For the Moments i feel faint

I was hurting and constantly upset I don’t mean the once in a while or caused by ever changing hormones, I mean my life was stuck in this seemingly never ending darkness and I couldn't get out. If you know me, you know i’m optimistic. I mean hell, even through immense pain I could see that I could use it in the future for good. I could always stand tall and get through whatever crap.. forget it i’m swearing ..shitstorm headed my way. and believe me, I had a lot of those the last few years. i’m pretty sure I lost very important inches in my height because of how stressed I was. I got to my lowest point.. no not depression and the lack of showers I took for months on end, and no not anxiety that would cause my to have to pull over because I couldn’t breathe. I got to the point where I said to a close friend..”I don't think it’ll ever get better.” and for me, that was the lowest I could get. Because my whole character seemed to be shifting and my beliefs. I couldn’t see my hard work and persistence paying off (even though for once I was being patient and continuing) I continued on through those words, tears daily, darkness and lack of optimism. Lack of self-confidence, and slowly getting worse. I can’t say exactly what changed it. I think it was a multitude of things working together. I kept working hard in my business, I kept reading and journaling to lift me up even for a second, I went to the gym (not as much but I went) I tried feeding my body healthy food with the occasional chips because… happiness, I talked with a few close friends and of course my mom daily who are constants in my life, and maybe it was finally getting through some of the toxic parts where I could see a bit of sunshine again.

we may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated

i’m telling you this with a very specific purpose. I write about women and self love, how to get healthy, and self care. I speak it with intention because i’ve been on the other side. More than most people even would care to hear about my entire life (movie-worthy or as a counselor once told me.. a reality show) story. As things keep coming my way, i’m finally to a place again where I think “well damn, I guess I can use this in the future too as an experience to connect with women.” I don’t mean to skip past the hard parts just to encourage you to keep going. Those hard parts in life SUCK and I know exactly how it feels to think it’s going to last forever. But I tell you to keep going because it’s the only way to see the sunshine again. It might take a few years, and I know hearing that sucks too. But you have the strength to get through it… but just don’t do it alone. I’m not going to give you the ol “it’ll get better” speech completely, because sometimes we just need to be acknowledged that sometimes things aren’t going your way. but if you can see a few peeks of the sunshine here and there, it’ll keep you going. That’s why I push to find people you trust, to seek out a counselor, to read and journal, and to exercise. Those are the things from not only my experience but that have been proven by studies to help healthy minds and bodies. There’s no reason to try on your own. Absolutely let yourself be sad, allow yourself to feel, but then reach out and slowly start your way to a path that eventually you can see some light. Maybe not today. Maybe today you eat a donut and take a bath. But the only way to recover is to act. And honestly, that sucks sometimes too. But if I know anything, it’s that after the days where you allow yourself to have a pity party, you need the rising up, strength filled, overcoming days and those have to be fought for. And you can do that, I have no doubt.

“We may encounter many defeats” that take us down and hold us back, “but we must not be defeated.”

Keep Shining

Shanna Star

***extra points to those who know my title reference to a little band called Relient K. It’s a song. and maybe it’ll encourage you too.”For the moments I feel faint.”

temporarily moving backward- with intention

We all need words from people who inspire us, encourage, and motivate us in a new way. It’s one of the many reasons I push people to read and journal. It truly manifests deep within us when we start focusing on the words of someone we trust, and then use that to thrust us towards our goals, self-love, and, even sometimes just forgiveness.

like she owns the place- blogger

I started reading from a new author Cara Alwill Leyba, and to say i’m already in love with her work is an understatement. Cara has pink hair, obsessed with working from home for freedom, wants to give women confidence, and oh has an obsession with Stevie Nicks. Honestly, I’m halfway through this book “Like she Owns The Place” and I just felt compelled to write to the author a huge thank you already, so I did. she wrote back within an hour, and I about fell out of my chair.

It might not be monumental, but sometimes it’s WHEN we read the words that matter, when our hearts and mind are open and it’s manifested in a whole new way. I have been on the verge of rearranging some of my life. (I know, how much more could it be rearranged with all the changes in the last few years?) and it lead me down some serious paths and conversations about how I feel sometimes i’m moving backward. It’s hard for me to even type that to you. But it’s true. don’t get me wrong, i’m happy, I love what i’m doing and who I am but I guess in the comparison of life, it’s just not where I thought I would be at 31. Then I read these words just two days after I told someone I feel like i’m going backward.. and the author said “Sometimes moving forward means moving backward, at least temporarily.” yup. it’s exactly what I needed in that moment. The Ah-Ha moment that the direction i’m going and about to go is still the right one for me. It’s hard and draining, and I work my butt off. But words from someone I connected with, lets me know this is the right path still. The hard work I put in, will pay off, and all the gut feelings are of sound reason even if from the outside, they aren’t a normal path.

