30 Days of Self-Love for a More Confident You! | Self-Love Challenge

30 Days of Self-Love for a More Confident You! | Self-Love Challenge

“I’m not good enough for that”

“They’re not going to like me”

“There’s no way I could ever do that” 

“Ugh I wish I was skinnier”

“I can’t believe I said that. Why did I say that???”

These are just a few examples of things that we say to ourselves that can be completely unfair and definitely not self-loving. 

If you find yourself saying any of these things to yourself or anything similar, you can definitely benefit from a 30-day self-love reset.

You can definitely go through these exercises in less or more time than the 30 days, but I feel that 30 days is a good length of time to create a habit of self-love. 

I have outlined everything in this post, but if you would like a beautiful printable copy to follow along with, you can sign up below for free!

You’ll also get tons of other printable sheets to help you with self-care, mental health, productivity, and really everything that contributes towards a happy and healthy life!

Why I created 30 Days of Self-Love

I used to be one of those people who did not have much self-love at all.

I was constantly beating myself up about every little thing I did wrong, I would be up all night if I said anything I thought was “stupid”, I was constantly sad if I wasn’t doing as well as other people in school or in my career, and I was unfair to my body because I didn’t look the way I thought I should. 

The list goes on.

I didn’t realize that these unhelpful sayings were actually way more toxic than I thought.

These were signs of a severe lack of self-love.

To love someone is to love them for not only for their good qualities but for their flaws as well. 

Think about how you give love to others: 

You still love your parents even though they’re not perfect.

You still love your friends even though they’re not perfect.

You still love your partner even though they’re not perfect.

You still love your dog even though… wait… nevermind, dogs are perfect! 

But you get my point! 

You need to love yourself like you love others!

You need to learn to love yourself FOR your flaws and for the amazing strength you have for surviving the things that have made you feel like you are not good enough.

But now, it’s time to change how you think about those things that made you have love for yourself less and start using them as your strengths. 

My Biggest Self-Love Breakthrough

When I FINALLY started to truly love myself was when I forgave myself for my mistakes and showed myself compassion for all the things I had been through.

Life is unfair, and there are a lot of great people who get a lot of crap thrown at them that they don’t deserve. 

That includes you. 

And you have to realize that it’s not your fault that these things happened to you. 

People are mean to you because they have problems.

People expect you to be skinny/pretty (or any other annoying standard) because society has problems.

You have unrealistic success standards for yourself because you are comparing yourself to unrealistic standards that don’t reflect reality.

What to Expect for the next 30 Days of Self-Love 

So for the next 30 days, we’re going to focus on retraining your brain on how you see yourself, your successes, and your failures.

Each day will build off of the previous day to slowly bring you to having more love for yourself. 

Try to do these in the morning so that you can keep the positivity flowing throughout the day!

Day 1: Write an intention that you can use every day.

Here are some examples. 

A daily intention will help you start your day with purpose. You can write the intention (or a new intention) at the top of your journal page every morning so that you can remind yourself every day. 

Day 2: Write five positive affirmations about yourself. 

Think about different aspects of your personality and why they make you truly unique.

Try to incorporate saying these into your daily routine.

Hint: try things like writing them on your mirror (or on a piece of paper and tape it to your mirror) or saying them when you wake up (along with your daily intention).

Day 3: List all of the toxic things you say about yourself

(I know that you know you’re being toxic to yourself, don’t say that you don’t know which habits are toxic)

But if you don’t know, some toxic habits include:

-beating yourself up over tiny mistakes

-calling yourself stupid

-believing everything is your fault and that you are somehow responsible for how others are feeling

This is going to be a great way to identify when you are being unfair to yourself.

Day 4: Re-wiring thought patterns

This is an exercise that you should do every time you have a negative thought.

Look back at your toxic habits from yesterday’s exercise. 

For every bad thought about yourself, write something positive.

For every fear or insecurity you have, write a strength that you have that could help you deal with the fear or insecurity.

Think about why you feel you say those things to yourself. What could be the cause?

Day 5: Write a letter to your childhood self. 

What were your insecurities? 

How do you feel about them now? 

What have you learned since then? 

How can you apply that now? 

Day 6: Write a letter to your teenage self.

What were your insecurities? 

How do you feel about them now? 

What have you learned since then? 

How can you apply that now? 

Day 7: Write yourself a pep talk for when you feel sad or full of doubt. 

Sometimes we get caught up in our minds, and our emotions, like fear, doubt, and sadness can cause us to lose sight of all the positive things about us and in our lives. It’s important to have something to look back on when you’re feeling down.

Day 8: What kind of words would your closest friend, sibling, or parent say about you? 

And don’t say that they don’t have anything good to say about you, because they definitely do have kind words to say about you, even if you don’t think so.

Day 9: For every “weakness” you think you have, write a strength that you have. Or even better, write ways in which your weakness is actually a strength.

