Saturday, December 20, 2014

Real Life Starts After Graduation

So...I graduated from college!! It was a long and trying 5 1/2 years. Yes, you read that right; it literally took me almost 6 years to graduate from college, and I am not ashamed to say it!

Look at that happy face :) 

So you graduated. What are you going to do now?


The weeks leading up to my graduation elicited questions about how I felt, was I happy, and more importantly, "what now?" The last question sort of took me by surprise more than anything. Not going to lie; it came off more as a "wagging finger" type question than one of true curiosity. 

In almost every situation I sprouted out the most ambitious and correct-sounding response I could think of. "I'm going to law school." 

Anyone who knows me also knows that I literally changed my major in college four times before landing on Sociology which is just as obscure of a major as my future career plans (and I loved it!!).

Well anyways, the more I told people what I was going to do after graduation, the more "for-real" it sounded, the more I could see myself actually going through with it, and the less I asked myself what I really wanted to do.

I don't know guy from The Notebook! It's not that simple!!! 

Well I can actually see myself as a lawyer. I know from my obsessive research, informational interviews of lawyers and law students (and experience in the legal field) that I would enjoy the profession and going to law school. But I feel that being a professional, or having a career is not something that I would necessarily do if I didn't have to. IMHO unless I was a police officer or doctor saving lives or something similar I can't see myself pulling that much value from my career to the point where I find it self-fulfilling. But, that's just the type of person I am, and other people can. 

So what is the big self-fulling purpose I'm destined to fulfill? I don't know yet, but I know I'll figure it out. I also know that my job just isn't "that", nor will it be and that's okay. But at the end of the day, I need to make money because I have a ton of student debt, more than I'm proud to tell, and I need to make money. 
Me after seeing my student loan payment for the first time


What I'm doing now

I found a job.



I'm so relieved! I actually found this job two months ago and was able to start working  full-time already due to me killing my self last summer taking extra classes so that I would only have one class to take this last semester. I was lucky enough to be able to take that class at night. Two days after I graduated, I was offered a salaried position at a great fortune 500 company making the salary I wanted. I also attribute this success to the several professional jobs and internships throughout my collegiate career (the one thing I did right). 

Finances

I'm getting my finances in order, evaluating my debts and financial goals for graduate school, and coming up with a game plan (I'll share this with you soon). 

Fitness

I'm also deciding I'm no longer going to sacrifice my fitness the first time I get busy. While I am still struggling with this concept (everything is a process), I have successfully tracked my calories and exercise on fitness app Myfitnesspal for 27 days (a new record for me!!), and I've managed to work out 2-3 times per week for the past month. I plan to work out 5-7 days per week and burn 3500 calories per week through exercise and diet cuts.

Personal Development

Me and a couple of my friends decided to start our own mastermind group. My Utoria coach Tori Molnar (she's pure awesomeness :) told me to never start a new idea without telling your mastermind group. I've also heard that having a mastermind group is crucial to business success. For our first meeting we will be outlining our goals for 2015, setting a schedule, and keeping each other accountable!! 

I'm so excited for the future and what it holds. 2014 was a warm-up now 2015 is GAME TIME! 

Have any of you recently graduated? If so how do you feel about life and what's your plans for the future?



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Update on Life





Hey everyone!

I know it has been a long time since I've last blogged, but as with everything that's meant to be, I've felt a pull back towards this blog which was my original blogging venture! Since then, I've blogged and written for several other entrepreneurs and clients. I've started a VA (virtual assistant) firm, and I also blog for that business as well (theproassists.com). I attempted to start another blog for students who want to learn more about freelancing along (virtualworkforstudents.com) and I've had to put that project on hold for a while. I'm graduating from college in less than a week (yay!) and I've started working full time as a legal assistant for a Fortune 500 Company. Overall, what I'm trying to say is that I've come a long way folks! As I approach the new year with anxiety, anticipation, and feverish hope I can't help but to look back and to take account of all I've done, including the start of this blog.

I have so much that I want to accomplish in the coming years, including making this blog an excellent one, applying to law school (more blog posts on the LSAT and applying coming soon!), become more fit, and to become a better entrepreneur.

I'd like to think that my writing skills have improved immensely (practice makes perfect!), and would like to continue with this blog, but with a twist. I would like to transform this blog by making it more organized, while expanding on the topics. I even have a goal of learning how to code next year so stay tuned for a new website!

The name of the blog will be Balanced Lady and it will focus on my life while also giving inspirational and self help advice. The following topics will be written on:


  • Fitness
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Life Inspiration
  • Law School 
  • Coding 
  • Writing
Among many others so stay tuned!

