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….]


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!



New Years Resolution Tips: the #1 question to ask yourself when setting goals

Happy New Year! I’ve written about goal setting a few times before…my first post was actually about setting SMART goals…
here are some tips for kicking the soda habit
more about resolutions here
and plenty of motivation for sticking with those goals here, here, here….)

NYresolutionsBut today I wanted to focus on one important question… WHY? It’s great to decide you want to lose weight, or to spend less, or read more, or focus on your business, but unless you figure out WHY you want to do those things, it won’t stick. I’m guilty of setting a vague resolution in the past but without asking the important question what is my motivation for sticking to it? I’ve also gone the SMART goal route and defined small steps and a timeline,etc., but again….if I don’t figure out WHY I want to do it, why would I really make it a permanent change.

Example: say you decide you want to save money…are you saving for a house? Paying off debt? Saving money to travel this year? Spending less money eating out, and cooking at home more?

What about if you want to “lose weight”…are you trying to improve your health? Run a race this year? Have a more active life with your spouse or kids or grand kids?

You want to read more? Why? For pleasure? Are you trying to learn something specific? Improve your business? Spend more time away from technology?

Do you see the benefit? There are so many worthwhile goals to set, but if you don’t figure out specifically why it applies to your life and why it’s important to you…there really isn’t any point in sticking with it all year…let alone until January 31. Here’s to a healthy and productive year!


Motivation Monday: a productive mindset

I got a ton done this weekend (cleaning, homework, workouts, etc) and I was thinking to myself what was different about this weekend vs other times when I’m unproductive. Of course I don’t expect every weekend to be super productive, but there are times it’s necessary.

unknown source- found on pinterest


So what was different this time? I didn’t give my self a choice. I just got up and worked. I realized that the times I’m in the “I have so much to get done” mentality, I actually don’t get much done.

So this week, instead of thinking I have so much to do before Thanksgiving or before finals or whatever, just GET TO WORK. One task at a time, telling yourself “of course you will get everything done”. You always do.

Happy Monday!


Motivation Monday: Don’t wait for January 1! Set goals NOW

So there is about 2 months until the new year, and I am sooooo excited for the holiday season. But I also get a little anxiety this time of year about [over] stuffing my little cheeks, especialllly while on vacay. I thought I would put together a little plan for myself to help me stay on track! I remember last year it was really hard for me to keep up  because I was doing a lifting program and didn’t have access to a gym while I was on vacation for 2 weeks. I’ve learned the error of my ways and plan on increasing my HIIT cardio while I’m out of town.




Of course I’ll be indulging in my Thanksgiving and Christmas favs (hello pumpkin pie). But I also want to track my protein intake to make sure I’m staying on top of that. While I’m home I’ll still track my macs the best I can, but on vacation I want to make sure I’m keeping up with protein and I’ll just let the rest fall where it may.

One other thing to mention is that there is absolutely so excuse for going HAM and eating every tasty thing in sight for the next 2 months and then thinking “I’ll just start in January”. For two reasons. 1) this brings an unhealthy binge mentality, followed by severe restricting which is not helpful or healthy in any way. 2) severe restricting come January 1 is not long lasting. You will have better results if you tweak a few things now (for example, focus on adding in a bit of exercise and drinking more water), then add something else come the New Year (more veggies, more intense workout plan, macro counting, etc)….

Food is the focus of a lot (or most) holiday gatherings. That’s just how it is. Remember to try and have some balance- eat your favorite dessert, but don’t eat the fatty sides that you don’t even really like. Enjoy and indulge a bit, but eat those veggies too 😉 It’s all about balance, and life is too short to avoid gatherings in order to avoid tempting (and delicious) foods.

Do you have any action plan for the upcoming Holiday Season? It’s best to decide now so you aren’t overwhelmed when the first holiday parties start cropping up!



know your weaknesses

We had a little halloween get-together this weekend, and of course had some yummy treats. I made some delish homemade oreos and we had a little candy bar with my favs…sour patch kids, m&ms (PB and dark chocolate), hot tamales and reeses. Annnnd we ordered pizza. I knew I’d be indulging in sweets and my favorite bread sticks from The Pie, so I planned accordingly and didn’t freak. But on Sunday I was tempted and had some more treats, and I knew having all those extra goodies in the house was a bad idea. So I sent ALL of it to work with my hubby to share (or not share, I’m not really sure haha) on Monday.



But it got me thinking. How often do we “suffer” through having our weakness in the house just because we don’t want it to “go to waste”. Or another great rule to live by…. We’ll start on Monday….. [not]

That didn’t fly this time. Why?? Because I know myself. I’m not the person that can just count out 7 sour patch kids and call it a day. And yes 7 is the serving size. So I don’t keep it in the house. I indulged and then it was best to just get.it.out…..Weakness

SO. what are your triggers?? Do you keep any junk in the house? What keeps your “diet” in check?


Fit for Fall- why you shouldn’t put off health&fitness goals until New Years!

Fall is officially here, and while it’s not usually a time people talk about their fitness goals, I wanted to get you thinking about them! I hate to break it to you, but there is never a “right” or “perfect” time to get healthy or start/improve your exercising regime.


