Entrepreneurship, General troublemaking, Healthy Living, Professional Growth

30 Day Challenge: My Morning Routine

Since launching IMBY, I have been writing for lots of blogs, contributing content for the IMBY blog, and focusing on business operations. And where does that leave this blog, my place for personal thoughts and exploration? Unfortunately I haven’t been showing much love here.

Instead of focusing on ethical fashion on this blog, I will now be featuring more content on the technical side of that topic over on IMBY’s blog. Here I will be focusing on my personal journey with ethical fashion, with capsule wardrobes, and as an entrepreneur striving to use business for societal change.

My last post (though awhile ago!) was on my new years resolutions, and one of them was to create a morning routine. Lately I have been experiencing the opposite of everything I strive for in a morning: wake up, check my emails, scroll through Instagram, watch tv, stay in bed answering emails. Where does it leave me? Starting off my day with clutter, a mess of a mindset, and ultimately less energy.
So, starting tomorrow I am committing to a new, energizing morning routine. Here’s what I landed on, starting from when I wake up:

  • 10 minutes of journaling
  • 10 minutes of yoga
  • 10 minutes of meditation
  • Get dressed from my capsule wardrobe (yes, I started my own! I will fill you in more on that later)
  • Drink a glass of hot water with lemon
  • Eat breakfast: Avocado toast, eggs, or smoothie
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I anticipate this will take me about an hour each morning, and I am excited to start each morning with reflection, movement, and healthy eating. I also decided that if, for some reason, I don’t have time to do it all, I will still journal and meditate, even if it’s just 5 minutes of each (but those are for the rare exception days!).
I also set some ground rules for myself:

  • No phone near my bed
  • Wake up by 8am every week day
  • No tv when I go to sleep or wake up
  • No checking email until my morning routine is done

I am excited to kick this off! Who else out there has committed to a specific morning routine? What have you learned? What has worked best?

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Entrepreneurship, General troublemaking, Professional Growth, Sustainable Living

2016 Resolutions

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As 2015 comes to a close, I recently took some time to reflect on one of the most momentous years of my life. I started 2015 by moving into my own apartment for the first time. Five months later I moved out, and in the process, started looking for a new job. I quickly realized I had the opportunity that I had always wanted: to start my own company. Since then, my life has been truly focused around IMBY, creating an accessible option for ethically-made fashion.

When I think of 2016, I think of possibility, and uncertainty. If there’s anything I know about being an entrepreneur, it’s that there’s no way to predict the next year, let alone the next month. But I do want to set my intentions for next year. Here are the things, first and foremost as an entrepreneur, I am resolving to in 2016.

  1. Take care of my mind and body. This was a big focus of my letter to myself when becoming an entrepreneur, and to be honest, I am not doing a great job of it. I will be focusing on making yoga a regular part of my daily routine, and I plan to start 2016 with a Whole30 challenge to recalibrate my deteriorating diet.
  2. Create a morning ritual. I have been craving stability and routine in my not so stable or routine life as an entrepreneur. One thing that I am confident will help is creating a morning ritual that focuses on starting my day mindfully (not on my phone!) with meditation, yoga, and a healthy meal.
  3. Practice gratitude. I get a lot of help and support from wonderful friends and colleagues, and without them, I couldn’t get IMBY off the ground. I want to practice gratitude towards the people who support me beyond just saying thank you. This includes a regular thank you note practice, as well as being grateful of the things that others might not realize are a big deal, but make a big difference to me.
  4. Go big. 2016 will be a big year for IMBY— the company will hopefully grow a lot. This will require the majority of my energy and time for 2016, and I am ready to focus on bringing ethical fashion to the masses. This will require sacrifice including less time with friends, challenging decisions, successes and failures. I plan to embrace it all (and I have my own set of goals for IMBY’s growth in 2016!).
  5. Build community. Being an entrepreneur is incredibly lonely. I knew this fact from my time at PresenTense helping entrepreneurs start up, but it feels so heavy building a company alone. I plan to focus 2016 in building my own community of individuals I can support and who can support me. I am starting entrepreneur brain slams so that my friends and I can support each other in brainstorming new ideas when there is not normally someone around to share those ideas with.

