goals

How Mental Health Can Get In the Way of Our Goals

How Mental Health Can Get In the Way of Our Goals

I don’t think it is any surprise but taking care of our mental health is incredibly important! Addressing any symptoms of depression, anxiety, and more can have a powerful effect on every aspect of our lives, and investing time into our mental wellbeing can not only make a difference in how we feel, but it can also make a difference in how we achieve our goals. This week on The Stress Less Show, I brought on Daniela Galdi, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder of empowerment organization, Still Standing Together, to continue our October theme of Mental Health by sharing her own story of achieving her goals while managing her mental health…

How Your Style Plays Into Your Personal Brand [The Stress-Less Career Show - Episode 6]

How Your Style Plays Into Your Personal Brand [The Stress-Less Career Show - Episode 6]

The Stress-Less Career Show had its very first guest this week! I told you last week that I couldn’t wait to talk about how your personal style influences your personal brand and that is because I brought in someone very special to discuss style and branding with me. Susan Padron is a personal stylist here in Philadelphia and she is absolutely amazing at what she does, working with countless clients to help them define their personal style. As I have mentioned in the last couple episodes, your personal brand goes beyond just the basics - your website, your social media, etc. - it includes every part of how you show up in the world. Since February is all about personal branding, I thought…

Digging Deeper Into Your Personal Brand [The Stress-Less Career Show - Episode 5]

Branding, branding, branding! This month, we have been talking about personal branding on The Stress-Less Career Show and how your personal brand plays into finding work you love and having the career that you've always dreamed of. Last week, we talked about how core values are the foundation of your personal brand. This week, I really want to talk about a new way of thinking about your personal brand. I want you to think about your personal brand as a TV show. I hear you now: Carlee, what does that mean? Well…

What is the Foundation of Your Personal Brand? [The Stress-Less Career Show - Episode 4]

We're on a fourth episode of the Stress-Less Career Show and I'm super super excited to be back with you for this month’s topic. It's the beginning of February and we are going to focus in on your personal brand, how your personal brand plays into your career and why it is important. Today, we're going to start with something that I believe personally is the foundation of your personal brand and that is your core values as a person, as an employee - and if you own a business - your core values for your business as well…

How to Create an Annual Plan That Doesn't Freak You Out [The Stress-Less Career Show - Episode 3]

Welcome to the third episode of the Stress-Less Career Show. I'm super super excited that we made it to episode number three! If you haven't seen the last two episodes, I highly encourage you to go back and watch them. Our first week we talked about intention. The second week we talked last week we talked about your purpose versus your calling. Today, we're going to be talking about the importance of planning. I'm sure you have heard this saying time and time again: if you fail to plan you plan to fail. Now that January is over, I cannot stress enough that…

Determining Your Purpose VS. Your Calling [The Stress-Less Career Show - Episode 2]

Welcome to the second episode of my brand new show, The Stress-Less Career show. Each week, I will be talking about career, how do we manage stress in our career, and how do we be more strategic about it. So tune in or keep reading below for this week’s dose of The Stress-Less Career Show! This month, we have been talking all about purposeful planning. Last week, we focused on setting intentions in your career and why it is so important when you start planning for your year and beyond. This week’s episode is also related to that big picture view we…

Why Setting Intentions for the Year is Key to Your Success [The Stress Less Career Show - Episode 1]

I hope you guys are as excited as I am today! I have just released the very first Episode of The Stress-Less Career Show and I am so glad it is finally here. I teased last week that this first month of the year, my brand new show about being your best self in your career would begin by discussing planning so that we can all start 2019 feeling confident and excited about what this new year has in store for us. So we are kicking off The Stress-Less Career Show by talking about the first step in planning: setting intentions.

New Year, New Show! Announcing The Stress Less Career Show

Happy New Year! I am super excited because we have finally said Bye Felicia to 2018 and 2019 is here and happening. However, that is not the only reason why I am excited. If you have followed me over the years, you have seen me evolve from a budding YouTuber to a business owner. I’ve gone through so many changes, but the one thing that has stayed consistent is…

Get Ahead This Holiday Season!

