Welcome to the 71st edition of Your Weekly Aura, a newsletter featuring must-read money and mindfulness tips and tricks from Courtney & Kelsey. This week, we’re talking about getting back into it. If you like the content in this newsletter, please share it with friends.
Back to… school, work, working out.
Living in The Bahamas definitely has its perks, but the summer heat and hurricanes are no joke. So, most summers, I find myself on the road – a lot. I know it’s getting bad when I start stumbling into the walls because I can’t remember how to get to the bathroom.
Last year, I was having a particularly tough time. I was in California visiting a friend between business trips venting about my chaotic travel life when she hit me with some unexpected advice – she suggested I work with a nutritionist.
My first reaction was like, “okay, I get it, you’re vegan.” But then she told me this nutritionist was focused on hormonal health and even got her to eat meat by listening to her body. (Like so many of us, my friend craves meat when she’s on her period).
I wasn’t entirely convinced, but then last summer my travel stress peaked. I tested positive for COVID for 13 days and thought my body was rebelling.
So, for my birthday I decided to invest in myself and spent more than I care to admit for a six-month 1:1 nutrition coaching package, telling myself it would also be good research – what a bargain!
Within weeks, I was making smarter choices about my food, ditching those “healthy” protein bars, and sneaking in some movement and meditation into my jam-packed schedule.
But here’s the kicker – it wasn’t just about my diet. It was about my whole routine.
After months on the island, my FOMO goes into hyperdrive. When I finally get off the rock, I feel like I should be doing all the things. I often wind up in a near-constant reactive state making last-minute, unintentional (and often unhealthy) decisions about where to go, what to eat, and when to sleep (never enough).
Fast forward, and here I am, one year later, feeling like a whole new person.
It’s all about getting to know and working with your body, instead of pushing it to its limits and getting upset when it inevitably starts to give out on you.
Within weeks, I started building a morning routine with meditation and movement and said good-bye to my IUD. After a few months, I learned how, with a bit of advanced planning and someone to hold me accountable, I too could manage my stress and hormones with food and self-care.
Working with a nutritionist taught me way more than just what I should be putting on my plate. Tracking my food showed me how far off my protein/fat/carb balance was, and keeping tabs on my mood and hormones opened my eyes to when I’m at my most creative, feeling most fragile, and when I just need to cut myself some slack.
And while she didn’t necessarily teach me anything substantively, ground breaking or new about nutrition generally. She helped me figure out what I needed to do for me – and then she helped me do it.
We are constantly telling ourselves what we should know and what we should do, and then if we muster up the courage to try – and fail – we shame ourselves for falling short.
Why? We lack accountability.
Our brains don’t like change. They’ll sabotage our efforts and when our willpower collapses, they’ll flood us with shame to keep us in the status quo because for our brains status quo is known, and status quo is safe.
But, science says willpower is not the way to go – we need support. If you really want to change your habits, team up with someone who’s got your back and keeps you in check.
Having someone there to hold me accountable and keep me on track with my nutrition journey was a game-changer. After 6 months of accountability, I was able to build a new routine that travels with me. I have more energy, I’m less stressed, and I have more control over my time and my decisions as a result.
Accountability is an invaluable life hack – and it goes way beyond just eating better or working out. It’s the secret sauce to achieving anything we set our minds to, including getting our financial lives in order.
Research backs this up – those with an accountability buddy are a whopping 65% more likely to achieve their goals. Having a solid action plan bumps up our chances of success by 70%. And a remarkable 92% of people actually achieve their goals when they have someone holding them accountable.
Of course, I still fall off the bandwagon every now and then (I’m a sucker for soft pretzels), but the important thing is that now I have the tools, the guidelines, and the muscle memory to get myself back on track.
So, if you’ve been thinking about making a change or looking for a way to get started. Remember, there’s no shame in asking for help. It’s not a sign of weakness; it’s a smart strategy for success. Whether it’s getting your finances in check, budgeting like a pro, or planning for the future, having someone in your corner can make all the difference.
If you’ve been looking for a way to get started on your financial future, we’d love to be your accountability buddy.
🚨 Special Offer 🚨
Are you in SF on August 10th? Join Aura Co-Founder & CEO, Kelsey Willock, for an evening of great food, engaging conversation, and a Mindful Money Management community.
Who knows, you might even meet your new accountability buddy! RSVP here.
For Your Aura
Want to learn more about your money story and discover your Aura? Take our quiz to find out your money personality today.
The Star: Keeping a splurge fund can help you save money while living in the moment
The Thinker: 20 states are having “tax-free weekends” this summer for back to school, work, whatever shopping. Find out when you can save here.
The Empath: How you can help support others facing money problems with financial empathy.
The Activist: Women are returning to work in droves.
Ask the Expert
Who qualifies for the most recent student loan forgiveness?
Great question. After the Supreme Court struck down Uncle Joe’s student loan forgiveness program, The Biden Administration approved $130 million in student loan forgiveness – this time specifically for students who enrolled at a school that officials accused of making “widespread misrepresentations.”
This covers around 7,400 students who enrolled at Colorado-based CollegeAmerica locations between January 2006 and July 2020 who will qualify for automatic forgiveness under Borrower Defense to Repayment.
The Education Department said in a press release that they “found that CollegeAmerica’s parent company, the Center for Excellence in Higher Education (CEHE), made widespread misrepresentations about the salaries and employment rates of its graduates, the programs it offered, and the terms of a private loan product it offered.”
This $130 million in relief is just one part of the administration’s broader efforts to provide student debt relief, totaling over $14.7 billion for 1.1 million borrowers affected by college misconduct. The relief will be automatically granted, and new regulations make it easier for similarly-situated borrowers to receive discharges.
↗️ Energy Costs. US households’ energy costs are estimated to rise by nearly 12% and almost 70% of the nation could face electricity supply shortages, according to experts.
↗️ Americans’ Age. The US population is older than it’s ever been—with a median age of about 39 years old in 2022, according to data the US Census Bureau released last month.
↗️ Interest Rates. The Fed approved a new interest rate hike raising interest rates to the highest level in 22 years.
↘️ S&P 500. S&P 500 fell Wednesday AM as traders await Fed decision, digest Big Tech earnings.
↘️ Apple + Google Map Duopoly. A group formed by Meta, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services and TomTom is releasing data that could enable companies to build maps that rival products from Google and Apple.
↘️ Tesla Dominance. Major automakers unite to build electric vehicle charging network they say will rival Tesla.
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