February 2019 Goals

New Year’s resolutions are difficult. Keeping them past January 31st is even harder. The goals set up for February were almost attained. There are not feelings of failure, but if Jon Acuff’s suggestion of cutting goals in half were followed, the goals would have been met and then some.

Once again, the goals were broken down into four areas; Reading, Art, Move and the 7 Challenge by Jen Hatmaker.

Reading

The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner was completed and the full book review is found here.

Along with The Fringe Hours I was going to read Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. This is where I “faltered” and took on too much. I did read a second book this month, Friendly Deceit, but I only finished 1/3 of Dare to Lead. I am determined to finish this book though, prior to picking up another “second book”. From what I can tell, Brene Brown speaks my love language. She keeps me engaged, she is funny and she is darn inspiring! More to come on my thoughts of her book.

Art

It was difficult to finish four pages in my sketchbook last month. Four were finished this month but I eased up on the pressure some. For a couple of pages I just let loose and played with medium I had not touched in awhile. One of my close friends, Amanda, had a birthday mid month. She and I had the pleasure of visiting Vegas in college as we won a lighting design competition. Vegas is not a place I desire to return, but we sure had fun. I took a photo of her and me and put a slight spin on it. Creating an image of her and I revisiting that special city with the way we look now put a smile on my face.

Move

Oh goodness, the goal was met this month. No specific workout program was followed, but each week 5 days of workouts occurred. This ranged from running, Tracy Anderson Method, PIIT28 to yoga. Some days it’s really hard. While at my in-laws early on in the month I stepped on a scale. I have not stepped on a scale for a very very long time. 6 plus months ago at least as I was trying to operate on the “feeling” of how do I feel in my clothes? Now, flabby feelings were happening, even with the dedicated workouts so maybe the numbers should not have thrown me off of my rocker. I thought, when I get home I will try “my scale”. Same numbers *sad face*. The numbers were higher than they had ever been while not being pregnant or “recovering” from post pregnancy. Ugh. Cry. Sigh. Ok, back to the scale for regular check ins. Dedication and accountability are being prayed upon.

7 Challenge

February’s 7 Challenge was over clothes. There were two days this month that I was home with the kiddos as they didn’t have school. We took those times to go through our closets and dispose of things that no longer fit or no longer had places in our hearts. Bless Jen Hatmaker as she took 7 pieces of clothing and only wore those pieces. There are probably too many clothes in my closet still. I can not help that I feel attachment to the board shorts I wore in Maui almost 15 years ago. Do I wear them much? No. Do I still fit in them? Yes. Will I wear them? Maybe. They make me happy when I look at them. So, on the shelf they still sit. What kind of thoughts did I have when going through my closet? I need to stick to buying really good basics as they do last, I wear them most often and they make me feel good. I need to think long and hard when I go through the Target clothing aisles. They market their clothes well and they last a short while, but it is best if I stick to buying better quality. *sigh* Sorry Target! Thank goodness the girls are old enough to give me opinions. Going forward as we get hand me downs, we will go through them right away and only keep what they plan to wear. There is no need to hold onto things that they will never wear. Shout out to a couple of friends, Abby and Heather, you are awesome for passing a long your cute clothes. They save us a lot of money! It felt great to donate garbage bags of clothes.

Here is to another month of loving life, doing what makes you happy and feeling accomplished.

January 2019 Goals

January tends to be a month of new beginnings and resolutions that get put to the wayside two weeks into the new year. There is a Jen Hatmaker podcast where she interviews Jon Acuff. He is the author of a few books including, Finish.

Jon recommends that people need to determine their goal and then cut it in half. He found with his research people tend to reach too high for their reality. Once they do not make the mark they get discouraged and discontinue working towards their goal. Half way through January there was doubt that I would accomplish the goals I had set. I was determined to accomplish them as I wanted to complete them, but time was running out!

The goals were broken down into four areas; Reading, Art, Move and the 7 Challenge by Jen Hatmaker.

Reading

Jen Hatmaker wrote Of Mess & Moxie. This was recommended to me by my friend Melissa. Her writing makes me smile, laugh, and say “ahhh, me too!” Each week I read a section of the book and followed a study guide which prompted me to meditate and reminisce about topics in which she wrote about. The blog has four separate posts.

The goal was to read one other book besides the personal development book. Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty was the January book club pick. Big Little Lies, the HBO series, was based on her writing. I binged watched that show (link) awhile back and was glad that Three Wishes prompted me to actually read one of Liane’s books. The Coffee Pines & Designs book review can be read here.

I surpassed my goal of reading two books in January by one book. The book club pick for February was Still Alice by Lisa Genova. I listened to this audio book on a road trip. A highly recommended book and see why here.

Art

Art is in my blood. Art is a passion. Art gets put to the wayside. *sad face* Abstract art is a strength of mine. I have always wanted to be better at figure drawing. I am attracted to people and what makes them who they are. I ran across Jane Davenport thanks to Instagram. She combines figure drawing and abstract methods creating whimsical drawings and paintings. Guess what? She has books to teach her methods! Guess who bought a couple? Why not? The purpose of this goal was not to complete 4 pages of frame worthy art, but I did manage to complete one page that was intended for my cousins, Kelly and Jade, birthday. It also prompted my mom to ask for drawings similar of my sister and me as well as Stella and Emery. Pressure is on and challenge accepted!

Move

Exercise really makes me happy. I easily get bored though. I miss the gym atmosphere. Living outside of town, working full time and having kids makes it not an ideal situation to use a gym. January was a month to focus on PIIT28. For the most part I liked the variety it gave to me. I fully enjoyed it towards the end of the month when I could do it while watching Dawson’s Creek. My dear aunt, Melinda, read a post I completed while reading Of Mess & Moxie and sent me season’s 5 and 6 of Dawson’s Creek *totally own the guilty pleasure* The goal was to workout 5 days each week. I totally owned this goal until the last week. I am not certain if it was boredom of the method I was dedicated to since mid December or if it was the head cold I was fighting. I managed 4 days that week. Summer can’t get here soon enough so I can run outside again.

