Motivation Monday: Power in the ritual

As I was preparing for the week ahead, I realized that there is really something to be said for a good ritual. I am definitely a creature of habit, but I think if you are trying to change any habits, then routine is necessary!! For example, I LOVE giving my apartment a good scrub down before the week starts. It helps me start fresh, and there is nothing better than going to sleep in a fresh bed! On Saturday I went to town scrubbing floors, bathrooms, washing the sheets and towels, and even my makeup brushes. It made my Sunday so much easier (and much more enjoyable), since I could just relax before starting a new week.

excellence

A few other rituals that can start your week on the right foot….

  • a little meal prepping
  • a long bath/shower
  • decompressing with a good book
  • meditation
  • a sweaty workout
  • a fresh mani/pedi
  • deep cleaning your home!
  • tidying your work space
  • hanging up your clothes (SO guilty of letting this get out of hand during the week…)
  • meal planning

If I had all the time in the world I’d do them all, but hey….just choosing one or two will help you start the week on a productive note!!

Enjoy your week!

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4 tips for adopting a more focused life #essentialism

What is essentialism?? According to Greg Mckeown, author of Essentialism:The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, it involves pursuing the things that are truly important to you and eliminating the rest. When I first heard of this concept I thought it was fascinating, but didn’t know if it was do-able. At this point, considering the evolution of technology, the amount of distractions in life are endless. I wondered if it was possible to tune this out. What I found out was that you aren’t necessarily “tuning out”, but really just “honing in” on the things that you actually find meaningful and important.

essentialvia 

I’ve found that this is just like adopting any other healthy habit. Instead of focusing on what you are NOT going to do…ex:”not eating fast food”, focus on what you ARE going to do ex: “cooking at home”…Put the emphasis on what you are in control of, versus what you are avoiding.

Upon looking at my own habits, I realized I had a few goals that were going unmet, and meanwhile I was wasting time every single day doing things that I really didn’t care about (looking at gossip websites/magazines/social media/ blah blah blah). I am still at the beginning stages of adopting this philosophy, but was able to recently listen to a talk at a work conference on a similar subject, and had a few lightbulb moments.

As a real “people-pleaser”, it sounds heavenly to be able to focus on what really matters, while letting go of the rest… aka JUST SAY NO. I’ve been trying to use the word “no” more this year, and it’s surprisingly satisfying.

focus

Between my own experience, and from the extra materials I’ve been listening to, here are 4 tips for adopting essentialism:

  1. Know what you want. This is ABSOLUTELY the most important. It’s impossible to decide what doesn’t matter, if you don’t know what does matter. This may take a little soul searching, but think about what you want in life. How you want your life to feel. Consider your work life, home life, relationships, and even your personality type. Keep in mind, what looks good/fun/exciting on the outside, doesn’t always feel that way from the inside. If you are lost, I highly recommend listening to this podcast.
  2. Create a mission statement. After deciding what absolutely matters most (again this can include any/all aspect(s) of life… home life, family life, personal, spiritual, etc), create an overarching mission statement that will help guide your decisions.
  3. Accept the fact that saying no to what doesn’t matter =  saying YES to what does matter. It gives you more time  and resources to focus on your mission!
  4. Post your mission statement. In the conference I attended, we were encouraged to post the mission statement in a frame on a nightstand or on a bathroom counter, or even your desk. This ensures you are looking at it multiple times a day, and you can reflect on how your choices are measuring up.

Since I’ve had the topic of essentialism on my mind, I’ve been able to ask myself regularly “is this activity that I am doing right this second something that is leading me to my goals?”. Keep in mind this doesn’t mean going-going-going non-stop. Part of my mission statement includes nurturing my relationships, specifically with my husband. So if we are sitting on the couch together watching TV after a long day…well that’s time well spent! I’m mindful of the other activities we do together, but I don’t feel pressure to be chasing the grind 24/7.

One thing Greg said, that I thought was interesting is that people (esp in the beginning of a career/new job) want to be the “yes” person. While this may help you get ahead at the beginning, it’s no way to spend a career. You end up unable to focus on what you are good at or where your talents really lie. He mentioned that people actually end up getting farther ahead when doing what they are good at! Imagine that. #nobrainer

As I continue to adopt the practice of essentialism, I will continue to update with any changes I notice!

BTW here’s a great article from NPR, and there’s an interview with my girl-crush Chalene, on episode 3 of her podcast.

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Nordstrom Sale: fitness picks

The best sale of the year is here…the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. A million bloggers are picking their fall faves, but true to form- I’m focusing on the fitness outfits! There are some GREAT finds this year, including multiple pairs of nikes (!) …. check it out!

nsale-fit-picksThe tops:
1/2/3

The bottoms:
1/2/3

The shoes:
1/2/3

Happy shopping and have a great weekend!
*some affiliate links used

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Skinny Strawberry Limeade

With the crazy hot temps this summer, a cold drink is essential. Lemonade can be kind of a calorie bomb, so this is a tasty alternative. It’s super easy to throw together for a 4th of July BBQ as well.

strawberry_limeade

For each glass of limeade, you will need:
Handful of strawberries
Juice of 1 lime
1 stevia packet
8-12 oz water
Ice

You can either puree the strawberries, lime juice, and stevia or simply mash them together. If you are making a large batch (or don’t like “chunks”), I recommend blending or pureeing.

Enjoy!

