Six Years of Blogging!

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November 21st, 2019 marked six years since I began writing Life of Hayley! I can’t believe that this incredible journey began with one badly written post that I typed up in my sophomore dorm room.

I had just turned 20 when I decided that I wanted to blog “for real”. I had a blog the year before for my freshman English class and I loved it! I’ve always been a writer and had given some serious thought to being a journalism major in college but it just wasn’t in the cards for me. Having a blog has fulfilled my love of writing and has given me something to be truly passionate about.

I’ve come a long way in six years. I’ve learned to embrace being an introvert and all of the awkward things that come along with it. I’ve made some great internet friends and have enjoyed following along with their journeys. I’ve graduated from college, found a job, and have gotten married! I’ve lived in London and traveled all over.

The one constant thing in my life over these six years has been this. Sitting down and typing out my thoughts and feelings for anyone to read. Writing has been my therapy and you have been my friends.

Thank you all for an amazing six years! I’m looking forward to many more to come.

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Photo by Sagar Patil on Unsplash

Living Life Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

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Last week was really hard. I went into 2020 feeling really confident and ready to take on the world. I was comfortable. But maybe I was too comfortable?

When I graduated from college I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I felt pressure to find the perfect job and be the girl boss that I had always dreamed of being. I applied for at least 20 jobs in under a month but it took me almost six months and countless interviews before I landed my current job.

The first year was hard and I wanted to quit so badly. I told myself to give it a year and spent my free time looking at job postings. I was miserable in my role and my boss knew it. I made a change and started a new role that I loved right away. I joined this badass team of women who worked hard and really cared about each other. I felt empowered and impactful in my role. I was comfortable.

Sometimes the best opportunities are outside of our comfort zones but we are afraid to make the leap. Last week I didn’t make a leap of faith. Instead I was pushed outside of my comfort zone in the worst way. I was asked to move back into my old role temporarily while our team adjusted to some other transitions.

I cried more tears than I’m willing to admit because I love my team and was so comfortable in my role that I didn’t want to leave. I had finally established myself as a leader and was prepared to have the best year. I saw all of my dreams and career goals crashing all around me and I panicked.

We aren’t meant to live safely inside of our comfort zones. There is so much life to live but we are too scared to see it. I had so many negative feelings about the job that I couldn’t cope with the thought of going back to it. I needed to leave my negative feelings behind me and move on in order to fully become the girl boss that I want to be.

It’s okay to be scared of the unknown and to feel trapped or anxious. It’s okay to want to stay where you feel comfortable. But it’s also good to do things that scare you. This job scares me but I’m going to put in the work and become an expert. I’m going to prove to myself that I can do hard things and make the best of bad circumstances.

My life isn’t over because my plan didn’t work out exactly the way I thought it would. I’m learning to live my life outside of my comfort zone. I’m taking it day by day and learning to trust myself and feel confident in my abilities.

You can tackle any challenges that you are facing. I believe in you.

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Photo by Cristofer Jeschke on Unsplash

2020: First Quarter Goals

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Happy Monday! Monday is the perfect day of the week to share my goals for the first quarter of the year.

I’ve explained my reasoning for setting quarterly goals instead of New Years Resolutions a few times. I started setting quarterly goals in 2018 and actually found myself checking off my goals instead of just setting them and forgetting about them. I’ve been so productive the past couple of years due to setting these goals! I pick a few important things, focus on them for 3 months, and end up making a big impact on my life.

With that said, here are my first quarter goals for 2020!

