’s a website and whatnot, but I’m excited for a totally new, totally different thing.

Links for you!

Ticket for The Get What You Want Workshop are available! When I asked what format you like to learn in I was bowled over with responses that everybody’s sick of/overwhelmed by huge, six and eight-week courses. So we’re doing a two-hour workshop that’s actually digestible and actionable! Click here to grab your ticket + your workbook.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of a DIY writing retreat, here’s how I do mine!

Recommended reading if you know or love someone who was adopted from Korea.

How are detained children treated in other countries?
It takes a lot of money to do this. We’re talking about seven hundred and fifty to seven hundred and seventy-five dollars per day, per child. That’s a lot of money that could be used to do something else. We know that the other options—such as to place them with other family members, in foster-care facilities, in child facilities that are, in fact, living up to court orders or U.S. government settlement agreements—are cheaper.

Related: questions to ask yourself when you’re outraged.

A photo tour of ‘gentlemen’s clubs’ around the U.S.

(audible squeal of joy!!!!)

More joyful squealing.

In the world of online marketing I have soooooo much respect for Melyssa Griffin and how she makes her life about more than selling online courses or making as much money as possible. She’s volunteer teaching business classes at a men’s maximum security prison.

This feels like a plot line from a Pixar movie.

An apartment tour that isn’t just white subway tile and open kitchen shelving!

These family photos made me laaaaaugh!

As someone who very much enjoyed living alone, I loved this essay: Living Alone Is a Revolutionary Act

As we all KonMari our way through our clutter, a good read from my friends at Break The Twitch: Why You Should Stop Donating Your Stuff (and Do This First)
Selling off your items one by one is a conscious act and reminder to be more intentional with future items you bring into your life. Dropping a bunch of things off at the donation center really just makes your clutter someone else’s problem.

Hope you had a great week!

The ‘I Deserve It’ Loophole + The Trick I Use To Beat It

Do you tell yourself "I deserve it" too much? If the usual budgeting tips or diet tips aren't helping, this might be why. Click through for money advice and goal-setting advice you haven't heard before! #goalsetting #habits #budgettips

Picture this: It’s 8 pm on a rainy Friday night and you’re just now leaving work. The week has been a mess of unexpected expenses, grumpy coworkers, boring obligations, and yesterday the cat puked on your white sofa.

Your mind is fried and your spirit is crumpled.

Clearly, the answer is Target.

Two throw pillows, three t-shirts, some face masks, and two art prints? You deserve them.

When you get home? Delivery pizza, a full bottle of red, and three hours of Netflix. “I deeeeseeeerve this!!!!”

Then an hour of Instagram scrolling, because “I deserve it” is the battle cry of the day/week/month/year.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Maybe you swing by Home Goods instead of Target and watch Hulu instead of Netflix. (I like watching late 90s/early 00s teen rom coms and eating noodles with butter + that terrible powdered Parmesan).

We all recognize this scenario because EVERY BLESSED HUMAN engages in some version of this. When we have a bad day – or a good day! – we throw our heads back and howl “I deserve it!” while running full speed towards things that often make our lives worse. The truth is, many of our “I deserve this” choices move us further from the things we say we want. Click To Tweet
If we have credit card debt, ‘treating’ ourselves with a shopping spree is actually a pretty unkind thing to do. If our bodies don’t like dairy or gluten, ‘rewarding’ ourselves with pizza is a peculiar kind of (delicious) torture. 

Imagine if your best friend turned to you over dinner and calmly said “Ya know what? I deserve to be saddled with thousands of dollars of credit card debt for the rest of my life.”

What if she said “I’ve been thinking about it and I really believe that I deserve to sleep poorly every night. And I deserve all the health issues that come with a long-term sleep deficit.”

Or “I’ve worked hard. I deserve low-grade stomach aches several times a week. Yup!”

We’d never let our friends treat themselves this way. We’d stop them mid-sentence and talk some sense into them. But many of us treat ourselves to these self-sabotaging ‘rewards’ on a daily basis. 

So how do we stop these self-defeating, self-sabotaging ‘rewards’?

How to avoid the ‘I deserve it’ loophole

When you find yourself saying “I deserve it” + treating yourself, be really honest about the effects of these things you “deserve.” Do you DESERVE more credit card debt? An upset stomach? To sleep poorly? Click To Tweet

Take a moment to look a few hours or days down the line. How will this thing you ‘deserve’ impact your life?

