New Month, New Goal

I know I’m a day late, but this just illustrates how quickly summer is slipping through our fingers! How did it get to be August already?

At the beginning of each month, I set new goals; some are stricter than others, but all aim toward a healthier, happier me! Yesterday I really looked inward. What improvements did I hope to accomplish? Did I want measurable results? How could I make the most of my time? What outcomes would increase my health while feeding my heart and soul? These thoughts circled my mind as I pedaled to the gym.

I continued to consider what I hoped to achieve this month during my workout. As I biked nearly halfway back home, clarity…

I can’t possibly slow summer down, but I can spend more time enjoying it while it’s here. Why not take my workouts outdoors to soak in that sun, breathe deep the fresh air and embrace all that’s left of this season?

Folks, it couldn’t have been any clearer than the crystal blue water before me. I’ve decided to turn my focus from diligent calorie counting and the vigorous routines that have become habit for me at the gym toward embracing the outdoors in my pursuit of fitness. This doesn’t mean I won’t continue to watch what I eat and get my workouts in, it simply means mindfully spending more of my energy in an environment I can’t seem to ever get enough of.

I’ve already made some exciting plans to get myself outside more. Instead of mourning summer’s end with regret, I plan to look back with fond memories of epic adventure and wellbeing. While my results may not necessarily be measurable, I intend for them to be unforgettable!

Friends, you’ve got an entire month left of summer, how will you plan to make the most of it?

Goals Get Things DONE!

Friends, we are a full week into March. How are you coming along with your goals? I’d love to hear what you’re working on and how it’s going. Leave a comment!

Remember when I told you last week about my integrated goals for March? If you missed it, you can catch up here.

In setting some simple, succinct goals that were designed to go hand in hand, I motivated the heck out of myself. Check it out…

As of yesterday, here are 7 days worth of donation receipts from Goodwill. I’ve spent this first full week finding all kinds of items that our family has outgrown, treasures we no longer use; I bagged them up and dropped them off, a bag every day on my way to the gym. I’m excited to announce I was able to close the door to my very organized closet for the first time in years…this thing is working!

This morning I received this notification that (as of yesterday) I’ve accrued 7 gym check-ins. It has become habit, and that’s a very good thing because I’m more driven in my workouts than ever!

Today, Day 8, is continued success…I even got my workout in first because I got such an early start…had to wait for Goodwill to open haha.

Friends, this is how goals are supposed to work! The more I chip away at them, the better I feel about what I’m accomplishing. I can’t help but think of what little I would have done if I hadn’t set them. The bottom line here is elementary; goals get things done!

Packing for Road Trip Success

Happy Weekend, fellow FIT BFFs! As I’m packing up for a girls’ getaway, I’m taking time to be mindful. Although I plan to have a blast, I also have every intention of moving foward toward my health goals. It only takes a few moments to consider how you can healthify any road trip.

As soon as I’ve made travel plans, I begin thinking about what my time away will look like, what activities it will include and how I can weave some extra activity within that schedule. I look for any notable outdoor attractions as well as any interesting fitness locales that catch my eye…fun stuff I don’t have at home. It is also crucial to think about meals and do a little research to find some healthy dining-out options. Once plans are formed, it becomes easier to pack for success.

I make sure I have twice as many workout clothes as I think I might need…you never know! I toss a pair of hiking boots and running shoes in the trunk. I never leave home without my water bottle.

A past trigger I had was buying junk at gas stations to munch on. To combat this, I now try to eat a meal at home before I leave and pack some healthy snacks for those stops along the way. I’m much less likely to buy chips, candy bars, etc. if I have options in the car.

One last tip I can recommend is to fit a last-minute workout into your schedule before you leave. If you will be on the road a while, you’ll be starting off ahead and will, more than likely, continue on your route to travel success!

Friends, it’s just that simple…a little premeditated mindfulness goes a long way. Next time you have a trip coming up, give it a try; you’ll be ready to hit the road to good health!

Don’t Forget to Love YOU!

Happy Valentine’s Day, fellow FIT BFFs! It’s kind of like any other day around here for me; I’m in love with an amazing guy. He’s loved me at my worst and supported me toward my best. I don’t know where I’d be today without him, but of one thing I’m very sure…I’m blessed.

I know this day is difficult for many. For some, it’s a yearly reminder they’ve yet to find the one. For others, it holds pain of past relationships. Many are reminded of loved ones that they’ve lost. And still others are suffering the effects of loving others so completely that they’ve neglected themselves.

Many put so much passion and energy into our significant other, our children or others, that there’s nothing left for ourselves. I’ve been there, and although I thought that was my responsibility as a wife and mother, it left me ingnored, overlooked. At the risk of sounding selfish, it has taken me several years to realize I deserve at least as much of my attention as I give anyone else. I mean if you don’t take care of yourself, who will?

I encourage you to devote a few moments today (and every day) to administer some self love. Get yourself in front of a mirror and look lovingly into your eyes. It may seem awkward at first, but that just means you need to get reacquainted. Smile! No, really…SMILE! If you are kind to others, you certainly deserve that same kindness, so it’s time to tell yourself some important things. Choose a few or all of these self affirmations or others of your choice (but keep it positive!!!) and tell that lovely person in the mirror…

  • I accept myself unconditionally.
  • I am beautiful.
  • I am strong.
  • I believe in me.
  • I am important.
  • I deserve happiness.
  • I am talented.
  • I am capable of accomplishing my dreams.
  • I am worthy of success.
  • I can do anything.
  • I am loved.

