Eleven Life Improvements I’m Making

The cool thing about life, your life, is that you are the captain. You can control what you do, choose, or want. Sometimes you can’t control everything, but you can certainly make decisions that may affect the outcome. I’m always trying to do things better, say things better, and live a healthier life (mentally & physically.) We all face times that are hard, so it’s important to come up with a game plan for change. I don’t believe in giving up, or settling for mediocre. I believe in finding what makes you the happiest and your purpose.

I wanted to share some things I’ve been doing, changing, and working towards lately! I hope this inspires you to work on things you’ve wanted to change as well. No change is too small to make a world of impact. It’s never too late to follow your dreams. 
Being optimistic is the way to be.

It’s easy to let things get to you, or feel upset about something that didn’t go your way. It’s also easy to just let things be, know it happened for a reason, and be willing to accept the change. If you are grateful for the moment, and what you already have, you’ll find that it’s easier to be happy for what will come, or what might not. Living in the current moment is most important. If you’re constantly regretting the past, dwelling on things, or being negative, it’ll start to take a toll on you. It’s OK to feel sad, but it’s also OK to be happy. Turn the little things into big things, make each moment one to remember, and laugh as much as possible. Try not to spend your time talking negatively about others or caring what people think of you! As long as you are living YOUR best life, none of that matters. Surround yourself with optimistic people, follow positive posts on social media, and go out of your way to spread that happiness. I promise it’s contagious. I’ve been trying to make all moments my favorite moments. If something is bothering me, I turn it around fast. Coping with positivity helps me with anxiety. You also have to be open to the new. Don’t let a past experience fog your future judgment. 
I won’t be able to travel a lot next year, so I have planned a lot of upcoming trips! I love to explore, take photos, try different foods, and experience new places. If you’re ever feeling stuck in a rut, book a trip, and go! It’s the best way to reset. I’m off to California early September! Putting myself in new environments always prepares me for future challenges. I’m also looking forward to seeing family, spending time with friends, and making memories that’ll last forever.
I’ve been big on recycling.

I admit I used to just throw things out and not care where they ended up. Now, I find myself taking things from restaurants if I know they’ll end up in the wrong bin. I have my boyfriend re-using and recycling now too. There is definitely room for improvements, but I plan on being better and doing better. It makes me happy that my recycling bin is actually more full than my trash can. I ordered a reusable to-go coffee cup today (thanks to a reader’s comment) and will try to take it with me whenever possible. But, there is no excuse for any plastic, cardboard, paper, or glass in my trash can! EVER. 
This is one I NEVER thought I would ever do. BLACK COFFEE.

On Monday, I decided to switch to black coffee, and I haven’t looked back. It’s weird to me that I enjoy the taste without all the cream. The first day, I was like “I’ll get through it’, but now I genuinely enjoy it. I love the craft of coffee and a good tasting bean. It was kind of ridiculous that I was masking it with cream. Plus, now it’s calorie and fat-free. Black coffee is easier, and I’m so ready for this new coffee adventure 😉
Stress will age you, and bring on a ton of unwanted health conditions. I’ve been practicing stress-free moments. If I’m feeling overwhelmed, I’ll take some deep breaths and recoup. If I feel like I need a break, I’ll take it. We can be a little hard on ourselves sometimes, and that’s not a healthy way to live. Taking the time just to walk away, relax, and ground yourself can relieve a lot of stress. Finding ways to de-stress is important. Stress can be caused from overworking, or a lack of sleep. I’ve been making sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. I have also learned to say “no.” If I’m exhausted, a social event is not my cup of tea. In fact, a cup of tea is a better idea. It’s OK to be an introvert now and then. Actually, it’s OK to be an introvert, period. Having time to myself to drink tea, read a book, or go on a long walk is a great way to de-stress and ground myself. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately, and I’ve figured out a lot during those times. Just slow down a bit. I know it’s hard to fight FOMO (especially with social media) but it’s better if you do. Don’t try to keep up with others, just focus on you. It’s not worth it in the long run. I’m not sure if this topic fits in the category, but I’d really like to start going back to church consistently again. I never lost faith, but I put my relaxing Sundays before God, and I’d like to start going again. I found a new church near my house that I look forward to attending on Sundays.
You know what else stresses me out? Stuff. Clutter. Messes.

I’ve been doing so well on minimalizing. I could never be a full out minimalist. I love my fall candles and Christmas decorations too much, but I have worked on getting rid of things I don’t use, or that don’t play a role in my life. Every Friday, I do deep cleans. This is when I vacuum, mop, wash clothes, scrub counters, wipe windows, dust, and the list goes on. It literally takes me three hours. Having a clean house makes me feel like I have things under control. My mom always says “a happy house is a clean house,” and she’s right. When I’m shopping, I think twice about buying something. I have been getting rid of a lot of clothes as well. That situation is a bit ridiculous.
I stopped weighing myself.

