Why I’m Leaving My Job At LinkedIn

I haven’t talked much my full-time job as an Insights Analyst at LinkedIn much because it didn’t seem to be so relevant to a health and wellness blog (it kinda felt off brand, ya know?). That was my mistake thinking my personal journey doesn’t bring value to anyone else.

I want to share a bit more about me and my story because I think it’ll help you better connect to my mission and brand. And hopefully you find it interesting!

Soo my side hustle is going to become my full hustle. At least for now. I’m going to the wellness space for the next few months to see where it takes me next. Which means I’m leaving my job at LinkedIn in 3 weeks!

The background:

Like many of us in our mid-20s, I’ve always been someone who has had a plan and a set goal. It felt like life was all planned out for me until I started asking myself “Wait, is this how the rest of my life will feel like?” It was that nagging question that made me want to explore and take some risks. Which is odd because I’ve been so risk averse my entire life.

Though I may risk-averse, I am always honest with myself and those around me. If I’m feeling a certain way I can’t hide it. So when I started feeling a disconnected to my job (even when the company and the people were absolutely incredible) I knew I had to do something about it. I couldn’t fake it for much longer.

I knew I needed a change, and it took me a while before I figured out that I needed a HUGE change that makes me uncomfortable and pushes me to do something completely different. After months of thinking it through, I decided to quit my job to focus on my own wellness projects.

My wellness projects:

I have a feeling my journey will steer me in many different directions and there will be multiple ups and downs but there are three things in particular I want to focus on over the next few months:

+Growing the Citrus & Gold community: If you haven’t already checked out the C&G Girl Gang, you’re in for a real treat.
+Partnering with my mom to create a healthy Indian food recipe eBook: I’ll write a post on this soon!
+Gathering more knowledge: through certifications, consulting, and meeting others in the wellness space.

Sure I’m nervous, scared, and very uncomfortable but I’m also very happy & excited. This feels like the right decision and I am very grateful and privileged that I can take this leap. I encourage you to watch this space closely and I will be sharing many more updates and changes over the next few months. I can’t wait to take you along on this journey with me.

Blocking out the noise

I came back from India, went to Vegas for a conference two days later, got back to work after a month off, and started my gig teaching POP Pilates the week later. Tiring, fun, but doable.

The Noise

I also came back to a lot of other “noise” that was harder to manage. A long list of marketing emails telling me how to run my blog as a business, countless of fitness challenges popping up on instagram feed, and never-ending political posts on Facebook. Compared to physical busyness and real-life hecticness (did I just make up a word?), this mental noise was much harder to cope with.

The intangible content looming around in my email & social media was emotionally & mentally exhausting. What do I read, who do I listen to, and what do I focus on? Do I want to find ways to monetize my blog, do I need a new fitness regime, do I need to be fervently checking my news feed for the latest updates?

Or do I need to step away from it all and just listen to myself without any external influence?

The last couple of weeks, I’ve mentally blocked out unnecessary emails & posts. I’ve shared less on social media, I’ve digested less and really focused on what makes me happy on a day-to-day basis.

And thank god, its working. I’ll follow-up with another post on what specific steps I’m taking to block out the noise, reset, and focus on my own happiness.

P.S. here’s a picture of my grandma and I in India. Isn’t she adorable?

nagpur-india-grandma-me

Why Resolutions Don’t Work (and How to Fix Them)

Why Resolutions Don't Work

Why Resolutions Don't Work

New year, new me – that’s how the saying goes. But what do we really change about ourselves at the turn of a calendar year?

Let’s think smaller…what are you going to do differently TODAY compared to what you did tomorrow. Resolutions are not about next year, next month; they are about today and tomorrow, and the next day. They are on-going and take effort and time.

For a while I used to say “I am against New Year’s Resolutions” but I don’t think that’s entirely true. Resolutions in other words are new goals, habits and I am 100% in support of those two things. If done correctly, New Year’s Resolutions can be beneficial.

