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Everything is changeable

Everything is changeable

I remember reading somewhere that one of the big causes of depression is feeling like you can’t change anything in your life. You feel stuck, and you feel like there’s nothing you can do to get out of that situation. Everything spirals downward because you feel helpless and trapped.


Up until 3 weeks ago, I had many of those feelings.


I hated my new job. A lot.


I would dive into all the reasons but I should be a professional and not put all that out on the internet, ya know?


Anyway, I was miserable after approximately 1 week into the new job. As someone who hasn’t had many new jobs in my life, I wasn’t sure if my unhappiness was just because I was unfamiliar with the work, the company, the client, my coworkers, etc? I mean, I understand that every time you get a new job there is a learning curve, and you go from knowing everything and everyone at your previous job to being brand new at the new job. I had been in the same office for 6 years (with a 2 year stint of self-employment in the middle) and was very comfortable with everything at that job. So it would make sense that I'd be feeling very uncomfortable and unfamiliar in a brand new place.


I stuck it out hoping that things would get better. They didn’t.


After multiple evenings where I came home from work crying (!!!! yes really, I realize this sounds ridiculous and yes I'm almost 29 years old and probably should be an adult and not let work get to me this much but this was sooooooo not a healthy place for me) and venting to Mike and my Mom, the consensus was that I needed to get a new job.


I fought it for awhile, because I thought no one would hire me when I’d only been at my past job for a month (and also because I had JUST FINISHED applying and interviewing for jobs… ugh did not want to start that process up again). But Mike is a genius and convinced me to start applying, so I followed his advice and started throwing out my resume. Also I finally realized that I was actually exhibiting many symptoms of depression and that scared me.


Amazingly- the most perfect job opportunity liked my resume, reached out to me, and I interviewed and got the job! WAHOO!!


(I later discovered that the hiring manager knows my old boss - the one from 2 jobs ago - and he gave me a great referral which helped me get hired. haha so there were outside factors... BUT STILL. It was glorious.)


I immediately felt like the weight of the world had lifted. The soul crushing feeling of being in a situation for 40+ hours a week that I hated evaporated. I successfully DID something to fix my situation!! I changed my life!!!!!


So that’s what I want to remind you of today. EVERYTHING IS CHANGEABLE. Life is too damn short to do something you don’t like doing. Stop making excuses for why you’re not doing what you want to do (like I said, I made excuses that “oh they won’t want to hire me because I’ve only been at my company for a month” but obviously that was wrong!!) and just GO FOR IT. Sure it might mean you need to do some work applying for jobs, but isn't a little bit of effort better than HATING life??!


I don’t want anyone to ever feel as sad and miserable as I did for the past 2 months. It is so not worth it. You deserve a happy life.


The best part of this story is that I started my new job almost 3 weeks ago and I am so so so so so happy. I love it so far and have not had ANY feelings similar to the previous job.


Thank you to Mike and my mom talking sense into me and giving me the advice to go for a new job :)



Have you ever quit a job really quickly? Did it turn out well??

Negative Visualization vs. Positive Thinking

Negative Visualization vs. Positive Thinking

This isn’t really a finance related post today, but it’s something that I’m mulling over...


Positive Thinking

When I first started getting into personal development / self-help stuff, one of the biggest teachings I ran across was the idea of positive thinking, law of attraction, etc. This is basically the idea that if you think positive thoughts, then everything will be positive in your life. For example, if you really want to get a new job, just think positive thoughts about it, assume you’re going to get it, act as if you’re going to get it, and you’ll get the job. The universe will pick up on your good vibes and will give you the job.


(and yeah, I’m probably over simplifying it, but that’s the general gist of it from my perspective)


I remember way back when I first started hearing about positive thinking as a teaching. My one hesitation was that it feels like you’re jinxing yourself. My whole life up until that moment, I had subscribed to the idea that if you really want something, don’t assume you’re going to get it, because you’ll jinx yourself and then it won’t happen.


So anyway, I saw the benefits of this positive thinking practice, but I’ve always had a slight hesitation with it.


And now, I think I figured out why (in addition to the jinxing thing).



How positive thinking failed me

So last week, I shared that I recently got a new job. The interview process took a few moths so I had a looooong time to think tons of positive thoughts about the new job. I imagined how perfect my office environment would be, I imagined the amazing computer I would have and the cute desk I would decorate, I imagined great new coworkers and rewarding work and basically, just a perfect new job. Everything would be absolutely perfect.


(Mind you, I wasn’t specifically setting out to ‘law of attraction’ this job into perfection. I was honestly just imaging that it would be perfect, lol)


So imagine my surprise / dismay when of COURSE the job doesn’t line up into my idyllic little daydream scenario. 


I was upset. I was underwhelmed. I felt like I made a mistake. I felt depressed. I wanted to quit. “This isn’t the job for me,” I thought.


All because it didn’t line up with my daydreamed perfect scenario.


To pull myself out of my funk, I started listening to some stoicism podcasts. My BFF Mr. Money Mustache talks about the benefits of stoicism, so I’ve always been a little interested in the philosophy. I figured that now is as good a time as any to start putting some of the theories into practice.



Negative Visualization

The theory that ended up making me realize what had gone wrong in my job situation was the stoic philosophy of “negative visualization”. The stoics believe that you should frequently envision the worst case scenario happening in your life. I’m not going to lie to you, I can't remember exactly the reasoning of why they say you should do this- I’m not sure if it’s so you don’t get too happy, or if it’s so you appreciate the things you have more? Either way, they say you should imagine what would happen if things go horribly wrong.


AH HA! How interesting that there are two COMPLETELY OPPOSITE schools of thought on this! One says you should only think positive thoughts. One says you should think negative thoughts.


Neither is right or wrong here, but I do think that in my situation, if I had taken a moment to remember that — wait, this is a mind blowing revelation, are you ready for this? — no job is ever going to be perfect (!!!!) then I might have been a bit less upset, underwhelmed, and depressed when I was faced with the reality of my new job. 


I would have said, “oh, interesting! I hoped that I would have a really beautiful desk and office space, but also I imagined the worst case scenario that I would have to work out of a dark and dingy basement infested with cockroaches, and luckily the reality of my situation is somewhere in between!" (but luckily skewed towards the former)


So. That’s today’s food for thought. Neither way is right or wrong, but I think it’s helpful to figure out which thought philosophy (or neither- maybe you have a different way of thinking!) helps you the most in life.



For further thoughts on this topic:

I enjoyed this podcast episode from Stoic Mettle on negative visualization.

I also really liked this podcast episode from The Life Coach School on a similar topic-- “problems are forever”.




What category do you fit into- are you a positive thinker, or a negative visualizer, or somewhere in the middle?

I think I now fall somewhere in the middle- I don’t always want to picture the worst case scenario, but I also don’t want to be naive and assume that everything will be perfect in life.




Oh man. Its been awhile since I posted here, huh? The main reason is because it's summer and I like being outside rather than typing on a computer.


Beach > computer


The secondary reason is because I started a new job 2 weeks ago!!! And it's been taking up lots of my free time with needing to do new trainings and things like that. Also learning new things is just exhausting, ya know? I get home from work and my brain feels overloaded with new information and I don't have the mental capacity to think about anything creative like this blog.


Getting the new job was a really good thing for me; I had been in my previous office for 6 years (4.5 years, then a 2 year break where I worked on this website, and then back for another 1.5 years) and that's just a LOOOONG time to be in one office. Especially in your twenties. It was time to try something new.


But man- job hunting is seriously a part time job! It took up a looooot of free time. I've been job hunting since January I think... but it finally worked out! And I got a sweet pay raise, so thats fun :)


Oh! Another fun thing is that my new job is WALKING DISTANCE from home. I am now one of those people who WALKS TO WORK! Capslock is obviously necessary because yes, it is THAT exciting. I leave my house at 7:45 and am sitting at my desk at 8am. It's so amazing. So far I've only gotten rained on once (and now I will obsessively keep an umbrella in my purse at all times) and other than that the walk has been great.


