Three Heel Clicks

Inspiration

5 on Fridays - Five Things I Learned About Cabin Fever

DIY, Healthy, How To, Lifestyle, Inspiration, Travel, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
5 on Fridays - Five Things I Learned About Cabin Fever

As I've mentioned previously, I recently moved to Northern California up into the rural parts of the state. Although I truly appreciate nature's beauty I had no idea how much the isolation could affect my mental state after a few weeks. Let me preface today's post with a little background. Where I'm staying is absolutely stunning but there are a few hurdles that I've never experienced before. For instance, it takes hours to get to a grocery store and there are only a few people if any that you may come into contact with over the course of a week. The county we neighbor has zero stoplights and only four stops signs in the entire COUNTY! That's crazy to me coming from Houston which is the fourth largest city in America.

After four weeks here I experienced a glimpse of cabin fever. Yep, full on emotional breakdown for a good three days. Nothing was satisfying. I was incredibly homesick and I realized, "Well, I live here now." After talking to a few people in the area, I realized it's common and there are ways to manage around it. Here are the things I was recommended and then did to get out of my cabin funk!

Remind Yourself This Is Temporary

Many people experience cabin fever during the cold winter months when they are cut off from the rest of society due to inclimate weather and blizzards. The days seem endless and it's difficult to keep track of time. One of the things I've been told over the last month is to remind yourself that this situation is temporary. Isn't everything in life a little temporary? It can be really difficult during emotional times to remember that this too shall pass but it will!

Establish and Maintain Your Daily Routine

Routines are something that help you establish a clear mental space. When we have good routines put into place our minds are freed up to focus on tasks at hand or bigger strategic decisions. I've talked alot about routines on the blog (see this post and this post). Sticking to your routine and keeping a calendar helps track your days. I also found keeping a written schedule versus an electronic calendar helps me stay focused.

Stock Up on Necessities and a Few Luxuries

The hardest part other than isolation from people is being isolated to things you usually have on hand. Up here shopping at a Wal-mart is a full day roundtrip. If you forget something, it's unlikely you'll be able to get it for a few days, weeks or months due to soaring gas prices, construction, fires or roads being blocked. Mail takes a little longer to reach us and there are times that you cannot receive deliveries due to the roads being closed. Have your luxury things like facial masks, bubble bath, maybe it's nice sheets - whatever it is - buy some and keep on hand to last you longer than you thought you might need in the event you can't get into the city. It makes a HUGE difference. A few of the items I'd recommend having include toiletries, conditioner, lotion, coffee, and a fully stocked pantry.

Plan a Getaway When You Can Take One

Give yourself a break. One of the things about being isolated is that it's difficult to take a break. There's always something to do, take care of or work at when you are isolated from others. One of the things I noticed helps is to have planned breaks and take them when you can. Keep that calendar in front of you to remind you what you are working towards. When you have the chance to go somewhere, GO! Enjoy the time away and change of scenery.

Stay Connected

I think the other thing that I was surprised about is how disconnected I felt this past week. Although I am not COMPLETELY ALONE, I just moved from an environment where I was web connected (and here internet is a challenge to say the least) and busy almost every night with a social activity. I had other moms around to talk to and took fitness classes frequently. I also walked every other day to the grocery store to grab a few items and fresh produce. Going from that environment to seeing the same ten people constantly was a little rough. I love each person around, but the shock of not having activities nightly really impacted my state of mind. I decided to join a few online groups on Facebook with similar interests and lifestyles so that when I have a decent connection I can reach out. I also make a point to call back home or correspond with friends daily when possible. I also found it was really important to maintain my spiritual relationship with God. Journaling, prayer and daily meditation really improves my mood and confirms my sense of purpose. Take the time to build these into your schedule daily.

Well, there you have it! After a few days, then an overnight staycation in Sacramento in The Citizen Hotel (which you can read about here) I came back renewed and refreshed. I popped out my list of goals and refocused on the important things. Remember, you're going to be okay! You're going to make it through and most of all it's only temporary!

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5 on Fridays: Five Ways Working From Home Changed My Life

beauty, Blogging, Business, Fashion, fashion, How To, Petite Style, Lifestyle, Inspiration, Style, Travel, YouniqueCrystal Jackson

For years I spent hours driving in and out of the city to get to and from my job only to find that I ended up coming home at the end of the day with very little energy left to give to my family. After nearly a decade and working in the technology industry and leading outside sales teams to success I ended up making several life changes due to an onset of panic attacks. I knew something had to change but I was unwilling to stop working. I’ve always been one of those people that had been left to work and the thought of not having a way to work because of the amount of anxiety that I was undergoing sent me into even more panic. For a while there I felt like I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. It was like I couldn’t keep going and doing what I was doing and maintain sanity but the thought of leaving that atmosphere that I had become so accustomed to was also equally terrifying.

