Master Your Sunday

Your alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m. on Monday. You are tired, stressed, and overwhelmed. Why? You are unprepared. Master your Sundays to create a week of ease and productivity by following these easy steps.

Prep Your Calendar & Create To Do List

Look at the week ahead of you. What meetings do you need to prep for, what things do you need to accomplish, etc. After doing that create a to-do list for the week, this will ensure you do not forget anything while you are juggling everything on your plate come Monday.  Do you want to workout at least three times this week? Do you want to grab dinner with a friend? Add it to your calendar! It is easier to take things off your calendar than it is to add.

Plan Your Outfits

Also known as do laundry and ensure everything you are wanting to wear this week is clean, ironed, and ready to go! This will save you the hassle of trying to find a clean pair of socks come Thursday morning. Do you have a big presentation? Plan the outfit and make sure every piece is clean, steamed, and ready to conquer. There is nothing worse than wearing an outfit you do not feel you best in, so don’t let it happen.

Prep Your House

Monday through Friday is chaotic, hectic, and busy. You usually do not have time to organize the pantry like you want to, or vacuum the guest room before you family comes on Friday. Get this done the Sunday before, this will allow you to enjoy the week without having to worry about last minute cleaning or “hiding” of items before guests arrive. Plus, coming home to a clean house helps us relax and enjoy time at home with our loved ones without worrying about the last time the trash was taken out.

Prep Your Meals

From breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you never know what may pop up that could cause your normal hour of dinner prep to turn into 10 minutes. Prepare for time crunches by planning what you will be eating all week by going to the grocery and stocking up on ingredients you can use for an easy breakfast, lunch or dinner. This will keep you from eating out and potentially grabbing an unhealthy option that could wreak havoc on both your body, mood, and productivity.

Organize Your Bag

Our briefcases, backpacks, and purses gather a lot of unnecessary items throughout the week and weekend. Use Sunday to sit in front of the TV and go through your bag. Make sure you get rid of everything you don’t need and replace it with everything you do. This will put you at ease when you decide to grab coffee in the morning and realized you left your wallet at home.

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10 Interview Basics

“You can only make a first impression once”

Interviewing is stressful, time consuming, and a great opportunity. Follow these 10 Interview Basics to procure your dream career.

Bring Resumes

This may be common sense and you may never be asked for one, but I can guarantee the one time you do not bring resumes you will be asked for one. Interviewers are usually busy both before and after your scheduled interview so it is not uncommon they may forget your resume on their desk or forget to print it out.

Be a Talker

There is nothing worse than 45 minutes of Yes/No answers. Take advantage of every second you have in front of the interviewer. Even though you may not be a perfect for that position, the more you expand and talk about your experience and wants there may be something else available or a future position that they will consider you for since you spoke about your experience in that field or area of expertise. You want to give that interviewer as much positive information about your experience, career aspirations, and abilities as possible. The only way to give the interviewer this information is to expand on questions and take full advantage of the time you have.

Be Neutral

Do not wear a graphic tee and a red bandanna going into an interview. Do not wear a sequin tank top, jeans, and flip flops to an interview. No matter the position, no matter the shift, no matter the company, you want to look professional. Whether this is a suit (black or navy) with neutral color shirt and shoes, or a button up with slacks. You are there to present your professional background and pitch why you are best for the job. You are not there for a fashion show or to advertise your favorite television show.Even if you are doing a Skype interview, make sure you still dress the part.

Walk-able Shoes

Heels may look better in the mirror, but if you are walking a half mile to the interview location or going on a facility tour the last thing you want to do is wear heels that you cannot walk in. Find shoes that you can walk in confidently, for a long period of time, and are appropriate.

Hair Back

Having your hair in your eyes is not a good look when you are trying to juggle good eye contact, engaging thoughts, and professional body language. Ensure your hair is back or styled so you are not worrying about moving your hair out of your face during your interview.

Iron Everything

You can only make a first impression once. You do not want your first impression to be wrinkled. You want to look as professional as possible, and wrinkles are not in that definition.

Be Prepared

Preparation is the key to success! If you are able to properly prepare for an interview there is no reason why you cannot knock it out of the park. Preparation may also be the hardest thing before an interview because you have to figure out what exactly you need to prepare. Start with why you are a good fit for the position and how your background experience allows you to excel if given the job. Be knowledgeable of the company and the position you are applying for. Being prepared will ease the stress that tends to pop up during the pre-interview phase.

Ask Questions

Don’t know something, ask! Do you want to know how many employees you will be managing? Do you want to know what the culture is like? Do you want to know what people in this position before have done to be successful? Do you want to know was defines success in this position? ASK!

