News

Looking Back Takes You Forward

Congratulations to all you aLigners!
What an amazing month it has been with all of you setting your goals and journeying each day to reach them. We have heard such amazing stories from you about the changes you have made and how they have made you feel like you have more time for YOU, that you are more energized and feeling accomplished! 
So as you carry on into February, make sure to take this momentum with you!
First, treat yourself sometime this week for sticking to it and following through...I already have my massage scheduled for tomorrow ;-) We would love to see you enjoying some self love, post on social media and tag #stayingaLigned!
Second, take some time to reflect on the things that worked for you and those that didn't in January. As the quote below so wonderfully expresses, by taking some reflection and realigning you will find even more effective ACTION in February. 
And third, think about what you want to achieve this month. Is it one more workout a week? Is it shutting that phone down 10 minutes earlier before bed? Find your small goal that is going to keep you moving forward to being the best YOU that you can be. 
In short, take your success from this month, acknowledge your achievements, reflect in gratitude and move forward with refreshed inspiration.
Thanks for all your hard work this month and can't wait to see all that comes in February. 
Read more →

Share Your #aLignNSCC Story and Win!

Challengers, you spent the last month crushing your goals and embracing forming new habits—now we want to know: How’s it going? Are you finding more balance in your busy life? Reaching your goals one step at a time? Pushing your edge farther than you ever thought possible? We’re so excited to hear about your victories.

Here’s how to enter the contest: Tell us about your aLign NSCC [Not so Challenging Challenge] experience, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a huge discount (40%) on our upcoming clothing line. 

To enter, just shoot us an email at info@alignbags.com and tell us about your challenge experience. Better yet, show us! We’d love to see a photo that includes your biggest takeaway from the challenge or something that you plan to keep doing. 

Emily S, San Diego, aLign on the go!

 

The deadline to email us is Sunday, February 7th at 12am PT. We’ll read your submissions and announce the winner on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter later in February.

It’s been such a joy to do this challenge with you, and we can’t wait to hear about your results.

Read more →

Confessions from a Fitness Professional

The final push, the last week of the #aLignNSCC. What is it going to be for you this week to keep pushing, to keep going strong, to get back on if you fell off and finish to the end! 
We think that since we are novices, we are learning something new, that we have a much harder time sticking to a new habit. The professionals make it look easy right? We sat down with Reena Vokoun from PassionFit to find out what it takes to keep a healthy lifestyle even as a fitness professional. 
Reena admits to the same challenges that so many of us face, but overcomes many of these obstacles with this quote and #TweetThis of the week. "Take things one day at a time, keep your nose to the grindstone and stay focused. Don't lose sight of the bigger picture."
With the final week of our January NSCC upon us, what is your bigger picture? What is going to keep your habit going far beyond the end of this week. Share it below so we can all keep each other motivated and moving forward! 
Go get 'em this week everyone!
Reena Vokoun
1. What do you find to be most challenging when it comes to working out consistently?
I'm a busy, working mom and I need variety to stay engaged in my fitness regimen. Therefore, finding the time to work out and varying my workouts so they continue to be both effective and fun, are the biggest challenges for me.
2. What motivates you to continue your fitness journey?
Health, wellness and fitness are my greatest passions, therefore, I'm naturally motivated to continue my fitness journey. Fitness has been a huge priority throughout my life from playing sports as a kid, participating in cheerleading and dance team in high school, being a fitness instructor in college and graduate school, working out throughout both of my pregnancies with my two sons and continuing to teach dance and fitness classes as both hobbies and as a part of my career into the present time. It keeps me mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually strong and grounded and is something I keep coming back to time and time again, no matter what stage of life I'm in. 
 
3. How did you overcome the initial "hump" to make it a habit?
Reminding myself of the benefits of exercise when I'm feeling unmotivated helps me to make it over that initial "hump." I continuously think about how much more energy I have, how much happier and centered I feel and how it helps me burn off stress. Also, being a health, wellness and fitness entrepreneur and instructor motivates me to set a good example for my students in my classes, my clients I work with one on one, my blog readers and my YouTube channel subscribers.
 
