Not sure where to start on your work out? Just be yourself!

Whoever said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step (I’m paraphrasing and it was 老子 [Lao Tzu]) said a very correct mouthful –  and a very full one when it comes to diet and exercise.
Practically though, we’re not all naturally athletic or even physically active, for that matter. The sad fact is, a lot of journeys to physical fitness and wellbeing are derailed before they begin simply because there is no hard or fast rules on where to start. My suggestion: start with being yourself.
No, I don’t mean putting your pyjamas back on and replanting yourself on the recliner. I mean look at your personality, your interests and hobbies. From there, you can find any number of ways to get active. Here are my top few examples:
The Music Connoisseur. Of course I’m gonna suggest a dance class! Zumba, salsa, rumba, bachata, ballet, hip hop, burlesque… the list continues and the classes usually speak for themselves. Regardless of the genre you enjoy the most, there will be a class for you.
The Type A. You need to dispel the aggression and tension that fuels your personality. What better way to do that than with boxing, karate, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai or mixed martial arts? The balance between high impact, full contact sport and the need for discipline may be just what you need.
The Beach Bum. While swimming is an obvious choice (well the water’s right there), cardio and calisthenics would also suit you well. The resistance naturally provided by the sand is a great tool for getting the heart rate up and working on balance and stability.
The Philosophy Lover. I hate to break it to you, but pretty much anything involving walking or climbing might be your ticket. Looking for the answers to life’s big ironies? Get yourself to the top of a climbing wall or work your way across a climbing. Fascinated by the wonders of the world? Find a good trail and start hiking. Just make sure you’ve stretched well and have got on the right shoes!
What about you? What does your personality tell you about your ideal workout?

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Consistency and effort… as simple as that.

Yes.  Life is as simple as that.  So are relationships – platonic, romantic or otherwise.

 

When we are younger, a little bit of effort or even small gestures can keep us happy for a long time.  In fact, some of us end up with friends or lovers based on one or two strategically-placed gestures that subsequently taper off and amount to zero effort.  However, as we get older, it becomes apparent that effort has to be applied consistently: to one’s life, one’s friendships, one’s relationships, one’s business dealings, one’s education – to virtually anything worth attaining and keeping.  At the end of the day, the most important pieces of your life won’t be easy to get to and will be equally as difficult to keep – especially if you decide that the effort can dissipate once you’ve gotten it.

 

So yes. Keep being consistent.  Keep putting some effort.

Keep giving it what you got.  Every day.

Show your loved ones that you love and care for them.  Every day.

Be there for your friend in that time of need or in that time of celebration.  Every day.

Push towards your business dreams or scaling up that visionary project you have on that table.  Every day.

Keep striving towards that degree or diploma or certificate.  Every day.

 

Trust me – the rewards are worth it, and if you felt that it was worth attaining in the first place, keeping it is just as worthy of your time and energy.  Delayed, sustained gratification requires consistent effort – take it from the Book of Lessons Learned.

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Milestones should be celebrated, no matter the size.

It happens sometimes.  You feel low – been feeling low for a long time.  Maybe it isn’t a downfall of sorts; it may just be that you just feel like nothing is really happening with you, you’re in a rut long-term, or things in your life have been at a pregnant pause.

 

Suddenly something happens – you get a call about a job interview you’ve wanted, you get into that school programme you’ve been looking at, your certificate from that online course you did comes in the mail.  You don’t really think much about it, but your inner circle – be it mentors, friends, family members, loved ones – make a big deal over it for you.  And you’re still steadily downplaying it.

 

But go ahead – celebrate it!  It’s a milestone, a step in the direction you are meant to be going in, whether it’s diminutive or gargantuan in size.  It might be getting a new job offer, publishing an article you’ve worked on or even just losing that first pound in a weight loss journey.  No matter how big or small, every monument that brings you closer to your purpose in life deserves a celebration.

 

So go ahead – make yourself a nice cup of coffee (or tea) and do your happy dance for yourself – because you earned it.

Naturalista Boss Chic on a Budget – top three tips to put your best self forward at any income bracket.

Okay, real talk time – being a naturalista boss chic can be tiring as hell but oh so worth it! Figuring out the how-to is crazy though, am I right?!

Remember a couple weeks ago when I reminded you fellow naturalista boss chic’s to always put your best you forward regardless of circumstance? I know it’s not always easy to do so whether time, money or energy is on the lowish side so here are a few popular and personal favourite pieces of advice on how to make that happen.
Start from within – mind, body, spirit. For some of us, it’s a daily connection with our Creator. Some of us need some serious high-impact exercise or some extra-quiet yoga sessions. Some need to read  a new book or learn a new skill at regular intervals. Some of us need a combination of measures. However it works for you, attaining and maintaining wellness on a holistic level is the foundation.

