Web Time Wasters

How was your week, friends? I just got back from another week in Costa Rica leading a retreat for Fit & Fly Girl. I’m weirdly looking forward to having at least two months of flight-free time in my future. Sometimes you just need the time and space to really dig into your life and get some momentum going, ya know?

Links for you!

Breakfast and beauty routines in The Netherlands

Some truth about why it feels weird to break long-term patterns

Related: 5 reasons your good habits don’t stick!

Where I’ve Lived: Eight homes of a 13-year-old former foster kid
When he was 8, Logan moved in with his last foster parents, Shasta and her husband, Ben. They adopted him in 2016. “I just remember going into my room, and it was really cool. I had this fort between two couches where it was warm and squishy. It felt good, like I finally was going to stay somewhere.”

Agreed! Kevin WAS the hottest Backstreet Boy!

Ghost apples

FASCINATING: The lonely life of a yacht influencer
“I used to feel all messed up about my career,” he continued. “I was a short-haul truck driver in the Bronx, and I guess I caught the yacht bug. I’d go to a bookstore, grab a table and read everything I could about yachts. Then, on the very first weekend after I downloaded the Instagram app, right after Instagram became a thing you could download, I went to a luxury boat show and took some of pictures of the yachts. I added some hashtags, and pretty soon I had 800,000 followers. But the quantity doesn’t really matter to the folks who pay me, it’s the quality. Influential people follow me, Gulf state princes and Russian moguls who might actually be able to buy these yachts.”

One of my absolute least favorite things is when people talk about saving a lot of money in a short period of time and then you find out that they a) lived with their parents b) don’t have school debt. ANYBODY CAN SAVE A LOT OF MONEY IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME IF THOSE THINGS ARE IN PLAY.

I will absolutely be making these mushroom ‘scallops’ for a future No Grocery Challenge!

I was on the Life Rebrand podcast talking about redefining happiness for yourself. If you have a podcast, I’d love to be on it! Drop me a line at sarah@yesandyes.org and let’s get a date on the calendar!

I use Canva for pretty much everything – my blog post graphics, Instagram graphics, project proposals. Now they’ve added a whole bunch of new, free stock photos called ‘Natural Women‘ and they are GREAT. Super inclusive and free.

A $700 kitchen makeover!

Hope you had a lovely week!

When To Start A New Habit (and when to keep plugging away at the old ones)

Wondering when to start a new habit? Or if you should keeping working on solidifying an old one? Click through for tips on goal setting, building good habits and breaking bad ones!

I see the question pop into the chat box, followed immediately by three thumbs up emojis.

And then a “Yeah, I was wondering that, too!”

And a “YESSSSS.”

Which is how I realized I should probably write a blog post answering one of the most common questions I get when I talk + teach about habits.

One of the most common questions I get from Make It Stick Habit School students (enrollment for the live version opens March 19th!) is “How will I know that I’ve built my habit? How will I know that it’s ‘done’ and I can move on the next one?”

Which is a great question, right? Because we all want to believe that if we do our morning pages or work out or drink green tea for, like, five days we have a new habit!

But that’s not how it works. If you’re wondering when to start a new habit – or if should keep strengthening an older one – this post is for you.

When To Start A New Habit (+ when to keep plugging away at the old ones)

1. When in doubt, work on your new habit for longer than you think you need to

Have you ever done that thing where you do something good or productive for, like, seven days in a row and then you high five yourself over your new habit? And then you take on another new habit on day eight?

Yeah! Me, too! That’s called “The first two weeks of January, 2002 – 2015”.

It feels good to tell ourselves that a habit is ‘done’ or that it’s solidified! But the truth is that ‘21-days-to-a-new-habit’ thing is total B.S. Psychologists says it’s actually closer to 66 days. And it can vary from 12 days to 265 days (!!!) depending on the person and the habit.

When we tell ourselves that our tender, fragile new habit is firm and ready to face the challenges and temptations of the real world, we’re setting ourselves up for failure.

So here’s my rule of thumb: work on one new habit at a time, for at least 65 days. If you’re not sure if your new habit ‘took’? Work on it even longer.

Habits – just like most things in life – take longer than we’d like. In fact, a truism I’ve come to accept is: Pretty much everything takes twice as long and costs twice as much as we’d like. But if we know that we can budget our time, money, and energy accordingly. Click To Tweet

2. You’ll know your new habit is ‘set’ when your life feels weird without it

I have a nearly-set-in-stone set of morning habits. I’ve been doing them for so long that if I miss one of the habits I feel off balance and incomplete. If I don’t read fiction on the couch? If I don’t make my bed? WHO AM I EVEN I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF.

That awkward incomplete feeling? That’s how you know that a habit is ‘set’ and that it’s truly taken root in your life.

