How I Started A YouTube Channel & 3 Lessons Learned

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Last week I finally realized a long-standing goal of starting my YouTube channel.

I wanted to start a YouTube channel so that I can create content that comes to life more than a blog post or an Instagram photo.

Videos are also a great way to make a blog post come to life.

They’re also a powerful way to get a message out there, connect with and serve a specific yet global audience, showcase a business (online or brick and mortar,) and direct traffic to a website.

But even considering all of these positive benefits, I delayed getting started for different reasons/excuses.

But last week, the timing seemed perfect to start.

I was feeling increasingly limited by only writing and sharing pictures on my blog and social media. This feeling was making me feel a little stuck when it came to creating new content and posting.

I want my website to be my “hub,” and social media outlets to be the spokes leading into it.

So just as I was feeling all of this, one of my favorite YouTubers released a video that inspired me to get off the fence and yes, be stronger than my excuses.

I gave myself until Friday to get something uploaded, and as much as my first video is a little cringeworthy, I’m so glad I started!

In this post I share …

  • 12 tips to show the process I took to get my first video uploaded and

  • 3 lessons learned as a result

By sharing the process I took and lessons learned, I hope to inspire anyone who’s sitting on the fence about starting whatever it is they want to start.

I’d also like to show how awesome it is to have original video content embedded in a blog post!

Let’s get into it!

12 Tips To Help You Get Your First Video Uploaded

  1. Give yourself a window of time to create your first video. It takes a little practice to get used to staring into the camera lens (and not have your eyes wander) as well as getting the message to flow from your mind so work on it a little each day for a few consecutive days.

  2. Set a deadline to post your first video. Without a deadline, you probably won’t take this too seriously.

  3. Pick a searchable topic and something that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. I chose to review Steve Perry’s “Traces” album because it’s along the lines of something that inspires me, it’s a current searchable topic, and I noticed there weren’t too many reviews out there. In addition, I knew it was a topic that I could speak from the heart about.

  4. Make an outline of what you’re going to talk about. Don’t craft a word-for-word speech for your video. Just keep an outline handy that you can refer to as you practice. You’ll fill in the blanks as you go.

  5. Watch your energy. This is something that I’m really picking up on. Make sure you’re energy is elevated because it’s easy to pick up on video. Listen to energizing music or whatever works for you just before filming if you have to.

  6. Keep your setting simple. Don’t get too fancy with the location of where you shoot your video. I did attempt going outdoors but I found wind, sun, and sand difficult to deal with. I will work up to this as I go. Oh, and make sure your camera is mounted so it’s not wobbly.

  7. Start practicing speaking into the camera lens. Look directly into the lens and fight the urge to look away!

  8. Be kind to yourself and let go of perfectionism. Once you get started, you’ll realize this looks easier than it is and you may feel a little discouraged but just keep going. You’ll feel yourself improving if you work on it a little every day. But remember, you’re just starting so allow yourself to be a beginner.

  9. Relax and speak like you’re speaking to a friend. Once I did this, it was a game changer.

  10. Craft your video’s title in a way that’s searchable. Remember, YouTube is a search engine so think of how you’d craft your search terms if you were searching for your video.

  11. Edit, if necessary. Personally, I did my video in one take and in order to honor the deadline, I uploaded it “as is.” I know it could’ve been condensed with editing, but the goal was to just start by the deadline. I look forward to showing improvement as I go.

  12. Upload your video & celebrate! I had no idea how to upload a video until I actually did it. It was very easy and if you have trouble, search for a tutorial on YouTube. It does take a few minutes for a video to show up on your channel so before you think it didn’t work and upload it twice (like I did,) wait a few minutes. Now take a moment to celebrate! You’re now a YouTuber! Honestly, it was a little surreal to see my face on YouTube but it felt great to realize this and think of the possibilities for video ideas.

And here’s what I uploaded as my first video to kick off my channel:

3 Lessons Learned

In my second YouTube video created the following week, I share some insights about what I learned from the process to help others who are on the fence take action and not waste time like I did!

Additional Resources

Below are a few awesome YouTube channels that are great resources for newbies on YouTube. Check them out because they have lots of great videos for newbies!

  1. Video Influencers

  2. Roberto Blake

  3. Think Media

  4. Channel Notes

Good luck going for it and getting your channel up and running! Feel free to email me your channel or leave it in the comments below because I’d love to check it out!

A Ridiculously Simple System To Help You Stay Consistent With Your Workouts


If you struggle with staying consistent with your workouts (like I have for most of my adult life,) this post is for you!

A little over a year ago, I wrote a post entitled, “How To Stay Motivated To Workout,” where I shared a list of things I do to keep myself on track with my workouts. Everything I outlined in that post has kept me consistent since then.