The one downside is that my new company has a pretty strict dual employment policy soooo I am not allowed to sell anything here now. Which is weird. So I've taken my eCourse and coaching offline for the time being :(


Hmmm other updates? I'm currently reading The Couple Next Door - I've had it on hold at the library for MONTHS and it finally came in and omg it is so insanely good. I'm so close to the end and shocking details just keep getting thrown at me and it's crazy and I have no idea what's going on. So good. Highly recommend you also add this to your reading list.


Another thing on my mind due to my new commuting method is... should I get a backpack to carry instead of my purse? Are those totally lame and dorky? I have to lug my work computer back and forth every day (yes, it's annoying) and that gets kind of heavy worn in a purse over your shoulder for 15 minutes of walking twice a day. Also probably not good for your back. I also carry my breakfast and lunch to work, so having a backpack would really help me fit all this stuff. But like I said... is carrying a backpack to work weird?! And if it is- do I really care? That is the million dollar question...


I think I'm finally settling down into a more normal groove with work now, so I am going to try to get back on my more regular posting schedule here. Because even if I'm not allowed to sell stuff, I still feel strongly about the message of being smart with your money, so I want to keep this blog going!



Update me on YOUR life! What have you been up to lately- fun trips? New job? Good books?

Oh-- and do you have any commuter bag tips for me?


My Current (FREE) Workout Routine

My Current (FREE) Workout Routine

I used to work part-time at the front desk of Gold's Gym. I LOVED the fancy gym environment; I loved all the equipment, I loved the classes, I loved the fancy locker rooms, I loved the smoothie bar (90% of my meals back then consisted of smoothies I made myself during work... yum).


Once I quit that job and no longer had a free membership, I signed up for an actual paying membership, and HATED it. I hate monthly fees for anything, and I hate contracts. I still loved the gym itself, but I hated paying the fee and being locked into a contract.


So I cancelled my membership (once the contract was up, ugh) and have been gym-membership-free for 4+ years.


I like to think that I am still in pretty good shape, even without having a fancy gym membership, and I want to share my current workout routine with you in case you think it's impossible to be in shape without a gym membership.


NOTE: I am a big believer in investing in your health, so if you really do get tons of value and happiness from your monthly gym membership, and can afford it, then by all means keep doing your thing! I frequently debate signing up for a yoga membership somewhere because I really like taking yoga classes, so I'm definitely not opposed to paying for workouts. This is just what's working for me right now!



1. Walking.

Walking is by far my biggest form of exercise at this point in my life. Walking is SO GOOD FOR YOU. We are lucky* to live in a super walkable, super cutesy area and take walks all the time. It's fairly normal for us to walk 6+ miles on a weekend day just for fun. Before I lived here, I did still take walks, but it wasn't nearly as enjoyable because there wasn't anything exciting to look at. BUT I STILL DID IT. I love walking and listening to audiobooks (downloaded for free from the local library) or podcasts.


I try to walk hourly at work (just for a few minutes up and down the hall) and go on a 10-15 minute walk at lunch time. Mike and I also started doing 15ish minute long walks after dinner, because I read in a book that it's really good for you after eating to walk around. I try to keep my phone with me when I walk so I can keep track of my daily walks using the pedometer in my iPhone (I refuse to give in and get a fitbit). I aim for a walking total of 3.5-5 miles a day, or 10,000 steps!


*brief side note- I wrote the word "lucky" then immediately knew I shouldn't have used that word. There's no luck in this situation at all; we prioritized living in a walkable, cute area and in order to make that happen, we are spending more money on rent and less money on other activities. Not luck, just prioritization. But I left the word "lucky" in there as a teachable moment to myself :) It kind of reminds me of this post I wrote a loooong time ago about jealousy.



2. Circuit Workouts.

I used to be obsessed with this workout from Nerd Fitness. Now I've gotten hooked on some of the Fitness Blender HIIT workout videos (for example, this and this) or this video from Jessie James Decker (I loooove her). I try to do these circuit/HIIT workouts 1-2 times a week.



