Anna Maria Locke

First Trimester Recap and Recommendations!

2019Anna Locke
First Trimester Recap and Recommendations.png

Happy March! I’m writing this from my cozy home office on a gloomy rainy Thursday but the days are noticeably getting longer, the birds are starting to chirp, my energy is slowly starting to come back, and I’m feeling little tiny pops inside my belly. If you’re reading this you probably follow me on social media and know that yes, I’m pregnant and due in August!

It’s been quite the journey to get to this moment… the word “journey” always sounds cliche but it’s really the best word.

I’m sharing my daily pregnancy related updates over on my wellness Instagram account @annainspiresjoy, so follow me there if you want more, but also wanted to write an official first trimester recap. As of today I’m 19 weeks, almost half way ! and every single day is a new learning curve. I know this is just the beginning.

So let’s take it back to the start…

Ben and I decided to officially start trying to grow our family back in October 2017.

We went through all the phases of trying to conceive (TTC):

  1. The initial excited “let’s stop NOT trying” and ditch birth control for a few months.

  2. Realizing that even though I track my period and phases of my cycle, I should probably start tuning into my fertility aka if and when I am ovulating. By now I’ve learned that women are only fertile a few days every month (despite everything we learn in high school health class and the fear of pregnancy we constantly live with throughout our 20’s).

  3. Chart my basal body temperature (I used the Kindara app), pay a bit of attention to my cervical fluid (egg white discharge = sperm highway), start to use ovulation predictor strips, basically turn my body into a science experiment!

  4. Start wondering how we had so much energy for sex back in our 20’s. Ahhh youth is wasted on the young.

  5. April 2018, find out I am pregnant!!

  6. May 2018, lose the embryo at about 9 or 10 weeks

  7. Summer of 2018: all the grief, all the healing, all the margaritas (do you know tequila is the only alcohol that is not a depressant??)

  8. August 2018: repeat from step 3.

  9. Learn the hard way that even when you are healthy and “fertile", there is only a 30% chance of conception at any perfectly timed time. Insert ALL THE VARIABLES. (Again, why do we spend so much emotional energy freaking out about avoiding pregnancy in our 20’s?? This shit is hard.)

  10. December 2018: feel all the signs, pee on a stick, here we go again!


How I found out:

A day or two before I was due to start my period, I went to my friend Juliana’s apartment downtown for a girls night. I was drinking straight kombucha and water instead of wine, so the girls were technically the first to know. My energy felt a little woozy and dreamy, just like it usually does right before my period, but I also felt different. I had a suspicion I was pregnant because it was the same type of jet lag//sore breasts feeling I had when I confirmed my first pregnancy, but I didn’t want to feel too paranoid just in case I was wrong, since I’d been hyperfocused on my body for the past 3 months and every time I got my period again it felt more and more emotionally draining. When you’re actively trying to get pregnant, it’s almost impossible not to obsess during the two week wait aka the time between ovulation and when you get your period.

I waited a few more days to see what would happen (still no period) so on December 5 I woke up early and went straight to the bathroom, and sure enough, line!

Ben was still sleeping but I ran back to bed and told him the news, and we were both a mixture of excitment, disbelief, and “here we go again.”


Sharing the news

That next weekend I took the train down to central Illinois to visit my family and see my little sister perform in her high school Madrigals, and immediately told my mom the news because i knew no matter what happened, I wanted her support. I somehow made it through the rest of the weekend without telling the rest of my family, but ended up spilling the news to my dad over Christmas after I refused his offer of wine for the 3rd time (very unlike me, lol).

I wasn’t able to schedule my first doctor’s appointment until after New Year’s when I would be about 9 weeks pregnant, which stressed me out a bit because that was around the time I had my miscarriage, and I was anxious to know that everything was developing ok. The first few weeks of pregnancy (they actually start counting “week 1” as the first day of your last period, so by the time you get a positive test you’re at least 4 weeks along) are so fragile and early miscarriage is way more common than we really know. Sometimes the embryo doesn’t start growing, sometimes it doesn’t have the right chromosome combination, sometimes something random goes wrong. There’s nothing we can really do about it, and early pregnancy loss is NOT. YOUR. FAULT. Your body is simply doing its job.

