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How To Set Goals and Achieve Them: Part II

If you have been keeping up with my blog, you know that 2018 has been about finding the best version of myself. Let me tell you, it has been WORK. Constant doubt, pushing myself out of my comfort zone, wanting to take the easy way out. It isn’t easy. This process has taken me to some of the best books I’ve ever read and listened to some of the best speakers I’ve ever heard. Know what’s interesting? They all say pretty much the same thing. In my How To Set Goals and Achieve Them post, I talked about steps to take to be more successful. In this post, I want to go more into detail about what these steps look like.

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It seems that through all of my studying, there is almost a pattern to success. Of course the details change from person to person, but from everything I’ve read or listened to, they all agree on these 6 things:

  1. Write Down Your Goals. I talked about this in my last post, but it was such a constant theme that I wanted to say it again. Writing down your goals gives you a constant reminder of what you truly want to accomplish. It is so easy to get into the mediocre routine of life and lose focus. Seeing your goals daily will help you by letting you remember what you told yourself you wanted when you felt most motivated for change.
  2. Keep A Journal. Rachel Hollis, Michael Hyatt, John Maxwell, and may others stress the importance of this practice. In your journal, you should be keeping track of a few things: your weekly goals, your daily goals,  5 things you are thankful for each day, and your biggest wins at the end of each week. Sometimes it’s hard to see progress. You keep moving forward and forget how far you have come. Keeping a journal will not only keep you on track, but will motivate you by helping you see progress. My favorite journal is the Full Focus Journal from Michael Hyatt (https://fullfocusjournal.com/  <–buy it here). It breaks down everything for you and keeps your daily journaling simple and organized.
  3. Have A Routine. Like you will see in the Full Focus Journal, there is a morning routine and an evening routine. Your morning routine should be setting your goals for each day, and your evening routine should be a reflection of the day followed up with some kind of winding down. For example, my morning routine is: make coffee, read my Bible for 10mins, decide my big 3 daily goals, and workout.
  4. “Hope is not a strategy”. This quote is serious. I first heard it this morning while listening to Rachel Hollis’ Instagram live video and it inspired me so much that I had to include it here. She ends up saying that she read it in John Maxwell’s book “15 Invaluable Laws of Growth”. Anyway, she goes on to say that you can not hope success into existence. She said that is like saying “oh I hope I get healthier” and then never taking action to get there. You can not hope your way into success. You have to put in the work.
  5. Find your gap. John Maxwell talks about success gaps that keep you from your goals. There are 8, but I will share the 2 that resonate with me most heavily. The Perfection Gap. This one is what holds me back more than anything else. Sometimes I can’t get myself to start anything because before I start, I want everything to be perfect. Maxwell explains that to be able to be perfect, you must first start. Mind blown. The Comparison Gap. This is where you compare yourself to more successful people so often that it breaks you down mentally and keeps you from making progress. The advise is to take a page out of Nike’s book and “Just Do It”. Maxwell says you can only learn if others are ahead of you.
  6. Commit. I will be the first to admit that I am the most impatient person I know. The advice I’ve heard over and over again is that you have to commit to your goals. Success is not born overnight. Walt Disney was fired at age 22 for “not being creative enough”. Oprah was told that she was “unfit for television news”. JK Rowling was fired from her secretary job and lived on welfare. She described it by saying, “I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded and I was a jobless alone parent and as poor as it was possible to be in Britain without being homeless.” Can you imagine if these people were not committed to their goals? The world would be a much different place.

Do you practice any of these steps? How have they helped you accomplish your goals? Let me know in the comments!

fitness

How To Set Goals and Achieve Them

“The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting and achieving goals”. – Og Mandino

If there is one thing I’ve learned about being in a fitness community, it is that it is constantly changing. There are so many different schools of thought and it is often hard to keep up with. Did you hear that a high fat diet is now a good thing? Anyway, as we change and adapt to these new thought processes, so do our goals. Whether it’s to bulk, or cut, lose weight, gain weight, whatever it is, you can apply the same rules.

I am constantly setting new goals to improve myself. Not just in fitness, but in every aspect of life. In doing this, I have noticed that when one area of your life starts to take shape, the rest of your goals become easier to achieve.

