2019: First Quarter Goals Recap

setting goals for 2019

In January I posted about my goals for the first quarter of 2019. The first three months have flown by and I am about to post my second quarter goals next week. Today I thought I would share how I did with my goals for the first quarter.

  1. Get a professional haircut. Guys! I hate getting my haircut so this still hasn’t happened. I still have this weekend though so I’ll try to force myself to get it cut. Do it for the blog!! I know I’ll feel better after I do.
  2. Travel at least twice. This was an easy one! We took a quick trip to visit Brett’s grandpa in Florida in January and then took a few days in February to visit my grandparent’s in Arizona.
  3. Commit to the blog. I give myself a 70% with this goal. I was pretty consistent with posting but never was able to reach my view goal that I always have in my head. If you read my blogging tips post you would know that I try not to take blogging too seriously so I won’t be hard myself and will consider this goal accomplished.
  4. Read three books and write reviews. YES! I read Meet Cute, All The Bright Places, and Top Ten and was able to write reviews for all three. I also read Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven but haven’t posted the review for it yet. Stay tuned!
  5. Meal plan and prep for the week ahead. I did okay with meal planning and prep. I went to the grocery store and made sure I had work lunches packed 90% of the time. I learned a couple of new recipes that I am loving and stopped relying on my crock pot so much. I still have some work to do with this but I plan on continuing what I have been doing in Q2.
  6. Make healthy living a top priority. Why is this so hard? UGH. I am getting better though. I’ve been losing a couple of pounds a week and have stopped snacking so much in between meals. I think about my goals often and try to be gentle with myself. Healthy living has been my priority and will continue to be throughout the rest of the year.

Stay tuned for my second quarter goals next week! Do you have any goals for the next few months?

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5 Things I’ve Learned After 5 Years of Blogging

5 things I've learned in 5 years of blogging

I am still in shock that I’ve been writing Life of Hayley for 5 years! This has been such a fun adventure and I hope to continue blogging for the foreseeable future.

One question I get asked is what are the things I have learned about blogging over the years. The blogging community is changing rapidly and it’s hard to keep up with all of the new influencers popping up every single day. I try not to take blogging too seriously which has helped me continue to love writing after all this time.

Here are five things that I have learned in my five years as a blogger:

  1. Not everyone needs or wants to be a professional blogger. I have no real desire to blog full time right now. I really enjoy having Life of Hayley be my hobby and because it’s not my full time job it’s okay if from time to time I need a break from it. If blogging was my full time job I would have to create a content calendar and stick to it. Some of my favorite posts are the random ones that I wrote when I was feeling inspired.
  2. The more time you put into your blog the more you get out of it. I have found that the more time and energy I put into a post the more views and comments it gets. The more I post the better my blog does but it’s important to remember that it’s not all about your blog stats! I blog because I love to and not because I like to see how many people are reading each day. I’d rather have one meaningful comment than one million page views.
  3. Being able to look back at your life is pretty cool. I’m terrible at keeping a journal and my memory isn’t the best. Being able to look back at blog posts over the last five years is really cool. I have been able to document my life and can see how much I have changed and how far I have come. I can be proud of my journey.
  4. You don’t have to be a web designer to have a nice blog design. When I was in high school I wanted to be a web designer so I took all of the web design/coding classes that my school had to offer. I am lucky to have a small amount of knowledge about web design but for the most part you really don’t have to have any prior knowledge to start a blog. WordPress is great because it has a ton of free themes and it’s easy to watch Youtube tutorials if you want to customize anything.
  5. Making connections is the best part of blogging. YOU are the reason I keep writing! All of my blogging friends and this community is what inspires me to keep telling my story. I love sharing my journey but I also love reading about your journey too.

What are your best blogging tips?

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

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What Are The Sunday Scaries?

What are the sunday scaries?

I love Saturdays but Sundays tend to be the most stressful day of the week for me. I try to relax Saturday and then cram way too many activities into Sunday. I hate starting my week off on a bad foot so I do everything that I possibly can on Sunday to prepare myself for the busy week ahead. This includes grocery shopping, deep cleaning, changing the bedding, and doing ALL the laundry. I also like to have Sunday night dinner with my family which means about an hour of driving added in.

