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: 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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I’m baaaack…. (and a mini recap)

OMG…what a month. April was the craziest month ever and I accidentally took a nice long break from blogging. Oh well. The semester is practically over, I’ve started a new job, and I’m ready to get back to a (somewhat) normal schedule this summer! I am ready to get back into a normal fitness routine too!! I’ll be sharing my new routine too…

Anyway. Here’s a tiny instagram (@afitgirlsguide) re-cap over the past couple of weeks

tulip festival fun 

new favorite pre-workout ^^^pizza + hydrangeas = the way to my heart ^^evening dog walking in perfect weather new obsession ^^ (SO ADDICTING)another beautiful sunset ^^mid-day workout break….

Have a great Monday!

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Motivation Monday: Honesty is the best policy (especially with yourself)

I was listening to a fitness podcast this weekend and heard someone say that YOU are the easiest person you can fool. How often do we say to ourselves, “oh I’ll do xyz this weekend”, or “oh I totally eat 6 servings of fruits/veggies everyday!!!” We fool ourselves all the damn time!! Straight up LIES. This obviously applies to other areas of life too… (“He will totally change this time!!!” is pretty common…) Honesty is of course the best policy with others, but what about yourself? I think we owe it to ourselves to be honest!
Being honest with yourself comes down to accountability and taking a look at what’s really going on. Instead of saying “Why am I not seeing progress?!!!?!!”, maybe we can take a look at a the reality [aka…oh maybe because I ate 2 boxes of girl scout cookies and hamburger this weekend].

fool

This week make an effort to be honest with yourself. With health, fitness, or even your personal life…relationship..finances(!).whatever. Just be honest with yourself. You deserve it, and your life can only improve. Have a great week!

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Motivation Monday: Consistency

Happy Monday! We had a nice laid back weekend with the pup….worked out, ate Chipotle, and froyo… aka all my favorite things 😉

I saw this quote on good old Pinterest and wanted to share….Consistency is KEY with health/fitness/diet/exercise. Give yourself a chance to be successful. It’s rough at first (I KNOW…trust me), but set short term goals…1 or 2 weeks at a time even. Yo-yo-ing for the rest of your life will NOT bring results. I didn’t start seeing consistent progress, until I regularly worked out, and was making sure I was eating enough [slash not too much;)]….and of course this applies to all areas of life.

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Trust yourself. Give yourself a chance to succeed. Have a great week!

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Motivation Monday: Are you sticking with your New Years goals??

It’s almost February and this is the time that people start losing interest or motivation in sticking with their New Years goals or resolutions….are you one of them? If so, think about what it is that you REALLY want….and then read this post about the most important question to ask yourself when setting goals. But most importantly, if something is important to YOU, then you owe it to yourself to push!

EASY

Making changes is hard. But that’s okay! It’s hard in every aspect of life…making financial changes, business changes, relationship changes, and of course health and fitness changes. I was talking to an older gentleman at our gym last week with my husband, and he said to us “if it was easy then everyone would do it”. And more often then not, if it’s difficult and if it pushes you…it’s worth it.

If you need to re-think or adjust some goals, that’s okay…but don’t give up!! Remember- if it was easy, everyone would  be doing it.

Have a great week!

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Motivation Monday: keeping up healthy habits during the holidays

Happy Monday!  A brand new week, and another week closer to Christmas. Tis the season for parties and tasty treats. While I’m all for enjoying your favorites desserts and enjoying time off relaxing with family, I think we can agree that the feeling of over indulging is less than delightful. Here are a couple tips for staying on track (so you don’t feel the need for an “overhaul” come January 1)

holiday health

  • Keep up with your workouts. Put those extra calories to work and gain some strength! I have surprisingly good strength training workouts after eating a big meal. (although it shouldn’t be surprising, because your body wants that fuel!)
  • Water water water- all those yummy holiday drinks are filled with calories! Drink your fave every now and then, but don’t fill up on a days worth of calories on liquid alone (this includes Starbucks drinks, sodas, and fancy cocktails).
  • Family fun! Try and plan family activities that don’t just revolve around big meals. Skiing & sledding are great if you’re in a snowy climate. If not, family walks, jogs, beach time, or if you’re feeling ambitious, a family 5k or 10k. My personal favorite is walking the mall 😉
  • Trial gym pass. I plan on trying this out during my vacation this Christmas. Most big gyms will do a free week pass (24 hour fitness for sure). Since I’ll be gone for 2 weeks, I’d like to get a least a couple workouts in. This is a great way to get gym access. If you’re in a hotel try hitting the pool or the treadmill for a quick workout. [Of course family time is valuable, so if it’s a short trip- don’t sweat it! Enjoy your vacay]

Check out my post from last year about navigating the food table at holiday parties.

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