I found myself at the gym this past week and I noticed something there that I think is so important for all of us out there who are looking to be more successful in our lives and careers. I usually go to the gym early in the morning and see tons of people working out. Typically, my gym is pretty packed at all times, so I’m used to walking into a pretty busy gym each morning. This time, however, my gym was a ghost town. I had noticed that I had been seeing almost no one at the gym for several days and so when I walked in and saw no one in the gym that morning, I had a realization about what makes successful people so successful.

What are the things that can set us apart as successful people and business owners? What makes some people more successful in relationships? What can we do to be that successful in our lives? Well, what I realized in the gym that morning is actually very simple. My gym has become a ghost town recently because it is the holiday season and this is the time of year when so many of us just kind of give up on our goals. We stop going to the gym, throw out our healthy meals and unbutton our pants to eat all of the holiday food we want. We push all of our professional goals out of our mind, let them fall to the side and tell ourselves that we’ll come back to them in the new year. It’s the holidays, I get it, but here’s the thing. Now is the perfect time to get ahead of the competition.

You have a unique opportunity at this time of the year when everyone else is slowing down to ramp it into high gear and do the best you can to beat out everyone else who is taking a break. If you are searching for a new job and haven’t looked at your resume and cover letter in a while, now is the time to sit down and update them. If you want to start your own business and get out of cubicle land, now is the time to start developing a clear plan.

This is the time to start doing the things that everyone else is giving up on for the next few weeks like going to the gym. No one is going to the gym right now. You can spend as long as you want on any machine without worrying about anyone else and have a much better time working out than you will next month when everyone is trying to work on their fitness New Year’s resolutions. The same is true for all of your professional goals. Now is the time to start preparing behind the scenes. Apply for open jobs if you can or get to know your cover letter and resume inside and out. Do whatever you can to work towards those career goals so that when everyone else comes back to the grind in January, you are already ahead of the game.

A lot of people spend December completely in vacation mode and that is important. We all need to take a break and recover when we are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. However, there is a reason why I was able to quit my job and work full time for myself. When everyone else is chilling out, I am still working hard to set myself up for the next year. I know that so many of you reading this right now have been dreaming of making a real and positive impact in the world. Taking this time off your 9 to 5 job will push you ahead of the game so that you can start your dream business or career and make a true difference in the world. If you want to set yourself apart from everyone else and be more successful, be the person that speeds up instead of slows down this holiday season.

If you need help starting 2019 off on the right foot, sign up for a complimentary clarity session with me here. Together, we will discuss where you’re at, where you’re going, what’s getting in the way and start developing a clear path towards work you love!

What's On Your Tray This Holiday Season?

The weather is cold, the stores are packed and the sleigh bells are ringing. Yep, it is definitely the holiday season! This time of year can be filled with good tidings and cheer, but it can also bring a huge heaping pile of stress in our lives. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you an analogy that will help you understand just why you may find yourself feeling like a bit of a scrooge this time of year.

For this analogy, I want you to go back to your school days in your mind. Think back to middle school or high school when you would have to buy lunch from the cafeteria. You would walk in line, grab a tray and start piling on all the different things you wanted to have for lunch. Then, you would carefully carry it over to a table to eat everything. I want you to remember that feeling of balancing your lunch tray because that is what we are doing every day with all the different parts of our lives - especially during the holidays.

Think about everything you have on your tray right now. Usually, you have a plate full of work responsibilities on one side and another plate for family obligations. With the holidays upon us however, you might find an extra side dish of holiday preparations on one side of your tray. Maybe your work plate is beginning to overflow as your boss adds on a scoop of tasks that need to get done before the end of the year. Maybe your family plate is the one that is filling up as relatives from all over fly in to celebrate the holidays. Add another side dish here for friends and another for office parties and before you know it, things are just about to spill off your tray and into a messy pile on the ground.

When we let those work obligations or family responsibilities on our tray fill up too much, our tray starts to feel heavy or lopsided. We get so overwhelmed by all of the plates we are carrying during the holidays that we spend all our energy on just getting everything done and we completely miss out on the holiday joy and spirit. The closest we come to feeling Christmas cheer is stress eating a holiday doughnut because that one relative we really don’t want to see insists on hosting the family get together this year. Now we are not only missing out on the holiday spirit, but we are also not taking care of ourselves and our personal goals.