But still, even knowing all that, it’s impossible not to get emotionally attached to this little lentil. The hormone surge is pretty intense right off the bat as well.

Keeping the secret was honestly easier than I expected. After my miscarriage I assumed I’d want to share right away if I got pregnant again, but once it finally happened I wanted to keep the news close to my heart. The hardest part was keeping the secret from my health and wellness accountability groups and coaching team, and also having to stop sharing my cycle updates on Instagram haha. I’m normally such an open book on social media and hate not being able to be honest.

Also, while sharing the news with friends and family is exciting, it also is a lot of work and takes a bit of time to get hold of everyone! Once we had told our immediate family and closest friends, Ben finally with many eye rolls let me post our “baby Benanna” reveal on social media :) I was overwhelmed by all the support we received and it put me on a high for several days!

My best friend the couch - where I spent most of my time from December through February.

My best friend the couch - where I spent most of my time from December through February.

Frequently Asked Questions

-did you do anything differently the month you conceived?

Not really! It took us 4 months to conceive this pregnancy, and this is when I had a clockwork regular ovulation and “timed” sex just right (the days before and during ovulation). I read that there is only a 30% chance of conception at any given time even if the timing is perfect, it just depends on the sperm and egg, lol. And if I think about my friends who have gotten pregnant, probably 30% of them made it on the first or second try.

-did you feel “pressured” to get pregnant again, since I was sharing my journey so publicly?

Not at all! I love sharing menstrual cycle awareness and teaching women how to tune into the energetic and creative shifts we experience throughout the month, and I am very open about sharing what’s up with my own body. I didn’t feel external pressure to get pregnant right away because I didn’t share the specifics or details of when we were trying again. Honestly the hardest part was NOT sharing details about my cycle or period during the first trimester, before we spilled the news, and pretending everything was normal. I’m sure a few people who watch all my IG stories guessed what was up :)

the best cheap pregnancy tests.jpg

-what pregnancy tests did you use?

When we first started trying to conceive 18 months ago, my best friend recommended this Costco sized giant box of ovulation predictor and pregnancy tests. You get 50 OPK and 20 pregnancy tests for $16.50 on Amazon Prime, they lasted me the entire time and I still have some left! They’re super basic, but seem to be pretty sensitive and accurate. If you want the fancy test that says “pregnant” go for it, but I would rather spend my money on cute baby stuff or pregnancy books.

-what are your favorite pregnancy books?

I have always been a bookworm and obsessed with learning and collecting knowledge about things I’m going through, so it has been a fine balance between learning and not wanting to overwhelm myself with other people’s opinions. I want to make sure I’m tuning into MY body and intuition at all times.

However, here are a few of my fave books I’d recommend for holistically minded mamas!

-are you still working out?

I’m so grateful I’ve been able to stay active all throughout my pregnancy. I was working out 6-7 days/week before I got pregnant so my doctor said it was fine to continue what I was doing.

I’ve had to scale back intensity and make some modifications simply because my body won’t let me push myself as hard as I used to. As long as nothing is wrong, I don’t think we need to worry about pushing too hard or doing something to harm the baby during exercise because our bodies have their natural limits… just make sure you listen to what feels good.

I’m a huge fan of home workouts because the mere thought of going to a gym or studio right now makes me feel exhausted. I can only handle 20-30 minutes at a time, and being able to roll out of bed, eat breakfast (because I am ravenous and blood sugar crashes more easily), then get my workout in at home has been so convenient.

I was so exhausted and fatigued that I tried to get out for a walk a few times a week, but since it’s been so cold and icy outside I’ve mainly been hanging out at home, and feel like my 20-30 minute workout is plenty.

I’m still running health and fitness accountability groups and am about to open a special community for pregnant or new moms! If you’d like more info, click here to apply to join us!


-what food aversions and cravings have you had?

