I’ve always been a procrastinator and it’s affected everything. I’m bilingual, and I’m in school right now taking a translation course, but I used to study at the last minute, which made me anxious. I was stressed at work, I was eating junk food, and I wasn’t getting enough rest. I was attached to my phone and I’d wake up groggy. I’m 28, and it was affecting my relationship with my husband, Cristian, who also works at Walmart. 

I really wanted to change, so I downloaded the Thrive app.

I started with time management. On my days off, I’ll start the laundry, and I’ll clean the house while the clothes are washing. I’ll have a healthy breakfast like egg whites and avocado toast with coffee.

I schedule two hours four times a week to do my school assignments.

I put my phone in another room in “do not disturb” mode. Doing simple Microsteps has definitely helped me feel more secure. I’m soaking up information in my classes. I’m spending time studying and connecting with other classmates. We give each other feedback and support each other.

Cristian and I connect without our phones and have great conversations. 

We’ll talk about how I’m doing in class and anything we’re stressed about. We give each other words of encouragement. 

We’re focusing on our finances. 

I used to think, “I’m not going to make it till the end of the week.” Now, Cristian will say, “Don’t worry I can help you out.” We’re a team. I’ve stopped buying things I don’t need. I was always shopping for shoes and makeup, but now I’m putting that 30 or 40 dollars I would have spent into a savings account. I can pay my bills and I’m less stressed. 

We cut out fast food.

We’re budgeting and planning out our meals before we go grocery shopping. We’ll make chicken and vegetables with rice or beans on the side, and a salad or fajitas. And we take leftovers into work. We choose satisfying snacks like cherries or baby carrots to munch on our way home from work, instead of stopping at McDonalds.

Before I go to bed, I take a hot shower to wind down.

I always have a book on my nightstand and I’ll read one or two pages in bed. Right now, I’m reading a book called Twist by Delphine Bertholon about a girl who gets kidnapped. I make sure I get eight hours of sleep, and I’m more energized during the day. 

Instead of going out to eat for dates, we go for hikes.

There’s a beautiful trail we love at Tahquitz Canyon. You climb a hill and when you get to the top you feel so accomplished. You can see Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley, and we stop to admire the view. Hiking is our time to have meaningful conversations. We also like going to the movies. We just went to see The Super Mario Bros. Movie and The Little Mermaid. 

We’re visiting my parents in L.A.

We’ll stay over and have barbecues. My mom and dad are great cooks and they give me tips. I’ve been learning to make Guatemalan food like frijoles blancos — white beans with pork in a special tomato sauce. My three sisters and their kids stop by and we all spend time together. My eight-year-old nephew, Dominick, just joined a soccer team and he’ll show us his tips and tricks. 

I’m pampering myself. 

I’ll put on a facemask or give myself a manicure and pedicure. And sometimes I’ll go and pay to get my nails done. I’m also listening to podcasts. My favorite is called Ponte Chida Mx (“Be Cool”) about physical and mental health for women. Another one I like is Temas y Debates (“Themes and Debates”) about finances and politics. 

Thrive is helping me to change my life in a positive way.

I check into the app every day and I don’t slack off. I’m consistent. My goal is to finish my translation course and use my skills to advance my career at Walmart. I’d love a career in HR. We’re also planning to travel the world. We’ve saved enough to go on a vacation to Spain In October. It’s so exciting. We’re going to Madrid and Barcelona — we want to visit the Sagrada Familia — learn about Spanish culture and try out all the good food.

— Maury Escobar, Distribution Center #6561, Colton, CA; $5K WinnerI’ve always been a procrastinator and it’s affected everything. I’m in school right now taking a translation course, but I was always studying at the last minute