And that’s when it hit me why don’t I start working from home? Today I’m going to share with you five reasons why I decided to make the move from working for another company to working for myself and being able to manage my family life, personal life and business life all from my home.

Balance

One of the biggest struggles I think any mom undergoes is being able to balance family and work. As moms, weare expected to do so much. We are expected to make sure everyone’s on time to school and all of the extracurricular activities. We are expected to keep the house tidy and dinner put on the table. We’re expected to always have the emotional stability when the rest of the family is undergoing meltdowns. And now there’s a new layer in these past few decades where we are now expected to bring in income as well.All of that and mounting pressure can create a lack of balance in our lives and when we don’t have balance we really struggle with being able to juggle all of those balls. I know this better than anybody else. I lived that life for almost 10 years. One of the biggest things that working from home allowed me to do is have more time to balance my personal development, exercise, managing my household, and being able to contribute to the family financially.

Clarity

Going into business for yourself can seem intimidating, but once you align your purpose with your work life suddenly work become so much more clear. There was a period of transition between corporate life and work from home life that I underwent and once I came out of that adjustment phase and really got into a routine of working from home I realize she’s so much better. I was able to start my day with personal development an exercise instead of rushing to get everybody ready to go to school and rushing to get myself off to work on Time. When we have fewer things to have to think about, we gain a much better sense of clarity and mental capacity to tackle things. Being able to work from home allows me to have a shorter to do list and a lot more clarity. I begin my day by writing 3 to 5 objectives and I’m going to do for my business and I work throughout the day two to cross all of them off. It takes just a plan yet and it also takes perseverance but at the end of the day I now when I lay my head on my pillow at night that I spent my time wisely throughout the day to for fill my God-given purpose. You see, being able to work for yourself allows you to make the rules. There are still many things that are true or for me to do every day both and personal and in my work life but I understand the purpose of them instead of having to just cross off things that are on a corporation’s checklist.

Vision

When I was working for other companies I spent most of my day focused on their strategy and their vision. Sometimes their vision aligned with my own values many times they did not. A huge advantage of working from home and for yourself is that you create your vision. You get to create your strategy. And you get to for fill your purpose. All of those things not only allowed me to be a better mother, partner, friend and daughter but also have allowed me to create a vision that inspires and uplifts others. 

Time 

I think one of the biggest benefits I’ve seen since I made this transition over a year and a half ago is being able to do the things that I need to do instead of sitting in traffic to and from my job every morning. I gained at least two hours a day every day for five days a week by being able to work from my home if you think about that that’s 10 hours a week that you’re spending if your commute is only an hour and for many of us that commute is much longer. On top of the 10 hours I’ve saved from just driving to and from work I’ve gained another 10 hours a week in getting myself ready to go to work or coming home and having to decompress from work. Can you imagine gaining 20 hours a week every week in your life to be able to invest that time into other areas?

Courage 

When I graduated college, during every interview I was asked why I wanted to enter into the sales industry. I’ve answered that question hundreds of times at this point whether it was for a job interview, interviewing somebody to bring onto my team, or just in casual business conversation. My answer is always remain the same, I want to run a company one day. When I first started saying that out loud I knew it was my passion to lead, motivate, and inspire other people to live their life to the fullest. I had no idea that 11 years ago when I was approached with this question that my answer was actually going to be calling forth my future circumstances. At the time running an online business was not quite as popular as it is today. If you asked me when I graduated college what I was going to do with my life never in 1 million years would I have imagined being a blogger and selling make up and skincare products. Now thanks to the booming of social media and the rapid rate in which technology has advanced I am able not only work from my home but also be able to reach out to women all over the world and share my values and my vision to help inspire them. If you’re currently stuck in a job that doesn’t align with who you are or who you want to be do you have the power to change it. Yes it’s scary to work for yourself. Yes it’s going to require doing things that you don’t always want to do so that you can do the things that you want to do later. It’s going to require peaks and valleys and it’s also going to require for you to motivate yourself. But just as anything else in life is, you get out what you put into it. 

If you are looking to make a change, you don’t have to do it alone! You have the power to be and do anything you put your energy towards. It takes a leap of faith. It takes doing the things that others may not have the willpower to accomplish, but it’s so much better to work with a purpose than work for a paycheck. 

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Put Some Pep in Your Step This Morning!

Fashion, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Petite Style, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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There was a time when I hated Monday mornings. Heck, I hated all mornings. Now I no longer use an alarm and find I naturally wake when the sunlight pours into my bedroom window (or hotel room as it currently stands). I immediately rise excited to start my day, but it wasn’t always like that. There were years that went by where I felt like getting out of bed required me to army crawl to my coffee pot for energy. Although I sure do love a good cup of coffee, I’ve noticed since I made lifestyle changes over the past year I have so much more enthusiasm to get myself out of bed. I thought it would be motivating to share a few ways to put some pep into your step this morning!

