How To Make Friends: My Post-Grad Thoughts On Relationships That Count

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I used to have 8234839234 million “friends.” And I put quotation marks around the word “friends” because I use that term so lightly.

College was a dream for me. While the school I went to wasn’t perfect, I was too enamored with it to notice it’s flaws while I was there, so I danced through those four years with a big fat smile on my face. Sure, I had plenty of tough times in college, namely some difficulty adjusting to the academic rigor of the school I went to and a couple of ugly relationships, but otherwise I was the girl who’d hijack the high school guests at your dinner party to convince them to think about applying to the place I loved so much.

And one of the things that made my college experience so spectacular were all the friends I had. Don’t get me wrong – that makes me sound really popular or something, and we all know that I’m a huge dork and a really big ball of anxiety who sometimes cares way too much about what other people think. Not really a picture of “cool.”

But in college, it was way easier to make friends and maintain them. That is, if you have the definition of friendship that I did.  Continue reading “How To Make Friends: My Post-Grad Thoughts On Relationships That Count”

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How To Make Your Dreams Come True: Making Vague Goals A Reality

How Writing A Gratitude Journal Helped Me Savor My Life | Making a gratitude journal is an awesome way to appreciate the little things in life. Here's how I got started and how you can, too!

So you’ve done the work.

You’ve made your bucket list full of your wildest dreams. You’ve cut out the 3 worst habits that get in the way of reaching our goals.You’ve set your priorities and made room in your life for pursuing purpose.

And you’ve even gone through my practical guide to achieving “impossible” goals.

But now you’re staring at your computer screen, blinking at phrases like “Travel to every country in the world” and “Find true love,” and you’re not sure where to start.

All these crazy aspirations you’ve thought up, the picture of this amazing life you’ve dreamt about since forever – all of this feels elusive. There are too many invisible steps from where you are now to where you want to go.

And you’ve begun to wonder if the life you want is even in the cards. Continue reading “How To Make Your Dreams Come True: Making Vague Goals A Reality”

Get To Know Yourself: 3 Steps Towards Understanding Who You Are

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The thing I love most about being a therapist is getting to know someone in a way they may not have ever been known before. Then I get to help them understand who they are.

I cherish this part of therapy more than all else because I believe that understanding ourselves is the key component towards self-love, healing, and freedom. Continue reading “Get To Know Yourself: 3 Steps Towards Understanding Who You Are”

Vulnerability Scares Me To Death & Here’s Why I Choose It Anyway [+4 Free Lock Screens!]

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I was sitting across from an incredible human being over salads and coffee in a local lunch spot and I was scared to death.

It wasn’t this human’s fault. She was becoming a person  I trusted. You know those people you meet at random times in life who make you feel like God cut you from the same cloth? Like your souls share the same threaded design? This was how I felt with her, a person slowly becoming a friend as we decided to share small swatches of our hearts with one another, bit by bit, testing the waters to see if they felt safe.

And they had so far. But things were getting scary for me. Because I did feel safe, and that meant I had to wade a little deeper. I had to share a little more. If I wanted to take this acquaintance-becoming-friend to full-fledged-partnership, I knew I needed to make my way to the deep end, revealing more vulnerable realities I carried around inside clenched fists so nobody could see them.

I had to get real. Continue reading “Vulnerability Scares Me To Death & Here’s Why I Choose It Anyway [+4 Free Lock Screens!]”

Worried About Failing Your New Years Resolution? These 6 Posts Are Here To Help.

Worried About Failing Your New Years Resolution? These 6 Posts Are Here to Help. #newyears #resolution #city #newyear #2017 #2016

Happy 2017, friends! Last year was such a ride, and I’m excited to see what 2017 has in store.

And of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have goals for the year. If you’ve been following this blog, you’re probably like, duh Amanda. Goals are like, who you are. You are made of goals. Goals basically fall out of your ears. 

Um, thanks? I’m not really sure if that was a compliment or an insult, but if I say thanks maybe that means it’s a compliment. Ahem. Continue reading “Worried About Failing Your New Years Resolution? These 6 Posts Are Here To Help.”

A Practical Guide To Accomplishing “Impossible” Goals [Plus A Free Worksheet!]

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Jump right to the worksheet by clicking here!

As a therapist, it’s my job to help people achieve their goals. Many of the people I see come into the therapy room with visions for their lives, but they feel stuck or unable to get there. Their dreams seem impossible, so far out of reach that they’ll never be actualized.

My role is to inspire hope. When my clients are leaving our last therapy session together, one of my biggest desires is that they’ve walked away with a sense of self-efficacy, or the confidence that they have everything they need to get started on the road towards seeing their dreams become reality.  Continue reading “A Practical Guide To Accomplishing “Impossible” Goals [Plus A Free Worksheet!]”

Why I Almost Took Down This Site & Why I Didn’t

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There was a moment in these past few months when I almost killed The Next Seven.

October had just rolled in and life was simultaneously feeling too full and yet not full enough. My days were packed with activities.

Between running almost every day in training for a half marathon, writing and submitting poetry to journals, stuffing my weekends and nights with New York City adventures, attending and studying for school, spending quality time building up my personal relationships, and working at the hospital, there was barely any time for blogging.

And it started to feel kind of pointless to blog. I didn’t feel like I was really creating a platform that drew others to read and respond. And keeping this site up and running was taking up a bit of my time that I could have been using to work towards other items on my bucket list. Continue reading “Why I Almost Took Down This Site & Why I Didn’t”

Overcoming Fear: How To Combat Goal Achievement Paralysis & Reach Our Dreams

Overcoming Fear: How To Combat Goal Achievement Paralysis & Reach Our Dreams | #goal #achieve #inspire #motivation #fear #overcoming #reach #dreams

I’ve already laced up my shoes. It’s time to go. The mile goal for the day is farther than I’ve run in years, and I’m physically prepared to conquer it. But I’m still sitting on my bed, staring at the door, wondering if I should take off my shoes and stay home.

