How To Make 2018 Your Year

How To Make 2018 Your Year

And how to be the best you possible.
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I think for a lot of people this time of the year stirs up a lot of self-reflection. With the upcoming new year, there is the idea of a “better you” that is expected, the hopes to make the next 20-something “your year.” But the same always happens, we set high standards, not stepping stones, and when February rolls around, and the newness of the new year starts to fade, so does the progress. How do we stop this? How do we make sure that we keep to our path to be the best you possible, and what even is the best you possible?

I once heard someone say that “Idealism is the biggest joy snatcher.” Let’s break that apart, because this encompasses just what is going to stop this progress. By definition, an ideal is that which is satisfying to one's conception of what is perfect; that which is most suitable, most desirable. Simply put, idealism is living a life that is saturated with “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts.”

Especially around this time of the year, you might find yourself saying things like, “She shouldn’t have drank that much,” “He should’ve spent more,” “They should’ve spent more time with us.” “I should’ve went with them,” “The cancer shouldn’t have come back.” “I should have said I love you more.” “I should be skinner.” “My boss should’ve given me that raise.”

With all of these statements full of comparison and discontent, there will never be satisfaction. These statements show ideals. They show the way we wish things were, the way they “should’ve been.” But that isn’t the way they are.

These ideals are stealing your joy. Sitting stagnant wishing things were different leads to such a lifestyle that doesn’t allow you to be in the moment. Live in the life that you were given, with the time that you were allotted. Is not the best you possible one that uses the moments for their most impactful purpose?

By working to combat this feeling of not your best, we must decide. Decide whether or not to work or to waste time. My dad always says that “choice, not chance, determines one’s destiny.” Not wasting time doesn't mean that moments have to be spent doing homework, or constantly working on your next due date, but rather, also spending this life doing what is the most fulfilling. Maybe sometimes that means getting coffee with an old friend in order to catch up, because they need it.

Maybe that means going to bed early so that you can wake up refreshed and ready to combat the next day. Or maybe that means taking a run to take care of your physical self. Take a road trip with your best friend, stay in on Friday night, save your money, go visit family. Any of these things can be using the moment to your advantage.

This year, consider making that your resolution. Be intentional, be grateful, live in the moment. Embrace your moments. Learn to spend time, not waste it. Learn to live on purpose, not on accident.

Now, go make 2018 your year.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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An Honest Review Of ItWorks! From Someone Who Doesn't Sell The Products

No, I'm not looking for you to "join a team" or begin any challenges.
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I'm sure you've seen your friends on Facebook transition from friend to salesman. Whether it be for Scentsy, LipSense, or AdvoCare; multi-level marketing companies are on the rise thanks to social media. ItWorks! remains one of the most prominent.

ItWorks! is a health and wellness company using primarily plant-based ingredients without any artificial sweeteners or coloring. Their "number one seller" is the famous body wraps but the company is mostly weight loss supplements and vitamins. The company has a passion for the natural over the synthetic. Co-founder Mark Pentecost states on the site's Our History page that "you want to know that you're putting the very best things in your body."

Since most reviews of these products come from distributors, who are therefore biased, I have reviewed three of their greatest products and one I believe you should avoid.

1. Greens™ Blend Chocolate

As a vegan, I sometimes have to double check that I'm receiving the proper nutrients. ItWorks! Greens have been saving my life lately. It contains 52 herbs and nutrient-rich superfoods as well as 34 fruits and veggies. It is meant to alkalize, balance, and detoxify.

This is my favorite product! It gives me energy and even fills in for breakfast sometimes. It honestly makes me feel great. Then again... they always said eating all your fruits and veggies would!

ItWorks! gives you those healthy servings in a delicious chocolate flavor (which is bomb with almond milk). Make sure you use a blender bottle or blender. Like many powdered supplements, it can have that grainy aftertaste.

2. Advanced Formula Fat Fighter™

The idea behind this supplement is that it’s "okay to indulge if you have your Fat Fighters." Basically, if you just must have that sweet treat or piece of bread then you can take this pill within an hour to prevent your body from absorbing the carbs and a portion of the fats. If you're anything like me, you eat what you want when you want, so you'll end up taking these pills on the daily.

The main reason I like the Fat Fighters is that they reduce cravings and I normally have such a sweet tooth!

