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    SPARK Blog — guest post

    Guest Post: You are inspiring someone, it's true.

    Here at Momentum, inspiration is our thing. It's why we assembled a team of Ambassadors. They are true masters of inspiration, and they spread our message with every Motivate Wrap they wear...and share with others! Sometimes they know how inspiring they are, sometimes they don't even realize it. It is, after all, totally possible to inspire someone without even trying to. We'll let one of our Ambassadors, Tera Busker, explain this to you:

    I was recently scrolling through Instagram and an image of a quote caught my eye. It said "Be strong, you never know who you are inspiring."  As I looked at it, I couldn't help but wonder how many people I've inspired without even realizing it. Think about it! And then, think about how many times you've stepped outside of your own comfort zone, tried something new or pushed yourself to be better because of what you saw another person do.

    The power of being able to knowingly motivate someone with your words and actions is an incredible gift, but when you do it without even realizing it—that's a blessing. By just being you, you've made an impact on another person.

    A few years ago, someone made an impact on me and I"ll never forget it. I was running a half marathon that I swore I'd never run again. All of my experiences with this particular race were awful, but there I was again...running it for the 4th time and questioning everything.

    It was a cold, Spring day and the weather was less than desirable. The race was on a muddy gravel trail, and there was nothing to look at but the path in front of me (and an occasional cow). It was a small race with an out-and-back course. I hit the halfway mark and was done. Completely done. I was over the cold, rain, mud and lack of scenery. I was basically running alone and my shoes were ruined. I literally wanted to cry. Then I picked my head up and saw the ponytail.

    I was so excited to see another runner, so I picked up the pace a bit to catch up with her. As I got closer, it felt like her ponytail was hypnotizing me, and I was able to relax into a good pace. She eventually started to pull away from me, but I was determined to keep up, so I picked up the pace. 

    She pulled away again, and we settled into what felt like a game of cat and mouse. The harder I tried to catch up with her, the faster she ran until we reached the final stretch of the race and were side-by-side. We looked at each other and sprinted to the finish.

    After the finish, I collected myself and approached her. Before I could say anything, she said to me: "That was an amazing race. Thank you so much for pushing me! I could hear you behind me and I tried so hard to stay ahead of you, but you kept coming for me. And to finish right next to you—that was awesome!"

    And here I thought she was inspiring me! I thanked her for the race, and then we had a brief chat. She had been hoping for a PR that day, but wasn't into the race. But once we started running "together," she got her spark back—and so did I.

    Here's the takeaway: There are days when the things you do seem effortless and bring you incredible joy. And there are days when those things feel like a chore and you question everything—but that's when you must be strong because those are the days where you might find yourself inspiring someone to be strong, too.

    If you like to inspire others, we'd like you to consider joining our team of Ambassadors. Applications will be opened on January 19th and 20th! CLICK HERE to fill one out. 

    Guest Post: Swap "I am Sorry" with "Thank You" and Change Everything

    As you continue to dive into 2018, we hope you'll consider this one major change to your approach: Instead of saying "I am sorry," consider the effects of a simple "thank you" instead. We'll let Katie Heck of Raising Heck tell you more:

    As a busy mom of twin boys, I am always sorry for something—being late or in the way, or forgetting something important. While a sincere apology definitely has its place, I found myself wondering how often I was apologizing for not living up to what I perceived someone’s expectations of me were. As women, we are bombarded with images and opinions of what the “ideal” mother, sister and friend should look like. This creates too many situations in which we are simply apologizing for being ourselves.

    I finally asked myself: What if I replaced "I am sorry" with "thank you" in my everyday conversations?

    It's not as crazy as it sounds! Think of the last time you ran with a friend that was faster than you. Did you apologize for not keeping up? Why didn't you just thank your friend for running at your pace? Doing so would have switched the narrative in your head from negative (I cannot run as fast) to positive (I have amazing friends that run with me). I recently tried this when I ran a race with a friend that definitely outpaces me.

    Had I apologized to her for not being fast, that feeling of inadequacy would have followed me for every mile. It would have ruined the fun and made my friend feel bad for running faster. Instead, I thanked her for having fun with me, which made the race an adventure we both shared with the same attitude—a positive one.

    This switch in paradigm does not just apply to working out. Constantly apologizing at work can make your coworkers think that there is really something wrong with you. If someone catches an error you make, thank them for it! This swaps the negative feelings associated with making a mistake, to positive feelings that come when you allow someone to help you. By increasing someone else’s value instead of decreasing your own, you make yourself someone that others will look forward to working with.

    Limiting how often you make apologies will also increase your friends' perception of how genuine you are. Limiting apologies for trivial things will make necessary apologies a lot more meaningful. We always tell our kids to apologize “like they mean it” and they are a perfect example of this mantra. Children do not apologize for their inadequacies—no one has told them they are not good enough yet. Why don’t we believe in ourselves in this same way?