I know that cravings are a huge stereotype of being pregnant, but I’ve had more aversions than actual cravings. Everyone knows what it’s like to have a craving even if you’ve never been pregnant before, but I don’t even know how to describe the weirdness that is a food aversion. Even now I’m out of the first trimester, my body physically rejects meat and veggies. If I force myself to eat something that I don’t want, it tastes gross and I feel nauseous.

I couldn’t stand the thought of meal planning, cooking, or eating leftovers. My strategy was to wander the aisles of Aldi and see what looked tolerable, because the aversions and tolerances shift on a daily and weekly basis.

Overall I’ve felt like my palate has reverted back to my 8 year old self, which Ben thinks is hilarious. All I really want are sugary processed kid comfort foods, basically the 180 of my usual non-preggo health nut.

Actual cravings:

  • Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza and breadsticks

  • margaritas (SADNESS)

  • tortilla chips and bean dip

  • cocoa krispies

  • raisin bran

  • muffins

  • smoothies! SO HAPPY I’ve been able to keep drinking my vegan superfood smoothie, which has probiotics, fiber, and lots of plant based nutrients.

Tolerable foods:

  • citrus fruit and pineapple

  • yogurt and granola

  • pancakes

  • smoothies

  • veggie or cooked sushi

  • tacos

  • pasta


  • chicken or pork

  • pretty much any vegetable, especially cooked veggies

  • most regular “dinner foods”

  • curry or tomato based foods

-how have you been feeling? Any symptoms?


I am so incredibly grateful I never threw up! However, I experienced the most annoying nausea ever. Imagine feeling a combination of extreme jet lag, plus bad motion sickness. Eating food only made the nausea worse. That was my 24/7 reality for the majority of my first trimester, and it gave me so much empathy for people with chronic health conditions.

Weird changes in the first trimester:

  • feeling bloated

  • digestive muscles slow down, so feel full super quickly (overeating triggers more nausea)

  • hormonal breakouts

  • luscious hair

  • constipation, alternated with Poos of Epic Proportions (keep a plunger handy!)

  • boobs! Went from 34B to 36C. nipples are doing weird things.

  • feeling like I needed tons of personal space and didn’t want my husband to touch me (sorry Ben)


I was prepared to handle all the weird physical changes, but didn’t really consider the mental and emotional challenges of being newly pregnant.

First of all, physically feeling like crap is a downer and I’ve always been a wimp about feeling sick. Add to the fact you’re probably keeping a secret and need to suck it up and pretend everything is normal! I usually deal with a bit of seasonal depression in the winter, but combined with all the changes happening in my body, December through February were extremely challenging months.

I’m going through a crash course in learning how to slow down, being ok with having a limited capacity for productivity (humbling my ego!), prioritizing self care over achievement, working slower but smarter in business, honing in on what is actually important, saying no and setting boundaries, letting go of control, and not to mention the mental component to embracing the physical change!

Emotionally I’ve definitely gone through some major mood swings, and cry a lot. But crying is how I’ve always expressed strong emotions. I feel like my heart has cracked wide open, I am so vulnerable because I have so much to lose, and I can’t even imagine what it will feel like once this baby is actually born.

Random things that have made me cry: singing We Three Kings at church (??), a lonely little Smart car parked outside our window, watching Cat Walk on Netflix, THE F&!*ING NEW DISNEY DUMBO MOVIE TRAILER JUST NO.

Energetically, the first trimester felt like my left brain decided to walk out. Lots of brain fog, memory lapses, can’t hold a train of thought, inability to focus or “get shit done” mode, kind of like how you feel the day before your period x10.

-are you finding out the baby’s sex?

Yup! We actually did the NIPT genetic testing that gives you sex via chromosomes of the mother’s blood so we already know what we’re having, which is surreal! Are we going to have a “gender reveal” party? HARD NO. Haven’t decided how or when to publicly spill the news. If you know me in real life and are dying to know, send me a text and I’ll tell ya :)

-are you using a doula/midwife/birthing center/epidural/etc etc etc?

We’re figuring things out as we go. I will share what feels comfortable along the way but I also want to keep some personal decisions private. Basically, I am keeping an open mind about everything and on a Crunchy Mama Scale of 1-10, would say I am probably a 7. I love traditional holistic wisdom, but also love science, and am grateful to live in a big city where I can find pretty much anything to have the birth experience I want and need.