There are always holidays and vacations and busy-seasons at work and birthdays and sick days…But really, there is no point in waiting until January to think about your health (or having a free-for-all until then.) Yes there will be holidays…and candy and pie and potatoes…but life is all about balance! Here are a few reasons to get started now:

  • Historically, the diet related New Years Resolutions tend to be a little extreme (I’m NEVER eating fast food again!!!), but by starting slowly, you won’t feel the need to make any rash decisions come January 1. A few holiday splurges are to be expected, but you can simply pick up where you left off without feeling the need to do a complete overhaul… or “cleanse”.
  • Balance can be tricky. A lot of people have the all or nothing mindset (If i’m going to have pie, I might as well eat ALLTHEPIE and I’ll start my diet next week. But until then- BINGE) this is not a healthy way to live life, and usually just leads to gaining more and more weight or can lead to a restrict/binge cycle….not healthy. Slowly implementing a few changes will lead to long term success.

So what can you do NOW?

Think about what goals you have. Slimming down before going home for the holidays?  Do you feel better and less stressed when you make time to exercise? Are you concerned about your blood work or blood pressure? Think about what is driving YOU to want to make changes in the first place.

Before the holiday chaos arrives, make some small changes. It could be anything from sipping water instead of soda in the afternoon, going for a walk after your kids leave for school, packing your lunch from home a couple times a week, instead of always eating out. But the key is SMALL changes.

Why small changes?? It might sound good on paper to workout every single day, but if you currently can barely squeeze in 1 workout a week….everyday wont last! Start with what is manageable RIGHT NOW. Not what’s manageable “in theory” or when you “aren’t as busy”. Right now!

So tell me…what do you plan on doing to keep yourself in check before the holiday madness arrives? Have a great Thursday!


A Brand New Month…

It’s a new month and a new school year- perfect time to set some goals! I recently read about setting weekly goals in a few categories- school/work, health/fitness, spiritual, etc. I thought this was a great idea to do on a monthly basis.



It’s one thing to run a few ideas through your head, but another to write them down and separate into categories. It will make your life easier and you’ll be more successful. Win-win!  So this month, set a couple goals. They can be long term (for the school year or semester), weekly, monthly- whatever. But writing it down significantly increases your chances of success.

And to keep me accountable, here are a few of my goals:

  • keep up with all of my reading for school
  • track macros everyday (especially weekends)
  • nightly scripture study

I also plan on having these written on my calendar to remind me.

Happy Tuesday! Have a great 4 day week. 🙂



Book Review: The Power of Habit

Ah. Such a great read. It’s about pathways in our brains that cause activities to become habits. He approaches the topic from a personal, community, and organizational perspective. I found it interesting to read up on how the culture and subculture of large companies grew from (seemingly) small occurrences that eventually became the norm.

power of habit


From simple activities like why we go to the cafeteria at the same time every day- to casual gamblers becoming full-fledged addicts who spend their life savings and then some in the casino, the book is presented in an easy to read way, mixing anecdotes with research.

It was a quick read and really got me thinking. I don’t want to summarize the whole thing so I’ll just talk about the basics.

The basis of every habit is a habit loop:

cue —> routine —> reward

This really got me to look at my behaviors, and think about the cues that cause them (taking pretzels from the pantry, or going out to get a diet coke) and why. What reward am I seeking. Am I really hungry? Do I need caffeine? Am I bored?

While the habit loop is simple, the author does not suggest that changing habits is easy to navigate because (obviously) everyone is unique. We have different triggers and emotions tied to our habits that can make them more or less difficult to break.

However the simplicity in the habit loop does create clear guide for how to start a new habit. He used the example of leaving running shoes right by the bed. You see them every morning (cue). You go for a run (routine). You feel accomplished/ endorphin high, etc. (reward)

In order to begin a new and lasting habit, we need to identify cues to remind us of the habit, and it’s equally,if not more, important to have your routine attached to a reward. That reward keeps us coming back for more, and our brain craves it!


ANYWAY…I def recommend. I couldn’t stop yacking about it to my husband while I was reading it!

Have you read it? What did you think?




Motivation Monday: June Goals

Happy June!! The year is almost half over which is blowing my mind. I recapped my May goal a few days ago– but my final take away thoughts from trying to exercise everyday is that fitness and health is a way of life. It’s not limited to 30 minutes in the gym, or a certain caloric intake-its about loving your body with proper nutrition and plenty of endorphins. I plan on trying to maintain getting in some fresh air or exercise everyday. It definitely makes for a happier me 🙂

For June I have 2 goals I want to focus on- 1. Appreciate the simple things and 2. Get rid of the junk.

Appreciate the simple things kind of applies to my post yesterday. I feel like there is so much that goes unnoticed everyday because I’m distracted (usually by technology) I need to remind myself to take a step back and live and appreciate my life. Appreciate the warm breeze, and the sunset, and the delicious cookies my husband made (without thinking about calories).  This isn’t as quantitative as last months goal, so I won’t really be able to “measure” success, but I do think it just helps having it in front of my mind. I plan on keeping a little list to keep me accountable and help me remember to keep my eyes opened. I purposefully planned for a low-key summer because heading into the fall I’ll be headed to grad school and my hubby’s scheduled will be packed with work and finishing PA school pre-recs. I want to actually appreciate this time I have instead of wasting it.


Part 2 is Get rid of the junk. We are moving next month, so naturally I want to purge my house of everything before packing, but it also goes back to part 1. With too much clutter in life, it can be hard to really appreciate the good things. I plan on clearing my home of unused clothes and paperwork and anything that goes unused- but this can apply to all aspects of life. Plus it’s crazy how much a good closet clean-out can improve your morning routine. (after the work is done, of course) 😉


Here’s to the beginning of the month and beginning of summer!