Here’s a few ways how we can see New Year’s Resolutions in a different light:

Before writing your resolutions for 2017, reflect and learn from 2016: Many of us so eager to think about the future without learning from the past. What did you well in 2016, what didn’t go so well? What were your priorities and goals and how have they changed? I personally found Maxie Mccoy’s 25 questions reflection workbook really helpful. It helped me reflect about topics I hadn’t thought about like “what money was best spent? And what money was wasted?”.

Don’t jump on the bandwagon: Marketers know that the best time to lure people into their product/service is in the new year when people are hoping to make change. Make sure whatever you sign-up for is what you need for yourself at the moment. For example, many of my friends & family are signing-up for different fitness challenges and I’ve been tempted. But I know my life doesn’t need another fitness challenge right now because there are other more immediate matters I’d like to address (for example, growing this blog!). If you half-heartedly commit to something that you really don’t want or need, you are going to fail.

Think short term: Let’s be honest, how many of us can focus on the same goals for an entire year (if you can, please do share because I’d love to learn your ways!)? For the majority of us, it’s almost impossible to create resolutions for a full year. I’d recommend breaking down your goals into shorter time frames. I like 3 months because that’s long enough to instill a habit and see some sort of results without losing track.

Create a system: Many times we write a goal and fail to think of a system of how we are going to achieve said-goal. It’s important to write concrete, habitual steps you can take to meet that goal. I actually learned this tip from my full-time job where we write our quarterly goals (OKRs – objective key results). Our objectives are high-level but the key results we write are measurable & quantifiable.

Keep them visible: If you are going to create new year’s resolutions make them visible so you are kept accountable. Write them down, post them somewhere you will see them frequently. I know it can be uncomfortable to see your resolutions right in front of your face, but it’s important to have a constant reminder!

Homework time: Revisit your resolutions and see what edits you need to make to make them happen!

I also won’t be a hypocrite. I’m going to write my goals down and paste them on my wall so I can see them – loud & clear :).

Citrus & Gold Year in Review: 2016

2016-best-nine-instagram

2016-best-nine-instagram

Like many people, I was interested to see what my “2016 best nine” were for Instagram. It’s a fun thing to do but it leaves much to be said about the year! 2016 was not just a year of smoothie bowls, overnight oats, and fun photo shoots. It was a year filled with many other amazing memories and events, and some not so amazing events and memories. Today I want to talk about the good, bad, and the ugly for 2016 (I’ve always wanted to use that saying!).

The Good:

Creating the Citrus & Gold brand: Early in 2016 I decided I want to take blogging more seriously and in June I launched Citrus & Gold. I’ve had the opportunity write about my passions, interview some amazing people, and host a couple of fun events. It’s taking some time for me to believe in myself 100% but I’m prepared for even more growth in 2017.

Getting Certified as a POP Pilates Instructor: For a long time I had been thinking “one day I will teach a fitness class.” I had no idea that would happen in 2016! The certification process were nerve-wracking and a little scary but also so fun! It was so worth it and if all goes well, I will start teaching a regular class at 24 hr Fitness by the end of this month!

pop-pilates

Traveling a ton: I feel enriched and nourished by the travel I’ve done in the past year. The places I visited include: Big Sur, New York, Chicago (twice!), Austin, Sedona, Yosemite, and Costa Rica. I actually just came back from Costa Rica a few days ago and I’m itching to plan my next big trip (well after my trip to Mumbai next week ;).

big-sur-mcway-falls

sedona-arizona-cathedral-rock

costa-rica-el-sabanero

The Bad:

Dealing with Health Issues & Anxiety: This past summer I was dealing with some bad gut issues and anxiety that had left me feeling exhausted and unhappy. Other than taking time to heal myself, what really helped me was working with a nutritionist. I had no idea how much the mind and gut are connected.

I actually took some herbal antibiotics last month to start the healing process (I’m thinking of writing a post on it soon – would you guys find it helpful?). I’ve learned that treating gut issues is a marathon not a sprint, so I know I will have to be patient and persistent.