4. When you feel yourself slacking, what do you do?
When I feel myself slacking, I listen to my body and my emotions and determine why I'm feeling unmotivated. Am I stressed about something? Am I feeling tired and unrested? Am I feeling under the weather? Did I eat enough that day? Am I burnt out and do I need a rest day? Really tuning into myself helps me understand why I'm feeling the way I am and then I can determine what I need to do to get motivated or to take that day off and pick it back up the next day.
 
5. How do you manage both your long term and short term goals?
I like to plan my long term goals first so I can set the vision of where I want to be. Then I plan my short term goals and take actions every day to lead me to achieving my long term goals. It's important for me to take things one day at a time, keep my nose to the grindstone and stay focused so I don't get overwhelmed and don't lose sight of the bigger picture.
Read more →

Finance Fit Tricks with Ungenita Provost

You sit down to focus on your personal development, you open a tab and google search your category of interest, and as the page loads you decide to multi-task and check facebook, which leads to watching a new video, which leads to clicking on link after link of likely hilarious, but distracting content.
This happens to so many of us, especially when it comes to talking about money. The subject that in some way or another makes us squirm just a little (or a lot in some cases). Luckily, Ungenita Provost from PoshonPennies.com has taken this uncomfortable subject and turned it into a topic for the fit and fabulous. 
As many of you know, our aLign NSCC has had many people sending in their 2016 resolutions and one of the popular categories of 2016 focus has been taming those finances. We asked Ungenita some questions to keep you moving in your journey. Check out our interview below and for bonus fun, get advice on sticking to your goals. It may be from 2015 but the points still resonate for our 2016 #aLignNSCC.
1. What do you find women struggle with the most when it comes to creating good financial habits?
One of my favorite quotes to share with women can be found in The Shriver Report (Maria Shriver's site).
"One in three women in this country lives in economic insecurity."
~ Shriver Report
I think most women  are trapped by guilt (I know I was). They are ashamed and feel stuck. I think it's important to forgive yourself first for any financial mistakes you've made. Take a good honest look at your financial statements, know your numbers, what you owe, set up debt-repayment plans and focus on income producing activities to bring more money in. Your confidence can rise like the stock market when you take control of your financial future.
2. What is the best piece of advice you can give to a woman struggling financially right now?
Stop dealing with the effect and start dealing with the cause. I know for me, I didn't have the wealth consciousness in my twenties to truly deal with my finances and business transactions confidently, so I made mistakes. We all have a money story, which is the cause of our belief system around money. The fastest way to get your business to the next level, have confident conversations about money and make sales is to to break through old beliefs that are keeping you stuck financially. You can change your financial future by changing your attitude about money.
3. What are some simple steps women can take to get their finances in order?
Focus on income producing activities, look at how you're spending your time. I often say it's not about managing your time, it's about managing your activities. Do the things that are going to fill your wallet with a lot of dollars. Busy is not always bankable. Everyday ask yourself this question "Is this a income producing activity"?
4. What are you doing to take control of your financial future?
For me it's all about multiple streams of income AND residual income. One of my favorite things to say "I Make Money In My Sleep AND Wake Up Pretty".
5. Why are you so motivated to financially empower women?
I've been there done that and vow to never do it again. I've made all the money mistakes and feel blessed that I'm now in control of my financial future. Several years ago I was embarrassed to talk about it and learned quick that this information can help millions of women which is why I launched the site PoshONPennies.com Look Hot.Make More. Save Yours. Talk is chic!
6. Do you have any financial books and/or tools that you can recommend?
Yes! Think and Grow Rich By Napoleon Hill is a classic and a must if you wish to be financially independent and self-sufficient. I also host a Financial Forum for women called Hot & Sexy Money Mastery Monday's 6PM (PT) 9PM (ET).
Check out PoshonPennies for more inspiration or join the Hot & Sexy Money Mastery group via the link FaceYOURFierce.com
Remember that you are capable of taking your persona and professional life to the next level. Go out there and make it happen one step at a time!

