In It For The Long Haul

Waking up jet lagged and a little disoriented, I decided to hike to the tallest peak here in Split, Croatia, to get the full birds eye view of where I just arrived and to get grounded (literally). 

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Finding myself out of breath 3-minutes into the trek, I was suddenly blasted back to April when I hiked the tallest summit in Central America, Tajumulco. Between the altitude and carrying a 60-liter bag, to say I got out of breath every few minutes is an understatement. 

Me at the top of Tajumulco in Guatemala!

Me at the top of Tajumulco in Guatemala!

As someone who considers themself pretty fit, I found myself struggling toward the back of the group on the way up. 

“Instead of moving quickly, then needing to take breaks to recover because you’re out of breath, try taking veryyyy small steps and never stop. Find a pace that works for you and stick with it.” One of the French hiking guides saw me struggling and offered me this little nugget of wisdom. 

And sure enough, poco a poco, little by little, slowly slowly, I made it to the top without stopping again. 

Though I started in the back in the beginning, I ended up passing several people in my group who were doing the start-stop technique and struggling. 

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The combo of finding a pace that I could sustain (much slower than I typically would expect for myself) and hiking solo up this gorgeous serene summit, gave me a lot of time to reflect and left me with several ah-has that I’m re-remembering today. 

Poco a poco “wins” the race and applies to every aspect of life. 

It’s the tortoise and the hare. 

Especially in a society where we’ve been trained to see instant results and where we can see “overnight success” stories or all of people’s “big wins”, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea of getting “there” really quickly. 

As a college student, “there” may mean knowing what you want to major in and having a life/career path planned out. 

As a 20-something, “there” may mean finding a job you actually like and earning a salary that makes you feel successful. It could also mean meeting a life partner. 

As an entrepreneur, “there” may mean making 6-figures, hiring support, and having a clear business model. 

As a human, “there” may mean being at a weight you feel good in or feeling settled in your life. 

Nobody’s “there” truly happens instantly. Usually it’s a long slow journey - but often this is not the part we hear or see. 

With social media, it’s easier now more than ever to compare ourselves to our peers, role models, or even celebrities. Seeing many of them in situations we’d love to be in, but having no context of the journey it took them to get there. 

Steve Jobs didn’t build Apple overnight. Marie Forleo bartended on the side for years as she build up her life coaching business. All of my friends who’ve finally met “the one” dated several other people on the way. 

On my hike up Tajumulco, this “little by little” idea got me thinking about my dear friend and client, Robyn Youkilis, because she has really lived this.

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Now 10+ years into her health coaching practice, Robyn has built something she’s really proud of but did it nice and slow (and often slower than many of her colleagues).

Over the last 6 years since we’ve been friends, we’ve seen colleagues go from a small simple business to doing multiple 6-figure launches in a year, and then totally burning out in every sense (dealing with health issues or being over their business). Exactly what I experienced on the mountain. 

Pushing super hard beyond what you can sustain, and then needing to take a long break to catch your breath again. 

Though Robyn may not have seen the same income as some of these other ladies, I’ve watcher her go slow, stay consistent and build something amazing + a platform I know she loves. 

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Today as I take in the beauty of Split and remember this simple but important lesson, I am grateful for the reminder that there is no rush to “there,” that “slow and steady wins the race,” and that the journey is really enjoyable. 

Taking it slow is really enjoyable.

It allows space to be in the moment, process what you’ve accomplished, and take stock of if you’re still going in the right direction or need to re-evaluate and change course. 

May you always enjoy the journey and remember that whatever pace works for you is perfect. There is no rush. There is no hurry. Life is a long time ☺️

Xoxo 

Jess 

P.S. For my lady friends, if you’re looking for support on a regular basis to maintain your YES, prioritize your self support, and connect with an awesome community, Robyn runs an awesome program Rockstar Coaching Collective that may be perfect for you. This group has moms, single career driven millennials, health coaches to be, entrepreneurs and more - the key connector is these women are in it for the long haul and know that consistent regular support makes all the difference for staying in the game and not getting burnt out. Robyn is a dear friend, client, and mentor of mine and I have personally experienced the powerful space she holds. If this resonates with you, please check out her program. Enrollment is currently closed (she opens it 2x per year) but you can find out all the info you need on this page! 💓

Why I Cancelled My Amazon Prime Membership

Why I Cancelled My Amazon Prime Membership

For the last few months, I’ve been a “silent activist.” Caring deeply about issues and committing to changing some of my personal actions but staying pretty quiet about it. Lately, I’ve been really inspired by friends who are stepping up and sharing freely about issues that mean something to them. One of these friends, Alex Jamieson, posted on Facebook earlier this week opening a discussion around Amazon and it inspired me to share more on the topic here because it has been particularly relevant to me this year.

Taking A Stand & My Quiet Summer

Taking A Stand & My Quiet Summer

Happy September friends!

I’m ready to step out of from my quiet summer.

Back in April, I had the insight that it was time to take a break from living in NYC. After 7 years of living in this awesome city, I was ready for a change of pace, change of scenery, and a new personal adventure.

I asked myself the question, what would be your dream summer? The answer came really easily - to live close to the beach. The next ah-ha came quickly. Since my family has an awesome beach house… just maybe I could live there for the summer!

And so I made the arrangements to move out to the beach and live in our family’s summer home back cottage.

5 Steps For A Successful Photoshoot

5 Steps For A Successful Photoshoot

When I decided to launch Say Yes With Jess, one of the very first things I did was reach out to a photographer to schedule a professional photoshoot.

I pretty much DIYed everything else (I built and designed my own website, wrote all of the copy), but working with a photographer was a key investment I knew I wanted to make.

When I go to a website, the very first thing I notice and connect to are the pictures. Photos convey a message and help tell the story of a person or brand.

Plus, having professionally shot photos on your website and social media instantly makes you look professional and legit.

My 2018 Theme

My 2018 Theme

At the end of every year, I carve out some time to reflect on the previous year and create a vision or set an intention for the year ahead. Each year it looks a little different.  

This year, I carved out an hour to do my “2018 Intentions & Reflections” right before the New Year.  

I reflected on 2017 - the highs, the lows, my travels, people I went out on dates with, lessons learned…

And took all that into where I feel I want to go and grow in 2018.   

My first post!

My first post!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a writer. A private writer that is.

As the daughter of a journaler -- I caught the bug real early on and have kept it up ever since.

I journaled about my day to day activities, how I felt about the Monica Lewinsky scandal (very mature 9 year old I was!), and eventually about crushes. Boys boys boys.

Even to date, I’m known to always have a cute notebook on hand and probably have 10-15 journals on rotation in my room. They’re filled with stories about life, insights, and visions.  

Although I’ve always loved writing, I’ve never really written publicly (except my short blogging stint in 2010 during my semester abroad… anyone remember Jess Travels The World?)

But one of my goals for 2018 is to change that.