Motivation Monday: Finding Balance

I can’t believe I haven’t updated this blog in one whole month! Life has been a bit overwhelming (work + school + life in general). I won’t bore you with the details, but it really got me thinking about balance.

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The word balance is kind of thrown around (pinterest, i’m looking at you)…but obviously anyone who has to juggle life, kids, school, work, working out, relationships, traumatic life events…whatever…know that it’s not quite that simple.

I put so much pressure on myself, but I realized that a major part of balance is only attempting to balance what truly matters. I realized that sometimes it just does not matter if the dishes are done or I can’t fit a workout in. It’s not necessary to try and juggle a million things at once. Sure I can take on too much, but it’s only a matter of time before something isn’t getting proper attention. There are periods of life where more is possible, and others where it’s simply survival mode. Only YOU know where you are at and what you can truly handle.

A huge aspect of health is mental health, and pushing yourself to the limit is no way to treat yourself. I think we are our own worst critic (can’t be just me, right?), but you can’t forget to cut yourself some slack!! I really need to take my own advice on this. Don’t forget about your mental and emotional health!

Have a great week!

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Motivation Monday: simple changes for a healthier life

When most people decide it’s time to make a change to their lifestyle, they feel extremely intimidated/overwhelmed by all of the “must-do” things that are suggested over and over by health gurus/media/women’s magazines, etc. etc. [juicing, #cleaneating, hitting the gym hard everyday, and on and on foreverrrr]. So overwhelmed they just stop.

It’s too bad!! Even little changes can make a big impact, and especially for those who currently aren’t doing much in the health/fitness aspect of life.

SO…if you are trying to get a little more fit, or just want to be even more bad ass then you already are, or just start from scratch, here are a few ideas.
Don’t forget!! If you are trying to adopt a new habit – only do one thing at a time!!

simple-changes

  • one 8oz glass of water before your morning cup of coffee (or diet coke)
  • a 15 minute walk after dinner
  • try 1 new class at the gym
  • 5 minutes of meditation (even in your car!!)
  • youtube yoga sesh
  • walk while you watch your kids play sports
  • always drink water with dinner
  • try meal prepping 1 item this week
  • get up from your desk and walk 2x per day
  • invite your co-worker (or child/friend/whoever) for an after lunch walk
  • or take a walk with your thoughts
  • try a new-to-you walking or hiking path
  • pack your lunch 1 extra time this week
  • give meal planning a try (or just plan dinners or lunches or snacks)
  • swap 1 soda for 1 extra cup of water today
  • put in your headphones and go for a walk, jog, run, bike ride! (i LOVE listening to podcasts while walking)
  • take your dog for a walk instead of making your kids do it
  • if you already walk, take a jog!
  • do a 10 minute HIIT/circuit workout

Again…just pick ONE and stick with it for a week or 2. Think about how you felt after, if it’s something you like, brought you happiness, or made you feel better in any way, keep it up! Remember that exercise is for so much more than just losing weight. These days sitting is considered the new smoking so just moving a little more during the day can prevent muscle loss, chronic diseases, and of course- help with weight. Exercise is also great for improving mood, focus, and depression/anxiety. I 110% believe this with my whole heart….give it a try 😉

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What small changes have you seen make a great impact in your life?? Tell me about it here, or tweet at me @afitgirlsguide.

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Motivation Monday: Productivity Essentials

Last Monday I went back to work full time after going part time when I started grad school last fall. I was working as a nanny, but have been in my current position since April, and was able to transition to full time before fall semester starts in 2 short weeks!
Now that my time is more limited, I’ve been trying to spend it wisely….not only is school starting in 2 weeks, but I’m also moving at the end of the month and I just had family in town for a week. Productivity and smart time management is more important than ever! Especially if I want to spend any time with my husband or pup….and I do.
Last week was a trial to see how a.m. workouts would go, and it seems like that’s going to be my best option for sticking to my workouts. I didn’t want to let myself get lazy, so I was at the gym at 6am last Monday…hopefully tomorrow will be the same!!

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I’ve been keeping my eyes open for time management tips and trying to practice what I learn…here are a couple things that have been saving me!

