Alyssa Roberts

Alyssa Roberts
Grand Junction, CO

Friday, September 27, 2019

5 Houseplants Almost Anyone Can Keep Alive

Bringing the outdoors in is huge in home d├ęcor these days, but so-called black-thumbers—and the forgetful—traditionally have big trouble keeping their houseplants alive and thriving.

But California writer/blogger Justina Huddleston reached out to a few horticultural experts to find out the best low-maintenance choices for people who want to bring a little green into their lives. Here are their top five choices:

Pothos. Sometimes called Devil’s Ivy, this plant with shiny, heart-shaped leaves, sometimes speckled with white or gold, does well in any light and doesn’t mind drying out now and then. It’s a little leggy, so you can let it trail from a pot or basket—or trail it along the mantel. Bonus: this plant can help purify the air in your home.

English Ivy. A trailing plant like pothos, this attractive choice has smaller heart-shaped leaves and does an even better job of filtering toxic agents out of the air you breathe. And it doesn’t require much sunlight or water to retain its cheerful demeanor.

Chinese Evergreen. A trim and sleek-looking plant with large green, speckled leaves, Chinese Evergreen stays where you plant it and is a good choice if you don’t have a lot of natural light. It likes a bit of water when the top of the soil goes dry, but can do without moisture for as long as two or three weeks without noticeable damage.

ZZ Plant. You may have never heard of this one, but it’s a natural for growing indoors. It has thick, rubbery leaves that might remind you of a palm or fern, and requires about as much attention as a cactus. It grows fastest in bright light, but it does just fine in low light and asks only that you think to water it once a week or so.

Parlor Palm. This attractive palm-like plant with narrow fronds will grow three or four feet high, making it a good choice to show off in a basket or tub to anchor an empty corner. It can handle low light, low humidity, bad air, near-freezing temperatures and some neglect, making it perfect for people who are accustomed to accidentally killing off their house plants.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Ways to Winterize Your Home on a Budget

Clean Your Gutters

You've heard it before, but we can't stress this enough. Making sure that water can flow freely through your gutters now will help prevent icicles and ice dams from forming later. 

Flush the Water Heater

Particles and sediment can collect over time in the bottom of your water heater, hindering the unit's efficiency. Flush the water through the drain valve to clear out the material and keep your heater functioning at its best. 

Clockwise Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are everyone's favorite summer budget-saver. But they can help out in the winter as well! Have your ceiling fans move in a clockwise direction so they push hot air along the ceiling towards the floor. If they're going counterclockwise, they won't be as effective. 

Window Insulation Film

It may not be the most fashionable tip, but window insulation film can keep up to 70% of heat from leaking out of the windows. You won't mind the appearance when you're toasty warm in your house!

Draft Guards

In a drafty room, heat escapes under the door. When winterizing your house, place draft guards by the doors to prevent heat loss. It's a simple solution that keeps your house warm and saves you energy. 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

3 Predictions for Denver Real Estate in 2019 and Beyond

Prediction 1

The market will slow—just a little—this year.
Buyers, take a breath. A small one. And make it quick, because you still can’t afford to take your sweet time deliberating over whether to stretch your budget to get that extra bathroom—even as the market will likely affect a slightly more leisurely vibe in 2019. Littleton-based Development Research Partners is forecasting a six-year low for existing home sales closed over the entire year (see graph). Multiple bids will continue to be the norm; however, come July and August, Heather Heuer, senior vice president of sales operations for Liv Sotheby’s, expects higher inventory to allow buyers a little more time for deliberation. That could be enough to temporarily slow the feeding frenzy around new listings. Recent buyers and would-be sellers can still enjoy nice, deep, self-assured inhales, though, because our economy is now diversified enough (thanks tech, health care, and marijuana booms) to maintain its robustness. Says Heuer: “The bottom dropping out isn’t going to happen.”

Prediction 2

Interest rates will remain stable in the near term.
The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage at press time (early April): ~4%. That’s almost a half percent down from where rates were in early 2019, which may sound like good news for home shoppers—but the tantalizing rates could encourage more buyers to jump into the market, increasing competition. Regardless, experts expect rates to stay in the low fours this year.