Do not be Late

Interviewers are busy, they are juggling your interview in their normal jam packed day. Be courteous of their time and show up a few minutes early if possible. Being late is not a great way to start the interview, this reflects the type of employee you may be if hired.

Brag, but Don’t

You are being interviewed for a reason, you stood out among all the other applicants for the position. Use this time to highlight your experience, your background, and why you are the best fit for the position. You need to be confident that you can do the job, and not be afraid to admit areas in which you may not be as experienced but are more than willing to do everything in your power to excel in that area.

10 Ways to get Inspired

1.Write Down Your Goals

Stop reading and grab the closest pen and paper. Write down your goals. Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University has proven that writing down your goals on a regular basis will make you 42% more likely to achieve your goals. Just thinking about your goals only uses the right hemisphere of your brain or your “imagination center”. Writing them down engages the left side, igniting your subconscious and your “logic center”. By writing down your goals you are telling yourself that you actually mean business, you want this! Seeing is believing and it allows you to feel like you can accomplish something that you have worked hard for. So write them in a daily planner, a notebook, or your wall for all I care, just write them down and write them down often.

2.  Surf the Web

In this day in age there are countless ways to become re-inspired on the internet. From Pinterest scrolling, YouTube watching, or Instagram hastagging, you can find people, companies, or places that inspire you and get lost with them on their journey via social media. It is almost creepy how much you can feel like you know someone after taking a trip down their Instagram page or spending hours face to face with them via YouTube. Do you want to get fit? Find some inspiring fit people to follow. Do you want to write a book? Find authors who are knocking it out of the park in the publishing business. Get inspired by inspiring people, or places. The best thing about this, it is free.

3. Take a Break

The worst thing you can do to yourself is allow burnout, working so hard every day that you lose the true reason why you started. You lose the passion that once burned from within that drove you to great work. Allocate time towards your goal but don’t get so overwhelmed with it that you begin to despise it. If you are on the verge of a burnout, take a break. This could be for a day, a week, a month, whichever length helps you realize why you started in the first place. This allows you to reignite the fire that you had when you first started, gives you the will that you had to start working on it 24/7. Taking a break and stepping away for a while can be the best thing for your goals even though it may seem counter-productive.

4. Travel

This can be a day trip, a weekend getaway, or a weeklong vacation. It can be a drive five minutes down the road to a part of town you have never explored, or ten thousand miles away where no one speaks your language. Traveling can open your eyes to a different type of living, different aspirations, and a different mind-set. Traveling can help open your mind to things you may have never thought or wondered about. You can find a new inspiration from everything around you by leaving your worries at home and taking in your surroundings. Find the beauty in your surroundings and find what motivates those around you from other cities, cultures, or nations.

5. Try Something New

Trying something new sparks motivation tremendously! Why is that? First think about all the reasons why you lose motivation, (1) not challenged (2) comfortable (3) not interested (4) no longer happy. Trying something new challenges your brain and body. It challenges your perspective on things and makes us take a step outside our comfort zone. It gets you out of your day-to-day stagnate routine. When you keep trying new things, it opens your mind up to change, experiences, and challenges. Trying something new should bring you excitement and a new perspective on what you are working on. For example, Sex and the City Season 6 Episode 8, Carrie goes from being a writer to swinging on a trapeze to get inspiration for a piece she was writing. Stepping out of her comfort zone, swinging on the trapeze, and trusting the safety net to catch her for when she fell. I guarantee that piece was better than anything she could have thought of staring out her window. So look at it as an investment when you decide to step out of your day-to-day routine and try something new. It will pay dividends.

6. Network

Finding inspiring people on the internet is great, but finding inspiring people in real life is essential. Everyone can get where they want to go with perseverance and motivation, but you can get there a lot quicker and easier if you have help. You get this help through networking and finding those key contacts that can get you to where you want to be. Creating a good network takes effort, and time, but is worth it in the long run. Finding others in the field in which you want to succeed will help push you to reach your goals because you will hear their story of struggle and triumph. They will share how they got to where they are and what helped them, you can take this information with a grain of salt or you can use it to fuel your passion to get to where you want to be. Let these people be the extra fuel and push you need to motivate you to the next level. Everywhere you go you can make a networking connection, that can help ignite a career move, motivation, or the partnership you may need to succeed.

7. Read

Is traveling out of your budget? Do you not have the time to take away from work? Reading is a much cheaper and effective way to get out of your head and enter another world. Reading can take you and your mind places that can help ramp up motivation. Reading can help you find new ways to accomplish your goals by thinking about different scenarios, different theories, or by taking your mind off your goals for a minute to escape to Aruba where you help solve the Natalee Holloway case from beginning to end, or enter the world of Girlboss herself Sophia Amorusa as she struggles to make Nasty Gal a $100 million dollar business. Take yourself to your nearest bookstore, or Amazon and find where you want to take your mind next.

