Lazy Girl’s Guide to Getting in Shape

Lazy Girl's Guide to Getting in ShapeGetting in shape and staying in shape can be difficult for your average, lazy girl. Am I the only one who doesn’t find waking up early in the morning to go to the gym appealing? Maybe, it’s just me, but I love my bed. I’m definitely a do-15-squats-and-sit-down-because-Grey’s-Anatomy-is-back-on type of gal. Can I get an amen?

Because of this oh so fabulous lifestyle, I’ve found a few hacks to getting in shape and becoming more confident in your own skin without having to leave the house, or even leave your room, for a long time.

GETTING IN SHAPE: For the Over-Relaxed and Lazy

Water Is Your New Best Friend
Keep water next to you at all times. And since you aren’t moving much, that shouldn’t be very hard. The power of water is seriously underrated. Not only does it clear your skin and balance the fluids in your body, it’s a very powerful dieting agent.

A lot of times when you’re craving those unhealthy snacks, you’re actually just thirsty. While water shouldn’t replace the very necessary meals in a day, try drinking a glass before reaching for that donut and see if you really need it afterwards.

Eat Like a Bird
A lot of people use this saying to describe someone who picks at their food. But this is being used in a very different way here. Birds are eating all the time, but in small amounts.

Be like a bird.

Why? Your body will not metabolize 3 large meals a day effectively if you aren’t doing anything, like heavy exercising, to help it along. But eating several small portions a day gives your body less to do at any given time, plus, you can eat more! You’ll stay full throughout the day, and will feel less urge to pig out at each meal. 

Lazy Girl's Guide to Getting in Shape

Avoid Eating Out and Delivery
Home-cooked meals are 100% better and healthier than most fast food menu choices. There are far less ingredients involved that are harmful to your body, and you can see exactly what you’re putting in your mouth. Your home-cooked meals don’t have to be anything fancy, either. Staple meals like salads, sandwiches, and pasta can be dressed up and remixed easily with a change of ingredients.

Youtube Workouts
Okay seriously, did you think this article was about getting killer abs in bed? Sorry to let you down, but you still have to do a little bit of work. You already spend 8 hours a day watching Buzzfeed videos on Youtube, why not mosey on over to a Blogilates video while you’re at it?

Now, let me tell you about my girl, Cassey, the owner of Blogilates. Cassey’s workout videos on Youtube are creative, positive, and very approachable. They’re all exercises you can do at home in around 15 minutes with a simple yoga mat and a positive mindset. I don’t even finish the whole video sometimes and I start to see results quickly. She also has a lot of workout calendars on her website to follow along if you need help getting started.

 Get Creative With Your Diet
There are so many healthy foods out there that taste good and are easy to make. I too, gag at the thought of steamed brussels sprouts, so things like that won’t be in my kitchen.

Fruit and veggie combination smoothies are the best if you’re looking for something that refreshes you. Meals that incorporate salmon and grilled chicken are filling and yummy. There are lots of websites and Tumblrs that have great recipes to try!

Also, try your best to cut down on high-fat and high-sugar foods. I try to eat moderately all week and allow myself a treat at the end.

Don’t overestimate yourself and try to jump headfirst into the dieting pool. Start slowly integrating more healthy foods into your diet until it becomes a plausible lifestyle for you. A big reason why diets often don’t work out is because people try to incorporate too much change into their lives and get overwhelmed. 

Getting in shape can be pretty easy with these tips. It’s important to remember that a healthy lifestyle beats any 30-day diet or rushed workout promising to get you that bikini body. You can maintain these tips all throughout the year, too!

Do you have any great tips for staying in shape easily? Let me know in the comments!

-Lots of Love, Lola

“Purpose”: Stop Looking For It

You Don't Need A Purpose

YOU DON’T NEED A PURPOSE

I think we should stop being so obsessed with finding our purpose. I get that, as humans, we crave order and reliability. We love to ask questions like “why am I here?” and “what the hell am I supposed to be doing?” And we embark on this lifelong journey to achieve fulfillment by trying to find that one purpose in life. That trek is a road filled with existential crises and freak outs about our value and future.

There are a lot of resources out in the world dedicated to helping people find their purpose. They’ll tell you to fill out workbooks filled with vague questions about yourself or to just “listen to your  heart” and your whole life’s worth and direction shall be determined. Then you think you’ve got a defective heart or something because it seems pretty quiet in there.

Here’s why a life purpose might not be so apparent to you:

The average millennial has been brought up in an environment where having multiple skills, interests, and passions are highly encouraged. The chances that you’ll have just one passion that you can see yourself subscribing to for the rest of your life are slim to none. If you’re having trouble finding a purpose, it most likely means you’re good at a lot of things and should dedicate yourself to pursuing excellence in all of them.

Your reason for being on this earth isn’t a treasure to discover with an invisible map, nor is your purpose something that will appear to you one day in a ball of fairy dust.

We are putting way too much weight on the idea of having a purpose. To have one grand reason for living is some pretty narrow tunnel vision right there. We are capable of so much, and I think if there was any one, true purpose, it would be to seek out all of the things we’re great at. To force ourselves to subscribe to one life journey would be selling ourselves short.

Having one purpose doesn’t really allow for growth either. In the same way that the people you might have dated as a teenager are drastically different than the ones you’re attracted to as an adult, your motivation for living and your purpose will change as you grow up. We will have numerous “purposes” throughout life, and none of them are as predictable, noticeable, or life-altering as you think they might be. We don’t need to stress about centering our lives around one thing to make it worthy or important, that is definitely not the meaning of life.

While purposes are fleeting and fragile concepts, there should be constants in our life that we can always depend on. As new passions and dreams are constantly found, you can rely on your motivation and ambition to remain strong. Where one specific purpose might be lacking, drive should always be present. That way, you can make sure that in your pursuit of making your dreams come true, you’ll reach for the stars and make sure you grab them. Whatever grand schemes your net might catch, you will always be prepared to follow through with them.

Unless your heart suddenly grows a mouth and let’s you in on what you’re supposed to be doing, don’t let anybody or anything tell you why you are here. What makes life meaningful is how eagerly you attempt to actualize the dreams you come up with and how much fun you have doing it.

-Lots of Love, Lola

How to Create a Morning Routine for Productivity

How to Establish a Productive Morning Routine

Before I started my blog, I never had any semblance of a morning routine. I was easily distracted by things that were time-wasters like social media or even just lying in bed for more time than was needed. Since I’ve started Macarons in the Morning, I’ve seen a need to establish a more concrete routine to maximize my productivity and complete my goals faster. I found that I was more creative and motivated in the early hours, so I set up a morning routine rather than an afternoon or evening one. With my routine I have become a more balanced, centered, and productive person.

WHY YOU NEED A MORNING ROUTINE

  • A morning routine works with the natural tendencies of our bodies and minds. The mind loves structure and pattern. Our brains work best when they know what to expect. When we know what’s coming up, we can prepare appropriately, and make the most of the event. To contrast, when our next action is undetermined, we waste an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out what to do, how to carry out the action, and only think about how we could’ve been more efficient after the fact. With a routine, we’ve totally skipped the middle man and can jump right into the efficiency and productivity part.
  • You’ve accomplished something before your day has even started. Don’t you just love crossing things off of a to-do list? A morning routine is like a daily to-do list full of things you actually enjoy doing and that you can cross off before it’s lunch time. Having a sense of accomplishment can help your mood and set a confident, grateful attitude for the rest of the day.
  • You live with purpose. A theme that’s gone viral this year is intentional living. Often coupled with a minimalistic lifestyle, living intentionally means applying purpose behind your actions. When you develop your personal morning routine, each part of the routine has a specific purpose. You will feel more accomplished and fulfilled when you’ve completed goals that have meaning behind them. Into-Mind has a great graphic of how you can have a more full life by living with intention and breaking down bigger and more abstract goals by establishing manageable daily habits.

MYTHS ABOUT ROUTINES

  • They’re too strict and don’t allow for spontaneity. Routines can be as broad or as down to the very second as you want them to be. For the more free-spirited mind, a more general morning routine with looser time slots (or no time slots at all!) might be better fitting. It’s all about completing the things you want in an orderly fashion, and making productivity a habit. Life will always bring its spontaneity. I promise, surprises will never be scarce.
  • They stifle creativity. While this is a highly debated topic, I’d definitely say that my morning routine has increased my creativity. Allotting a time to sit down and create something has been a lot like going to the gym everyday and working out. It’s gotten easier and easier to come up with cool stuff the more I train myself to work that creative muscle. And, of course, if I have ideas throughout the day, I won’t shut my brain off and say “ah ah ah, it’s not creativity time!” I simply jot down the ideas in my notes app or in my Moleskine and work on them when I have time.

How to Establish a Productive Morning Routine

HOW TO CREATE YOUR ROUTINE

Now we’re getting to the good stuff. A few things you should keep in mind when creating a routine:

  1. Have a goal in mind. It can be as abstract or as specific as you want. And you can have multiple. My main goals for the morning are to get as much creative work done for my blog as possible, enrich my body by working out or eating a good breakfast, and enrich my mind by allotting time to read a novel, journal, or catch up on the news.
  2. Keep your priorities straight. Every list of goals has a hierarchy. Prioritize the ones that are most important to you. They don’t necessarily have to come first, but you should spend the most effort and time on them. Blogging is a huge priority in my life and I spend hours on it. I start my blogging duties last because I often go well into the afternoon with it, but getting started in the morning assures that I will get something done.

