September Goals

September goals

September is here!  It’s the start of my favorite season full of cozy sweaters, hot coffee and tea, and pumpkin spice everything! Needless to say, I’m a bit excited.  To me, September always feels like a bit of a fresh start, probably because I always associate it with the back to school season.  While this is the first year in my life that back to school season doesn’t apply to me as a student or as a teacher, I’m still left with this desire to wipe the slate clean and start fresh, and I fully intend to do so.

With this new month and fresh start come new goals.  I haven’t done a goal post in a few months since life has been a bit (a lot) crazy, but now that things have settled and I have the opportunity to create routines for this new lifestyle of mine (the full time blogger and housewife lifestyle, that is), it’s time to buckle down and reach some goals. Read more

April 2015 Goals

AprilGoals

I love April.  Spring is finally here and the weather is warming up which means outdoor activities are a viable option for those of us who can’t stand the cold. I am finally done with all of my international travel and can try and settle in to some sort of routine..at least for a little while.

This month’s goals consist of both health and related goals as well as things I simply have on my to do list.  I want to start making goals not all about working hard, but enjoying myself a little more too.

 

  • 100 mile challenge– I plan on moving 100 miles this month.  Thanks to my FitBit it will be easy for me to keep track.  That’s basically 3 miles every day. Easy, but effective. Just last night I told a friend about it and she decided to hop on board with me!  If you plan on doing 100 miles this month, make sure you let me know.
  • Get a haircut– It has been at least 4 months since my last haircut.  I’m thinking a little shorter with some layers, which will help it scrunch a little better.  I love letting my hair air dry and curl naturally in the summer.
  • Stick to my blog schedule– I just started using this awesome program called CoSchedule, which is an amazing editorial calendar for blogs, and after using it for a week I can honestly say I feel like a more productive and effective blogger.  I highly suggest my blogger friends check it out.
  • Participate in The Reset Girl’s #ListersGottaList challenge– Cori over at The Reset Girl is a woman whose content on Instagram and YouTube make me wish I had an all access pass to Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and all other craft stores.  She takes her Midori and her planner and turns them into works of Planner Addict art.  I will be trying my hand at her Listers Gotta List challenge, and you should too.
  • Lose weight every week– My body has made it clear that it might not be as easy as I’d hoped to get these post-holiday/travel 20lbs off. My first weigh in back on plan showed me losing a whole 0.2lbs.  *sigh*  Baby steps are great, but that is SO frustrating.  Rather than picking a specific, probably overly ambitious number of pounds to lose this month, I’m taking a different, kinder approach. The goal is just to see the scale go down, even if it’s only a little bit.
  • Cook at least 2 dinners each week– When I cook, it’s usually a pretty healthy, Weight Watchers friendly meal.  Now that we’re living with friends for the rest of the school year and I’m at home all day, cooking is a way I can not only take care of myself, but also help make sure my husband and our friends get some healthy foods in as well.

That’s it!  I’m keeping it pretty simple this month in an effort to make sure I can meet all of my goals. When you achieve your goals, no matter how small, it brings a sense of accomplishment and motivation to achieve even more.  In the same way, “failing” to achieve a goal, no matter how small, has a way of knocking down your self confidence and motivation, making it harder to keep going.  Setting small, but effective goals, will help me head in the right direction.

What are some of your goals for this month?

A Little Update and March 2015 Goals

I’ve made it to March and the countdown to heading back to the United States has officially started. 2 weeks!  While Japan is full of interesting things and fun beauty and stationary products, I am definitely ready to go home.  I know that the sense of routine and normalcy won’t really return right away, as we are moving in with our best friends for 8 weeks, then bouncing between my parents in Chicago and hubby’s parents in Florida until we move in to our new place, which we haven’t secured yet, sometime this summer.  Still madness, but at least I can return to some things being more normal.

Read more

2015 Goals

2015 goals

2014 was a weird year for me.  This past year I experienced one of the happiest life milestones one can: getting married.  Along with that comes a whole new level of stressors and challenges; learning how to live as a family unit, balancing “us time” with the now harder to find “me time” or “not us time,” figuring out fair expectations of one another, surviving challenges like late hours at grad school and 10 week out of town internships… Marriage is not as easy as they make it look in the movies.

In addition to that (or perhaps because of that) I seem to have lost a bit of myself this past year.  I don’t seem to live with as much spark as I used to.  Work and chores had me feeling jaded and life has weighed me down.  I know this, and now it’s time to change it. Read more

An Aweome 2015 Goal Setting Tool – 2015 Workbook

BizLife2015

I know that 2015 is still a month and a half away..but really guys, it’s only a month and a half away!  A new year means that it’s already time to start putting together a new set of goals and a game plan for the upcoming year.  Madness, I know, but it’s true.