8. Take a Class

With the web at our fingertips we have millions of free classes just seconds away. If you are a makeup artist you can find new techniques, new products, and potentially new clients to collaborate with. If you are a writer, you can take a class on how to write a killer ending to the book you have spent the past year working on. If you are a student, you can take a class on how to trick your brain into learning what you are taught, or speed reading so you can ace your finals. No matter who you are you can find new inspiration for your craft, hobby, or life via online classes. You can even do this while sitting in your pajamas in bed #winning!

9. Workout

Working out, even the slightest bit gives you mood-boosting benefits almost immediately and for duration of time after the workout. This can give you the extra boost of motivation you need to finish a project, start a project, or solve one of the world’s greatest mysteries. As the great Elle Woods said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t”. Working out has become easier with the access to YouTube and the array of different at-home workouts you can do without leaving the comfort of your home. If you want to step it up a level you can buy some cheap hand-weights, yoga mat, or kettle bell to ramp up your workouts and increase endorphin flow. So whether you are trying to find the motivation to not kill your husband, or the motivation to accomplish your goals, working out is always a safe bet.

10. Reflect

Reflecting is a powerful tool that can re-energize your goals, aspirations, and life. No matter who you are, what you have done, or what you want to accomplish you have done amazing things already. Even the smallest accomplishments should be celebrated. Reflect on the amazing person you have been, and want to become. Even when you think you are scum on the bottom of a shoe, reflecting on what you have been blessed with, who you have been fortunate enough to know, where you have been able to explore, and what you have been able to learn that you can share with others. Reflecting helps you realize that with the energy you have and the motivation you can activate, you can do anything. You are amazing, you are strong, and you can do whatever you put your mind to. Get out there and do it!

Also Published on: Linkedin

10 Ways to Think Big and Achieve Even Bigger Success

1. Create A Vision Board

Take the time to sit down and really think what you want out of life, not only professionally, but personally. With today’s technology you don’t even have to make a trip to Hobby Lobby to make one of these, unless you want to. I have seen vision boards created on a bulletin board, inside a planner, a Pinterest board, desktop home screen, etc. Create and place it somewhere you will look at often.

2. Create A Roadmap

Without a plan, a dream is just a wish. You can dream all you want, but unless you have a plan of how you’re going to get there, it’s pointless. Big dreams take more than a day, a week, a month, or a year. These types of dreams take time and several steps to get there.

3. Don’t Limit Yourself

Even though you may think some of your aspirations are out of reach, put them on the vision board. Nothing is impossible and that is getting truer as technology enhances. Nothing should be out of reach! Successful people did not put a limit on themselves. Reaching for the stars and trying to do the impossible should be your goal! Dreaming big should not be unrealistic, your dreams should be your goals, your aspirations. By not putting a limit on what you can do will allow you to think, do and act freely without doubting yourself.

4. Get A Mentor

Find someone who is in a field you aspire to be in or has accomplished something that you admire. This person can help guide your decisions and steps to reach the goals that you thought were unattainable. Having someone to motivate and guide you can open more doors than you could imagine. A fresh and outside perspective on your goals and dreams can brighten the light at the end of the tunnel when you think all hope is lost and you want to give up.

5. Meet Different People

New people means a new perspective on things. By interacting with different types of individuals you develop a broader sense of perspective. Now something that you had seen one way, you can see in several different ways just by stepping into the shoes or perspective of someone else. For example, steel beams had mostly been viewed as something to be used for structures, now they are shaped and morphed into large pieces of art across the country.

6. Don’t Be Cookie Cutter

I swear I amaze people with my “type” of things, from clothes, cars, houses, and even guys. I hate the thought of having something that is just like what everyone else has. I have always wanted to be a little different than everyone else and I believe that has helped me over the years in several ways. You cannot succeed by being like everyone else because whether it’s a job interview, social gathering or since Miss America was Sunday, pageants. Cookie cutter people do not leave an impression on anyone and often blend in with the rest. Strive to find something that makes you different from others and run with it.

7. Travel

Traveling gives you a sense of the magnitude you can become. A household name in a small Podunk town in Kentucky is an unheard of name across the country. Traveling gives you a drive to reach more than just the people you know. I believe traveling is good for the soul, you are driven by the success and humbled by the struggle that you see.