Speaking of community, I recently joined the Ethical Writers Coalition, a group of bloggers focused on living more sustainable lives and helping others do so as well (some of them have been my favorite blogs on the topic for a while now!). We have all committed to posting our resolutions today. You can check out the other truly inspirational posts below– and check out their blogs for some great resources! What do you resolve to focus on in 2016?

Hanna of Sotela’s Why Making Unresolutions Are Better
Alden of Ecocult’s Painfully Honest New Years Resolution
Leah of Stylewise Blog’s Year in Review and Ethical Resolutions
Hannah of Life + Style + Justice Blog’s Resolutions
Kasi of The Peahen Blog’s A Year of Wardrobe Resolutions
Elizabeth of The Notepasser Blog’s My One Big Resolution for 2016
Faye of Sustaining Life’s Shedding Layers for a Mindful 2016
Annie’s My 2016 New Year’s Resolution: Buy Only Ethically Made Fashion
Kamea of Kamea’s World’s 4 New Year’s Resolutions You Need for a Meaningful 2016
Holly of Leotie Lovely’s Gone Green 2016
Andrea of Ecologique Fashion’s Resolutions

 

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General troublemaking, Professional Growth

On being best

As a New Yorker, it’s hard not to get swept up into the notion of being the best. Every year when the Forbes 30 under 30 list comes out, I count the years I have left to make a remarkable change, to be noticed enough to make the list. I feel the pressure nearly daily; scrolling through my newsfeed and Instgram feed I see the list of who is being asked to speak on panels, teach a class, who is being published in HuffPo or Fast Company. I wonder what do I have to do to prove I’m the best? How can I get published? Who will look to me to be the expert? How can I get on that damn 30 under 30 list?! I know I am not alone in thinking about these questions. I have had several conversations with friends who feel the same way. I am not sure if it is unique to NYC, but I sure think it is magnified here.

Today I was walking down the street and I realized something.

Am I trying to be the best, or my best?

These two options are quite different you see. The former, being “the best” at something is likely defined by society, by culture, by the Forbes 30 under 30 list. “The best,” is determined by others, by outsiders, not by yourself (unless you make those claims yourself, but then you end up like those coffee shops that say “best cup of coffee in the world!“).

Since I can’t deem myself “the best,” I realized, I can only be my best. To me, being my best means to live an authentic life, to do things we enjoy and that contribute, and that make us and others happy. We have genuinely believe in what we are doing, and in ourselves, before others will believe in us. And if our contributions go unnoticed? Perhaps they are not noticed by the media, by your boss, or even your friends or family, but if you are doing something you believe it in they are certainly noticed by the lives you are changing.

There’s a sticky note above my desk that says “do your best every day,” and I now know that is all I can do. While I can’t control who decides if I’m better at something than someone else, I can do my best work every day, and be the best version of myself. For me, that’s doing things I believe make a difference in this world (my work at PresenTense, volunteering at the Future Project, helping with PurposeFuel), taking care of myself (yoga, meditation, eating healthy, rest and relaxation), and being a good friend and family member. And the rewards I reap from doing those things are completely satisfying to me.

How do you do your best? What would it mean for you to do your best every day? Let me know in the comments.

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General troublemaking

Don’t like it? Change it.

The troublemakers mantra: if you don’t like or agree with the way something is done, don’t do it that way. Find a new way. What’s stopping you?

This seems unbearably simple. Unnecessary to post about. So why is it so often ignored? What fear is holding you back?

My dad reminds me regularly: it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

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General troublemaking, Professional Growth

The temptation of mediocrity

Mediocrity is pretty tempting. It doesn’t require much effort, much stress, or lack of sleep. Just show up, and do what you are told. Why push to change things? Why make things hard than they have to be?