So I encourage you to take a moment to look at what is on your tray right now. It can help to even draw out a visual of what your tray looks like. Take a piece of paper and draw a big rectangle on it. This is your tray. Now ask yourself, what is on your tray right now? What are you carrying emotionally and psychologically? A good starting point might be to draw a plate for work and a plate for family - your traditional work life balance. From there, start thinking about all of the extra side dishes you may have added on your tray and draw those. What is causing you stress right now? What is making your tray feel heavy and unbalanced?

Taking a look at what you are carrying on your tray in life will give you a clear indicator on what you can let go of and what you can shift around on your life for more balance. You can look at the tray you have drawn out and identify what things on your plates you can possibly put on someone else’s tray who has more space. Asking for help - especially during the holidays - is the best thing that you can do for yourself so that you can feel balanced and really approach the holidays with a positive and merry spirit. ‘Tis the season after all!

If you are having trouble figuring out how to manage your time, I want to help you learn how to create a plan that you can use to make sure you have time for yourself and your career goals. That is why I am doing my planning workshop, Quit Your Job: An Intensive Workshop for the Aspiring Entrepreneur, tomorrow at 6:30pm at United By Blue. In this workshop, you will learn how to develop an actionable 90 Day plan to help you achieve all the goals you have for starting a new business that supports you. Learn more and sign up by clicking this link. I hope to see you there!

Why You Can't Stick to Those New Year's Resolutions

Can you believe that 2018 has almost passed us by? Now that we have all had a happy Thanksgiving, we have officially entered holiday season and the last few weeks of the year before 2019. In the spirit of the holidays, I want to give you a little gift for your new year and tell you the number one reason so many of us just can’t seem to stick to our New Year's’ resolutions.

You know the story, you tell yourself that you’re going to lose 30 pounds this year which is a great goal. Then the year passes you by and those gym shoes you bought in January haven’t left your closet since February. Whatever the resolution was for you, we have all been there and you probably spend every December wondering why you weren’t able to follow through on the goals you set for yourself. Well, it turns out that the problem isn’t with the New Years’ resolution itself. The number one reason we do not follow through with our New Year's’ resolution actually has more to do with the reason we are trying to pursue the resolution to begin with.

We may tell ourselves that we want to lose 30 pounds this year because we want to be healthy, but the reality is for many of us, that is not really want we care about at the end of the day. What we really want is to be able to keep up with our friends on their Saturday morning hikes. Or maybe we want to feel confident when we go to the beach in a swimsuit. Quite frankly, we might just want to lose 30 pounds so we can go out and get laid. That is okay!

Many aspiring entrepreneurs go into the New Year wanting to start a company and they say they want to create this business for money or to help people. Those reasons might be a part of your motivation for starting this business, but there is more to it most of the time. Everyone needs money or wants to help people, but there is a bigger motivation that is really driving your decision to become an business owner. It may be that you want to buy your first house or you want the freedom to travel.

While you may feel that motivations like getting laid or wanting to buy a house appear selfish, the only way to stick to big resolutions is to really get in touch with why we really want the end result. When we know what that motivation is, we can find the drive to stick to our goals this year and all the years to come.

Finding your real motivation is a really powerful way to follow through with your New Year's’ resolutions, but I know that really achieving the things you want to in the new year is far from easy. It is really freaking hard! That’s why I’ve got you covered.

I want all of us to cross off every single one of the resolutions we set for 2019, so I am doing a virtual vision and planning workshop on December 1st at 11AM called, How to Create Everything You Want in 2019.

THIS WORKSHOP IS NOT PLANNING AS USUAL! I have an alternative way to think about what you want that is going to help you get in touch with the real motivation behind your goals so that you can create your detailed 2019 plan. We will explore what you want and what your core desired feeling is in life, so that you know how you want to feel day in and day out.

