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The Importance of Short-Term Goals

You’ve probably seen them before – 30 days of clean eating, 30 days of journaling, 30 days of crunches or jumping jacks. It may not sound like a lot, but 30 days is actually a great length of time to commit to a new goal or habit. It may not be enough for a habit to be formed completely (scientists are still unsure), but a month is long enough to feel like the goal will change something in your life, while still being short enough to be manageable.


After all, setting a goal to do something every single day for a whole year is a lot. That’s why so many people struggle with their New Year’s resolutions. But 30 days? That doesn’t seem nearly as daunting, but it can still lead to long-term change if your goal is successful and you decide to continue.


Think of it this way: if you commit to something – say, waking up earlier each morning – for thirty days, you’ve given yourself an end goal. It’ll be hard, of course. Those first few mornings, when you want nothing more than to roll over and go back to sleep, certainly won’t be easy. But by setting a specific number of days, you’re giving yourself an out. You can tell yourself, “If I can just make it through thirty days, I can stop.” And that’s okay! If you try something for thirty days and don’t want to continue, that’s completely fine! But maybe you do want to keep trying. Maybe, as hard as it was, you actually like having those extra minutes in the morning. Now, setting yourself a long-term goal isn’t as scary, because you already know you can do it.


You can also use those 30 days to give up something, or to remove a negative habit from your life. Whether it’s giving up coffee or avoiding social media, a month is a great length of time to try this out. Again, you’ve given yourself an end point – on those days when you just don’t know how you’re going to function without your morning coffee, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel!


Setting a goal for 30 days (or a similar length of time) is a great way to increase your motivation to complete it. When it gets hard, or on those days when you feel like giving up and not finishing, you can remind yourself that the end is in sight! Unlike setting a goal for a full year, or even for six months, a month-long commitment is both short and long. It’s long enough to get you past the more difficult parts of starting a habit but short enough that it doesn’t seem overwhelming. So, the next time you want to set a goal or start a new habit, consider making it a 30-day challenge for yourself!

Making Friends in a New City

Whether you moved to a new city for school, for work, or with a family member or partner, chances are your social life has taken a bit of a hit. Even if you know a few people in your new town, it doesn’t take long to realize that you don’t have the same kind of network that you did before. And whether you consider yourself introverted or extroverted, the prospect of meeting new people and finding new friends can be daunting.


While it may be difficult, finding new friends in your new city is incredibly important. As much as you love your friends from back home, maintaining a long-distance friendship is much different than living in the same place. Below are just a few tips to help you meet new people (and potentially some new friends) in your new city:


  1. Take a class. Find something you’re interested in – fitness, photography, or cooking are all great options – and take a class! Not only will you learn something new or improve your skills, you’ll also be meeting new people and then seeing the same people each week (or however often your class meets). Not only will the class give you something to talk about, but you’ll also be more comfortable with people the more often you see them.
  2. Join a group. The same advice you always got from your parents about making new friends? That still applies! Joining a group is a surefire way to meet people that already share some common interests with you. Whether it’s a group for young adults at your church, a sports team with your coworkers, or a local book club, seek out situations that encourage you to interact with others who share your interests!
  3. Meet your neighbors. If you’ve ever lived in a college dorm, you may know what it’s like to live in a building with other people but never know their names. But when you’re moving to a new city, don’t fall into this trap! It feels awkward, I know, but make an effort to get to know your neighbors. Maybe you won’t become best friends with the person across the hall, but even having someone to smile at when you pass them on your way out in the morning can put a positive spin on your whole day.
  4. Take advantage of your current network. When you decide to move to a new city, plenty of your friends, colleagues and acquaintances will be quick to list everyone they know who lives there. Take advantage of it! Even if all you get is a few restaurant recommendations or the name of a good gym or coffee shop, it’s worth it to get in touch with these friends of your friends. Every little bit helps, right?
  5. Lend a hand. Volunteering is always a great way to pass your time, but in a new city with a social calendar that’s probably emptier than usual, it’s an even better idea. Not only will it connect you to your new community in a way that just living and working there can’t, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people who share your interests and who also care about their community!


Moving to a new city without knowing anyone (or knowing only a few people) can certainly be scary. But just stepping outside your comfort zone and putting in a little bit of effort can lead to meeting lots of potential friends!

Get Moving: The Importance of Walking Every Day

As busy as you are at work or at school, it can be hard to take time away from the desk to get up and walk around. It’s easy to get caught up in working so much that you only get up to go to the bathroom, to the copier, or to refill your water bottle. But taking time to walk each day can have great effects on your health and on your mood, and it’s so easy to do!


Unlike other types of exercise, walking doesn’t require any special equipment. All you need is a sturdy pair of shoes and somewhere to start! If you go to the shoe store you’ll find lots of specialized walking shoes. While these can be beneficial, they’re certainly not necessary.


Where will you walk? Although it’s incredibly beneficial to walk outside, where you can get fresh air and get out of the office or the classroom, don’t panic if you can’t walk anywhere but through the hallways. The most important thing is to get up and get moving, in whatever way you can.


One of the greatest aspects of walking as exercise is that it’s super easy to do with other people! Whether you go with classmates, coworkers, family, friends, or even with a pet, walking with someone helps you stay accountable to your goals and can make walking more fun for everyone!


The benefits from walking are numerous, including lowering your blood pressure and your risk of heart disease. It’s also a weight-bearing exercise, which is good for your bones. But the effects aren’t just limited to physical health – getting up and walking for even a little bit each day can have a positive impact on your mood, especially if you’re walking with a friend or a pet! You’ll feel more energized and even happier, all with just 10 to 30 minutes of walking a day.


That may seem like a long time, but it really isn’t – you could easily get that done during lunch, in the morning before work or class, or even in the evening if it’s light enough outside. And with all those benefits, surely you can find half an hour or less each day to get up and get moving!




How to Start an Indoor Garden

Whether you are a seasoned gardener frustrated by short growing seasons or a complete beginner with no outdoor space for traditional garden, moving your plants into your house or apartment is definitely possible, and isn’t that hard to do!


If you’re a new gardener wanting to start small, indoor gardening is a great option, especially if you don’t have a yard or other outdoor space for gardening. Similarly, if you’re well-versed in traditional outdoor gardening but want to continue through the winter when it’s too cold and dark outside, indoor gardening is a great way to keep a part of your garden going throughout the year.


It does require some special equipment – you’ll need some type of planter to house your garden and most likely a grow light to supplement whatever natural light you can find in your house or apartment. Additionally, you might find that some other accessories, like a watering globe if you often forget to water your plants, can come in handy.


When it comes to picking plants for your indoor garden, the most important thing to remember is that the garden is inside – all your favorite outdoor garden plants may not do as well when moved into your home. Think about what kind of light you have and where it’s coming from, as some plants require more than others. Plants that require less water may also be easier for new gardeners who find themselves forgetting to water regularly. You should also consider what types of plants you want to grow: flowers or other greenery for decoration? Herbs that you can add when cooking? Different types of plants will have different requirements, so do your research!


There are lots of benefits to keeping plants in your home – cleaner air, improved mood, and increased humidity levels, just to name a few. Although scientists disagree about the numbers, most agree that house plants help provide some detoxification, reducing your risk of illness and keeping the air in your home clean. Your mood can also be affected – in a positive way! Studies have shown that people who spend some time caring for plants are more empathetic, compassionate, and have stronger relationships. Keeping plants in your home can also help you feel calmer and more optimistic – two great benefits for your mood! Additionally, keeping several plants together can raise the humidity level of a room, helping prevent irritation and respiratory problems caused by dry air and dust.


So do your research and find a plant or two that will work with the lighting and humidity level of your home, and get to planting!

3 Fast Ways to Know If Southside Is Right for You

  • You’re not crazy about the at-home pregnancy test(s!) that have given you positive results. 

Our licensed medical professionals can provide lab-quality pregnancy testing, so you can know FOR SURE what you’re dealing with.  

  • You’re reciting the words “This wasn’t in the plan over and over again in your head. 

We understand you have dreams and plans for your life. An unplanned pregnancy just wasn’t anywhere in those plans. That’s where we can step in to help. Our highly-trained staff is ready to help walk with you hand in hand through this. 

  • Youre looking for high-quality services with the lowest price 

When you’re evaluating your unplanned pregnancy options, you deserve the best care available to you. Because all of our services are FREE, you can be assured that we’re truly a safe place for you to discuss your options if you’re considering abortion in South Side Chicago.  

So what are you waiting for? We’re here for you, so that you don’t have to walk this journey alone. Our pro-woman services are available to every woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy who is considering abortion in South Side Chicago. Schedule an appointment with us today for a pre-abortion screening.   


5 Ways to Boost Your Mood in 60 Seconds

Looking for some ways to feel better fast? Here’s what we do when we need some positivity interjected into our day!

  1. Bring on that shiny, good smelling, shimmery, tasty—have you guessed it yet?? Lip gloss! Throwing on some lip gloss—bonus points for fruity flavors!— just makes it easier to smile.
  2. Turn up the volume! Music has a way of being tied closely with memories, some good and, of course, some bad. Find music that reminds you of better days and TURN IT UP! Of course, be sure to have ear buds handy if you’re in pubic. Your co-workers or housemates will be grateful!
  3. Grab that packet of gum from the bottom of your purse that you’ve been keeping for just this occasion. Chewing gum has been shown to decrease anxiety and what better way to boost your mood than axing anxious feelings.
  4. Reach for your secret weapon— sweet smelling hand lotion that you’ve tucked away in your desk drawer or tossed into your purse for a little midday pampering. When massaged onto your hands, be sure to take deep breaths and close your eyes, taking in the experience with all of your senses.
  5. My favorite tip for starting the day with a mood boost involves a hairdryer, a candle, and a lighter. Strange combination, right? When I’m getting ready for the day, I grab my favorite vanilla candle and burn it while I get ready. It’s the next best thing to coffee in the morning! You should definitely give it a try!

Try one or try them all! Share your favorite tip with your friends!

The Generosity Journey

Generosity is defined as the quality of being kind and understanding, the willingness to give others things that have value. It’s often associated with the epitome of selflessness. However, generosity is such a blessing that it not only positively impacts others, it manages to overflow and wrap you in health and happiness as well.

Each year more studies report that the benefits of giving to others has an incredibly positive impact on our mental and physical health. If living longer, keeping stress in check, and reducing chances for anxiety and depression sound like a winning combination to you, living generously may be just what you need in your life.

This is definitely not to say that we can use self-motivating reasons to reach out to others, because that won’t give us the full embodiment of generosity. It’s absolutely necessary to set out on your mission of generosity with the intention of blessing others with your actions of compassion and expecting nothing in return.

No, living generously doesn’t mean you have to throw money at a ton of random causes when you can barely support yourself, but it does mean pushing yourself to the ends of your comfort zone in an attempt to serve others. Sometimes that can be done through financial giving, but the gift of your time can also be just as, if not more, meaningful and beautiful. When you serve others with your time, it speaks to their hearts to let them know they’re valued and loved. It also helps you keep a good perspective on the things that really matter and reminds you to have an attitude of gratitude with your own situation.

So if this is a new concept for you, where do you even start, right? I mean, there are a ton of worthy causes out there, and they’re all begging for your support. Here’s our advice:

Start small— If you can’t afford to spare much from your budget, start with $5 a month. It may sound ridiculous, but every penny really does count. Your gift of any size can be a blessing to an organization working with individuals who need a little extra help.


Find a generosity mentor— This is probably a new concept for most, but it’s one that can be extremely helpful to those who are just starting on this generosity journey. Find someone whom you respect that is a champion for local causes or you know has a passion for an organization that you’re interested in. Ask them about their own journey and get to know their experiences. They’re bound to have some pretty incredible stories to share.


Give even if you don’t think you can afford it— But not necessarily money; give your time. What talents or skillsets do you have that match the needs of people around you? Be creative! Do you enjoy reading? There’s probably a group around you that reads to kids in schools or daycares. Do you enjoy numbers and computers? There are volunteer programs that teach you how to file taxes for low-income families and seniors at public locations. Do you love to sew blankets? Check out Project Linus, and help someone in need.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to living generously, and, most importantly, know that you don’t have to be rich to be generous!

Tips for Dealing With Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) is a situational type of depression, meaning that it’s influenced by an individual’s environment. Generally S.A.D. happens during the fall or winter months when the days are shorter and the weather is cooler, causing people to feel down or moody. The good news is that there are things you can do to combat the impact of S.A.D. in your life!

Exercise regularly. Aim for 30-60 minutes each day. Get moving by walking, jogging or finding creative ways to move around the house, like deep-cleaning. This action increases serotonin, endorphins, and other “feel good” chemicals in your brain. It also improves sleep and boosts self-esteeem!


Bathe in sunshine when possible. Sunlight (or even special artificial lighting) can help fight the symptoms of S.A.D. Open the blinds, go outside, or consider light therapy. Even if it’s cold outside, sunshine can definitely help!


Eat healthy food. This can help give you energy and keep S.A.D. at bay. Oatmeal, whole grain, brown rice, and bananas can boost serotonin levels. Foods rich in Omega-3 can also be great mood boosters!

5 Secret Weapons for Ladies Seeking Health and Wealth

We’ve researched some great apps for your phone that will harness technology as a fabulous tool to help you reach your personal goals, especially when it comes to your health and wealth. Check them out below!

Last Message
When your phone battery is going dead, there’s barely any juice left and you don’t think it will last more than a text or two… There’s an app for that (at least for Android users)! Last Message is a must download. The Android app will text the friends and family you select to alert them when your phone is about to die. No more anxiety as you’re trying to squeeze the last little bit of battery out of your device!

Ladies, your safety could never be protected by technology more than now. University of Michigan students designed this extraordinary app that lets you enter your destination and add family & friends from your contact book to monitor your location and status in real-time. If you’re ever feeling nervous about your surroundings, you can easily let your pre-selected companions know. If you start running, your phone falls to the ground, or you don’t make it to your destination on time, you’ll get a message asking if everything is OK — if you don’t respond in 15 seconds, the app alerts your companions. It’s the perfect app for traveling alone.

If you’re hoping to avoid unpleasant surprises, Clue lets you monitor your cycle and know when your period is soon to arrive. It’s designed to make tracking your fertility accurate, fast and friendly. Keep track of your monthly cycle by entering data about your period, pain, mood, fluid, sexual activity and personal notes. Plus, compared to similar apps, the name doesn’t immediately scream “PERIOD!” so no need to hide it in a vaguely named folder. It was also named the top “menstrual tracking app” by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Who doesn’t want to save more if you can do it without even noticing? Digit uses algorithms to analyze what goes into and out of your bank account, then makes small withdrawals in a way it says you “won’t notice.” Digit can save more than the other apps because it’s not based on transactions but on your balance and spending habits. You can try Digit for free for 100 days. If Digit determines you can’t spare any money, it won’t withdraw anything and backs it up with a “no overdraft guarantee.” As of March 2017, Digit has helped its users save over $500 million!

For all the ladies out there who are looking for a more streamlined approach to managing your finances, the app allows you to organize your finances by pulling your investments, credit card bills, bank accounts, and expenses into one place. Mint constantly crunches the numbers to ensure that you never fall into debt, make a late payment, or let your credit score slip.

You’ve got this, girl!

Brace Yourself New Year’s Resolutions are Coming!

We all know the cycle. It makes gym-rats roll their eyes and weight loss companies key up their advertising. It may seem a little early to start talking about the whole New Year-New You movement when we have haven’t even reached the peak of the holidays yet, but the truth is it’s never too early to start making better choices and developing better habits.  

Here’s the deal—you probably already know exactly what you’re going to change in 2018. My question for you is, “Why wait?” Why wait for some magical New Year’s Eve when you toss your wishes into the air hoping that you might actually make all your dreams come true? Why not start putting in the effort today to get a jumpstart on the new year and new you? Do I have your attention yet? Let’s do this! 

  1. 1. Be a trendsetter, not just a follower who’s influenced by the world around you. Don’t wait until the world tells you it’s a good time for a fresh start, like New Year’s Day. Your fresh start can begin TODAY!
  2. 2. Make a game plan to get started now. That’s an excellent way to get ahead of the game, so in a few weeks when you’re ready to jump off the bandwagon of new habits, that magical eve will be upon us, and your fighting spirit will be renewed!
  3. 3. Don’t just make the plan-put it to work for you! The greatest of intentions won’t get you anywhere. It doesn’t work to have a million-dollar dream with a minimum wage work ethic. You have to put the work in consistently to realize your dreams. Hard work pays off!


Successful people are simply those with successful habits. Cheers to health and happiness, friends! 


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