    It has been a few weeks since I've made this switch, and I find that I have a better perception of myself. By looking for reasons to thank my friends, I am more aware of the amazing group of people that surround me. I am focusing on our strengths rather that my weaknesses. This is such a little change, but has shifted  my perception and spreads  gratitude instead of negativity.

    ...and who doesn't want that? We think this advice is great, and we hope you'll apply it to the situations in your own life. Together, we can work to spread positivity. That's what we're about this year. Are you? Show us on Instagram! Tag @momentumjewelry in your posts, use #momentumjewelry and #sharethespark so we can keep up with your adventures. 

    Guest Post: New year, new goals!

    Another year is ahead of us, and from all of us here at Momentum, we sincerely hope good things await you. Whether you're making resolutions, coming up with goals or setting intentions—believe that 2018 is yours for the taking, and grab onto it with a zestful belief in yourself. To help you step off the year on the right foot, Kelli Hashimoto of Run Happy Eat Happy is here with a few of our favorite Momentum mantras. 

    The start of a new year is the perfect opportunity to hit the reset button. Maybe you committed to living a healthier lifestyle, or maybe you registered for your first marathon. For me, 2017 was the year to run a marathon in less than four hours—I was so excited to reach that goal! This year, I will be chasing a 3:50 marathon time goal. I am also committing to a more sustainable and balanced diet. While this will not be easy, I am excited for the challenge.

    My collection of Momentum Jewelry helped me reach my goal last year, and the same mantras will hopefully help me reach my goals again this year. Maybe they will help you, too:

    1. Dream Big We all know this Walt Disney quote: "if you can dream it, you can do it." So strive for a goal that is attainable, but dream big because you might even surprise yourself this year. At the beginning of last year, I wasn’t sure if my dream of running a marathon in less than four hours was realistic. I ran my first marathon in 4:36, so I knew that I had a lot of work ahead of me.

    2. Believe In Yourself Every great journey begins and ends with you—you are enough. Always remind yourself that you can achieve your goal, and remember why you started. By practicing positive thinking, you will keep your motivation strong. I needed to start believing that my goal was realistic. I needed to be my biggest motivator.

    3. Inspire & Empower Find a crew or help us #sharethespark on Instagram! The Momentum Jewelry ambassador crew and my local running group not only changed my life for the better, but also continue to inspire me every day. There are not enough words to express my appreciation for the running and fitness community, and I always encourage everyone to join the movement.

    4. Find Joy In The Journey The journey will not be easy, but I promise you that it will be worth it. Know that some days will be easier than others, but don't beat yourself up on the difficult days. Strive to enjoy every second of your journey because the year will fly by before you know it.

    5. Stronger Than Yesterday While it is easy to get caught up in the journey, don’t forget to look back to see how far you've come. Celebrate each short-term win that gets you a step closer to your goal. Last April, I finished the Big Sur Marathon in 4:12. Though I was initially disappointed, I celebrated the 24 minute PR and came back even stronger in July when I finished the San Francisco Marathon in 3:57.

    With a lot of hard work and dedication—and maybe a few Motivate Wraps, too!—you can turn your dreams into realities. Kelli is proof, and we are proud of her for achieving her 2017 goals. Will she repeat in 2018? Will YOU make all your dreams come true? Tell us what you're aiming for so we can be your cheerleader. Be sure to tag @momentumjewelry on Instagram when you take us on your journey, and use #momentumjewelry and #sharethespark in your captions so the rest of this inspirational community can cheer for you, too. 

    Guest Post: How To Find Momentum When Life Slows You Down

    Momentum is not just a workout-friendly jewelry company. While it's true that we give people a way to wear motivational sayings, our products do more than that. Thanks to an incredible amount of tagging on social media, we've seen people from a variety of backgrounds grow and tackle their greatest achievements with the help of jewelry created just for them. We are honored and humbled by all of this. And today, we are sharing Tasha's story. She moved forward when life wanted to hold her back. Learn from her:

    I live a life that is in constant motion. Two years ago, on a Thursday morning in November, my life came to a complete stop. Everything I thought about life fell into my lap like ashes. I had an injured child, a community evenly split among those who supported and those who judged, and my own heart and mind seemed to stop functioning.  

    Let me first say that my son has made a tremendous and complete recovery. I cannot say the same thing about myself. Day after day, while folded up in a recliner in the corner of his hospital room, I had to make the decision to not just fight for him but to fight for myself. I'll be honest—at times, I lost the battle for myself, which continues to be an ongoing process.

    I want us all to be happy and free forever, so let me offer you my truth. Let me tell you how I pulled my head above water...how I found the strength to go back to doing what I love. Honestly, I can’t even imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t teach fitness classes or work with personal training clients. I literally loved myself back to health and wellness.

    So...here. Four ways you can conquer life:

    1) Pray. Prepare. Proceed. I am a woman of faith.  Before I made any move, I prayed about it. When my stress levels shot up and my adrenals went out of whack, when my weight fluctuated about ten pounds every week—I had to make so many adjustments. I knew I could not lead the life I had previously led, but my ego told me that I could. And it was wrong. I had to prepare myself to enter back into life as I was at that moment, rather than who I thought I should be. And then I went for it.

    2) Face Your Fear. I knew that in order to function, I had to not be afraid of what people were saying about my son or me. I was on the news and I didn't like it. Reporters had my cell phone number and I didn't like it. I'd go out in public and people would discuss my life in front of me, not knowing it was me they were talking about. I didn't like that, either. But I decided that my son and I were going to be conquerers. I decided to be free of other people's judgement. I knew that I was good at what I did, and that nothing else mattered. But I was still scared. I still wanted to be liked and adored, respected and admired. All of that was on the other side of my fears, so I stepped over and found freedom.

    Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

    3) Know You Are Enough. I felt like a failure as a mother. When that guilt settled in, I started pulling away from commitments to be with my son, and I felt like a failure at everything else, too. I'd fake my way through the day, hugging and talking with friends. But when my son closed his eyes for the night, I'd cry silently and then feel like a failure for not being strong enough. And yet, the more I feel my experiences and stopped trying to run away from them, the more I began to honor myself as a human. I started being gentle with myself. I'd acknowledge that I was doing the best I could, giving it my all. And then I stopped focusing on people who felt otherwise. I'll admit that I still struggle with this from time to time, but I always come back to this thought: "I was created for this moment. I can do this."

    4) Inspire and Empower. One of the things that helped me the most was my effort to continually serve others. When I felt like I was falling into a hole, I sought out people who could use more encouragement than I needed. By lifting up others, we empower ourselves. So by going on with my life, by being honest about my struggles and relentless about getting back to myself—I found a new normal in a community that nurtured my growth to a new level.

    In the end, my advice to you is this: Trust yourself. Keep moving. Keep your love and gratitude meter on high. 

    Tasha teaches us all to believe, endure and achieve. Over here at Momentum, we support that sentiment wholeheartedly. Our "believe, endure achieve" motivate wrap is ready to help you move forward. Shop the whole collection HERE. Be sure to let us know how your wraps keep you moving forward by tagging @momentumjewelry on Instagram.

    Guest Post: Always believe!

    Every Motivate Wrap or Foot Note we create is made to inspire and empower. We hope that our products give you that extra push...that little bit of power you need to get through something difficult. Maybe they keep you moving through an adventure with strength and perseverance. We absolutely love hearing your stories about our products. Today, we'll share one with you. It's from Bridget of Fitness With Bridget. The word "believe" is her mantra, and this is her journey:

    Bridget Hammond

    Two years ago, I signed up to run my second marathon. I completed my first one at the age of 28, and I had no plans to do another one. Doing a marathon was a bucket-list item. I started running when I was 21. It was a form of therapy after I lost my mom to ovarian cancer. Running helped me combat anxiety and depression, but it also made me think I could eat whatever I wanted to, and I gained over 30 pounds.

    So after I crossed the marathon off my bucket list, I started off on a weight-loss journey.

    I began taking group fitness classes for more cross-training, and to have support from like-minded people. This helped me to lose 30 pounds. I felt confident, and I became passionate about health and fitness—so I became a certified fitness instructor to keep myself accountable and to pay it forward. I wanted to help other people on their own fitness journey.

    Fast forward a few years. I got married, had two kiddos, and added "personal trainer" and "online health motivator" to my list of jobs. This allowed me to leave corporate America, after which I began my clean eating lifestyle. I changed my workouts, too. I felt strong, and I was ready for another challenge.

    The Spring before I turned 40, I made a quick decision to sign up for Marathon #2. My goal was to be better at 40 (weighing 40 pounds less) than I was at 28. 

    I trained for five months. Race day came, and I felt ready. I was running a good pace, following the 3-hour/45-minute pacer until I reached mile 18. My IT bands locked up. I let the pacer go by, knowing I needed to just let myself breathe and run slower.

    I listened to my body.

    I struggled big time, but pushed through the pain the best that I could. I thought I lost an hour, it felt like forever. At mile 25, I saw the 4-hour pacer and was so relieved—my goal was to finish between 4:00 and 4:15. I could make it...and I did, in 4:01. I shaved almost an hour off my original time! Despite the pain, quitting was not  an option. And throughout it all, my “Believe” and “26.2” footnotes were a constant reminder that I could keep going...that I could finish, and that stopping was not an option.

    Momentum Footnotes

    My experience in both marathons, and my entire health journey have taught me so much. Most of all, these experiences have taught me to believe in myself. To believe that I can do hard things. That it takes work, but that pushing myself means that I am working on me.

    We all deserve to feel good in our skin. I am no longer training for races, but I am training for life. I will always believe in me—and no matter where you're at in your journey, you should believe that you can do anything.

    It just takes one step at a time.

    Our Foot Notes come in a wide variety of inspirational sayings. Get one, or one for each foot. We can also customize them with your personal mantra. Believe in yourself, and believe in the power of a personal mantra! Bridget is proof of that.