How To Achieve Your Goals In 2022 Without Losing Your Mind

Hi everyone! First of all, happy New Year. Second, I don’t know about you but I *used* to suck at achieving my New Years’ resolutions. But I’ll be honest with you, the concept of a “New Year’s resolution” is crap, and I’ll tell you why; the name in it of itself sounds intimidating and it sounds like something you absolutely have to achieve, simultaneously putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. However, if you turn that phrase into just simply “goals,” it sheds the pressure.

For example, one of my goals this year is to feel better in my body by intermittent fasting and eating foods that are good for me and give me energy. I was worried at first about losing weight because I thought I’d go straight back into unhealthy eating and drinking habits. Oh yeah, and I quit drinking alcohol cold turkey, which was surprisingly easy! But if you change the phrase, “losing weight” into “being healthier,” again, it sounds less intimidating and actually fun to do! I personally recommend the app “Fastic” — it’s a free app that tracks your fasting windows and actually reminds you to DRINK WATER! If you read/listened to Atomic Habits by James Clear, you’d know that even if you start something and stick with it, whatever “it” is automatically becomes a part of your routine. Don’t get me wrong, I never took a psychology class in my life (and honestly wish that I have!) but I don’t need a psychology degree to know that when you switch a phrase, something you’re trying to achieve will actually become a fun process!

Another trick or “life hack” is choosing quality over quantity. Yes, this concept applies to your lifestyle. For example, another one of my goals is to read 52+ books this year. How do I make that sound less intimidating? I choose good books that I actually want to read, including the books I’m reading in my climate literature class this semester (yes, “cli-fi” is a real multigenre, and yes, I recommend it!). I’m not even going to stress out if I don’t make it past 52 books, as long as I’m having fun reading!

Let’s track back to health for a sec; if you’re struggling with a workout schedule, sit down with your agenda/planner/whatever and schedule when your workouts would take place. But only workout if you feel like it. You can’t force your body to do something. Listen to your body. If you work in the morning/afternoon, it’s more likely that you’ll be working out at night. I have yet to get my schedule in complete order, myself.

In summation, the key to achieving your goals is to have fun doing it, even if you have to change a phrase to wire your brain into wanting to do it.

Like always, I wish you folx godspeed in achieving your goals for 2022! Make this year better than the last two years! Commit to the “new you.”

xoxo,

April

10 Gender-Neutral Ways To Build A Better Dating Profile In 2022

I met my boyfriend on Bumble, and one of the things he told me right off the bat was that he loved the confidence I exuded in my pictures and my responses. He especially liked that I said in response to a prompt that read, “You should swipe right if you…” and I said something along the lines of “if you can find the right girl and stick to her.” We’ve been dating for almost six months.

I care about my followers. And if you are trying to find love, believe me when I say I was in your shoes. And if you’re on a dating app and you’re thinking about giving up, please DON’T. Believe me when I also say that I was sick of guys who were afraid of commitment and sent pictures of themselves on the toilet (if you’re a guy reading this, women don’t want to see the inside of your underwear — GROSS).

Without further ado, here are tips for all genders on dating apps:

  • Pick the pictures that best depict YOU — not some fake smile from a senior photo. I’m talking about your best feature, in your opinion.
  • Pick a picture of you when you were genuinely happy (e.g., graduation, in another country, etc.)
  • DON’T post a picture of yourself getting sh*t-faced or doing drugs. (PSA: please don’t do drugs.)
  • With that being said, an innocent picture of you and another person drinking something like champagne, a martini, or wine is appropriate.
  • Pick a picture of you and your friends (something recent, if applicable, I know it’s hard because we’ve been living three total years in a pandemic!).
  • DON’T post a picture of you and your ex girlfriend/boyfriend.
  • Pick a picture of you doing something you love (e.g., my boyfriend posted a picture of himself in front of BMW’s which he has a passion for — nothing more sexy than that).
  • Make your bio coherent and include what exactly you do for a living.
  • Have a witty response to one question and something serious in another.
  • If applicable, pick a picture of you and a family member, preferably a parent or mother/father figure.

I hope these help, and I wish you all godspeed on finding love in 2022!

xoxo,

April

7 Quotes By Betty White We Can Bring Into The New Year

Today, on New Year’s Eve, we lost a legend a few weeks before her 100th birthday: Betty White. All of our hearts are broken. People say that 2022 is going to “suck” without our paperweight of culture. I say, let her legacy carry into the new year and beyond. And believe me when I say that 2022 is going to be better year.