I was experiencing Goal Achievement Paralysis, and if my conversations with friends and family members are correct, I’m not the only one who struggles with it. In the case of my decision to run a half marathon, Goal Achievement Paralysis struck because I’d failed in previous attempts to train for a race when I was injured. But it can (and does!) get in the way of many other kinds of goals as well.

You may be experiencing Goal Achievement Paralysis if you:

  • have all the external means to reach your goals (ex. money, time, and other resources)
  • feel you will never get there
  • are tempted to (or already have) stopped trying

Because I know I’m not alone in my experiences with this debilitating setback, I’ve decided to share what I’ve learned about Goal Achievement Paralysis and how I’ve combated it in the past:

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Pause & Reflect On What’s Holding Us Back

Whenever I’m feeling helpless or overwhelmed in my attempts to grab ahold of goals, I always take a step back and think. Oftentimes there are underlying reasons why we are feeling stuck that we won’t recognize unless we really reflect on what’s going on internally.

I’ve found that a lot of the time, my Goal Achievement Paralysis is based in some kind of fear. It’s tempting to simplify this fear by saying we feel we “just won’t be able to do it,” but it’s important to dig a little deeper than that to get at the real, concrete root of why we are afraid of failure, such as:

  • I’m afraid to train for this half marathon because I’ve failed at it before, and I’m worried that another failure will speak to my inabilities as a human being.
  • I’m scared of traveling abroad to Paris because I have never been that far away from home, and I’m worried I won’t be able to handle separation from the familiar.
  • I am worried about reaching out to my brother to create a better relationship because I fear he will reject me.

Even these examples above could be granted greater depth. To continue to find depth, I always ask myself “why.” For example, consider this breakdown of how someone might unpack their reasons for worrying about reaching out to their brother:

“I am worried about reaching out to my brother.” Why are you worried? “Because I fear he will reject me.” Why do you fear he will reject you? “Because I have felt rejected before in other relationships I’ve had.”

We could go on and on with these “why” questions, and I think it’s good that we do. Once we identify our fears around our goals and why we have them, we can start to work at overcoming these fears and achieving our aspirations.

Overcoming Fear: How To Combat Goal Achievement Paralysis & Reach Our Dreams | #goal #achieve #inspire #motivation #fear #overcoming #reach #dreams

Consider The Outcomes

As soon as we’ve locked down our fears and understand where they come from, it’s time to undo them. I like to do this by asking myself three questions intended to help me get over my fears and get going:

  • Consider the worst case scenario: If I start to strive for this goal, what’s the worst thing that could happen? 
  • Consider the best case scenario: If I start to strive for this goal, what’s the best thing that could happen?
  • Consider the chances of each scenario occurring: What’s the likelihood that this scenario will happen? What about the other one?

Once we’ve established the best and worst case scenarios, we can decide whether it makes sense to move forward or not.

For example, if the worst case scenario when I train for a race is that I end up being unable to do it, there isn’t a ton of loss there. If the best case scenario is that I complete the race and accomplish one of my goals, that’s a motivation to try. Plus, the likelihood that I do finish training is high while the likelihood that I don’t is pretty low.

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Get Equipped & Get Started

Now it’s time to start striving. But it would be unrealistic to expect that fear won’t start creeping in again in the middle of working towards our goals. So I like to arm myself with some phrases or reminders I can keep on hand whenever worry strikes.

For example, I often use these phrases in the middle of running when I start to get tired and wonder whether I’ll be able to finish:

  • “What, just because you’ve never done it before means you can’t do it at all?”
  • “Do what you can. That’s all you can do.”

Other people like to have reminders on their walls or small tokens in their pockets that remind them of their ability to succeed and their decision to keep going.

After equipping ourselves with reminders of the mental attitude that will sustain us when the going gets rough, we’re ready to start. I always ask myself what I can do today or tomorrow to begin on my journey towards my goal. Then I go do it, no excuses. This helps me take that first step, and once I’ve done that, I can’t stop.

We are human beings with the capabilities, intelligence, and internal means necessary to achieve big things. We can’t let fear get in the way of living well. 

I can’t wait to hear all about what you do!

What’s kept you from achieving goals in the past? How did you overcome it, or how will you overcome it in the future?

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Guest Post: Simply Us Blog

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I don’t really remember how Emily of Simply Us Blog and I met, but I remember immediately being struck by her interest in living life well. She was overjoyed to hear about my desire to fully live out my 20s because she did just that. She told me she was so intentional about making the most of those years that she graduated to her 30s without a single regret. After hearing a bit of her story, I was so inspired that I asked her to write a guest post to share some tips on how she leans into life every single day. Give her a warm welcome!

I don’t think that I started out wanting to do things so differently from everyone else.  I wanted to fit in!  However, as the years passed and the more I found that my strange lifestyle choices bothered people, the more I wanted to be unique. Continue reading “Guest Post: Simply Us Blog”

Top 4 Lessons I’ve Learned About Adventure In 2016

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This year was full of wild adventures. I spent a summer experiencing the best of NYC, traveled to Puerto Rico, made many bus trips and road trips along the East Coast, and just generally had a ball of a time exploring.

And I’m grateful for all the lessons I’ve gathered from these expeditions and the act of preparing for them. So I thought a good way to celebrate these newfound understandings was to write a post on them! Continue reading “Top 4 Lessons I’ve Learned About Adventure In 2016”