If you feel strange when if you don’t meditate, don’t text your mom, don’t drink a big glass of water with every meal – congrats! You’ve developed a habit that’s part of your life. Go forth and prosper! Enjoy the benefits of a nearly-on-autopilot habit what will make your life awesome without you having to think about it!

But if you feel sneaky or relieved when you skip a habit – like you’re getting away with something – that means you’ve got a ways to go before it’s really part of you life.

But I want to hear from you! Do you try to convince yourself that a habit is solidified way too early? What habit are you working on right now? I’m ‘saving’ my habit for the next round of Habit School so I can work on it alongside everybody!

P.S. How to strengthen your good habit muscle!

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Web Time Wasters

How was your week, friends? We had YET ANOTHER giant snow storm here in Minneapolis. We’ve had to dig trails around the yard so our little dog can go outside! As you read this, I’m back in Costa Rica, leading another retreat for Fit & Fly Girl. Lucky, right? You can follow along on Instagram if you need photos of beaches in your life!

Links for you 

After 20 years + 38 countries, 7 travel tools I won’t shut up about.

Such pretty necklaces!

Every time I share a photo of our dog Loretta in her bright pink, full-body snowsuit people want to know where we got it. Now you know!

A NYFW Street Style Gallery Dedicated to Plus-Size Women

Ooof. Yes. I’ve been here SO MANY TIMES. Get in the water.
“Get in the water,” says my hut. “You love being in the ocean more than anything. You will not regret it. You will feel so alive. Go! Dive in! Just get in for one minute! This is your one and only life! What are you waiting for?”

“But it’s a little cloudy today,” whines my brain. “Also, it might be cold. And besides, you’re not even wearing a bathing suit. You didn’t pack a towel. You just blow-dried your hair. It looks like it could rain. You have a lot of emails to answer. You have a meeting starting in an hour. And what about sharks?! Today isn’t an ideal day for swimming. Come back tomorrow. Not today.”

I love this 20/20/20 rule.

I found my first grey hair last year and I don’t intend to do anything about it (mostly because you can’t really see grey hair on blondes). But I loved this story about women who have gone completely grey and love it!

A great idea if you’re sentimental AND a minimalist.

Real, actual LOL.

If you’ve ever wanted to see me politely fight with people in Instagram comments….

How to feel unproductive and worthless in one easy step!

Why Are Young People Having So Little Sex?
I was told it might be a consequence of the hookup culture, of crushing economic pressures, of surging anxiety rates, of psychological frailty, of widespread antidepressant use, of streaming television, of environmental estrogens leaked by plastics, of dropping testosterone levels, of digital porn, of the vibrator’s golden age, of dating apps, of option paralysis, of helicopter parents, of careerism, of smartphones, of the news cycle, of information overload generally, of sleep deprivation, of obesity. Name a modern blight, and someone, somewhere, is ready to blame it for messing with the modern libido.

A good Netflix recommendation!

A tour of a pretty 350-square foot apartment. Love that sofa!

Did you sing along to Baby Beluga as a kid? Apparently, Raffi is the world’s nicest hardass.
Onstage, Raffi’s persona is avuncular and avowedly apolitical. But on social media — yes, even Raffi tweets — he has become something of a lightning rod, frequently trolling Trump with impish abandon. Recent entrants in the endless Raffi drag: “The word #emoluments sounds oddly exotic. crazy language, English.” and simply “#ResistFascism.” If this feels like a shocking twist for a man seemingly obsessed by the various motions of bus parts, it’s not. Raffi is a folk singer, in the mold of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, whose guitar sported the famous sticker, “This machine kills fascists.” That’s not precisely what Raffi’s machine does, but it’s not far off.

I do not have a toddler, but this made me laugh.

Raise you hand if you’ve fallen into this trap: feeling obligated to turn a hobby into a hustle.

 

Web Time Wasters

How was your week, friends? I had tons of coffee dates with tons of friends and Kenny and I celebrated Valentine’s Day with a long lunch at Caffe Biaggio. I extremely recommend the Valentine’s Day lunch! Cheaper, calmer, and so much easier!

This time next week, I’ll be back in Costa Rica again – leading another retreat for Fit & Fly Girl. So I’m doing my monthly No Grocery Challenge to use up all ‘my’ food before I head out. I don’t want all that cauliflower to go bad while I’m gone! You can follow along and see what I make here.

Links for you

Want to protest Trump’s emergency declaration? Here’s a script for calling your elected officials.

A great resource if you’d like to share more diverse books with the kids in your life!

FACT.

Fellow bloggers and Internet People: Everybody tells me I need one of these. Discuss.

