The Importance of Sleep

Losing sleep changes your body and mind. Without some good ole R&R, our bodies struggle. Learn how to get a good night's rest and the importance of sleep! - Ali in Bloom

By 8:30 pm, I’m tired. By 9:30 pm, I’m normally in bed. 10 pm? Sleeping. If I stay up past 11 pm, I’m sure to be cranky. Some would say it’s a blessing and others would say it’s a curse that I feel like I absolutely have to go to bed so early.

Me? I’m grateful for my body’s reminder that after a long, full day, it’s time for me to allow my mind and body to rest.

No matter how young or how old you are, sleep is important. Some of the biggest offenders of ignoring the importance of sleep seem to be teenagers and early twenty-somethings (*cough* college students). Late night activities and early morning deadlines can add up to short nights of sleep. With back-to-school season starting in full swing, it’s time to talk about the importance of sleep… even for college students.

How to Organize (& Simplify) Your Life

Erin Condren LifePlanner: How to Organize Your Life - Ali in Bloom

It’s funny because when I was in college, I always thought I would have more time after graduation. Obviously, I was in for a HUGE newsflash. Time is tight around here these days. But with a little motivation and a lot of organization, everything can get done. As if I don’t talk about it enough, we all know I’m a big planner junkie. This year, I’m trying out a new brand! Erin Condren. The Erin Condren LifePlanner is customizable, beautiful, sturdy and easy to use, so it goes without saying that I’m in love.

This year I’m loving pale pink — especially during the spring time — so I chose this blush and gold cover that says “Thankful and Grateful” because it just so happen those are two of my main focuses this year (as they should be every year).

4 Reasons You Should Make New Year’s Resolutions

4 Reasons You Should Make New Year's Resolutions - Ali in Bloom

Some people make yearly goals. Some make monthly goals. Some people make weekly goals. Honestly, I’m a fan of all three. New year’s resolutions seem to get the worst rep of all, though. Why? Because most of the time people think a new year magically means a new you. It doesn’t! Just like any goal, new year’s resolutions require hard work and dedication.

With that being said, I’m a huge proponent for making goals in general, so if you’d rather start your yearly goals in March or July or even October, go for it! Here’s why I love setting goals and why I think new year’s resolutions are a great idea:

4 Reasons to Make New Year’s Resolutions

1. You’ll have clarity

Seriously, the number one reason I recommend setting goals (any time of the year) is the amount of insight and clarity creating goals gives you into yourself, your desires and your life. In order to even start making meaningful and purposeful resolutions, you have to decide what you want and what is important to you. You learn so much about yourself by reflecting on your past year and learning what you loved about it and what you want to get better at or achieve in the year to come.

2. You’ll live intentionally

Knowing what you want will allow you to live intentionally. You’ll know what decisions and actions align with the best version of you and what opportunities you better pass up in order to maintain and achieve what is important to you. But beware… never become so close minded and tunnel visioned that you miss out on possible opportunities you never knew you wanted. Sometimes goals and visions change. That’s okay!

3. You’ll never “be bored”

When you find yourself sitting on your couch on a lazy Saturday afternoon, wondering what you are going to do with your day, you’ll never be able to say you have nothing to do. Having goals means there are actions you can be taking at any time to complete those goals. You just have to be motivated to work on them! Use your free time to work toward your resolutions. You’ll feel happier and more productive.

4. You’ll grow

Working toward something, no matter what it is, will lead to growth and self-discovery. Every goal is a journey. Whether you meet your goals or not (but I hope you do!), you’ll learn and grow along the way. From gaining insight into yourself and life during the reflection and creation period of your goals to giving yourself a pep talk when you don’t feel inspired or energized to keep working to when you finally reach your goal, you will learn something and gain self confidence and prosper. If you don’t reach your goal, you’ll still learn from it. I promise! Even if you simply learn that that goal wasn’t as important to you as you originally thought.

Health Goals

Health goals are one of the most common types of goals set each year. I want to share my thoughts on weight loss goals that I posted in January 2016 at the start of the year because I still feel it’s an important message.

Often times people resolve to lose weight, exercise or eat healthy in the new year. I mean, can you prove me wrong? I’d be willing to say it’s one of the most common resolutions made on January 1st… if not the most. Unfortunately, often times they fail. In 2014, I tried to put an end to those kinds of resolutions all together. I pledged to not only love my body but respect my body, my mind and myself instead of making a new year’s resolution to lose weight that would only dwindle away and result in lost hope. The problem with a lot of New Year’s resolutions is that people don’t realize that a completed resolution often requires a lifestyle change – not a month of determination.

I’ve shared my story before: loving myself and obtaining a body I was proud of took time and was a hard journey. If you’re hoping to change your body in 2016, understand that it wasn’t until I changed my mentality that I changed my body. And now, with a new healthy lifestyle, I feel good, strong and healthy every day. Instead of hating your body and wanting to change it, learn first to love your body in any way, shape or form because the more you love your body, the more you’ll want to take care of it and treat it well – nourish it.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to get healthier. It’s great, in fact! My one hope if you are aiming for better health in 2017 is that your desire really does come from a place of positivity and self-compassion. Love yourself! I truly believe that is absolutely vital. Then you will want to fuel your body and mind, and it will make your resolution that much easier.

My Goal-Setting Tips

1. Make them obtainable, concrete and measurable to be able to hold yourself accountable and make your way toward achieving your dreams.

2. Break big goals into actionable steps to help you feel accomplished and on-track as you’re working toward your final goal.

3. Write down your goals; revisit your notes frequently to stay focused.

Do you make new year’s resolutions? What are your goals for 2017? Best of luck!! Go get ’em. Hoping everyone had the happiest of holiday seasons. Until next time…

The Computer & Eye Health

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Rohto. All opinions and text are my own.

Just because you sit in front of a computer all day doesn't mean you have to suffer the pain because of it. Learn how to prevent computer eye strain even while going to school or working a 9-5.

Whether you’re writing a school paper or working 9-5 at a desk, we spend a lot of time in front of computers. As a blogger and someone that works a full-time office job, I am so guilty. Eye health has always been important, but now as we spend so much time in front of screens, it’s even more important to take care of our eyes.

Constantly looking at a screen- whether it be the computer, a cell phone or the TV- can cause what is known as computer eye strain (also called digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome). Symptoms include everything from headache to blurred vision and dry eyes.

Technology is a blessing in so many ways, but with it, we really need to take extra measures to protect our vision. You can avoid computer eye strain be factoring in these five tips: