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21 Small Things You Can Start Doing Today To Better Yourself

It’s a new year and, for a lot of us, that means resolutions to lose weight, save money or finally embrace the single life. But I’m not a New Year’s resolutions person primarily because I have learned that, time and again, they simply don’t work for most people. What does work, however, is making small changes that dramatically improve your life over time.

When I started making small changes myself (like going to bed earlier and eating more veggies), I discovered a great resource on reddit. Sure, you might have some bigger goals that you are going after in 2019 but there are also a ton of small things that you can do right now — as in TODAY! — to be a better you. If you’re hoping that 2019 will be your best year yet (and who isn’t?), here are 21 small things that you can start doing right away to become your best self in no time.

1. Make a budget and stick to it.


As someone who has over $150,000 in debt, you might think that I am terrible at my finances but the truth is that I have spent the better part of the past couple of years trying to figure it out. The #1 lesson I’ve learned (and something which has especially helped me over the holidays) is to make a budget and stick to it. I prefer the YNAB app but there are tons out there that you can try. If you want to jumpstart your 2019, then this is definitely the first thing you should do.

2. Write down the stuff you’ve been putting off and schedule yourself time specifically to get them done.


We all have that stuff on our list but having in only in your mind causes extra anxiety. Take some time to write down everything you need to get done on a sheet of paper then, little by little, start doing it. Having it written down and out of your head will definitely help with actually doing it instead of just stressing about it.

3. Forgive your past self and learn from your previous mistakes.


This one is going to take time but it’s something that you can slowly work towards in 2019. We are constantly beating ourselves up for one thing or another but there’s a lot you can do to let go. If there’s something particularly deep or painful that you are dealing with, then I suggest getting a therapist or subscribing to one of the many talk therapy apps out there.

4. Call your loved ones, especially the ones who have loved you even through your shit times.


It’s nice to have people to depend on and it is especially nice to have those people through the good times and the bad. However, if you only reach out to your friends and family when you are dealing with something tough, they will begin to feel used. Instead, make an effort to keep in touch at any time of time… and don’t forget to ask them how they’re doing as well.

5. Take deep, controlled breaths.


There are several different breathing exercises you can do but a favorite of mine is to breathe in for four seconds, hold your breath for eight seconds, then breathe out for seven seconds. If you are having a major anxiety episode or just feeling stressed out, this can be a great thing to do at the moment.

6. Allocate time more directly to the maintenance of body and home.


Your body is your temple and your home is where you keep it, so it would make sense that you should treat them well. This means improving your diet (eating more veggies!) and scheduling the time to improve your home (new paint, getting those curtains you’ve been meaning to buy, etc).

7. Give someone else a compliment at least once a day.


This is something that can improve your life as well as the lives of others. If you strive to give someone else a compliment at least once a day, you’ll feel better and so will they. It doesn’t even have to be anything major since you can start with something small like “nice shoes” or “I like your hair.”

8. Do your dishes before you go to bed.


This one is small and kind of silly but trust me when I say it can really help. I’ve been making sure to do my dishes (or have my husband do them) every night before we go to bed and it has seriously helped with stress in the mornings. That is one less thing that I have to do when I wake up and having a clean kitchen is always nice.

9. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.


This is a piece of advice you have probably heard over and over again but there’s a reason for that: It truly helps! You don’t have to make a huge point of doing something big but even taking a walk or doing some at-home yoga can count as your daily exercise.

10. Set a sleep schedule and try to stick with it.


This is by far the best thing I have done for myself in the past year or so. After reading the book Why We Sleep, I completely revolutionized my sleep schedule and now go to bed fairly early (though that’s not necessary) and make sure to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night (which is the most important thing). Seriously, this is a MUST for all humans since lack of sleep causes so many physical and mental problems.

11. Make more time to hang out with friends and be there for them.


Just as your friends are there for you, you should be there for them. Spending a bit more time with them this year will definitely bring some added happiness to your life. It doesn’t have to be a ton of time if you don’t have it to spare but trust me when I say that more time with friends will help you be a healthier, stronger person overall.

