“Everybody has goals, aspirations or whatever, and everybody has been at a point in their life where nobody believed in them.” ~Eminem
Time flies when you’re having fun. Can you believe there are exactly 100 days left in 2014? I know. It seems like we just closed the door on 2013! So let’s talk about our goals, shall we?
Goals are just dreams with deadlines, if you ask me. And what better way to get what you want than to set one for your most passionately desired goal?
My initial 100-days thought, of course, was some to launch some kind of 100-Day challenge here on the site. But then I realized that I don’t have time to organize that before the end of the day…sooo, I figured I’d go a little smaller.
I thought I’d like to find and focus on a particular item that I need to change or better myself about. But I think in my case, I’m going to focus on being happy, being present in the RIGHT NOW for the next 100 days. That shouldn’t be too hard, but then again, I like to be an optimist.
See, over the past few years, my life has changed significantly. In addition to losing a bunch of weight and clearing my life of some really negative elements, I went from being a freelancer to a business owner. My husband and I bought our new home. And I figured out that what I think and feel about my own life is far more important than what anyone else thinks or feels about it.
As we begin the journey toward 2015, I’m ready to create new positive changes in my life. I have a few personal goals that I’d like to achieve before the New Year begins, including some health-related ones and some career-related ones.
That’s why I am starting my own 100-day challenge. Research tells me that a 100-day challenge can be really ideal for changing habits, creating new ones and it’s pretty obvious that committing to and sticking to anything for 100 days can create some pretty serious change in your life.
Being the nerdy-research-geeky type that I am, I did what I do and found a couple of pretty cool entire websites dedicated to this 100-day-practice thing. Here are three that I found interesting.
There’s 100HappyDays.com, which is free and asks its members to sign up, post 100 pics over the course of 100 days via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram of what makes them happy. They’re asked to use the hashtag #100HappyDays and/or to come up with their own hashtag (for privacy’s sake). Or, if they want to keep it really private, they can email the pics.
According to the site’s creators, people who have successfully completed these 100 day challenges have claimed many benefits, such as being in a better mood on a regular basis, recieving more compliments from other people andd realizing how lucky their lives make them feel. Others have reportedly fallen in love during the challenge.
Another benefit of these photos, the site reminds us, is that we’ll have a nice collection of photos to remind you of what makes you happy (and you know, to commemorate your journey). And, if you offer a small investment toward the movement, you can receive a 100-page book from 100happydays.com when you finish a challenge successfully.
I haven’t done any research on the site’s creators and their legitimacy, but I love the concept.
The concept for GiveIt100.com hit co-founder Karen like a bolt of lightning after a time-video of her learning to dance in 100 days struck YouTube gold.
The video, which can be seen here, is pretty inspiring. So much can be accomplished in 100 days – it’s a great visual.
“It’s about having a dream and not knowing how to get there – but starting anyway,” Karen writes on the site’s About page. “When you watch someone perform or score the winning point – you’re only seeing a brief moment of glory. What you don’t see is thousands of hours of preparation. You don’t see the self doubt, lost sleep, the lonely nights working. You don’t see the moment they started. The moment they were just like you, wondering how they could ever be good.”
She says that GiveIt100 offers participants an opportunity to see that moment.
“We made Giveit100 for you to capture the moment you start out, and every moment after that,” she writes. “One day you may look back and cringe. But that will be the same moment you realize: Woah. I’ve come a long way.”
You know what I say? I love it and I love everything about it! I know, you’re surprised.
One more thing: GiveIt100.com’s FAQ page is super helpful for anyone who is interested in this concept. It even offers tips on what you should do for 100 days, whether or not you need to do it daily (and what happens if you don’t) and much more. Definitely worth a look.
And then there’s Gary Ryan Blair, the owner of 100DayChallenge.com, who says that you can get “10 years worth of results in just 100 days.” For $147, Blair will walk you through an intensive 100-Day-Challenge, and he even offers a 30-day money back guarantee.
“The success of other 100 Day Challenge participants is proof that this program will get you extreme results in just 100 days. Plus, we’re so sure you’ll love this program, we’re giving you our 30-day money-back guarantee,” his website says.
And from Blair himself: “I will help you clarify your goals, build a massive action plan, enforce accountability and implement discipline in all the right places. And you’ll love every minute of it.”
For your money, Blair says you’ll learn how to “rapidly and significantly” increase your performance, change your life on a grand and revolutionary scale and to “live an epic life and rip the lid off of any past performance.”
Interesting. But would I pay $147 for it? Honestly, I’m not going to, because I’m a cheapskate and I’m not sure it would benefit me personally more than a free option. That’s just how I roll – but I’m sharing it in case anyone who needs this kind of support is interested.