I am so excited for this workshop because I know how much this method of planning has helped me achieve each year and I can’t wait to share that with you! If you are ready to become a planning guru so you can put in some serious work next year, sign up for How to Create Everything You Want in 2019 here!

As a special bonus, you can get a Cyber Monday Hangover discount by using promo code CYBER today to save over 65% on your ticket! That means you will be getting the tools you need for your most successful year yet for just $97! I can’t wait to see you there!

Work Life Balance: Is It Realistic? With Joanne Sapers

Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with my good friend and colleague Joanne Sapers, the founder of Go Deep with Love, about a topic that I have been thinking about deeply for a long time. We talked about work-life balance and if it is realistic to expect that we have a balance between our professional life and our personal life. This question has been weighing on the minds of a lot of people lately, as more and more we find that our society is a 24-hour Society. Forbes just recently put out an article stating that it might not be realistic to expect a work-life balance in today's work culture. However, I don't think that's true.

While work-life balance may not be possible in the traditional fifty fifty way that everybody strives for, I think it is incredibly realistic to be able to find a balance between work and your personal life so long as you find what that balance looks like for yourself. Work-life balance looks different for everyone because life is fluid and always changing. I know what it looks like for me; and in my conversation with Joanne, I was really looking forward to hearing her perspective on what having a work-life balance means for her. Joanne mentions that for her, starting her mornings connecting with her spirituality is very important.

“When I start my day, I do meditation I do journaling I do beautiful exercise I do total silence I do anything and everything that is going to say yes to me and remind me, because I go deep on the spiritual level, that everybody is one everything is one and as I wake up in the morning I’m part of this oneness.” - Joanne Sapers

Work-life Balance depends heavily on the things you want and need out of life. Spirituality is a major component in Joanne’s life and what she needs to feel fulfilled each day. For me, art is my spiritual practice and in order to feel balanced, I need to take the time to be creative. However, there was also a time in my life when I was growing my business while keeping a day job. Work-life balance for me then meant that my previous full-time job was work and my life was my business; and that is what felt right to me. Work-life Balance is all about perspective. It is important to think about what is right for you personally not only in the present moment in terms of what you want to create and self care, but also in the long term. Without finding a balance that is true to us in the long term, we may not be able to achieve all of the things we want to do in life.

Lacking a balance in our professional and personal lives also can negatively impact us emotionally. Before we started working together, a client of mine was stretching herself really thin working and volunteering for a bunch of different organizations and causes. Even though she cared for these causes and places she worked, she was also a painter who didn’t have the time to paint. Because she had so much to work to do and so many responsibilities to her family, she wasn’t painting anymore. That imbalance in her life resulted in her becoming resentful and snippy with her loved ones. Without the balance between her work and her passions, she was caught in a cycle of anger and energetic exhaustion, unable to really engage in her life.

Together, she and I had to figure out what the balance between her responsibilities and her painting looked like. We realized that she needed to have a certain number of minutes in the studio everyday in order to feel like she was living the life she wanted to live. As we slowly began building time for creativity back into her life, she was able to start letting go of the negative emotions she had been holding onto because she was doing what she felt she needed to do in life. By releasing these emotions, she was able to clear her mind and make better decisions for herself. She was able to say no to work and volunteer opportunities that she did not have the time for, in a way that was compassionate towards herself and the other person. Now, she is able to create paintings regularly and recently did a show where she sold every painting she had.

Once you start feeling more pride in who you are and what you do, you realize that you are worth taking care of and saying no to the things that overwhelm you. We might not believe that the “me time” and the life part of the work-life balance scale is important, but it might lead us down a journey we could never have imagined. So I encourage you to take the time to really discover what you truly need to feel that sense of pride and fulfillment in your life.

If you are struggling with visualizing what you need to do to connect with that sense of pride, I have created a virtual workshop just for you called, How to Create Everything You Want in 2019, on December 1st at 11AM. This 2 hour workshop is designed to help you discover what you truly want in life, set realistic goals that will move you forward towards the life you truly want, as well as address the negative setbacks and challenges that can get in the way so that you feel confident in your ability to achieve your goals. Sign up and learn more by clicking here!