Why am I talking about this already?  Well, basically because I have one goal setting tool in particular that I am so excited about and the 2015 version has just been released. Around this time last year I stumbled upon a website where one woman basically made it her life’s work to create an academy to help women find their “inner goddess” (she is, self admittedly, a bit of a hippie) and create the best life and business for them.  Her name is Leonie Dawson.

Read more

September Goals

This summer, things were chaotic and stressful, so most of my regular habits, routines, and goals went out the window.  I am most definitely paying for it, both on the scale and in my mind. I weighed in 12 lbs above goal for my post-cruise weigh in.  Talk about a reality check.  I faced it, accepted it, and am now moving forward to fix what the summer has done to me.  Life happens, my honeymoon full of amazing food happened, and it’s okay to enjoy it, but now it’s time to get back on track.

 

Goal setting is a major way to stay on track.  My friend Brooke created a goal digger worksheet that I am using for my goal setting structure this month.  This structure of goal setting has 4 goals to complete daily, 4 goals to complete once a week, and 2 goals to do twice in the month.  This is a great way to keep myself feeling like I am meeting my goals without giving myself a laundry list of things to complete every single day.  Here’s what my goals are for the month of September.

 

SeptemberGoals

 

Daily Goals

  • Read 15 minutes- I’ve been so bad about reading certain books or reading for extended periods of time that I’ve decided to take a step back and commit only to 15 minutes a day.  That still adds up to being 7.5 hours of reading in a month, which is awesome.  There is also a pretty good chance that once I sit down to read, I’ll end up going for longer than the required 15 minutes.
  • Track ALL Points Plus- After cruising, other traveling and simply being lazy and shutting out reality, it’s time that I simply start tracking again, even if I don’t stay within the allotted daily points. There’s just no excuse, and this is the quickest way to getting back on track.
  • Drink 64 oz of Water- Surprisingly, for as much as I love water I have been really bad about consuming enough of it.  My body just works better when properly hydrated and right now I need all the help I can get.  Time to focus on something that I tend to take for granted.
  • Spend time working on my bl0g- This is another thing that I should be doing every single day, but life just hasn’t been a friend lately.  I’m pressed for time, and because of stress I’m pressed for motivation.  Sometimes I just have to sit and do it.  I’d like to say I’ll spend at least 30 minutes on this daily, but I’m hoping for more so I didn’t assign a specific number.

 

Weekly Goals

  • Cleaning- I tend to do a little of this every day.  Run the dishwasher when it’s full, put in a load of laundry when I’m working at home, etc, but rather than stress myself out about having things always clean all the time (which I stress about because I’m trying to be a good housewife.  Thankfully, Erik told me to stop worrying so much and focus on other things), I will do little things throughout the week and spend one day a week doing more serious cleaning.  Designating an hour or two to picking up, dusting, vacuuming and maybe organizing something is all that really needs to happen to keep this place looking decent right now.  My stress level is too high and something’s gotta give.
  • Spend an evening with my husband- Okay, so I hope and pray that I can do this more than once a week, but with him being SO busy with school and recruitment, I am being realistic rather than optimistic.  I understand that he needs his time to work and network and prep for recruitment things ( I can’t wait for this MBA thing to be over..), so I’m hoping that once a week we can manage to curl up and watch something together, enjoy each other’s company and go to bed at the same time.  I think that’s a reasonable expectation.
  • Work on blog outside of home- I stole this straight from Brooke.  I find the change of scenery (usually a Starbucks) helps me focus.  There’s nothing else to distract me, there’s the calming smell off coffee everywhere, I’m surrounded by other people who camp at coffee houses to do work and I have easy access to caffeine.  Hello Pumpkin Spice Lattes!
  • Make a home cooked dinner- Again, something I would love to have happen more than once a week, but I’m being realistic.  When I cook dinner I tend to make enough for at least 2 or 3 meals.
  • **BONUS GOAL** Earn 26 Activity Points- I ran out of space, but an activity goal is necessary.  I’d like to earn back an entire day’s worth of Points, so 26 is the goal each week.

 

2x This Month

  • Attend a fitness class- I used to go to Zumba every week, and I just haven’t been the last 4 months or so.  While I love my elliptical for cardio, I think it’s important to change things up a bit.
  • Practice Singing- As a voice teacher, my job is to teach others, but I rarely get the chance to work on myself.  While 2 times in a month isn’t a lot, I’m hoping that setting that goal helps me to start getting into the habit of practicing again.  I’ve lost my passion for music that I enjoyed having so much, so I need to get that back.