Prediction 3

Millennials and baby boomers will flood the market, in some cases competing for the same properties.
At about a quarter of our population, millennials are the largest generation in the Centennial State, on track to account for 45 percent of mortgages in 2019, according to Plus, the largest cohort of millennials is approaching 30, an age at which that demographic, broadly speaking, is transitioning to a more stable lifestyle—and, perhaps, finally able to scrape together a down payment. “They don’t necessarily need the square footage,” says Libby Levinson, a broker associate at Kentwood Real Estate. “They want the lifestyle; they want to be living their best lives on Instagram and have access to things that let them do that.”

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Tips for Buying Your First Rental Property From the Pros

Buying your first rental property is a major investment and can be a lucrative one. However, take it from the professionals that some precautions should be taken. Do your research, take your time, and read the tips we have provided from nationwide pros in the real estate industry on buying your first rental property.

1. Use Leverage to Buy the Property

Potential real estate investors should make sure to understand the mortgage market. If you get the right mortgage, it could help keep your costs low and reduce uncertainty about the property’s cash flow. Using the leverage of a mortgage will free up some of your cash so you can save it for repairs or a future investment. However, a mortgage can be a double-edged sword since there will be financing costs associated with it, so it’s always best to consult with a professional.

If you’ll be using a mortgage when buying your first rental property, it’s important to weigh all your financing options carefully. Should you choose a 15-or 30-year mortgage? A fixed or adjustable rate? To better weigh the true cost of your financing options, first-time investors can fill out a short form on LendingTree and let multiple lenders compete for your loan. Its online marketplace enables you to compare rates and offers quickly to find a good fit.

3. Invest in Single-family Homes First

Invest in single-family homes first since it’s the simplest way to get started as a new real estate investor. The upkeep is easier than multifamily or commercial properties. With only a single tenant, there doesn’t tend to be as much wear and tear on the property and, when something breaks, you’ll only need to fix one thing.

4. Invest Enough to Be Cash Flow Positive

First-time rental property buyers should only buy a property that cash flows. The best way to limit your risk and increase your odds of success is to make sure you are putting enough money down to be cash flow positive. There will be unexpected expenses so leave a margin for error. It also enables you to weather tough economic times. If the property cash flows, the fluctuations of the market are less relevant, and you can hold it for the long term.

Finding and screening tenants is often an investor’s least favorite thing to do, and managing rentals can be lots of work. Investing in turnkey properties can solve both these problems. Turnkey real estate comes with existing tenants and property managers. That means immediate rental income and a manager to deal with those 2 a.m. phone calls instead of you. At Roofstock, you can browse properties in up to 40 different rental markets at a wide range of price points and invest in the rental that right for you.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Why Invest in Real Estate?

Real estate is a great investment for many reasons. You can enjoy an excellent rate of returns, amazing tax advantages and leverage real estate to build your wealth. Here are the top five reasons why real estate is a great investment.

Real estate provides better returns than the stock market without as much volatility.

Historically in real estate, your risk of loss is minimized by the length of time you hold on to your property. When the market improves, so does the value of your home, and as a result, you build equity. The risk never changes in the stock market and there are numerous factors beyond your control that can negatively impact your investment. Real estate gives you more control of your investment because your property is a tangible asset that you can leverage to capitalize on numerous revenue streams, while enjoying capital appreciation. Real estate is a great investment for many reasons. You can enjoy an excellent rate of returns, amazing tax advantages and leverage real estate to build your wealth. Here are the top five reasons why real estate is a great investment.

Real estate provides better returns than the stock market without as much volatility.

Historically in real estate, your risk of loss is minimized by the length of time you hold on to your property. When the market improves, so does the value of your home, and as a result, you build equity. The risk never changes in the stock market and there are numerous factors beyond your control that can negatively impact your investment. Real estate gives you more control of your investment because your property is a tangible asset that you can leverage to capitalize on numerous revenue streams, while enjoying capital appreciation.

An investment in real estate can also diversify your portfolio.

