26 Things I Want to Do at 26

Photo taken by Diana Davis Creative

Photo taken by Diana Davis Creative

This past Thursday, June 1st was amazing. I celebrated the end of my 25th year of life and welcomed the start of my 26th.

What an amazing past few days it has been! My family, friends, coworkers, and Instafriends, all wished me the best, shared wonderful words, and supported me in my born day. I even went to Six Flags on Friday with my close friend and some family members! 

As I am looking at a new year of life, I am looking at new goals and to-do lists to accomplish. 25 was an incredible year where I conquered so much and did more than I could ever imagine.

I started this website. I graduated from my 200hr yoga teaching certification. I continued on my road to being a social agent in my masters degree program. I also have made so many professional accomplishments! 

There is so much more I want to do now at 26. So I decided this week will be a post on my goals. From the blog to finances. let's go through what I want to do! 

WEBSITE

1. Make visual and structural changes to shannatyler.com. One of my top goals for the website is a facelift. The 1 year anniversary for the website is Monday June 12th. With that, I have been wanting a complete change of design. I am now realizing I am more of a yoga teacher who is a blogger than a blogger who is a yoga teacher. 

2. Highlight my yoga classes and offerings. A major change in my new website design will be sharing my yoga offerings. In receiving my certification in December 2016 and teaching in so many different places, I now am going to dedicate a good portion of the website to that. Stay tuned! 

3. Mix in yoga with Sunday lifestyle posts. My Sunday lifestyle posts are huge for me and I find is such a great way to connect with you all! Those will still be the same, however I find a lot of the conclusions I come to for the week are guided by yoga. I will be adding in that as well. 

4. Collaborate with more bloggers. I am in love with connecting with other bloggers. Melanie, aka Headstands & Heels, recently featured me in her Girlboss Squad series. The blog post is here. After that lovely experience, my goal is to collaborate with more awesome girl bosses. 

YOGA

5. Become more confident as a teacher. This is a loaded one!! I am so new at teaching and it can bring up so many emotions. I worry about if I am satisfying everyone but I am realizing I love what I do and my style of teaching is enough! 

6. Create yoga videos on YouTube. Venturing into video has scared me for many reasons. It is a permanent and lasting representation of me as a yoga teacher that will evolve over time. It also is subject to more criticism than, say, an image of me in crow pose. But I am finally getting over it. Videos will becoming very soon in collaboration with a videographer I have met from Instagram. 

7. Work with a private clientele for yoga. I love yoga guys. I love it so much I want to come into people's homes and teach them one-on-one. In flirting with the idea of this, I have come to the conclusion that I really want to open up my mind to this and I am now offering time in my schedule to be a private yoga instructor! Let me know if you or anyone you know is interested :) 

FITNESS 

8. Have a fun time being an Athleta ambassador. This whole fit world is full of unexpected surprises! Never imagined Athleta would reach out for me to be an ambassador. But here I am, now a part of this amazing brand that has been nothing but instrumental in this space and reaching out to real women in the fitness realm. I just want to have fun and go along with the ride! 

9. Start another fitness routine that sticks. BBG by Kayla Itsines was a fitness routine that stuck with me in 25. I am not sure I am so convinced about it now. My schedule and lifestyle has changed so much that I am looking for something that sticks more. I am thinking about more weightlifting. 

10. Try out different fitness classes. I have been wanting to try rowing classes, trampoline jumping, and other cycling studios other than SoulCycle (I'm a traitor, I know!!). But in all honesty, I want to have more fun and diversify my fitness classes! 

TRAVEL

Photo Taken by Diana Davis Creative

Photo Taken by Diana Davis Creative

11. Travel more in the U.S. I am not much of a traveller in my own state. I have not seen many of the attractions that I would like. I really want to go to more states and venture outside of the Tristate area. New York and New Jersey are the only states I go to, and I live here! 

12. Make it to London. If I do anything on this list, this is the biggest dream. I have no idea why I have been wanting to go to London for so long, but I have. In 26, I am making this dream a reality. 

13. Go on a yoga retreat. Yoga and retreat both sound like amazing things. When you put them together, it sounds like my idea of yogi heaven. Definitely will be going on one this year! Let me know if you know any or want to join! 