12. Read a book for at least 10 minutes a day.


This is something that can help you a lot since there is always some new book to read and something new to discover. I know that many of us set reading goals every year and this small change will help to make that reading goal a reality. After all, 10 minutes a day is quick.

13. Take care of your mental health.


A key way that you can improve your life is to devote as much time to your mental health as you do to your physical health (see above). You can seek out a therapist (I highly recommend this) or engage in apps that can help. You can meditate (see below) and figure out what you need in your own self-care routine in order to help your mind… Whatever it is, figure out how to improve your mental state and DO IT.

14. Start putting $20 away from each paycheck into a savings account.


Guess how much you will not miss a simple $20 from your paycheck every other week? You won’t. It is truly a small amount that can end up adding up in the end. Just think: If you do this, assuming you get paid every other week, you will have $520 in your savings account at the end of the year.

15. Take a break from screens every so often.


I know it’s funny to read this as you are staring at a screen right now but this is truly something that can help. Not only can it improve your mental health (see above) but it can also help with some of your smaller goals, like more reading (also above) or having the time to meditate (see below).

16. Drink more water.


This one’s simple. Drink more water, period. I highly recommend getting a gallon-sized water bottle that you can refill in order to track that you are drinking a good amount every day. I got one a couple of months ago and I am definitely feeling MUCH better about my water consumption these days.

17. Start meditating.


Meditation is something that I have been meaning to try for ages and it’s always difficult for me to keep up… but I also know how much it helps. Not only does it help others with their focus needs but also with their mental health. As someone who has anxiety, meditation has helped tremendously. The best part is that you can easily do it for free or try one of the various meditation apps out there, all of which have content that is free (though most also have memberships to access premium content).

18. Spend 5 minutes tidying up in the room you are in.


This is yet another thing that can really help you and add up in the long run. If you have a messy home, then you will especially benefit from this one. All you need to do is spend five minutes a day cleaning up after yourself. That could mean vacuuming that room (we both know it won’t take you more than 5 minutes) or picking up everything off the floors or wiping down the surfaces.

19. Start your day with some stretching exercises.


Stretching is a great exercise to get your blood pumping in the morning. You only truly need a few minutes a day in order to do this but it’s something that will get you more energized. You can incorporate this into your regular exercise routine, too.

20. Brush your teeth twice a day.


I often forget to brush my teeth at night, sadly, but dental hygiene is VERY important. Flossing is an important part of it, too, but especially brushing morning and night can help in the long run.

21. Put moisturizer with some SPF on your face.


I live in Florida and yet always forget to put on moisturizer. Well, sadly, it’s beginning to show. A friend recently commented that my skin is looking dry and I realized that this is the cause. You should especially do this in the winter if you live in dryer climates but don’t forget the SPF. That will help with the overall look of your skin… And, let’s face it, it’ll help you look less old in the long run.

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Latinas Accepted The Ten Year Challenge And TBH It’s Just Proof That We’ve Always Been Glowing

Calladitas No More

Latinas Accepted The Ten Year Challenge And TBH It’s Just Proof That We’ve Always Been Glowing

A lot can change in ten years. It’s easy to forget that ten years ago, Barack Obama was still the President and Netflix was just a humble mail-order DVD service. The dawn of 2019 has made many, Instagram users recognize just how much time has flown by and all of the changes that have come with it. The viral trend is called the #tenyearchallenge (also the #agingchallenge and the harsher #howharddidaginghityouchallenge) and Instagrammers are using it to show their friends and followers just how much has changed between 2009 and 2019. Time truly does fly.

The trend  has been particularly godlen amongst Latinas, who are having fun documenting everything that’s changed with their faces, bodies, and lives in the last ten years. From weightloss journeys, to gender transitions, to eyebrow transformations, the changes run the gamut from big to small. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite #tenyearchallenge transformations along with the lessons we’ve learned through growing older.