If you've ever spoken to a financial planner about investing, then you are very aware of the importance of diversification. When you diversify your portfolio, you spread out the risk. Real estate will always serve as a safe tangible asset to mitigate the risk in your portfolio. Many have amassed wealth by solely investing in real estate.

Last but not least, real estate investing comes with numerous tax benefits.

You can get tax deductions on mortgage interest, cash flow from investment properties, operating expenses and costs, property taxes, insurance and depreciation (even if the property gains value) and other benefits. The end of the year is a very busy time for real estate because people want to take advantage of the numerous tax benefits before the end of the year!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Best-Kept Secrets for Selling Your Home

Find out what your home is worth, then shave 15 to 20 percent off the price. You’ll be stampeded by buyers with multiple bids — even in the worst markets — and they’ll bid up the price over what it’s worth. It takes real courage and most sellers just don’t want to risk it, but it’s the single best strategy to sell a home in today’s market.

Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets then neatly organize what’s left in there. Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.

Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.

Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.

Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.

Monday, June 17, 2019

What Millennial Homebuyers Need to Know

1. Pay Off Student Loans and Other Debt

What’s the biggest challenge facing millennial homebuyers? Student loans. Over 44.2 million Americans are paying off a national student loan debt of $1.48 trillion—and, in 2016 alone, the average student loan debt was $37,172 per graduate!(2)
As if student loans weren’t enough, consumer debt has postponed the home-buying dream of many millennials.(3) In fact NAR reports that, second to student loans, the two expenses that delayed saving for a down payment were credit card debt (32%) and car loans (32%).(4)
Since buying a house is the most expensive purchase you’ll make, you need to be debt-free before you buy one. If you have any debt, get on budget and use the debt snowball to pay off those loans. Only then will you be ready for the next challenge: the down payment.

2. Save for the Down Payment

Most of us don’t pay cash for our first home. In fact, 98% of millennials buy with a mortgage.(5)That’s why it’s important to have a strong down payment—not only to lower your interest rate, but also to help you pay off your mortgage even faster. We recommend putting down 10–20%. If you have 20% tucked away, you’d bypass private mortgage insurance (PMI)—additional insurance lenders make you have that protects them if you stop making mortgage payments.
If you’re struggling to save for the down payment, you’re not alone. One fourth of millennial home buyers couldn’t do it alone, accepting a money gift from a friend or relative.(6) And because of high rents and student loans, some millennials need more than seven years to save for a down payment, according to one study by Builders Online.(7)
That’s why, if you’re still saving, you must be patient and stay the course. Keep saving! Start with a clear plan. Know how much house you can afford. Stay motivated with a goal tracker. And with a smart plan like this in place, it can take less time than you think.

3. Stand Out in a Competitive Market

If you’ve already paid off your student loans and saved for your down payment, good work! The next step is to get into the housing market. In the past few years, the housing market has had a shortage of sellers, which has not only raised the prices of homes, but also has caused competition among buyers. Gen Xers are typically buying more established homes instead of starter homes, so your competition is other millennials—and your parents.
Yep, that’s right. Just as millennials are finally moving out, empty-nesting baby boomers are downsizing into the very starter homes that millennials are trying to buy. You might find yourself in bidding wars with buyers who have a bigger budget and more home-buying experience.
While you should expect competition—especially in hot housing markets such as Seattle, Nashville and San Francisco—that doesn’t have to derail your home-buying budget. Download our free first-time homebuyer's guide to walk you through the process and stay in the game with these tips:
First, get preapproved for a home loan before you make an offer. A preapproved loan means that your lender has looked over your finances and decided that you can cover the down payment and the mortgage payments. Though it can take some time to get, a preapproval letter sends a powerful message to the seller that you’re a serious buyer.
Second, act decisively. Do everything to keep the process moving. For example, tighten the timeline of your home inspector. Most inspectors can inspect a house within five days of your request. Never ask a motivated seller to wait weeks for a home inspection if you can get it done in days.
Lastly, be human with the seller. Send a handwritten letter, explaining why you and your family like the home. Selling a home can be emotional for homeowners, so you never know how far a personal letter can go.