I realize that 2021 has been rough for a lot of people. As COVID surges from city to city, we have to remember this affirmation: Even though I cannot see the good in a situation, I know it’s always there. That’s not a Betty White quote, but I still have to proclaim my good word.

  1. “I have no regrets at all. None. I consider myself to be the luckiest old broad on two feet.”
  2. “Everybody needs a passion. That’s what keeps life interesting. If you live without passion, you can go through life without leaving any footprints.”
  3. “It’s not a surprise, we knew it was coming—make the most of it. So you may not be as fast on your feet, and the image in your mirror may be a little disappointing, but if you are still functioning and not in pain, gratitude should be the name of the game.”
  4. “My mother always used to say, “The older you get, the better you get. Unless you’re a banana.”
  5. “You’re never too old for anything.”
  6. “Retirement is not in my vocabulary. They aren’t going to get rid of me that way.”
  7. “You don’t fall off the planet once you pass a given age. You don’t lose any of your sense of humor. You don’t lose any of your zest for life, or your lust for life.”

This is just seven, but I do have to share this one poem that I wrote in light of her legacy:

And just like that,

Heaven is a little brighter,

all four corners are gilded,

and the four women who once

graced our televisions are together again.

— Rest in Peace, Betty White

@ AprilFederico

Happy New Year, folx.

xoxo,

April

How To Not Become A Doormat And/Or People Pleaser

I used to self-define myself as a “people pleaser,” which is not the case anymore. I am not a doormat to be walked all over. I am a human being, too, who’s just trying to be satisfied in life– my life. After all, we’re not put on this planet to “please” others.

There’s that saying, and I’m pretty sure I’ve quoted this before, “do what you love and you never have to work another day in your life.” But when you take a job, are you doing it for you? Or are you just doing it to please others? If you said yes to the latter, you’re like me: a former doormat. This is just a hypothetical example, but that’s not to say that I haven’t experienced it for myself. As a writer, I hear the words, “get a real job” ring in my ears all the time, from the first time I heard it. Who said art can’t be a job? Maybe I just needed to vent here, but it’s true. Artist, Wayne Thiebaud painted every day until he was 101 — a prime example.

I stay up after 1 a.m. writing this, with a fire in my heart and an enormous passion for what I do. Some people will call you crazy for pursuing your passion. Some people will try to tell you what to do, try to shut you up, or crap on your passions, only for the sake of pleasing their asses.

Moreover, I can’t help but feel like, when I was bullied in middle school that I let people walk all over me, just like a doormat. I let people cut me in line and hear my name mentioned to my face and behind my back. One time, I got hit in the head and let the guy get away with it, without an apology. When I was in eighth grade, it finally smacked me in the face with a textbook that I was letting all the BS happen to me. There came time when I refused to let people put their feet in the back of my chair and to move a couple of seats down for their “friends.”

The funny thing about being a “doormat,” is that people will think you’re never going to be successful. I hate to say this, but if you let people walk all over you, you will not get what you want, out of a situation or in life. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to take the high road, but it’s also okay to say “thank you” after an apology when it’s certainly not “okay.” And when someone keeps asking you to do something, just say, “I can’t help you this time/anymore because…” but you don’t even have to give a reason, though a reason can help back up any argument.

BLOG-MAS: Reasons To Go To Graduate School

I can hear Taylor Swift’s “…Ready for it?” playing in my head as I write this.

I knew wayyy before I was a senior in college that I wanted to go to graduate school. I had a reason behind it. I knew I wanted to go to graduate school because I knew it would give me a “leg up” in my professional career. The question was, where would I go? What would I do? If you read previous posts, you’d know that I had it narrowed down to law and publishing. I then knew I had to go into publishing for my love of writing and aspirations to one day create my own magazine. I couldn’t let that go to waste! I’ve had people express their preference for me to go into law because I could be successful. But guess what? I’m 25 with a heck of a resume that was possible due to my publishing program at Emerson College.

Some people could have totally wrong reasons to pursue a graduate degree. Yet, at the same time, there are better reasons to go to graduate school.

DO go to graduate school to advance your career.

DON’T go to graduate school just because “it sounds cool.”

DO go to graduate school because you know what you want to do.

DON’T go to graduate school because something like business or law “sound glamorous.”

DO go to graduate school because you want to.

DON’T go to graduate school as a “last resort.”

