A Second Chance at a Healthy Life

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Dear Diary,

After 32 years of being unhappy with my appearance and eating whatever food I wanted to in an effort to try and feel the void of personal happiness I have finally decided to make the conscious decision to start living a healthy life.

Eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle are two very different things with one common goal – to be a happier person. Eating healthy can help you lose weight and prevent several severe medical conditions. Eating healthy can help you be happy on both the outside as well as on the inside. Living a healthy lifestyle is purely beneficial to your medical health. Exercising on a regular basis helps prevent several medical conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol and unhealthy high blood pressure.

The only way that people can lose weight is to burn off more calories in a day then they take in.  There are two ways to do this, people can eat less food and intake fewer calories or they can eat what they want and exercise to burn off the excess calories. I have decided to do both. I have been living an unhealthy lifestyle for so long that I don’t know the first thing about making positive changes in my life to be healthier and happier so I need a little bit of help.

3 Healthy Living Tools to Help Me Lose Weight

Jenny Craig.  I am learning about setting personal goals and controlling my food portions with Jenny Craig.  It is truly amazing how much food we eat compared to how much food we should be eating. I am trying to change my personal mentality to think of food as a means to stay healthy and give me energy throughout the day as oppose to something to drown my sorrows and celebrate my victories. I am learning that people don’t have to starve themselves to be on a diet and this is good news for me because I love eating.

Lose It. I am learning about suitable daily calorie intakes for my personal goal weight with LoseIt.com. I used to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted because I thought that food made me happy, but this is not true. I now live on a 1100 calorie diet per day and believe me when you only have a limited number of calories to eat you will make sure you cherish them. I am cutting out carbs and sugar from my diet.  I am also trying to drink less caffeine and drink a lot more water throughout the day. I am not going to lie, tracking every single piece of food that you eat throughout the day is a huge pain in the a$$, but no one said that losing weight would be easy.

Blogilates.  I am learning that exercise can be both fun and beneficial with Blogilates. I want to work out with Blogilates because their workout clothes are cute and their workout routines are inspiring…and you can do them all in the comfort of your own home.  I want to be happy with my physical appearance and I don’t want to worry about my health as I get older. This is why exercising is beneficial for both my outsides as well as my insides.

Love Always,

Photo by basykes

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A Second Chance at Financial Freedom

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Good morning everyone. Today’s post is the next topic in my “A Second Chance” series.  This series is all about improving certain aspects of your life and righting any wrongs; A Second Chance is a do-over for some aspect in your life that you want to correct or change.  Personal Finance is also one of the topics discussed in my upcoming book “A Better You” which is expected to be finished later this year. We don’t have to be the best, but we can be better. So keep reading and find out how to find financial freedom.

Almost everyone has experienced financial difficulties at some point in their life.  Whether you are a struggling student who lives on a budget, a single parent who is trying to do the best for your kids, or you are a young professional who is struggling to pay off your debts; the truth is that almost everyone can improve some aspect of their financial lives. Maybe you want to save more money each month, maybe you want to pay off your debts as quick as possible, or maybe you want to increase your monthly income.  Improving your financial situation doesn’t take much, but it does take dedication.

4 Easy Steps for Financial Freedom

1. Recognize the problem.  As with any personal problem the first step towards improving your financial situation is to recognize that there is a problem. If you are having difficulties making your monthly debt payments you have to realize that you can no longer afford your current lifestyle and pay off your debts at the same time. Making cuts in your monthly spending, allocating a larger percentage of your income towards debt repayment, or finding ways to increase your monthly income will all help you pay down your debts sooner and achieve financial freedom.

2. Find out how you got there.  Maybe you are in debt because you live beyond your means on a monthly basis, maybe you are in debt because you are a compulsive spender, or maybe you are in debt because you loaned a family member (or friend) money and they have yet to pay it back. Before you can achieve financial freedom you have to make the conscious decision to learn from your mistakes so that you don’t repeat them in the future.

3. Make an action plan. If your financial goal is to save more money each month you will have to make an action plan to achieve your financial goal which includes setting a target date, making a personal budget to determine how much money you can afford to save each month, as well as possibly determining where you can make cuts in your monthly spending so that you can save more money each month. Having an action plan with a defined goal and the necessary steps to take towards achieving the goal will make our dream a reality and our goal attainable.