If you want to be a troublemaker, mediocrity is not an option. Being average is not what makes change. It’s when you stand up for what you believe in, when you take the uncomfortable steps towards the unknown, when you power through the setbacks and strive towards something better, something stronger, something more powerful, that’s when you reap the benefits of being above average.

If you want to change the world, you have to be the changemaker. It’s not easy, and not always glamorous, but it has to be done. Why not be the one to do it?

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Entrepreneurship, General troublemaking, Troublemakers

Ruckusmaking, Troublemaking; Let’s just make something

Hello, dear friends. It’s been a while. I have been lost in the chaos of my own personal and professional troublemaking and have neglected to catch you up on my learnings. We have so much to get done. Here we go.

Last weekend I attended a workshop called Ruckusmakers with the one and only Seth Godin. Having been a big fan of Seth’s work for a while, I was delighted, nay, thrilled to attend this workshop when my colleague Todd invited me to do so (thank you again, Todd!!).

Seth’s work focuses on the importance of making change. Change is at the nexus of improving society, being happier, being productive, and making a difference. Change is what allows us to grow in ways we never thought possible, to push the boundaries of our personal and professional lives, and to advance our agenda. If you aren’t changing, well, you’re moving backwards.

Right off the bat, I know Ruckusmakers was my jam. Ruckusmaking sounds pretty darn close to troublemaking, and to be in a room full of people who love to cause a scene is the place I always want to be. It’s easy in our daily lives to fall back into complacency, to accept the way the world is because it’s easy and comfortable and what we are taught in school. We are taught to study to pass a test, to know the right answers, to only speak when we are called on. Nowadays that just doesn’t fly. The way of the future is to make ruckus, to make necessary trouble, to make something you believe in. There simply isn’t time for otherwise. If we aren’t creating, we aren’t contributing. And the world really, really needs us to step up.

At Ruckusmakers learned a LOT, both hard skills and soft. I met some pretty inspiring people. And while I am still digesting it all, I hope to frame it back to you so that we, together, can continue on our journey towards challenging the status quo, not giving in when others laugh or roll their eyes, and trek forward on a path we believe in. There just ain’t no other way.

I will leave you with one nugget from Seth that I have been thinking about constantly. He shared with us:

Failure is just learning one way not to do something.

Let’s succeed, let’s fail, let’s just do. We will figure it out eventually.

Onwards.

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General troublemaking

The trouble with troublemaking

Trouble making is hard. Really hard. You can care– care deeply– about a fundamentally important issue and life still manages to peek its head in and get in the way of you taking action.

I am a passionate person about many topics, if you couldn’t tell already. Some of these topics include conscientious consumerism, refugee issues, and homelessness. I try to bring these issues to the forefront of my life, to make them a central piece of who I am and what I practice and how I live and breathe.

But then there’s work.

And there are bills.

And there are really, truly, only 24 hours in a day.

And all the sudden the things you care about, the issues that keep you up at night start to keep you up for an additional reason– because you feel you aren’t doing enough. Because you feel that you should have an answer to homelessness, or you shouldn’t have bought a couch that wasn’t ethically made.

I am telling you this, my dear troublemakers, because as someone who works with hundreds of troublemakers every day, as someone who knows many of the “answers” on how to take sustainable action, I struggle, constantly, as most troublemakers I know do. We never feel like we are doing enough. We often, if not always, feel like there’s something grander, something more impactful, we could be doing. It’s important we all know that so we can support each other in those times of “what the heck should I do now?”

It’s during these times I remind that my thoughts, my intentions, are important and world-changing. While I strongly believe that ideas don’t change the world, and action does, I also believe action stems from an intention, from caring about something. That intention will ultimately drive me to my goal.

I also turn to my community, which is what I aim to build here. Surrounding myself with other troublemakers (which I am fortunate to do in my day job as well as my side job!) propels me forward. It inspires me to action. And it teaches me how to pursue the things I care about the most.

How do you live and breathe your passions? And if you don’t, how do you balance your desire to change the world with your day-to-day?  Let me know in the comments.

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