Check out some of our favorite posts below!

1. Glowing-Up


During your teen years, it can seem impossible to imagine yourself fully grown and (gasp!) actually comfortable in your own body. The best part of growing up is finally being done with the hell that is puberty. Part of the joy of browsing through #tenyearchallenge posts is seeing how glowing-up isn’t reserved for rom-coms and fairytales. Just remember that the real transformation comes from the work you do inside yourself.

2. Nailing Down Your Hair-Care Routine


It may seem trivial, but finding out what hair products work for you and your rizos is a journey that can only be accomplished through many years of trial-and-error. Afro-Latina Instagram user @curlelia explains the ten year journey it took for her to get to where she is now. “Back in the day, I had inches for daaaays…but I was HORRIBLE to it…I didn’t feel pretty with curly hair,” she says. “Fast forward to now- I chose a picture with really big frizzy curls only because never in a million years did I think I’d find myself beautiful in this state…I’m so grateful for the growth I’ve had within these 9 years & the growth that has yet to come. I’ve learned so much about myself through this journey & it has been one of the most gratifying experiences ever”.

3. Embarking on a Weight-Loss Journey


With hard-to-tackle journeys like weight loss, the most difficult part can often be how daunting the task ahead seems at the beginning. But Latinas like Instagram user ninfis83 prove that the end result is worth it. Captioning the photo “antes y después”, you can see from her face how much happier she looks in 2019. This just proves again how true change doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes it can take years.

4. Finding the Courage You Didn’t Know You Had


Colorado-based health coach, Instagram user bruja_mota shared both her anti-aging skin care tips (“Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen”) and the dramatic change her body has gone through from 2009 to now. This Latina shared some inspirational words of wisdom about her dramatic weight loss. “This year I learned that if you want something, you have to put in the work to get it, BUT it’s ok to ask for help. In fact, engaging with other people that have similar goals of getting healthy has helped me stay the course, with my goals on the horizon. Since June 12th of this [past] year I’ve lost 47 lbs and almost 11% of my body fat”.

5. Discovering Your True Self


Some of the starkest #tenyearchallenge transformations came from Latinas with gender dysphoria who finally realized their true-selves in the ten years between 2009 and 2019. There’s nothing more heart-warming than seeing people who weren’t happy with themselves and decided to take action to change their situation.

6. Realizing How Strong You Actually Are

Johanna Gomez/Facebook

TV Personality Johanna Gomez revealed through a Facebook post just how much she’s been through in the last decade. “Here is my #10yearchallenge. I’m going to celebrate what my body did in 10 years,” she said. “I had three babies, went through chemo, mastectomy, reconstruction and I’m beating #cancer. 2009 pregnant with Z and this morning”. From the story she shared, it’s obvious that she endured a difficult journey and is stronger than ever.

7. Feeling Gratitude for Your Past


This Latina seemed grateful for the experiences the last ten years gave her, saying <<Si la vida me diera otra vez la misma oportunidad, la tomaría y sin pensarlo.>> (“If life gave me the same opportunity again, I would take it without a second thought”). Time gives up perspective on the events in our past.

8. Defining Your Personal Style


Even if you look back on your past fashion choices and say “What was I thinking?” like Dominican beauty blogger Arabella Lopez wrote on her Instagram page, at least you’ll recognize that your past fashion mistakes were part of your journey to your true style potential.

9. Getting Older


So much stigma surrounds the act of getting older, that it’s easy to forget the upside of it. As time passes, we learn so many lessons and we grow, not just physically, but emotinally as well. On the other hand, we’re usually lucky enough to hold onto the things we love about ourselves, like this Latina‘s self-described “cara de ángel” (angel face).

10. Putting Down the Tweezers…


If there’s one thing we’re grateful for with the passing of the years, it’s the death of the “pencil thin eyebrows” trend. One pattern we noticed the most when browsing through the #tenyearchallenge posts is how Latinas have truly embraced the natural brow look. It’s also fun to tease your former self about your questionable beauty choices, like this Instagram user did, hashtagging her picture with “#whereweremyeyebrows”.