 

 

There we go!  My list of September goals.  At the end of the month, if all is accomplished I am supposed to set a reward for myself, but I haven’t quite decided what that is going to be yet.  Do you have any suggestions?

 

What are your goals for this month?

No-Weigh May!

 

No_weighMay

 

I always love the beginning of the month.  It’s a great time to start new challenges and goals full of renewed motivation and inspiration.  I need May to be that month for me.  May will be my month to get back on track with so many things.  In order to give myself a different approach to the weight loss side of things, I have decided that this month will be “No-Weigh May.”  Yes, it means exactly what you think it does.

I will not be stepping on a scale to check my weight the ENTIRE month of May!

 

Madness, I know but just hear me out.  There is a method to my madness, I promise.

Confession time: I am one of those people who is ruled by the scale.  That stupid little blue digital number that blinks at me whenever I step on that cold glass square on my bathroom floor has the power to make me feel like I am on top of the world.  Unfortunately, it also has the power to destroy my willpower, make me feel ugly, fat and not so sexy, and send me into a downward spiral that ends with a binge and the guilt that comes with it.   Nothing and no one should have this power over me, and yet the stupid $35 device that sits on my bathroom floor can either make or break me.

My solution?  Get rid of it!

I’m sure many of you out there have experienced the influence of the scale on your mood.  Have you ever woken up feeling incredibly lean and thin, so you head to the bathroom with joy to jump on the scale only to find that that number really hasn’t dropped like you feel it should have? Yeah…me too.  It can be a very discouraging thing, and while checking your weight is an important element tracking the progress of your weight loss journey, it is not the only way to track progress.

Some of the other ways you might notice progress could be

  • Your clothes fit a little better
  • Discovering muscle definition in places you didn’t have it before
  • Having more energy
  • Feeling satisfied with healthy food choices
  • Finding it easy to stay on track with counting Points Plus or calories
  • Body measurements taken with a measuring tape
  • People notice your body changing
  • YOU notice your body changing

I mean, really, the list could go on and on.  While the scale is one way to track progress, as long as you stay in the game, you don’t need to use it all the time.  Our body weight can fluctuate several pounds on a daily or hourly basis depending on what you’re doing.  You know that giant bottle of water you are so proud you consumed first thing in the morning?  I suggest not getting on the scale anytime after you do that, as the number won’t be what you want to see.  Expecting your period sometime in the next 3 days?  Go out to eat at a restaurant last night?  There’s a reason that Weight Watchers only has you weighing in once a week.  There are so many elements that can bring your weight up and your spirit down, but just because you’re bloated because Aunt Flow is on the way and she bumps you up a 1.5 lbs doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong and should get discouraged.  The scale has the tendency to rule so many lives, including my own.

I don’t want to be ruled by anything or anyone, let alone an inanimate object, so I’ve created No-Weigh May to help me let go of the scale and focus on all of the other awesome things about myself and my progress.

 

All the scale will tell me is my current numeric relationship with gravity.  The scale doesn’t tell me:

  • How loved I am by my husband, family and friends
  • How smart I am
  • That I am fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s eyes
  • That I have the power to choose happiness on a daily basis
  • That I’m talented
  • My purpose
  • My strength
  • My life goals
  • That I’m getting stronger

Fill in the blanks with whatever awesomeness about yourself that the scale doesn’t tell you.  This month, I will be focusing on those.  I will be tracking progress in other ways and I will be keeping my feet off of the scale.  I am so much more than a number on a scale, and so are you!

 

  • I will get the scale off of the bathroom floor so I’m not tempted to just “check in” and see how I’m doing.
  • It’s time to get serious about tracking again. I am going back to being a stickler about tracking my Points, and I can rest assured that as long as I stay within my numbers, the scale will be going in the right direction, even if I don’t step on it.
  • Focus on fitness this month.  I feel better and have more energy when I workout.  I want to focus on how working out makes me feel rather than using it to make the number on the scale go down.  I’ve accepted the challenge of 100 miles in May, so with my eyes not on the scale, I can channel that worry and focus into other fitness goals
  • I will have to weigh in as a Weight Watchers employee, but I will wait until the end of the month and step on the scale backwards so I don’t see the number.
  • With the lack of stress, worry and disappointment that comes with a bad weigh day I hope to find more genuine happiness and an overall better mood, which well help me greatly with other things that are coming my way this month.
  • On June 1st I will break the scale out of hiding, step on and with all of the focus I put on every other element of my health and wellness this month, in theory, the number should reflect my progress, proving to myself once and for all that I do not need the scale to tell me I am doing things right.