4. Find an Affordable House in a Seller’s Market

Another challenge facing millennials is the rising value of homes. For many of us—especially those that have just managed to pay off student loans and land a stable job—rising market prices could be the most frustrating hurdle we face.
Fortunately, the housing market is beginning to slow down. NAR predicts a 1 to 3% growth in housing prices this year, which is far less compared to the 5 to 7% annual growth over the last five years.(8)
My best advice, then, is patience. Once you start shopping, don’t give in to the temptation to stretch your dollars and buy a home that’s out of your price range. Keep your monthly housing payment (which includes mortgage, taxes, insurance, HOA dues, etc.) to no more than 25 to 30% of your take-home pay on a 15-year, fixed-rate conventional mortgage. No home is worth sacrificing your retirement or your kid’s college fund.

5. Gain Experience With the Buying Process

One of the best things you can do as a first-time homebuyer is familiarizing yourself with the buying process.
That’s why it’s extra important for millennials to work with experts who know what they’re doing. Look for an agent who brings at least four years of experience to the table, one who knows the market well enough to find a great deal on the home that’s right for the buyer.
Partner with a real estate pro who has the heart of a teacher and takes time to listen to your needs and answer your questions. A good agent is more concerned about your bank account, not theirs.
If you’re looking for an agent to guide you to a smart first home purchase, we can help! Our Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs) are real estate experts with top-notch customer service. They can help you find a home you love in your budget!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Tips for Renting a House

1. Understand the Landlord-Tenant laws in your area. It's important to research the Landlord-Tenant laws to ensure that you, as the tenant, understand your rights and responsibilities.
2. Inspect the property. You should inspect the water system, air conditioning unit, locks for doors and windows, plumbing (make sure the toilets flush), and etc. Make sure to ask the realtor or landlord about house maintenance and when the house was last maintained. You don't want to rent a home with plumbing issues or heating problems during the winter.
3. Read your lease carefully. Your lease is a legal contract between you and the landlord for use of the landlord's property. A lease may contain extra clauses that aren't legally required by Landlord-Tenant laws, but the clauses are legally binding when the lease is signed by both parties. If you are concerned that your lease might be unfair to you (e.g. the landlord requiring you to have property inspections every week), you can seek legal counsel and retain an attorney specializing in Landlord-Tenant relations.
4. Inspect the property again. Once the lease is finalized and agreed upon by both the landlord and tenant, you can request to see the property again. When you're at the property, take photos and document any form of damage you see. If you see small holes in the walls caused by a wall-mounted television screen, take a photo and inform the landlord in writing. Your landlord may or may not fix the damage before you move in. However it's important to inform the landlord prior to moving into home, otherwise the landlord may accuse you of the damage and take money from your deposit to repair it.
5. Pay your rent on time. Once you move into your new home, you need to pay your rent on time. Rent can be paid with cash, checks, or electronic transfers. Paying in cash is not recommended because there's no paper trail to track your money. If you decide to pay in cash, make sure you ask for a receipt that documents the date and what the cash is for.
6. Make sure your landlord has been paid. When mailing a check to your landlord, make sure your landlord deposits the check. If your landlord hasn't deposited or cashed your check, inform your landlord that you've mailed the rent check. It's better to inform your landlord in writing, such as email or text message. You don't want your landlord to accuse you of failing to pay rent on time.
7. Establish a good relationship with you and your landlord. This doesn't mean that you need to be best friends with your landlord. However, you don't want your landlord to outright hate you. A disgruntled landlord can be difficult to deal with during the duration of your lease. Be kind and respectful to your landlord. If you want to go the extra mile, you can send greetings cards during the holidays. A happy landlord may respond quicker to any emergency repairs. If you only communicate with your landlord's property manager, then establish a good relationship with that property manager.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Tips to Increase Your Home's Value

Increasing the value of your home is easier than you think. Follow these tips, and your home will be worth more before you know it.

Plan your remodel.

Whether you just bought a house or you have lived there for a while, the fastest way to increase your home's value is by making a plan.
You will fare better if upgrades are made intentionally and not on impulse. Home improvement projects cost about 20 to 25 cents on the dollar. The other 75 to 80 cents spent go directly back into the home through increased value.

