Straight no chaser. Let’s get into it.
Go to Therapy
Many people still believe that going to therapy = something must be “wrong”. This is just not true, and I hope we can finally debunk this myth. In many ways, therapy is like getting a personal trainer for your mind. I’ve gone to therapy at a couple of pivotal points in my life. The first time was due to a big life event (which is the most common). However, therapy can not only help you understand yourself and relationships better, but also give you room to vent and/or provide the necessary tools to help you navigate your present state in life. Remember, it’s also okay to explore your options as not every therapist will be great a fit. Don’t be discouraged by the process. If you want to level up, a huge part of it is mental because everything you do stems from that.
Get Right with God
As a woman of faith and a living example of what He can do, I’d be remiss not to mention that God has always had a place in my life. But as I got older, I began to seek Him in my own right without all the filters of society and agnostic of a particular religion. Listen here, God is DOPE and has continuously met me in my personal valleys and mountain tops. Getting right with God simply means talking to Him and strengthening your faith. This can take many forms: prayer (most important), reading the Bible or attending a church that fills your spirit (in-person or virtual). This has been the most important step on my path to leveling up.
This sounds basic, but have you actually tried committing to this? I’m talking about consistently recording your thoughts, emotions, intentions and experiences. It’s amazing how journaling can help bring clarity and get you out of the loop of your own thoughts. This exercise may not only be a stress reliever, but help you think of new solutions, and ideas you hadn’t thought of before. While there are several types of journaling styles (e.g., gratitude, fitness, food, etc.), I personally prefer the good ole fashioned stream of consciousness where you simply write down your thoughts as they happen. When I looked back at some passages I wrote, it was incredibly evident how much progress I’ve made! #growth
Create a New Beauty Routine
I wholeheartedly stand by the saying, “when you look good, you feel good”. When I’m consistent with my beauty routine, I definitely see a difference in my skin and mood to be honest. With this comes an enhanced level of self-confidence that spills over into other aspects of my life. But this is truly about discipline (similar to journaling). Nothing works overnight. Part of leveling up is staying committed to the journey. Buy a new cleanser or moisturizer and please stop using face towels! They harbor bacteria and germs even AFTER you wash them. I use Clean Skin Club disposable face towels and I’m never going back! If you decide to give them a try, be sure to use discount code THATSASHLEY for 20% of your purchase!
We all have busy lives but carving out time here and there to read more truly has its benefits. Whether you choose fiction, fantasy, or non-fiction, studies show that diving into a good book can help improve your vocabulary, memory, communication skills and mental health. These are all things you need to level up. So, grab that book!
Ah yes, the B-word. The idea of budgeting gives some people hives. Most people incorrectly associate it with being ultra-restrictive, but I cannot emphasize the importance and positive benefits of budgeting enough. In laments terms, it’s really just a spending plan that takes into account income and expenses. Buckling down and developing a budget was paramount in helping me become debt-free by 33! It also allowed me to establish an emergency fund (which has been clutch the past couple of years btw) and get rid of bad spending habits. Let’s face it, a part of leveling up is securing the bag. And part of securing the bag is assessing your financial health.
Try Something New Each Month
A great way to expand and grow is to commit to trying something new and/or different each month. For example, if you’re a foodie, level up your cooking skills in the kitchen by trying a new recipe. Or if you have fitness goals, commit to trying a new workout class. You can start small and be creative! The whole purpose of this exercise is to expose you to new things and enhance your experiences. Feel free to encourage a friend or family member to join in on the activity with you.
Check Your Mindset
Have you truly let go of old, negative thought patterns or cleared emotional baggage from those that have hurt you? Or, are you operating day-to-day with a spirit of competitiveness vs. collaboration and willingness to learn? Ice Cube said it best: you better check yo self before you wreck yo self. Although it’s hard to admit, sometimes YOU are what’s holding you back. I’ve caught myself being negative Nancy and focusing on all the things that could go wrong (recovering over-thinker here). But nothing has served me better than focusing on and operating with an attitude of gratitude. I said it before and I’ll say it again, leveling up starts in your mind first.
Declutter Your Space
Get organized! There’s truly something to be said about spending a day (or two) going through all the things you’ve accumulated over the years and doing a purge. I literally found paper pay stubs from 2013! SMH. Take all those clothes you know deep down have run their course to your local Goodwill or thrift store. The sense of freedom you'll feel will surely be worth the effort. Out with the old and in with the new!
What are some other ways you are leveling up this year? Drop them below or on my IG @andthatsjustashley
See ya at the top,