First trimester bloat is REAL. 8pm vs 8am.

First trimester bloat is REAL. 8pm vs 8am.

Body Image Stuff

Even though first pregnancy bumps don’t start to officially show until you’re into the second trimester, during the first trimester your metabolism goes into an anabolic state…. Which means your body basically becomes a fat storing machine to stock up the energy you will need later on as you literally grow a human from scratch, an entire organ (the placenta) from scratch, and then give birth and potentially support new life with breastmilk.

What does this mean?


I didn’t gain more than a couple pounds during my first trimester, partly due to my appetite being really off, but I felt like a puffy blob thanks to all the bloat and a slower digestive system. I also started gaining curves and cellulite around my hips, waistline, my rib cage expanded, and I went up 1-2 cup sizes almost right away.

My best body image tip is to accept the changes, appreciate your body for what it’s doing, and most of all put away any clothes that start to feel a little tight! Investing in some larger stretchy yoga pants that actually fit your new expanded waistline so you can feel comfy in your skin and clothes is a huge confidence boost.

Fabletics Cashel Leggings great for early pregnancy.jpg

My fave leggings when you are in the “are you pregnant or have you just gained weight??” pre-maternity phase:

  • Note: I ordered a pair of Motherhood Maternity leggings with the front bump panel when they were on sale, but they are thin, feel itchy, and are not my personal fave.

9 weeks to 12 weeks. This blows my mind!!

9 weeks to 12 weeks. This blows my mind!!

-What is it like to be pregnant again after miscarriage?

I have SO many thoughts and feelings about trying to conceive and being pregnant after pregnancy loss. Everyone is different, but it’s so important to share our stories and the REAL reel, not just the highlight reel, so we can feel less alone and empower each other and ourselves through the ups and downs of being a woman, and this is why I’ve been so open about my experiences.

I honestly feel like my body needed the miscarriage to reset and heal my hormones. After coming off the pill in 2016 my cycles were longish and not super regular. After the m/c, they were CLOCKWORK. Ovulated on day 19, bled the first of every month. It was awesome!

Pregnancy loss doesn’t mean your body is failing you. It means it’s doing its job.

Emotionally, it was pretty rough. We waited 3 cycles to try again, and then it took us 4 more cycles to conceive despite clockwork cycles and my faith in a quick redemption story. This was hard yet cathartic since every bleed I would process/release more grief and deepen my intention to have a baby.

It was extra stressful that I couldn’t get to the doctor until 9 weeks, over a month after I had a positive test and also the same week I lost baby uno. And couldn’t drink my tequila happy juice to chill out, haha. Seeing a healthy 9w4d bean on the ultrasound was literally an otherworldly experience!

I will say that knowing what it’s like to have a miscarriage is a double edged sword. On one hand, I was LESS afraid because I knew what to expect and that I’d be able to get through it, but on the other hand it was literally the worst experience of my life, so I wish I DIDN’T know what it was like.

Tips for first time moms navigating early pregnancy

My biggest sanity tip is to find community with other women who are in a similar place as you. I’m lucky that several of my friends and family are either currently pregnant, going through miscarriage/TTC, or have just had a baby too so I’m leaning on them for camaraderie and wisdom! New mom friends are the best when you’re pregnant because they are so happy for you and will be super excited to hear all about the nitty gritty details of everything you’re going through, and will let you snuggle or babysit their baby for practice :) If you don’t have anyone in your inner circle, this is where social media can be incredible. Use hashtags, search for local Facebook groups, and also leverage your local network! I’m planning to start going to a prenatal yoga class and join some local meet-up groups for new moms. Your hospital might have a new moms group too!

Overall I’ve been focusing on self care and SOUL care, healing my inner crap and preparing myself energetically and spiritually to bring a new human into the world while at the same time letting go of control and surrendering my own timeline, trusting my body, my baby, and most of all God’s bigger vision.

Sometimes it seems like everyone either struggles with “infertility” or gets pregnant on the first try and has a textbook experience... I don’t think it’s easy for anyone but wanted to share my story of being somewhere in between.