For example, I recently completed a 21 day fitness challenge with a group of ladies. Since we all are being held accountable by each other, we become much better about controlling our instincts. I consistently notice myself wanting ice cream after dinner less and less until one day, I don’t even think about it. Then I realize, “wow. I accomplished something big!”. It’s such a great feeling and I began to crave it. Then I started to think about other goals I had for myself. Saving money. Not fitness related, but a goal all the same. So I went to my husband and told him I didn’t want to spend any money on coffee for a week. For those of you that know me well, you know how much of a struggle this would be for me. I went a week and a half, you guys *insert happy dance here*.

So how you do you start? The first step seems simple, but can often be the hardest one! You ready? Here it is…

Step 1: Define your goal. Where do you see yourself next year? It is so easy to get caught up in what is happening right NOW that we forget to ask ourselves this question (or you could just be extremely impatient like me). Really think about this question. Do you want to feel comfortable in a bikini at the beach? Do you want to buy your first home? Whatever it is, write it down and keep it in a place you will see it often like your bathroom mirror….or if you’re like me and you’re honest with yourself, your refrigerator door.

Step 2: Start small, but be precise. A lot of times when I set a goal for myself, I am so eager to just go all in and give 110%. That’s an easy way to get burned out fast. Did you notice that my goals above were small? Stop eating ice cream after dinner, don’t buy coffee for a week… they are small and precise. Setting a small goal makes you realize that you can do hard things and makes you next goal not look so intimidating. Do not set goals like “I want to drink less diet coke”, say “I will drink 1 diet coke a week”. When you say I want to drink less diet coke, that becomes a relative term and doesn’t help you consistently get better.

Step 3: Know your weaknesses. I used to work a stressful retail job and every night when I got home, I would eat an entire bag of potato chips to cope. Not a great habit for many reasons, but it wasn’t great for my weight loss goal especially. I knew that if I had potato chips at home, I would eat them because, let’s be real, you can’t just eat a few potato chips. So what did I do? I stopped buying potato chips. I realized that I still wanted something salty and crunchy, so I switched to almonds. It did the trick! What is your bag of potato chips? Remove it from your sight!

Step 4: Challenge yourself. What’s that quote I keep seeing on coffee mugs? “Change begins at the end of your comfort zone”? Yeah that’s the one. It’s true. Once you’ve conquered all of your small goals, it will be time to accomplish some big ones, but you’ll be ready for it! Know why? Because you’ve been practicing for them this whole time!

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Mexican Style Lettuce Wraps

I don’t know about you, but I am always curious to see what other fit people are eating. I used to get so frustrated because people would only post their workouts. While that is extremely helpful to those new to fitness, it’s not enough for me! Food is your fuel and I want to know how you’re fueling your body to get it to look like that.

This is why I always post recipes on my instagram (fit.asamother). The one I made today was just made from whatever I already had in the fridge and it turned out to be delicious! So here it is: Mexican Style Lettuce Wraps.

Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients:

2 large chicken breasts, baked

1/2 cup of mild rotel

1/2tsp chili powder

1/2tsp cumin

1/2tsp onion powder

1/4tsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup of black beans

Head of romaine lettuce

Optional garnishes: cheese, hot sauce, and/or salsa.

Directions:

Chop the chicken into very small pieces. I used a food processor. Put the chicken, spices, and rotel in a Pam sprayed pan until it starts to brown. Take your lettuce and rip off individual pieces of Romaine to use almost as a bowl. Place black beans in romaine lettuce, followed by chicken mixture. I added hot sauce and cheese to mine but thats up to you! 1 serving fit into 4 pieces of Romaine for me.

And that’s it! Super easy recipe and delicious! Let me know how it is in the comments!

coffee, fitness

National Coffee Day’s Finest Contributor

Some of you have heard me say this, but I am a major coffee snob. I absolutely refuse to drink coffee from gas stations, hotels, McDonald’s… you see my point.

Not only am I a snob, I’m hopelessly addicted. Like…drink at least 3 cups a day and get a headache by 9am if I skip that first cup. It’s not just that though, it calms me.