That’s the plan.  It’s simple really.  Stay on track and rest assured knowing I won’t be ruining my day by stepping on the scale after a good day only to see the number fail to reflect it.

 

It’s time to end the scale’s rule!  Join me this month for “No-Weigh May” and free yourself from scale slavery too 🙂

Monday Motivation and Weekly Goals

Happy Monday, friends.

Or maybe not so happy.. Since I’ve been snowed in since last Tuesday evening, my alarm going off at 7:00am was not at all a welcome event.  After nearly a week of being snowed in, being lazy, and being off track, my body and mind both know it is time to get my lazy rear in gear and get back to the grind.

 

You better believe the first grind I hit up this morning was the coffee grinds (haha..I crack myself up!).  I’m on cup number 2 as we speak.  It was a rough start..

 

Yesterday, for the first time in forever (if you get the reference, comment below.  You’ve earned your awesomeness points for the day) I actually tracked every single thing I ate AND managed to stay within my 26 Point Plus.  Ive been tracking, but I haven’t been staying in budget lately.  It felt so good to sit down with a 6 points plus epic sized dessert last night knowing that I still had the Points Plus left in my day so I didn’t even roll into weeklies.  Why is it that it’s such a difficult thing for me to do nowadays??  I always feel so accomplished and great about myself when I’m successful, yet for some reason random munchies have been outweighing the joy and satisfaction of staying within my Point Plus target.  *sigh* I mean, I wrote months ago about the struggles of being a lifetime member at goal, but this is seriously getting ridiculous.  Well, that changes this week.

Yesterday I sat down with my Erin Condren Life Planner and planned out my entire week, top to bottom.  Erik is pretty much jam packed and so rather than being upset about his unavailability, i decided I might as well make use of the time I have not having him available to me.  He and I have some pretty awesome plans for the end of this week, so I just have to be patient in the meantime.  

While sipping on cup of coffee #1, I decided that writing out some goals for this week and declaring them to the world would probably be an excellent motivator to actually do them.  So, here they are:

Week's Goals 217

  • Track everything- and I should add to that “stay within Points Plus range.”  I just feel so much better when I know I’m making the right choices, and BONUS: the scale goes down! and trust me..it needs to..just a bit..
  • Workout 5 days- notice I didn’t put everyday.  I’ve recently become aware of the mental awesomeness tom scheduling in rest days.  I used to feel guilty about days I took a day off, but I’ve learned that a day off here and there us good for me.  So I’ve started scheduling them.  5 days of working out, be it elliptical, Zumba, or something else.
  • Read at least a chapter a day- I’m currently in the middle of “Insurgent by Veronica Roth (book 2 of the Divergent series), an awesome book called “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” by Crystal Paine of the Money Saving Mom blog, and a blogging book called iBlog.
  • Work ahead-  pretty self explanatory.  I need to be better about this, especially if I want to do more with this little site of mine.
  • Travel plans- I won’t tell you what they are yet, but special occasions are often difficult to stick to plan through.  I will not let my special something ruin the rest of my week!
  • My attitude towards some things could really use an adjustment.  I get so caught up in things like my overwhelming work load or the fact that Erik is so busy it feels like we hardly have regular time together (and it makes me grumpy and negative) that I forget to remember that my heavy work load is a blessing because I’m working (many people out there aren’t) and that I need to appreciate things like being snowed in with my husband for two days, giving us time together we wouldn’t have normally had.  I like to think the snow days were God’s way of giving us a little bit more time together, as how little we’ve had has really has been breaking me slowly.  So yeah…generic attitude adjustment needed..

So that’s that!  I declare my goals to you, readers of my little blog.  What sort of goals do you have set for this week?

 

I leave you with a motivational drawing from a woman, Kim, who took her wonderful art skills and used them to create health and fitness motivational images for women.  Check out her Arthlete blog and see some of the amazing and inspiring work that she does 🙂

Have a great week! 🙂

This post contains affiliate links.

New Year’s Resolutions 2014!

New Year's Resolutions

 

 

I love the new year.  Every year it’s a chance to sit down, assess my progress in all areas of life and to set goals for the next year.  This year, I happened to kick off 2014 by getting married (on January 4th), which creates a whole new area of life that will need to be maintained along with all of the others.  I’ve decided to break my resolutions down into categories to make it easier for myself to follow.

