How to ACTUALLY Set Achievable Goals You'd Love!
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Hi I'm Shazie, a mindset + self-love coach ♥ I'm a West Coast-turned-East Coast girl, so naturally I'm conflicted between Dunkin vs Starbs. Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you stick around♥
5 Tips on Setting Boundaries (& Why It's Important!)
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It’s still so crazy to me, I started blogging four years ago in August right out of graduating from CSUN. I was content with my then-9-5 VA Hospital job as my first step out of college, but I knew I wanted and craved more. To backtrack, I’ve always been an avid writer. Writing has become therapeutic throughout the years as it has been and still is my favorite mode of communication.
Let’s take it back to mini me.
Photos by Stephanie Rita Photography
Back in middle school, I thrived off of exchanging cute letters with friends + maybe boys (??). Then, I decided to take my writing game up a notch and worked on design aka working on my Xanga (who remembers this?!) My sister had a gorgeous Xanga (not sure why she didn’t take up blogging, yes I’m talking to you Sis!). Her template was centered around beauty, so it was pink and lipsticks everywhere. It was actually pretty cute. Like any younger sister would, I followed in her footsteps.
I wanted to write, create, and be in my own little bubble.
For context, at this time we were living in a pretty hostile situation. We had just moved to the U.S. with no family around, and that was my only way to cope with living in a domestic violent household. I remember sneaking to use the living room computer while my then-stepdad went to work.
9-5 were the best hours of my day where I could be “free” to live in this make-believe world where everything was as beautiful as my Xanga made it out to be.
When we escaped this shitty situation, I had to switch schools and struggled to make new friends. So off I went to design my MySpace page (hello pink background and decorative fonts!) and making sure my top friends were hidden (bc #clutter), my about me section was polished, and my MySpace song was always the latest (‘Kiss Me Thru The Phone’ was one of them).
Throughout high school, I had a Blogspot and Tumblr to create my little online scrapbooks/editorials.
You could say I was going for the online magazine vibe.
Then, reality hit and I decided to go the practical route. I went to pivot between wanting to be a pharmacist or a lawyer. Eww what? They were spectrums apart, and I had no idea why I spent all those years forcing myself to fit into those shoes. This isn’t written to offend anyone of these majors, I have high respect for those who do. I just did NOT see myself doing that type of work, and I genuinely hated those classes.
In retrospect, I was probably suppressing all of my creativity and had no idea I was doing so.
Fast forward to 2016 where I eventually graduated with my B.S. in public health, I still felt some sort of gap. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy with the path I chose. I mean, I went on to get my Master’s in it, but I knew I couldn’t just stop there. I needed and craved a creative outlet to work on after my 9-5. My 9-5 was all black and white, collecting bio-specimens for research studies, going over research protocols, etc. It was a great stopping point but definitely not where I saw myself.
So in May 2016, I launched The Shaz Diaries. Yes, I know I really could’ve come up with a better name, but I’ll work on a rebrand soon 🙂
When I say “launched,” I meant I legit had no plan. I probably had 4-5 posts up, I didn’t even have a WordPress.ORG website, I had a .COM so switching over was a total pain but so worth it! I worked with a graphic designer off Etsy to create a moodboard + logo, and then I bought a random template off of Restored 316 Designs (all of those components STILL make up my blog today). I also bought this random beginner’s guide to blogging ebook and just dove right in… and here we are!
It’s wild to me how so much has changed these past four years.
I remember talking about finding your passion outside your 9-5, how to chase your dreams despite feeling selfish, tips for making friends as an adult, how to navigate life after graduation, etc. Not only did my writing evolve, I grew and transcended in ways unimaginable. I did not imagine I’d be moving cross country and then STAYING here.
Blogging, to me, is more than pretty designs and brand partnerships. The root of all of this stemmed from my utmost desire to accept and leverage the creative soul that I am, to truly find myself in this world of societal pressures and expectations, and to really get out there and get comfortable with getting uncomfortable.
Based on the quick stories I shared, you’d know I grew up shy. I wasn’t much of a talker, and I struggled with my autonomy. Creating this blog is one of my biggest accomplishments to date, bc not only did I use it to grow personally, I used it as a channel to share some of my life lessons + hacks with friends/family AND the online community.
I connected with fellow creators AND readers, learned how to pitch myself, and overall just became unapologetically me in spite of the naysayers.
If you made it this far, thank you thank you thank you!
I appreciate you for reading, for being part of my journey, and for trusting me to be a space you seek every so often. I hope you know, this blog isn’t meant to be “show-y,” it’s a way to be an online forum, your go-to resource for all things wellness x self-care, and to inspire you to FEEL good wherever you are.
With that said, if you’re looking to start your own blog, YouTube, podcast, etc, you have my support. You’ve probably heard that the field is “too saturated” and maybe that scares you, but honestly, I don’t buy it. We ALL have stories of our own to share, and we all resonate with people in different ways.
Imagine the possibility of your story or your voice changing someONE’s life. Heck, maybe even YOURS.
My advice for anyone trying to start is to simply start. You can tweak and make adjustments later! Most of the time, we’re here brainstorming the perfect launch, when in reality, starting is the best plan!
For instance, I schedule in workouts on my calendar all the time… BUT it gets easier when you actually press play on that YouTube video or when you get yourself to the gym! The hardest part is getting there aka STARTING.
And I get it, you’re attracted by the insane amount of online courses out there: how to get blog traffic, how to grow your IG following, how to use Pinterest to your benefit, how to pitch yourself, etc. It’s overwhelming and robust, but I honestly do not think those courses are required when you’re just starting out. After all, what good are courses if they’re not being implemented?
To sum up why and how you should start blogging: