Have you ever felt stuck in a rut, where you feel like you just can’t get anything of significance accomplished? We’ve been there – and compiled our four takeaways on how to push through the long periods of unproductive times and check things off your list. It’s important to remember that we are human – there are going to be days when we do not feel motivated or energized; this is completely normal. Make sure you allow yourself a break when needed and prioritize those activities that make you feel joyful and at peace.

Tip #1: Make a priority list (not just a list, but a zoomed-in version of your list)

When it comes to your daily life, it can feel like a lot to manage when you “zoom” out and look at the work project, sports/activities, doctor’s appointments, social outings, family events, etc. Our first tip is to make a priority list and “zoom in” on the high-priority, must-get-to projects within a specific time frame. By making a priority list that only has those projects you must accomplish within the next day/week/month, you are setting yourself up to first work through those items before anything else on your traditional to-do list. And, writing things down has been proven to enhance memory and brain activity. It may seem time-consuming, but this is a tried and true method our team relies on to ensure we are meeting deadlines and focusing on those high-attention projects before the regular to-do list items.

Tip #2: Set deadlines (even arbitrary ones!)

Set a hard deadline for yourself for those high-priority tasks – even if it doesn’t necessarily need to be done by that time, it will help you trick your brain into thinking it does. For example, let’s say you need to finish packing for a trip that you leave for the next day. Instead of “the next day” being the deadline, tell yourself you have to be done packing by 6 pm. That way, you are giving yourself a hard deadline to work toward instead of letting yourself leave it until the last minute.

Tip #3: Tell someone the project you are working on

This may seem strange, but telling someone else what you want to get accomplished holds you accountable for finishing that project. Ask a friend, family member, or partner to ask you how that project is going periodically – this will make you accountable to give them a status update and make progress toward that project. Even if it is something as simple as organizing your room – having someone to check in with will help you get the task done quicker.

Tip #4: Set reminders and alarms on your phone to check the progress

This is our personal favorite way to stay accountable to deadlines we set for high-priority projects. Setting a reminder for these key milestones or deadlines on your phone that then alerts you is the best way to stay on task. We always have our phones handy, so might as well put them to use for us! Even if the project is simply organizing your closet, set incremental reminders for yourself like “organize shoes” or “hang up dresses” and watch how much more on track you will be.

As always, don’t be too hard on yourself! As humans, it is completely normal for us to feel disengaged or unmotivated at times. These tips are ony meant to kickstart you when you are stuck in longer periods of unproductive ruts.

Have more tips and tricks to get through that productivity rut? Send them to us and we will add to this list! Email us at


Juneteenth is a historically significant day that commemorates the end of slavery on June 19th, 1865. It is widely regarded as one of the most significant days in United States history, when federal troops went to Galveston, Texas to effectively take control of Texas and ensure slaves were freed, marking the celebration we have come to known as Juneteenth.

History of Juneteenth

In the 17th and 18th centuries, people were kidnapped and forced into slavery in the American colonies from Africa. Modernization and westward expansion in America brought about the abolition movement, sparking massive debates and confrontation over the issue of slavery. People in the Northern states vowed to end slavery, while Confederate states were in favor of slavery. This set the stage for the Civil War, which ended in victory for the Union (also known as the Northern states), marking the beginning of the end of slavery.

The Emancipation Proclamation issued by then-President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 declared all slaves under Confederate rule to be freed. This did not immediately end slavery, although it marked the beginning of the end of slavery in the U.S. Many slave owners moved to Texas during the Civil War as there was not a lot of fighting from the North at that tim2 in that area. President Lincoln and U.S. General Gordon Granger ordered federal troops to Texas to take control of the state in 1865 to free the over 250,000 slaves in the state and establish Northern rule.

After slavery was abolished, African Americans held a celebration once called “Jubilee Day” that has since been named Juneteenth. June 19th was recognized as a federal holiday in 2021, and is considered the longest-running African American holiday in history. For ways to celebrate, check out a few of the events our team will be watching below!

How to celebrate

CNN will be broadcasting from the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles at 8:00pm ET from the inaugural “Juneteenth: A Global Celebration for Freedom” event. Here is the link to watch it.

The Juneteenth Foundation will be hosting the Juneteenth Honors with tickets available online.


We love a good podcast here at Empowering Girls… and good news for us, there are over 3.2 million podcasts on Spotify alone! It can be overwhelming to choose a podcast to listen to, so we did our research and have put together a list of our favorite podcasts that cover fitness, healthy eating, mental health, education, and leadership.

Topic: Fitness

Girl Fit Method

Length: 20-40 minute episodes

Overview: Hosted by Natasha Wakefield, a Women’s Fitness and Nutrition Coach who shares strategies to level up your fitness, nutrition, and mindset.

Ambitious & Fit

Length: 20-40 minute episodes

Overview: Hosted by Michelle Stallings, this podcast combines the power of inspiration and actionable takeaways so can become the best version of yourself. She talks about how to master fitness, relationships, mindset, and career.

Topic: Healthy eating

Healthy Eating Motivation

Length: 20-30 minute episodes

Overview: Hosted by Certified Health Coach, Kat Rentas, this podcast gives you weekly actionable steps to take toward healthier eating habits and body positivity.

Food Matters

Length: 60-80 minute episodes

Overview: Hosted by James Colquhoun, this podcast dives into tips, tricks, and healthy hacks and includes interviews with leading doctors, nutritionists, and more.

Topic: Mental health

Therapy Thoughts

Length: 30-60 minute episodes

Overview: Hosted by Tiffany Roe, Mental Health Counselor, and award-winning psychology teacher, this podcast shares quick therapy lessons and real tools and tips to improve your life.

Owning It: The Anxiety Podcast

Length: 30-60 minute episodes

Overview: Hosted by Caroline Foran, this podcast explores what is anxiety and why it happens, how our brains work and actionable techniques to own it.

Topic: Educational

Sharon Says So

Length: 30-50 minute episodes

Overview: Hosted by Sharon McMahon, a longtime government and law teacher, this podcast shares interesting and mind-blowing facts about real-life stories.

TED Talks Daily

Length: 10-20 minute episodes

Overview: Hosted by journalist Elise Hu, this podcast shares daily ideas and discussions on every subject imaginable.

Every Little Thing Minis

Length: 2-3 minute episodes

Overview: Hosted by Gimlet, this podcast shares short, bite-size facts about some of the more intriguing questions of the world.

Stuff You Should Know

Length: 40-60 minute episodes
Overview: Hosted by Josh and Chuck, this podcast digs into just about every topic under the sun, and then some.

Bad on Paper

Length: 40-60 minute episodes

Overview: Two best friends, Grace Atwood and Becca Freeman host the “Bad on Paper” podcast that covers everything from their monthly book club to special guests.

Topic: Leadership

High-Impact Habits for Successful Leaders

Length: 20-40 minute episodes

Overview: Hosted by Craig Groeschel, this podcast offers personal, practical coaching lessons to grow as a leader.

Think Fast, Talk Smart: Communication Techniques

Length: 15-30 minute episodes

Overview: Hosted by Matt Abrahams, a lecturer at Stanford, this podcast helps people send messages clearly and get their point across with actionable tools and techniques.

Our team has listened to at least one or more episodes of each of the above podcasts. Let us know what you think and if there are more podcasts you would add to the list!


Gatorade, Clif bars, Protein shakes, powders, protein bars, vitamin water… with all the performance snacks out there, what should you eat in preparation for training or games? You might wonder to yourself, is there a specific formula or a certain amount of fats, carbs and protein I need to eat in order to maximize my performance? Or you may be the opposite and not think about it at all!