 

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Half-way point

Somehow we are half way through 2015!!! SO crazy. This is a good time to check in and see if you are on track to accomplishing what you wanted to this year. If you wrote down your New Years Resolutions, have a look at them, otherwise just evaluate where you are at [personally, professionally, physically….]

goals_motivation_quote

If you aren’t making progress or heading in the direction you want, only YOU have the power to drive your life in a different direction. Now ask yourself, where do you want to be on January 1, 2016???? What do you want to be the same? Different?

For me it’s been a crazy but fun year! I am half way done with grad school, we got our puppy who is now a (n obnoxious but cute) member of the family, almost done with my Masters Project, took a couple trips to CA, and finally- started a new job that I am so happy with! Going forward, I want to be sure I’m focussed on a couple financial goals I had set at the beginning of the year, and make sure I am continuing to make exercise a priority.

I know I said it before, but I really love this time of year…the temps are crazy this week, but I am so excited for the 4th of July. I want to make sure I’m soaking up as much of the summer as possible before heading into an insane fall semester.

Have a great month!

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My pre-workout routine

The pre-workout routine is almost as important as the workout itself. It’s necessary to be fueled properly and ready to go in order to have an efficient workout. Here are my pre-workout essentials.

pre-workout

  • Music. I have my playlists loaded on Spotify. Check them out here. Music is a must for busting out a workout! Don’t forget your earbuds and charged phone!
  • Pre-workout fuel. My workout time varies, but I always eat first. If it’s super early I’ll have a little fruit, otherwise I will go after breakfast or lunch (depending on the day). I am not one of those people who can workout on an empty stomach!
  • Supplements. There are times a pre-workout is needed! I have had success with C4 and the NLA for Her pre-workout. Other reputable supplements can be found here and here.
  • Workout. I always have a plan before I enter the gym. I store my strength workouts in the Jefit app. When doing cardio I will decide on intervals vs steady state, inclines, etc. while in the gym, but other than that my workouts are generally planned out. When I first started working out, I’d load workouts straight from bodybuilding.com workout plans, but now I plan them myself. If I’m in a rut, I’ll take ideas from other bloggers or fitness professionals to add some variety.
  • Post-workout fuel. Last, if I know I’m going straight from the gym to work or to run errands, I’ll bring a snack to have afterwards. Right now my favorite thing is berries with cottage cheese topped with cinnamon and stevia.

What’s your pre-workout routine?? Anything I’m missing?

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Summer Bucket List

I feel like I’ve been in summer mode since the beginning of June when the rain finally stopped here in Utah, but technically it’s only been summer for a few days…which means we still have months of warm summer nights. Summer is my spirit season. I LIVE for that warm sun on my body. I think it’s the California girl in me. I’ve already had some summer fun with my recent trip to CA, but I want to make the most out of the next couple of months! (esp since I’m back to school come August…)

summer_bucket_list

So here’s my summer bucket list:

  • farmers market saturdays + fresh summer produce
  • cool morning//evening summer run (when the temp is 100% perfection)
  • outdoor concert. I’m thinking I’ll need to make it to this beautiful venue, but if all else fails–there are concerts down the street from me on some weekends!
  • POOL TIME [w/SPF obviously]
  • bonfire+s’mores (bonus points if it’s at the beach)
  • Make this skinny lemonade!

What’s on your summer bucket list??

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Grocery List Basics

I thought I’d share my typical grocery list. I always love to see what’s in other people’s carts…maybe I’m just nosy though 🙂

I usually re-stock produce weekly, and then fill in the meat, eggs, etc. when needed. I don’t really follow any type of “diet” per-se, but I’d say I eat mostly “clean” [I hate that word], and then fill in with some fun foods…which is basically the definition of flexible dieting according to me. For example, you can see some sour gummy worms in this photo.

grocery

Meat/protein:
flank steak
lean beef stew meat (I use this for stir fry)
tuna (I like the tuna packets)
eggs
egg whites
chicken breasts
Ground turkey
lunch meat

Dairy:
almond milk
cottage cheese
sliced Tillamook cheese (sandwiches, omelets)

Produce:
apples
bananas
frozen berries
cucumbers
lemons/limes
red peppers
frozen edamame
romaine lettuce
avocados
little red potatoes
onions

Grains:
english muffins
cream of rice
Kodiak pancake mix
rolls for hubby’s sandwiches
popcorn
garlic quinoa/brown rice (seen here)

Other:
Arctic Zero/Halo Top (gotta have my night time snack!!)
Kombucha
olive oil/balsamic
peanut butter
PB2

My other fave toppings/condiments can be found in this post.

Produce varies depending on the time of year. In the winter I eat more steamed broccoli, roasted veggies, and apples. Now, I’m eating more salads, melon, berries, etc. Shopping in season = tastier and cheaper produce.

With this list  I’ll typically make:
Dinners- stir fry, fajitas made with grilled flank with grilled onions/peppers, turkey burgers, some type of large salad with grilled steak or chicken, and we also usually will do breakfast for dinner once a week.
sides- green salad, roasted potatoes/onions, quinoa/brown rice
lunches- sandwiches, tuna salad, leftovers
snacks-cottage cheese + fruit, apples + pb/rice cake w/pb, boiled eggs, popcorn, arctic zero
breakfasts- protein pancakes, omelets, breakfast sandwich

I split most of my grocery shopping between Costco and Sprouts, and fill in a tiny bit at the regular grocery (tuna, soy sauce, etc)

What are your favorite weekly meals? Does my list look much different than yours?

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