If your reward looks like debt, poor health, low-quality sleep, unhealthy relationships, or wasted time? YOU DO NOT DESERVE THAT. No one does.

Instead, think about what you truly deserve and how you can treat yourself in a way that helps you get that.

Do you deserve rejuvenation and relaxation after a busy week? Maybe the answer is a walk next to a body of water, re-reading a favorite novel, and going to bed early after one hour of Netflix (not three).

Do you deserve to feel pampered because you spent all week dealing with other people’s needs? Maybe you could treat yourself with a long sauna at the gym, spend 30 extra seconds making your meal look nice (you’d be amazed what a drizzle of olive oil can do!) and buy one new scented candle.

We all deserve to feel good, supported, and cared for. We all deserve the occasional treat or reward for a long week or a job well done. Let’s make sure our rewards get us closer to what we want, rather than further away. 

P.S. If you want help ending this sort of self-sabotaging behavior, download in The Get What You Want Workshop! You guys told me you were sick of six-courses you couldn’t finish so we’re trying two hours instead! Click here to download your workbook!

Web Time Wasters

How was you week, friends? We hosted old friends, worked through our ‘last summer in South Minneapolis to-do list,’ and I was on Twin Cities Live talking about how OMG YOU DON’T NEED TO BUY A NEW OUTFIT FOR EVERY WEDDING YOU ATTEND.

Under the heading of ‘Saving Money’:  If you’re an Amazon Prime member, ‘Prime Days‘ officially starts on Monday and there are already some deals up.

I know maaaaany of us have complicated feelings about Amazon and how Jeff Bezos runs his company.

When it comes to stuff like this, I think it’s worth remembering that choosing exclusively shop at locally-owned businesses, only buy ethically-produced clothing, only buy organic produce or never, ever shop at big box retailers is something of a privilege.

Not everyone can afford $200 organic linen pants. Not everyone has the time/energy to sift through the racks at thrift stores to buy things second hand. Sometimes you have to choose between driving 45 minutes to buy your vegan protein powder at a locally owned health food store … or just buying it on Amazon and saving time, money, and gasoline.

Obviously, we should all do our best to make our spending align with our values. 95% of the things I own are second hand! I eat 99% meat-free! But it’s okay if sometimes aligning your spending and values means having more time to spend with your friends and family by ordering something online from a big ol’ company.

P.S. Here’s a list of 23 life-improving things I sweaaaaar by that you can (mostly) buy on Amazon.

P.P.S. If you’re a member of Amazon Prime, make sure you’re making use of all the benefits!

Other links for you:

Daaaaang but this is a bathroom makeover! (Stealing the idea for how they painted that vanity!)

I really appreciated Alison’s break down on how bloggers make money – and how we’re knee-capping our favorite bloggers when we refuse to click ‘like’ on an Instagram post that happens to include sponsored content.

Somewhat related: Simple tips for success

This Might Take Awhile.
Let’s talk about all the ways you’ve tried to paper over or speed up life’s hard parts, when the goodness is often stuck somewhere in the mess like a Double Dare flag buried in whipped cream and slime.

The Case For Curiosity (And 20 Ways To Build It Into Your Life)  

Related! Why You Need A ‘New Things’ Practice + How To Create One

Discuss! Politicians promote the idea that hard work can carry you anywhere. But the American dream is just that — a figment of our collective imagination.
A 2017 study tracking U.S. immigrants and their children over recent decades found that these kids do tend to rise up the social ranks, but mainly until they match the social status their parents once held in their former country. So what looks like upward mobility — child of immigrant parents climbs comfortably into the American middle class — is really what the authors describe as a “reproduction of their parents’ pre-migration status.”

Somewhat related: A World Cup Champion Also Struggles to Afford Childcare
Of my career in the NWSL, I’ve only played one season where I wasn’t a mom. Trying to figure out a routine is probably the hardest thing, and because I got traded a lot, I had to find new babysitters and child care all the time. Child care in particular was very difficult, because it’s expensive and we don’t get paid much. If I put [my son] in a daycare, that’s my entire paycheck, you know?

Winona Ryder is the friend we all need.

I have nothing but respect for this woman’s hustle and giant joke/performance art/scam.

When I get troll-y DMs and emails, my response is very, very similar to this.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Web Time Wasters

What’d you do for the 4th, friends? I was back in my hometown, swimming in lakes, eating sweetcorn, and catching up with friends from high school. I hope your time off was equally refreshing!

Links for you

If you have conflicted feelings about celebrating the U.S. right now, this quote might help.