This is another way to rewire your thinking patterns.

Day 10: Write a list of inspirational quotes to look back on. 

Here are some of my favourites:

“You’ve been criticizing yourself for years, try approving of yourself and see what happens” – Louise Hay

“In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you” – Andrea Dykstra

“Your greatest responsibility is to love yourself and to know that you are enough” – Unknown

Day 12: Write five things you can do right now that can help you feel better. 

This is important because it gives you the power. This is going to help show your brain that you are in control.

Day 13: Think back to the times where you have felt uncomfortable receiving a compliment. 

Why do you think that is?

This is a great time to do the “5 why’s exercise”. Where you ask yourself “Why?” 5 times, each time diving deeper and getting to the original root cause of your fear or insecurity.

Day 14: When was the last time you felt empowered and like a true badass? 

What were you doing? 

Do you remember what you were thinking about yourself? 

Try to use these feelings and situations in the future to start feeling like this more often!

Day 15: Write a letter to your insecurities and tell them why they absolutely don’t define you. 

What defines you is your character and your will to improve if you’ve done something wrong.

Nothing else really matters.

Day 16: Write as if: how would you act if you were the most confident person in the world? 

What would you do? What would you wear? How would you approach people? How would you handle arguments? How would you handle your mistakes?

Day 17: Write down a list of people you admire.

In what ways are you similar to them?  

Day 18: What do you need to forgive yourself for?

Stop beating yourself up for every little thing. We are all human and certainly cannot be perfect. It is perfectly ok that you have made mistakes, as long as you can own them and strive to be better next. It’s really all that you can do. 

Day 19: Write yourself a letter giving yourself forgiveness.

The act of writing this and letting go of the things that bring you guilt and shame can be very freeing.

This is something you can come back to when you are feeling guilty or shameful.

Day 20: What are your core values? Why do they make you special?

We all have unique ways of adding value to the world and that can make us very special.

Core values include: being kind, supporting the environment, being honest, being loyal, defending others, helping others by giving constructive criticism, and many other things.

Day 21: Write a list of your greatest accomplishments.

Even if they are super small, they are an accomplishment. 

Even if it was as simple as getting out of bed

Day 22: Write a list of ways that you add value to the world. 

Remember that there are many things that you do that people appreciate about you, but you just don’t realize that they do. 

Think about even the smallest things: do you smile at people? Do you make people feel included? Do you hold the door open for people? Do you make a killer lasagna? Whatever it is, know that you add a unique value to the world and that is something to be proud of.

Day 23: What are some things you can work on to be the person that you want to be. 

Attention: This does not mean changing yourself or any of your core values! It also does not mean that you are not incredible the way you are. It just means that you can make some adjustments to start working towards your personal goals. 

Day 24: Write why it’s OK that you are not there yet.

It’s perfectly ok to not quite be there (or to be far from that “ideal” version of yourself). You are amazing the way you are.

Also, there are things in your life that you have gone through that have caused mental or emotional blocks for you, or maybe have caused

Day 25: Why is it important to you to be this “ideal person”? 

Do you feel pressured?

Does it align with your core values? 

Day 26: What are your true dreams? 

What is standing in your way? Why? Write why it’s ok that you are not there yet. Write actions tips that you can start doing to get closer to that dream.

Day 27: Write something positive about each of your body parts, face, and even your “problem areas”. 

Body shame is another huge reason for a lack of self-love, but why should it matter? 

Don’t like the look of your legs? They help you walk, dance, run, play sports, you name it! You should be grateful to them, not being ashamed and trying to change them.

Day 28: List your biggest triumphs. 

What have you overcome to get where you are today? There have probably been many obstacles you have overcome that you should be so proud of!

Day 29: Imagine you had a friend with all of your exact characteristics.

What positive things would you say to them? What would you tell them if they had a bad day? And what would you say to them if they failed at something? 

Trying to see things from a different perspective can help you to go easier on yourself. You wouldn’t judge someone else (especially a friend) nearly as much as you judge yourself.

Day 30: Write 5 positive affirmations about yourself

Yes, you did do this on day two, but I want you to do this again (without looking back to day two) and then compare to see how far you have come on your self-love journey.

***

Feel free to look back on any of these exercises when you need a little extra love! Your whole idea of yourself might not change in just 30 days, but it’s definitely worth it to start!

If you want a gorgeous, printable version of this you can sign up below to get access for free!

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Owner of Mindaya

Hey guys, it’s Sagesse – the face behind website! I’m dedicated to helping you find freedom your anxiety and overcome the mental obstacles that are standing in the way of your best life!
100+ Journal Prompts for Your Mental Health

100+ Journal Prompts for Your Mental Health

As someone who has struggled with mental health for a long time, without ever going to therapy, I have found that journaling has been a bit of a saving grace for me.

