Happy Spring guys! March has been an interesting one, marking a full year since the pandemic lockdown. It has also been a very busy month, hence the tardy upload. However, a deal is a deal and we can’t truly move on from March without raved faves, right? While we are still hanging in there, places are opening up and things are slowly morphing into a new normal. With this new normal comes new opportunities but also some risks as well. Let us all continue to do our part in keeping each other and ourselves healthy and safe.
I have three faves this month! Each one speaks to personal development, whether that is in the category of health, finance, or emotional well being. So, without further ado let’s dive in.
The Brown Ambition Podcast
I discovered this podcast in late February while scrolling through the available podcasts on Spotify. I wanted to listen to something that was edifying, practical yet fun to tune in to, and when I saw that one of the hosts was Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, I immediately tapped to listen. If you don’t know who The Budgetnista is, let me tell you, she is amazing! The world of finance can be daunting, not to mention condemning if you feel off track. She has a great way of teaching money while simultaneously empowering you where you are. She is relatable, knowledgeable, and comes across as someone who gets it. Her co-host, Mandi Woodruff, isn’t a public figure that I was familiar with, however, after listening to her and learning about her background, she is the best complement to Tiffany. Did I mention they are both black women?! I have always wanted to know more about money, budgeting, making the right fiscal decisions, and just having a healthy relationship with money — but I didn’t know where to start. I also wanted to ingest relatable content from relatable people. Sometimes the “aid” out there isn’t truly helpful if it cannot be adapted to your personal circumstances. Having women of colour discuss money and other things related to me, another woman of colour just hits different, in my opinion. That’s not to say that someone of a different ethnicity/race cannot offer you good tips. However, like I’ve mentioned, it is nice when you can hear from someone that looks and talks like you. If you’re like me, give the Brown Ambition podcast a try! It is an easy listen and I guarantee that you will learn something new every time.
The Hack Squat
What the heck is a hack squat? A hack squat is a squat performed on a machine at a 45-degree angle. With the weight resting on your shoulders, all the work is primarily done by pushing up with the legs after a squat. While it targets the glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings, with proper foot placement and a squat of 90 degrees, you may primarily feel it in your quads. The hack squat is a great way to strengthen your legs without compromising on your squat, because it stabilizes the movement, which can help eliminate compensating and any weaknesses you may experience. With this machine, you can also practice one leg movements to eliminate imbalances.
This particular exercise made it to my faves because I am already beginning to see some great results incorporating it into my lower body routines. I remember seeing the machine and thinking, “I don’t think I’ll ever use that.” Not because I didn’t think it was helpful, but honestly, because I didn’t know how to use it! After a bit of a learning curve on how to properly position my long legs, I finally got the hang of it, and I love it! Firstly, it allows me to focus on isolating my legs, hitting my legs solely, which is a good add-on exercise. It also helps me focus on my form since my body is stabilized; the form that I can now attempt repeating with a barbell. Don’t get me wrong, this can never replace a free-weight squat. Because it is stabilized for me, I lose the benefit of working on using my core and other stabilizer muscles that I would have had to use squatting with a bar or dumbbell. But, it is a great way to focus on working the leg muscles in tandem with other exercises that require more total body strength. Hacking away fat with the hack squat? Make sure you consult your doctor before trying any new exercise or routine!
The Idea of Setting Intentions
The idea of setting intentions when planning isn’t a new concept. However, it has recently been a game changer in the way I set myself up to crush goals I have written down. You may wonder what the difference is, and at first it could seem as a gimmicky way of saying the same thing, right? However, setting goals and setting intentions are two very different activities, though they build off of one another. In fact, setting intentions with your goals I believe will help you achieve them more sustainably and valiantly.
The difference of the two is centered on the time and scope of accomplishment/action. Simply put, goals are future-based, while intentions are present-based. A goal is something you wish to attain, and your intent however is your energy or attitude. Setting an intention conditions you to operate in a particular space now so you can achieve your goal then. Think of setting intentions as the primer or base for your paint job [goal]. An example of a goal could be “Run a 5K”, your intention could be showing up for yourself or getting stronger/healthier. This intention pushes you everyday. This brings us to the difference in scope. An intention is more vague and emotional/mental, while a goal is much more specific and narrower in scope, and more tangible. This difference in scope aids one another. However, the gem of setting intentions is that it allows you to live by your values and focus on who you are and how you feel moment by moment. This gives you an opportunity to enjoy the journey and remain in the present. This truly helps because it focuses less on winning and losing, and more on the actual motive or essence of what it is you want. Therefore, even if you don’t run the full 5K or you complete it with a busted ankle, it doesn’t take away from the little choices everyday leading up to the event, where you showed up for yourself and you grew stronger everyday.
Setting intentions cannot replace setting goals. Setting and achieving goals are measurable and tangible results that can propel you forward and display the same values upon which you set intentions. Nor can setting goals trump intentions because we have all had those moments where we are so goal-oriented that the loss of achievement plunges us in disappointment and even self-doubt. Using both is a sure-fire way to not only achieve your dreams, but be constantly working upon the core values and reasons you’re doing it in the first place. What intentions have you set for this year? One of mine is being more gracious to myself and others.
This concludes the raved faves of March! April has already begun and with Spring becoming very comfortable with Mother Nature, I know that this month will be one of revived opportunities and new beginnings. I hope it will be a great month for you! Until next time…