My coffee addiction came at a young age. My dad started a tradition as long ago as I can remember to take me to get coffee on weekends (I started with orange juice to ease into it of course). Even after I was much older and moved out, he has always made time to do this. Sometimes it’s just quick catch up sessions, and other times it’s like $200 an hour therapy. I have a great dad, guys.

Anyway, I’m addicted. I’ve been getting by with Green Mountain Coffee….and by getting by, I mean have it on autoship from Amazon, but anyway, I found this new brand the other day and I can’t wait to tell you about it.

It’s called http://coffeeovercardio.com. And you guys, the things I would give to have thought of this myself would blow your minds. This brand is all about “boss babes focused on self growth, business, and booty growth”…..aka THE DREAM.

It sounded too good to be true, but I ordered it anyway and I was not disappointed. This coffee is like nothing I have ever tasted. It’s smooth, full of body, aromatic….everything you want in a coffee. Did I mention they have an organic option? This coffee is the whole package.

After buying all 4 flavors, my favorite is Flourish. It’s an organic, medium blend, and roasted to order so that it stays fresh. It’s the perfect morning coffee to get your day started. This is NOT the coffee that you have to add 5 splenda and 6 creams to just so it doesn’t taste like water.

I want to say that I am absolutely not being paid in any way to talk to you guys about this coffee. I just love the message and the product. I did, however, become a “Barista Babe”. What does that mean? You get to use code 10fitasamother to get a discount on your purchase. Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments! You won’t be sorry.

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Why I Became A Beachbody Coach

I remember when I first started using Beachbody programs and people made SO MANY JOKES, “what do you do? Just dance in front of your television?”, “Julia can’t eat anything but broccoli because she’s trying to get a ‘beach body'”.

Here’s the thing, I am the first person to call BS on ANYTHING…..but these programs have truly changed my whole lifestyle. I went from laughing when my husband asked me to workout with him to …..actually wanting to workout. Daily.

Here are a few reasons why I believe in Beachbody:

1). The meal plans are NOT a diet. This is what got me first. If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know how I feel about dieting. Long story short, I hate it. Anyway, Beachbody uses a portion control system and gives you TONS of options of what to eat, just not overeat. I honestly didn’t know I was overeating (…which I should have because I would easily eat a bag of potato chips on my own, but…let’s not dwell on that)! It also gives you categories of food that you have to eat each day. It made me realize that I did not eat enough fruits, vegetables, or even healthy fats.

2). It improved my mental health. I believe that a lot of people that have weight issues struggle with their mental health. I, for one, have always turned to food as a source of comfort when things went wrong. As a recovering perfectionist….a lot always seemed to go wrong. Working out is not just about changing your body, it truly changes your mind. I never thought I could lift weights. I never thought I could do push ups or have definition in my arms and abs. You may have heard the phrase, “your body achieves what your mind believes” – it’s true! Say you won’t, you can’t. Say you can, you WILL. Working out has proved that I can do things that I thought I couldn’t.

3). Workout plans for all levels. Most people think of Beachbody and think of INSANITY and P90x. While those are great workout programs, they are INTENSE. I definitely could not have done those back when I was using 2lb weights for bicep curls. They have HUNDREDS of workouts ranging from yoga to kickboxing…and you can do them anywhere! My favorite spot right now is in my kitchen.

Have you ever thought that you couldn’t workout because it just isn’t the time? You want to get your eating right first or join a gym and try a few smaller workouts? I’m here to tell you to stop the excuses. There is no time like right now. Imagine where you could be 3 months from now if you start today. If I can do this, anyone can.

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Dieting vs. Lifestyle Changes

appetite apple close up delicious
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People are so used to using the term “diet”. I hate that word. It implies so much. It implies that you restrict yourself, that you stress out about social gatherings because they might not have something that fits into your points system, or that your relationship with food is like that bad boyfriend that you want to leave, but you don’t because you keep hoping he will eventually have something to offer you.

