Tag: Happy New Year

Sprinkle kindness everywhere!

Sprinkle kindness everywhere!

It’s been a great month because kindness is floating around everywhere.  From kindness days at my high school to the amazing night I had when I went to speak to the American Association of University Women (AAUW) group in Carbondale.  It was such a pleasure to meet and interact with such a lovely group of women who are dedicated to making their community and the world a better place for others.  I felt honored to be invited to speak to them about my Backpacks for Success project and my passion for giving back and helping others.

Backpacks for Success is a community project that I started so that I could give back to students that cannot afford backpacks and basic school supplies.  This is the third year I’ve coordinated it and each year it seems to get bigger and bigger.  This group was phenomenal to speak with because they do so many amazing things in the community.  In fact, one of the coolest parts that I learned that evening is I actually had the grandson of the women who invited me to speak in my one of my classes at the high school.  Small world!

Lastly, kindness days at the high school were fun, but the best thing about it is the door that my mom helped me create to correlate with our kindness message.  We created a door that emphasized what I think it important – sprinkling and spreading kindness everyday to as many people as possible.  Help make the world better by doing one random act of kindness at a time.  Happy 2019 – may you embark on my #ProjectKindnessBook challenge and spread more kindness where you live!

~jj

#ProjectKindnessBook

#AlwaysChooseKindness

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The #1 NYE Resolution!

The #1 NYE Resolution!

There are lots of resolutions to be made and goals to be set as we head into another New Years Eve.  As you add a new diet to your list, new health and nutrition goals, weight loss, less sugar, and the countless other resolutions, I hope kindness is at the very top for each and every person.  It’s what keeps the world going!  It will give you more purpose, meaning, and happiness than any other goal on your list.  I promise you this, and my book, Giving Back: Lessons from an adopted immigrant on why a happy life is about helping others will affirm why this is true.

As I wrap up 2017, I am thankful for the trip to the nation’s capitol that my husband and I just embarked on.  While there, I was reminded once again why I find travel to be so therapeutic.  The melting pot of people and cultures was lovely, but more than that, the ability to provide guidance and help to them was at the heart of the trip.  My husband and I gave directions to several in DC (while we were ‘tourists’ ourselves it never fails that we get asked how to get somewhere, even when we were in Ireland!).  We also helped someone off the ground who fell at one of the monuments.  What was even sweeter is when my husband said, “I did the same thing earlier today” to make the young twenty-something feel better.

Lastly, as we traveled home we got behind a very slow person in the security line at the airport.  It was a mother with a young child who didn’t put her stuff through the scanner.  The security personnel instructed her to do so and we continued on our way.  Later, I ended up sitting next to her on the plane.  The little girl she had was absolutely a doll.  I lipped to her “Hi” and in the most bubbly little voice she said “Hi” back.  While the mother was between us, the little girl liked to observe me discreetly.  I eventually lended a hand to the mother who was giving the little girl her lunch by throwing her trash away and providing extra napkins for a small spill that occurred.  After all, it can be overwhelming and stressful when you are traveling alone with a small child.  She said back to me, “Thank you so much.”  It wasn’t more than a minute or two later when she looked at me again and said, “That was so kind of you” (after throwing her trash away).  These are the resolutions I hope we are all making for 2018 – to be kind to one another, help one another, and give back to those around us.  Cheers to much happiness and good health next year and LOTS OF KINDNESS!

While Christmas, New Year’s, and the holidays will soon be over until next year, kindness and giving back throughout the year should be resolutions for all.

~jj

#ProjectKindnessBook

#AlwaysChooseKindness

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Stay-cation or vacation, just make it an active one!

Stay-cation or vacation, just make it an active one!

Sorry for the almost-a-month long hiatus.  I took a short break to spend time with family over the holidays, enjoy some relaxation, and go on vacation with my boyfriend to Europe.  Our time in Europe was quite lovely and what I liked most about it was that it was an active vacation!  After walking mile after magnificent mile going from place to place in Europe I realized how much I absolutely love it there.  I have always dreamed of having a job where I can either walk, bike, or bike/walk to work.  That is something that was a majority in Europe (biking and walking everywhere and by everywhere I literally do mean everywhere, everywhere, everywhere 😉 ) and is probably one reason why you don’t see many, if any, obese people there.  I would say Americans could learn a thing or two from them!  I found it to be refreshing and fun, and a little exhausting, too!  My point is that whether you go on a vacation like me or enjoy a stay-cation at home remember that you can always make it an active vacation, which is my favorite kind!  You can go to Europe where staying active will not only be easy, but also unavoidable 😉 You can go on a beach vacation and take walks or jogs along the beach or you can go on a mountain vacation and go skiing.  Just remember that when you go on vacation, don’t just throw your workout out the window.  Consider small workouts, walks, and exercise routines that will keep you moving.  If you’re enjoying a stay-cation, consider hikes, organizing and cleaning to keep you busy, or other small routines that keep you active.

Once I got home and gave myself a few days to recover from the vacation and get back into the correct time zone after the jet lag, I got myself right back into my workout routine.  The week I would be starting back my workouts just happened to be Christmas week, but after taking 9 days off it was important to get myself back into the groove of life.  I got up Christmas morning and decided to hit the workout room before any Christmas festivities got under way.  Plus, all my Christmas fun is typically on Christmas Eve.  Anyway, back to this Christmas workout when my mom decides to semi-jokingly and semi-sarcastically say, “You just have to workout, don’t you?”  As if somewhat sickened, yet proud that I hold the will and motivation to workout on Christmas Day when many people do not hold the same discipline or expectations.  I know she knew in her mind that either way no matter what that I was going to workout because we had no plans or restrictions that would prevent me from fitting in a quick 30 to 40 minute workout.  Not to mention, for me, it is important to stay true to myself and my health, meaning I make it a priority even during the holiday season.  As I expressed to my mom, it’s the time of year when we all tend to eat a little more, eat a little less healthy, and eat until we feel like we might pop because we are so full.

My point?  Remember that you should try to keep the promises you make to yourself and goals you have for yourself, even during the holiday season.  That means sticking to your workouts, taking walks, and doing short exercise routines in-between holiday parties, festivities, etc so your friends and family understand that health is very important to you.  This keeps you in your normal routine and rhythm so that come January you are already in your same workout routine and schedule rather than taking a long hiatus from Thanksgiving through the New Year when you eat more calories and can easily slip into the winter slumber of not working out.  If you take a hiatus be prepared for a difficult time when you start back up again.  It makes it that much harder to get back into the swing of things, get your body and routine back in sync, and fulfill new resolutions that you should have never given up or done away with for a month to begin with.   Don’t feel guilty if this is what you did, but consider making changes next year  to keep your healthy lifestyle routine all year round!

So whether you are going on vacation, enjoying a stay-cation, or intertwining the two as I did during my holiday season, make it an active one that keeps you moving, gets you going, and helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle in the process!

Happy New Year, may 2015 be the year for exercising, good eating, and healthy lifestyle choices for you and yours!

~jj

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