I don’t know about you but nothing stresses me out more than a dirty house. My house is never 100% clean and most of the time it’s pure chaos. I love to re-organize our bedroom and closets which means that I usually have a few random piles throughout the house that need to be cleaned up. Our dog Oscar also likes to de-fluff all of his toys so we have tufts of stuffing floating about the house.

I saw the term “Sunday Scaries” somewhere on social media and I finally had a phrase for my Sunday stress. It seems like I’m not the only one who finds Sundays to be overwhelming and emotional. I love my job but I’m never quite ready to go back Monday morning and it’s even harder if I don’t get all my chores done on Sunday.

Keeping a clean house with a husband, dog, and cat is not easy. I know it will be even harder to maintain when we have kids so I’m trying to enjoy this time in our life where it’s just us. I dream of an organized, beautifully decorated house.

Do Sundays stress you out too?

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley

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Five on Friday #6

Five on Friday

Happy Friday, friends!

I have been waiting for this day since Tuesday! We had our Day of Caring Monday which meant that I didn’t have to go into work. Instead my company encourages us to volunteer our time at somewhere in the community. Volunteering at the food pantry helped me start my week off on the right foot.

  1. This might be the weekend where I finally get a much needed haircut. My hair is super thick and wavy and I really need to cut a few inches off.
  2. I had a major breakout last weekend so I re-ordered my favorite Murad set. I seriously love all of these products and cannot recommend them enough if you suffer from acne. I have been using Murad for about eight years now and have nothing but positive things to say about their products. The clarifying cleanser is a constant re-buy for me and I always have at least a couple of bottles on hand so that I never run out.
  3. I re-arranged our bedroom last weekend and I am so in love with how it turned out. I bought a new duvet set from Target that I have had my eyes on for awhile and it really helped transform our room. This weekend I’m going to try to finish up organizing my closet room (AKA extra bedroom turned walk-in closet).
  4. I’m still on cloud nine from our trip to Arizona to visit my grandparents. We had a great time exploring with them and I’m hoping to write some travel posts this weekend!
  5. Brett and I are both in desperate need for new laptops so I would really appreciate any recommendations! I would love something that I am able to play The Sims on but in reality I only need a laptop that would be great for blogging and online shopping. What kind of computer do you use?

I always love hearing what others are doing on their weekends so please let me know what you are up to!

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I Can Be Healthy (And You Can Too!)

Health and Wellness

It’s been a few months since I posted about gaining weight. The cold hard truth is that I’ve only lost ten pounds since then and have been struggling to keep the weight off.

I’ve struggled with headaches and migraines for the past 7ish years which means that I’ve been on and off medications more times than I can count trying to find a solution. In 2017 I started to gain weight from the medicine that I was on and couldn’t seem to lose it. I gained about 40 pounds very quickly and there wasn’t much I could do. I know that sounds like an excuse but the medicine I was on really does cause weight gain and at the time it was prescribed I was a healthy 23 year old so my neurologist wasn’t worried about that particular side effect.

In 2018 I stopped taking that medication and stared taking Trokendi XR which I’ve talked about a few times in past posts. I was so sick the whole time that I was able to lose 10 pounds in under a month. One of the side effects of Trokendi is weight loss so I worked with a doctor and knew that it was “healthy”.

Now I have about 40 pounds to go before I’m back to my healthy weight. I only really weigh myself when I’m at the doctor because I have such a negative association with the scale.

I wanted to share this post to let you know that my mindset towards weight loss and being “healthy” is going to change. For the past year I have beat myself up every single day for letting myself go. I’ve refused to look in the mirror or be in pictures. I have told myself over and over again that I’m fat, worthless, and that I’ll only love myself if I lose weight.

But guess what?

All of those statements are wrong. I’m not worthless. I shouldn’t be embarrassed of being in pictures or looking in the mirror. I should love my body for carrying me through every single day of my life thus far.

I can be healthy. We all have choices everyday and these choices lead us down a certain path. In believing that I am worth the struggle, worth the time and energy I will start working towards a healthy lifestyle.

This is my year and I can choose to be anything I want to be.

I choose to be healthy and you can choose to be too. You first need to find the mindset and make the choice.

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5 Years of Blogging!

5 Years of Blogging

In November Life of Hayley turned 5! Since then I have been struggling on how to properly commemorate this very special occasion. 