#APOPFNF Profile: Max Kohls

IMG_5325Name: Max Kohls

Age: 24 years old

Subject: Weight Loss & Mental Health

Original Goal:  Lose 105 lbs; reach goal weight of 165lb.

Today's Goals:

      • Reevaluate whether my original goal matters considering the following
      • Gain strength and muscle (and therefore weight)
      • Continue to choose happiness and health on a daily basis

Advice: You can’t change what you are, but you can change who you are. It’s up to you to choose the person you want to be everyday and remember to choose who you are wisely.

Story: Max is a 24 year old gender-non-conforming Graphic Designer and the newest member of APOP's Fitness Nerd Family. They started their journey back in the summer of 2013 after graduating from Moore College of Art & Design with a  Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in--you guessed it--Graphic Design. Growing up and going to school in PA, Max decided it wasn't exactly the place they wanted to launch their career. California was where they headed, Los Angeles, where dreams are made.  With a background in Graphic Design, Max was well primed for a job in the television industry, but the dreams they ended up accomplishing in California were different than the plans they had previously set for themselves. Alone and without a job due to the relocation; Max saw Los Angeles as a great opportunity to do some soul-searching--to really figure out who they were as a person and challenge themself, but before we jump into how Max improved their life let me provide you with a little more background.

Upon graduation, Max was 270 lbs and unhappy. College was difficult. Like most of us during college, they got caught up in a little thing called stress. Being an art and design student had proven to be more challenging than anticipated. With six hour classes and a ton of all-nighters doing homework and class projects, it was hard to find time to eat, let alone make a healthy meal from scratch. Don't get them wrong, college wasn't the reason they had become unhealthy and depressed; the stresses of college simply added to their unhappiness.

"I wouldn't say that I have depression, I would say that I was depressed. I was just unhappy and uncomfortable constantly and that's why I was depressed, but now I feel better--I don't feel depressed anymore." - Max Kohls

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Before the stresses of college, Max encountered other hurdles-- growing up with learning differences, body image issues, and trying to find their place in the LGBT community. Max’s mother always loved, supported, and cared for them, but it was very difficult for her to see her child as 'bigger' and unhappy.  Max's mother was always working hard to stay healthy and fit and wanted Max to try new workouts or diets with her. Even though most might see this as supportive, Max felt pressured to be thin which weakened their relationship.

Max wanted to have control over their life--including their body. Max reflects on their thoughts of that time in our interview, "Two boxes of Oreos a week... whatever not a big deal! Who’s telling me what to do? It's my own body!...but now I'm more in control of my body. I go to the gym and make myself eat healthy." They say, "no one can force you to do anything unless your heart is truly in it." Before moving to California, Max always found themself feeling ashamed of eating certain foods and therefore hiding those habits from friends and family. "[My mother] always wanted to encourage me to lose weight and I was always the one who wanted to take back control, so I would eat by myself; I would hide and eat." Max would think to themself, "I'm not going to lose weight for you, I'm going to do what I want." Now, Max understands that for their mother it was difficult to see her child struggling and as it turns out all their mother wanted was for Max to be happy; it turns out their mom was their biggest fan.

"It's hard to feel like people expect things from you and that you might disappoint them...but it really isn't affecting them except for that it makes them happier for you." -Max Kohls

Moving to California was the perfect way for Max to separate themself from the family and friends "Let Down Factor”, their own bad habits, and their negative emotions. Los Angeles is such an encouraging place to begin a mental and physical health journey. The weather is nice, all the fruit is fresh, and the people--well they're beautiful. They never had to worry about their family seeing them workout. They didn’t have to worry that their loved ones would "get their hopes up" just to be disappointed once again. The pressure was lesser in California--if Max failed no would have to know, but if they succeeded they could share their success and feel proud that this time it was their choice...to be happy, to be healthy, to be successful.

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Making the choice everyday to work towards being healthy has allowed Max to become more connected with their body. Reflecting on this Max says, "I used to pull a blanket up to my head and I used to think, ‘I wish we were all just heads, I wish we didn't have to deal with our bodies’...and I told my therapist that and she said, 'it's clear that you're not connected with the rest of your body.' Once I started exercising and really getting in touch with my body, I began to feel more confident and empowered."