LIFESTYLE

14. Move out of my parents house. Lol, guys. Let me tell you. I love my parents dearly, but this has just got to happen. I need to finally be a big girl and make this leap to moving. I can do it, both financially and physically. But... mentally, it has been a challenge, and it's shown in the next section. 

15. Live in the one and only Brooklyn. Brooklyn is my favorite borough. I want to move there, I want to live there, I want to eat there, I want to breathe there. If I could do anything, it would be to have a nice studio/loft in BK. 

16. Adopt a pet; become a cat lady. Cat ladies are my heroes. I want to join the cat lady gang in this year of life. I absolutely love cats; their independence and their personalities just appeal to me!! So, yup, certainly happening. 

FINANCES

17. Become financially independent. Mommy and Daddy cannot be my bank accounts anymore. Not that they ever were, but relying on them to pay bills (rent, utilities, etc.) is not enforcing this dream of independence I have. To be fully independent, I must venture out from under their financial wings. 

18. Invest in the stock market. Learning more about the stock market has always been an interest of mine. I am not usually a risk-taker, but I am usually an informed decision maker. In finding out more about the stock market, I can assess the best investments to make. 

19. Stick to a budget. Numbers are not my thing. I would rather walk on hot coals than open up an Excel spreadsheet and outline expenses. But you know, it has to be done :D 

SCHOOL

20. Achieve all As. My current GPA in my Masters of Social Work is 3.9. I have all As and one B+ (grrrrrrrr!!!). I am intent on getting all As this year and will do it!! 

21.. Begin my Leadership and Macro Practice track. In my program, I was tasked with choosing a track for my studies. It was between Clinical, Research, and Macro Practice. I decided Macro Practice, and I cannot be happier to say I will be focusing my studies on how to organize, build, and empower communities, especially those who are oppressed. 

22. Invest time in study abroad. A study abroad program has always drawn my eye since high school. I will make it a point to do this in my 26th birthday for Summer 2018! 

23. Approach a professor as a mentor. I have my eye on a certain professor to become my mentor. Mentors are wonderful to have and can be so empowering, especially in a field such as social work. I am going to be establishing a mentorship relationship this year. 

RELATIONSHIPS

24. Prioritize time with family and friends. Doing this was a huge failure at 25 haha!! I realize I was investing so much time on the blog, on networking, on yoga teaching, and on so much more that I sort of forgot about how important my family is. 

25. Show love with action. I am a wonderful person at saying how I feel, but I can get better at showing it through gestures, especially to my family. I will make it a thing to cook for them, shop for them, and show kind gestures. 

26. Remember where I came from. My parents mean the world to me. Like literally, if I could give them this world, I would. I will make it a point in my venturing toward independence to not forget where I came from. A loving household in Jersey City with parents who put up with me year after year :D

Funny enough, there are so many other goals I have for this year of my life, but these are on my top. 

I cannot wait to grow the website and grow along with you all. I look forward to this new journey on shannatyler.com and taking you along with me! 

Don't forget to subscribe to the site to get Monday posts on how you can flow with me, as well as intention building for the week. Some new stuff is being planned too ;) And thank you to all the lovely subscribers now!! You guys are the MVPs <3 Have an awesome Sunday! 

-ST

I Spent 25 Years Of My Life Thinking Money Makes Us Happy, I Just Realized it Doesn't

I remember the first time I decided to start using my first credit card. I was in high school and continually swiped that Visa without knowing where the money came from. 

I thought money just appeared in it. Oh how little did I know that my parents were the funds behind all the swiping. I was in for a rude awakening once I hit college and the family funds no longer went into my credit card payments. 

In my college years and early 20s, I thought money would make me happy. I searched for my happiness in the swipe of a card. I looked for happiness in a new article of clothing, footwear, and electronic. I would be happy for a moment, and then I would make another purchase to find some other short-lived happiness. 

At the age of 25, it started to hit me. My credit card payments built up and my back account was in the negative. All of those impulse purchases caught up with me, and I had no way to pay them off. 

I became embarrassed when I had to step in the bank and give them my paycheck. I watched each hundred get eaten away by missed payments and outstanding balances. I also gotten to know each of the bank tellers' names and numbers. That's when I knew I had a problem. 

Shanna Tyler Money and Happiness

My main problem was thinking that money, itself, would make me happy. I used money for the days that I was upset. I relied on it to put on a smile back on my face whenever I had a tough day. 

