Month: May 2014

How Much Do You Want It???

“Do I WANT or NEED this?”

That’s the question I ask myself any time I’m about to whip out my wallet or click Add-To-Bag. It’s a simple question, yet it’s so effective.

We are all aware, maybe hyper-aware that we live in a consumerist culture. Advertising everywhere is telling us we need the latest clothes, beauty products, cars, toys and electronics. It’s a constant battle, even for me- a self-described dollar pincher (not as extreme as a penny pincher, but still a pretty lean-running lady)

I’ve realized the trick is to learn how to distinguish a Want from a Need.

Do I NEED a new spring outfit, or can I shop last years closet and create some new looks?

Do I NEED to go out for dinner, or can I make something delicious at home? Btw, alcohol in restaurants is EXTREMELY marked up. You can get a great bottle of wine for $20 or less in stores. Yes, my darling friends! This is me advocating drinking at home, preferably with girlfriends or sig others. A lot more fun that way 😉

Do I NEED a new tube of mascara from Sephora? You might, but when you’re there do you also realize you “need” new foundation, a firming cream and new makeup brushes with a free travel case? If that’s the case you’d probably be better off hitting up your neighborhood drugstore.

I realize this advice could seem like it zaps the fun out of spending money, and your partially right. Once you ask yourself whether you Want or Need something, you get really clear on priorities. Oftentimes I find that I can live with a lot less than I think and that’s actually a freeing feeling. I have less clutter and more room to fill my life with things that really matter to me. It also puts more money in the bank which gives me the funds to do things with people I love. No one’s going to notice I’m wearing last years shoes when we’re out having a great time, I promise you that.

Making smart money choices and building a strong financial future is all about the little decisions you make on a day-to-day basis. It may seem mundane, but as you build momentum and see how much those little choices add to your bank account, cutting back can begin to feel like a game.

In fact, I challenge you to make it a game tomorrow. Every time you go to make a purchase, stop and ask yourself, “Do I WANT or NEED this?” Then at the end of the day assess how much money you saved and let me know how it goes in the comments below.

 

Happy Saving!

xoxo,

Sam

Classpass Fun

Hey there ladies,

I have a hot tip for you today!

I’m a huge fan of at-home workouts. I believe there are no excuses to getting fit if you really want to and at-home body-weight workouts are one of the ways I kick excuses in the tush. However, there are times I crave a good group class. I crave the group spirit and awesome playlists. And yea, sometimes I want to pay someone else to motivate me.

The only thing that usually keeps me from signing up for memberships is locking myself into one type of class. I love ALL types of workouts and a $300 a month membership to one boutique fitness studio doesn’t get me super excited.

So out of nowhere comes a GENIUS service called Classpass that obliterates all of my group workout hang-ups.

I am in LOVE with the concept behind Classpass. A membership that gives you access to the best boutique studios, yoga, pilates, Barry’s Bootcamp, Exhale. Guys, these are premium classes!

Here’s how it works: You pay $100 per month for 10 classes per month and you can go to one studio 3 times per month. (There’s also a deal right now for members where you receive unlimited classes for summer!)

I didn’t know this when I signed up, but if you don’t cancel and no-show for a class, they charge you $20. Talk about accountability! I actually really like this policy. I hate losing money so I’m not going to miss a workout. Win. Win.

I’m so in love with Classpass. I’ve been a member for a few months now and am so pleased with the service. I’ve been raving about it to whoever seems interested in fitness or group classes. My only regret is that I didn’t think of the concept myself!

So that’s my hot tip for today. Classpass is only available in the NYC area right now, but I’ve heard rumors of expansion so I highly recommend keeping an eye out.

Happy Sweating!

Sam

The Wonder of Willpower

Willpower is essential to the accomplishment of anything worthwhile.” – Brian Tracy

“Nothing is easy to the unwilling.” – Thomas Fuller

Willpower is the key to success. Successful people strive no matter what they feel by applying their will to overcome apathy, doubt or fear.
Dan Millman

We may think there is willpower involved, but more likely… change is due to want power. Wanting the new addiction more than the old one. Wanting the new me in preference to the person I am now.
George A. Sheehan

Here is what I’ve figured out: I find that willpower only comes into play when I run into a habit I want to change. A friend may tell me that I have so much willpower for avoiding the bread basket at dinner, but it’s not really willpower if I don’t want the bread, is it?

So its important to know your foe. It’s going to be different for everyone so pay attention to what trips YOU up or hits your Achilles heel.

If you have clear goals and know exactly what you want to accomplish, it’s a lot easier to exercise willpower against saboteurs.

If you don’t have a specific goal, but you still find yourself struggling with an action, ask yourself:

Does what I am about to do line up with my authenticity? Does this habit or action align with who I want to be and all that I am capable of being. If it doesn’t sit well with you then maybe you shouldn’t do it. I know I feel amazing when I do things that are authentic to me and I also feel amazing when I bypass a stumbling block or bad habit that doesn’t jive with who I want to be.

Create a habit of checking in with yourself when you are about to do something. Remove yourself for a moment from the situation you are in and say, “Wait a minute. Am I going to feel good about myself after doing this?” Be honest! If the answer is “no” then don’t do it.

Willpower is a muscle we have to exercise to strengthen. The key is being aware BEFORE you do something that goes against your goals. Too often we say, “Ugh, I shouldn’t have eaten that” after the fact.

I hate that feeling as much as the next person, so after much trial and error, I’ve figured out a four-step strategy that works for me. I bet it will work for you too.

1. Get clear on your goals-know your core values and what you want most

Ex. A strong sexy body I feel proud of

2. Suss out potential saboteurs-name your triggers

Eating late at night

3. Map out when and where you may run into trouble

When I have a few drinks out with friends and come home hungry

4. Avoid/confront

Only have one drink and eat a healthy, filling dinner beforehand/As you approach your door, recognize that you will want to eat and make an oath to yourself that you will drink some water and go straight to bed.

The fourth step is the crucial action right before you cave into a bad habit or you resist it. Take a moment before the trigger. Visualize what is about to happen and tell yourself that this is not going to be easy to resist. In fact, it is going to be extremely difficult. It is going to take immense strength and focus to override your instant desires.

If you are a spiritual person, ask for help. Call on Spirit, God, the Universe, whatever you call your higher power. Admit that this is going to be difficult, but together you can overcome this one little desire.

If you are not spiritual, just recognizing how difficult this is going to be. Preparing your willpower beforehand can be enough to overcome the negative action.

Willpower is a tough thing to manage, but we only need it when we want to change an action or habit that isn’t serving us. Learning how to use it to our benefit is the trick. And just like a muscle, the more you use it, the easier it becomes.

 

What is one habit or action you want to use willpower to stop doing? Which action step do you think is going to help you the most? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

xoxo,

Sam