And even after moving back to the east coast they’ve continued to choose to be their “higher-self” on a daily basis--with the full support of their family and girlfriend. Max knew they had finally reached a point where they didn’t have to be ashamed of what they ate in front of their mother. “When I came back from LA after 5 months 35lbs thinner my mom saw that I could take care of myself.”  It was at this point they both knew that Max was in control of their health and would continue to be.

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For the last two years, back in Philadelphia, Max continues to be in control. They go to the gym five days a week, two days of which are spent with a personal trainer. When asked more about their fitness goals in relation to having a personal trainer, Max states, "I'm not just trying to lose weight anymore, I'm trying to gain muscle and heighten my testosterone levels naturally." As an non-binary individual Max is trying to find a comfortable balance between masculine and feminine. With this in mind, Max’s trainer has developed a exercise regime for Max to continue to achieve an androgynous appearance. “Its an amazing feeling to look in the mirror and be pround and happy with my reflection.”

Want to know more about Max? Continue reading the Q&A portion of the profile below.


Additional Q&A:

C: Many people have had a similar parent/child relationship as you and your mother. With this in mind, what would your advice be to parents who want their child(ren) to begin living a healthier lifestyle?

M: I honestly think therapy would be the best choice. I think therapy has a really bad stigma. You don’t have to be clinically depressed or suicidal to talk to a therapist. As someone who was just unhappy, talking to a third-party who wants to support you is wonderful. Her training has been more than helpful with not only weight loss but my relationship with my mother. I have been seeing my therapist for three years and even while I was in California for five months. I called her once a week and we would talk for an hour. It's so freeing to have her in my life. It's too difficult to talk to a parent that's just too close to the situation. I was always encouraged by my mother to make health a priority, but it wasn’t enough. Having a therapist for an objective opinion or point of view, has been extremely helpful in achieving my goal of being the best I can be.

C: You talk a lot about continually choosing your higher-self ; can you elaborate on that?

M: "Willpower is so important in weight loss--willpower and dedication. You have to get up every morning and say, 'This is who I'm going to be today.’ You have to be your higher-self. There is an opportunity to be your lower self: not go to the gym, eat poorly, etc., but you have to choose to be your higher-self. It's a choice. It's all choices. Everyday is a choice." Max later referenced the podcast that they had listened to previously that informed this conversation: http://www.stuffyoushouldknow.com/podcasts/willpower-works/

C: How do you feel about Jennifer Aditison's quote "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."?

M: That's so not true. First of all, I had had like nine s'mores the other week and all I could think is I'm going to have to workout really hard next week, but then I thought, 'no'...like how often do I really have s'mores...they are so worth it. Second of all, it's not about being skinny, it's about being healthy and your livelihood. It's about feeling good about yourself.

C: How do you manage the stresses of life and remain healthy?

M: "By being selfish sometimes...I always use the word ‘selfish’, but...it's not selfish if it's for your own well-being." I make the choice over and over again to be healthy. I remain healthy because I choose to and because I have a support network that helps me make that choice daily.

C: What does one of your typical workouts look like?

M: 45-60 minutes of cardio. If I’m on the treadmill, I start off running for as long as I can, usually 30 minutes, then I walk--sometimes on an incline. If I’m on the StairMaster, I usually just do 45 minutes while I watch TV shows like F.R.I.E.N.D.S. After that I do back, triceps, and biceps then head over to the free weights and do 20 hammer curls, 20 squats, you know, different exercises.* I love cables and free weights…I feel bad ass not using the weight machines. When I work out with my trainer Ralph Gilmore at Body Dynamics, I do more challenging exercises. He pushes me to try new things like weighted squats and leg lifts. He loves to remind me, “If you weren’t working out with me you wouldn’t be lifting this heavy,” and it’s true!  He shows how much weight to lift, corrects my form, and reminds me to breath. I am so thankful to have someone so knowledgeable helping me reach my goals.   

*Recommended Resource: Bodybuilding.com's exercise database--it's an exciting and interactive online encyclopedia of exercise how to's and how not to's.