7 Ways To Maximize Your Productivity This Self-Improvement Month

7 Ways To Maximize Your Productivity This Self-Improvement Month

Happy September!

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It is only fitting that September is National Self Improvement Month. It marks the start of a new school year and the onset of a new season. Fresh starts and motivation are in the air. During this month we are given the chance to better ourselves and adapt new habits that will foster success and happiness throughout the year. Opportunities are all around us, and it is our job to take advantage of them! Seize the day and follow these steps to maximize your productivity this month!

1. Set goals.

Setting goals is a key component to success and efficiently allocating time. Try making a list for the day, ordered by importance. Cross things off as you complete them and feel a sense of accomplishment!

2. Get organized.

Organization is the cornerstone to productivity. Take time to organize your desk, calendar, or anything else that can optimize your productivity this month!

3. Get active.

Although it is often hard to find motivation and energy to workout, staying active is a great outlet to reduce stress and improve your health. If you don't like to hit the gym, take the stairs, take the long way to class, or have an impromptu dance party in your dorm room!

4. Stay on top of your work. 

One word defines the hardest struggle a college student will face with their course work. Procrastination. Don't do it. Improve this month by finding a method that reduces your tendency to procrastinate.

5. Eat well. 

I know that it is hard to resist late night greasy snacks, especially when you are up at night studying. Set one goal this month to improve your eating habits. For example, try not to eat any snacks after 11 every night.

6. Balance. 

Balance is key. Finding balance in your life is a challenge, especially in a college environment. Try utilizing a calendar to maximize your time. Don't forget to build relaxation time into your schedule!

7. Have fun! 

One key to living a fulfilling and productive life is having fun. Make sure to hang out with friends, pursue a hobby, and laugh a little! Most importantly, don't forget to smile :)

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An Open Letter From The Plus-Size Girl

It's OK not to be perfect. Life is more fun that way.

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To whoever is reading this,

My entire life has been a juggling match between my weight and the world. Since I was a young girl every single doctor my family took me to, told me I needed to lose weight. The searing pain of those words still stabs me in the side to this day. I have walked past stores like Hollister and American Eagle since I was 13.

Being plus-size means watching girls the same age as you or older walk into a store that sells the cutest, in style clothing and you having to walk into a store that sells clothes that are very out of style for a young girl. Being plus-size means being picked last in gym class, even if you love sports.

Being plus-size means feeling like you have to suck it in in pictures so you don't look as big next to your friends. Being plus-size means constantly thinking people are staring at you, even if they aren't.

The number on the scale haunts me. Every single time I think about the number I cringe.

Can I just say how going shopping is an absolute nightmare? If you haven't noticed, in almost every store (that even has plus sizes to begin with) plus-size clothing is closed off and secluded from the rest of the store. For example, Forever 21, There are walls around every side of the plus "department."

Macy's plus department is in the basement, all the way in the back corner. We get it that we are not what society wants us to look like but throwing us in a corner isn't going to change the statistics in America today. That being that 67% of American women are plus-size.

My life is a double-digit number being carved into my jiggly arms and thunder thighs. It is me constantly wanting to dress cute but turning to running shorts and a gigantic sweatshirt instead so that people don't judge me on my size.

It is time that the American society stops making plus size look like a curse. It will never be a curse. If every person was the same size, what would be the point of uniqueness? I will never despise who I am because while I was growing up multiple people told me that I needed to be a size 6 in order for a guy to fall in love with me. I will never hate myself for getting dressed up and being confident.

To all the girls reading this who may be plus-size,

It's OK! You're beautiful and lovable. If you want to buy that crop top, buy it. Life is too short to hide behind a baggy T-shirt. We are just as gorgeous as the girls that we envy. Be the one to change the opinion of the world. Fat rolls don't need to be embarrassing. Your stretch marks are beautiful. Don't ever let the world tell you not to eat that cheeseburger either.

In the end, this earthly life is temporary. We are on this earth for a blink of an eye. Don't let anything stand in your way. Wear the bikini, the crop top, and the short shorts. Post the sassy selfie you've had on your phone for 6 months and you won't post because you have a double chin or your head looks "too big." Who cares. BE YOU and love yourself while you're at it.

I'll start.

Cover Image Credit: Victoria Hockmeyer

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Knowing

A wake-up call.

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"How they make you feel says a lot about them, and nothing about you.

Trust me when I say, someone who makes you question if you are worthy of being loved is not worthy of being loved by you."

- Bianca Sparacino

I saw the above quote in an Instagram post, and it really spoke volumes to me.

The importance of "knowing your worth" is something I always stress to people, but I've often found that I wasn't quite heeding my own advice. It often took a wake-up call for me to realize that. And that wake-up call would often lead to guilt. It would lead to staying up at an ungodly hour thinking things over, and about what I could have done differently. It would lead to constantly asking myself how I allowed things to continue the way I had. It would lead to self-blame, and I'd often start asking myself why I wasn't worth it.

But I am worth it.

And so are you.

And if that isn't being recognized, then it's time to pack up. Because you deserve better - whether that's increased effort, improved communication, whatever else you may (and damn well should) expect. And asking for any of that is not asking too much.

But this article isn't only about knowing your worth. It's about "knowing" in general. It's about anything in your life that needs to be figured out. There are going to be times in your life that you're stuck between two (or more) options, and you don't know which is the best one. Sometimes, weighing out the pros and the cons just doesn't cut it.

So, you may not know which way to go right now. And that's okay. You're not going to be 100% certain on everything right away. The important things take time. It's all in how you act once you figure things out for yourself. This goes for "knowing" anything. Knowing whether or not something should be pursued. Knowing when it's best to walk away. You name it.

But in figuring it out, don't make excuses for yourself and/or others. You don't know how anyone other than yourself is going to act/react in any scenario - nor will you ever. Assuming that you know everything about anyone/everyone involved is unfair and just overall wrong. So definitely keep that in mind before/while thinking out any potential outcomes.

If you're trying to reach a decision, do NOT simply choose the easy way out. How many times have you heard something along the lines of "the right choice isn't always the easy one?" News flash - it's not just a cheesy mantra. Almost nothing that's truly worth it is easy. If "I don't know" is looking to be a "no," that's okay. That's just how it is sometimes. But if that decision is being made purely because going the "yes" route would be more difficult, reevaluate.

And when you DO finally figure things out:

If you "know," do not proceed to act as if you don't. Don't let others continue to believe that you haven't reached a decision, especially those who are relevant to whatever you just figured out. And if you're asked about it, don't lie and say that you're still unsure. That could potentially be damaging to everyone involved, including yourself. Dishonesty is outright disrespectful, and it's unfair to you and those you are dishonest to. Think: how much do you really care if you're willing to lie? Did you ever really care at all?

When you figure out whatever you've been thinking over, be honest with yourself and all who are involved. Even if it's bad news. Yes, it will suck at first - but the truth always comes out one way or another, so it's best to acknowledge it early on. Especially if it's not an issue pertaining only to you. Dragging things out is the worst thing you could possibly do. You may be choosing to do so because you're worried about how the truth will impact him/her/them... well, I can guarantee you, based off personal experience, that every day you put it off will make your truth hurt a hundred times more. Please, give those who are involved in your particular situation the decency of honesty.

I don't know about you, but I hate uncertainty more than almost anything. It's scary, and often very frustrating. I avoid uncertainty at almost all costs, simply because I hate it so much. But I've put myself in situations of uncertainty if I truly saw potential. Has that come back to bite me in the ass? At times, absolutely. But each time, I learn a little more about myself. And I guess that's the point.

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