11…and Discovering Eyebrow Pencil


Say what you want about Instagram’s negative impact on society, but at least it’s made the public recognize the beauty of full, natural brows. This Latina’s whole face changed in ten years, and it’s mostly thanks to her brow transformation.

12. Saying Goodbye to Braces


Like puberty, braces are one of those ordeals that are painful to go through, but so worth it once everything is said and done. This Mexican Instagram model drives that point home with a “before” picture of her younger self with a full metal mouth and an “after” picture of her all grown up, showing off her pearly whites. Luckily, some things never go out of style, though–namely, denim jackets.

13. Becoming More Self-Assured


We’ll allow Instagram user irene_paola7‘s #tenyearchallenge caption to speak for itself: “Más vieja. Más arrugas y ojeras. Pero Más segura de mi y de lo que quiero. Más consciente y centrada. Más apasionada y llena de vitalidad. Más llena de viajes, sueños cumplidos, risas, llantos, amores y desamores, despedidas y bienvenidas, experiencias frustrantes y situaciones de transformación. Más sonriente y feliz…Más mía“. In other words, “Older. More wrinkles and dark circles. But, more sure of myself and what I want. More aware and more centered. More passionate and full of life. More travelling, dreams fulfilled, laughter, tears, loves and desires, farewells and introductions, frustrating experiences and moments of transformation. More smiles and happiness. More me.”

14. Realizing What Works for You and What Doesn’t


Sometimes it takes years of experimentation and trial-and-error to really get into your style groove and find out what works for you and what doesn’t. We noticed again and again that so many Latinas have slayed their makeup game. For example, this Latina proved that a little red lipstick and liquid eyeliner, when applied correctly, can go a long way.

15. Embracing Your Natural Beauty


The last ten years have definitely seen a movement (especially along black women) to embrace their natural hair pattern. This Afro-Latina definitely jumped on the natural hair bandwagon and looks happier for it!

16. Seeing the Fruits of Your Labors Realized


This Afro-Latina documented her transition from heat-damaged waves to bouncy, voluminous rizos. As many Afro-Latinas know, in the beginning, the natural hair journey can feel dark and full of terrors. Luckily, #tenyearchallenges like this give us hope for the future when our curls are back to their original state!

17. Enjoying the Positive Changes


This Latina poked fun of herself by saying that she “hasn’t changed at all” in her 10-year transformation from an elementary school student to a beautiful adult woman. She then playfully conceded, “except my lips and my nose”. It’s interesting how things that seemed to be a big deal in the past seem so small in the present.

18. Mastering the Art of the Make-Under


It’s a fact universally acknowledged that the younger you are, the more you feel like you need to do the most to prove yourself to others. Sometimes the older you get, the more you mellow out and realize that less is, in fact, more. This is proved perfectly by Mexican-Lebanese actress Emeraude Toubia‘s ten-year transformation. Obviously gorgeous in both shots, Toubia’s look is noticeably toned-down and minimalist in its current iteration. There’s something to be said about growing older.

19. Valuing Family More Than Partying


A picture is worth a thousand words with Chilean-American Snooki’s “Ten Year Challenge” post. In a photo shared with simply the caption “2009-2019”, we see that Snooki’s left her hard-partying ways behind her for a family-centric life. Indeed, one of the most common transformations in the many #tenyearchallenge posts was Latinas evolving from young single ladies to mothers and wives. And both roles are badass!

20. Becoming the Best Version of Yourself


As Venezuelan-American Internet personality Lele Pons showed on her Instagram page, time can change a lot of things, including the way you look. But it doesn’t change who you fundamentally are and what you stand for. Even if you’re currently living in the “Before” picture of your life, remember to remain grateful for every day and live your life to the fullest. The “After” will come with time.

