A Letter To Anyone Who Needs Motivation In The New Year

A Letter To Anyone Who Needs Motivation In The New Year

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”–Winston Churchill
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Dear Everyone Who Has Ever Existed,

(Because we all need a boost at some point in our lives...)

With the New Year rapidly approaching, we are all suddenly very aware of all the little and big things we have to overcome with the start of a new year. We make plans, resolutions to revolutionize ourselves, and aspire to do all of those big and little things we glossed over last year. We make Pinterest boards with diets to get healthier, pay for gym memberships to get thinner, and make promises to our loved ones we know – somewhere deep down, we will not be able to keep. It is, unfortunately, the nature of the beast. We try harder to come up with ways to better ourselves and our lives within the next year than we do to actually keep up with those promises we made for ourselves. How can we call these new paths for ourselves resolutions if we do not truly work to keep them?

It is not our fault, really. As we all have heard a million times before, too often, life gets in the way. Even if we resolve to slow down and not take part in the rat race of society, we get caught up in the hustle and bustle. The giving sensation and feeling of wanting to start over from the season past thaws along with the fallen snow. Shamefully, we forget this feeling as we do keeping up with our resolutions. I find that the busier and more hectic our lives get, the less motivated we feel to do those things we wanted so badly a few months earlier. We check up on ourselves less, when really, if we want to make a change, we have to make a conscious effort to ensure we are doing all we can to make it happen.

However, you should also know that there are ways to fix your conundrum; there are ways to keep that motivation with you, not just for 2016, but for years to come. You have to be reasonable with your expectations. For instance, instead of trying to get out of debt all at once, as your New Year’s Resolution, try it in small increments. Instead of trying to lose sixty pounds within the month of January, and being disappointed all throughout February, work towards your goal in small doses. Check-off these small goals as you accomplish them – be it on paper, on your phone, or in your mind – and you won’t feel as though the larger goals are so out of reach. Do not overwork yourself. Remember the cliché about Rome not being built in a day. If you take on too much at once, only to find out it can’t all be done, of course you are going to wind up disappointed and unmotivated. Keep the inspiration going by taking on what you can, and leaving the rest up to the luck of the draw. We cannot control every little thing in our lives, and it would be impossible for anyone to expect that of us. Surround yourself with people you can touch and inspire and who can do the same for you; with people who love and admire you, and want to see you succeed. Tasks are much easier to take on when you have a caring support system behind you.

So, my unmotivated friend, I wish to tell you that you are not alone. We all experience burn-out, a lack of incentive. Anyone who says they maintained their New Year’s resolution for the entire three hundred sixty-five days is either lying to you or themselves. We are human, and it is much easier for us to put things off than it is to follow through. Do not ever feel as though you are a failure, or lazy, or like everyone else is doing so much better than you are. You have the capability of succeeding in all you do, as long as you try. Take comfort in knowing that even if you don’t, you always have someone who believes in you.

And above all else, remember:



Cover Image Credit: http://www.motivateplay.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/motivation.jpg

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Everything You Need To Know About BANG Energy Drinks

Say goodbye to your favorite pre-workout drink.
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BANG energy drinks from VPX Sports are the hottest new products for athletes everywhere. On every can, you'll find their catchphrase "Potent Brain & Body Fuel" and it gives you just that. Clean energy, laser-sharp focus, and no sugar induced crashes are just a few of the reasons these bad boys are flying off the shelves faster than retailers can keep them stocked. Haven't heard of them? Sound too good to be true? Let me answer your questions.

What is it? It's an energy drink that's kind of like your typical Red Bull or Monster. It's a perfect substitution for pre-workout supplements or coffee.

Who's it meant for? Anyone! A better question to ask is, "Who isn't this drink meant for?" On the can, you'll find a recommendation for no one under the age of 18 to consume the drink. You also may want to steer clear of it if you're sensitive to stimulants like caffeine.

What's in it? BANG energy drinks contain zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero sugar. But what you can find are BCAA's, CoQ10, creatine, and copious amounts of caffeine. These are things athletes often take as supplements.

What are BCAA's? BCAA's are Branched Chain Amino Acids. They are known to stimulate protein synthesis, increase muscle function, decrease your soreness after a workout, and even aid in repairing damaged muscles.

What's CoQ10? Coenzyme Q10 is found in the mitochondria of your cells and sparks energy production. It helps produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. People often take this as a dietary supplement when they feel tired or lethargic.

What's super creatine? Creatine does a great job in enhancing athletic performance by aiding growth of lean body mass (AKA muscle). When you take creatine orally, the amount in your muscles increase and helps regenerate ATP more efficiently. According to the nutrition label, this so-called "super" creatine is bonded to Leucine to make Creatyl-L-Leucine. On SupplementReviews.com, a VPX Sports representative allegedly said the following about the Super Creatine in the drink:

"The creatine in there is actually something very special...it is the world's only water stable creatine. It is Creatine-Leucine peptide. Think of this...if you mix creatine in water, it sinks and if you mix leucine in water, it floats....if you combine the two into a peptide, it creates a water soluble and water-stable form of creatine. It also has a fatty acid chain that makes it easier to cross the blood brain barrier. The focus of the super creatine is not for muscle function, but for cognition...by combining this form of creatine with caffeine, it works synergistically for mental focus."