You guys know this already. I wrote an entire post all about it! I highly recommend reading it, as well as the comments. So much great advice from readers. Click here to read. It’s been almost a month since I’ve stepped on a scale. I’m telling you, I’ve been a different person without that number over my head. My boyfriend has tossed out the scales. I have no idea what he did with them, or if they are still in one piece or not. I just know, they are gone. I don’t care what I weigh, I don’t want to know, it doesn’t define me, and I don’t miss it. I lift a lot of weights, workout daily, and that scale’s opinion is worthless. This is probably one of the most important on the list. 
Playtime isn’t just for kids. One of my favorite things to do is play sports. I love volleyball, swimming, basketball, softball, golf, tennis, and throwing the football. It’s one of my favorite ways to be active. I’ve decided to workout at the gym four times a week instead of six days a week. On the off days, I’ll play a sport. Sports are fun, and fitness should be fun! So, I’ve been playing more! I’ve been shooting more hoops, swinging the club, and playing so much tennis! Walking my dogs is also my form of “play.” I do it three times a day, and wouldn’t trade it for anything! This is the first week, I’ve taken days off, and I feel like this needs to be a permanent thing. I’ve had “active” rest days.  
You guys may/may not have noticed. I used to dine out all the time. I used to go to a restaurant at least twice a week and sometimes twice a day! I’ve been making dining out a special occasion thing. (picking up salads at Chopt or from the Whole Food’s hot bar doesn’t count). I’ve been eating at home a lot more! When I go out to dinner, it’s because of a birthday, when I’m out of town or celebrating something special. Dining out is fun, but it’s also easy to take advantage of!  You appreciate it more when it’s a rare event. I know I’ll be dining out more because of all the upcoming travels, but when I can avoid it, I will! 
When I was a little girl, my mom had to bribe and beg me to get me to come inside. I wouldn’t spend all morning, afternoon, and evening playing in the backyard. Things haven’t changed. I love being outside. It’s been hard the past couple of months because of the high temperatures and humidity, but that’ll end soon, and I’ll be back to that outdoor life. I have some fun hikes planned, camping, and outdoor adventures ahead. Connecting with the earth is another great way to keep you grounded and stress-free. I won’t be jumping out of airplanes anytime soon, but fun adventure awaits!
Thinking about the future can be stressful. To me, it’s exciting. Who knows what it will hold? But, I know what I want it to hold. In two and a half years, it’ll mark my tenth year as a blogger. It’s funny because when I started blogging, I had no idea the world was going to follow. I was doing it for myself. I didn’t even have a Facebook account at the time. When my then boyfriend found my blog (never told him I had one) he was quick to tell me to go public with it and monetize it. I had no idea what I was doing! So many people connected with my struggles, and all of the people who let themselves in, saved my life. I will forever be grateful for the ones who opened up my eyes and showed me what life was all about. I was just a baby when I started, and I feel like I’ve been doing this forever. But, was blogging something I wanted to do? Or was it something I chose to do because it became a success? I don’t know. I do know that I love it and that I love everything it’s given me, including the readers that I get to connect with every day. But what if there is something else that I was meant to do? I’ll never know if I don’t give something else a chance. So next year, I’ll be going back to school. I took some time off, but I have a year and half left to finish before receiving my degree for something I chose to do before blogging. I am trading online courses for on campus ones. And don’t worry. I don’t plan on quitting the blog, going cold from social media, or changing. I’ll always blog, but it may be once a week, or it may be about what I wore to work and ate for lunch, instead of my afternoon workout, or coffee choice. I just feel like I’m missing out on something, and it’s time I work towards it. I know I’m ready at this point in my life, and I’m excited for the adventure. And don’t worry guys, that’s in a couple years! You still get me full force for a while 😉 I see a lot of people quit their jobs to become full-time bloggers, but I really don’t recommend it. I think the blogging world is fun, but there is so much more to it.

Questions for you?
1. What can you do to better your life?
2. Have you ever wanted a career change?
3. What have you done lately that has made you feel better?

 

Comments

  • Sophie

    I love that you’re going back to school. How fun! Constantly challenging ourselves is the way to go. Love your positivity and can-do attitude. 👍🏻
    My boyfriend and I have been talking about moving to another country in a few years (scary!!) and my first instinct was to look up Masters programmes there. What better way to connect with people who share the same interest? Honestly I can’t wait to see where life takes us – And I hope to read a “looking back” post from you 5 years from now 😜

    Reply to Sophie
  • Sophie

    This post really seems to tie in with where my mind is at at the moment! I think the main thing I’m trying to learn/develop is to not be a bystander in my own life, and like you say, to take control and recognise that we all have that control. I hadn’t really realised just how much I plod along without consciously engaging with what is happening in my life. I’m 29 in December and really want to feel more head strong as I head towards 30!
    I have been de-cluttering a lot after a big move which motivated me to do it, I’ve been telling everyone to do it too – it’s so therapeutic.
    I find saying no to plans super difficult as I feel guilty to be a let down, but I’ve started to do it a little more and the feeling of relief when you’re tired or run down is rewarding!
    Thank you for your inspiring post 🙂 it’s given me a few ideas x

    Reply to Sophie
  • Lena

    Hey Tara, I was the one suggesting you get a reusable coffee cup and I was very happy to read that you actually ordered one! When it arrives you could snap a picture of it and show us which one you got? That would be great!
    I think it’s awesome that you will work on reducing waste in your life! It helps the planet, our health and the animals. And no animal should be impaired by the amount if plastic that we put into the oceans/environment, be it a dog, a salmon or a piglet. No animal wants to suffer. Thanks to making this improvement and looking forward to see that cup picture! 🙂

    Reply to Lena
  • alyssa

    Great post! I’m also trying to minimize the clutter in my house. Toys are everywhere! It also makes me feel great and accomplished with little things when I declutter my house.

    Reply to alyssa
  • Jordan

    What I have been doing lately to better my life is saying “No”. I can’t do everything and when I try, the things I really care about are the ones that are put on the back burner. I have very slowly been learning that saying “No” isn’t always received poorly — in fact, sometimes it’s even admired. It doesn’t mean that I am rejecting the person asking more from me, it just means that I am helping myself achieve balance to be the best person I can be.