No matter where you are on your own journey, you are never alone 💗

xo Anna

**this post contains affiliate links, so I may receive a small kickback if you purchase something at no extra cost to you!

13 weeks pregnant… is it bloat or bump?

13 weeks pregnant… is it bloat or bump?

Journal prompts for each phase of your moon cycle (free e-book!)

2019Anna Locke
Journal Through Your Moon Cycle free ebook.png

Although you might not realize it, you’re already living your life through cycles and routines. Throughout the year we experience the changing seasons of nature. Every morning and evening you have a routine to start and end your day (even if it’s as simple as brushing your teeth and setting your alarm). Even though it’s easy to get caught in the constant “busy” of our modern lives, tuning back into the cyclical ebb and flow of nature and our own female bodies can help us stay grounded, calm, and protect us from burning out or losing sight of our priorities. I’ve found that creating a regular journaling practice can be one of the easiest and most accessible ways to tap into the wisdom inside of us and gain a deeper understanding of our physical, mental, and emotional health.

Ever since I was a little girl I loved to journal. At first it was a way for me to record my thoughts about life, express my emotions, leave my fears and frustrations on the page, make sense of the craziness inside my creative, introverted, sensitive mind. After I quit the birth control pill, I was amazed to re-discover my body’s natural rhythms through the ebb and flow of my hormones and menstrual cycle.

We aren’t usually taught how to take advantage of these energetic shifts that we experience throughout the year or month, but when we pause to bring a deeper awareness to where we’re at in our cycle we can unlock so many hidden “superpowers” like an instant connection to our intuition, deeper relationships, the ability to clearly communicate our ideas and vision, an ability to rest and renew our energy, and more. It’s pretty much endless and completely mind blowing!

Instead of viewing our cycle as a curse or hormones as something to be managed and controlled, we can allow ourselves to truly embody what it means to be a woman, endlessly shifting and changing and YES, emotional and deep and wild.

Where to start?

It’s tempting to go down the rabbit hole of books and courses and apps, but I always recommend starting with where you’re at when it comes to tracking your cycle, since our bodies are all different. If you bleed on a semi-regular basis (whether or not you’re on the pill or using hormonal birth control), count the first day of bleeding as Day One, and track the days from there until your next bleed. After 2-3 cycles, you might start to notice patterns in your energy, mood, mindset, etc throughout the month, which you can use to inform your routine, self care, when you schedule social events or big work projects, etc.

In this post I’ll share some of my favorite journal prompts for every day, as well as for each “phase” or season of your cycle so you can tap deeper into your intuition and pull out insights and guidance.

The four inner seasons of your cycle

Our menstrual cycle can be compared to the 28 day cycle of the moon, although our bodies are more complex so you most likely won’t bleed like clockwork every time the moon is full or new, and that’s ok! I like drawing comparisons between our hormone cycle and the energetic attributes of the four seasons, or the phases of the moon.

>> you may or may not experience any or all of these “seasons” throughout the course of your own cycle. This is why it’s so important to track YOUR energy and get to know your own body. This practice is not exclusive to menstruating women. It is for anyone who identifies as female, anyone who experiences a cycle, or anyone who does not have a physical cycle but is interested in exploring their feminine (as in “yin,”  not gendered) energy.

Winter // New Moon

When you’re on your period, you’re moving through the menstrual phase of your cycle, which can be compared to the season of winter, or the new moon. Your energy is drawn inward and it’s a season of rest and renewal before we emerge back into the world. This is a time to pause and slow down, and reflect on your goals or set new intentions for the cycle ahead.

Spring // Waxing Moon

After your period, you move into your follicular phase as your hormones start to kick back into gear to prepare your body to release another egg, and with that comes a surge of fresh energy much like the season of spring. This phase can be compared to the waxing moon or first quarter moon, the time that the moon is growing from new to full. It’s a transitional phase of new beginnings that can feel quite motivating or even overwhelming if you try to do too much too soon.

