Not Resolute But Intentional: How I’m Setting Myself up for Success in 2017

When I started to think about New Years Resolutions this year, I got tired very quickly.

The idea of another round of rigid rules, of “fixing” myself and then inevitably failing was just exhausting to me.

Then I realized, I don’t need to be fixed. 2016 was a long and bumpy road for me, and what I really need from 2017 is a little TLC.

This was actually a little hard for me to declare to myself. I generally love the idea of starting fresh in January. But I never seemed to settle into any rhythm or pattern over the past 12 months, so there isn’t really anything to start fresh from.

What I really need for 2017 are intentions, not resolutions. I found some prompts on Pinterest and took advantage of the first page in a book I for for Christmas called The 52 Lists Project. 


I enjoyed making the list and I feel like it is a really good guidepost for how I want my year to go. It also helped me choose my intention for January:

Focus

This month, I want aim my energy at focusing on not only on how I want my year to go, but on making sure I am present and focused in my daily tasks. It will be a challenge to try and focus on one thing at a time for me, since I tend to be a champion multi-tasker–but I think by the end of the month I’ll be a more centered and relaxed person because of it.

Are you setting resolutions this year? What are your hopes for 2017?

Why I’m Going to Work Out Like Its My Job

Fitness is not my job.

I’m not a model. I don’t get paid to post gym selfies or get sponsored by Nike, LuLuLemon or runDisney. I don’t make money off my blog. Working out is something I fit into my life, somewhere between motherhood, homeschooling, writing, and running my household.

So is it really a wonder that I’m not meeting my fitness goals?


I’ve been struggling for years to make working out and wellness a priority in my life, and I’m beginning to think that the core of the problem is that I consider it a dispensable part of day. And it shouldn’t be.

Being healthy shouldn’t be a negotiable part of my life. Sure, if I miss a workout or gain a few pounds, I’m not going to lose my job. But in the long term, I could lose so much more.

Maybe it sounds dramatic to think like that. But my family’s health history reads like the who’s who of illness: diabetes, depression & anxiety, food intolerances, multiple sclerosis. It was all sort of easy to ignore in my twenties–life was fast-paced and I still fit into the clothes I wore in college. Then sometime after my 30th birthday, my metabolism changed. Those huge Italian meals I ate a couple times a week started catching up with me. I got tired. I have all the resources to be healthy right in front of me. Clearly, my issue is mental.


And so starting today, I’m going to work out like its my job. Maybe I won’t be getting paid in money or sponsorships (although that would be  nice, right?), but that doesn’t mean I won’t get compensated. I’ll get paid in more energy, in a smaller pant size, in a happier disposition and less anxiety. I’ll get paid in more happy, functional years with my family.

And that will make me far more rich than any paycheck could.

Does working out fall to the bottom of your list? What keeps you from working out and achieving the healthy lifestyle you want?

How to be a Morning Person

Summer is coming to a close in my corner of the world. This week we have open houses for our homeschool co-ops, and then my little guy officially becomes a first grader. While our mornings are not nearly as hectic as some, we will have to shake off our summer schedule and start being a little more productive in the mornings. And I am NOT a morning person.


I’ve spent my whole life fighting my night owl tendencies. I’m more creative and focused at night, which means I’m groggy in the morning. Actually, if I go to bed at 8 PM and sleep for 12 hours, I’m still groggy in the mornings. Mornings and I just don’t mix.

My son is a morning person. He has been since his days in the belly. I could count on him to wake me up in the morning with his exuberant kicks more accurately than an alarm clock months before he arrived. This morning he woke me up at 5:20 AM.


 I sent him back to bed until 6:00 (which is the time he is allowed to get up) and he obediently trotted back to bed…where he sang “The Ballad of Casey Jones” until he got up. He is so happy and energetic in the mornings, but starts to fall apart after about 3:00. Which is when I really start to hit my groove. So, my habits need to change.

Here are some practices I’m putting into place this week to try and get up earlier and have better mornings.