For some people it’s a quicker decision than others. There’s the ever-popular argument that “everyone is doing it.” Newsflash: not a lot of people do it, and it takes time for some people. You needn’t know what you want to do right when you get out of college. I know people who get their MBA even after getting their first master’s degree, or even their PhD! Whomever said it’s not okay to change your mind clearly doesn’t know this process.

What I Wish I Knew As A First Semester Senior

Chances are you were a first semester senior this past semester, or you’re about to be, depending on where you are in your college career. I remember when I was a first semester senior in college; and I wasn’t completely sure of what I wanted. I didn’t fully know what I wanted until I was a second-semester senior and I was accepted at Emerson College for my MA in Publishing and Writing. For the first semester senior, I’m sorry I took so long writing this post, but even as winter break comes, these are some things you should know now:

  1. Early bird gets the worm for graduate school.
  2. Early bird also gets the worm for law school. So, start early.
  3. It’s okay to dabble in different area of extra curricular.
  4. It’s okay if you don’t do well in math, especially if it’s algebra that you decide to take. Math is hard!
  5. Ask and you shall receive!
  6. You can do anything with a humanities (arts, writing, history, etc.) degree.
  7. It’s okay if you don’t have a secure plan right after college, but make sure you have a job! (No matter if it’s retail, etc.)
  8. You should have an internship secured for your last semester.
  9. Don’t beat yourself up if you thought you were in ostensibly “the wrong major,” no one is in the “wrong major,” so embrace what you know. Everything you learned comes in handy.
  10. You don’t have to make highest honors.
  11. You don’t have to go to graduate school.
  12. Save your money early.
  13. Not everyone will like what you choose to do after college. But in the end, it’s up to you.

Merry Blog-Mas everyone! (:

xoxo,

April

The Crepe Of Life Is In Your Hands | Forgiveness

Alexa, play “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera and then “Unstoppable” by Kat Deluna.

Recovering from a rough Tuesday night and day. I was journaling while picking apart a Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin from Starbucks. I realize that I bite into the bread every day. I’m not talking about carbs, I talking about life.

Every day you and I are winning in this game of life, as the world was designed for all of us to win (and sometimes lose). I remember this one line from Emily In Paris: “I can’t share a crepe, I need the whole crepe.” Although Emily Cooper (Lily Collins) was referring to a relationship with Gabriel (Lucas Bravo), needing the whole crepe applies to every day life.

The crepe is in our hands every day. It may take us a while to get to the center of that creamy, strawberry or Nutella filling. It’s similar to eating a cream cheese muffin or even a cheese danish! Sometimes you are left with crumbs that you can only throw out or that you can wipe off from your clothing, and in some cases, crumbs that stay on the ground. All of the times, you have to bite into the bread/cake that is less exciting and not as tasty as that filling you’re striving for. It’s a matter of fact that you have to bite through the blandness to get what you want. The journey can be sweet and savory, if you think positively. Even if it is bland and a process, it comes with achieving what you want.

Something that I’ve always found strange, since I was in fourth grade, is that people will judge you for simply eating. I remember in tenth grade I got weird looks from an eighth grader while eating a pizza. (What???) Eating is something that not everyone has a healthy relationship with. However, we need food to survive and to get specific nutrients in our bodies. We build these sustainable diets to get the life we want — or even the “glow-up” that we want. It’s similar to that of life because people will judge you for simply doing you and what benefits your future.

In recent events, and after a therapy session today, my therapist and I came to the conclusion that I was probably made to “sit still look pretty.” Who would’ve known, based on my past, that I’d wind up successful? There were points where I could’ve kicked myself for “missing out.” But did I really? No.

It’s simple: I forgive myself. I forgive my past. I forgive the boys who would make fun of my lunches in fifth grade. I forgive those who questioned my adoration for Miley Cyrus. I forgive those who questioned my love for theatre. I forgive those who made fun of my perm in sixth grade (I’ll even admit that wasn’t my best look). I forgive those who made fun of my learning disability out of sheer ignorance. I forgive those who treated/treat me differently because I was/am different. In fact, thank you for doing those things because I wouldn’t have had the courage and the thickest of skins to go on and do what I do. Thank you, universe, for giving me the spirit guides who told me to go on. I continue to tell my story for the rest of my life. I may not be immortal, but every story is.

