Two Impactful Goals for 2019

Can you believe it?

2019 in less than a week away!

This year, was a pretty good year for me as I learned to change many of the habits that have held me back. With 2019 right around the corner, everyone is thinking about their New Year’s resolutions. I am seeing it on social media and even on the local news. No matter what you envision for next year, you probably have a few significant lifestyle changes in mind.

One of the things that I am passionate about is the environment. Climate change looks pretty scary when you read about it, and I for one started to take small steps to reduce my carbon footprint in this beautiful word. I have a daughter, and one of the best things that I can do for her is to give her skills to help salvage our environment.

One capsule I am trying to organize is my “Go Green” way of life. Last year, I reduced the amount of stuff I was buying, starting to composting and reused anything that could before discarding or recycling it. I also tried my best to buy things that were recyclable or biodegradable. I want 2019 to be more of the same only adding to my efforts to have a cleaner environment.

There is always something you can do to make the planet a better place.

To help you on your quest to be a little sustainable, I am going to share with you two environmentally sustainable resolutions I am committed to in 2019.

Stop Buying Fast Fashion

Fast fashion Is literally ruining our planet. Stores like H&M, Target, Zara, and Topshop participate in an industry known as fast fashion. Unfortunately, this creates an outrageously easy way of throwing out clothes that are cheaply made or just not in style for the new season. Throwing out clothes is the second most wasteful habit. The fashion products that we consume take up much as much of the landfills as other waste materials, like plastic. Some fast-fashion companies even participate in practices that are unethical to their workers.

Don’t get me wrong, I buy from these stores. It’s a great way to get an item you need for cheap or to fulfill a need or want. In 2018, I reduce my need to spend as I felt I had everything I needed. After watching some documentaries and reading some books, I realized how much I was hurting the environment. This scared me to take action. It has taken me a year to commit to not buying fast fashion. I had to find a system that worked for me. Starting in 2019, I will no longer buy from fast-fashion retail chains.

First, disclaimer, do not throw away your clothes if you have the use for them. They are suiting you well. The point of being sustainable is to be resourceful with what you have in your closet. However, if you have too much and you are just not wearing them. Please consider selling, giving them away or donating your clothes.

Second, buy second-hand. I live in NYC, so I know which stores have the best deals and the best clothes for me. Generally, you can find a shirt and pants for a few dollars that you may actually want to wear. I always make a list of the things I need and try to find places that can give me the best price. By making this habit, it creates a buffer from the time I want it to the time you buy it. Sometimes, I may find that I actually didn’t need the item anyway.

Finally, few fashion labels use sustainable materials and eco-friendly production practices, some of these companies include Everlane, People Tree, Reformation, and Eileen Fisher. Although these brands and others similar are more expensive than those in the fast fashion, we need to understand that saving up to purchase is sometimes worth the higher price. Some of these companies have durable clothing so the item will last you a long time, this gives you more bang for your buck. It also creates a buffer to provide you with the time to understand whether or not you actually need the item.

Limit The Use of Plastic

In an article on the National Geographic website, it stated that “a whopping 91% of plastic isn’t recycled.”

It takes plastic 400 years to degrade, so most of it still exists in some form. This is scary when you think about it, I mean, where is all of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste go? In 2015, it was estimated that every year about 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in the oceans. This dumpage, in turn, affects wildlife, the coast, and ecosystems.

The goal for 2019 is to reduce my disposables consumption. A few easy ways that I am going to practice is to reduce the amount of waste by not using single-use plastic straws, grocery bags, to-go coffee cups, and plastic water bottles.

Reminder, this also took some time to get to this point in my sustainability lifestyle journey. I didn’t want to throw out what I had without using it first. I also had to get comfortable with asking stores to not give me a plastic bag for my sandwich or using my portable coffee cup instead of their throw away cup. Habits don’t form overnight, so if you are interested in doing this, I would say, take your time and do your research. The more you know, the better you will be at actively participating. Also, doing ger discourage if you can’t master this practice. Just trying each time in each moment is more than what others are currently doing.