    I have thought about changing careers. As a cardiac nurse, I see first hand that effects of poor lifestyle and diet choices. But sometimes the long hours and stress keep me from working toward my own health and fitness goals. It’s interesting to me that you feel like you are missing out on something as a blogger because I feel like I am missing out on things working a full time job! That’s why I dove into blogging this past year — in hopes to have more flexibility in life. Maybe I am wrong in that thinking?? Can I ask you more specifically why you wouldn’t recommend the blogging life?

    Thanks and as always, I love your post! 🙂

    Reply to Jordan
  • Jenna

    Hi Taralynn! I love your posts! Just reading about your day-to-day lifestyle is super inspiring for me. And I especially love this one, because you talk about what better changes you’re making for yourself. It makes me want to be more like you. 🙂 I am super excited for your future, you are going to do great. Best of luck!!

    Reply to Jenna
  • Vanessa

    Such an inspiring and important post, I bookmarked it for the days that I need a little reminder of what really matters in life!

    1. What can you do to better your life?
    I want to stop worrying about things that I cannot influence, or things that I know will turn out well in the end. My brain tends to go crazy with all the “what if”. So I want to live in the moment much more.

    2. Have you ever wanted a career change?
    I’m still doing my bachelors degree, but I really haven’t chosen a career yet. There are just so many things I am interested in!

    3. What have you done lately that has made you feel better?
    I moved into a new place where I finally feel really at home. My housemates are lovely, the house is clean and beautiful and there is a cat that comes visiting every now and then 😀

    Reply to Vanessa
  • Brianna

    OMG I ADORED this post!! It was seriously so inspiring and made me think about what I want my life to be like and things I want to change. I like to think I am a very optimistic person put I constantly find myself focusing on the negative things. This is going to be a big thing for me for me to change. It’s weird to have to remind yourself to be happy. I never use to have the travel bug. The only place I ever really traveled to was Disney with the family. That is until senior year of high school when I got to go to Italy and the travel bug in me was born!! I know it was years ago (god was high school really 8 years ago?!?) but I am finally getting to travel. I have 3 HUGE trips planned for next year and am so excited!!

    Would you ever consider doing a post on how you recycle/live a green life? I am all for it but I just find it so overwhelming at times. I can see all the plastic I am using and things I am throwing away and feel like I just have to stop buying EVERYTHING!! haha

    Going back to school is HUGE!!! Congratulations!! And I feel like wanting a career change is something that is bound to happen to everyone! I went to school and got my degree in marine biology. It is still a topic that I love and if I can find a full time job in that field I would absolutely take it (I currently am working part time at an aquarium)! However, I don’t have that right now so I’m working in education, specifically Holocaust Education. This job fell into my lap and I never expected it to turn into a career but it looks like that’s what’s happening and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. Holocaust Education is worlds away from Marine Biology, but it is a good change for me.

    I completely agree with you mom, a happy house is a clean house!! Currently my “house” consists of just 1 room. I am still living at home, planning on getting my own place at the end of the year. In preparation for the big move, I am finding myself cleaning out everything!!! I am throwing out expired products, donating old books, trying to use things up, I recently lost a lot of weight so I have been going through clothes and donating what no longer fits!! It feels AMAZING watching things leave my house haha.

    Again, thanks for posting this. I feel so inspired to do things and change things 🙂

    Reply to Brianna
  • Rumie

    Love this and love you.

    Reply to Rumie
  • Lacie

    Your blog is my favorite. I’m happy for you, but please don’t go 🙁

    Reply to Lacie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Well, thank you 🙂

      I won’t be going anywhere. Even when I change careers, I’ll still keep up with the blog (just a little cutback) 😉

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Susie

    Loved this post! It’s so motivating to hear about all the good and positive in your life. I’ve been saying for the longest time that I’d like to get back into a Sunday church routine…and you have inspired me to finally do it so thank you!

    1. What can you do to better your life? YOU SAID IT – SLOW DOWN.

    2. Have you ever wanted a career change? I WOULD LOVE TO TEACH GRADE SCHOOL, BUT A TEACHER’S SALARY DOESN’T BEGIN TO COMPARE TO MY CURRENT SALARY AS A LEGAL ASSISTANT. .. I KNOW IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE MONEY BUT I CAN’T AFFORD THAT PAY CUT LIVING IN CALIFORNIA WITH THREE CHILDREN.

    3. What have you done lately that has made you feel better? MY BUILDING HAS A GYM FOR BUILDING TENANTS ONLY AND I’VE STARTED WORKING OUT ON MY LUNCH BREAK. LOVING IT!

    Best of luck to you going back to school!

    Reply to Susie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Susie!

      Slowing it down is a big one! On everything.

      Good for you! My mom goes to the gym on her lunch breaks and she says it makes her very happy and feeling good the rest of the day!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Shaylnn

    I have this one friend that is always causing drama. She seems to get mad at everything and it feels like I’m walking on egg shells around her. I’m not a fighter so it makes me feel uncomfortable. Have you ever dealt with that?

    Reply to Shaylnn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I think we all have a friend like that.

