Does Hard Work Really Payoff?

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I have almost a decade of work experience under my belt which feels impressive since I’m only 26. I feel like I’ve been working hard for so long, always trying to be the best at what I do and trying to lead others to success too.

I started working my junior year of high school and it seemed like most of my classmates didn’t have jobs yet. I got my job because I had been invited to go to Europe that summer with other high school musicians and I needed to be able to help pay for the trip. It was hard working nights and weekends when my friends were hanging out but it was all worth it because I was saving for something I really wanted.

I ended up loving that job and working there for nearly 6 years. I was hired as a high school junior and left as a college graduate ready to move onto my first post-grad job. My first job taught me time management and leadership skills that are incredibly valuable. I also already had 6 years of work experience which set me apart from my peers.

My current job has been a roller-coaster since day one (in the best way possible). At first, I was so miserable and I was just trying to make it a year. I loved my co-workers but I hated the job. Then my boss moved me to a different role and I loved it! I was making a difference and was passionate about it. My team is amazing and even if the work is tedious I still get so much joy out of being part of this team.

All of that to say that I feel like I have been working so hard and sometimes I wonder why. When I first got a job I was working to save for a big trip. Now I feel like I go the extra mile everyday and I am working hard to keep moving up just for personal satisfaction. Yes, I have to have a job to pay my bills but work doesn’t have to be my whole life.

Some part of me always has to be the best at whatever I’m doing. I had to take flute lessons so I could have first part. I had to be a manager at my last job because I wanted to master all of the jobs. In my current role I keep cross-training so I can be as helpful as possible and keep moving up. My current role never seems to be good enough because I know that I can always improve.

Does hard work really payoff? I’d say it does.

These days I’m grateful that I’m able to have an emergency fund for the things in life that I just can’t plan for. I’m grateful that I can afford the beautiful house that we fell in love with. I’m grateful that I can save for trips I want to take in the future. Most of all, I have a sense of pride in my work and I’m grateful for that.

In a world that makes it seem like we need to work 24/7 to be successful, I’m here to remind you that success comes in all shapes and sizes. Don’t compare where you are at to where somewhere else is.

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Photo by Kevin Bhagat on Unsplash

 

Five on Friday #21

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It’s finally Friday, friends!

It’s been a sad week but I’m going to continue to work on educating myself to be a better ally. I’ve ordered books, listened to podcasts, and have tried to be as educated as possible. History is happening right before our eyes and it’s easy to stay quiet and let it happen but it’s important to stay involved. Right now I am trying to listen and learn as much as possible.

Here are five random things for this Friday:

  1. Our stay at home order was lifted early this week. It was supposed to last until mid June so I was really surprised when it was lifted. We did have a 7 pm curfew for a few days because of the riots and looting. The protests in my city were mostly peaceful though. Were you able to attend any protests this week?
  2. I have a certification class and exam in July that I’ve been studying for. I’m really excited for the class even though it’s been moved to a virtual class format. Like I’ve said before, my background is not in finance so I feel like I still have a lot of catching up to do in terms of my knowledge of the financial industry. This is a huge step for me but I really need to focus!
  3. We actually have plans this weekend! We are going to hang out with some of Brett’s friends (while social distancing) in our backyard. The weather is supposed to be really nice and it’ll be good for my extrovert husband to spend some time with his friends. I think it’s been hard for him to not see his friends as much as he was used to.
  4. When I was planning our wedding I got really into hand-lettering as a hobby and stress relief. I still have so many pens and brush markers but haven’t really touched them in a couple of years. I started hand-lettering again last week and have been loving it! I keep extra paper in my desk drawer and whenever work is feeling too stressful I sketch something and it makes me feel much better. I used Creative Lettering and Beyond with these Sakura brush pens when I was learning.
  5. The mosquitoes are so bad this year! We are thinking about getting our backyard sprayed just so we are able to sit out. Have you ever had your yard sprayed for mosquitoes? Did you think it was worth it?

How was your week? What are your plans for this weekend?

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Photo by Niklas Veenhuis on Unsplash

Five on Friday #20

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Happy Friday, friends!

It’s been a pretty challenging week but I’m feeling energized and ready for the weekend! Our stay at home order in Michigan has been extended through June 12th so we are just hanging out at home but I am perfectly okay with that. I will never take time with my family for granted.

Here are five random things this Friday:

  1. I accidentally bought 5 tomato plants on Monday. I thought I was only buying 2 and it would be an easy way to start a container garden but there were actually 4 tomato plants in one of the containers. I have found gardening to be super relaxing so far. I have a little herb garden, my tomatoes, and some various flowers. I really think I needed a relaxing hobby to de-stress. Do you enjoy gardening?
  2. A couple of month’s ago Influenster sent me their Be Mine VoxBox which included the Live Clean Apple Cider Shampoo and Conditioner. I was skeptical but excited to find that they were 97% plant derived, cruelty free, and free from dye and parabens. They are also under $5 a piece on Amazon so they are super budget friendly! I’ve been using these products for about 2 months now and I really love them!
  3. For most of my life I have believed that credit cards were bad. I got my first one at 21 that had a $500 limit to take with me to study abroad. I just got my second credit card in 2017 which is the one that we mostly use for purchases. It has great cash back rewards and I’ve been trying to utilize those. I never buy anything that I couldn’t afford to buy with cash unless it’s a well-thought out and very necessary purchase. Because of that I am able to pay off my credit card each month. I have found that paying the balance every other Friday on my payday is super helpful instead of paying one lump sum at the end of the month. How do you feel about credit cards?
  4. I’ve started re-reading the Harry Potter series and I almost forgot just how much I love the books! Reading them reminds me of being a child and being so excited to go to bed every night just so my mom could read us another chapter of whatever Harry Potter book we were currently reading. I fell in love right away and they are still so comforting to me.
  5. On Wednesday night Brett and I went to my grandma’s house for dinner. That sounds anti-stay at home but we had a nice little social distancing dinner with her, my mom, and my dad. We sat in her garage 6 feet apart and caught up on life. My grandma lives alone so I think it was really good for her to be around people safely for a couple of hours.

How was your week? Do you have any plans this weekend?

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Photo by Max Eberlein on Unsplash

 

Good Reading Habits Tag

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I was tagged by Becky at Strikeouts & Sprinkles in the Good Reading Habits Tag! Thanks, Becky!

The rules for this tag are pretty simple: discuss your good reading habits, tag back to the original creator, and tag a few friends!

Read book reviews

One of my favorite ways to keep me interested in reading is to read book reviews. I especially love reading the book reviews by my favorite bloggers. By reading these reviews I often am introduced to books that I’ve never heard of but am interested in reading. Which leads me to my next habit.

Keep a TBR list

Once I find a book I’m interested in reading I immediately add it to my TBR list. I personally keep my list on my phone for easy access. I will also add books to my Amazon Wishlist if it’s near a holiday or my birthday so Brett has some idea of what to get me if he needs to buy a gift.

Read a little each day

Sometimes I really don’t feel like reading even though I know I will enjoy it once I start. I set a goal to read a little bit everyday and sometimes that little bit turns into half a book in one night.

If you don’t like it, don’t read it

If I’m not enjoying a book I won’t force myself to keep reading it. I give all books a fair chance but life is too short to read a book that you don’t enjoy, in my opinion.

Kindle Unlimited

I originally started with a free 2 month trial of Kindle Unlimited with the intention of cancelling after the 2 months. I actually loved it though and found myself reading so much more. I decided it was worth the price for now and have enjoyed my membership!

My Tags:

Lauren

Tiffany

Maysa Rose

Chanelle Hayley

Thanks for reading!

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2020: First Quarter Goals Recap

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I think we all can agree that the first quarter of 2020 didn’t turn out exactly the way we expected it to. I already threw out my 2020 goals for my professional life but these personal first quarter goals still seem relevant and I want to keep track of how I did.

You can read my full 2020 Q1 goals post here.

  1. Take better care of myself. I think I did okay at taking care of myself but I’ve never been good at it. I always tend to put others first and that really hurts my mental and emotional state. Q1 was really stressful and I didn’t make time for friends or prioritizing “me” time. I’ll try to learn from this and do better the rest of the year.
  2. Spend less time on my phone. I stayed really busy in Q1 so that helped keep my screen time low. However, I did watch a lot of YouTube videos and listen to music and podcasts which I count as phone time.
  3. Listen to more podcasts. I was hoping to listen to a ton of podcasts at work in Q1 but this was before I started my new role which didn’t leave any time for podcasts. It’s hard to listen to anything while training in a new role so I failed at this one but that’s okay.
  4. Focus on learning and growing at work. Ugh. It’s so funny that I added this as a goal! I went into 2020 feeling so confident about my job and ready to take on the world. I have to laugh at how hard that got thrown back in my face. I learned a lot but I feel a lot less confident and happy in my role. I’m questioning everything and wondering if maybe it’s time for a change of career. We will see how the rest of 2020 goes career wise.
  5. Finish 3 months of Keto. I successfully did keto for about 10 weeks and lost 15 pounds! I have fallen off the wagon a little due to the pandemic and being unable to have access to meat and vegetables the way I used to. We are trying to eat from our pantry and freezer but I’m still super mindful about what I’m eating and feel really good! I’m looking forward to continuing with the ketogenic lifestyle.
  6. Spend more time tidying and less time cleaning. Yes! I am counting this as a success! My house will never be perfect but I feel really good about the amount of time I spent cleaning this quarter. I used to spend the whole weekend deep cleaning my house and it was so stressful. This quarter I focused on tidying as I went so I could relax more on Saturday and Sunday.
  7. Schedule all of my annual health appointments. I failed at this but I had my reasons! First of all, I felt like I couldn’t leave work the way I used to because I was training on such a tight schedule. Then I finally made my appointments for after my sister’s wedding and we came home and Michigan shut down so all of my appointments were cancelled and re-scheduled. I’ll try again in Q2.

I’m not beating myself up about the failure of Q1 and I hope that the rest of 2020 is better. We are living through such a weird time right now and we just have to give ourselves some grace. Things are not going to go according to plan and we have to accept that.

Setting quarterly goals has never been about being so strict with myself that I can’t enjoy life. I set these goals knowing that I will have to be flexible and just go with the flow. I want a good balance of accountability and flexibility.

How were the first three months of 2020 for you? Did you set any goals for yourself?

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Photo by Irina Iriser on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

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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