“I created the 100 Day Challenge to share with you the same methods I have used to shatter sales goals, quickly grow a number of multimillion dollar businesses, and coach people to extraordinary performances,” Blair writes. “My style is to mix a blend of encouragement, strict discipline, hyper accountability, and a strong sense of urgency to keep you performing at the very top of your abilities.”
I know that habits are typically formed in anywhere from two weeks to 90 days, depending who you ask. I think a 100-day challenge is a totally feasible option for anyone looking to begin to create and promote positive change in her life.
What do you think? Would you be interested in participating in one of these?
Listen, Generation Y, we need to talk. I think maybe we got off on the wrong foot. It’s time for us to set a few things straight. Clearly, there are a few misconceptions between us and it’s time to clear the air.
Let’s start here, with the internet and the world of social media. You Gen Y kids are getting a bad rap.
I am always one to help out the underdog, and hey, if I can help out an underdog of a generation? Even better. Let me start by telling you a little about “ourselves,” alright? Personally, I define Gen X as people who spent their teens and early 20s in the 1990s. Most experts will tell you that it’s primarily made up of folks born between 1965 and 1980. Others will say the cutoff is 1976.
Me? I’m a Gen Xer who was born on the later end of that spectrum, so maybe I have a little bit of a unique perspective here. Here are a few things I think you need to know about Generation X.
We are the ‘unheard’ generation.
“While boomers insisted on being heard by the world, we [Xers] were a smaller generation [less than half the size of the boomer generation] who felt no one was listening to us,” says Forbes Magazine’s Rob Asghar . “We felt we had to fight” to have a voice, to make an impact, to earn a seat at the table of power.
Alright, let’s do this. You’d better sit down before you continue reading this – you might be shocked.
Listen up, younggins: you’re not so different from us.
Y’all act like you are soooo unique, so much different than everyone who came before you. And in a lot of ways, that’s true – but in all reality, you are JUST LIKE US.
It’s like when my 10-year-old asked me what it was like to live “in the old days.” While I laughed it off, it’s just proof of what you, Gen Y, are dealing with when it comes to understanding us Gen Xers – a simple lack of perspective. So lemme lay it out for you.
Gen X paved the way for you ungrateful brats.
(JK on the ungrateful brats thing!)But seriously, don’t you know who we ARE? Do you understand that the post-war Baby Boomers and the Me Generation were our parents? Some of us could even say we had hippie parents. HIPPIES, people!
It’s amazing we can even read, for crap’s sake! This is the generation that invented dropping out. Okay, I’m kidding. Mostly.
But seriously, the reason we are called Gen X is because they couldn’t really classify us as a solid group of any one thing, sort of…
I know you don’t want to hear this, but Gen X is exactly the reason you Gen Y people are able to reach the heights you are today. While it’s a running joke among some people, your generation probably has more young money than any before it, thanks in part to the internet that the Me Generation built, the Gen Xers helped to evolve and popularize and you Gen Y kids are now helping us to take it to the next level.
We’re kind of exclusive, comparatively speaking.
Did you know that Gen X is a smaller generation than the one before us and the one after? Yep. It’s true, and it’s most likely because many of us are children of those who were teens in the 70s and early 80s, and you know who those people are? They are the children of those who lived through the Depression. This means they are/were very selfless and often prone to living lives of sacrifice. Their children, who are the parents of Gen X, went a whole other way – that’s why they are the first “Me” generation.
Because their generation is more internally focused than the one before it, these “Me” types had kids later (which means they’re also some of your parents) and had, on average, less kids. They were also less likely to breastfeed us, on an unrelated note.
Because we were the children of these “me”-focused people, we spent less time with them than they spent with their parents (but, to be fair, we spend more time with our kids than we got out of them). Now, of course, these people are known as the sandwich generation – they’re still raising kids, and their parents are in need of their help as they enter their golden years.
Gen Xers are revolutionary, despite the fact that we’re somewhat unidentifiable as a whole.
Just like the beatnik and the hippie before us, Gen X broke new ground and changed the way our society works. We set the stage for Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter and selfies – hell, a lot of us take as many as you do. We just don’t share them as freely be cause we don’t want to admit we still want to be hot. Well, some of us, anyway.
Sure, we might have been initially called Gen X because of some of our supposedly lackadaisical attitudes and lack of apparent drive, but that’s because they didn’t understand us yet. They were still all “oh, those kids won’t amount to anything,” and all “oh, the world is in trouble!” (Sound familiar, Gen Y?)