      To be honest, I’m just like you! I don’t care to argue anyone and I believe in sticking to your guns and doing what you want. If you feel as if you’re being a good friend and have done nothing wrong, then it’s probably that person who is unhappy with themselves. If she likes to let things get to her and can’t get past it, it’s only going to hurt her in the long run. My boyfriend always tells me that “you can’t change a person, but you can change the way they treat you.” So, set your boundaries, don’t let that person bring negativity to your life, and if it doesn’t stop, then it may be time to reconsider them as a friend. I have a “no negativity” policy if it comes to drama, and I simply won’t deal with it. Don’t let that person make you feel bad. Keep your head up and stick to your guns.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Aileen

    Love it! Great job defining and outlining your goals. (And they’re great goals to have!) 🙂

    Reply to Aileen
  • Rebecca

    There were so many moments I internally yelled “yes, yes, yes” while reading this post! I have been working on ways to better myself/my life and recycling, composting, and making more mindful purchases have been my number one change. I learned to say “no” to social events not too long ago and it has been life changing. I’m an introvert through and through and truly need my time to recharge and spending an evening giving myself a facial and drinking tea is one way I’ve done that recently. I want a career change but I’m not sure what it is that I want, I just know I’m only feeling content at the moment which is definitely fine but personally, I want more. So, I’ve got some more work to do on myself. 🙂

    Reply to Rebecca
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Learning to say no and to stand up for yourself is the best thing you can do! I’m also introverted as well. I like to go out and do things, but sometimes large groups or big parties give me anxiety. I don’t care for those atmospheres and IT’S OK! If you want more, go get it! Don’t let anything stop you! xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Traci

    Taralynn, thank you so much for being real and open in your posts – especially this one. I have kept up with your blog off and on ever since Tumblr – you’ve been such an inspiration in terms of fitness and healthy eating, but I also have caught myself sometimes thinking things like, “Wow, she has it made! I would love to be able to blog full time and have total control over my schedule like that.” So to hear you share that there are things about this lifestyle that you wish were different and that you want to do more structured things like go back to school is a real wake up call for me – it goes to show that no one has the “perfect” career or “perfect” schedule, and everyone has things they wish were slightly different and want to improve. I didn’t even realize how much I had been idealizing this blogger lifestyle until reading your post- thank you for sharing honestly about things like this. It has really helped me gain valuable perspective!

    Also, on a practical note – if you liked shopping online with ThredUP, and if you want to declutter your closet, I cannot recommend the Poshmark app enough! It lets you buy and sell gently used and new fashion just by taking pics of your items with your phone and uploading them. I’ve been using it for a little over a year and love telling people about it! Hope you find it helpful! 💕

    Reply to Traci
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you, Traci!

      I think the “blogger lifestyle” is falsely interpreted by staged photos on Instagram. There is so much more to it. I’m not complaining or saying it’s too hard or complaining because you are right. I am so lucky to have this lifestyle, be flexible with my schedule, and coast through, but it doesn’t bring happiness all the time. I’d love to wake up, get dressed, go to work, come home, and that’s it. It’s a funny world we live in!:) But don’t get me wrong, I really do love blogging.

      I’ve heard all about poshmark!! I may have to try it out.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Sara

    Be careful about recycling. I’ve heard that just because you recycle it doesn’t mean it’s recycled! Plastic that has a number higher than 3 on the bottles are pretty much un-recyclable. Glass however can be recycled over and over again. Check out the blog trashisfortossers.com or anything by Bea Johnson about zero-waste. I’m fascinated and there are small changes you can do that really make a difference!

    Reply to Sara
  • Dev

    So inspring!

    Reply to Dev
  • Jessie

    I love all of these goals! I need to work on decluttering now…

    Reply to Jessie
  • Desire

    I’ve been contemplating on quitting my career and doing blogging full time. Thank you for being transparent and bringing me back to reality.

    Reply to Desire
  • Vivian

    I love this post for its optimism and simplicity for beautiful and happy visual images and for optimistic inspiration. 6 years ago I have made a great change for the better : Moved to new country and cleaned my mind and filled it with positive words. I keep on filling it with positive affirmations every morning and 5 things to be happy for today list. started to eat Raw vegan food and fermented food for my health. And started to believe in my dreams and make them my reality. It is a journey and One thing that gives me enthusiasm for the Journey in the down times is that This journey is for my best and I have made a conscious choice.

    Reply to Vivian
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you, Vivian!

      How inspiring. Moving to a new country had to be scary!

      You should like a very put-together person, who knows what they want out of life!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Zay

    This is why I love your blog so much. Hope you had fun in Greenville!

    Reply to Zay
  • Jen

    LOVE the recycling push. I do the same thing. I’m a mom and I never bought those squeeze pouches for my daughter because I didn’t think they were recyclable. I found a local organic market that recycles those, batteries, snack bar wrappers and bags, beauty and personal care items, it’s awesome. There is SO much we can recycle. I wish everyone took your initiative ❤️

    Reply to Jen
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Very cool, Jen!

      I am not perfect with recycling and I know that. I do want to improve and do more!

      You’re a great mom and a great example for your daughter!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Laura

    So, so happy to see your enthusiasm for recycling here! If you ever need more motivation to get even more plastic out of your life (and the lives of others), I’d really recommend watching “A Plastic Ocean” and “Chasing Coral.” Both are on Netflix right now. Having public figures like you vouch for recycling and a reduction of single-use plastics would be so huge. Truly love this post <3
    xo L

    Reply to Laura
  • Paige

    Lots of people are commenting about recycling and I’d like to share something too! 🙈 I learned that plastics can only be recycled once…ONCE! I was shocked! So all of the things that are made out of recycled plastic can’t be recycled again. Of course, it’s great to recycle plastic to get that “second life” out of it but I’m also trying hard to not use plastic in the first place. I encourage you to check out “zero waste” living. It’s definitely a huge (basically impossible) challenge but it gets you thinking more critically about your purchases/habits☺.

    Something I’m doing lately that has made me feel better is to focus on what’s important to me. I was attempting to live a zero waste, vegan, and minimalist life. It was stressing me out beyond belief (silly, I know). I finally had to scale back and figure out what was most important. I’m now ok with applying different principles from those different lifestyles without fully adhering and beating myself up! I’m finding a healthy balance. I pray that you find balance as well!

    Love that you’re getting back into church. It’s so lovely to spend time learning about God and how he wants to mold and use us!

    Sorry this comment it basically an essay! 😂

    Reply to Paige
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks or the tips!!!