So, what am I going to use to help reduce my likely hold of using these easily disposable items?

I made a kit. It is small enough to carry with me and to store or to take the items that I know I will be using for the day.

Here are the items in my kit:
1. a reusable shopping bag
2. a small reusable sandwich bag
3. a reusable water bottle
4. a reusable straw
5. a reusable coffee mug
6. a reusable hand towel

You can get all these things in many thrift stores. If you absolutely cannot find it, most of these can be found on Amazon or at your local store.

I do make it a point to carry this kit with me so I can avoid temptations of convenience. If I can avoid using these disposable items in my daily life, I know I can make a difference in the environment. It also makes a statement to the people who are around you. This means that customers, sellers, and your friends and family who see you using these reusable items may spark a conversation or give them permission to do the same.

I’m personally enthusiastic about the new year. I do think that the more we progress, the more progress we will see. I see it in my personal life. My small steps in change have become more significant, and these two goals of sustainability will have a positive impact on the environment.

Please remember to keep it simple and make an effort to sustain your practice in the long term. It takes hours of repetition to change old habits and ideas. Let me know if you have any advice on sustainability and what you are or will be doing to better your impact on the environment in 2019.

Thanks for reading!

Here are some more sites that you might be interested it reading:

Planet of Plastic? https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/07/plastic-produced-recycling-waste-ocean-trash-debris-environment/

35 Fair Trade & Ethical Clothing Brands Betting Against Fast Fashion https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/fair-trade-clothing

Embrace These 5 Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions For A Greener 2019 https://www.peacefuldumpling.com/5-sustainable-new-years-resolutions

Why fast fashion needs to slow down https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/blog-post/why-fast-fashion-needs-slow-down

#organic #ocean #conservation #energy #handmade #architecture #plastic #instagood #sdg #bethechange #reduce #globalwarming #climateaction #natural #reducereuserecycle #food #future #noplastic #health #upcycle #agriculture #technology #entrepreneur #ecology #zerowasteliving #climate #water #ecofashion #greenliving

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Inbox Detox for 2019: Ways to Clean it Out Your Emails

At the start of 2018, I had over 12,000 emails in my inbox. Most of the time, my inbox felt start crowded, and disorganized. For someone who likes to have an organization, this is a counter-productive and hypercritical way to life. It also gave me anxiety because I started to feel that I would miss an email if I deleted anything in the inbox. It really reduced my productivity.

According to a survey by Adobe Systems Inc., every day, workers spend 6.3 hours checking their emails. One-third of these workers admitted to receiving 100 emails daily, while one in ten said they receive up to 200 emails daily. 44% of these workers bother about missing a crucial email.

Of course, a cluttered inbox is not the fault of the individual, because these emails seem to troop in by the minute. As you step into 2019, here are a few ways of improving your productivity (as well as your sanity) by decluttering your inbox. Below are some ideas that I help to declutter and reduce my digital fingerprint in my inbox.

Be mindful of what you subscribe to:
Before doing anything else, the primary measure you would want to take is to try to prevent the sheer number of emails you get daily by minding what you subscribe to. Many sites lure you to subscribe on different occasions. For example, websites require that you input your email before downloading a free item, such as a free e-book or app.
These sites immediately add you to mailing lists and bombard you with newsletters and various offers. Not only that, they share your email with partner brands/sites, who would also send you unwanted emails. In 2019, to declutter your inbox, you must be picky on what you subscribe to, to declutter your inbox.

Unsubscribe. Unsubscribe. Unsubscribe:
Similar to the first point, whenever you come across a sender who either spams your inbox or sends emails you do not need, instead of merely deleting their email, unsubscribe from their emailing list as well. Ideally, you should unsubscribe from 90% of all these lists.
It takes a few extra seconds to unsubscribe, but those would be seconds well spent. However, you can use a service like Swizzle, which enables you to unsubscribe from multiple lists simultaneously.

Set up Priority Inbox:
Priority inbox boosts your productivity by placing new emails in two locations on your inbox – important and unimportant. Priority Inbox sorts the emails automatically, based on the sender and/or subject line.