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Cardi B’s New Album Means She Has No Plans Of Slowing Down


Cardi B’s New Album Means She Has No Plans Of Slowing Down

We’re just  a few days into the new year and already 2019 is full of wonderful news. From Ricky Martin’s new baby girl to the swearing-in of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other history-making women into the 116h Congress to a Texas marching band’s tribute to Selena, 2019 is off to a good start. Now we can add one more piece of news to the mix: Cardi B has just revealed that she is planning to release a new album in 2019.

In a video posted to her Instagram Live, Cardi B said, “of course it’s gonna be an album in 2019.”

The rapper broke the exciting news while chatting with her 38.8 million followers on New Year’s Day on Instagram. Although there was speculation for a while that she would soon release the follow-up to her debut, some believed that her music would be overshadowed by the current troubles between her and estranged husband, Migos’ Offset. However, the “Be Careful” singer isn’t letting personal troubles stop her career ambitions.

“Hopefully, I could get my album done around the same time that “Invasion of Privacy” came out, but I don’t know how possible that’s gonna be because I feel like I’m going to be extremely, extremely busy,” she said in the Instagram Live video.

Cardi B’s debut studio album, Invasion of Privacy, came out on April 6, 2018. If her promised timeline holds up, this means that we can expect her second album around April 2019.

After its release, “Invasion of Privacy” quickly went multiplatinum and became one of the year’s most celebrated albums. It was named the #1 album of 2018 by Rolling Stone and TIME magazines, as well as made many Top 10 lists. The album was nominated for “Album of the Year” at the 2018 BET Hip Hop Awards, 2018 BreakTudo Awards, and the 2018 People’s Choice Awards. She is also nominated for an “Album of the Year” and “Best Rap Album” nomination at the 61st Grammy Awards. Plus a “Record of the Year” nomination for her song “I Like It,” featuring Bad Bunny & J Balvin, and “Best Pop Duo/Group Performance” nominated for Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You,” featuring Cardi B.

Even President Barack Obama listed Cardi B’s “I Like It” as one of his favorite songs of 2018.

Currently, Cardi B is keeping busy touring the world so nobody can be sure about whether her April 2019 deadline will actually happen. Her tabloid-filled personal life may also be at fault if the album takes longer to make. Despite revealing that her and husband Offset “grew out of love” on December 4th, the Migos’ member tried to win her back in a very public way that went very, very wrong, according to ET Online. Yet a reunion may still be in the works after the couple once again sparked rumors that their marriage was on the mend after the two were spotted together in Puerto Rico. Still, none of this is keeping the hardest working woman in music from continuing to work it.

Cardi B most recently released the official music video for her hit, “Money,” which has all of us on Twitter fangirling hard.

Meanwhile, fans are unsurprisingly freaking out about the new video’s release while also looking forward to Cardi B’s next album.

When news of her new album first broke on Twitter, some fans simply screamed “YES!”

That’s five extremely well-deserved exclamation points. Honestly, isn’t that how we all feel right now as we hear this news?

While other fans just said how cool she is. Cause, well, she truly is.

We’re not sure if it was her bright red hair or the fact that she’s doing an Instagram Live or just the way that she is announcing her upcoming album, but we think she is cool too.

And some just talked about how much they’re looking forward to her new album.

Can we add our own “like” to this tweet? Of course, as we look ahead to the new album coming sometime in 2019, we must not forget that Cardi B has also recently blessed us with the music video for “Money”… and it is a song that we can all obsess over until the new album drops.

Meanwhile, some fans are just declaring “Money” their 2019 anthem.

If you wanted a powerful anthem for 2019, then you’ve got it. Cardi B is certainly the lady to show us how to get more money this year.

And their 2019 mood.

Yes, we’re pretty much having ALL of the feelings for “Money” too.

Or, even better, their 2019 theme.

Alexa, don’t stop playing.

Let’s just hope that Cardi B’s timeline holds up and we don’t have to wait for much longer than April 2019 for her new album. In the meantime, we’ll be enjoying the “Money” music video and watching her win all the Grammys.

Read: The Definitive List of Latino Contestants From “The Bachelor” Franchise

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