We “get it” more than you think. And we don’t think you’re all a bunch of lames. For the most part, anyway. Which brings me to my next point.
We probably have a broader music palate than you.
See, a lot of us were raised by the teens and young adults of the 60s and 70s, so we have a great appreciation for their music. And we grew up in the 80s and 90s, so we love all of that too. And guess what, kids?
Many of us are also rocking out to the same shit you are right now. Because we are that progressive. Yeah, that’s right. Speaking of which…
Stop calling us old, please.
Just FYI, Gen Y, not all of us Gen Xers think the world is going to end when you’re in charge (and not all of us are “old enough” to be your parents – damn, why you gotta go THERE?).
Now, sure, there are a few crotchety types among us, don’t get me wrong, but the truth is that most of us are shocked when you call us old. We don’t believe we’re among the “middle aged,” and we certainly don’t feel like we’re old fogies (though our eyesight, hearing and bone integrity is beginning to fail a little, our brains are still sharp and we still wanna have fun).
Take me, for example. I have a whole group of Gen Y friends who I love like my own family. When I’m around them, I am aware that I’m older but we are friends on a soul level. The thing I love about Gen Y people is that they are often much more laid back, relaxed and confident in themselves. This makes for great friendships.
For me, the benefits are many. They help me stay up to date on things that matter in society from a different perspective than my own. Sometimes they make me feel old and wise, sometimes they make me feel young and awesome. I think it goes both ways – sometimes I help them feel more mature, and other times, I make them feel fabulously, cluelessly young.
We’re both okay with it.
Raising kids (especially asshole teenagers) is hard. Just you wait.
A lot of us Gen Xers are intentionally trying to parent our children in a way that is directly contrary to the way our parents raised us – and then there are those who are following the same traditions because they feel that it worked. Those of you who are our kids? Know this: we tried. We really did.
And now that a lot of you are parents, you’re still judging us. Your babies are still young, for the most part, and you’ve got a lot more control than you will in the future. I learned that hard way that, as it turns out, you don’t have much control when your kids reach a certain age. You can do all the right things, teach them the right ethics and offer all the opportunities in the world – but none of it matters unless the kid is receptive, interested and capable of personal/emotional/intellectual growth.
And unfortunately, some kids just can’t or won’t go to the level that’s necessary to get there. That shit is hard, Gen Y, especially in the late teen years, and I wish you luck when you get there – and here we are trying to parent kids in the first generation who will never know life without smartphones – holy schmolies, it’s rough out there. Ya feel me?
Chill out, we’re probably your biggest allies, considering.
Look here, Gen X and Gen Y are pages in the same book, so to speak. We’re even in the same chapter (some of us, on the same page). So don’t be like that. Hold our hands and we’ll hold yours. Let’s show those hippies what it’s really all about, this whole universal connection deal. (Ha, a generational joke! I know you’re not laughing but I’m leaving it in anyway. Us Gen Xers are stubborn like that.)
Sure, Gen Y is the group most commonly associated with things like using the internet as a social space, owning startups and freelancing their lives away – but guess what, my friends? We were doing it first and we’re still out there doing it – a lot of us, anyway. So hey, why don’t we all just work together on this whole life thing? We’ll probably see each other at the tweet-chat anyway – and we’re both parents of Generation Z, so we might as well see what we can do about THAT whole deal, am I right?
I am about to come out of the shopper shame closet. I hope you’re sitting down. My name is Angie and I am a secret Wal-Mart shopper.
A secret Wal-Mart shopper is not to be confused with a Wal-Mart secret shopper, mind you.
A secret shopper is a person who offers his employer a glimpse at what a real customer would experience, and generally the employees never even know they have been “shopped.”
But as a secret Wal-Mart shopper, I do not hide my identity to the people at the store (though I feel a little dirty, shopping there, not gonna lie–but seriously? Sometimes my inner cheapskate comes out and drags me there, reminding me that there is no reason to pay more money for the exact same item I can buy elsewhere just because I have Wal-Mart shame. Don’t judge me. I just don’t see any logic to it.
However, it’s safe to say that there is a certain lack of concern for customer service, at least in some Wal-Mart stores in my area.
Well, one evening a couple weeks ago, I thought I was finally ready to end my secret Wal-Mart affair. I’d spent more than an hour gathering up $500 worth of groceries, household items, toiletries and school uniforms for my kids (all under one roof, and that was enough food to feed my family for literally three weeks!)
Again. I just can’t help myself. I’d have spent at least twice that if I’d bought all of that locally.
And then, I waited in a single line with 16, 17, 18 other customers, a line that over the course of ten minutes kept me in the same spot but continued to get longer.