However, I have since expanded on the fourth item in that post, which talked about having MINIMUMS and MAXIMUMS to backstop dips in motivation. Here is what #4 said:

4. Have Minimums & Maximums to Backstop Dips in Motivation. As you schedule your workouts, have a MINIMUM number you aim for each week. I've often heard that in order to get results, we need to train at least 4 times a week (5 varied workouts/week is ideal.) Of course, this is something you may need to work up to, but what I've noticed is that 4 workouts keep me consistent. With any fewer, I run the risk of getting off track. And if too many consecutive days go by without getting a workout in, it gets really easy to let the habit fall to the wayside. It's like you have to stay in the flow-- to get results, stay motivated, and strengthen your habit. In addition to your minimum number of workouts per week, keep in mind a MAXIMUM number of days you'll go in between workouts-- for me, that's 3 and 3 is pushing it. Once I've gone two days without working out, I know I need to get back in there ASAP. Stay in the flow!

In this post, I will expand on that concept and share a super simple system that helps me stay consistent with my workouts.

This system is really all I use at this point. It’s so simple that I almost feel silly writing about it, but it works so well for me that I figured it was worth sharing.

Here are the steps:

1 | Commit to a MINIMUM. First, have an absolute MINIMUM number of workouts you will commit to each week. For me, it’s currently 3, but 4 is ideal. If you’re not sure or you’re just getting started, I would suggest 3— but 4 or even 5 is best for really seeing results, especially if you’re also eating clean. My workouts consist of gym workouts, running outside, and mini workouts I do from my home. The more options I have, especially when time is short, the more likely I’ll keep my commitments.

2 | Commit to a MAXIMUM. Now, commit to a MAXIMUM number of days that you will go without working out. If you’re shooting for 3 or 4 workouts a week at a minimum, you really can’t go more than 2 or 3 days without a workout. Again, if you’re just starting out, I would suggest going no more than 3 days because this will keep you in the “flow,” of working out. Establishing your MAXIMUM will ensure that you hit the MINIMUM number of workouts you committed to each week.

3 | Find A Little Spiral Notebook. Now, find a little spiral notebook that’s probably in a drawer in your house and not being used. Just a little one is all you’ll need. It’s all about keeping this simple! If you don’t have one, go to a local dollar store and pick one up. For only a $1, you’re going to lock in this habit, I’m telling you!!

4 | Start Logging. At the top of the first page write “Week of _______” and fill in whatever date you’d like to start your weeks. Personally, I start with Monday, and this works for me because I like ending the week with Saturday and Sunday in case I need the weekend to round out my MINIMUM committed workouts. Use one sheet per week so you can easily see how many times you’ve worked out. Here’s a sample of one of my weekly logs …


5 | Be Specific. Each time you workout, log it in and also write down what you did in your workout— include specific activities, sets, reps, time, distance, etc. The process of writing this down will give you a positive feedback loop and also show you what areas of your body you’re working out. It’s also great to flip back to see what you’ve done to give yourself proof that you’re staying consistent each week. Looking at past workouts will also give you ideas for future workouts.

The more you keep commitments to yourself, the more confidence you will have in yourself, and the more this habit will become part of who you are.

6 | Keep Your Notebook Close. Keep this notebook in a place where you can see it every day. It will also help you with scheduling/planning your workouts every week. Sometimes we don’t always know when we can schedule our workouts, but your MINIMUMS & MAXIMUMS will guide you. If you have a strong commitment to your MIMIMUMS & MAXIMUMS, this act of logging your workouts and seeing what you’re actually doing/not doing will be concrete evidence that you’re either on track or not. For example, if it’s Thursday and you haven’t workout out since Monday, you’ve already reached your MAXIMUM days without working and so you have to make time that day for your workout #2. Then, you can breathe a sigh of relief because you still have Friday - Sunday to make time for workouts #3 or #4 and you’re totally on track. Now that the rest of your week’s schedule is more clear, you may even have a better idea when you can fit in workouts #3 and #4!

7 | No More Guilt, Take Control! The great thing about having minimums, maximums, and logging your workouts is you’ll always know where you stand and you’ll feel less guilt. Even better, as you continue this week by week, your discipline become stronger which translates into feeling more in control of your habit.

So, that’s all there is to it! Ridiculously simple! If you decide to give it a try, I’d love to hear how it goes. I really hope it works as well for you as it does for me.

Real Jersey Shore's 2018 Get Ready For Summer Guide

Real Jersey Shore's 2018 Get Ready For Summer Guide

We've all been there. After being covered up from head to toe since November, the forecast shows summer temps are here to stay, and our arms, legs, and toes get caught off guard when it's finally time to consistently break out the tanks, shorts, and sandals. Then, when we go to try on last Summer's clothes, not everything fits like it did in August. Yikes!

