Things You “Should” Do Everyday: The Deceivingly Simple Trick For Lightening Up on Yourself

For a long time now, I’ve been obsessed with personal improvement. I’ve been a personal trainer, a nutritionist and a self-help book junkie. What I’ve noticed over the years of striving to become a healthier, happier person, is how often professionals will recommend that you do [insert habit here] everyday. You should drink 2.5 L of water everyday, you should take xyz vitamin/supplement everyday, you should meditate everyday, you should exercise everyday, you should eat 9 servings of vegetables everyday, you should write in a gratitude journal everyday, you should walk 10,000 steps everyday, you should floss everyday, overwhelmed yet?

Last year, I read a book about success. It was essentially about living by a set of principles that can help guide your life rather than trying to make decisions in each individual situation based on emotion or whatever else might be influencing you at that time in your life. The one part of that book that had the biggest impact on me was the simple statement that you can spend your day in one of two ways: one is doing things that move you towards a goal, and the other is doing things that don’t move you towards a goal.

At first glance that might seem like a shit ton of pressure. Wow, I can either do the right or the wrong thing with my day. Great. I better be super focused and productive 100% of the time then right? No.

Thats not what I took away from it anyway. The way I see it is as a simple guidepost for whether on not something you’re focusing your time on is actually worth the time your spending on it. I also see all the little things that you give your attention to as drops in a bucket that can add up significantly over time.

For example, if you want to get into better shape, a ten minute walk is better than no walk at all. Every bit always counts.

One other statement that has impacted me greatly over the last year was a quote I heard, and I think it was by Oprah… It said “you can have everything, just not all at once.”

So how does all of this loop back around and determine what you should do everyday?

Well, I think it means that if you zoom out and look at the bigger picture, you can see that life will always naturally ebb and flow. You can accept that you can’t always expect to be able to uphold the exact same routines everyday; especially at a time in your life when your day is at the mercy of a baby or a small child. Ultimately, you can take a bit of pressure off of yourself because a time will come where you’ll have more time to focus on other things.

I believe, that as long as you are asking yourself if the things you ARE spending time on do move you somehow closer to a goal, then you can be assured that you are doing an amazing job, everyday.

If that means you spent your day cleaning up poop and not changing out of your pyjamas because you could barely keep your head above the chaos of motherhood? Good. You did something that contributed to your goal of creating a happy family life, because you spent your day doing exactly what your child needed that day.

Some days might not feel “productive” in the conventional sense of the word, but goals are not always career oriented, or fitness oriented, or about how clean your house is or how put together you appear. A lot of goals in your life are actually about how mentally well you are, how present you can be for the people you love or how accepting you can be of the challenges of day to day life.

I recently learned the difference between our deepest desires and our strongest desires. Our strongest desires are the things that pull us in our day to day, like growing an Instagram following, or keeping our house clean. Where as, our deepest desires are the much larger and more meaningful things we want across our life time like having meaningful work, being there for your family or spending more time on your hobbies that fill your cup.

Often times our strongest desires don’t match up very well with our deepest desires, so its great to check yourself once in a while.

Yes its great to eat healthy everyday, to be organized, to look great, to exercise. But the truth about balance is… that doesn’t mean you have to do them all, everyday. In my books, it means things balance out across the months and the years. Its not always about the days, so take a load off, mama and stop shoulding on yourself.

Share one thing you feel like you “should” be doing everyday in the comments to try and give it a bit less power over you!

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Stop Trying So Hard: How Striving to be Something Gets in The Way of Actually Doing Anything of Value

Milli Fox looking at her iPhone

 

Once upon a time I started caring what the world thought of me. I guess we all do.

It happened in stages. First I started striving for good grades and achievements in order to feel enough validation to believe I was worthy of love. In high school I was a ridiculous over-acheiver, but still somehow managed to remain true to my own style & sense of creativity. It wasn’t until I moved to Toronto that the second and fatal stage occurred-I started to lose my sense of self completely.

I used to have this really original sense of style. I loved thrifting and reworking my own clothes. But somehow I started to associate those parts of me with my roots and pieces of my past I was trying to run away from.

I felt super lost for a long time. Then I started trying. I started trying to be the person I thought I wanted to be instead of figuring out how to let the person I am shine through.

I was never one to look at fashion magazines and honestly never really paid a ton of attention to what was on trend or what other people were wearing.  I just kept trying on styles, and ways of being that I thought suited this “refined, put together” woman I wanted to be.