How much caffeine is in one can? In one can of BANG, you'll be blessed with 300mg of caffeine. This is the equivalent to over three cups of coffee.

Is that even safe? Yeah, it is. In order for the caffeine in the energy drink to be lethal at any capacity, I would have to drink 30.7 cans.

So, what are the downsides? There are two things that come to mind. One is that consumers have no idea how much BCAA's, CoQ10, or creatine is actually in the drink. It could very likely be trace amounts too small to do anything beneficial. Two, BANG energy drinks do not go through the FDA approval process.

Is it really that good? Well, out of 113 reviews of the product on Bodybuilding.com, there's an average 9.6 overall rating. Most reviews comment on the quality of the energy, the cognitive focus, and the non-existent crash once the drink wears off.

What kind of flavors can I get? There are currently eight BANG energy drink flavors on the market: Black Cherry Vanilla, Cotton Candy, Sour Heads, Star Blast, Blue Razz, Champagne Cola, Power Punch, and Lemon Drop.

Where can I buy BANG energy drinks? You can find BANG energy drinks at Amazon, your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe retailers, Bodybuilding.com, VPX Sports' website, some gas stations, and privately owned retailers.

How expensive are they? This depends on where you make your purchase. The cheapest place to purchase your BANG energy drinks is at Bodybuilding.com for about $2.00 per can. You can find similar prices on Amazon and at your local retailers. The energy drinks are most expensive through the VPX website where you'll pay about $2.75 per can.

How does BANG compare to other energy drinks? I'll give you some data on nutrition facts and you can make your decisions based on that:

16 oz. BANG: 300mg caffeine, 0g carbohydrates, 0g sugar.

16 oz. Monster Energy (regular): 160mg caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

16 oz. Red Bull (regular): 160mg caffeine, 56g carbohydrates, 56g sugar

16 oz. Rockstar (regular): 144g caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

Cover Image Credit: Youtube

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11 Ways To Deal With Two-Faced People

Because you can't always cut them out.

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Since entering college, it seems like it's been one train wreck after another. The past year has given me several blows––with family, finances, personal health, and family well-being. The Lord is helping me deal with a lot of obstacles right now, and I'm trusting Him to carry me through to the other side.

With everything going on, it's safe to say that I have little to no room for disingenuous people in my life. You know who they are. The two-faced individuals who have nothing but smiles, friendship and understanding for you to your face, but the minute you turn away, they're spreading lies and rumors like wildfire. They laugh at you when they think you aren't looking.

There are articles and tips spanning the internet on how to cut toxic people out of your life, but sadly, that's not always an option. So what do you do when you have to grit your teeth and bear it?

1. Take stock of who you can trust

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When dealing with people who can't seem to give it to you straight, it's best to lean on those who do. Maybe it's a small handful or even a single person, but they can make a world of difference for your mental health.

2. Put your faith where it belongs

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I put my faith in God, my family and my friends. It's not always easy, but it's comforting when you don't have it in yourself. Not everyone is going to understand or support you, and that's OK. You don't need them or their approval.

3. Limit your interactions



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Maybe they're family, a coworker or a classmate––you can't always get away. Be that as it may, you can limit your interactions. If you don't have to speak to them, don't. Go about your business as best as possible, then move on when you can.

4. Keep your guard up

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People will have a field day making assumptions about you. Most times, they don't realize how hypocritical this makes them. That's their problem to own, not yours. Although you don't want to keep walls up in every part of your life, it can occasionally be a healthy choice. It's best not to invest trust or emotions into those who will double-cross you.

5. Don't forget to stay positive

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When people drag you down, it's hard to shake off their grasp. It's amazing how free you can feel when you don't let them get in your head. Don't let them dim your light!

6. Let your actions speak for themselves

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Circumstances can arise that hinder your performance or attitude. That's life, it happens! Don't feel bad for not being a robot––perfectly tuned to everyone else's expectations. You're human. You may not be perfect, but you can do your best. This may not be enough for them, but it is for those who care about you.

7. Avoid stooping to their level

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Sometimes the best way to fight back is to rise above it all. Seeking revenge and copying their actions does nothing but make you like them. Be better than that.

8. Try not to take their words to heart

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This is the hardest. It's so much easier to let the lies get past your guard than the truth. Let those double-crossers do or say what they will––that reflects on them and who they are more than anything else. You can't change who they are, but you can control your reaction.

9. If you're comfortable, confront them

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If it's something you feel safe doing, confront them. You don't need to be aggressive, but you can be honest. Tell them about the rumors circulating. Tell them how this makes you feel. Remind them that you once put your trust in them, and they betrayed that trust. After that, the ball is in their court.

10. Laugh it off

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You don't need to convince anyone of your value if they refuse to see it. Mark it up as a good story to tell, a lesson in toughening your skin and move on. The people in your life should feel lucky to have you in theirs, and if they don't, they don't need to be a priority.

11. Be patient

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Find comfort in the knowledge that you aren't the only one who sees both of their faces. If they're double-crossing you, chances are, they have done it and are doing it to others. They may be fooling some, but certainly not everyone.

Cover Image Credit:

Chester Wade

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