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Down a HUGE glass of water first thing

Hydration is key for energy, clear skin, and for our minds. By starting the day with a tall glass of water (at least 16oz) you’ll be immediately helping your mind and body kick off right! Hydration is so important in the mornings because you just spent hours sleeping which in turn means little fluids were put into your body. Put a tall glass beside your bed and down it first thing in the morning!

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Play some of your favorite upbeat music

Forget the TV, radio and news this morning and control the message with some upbeat tunes to lay a positive foundation for the day. Because the news and radio are pretty unpredictable on content, you can choose a playlist of songs that would get you movin’ in the morning. Imagine getting your favorite song stuck in your head rather than some silly jingle on the radio. Control the message you hear and keep your mind in a positive place!

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Wear a Favorite Outfit and Feel Your Best

When I worked in an office I usually came in dressed pretty nice on Monday’s. It was always nice because I usually had meetings with my teams or the executives. Being dressed up and prepared to attend a formal business meeting was something I frequently did. If you are staying at home today, pull out a comfy sundress or pair of athleisure joggers and matching top. Even your lounge wear can be stylish and luxurious.If your running errands or dealing with the kiddos, you can always opt for your favorite pair of shorts with a button down top or a cute matching athletic set. The key is to be intentional. Put on light makeup and fix your hair. You’d be surprised what 15 minutes of effort can do for your mood.

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5 on Fridays - The Five Reasons I Chose Yoga and How it Changed My Life

Fashion, Healthy, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Petite Style, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
5 on Fridays - The Five Reasons I Chose Yoga and How it Changed My Life

I’ve always enjoyed exercise but never enjoyed spending time at the gym. Growing up I practiced ballet and loved every bit of it - the discipline, the routine, the structure, the competition and opportunity to constantly improve. After getting older I still enjoy attending classes but ballet is really hard on my joints. I moved into taking long walks hiking and finally made the decision to go to a free yoga class. After the first class back in October 2018 I decided to enroll in a yoga studio (because they had a newcomer special) and sign up for unlimited classes. I started going almost every day. Within 3 months I noticed significant changes in my body, mind and soul. Yoga gave me all of the benefits of cardio, stretching and meditation leaving me after each session with a better appreciation for my body and a clearer mind. Here are the five life-changing benefits of yoga I’ve experienced.

Yoga is about progress not perfection

Being a highly competitive OCD spirit, I tend to overachieve in anything I put my mind to. Yoga changed my perception of exercise. No longer was I consumed with perfecting each movement or pose. Instead I learned how to measure progress. Many of the poses you learn to hold in yoga take time to build physical strength and making a connection between your body and mind. How refreshing! I could show up to a class, focus on doing my best, taking breaks if needed and over time I experienced improvement! The pressure of being perfect started to disappear and improvement started showing up more and more in my body. I started feeling better, lighter and stronger.

Provides a moving meditation for busy minds

If you are new to meditation and find sitting still for just 10 minutes is difficult, then consider yoga. Yoga provides a way to move your body and clear your mind. Meditation creates focus and clarity by training your mind. I found that during yoga sessions I focused on aligning my body, moving through each pose, and awaiting the next instruction from the yoga instructor. I focused on aligning my body, moving through each pose and awaiting instruction. I listen and follow the instructor without judgement but appreciation for my own body. Eventually, I was able to carry that same clarity into other areas of my life including seated meditation.

Significant increase in muscle tone and definition

Yoga works all of your major muscle groups when you are doing a full body flow to build strength. But what about definition and toning? Well, yoga has an added benefit by working your accessory muscles. Accessory muscles are the tiny muscles in the body that when you work them, they create those stream toned lines you see in ballet dancers, swimmers, and yogis. Depending on the type you decide to practice, you’ll be able to quickly build strength and definition in your arms, legs and abs.

Yoga uses resistance training with your body’s weight to build strength

One was how of the surprising changes I noticed was how yoga improved the strength of my body. When I started out last October my body felt heavy as I would lower down from plank through a vinyasa. Moving through positions were sometimes so difficult that I’d have to take frequent breaks. I’d leave class and my arms would feel shaky. Over time (a matter of weeks) I was able to execute each move with more ease. I noticed if I lifted something heavy at home I did it with ease. After a few months, I was able to venture into arm balancing positions that required much more strength.