Read more →

Your Questions Answered - NSCC



 

 

 

 

So you’re thinking about joining our (Not So Challenging) Challenge and wondering if it’s the right move for you. We thought it would only be fair to send a little more information out and get you just as excited as we are about hopping on board.

 

So, what is the Not So Challenging Challenge?
 

The NSCC, as we will be affectionately referring to it, is our way of helping you make and stick to your New Years Resolutions. Maybe you want to do something that will forward your career, or maybe you want to eat more healthily, or maybe you just want to learn to play guitar because the thought of it puts a smile on your face! Big or small, we want to help you achieve your goals by giving you support, tips, and helping you plan, thereby setting you up for success.

What exactly can you expect from us?
 
Well on top of some fantastically inspirational quotes that you’ll just be dying to write on the bathroom mirror, we’ll be sending you the best tips in our arsenal for how exactly to achieve your goals. We’re going to help you break it down so it doesn’t seem so daunting, make a schedule for yourself, teach you how to form new habits, and check in with you along the way. Plus you’ll have the support of our community.
Why is signing up with a goal such a great idea?
 The simple answer is this: people who write down concrete goals for themselves are statistically more likely to achieve those goals than those who don’t. A study done by Professor Gail Matthews found that when tasked with writing down their goals and being asked to report progress to a friend, 76% of respondents reported success, compared with 35% percent of people who didn’t write anything down and kept their goals to themselves.  Just by signing up with us and seeing your goal in writing is going to start making you visualize it, making it that much more achievable. All you have to do to start is write down what your personal goal is, and we’re going to help you figure out exactly how you can make it happen for yourself.
  
Why aLign?
 
Working toward a goal with a group of others doing the same creates a sense of identity and a shared purpose. Signing on with the community makes it easier to be accountable to each other and to ourselves. To borrow possibly the best word ever coined on South Park, we get to be each other’s accountabilibuddies!
 
The New Year is a great physical marker on the calendar for deciding to make a change and it’s no wonder that so many people use the time of year to decide to better themselves. Remember last year at this time when we all had big exciting ideas for 2015? Well let’s stick together and accomplish those things this year, so that in 2016 we can all be our best, healthiest, happiest, most aLigned selves. We cannot wait for you to join us on this exciting journey!

Sign up here and share with your friends to get them to join in as accountabilibuddies!
Read more →

Join Our Not So Challenging Challenge

Are you ready for the New Year?

I know.... wait wait wait! We have the holidays first, don't jump to next year yet!

But I also know that all of you are so driven that you already have that New Year's resolutions list waiting in the wings. 

Here's the thing though, how many of you set a New Year's resolution, stick with it for maybe a week or two and then just give up? Sounds familiar right?

I'll tell you a secret, the reason for that is quite simple, we always try to take on TOO much. Just like anything you do, it doesn't change overnight, and you have to take it one step at a time. 

You didn't just wake up one day and say, tomorrow I'm going to be a pianist, or speak Spanish fluently. You likely said I am going to LEARN to play the piano or LEARN to speak Spanish.

So why don't we do that with our New Year's resolutions. We say, I'm GOING to lose weight, or I'm GOING to stick to a budget, when we should be saying, I'm going to LEARN to stick to a budget. 

The famous quotes "Rome wasn't built in a day" or "Take baby steps" are the cornerstone to any successful endeavor. 

So this year, rather than take on more than you can handle and feel like you failed two weeks in, join us for a Not So Challenging Challeng (NSCC).#aLignNSCC 

Why?

Because we think 2016 should start with a bang! Together let's each pick 1 thing we want to conquer. 