Summer // Full Moon

After the follicular phase comes ovulation, when your body releases an egg that will either be fertilized if you’re pregnant, or more likely travel down your fallopian tubes and be shed at your next period. This phase feels like summer - a time to pause again but in celebration of life and warm weather. It’s a great time to put your work into the world, socialize, and take advantage of the potent energy of the full moon.

Autumn // Waning Moon

After the peak of ovulation, your hormones will do a bit of a rollercoaster which can cause physical or emotional turbulence we call PMS. Like the season of autumn, this time can feel messy and stormy as we release what’s no longer serving us just as the leaves fall from the trees in preperation for winter to come. This season relates to the waning moon, the transition between full to new, as the earth’s shadow starts to cover the surface of the moon and it appears to shrink in the sky. This is a potent and magical time that can be full of insights and creativity if we channel our turbulent energy in productive ways, but we also have to make sure to start slowing down so we can rest during our coming winter. You might notice that if you push yourself too hard during this time, you’ll burn out or breakdown. It’s all part of the process!

  • We tend to focus on the new moon and full moon, but the transitional times in between are just as powerful (if not more so).. Lots of turbulent energy. That's why I've provided extensive journal prompts for inner spring and especially inner autumn, a wonderful time to dig deep and release since we tend to feel more emotionally turbulent in the week before our period.

How to use these prompts

You might be thinking either “yay, I love journaling!” or “ugh, I hate journaling.”

Either way, approach this practice with a beginner’s mind, because it’s a different kind of writing than you may have done before.

I recommend taking a stream-of-conscious approach to these prompts. Don’t overthink, don’t judge or censor yourself, and remember that you’re collecting data like a scientist. This journaling isn’t meant to be read by anyone other than you.

It might be helpful to create a bedtime routine so you can reflect back on the previous day. Keep a notebook next to your bed and set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes if you need some structure to stay accountable for getting it done. Remember that this isn’t an “all or nothing” thing, even 1-2 minutes counts!

Start with the daily prompts, and then once you start to recognize the ebb and flow of your own inner seasons, you can add in the seasonal prompts, or use them during the phases of the moon to bring more intention to your work and life!

Daily Prompts

  • What cycle day is it? (first day of bleeding is day 1)

  • How do I feel physically?

  • How do I feel mentally?

  • How do I feel energetically?

  • What is my body telling me?

  • What is my intuition telling me

  • What do I need right now?

Inner Winter/New Moon Prompts

  • What can I let go of?

  • What new intentions am I planting?

  • Where is life taking me right now?

  • What is pulling on my heart?

  • Anything else I need to know?

  • How can I give myself 1% more compassion and grace?

  • What does my inner Wise Woman (80 year old self) want me to know?

Inner Spring // Waxing Moon Prompts

  • What do you want to make happen this cycle? (brainstorm your plan!)

  • What new opportunities or projects do you feel called to begin?

  • Create some positive affirmations that resonate with you

  • How do you want to define “success” this cycle? This year? This season of life?

  • What are your top 3 business priorities right now?

  • Top 3 personal priorities?

  • How can you show up this week and honor your priorities?

  • How can you move your business forward in alignment with your new energy?

  • How can you pace yourself and surrender control over the outcome?

  • Imagine yourself as a little girl - happy and free. What does she want you to know?

Inner Summer // Full Moon Prompts

  • What can I celebrate right now?

  • What or who am I grateful for?

  • What does the concept of “open hearted” mean to me?

  • What do I desire right now?

  • What can I receive right now?

  • How can I slow down and trust that everything I am manifesting and creating is already on its way?

  • Connect with your inner Mother or Goddess archetype, the nurturing and expansive creative force inside of you. What does she want you to know?

Inner Autumn // Waning Moon Prompts

  • Connect with your inner Wild Woman archetype. What does she want you to know?

  • What is no longer working?

  • What can I release?

  • What fears or limiting beliefs am I holding?

  • What open projects or conversations are draining my energy? What can I bring to completion right now?

  • How can I surrender?

  • What self-sabotaging behaviors keep coming back to haunt you (the ones you’ve been “working on” for years but can’t seem to “get rid of”)?

  • Where are you doing something that doesn’t feel like you?