Improved concentration and sleep

Getting my mind to chill is a lifelong struggle. Yoga improves anxiety after just one session. Everyday I practice yoga I get a better night of rest. I feel happier and relaxed. I am able to fall asleep with little tossing and turning. When I decrease anxiety and manage stress I am able to get better rest. The quickest results I’ve experienced has been as a result of yoga. When I’m relaxed and have a clear mind sleep improves. When sleep improves, anxiety decreases. They go hand in hand.

Since those first three months I now practice yoga in my home and lead groups of women in recovery for substance abuse. I have a goal to become a certified instructor so I can share this practice with a broader group. I’m hosting an online event with my friend Brittany sharing info about ZIYA. I’m wearing ZIYA workout gear in today’s photos and they are 1/3 of the cost of Lululemonwear made by the exact same manufacturer. Shoot me a Facebook message or email and I’ll add you to the event! It’s running from now until Sunday!

Submit Your Email to Attend Brittany’s Three Day Party!

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How I Doubled Last Year's Traffic to My Blog in Six Months

Blogging, How To, Inspiration, Younique, BusinessCrystal JacksonComment
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ONE DAY OR DAY ONE, YOU DECIDE

-UNKNOWN

I made a decision at the beginning of the year to track milestones and progress on Three Heel Clicks. I had no idea when I set goals at the beginning of the year that I would end up hitting those goals in June! I truly believe that creating SMART goals for your business instead of writing down hopes and dreams you have a better shot at attaining them. This article is written from my first hand experience to show you that anyone can achieve what they set out to do if they are willing to put in the work. I love that my job requires me to share ideas with all of you, but blogging and marketing hasn’t always had the best of resources. I’ve found over time that there are a few types of successful roles in this industry - influencers, network marketers and bloggers. While some do all three roles, many of us stick to one silo on the internet.

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Begin with the end in mind

My goal as a blogger is to share my posts with you all on the internet. I love what I do every day. Sometimes I do feel uninspired or tired but after reviewing where I aim to be at the end of the year I am able to see the results and track progress throughout the year. Being that we are almost through July of 2019, I recommend sitting down for an hour with a pen and paper (I used Google Sheets to create a spreadsheet) to list where you want to improve. If you already have a blog in place here are a few things to make goals around:

  • Total number of posts you want to create through the end of the year

  • Total number of website hits you aim to get through the end of the year

  • Total number of social media posts where you share your blog content

  • Total number of unique visitors to your blog

My goal this year was to double last years number of unique visitors. That meant I needed to increase marketing efforts through social media so that I could share each post with a broader audience. Now when I publish a post, I immediately push a link to Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. The more people who have access to your site and content, the more that will likely click on the link to view that content. It’s simply a numbers game.

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Break your yearly goal into monthly activities

After I isolated that I wanted a larger number to hit my site, I then decided I needed to create more content and share that content on a monthly basis. I sought at the beginning of the year to create 250 blog posts and 10 YouTube videos. I divided that up by the total number of months and came up with an attainable number. Every month at the beginning of the month I take a look at last month and see if I am on target. If I need to post additional posts this month to hit my yearly number I add that in.

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Know your audience

I began by using tools like Instagram for Business (it’s a free feature you can utilize to give you insights to your instagram posts, audience and presence). I built my website on Squarespace back in 2014 and haven’t looked back. They are an easy to use platform with modern templates and integrate with you social media accounts for easy posting. I looked into my posts that performed the best over time. I also looked at the posts that were the most popular over the past month and year to date. Knowing which content is the most popular allowed me to expand on these subjects. If my audience is clicking mostly on fitness or fashion posts, then it’s important for me to create more content in these categories. Knowing whether or not your social media following is male or female, what their age groups are and where they are located allows you to tailor your message to those groups. Knowing your audience is key to creating content that allows you to engage with them.

SMART Goals

Setting goals is important in all aspects of life, but are you setting proper goals. SMART goals are nothing new. They are a strategy for setting goals in sales and marketing roles. Let’s break down what a SMART goal entails - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound. Instead of writing a goal as, “I want to increase my website traffic." I would write the goal as, “ I aim to obtain 3,000 unique visitors during the 2019 calendar year.” By being specific to the number you want to increase your traffic to instead of just saying you want to increase to allows the goal to be measurable. You also have to place a time and date on it. A goal is not a goal without a time and date. The final piece of goal setting is to create goals that are attainable and realistic. It’s unrealistic for me to set a goal of 1 million unique visitors a month. Instead setting a goal around the number of posts I create is a much more attainable and realistic. By setting goals that are realistic and attainable you’ll be motivated to achieve them.

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Creating milestones and business goals is important to stay on track in any line of work. Goals and milestones keep your business focused on what’s truly important. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with unlimited possibilities of where can spend spend your time, but if you have a plan then you can work that plan. If you would like to learn more about goal setting click the button below for information and I’ll send you a template and tracker for your goals!

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