This time of year can be a minefield for your money and happiness – attending high school reunions, family reunions, seeing everyone’s vacation photos on Instagram, spending $$$$ to attend weddings. I made a video about ways to deal with all this, things to say to people + things to say to yourself. You can watch it here.

I chatted with Tami Hackbarth this week about self-care and how money + habits contribute to it! Click here to listen.

FASCINATING! Can you forget things on purpose?
What we found was that when people engaged more with the information they were trying to forget, they were, in certain conditions, more successful at forgetting it. If they engaged with the memory too much, they strengthened it; if they completely disengaged the memory, it wasn’t modified at all; but if they engaged just a little bit, or a moderate amount, then the memory was more susceptible to forgetting, a finding we validated by testing them behaviorally later on.

We had a good discussion about this article in our Money & Happy Facebook group: ‘Class-passing’: how do you learn the rules of being rich?

I loved this house tour and its mix of new and old.

Wearing this every day this summer.

This made me smile.

Co-signed: The secret to getting ahead is doing the work other people don’t want to do.

I loved this interview with Alanis Morissette and I’d probably react the same way the writer did.
I knew that there was no chance of me being an objective journalist in our time together. I knew that I would have protected her with my body if the aforementioned man had pushed his way into the room. I knew I would tell her I too had left Canada at the age of 19, that Jagged Little Pill was my first cassette tape, and that I had three children, while she sat there beatifically gestating her own third. The question was: Would this word-vomit emerge from me the minute she sat down, or would it ooze out at odd moments? (The first, mainly.)

Ahhhh! I love this DIY!

Yessss. A good reminder if ‘swimsuit season’ has you up in your head, obsessing about your body or weight.

Hope you had a lovely week, friends!

Web Time Wasters

Alanna Royale – I Know (Music Video) from Solar Cabin on Vimeo.

How was your week, friends? I had a super busy week of mutually beneficial brain picking, walking around lakes, and joyfully fussing with the yard. This weekend we hosted a family barbecue, helped a friend celebrate her graduation, and protested the separation of immigrant families.

Links for you!

The fastest way to help immigrants separated from their children

How do you regain your confidence after a stumble?

Kenny bike commutes to work every day so I loved this cycling safety hack involved a … pool noodle? (Thus far, I have not convinced him to do this.)

What if you disconnected exercise from eating? Like, exercise wasn’t ‘punishment’ for eating something ‘bad’?

Who doesn’t love a good listicle? Parenting hacks that I’ve truly never heard before.

One of the habits I picked up from years of traveling international on my own is to a) stay out of arm’s reach of any man I walk past
b) cover my chest with the arm that’s nearest them. Depressing, right? Thus, I enjoyed this article: How to play Patriarchy Chicken: why I refuse to move out of the way for men
If you don’t move out of the way for men, your commute changes. For one thing – I’m not going to lie about this – you do collide with a lot of men. This is where the name of the game comes from. You need to really commit to Patriarchy Chicken: don’t let your social instinct to step to the side kick in. Men are going to walk into you: that isn’t your fault.

Somewhat related: Cardinal rules for safe, solo lady travel.

Some thoughts on minimum wage, the businesses that pay minimum wage, and who’s ‘supposed to’ be working those jobs.

YESSSSS. What’s the difference between ‘having boundaries’ and ‘refusing to interact with anyone who doesn’t do everything exactly the way you want‘?

When it comes to sustainability, it can feel like the ‘best’ thing to do is replace all the things we currently own with bamboo this, stainless steel that, organic cotton everything. A good reminder.

And if you think sustainable stuff is too expensive, remember that buying second hand is always better than buying pretty much ANYTHING new. Even those cute organic linen pants! If you’re overwhelmed by thrifting, I share all my best tips here.

One of things I teach in Make It Stick Habit School is the importance of building new neural pathways. If you’re like “Huh?” this article is a good place to start: What It Takes To Change Your Brain’s Patterns After Age 25
If you want to keep your brain agile, you’re going to have to hone in on parts of the brain that you use less frequently, says Swart. And this new task has to be so challenging that you’ll feel mentally and physically exhausted after practicing the task because you’re forcing your brain to work in ways it’s unaccustomed to. This is the only way you’ll actually grow new neurons strong enough to connect with existing neurons, forming new pathways.

Eggplant “bacon”?

Correct.

Also, a periodic reminder that if you appreciate my taste in links, you might want to follow me on Pinterest! I pin all sort of good stuff over there!