8. Use Social Media

Believe it or not, I believe social media has given young entrepreneurs the drive to be the best. Word of mouth travels a long way and now within seconds using social media. Like my last point of traveling, social media gives you the opportunity to travel without moving from your coach. It allows you to step into others’ lives and grow. Successful young entrepreneurs have used social media to engage and expand their following, plus get a glimpse of what the competition is doing. I use social media to gauge what is making others successful and the process they are doing to get there. Bloggers and Youtubers have been able to make a living from their passion, which should inspire anyone. Social Media can make you or break you, and without it you’re non-existent in today’s society, so take your dream and use social media to get to where you want to be faster by seeing what works for others.

9. Find What You Love

I am a firm believer that if you love what you do, you will not work a day in your life. Instead of the dreaded feeling of work, just to get paid, you find a passion that will not only bring you financial freedom but the passion will alone bring success. Successful people do not hate what they do, they do it for more than the money. Their vision usually consists of solving a need, enhancing lives, etc. A small hint, finding what you love can take time and it can take a lot of effort. I went to school, interned and worked for companies until I found what I was passionate about, it took many years but when you find it, it is a remarkable feeling. So find what you love and success is inevitable.

10. Don’t Give Up

Ever! Nothing comes easy! You see examples of that every day. Through continuously teaching, learning and evolving yourself you will be able to get out or in any situation you please. You are going to be put down, rejected and turned away before your dreams come true. You will always be competing with someone else, so it is the small things. The small actions that help build your dreams and then allow you to achieve them. If you don’t succeed, try, try again. You will learn from your mistakes and those mistakes will turn into fire that will fuel your dreams even more.

Also Published At: Thought Catalog

10 Things I Learned in Grad School

Grad School is spending almost two years running on mass amounts of coffee, little sleep and little money to get a piece of paper that should change your life. Right?

1. Coffee is your best friend.

Miswell go ahead and become a loyalty member at every coffee shop within a 10 mile radius to get some perks out of the hundreds of dollars you will be spending to stay awake, study and function day-to-day.

2. When coffee stops working, PRE-WORKOUT!

You think I’m kidding,  Pre-workout is the only alternative I have found that is will give me the kick of energy I need in the morning and afternoon, and evening when I am sitting in a four hour night class. I guarantee my participation grade went up a few points when I made this switch.

3. Group work sucks.

You may think group work will allow you to not do as much work and sail through the semester. WRONG! Group work means doing your work, while tweaking the work everyone else does in order to salvage a good grade, Also, working around other people’s schedules besides your own. But, you do finally learn how to bite your tongue when all you really want to say is, “Are you kidding me?”

4. Perception is everything!

If  you can radiate the perception of knowing everything about the topic you are required to give a 30 minutes presentation about I can guarantee you an A. Give me half an hour and Google and I can guarantee you I can slap together a convincing presentation about why the grass is green. Grad school taught me how to whip together a kick-ass presentation in a matter of hours that convinces the teacher that I have spent a week preparing. Say everything with confidence and its half-way believable.

5. Find a hobby outside work and school.

If you don’t I can guarantee you will go mentally insane a semester and a half in. Guess why I started blogging? Bingo! If you wrap yourself up with work and school you will not only age 10 years, never see the light of day, and become socially awkward due to your lack of interaction with the outside world. It’s true, I’ve seen it happen.

6. All that matters is you pass.

You may begin your program thinking you are going to get a 4.0 and graduate with honors. Truth is, all that matters is that you get that piece of paper at the end and put it on your resume. No employer is going to ask you what your GPA was in graduate school. So, don’t stress the B’s and get your beauty sleep.

7. Schedule Fun.

65% of the things in my planner are weekend trips I have planned. Having lived in Orlando during grad school I was able to jam pack my weekends with beach trips, cheap flights, and last minute cruise deals. Find what you enjoy and make it happen!

8. Eat healthy and workout.

If you don’t it will be easy to pack on the pounds during grad school when you are constantly under stress. Take some “me time” out of each day to go workout, even if that means bringing your flashcards to the gym with you. Eating healthy is essential too, you have to feel good in order to perform well.

9. EVERYTHING IS RELATIVE!

Never before had I thought about this or had it put into perspective. Everything depends on something else or the way you look at it or the way the wind is blowing. Someone might think glitter is the best thing after sliced bread, but someone else may think its awful, it all depends. It is all relative.

10. Have a “Just Do It” attitude.

No matter what you want to do, you have to take the first step. Having a Just Do It attitude means stop over thinking everything and just do it. What do you have to lose? When you start thinking like this you start having less regrets and more opportunities arise. Employers will take a young inexperienced go-getter over a poor attitude full of experience any day.

Also published at: Thought Catalog

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