Tackle one room at a time.

How can you harness the energy that comes from new ideas and still be smart when you make those improvements? Make the commitment to tackle one room at a time. Whether it's a simple coat of paint or knocking down a wall, by tackling one room at a time you keep projects achievable.
Make a list of all the things you dream about doing, break your list down into categories based on cost and write down how much time each project may take. What this does is help you get results. If you only have a day or a weekend, choose a project that fits within your timeframe, comfort level and financial commitment.

Small improvements can really pay off.

Are you torn between improving your home's decor, versus making upgrades you know will increase your home's resale value? Many homeowners are surprised to hear that doing a little bit of both will actually pay off.

Start by making two lists — upgrades for your home value and upgrades just for you. Upgrades for your home may consist of replacing old faucets, permanent lighting and doors. Upgrades for you are furniture, artwork and window treatments. Gone is the dartboard approach to picking projects and wondering if what you are doing is really making a difference. With this plan, you will see real progress.

Clean your house now for profits later.

If your house is on the market, a bright and sparkly home can attract buyers like a magnet. A house can never be too clean. If you were a buyer, would you choose the house that is slightly dingy or the home down the street that is clean and welcoming?

Curb appeal counts.

Want a fresh perspective on the value of your home? Walk across the street, turn around and ask yourself, "Does my house have curb appeal?" Does your home look attractive, welcoming and structurally sound at first glance?
Make a list of ways to enhance the positive and eliminate the negative. If you have a nice curvy walkway, accentuate it with flowers or lanterns. If the first thing a visitor sees is your big wide garage, try to guide their eyes into a beautiful front yard, or paint your front door red to guide the eye there. These things add value.
Take a digital photo and look at your home in black and white. When the color is removed, the truth comes out. That is where you see the cracks in the walls and the glaring flaws.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Western Slope Nonprofits

In 2017, the Western Colorado Community Foundation distributed more than $3.4 million in grants and scholarships from its charitable funds.

Grantmaking is one of the Western Colorado Community Foundation’s community-building strategies. WCCF also administers scholarships, provides training and support to nonprofits through its NSTAR program and manages Agency Endowments for organizations.
The work of local nonprofit organizations impacts the quality of life for everyone in western Colorado. Recognizing the essential role they play in the economy and health of our communities, the Western Colorado Community Foundation is committed to sharing knowledge about the nonprofit sector with our larger community and strengthening our nonprofit organizations through grants and training.

Monday, April 29, 2019

How to Immediately Change Your Life For The Better

1. Address the choices you've made in the past and change the choices you'll make in the future.

Life is made up of choices--some we regret, some we're proud of, some that will hurt us. Everything in your career and your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want different results, start making different choices.

2. Speak up with honesty and stop holding back what you think.

People may believe that honesty won't win you many friends--but even if that were true, the friends you make with honesty will be the right ones. Honesty is the cornerstone of all success, without which confidence and the ability to perform cannot exist.

3. Forgo being a perfectionist. Perfect doesn't exist.

Once you realize perfect doesn't exist, you can ease up on yourself. There's no harm in being wrong or making mistakes, as long as you're willing to make corrections. Just be yourself, flaws and all, and let people see the real you. Each of us is an imperfect human being, aware that we can't push away our failures and our flaws.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Helpful Tips for Undergrad Admission

Be inquisitive

Ask a lot of questions and be thorough in your research; don't leave any questions unasked. Learn all you can about Marquette: scour our website, take a tour and meet with current students.

Be prepared

It's never too early to start thinking about college. As early as your sophomore year, you should be taking tough classes — and doing well in them.

Be organized

The college application process spans a lot of time, and you will likely apply to several schools. Make a file for each school and keep them organized for easy reference. Have your materials (transcripts, essays, etc.) prepared and neatly organized.

Be aware of deadlines

Marquette's application process is deadline intensive. Make sure you know the deadlines for all paperwork and deposits. Be familiar with our deadlines and give yourself enough time to complete all the necessary materials.

Be careful

Read application materials carefully and be sure to follow instructions. Ask parents, teachers or guidance counselors to review your application materials, especially essays, before sending them in. And then revise once more!