Because that’s what diets are. They aren’t sustainable. How long can you keep saying no to your favorite beer because your diet doesn’t allow it? A few months maybe? But then what typically happens is when you FINALLY allow yourself to have that Blue Moon, you binge. “Well, I’m already drinking beer so I might as well get those mozzarella sticks too”…

This is how we create an unhealthy relationship with food. Diets allow food to control our lives. It’s a constant cycle of restriction, bingeing, and guilt.

“Eat to live, and not live to eat.” – Benjamin Franklin

The key to breaking the “whatever, I’m getting cheese fries” cycle is all about changing your mindset. Here are some keys tips on how to do that:

  1. Instead of thinking about how much you want cake but can’t have it, think instead about how you will feel after eating it. Will you eat it and feel energetic after, or will you feel bloated and lethargic?
  2. Instead of dieting, change your bad habits. I have always driven long distances for work and often times was required to travel. To cope with boredom, I would always get a soda for the drive. Then I realized that every time I get in the car, I want a drink with me even if it’s a 10min drive. Since I noticed that, I go for water or black coffee.
  3. Eat what you want, just don’t overeat. There was a book that came out years ago called “I Can Make You Thin”. The whole concept was if you want mac and cheese, eat mac and cheese! But the second you feel that hunger pang go away, stop. That could be 3 bites, but you stop after that 3 bites.
  4. Drink lots of water. I feel like this is in every healthy living post, but there’s a reason. The recommended amount of water is half your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 200lbs, drink 100oz of water. It is an appetite suppressant, boosts your metabolism, and cleanses your body of waste.

What are some of your unhealthy habits that you need to break and how can you change them?

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5 Ways Confident People Live Differently

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This has been weighing heavy on my mind lately. The fitness world is a hard place to exist in. It is easier now than ever to see what your ideal body would look like or to compare yourself to others. I will be the first to admit that I am guilty.

As someone who has always struggled with self confidence and body dysmorphia, you may wonder why I would be the one that is able to talk about this. But here’s the thing, I have the inside scoop. As a classic Virgo, I internalize and over process everything. Though this can be exhausting, it also makes me extremely self aware.

It is normal to have moments of doubt. Everyone goes through ups and downs. In my mission to become the best version of myself, I first have to ask “what is holding me back from being truly happy?”

I’ve been reading “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. Within the first two chapters, she says:

“If you’re unhappy, that’s on you.”

That hit home for me. I am not in control of what people say to me, but I am in control of how I react and process other’s words and actions.

So what now? If I truly want to be my best self, that means being 100% comfortable with who I am, so what am I missing? I’ve done some research on the difference between confident people and ones who consider themselves…well…less than. And here is what I’ve found.

  1. An article on Lifehack explains that highly confident people do not make excuses. They don’t blame traffic for being late to work, they were late to work! They take ownership of their actions.
  2. They don’t let fear control their lives. This is a big one for me. I have let anxiety get in the way more times than I would like to admit. I even got a tattoo to remind myself to “live free”, but let’s be real, that tattoo doesn’t make me want to ride a rollercoaster or have a confrontational conversation.
  3. They don’t obsess over other’s opinions. Someone made a comment that your boobs are small? Um okay, guess what? YOU CAN’T CHANGE THAT. And you shouldn’t want to. I would love to spend years talking about women taking pride in their bodies, but that’s for another post. Your grandparents don’t approve of your choice to not go to college? SO WHAT. It is your life, you need to live it. Confidence comes when you are comfortable with the choices you make. You should not make choices for other people, you make them for you. Which brings me to my next point…
  4. Confident people do not find joy in pleasing others. Listen to me, I do not mean that you need to be selfish. I’m talking about the kind of people pleasing that gets in your way. The kind where you put aside your own happiness to make someone else have a better opinion of you. The kind where you let people change your mind! The kind where you won’t choose a place to eat, you accept any invitation, or you are constantly working hard to prove yourself.
  5. Lastly, they don’t make comparisons. I want to say first that social media makes this very difficult. It is so easy to make it appear that you have a perfect life when nobody knows what is going on behind the scenes. As far as fitness goes, it can get unhealthy so fast. I recently have decided that I will unfollow people who I compare myself to. I may love their page! But our lives are too different for me to aspire to be what they are.

What are your thoughts? What is one thing you can change today that will help you become more confident in the future?