      Glad you made changes that work better for you. We have to be honest with ourselves! Balance is KEY.

      XO XO XO I enjoy the essays!

      Taralynn

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anonymous

    Yes to all of these! I want to start dining out less! Do you like Blue Apron?

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Jemme

    How old are you?

    Reply to Jemme
  • Jamie

    You seem very happy with kyle and I can tell through reading your blogs.

    Reply to Jamie
  • Tasha

    I put in my 2 weeks notice this week after 11 years at a job I hate. Going back to nursing school in September. Four more working days and I’m out of there! I couldn’t be happier!!!

    Reply to Tasha
  • Linda

    What a beautiful post. I will keep reading Tara!

    Reply to Linda
  • Amanda

    I deal with FOMO a lot, but I also like to be at home. How do you manage?

    Reply to Amanda
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Well, I get FOMO when it comes to traveling or trying a new coffee shop. I don’t get fomo when it comes to seeing people out partying. I actually hate that lifestyle. You just have to be confident in what you want at the moment. If you want to go do something, then go! If you want to stay home, do it. You have to be honest with yourself and don’t do things for status or because it seems like everyone else is doing it.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jordan

    These were so insightful! FOMO is the worst for me, I’m always wishing I were doing things other people are doing when I should just be grateful for the life I have!
    The part you said about wishing you had a regular career really intrigued me! So many people quit their day jobs and say it’s best decision they ever made to work from home. Of course, I suppose it depends on circumstances and what not. You’re young and have a whole life ahead of you! Some people like working from home and being their own boss when they have a family. It just really interests me how things like that vary from person to person. Also, I never knew you went to college before! Congrats on deciding to go back! Honestly it’s my biggest accomplishment. 😂😂
    Anyway, I loved all of this. Kind of made me think about everything I want in life.

    Reply to Jordan
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Fomo can get the best of us!

      I think we always want what “looks” greener on the other side but sometimes have to throw ourselves into the reality of it all. Working from home is great, but I want to do more. When I see people quit their jobs to blog, I cringe. It’s not that I think they can’t do it, it’s that I wish I was them. Lol yes, I started this blog when I was in school. My mom worked at the University, so I took classes my senior year of high school and then went to school and lived at home in Iowa 🙂 It’s good to think about the things you want in life and even better to reach for them! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Olly

    I have loved the changes in your blog the past couple of years. You seem so happy!

    Reply to Olly
  • Lingy

    I need to stop purchasing so many clothes!

    Reply to Lingy
  • Nina

    I don’t know if it’s because I’m 25 (everybody says “you’re a real adult now”) but I need to be more myself. I have some issues in social relationships and I focus too much on what people would think of me.
    1. What can you do to better your life?
    Something I do more and more, and I’m proud of it : I don’t criticize other people about what they look like or what they do in their private life. I don’t want to be judged so I had to stop judging others. I should stop judging myself too…

    2. Have you ever wanted a career change?
    I’ve thought about it a lot (also wanted to quit my job and start a new life in another country) but I recently suffered a little burnout and now I just want to settle where I am.

    3. What have you done lately that has made you feel better?
    I was preparing for a very hard professional examination. I’ve decided to give up, and I really feel better. It was way too much stress and probably one of the reasons of my burnout.

    Reply to Nina
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I think the best thing you can do for yourself is to stop caring what others think. People care all about themselves and no one really pays close attention to us. You just have to follow your heart and do what YOU want.

      Judging others is easy. I find myself doing it too, and the fact that you’ve cut that out is amazing. You’re right. I think I compare myself to others rather than judge them, but it’s just as bad.

      Nothing ever wrong for settling for a while and just “being” Good for you for destressing!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Rebecca D.

    I tend to worry quite a bit (about what others think of me, what could happen in the future, etc.) but I’ve been trying to ease that worry and fear by getting back into doing what I love, yoga and running.

    I took a break from it and no wonder why my stress and anxiety has been up lately. I decided to make a change about 2 months ago to get back into it and my best friend has as well. We’ve been holding each other accountable even though we live on opposite ends of the country lol.

    I’ve also been reading self-improvement books and listening to them on audible and I’ve taken up journaling.

    I have actually changed careers quite a few times! I guess that’s what happens when I move around the country every 1.5-2 years lol. But a year ago I found a profession that I love and started going to school for. I actually start my internship for it in a couple weeks!

    I have had some negative comments from some people but I’m thankful for my amazing support system. My husband, friends, and parents have been so positive through all my career changes. I started realizing that people who were being so negative when I recently switched career choices weren’t really supporting me at all and who needs that kind of negativity in their life? Basically, I’m trying to say I can relate a bit and to focus on doing what makes you happy. 😊

    Reply to Rebecca D.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      WORRY LESS. When I feel like I have anxiety or I’m worrying about something too much, I do yoga, drink tea, eat ginger, or head out on a walk! Congrats on your new internship! You will do great 🙂

      You cares what people say about you! It only comes down to what YOU say about YOU! Glad you surround yourself with positive people. Glad you focus on what makes you happy. Continue it! xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Danielle

    Hey Taralynn,
    This post is exactly what I needed to read right now as I am starting another year of college and trying to get back into the swing of it all, among other things! I just wanted to say thank you so much for what you do, I’ve been reading your blog since I was in junior high and now I’m a sophomore in college and your writing has helped me a lot over the years in so many ways, through some of the most challenging times in my life! You are such an inspiring person, thank you again and best of luck in everything you have planned for the future! 🙂

    -Danielle

    Reply to Danielle
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Danielle!