It’s free, it’s easy when you have the right prompts, and it’s something that you can do again and again. 

If you have read any of my blogs or are a member of my free wellness and self-care portal, you’ll know that I love worksheets and journal exercises, and I like to use them as a way to re-train problematic thinking that can lead to anxiety, procrastination, low self-esteem and really anything else that inhibits you from living your best life. 

That’s why I have compiled a list of the best journal prompts to help reset your brain, get you out of a negative thinking pattern, and dig a little deeper into your psyche.

If you want a printable version of these prompts plus way more self-care resources, you can sign up to get them below for free!

Here are my top 100 journal prompts for your mental health!

I’ve organized them by category so you can go with what suits your mood!

Gratitude Journal Prompts

What do you appreciate most about your life right now?

What do you appreciate most about your parents?

What do you appreciate most about your friends?

What do you appreciate most about your occupation?

What do you appreciate most about your home?

Digging deep

Write about the worst day you have had? (if you are willing to go there, don’t worry if you don’t feel like writing about it)

Why was it so bad?

How did you feel about yourself that day?

How can you give yourself love for that day? 

Can you give yourself forgiveness? 

Write about how it makes you feel. And feel free to let yourself express those emotions out loud as well (cry, scream, punch a pillow – whatever you need to help release those emotions)

Digging in to recent emotions

What was the last thing that made you happy?

What was the last thing that made you cry?

What was the last thing that made you feel confident?

What was the last thing that made you angry?

What was the last thing that made you feel lonely?

Self-image and self-love journal prompts

Write about a protagonist character you admire and write 3 ways that they are similar to you

What would your best friend say was your best quality?

What do you think your best quality is?

Write a love letter to you body (even the parts you “don’t like”)

Name 3 cool skills you have

What is one thing that makes you unique?

Physical Feelings

Often times, our physical health is very connected to our mental health. These prompts can help you find the connections between your physical feelings and your emotions.

When was the last time you felt exhausted?

When was the last time you felt sick to your stomach?

What situations, activities make you feel shaky or dizzy?

What situation made your heart race (in a good way)? 

What situation made your heart race (in a bad way)?

The top 5s (good)

This exercise is just a good way to think about the good things that are in your life! It’s ok if you can only think of 3 or so!

So think about the top 5…

– songs that make you feel good

– activities that make you feel good

– smells that make you feel good

– foods that make you feel good

– foods that make you feel energized

– people you have fun with

– people that make you feel good about yourself

After going through those, write 5 ways you can incorporate more of these things into your life.

The top 5s (not-so-good)

It’s also a good idea to reflect on the things in your life that may not be so good for you.

So write down the top 5…

– foods that make you tired

– behaviours that make you tired 

– things that make you anxious

– things that make you sad/depressed

– people that make you feel bad

– comments about you that make you feel bad

Now write 5 ways that you can decrease how often these things appear in your life.

Exercises For Specific Fears and Anxieties

The 5 why’s Journal Exercise

I love this exercise and I always recommend it when you might be unsure of the cause of your emotions. This is one of the exercises from my 10 minute journal exercises to reduce fear.

Write down the anxious thought, fear, on mental hold-back that is causing you pain, uncertainty, or that is just negatively impacting your life.

Then, ask yourself “Why am I having this thought or why do I feel this way?”

Based on your answer above, ask yourself why you feel that way again.

Ask yourself why again 3 more times, each time trying to dig deeper and further into your thoughts and feelings.

Based on those answers, you should hopefully have an idea about the root cause/trauma/reason behind your fearful/negative thought or feeling, which you can then write down,

Now, based on this root cause, ask yourself the following 3 questions:

Is this how I should feel about this now?

Can I reframe the way I think about this past event? i.e. stop blaming yourself or others, forgive and accept it for what it was.

If/when I have this thought again, is there a better way that I can frame it?

Anxious Thought Analysis

Write down all the fears and anxieties you have right now. Don’t hold anything back. Write about how your fears make you feel.

Ask yourself if you are amplifying your fears with the following cognitive distortions:

Catastrophizing – irrationally assuming the worst-case scenario

Overgeneralizing – assuming that since something bad happened once, it will happen again under similar circumstances

Magical thinking – assuming that a specific, unlikely, and unrelated negative consequence will result – even with no evidence to support it

If you believe you are distorting reality, ask yourself what the most likely outcome of your feared event is

How likely is your fear to happen?

Take a moment and write down the likelihood of your fear. If it is most likely not going to happen, the fear is probably more of an irrational fear (and I’ll give you some prompts to deal with irrational fears shortly).

First, take a look at the fears that could actually happen.

Brainstorm some ways that you could lessen the impact if they happened. Think about what you could do even if the worst-case scenario happened. Chances are, there is a solution that will work.

Now write down a list of your strengths to handle the situation.

