Video We Love: Lily Myers – “Shrinking Women”

Lovers of poetry rejoice! This poem is deep and powerful.

Some things to think about: Do you see yourself ‘shrinking’? Do you see women or girls around you ‘shrinking’? What does it mean to ‘shrink’? How can you prevent it from happening?

Ways to Make Sure Those New Year Resolutions Stick

Okay, so you know the drill. On New Year’s day, you resolve to exercise, eat better, get up earlier, be nicer to your parents, etc. On New Year’s day, you are all about it. The next day, you work that resolution out. But then the next day comes and….crickets.

Don’t feel bad. You’re not the only one to get afflicted with ‘I-can’t-keep-a-resolution-itis’. But, while we might not have the cure, we do have some tips that will make it easier to keep those resolutions.

1. Check your resolutions
Are you someone who has to make approximately 50 resolutions on New Year’s Day? No wonder you can’t keep them. The easiest way to make sure you keep your New Year’s resolutions is to not make too many resolutions to begin with. I always suggest making one, tiny resolution that you can stick with. If you absolutely, positively must have more than one resolution, then don’t have more than three. Any more than that and you will burn out. Trust.

2. Keep ’em simple and specific
I know you want to save the world, lose 30 pounds and/or nab the cute guy all at the same time this year, but another way to make sure to keep your resolutions is to keep the resolutions you make simple. Resolutions should be something that is relatively easy for you to do and keep doing. For example, ‘I will keep my room clean everyday,’ might be too hard of a resolution to make if you have never kept your room clean a day in your life. Try, ‘I will make my bed every day’ instead. Or instead of saying, ‘I will eat healthy,’ try ‘I will eat one piece of fruit’ everyday. Resolutions that are simple and specific are easier to keep than those that are not. Check out this link for more information about how to make good resolutions.

3. Write them down and post them up
Writing your goals down makes them tangible and real. So don’t just think of the resolution. Write it down and then hang it in a place where you will see it each day. Whether on your wall, on your locker, on your mirror…hang that resolution so you never forget it.

4. Track them.
To take your resolutions to the next level, make sure you are tracking them. This is easy. You can use a calendar and simply write a checkmark on the days when you met your resolution. Or you can use a goal-keeping app, like Way of Life, Everest, or Goal Tracker to keep track of your resolutions.

5. Get accountability
Another way to ensure that you keep those resolutions is to have other people in your corner reminding you of your resolutions. So think of someone you trust who can help you keep your resolution and let them know about your resolution. Ask the person to remind you of your resolution and ask them to keep you in check when you veer off course.

With these five adjustments, you will be more likely to stick to your resolutions this year. Now make it happen!

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Ways to start your New Year off Great

Things you definitely must do on New Year’s Day

1. Make those resolutions
Making  New Year’s Resolutions is a tried-and-true way of starting the year on a great foot. But don’t just think about your New Year’s resolutions…write them down. Writing down your goals and dreams is a way of making the resolution real. Wanna take your resolutions to the next step? Then post that resolution on your wall, in your locker…or any other place where you will be sure to see it everyday. Having your resolution stare you in the face will help you to get it done.

2. Send love.
Call or text people you know to wish them a Happy New Years. This is a great way to connect with people you may not have connected with much during the past year.

3. Out with the Old…In with the New
Clean your closet. Take out all your old clothes that you no longer want to wear, and dream up the wardrobe changes that you may want to make in the New Year. Maybe now’s the time to buy that funky piece of jewelry or new sweater that you’ve been looking at. The New Year is also a good time to go around your room and discard things (like gifts from ex’s) that you don’t need cluttering up your life anymore.

4. Be grateful
Take some time to thank God for the blessings you’ve received in the past year. If the past year was horrible, take some time to be grateful that God brought you through it.

5. Dream a little
Take some time to dream big dreams and plan new adventures for the upcoming year. Then think of ways to make it happen girl!

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How to Get Yourself to Study When You Don’t Want To

One of the not-great things about still being in school is the fact that I still have to study. Sometimes, when it is a class that I like, studying isn’t too bad. Other times, especially when I’m trying to tackle a subject that I find completely and utterly boring, studying feels like the worst thing in the world. So I totally get it if the thought of studying makes you want to put your head in your hands and cry a little. But here are some tips to make it better.

1. Write down your mission
The first tip for getting motivated to study is simply writing something down that will motivate you. So first think about what you want to get out of your education and write that down. Remember this is your goal. It doesn’t have to be an academic or career goal.  (At one point in my life, my goal was to do well in school so that I could prove my haters wrong). That was all. Whatever it takes to get you studying, make it a goal. And write that goal down and (if possible) put it up where you can see it.

2. Set a stop time
One of the reasons that studying sometimes feels so daunting is that, theoretically, studying can go on forever. Unlike writing papers, you are never actually finished with studying, you could always do more. And who wants to spend forever on a subject that they don’t like? So, one of the quickest ways to get yourself motivated to study is to simply plan your ending. Maybe you will quit after two hours of studying. Maybe you will quit after you’ve gone through your entire study guide. Whatever it is, plan your exit strategy ahead of time.

3. Set a timer
Don’t think you can even make it to your stop time? Never fear. Get an egg timer, or use a timer on your phone. Set the timer for a certain amount of time, and promise yourself that in that period of time, you will focus—really focus—on your work. When your timer goals off, it’s break time! Take a break and pat yourself on the back for another hard earned work sessions.

The amount of time you set to focus on your work doesn’t have to be long. Some days, I set a timer for 10 minutes. I think anyone can do almost anything, no matter how boring/hard/confusing/horrible,  for 10 minutes. One of my favorite time-setting methods, the Pomodoro Technique, advocates setting a timer for 25 minutes and taking a break every five minutes. Whatever amount of time works for you, set a timer for that amount and promise yourself that—for at least that amount of time—you will focus on studying.

3. Bribe yourself
If you’re like me and you…um…have a habit of procrastinating by doing anything and everything but studying, you know that while procrastinating is fun, it also comes mixed in with a load of guilt. You know what’s better than looking at Youtube while feeling a little bit guilty? Looking at Youtube with no guilt at all! You can do exactly this when you bribe yourself to study. Tell yourself that for each pre-set amount of time studying, that you can do whatever you like for 5 or 10 minutes. Rinse and repeat.

4. Pair studying with something you like
Music, food, hot chocolate, add whatever it is that you need that will make studying bearable. Admittedly, most experts note that it is easier to concentrate when you are only focused on one thing at a time…and I agree. But I think that halfway concentrating while studying is better than not studying at all. So pack up your own “make this situation better” bag and start studying!

studying help3

5. Study with friends
This goes without saying, but many times, studying with friends can make the studying more fun and more effective. Try to quiz each other, and consider making your study session a game. And then go out for ice cream afterwards. Win win.

6.  Make it a game
As you go through studying, quiz yourself and give yourself a point for every correct answer. When you get to a certain number of points, you’ve won (and can stop studying). Also consider studying by “teaching” a pet or even some stuffed animals. Whatever it takes to make studying more fun, do it.


7. Study in public
You don’t have to stay cooped up in your room to study. Libraries, coffee shops, and parks are all great places to study, especially if you like studying with people around. This way, you can take breaks and people watch. So, if being in your room is making you antsy, get outside your house and get your work done!

8. Get tired
Sometimes you can be too revved up to study. If that’s the case, then do a quick workout before you sit down and study. Make the workout hard enough so that when you are done you are at least a little bit tired. This way, studying will feel like a break and your body will feel calm enough to study.

What are your favorite ways to get yourself to study when you don’t feel like it?

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