  • Setting a consistent bedtime and wake up time. This one is hard for me, because I often get into a groove late at night. My goal this week is to be asleep between 10:30-11:00 PM and up between 6-7 AM.
  • Leaving my phone alone until 9 AM. I’m one of those people who likes to roll over first thing in them morning and check in with all my social media accounts and play a few games of Disney Emoji blitz, my current obsession. I realized recently this is a terrible way to start my day. I’m basically putting other people’s opinions and thoughts in my head before I’ve even had a chance to have one of my own.
  • Getting outside first thing. Even if it is just sitting on my porch and enjoying the fresh air.
  • Cleaning up the kitchen and living space before I go to bed. It’s so easy to leave dirty dishes in the sink and toys all over the floor before I crash at night (who wants to clean up when you’re exhausted from the day?) but it is so nice to wake up to a clean space. I love starting my day with a clean kitchen island. Does that make me weird?

I’m going to start with small changes and see how they go. I’d love to get up and peacefully write a chapter or two of the next great American novel, but I think these baby steps will work for now. 

Are you a morning person or a night person? Is your lifestyle/schedule conducive to what your body naturally wants to do?


Is There Life After Running? Finding a New Healthy Home.

If you’ve been following along on my journey for awhile, you know that I was a COMPLETELY non-athletic child, teenager and adult…until I got a wild hair in 2012 and signed up for a runDisney race. I then became hooked, and it was thrilling to enter a world of health and fitness that I previously didn’t even know existed. I was healthier than I’d ever been before, and it was great.

An injury in late 2014 caused me to stop running. I keep trying to run again…and the injury flares up. It’s so frustrating. My favorite race happens here in Atlanta on July 4th. It’s a 10K, and I didn’t sign up for the lottery back in March, because I knew it wouldn’t be good for me. But now I’m right on top of it, and I’m seeing all these people prepping for it…and I have to talk myself out of signing up at the last minute. Even though I know I’m not prepared in the slightest. Even though I know I could hurt myself.

(What in the heck is wrong with me?!?)

I’m struggling with finding where I fit in with fitness now that I’m a “recovering runner”. I miss the training plans and the excitement of race day. I miss the runners high. I miss the jeans I fit into 3 sizes ago.

I’m trying to find my new healthy home. Is it yoga? TRX? A barre studio? I don’t know. But I do know I’m tired of sitting on my tushie waiting for it to come to me. So I’ve decided that it’s time to try everything, even things I never thought about doing before–because, quite honestly, this time 10 years ago I NEVER, EVER thought I could love running like I do.

This weekend my goal is to list out all the fitness things I want to try, even if they scare me. I know my new favorite thing is out there.

What do you do when you want to switch out your fitness routine? What workout do you love that surprised you? 

 

Week 7 Intention: The Best is Yet to Come

I apologize for missing a few weeks–it has been crazy here! I started out the week with this intention:

destination

Then yesterday afternoon, my husband got offered a new job at a yoga, meditation and cycling studio in downtown Atlanta. It’s a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor of an awesome concept. Even more exciting, the role will take him (along with me and JC, our son) to Honolulu and Los Angeles in the near future. I’m super excited about the opportunity to travel and see some parts of the world I’ve never seen before. I’m also slightly terrified, as I’m not really a traveler. I have very deep roots and very short wings (I’m like a penguin. I have wings for show, but I’m really meant to waddle around in the same place). But clearly 2016 is going to be the year I embrace change!

How is your week going so far? Did you get a long weekend or was it business as usual for your yesterday?

Week Two Intention: Set Your Own Standard

I actually had a different intention all ready for this week, but then this gem dropped in my e-mail this morning and I thought it was even more appropriate.

   

I had a lovely brunch with my oldest friend yesterday. She is in her early 30’s, with a successful career and in a happy, long-term relationship–but not married. She pointed out how she always feels like she has to explain and go into detail about her relationship and why they aren’t married with kids when she meets someone new, but that she’s tired of justifying it to people. She’s happy–so why feel the need to explain?