  • What do you fear is the worst that could happen if you allow the world to see who you “really” are?

  • What are you angry about?

  • What are your needs? What’s yours to own, and what isn’t? Where do you need to stand firm and set a boundary?

  • What are you ashamed about?

  • What fears are manifesting for you right now?

  • What is your inner critic saying to you? What is the underlying message?

Further Resources

If you'd like to learn more about living in sync with your cycle, I’ve created my program Wild Synchronicity to empower women to learn how to live in flow with the hormone rollercoaster, and to learn how to take advantage of our unique strengths in each phase of our cycle.

The Book of She and The Way of the Happy Woman by Sara Avant Stover

Adore Your Cycle e-book by Claire Baker (Claire also has amazing e-courses for connecting with your cycle and creativity!)

Red Moon by Miranda Gray

Lunar Abundance by Ezzie Spencer

Moon Time: Harness the ever-changing energy of your menstrual cycle by Lucy Pearce

(this post contains affiliate links, so if you end up ordering a book I may receive a small kickback at no extra cost to you! yah abundance!)

10 ways to love yourself more in 2019

2019Anna Locke
10 ways to love yourself more.png

Happy New Year friend!

I hope you had a relaxing holiday season filled with cookies and cheer and are easing back into reality this week, looking forward with anticipation for all the adventures and memories to be made this year. Don't be afraid to take it slow even though it's tempting to want to dive back into ALLTHETHINGS!

2019 is just beginning and we have plenty of time, so deep breaths if you're already feeling a bit overwhelmed. (Yup, this is me talking to myself.)

This is the time of year for fresh starts and setting new goals and intentions for ourselves, and as a life coach I’m a huge fan of goals! However, sometimes we ambitious go-getters have a tendency to focus on all the things we want to ACHIEVE (weight loss, health, personal or business growth, deeper relationships...) and often neglect how we want to feel about our relationship with ourselves, our foundation.

Your relationship with yourself is the limiting factor for every other aspect of your life. It sets the minimum standard for your relationship with others, your career, physical health, how you show up for others, and the level of success you achieve in anything.

For example, when your relationship with yourself is thriving, it’s much easier for your relationship with your significant other to thrive. For your business to thrive. For your physical health to thrive. All because you are confident, empowered, and know that you don’t need anyone or anything else to feel whole.

And yet, our relationship with ourselves is often the last thing we consider when thinking about all the other important responsibilities and goals on our plate.

I found myself getting caught in the goal-palooza of all the business and growth milestones I wanna achieve this year, then decided to pivot and also focus on how I want to show up for ME.

Because your worth goes so much deeper than what you achieve, how often you post on social media, the number in your bank account, or how much you weigh.

easy self love tips.png


  1. Take the pressure and deadlines off your goals. Give yourself space to grow, trusting that the outcome is on its way.

  2. Say NO to people, opportunities, and invitations that drain your energy. Setting boundaries and sticking up for yourself = self care.

  3. Workout and eat healthy because it makes you feel good, not to get smaller.

  4. Read a book for fun or watch your fave TV show as part of your morning routine.

  5. Make a coffee date with someone you'd like to get to know better.

  6. Go through your closet and donate all the clothes that are too tight or make you feel blah, then buy yourself some new stretchy jeans in your "right now" size without judging the number. (I am obsessed with American Eagle stretchy jeggings!)

  7. Date yourself! I love the concept of the “artist’s date” by Julia Cameron, a weekly solo expedition to explore something interesting to you.

  8. Check out a restaurant you’ve been meaning to try and order what you WANT, not the cheapest or healthiest option on the menu. Save room for dessert ;)

  9. Explore a new part of your town or city, alone or with a partner or friend

  10. Play the game “COZY MAX CHALLENGE” and see if you can max out your coziness level. Take a bath, put on your snuggliest clothes, make cocoa, light candles, snuggle your pet or sig other, keep asking “what would make this situation cozier?” until you disintegrate into a ball of bliss. I have to give my husband Ben credit for this idea.

What are your goals for 2019? I'd love to hear what you want to create or experience this year!

xo Anna