Take Yourself On.

Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself. #georgebernardshaw #myalltimefavoritequote You’ve probably heard this one before, but have you ever considered what it really means?

All too often in life we settle and wait. Wait for it to be the right time to move, quit your job, break up with him. Settle for someone else’s actions to decide our fate, define what we’re capable of, or tell us what’s possible.

Or we point the finger. That elusive finger, saying if she would only listen, or if he could just understand me, THEN things would be better. It’s a vicious, passive aggressive cycle that we’ve gotten ourselves into.

But what about the four little fingers pointing right back at you? When’s the last time you decided to investigate those a little bit deeper? Have you ever considered what the common denominator of the things not working out for you in life is? (Hint:  you’ve got 4 fingers pointing right at it.)

One of the scariest and most rewarding things you can decide to do in life is to take yourself on. It goes against the norm and what society teaches us, it’s incredibly uncomfortable at first, it’s really hard to remember why you’re doing it once you get balls deeps but the light at the next stop is sooooooooo worth it.

What is it that’s holding you back but you’ve been too afraid to confront? Are you being selfish? (I’m raising my hand) Maybe you’re judgmental, or unorganized, perhaps a hypersensitive Sally? Maybe it’s YOU who needs to start really listening. To be honest I have no idea what it is, just throwing a few things out there to get you thinking…you’ll have to do the work yourself to reap the reward.

Now the trick is to get down and dirty with yourself.
Be brutally honest.
Ask people what you’re not seeing that’s holding you back.
And then LISTEN.
Don’t fight it.
Take a deep breathe and realize that this is who you’ve been.

And now forgive yourself.
We’re human, it’s our nature to be all of these ugly things. Don’t beat yourself up over it, but get present to those things that are keeping you from being a better version of yourself.

When you begin to take personal responsibility for things in your life, your job, your relationship, your spirituality, your finances, your friendships, then a beautiful thing starts to happen. It’s no longer on anyone else’s terms. It’s now your turn to create what you want for yourself. You get to define what that looks like. You get to decide how much you love your job, how you’re going to react in that moment, who you want to be for your friends.

So what are you waiting for? #gotakeyourselfon

-sj

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Consider this your Christmas card (:

Greetings from Shenna Jean!! It never fails to shock and amaze me how quickly a year flies by, yet here we are again. 2011, you were quite good to me….but 2012 is lookin’ even betta!! I got after it in 2011, in fact my theme of the year was “Make It Happen” and that’s exactly what I did. So without further ado, here is my 2011 Recap!

Highlights


In a nutshell, I had some big things happen with Lifebook at the beginning of the year as we released an online version of the program, took some trips that allowed me to meet some great contacts, I was fortunate to grow my knowledge in the world of online marketing and learned one of my best lessons of the year: never have your head so far up someone else’s dream that you forget your own!

Walking away was by far one of the scariest things I’ve done all year, but lead to one of the best events of 2011: The Summer of Shennaigans. Oh yes, we’re talking a summer break in the Chi folks, and it was super badass. A few weddings of the season, yoga (almost) everyday, my first flashmob, Trapeze lessons!, lots of beach days, stand up paddle boarding, baseball games, a new bike, pool time, parks and ambitions of frisbees, patio drinking, planking galore, porch club, co-ed softball, Cali, Maui, Michigan and La Porte!! This girl was truly blessed. Word from the wise: when life hands you a summer break, TAKE IT.

Swinging for the fences with the Big Hurt during The Summer of Shennanigans

Throughout the entire summer I had one main objective however: get in with lululemon athletica. I was focused, I meditated on it every day, I had my eye on the prize and after 3 months and 7 interviews later, I began my dream job 😀 A place where I can wear yoga clothes and my nike high tops all day and dance around the store to sweet jams? Talk to complete strangers, brighten their day and turn them into repeat guests? Lead an amazing team of like minded people to kicking ass and taking names at one of the coolest stores in the infamous Gold Coast of Chicago? Work for a company who promotes personal development and goal setting, provides opportunities for it at every bend and wants to see you be a better person above all else? Um, yes please!!!

The past few months have been a whirlwind, gettin’ in where I fit in and lovin’ it. And I can’t begin to tell you what this job has done for my “Get it Right, Get it Tight” goals!! Hellllllllllo Crossfit!! If you haven’t heard about it, read up here and find your closest box. It will transform your body in less than 2 months, no joke. (You must obvi go, all the time for at least 2 months, don’t half ass it.) Not to mention all the fun new types of yoga I get to try, although my heart is and always will be at The Lab.