Back when I had tough jobs that did not serve me, I would run to the mall and buy everything, from lingerie to perfume to sportswear. I would empty out my debit cards and open up credit cards with my favorite spots. I still wasn't happy. 

Money did not make me happy and I realized it when I was hit with those payments and when I was hit with my own deeper issues. 

I am realizing we make ourselves happy, and money can support us in our happiness. I am the happiest I have ever been in my life, even though I make and spend less money. 

In this year, I have decided to become a yoga teacher, a blogger, a do-gooder, and an ambassador. I have decided to dedicate my life to helping others on their life journeys, along with navigating my own. These are all my passions and have allowed me to be so much happier. 

As I have reached my happiness, I am now using money to support it. I no longer crave impulse purchases, but I am now looking at smart investments and monetary triumphs. 

This is just the beginning of my new mindset with money. I am now committed to becoming better with money as much as I have become my happiest self.

It took me 25 years to realize that money does not equal happiness, but I am happy to say it has not taken my whole life. I have only scratched the surface of my career, and I have only scratched the surface of my finances. 

The way I am learning how to use money to support me in my life is by listening to informative podcasts and reading inspirational books. 

I highly recommend You Are A Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero. This book has been helping me tremendously on working through exercises to better help my money mindset. I recommend this to anyone and everyone working on their cash flow! 

I also highly recommend the Prosper + Profit Podcast by Clarissa Wilson. I have been listening to it on my commutes and it helping me build what Clarissa calls a money relationship

Thank you so much for reading and for being a part of this blog. This Thursday, June 1st, I will be 26 and I wanted to share this intimate part of my journey with you. Money is not an easy topic, and I am hopeful this helps and touches at least one of you guys! 

I must also officially announce that the blog turns one year old on Monday, June 12th!! I cannot wait to share with you guys what I have in store for this new year of life and this new year in the blog :) 

In the meantime, thank you again for reading today's blog! Let me know any thoughts in the comments, I love to hear from you! 

-ST

I Don't Regret Quitting My Full-Time Job, But Here's What I'd Do Differently

My 26th birthday is approaching on June 1st, and it is making me reflective on my journey. Almost a year ago, I officially made the decision to quit my full-time job. From this post in August to today's post, so much has happened in between. 

I am still pursuing my Master of Social Work with a graduation date set for August 2019. I have become a 200hr certified Yoga Teacher through the Yoga Alliance. I recently accepted an offer to be an Athleta Ambassador, as well as a job as a Crunch Group Fitness Instructor for Yoga. 

There have been so many amazing opportunities coming my way, and I cannot even foresee the future. But looking back, I realized I could have made much better decisions leading up to my decision. 

Photo taken by Alexis M Damenย 

Photo taken by Alexis M Damen 

I would have come up with a detailed plan of what I would do. Planning is the key to success. When we plan ahead of time, we allow ourselves to prepare for what's to come. 

I did not plan when I decided to quit my full-time job; I had actually no idea what the plan was. I knew I wanted to work part-time in a mental health clinic, but did not know which one. I was still searching by my last day and got one within a few days (thank goodness!). 

What I would've done differently was have a job lined up and had given myself a two week break to really reflect on my move. I would've given myself a chance to really let it sink in that I was leaving, as well as to give myself a break from the craziness of working full-time and going to school part-time. 

I would have saved up more funds and allowed myself more time to budget. Saving and budgeting are must-haves for any financial decision, and quitting a full-time job is definitely included. 

Guys, I did a horrible job at this. I had barely any savings and went a few weeks without having any income. I had to rely on my family, which I felt terrible for since they did not make that decision for me. I quit my job thinking that a few hundred would get me by, without accounting for my bills. 

What I would've done differently was create a budget and timeline of when I was leaving, along with saving up enough for at least three months. This would've allowed me not to feel panicked in finding another job, in making the next move, and in surviving without a full-time income. 

I would have reached out to more people and see what works/doesn't work for them. Learning from others is such a great tool. Whether it is someone in a similar track as you or someone who has done it all before, they can lend such valuable advice. 

If I did my journey all over again, I would've asked the people I know who are entrepreneurs and girl bosses what they did. In August, I kept my decision all to myself and that was not the best move. I really needed the advice of people that did it too. 