      That made my day 🙂

      You’re almost done, so enjoy the years, and stick with it! You’ll wish you were right back in college as soon as you’re finished!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Natalie

    I think that’s so wonderful that you are going back to school to finish the degree you’ve always wanted. For me, personally, change can be a hard and scary thing once you are already used to a specific schedule, so I find this post really, really inspiring.

    Thank you for this! You will do great, I know it!

    P.S. I saw in one of your comment replies that you like listening to podcasts while you walk your dogs. My all time fav podcast is called Beautiful Anonymous hosted by Chris Gethard. You might like it. ( Coming from the girl who also likes Parenthood and Friday Night Lights.) 🙂

    Reply to Natalie
  • Susie @ Mile High Dreamers

    It’s crazy the way that all these little changes add up to a HUGE change in our life outlook! Ben and I are huge believers in the outdoors one. There’s so much science that backs up the positive impact nature can have on your physical and mental wellbeing. But honestly, just romping around in the woods for a few hours proves it all!

    I also switched to black coffee and LOVE it. It’s crazy how many nonsense calories I’d add with flavors and milks! Now I love the taste of simple black cold brew coffee (or any other black coffee).

    I actually made a big career change and it DID better my life. I went through SO much schooling, time, and money because I thought I wanted to work in the medical field. Then I worked in it… and I was MISERABLE.
    I changed my career to education so I could work with kids (because that was ALWAYS my favorite job growing up!). Now I make WAY less money teaching 1st grade, but I’m SO MUCH HAPPIER! It was worth all the time it took me to figure it out, and the pile of student loans it caused me to accumulate haha.

    Lately I’ve just given myself a BREAK to feel better. I usually feel like I have to be super on top of my workouts and eating, but I got really sick after Italy, and then the school year started, and I decided to just chill out and be more intuitive about what I needed. So if I didn’t have the energy to workout, I just went home and relaxed. And I ate whatever I was in the mood for. Now I actually feel even more motivated and energized to get back on my game! A little break honestly did wonders for my focus and determination.

    Reply to Susie @ Mile High Dreamers
    • Taralynn McNitt

      You’re so right!

      The outdoors just do something to my mood. Even if it’s just a walk! It makes me feel so grounded and stress-free.

      It’s funny that I like it too!! I used to groan at the thought of black coffee.

      THAT IS AMAZING, SUSIE! Loved hearing that story!! Very inspiring to me.

      Giving your body a break is so important. I’ve been playing sports as my break because it’s fun and way easier on the body than six days a week of HIIT!

      XO XO

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lablune

    I just wanted to thank you for the “optimistic life” because it did something amazing on me. I just broke up from a 7 years relation ship and I’m a total wreck. But reading this was really great for me. I read it everyday if I need to. Thank you for those kind words.

    Reply to Lablune
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I know this is going to sound strange, but a breakup can be exciting if you let it be.

      It’s going to hurt, but it’s a new start.

      If I never would have gone through breakups, I would have never gotten stronger, or be where I’m at right now! I am the happiest I’ve ever been and couldn’t have gotten here without saying goodbye to negative people or relationships. Take this time to focus on you, hang out with friends, and build yourself back up! You got this girl.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lissa

    You should do a post on the moment you became blog famous.

    Reply to Lissa
  • Rachel @ Better LIVIN

    I went back to school after 10 years of hating my career and am so much happier now., This is my final semester and it’s all student teaching and then in January I start substitute teaching and I can’t wait! Excited to see where this journey takes you!

    Reply to Rachel @ Better LIVIN
  • Jenn

    Recycling your kitchen waste is a great start butthe number one thing filling up our landfills is textile waste. Consider easing up on the clothing purchasing and look for ways to recycle. I know you use thredUP and that’s a great start!

    Reply to Jenn
  • Shruti

    I know you said you won’t stop blogging, but I’m just here ensuring you reaaallly don’t! I like your blog way too much in fact I insist you do it forever haha!

    I’m Sure you’ll be good at whatever you set out to do 🙂

    Love ya,
    Shruti.

    Reply to Shruti
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hahahaha! Thank you, Shruti!

      I wont’ stop, even if I have to slow it down! 🙂 I really do LOVE my blog. I don’t do it because I “have to” 😉

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Harriet

    Such a fantastic and mindful post! No matter what happens in our lives there is always things we can do better for ourselves or others. To try and better myself I have trying to keeping an open mind with work because I get overwhelmed easily so I take a few deep breaths and have a glass of water then carry on, so far it’s working. I had a career change 3 years ago when I left my job as a dessert chef, one night at work I realised I had lost my passion for baking and cooking, so I hopped on a plane to Europe and just took time find myself again got home 4 months later and started the journey to taking over my dads company, so far it’s been the best move for me, I’ve lost 45 pounds and have become a much better version of myself and most importantly I am baking and cooking again at home. The best thing I have done lately was reading your post about throwing away the scales, not having a number hanging over my head has taken away stress of trying to loose weight, I have also taken up running in the rain the endorphins are fantastic! Thanks for a great post and have a fantastic weekend!!

    Reply to Harriet
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you, Harriet!

      That is amazing that you booked a trip when you realized you needed a journey! Also, sometimes our passions change! It’s life. Congrats on your career change and weight loss. That is great! Sounds like you’re in a great place right now. Maybe your passion wasn’t your passion anymore because it became “work.” SO SO SO HAPPY you tossed out that scale, girlfriend!

      Keep up all the great work!

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    So much yes for recycling! Thank you for doing your part! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Cassie

    I’ve been forcing myself to dine WITHOUT my phone. It’s gotten so much better! I feel so mindful and grateful of my food and my time to eat and nourish my body!