Again, this may feel strange at first, but that just means you need to talk to that wonderful person much more often! Take this strategy with you. Anytime you need a pick-me-up, put these affirmations to work. Repeat them in your mind and heart again and again. Choose the ones that resonate with you and convince yourself you mean them.

We all deserve to be loved, Friends, not just today, but everyday. Remember to treat yourself at least as well as others around you, then let that love shine! One more way we can all put our Best Foot Forward!

 

Monday Makeover

Happy Monday, Friends! Yes, I said happy! Some of you may not share my enthusiasm for that sentiment. There is one attitude surrounding Monday that is anything but positive.

Not long ago, I would have called the Happy Monday notion an oxymoron. I used to look forward to Mondays about as much as getting a flu shot or paying bills…but why? Monday is that day after the weekend when people are forced to return to the daily grind, the day we are thrown back into the insanely-paced, over-scheduled reality. At the time, a Monday seemed anything but happy.

I’m glad to say a lot has changed for me since then. Gradually, I’ve made many small, mindful shifts that have helped make Monday one of my favorites. I understand we all live with our own set of circumstances, therefore, some of these ideas may seem ludicrous to you.

I left a position that silenced my happiness; I didn’t want to work myself deeper and deeper into a job that left me yearning for retirement…life is way too short already! If your career is robbing you of your joy, it may be time to rethink that path.

A very simple thing I do to set the tone for the week is make the bed. It doesn’t seem like much, but it gives me a sense of accomplishment right away, every day. And as I’ve heard somewhere, “The state of your bed is the state of your head.” Not only does it look better, it keeps me from wanting to crawl back in.

I began purposefully devoting time every Monday to embracing gratitude. It’s amazing what abundance we can experience if we consider what we have, rather than what we don’t or what we wish we did have.

A cup of coffee and some time of reflection and journaling remind me my appreciation has developed far beyond the material. I find myself most grateful for my faith, loved ones/friends, good health and resilience. It’s awesome what little we actually need to feel complete. And what a wonderful feeling to radiate on a Monday!

I find no matter how I ate over the weekend, Monday is a perfect opportunity to reset. It’s a great day to refocus my efforts on cleaning up my eating, to be aware of what’s on the schedule so I can set myself up for success throughout the week. A bit of planning affords problem solving and positive choices.

My Monday morning workout is a must, and if it’s outdoors in a locale I love…even better! I take this time to set positive intentions for my week. Now that this has become habit, I really notice a difference if it doesn’t happen…like my whole week is off. That’s why I’ve come to defend this time and work hard to Never Miss a Monday!

Of course your schedule and priorities look much different than mine. If it works for you, that’s awesome! But if you find yourself in the blahs whenever a Monday rolls around, it might be time to consider a Monday Makeover! After all, everyone deserves a Happy Monday!

 

Treasure Trove of Free Motivation!

Friends, when my boys were young, we lived at the public library. Their constant hunger for knowledge was regularly satisfied with a large tote filled with new books, computer games, music cds, audiobooks and movies each week. Their eyes lit up like it was Christmas when they’d spot something that sparked a new interest, and we were often mesmerized at the sheer volume that building held. I often wondered, if a person calculated the msrp of all the materials we’d borrowed, how many millions of dollars the library afforded my little learners!

We were often treated to some wonderful enrichment opportunities there as well. Storytellers, magicians, musicians, artists and scavenger hunts to name a few, all these priceless educational activities…FREE!

My boys are in high school and college now; although no longer frequent patrons, a homework assignment sometimes brings us back. And now that I’m no longer needed in their search for materials, a visit allows me to realize what an amazing adult playground exists there too!

I was recently impressed with a display…

Of course, it is ever changing because these resources are constantly borrowed. A walk around the corner reveals stack upon stack of engaging resources related to healthy lifestyle, mindfulness, nutrition, wellness, fitness and beyond…and these are just the items that aren’t checked out. I’ve spent hours on the library’s website browsing the limitless offerings and reserving materials that are constantly checked out.

My favorite feature is reserving them to our local bookmobile that stops every two weeks, just two blocks from my house. These items literally come to ME!!

Friends, many of you have asked me how to live healthy on a budget. Here’s an answer right here. The price is better than budget-friendly…it’s free. But priceless!

Those who’ve told me they can’t afford a gym membership or workout equipment…here’s my answer to that…

There are multiple stacks of shelves at my library with hundreds of workouts for any ability level. There is a class of your choice, available any time, day or night, just waiting for you to hit play! No membership dues, no intimidation of any gym-related nature, ready at your convenience. Some of these DVDs were instrumental in my weight-loss success early on when I was building my fitness confidence. Even now, I find a few new ones that spark my interest each time I visit.

Or maybe you find you need that community connection of working out with others? Or looking for a professional talk related to various wellness topics? Look no further…

Check out what your local library has to offer. I’m willing to bet it offers more than you think. And a wonderful bonus? If your library doesn’t have a resource you are looking for, many are able to borrow from neighboring community libraries or take requests for new purchases…how cool is that?

If you’re looking for some fresh motivation, give your local library a visit…a free source of encouragement and one more way to put our Best Foot Forward!