Then, cue Instagram. Boom. A black hole of potential selves to strive to become. Not only aesthetically, but also on a popularity basis.

Was I not as likeable, smart and interesting as all these other women amassing huge followings, curating the perfect wardrobe/home/feed and getting a ton of likes for it??? Of course! So why couldn’t I also have what they have??

And how would I go about getting “what they have”? Well, obviously, by doing as they do!

For the past few years I’ve wasted so. much. energy. Cherry picking bits and pieces from what everyone else around me was doing and trying to emulate it in order to feel a sense of achievement and worthiness. With the misguided thought that if I just kept trying, I would eventually find my own style and it would shine through.

Instagram can really tear into you and wear you down if you let it get inside your head. I don’t hear too many people talking about this- but Instagram is a dangerous drug.

I’ve finally come to the place where I’ve all but given up on the striving. I realize that looking outside will NEVER help me become more of myself. I realize that what I’ve been referring to as inspiration is just a sharade for comparison.

The definition of inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. But there isn’t too much creative about trying to be someone you’re not.

I’ve always been a master at looking like I have my shit together. It’s something I pride myself on. I’m the type of person that doesn’t like when people see me sweat. I don’t like looking like I don’t have things in control, and I sure as hell don’t like to look like I’m floundering or that I’m living in chaos. I’m also super clumsy, goofy, and very neurotic and anxious. Surprised? It’s all super true.

I’ve been so busy striving for appearances, and looking outward- I’ve totally ignored the place where the most grounding and solid sense of self comes from. Inside. DUH. PUKE.

But seriously. The second definition of inspiration is the drawing in of breath. And that’s probably a much better place to go if you want to try to figure out who you really are.

I’ve spent so much time looking for external inspiration that I got overwhelmed with all the options for who I “could be” and messed up all the opportunities I’ve had to just show up.

I thought that when I showed up, it had to be a certain way. It had to be phrased and curated in such a way that it would be irresistible. Perfectly crafted vulnerability. Scripted sharing. The right message, the right time, the right way in the right package.

That’s why I’ve had such a hard time with this blog. It’s never had a proper identity because I’ve always tried to make it something and not just let it be what it is. It’s been a fitness blog, a nutrition blog, a mommy blog, a travel blog and an entrepreneurial blog. I always tried to shove it into a box- and never really fully showed up because I couldn’t stay committed.

I always lost “inspiration” with each of these topics and I think it’s because I was forcing it so hard. I think if I had of just started writing what came to me, when I came to me- from INSIDE OF ME, instead of constantly looking outside of me for the ideas- that I would have already given so so much more value.

So what I’m saying here is pretty simple. If you can’t commit to a niche- don’t. If you need to just start DOING (not planning) something that comes straight from your heart everyday and let it form into what it’s supposed to be on it’s own, in its own time. Do it.

Don’t strive. Don’t try. Just doooooooo.

Nike got it really, really right. Ideas are worthless and striving is exhausting. Doing, from the centre of your self, is the only true way you can bring value to the world. So just put your god damn blinders up and start scribbling till you can recognize what’s on the page. ❤️

With all my love!!,

Mama Milli

If you like anything I’ve said here, come find me on Instagram 

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How to Turn Social Media Followers into Fans

Everyone is super focused on growing their social media accounts these days. We all want to see our follower numbers go up and up and up. But what good is having a ton of followers if they aren’t going to buy anything from you? Once you get someone to follow you, you can’t just start hard selling them and expect it to work. You have to nurture your relationships with them and turn them into fans before expecting them to go for what you’re offering. This is the absolute best practice for growing a business using social media platforms like Instagram.

In the video above I discuss in detail the three things you need to focus on to grow your Instagram account and then to turn your followers into customers.

You 100% need to focus on the know, like, trust factor.

If your followers don’t feel like they really know you and what you stand for, they won’t feel connected to your brand or your products. A lot of purchases are emotionally motivated and we all know we’d rather support someone we know and feel connected to over a stranger, even if their product is better.

Another thing you need to establish is the LIKE factor. It’s not just enough for someone to be familiar with you and what you do, they have to like you too. So how do you get your followers to like you? Authenticity, relatability and passion. People need to feel that you are genuine and can easily sniff out a fraud.  Be true to yourself, and share your story often.  If you are human and you show it, people will feel like they can relate to you. On top of it all, you need to have passion for what you’re doing. People love to get excited about things and feel positive- passion breeds positivity. If you have passion for what you do, you will help lift people’s mood and give them hope. This will inevitably make them like you!

The last factor you need to establish is TRUST. Trust takes time to establish. It will require you to be consistent, predictable and reliable.  You need to show up for your audience, and show up regularly even if you’re having a bad day. Use your struggles to inspire your audience, or even just to show that you’re human too. Be consistent in how often you show up so your audience will know how often you’ll be there. Lastly be predictable. Your audience should know what kind of content to expect from you. If you are posting about a completely new topic everyday, people will get confused and probably end up either not paying attention or worse, unfollowing you.

So there you have it! Focus on establishing the know, like, trust factor and you will inevitably be creating an army of fans who will be ready to jump when you have something awesome to offer them!

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3 Fears Holding Your Momboss Biz Back

Mompreneur Momboss work from home mom stay at home mom

The truth is, we all have fears. What sets us apart is how we decide to handle them. We have to decide if we are going to let our fears paralyze us or if we are going to recognize them, acknowledge our humanness and then crush them. You don’t have to get over your fears in order to be successful, but you do have to wade through them on order to make it to the other (successful) side. Here are three fears that I guarantee are holding you back , and what you can do about them:

1. The Fear of Failure

Deep down we all doubt ourselves just a little and sometimes probably a lot.  However, I believe that the doubt we foster is learned over a lifetime of hearing people around us telling us to be realistic. They tell us to aim for what they think is more achievable in hopes of sparing us the disappointment of failure. So, it follows that our fear of failure, is also very likely a fear of being judged.

This is a very real fear.

Of course, we want to impress those we care about the most. Of course, we want their approval and support as we undertake something that seems uncertain.  But the truth is- we are doing them a disservice by not following our dreams and not being true to ourselves.  Isn’t it true that we are happier, kinder, more thoughtful and generous people when we feel fulfilled and energized by what we do.

All we do by caring so much about what other people might think about us is hold ourselves back. The thing is, even if we do fail, it gives us a chance to learn. In fact, we learn best from trying, seeing what works and doesn’t, and trying again.  So, if we are to try ten times and fail seven, we’ve done better than we would have if we only tried three and had gotten it right each time. You shouldn’t be afraid of failure; you should look forward to the education it offers.

2. Fear of Wasting Time 

What if it doesn’t work out?  What if I take time away from the career I’ve built and what I’m doing fails.  Won’t I have wasted a ton of time that I could have been spending building my current career and advancing my position?

Well, if you’re on maternity leave- this isn’t a concern at all.  However, if you have gone back to work or you never got maternity leave- this does apply to you. Here’s the reality for everyone- you have time.

You can always go back to the job you had before, you can always go back to school. But if you don’t give your dreams and you passion a fair shot, you can’t do anything about all the time you ACTUALLY wasted doing something that doesn’t light you up daily. You wasted time that you could have been spending being happier. And your happiness is not just about you anymore. Your happiness is your ability to be a better mom, and to be able to give from a full cup to your babies. The only time you’ll be giving up is the unproductive spare time you spend watching Netflix and aimlessly scrolling social media!

3. Fear of Seeming Vain 

Here’s the deal about our new social media culture- it’s just that, new. The thought of taking a selfie in public 5 years ago would have be totally embarrassing, let alone filming yourself daily for public consumption. Being all over social media constantly, posting and commenting several times a day might seem pretty self indulgent or even juvenile. You might even worry that you’re being vain.

The truth is, you’ll get used to it. The most successful people push through the discomfort of learning a new skill and eventually it becomes second nature. If you’re concerned about how you’re going to appear to the general public put your blinders up. You have to keep your eyes on the road and focus on the where you’re headed. Don’t spend too much time thinking about the details of how you might appear and think about the fact that you are busy building something.

The random onlookers have no idea what you’re up to, and you’re not just some teenager posting for your teeny-bopper friends. You are doing something important, you are bringing value to the world and you are following your dreams.

You are your brand. You are learning the skills required to build out that brand, to find the people interested in what you have to offer and building the relationships you need to cash in on that brand equity eventually.

Don’t be distracted by people giving you a side look while you record your insta-story or whatever it is you’re working on. Just get the work done woman! You won’t seem like an ass when you’re killing it!

If you’d like to join a community of like-minded Mompreneurs that can help support you through these fears and help raise you up, I would LOVE to meet you in my Mindful Mompreneur Community on Facebook! CLICK HERE TO JOIN.

momboss instagram plan

 

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Five Tips for Flying with a Baby Under One

5 tips for flying with a baby under one

Travelling with a baby is hard; I think we know it long before we even start planning our first trip with baby.  However, the idea is also so enticing because baby’s plane ticket is free, they can’t walk and don’t have too many of their own interests yet, so you can basically cart them around to do whatever it is your heart desires (within reason, maybe clubbing is out of the question, unless you can find a quiet day time club, lol).