4. Check in on your action plan regularly. There is really no point in making an action plan if you don’t check in on your plan regularly to make sure that you are staying on track towards achieving your goal. It is a good idea to break down your ultimate goal into smaller goals because as you achieve your short term goals you will be motivated to continue working towards your ultimate goal. It’s also a good idea to check in on your action plan on a biweekly or monthly basis to make sure that you are still on the right track towards changing your financial habits and achieving financial freedom.

What is your secret for financial freedom? Tell me on Twitter @TKBlogs.

Love Always,

This post was originally published on Credit Karma

Photo by borman

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A Second Chance at a Career

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Dear Diary,

More than 12 months ago I decided to start trying to love my life and to start learning to love myself.  A major part of my new self-loving mentality is that I am starting to make positive changes in my life; this includes trying to eliminate everything in my life that makes me unhappy.  At the beginning of 2011 I decided that I will try to make positive changes with my family, in my relationship and in my career. After working in the financial services industry for over a decade I decided that my real passion is (and has always been) writing.

I definitely want to pursue a career in writing, but I don’t want to throw away my twelve years of experience in the personal finance industry.  I would love to be an author and I am currently writing my first book, however writing an unpublished book doesn’t pay the bills. I honestly still love working in personal finance, I just don’t totally love working in retail banking anymore. I want to combine my financial experience with my love of writing. In order to achieve my personal goal of combining my experience with my passion I decided to pursue a career in corporate communications.

I had no idea how to make the career change  from retail banking to corporate communications so I just started applying for jobs. Unfortunately the response from potential employers was not as enthusiastic as I hoped it would be. Many potential employers appreciate the fact I have many years of retail banking experience, but they feel that I am under experienced in the writing and communications aspects of the job qualifications.  Of course I feel that this is not true because I have been writing for almost as long as I have been working in the personal finance industry, but employers love to see diplomas.

After being declined for two corporate communications jobs I decided to stop applying for my dream job and I decided to start researching exactly what skills and education requirements are needed for jobs in corporate communications. Before I apply for another job in corporate communications I will make sure that I have the experience, the skills, and the education to get hired. So to sum up my long story, I recently enrolled in the journalism program at a local university.

Going back to school while working a full time job at the bank and working a part time job as a freelance writer is definitely a challenge.  However, this is what I have to do right now in my life in order to achieve my personal and career goals later in life.  Every morning that I am too tired to get out of bed and every night that I am awake and working past midnight I keep telling myself that this is only a temporary situation.  My life will be hectic for the next two years but in the end it will all be worth it to achieve my ultimate personal goal of becoming and author and my career goal of working in corporate communications.

Love Always,

Photo by qusur

Check out the other post in my “A Second Chance” series:

A Second Chance at Love

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A Second Chance at Love

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This past weekend while I was in Denver Colorado for a conference my friend Tricia was getting married.  Do you remember my friend Tricia? We have been friends for over seven years and throughout that time we have definitely had some ups and downs in both our personal lives as well as in our friendship.Tricia and I have remained friends through heartaches, breakups, family drama, personal struggles, and career changes.  Tricia is my rock, she is a very independent person, she is very opinionated, and she has a very strong personality; but she never judges me for my choices or for my mistakes. That’s exactly why I love Tricia and that’s exactly why I know that we will always remain friends, because our friendship is unconditional.  Regardless of whatever chaos is going on in our personal lives Tricia and I always try to make time for each other.

Throughout the years of growing up and finding her place in the world Tricia has been very fortunate to graduate from university and find her dream job; however she has not always been very lucky in the love department.  Tricia always wanted to be in love, but she just never found her perfect match…until now. She is very independent but she is also very nurturing, this combination sometimes left her male companions curious and confused. How can a woman who wants to do everything herself also want to take care of someone else?

Tricia has worked very hard for everything that she has accomplished in her life; this also includes her new found love.  After dating men who were less than her perfect match Tricia definitely knows which qualities in a man will compliment her personality.  I am happy to say that at 33 years old my friend Tricia has finally found her perfect match. This is why I wish my friend Tricia and her new husband a lifetime of happiness together.

Last Saturday in front of their family and friends Tricia and her husband vowed to live happily ever after together through sickness and health, through richer or poorer, and until death do them part.  Tricia could have settled a long time ago for someone who was less than her perfect match, but she always knew that she deserved better.

If you are single and you feel like you are going to be single forever please don’t give up hope. Your perfect match, or your soul mate as Tricia says, is out there somewhere in the world, and you should never settle for anything less than perfect.

Love Always,

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