I think that idea, and my intention for the week, can be applied to a lot of different people and their situations. I constantly find myself yammering on to people about how I “only” ran three miles on my run and how I’m so slow and I used to be a long distance runner and faster but I’m starting over because blah blah blah…I need to stop doing that. I know my own story, I know that those three miles area big deal to me. I need to own it and be confident in my own standards–and keep raising them as the days go by.

Hope everyone has a great week! What standards are you owning this week?

2016 Word of the Year

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2016 is off to a great and strong start.

If you’re anything like…well, most people in the world…you’ve made your New Year’s resolutions. And usually I do, too. And–once again, like most people–they’ve flown out the window by early February. There’s even a “Break Your Resolution Day” this year (on January 17th, if you’re wondering).

Last year, I made resolutions but I also declared “bloom” to be my word of the year. I knew 2015 was going to be tough with job changes, relocations, and general life upheaval, and I chose “bloom” to remind myself that no matter what situation I was in, I could make the best of it and make it beautiful. When I looked back on the year, I realized that I couldn’t even remember what my resolutions were–but my word of the year stuck. So for 2016, I’m declaring myself resolution free and gearing all my goals to my 2016 Word of the Year:

                                                  Secure.

Secure isn’t a pretty word. Bloom made for a better Pinterest board, that’s for sure. But when I get to the bottom of all my wants, goals and resolutions, security is what I’m left with.

ce9ecb5fa7d3c8ef8fc350d3d79ce9f2

  • I want to be financially secure. I’m not ready to go back to work full time, but I would like to contribute to my family financially this year.
  • I want to be secure in myself. I want to be one of those people that’s confident and comfortable in their own skin. I also don’t want to be a push over. I’m one of those people who NEEDS everyone to be happy and pleased with them. I think it’s time I got over this.
  • I want to be secure in my health. I really need to focus on building up my immune system this year. I’m tired of catching a cold and then still having it three weeks later.
  • I want my family to be secure in me and in their home. I want them to know that whatever craziness happiness, we have a pattern and comfort and safeness at home.

I also think one of the reasons my resolutions have failed in the past is because I do better with one overreaching, longterm goal and a handful of smaller ones. So I’m going to focus on smaller monthly goals and try to work on one big goal…but honestly, I haven’t settled on one yet. Unfortunately, goal setting is one of the areas where my type A personality goes a little berserk, and it takes me awhile to really lay goals out.

Are your goals set and ready to go? Have you ever made a word of the year?

 

Reasons I Don’t Want to…And Reasons I Will, Anyway.

It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means…Tuesdays on the Run! I’m linking up with Patty, Erika and April to talk about motivation.

I’ve been thinking a lot about motivation lately…probably because the weather is dreary and instead of working out, I want to eat warm things and hibernate.

Reasons I don’t want to exercise:

  • It’s cold. And going to the gym would mean I have to take off my clothes and put workout clothes on.
  • I don’t like getting up early.
  • I’m busy.
  • I’m tired.
  • Have I mentioned it’s cold out?
  • I have to make dinner/play with my kid/check Twitter again.
  • There’s other people at the gym. They might look at me.

gymcreep

  • Working out makes me sore.

legdaywaddle

And reasons I will anyway:

  • Because I want my son to see fitness as a normal part of life, and not struggle with as I have coming to it late in the game.
  • Because I want to boost my immune system. After getting mono last year and continuing to catch every cold, sniffle and bug that came along, I really need to work on making myself stronger on the inside, too.
  • Because my dad died from complications of multiple sclerosis when I was in my early 20s, and I don’t want my family to go through what I went through during his long illness.
  • Because I bought an adorable bikini from Athleta last year and I would really like to wear it.
  • Because I want to be comfortable in my own skin, and right now I feel a little too stretched out in places.
  • Because I want to have more energy. Nice weather is coming, and soon I won’t want to hibernate.

accomplishment

What are your worst excuses? And what are the reasons you ignore them?