temporary going backwards- personal blog post Shanna star Magnuson

so now the reason for this post for you, because believe it or not, it’s not just for me to babble about my life. Being authentically you is going to look vastly different from every single person around you. For me, it’s pink hair, lifting heavy, reading books, being extra,and wearing pink practically everyday while willing to work 80 hours a week for my passion so I won’t always work 40 hours a week for someone else. The best non-monumental but true words I can share today is, to learn who you are inside and out, and embrace whoever that is. Learn self love and practice it daily (because it is a DAILY practice), and then listen to those gut instincts. Living life according to the needs of your inner body, the things that make you happy and make you beautiful..I mean that make you sparkle and shine and glow, all of those energies that make you beautiful on the outside because you are on the inside. And if you’re thinking about putting pink in your hair.. DO IT. 80 year old you will be so glad, and also I fully intend to have pink hair at 80. I mean, i’m guessing i’ll still be extra then too. So, figure out what makes you light up from the inside out, and even if it looks not normal to those around you, and go for it so 80 year old you can look back and know you did everything you wanted to pursue your purpose.

Keep Shining

Shanna Star

Christmas in Panama City Beach

To say the last couple of years have been a whirlwind would definitely be an understatement. Many of you know some of the hardships (but also some wonderful things too!) that have been happening. This year Im finally back to sending out Christmas cards, put up my tree(s), and can enjoy baking goodies in my own kitchen in my house here in Panama City Beach. Mostly I just want to reflect as I continue to work for and through some things, i’m very thankful for the people in my life. All over the country since i’ve lived in 5 states, people have been supportive and reached out and I appreciate that more than I can put into words. Not a time for whining, i’m grateful for what I have. On a mission of not wasting time, as so much can change in a year, a month, or even a weekend.

Today I want to remind you to reach out to loved ones, tell them you love them, squeeze and kiss on your kids and your animals, and be around people that make you laugh, bring out the best in you, and encourage you every step of the way and always see you for your good heart, and maybe tell you when you’re being a butthead and need some honesty in your life. I plan on laughing and crying and grabbing hold of opportunities while I work my butt off. And probably still calling my mom at least once a day. AT LEAST. Even though I feel like i’ve changed my perspective and growth in more areas than I would’ve cared to venture into lately, i’m confident in making this season a good one. Merry Christmas and a truly Happy New year to you all.. mostly to those who visit me in Florida, and i’ll secretly glare at the ones that don't.

Below are a few that didn’t make it to the Christmas card, i’ll be sharing more on FB soon! ***SEE below for some words for those of you going through difficult seasons.

Panama City beach Christmas photos
Panama City beach Florida Christmas
rosemary beach Christmas photos

Keep Shining and sharing your heart

Shanna Star

*** I do want to add something for the people that don’t have anyone, or have toxic people in your life, or are in a hard season. I’m not going to say it’s magically going to get better, because when I was in that season, I hated hearing that. But I am here to talk, I mean it. send me an email at and we can get in contact about moving forward/on/through hardships. I don’t post details of my personal life but i’m open to sharing my heart one on one. It’s tough being in a hard season and feeling alone and it’ll never get better and can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. for me personally it felt like one step forward, two steps back.. for months and I couldn’t emotionally get through it. There are some things I can help suggest or if you need, just be a listening ear. even in that time, remember to tell yourself you’re enough, you’re needed, you have great purpose. I know that’s hard.. so say it out-loud on the good days. it might not get better for a while, but you can keep going.

8 Things to do to reach your goals!

I was relieved after writing down the things I found important for reaching goals. why? because after I came up with my own list, I went searching of what others suggested and I was pleasantly surprised... most the other things I read matched up with what I'm saying. This isn't to say I have it all down, know all the answers, or even am always right. Definitely not. But I can tell you, I've read articles, books, watched online seminars and educators and have learned a little. I want to share what I've learned with you. In case you're starting your journey, this is a good place to start and without you having to do all the research I did, here's 8 helpful things to help reach your goals. 

1- Education. However this looks, it’s different for everyone. It could be a conference in your career field, online education and videos, books, seminars, sitting with expert in that field, oh and more books. Did you know the most successful people don’t stop learning just because they’re done with schooling? They get to be where they are with consistent education. This is such a broad subject, so if you want specific book suggestions, online education, seminars or more, I'd be more than glad to help you find something that fits what you're looking for! 