If I didn’t need all that stuff, I swear I’d have walked right out of there!
Proof of the power of social media: I am writing this post in which I am publicly admitting my secret and tawdry affair with Wal-Mart.
A man next to me in the line who was really sweet and totally reminded me of some awesome outdoorsy dad type offered me his place in line, even though my cart was formidable and would clearly cost him an extra 30 minutes in line, if this checker was really moving as slowly as she appeared to be.
She seemed to be in slow motion. It was making me a little testy. Ha, that might be an understatement.
I thanked him and politely refused the offer, pointing out the whole cart thing.
The Tweet of Defiance: My Pseudo-Dramatic Social Media Moment
Anyhoo, that was about the time I decided to tweet my displeasure about this situation with a bold shout out to @WalMart. I was feeling all kinds of bold and justified.
Note to self: never shop at the Ferguson @Walmart again. One line open, 16 carts deep, not moving. Seriously? Turn down.
After my tweet of defiance, I noticed that within 3 or 4 minutes, like three new lines opened right up.
I am not saying it was the tweet. I am just saying it was a super fun coincidence if not.
I looked around at the relieved congestion and the people feeling less stuck and the mood lightening and smiled. (Meanwhile inside my head, I’m feeling like I am some kind of Wal-Mart shopper super hero, like my mad social media skills totally saved the freaking day. Like, I reached out and told on them via Twitter, and Mama Wal-Mart made them play nice…ahh….)
But really–I know, it could be a coincidence.
Well, then what should’ve and almost did permanently end my secret Wal-Mart affair happened…I came face to face with the checkout girl, who, by the way was an absolutely gorgeous teenager.
Unfortunately, her mother nor her employer had taught her how to talk to people. The first thing she said to me, after announcing “there’s no waiting on 10,” was, “uh ma’am, I’m closed.”
That was about the time I almost cried and started a public scene at Wal-Mart, totally blowing my secret cover. This was so unlike me, but damned if I didn’t just give up my spot in that other line that had refilled my spot and gone four big carts deeper.
It was a hard day, y’all, and it was nearly 10 p.m. at this point. I just wanted to go home.
I guess the beautiful checkout girl sensed my desperation, because she took pity on me and allowed me to stay.
I got this impression she was trying to leave, because she then informed me that she had seen me in the aisle earlier and she felt sorry for the checkout person who “got me.”
You know, because I was buying so much stuff…from the store…that she works at…ahem.
No seriously, she really said that. At least the part about feeling sorry for the checker (herself, as it turned out–karma’s a bitch, ain’t she?).
My #1 Customer Service Tip to Anyone Who Gets Paid by a Store, Shop or Other Business That Depends on My Money: Don’t make me feel guilty for spending it there!
That was about the time I told her that if I worked at Wal-Mart, I’d love customers who come in and spend that kind of cheddar on a semi regular basis (don’t judge me! It’s usually once quote month or less and I totally support my local businesses, too…but please note that I personally know a few people who have worked at Wal-Mart over the years, and that, in my opinion, counts as supporting locals.
Heck, I worked for American Studios, the company that previously subcontracted as Wal-Mart’s portrait studios, in my college and slightly post college years. I personally never worked for Wal-Mart but I suppose I would’ve never had those opportunities (and back then, top notch training) were it not for uncle Sam (Walton).
Plus, I am interested in this whole mother’s day campaign that is featuring products from woman owned companies, but I am saving that for another post.
(Which reminds me, tune in all week to find out what I’ll be revealing about myself at Queenbeeing.com – it’s related…sorta. But it’s definitely huge.)
So, the checker sort of redeemed herself by getting all the groceries in bags and helping me load them into the cart. That was cool…except that she also made me feel like I should have apologized for buying stuff from her employer…but I think if I were her employer, I would want to, I don’t know, teach these people to stop acting like they hate their customers.
But here is why, at present, I haven’t broken up with Wal-Mart yet!
Wal-Mart’s Social Media Geniuses: I can’t quit you!
Like I said, maybe it was just a coincidence that directly after I tweeted, the floodgates (aka checkout stands) miraculously opened up. But then again, maybe not. See, once I got home, I noticed that Wal-Mart had tweeted me back!
@angieatkinson Thank you for letting us know about the long lines at your local Walmart. We value what our customers have to say. -Jes — Walmart (@Walmart) April 29, 2014
As a total social media geek, I just can’t quit a company that has that kind of sharp customer service on its side–despite the fact that it sells its products for “irresponsibly low” prices, according to Daniel Tosh. (And come on, that’s a whole lot of the reason I can’t stop, let’s be honest!)