Now, it’s time to ask yourself some questions. Once you have your goals set, you need to figure out which order they should go in, and where daily chores might fit best into your routine. Your routine should have a natural flow of events.

  1. What is the best time for me to wake up? Does this allow enough time to complete my routine?
  2. Does the first thing I do after I wake up center me and prepare me for the upcoming events of the day?
  3. Have I taken care of chores and daily necessities like eating breakfast and getting dressed that could later become distractions?
  4. Have I allotted time for reflection, self-enrichment, and goal planning? 
  5. Have I broken down the more abstract goals into achievable daily goals?
  6. How and when am I most productive? Am I completing the most important parts of my morning at that time?

The best way to start and stick to a routine is to do a little at a time. And don’t be afraid to mend it as time goes on. Your morning routine should be something that you enjoy and find useful. If it ever becomes a burden or you find that it doesn’t work with how you naturally function, make changes.

PRODUCTIVITY TIPS

  • Delayed Gratification: There is nothing that will make me work faster to finish a task than if I know a box of macarons or a Gilmore Girls marathon is waiting for me at the end of the finish line. Setting up a reward system, whether it be earning a 30 minute break or a yummy snack after a tedious task, can make you more productive because there’s an incentive involved.
  • Work with Yourself: At certain times of the day, I just can’t work up the energy to get a task done. And that’s totally fine. When it comes to creativity or putting out great content, I never want it to be forced or for it to become a chore that I don’t love. Learn how to work your mind. Identify the times you work best, and make the most of it, and don’t punish yourself for the times where you aren’t at your best.
  • A Cluttered Space is a Cluttered Mind: People underestimate the influence that the physical world has on their ability to work. If your work area is a total mess, your brain can easily become overwhelmed and distracted. Make sure your space is organized before you start your work. You’ll be a lot more focused when there isn’t all kinds of displaced items scattered around you.
  • Understand the Why: When working towards a very large goal, there are a lot of laborious steps in between that tire us out and can sometimes cause us to lose sight of the big picture. Once you’ve broken down your big goal into smaller goals, always remember to put purpose behind them. No matter how small, how annoying, or how tedious it can be, keep in mind the why and it will become much easier to complete the task.

Your routine can be adapted for nighttime as well, and I encourage you to develop one for whichever time of day you see fit.


So Tell Me: What’s your favorite part of your morning routine? Answer in the comments below!

-Lots of Love, Lola

How to Overcome Pre-College Anxiety

Nervousness and fear before your first year is common and a very normal occurrence. Unfortunately, there are about 3 months between high school graduation and stepping foot on campus in which all of the fears you never even knew existed get to fully sink in and keep you up at night. These months can be like those treacherous moments right before your first day of high school but stretched out over ~80 days. It’s quite annoying and sometimes a daily struggle to overcome these fears. While I still get a little nervous, the following reminders have helped me lessen the severity of pre-college anxiety.

How to Overcome Pre-College Anxiety

Common Sources of Pre-College Anxiety & Their Solutions

Making Friends

A lot of people worry about finding their “fit” in college. It might be the first time ever that your classmates aren’t the same people you went to kindergarten with. Making new friends out of complete strangers may be a skill you haven’t sharpened in some time. Or maybe you’re like me–switched schools quite a bit and didn’t quite master the skill of long-lasting friendships. Whatever the case, it’s nothing to worry about. While it’s true that college is a different environment than high school, great relationships are more easily established here for two reasons.

  1. Everyone is equal- The second you step on campus as freshmen, you’re all in the same boat. Everyone’s new, everyone’s nervous, and everyone wants friends. Once you understand that your classmates are just like you, reaching out to them should come easily. You also have the ability to start over. Don’t let whatever held you back from making the most of your relationships accompany you to college. Nobody knows your past or your fears, so don’t bring them!
  2. There are more opportunities– You might have had a few clubs or activities in which you could get to know people in high school. In college, there are tons of opportunities to meet new people. From classes to clubs to greek life and everything in between, there is no doubt you’ll find your tribe somewhere on campus. Push yourself to try new things. Explore places you might not have thought of before. The greatest experiences and friendships come from trying something new.

Overcome Your Fear: 

This fear usually comes as college draws closer and closer. Reminding yourself of some of your best traits is a great way to build up some confidence! Write down 5 things that you think makes you a good friend and 2 things you’d like to work on in college. Knowing your abilities and having a goal to accomplish gives you a future you can look forward to instead of fear.

Gentle Reminder: You don’t need to rush friendships because you fear being alone. Friends will absolutely come, but you should get used to the idea that you can have fun by yourself too. Check out my post on embracing alone time and how it can actually improve your relationships!

Deciding a Major

I totally get it! People around you have been making decisions for you your whole life and, suddenly, you’re the one who has to take the wheel and choose the direction of your future. It can be a lot of pressure trying to figure out a major, especially if you’re someone who has a lot of interests. The truth is, you don’t have to have it all figured out the minute you get to campus. To throw some statistics out, around 80% of college students change their major at least once. Colleges design their curriculums to handle these kinds of changes.

Overcome Your Fear:

Start thinking more about what your passions and interests are during the summer. Following these will lead you to the right subjects. Research the majors that are offered in your school and get a feel for what you might be interested in. The most important thing is to keep an open mind and try new things. You never know what class or professor will spark a new fire in you, and what direction it might take you!

Making Good Grades

You’ve probably heard the lecture from everyone and their mother that high school classes are nowhere near the level of difficulty that college is. Even AP or IB classes pale in comparison to the “vigor” that will be employed in your Math 1 class. While there is some truth to this, it’s nothing you should fear. College is supposed to be challenging. It’s the next level of your education. You aren’t paying an unspeakable amount of money to take 4 more years of high school! Your college also won’t just toss you to the lions. They understand the difficult transition and provide so many resources to ensure success.

Overcome Your Fear:

Remind yourself that it’s nearly impossible to fail if you just take advantage of the resources on campus. Your professors, teaching assistants, tutors, libraries, and 24 hour cafés (for those all-nighters) all want to see you do well. Don’t be afraid to get help, thats what these places and people are here for. Before you step foot on campus, make it a goal for academics to be a priority. You may need to go beyond what’s right in front of you and change up your studying habits if necessary.

Getting Along With Roommates

It’s certainly difficult adjusting to a life with a roommate. It can be nerve-wracking during the summer not knowing how things will turn out with your roomie. You’ve probably read all of the roommate horror stories and are sure your roommate will kill your goldfish while you’re out or something. While there’s no guarantee you’ll get the perfect roommate, there are a few ways to encourage a functional and good relationship. 

Overcome Your Fear:

The best way to squash this fear is to face it! If you know who your roommate is, contact them before school starts and get to know them. You may find out they’re completely normal and that you guys could even become friends. If contacting isn’t an option, start thinking of ways you can become comfortable with your roommate once you get to campus. Planning does a lot to cure a fear of the unknown.


I hope these reminders provide some relief this summer! You’re not alone in this and you should never have to deal with pre-college anxiety alone. If you have any other worries, comment below and talk to me about them. I’ll be sure to help.

 

Friends Can Be Your Biggest Assets

It’s easy to underestimate the influence that your friends can have on you. We sometimes forget that our friendships can serve as another rung in the ladder towards achieving our dreams. In a generation of entrepreneurs, hustlers, and professional risk-takers, we should start considering the people we keep close to us as assets to our business and life goals. How Friends Can Be Your Biggest Assets

If you take a good look at who you keep in your circle, what is their general makeup? I recommend having some friends who are as ambitious and inspired as you. Having friends that you can be constantly discussing, dreaming, and bouncing off ideas with will carry you much farther towards self-improvement than you know.
For example, I have a group of friends who all bring some level of excellence to the table. We’re big on academia, some of us are great creative thinkers, others are political buffs, and all of us are social justice participants. Together, we have deeply profound discussions about topics like current events and politics, philosophical and psychological questions, and our next big ideas and goals. Despite the occasional debates that turn into arguments, I always leave feeling more inspired, more educated, and a more enlightened person. I don’t think I would’ve gotten the idea to restart my blog without seeing a new creative spark in my friend at the discovery of writing poetry.
Having people around you who perform on the same wavelength as you, who want to reach the same level of success as you and who will encourage you to do the same are powerful.

A relationship like this takes a good amount of intellectual confidence on your part to get the most out of it. Your friends might excel in areas where you have room for improvement.  If you want to benefit from a friendship like How Friends Can Be Your Biggest Assetthat there is no space to be insecure about yourself. Their expertise and ambition in their skill set should inspire you to reach that same level in your own endeavors. And you will motivate them as well! That is how these friendships will push you towards greatness.

Similarly, I wouldn’t rely too much on friends who lack your same spirit and ambition. It’s easy to be dragged down by these types, and it will be a little bit harder to work for your goals if nobody else around you is doing the same. They might be great for emotional support, comic relief, and all of the great things that come with friendships, but it’s important to keep in mind that they are not on the same path as you.

When meeting new friends or evaluating the ones you currently have, always consider who will help you become a person you can fall in love with. It comes down to having a healthy balance of friends who just make you feel better and friends who actually make you better.

-Lots of Love, Lola