 

Incorporate the key parts of your signature style into your budget. We can all agree on one thing: some parts of our style cannot be done cheaply. So plan ahead and make sure you include it in your priority planning – not just with money, but time and energy. Is being fit and strong part of your trademark? Do people know you by a distinctive hair style or effortlessly flawless skin? Is your artwork or culinary skill part of your imprint? Make sure it’s carved in the bank balance and the calendar!

 

Be prepared every time you exit your home/flat/hostel/hotel. We all have that one oversized satchel that has what we need to maintain our boss chic self over the course of a long day. On a more targeted level, there are a few things that never leave our clutch, minaudière, briefcase, backpack or satchel because they keep us particularly put-together whatever the occasion (a few things in mine: a small stash of emergency medication, an emergency kit especially packed by the label J. Crew and the minimum requisites to keep my lip and foundation look in place). Whatever those items are, keep them in mind and don’t forget to slip them in your bag before you shut your front door!

 

 

What are your favourite strategies for keeping your naturalista boss lady sense of style on your budget?  What can’t you leave the house without putting in your bag? Tell me in the comments – I can’t wait to read them!!!

Friends and True Friends – know the difference. Or learn it fast.

Now this one may need a sour or bitter taste in many mouths out there, but I’m gonna say it anyway – when you know what kind you are, go on ahead and swallow your mouthful, cupful or bowl-ful of sour or bitter and learn how to shape up and be genuine or gracefully embrace your place as one of the fairweather variety, for whatever it’s worth.

 

There is a very stark difference between friends and true friends who become your family.  Some of us take longer than other to learn that difference, but I’m putting it out there in hopes that us slower learners get it that much faster.  Comedian Steve Harvey said it one morning during the first 12 minutes of his radio show, where he inspires only and reminds himself of life’s lessons in faith and other important qualities (forgive the paraphrasing but you’ll get the gist):
“you want lots of friends, go hit the lotto.  you want real friends, go get you in some trouble.”

 

It’s true: you can and will have lots of friends who show their pride when things are going well.  But when you hit your lowest lows, it’s the people who stand in the gap for you – whether it’s just checking up on you with a message, email or missed call – that are your true friends.  Experience the difference – or learn through those of us who already know.

Others’ behaviour towards you is a reflection of them, not you.

A good friend of mine (who also happens to be a fellow Bahamian and citizen of the world), Kendrick D said something very powerful to me recently:
“You should never discount yourself based on other people’s behaviour.”

 

It’s absolutely true: there comes a time when introspection is necessary after the same behaviour is repeated towards you by multiple people around you.  But when you know that you’ve been a positive influence (or at the very least, a source of support) to those people around you and the pattern is the same, there’s no need to hurt yourself and believe that you are the problem anymore. Only you know your true worth and when you are your genuine self, sometimes people will take advantage of that and still mistreat you because of various reasons that usually have nothing to do with you.

 

It is extremely unfortunate that our current society has so blurred the lines between genuine and counterfeit, perfect and real.  But you can’t lose sight of your true you, your true value, the realness that you give to your world around you and the greater world out there.  In gospel singer Donnie McClurkin’s words, “After you’ve done all you can… just stand.”

Boss Chic, Naturalista Style – Top reasons for being a leader in style.

It’s true.  A lot of startup company founders decide that the need to put a proper face (or at least a washed face!) forward is less than a priority when working towards realising the realities of a business, particularly with a constantly-evolving business model.  However, it is important for a business leader in any capacity and on any budget to always put his or her best face forward.  For us naturalistas, this is particularly imperative and here are the top three reasons why:

 

You should always be prepared for your window of opportunity.  Opportunity can strike at any time on any day.  You can look like a number of startup cofounders who choose to dress all the way down or you can at least look put-together, with your business cards organised in your handbag.

 

Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.  I know, I know, I know – people are quick to point out that a lot of the world’s ultra-wealthy business founders are the dress-down types but let me point out something that is practical albeit sexist: do you ever notice that the ultra-wealthy business founders that are female always look polished and well-dressed no matter what stage of their business?  It’s sad but true – the same rules for men in the business don’t exactly apply to us because of our triple threats: we’re female, we’re confident in our natural beauty and we’re ambitious.  So you’re striving to be a boss but not quite there yet – why are you dressed like you’re living in a refrigerator box?

 

Your company, your story, your brand = your style.  Whether it’s your personal blog or a startup aiming for corporation, as the founder and original leader of the company, you are the face of your brand.  Even in the early stages, no startup wants to be seen as sloppy and careless so there’s no need for your appearance to look that way either.  Remember, as the founder you are one of the first symbols of your company’s brand that your potential customers, prospective partners and even investors see.  A little effort does wonders for your first impression on them.

 

In a lot of ways, all three of these reasons relate to one another but each has a distinct feature that makes it relevant in its own right.  Just because the health and well-being of your business mean more to you than anything else in life at the moment doesn’t mean that your personal appearance (or hygiene!) should also be sacrificed along with everything else.

 

 

Can you think of other reasons why naturalista chic as a boss should be a priority?  Write your comments below – can’t wait to read them!