With all of this being said, I’m fully prepared to have the Wal-Mart hating-party rain down its disdain on me–I can take it. Let me have it–I deserve it. I hate myself for loving Walmart.
How do you feel about Wal-Mart? Let me hear it in the comments section, below!
You may or not be aware of my social media goddesss/geek status–either way, you can rest assured that anytime I love anything, I do whatever I can to learn about it and to understand it in the best way possible.
You might have noticed my fashion-geek side by now, and if you’ve been reading my work long, you might already know that I geek out about everything I love.
So imagine how excited I was when People Magazine and Klout.com gave me an opportunity that incorporated several of my passions–including both fashion and social media–among others! That’s right, I’m now a #PeopleVIP!
How I Became a People VIP
Truth be told, I don’t know how special it really is to be a People VIP, but I did get some really great freebies out of the deal. I recently received a #KloutPerk that includes #PeopleVIP status–which offers me several benefits, including some awesome freebies!
For the record, I’ll be blogging more about the rest of the freebies over at AngelaAtkinson.me, or you can see all of them on my Facebook pages! (Both my professional page and the Project Blissful Style page each have some of the photos and info!)
How I Switched Up This Look, and How I’d Switch It Up for Evening
Click each photo above to view the full pic!
I love an opportunity to switch up my look, and here’s a great example of how you can change up your look with just a single accessory change. For the record, I also have this top in blue.
Later in the evening, I would switch this up by changing the jewelry, glamming up the makeup and putting on a pair of platform pumps–black and shiny or even nude. I would also wear the same look with a skirt and tights.
Take a look at this gorgeous piece to the right–I’d love to pair it with a sparkly necklace and earrings along with this outfit and a pair of heels for the evening–or even pair it with a few other sparkly baubles. (Yeah, I totally love bling–I know you had NO idea! Ha!)
Do you ever start a project with gusto, only to fizzle out soon after? Maybe you resolved to lose weight. Maybe you wanted to repaint the house or redesign your website.
Whenever you start something, you’re filled with interest and anticipation. You wonder how the project or event is going to progress. You think about how hard you’ll work on it. But then one day, life gets in the way and the project doesn’t seem as important as you thought.
When this happens, your cherished goal loses its glow. Plus, you now have some other things you need to work on. Gradually, the project you were all excited about gets put on the back burner. Before you know it, months have gone by and you never seem to have the time or energy to go back and finish it.
Would you like to change this recurring sequence of events? Imagine your feelings of pride and accomplishment as you begin to finish your projects – one after the other. But how can you turn things around to where you can consistently complete your projects?
Try these strategies to help you finish what you start:
Prioritize. Before you jump in and begin something, ask yourself whether it’s really important. One key to finishing what you start is to not begin something that has little relevance in your life.
* For example, buying that expensive Italian language package to learn to speak Italian might sound challenging and fun, but do you have a trip planned to Italy or some other Italian-speaking country within the next year? Maybe you’re headed to Mexico instead. How much good will speaking Italian do you there?
Ask yourself, “Is this the right time to start something new?” Any other big things going on in your life will take time away from new projects you hope to do.
* If it’s November and you want to start a massive project of cleaning out the closets in your home, recognize that the holidays are starting next month. Is this the right time? Can you get the closets done in a month? If not, no worries. You can always note in your calendar on January 1st to begin your closet cleaning then.
After determining that a project is important enough to start and it’s the right time, commit to it. When you make this type of commitment, write out exactly what you plan to do.
* Write down each step. Plan to finish all steps within a time frame that’s acceptable to you. Plan your project and then go forward with each step according to your plan.
Evaluate your energy level.
If you’re working and taking care of your family, everything else you do is extra. Are your energy reserves built up enough to take on another project and see it through to the end? You be the judge.
“If you set a high threshold on what you want to do, the completion rate is also higher,” writes Celestine Chua in a LifeHack.org article. “If you aren’t sure that this is something you really want to do, dip your feet into the pool first – try it out on a small scale and see if it’s what you’re interested in.”
Consider your end result.
If you finish the project, how will it affect your life? Will your everyday life be better? Will it be mostly unchanged? Will you feel a sense of pride and completion? Spend some time reflecting on the experience of finishing the project.
Be honest with yourself about all of the above considerations. The more realistic you are when making the decision to start something new, the more likely you are to finish the task.
Finishing what you start can be a real challenge, but being detailed in your planning will help. Be realistic about the project before beginning any new endeavor.
If you think proactively, you’ll be much more likely to finish projects once you decide to start them. And then, every project you begin will enhance your life rather than detract from it!
What are your best tips for staying on-task and finishing what you start? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below.