Love & Kisses

Amanda 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Week 2 Challenge: Brown Bag Lunch

Okay so my challenge for last week was to prepare my lunch for the next day every night of the work week. How did it go?
  • Results: I only missed one day of not fixing my lunch the night before. I take a lunch with me daily already to save money and to eat healthier but, I usually make it in the morning. Preparing my food the previous night before allowed me to have more time in the morning to actually do my hair and make up thus preventing me from looking like I just rolled out of bed every morning! Did I keep this habit? Not really, after I come home I just kinda crash and don't feel like lifting a finger. But one unexpected habit I kept was doing my hair and make-up in the morning! 
Reasons Why You Should Pack Your Lunch 


  • It's Healthier!- You can cut on hundreds of calories by packing your lunch. Make sure to include fresh foods such as fruit, vegetables, lean protein like chicken or turkey and whole wheat bread. If you bring chips, cookies, and other processed foods it defeats the whole purpose. 
  • You'll Save Money!- The money saved from eating out can be seen immediately! If you spend just $5 every day of the workweek then you are spending $100 a month on just eating out. You can literally take $25 and pack healthy lunches for the month. Who wouldn't want an extra $75 a month? 
  • Increase Productivity!- Have you ever eaten a heavy meal and gotten the -itis? That's what happens when a person eats processed foods heavy in fat, salt, and sugar. Not surprisingly this is what happens when people at work eat quick fast food for lunch. Your blood sugar has a quick blood surge and then quickly drops bringing you down with it. Not to mention you will more than likely become hungry again in a few hours. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Once a Week Challenge: Week 1

Week 1 Challenge: Taking the Stairs


So for my first challenge I decided not to take the stairs any opportunity that I got. How did it go? Well I only took the elevator one time this week and walked 5 stories twice this week at school so it went pretty well. I saw a poster in an elevator that walking up just two flights of stairs daily can help you lose up to 6 pounds a year! That's a lot of weight 'specially for a shortie like me. I don't know how true that stat is but I know that my butt and core will definitely thank me for it! This will be a habit that I will continue to keep and as a result I am already a 1 % better person for it!



Some Really Good Reasons to Take The Stairs

  • Climbing just two flights of stairs everyday could result a loss of 2.7kg or 6lbs per year. Six flights a day could help you trim nearly 18 lbs. Why Weight?
  • Adding stairs to your day can add years to your life. Studies show that risk of cardiovascular disease and death is lower among those who are regular Stair climbers.
  • Stair climbing can also add life to your years. Those who climb stairs on a daily basis have greater leg strength and aerobic capacity, allowing them to participate more fully in a wide range of daily activities.
  • Taking the stairs is often faster than waiting for an elevator during peak usage times. Take the test and time your trip. Often for trips of 7 floors or less, the stairs are the quickest way to your destination.
  • Using the stairs requires no special skill, equipment or clothing and it burns twice as many calories as walking. Step right up!!
Read the rest of the list here

*Source: www.seniorlifehealth.com

Friday, November 1, 2013

How Great is Your Diet?

90 % of Americans say They Eat a Healthy Diet...


We know the byline is largely untrue (no pun intended). According to a study by Consumer Reports, just 1 in 10 Americans admitted to having an unhealthy diet. For so many healthy eating people we still have such an enormous issue with being unhealthy. I had to face the facts that I wasn't eating as healthy as I thought I was.It was this confusion that led me me to give up on losing weight and eating healthy over and over again. My point is: most people don't know what eating healthy is. When the normal diet consists of high saturated fat, fructose, and other processed foods, your idea of diet is very unclear.

The Confusion: 

Many people don't know the first thing to do with these types of foods.
Anything that is processed is inherently bad for you. Yes, I know that you know that but because of the way media portrays "fat" we are confused as to what is processed and what's healthy. 

My first thought about eating healthily  was OMG, I cannot sit here and eat on raw broccoli and carrots everyday for the rest of my life! I rebelled against the idea of eating healthy thinking that if I just exercised enough I would be okay. I thought people who ate healthy were living extreme lifestyles. Then I realized that what is considered "clean" and processed foods are much more diverse than what I thought. 


This are not the only types of processed foods, but the media will have you to believe that it is.