8 things to do to reach your goals

2- Get an advisor. I have to admit i haven’t started this process until two weeks ago. It felt like an expense i wasn’t ready for, but the more i read about it, the more i realize how important it is for me. It might be more of a mentor depending on your goals, but someone to check in with, keep you accountable and ultimately help you steer you towards your goals. They have more knowledge in that area, which is why they’re advising you. So they could help you jump start past a few steps and put you in connection with the right people!

3-  Get out there. Meet people. it’s hard, believe me i know. But no matter the goal, it’s always better with a community, the best way to get business is to meet the right people. Connections are some of the best ways to not have to do all the work yourself. (how did i find my advisor, whelp i went to a meet up and someone i trust suggested a great one in the area.) Some great tools to use are, Facebook events in your area, professional groups, luncheons, bumble app for friends, and the tough one... cold marketing. Research what businesses/people fit your brand or personality and reach out to them. Also don't forget to pick up local magazines and find people there, and if you do advertising with some, you get invited to more events!

4- Stop Making Excuses. We all have them. Instead, work diligently on overcoming those excuses. Be a person who takes small steps, can be patient, and wants to reach their goals instead of them just being just a or a far off dream that won’t become a reality. the only person that can change those dreams into reality.. is you. So no more excuses, because believe me, every single person has them.

5- Calendar and journal. yes this was in the previous post, but here's how to set it up!. i have two calendars, because mostly i’m crazy. i like my ICalendar but i like one i physically write in. Two definitely isn’t necessary but it’s what makes me happy so i do it. Use it to write in the events, and try setting up your computer calendar to set reminders, this is the easiest way so you don't have to add them in each month. repeat it in your calendar, and done! it'll remind you automatically. I use my computer calendar to remind me every month of things like pet meds/paying bills/and appts. weekly i even set an alert to remind me to take the garage out. i know that might seem mindless, but it wasn’t on my to do list until recently, so anything I don't have to think about what will do the thinking for me, helps clear my mind. i don't have to hold onto the “oh i have to remember to do that next week.” it’ll alert me and I can focus on the task at hand. It also starts to build your "5 tasks a day" if you remember reading that in the last post.  

6- set some down time. yes i try to fill time with working towards my dreams, but you know what is equally important? being happy and being present in the now. I don't always get my to-do list done, and it's more than okay. that's truly why there are lists, so I don't necessarily HAVE to do them everyday, they're broken up enough so I can work in time for surprise social events. people are more important, and i will only regret the time i didn’t spend with loved ones. There’s a time and place to say no, but don’t forget to spend time with the people that matter most. 

7- exercise. it doesn’t have to be 2 hours in the gym, or even AT the gym. i clear so much in my mind with a simple walk with my dogs, it’s unbelievable. And the best thing is you can do it with loved ones. Walk your pets, take a walk with your significant other, or your kids. Even a walk makes me feel healthier and gives me some energy.

how to reach your goals

8-Be specific and develop a plan. No goals will be accomplished until you revisit your goals and write specifically what you want.It needs to be clear so you know some steps to take in the right direction. and no, maybe you don't know how exactly you'll get there all the time, but as you take the baby steps you do have planned, you'll find the other steps along the way. For example. one of my short term goals for this year is to have 5 photo sessions a month. it's a HIGH goal in a new location so I'm pushing myself. But if I said I want 60 sessions this year but don't do my part to get to that many sessions, my goal won't happen. I have to educate myself in both the new location, people, and online presence. I have to be organized and track what progress I'm making for instance, when I get clients, how did they find me. I go back and check broken link/inaccurate information etc. I also am getting my name out there, and not making excuses. Goals without a plan will fail. so set yourself up for success with specific goals, and things you can do daily/weekly/monthly to get those goals! 

I'm here guys. You may have a business, fitness and health, personal, or family goal. If you want to talk through some things specifically for your goals, I'd love to talk to you. I still have a lot to learn, but I have found some great resources along the way, and if you're feeling stuck or maybe need just a little help, I'm here to help in any way that I can. If you missed the blog on how to start getting organized, 7 steps to start writing your goals and lists, click here.


Keep Shining

Shanna Star


7 steps to start your goal writing and lists

Sat down with my coffee. and no i’m not really a “coffee drinker” i have about 1 per week. but still. it sounded like a good way to open up sitting down with a cup of coffee, let’s talk finances and goals.. there. that sounded like an adult. Though i have to admit, even at 30, i don’t feel like one. Except the times when i put on my old lady robe and slippers, get my errands done, and want to sleep by 7:30 pm after reading about investing. #whoami. 