We often forget that we are very capable of handling tough situations.

Now, to deal with your more irrational thoughts and the thoughts from above that might still be worrying you, you can implement a Thought Safe Room. 

The Thought Safe Room will help you determine thoughts that are not helpful and turn them into thoughts that are helpful.

Thoughts like negative self-talk, what-if scenarios, catastrophic thinking are NOT allowed in your safe room. The thoughts might knock on your door and you can acknowledge them, but don’t let them in!

Thoughts like positive self-talk, aspirations, confident thoughts in your abilities (i.e. “I can handle this”), gratitude are always allowed in your safe room!

For other thoughts, like constructive criticism, fear about things that could actually harm you or affect your life, you can greet them at the door of your safe room and choose to allow them in sometimes if you feel like they will improve your life and you won’t get anxious about them.

Some final questions about these fears:

In what ways are you missing out on life by being afraid? 

How would your life be better if you didn’t have these fears?

Thought on Trial Journal Exercise

The purpose of this exercise is to analyze an anxious thought from a logical perspective, as if it were on trial. The idea is to find evidence that supports or rejects your thought.

Write down the anxious thought

Is there evidence that supports this thought?

Make sure that this evidence is not based on random information you find from misinformed people on the internet or based off of what you think the situation is –these things are not actual representations of the truth.

Now ask yourself, is this based on facts or feelings?

Is there someone you could ask that could clarify the situation or give you insight?

How would a friend see this situation?

Based on what you wrote above, what is a more rational way to think about this thought?

Writing Letters to Help With Healing

Writing letters that you can’t actually send is a great way to get out some emotions! Here are some people you can write letters to:

Your past self (you can forgive you past self for things you regret and talk about how far you have come since then)

Your future self

Someone who has hurt you (and express your anger about that)

Someone who has hurt you (and express forgiveness)

Someone who inspires you

Your inner child

Journal Prompts for Digging Deep and Getting Unstuck

Write a list of regrets + forgive yourself for each one

Write a list of improvements you could make to your life

Write a list of fears – are they rational?

How do your fears and anxieties hold you back? 

Are there small steps you could take to lessen how much they hold you back?

When have you felt loved?

When have you not felt loved?

List 3 small ways you can you love yourself the way you want to be loved?

Do you express love in the way you would like to be loved? If not, why?

Is there anything you need to say to people in your life that would make you feel better?

What do you feel like you are holding back from the world?

Analyzing your behaviours

Do you ever behave badly towards people? 

If so, why?

 And how can you change that? 

And how could that help you?

Are there any behaviours you do that increase your anxiety?

How could you modify those to decrease your anxiety?

Journal Prompts to foster Optimism

Write about your…

Dream life

Dream house

Dream partner

Dream friends

What can you do to bring yourself closer to those things?

What are some small things that you typically do throughout the day that make you happier?

Are there any fun things you would like to add into your life that you haven’t yet?

Is there anything you would really like to accomplish in life (i.e. your passion), but haven’t started or are too scared to start?

If you are too scared to start, why? (This answer can be used with any of the fear worksheets so that you can start to overcome this fear and go after what you really want)

How do you think these things can improve your current happiness level?

Is there anything else that could improve your current happiness level?

And although these things are fun to talk and dream about, write 3 ways that you can enjoy your life more right now.

***

So I hope that these journal prompts give you some extra help with your mental health and some inspiration for finding a deeper understanding of yourself.

And again, you can download a printable version of all of these journal prompts plus more by signing up below!

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Owner of Mindaya

Hey guys, it’s Sagesse – the face behind website! I’m dedicated to helping you find freedom your anxiety and overcome the mental obstacles that are standing in the way of your best life!
Summer Bucket List Ideas For the Best Summer Ever (Even with Self-Isolation!)

Summer Bucket List Ideas For the Best Summer Ever (Even with Self-Isolation!)

Summer is short. Maybe not everywhere, but in Canada and some more northern places, summer can feel as short as a week.

I always joke that I hope the summer lands on a weekend because it really does feel that short.

Sooo the most important thing to do is make the time count!

I always have so many things that I want to do throughout the summer and I never seem to get them done. Not this time!!

This summer, I have gathered my best ideas for an awesome summer bucket list! And not only that, I created a summer bucket list planner so you can custom create your perfect summer!

Which you can grab below! And you’ll also get all of my other printables and courses that promote wellness and happiness and that will overall make your life easier and more enjoyable 🙂

It’s all free btw 🙂

 

So let’s check out some fun ideas that you can add to your summer bucket list!

(Btw, they’re all social isolation friendly!)

The idea of this post is to inspire you to do things that are fun and that get you out and adventuring! I’ve also included some ideas to help you reach some wellness goals too! This can be a nice time to incorporate some journaling or daily wellness rituals into your day!

So let’s starts off with some health and wellness bucket list ideas (before we work our way to the fun stuff!)

Healthy and fun bucket list ideas

Summer can feel like a time for rejuvenation and vitality – which is why I felt like this is a great place to start off with the bucket list.

If you make it a priority to feel good, then you’ll have more energy to do the other fun things on your bucket list!

Here are some easy healthy habits that you can start that will have you feeling great! You don’t have to do all of them – I’d say even just choose 1 and you’ll notice yourself feeling much better!

  • eating 5 servings of vegetables a day
  • having a smoothie everyday
  • yoga every day
  • wake up at 7 everyday
  • work on the couch to 5k running challenge (it’s very slow and incremental, so it’s not as daunting as it sounds!)
  • if you live near water or have a pool, try to go for a quick swim every day (I absolutely love swimming, so this is a great one for me!)
  • write in your journal every day
  • do a mindfulness drawing or adult colouring activity once a day
  • take a mindfulness walk every morning and just appreciate your surroundings
  • write 3 things you’re grateful for every day

Intention based bucket list ideas

Now this might sound a bit strange, but just creating an intention can help you to live the summer vibes mindset!

For example, picture your ideal summer. What do you consider to be the ultimate “summer vibe”?

For me, I see twinkly patio lights, the fresh smell of leaves and flowers, water, freshness, friends, and freedom!

So for me – I want to be able to be outside as much as possible, with my friends (at an appropriate distance to keep safe during covid time), going to a patio or having a backyard hangout, and eating healthy foods (for that freshness vibe).

So an intention that would get me there is: to prioritize friendship, fun, health, and the outdoors – and to embrace some spontaneity!

Some other examples of intentions that you can incorporate into your bucket list are:

  • Embrace the outdoors
  • Embrace spontaneity
  • Focus on the fun
  • Focus on health
  • “I want to feel free”
  • “I will be mindful of  my surroundings”
  • “I will be grateful for the beauty around me”

Just simple things like that can help you to start living a great summer! I have actually included a spot for your summer intention in my summer bucket list!

Adventurous Summer Bucket List Ideas

Summer is a time for adventuring! But adventuring takes a lot of commitment sometimes (if you want to get crazy and do a giant backpacking trip), but there are other easy and fun adventures that you can go on, which will make your summer so much more fun!

  • Picnic somewhere new
  • camping (parks should be open)
  • Take a road trip – you can make a list of places you’ve never been and try to hit all of them!
  • Go on a backpacking trip at a state or national park – they should be open!
  • Literally go chasing waterfalls (or any other cool nature thing). Make a list of ones near you (or draw them on a map!) It will give you some purpose for a road trip.
  • Find the best lookout in your town
  • Go to a drive-in movie
  • Make a list of cool historical sites to go to and do a road trip
  • Make a list of the most beautiful nature sites you have been meaning to visit
  • Kayaking somewhere (this can be inexpensive because you can just ask around amongst your friends or in a local facebook group to see if you can borrow or rent a kayak or canoe!)
  • Organize a scavenger hunt (or a photo scavenger hunt!) for you and your friends or just for yourself!

The scavenger hunt thing can be really fun because you can do this over the span of a day or the entire summer! You can write down whatever you want! You can even do a photo “scavenger hunt” of your bucket list, so that you have photo evidence of all the cool things you’ve done.

Some slightly more adventurous ideas:

These things are easy enough to do in a social distancing way – so I would assume they will open at some point soon!

  • bungee jumping
  • skydiving
  • ziplining

It can be hard to fit all of these in, but definitely try my summer bucket list planner (which comes with all of my other fun freebies, like a free goal planner) which can help you make the absolute best summer plan and give you tools (such as great productivity tricks) so that you can fit it all in!

Things you can do in your backyard!

  • Picnic in your backyard with fairy lights and a cute blanket
  • Backyard bonfires
  • Backyard bbq
  • Backyard concert – you can space out the seats as much as possible
  • Backyard picnic
  • Set up a slip n’ slide
  • Build a garden!
  • Build an obstacle course in your backyard. (This is something I’ve always wanted to do, so I’m going to try and do it this summer!)
Some things you can consider for the obstacle course:
-a rope ladder on the ground to run on
-a tire to flip
-put trx style bands in a tree

Summer bucket list ideas for the foodie

I always associate summer with fun foods! Like watermelon, ice cream, and bbq foods!

These bucket list ideas incorporate those and also add to your adventurous ideas, by making it a little adventure to try new foods!

  • try ice cream from a bunch of different shops around your town or city
  • make your own ice cream or fro-yo
  • make a list of the most summery food or drink ideas you can find (think anything watermelon) and make them throughout the summer
  • try different cocktails (or cocktails you’ve wanted try) – then you can bust them out at a backyard bbq

Final Tips for Your Best Summer Bucket List Ever

So my final tips for having the best summer ever, are to:

1. Write down all the fun things you want to do

2. Find out how many days/weekends you have free for the fun stuff!

3. Set you summer intention

4, Follow through with your summer intention and just have fun!