Let me start out by saying that I began this blog right after my 20th birthday as a way to document the 25 things I wanted to accomplish before turning 25. At the time I was a sophomore in college and felt incredibly lost about what to do with my life. I felt unaccomplished and lonely. I had started a blog the year before for my freshman English class so the thought of writing had been in my head for some time. My 20th birthday was the perfect starting point for a lifestyle blog.

In the beginning I wrote about whatever I wanted and it was never about the views, likes, or comments. When I studied abroad in London I posted once a week and my blog gained a small following. I really loved the interaction with fellow bloggers and fell in love with the community. My senior year of college I took an internet marketing class that forced me to once again start a new blog. I spent all my time and energy on getting traffic to that blog. My grade was based on the number of followers, likes, and comments. I started to hate blogging when I no longer felt joy in interacting and instead found myself fixated on the stats. After I graduated from college I took almost a full year off of blogging and honestly thought that I would never blog again. 

My current job is what inspired me to open my laptop and start writing. I work in finance so there’s very little creativity in my normal day-to-day activities. I found myself wanting to write again about getting married and life after college. My first post was a challenge to write but after that I got back into the swing of things. 

My life has changed greatly since the day I sat in my dorm room and began writing. Life of Hayley has developed into something that I’m really proud of. This community has supported me during some of the hardest moments of my life and for that I am grateful. I hope 5 years from now I’ll be around to reflect on my 10 years of blogging.

Thanks so much for reading!

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2018: The Good, Bad, and The Ugly

2018 re-cap

 

Hey friends!

2019 is here but I wanted to take a moment to reflect on 2018. I had a conversation with some friends awhile ago about how 2018 had not been that great of a year for me. It was a year of struggling. Struggling with work, pain, and loneliness. Struggling with trying to find myself, accepting who I am, and trying to figure out what healthy means to me.

In this post I am sharing a list of things I did in 2018. It’s easy to look at this list and see only the positive things. I had Brett read it before posting because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t coming off as braggy. Here’s the thing to remember though, I accomplished a lot this year between my personal and professional life but it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. I had a headache or migraine every single day in 2018.

So when you look at this and every other blogger’s 2018 re-cap I urge you to remember that it’s not perfect all the time. I urge you to not compare your list with other’s. Because my list looks perfect but I can assure you that it’s not.

Without further ado here’s my list of what my life consisted of in 2018.

In 2018 I….

  • Celebrated 5 years of blogging
  • Bought a house
  • Adopted Oscar from the animal shelter
  • Got promoted
  • Crossed Rome off of my travel Bucketlist
  • Traveled to Paris for the third time
  • Celebrated one year of marriage with Brett
  • Surpassed my goal of reading 12 books in a year
  • Found a new Neurologist
  • Saw John Legend perform a private concert at my work party on the same day as my 25th birthday
  • Started a “House Fund” to save for building a new bathroom and re-doing our driveway
  • Spent a weekend in Traverse City with friends
  • Fell in love with decorating our house
  • Celebrated two years at my job
  • Helped my parents pick out a new puppy
  • Celebrated eight years of kitten motherhood
  • Turned 25 and reflected on my 25 before 25 list
  • Covered a three month long maternity leave at work
  • Started a new medicine that made me insanely sick
  • Stopped taking said medicine and started feeling much better
  • Lost 10 pounds
  • Focused more on self-love and less on the scale
  • Struggled with finding work-life balance
  • Fell in love with reading again
  • Spent more time with family
  • Struggled a lot with feeling sad and lonely
  • Accepted my introvert tendencies and tried to learn how to work with them instead of against them
  • Found a wonderful and supportive group of blogger friends
  • Went to countless airshows with Brett
  • Traveled around Michigan and other nearby states
  • Came to the conclusion that life really is better with a dog
  • Started blogging regularly (for the most part!)
  •  

Like I mentioned before, it’s easy to look at this list and only see the good. But 2018 was one of the hardest years of my life. I learned valuable lessons and tried to share my life with others in a positive way. I never want to be the person on social media who someone compares their life to.

My 2019 1st Quarter goals will be up soon. I’m going to continue doing quarterly goals instead of yearly goals because I really do think that they work better for me.

What are your goals for 2019? And how do you feel 2018 went for you?

Thanks for reading!

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