What I would've done differently was tap into my network. I would've asked all the ladies I know who have their own businesses how they quit their full-time job and transitioned. I would've asked all the professionals I know how they got through their master's program. I also definitely would've asked the women I look up to, my mentors, about what they suggest in my journey. 

I would have done it all again. Even though there are things I would've done differently, I would totally do it again. My decision of quitting my full-time job and getting a part-time job, while going to school, being a yoga teacher, and keeping up with the blog, was the smartest choice I made. 

This time last year, I was stressed. I was juggling too much at once. Not that I do not juggle a lot now, but the strict 9 to 5 rules were not going to work with all I had in mind. Although, I would certainly do all the above differently. 

I would like to note that I have my parents as a great resource in quitting my full-time job. I wouldn't have done it without them. For some, this would not have even been possible. I am grateful for them, however I would've also not been so reliable on them if I had done the above steps. 

In reflecting on my step, it was risky. I had no idea I would have the opportunities I have now. But it takes a step toward the right direction to help us find ourselves. That being said, I have definitely no idea what is in store. However, I am excited in not knowing. 

For anyone who wants to pursue their dreams, I recommend the above steps. I recommend really gathering information before doing it. I also recommend believing in yourself. After I quit my full-time job, I let the doubts melt away and committed to each step. 

Last not but not least, I recommend being open to looking back and saying "here's what I'd do differently" for those who might look to you for some answers. 

Have a great week all! Let's take this week to reflect on all that has gone right and all that we have accomplished.  

-ST

The Lessons I Have Learned from My Mom's Smile

My smile has not always existed; I literally got it from my mama. Her smile is known by everyone who comes in contact with her. 

Within time, it became mine too. How did I get my mother's smile? The amazing life lessons I have learned from her have turned me into the smiler that I am today. 

Photo taken by Alexis M Damen

Photo taken by Alexis M Damen

There is nothing wrong with sharing a gift. When I was younger, I used to hear from everyone how pretty my mom's smile was. I hated it so much that I used to be embarrassed by her smile. 

It took me until I was around eighteen to appreciate my mother's smile. After I started appreciating it, I noticed I began smiling the same exact way. I also noticed that I loved smiling   I have the same exact smile. I find myself smiling at everyone, from friends, family, to strangers.

When you share a gift, it can benefit you as well. I remember the first time I saw my mom cry. As soon as we got in the car, she burst into tears. My heart ached and my eyes teared. 

At that moment, I did not know what to do. I never saw my mom cry, but then she did something unheard of through her tears. She smiled at me. I was dumbfounded. Until I realized why she smiled. 

She smiled because she needed to be strong and needed me to be strong. She smiled as a gift to me to tell me she was okay, and she smiled as a gift to herself to keep on moving. After she cried, she got out the car and resumed what we were doing. Strength is what I remember from that story, too. 

Life is tough, but we are tougher. My mom can smile her behind off, and she can smile when things are hard. I am learning to do the same. 

One of the many great things about my mother is she has this way of getting through such tough crap and still being able to smile despite it all. I have been with her through so many moments and times when she was dealing with something difficult, but she never faltered. 

In the end, she always finds a solution. In the end, she always makes it through. In the end, she has always kept the smile on her face.   

Do not mistake a hard day with a bad life. The smile I have inherited is one I can find every day, because of this lesson. This might be one of the most important ones I have learned from my mother. 

When I am having a tough day, I call her first. I talk to her and complain about the day. Somehow, it turns into a smile. How does it happen? It's because of her outlook on life. 

My mom's smile tells me that there can be hard times throughout a day, but it is not a hard life. There can be a past filled with hard stories, but it does not make a bad life story. Her smile tells me that even what it is down can be lifted up, just like the corners of a mouth. 

We all can learn from the maternal figures in our lives that pass down something with us. It can be a piece of jewelry, a book, a house, or a skill. Whatever it is, along with it comes the same traits and the same characteristics. 

For me, it happens to be my mom's smile. One that has taught me many lessons and has shined a light when I thought it was dark. Her smile has taught me how to smile and how to appreciate each day I can. 

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and those who have taken on that role. I also know my mom, who is the first person to have read this blog, is reading. I want to tell you... 

My momma <3

My momma <3

Happy Mother's Day

-ST