So the last half of my year has been focused on sweating a lot, working at the wal-mart (when retail is your family business, that’s the kind of inside jokes you get) and doing me. Little love update for ya: We’ve got Single Shenna in the house and we all know how much fun she is! After 10 months of dating a great guy, I gained some valuable insights about the person I still need to become in order to be in my ideal relationship. Puttin’ in the work now, so when he shows up on his horse I’ll be ready (;

Goals

Get it Right, Get it Tight
Overall idea here was to get into a solid sweat routine; check. My health and fitness vision is to be a healthy, athletic size 4 that has more energy than she knows what to do with. I haven’t tried non-strechy clothes on for a while I can’t verify the size 4 yet, but the main objective is to feel comfortable and confident in my own skin, which I very much do.
-Run a 5k each quarter (Done, thank goodness for 15k catch ups!!)
-Practice yoga at least twice a week (Next time you see me ask to see my forearm balance and my handstand)
-Clean up my eating habits, as they are often likened to that of a 6 year old. Made some progress, but not nearly as much as I’d like, but that’s what 2012 is for.

Hot Chocolate 15K in November

My Personal Brand
Whether you realize it or not, you (yes you!) are your own personal brand; what you put out into the world, how the world perceives you, is essentially who you are. And, you own 100% of the shares in your company, so do what you must to get the results you’re looking for! This past year I had a few things I set out to do in this bucket:
-Update my wardrobe with quality pieces that reflect who I am and are functional for my lifestyle. (Thanks to lulu, I’m very much overachieving in this department, so much so that I might need a new goal in 2012 to not “update” as often.)
-Design and update my studio apartment at Loft 5H. (New bedding and throw pillows make a world of difference peeps, I suggest switchin’ it up soon if you haven’t already! A memory foam mattress is a great addition too.  I did not however complete my frame gallery project which is disappointing and will be in 2012 Q1 goals.)
-Create my Lifebook V2.0 and complete an update in each category. (Started off SOO strong and made it all the way through My Personal Life, I will soon post the PDF’s once I figure out how to do that. 2012 I will be tackling the last 6 chapters!)
-Update my online brand and get to postin’ regularly on my blog. (A big round of applause, as I’ve blogged more in 2011 than any other year of my life. However I’m not completely satisfied with the results and will be posting weekly in 2012, hold me to it!!)

Glimpse of the Studio @ Loft 5H

Debt Free is the Way to Beee!
This one is pretty explanatory, who wants to spend their life owing peeps money when you could be doing way cooler shit with it? Not me, so this was the year to eliminate all the debt that my 20’s blessed me with. With the exception of my student loans, I am happy to report that this goal has been knocked out of the park. **Special thanks goes out to my nerdy accountability partner, this free spirit would not be nearly as successful without you xx**

Feed Me! Says the Brain
Plain and simple, I like to learn. I like new concepts, music, places, ideas and the intellectual side of me has to stay busy for me to be the best version of myself possible. 2011 brought some amazing new things into my life!
-Take at least 5 trips a year, 1 international, 4 domestic, at least 2 must be strictly pleasure. (Maui is overseas at least?? Colorado, Cali (x2), Vegas, DC, Grand Canyon, Michigan, and La Porte. I got around in 2011.)
-Minimum of 2 books a month. (Read some great ones this year: entire Hunger Game series, The Help, Like Water For Chocolate, Tales from a Yoga Studio ((I was on the beach for that one)) Tribes, Good to Great, Leadership Pipeline, Body Confidence, The Witch of Portobello, and currently nearing the end of Atlas Shrugged ((FINALLY!!)) to name a few.)
-Must digest at least 5 new albums a year and attend one concert per quarter. (SO MUCH GOOD NEW MUSIC RIGHT NOW!! However, the defining albums for me this year were: Adele “21” Foster The People “Torches” Gramatik “Streetbangerz Vol. 1 & 2” Jay-Z & Kanye’s “Watch The Throne” Common “The Dreamer, The Believer”. Dropped the ball on shows this year, but did see Watch the Throne at United Center and that shit cray, obvi.)

Black sand beaches in Maui

My Fairytale Relationships
Knowing that I’ve got people all over the world and knowing that I’m not the best at keeping up with my phone book and knowing that we’re all growing up, going separate ways and making it even harder to keep up, means that I have to put in a little extra work with the relationships that I want to maintain.
-KIT Project: Reach out to one long distance friend each week and one family member each week via phone/Facetime/Skype to catch up. (Dani, Madison and I smash this goal…have grown so much closer to her since that little squirt came along and Tangpuz I’m not sure where I would be without our skype sesh’s. Tiff, you’re on the list to conquer on the reg this year and so is my pops.)
-Create a viable love strategy, regular date night routine and needs list for my man. (Well, I don’t currently have a man, so the love strategy is a little tough, but it’s not something that my last partner and I were good about so maybe there is a clue. I am going on dates, which keeps my options open and I did create my list of needs in a relationship so that the expectations are clear with the next lucky fellow.)
-Be the best “Pseudo Maid of Honor” a girl could hope for in her wedding. (Awesome concert themed shower for your closest friends, check! Super baller Vegas bachelorette party, check! Surprise flashmob to a song you would have never expected at the reception, check!)

Me, Madi & Dani

So there you have it folks! 2011 was filled with growth, experience, awesomeness, learnings and fun…and more to come in 2012! Look for my official 2012 goals to be posted by next week (:

Here’s to you and yours having the best holiday season and a very happy New Year xx