  • Utilize the “Fringe Hours“- I heard about this book on this podcast last week and it really resonated with me. Utilizing the time that usually goes wasted (early morning, right after work)  is a great way to get more done and feel fulfilled.
  • Use the weekend wisely. I’m all about a relaxing weekend, but in order to feel a fresh start on Monday morning, I need to make sure a few things actually get done! My weekend must-do’s are cleaning, laundry, meal planning, grocery shopping, and a little meal prep. A couple of well spent hours are crucial to starting the week on the right foot! But don’t forget to relax too!
  • Plan out my workouts for the week ahead of time so I don’t show up to the gym without a plan
  • Pack my gym bag and lunch the night before! Since I’m getting ready at the gym a few days per week (until we move and are super close to our gym), it’s essential I have absolutely everything I need for heading to work!
  • There’s no such thing as multi tasking!! I heard this from a business consultant who coaches people who make $$$$ and he said that basically our minds can do 1 thing a time. If we do 2 things at once, we are like an internet browser- toggling back and forth-then every time we go back to the first thing, it takes a minute to re-focus and we actually lose time. It’s better to focus on one thing a time! Who knew?
  • To follow up the above, I believe there is a way to maximize time and do 2 things at once- for example using the time that eggs are boiling to unload the dishwasher. When you simply have to start a task and then let it go on it’s own (landry, dishes, cooking) you can spend the time you are waiting to do something productive. Win win!

I know I feel better when everything is planned out vs when I spend a lazy weekend doing nothing, so it is SO worth it to spend a couple hours trying to GSD !!

Have a productive week! Let me know if you have any tools, systems, or hacks you live by to get more out of your 24 hours!

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Motivation Monday: 5 minutes to more motivation

I think everyone faces a lack of motivation at some point. It’s normal for this feeling to ebb and flow, but what about when you just need to get your act together? Sometimes you have to be a big girl, but let’s face it…..sometimes you want to just snooze a little longer (or just waste a little more time instead of actually getting to work)!
I had a recent epiphany though, that no matter how many times I press snooze (or how good it might feel in the moment), it does NOT lead to feeling more rested. If anything I end up feeling rushed AND tired, instead of just a bit sleepy. Now when I’m feeling lazy in the morning, I make myself get up and make my bed. It leaves me feeling productive, and then I can start my morning.

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Whether it’s work, fitness, or just life that needs to get done…here are some tips for YOU.

  • Go outside. Take a 5 minute walk and listen to your favorite song, or even better- this podcast.
  • Keep a private Pinterest board called motivation, with the things that speak to you personally. When the going gets tough, open up your board and remind yourself WHY you are going to push through.
  • Meditate. Take 5. Close your eyes and imagine yourself being successful, working hard, and kicking butt. Set a timer on your phone, and when the alarm rings, it’s time to get moving.
  • Ask yourself WHY. Are you just sleepy? Feeling lazy? Not excited about your goals anymore?  Asking yourself why can get to the root of the problem! If it’s just about of laziness, give yourself 5 more minutes to do whatever you want…pinterest, online shopping…but SET A TIMER!! And then get to work!
  • Stand up and stretch! There is something about getting the blood moving that wakes up the mind, and allows you to keep powering through. Look up some videos for stretching on youtube. There are a ton, no matter your level of privacy or surroundings!
  • Drink a large glass of water. Seems weird right? But dehydration can do some funky things to the mind and body, so drink up! Doing something good for yourself will give you a little step in the right direction.

Do you have any tips for getting sh*t done?? If you want some more productivity tips, check out this post.

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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.

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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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Motivation Monday: a brand new month

Happy Monday! I LOVE when the 1st of the month is on a Monday. It feels like such a fresh start to the month. This month I’m looking forward to visiting Santa Barbara with my family and naturally I’ll be laying on the beach. Can’t wait.

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With the crazy summer months upon us, I thought I’d share a little reminder that your workouts don’t have to take place in the gym! Go for a hike or a walk on the beach, do yoga in your backyard, swim laps at your hotel, go paddle boarding in the ocean. Fitness should add to your life, not be the focus of your life. It’s also important to remember that you feel better when you are working out (versus skipping your workouts entirely).  Sometimes I need this reminder.

Have a great month!

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Thinking Pink for Vday

I’m all about the pink and sparkly goodies this time of year…and always haha.  My husband isn’t really a fan of vday, but I don’t think anything tastes better than chocolate wrapped in shiny pink foil 🙂 There’s also nothing better than pink workout gear. Here are a few finds I wouldn’t mind….

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 [um how cute is that water bottle?!]
Happy Monday! I hope your week is filled with lots of pink and great workouts of course 😉

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