The Clarification:

I actually cringe when I see people at the grocery store who are attempting to go on a diet buy a million lean cuisine dinners. Anything that is preserved in any shape or fashion is processed. In middle school we learned that people didn't always have refrigerators so they would salt their meats to preserve them throughout the winter. That's pretty much what Applebees has done to your honey BBQ wings. Processed foods contain tons of salt and other chemicals. If it falls under this list, it's processed. 
  • canned foods
  • t.v. dinners
  • anything frozen in a box or bag (except flash frozen vegetables and sometimes even those contain loads of salt)
  • almost all restaurant meals unless stated otherwise
  • anything in a box on the grocery shelf
  • most meats in grocery stores
  • lunch meats
  • candy
  • sweets 
  • sugared yogurts
  • anything with white flour
  • cheese
  • anything other than water, tea, or coffee
  • all vending machine foods
Some milk products and fresh vegetables will have chemicals in them or on them as well. I know what you're thinking, well dang what is safe to eat! Yea, it's pretty depressing. But the good news is, you don't have to cut out everything like bread, cheese, milk, and meat. It's just about finding a balance. 

The Alternative:

It's all about changing the way you think about food, about what are the right ways to prepare food, and what are the unhealthy things to eat. Here are some tips to help you get started. 

Don't eat until you're full. If you are stuffed, I guarantee you overate.

Don't eat foods that are smothered in sauces or creams, this is like eating pure fat. Red sauces are always better because they are tomato based.

All flavored drinks have more sugar in them than you need for the whole day. It really would be best if you could cut this all the way out.

Count your calories. Myfitnesspal is a wonderful app and their online community is unbeatable. Really pay attention to your macro-nutrients (fat, protein,carbs). For the longest I never looked at these but when I did it was a reality check. I was still eating way too much salt, sugar, and saturated fats even though I called myself being on a diet.

Flash freeze your veggies to save on money. As a college student I know how it is to be on a strict budget. Who has time to cook and buy new groceries every week when your veggies spoil? I recently learned about a way to preserve your vegetables. It's called blanching your veggies. Basically you boil your vegetables for 2-3 minutes, run them under cold water for 2-3 minutes and then freeze them.

Bonus tip: Put your vegetables and meats into individual bags and freeze them. That way when you come home your stuff can defrost in like 20 minutes instead of 3 hours AND you will only eat what you cut therefore saving you even more money because now you're not wasting food!

I guarantee you I struggle so hard with eating healthy myself, especially not eating until I'm stuffed. But you can't give up because giving up on being healthy is really like giving up on your self. Share your ideas on how you have tried to become healthier. 

How to Become 70% Better in One Year

We all create New Year’s resolutions and goals because as human beings we have this innate drive to become better and better. It is the bane of our existence and the driving force behind evolution. Today I was inspired by an article posted by entrepreneur week 2013 that can be found here. It was an article giving a tip for businesses to increase their user experience by making 1 simple improvement a week. If that one simple improvement causes a 1% increase in user satisfaction, this would lead to a 70% increase in user satisfaction yearly which would lead to sales doubling or tripling in profit.

            I’m all about self-improvement so I created the Once a Week Challenge. All you have to do is make one simple change in your life every week. This could be eliminating fast food from your diet or committing to saving $25 a week. It could be anything that wouldn’t take up too much space in your life but will also make you a better person for it.
           
            Just think of yourself like a business in which you are the user and your life are the profits. So changing one thing a week not only will increase self-satisfaction but you will gain 2-3x more of your life!
           
            I will post one change on my blog every week that I participated in. Feel free to join in the challenge with me at any time.

Life is about enjoying the journey not arriving at the destination. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Death of Our Future: The I-Can't Pathology

I was recently watching a HBO documentary series called The Weight of The Nation:Kabreeya’s Salad Days and this episode in particular was about a young lady striving to make a difference in her community by promoting a healthier diet in her school. The determination of this young lady was nothing short of remarkable. She is a part of a family that suffers from obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. She’s seen her mother have to undergo a gastric bybass surgery and her little brother is already nearing 200 pounds at age 8. It seemed that she lived in an impoverished area where no one in charge seemed to care about what the community ate. Her school served unhealthy food and rejected Kebreeya’s proposal of a salad bar.

What impressed me was that Kebreeya was an activist and already knew at a young age that anything she wanted to do was possible. How many of us can say that we truly believe in our capabilities, even as adults? Many suffer from an I-can’t-do-it attitude, including me. This holds us back far more than what we realize. Somewhere along our young lives, someone told us that we couldn’t do something we wanted to accomplish, whether it was becoming an astronaut to not being allowed to explore the woods in the back of our yards. At that moment, something dies inside of us and the I-can’t-do-it pathology takes over. How many leaders, innovators, teachers, and activists die at this moment?  It is strongest in the poor areas, the hoods, and the ghettos were everywhere these children look there are people and actions telling them they can’t.


 It is up to us as adults, parents, and leaders to show kids that they can-do-it, whatever “it” may be. Most importantly we need to be able to tell ourselves the same.