Our first trip with Rosen was when he was three months old, to the day.  We didn’t want to travel any sooner than that because for some reason three months seemed to be a magical age when things began to stabilize, ever so slightly.  We decided to go to a familiar destination that was only a 3~ hour flight. We chose Miami Beach. Since then, Rosen has been on 10 flights, to a total of 4 destinations. Miami, Bahamas, Montreal, and Fort Lauderdale. We had a trip booked to Switzerland for when Rosen was about 4 months old for our very good friends’ wedding, but had to make the difficult decision to cancel based upon what we thought we could handle.

We have some criteria that we follow in choosing destinations for the time being (Rosen is 11 months at the time of writing this).  

The criteria are:

1. The destination can’t be too remote. We need the comfort of modern amenities and the convenience of stores nearby where we can pick up the necessities.

2. The flight has to be under 4 hours. We’re just not ready for anything longer.

3. We also aren’t up for much of a time difference (not that we would get too far within that flight time limit). Some people might feel confident going farther and to more exotic destinations, but we feel its better to wait until he’s older for those type of adventures.

Getting on with it, in the 5 round trips we’ve taken, we’ve learned a thing or two about preparing ourselves for the flight. Here they are:

1. Gate Check Your Stroller

We usually take the big stroller with us, even if we’re going on a small trip. While baby is small, and needs to nap often, the big stroller is the most comfortable for him to nap in while we’re out and about. As Rosen gets bigger and only needs 1 nap a day, I think we’ll start to bring our smaller stroller with us just for the sheer fact that we will have less to lug with us to the airport and it will be easier to take in and out of cars.

The big stroller also has the most storage, so it’s great for carting around all baby’s stuff. If you gate check your stroller you can put all your carry on bags in the stroller and have more hands free for other more important things, like Starbucks.  Also, I personally believe you run less of a risk of your stroller being damaged if you gate check it.

2. Wear Your Baby in the Airport

Depending on the time of your flight, your baby will likely need to nap at some point while you’re in the airport.  If the baby happens to be napping in the stroller while you go through security, its going to suck because they will make you take the baby out of the stroller to put it through the scanner and or manually check it. Every time we’ve been to the airport, I have always worn Rosen through security with no issues.  The first two times I wore him in a wrap style carrier and they had zero problems with it. The third time I wore him in a ring sling which happened to be a mistake because it has metal rings (duh), luckily he wasn’t sleeping! The fourth trip I wore him in a buckle style carrier (Ergo 360 is my fave) and they needed to do a little swab of the carrier to check it. I have heard from other moms that they have made them take baby out of the buckle style carrier, so I would suggest taking baby in a wrap as long as you can, just in case.

Also, if you have baby in a carrier, you can put more stuff in the stroller 😛

3. Feed Baby During Take Off and Landing

I think the hardest part about flying with baby is take off and landing because of the pressure on baby’s ears. I remember when I was little that it really hurt my ears during take off and landing. Whether your baby takes boob or bottle, try to time it so they will be hungry enough to eat for 5-10 minutes while you ascend and descend from cruising altitude. This is when the pressure change is the greatest and it really helps relieve the pressure on their little ears if they are sucking and swallowing.

4. Don’t Get on the Plane Until the Very Last Moment

I know they call people with small children to get on the plane first, however, I think this because people with children have more stuff.  So- if you are flying with your partner, get them to go on the plane first and get everything settled in the seats.  Stay at the gate until pretty much everyone else has gotten on the plane, and then hop on with just you and baby.  This way you don’t have to be stuck in tight quarters with baby for any longer than necessary. We have found this to be some of the most helpful advice because sometimes boarding can take a really long time and you could be walking around the gate keeping baby happy and/or sleeping for a potential extra 30 minutes.

5. Introduce Your Baby to All the People Sitting Around You

If you introduce your baby to the people around you while baby is smiling and happy (before take off), those people are more likely to be compassionate when babe gets fussy later on. It’s just human nature to care more about the wellbeing of someone you’re familiar with than a total stranger and that applies to babies too! You might be surprised, your sweet seat neighbour might even try to help you entertain babe or even calm them down when the going gets tough!

There you have it! I hope you’ve found these tips helpful, stay tuned for the next part in this series which will be tips for travelling with a toddler!

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