    Reply to Cassie
  • Mackenzie

    K, I have like too many thoughts right now and am trying to figure out how to condense them into a normal, socially acceptable comment. Girlfriend, what an incredible post. As you probably know, I have followed your blog since the beginnings. You really have been a role model to me, and have had more of an impact than you can probably imagine. I am so excited for you as you continue to embrace all life has to offer! I also think I just triple re-read about not aspiring to blogging as a full time job- that shocks me a bit. To me, it seems like the ultimate career- so for you to say that actually provided me such relief. I just started working as a nurse in neurosurgery, and it’s rewarding, but goodness gracious, I am constantly wondering if this is sustainable! I feel like everyone questions what they are doing at some point, ya know? Thank you for always being candid and sharing your heart; everything about this motivated me big time. XOXO

    Reply to Mackenzie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Mackenzie!

      Thanks so much 🙂 Blogging is a great career, but it’s so much more than writing a post (you already know that.) A LOT goes into it and sometimes more hours are spent blogging/backend work than if I were to go to work at 8 am and come home at 5. Also, when I started, there weren’t a lot of blogs. Now, it’s a very saturated career, so that pressure is on. I never want to be a “staged” blog and continue to just blog about my life as I live, even if it’s boring lol There is just so much to blogging and it’s not as glamorous as it looks on the outside. I think if someone wants to quit their job and start a blog, they are in for a big wake up call. It’s better to start a blog and work on that for a while before quitting a stable job. It’ll take a while before income starts. You have an amazing job and I’m sure it’s SO rewarding!! You’ve worked so hard for that career and you will go so far! Sometimes it looks like fun to just go travel the world and eat yummy food when we hop on Instagram but half the time, those people (and me) wish we were at a desk or working a normal career. Keep up the hard work girl!!! xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Mackenzie

        That makes SO much sense. I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say how much I appreciate how transparent you are about it all. It reminds us that there are pros and cons to everything, and we each need to embrace our own journey rather than wishing we were walking someone else’s. <3 Thank you for your sweet encouragement!

        Reply to Mackenzie
  • Paula

    I’ve been reading your blog and following your journey for years- ever since your Tumblr days. Thanks for the positivity and inspiration, you’re really great! 🙂

    Reply to Paula
  • Anna

    Lately I’ve been focusing a lot on personal development. I’m near the end of “5 second rule” by Mel Robbins it is LIFE CHANGING. I’ve been listening to the audio book while I walk my dogs, it’s really changed my perspective of how I live my life.

    I always thought I’d have my path figured out by now. Being in your 20’s is so confusing! Everyone tells you how young you are and that you have so much time, but it feels like you should have everything figured out already. I’m infinitely jealous of people who just know what their path should be.

    To make my life better I’ve started being aggressive with what I want. I HATED what I was doing at work, so I went to the Vice President of my department and told her I’m ready to move up in the company, and I want to move to a different department. And you know what, she agreed! Not only did she agree but she went to the CEO who also agreed I was being underutilized. They’re in the process of moving me up.

    The fear of failure has been so debilitating to me. But NOBODY has success without failures. Not a single person. Avoiding failure is so much more detrimental to growth than trying and failing.

    I’ve noticed a huge change in your writing over the past year or so. You seem so much happier and so much more passionate about your life. I’m happy for you!

    Reply to Anna
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Anna!

      I’ve just started listening to podcasts while walking the dogs! Makes me want to walk more, which is why I’m clocking so many miles.

      I don’t know if our paths are ever figured out. I know my dad is 60, retired, and STILL doesn’t know what to do right now. We are always changing.

      That is so awesome! Good for you. Love that you took the initiative to get what you want AND DESERVE! Sometimes you just have to speak up.

      “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure” – Napoleon Hill

      Thank you very much for the kind words, and I am so happy in life right now! Things do get better. 🙂

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Brooklyn

    I started a new job about 3 months ago and last week started another new one. So now I’m working two jobs and 50 hours a week. It sounds like a lot, but I’m so focused on paying off my student loans right now that it makes me happy!

    http://www.justbeingbrooklyn.com

    Reply to Brooklyn
  • Rachel Sparks

    I’m always aiming to improve different aspects of my life as well! Lately I have been focusing on less screen time during my down time at home. reading a book, taking a bath etc. also I’ve been really loving diffusing essential oils to help with relaxation and de-stressing during bedtime.

    P.s Which part of CA are you visiting in September?!:)

    Reply to Rachel Sparks
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Those are amazing ways to improve. I’ve been doing the same! Beds, baths and books!

      I’m visiting L.A., and maybe road tripping a bit with my brother!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Michelle

    Hi! This is so random but thought you might enjoy it 🙂 my husband and I have recently started a 2:2 night twice a month. This is the only time we go out to eat! We pick two new places (or old that we love) and get a drink each and split an entree or app at each place! Hence the 2 drinks 2 food concept! We have really had the opportunity to explore so many more places and enjoy the experience of dining out. On top of that we save so much money! We’ve shared this with several friends & everyone loves it 🙂 small bonus: 2 drinks is the perfect night out- you don’t feel too tipsy yet you can get a fun buzz if you choose something strong 🙂

    loved your read, as always!

    Reply to Michelle
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That’s a pretty awesome idea! Kyle doesn’t drink, so do I get his?! 😉 lol jk! You do save a lot of money for sure!

      Hope you have a great weekend!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Rachael Caddell

    I am SO glad I read this. I truly needed to hear everything you said as I am in a point in my life where many changes are needed. I have switched my major 5 times so I have always wondered “what is my purpose” but will be finishing my college degree in May after only four years! Lately I backed off a bad relationship and have focused more on my faith and good friends!

    Reply to Rachael Caddell
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Rachael!