  1. Take better care of myself. I’ve been doing better at relaxing lately but I need to focus on keeping my stress levels down and actually taking care of myself. This means making a hair appointment, hanging out with friends, and doing things that I love doing. I’m looking forward to learning how to prioritize my “me” time.
  2. Spend less time on my phone. I finally got a new iPhone and I have the screen time monitoring turned on. Every time I get my screen time report I’m surprised at how much time per day I am on my phone. There are so many things I would rather do instead of playing on my phone.
  3. Listen to more podcasts. I listen to music at work all day to help me focus. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been listening to podcasts instead of music and I’ve been loving it! I feel like I’m learning things instead of just listening to the same songs over and over again. Let me know if you have any podcast recommendations!
  4. Focus on learning and growing at work. I have a ton of new learning opportunities at work this year. I’ve been at my job for 3 years and I’ve learned a lot in that time. However, there’s still so much that I can learn. I’ll be taking a couple of classes this year and will start working towards a certification.
  5. Finish 3 months of Keto. I’ve done Keto 2 other times and I’ve really enjoyed it! My original neurologist was the first person to recommend it to me because it’s good for my brain to limit carbs and sugar. I’ve found that I have less migraines if I monitor my food.
  6. Spend more time tidying and less time cleaning. I usually spend most of my weekend cleaning, doing laundry, grocery shopping, and meal prepping. This year I’d like to tidy more during the week so that I can enjoy my weekend instead of spending it cleaning.
  7. Schedule all of my annual health appointments. Am I the only one who hates making phone calls?! I need to schedule my semi-annual dentist appointment, annual eye doctor appointment, and annual physical with my doctor. I love going to the dentist but I’m anxious about the eye doctor because I know I’ll need glasses and I really don’t want them.

In 2019 I created a word of the year for myself for the first time. My word was confidence and I kept this word in my head all year. I focused on being confident at work and learning to love myself despite my awkwardness.

My word of the year for 2020 is intentional. I want to be more intentional with my words, actions, and thoughts. I want to be intentional with how I spend my time and focus my energy. I want to be intentional with my hopes, dreams, and actions. I’m looking forward to seeing what the year brings!

Do you set News Years Resolutions? What are your goals for the year?

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Photo by Pigoff PhotographY on Unsplash

2019: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

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My first post of 2020, woohoo!

I wrote a 2018 reflection like this last year and it’s one of my favorites. 2018 was one of the hardest years of my life and it was tough for me to find positives to list. But it was also a reminder that it’s easy to find positives if you are looking for them.

In 2019 I tried to focus more on the positive things in my life and it ended up being a great year! Like I said last year, please don’t read this post and think that I have a perfect life. I really don’t but I try to make the best of what I do have.

In 2019 I…

  • Turned 26 and celebrated my golden birthday
  • Visited Florida (2), Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Oregon
  • Fell in love with blogging again
  • Celebrated two years of marriage and eight total years with Brett
  • Reunited with my German BFF in Oregon
  • Tried a new migraine preventative and steroids to break my migraine cycle (they didn’t work)
  • Spent SO much time with my family
  • Prioritized my happiness for the first time
  • Learned to say “no”
  • Celebrated three years at my current job
  • Had a girls night with my work friends
  • Lost 15 pounds
  • Became an Aunt to two perfect twin girls
  • Went to my first NFL game
  • Painted and organized at my parent’s house
  • Read a lot of great books
  • Threw a baby shower for my sister in law
  • Celebrated the lives of Brett’s grandpa and my childhood friend
  • Went to Cedar Point
  • Had a date beach day with Brett

I’m looking forward to a great 2020! I’ll be posting my first quarter goals soon and a recap of the last couple of months of 2019.

How was your 2019?

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Cheers to 2020!

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Hey friends! Long time, no blog.

It’s been a hot second since my last post because I spontaneously decided that I needed to take time off of blogging. 2019 was my best year of writing and I’m so glad that I was able to share my adventures, struggles, and thoughts via my corner of the internet. But when December rolled around I knew that I needed a break.

2019 was one of the best years of my life. Not because everything was perfect, but because I really challenged myself to put myself first and to grow into the woman I want to become. I’m finally at a point in my career where I feel like I’m heading in the right direction.

Even though 2019 was such an amazing year I’m still thrilled to be going into 2020. It feels like a fresh start and I’m really looking forward to starting over again. I want to continue to push myself far outside of my comfort zone. I want to grow and to help others grow too.

So, cheers to 2020! May this be the best year of our lives!

What are you looking forward to about the New Year?

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Photo by Deva Williamson on Unsplash

10 Things That I Love About Myself

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I wrote a post last week titled “Overcoming Self-Doubt” which was hard to write but really important for me to share. One of my main goals of blogging is to share my real life which includes all of the ugly moments in between the magical moments. Self-doubt is something that I have struggled with my whole life and I have let it slow me down and ruin many opportunities.

Today I wanted to share 10 things that I love about myself to remind myself that I have so many good qualities to share with the world.

  1. I’m funny. I’m typically a quiet person and I didn’t know that I was funny until my sister told me. I don’t open up around people very easily but I’ve been trying to open up more and I enjoy letting my personality shine. I’m able to make people laugh along with me and bring a bit of brightness to their day.
  2. I’m empathetic. I’m a crier and if I see someone crying I will probably cry with them. I feel all the feelings so strongly and deeply that it’s often hard to catch my breath. I want to help people feel better. I want to be able to take some of their pain away. Being empathetic is a superpower in my book.
  3. I’m a great listener. I tend to thank my introverted tendencies for making me such a great listener. I’m constantly aware of my surroundings and love a good chat with a friend to catch up on their life.
  4. Children love me. For some reason children have always loved me. They naturally seem to make their way to me and want to talk or play. When I was young I couldn’t wait to be a mom and have children of my own to run around with.
  5. I always put family first. I was at a funeral recently and the minister said something about spending a day with your family and friends because you never know when it’s your last time. I think about that all the time now and cherish every moment with my family and friends.
  6. I’m a dog AND a cat person. A lot of people seem to be one or the other but I have both a dog and cat and I love them equally.
  7. I love to travel. A part of me is always ready for the next adventure but I’m a planner so I must think everything over before acting. I look forward to the next trip all year.
  8. I’m a dreamer. I’m always lost in my own head dreaming up my next blog post, thoughts, words, adventures, etc. I have big dreams and I’m always working on my next move to make my dreams come true.
  9. I’m a great wife. Being married is so hard and I think I was a little naive going into it. I got married at 23 after being with my husband for 6 years. Even though we had been together for so long and had lived together prior to being married, it’s still been a bit of a challenge. I know I’m a great wife though and I’ll never stop fighting for my husband.
  10. I’m an introvert. If you asked me a year ago I would have said that being an introvert was my worst quality. Now I know that being an introvert is what makes me empathetic, caring, thoughtful, and organized. Some of my very best qualities were created because of my personality and I’m so glad I have learned to embrace it!

If you are struggling with self-doubt or any other type of insecurity I challenge you to create a list of 10 things you love about yourself too. I thought coming up with 10 things would be hard but I found it to be quite therapeutic.

We are our own worst critics. It’s okay to have a bad day but it’s so important to give yourself grace and respect.

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Photo by Drop the Label Movement on Unsplash

 

Overcoming Self-Doubt

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I need my next blog post to be titled “10 Things That I love About Myself” because I have been terrible to myself lately. I have let self-doubt kill almost every dream that I’ve ever had. I’ve blamed this doubt on my personality. I’m too shy, too introverted, too awkward, etc.

Enough is enough.

My whole life I have been waiting for a sign from the universe telling me that I’m good enough. I’ve always thought that the world was built for beautiful people with their styled hair, perfect makeup, and put together outfits. I’ve only recently discovered that behind those perfect looks are just normal people who are also doubting themselves too.

I almost let my self-doubt ruin a really good opportunity at work. I’m so afraid of speaking my mind that I shut down and shut people out. I’d rather ruin something than fail at it. I’m scared of taking a chance and having it thrown back in my face.

Well, Hayley, this is your sign.

No one cares that I’ve gained weight. No one cares that I have no idea how to do my hair or makeup. I am projecting these issues onto myself and dragging my own name in the mud in the process.

Tomorrow is a new day and I promise to be kinder to myself. I promise to thank my body for carrying me through every day. I promise to look in the mirror and not say a million nasty things to my reflection. I promise to hold my head high and own my career.

It’s easy to let self-doubt get in the way of your life. I’ve done it a million times. If you are waiting for your sign from the universe like I was, let me be your sign too. It’s time to take back control.

Whatever you are facing, you’ve got this!

Do you have any tips for overcoming self-doubt? How do you deal with it?

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Photo by David Kiriakidis on Unsplash