Experiencing my First Running Injury: I’ve been an avid runner for the last 3-4 years and in 2016 I suffered my first running injury. Many experienced runners have had their own set of battles but this injury was a major bummer because it caused me to miss not one, but two half marathons! I started working with a physical therapist right after the injury so the recovery was manageable, but I’m still slowly trying to build up the mileage.

As I’m trying to get back into normal running mode, coincidentally, I was contacted by WholeYou to try out their Dynamover Knee Brace. I was pretty excited because the drugstore knee braces just weren’t doing it for me – they were too stiff and itchy, and never fit me correctly. The Dynamover Knee brace comes in six different sizes so you are virtually guaranteed to find one that fits (my size fell into the kids category – go figure :)).

wholeyou-dynamover-knee-brace

I’ve taken it out for short runs and I love how it feels more like a compression sleeve than a brace. It’s a lot softer and flexible. It gives the right amount of support without constricting your knee too much. Plus it looks way cooler than traditional braces! For a limited time you can use my promo code “CITRUSANDGOLD” for 50% off and free shipping (they have a money-back guarantee as well which is nice). If you have knee problems, I’d recommend trying it out!

The ugly:

My birthday was the same day “you know who” was elected as President. That’s all I need to say.

All in all it’s been a good year, even though there were some less than pleasant things we all had to deal with. Personally it was a year of lot of growth, which wasn’t always easy. There were many moments of self-doubt, confusion, and exhaustion – but that’s what growth is about, right? In 2017, I’m hoping to build on the “growth” foundation I created for myself in 2016.

What do you all have to share for 2016? Please do tell me :)!

*Psst! my review of the knee brace is sponsored post by Mirum Shopper. All opinions are my own.

Birthday Post: Five Lessons for Twenty-Five

birthday-group-pic

A couple of weeks ago I celebrated my 25th birthday (woohoo!). There is a big difference between the reality vs. expectations of turning 25. I can’t say the difference is bad. It’s becoming more obvious that our lives becomes less linear and way more confusing as we grow older…but hey, maybe that’s okay.

Honestly my expectations were kind of boring & left little room for spontaneity (yawn). I never expected that I would be running a blog on the side, or getting certified in POP Pilates, or that I would be meeting some of the amazing people who are now in my life.

With the successes there were also struggles; last year was filled with many emotions. I’d switch between feelings of uncertainty and anxiety to happiness and confidence within a day or even hours. There was a bit of intentional change & unexpected change in my life and it had left me emotionally exhausted (READ: Maybe This is What Quarter Life Crisis Feels Like?).

However, like always, with the good & the bad there were learnings. Plenty of them. And I’ve chosen my top 5 lessons to share for the big 2-5.

Mental health is as important as physical health

It feels like society wants us to be super humans. How many quotes do you see floating around on social media that go like “You can conquer everything!”, “You are Wonder Woman!”, “Rise & Grind,” etc.? They all are with good intention but they neglect how we actually feel and focus more on what we do – even if it doesn’t feel right. With fitness especially, there’s a disproportionate amount of emphasize on the physical. How about we leave a little more space for our minds?

Respect everyone’s time (including your own)

Time is precious & it should be respected. It’s so important to set boundaries for what you are willing to do with your time then allocate it to your work, your personal life, your family, & friends. When it comes to making time for your family & friends do your absolute best to prioritize them in your crazy schedule. Oh, and invest time in those who will make time for you in return.

Don’t waste time on a flat tummy

I can’t tell you how much time I spent in my early 20s trying to get “the perfect body”. I wasted so much time scrolling through blogs & Instagram hoping I’d one day have abs like those I see online. Did it make me feel better? No. Are people going to love me more if I have a six pack? No (well, maybe if I had a six-pack of beer :)).

Think about about all the people you love: if they gained 10 lbs, would you love them any less? No, right? Then why do we care about of own bodies so much as if we need external validation? Take that wasted time and focus your energy on something more fulfilling.

