Where to Go in Sequoia National Park

Apparently today is National Plan a Vacation Day (seriously, who gets to make up these holidays??) so in honor of it I thought I'd feature one of my recent travels. Earlier this month I got a lot of love for my Instagram post of me among some giant sequoia trees, and as a thank you I wanted to share where to go in Sequoia National Park to see this beauties.

I visited Sequoia with family at the end of December and it was freeeezing. The upside of that is pretty snow photos and less crowded trails. We didn't have a lot of time so we decided to do The Congress Trail, which starts at the General Sherman. In total it's about a 3-mile loop. Despite the cold it was pretty crowded at General Sherman since it's easy to get to - literally park and walk a few yards up to it. But The Congress Trail was a different story. Everything was covered in snow and we saw maybe five other parties throughout our hike. It felt like we had the forest to ourselves and it was incredible to walk in silence among the great giants. Definitely worth dealing with the cold.

Because of the snowy conditions we had to get chains for our car since it wasn't a 4WD, so make sure you always check weather conditions before heading up there. Also, don't forget to pack some snacks for the trail so you can take as long as you want soaking in the beauty. I highly recommend a visit if you haven't already!


xo, elle

New Year, New(ish) Me

Hellooo 2017. 

2016 was a rough year but that's not to say there wasn't a lot of growth or new opportunities. And even though you can start over whenever, the beginning of a new year tends to bring about a fresh wave of inspiration. The problem is always keeping that inspiration around.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

Reflecting on this past year I did a lot of complaining and comparing but didn't do anything to change the outcome. This year I want to focus on making more meaningful decisions and holding myself accountable to those commitments. It's a lot easier said than done but I'm sure everyone struggles with this to some degree, which is why I'm using my blog to hold myself accountable (and hopefully help others do the same!).

I recently read this article "To Change Your Life, Learn to Trust Your Future Self" and it spoke directly to my struggle with staying committed to the right choices. Through the lens of future versus present, it provided a fresh perspective to goal setting and staying on track. You need to see the greater value a decision will hold for your future self than at that given moment. "To conquer temptation and achieve change, then, you need to dispel the fog of self-doubt and develop confidence in your own future behavior... The point is not to build a habit, but to establish a pattern of evidence for your own brain to observe. Find a very doable piece of behavior to adopt, then focus on doing it, no matter what. "

Setting Expectations

I'll be honest. My goals haven't changed much over the years so what I am changing are the expectations around them. These aren't things to be achieved overnight or even in a year. It's going to be a continuous process and I want to focus on behavior that will lead to self-trust. In the words of Nike, "There is no finish line."

Staying On Track

It may not be eco-friendly but I love printing out spreadsheets and checklists to track my progress. I'm also a very prideful person, hence why I'm talking about my goals online! I think it's very important to set yourself up for success, and who knows yourself better than you??

Measuring Success

I've decided to break up my goals in a programmatic approach. I know I struggle with long-term routines so in a way it's like setting up a bunch of short-term goals that all work towards the same change.

  • To establish a healthier and more balanced diet I'm going try Whole 30 for the first time. 
  • To incorporate fitness back into my life I'm going to start Kayla Itsines' BBG (for the umpteenth time).
  • To work on photography I'm going to go on monthly shoots, even if it's just down the street. 

Like I said, nothing out of the ordinary. I am in no way an expert on setting and achieving goals, but there's no time like the present to become the best version of you. Expect many more posts on this self-trust journey and a deeper dive into the programs I'm committing to. And if you don't see any, feel free to call me out ;)


xo, elle