As a former athlete, growing up I never put too much thought into what I ate or how it affected me until college. I was fortunate to have a coach who was on the National USA Soccer Team and training for the World Cup at the time. She instilled in us right away the importance of nutrition. She was the Elite, the best of the best in the world at the time– she didn’t just talk the talk; she walked the walk. You better believe we were going to follow her advice. She taught us that the way we ate could make a huge impact in the way we played. When we traveled, we rarely ate fast food on the road, which showed her commitment to our health. Since then, I’ve come to realize that your health and “diet” can make a big difference in the way you train and play as an athlete.

When I use the word diet, I do not mean it in a sense of deprivation, restrictive food rules or any other quick fixes or fads you may hear about. Today we are usually getting our information from marketing on tv or social media such as Instagram ads, Google and viral Tik-Tok crazes. First rule of thumb is to check your sources – most likely you are getting incorrect information or being sold into a short-term solution. This often leads to poor eating habits, weight fluctuations or eating disorders. Over-examining, becoming obsessive or being too restrictive with your diet, especially in a culture fixated on female thinness and beauty, is linked to long-term physiological negative effects.

According to a summary opinion of over 40 studies, it showed that 95% of weight lost through dieting is regained. “Paradoxically, adolescent girls with elevated scores on dieting scales are at increased risk for future onset of obesity…indicating that dieting predicts weight gain in adulthood.” Stice, E., et al., ‘Psychological and Behavioral Risk Factors for Obesity Onset in Adolescent Girls: A Prospective Study,’ Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol. 73, No. 2 195-202 (2005).

Effects of weight cycling has been linked to many long-term problems such as: Damage to the heart and cardiovascular system, reduced bone mass, DNA damage or abnormal cell change in breast tissue and can cause physical weakness. It’s also linked to possibly altering levels and effects of serotonin function (the hormone in the brain that’s thought to regulate anxiety, happiness, and mood). Low levels of this chemical have been associated with impulsivity and depression as well. In general, we should never rely on popular culture for nutritional advice. These sources are not the answer to better health, especially for athletes, who depend on our bodies to perform at higher levels than most. Our bodies were made to do incredible things and we come in different body shapes and sizes. We need to do less scrutinizing and celebrate how strong and grateful we are that we can compete and can play the sports we love.

Your body needs the correct fuel to function, and you need to maintain a proper diet with an adequate amount of nutrients and calories to be at your best. Balance, portion size and everything in moderation is essential to weight management and matching your calories to meet your needs. This means that you are mindful of your daily activities, exercise and are aware of how your body burns food to meet your energy needs. Each person is different and unique, therefore, instead of focusing on counting calories, tune in to what your body is telling you! When it comes to nutrition, I ask you to pay attention to what you eat & how you feel during and after exercise.  Were you fatigued or energized? What has your body taught you about how to eat to feel that way? The sooner you can notice patterns within yourself, the quicker you can implement these habits and enhance your performance – ultimately becoming a better athlete, player and teammate. Also, be aware that the way you nourish your body afterwards can help your body recover and heal faster.

Whole, nutritious, non-processed and real foods with clean ingredients (you can clearly read/pronounce the ingredient on the food label) are always the rule of thumb when it comes to eating. The way your food is prepared is just as important. Cooking at home with more traditional ways of preparing foods ensures you are getting the most nutrients while also knowing what you are putting into your body. Sure, performance bars and snacks can be eaten right before performing for a quick burst of stable energy or at half time – but be aware that these are usually processed in a factory and the longer the shelf life, the less nutritional they are. If it expires in a short period of time – think vegetables, fruits, yogurt etc. – the better for you. Candy and high energy drinks may sound great at the time, but they are empty calories and after that quick burst of energy and feeling good, you will eventually crash. This can lead to headaches, a jittery feeling and most importantly, hinder your performance. Snacks such as a whole piece of fruit, handful of nuts, string cheese, organic yogurt or a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread are great sources of energy from foods 30 minutes to an hour prior to performing or at half time.