7 steps to start writing your goals and lists

i have fallen in love with setting goals for years now, but more recently specific goals for money. because let’s admit it, “progress and nothing happens unless a goal is established. otherwise we wander through life. sit and think about businesses, they have to ask themselves where do they want to be in 10-15 years and then gauge their efforts accordingly. so, you start your ultimate goals by making your next task, regardless how unimportant it seems in the right direction. It’s not one big jump into success, it’s one step at a time.” (quote from The magic of thinking big) 

i’m going to be redundant in some of these posts. i cannot stress enough to 1- write down your goals. 2- lists people. lists. i have done extensive reading about how to set yourself up for success, so to save YOU some time finding that out .. just do it. we tend to overestimate what we can do in a day, and underestimate what we can do in a year. 5 things a day is what i find i can do. 3 if work went extra long. (or if you want to make excuses about not enough time, there you can start with 3.) Even if you only do 5 things a day for the weekdays that’s doing 1300 things a year. yup. adds up. Don’t get me wrong some of the things i do aren’t strictly for my dreams but they are things that are in the direction of what i want for my future. For instance the gym can be one of the 5. maybe walking your pup, bettering your household in some way, when you see you only have to do 3-5 things the tasks don’t seem so overwhelming. i know personally if i feel like i have too much to do, i end up doing nothing. so i make a weeks worth of 5 things a day, splitting it up and accomplishing the small things, because i promise it adds up. You also might say "I can do way more than 5 a day." and you're absolutely RIGHT! I have a few days once in a while where I'm a cleaning and errand and getting done with stuff machine! but those aren't daily. i can get 15 things done on the right day, but if those only come around once in a while or you feel stressed doing it, then break it up. you'll still get more done with a few tasks every day. And as John C Maxwell says “You'll never change your life until you change something you do daily."

Here’s a personal example over the last few months. I have taken a few hours each day to work on my website, my SEO (search engine optimization) my social media platforms and way people find me. (yelp, linkedin, Facebook etc.) each day seemed like i wasn’t getting anywhere but my goal was to raise both the number of viewers to my website AND see more inquiries coming in. (see setting an attainable goal helped me understand WHY the task was important.) from November to March i’ve been up 400 viewers a month. i also have improved the number of clients contacting me which means the small time i’m spending on my website is paying off big time. i’m getting seen in more states and even countries, and more people are connecting and want to reach out. it’s a slow process, but it’s an important one to have a full time business here in Florida. All that to say, okay great Shanna, you love to tell us to basically write down ever little thing, but where can I start?

How do you start goal writing and lists? 

1- BUY THE CUTEST JOURNAL EVER AND CALENDAR. one you love (or had, since this is about saving money, and I seem to get journals as gifts!)  it'll help you organize all those appts, to do's, and even random thoughts. Which clears your mind for spending quality time with loved ones and not feeling you have to remember every detail. it's down on paper, it's out of your mind. 

how to start writing your goals and lists

2- START WITH SHORT TERM GOALS. Mine are both personal and for business, for each year, and i review them as the year goes. for example: read 10 books a year, amount of money saved, volunteer 12x, 12x a year meet ups or, blog 80x a year, travel out of country, make x amount of money, powerlifting competition. 

3- LONG TERM GOALS. i revisit these mostly to add to them, they don't need to be revisited more than twice a year. These are 5+ years goals. for example: write a book, own my home, x amount of money in savings, x amount of money in an IRA, making X amount per year, own a mustang again in 5 years, etc.

4- PUT YOUR GOALS IN A PLACE YOU CAN SEE DAILY. mine are always in the front of my current journal or my yearly calendar. i see them everyday, and get to ask myself if what i’m doing is making steps towards my goals and bettering myself. i also have a third list of things accomplished already, like how many books I've read, meet ups I've done for my business etc.

5- DAILY GOALS AND HABITS. i stated above that daily tasks help accomplish goals. so make a weekly list, since from experience it helps me break up the tasks and it gets all of those “to do’s” out of my brain so i don’t feel cluttered and i can focus on more important things. i start with Sunday and end Saturday and write down no more than 5 things to accomplish that day. and don’t get too concerned with how small the tasks are. The important thing is you're organizing all those to-dos and doing things to better your future. 

6- TRACK PROGRESS. as you work in both "needing to be done" tasks and "things that are for your goals", review your progress. whether it’s fitness and you take photos to see muscle gain, how far in your books you should be for the year, or make sure your savings is getting money being added every month, you’ll see things start changing. 1300 things a year will surely give you progress if it’s the right 1300 things. 

7- FEEL GOOD. yup. that’s what happens when you set goals, and work towards them. i promise you’ll feel more organized, actually BE more organized and have a clear idea of what little things you can do daily to get towards your goals. 

GREAT. Maybe you feel that you have a good grasp on organizing your days, weeks, months, and year for goal writing! But you're not sure what things you can do to reach your goals. In the next blog I will be writing steps and and what to do to REACH your goals! Attainable and success-proven ways to take the next steps. 

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Keep Shining

Shanna Star