This book is seemingly about Instagram but, honestly, it’s about so much more. Finding your voice as a creative, discovering art and beauty in daily life, community. So good!

Salted maple pie! I think I could make this during my next No Grocery Challenge!

Is less scheduling the secret to happiness?
We schedule activities back-to-back for fear of not accomplishing them all. Malkoc — who has an expertise in how people perceive and consume their time — links the over-scheduling of free time to the value that we place on achievement over contentment.

“The focus on productivity is so widespread that people even strive to make leisure productive and brag about being busy,” reads the paper.

So we do more and enjoy less.

“When scheduled, leisure tasks feel less free-flowing and more forced — which is what robs them of their utility.”

Related: How to figure out what makes you happy so you can add more of it to your life

How to get over a heartbreak

You don’t build a new brain–or a new life–just by giving it time. Time is not enough. You also need action.

Action. Movement. Forward momentum. Even the smallest step–taking a breath, opening the window to let in some fresh air, trying on a new shirt, checking out a new book from the library–begins to reshape the architecture of your mind.

Action is the medicine that brings you back to life.

I agree! This $2.75 was one of my best travel purchases!

A game to play with the kids in your life (without getting up off the couch)

How educational debt shapes our lives and choices
Debt forms us just as radically as a university curriculum does. As bills mount, debt becomes a guiding force in our lives, directing our decisions about where to live, where to work, how to save and spend, and what we imagine possible. The anxiety, regret, and shame over one’s inability to determine one’s own life shapes our souls as well.

Related: did you know I host a free, private Facebook group called Money & Happy where we talk about stuff like this? Join me an 4,400+ smart, kind humans having honest conversations about money!

Hope you had a lovely weekend!

8 relationship habits that will make everything easier, smoother, and more fun

Can you turn being a good partner into a habit? Are there such things as “good relationship habits”? Yes! Click through to read about eight of them!

Can you make it a habit to be a good partner? Are there such things as “good relationship habits”? (I can hear you being skeptical from all the way over here.) 

You might be sick of hearing me talk about habits by now (not stopping anytime soon!), but I truly believe that they’re one of the secrets to a life well-lived. Studies vary, but psychologists and neurologists estimate that between 40 and 95% of what we do every day is habitualized – including how we interact with our partners.

So it stands to reason that building even one good relationship habit (or breaking a bad one), could have a big impact on your relationship. If you’re not sure where to start, read on!

(more…)

Web Time Wasters

What’d you get up to last week, friends? We hosted friends for brunch yesterday, but – honestly – it’s been pretty much just de-icing and shoveling and rescheduling plans due to ice and snow all week. Ooof!

Links for you:

Are we improving ourselves to death?
Many are psychologists with impressive academic pedigrees and a commitment to scientific methodologies, or tech entrepreneurs with enviable records of success in life and business. What they’re selling is metrics. It’s no longer enough to imagine our way to a better state of body or mind. We must now chart our progress, count our steps, log our sleep rhythms, tweak our diets, record our negative thoughts—then analyze the data, recalibrate, and repeat.

Related: The Glorious Freedom of ‘Good Enough’ + How To Find It

Some good thoughts about price + value

Grimace emoji: The unsettling psychology of an Amazon Prime addiction

“I definitely feel like I’m spending more than I should on things I probably don’t need,” Melissa says. “I feel like I come up with excuses to buy things when I could just as easily do something more productive, like creative writing, working out. I used to indulge a lot more before I had to pay rent and before my credit cards had to be canceled (by me, voluntarily). But I’m still living beyond my means.”

Though she has a decent enough salary to make her rent, rent is a huge chunk of her income, and her Amazon habit means she still turns to her parents for money. Because they never come to collect, they inadvertently end up footing the bill. That leads to arguments, and she sometimes hides purchases from them.

New (to me) podcast obsession: You’re Wrong About …

4 reasons you should try small town travel + what to do when you get there!

A true lol for all former theater and/or choir kids

This is so cool! In January of 2017, I interviewed Alessandra Biaggi about her work as Hillary Clinton’s Deputy National Operations Director. Now she’s a state senator for New York!

Fascinating: US book covers vs. UK book covers.

Supernatural collective nouns (a racket of banshees!)

This apartment tour is all my favorite things: a small, rented space that gorgeous and has been been thoughtfully decorated with thrifted things (but looks like a million bucks)

A (new to me) free tool for anyone who works with clients or students!

I’ve mentioned before how getting serious about Pinterest dramatically increased my traffic (here’s the class I took). Pinterest just released their report on the top trends for 2019. I guess it’s a good year small town travel, Brazil, bakuchiol, and DIY goat milk soap?

Related: if you like these links, you’ll like my Pinterest boards, too!

Hope you had a great weekend, friends!