This all being said, your health is a life-long journey, and it lies in the tiny habits and choices you decide to follow each day. Although incredibly important, nutrition is just one piece of your overall health, and you must check-in with yourself daily and be honest. Are you getting an adequate amount of sleep? Are you surrounded by positive friends and relationships that energize your spirit? Are you watching or reading empowering and motivational material or are you feeding your mind negativity? Are you drinking enough water and properly hydrated? How are you coping with stress and self-care? These are all essential things we need to consider as they are all part of your diet and overall health.

Health, diet, and well-being are multi-dimensional. In order to truly understand what health means, you should consider your physical, social, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual health as well. Consistency in taking care of YOU, just like training, is the most important key to wrapping this all together. So, the next time your parents or coach tells you to eat your vegetables, instead of the eye roll – remember that proper nutrition can make a huge difference in the way you perform. Now that you are properly fueled, go out there and kill it, girl!

About the Author, Sara McClard:

Sara is a Holistic Nutrition Health Coach, single mom & soccer coach. She resides in Mokena, Illinois where she was born and raised.


By Christy McCaffrey

What does it mean to be authentically true to yourself? Well, it starts with connecting to and better defining what feels authentically true for you. From a young age we are bombarded with, and oftentimes overwhelmed by, the opinions and ideas of the world around us. And sometimes, amidst all this, it can be really challenging to grasp what it is that is true and authentic to us when we feel so much pressure to either fit in or to gain the approval of those whose opinions matter most to us. But that is exactly why it’s necessary to create some inner self-awareness and to gain a better understanding of what is true for you so that you can begin to separate your own wants, needs, and desires, from the wants, needs, and desires of those around you. When you begin to create some inner space for yourself you can better identify what feels true and aligned for you. Connecting to this authentic space within yourself will allow you to create a deep awareness and appreciation for what makes you uniquely YOU, and it will help you better understand how valuable it can be to ground yourself in your own truth.

This can take some bravery and might seem a little scary at first, but if you take the time to ask yourself some important questions you will gain more clarity around who you authentically are and thus will begin to feel more confident and comfortable with owning that authenticity. Taking time for yourself to reflect on your dreams, goals, and desires can help you to step away from the pressures of the world for a moment and allow you to gain a clearer perspective of what it is that really matters most to you.

Some valuable questions to ask yourself would be: (jot down your answers in a journal or on a piece of paper)

1.    How do I want to feel on a daily basis?

2.    What is my greatest hope, dream or vision for myself?

3.    What activities or creative outlets make me feel most alive and excited?

4.    If I were to remove any fear, doubt, or any other obstacle that might stand in my way, what is the truest dream I have in my heart for my future?

5.    What unique gifts or talents do I have to offer the world that could benefit someone else in a positive way?

6.    What are my favorite qualities about myself? What are my greatest strengths?

7.    Who or what makes me feel most supported and free to be myself?

8.    What values are most important to me when it comes to friendships or relationships?

9.    How can I cultivate more self-love and self-care?

10.How can I best show up for myself and move towards my authentic dreams, goals and desires?

 As a young woman, there is truly no better time than now to begin to cultivate the practice of introspection, taking stock of what matters most to you and getting honest with yourself about what it is that you need to do, feel, or experience that will ultimately help you feel more supported from within. Gaining a clear connection to your authentic desires and needs will ultimately help you begin to build a solid foundation of inner strength. From this strengthened place, you can then begin to step up as your own greatest cheerleader and support system. This new perspective will also offer you a greater level of confidence and better prepare you to handle any challenges that might come your way.

It’s important to keep in mind that your dreams, goals and desires are naturally going to shift and change just as you too will grow and evolve as a person. Therefore, it is important to remember to be gentle with yourself and your dreams – allowing yourself the space and time to grow and allowing your dreams the space and time to take shape. What is meant for you will always find you if you remain open and committed to an authentic path. Remaining true to yourself will always guide you in the right direction.