With Priority Inbox set up, when you get to work in the morning, you will not be greeted by hundreds of received emails; instead, you will see around 15 essential emails that need your urgent attention. The unimportant promotional emails, newsletters, and so forth will be categorized as ‘unimportant.’

Create Inbox filters:
You can set up filters with many email clients. Filters have multiple essential uses – they allow you to label emails, move emails between folders quickly, delete emails, and lots more. With the aid of email filters, you can push certain emails to specific folders as they arrive. You may check these folders at intervals. Be sure to unsubscribe from irrelevant senders also (see step 2).

Trying Using Boomerang:
Boomerang is a Chrome and Firefox free plugin that improves your efficiency and productivity by giving you superpowers over your inbox. It lets you carry out tasks like scheduling future sending of emails, configuring the movement of emails between folders at specific times (for instance, moving your flight itinerary from a particular folder to your primary inbox, 30 minutes before your departure time), and many more.

We tend to leave emails in our inboxes to remind ourselves of important stuff. This contributes to the cluttering of the inbox. Use Boomerang to clear out your inbox and bring back your emails whenever you need them.

Opt out of receiving social media notifications:
Notifications from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., contribute roughly 25% of the daily emails most people receive. Just like the unsubscribing measure to take to declutter your inbox, you should take out time to opt out of receiving these social media notifications. You would probably check out your social media anyways, so you don’t need to get the same notifications on your inbox. For instance, Facebook notifies you of virtually everything; from comments and friend requests, to even posts by specific people. This would considerably declutter your inbox.

Make use of your calendar: Interestingly, some of the unwanted emails cluttering your inbox are not from external senders but from you. Most people like to store essential tasks on their email. While this might be useful, saving them to the ‘notes’ section of your calendar is far more productive and convenient. Further, if you keep them on your email, they will contribute to the unwanted items there whenever you are done with the task.

Improving your productivity in the new year takes a lot, but seemingly unnoticeable changes such as an organized and uncluttered inbox goes a long way. Implement the above necessary measures to tune-up your inbox, and ultimately your productivity in 2019.

References & More Tips can be found here:
Tips for Taming Your Inbox: http://listhubnews.com/tips-for-taming-your-inbox-2/

DR 133: Inbox Zero–A Simple Strategy to Conquer Your E-mail http://www.doughroller.net/tech/inbox-zero-a-simple-strategy-to-conquer-your-e-mail/

#howto #declutter #inbox #emaildeclutter #tips #hacks #2019

2019 – Ways to Make a Better Resolution

I am always trying to be hopeful when it comes to each new year. I strive for it to be better than the last. When you’re dealing with anxiety and depression, sometimes this can be clouded.

I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions, rather I think of the moment, and I ask myself this question: Did I actually make any dents positively in my life? I just don’t think of a New Year’s resolution as a one time deal, but rather an all-time agreement because I strive for improvement. 

It is essential for someone with any type of mental illness to have some kind of structure in their life. The goal should always involve trying to function at the highest capacity while remaining as independent as possible. Unfortunately, this may not be a straightforward task for some who are in the grasp of their illness. I like to think you have to start somewhere no matter where you are in your journey in life.

From my experience, small steps will lead to a bigger and better outcome in my life. I am not dwelling on the specifics of the larger goal but what steps I need to do to get to that place. Dealing with goals in this manner helps me make decisions on whether or not my actions are getting me to the target.

Here are some questions that I ask myself: What is it that I want to accomplish this day, this week, this month, this year? What can I do better? What didn’t work? Why? How can I improve it? What are some victories? Do I need to talk to someone because I feel stuck?

To prompt me to think about my life, I like to think first about what I can control, for example, my emotions. Though sometimes my anxiety can totally cloud my judgment and my trust in people can attract people with toxic personalities, there is a moment that I can recognize this behavior. To have an awareness of my emotional reaction to a scenario or person has taken a lot of work for me to be at this place, as I totally did not have the awareness when I started the journey into adulthood.