5. Use my summer bucket list planner and other free resources 🙂 They are down below!

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Owner of Mindaya

Hey guys, it’s Sagesse – the face behind website! I’m dedicated to helping you find freedom your anxiety and overcome the mental obstacles that are standing in the way of your best life!
How I Went One Year Without Eating Sugar (And the crazy results!)

How I Went One Year Without Eating Sugar (And the crazy results!)

It all started when I was 11 years old.

I was unhealthy and lethargic (probably too lethargic for a 11 year old who should have a ton of energy!)

My older brother (14 years older than me) took notice. He’s super into healthy eating and was noticing that I seemed a bit unhealthy (and that I was addicted to sugar – but seriously, who isn’t at that age?)

So first, he poked fun at me, after all, what are big brothers for?

But after, he decided he would play a part in helping his baby sis get healthier!

And I am SO glad he did, because it totally changed my life!

So how did my brother convince me to not eat sugar for a full year?

Yup that’s right, my broke 25-year old brother (at the time), bet me $500 to not eat sugar for a whole year!

And to sweeten the deal (no pun intended, well… some pun intended), my dad said that he would also throw in $500 dollars!

What kind of family does that?? Such a weird but cool thing to do!

So my little brain had to weigh the pros and cons of this, $1000? or none of that sweet addictive candy, chocolate, popsicles, cookies, etc for a whole year??

I wouldn’t even be allowed to have added sugar in things like crackers or ketchup!

But, when you’re a kid $1000 is basically like a million dollars, so I went for the money! And I have always enjoyed a good challenge!

So now the real question… what the heck did I eat? And how did I not eat sugar for a whole year???? Well honestly, the answers are pretty simple and ANYONE can do it!

And honestly the results are totally worth it! 

Also: I am totally NOT a fan of restriction diets, so I would never tell anyone to completely cut something out of their diet, but I do know that too much sugar can be harmful to your body, health, and even you mind (i.e. sugar crashes).

So definitely do what’s right for your body (and your lifestyle).

At the end I’ll give you just a bit of insight as to why I wouldn’t actually do this again.

Here were my results from going sugar-free for a year:

1. I felt SO energized and healthy!

I remember feeling so good after that year! 

2. My body fat went down A LOT!

I remember it being a pretty dramatic transformation because a lot of people were talking about it! I don’t think that was something that should have been talked about, because we are all so much more than our bodies – but that was my observation!

3. I didn’t get sick all year!

When you’re 11 and going to public school, you’re a prime target for every sickness imaginable! But not me!

My immune system was on its top game! And this made perfect sense because sugar is known to depress your immune system.

4. My anxiety went down significantly.

I experienced a lot of anxiety as a child, and this was the year that I remember feeling a lot better. You can check out my article on how your physical health affects your mental health for some more insight into that.

And the best result…

5. My confidence, self-discipline, and will-power all went up like crazy!

I felt like I could achieve anything!

One of the biggest reasons that people find it hard to avoid sugar is because they feel like they don’t have the discipline or willpower, but let me tell you, it can be easier than you think to do something like this!

So let’s take a look at what I did that helped me develop the discipline to not eat sugar for an entire year!

 

So #1 – I had GREAT motivation!

This is a great lesson, if you have the right motivation, you can do anything!

I like to talk about the effect  that motivation and proper goals can have on your willpower and self-discipline, like in this article about finding motivation every day.

That $1000 dollars was this huge glowing prize that I could think about every time I had a sugar craving!

#2 – I got really creative to make low-sugar recipes

So, I couldn’t have pop, candy, chocolate, cookies, or even some crackers, most processed foods, ketchup, bbq sauce, and some other things.

BUT – I could have some natural, non-refined sweeteners. Xylitol is natural and decently healthy, so I was allowed to have that in moderation. Also, I was allowed some less refined sugars (like maple syrup and honey.

Now – you might consider this cheating, but I had to have SOME saving grace! C’mon, I was only 11!

And the point was to get away from processed foods and easily binge-able sweets.

So I learned how to bake!

If I was going to have anything even close to a sugary treat, I was going to have to make it myself.

I has this great vegan cookbook (How It All Vegan! 10th Anniversary Edition: Irresistible Recipes for an Animal-Free Diet) that had tons of ideas for modifying recipes! Even if you’re not vegan (I wasn’t), it has great recipes and baked goods that are very easy to modify to make sugar-free or to add it healthy sweeteners!

So I would make cookies from scratch with maple syrup or honey. And then I would add cocoa powder if I wanted something chocolate-y!

I also experimented with using fruit and even sweet potatoes to sweeten my baked goods! Honestly those substitutions worked SO well!