What does it mean to stay grounded in authenticity? It simply means to commit to making yourself and your ever-evolving wants, needs, desires, dreams and goals, a priority. It means owning the fact that who you are is absolutely, brilliantly, and powerfully unique and that your willingness to show up as your authentic self is one of the bravest, most powerful and rewarding things you will ever do in your life. Your unique authentic truth is something the world desperately needs and can endlessly benefit from. Taking care of yourself, honoring what is true and authentic for you and remaining committed to an ongoing journey of introspection will allow you to live a life of deep purpose and joy and will naturally guide you towards achieving your most authentic goals. This life is yours to create and staying grounded in your authentic truth will ensure that you will cultivate a life that you are genuinely proud of. Stay true to yourself, stay authentic, and most importantly shine your own unique light into the world!


About the author, Christy McCaffrey:

Christy is a wife, mom to 3, non profit director, speaker, podcast host and writer/producer born and raised just outside of Philadelphia, PA, where I live and work today.

Be The Good podcast

Project Scleroderma

Wisdom Work podcast

 Christy McCaffrey website


In celebration of Women’s History Month, we are featuring women to know in history who have paved the path for girls and women today. Below you will find exceptional women and some of their notable career highlights – the list is not comprehensive, but rather an overview of major career accomplishments by historic female trailblazers.

Sandra Day O’Connor

  • First female to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States (elected 1981)

  • In 2009 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President Barack Obama

  • Known for being firm, but just as a justice of the Supreme Court and held moderately conservative views

  • She was the deciding factor in many Supreme Court decisions and wrote over 100 majority opinions

  • Served on the Supreme Court of the United States for 24 years and was respected across the political aisle

Rosa Parks

  • Avid civil rights activist in the mid-1900s during a time when segregation was celebrated in the South – famous for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man (black people were ordered to give up their seats for white people during this time)

  • Awarded the NAACP Spingarn Medal and the MLK Jr. award

  • Author of two books (My Story and Quiet Strength)

  • In December of 2000, The Rosa Parks Library and Museum was dedicated on the campus of Troy University in Montgomery, Alabama. The museum is famous for its statue of Rosa sitting on a bus bench.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

  • Graduated first in her class from Columbia Law School

  • Co-founded the first law journal on women’s rights (Women’s Rights Law Reporter)

  • Co-founded the Women’s Rights Project at ACLU (American Civil Liberty Union)

  • She took on a majority of gender inequality cases and championed women’s rights in a respectful and diligent manner

  • First female Jewish Justice nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States (second to Sandra Day O’Connor)

Elizabeth Blackwell

  • The first female to receive a medical degree in the United States (after being rejected by multiple medical schools)

  • Her decision to be accepted by Geneva Medical School was decided by the 150 male students in the class by unanimous vote

  • The first woman on the UK Medical Register

  • Established a successful private medical practice

  • Her sister was the third woman to receive a medical degree in the United States

Amelia Earhart

  • First female to fly solo and non-stop across the Atlantic

  • She accepted a position at the magazine Cosmopolitan to campaign for greater acceptance of women in aviation

  • She disappeared in 1937 in a highly publicized trip across the Pacific Ocean and has not been found since

  • Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by the United States Armed Forces for accomplishing an extraordinary aerial flight achievement

Valentina Tereshkova

  • First female in space aboard the then-Soviet Union’s Vostok 6 on a solo mission (1963)

  • 64 women have since gone to space thanks to Valentina’s trailblazing moment of orbiting around Earth solo

  • She spent more than 70 hours orbiting the Earth during her flight

  • She was a Head of State in the Soviet Union (before its fall) and was elected a member of the World Peace Council in 1966

Billie Jean King

  • A famous tennis athlete, she and her doubles partner Karen Hantze won the Wimbledon Ladies Doubles Championship shortly after graduating high school

  • She was the No. 1 ranked tennis player in the world, winning the Wimbledon Ladies Singles Championship and the U.S. Nationals (now U.S. Open)