 

Family

  • I’ll start with the obvious one.  I’m a married woman now, which means Erik is my most important family member.  Starting off a marriage among the stress that he and I are constantly under will be nothing short of an outstanding challenge, but one we’re both obviously very excited to take on.  My resolution is to make the first year of marriage the best it can be. Putting Erik first, putting us first, practicing patience and forgiveness that will be necessary in creating a loving and strong marriage.  I’m not entirely sure exactly how to put “Make first year of marriage awesome” into a set of resolutions because I don’t know what it will take, but you guys will for sure be along for the journey.
  • I want to put forth a conscious effort to stay in contact with family members, especially since I’ve moved away, and now that I’m married it’s super official that I’m starting a new life away from home.  Marriage also means I have two families to manage, and since I’m quite close to my in-laws (I’m very lucky.  I adore them!) I want to make sure that I just keep in contact, whether it be dropping a few texts to my sisters, emailing grandparents or sitting down and Skyping with my mom.  Life is short, and I don’t want to regret leaving my family to be with Erik.

Physical

  • Get back on track.  The holiday season (with Christmas, travel, and getting married) was a joyous mess of parties and celebrating and FOOD!  I got knocked so far off track the scale is not amused (but hey, I still fit into my tight wedding dress 🙂 ).  So resolution #1: start tracking again and paying attention to what I eat.
  • Find the passion that I had for working out and eating well that I had while I was losing weight.  I miss that fire, and I need it back.
  • Tone up!  I’m generally pleased with where my body is save my holiday gain, but without Planet Fitness around I can tell I’ve lost some strength and tone.  Having Muscular Dystrophy, it’s important that I keep myself as strong as I can, so I need to focus less on losing and more on toning to gain my strength back.
  • Flexibility.  Muscle tightness has been making me very uncomfortable, so starting a regimented flexibility plan will be in my goals as well.  Life is better when you can actually move!
  • Find a gym or a class to.  I might fork out the $100 to try a month of Pure Barre classes (I’m DYING to!) or find a way to join UNC’s gym now that I’m married to a student.  I know there are also great online options like Daily Burn to help me take classes right at home.

Spiritual

  • Do a daily devotional.
  • Spend more time with God.
  • Remember to relax in His peace.

Financial

  • Try out a cash envelope type system for groceries (and maybe more.  We’re going to start small)
  • Kick my spending habit.  I LOVE to shop, and at this point it just isn’t necessary.  Focus on buying only what is needed and saving up for (and delaying gratification) the bigger items.
  • Complete a “Project 50 Pan.” (more on that later)
  • Pay off at least one of my school loans

Career

  • Create and stick to a blog and YouTube posting schedule
  • Post at least 3 times each week
  • Put at least 2 hours a week into Weight Watchers outside of  my meetings.
  • Create a successful curriculum for the music school’s audition related summer camp.

Home

  • Create and stick to a cleaning schedule
  • Have an efficient shopping system involving use of coupons and paying closer attention to sale papers.  It doubles the amount of time grocery shopping takes, but it saves a lot more money.
  • Start to create a home organization system that is both efficient and easy to use.
  • Find a balance between being a working woman, blogger, and housewife.
  • Use my Erin Condren Life Planner to its amazing full potential.  I will not stop using it 3 months into the year (which is typical of me).  Erin Condren products are very motivating.  Check her out here.

Education

  • Keep the brain sharp by spending time doing puzzles (sudoku, word search, Lumosity.com, etc) daily, even if it’s only 5 minutes.
  • Complete my new music theory workbooks
  • Read at least one of my Music Theater text books from college.

Social

  • Spend time with a friend or do something social at least 3 times a month (it might seem like a small number, but with a schedule like mine, that will be an accomplishment)
  • Send out birthday cards, Christmas cards and general greetings to my friends and family.
  • Befriend a few fellow bloggers to create a community for work and socialization.

Artistic

  • Find time to sing and play piano outside of giving someone a voice lesson.
  • Rekindle my passion for music.  It’s been “work” for so long that it’s getting difficult for me to find the joy it brought me in high school and college.  I want that back.

Pleasure

  • Read at least 12 books for pleasure
  • Remember that completing a to-do list is not as important as preventing a breakdown due to stressing myself out.
  • Take at least an hour a week to schedule in “me time”
  • Cook/bake at least one recipe from every cookbook in my apartment
  • Take a cooking class

Well, there you have it.  I’m sure I ave some more little things in there, but that is the general idea of how I want to focus my year on bettering myself.

Now, I want to make my 2014 resolutions into a bit of a mini series, so throughout the month of January I will write about some of the materials I have purchased to help me achieve my goals this year and some plans of attack to set myself up for success.  Feel free to tell me about your 2014 resolutions as well as what you’re going to use to help yourself reach them.  The new year is a time to dream big, make plans and turn those dreams into a reality.

Let’s make this year the best one yet!