3. Occasional running.

Truth time: I feel slightly bad when I think about how much I used to run, and how little I run now. Back in 2011/2012, I was doing a ton of half marathons. I liked training for them; it gave me something to focus on, especially when I wasn't so happy with my living situation. (house full of random craigslist roommates - not my happiest time) Running gave me an escape from being home. But then I met Mike, and we moved into our own place, and suddenly I had my own home where I actually LIKED being there! So escaping to go run for hours wasn't necessary anymore. I sometimes get bummed that I'm not running as much, and maybe I'll get back into it one day (Mike keeps threatening to make us start doing long runs on the weekend again), but for now, I like going on occasional ~2 mile walk/runs, 1-2 times a week.



4. Yoga.

Our previous apartment building offered a free yoga class once a month that I went to. Because of that, I've realized that I really like yoga but I only like it when I'm in a class. I will occasionally do a Yoga with Adriene video now that I don't have the free classes anymore, but it's not quite as awesome as a real class :(




So that's my current FREE workout routine! How about you- what free or paid workouts do you do?

Podcasts I'm listening to

Podcasts I'm listening to

WHOA. it's been a year since I last shared my favorite podcasts!! WHERE does the time go? In the last year I've changed many of the podcasts I listen to; ditching some and adding others. Also, I recently switched to a new method of listening to podcasts. In the morning, while driving to work (~25 mins) I listen to a work-related podcast. Any other time in the day, I listen to my other podcasts. So I'll break them into those two groups in this post.


I got smarter after writing my last podcast post and in this post I decided to copy in the podcast description from iTunes, so you can actually read about what the show is about. I am not good at summarizing, haha.


Also, as I mentioned in last year's podcast post, I don't listen to EVERY episode of these podcasts. I pick and choose episodes that sound interesting. So yes, this is a very long list, but I don't spend 24/7 listening to all the episodes.


Oh! And in case you're in the market for a podcast app, my podcast player of choice is Overcast. I like it much better than the one built into the iPhone. It takes a bit to get used to how to build playlists and how to include a show in that playlist, but once you're up and running it's a great app. (I think at some point I paid a small fee to get the premium version so I don't have ads on it)



Work Related:

Manager Tools

Manager Tools is a weekly business podcast focused on helping professionals become more effective managers and leaders. Each week, we discuss specific actions for professionals to take to achieve their desired management and career objectives.

I am a team lead at work and this podcast, while it definitely is made for actual managers, helps me learn how to be a better team lead.  It also helps me as an employee learn what managers are looking for in my performance. I will warn you that this feels more like a classroom lecture than like a traditional podcast (aka... it can be kinda dry), but it's worth listening just for the knowledge.


Radical Candor

A show about how not to hate the boss you have...or be the boss you hate. Hosts Kim Scott and Russ Laraway, Candor, Inc. co-founders and Silicon Valley veterans, will share stories from their experiences and change the way you think about management. Join us each week for actionable tips for doing the best work of your life and building the best relationships of your career.

I recently started listening to this one; it's also very manager focused but is a little more down to earth (aka, they laugh and joke around). I really like that the hosts are more casual; it feels less like a lecture and more like a traditional podcast. It has good knowledge for managers (or team leads!) and also for employees.


Beyond the To-Do List

Learn how to choose the right projects, tasks, and goals in work and life. This show will help you do that with conversations with the people behind the productivity. We talk with people on all aspects of productivity, including getting the right work done, getting good work done, and the true end goal of productivity: living a meaningful life.

I'm a sucker for anything related to productivity. I recently started listening to this and am liking it so far!






(in order of how much I love them)


The Lively Show

The Lively show is a weekly podcast designed to uplift, inspire & add a little extra intention to your everyday. Episodes touch on various aspects of our lives including possessions, personal habits, relationships, and career. Entrepreneurship and online business also appear from time to time.

I've been listening to The Lively Show for probably 3 or 4 years now, and I've really been loving her episodes lately! She talks about a lot of "woo woo" stuff like the law of attraction but also shares some very practical advice. I am loving listening to her recently because she's always so positive about life.


Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is HAPPIER, and she wants you to be happier too. The #1 bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before gets more personal than ever as she brings her practical, manageable advice about happiness and good habits to this lively, thought-provoking podcast. Gretchen’s cohost and guinea pig is her younger sister, Elizabeth Craft, a TV writer and producer living in Los Angeles, who (lovingly) refers to Gretchen as her happiness bully.

As I've posted many times before... I love Gretchen Rubin! This podcast is great; I love the tips she and her sister share and the subjects they talk about. There's always something new they introduce that makes me think.


Reply All

A show about the internet. And trained rats, time travel, celebrity dogs, lovelorn phone scammers, angry flower children, workplace iguanas, and more.

I don't even know how to describe this podcast (and that official description above doesn't really help either, haha) It's basically just really funny and discusses technological problems/stories. (like a recent 2 part episode where an uber account was hacked by someone in Russia, and NO one could figure out how it got hacked) It gets even funnier as you get to know the hosts of the show better. My favorite episodes are when they do "Yes/Yes/No" - their boss comes to them with a social media post that he doesn't understand, and the two hosts try to explain it to him.


The Minimalists Podcast

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus discuss living a meaningful life with less.

Listening to this podcast keeps me motivated to remain minimalist :) Once you've been listening for awhile, sometimes the show does seem repetitive, but I want to keep filling my brain (brainwashing myself? haha) with ideas about minimalism so I don't mind when it gets repetitive. And in their defense, what should I expect, how many new ideas can you have about minimalism? It's a pretty simple concept.


By the Book

By the Book is half reality show, half self-help podcast, and one wild social experiment. Join comedian Jolenta Greenberg and her skeptical friend Kristen Meinzer as they live by the rules of a different self-help book each episode to figure out which ones might actually be life changing.

The first (and only, so far) episode was based on the book "The Secret", so they tried to follow the suggestions of that book and learned what benefit that gave to their life. I've never read The Secret but have heard of many of the concepts, so it was funny to listen to two skeptics implement the ideas in their lives. They announced that their second episode would be based on The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and I can't wait to hear what they say about that book!


Planet Money

The economy, explained, with stories and surprises. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, "Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy." Now imagine that's actually a fun evening. That's what we're going for at Planet Money. People seem to like it.

Just started listening to this one- it sounded boring by the title (even though I like money stuff) but it's more like little mini stories that just happen to do with money or the economy.


Side Hustle School

A daily show for everyone who works a regular job and wants to start an income-earning project on the side. In each episode, listeners will hear a different story of someone who's started a side hustle—along with what went well, how that person overcame challenges, and what happened as a result.

Super short (usually around 5-8 minutes) daily (yes, DAILY- I skip many of them when they start backing up in my playlist) episodes about people building side businesses. It's very motivational if you're into the side business thing.



Each week, hear surprising conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports.

I skip many of these episodes, but the ones that do catch my attention are really good! I like when they talk about motivation and building habits.


Stuff You Should Know

How do landfills work? How do mosquitos work? Join Josh and Chuck as they explore the Stuff You Should Know about everything from genes to the Galapagos in this podcast from

I skip a lot of these that don't sound interesting, but the episodes that DO sound interesting are really cool. The hosts dive into one subject each episode and explain how things work. The hosts themselves are really funny which brings humor into some very dry topics.


The Tim Ferriss Show

Tim Ferriss is a self-experimenter and bestselling author, best known for The 4-Hour Workweek, which has been translated into 40+ languages. Newsweek calls him "the world's best human guinea pig," and The New York Times calls him "a cross between Jack Welch and a Buddhist monk." In this show, he deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, chess, pro sports, etc.), digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can use.

I used to have this in my feed, then got rid of it, then brought it back when he interviewed my hero, Mr. Money Mustache. (listen to that episode here) I still skip a lot of the episodes (like the ones focused on fitness or nutrition) but there are a few good ones that will catch my attention and I'll listen.



On hold pending a new season: Serial and Mystery Show... although in researching the website to link to for Mystery Show, I just now discovered that the show was cancelled!!? So I guess no new season :(




Phew... That's a long list.


What podcasts do you listen to??