  • She spoke out on gender inequality within the sport of tennis and started her own tennis league in response to unfair treatment by Wimbledon and the U.S. Open

  • First female athlete to earn more than $100,000

  • First female athlete to be named sportsperson of the year by Sports Illustrated


I have been coaching youth sports for over 25 years, primarily softball and wrestling. During that time, I have seen sports and coaching attitudes change considerably. When I was a kid myself, we had few options, with no cell phones, no internet, and no HULU.  We would wake up on the weekends or any day during the Summer and everyone would play the sport of the season with no parent involvement and no coaches.  My coaches at Bogan High School did a good job both in golf and wrestling but most the fun was off the golf course and wrestling mats in social settings. I can’t recall ever getting positive encouragement during competition nor did I ever expect it. I’ve always felt you needed to make things fun for the kids to want to play, even when I started the Beverly Bandits at the beginning of the newly founded Beverly recreation program back in 1995. I coached multiple teams and I would make sure regardless of how good or bad we played, I would always take the kids across the street to 7-11 for a slurpy and a candy bar. Kids loved it and even if I had barked out constructive criticism or screamed at them during the game out of my frustration, everyone always had fun with a simple treat at the end of each game.

As time went passing by, I noticed a few changes in the game – kids no longer played sports unless it was organized with coaches, and they watched far less baseball on T.V. because the internet offered so many other options, not to mention video games. Kids became better athletes through specialized training; they became faster and stronger. Parents became more involved, as youth sports, in general, became more of a business. I always felt I was more of an old-school type coach: fundamental defense with aggressive offense and solid pitching would win most battles.  I would bark during the games and try to have fun with the team afterward. As the years passed, I realized that players were becoming more sensitive and less productive when I would bark or scream. I noticed that certain players needed a kick in the you-know-what to get the most out of them, but more and more players needed positive words of encouragement to get the best out of them. I’m a creature of habit – I was used to my old school ways but I also wanted to get the best out of my athletes, so something had to change. I now try my best to teach still using constructive criticism but without ever screaming in a player’s face. I also do my best to now provide positive words of encouragement when needed, which is more and more often.

I feel the days of negative reinforcement with disparaging words in any sport, in hopes of getting the best of an athlete in any sport, is a dying breed. Today’s athletes need positivity to be their best and it’s the old school coaches that actually need to embrace the change if they want to keep the players and families happy and productive.


This time of year, the only thing we find ourselves wanting to do is cozy up with a good book, a fuzzy blanket, and a warm coffee or tea. If you are an avid reader, you likely have a laundry list of books on your list to read; if you are just getting into reading, this is your place to start! Or, if you are a loved one of a girl who needs some good reads, check out our list below. There are inspiring books and fiction novels – a book for every girl or woman in your life.

We pulled together a list of books for every type of reader – if you have more to add, send us an email with your recommendations! We have recommendations for each age group below and will continue to add to this list as they come in.

Age group: Elementary school

  1. The Never Girls series

  2. Roller Girl

  3. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

  4. The Complete Gallagher Girls collection

  5. The World Needs Who You Were Made To Be

  6. Millie Maven series

Age group: Middle school

  1. The Mysterious Benedict Society

  2. Princess of Glass

  3. Brown Girl Dreaming

  4. York: The Shadow Cipher

  5. Goodbye Stranger

  6. Drama, Rumors & Secrets

Age group: High school

  1. Brave, Not Perfect

  2. How Far You Have Come

  3. Well, That Was Awkward

  4. Body Image Workbook for Teens

  5. Break The Fall

  6. The Hate U Give

Age group: Young adults/women of all ages

  1. Untamed

  2. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series

  3. What Will It Take To Make A Woman President?

  4. Lead From the Outside

  5. The Last Thing He Told Me

  6. That’s What She Said

A good book is medicine for the soul and a great way to expand your vocabulary, learn about interesting things and places, and challenge the way you think about something. Send us your book recommendations and we will add them to this list!