It could be:
- Losing weight
- Sticking to a budget
- Unplugging from technology
- Stressing less 
or
- Drinking more water

Whatever it is, no matter how big or small, we are going to help you set achievable goals, send you tips and tricks to accomplish them, and keep you motivated

At at the end of January, you will have a new habit, a check box on your list, and most importantly you will be ONE step closer to #stayingaLigned. 

Together we can do it. So take a moment and sign up here! We can't wait to start the journey with each and every one of you!

Tell us below, what are you wanting to improve in 2016?

 

Read more →

How to (Prepare a) Party Like Your Mom!

The holidays can be a stressful time to get everything together and in place for that special time with family and friends. So to help us all find our balance for the next month, I went to the person who knows how put the perfect holiday party together…my mom!

From decorations, to food, to those small thoughtful details, this lady makes you feel at home and at a 5 star restaurant at the same time. So here’s to all the mom’s out there, passing on their traditions and creating new ones with each generation!

 

aLign: What is the best piece of advice for a successful holiday party?

M: Being organized! Knowing how many people are coming and what their tastes and likes are will allow you to plan the menu ahead of time.
Key tip: Mix trending and seasonal veggies with classics to make your meal have a unique YOU touch blended with old time favorites.
aLign: How do you prepare for guests from near or far?

 

M: This is where planning comes in handy as well. Planning where everyone will sleep is the first step and them preparing their room with fresh sheets, towels and I like to add a touch of warmth with a welcome basket. If they have never visited before, I like to leave a book or magazine about the area with some water, “yummy smelly things” and even leave some flowers in the room to liven it up.
Key tip: People sometimes miss making sure there is some closet space for guests. Clear some space in case they have items they need to hang or don’t want to live out of their suitcases for the week.
aLign: Preparing appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts takes a lot of time management, what is your secret to executing it?

M: Lists, lists, and more lists! Planning the menu ahead of time helps with two things, first it allows you to have a fully balanced meal so you don’t have a veggie platter with broccoli for an appetizer and steamed broccoli in you main course as well. With a big feast, having some dishes that can be made a few days ahead of time like desserts or soups is very helpful to free up stove and oven space on the big day!

Key tip: Don't limit your thinking to just the meal, if you have guests for an extended period of time, make a list for a rough idea of the meals you will be having with them, that way you aren’t spending the precious time with them grocery shopping or thinking about the meal and rather just enjoying time together.

aLign: What takes your holiday gatherings to the next level?

 

M: This one is tough to pick just one thing. I think ultimately its prepared presentation mixed with ease of work and flow. You want to have everything like decorations, maybe a color theme, or grocery shopping done ahead of time, but then also be open to last minute changes or glitches so that you and your guests can enjoy yourselves no matter what.

Key tip: Do the preparation with elegance and sophistication in mind and then on the big day execute with a casual grace.

aLign: What is your favorite part about the holidays?

 

M: Spending time with friends and family sharing laughter and stories. Thanksgiving is particularly great as there is no pressure for gifts. We love to take a moment during the dinner to go around the table to say what each person is thankful for… it’s always so enlightening to hear everyone’s personal gratitude.

Key tip: Invite someone who may not be in your normal inner circle, especially if they would otherwise be alone, you will make them feel special, spread holiday cheer and they will add an interesting dynamic to the conversations.  

aLign: What do you do to stay aLigned during the holiday season?

 

M: Going on long walks. Getting a group on the walk gives a great chance to spend time together while moving. Also drinking plenty of water to balance the cocktails :-)

Key tip: Just enjoy the special moments with you loved ones, create and cherish the memories, maybe even start a tradition that everyone will always remember your holiday parties for.

 

    Happy Holidays Everyone! 

xoxo, aLign

Read more →

6 Fall Must Haves for your Mind and Body

With summer coming to a close, your to-do list is starting to fill up. Kids going back to school and fall fashion may be some of the things on your mind, but don’ let your health fall to the wayside as things start picking up. We picked 6 of our favorite things to help us stay balanced for our mind and body this fall.

  1. Mantra Band

It is proven that those who seek positive mantras tend to be more successful. These simple but stylish bands keep you motivated all day long and make a great accessory whether you are at dinner, work or out and about.

     2. Dear Emily, You Are Enough

Need a book to decompress, this inspiring, hilarious, quick read is the perfect one. Dear Emily, You Are Enough takes you through exotic travels, romantic interests and the ultimate question of what one’s purpose is and how they find it. We promise you’ll keep turning the page for more. Always remember that a little time, even just 15 minutes, for you to relax is so important for your overall health, take the time that you deserve. Find it here for a kindle version or hard copy.

     3. aLign Memo/aLign Sip

After moving around all summer, we are going to start heading indoors and sitting a bit more. The aLign Memo and Sip make it easier than ever stay hydrated. Keeping yourself on track throughout the day will keep you energized and focused. Bonus! Try taking a walk around the office for each hour you drink, your overall well-being will be drastically boosted!  

         4. Climawear

    Need some workout clothes to spice up your wardrobe. We love Climawear’s super comfortable tops and bottoms! A Canadian Seamless Activewear Brand that is just starting to trickle into the states. Find their “Summer isn’t Over Hot Picks” and more at www.climawear.com. Our faves of the moment, Showstopper T-Back Tank and the Ruched Woodland Runner 

         5. Barre3 online

      Yes our obsession is real…we LOVE Barre3! With workouts and a community that are both energizing and yet restorative we can’t get enough. Although the in studio classes are great, sometimes with travel or busy schedules it is hard to get there. Try an online membership for just $15.99 a month and get access to tons of great online workouts for your total body or to target certain areas.

           6. Flipboard

      It’s just as important to exercise your mind as it is your body. Download this app and you will have quick and easy access to tons of articles that are of interest specifically to you. Stay up to date on the latest news, trends, and more by just flipping through. 

      What are some of your fall faves? Let us know below! 

      Read more →

      Behind the Brand

      Hey there it’s Jessica :-)

      Many of you have asked what exactly is aLign?

      So I thought I'd take some time to tell you about how it all started and what our mission is.

      How many times do you catch yourself saying “If only they had something that ______?” 

      As I entered the “real world”, my life suddenly became more and more active and I found myself saying that quite frequently.

      One of the biggest pain points I had was that each day I would pack my work bag with my laptop, lunch box and other typical odds and ends.

      Then… I would pack another whole bag with tennis shoes, yoga pants, a tank top and a post workout sweatshirt.

      As I swiped my badge to get into the office, I strategically opened the door and angled my body to fit through without running into the doorframe. I constantly felt like a pack mule climbing the stairs being weighed down on both sides.

      So when I decided it was time for me to buy a dual functioning bag, I did the typical Google search, scrolling though pages of blog recommendations, Amazon bargains and designer novelties.

      All the bags that would carry my laptop and workout clothes looked… like a gym bag. Something made primarily for the gym with space for a laptop rather than equal attention and care to both of my needs.

      After weeks of searching, it was clear that there was nothing out there. I needed something I can take to the office; that looks professional and yet is just as functional for my lunch and post-work fitness.

      I couldn’t be the only one who is looking for something like this right? As I looked around each day at the office and the gym, I saw the same thing…multiple bags being dragged around. For some it was for exercise, for others mother’s essentials/diapers, lunches or travel preparations.

      It was time for a solution to help all the busy women out there continue to stay stylish but add more purpose to their daily necessities.

      With that the aLign Pro and aLign Light were born and we realized that it shouldn’t stop there.

      Large companies spend millions every day to try and improve their processes for a more efficient workplace.

      At aLign we believe we should be doing the same thing for our personal lives.

      Our goal is to improve everyday life through innovative products that help build efficiency into daily routines and promote overall health for the mind and body.

      We hope that you are able to find that balance and that we can help you get there! Feel free to contact me with any questions about the product or brand at jessica@alignbags.com

      Read more →

      June Hyradation Challenge

      Get your challenge kit and aLign Memo

       

       

       

       

       

      Read more →