3. ThermoFIGHT™

This product is meant to increase calorie burning, boost the rate of your metabolism, and boost your energy. Like with Greens, I definitely feel energized when I take this supplement. Not in a jittery or wired way, either.

They say "abs start in the kitchen" but I'll try and cheat the system when I can!

4. Ultimate Body Applicator™ and Defining Gel™

This is the ItWorks! claim to fame... and that ASTOUNDS me.

I used to be so skeptical of this company because of the wraps. I tried them three different times and was not impressed each time. The ultimate body applicator and defining gel are meant to tighten and tone the skin to redefine the appearance of your body’s contour. Sure, you'll receive those results... just at an outrageous price. It's an expensive product that requires a lot of re-purchasing in order to receive any drastic results. Not to mention the most drastic results are just reduction of water weight.

They're really just an overpriced skin firming lotion. I suggest finding a nice cream from Target and sitting in the sauna instead.

If your facebook-friend-turned-salesman pushes for you to buy the wraps, just remember that I warned you.

I would like to give an honorary mention to KetoCoffee (probably their second most popular item). Because it is not vegan, I have not given it a try. I have heard amazing things from multiple women, though. Most keto coffee recipes give people the shakes and amp them up too hard. I've heard that ItWorks! has perfected the recipe.

I have used the first three products for a little over three months now. Sometimes I am inconsistent and miss servings. However, I match these products with a vegan diet (mostly whole foods based) and 3-4 days of exercise. I do not have drastic results but I have lost a little over ten pounds and feel great each day. I plan to remain a customer with this company (I have Greens on Autoship!).

I feel so blessed to be a Loyal Customer with ItWorks! because I receive up to 40% off and free shipping after three months. Without this discount, I probably never would have given this company a second thought. I highly recommend going that route because, well...

Cover Image Credit: Savanah Garcia | Instagram

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Are Non-Compete Agreements Impervious?

Are your future employment options limited by a non-compete? Try fighting it!

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A non-compete agreement is an agreement between an employer and employee restricting the employee from working in competition with the employer during or after employment based off industry, time, and regional restrictions. They have become more common so employers can avoid competition and replication of proprietary services or information.

Much like a jealous partner in a relationship, they basically say you can't date anyone else at the same college for a certain amount of time. While this may seem ridiculous, companies do have some authentic reasons for using non-compete agreements. Knowledge is power and employees who have learned the inner workings of a company can take that knowledge into their own hands to work for competition or create competition. Having said that, non-compete agreements feel more restrictive for the sake of being petty about an employee leaving.

According to legal representation at Tallahassee Law Firm Friedman & Abrahamsen, there are several factors that render non-compete agreements null and void:

  • The employer breached the agreement by failing to provide certain compensation, benefits, or employment conditions.
  • The employer engaged in conduct that violates specific laws.
  • The restriction is not necessary to protect the employer's interest or that the scope of the agreement is unreasonable.

If you feel that one of these factors applies to you, find legal counsel. They can help you fairly overcome the non-compete agreement.

Breached Agreements


Basically, if an agreement is broken by the employer, the obligations are no longer accountable. There are complications in this process and evidence needs to be provided, which can be challenging, but if they didn't meet the agreed upon terms, then you are free from the non-compete agreement.

Illegal Conduct


If the employer engages in any illegal or illicit activity, as a company (theft) or on a personal basis (sexual misconduct), contracts are going to be in question. Sometimes, an employee may know and need to blow the whistle on an employer's illegal actions, especially if they are being held to a non-compete agreement. When they are in trouble, they don't get to call an employee's future shots.

Unnecessary


If a company is enforcing a non-compete when there is clear evidence that the restriction does not protect them and, instead, hinders the worker, competent legal counsel can help. Non-compete is becoming a standard part of the hiring process, but those that don't work with sensitive, proprietary information aren't a risk to the employer. So if they decide to work somewhere else in the same industry and region, are they really giving away company secrets to competition? Or did they find a better opportunity and have no interest in private industry espionage. Not everyone is within an employer's non-compete agreement scope and we should know if we are.

It's important to remember: despite paperwork signed and agreements made, large companies can and will protect themselves. You may not have signed a non-compete, but if they think you are leaving and taking secrets to another company with you, legal representation will contact you in their name. Non-compete agreements are a protective layer that might not be pursued – it simply gives the option and warning to pursue. So next time you sign an employment contract, find a lawyer and see what you may be facing in the future.

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