If you don’t forgive, how do you expect to move on and do what you do now? What you’re passionate about? Never forget the good things that came out of those bad experiences. They may seem bad then, and I’m there’s a middle schooler somewhere reading this. Truth is, reader, whomever you may be: those who mind don’t matter, those who matter don’t mind. You’re not here to just sit still, look pretty, and have your lips zipped. Live your truth, and don’t let society change that.

The crepe, danish, cupcake, and/or muffin is in your hands.

xoxoxo,

April

Habits To Let Go Of By 2022

As we all know, 2021 is reaching its end. It’s no secret that 2020 has led some of us, if not all of us, into bad habits like binge drinking or eating or even being a total couch potato while watching Netflix. In May 2020, two months into the pandemic, I started to realize my self-worth, for the second time. (If you know, you know!) With that being said, some of the things that happened in 2020 led me to negative self-talk, which is one thing to let go of by 2022.

With negative self-talk, you’re literally demeaning your self-worth. Some of this negative self-talk may come from outside sources that say you’re not good enough. If you read The Truth About Self-Esteem, you would know that the truth of the matter is that your self-esteem affects every aspect of your life. As a result of negative self-talk, you’re going to go into a rabbit hole of self-sabotage — the cardinal sin of wellbeing.

Another habit to let go of is to not rush through life like it’s some sort of race. Newsflash: life is not a race. Your only competition is you. After watching a video by Nika Nikita, she mentioned this morbid yet true affirmation: “I am speeding to my death.” Believe me, that can easily apply to driving and living life in the fast-lane. Life is too short to self-medicate with alcohol or getting baked just because you had a rough day. There are alternatives, like realizing that you have this plethora of self-love. This is the only life you will ever have, maybe, unless reincarnation is real — depending on what you believe.

Another thing Nika mentions is how you define your success. To me, success is how much I’ve grown to love my curves, — including the extra fat in my tummy. And what’s icing on the cake is that my boyfriend loves my curves, too! I used to think it was just simply having the “best life,” but what is that exactly? It’s up to you! You are the author to your own story. There will be characters that you don’t like, but yet again, you have no control over their behavior. You just have to play it out and realize that you — the main character — are no tragic Shakespearean hero. Whenever I say this, I always think of Macbeth or Hamlet. Put simply, if you keep focusing on what you think is going to make you successful, it will ultimately lead you to your demise. Again, put simply, that is karma or fate. Let me give you a real-life example; if I were to keep job-searching when I already have everything I need to succeed, I’d go completely bonkers because I’d be feeding my brain with, say it with me… NEGATIVE SELF-TALK!

So, what I’m saying to you is to start letting go of these bad habits and create 1) positive self-talk 2) take the time to stroll through life like it’s a walk in the park (or LIVE IN THE MOMENT!) and 3) own your success, just as it is. Create it on your own terms.

In fact, try this as a journal entry: how do I (you) define success?

For me, it’s to enjoy the freedom I have do to everything I want. I let go of negativity and self-criticism and what people think of me. I am doing the best I can and I am blessed beyond measure.

**If you would like to see April Diaries journal entries, let me know in the comments!

Follow me on Instagram: @ aprilinnewengland

Follow me on TikTok: @ aprilinnewengland

Committing To A Routine

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably ALWAYS on the go. At this point in time, Friday’s and weekends are my only days off, and for that I am grateful. I wake up Monday-Thursday at a screeching 3 AM, and my eyes are screaming for more sleep. On top of that, this semester I have one class that’s on Tuesday and Thursday nights. I’ve unfortunately fallen into the habit of napping every time I get home. No, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with napping; but I’m realizing that it takes a lot of time out of my day. Don’t get me wrong, rest is important. In fact, I actually made it part of my routine!

Speaking of routines, it’s imperative that you commit to one. Coming to terms with it now, I realize that the word “commitment” doesn’t always refer to romantic relationships. In fact, commitment is a part of adulting and daily life. You’re probably thinking, “but today’s my day off, what do I have to commit to?” For me? Well, it’s no secret that I struggle with anxiety, so changes in routine really f**k me up. It wasn’t until I found this video by Nika Nikita about how to change your life. I figured this was part of my “research” on how I could establish a better routine.

One of the things that I do is script. Scripting is a manifestation tool that helps create the life that you want. But the thing about scripting is that you have to commit to it. You can’t just slap down what you want in your life on a piece of paper and say, “okay, my life is set.” No.

Another thing I try to do is meditate. I highly recommend listening to 741 hertz frequencies or even a guided meditation!