My favourite low-sugar dessert recipes:

Black bean, sweet potato fudge bars – they still have maple syrup, which still has sugar, but it’s much better for you than refined sugar or  you can sub xylitol or stevia or add a banana instead! You might get a bit of a different consistency doing different substitutions, but I always find that they end up tasting just fine!

Tofu chocolate pudding – with Xylitol or maple syrup (a healthier sweetener, but still technically has sugar)

Banana raspberry “ice cream” – just blend frozen bananas and frozen raspberries with a bit of your milk of choice

Chocolate “ice-cream” – frozen bananas, cocoa powder, and milk of choice (soooo good!) and you can add peanut butter if you want!

Fruit, plain yogurt, and a little bit of honey!

#3 How I dealt with sugar cravings

So dealing with sugar cravings can be a bit difficult. 

Especially when you are used to having a lot of sugar. But there’s usually a period where you body is in a bit of a withdrawal (which is where you have to be the strongest), but then it gets WAY easier!

It’s the same with any other type of “craving”, like wanting to watch TV when you shouldn’t or going on social media when you should be studying. 

It’s because you’re in the habit of doing it! 

You need to slowly train your brain to do a better habit, instead of the bad habit.

For example, in this case: I had healthy snacks (like berries and plain yogurt) ready to go when I would have a sugar craving!

Until, slowly – those sugar cravings went away! Then it actually became pretty easy to stay away from it!

Get a guide to prep all your meals for the week in 20 mins!

 

This might actually have been the foundation of my love for goal setting! You can check out my free goal planning mini-course at the end of this post!

It contains all of my best tips for goal setting, finding motivation, productivity, habits, and more! Plus it has free goal planners too! (And I’ll send you my top tips for mindful and healthy eating!)

Now one last thing I’d like to mention:

Why I won’t go sugar-free again

I am very confident that a low-sugar diet will work WONDERS for you! There are so many health benefits, it’s insane!

BUT I find restricting oneself too much is never good, because it leads to feeling deprived and then you are generally more likely to binge eat or just stop your healthy habits. 

And I also find that sometimes eating something a bit sugary when I’m out with my friends is really fun, so I don’t want to give up my lifestyle to stick rigidly to a plan.

Everyone is definitely different, but it’s all about doing what feels right for you and your lifestyle! (Unless your lifestyle is quite unhealthy – then maybe you can rethink some things!)

Essentially though, balance is the absolutely KEY to living a better life and it’s much easier to implement your healthy habits slowly.

Which is again, one of the principles of my free goal planning course below! It gives you tons of tools to start achieving what you truly want from life! Whether that’s getting healthier, waking up earlier, getting your dream career, anything! The core principles are the same (and they are simpler than you think!) 

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Owner of Mindaya

Hey guys, it’s Sagesse – the face behind website! I’m dedicated to helping you find freedom your anxiety and overcome the mental obstacles that are standing in the way of your best life!
The Ultimate Work-From-Home Guide (11 Steps to Build the Perfect Routine)

The Ultimate Work-From-Home Guide (11 Steps to Build the Perfect Routine)

You’re working from home now.

This is what you’ve been waiting for. You get to do work in your pyjamas and can take as many breaks as you want!

This is great!

But somehow, and you don’t quite know how it happened, your day has turned into a blend of working, tv, snacking constantly, and now you’ve spent the whole day half-working and not getting as nearly as much done as you thought you would.

It’s an easy trap to get into (and I know because I was in it for a loooong time), but I have found some great tips to help you to work from home without distractions or 

Let’s take a look at the ideal work-from-home routine!

Disclaimer: Products on this page may contain affiliate links. We only promote products that we think are super awesome and will provide value to you! You can read more about our terms here.

Step 1: Develop a daily ritual!

This is essential to keep yourself from slipping into the “work-from-home limbo”, where you don’t know what you’re doing, where you’re going, or even what day it is! Humans thrive on rituals and familiarity.
I’ve been working at home for a while and I realized that I don’t like having my day overly planned, but I do like to have a few non-negotiables throughout my day!

Step 2: More specifically, develop a morning ritual that you look forward to so that it makes waking up easier! 

I find it incredibly difficult to wake up if I don’t have somewhere to be, so I use a few tricks to help me to get out of bed!
Such as
  • looking forward to my morning coffee
  • having a shower
  • having my smoothie bowl and toast for breakfast!
It can be INCREDIBLY hard to get out of bed if you don’t have something FORCING you to, so if you can, try to schedule something in the morning that will get you up and out of bed! Maybe like a phone call with a friend who also needs some extra motivation, or find a live, online workout class or meditation! Get creative!

 

Step 3: Have a dedicated workspace. 

It can be oh-so tempting to work from the couch, but the posture you have on a couch signals your body to be too relaxed and definitely not in “work-mode” 
This will also separate your “work-life” from your “home-life”.
If you get bored sitting in one place all day, then have your main workspace (for getting the really intense stuff done) and then have a back-up workspace, when you don’t need to concentrate as much.

Step 4: Keep up with your scheduling

First of all – use google calendar!!

This is the best scheduling program! You can make multiple calendars for the different things you have going on (so you can see them either all together or separately!)

It’s so easy and you can drag and drop anything you have scheduled! Which is especially great if you have unforeseen things come up in your day – with trust me, happens a lot when you’re working at home!

Bonus: make sure you schedule in breaks!!!

Step 5: Use productivity techniques

Technique 1: The Pomodoro Technique

At home, your days are less structured without meetings, etc. So it’s important to give yourself some structure. The pomodoro technique is great for that!

You basically just yourself 30 min to 1 hr bursts of work, followed by a short break! Super simple and will keep your momentum going and force you to do some solid focused work, with a little reward after!

Productivity Technique 2: Only set 6 tasks for the day

This is a good rule of thumb for whether you work from home or at an office! This has generally been found to be the magic number so that you don’t get overwhelmed by the idea of too many tasks. 

This is a common rule of people who know that simplicity is the key to productivity. Just set yourself six tasks that you know you can get done. It will work wonders!

Productivity technique 3: Schedule your days with variance, depending on the task

Some days might require long chunks of focused work, others might require short bursts of focus to get lots of little tasks done. Don’t be afraid to change up your daily schedule to match that!

Check some other scheduling tips and productivity misconceptions here!

Step 6: Eliminate distractions

When you don’t necessarily have a strict schedule and you are at home (where there are TONS of distractions).

Here are three simple ways to help with that!

  1. Have a semi-secluded work station.
  2. Let your family know when it’s time for you to work – and ask them politely not to interrupt you. (This might not work if you have kids). But schedule specific times for when they can come into your space or schedule some specific quality time with them throughout the day
  3. Use the freedom app! It blocks any distracting website or app of your choosing on your computer and your phone. Honestly SO helpful! Which brings me to my next point:

Step 7: Invest in a productivity app!

I’m usually not a fan of productivity apps, because there are just too many out there and they can sort of bog down your mind.

However, freedom is an app that simply blocks all of the distracting websites and apps for you! And it works on your phone too! 

When you’re working at home, it can be so easy to get distracted by websites and apps on your phone, especially when your boss isn’t there to monitor you. 

This app is what has saved me while working from home!

Step 8 : Keep designated work hours (and have a cut-off time).

This one is pretty simple, but seriously, have a cut-off time! It can be tempting to try and just get a bit more done, but then you end up working all day!

The beauty of working from home, though, is that it can be whenever you want! So if you sleep in, you can still fit your work day in!

However, I would still encourage your cut-off time to be no later than 6 so that you have motivation to wake up earlier!

Otherwise, you’ll let yourself sleep in later and later, until eventually, you’re working from 12-9! (which trust me, is not great, I have fallen into that schedule…. not so great!)

 

 Step 9: Make Time For exercise!

If your whole day revolves around being at home, it can be really hard to think about getting out and exercising.

It was a lot easier when you could just go to the gym while you were out already! But thanks to Covid right now, that’s not really an option!

So put it in your plan and get used to either just going for a nice walk or doing a fun at home workout! There are so many on instagram! Search @demibagby on instagram she has a whole bunch of fun at-home, full-body workouts that are really fun!

The BONUS of being at home, is that you can just dance with the music blasting as a warm up! You can’t do that at a gym! Well you could if you’re very confident!

Step 10: Keep up your meal prep (or start it).

Did you used to pack a lunch for work every day? Keep that up! Otherwise it’ll take too much time out of your work hours to make a lunch!

Or take one day a week to prepare your lunches! You can check out this amazing weekly meal planner that I sell on etsy! It’s so helpful and it’s the only thing that has gotten me to do my meal prepping!

Step 11: Plan something fun after work! and on your weekend!

Don’t let work spill into your weekend. Just don’t.

Even if you don’t think you do, you NEED a weekend to refresh your brain! 

It can be tempting to squeeze in more work on the weekend (if you’re that type of person! haha, I am depending on what I’m doing), but if you don’t give yourself a nice, big break! 

Otherwise, you’ll burn out! 

You need to have fun and enjoy yourself frequently!

If you want some extra help with your productivity, time-management, and scheduling – check out my free time-management and productivity!

It’s 5 sessions to help you with goal-setting, productivity misconceptions, organization systems, habits, and mindset! It really gives you everything! You can sign up below!

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Owner of Mindaya

Hey guys, it’s Sagesse – the face behind website! I’m dedicated to helping you find freedom your anxiety and overcome the mental obstacles that are standing in the way of your best life!