Instead of getting caught off guard on many fronts, think of how ready you would be if, from Sunday, April 15 through Thursday, May 24 you did a little bit every day to get ready for summer?

The next 6 weeks present a great window of opportunity to get ready for bathing-suit and strappy-sandal season.

Added bonus: Working towards looking & feeling great means you'll enjoy every minute of each day more!

In this post, I list many of the ways to get ready for summer, broken down by category. And by clicking on either of the two red buttons, you'll be able to download a helpful 12-page printer-friendly guide, which gives you the tools to put your best toes forward and get things done to look and feel ready!

Here we go!

21 Things I Learned On A 21-Day Clean Eating Challenge

21 Things I Learned On A 21-Day Clean Eating Challenge

In our busy and temptation-filled world, maintaining a healthy diet is challenging for all of us. Our lives run at a fast pace, causing us to cut corners when it comes to making time for planning, prepping, preparing, or even thinking about our meals.

With each passing day that we delay getting serious and committed, we rationalize by telling ourselves that we'll get on track tomorrow. But unless we get super intentional and arm ourselves with some sort of plan, the cycle repeats.

Whether you want to make big changes or just some adjustments that will still give you lasting results, a great initial step in the right direction is going through a 21-day clean eating challenge.

A clean eating challenge is a great way to set yourself on a new path. It's not a diet but rather a mind and body reset and reprogram to break your ingrained habits or at least strengthen your resistance to your cravings and dependency on sugars, grains, dairy, alcohol, and processed foods. And the great thing is that It's a simple and straightforward plan.

While it's limited to only 21 days, the goal is to lock in the newfound awareness, habits, and changes going forward.

15 Ideas To Help You Win Your Day

15 Ideas To Help You Win Your Day

We all have days when we wake up and feel as if we can handle whatever comes our way as well as days when (for no apparent reason) we feel the heaviness of the day-to-day. It's part of being human. The key to making most of your days in the positive category is learning how to "win" your day.

Winning your day is an intentional daily practice of locking in a feeling of optimism and purpose at the beginning of your day, which typically sets the tone for the rest of your day. Successfully repeating this process over the long-term will reap immeasurable results.

Discovering the best way to win your day is a personal endeavor because we all don't respond in the same way to the same things. But learning how to win your day is critical to your day-to-day happiness, your long-term success, and your ability to make the most positive and meaningful impact during your life.

Over the past seven months I've been more intentional and consistent about self-betterment than ever before, and here is what I've concluded about winning my days:

16 Reasons Why Working Out In A CrossFit Gym Sets You Up For Success

 16 Reasons Why Working Out In A CrossFit Gym Sets You Up For Success

If getting stronger physically is at the top of your list of areas in your life where you'd like to make progress, I hear ya.

In September when I began to pursue a long-time goal of writing a book, I just knew that the most important thing that I needed to do initially would be to get stronger physically.

Increased physical strength would carry over into all areas of my life, further supporting me as I pursue my goal.

Since I knew that getting back to the CrossFit gym was the most direct route to getting stronger, I reactivated my membership at JSACF in Manasquan. JSACF was founded by Skip and Paige Chapman in 2006, and it's the 180th affiliate CrossFit gym of the more than 13,000 gyms around the world today.

Around the same time, while waiting for my son at the orthodontist, I was drawn to a magazine headline that read something like "Julianne Hough's 6-Day Workout Routine."

I flipped to the story and read how she works out in a gym 4 or 5 times a week, mixes in either an enjoyable bike ride or hike for the other 1-2 days, and takes one day off. She also explained that her ability to stay consistent is attributed to keeping her workouts scheduled, varied and enjoyable.

Focus On These 7 Areas To Move Closer To Your Goal

Focus On These 7 Areas To Move Closer To Your Goal

Do you ever feel like your life is running you and not the other way around? That's  exactly what happened to me back in April.

After finishing the redesign of my blog, I got sidetracked by what was going on in my life and abandoned my new creation for five months.

Between having work done on our home for a couple of months, followed by the school year ending, my three kids being on summer vacation, and being the team mom for my son’s football team, I got totally off track.

I also stopped working out regularly. I neglected to be mindful about what I was eating. And the only writing I managed to get done was sending emails for my son’s football team.

Since I was so far off track in so many ways, I decided it was best to wait until my kids were back in school to pick up where I left off. I needed some open time and space to regroup.

I also realized that going forward, I needed to be careful about the timing of what I take on in life outside of my goals because things can quickly teeter out of balance. 

What’s happening right in front of me always seems to take precedence over what I desire to cultivate from within. I need a strategy that enables my inner and external worlds to productively co-exist rather than allow the demands of the external world to take my inner world hostage.