Keeping an agenda or even using Google Calendar or Notion is important, too. You need to have some way of keeping your schedule on track and “schedule out your schedule,” so to speak.

Knowing your limits is important, too. You can’t pour from an empty cup. But it’s important to know when and how you’re going to take your “me days.” But think of it this way, every day is a me day because you get to live.

Part of what I learned is to also nourish yourself, particularly with healthy food. I’ve learned from many years of buying Starbucks at school and from Uber Eats that a White Chocolate Mocha Latte and a chocolate croissant isn’t going to sustain you because of all the sugar. (Which explains why I nearly fall asleep by the time it’s 8 AM at work — yikes!) And besides, healthier foods are what sustain us, in the long run. Also, TAKE YOUR VITAMINS, especially those B-Complex, Vitamin C, and Omega-3. Take them daily, too, as that’s part of the routine. Exercise is important, too, even if you’re just simply stretching. I highly recommend FitOn. It’s completely free!

I will get to resets in another post, but for now, grab an agenda, bullet journal, whatever you use to keep track of yo’self and get to building a healthier mindset, and overall sanity.

The Truth About Self-Esteem

It was Wednesday morning and I don’t know if it was the Opalite around my neck but my self-worth kicked in. Though I can’t describe exactly what happened, I knew that I had to stand up for myself and to be treated better. (Disclaimer: this was not a boyfriend situation — he and I are very much still together and things are going great!)

But riddle me this: when did self-respect translate into being rude? When did doing this for the sake of building your own future make you selfish? Why do people get mad when you are just trying to make yourself happy? Don’t people want you to be happy?

Oddly enough, I had a therapy session that same morning. I had to say to him (my therapist) that I instantly felt regret standing up for myself, but why was that? He told me that when you haven’t stood up for yourself in a long time, that feeling of regret tends to occur. It seems sad that it happens. However, I think it’s growth.

The last time I remember this happening, I was called a “petulant child” by a professor and accused of disrespect, which only made me cry harder after sticking up for myself to another professor. I wish I could say to her now that self-respect does not equal disrespect for another individual. Respect is earned, not given freely. And just because you’re an older adult, that doesn’t mean that you have ultimate authority. #SorryNotSorry

With self-worth comes self-esteem. Psychologist, Melanie Fennell concluded the following:

• Throughout your life you form negative beliefs about yourself as a result of the way you have been treated. Psychologists call this your ‘bottom line’ or ‘core belief ’. Your core belief is how you feel about yourself deep down, for example “I’m worthless” or “I’m no good”.


• Confronting core beliefs feels unpleasant, so we all develop rules for living that protect us from our core beliefs. These rules guide how you live your life, and as long as your rules don’t get broken, your core belief stays dormant. People with low self-esteem often have rules that are demanding and rigid, such as “I must always please other people”, or “As long as I don’t get criticized then I’m OK”.


• It can feel very anxiety provoking when it seems like one of your rules might be broken. If one of your rules is “I’m OK as long as everyone is happy”, it might be anxiety provoking if people around you are not happy – you might feel that you have failed.


• When there is a danger that rules might be broken, you might make anxious predictions about what might happen and fear the worst (e.g. “I’ll be rejected if I can’t do everything that is expected of me”), or you might speak to yourself in a critical way, or avoid tricky situations and use strategies to cope.

There’s no doubt that I, and everyone else have had these experiences. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve striven to be perfect to the point of sickness. When I was being bullied severely, I felt like I had to “bow down” to some higher power of what was right versus wrong. I can’t help but wonder now, was that society? Or just simply the place I grew up? I swear, that town had 10 Commandments of being ostensibly cool.

I remember the first day of eighth grade, I had health class at the end of the day and my teacher said to the class, “if you don’t have self-esteem by now, you’re on your own!” Comically enough, I didn’t have any self-esteem. I could have been in a room full of people and still be lonely AF (no pun intended — those are my initials).

I remember crying to my mom, and I choke up as I write this, that whenever I tried to talk, I got laughed and snickered at. When I tried to stand up for myself, I was called mean. Another truth about self-esteem is that is affects every aspect of your life.

My therapist said I had this sort of glow after I stood up for myself. I’ve been constantly worried about telling people what I wanted to do and what I was going to do with my life, but I shouldn’t let that terrify me because what I do is ultimately my choice. You’re the author of your own life. Write your own story without people telling you that what you’re writing is wrong.