One of the most significant factors in this clouded haze was my need to stay with my routine. I needed the structure no matter the cost. I was very rigid. No one likes change, but we have to accept it, and it’s the way we move forward. With this reflection and stopping my need for a strict schedule to get through life, I started to open up to possibilities of new and better things happening for me.

I am totally not perfect and fall into the traps that I set up for myself. However, I become aware of this problem by simply making it my routine to be open and asking myself honest questions of what worked and didn’t work. Sometimes, I will not have the answer right away, but it does come to me. When that realization does make itself known, it does change my views and therefore my behavior. We don’t have to feel stuck since we can drive the direction we want to go in. It just takes some work.

When we let negative thoughts override the way we look at the world, it can be very frustrating. Sometimes all the professional help and medication that are available cannot help us unless we are willing to help ourselves. I genuinely believe this statement. I try to practice this belief in my daily routine. If I want to have a different perception of life, I need to change the way I think. We all have the capability of doing it.

There are going to be good days and bad days that is just inevitable. However, I have the habit of planning each day with a general question or intention, like “What do I need to do to have a good day? I intend to have a good day, no matter what barriers (of x,y,z). I am going to get through them with a positive attitude and strive to understand what did and didn’t work.”

So, with all of this written out, the point of the yearly resolutions isn’t to have a one-time annual quest. To have a goal doesn’t sound like a wrong way to start off January 1, 2019, it is just the matter of making for a plan behind it to keep yourself accountable and flexible to change throughout the year. This article is just a suggestion on what works for me, but you’ll find coping methods that work best for you if you genuinely want to change.

CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) has helped me tremendously to get to this place of concentrating on one item at a time. This has made a considerable difference in my self-confidence. My anxiety and depression seem to be less episodic than in the past. I learned that my goals should be realistic to me and my lifestyle. Setting up goals that fit me rather than what society expects, does allow me to have the freedom to change.

Whatever your plans are for 2019, I hope it is a healthy and honest intention. You deserve it! You have already worked hard to get where you are today.

#cbt #2019 #NewYearsResolutions #MentalIllness #Howto

Crap! I forgot to check my Facebook Page!

Well, hello!

If you are like me, you have multiple accounts on several various sites, and it gets overwhelming, neglectful and forgetful sometimes? I am willing to guess that it gets so overwhelming you sometimes wish there is a way you can manage all your accounts at once and from one place.

Well, there is.

You see, I am just like you, I have several social media accounts and websites that I didn’t know where to begin and how to go about managing all of them. This resulted in me working below efficiency and being a trifle incompetent. One day I got tired of it all and decided to do what exactly it is you are doing right now: research. In the course of this, I found out that there are several tools out there that can help you manage your online presence seamlessly from one page. I dug further and found out that apart from managing my posts, these online tools can also assist me in achieving my online interactions and engagements as well as analyze my presence.

This was a little daunting at first but when I got the hang of it, things progressed smoothly, and they have been going on well ever since. The online management tools I use involve managing an entire array and spectrum of accounts from one dashboard. Imagine how productive I am now. You can also leverage on this online management tools to not only build and manage your company’s online presence but also to efficiently operate and maintain your personal brand online.

The two mentioned below have free options if you wanted to try it out to see if it works for you, so go for it!

Buffer: buffer is another online tool that you can use to manage your online presence. You can use this site to schedule posts for whichever time you wish and never worry about meeting up with time constraints again. This site has an interface that is amazing in its simplicity. It also affords the opportunity to share links in a very flexible manner.

IFTTT: this site is super productive and effective. While setting it up might be quite daunting and time-consuming, it is pretty downhill once that is done with.

There are also quite many online tools that you can use to monitor the world wide web and find out who and where they are talking about you. This allows you to control how your brand is perceived, engage your customers and efficiently be on hand to provide assistance and enlightenment to those who require it. It just takes some time and research to find one that works for you.

Hopefully, after reading through this, you are better able to manage your online presence and stay sane enough to give your time, energy and attention to other important things. If you have your own tools and suggestions, just let me know. I am always open to learning more.