Be The Difference

Brag about yourself in your application! We want to know more about you than your GPA and test scores. Talk about what you have accomplished outside the classroom in activities or organizations. Marquette students have a reputation for academic excellence and service to the community. We look for those qualities in potential students. But we also want to learn more about your interests and your passions — the things that make you who you are.

Monday, April 1, 2019

5 Tips to Achieve Anything You Want in Life

1. Focus on commitment, not motivation.

Just how committed are you to your goal? How important is it for you, and what are you willing to sacrifice in order to achieve it? If you find yourself fully committed, motivation will follow.

2. Seek knowledge, not results.

If you focus on the excitement of discovery, improving, exploring and experimenting, your motivation will always be fueled. If you focus only on results, your motivation will be like weather—it will die the minute you hit a storm. So the key is to focus on the journey, not the destination. Keep thinking about what you are learning along the way and what you can improve.

3. Make the journey fun.

It’s an awesome game! The minute you make it serious, there’s a big chance it will start carrying a heavy emotional weight and you will lose perspective and become stuck again.

4. Get rid of stagnating thoughts.

Thoughts influence feelings and feelings determine how you view your work. You have a lot of thoughts in your head, and you always have a choice of which ones to focus on: the ones that will make you emotionally stuck (fears, doubts) or the ones that will move you forward (excitement, experimenting, trying new things, stepping out of your comfort zone).

5. Use your imagination.

Next step after getting rid of negative thoughts is to use your imagination. When things go well, you are full of positive energy, and when you are experiencing difficulties, you need to be even more energetic. So rename your situation. If you keep repeating I hate my work, guess which feelings those words will evoke? It’s a matter of imagination! You can always find something to learn even from the worst boss in the world at the most boring job. I have a great exercise for you: Just for three days, think and say positive things only. See what happens.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

3 Steps to Becoming a Better Version of Yourself

1. Break the Norm

Sometimes you already know the changes you want to make in your life. But sometimes, it’s not as clear what behaviors are holding you back from your full potential.
The best way to figure it out? Start trying different things. Make a list of productivity tips you’ve read about or friends’ behaviors you’ve been wanting to try, and challenge yourself to do things differently. It doesn’t have to be big things: If you usually get up and check your phone, instead get up and relax for five minutes to start the day fresh. If you usually check your email first thing when you get to the office, instead try spending an hour working on your big task for the day first.
Not every change you make will be one you want to continue, but experimenting like this will start to give you a sense of what’s holding you back and what will help you move toward the better version of you.

2. Do it Regularly for a Month

Oftentimes when people get excited about improving themselves, they’ll think about all the things they want to do differently and make it a goal to change them all at once. I fall prey to this far too often, too—this week, I’m going to stay organized at work, devote time to side projects, eat healthier, and actually exercise. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what happens in this scenario: Monday I’m gung-ho for all of them, but by mid-week I’m back to my old ways.
Changing habits is hard, but it’s nearly impossible when we overwhelm ourselves with too many changes at once. Instead, it’s better to focus on one major change at a time, and give yourself ample time to establish this change as a habit. I find the most effective way to do this is to practice the new habit every day for a month. Even if you aren’t looking for this to be a daily habit in the long run, doing it every day at the start makes it easer to condition the behavior as a regular part of your life. Scott Young explains this well in his article on 99U.
For example, over the summer I was working out approximately never. I wanted to get to the point where I was active three or four days a week, so I made it a goal to work out every day in September. By spending a month focusing on how working out could fit into my life every single day, doing it a few times a week is now a piece of cake.
This could apply to things at work, too. Want to start devoting more time to special projects at work? Devoting even 15 to 30 minutes a day to these projects for a month can help get you there. It may feel like slow progress, but in just a year of doing one thing a month, you’ll be closer to your better self in 12 major ways.