Patience is hard, but important

As millennials when we want something we want it now. Personally, I’ve been impatient with my career, my blog, literally anything you can name. I’m slowly starting to learn that success comes by chipping away at want you want, bit by bit.

Embrace your community

I’m a bit of an introvert so I have a tendency to do things on my own, (somewhat of a lone wolf I may say). Although I do enjoy my independence, I am so much better off with a supportive community around me. This past year I’ve expanded my circle of trust and have let others teach me a whole lot, but more importantly, give me the confidence to continue to do what I love.

So if you are anything like me, realize that there are people who can help elevate you. Trust them, mingle a little, and expand that little (or big!) circle.

Tone It Up Bay Area Getaway: Part I

aimee-torri

The Getaway

I’ve been a silent follower of Tone It Up for the last couple of years. I’ve wanted to get involved in the community for so long, but hesitated in the past. I’m a bit of an introvert so I tend to shy away from group activities and do more things independently.

But I still really wanted to get involved…so I finally took a leap of faith and signed up for a retreat with 30 other local TIU members. We rented a house in Marin and spent three days working out, relaxing by the pool, working out some more and then drinking a lot of wine. It was like a weekend with your sorority sisters…but better.

The Tone It Up Getaway wasn’t actually sponsored by Tone It Up or affiliated in anyway with the official Tone It Up Retreat. The trip was actually planned by a few special women who thought it would be fun to do our own mini-retreat at a much more reasonable price.

Here’s Part I of the Getaway… there’s so much to say that I’m going to dedicate Part II to all the food we ate (because it was that freaking good!).

So what do you do at a fitness retreat?

Our first night in the house (Friday evening) we spent time getting to know each other over food, games, and wine. We also received our super cool swag bags that night – I’ve never seen anything like it: great snacks, head bands, water bottles, and other Tone It Up gear.

We kicked off Saturday morning with our Booty Call. For those unfamiliar with Tone It Up workouts, a “booty call” isn’t what you may think; rather it’s short morning workout to start off your day! You can go on a walk, a run, complete a HIIT workout, whatever gets you up and moving in the morning.

img_1488

tiubootycall

The afternoon was spent relaxing by the pool while drinking sangria & eating Nada Moo ice cream from tub (my new obsession!).

img_1510

Later in the afternoon, we welcomed Leila to lead a 90 minute yoga session. We opened the French doors out to the front yard so that we could set some yoga mats in the living room and others out by the pool to create a partially indoor/outdoor yoga experience.

Immediately we knew this practice was going to be different. First, we were at a fitness retreat in a quiet neighborhood where we could see hawks flying, and hear leaves rustling with the wind. But what made the class truly unique was the spirituality aspect Leila had brought. She began the class with a spiritual chant “Sri Ram Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram” while she played the harmonium.

yoga-leila-chidpose

I’ll be completely honest: I was hesitant to accept the practice due to my personal, internal conflicts with western yoga and Hindu religion (this topic totally deserves it’s own post). However, because she felt so genuine, I was able to fully embrace her style and felt at peace while she chanted. It ended being one of my most memorable yoga practices.

Our final celebrations

You guys, we had our own dance party in the house and it was so much fun! It reminded of house parties we used to have in college, but way less trashy ☺. We converted the living room into a dance & drank copious amounts of wine and tequila, sang our favorite throwback hits, and danced the night away.

team-coral

After an intense night, Sunday morning was a bit of a struggle but we were still determined to workout! Our final organized activity was a 5K hike/run – we marched out in our pink Charity Miles tanks to get our sweat on.

deer-park

Saying our goodbyes was tough, but luckily the TIU community is very active online. It’s been so easy to stay in touch!

I want to thank Raisa, Lauren, and Kara for planning this unforgettable getaway. They went above and beyond to make this event a success by organizing fun activities, partnering with amazing brands, and by taking every step they could to strengthen our community. You ladies are the best!

Look out for TIU Getaway Part II while I’ll recap all the yummy food we devoured.