      It’s definitely OK to NOT know what you want to do. I spent the past six years trying to figure it out, and it turns out I knew all along. I had a plan, but that plan was changed, and it allowed me to explore and grow a bit. As you focus on your friends and faith, don’t forget to focus on you!

      You got this!

      By the way, I have a friend who is going on her eight year of college and she still has no clue what she wants to do. But, she’s happy! I love it.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Shannen

    Too many times have I let fear stand in my way. And that is one thing that I have really been working on changing this year.
    Love this so so so much! I can’t believe it’s been almost 10 years! I’ve been following for 7-8! I think it’s awesome what you’re doing and fun to see what you do with the opportunities coming your way!
    And even if you only post once a month, I’ll still be following! 😉

    Reply to Shannen
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Never let fear stand in your way!

      Change can be good. Crazy you’ve been following me all these years. I guess you do understand where I’m at!:) Also, thank you for always being there for me!

      I’d post way more than once a month lol!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Sarah

    This was such a great post!!! What are you going back to school for if you don’t mind me asking?!?! Gosh I can totally relate to this. I actually quit my job to blog and I do agree that it’s not completely all it’s cracked up to be (though I’m slightly biased because the main reason I quit my job was to stay at home with my three little girls…but the blog income made this a much easier transition). Blogging is truly incredible, but it can be lonely, hard to stay motivated, and hard to really feel like you’re making a difference (at least, my blog LOL). Anyways, LOVE your blog and would love to know more about what you will do in school!! Best of luck to you!! 🙂

    -Sarah

    Reply to Sarah
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Sarah!

      I haven’t really decided if it’s something I want to talk about yet. I’m sure it’ll get out there at some point. Things never seem to be private anymore! But it has nothing to do with fitness and nothing to do with food lol OR SOCIAL MEDIA 🙂 If I had three little girls at home, I think I’d want to stay home and blog too. There is really nothing wrong with that at all! I think people think they can quit their jobs and live a glamorous life, but that is not blogging at all. Thats the picture of it. I still look at posts on social media that make me go “REALLY?” It’s definitely an art. lol I think sometimes my blog can be boring because I really just blog about my life. I don’t set up a lot of photo shoots or go out and do stuff for the blog and sometimes I feel like I should. It’s a strange world and it’s always changing! The blogging world has become very saturated these past few years, so it’s a whole new ball field. BUT YOU’RE RIGHT! The blogging world is incredible. I do love it and it’s a perfect job right now and I’m so grateful!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Sarah

        Your blog is not boring at all!! One of the reasons I love it so much is because you’re so REAL and genuine!!! You’re doing great!! But yes, I TOTALLY agree that the blog space is so saturated right now. It’s information overload. I will say I’m my happiest and living “my best life” when I’m away from the computer and social media and all that.

        And yes you are so right that people continually grow and change. TBH if I could go back in time, I would hands-down go to med school. I know I technically *could* do that now, but at this point I couldn’t miss all this precious time with my girls. They’re only young once!! I do hope to go back to school for nursing at some point though!! And it’s funny you said that you are going back for what you knew all along you wanted to do. That’s exactly me. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve started prereqs for nursing school only to have something prevent me from going LOL (namely, having babies).

        Anywho this is getting long!! Hope you have a great weekend!! I live in Charlotte, too 🙂 (Matthews, specifically) and we plan on enjoying the beautiful weather today!!

        Reply to Sarah
        • Taralynn McNitt

          Well thank you, Sarah!

          Social media can definitely get to us! It’s so important to take those breaks! I do it daily!!

          We always know what we want in our heart, but sometimes it’s hard to go back and do it when you’re doing something that is working. But again, the heart wins! You should definitely go back! You just have to look at it as a few years and then you’re done! It’ll be worth it. My mom actually when back and got her degree when she was 47 years old, so it’s never too late!

          OMG, THE WEATHER HAS BEEN BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!

          Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • KElly

    I think that’s really awesome that you’re going back to school! The no campus experience is wonderful 🙂 Can you explain why you wouldn’t recommend blogging as a full-time job? Personally I look at some bloggers and I am crazy jealous of the lives that they get to lead so I’m just curious about the potential downsides. Thanks!

    Reply to KElly
  • Tiffany

    Love this girl! I found your blog in a dark time in college, and a lot of what you have wrote has truly helped me get through some of the same struggles. Now that I’m out and finally done with college, I’m hoping that I can make my blog just as successful as yours! I have a lot of the same goals for the next year as far as getting outside more, and dining in way more than eating out (it gets expensive!) I hope your plans go fabulously, and I’ll be following along for sure. 🙂

    Reply to Tiffany
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Tiffany!

      I am so happy you found my blog, and it’s incredible how we can relate to complete strangers. If you keep blogging and put your heart into it, you’ll get there.

      Thank you for following!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Amanda

    Great ways to improve!

    Reply to Amanda
  • K.T.

    I needed to read this. Thank you!

    Reply to K.T.
  • Linda @ The Fitty

    Could you talk a little bit more about how you’ll battle FOMO? That’s something I struggle with and I’d love some practical tips on what to do when I’m sitting in the guilt of it all!

    Reply to Linda @ The Fitty
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I usually just get off social media 🙂 I get FOMO watching insta stories lol

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Linda @ The Fitty

        I’ve been thinking about doing a digital detox! How long do you think i should go for to reap the benefits?

        Reply to Linda @ The Fitty
        • Taralynn McNitt

          I mean, it really depends on when you need it! Sometimes if you wanna go a week, or even a night can be beneficial. I think if you find yourself absorbed in it or getting too concerned with what others are doing, it’s time to just shut it down for a bit. You could also give yourself six hours a day where you don’t touch your phone! I do that before bed!

          Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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