3. Give Yourself a Performance Review

Nothing makes a goal fail faster than not keeping yourself accountable. It’s all well and good to say you’ll wake up half an hour earlier every day, but if you’re not checking in on yourself, you’ll probably start hitting the snooze button again before you know it.
So, set up a regular time to check in with yourself on your goal. Every evening, once a week—whatever cadence you think you need to stay on track. Sit down and think about what you’ve been doing well and where your weaknesses have been, and then come up with action items for how you’re going to overcome them. Better yet, write them down so you can keep up with your progress.
And if you’re still having trouble staying on track, find someone else to help you stay accountable. It could be your roommate, your best friend, or even your boss. For example, I had a goal to start writing more. After sharing it with my boss, we set up regular times during my work week that were blocked out for writing, and she checks in with me at the beginning of each of those times to see what I’m working on that day. She’s even started joining me in this writing time—meaning we’re both making progress towards our better selves.
All of this is not to say that you should be constantly self-critiquing and never be happy with where you are in your development. But when you do find ways you can change your habits to make your life a little easier? These strategies will do wonders.

Thursday, February 28, 2019


  1. Create a meal plan. Planning out your meals ahead of time will help you spend less money and stick to your health goals. A great meal plan is the $5 Meal Plan. People love this one!
  2. Stop eating fried food. Fried food makes you feel awful for ~24 hours (not to mention it lacks nutrients). You’ll feel better if you cut out fried food.
  3. Don’t go more than 3 days without exercising. Exercising gives you energy, helps relieve stress, and helps you get fit. It’s too hard to squeeze it in every day sometimes, but don’t go more than 3 days without it.
  4. Eat minimal dairy. If you have a sensitive stomach, try cutting out dairy. For some people this can eliminate digestive problems.
  5. Cut out one of the following: pop, coffee, alcohol, or sugar. If you could cut all these, then even better (but I would think you are a superhero)!
  6. Get enough good sleep. This may be 5.5 hours or it may be 8 hours – whatever it is for you, make sure you get it. The quality matters just as much as the time spent sleeping. Sleep allows you to regenerate and gives you greater concentration.
  7. Focus on building strength more than on being skinny. This will create positive goals that are attainable and healthy for you.
  8. Make sure you get enough Vitamin C and D. Both of these can impact your health in a positive way if you get enough (and can have the opposite effect if they’re lacking). Check with your doctor which vitamins she recommends.
  9. Drink enough water every day. A good rule of thumb is to divide your body weight by 2 and that’s how many ounces you should drink.
  10. Keep track of your annual, routine doctor appointments and don’t miss any. Put a recurring reminder on your calendar for things like dental checkups, skin checks, and physicals so you don’t miss any. Take your preventative care seriously.
  11. Take fitness classes or hire a personal trainer. If you struggle to get fit, classes or a trainer are great ways to go. Just make sure you can afford it!
  12. Subscribe to a health blog. Learn about healthy living as a lifestyle practice little by little every day. Here’s a list of 10 of the best health and wellness blogs.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

How to Live a Positive Lifestyle

What Is a Positive Lifestyle?

  • A positive lifestyle means a positive attitude and taking positive action.
  • It means focusing on solutions, not on problems.
  • It means constantly improving yourself and your life.
  • It means learning from failure and then moving on and trying again.
  • It means living in the present, making the most of it, and not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
  • It means focusing on and noticing the good traits of people, not just their negative ones. This requires that you stop criticizing and judging people and being more kind and helpful.
You can live a positive lifestyle, even if you have problems and difficulties and your life conditions are negative. All you need is to strive to change your attitude toward life, and change a few of your habits. With a little effort and perseverance, you can improve your life and bring more positivity into it.

1. When facing a problem, focus on solutions. Refuse to allow your mind to think of difficulties and on negative results that might face. Insist of finding a solution.
2. Acknowledge problems and difficulties, but face them with courage and a positive attitude.
3. Smile more often when in the company of people. They will like you more and you will feel happier, but your smile needs to be sincere, not mechanical. Try to be friendly and kind. This would help you smile naturally and sincerely.
4. Look around you, and you will always find something that can bring a smile to your face. For a while forget everything that is bothering and smile.
5. You waste a lot of time energy when you attach yourself to the past, to habits that are not useful, and wishing things and people were different. What has happened cannot be undone, so why waste your time and energy over it? It is better and wiser to go on.