7 Challenge

January’s 7 Challenge was over food. You can read about my experience on the blog.

I met my goals at about 95%. I do not feel I need to cut my goals in half, but February is a shorter month. These goals would not be a problem if I did not truly feel passionate about all of these areas. I am going to strive for them all again but if I miss a workout here or there, or do 3 pages in my sketchbook rather than 4, I am going to cut myself some slack.

Love life, do what makes you happy, and feel accomplished! Cheers to a great month to start off the new year!

Morning Goals

I have always been a morning person. For the longest time I woke up at 5:30 to work out. Once I had Stella I woke up at 5:30 so I would be prepared for the day before she woke up. Emery was born and she was my 5:30 alarm! Heck, she was my 5:00 alarm for the longest time. Just within the last few months has she slept past 5:30 on a consistent basis. I thought to myself, maybe I should try working out again at 5:30. When I further evaluated my mornings I knew this was not possible without waking up someone in the house. I decided I needed to wake up at 5:00 to accomplish things I always wanted to do, but had yet tried to do.

For the last month I have woken up at 5:00 and have done the following 4 things consistently before leaving for work:

#1- Deep Breaths

I start by taking 30 deep breaths. My mind easily moves towards the list of things ahead of me for the day, I try to rope those anxious thoughts back to my deep breaths. This step is the hardest for me. I have tried off and on for years to meditate. I probably won’t master this task ever, but I would like to get better.

#2- Tibetan Rites

I move to my yoga mat in my dimly lit workout room. I complete the 5 Tibetan Rites. I first learned of these movements from the yoga instructor I had in Fargo, Andrea Paradise. Like meditation, I have done these “exercises” off and on. They seem to give my body an oomph of energy to get the day started. Supposedly, these 5 exercises are going to keep me young. *wink* I would like to find a good book to explain this theory more. I figure, if I don’t get exercise into my daily schedule, I at least moved my body for 10 minutes. With these movements I also complete a few yoga moves to stretch my body out of its tired and tight feeling- sun salutations, cat and cow and child’s pose.

#3- Prayer & Journal

This next step is the one I am most proud of. I grab my journal and I write prayers to God for 5-10 minutes. I tell him things I am thankful for from the previous day. I ask him to guide the people that surround me, to love them, to be with them during times of hardship. I take a minute to read a page out of one of my devotionals. This forces me to take God into my day in a way other than what I believe I need help with. He gives me something to focus on in his own way.

#4- H2O

I drink 4- 8 ounce cups of water before I leave the house. This is half of what my goal is each day to drink. I find once I get to work it is difficult to drink water.

I have completed these things each week day for the past 4 weeks. The weekends throw me off, but I do find myself yearning for them and come Sunday evening I look forward to waking up Monday morning to head to my space. I use my Bedtime alarm on my iPhone to alert me to go to bed so I get 8 hours of sleep and be awake by 5:00. I love the feeling of accomplishing goals. I hope this is a routine I can keep up with. Dark winter mornings are hard on me mentally, I hope this brings some light to my routine.

A Bear & Her Cubs

So…we saw a bear on the way to work yesterday morning by my house. It was in the middle of the road and hopped into the brush as we drove closer to it. So I know they are around our “neighborhood” yet. A friend and I decided to go for a walk tonight. We decide to not grab our phones, literally talked about the bears we hear are still around, and go on our merry way. It was a pleasant walk. Great company. Beautiful view. No bugs. Perfect temperature. On the way back, not a mile from my house, just up the road from where we are walking a momma bear crosses the road…and so do 4 cubs! I would not say we panicked, but we definitely didn’t know what to do. Do we walk back to the house we just passed and ask to use their phone? Do we continue on our walk? Do we run? No! We don’t run, that’s totally what one doesn’t do when they see bear, right!?!? Or…not!?!? We start to walk. We pass some horses and they don’t seem to be “normal”. Are they trying to tell us something? We hear something. We stop. We finally see a car. We feel better. I hear something else. It’s a pileated woodpecker. We walk more. We hear something else. We see a deer. We see another car, and another. *sigh, we are ok* We decide to run…not our intention for the evening, but yeah, we want to see our children. We want to see our happy, or whiney children…we just want to live to see our children. We keep looking behind us, no sign of the bear. We stop running. We are home. We survived. We may not go for a walk down that road again without the fear of seeing a bear and her cubs, and for sure, we won’t leave our phones behind again. Lesson learned. Next time, I hope we see more turtles!

Janet.

I got myself out for a walk/run tonight as it was absolutely gorgeous out. Just enough breeze, enough sun left and a quiet road all to myself. I had Janet (Jackson) on tonight. I was about ready to switch it up when Black Cat came on, you know, the music video where she is wearing a white button down shirt and black pants on stage? Who knew that classic combo could be so rock n roll? Oh yeah, there was the black bra too! Maybe not so classic? Or maybe so *wink* Rhythm Nation was one of the first cassette tapes I owned. In fact, when I listened to that song tonight I was expecting to here the “glitch” on the song that my cassette tape used to have because I listened to the song so often!

Here are my top 10 Favorites:

1. Black Cat, that guitar solo!

2. That’s The Way Love Goes

3. Escapade (hello, Minneapolis!)

4. If (I once requested the song on the radio station as an 11 year old, boy did the DJ have fun asking me if I knew what the song meant… *blushing, I only slightly had an idea* *dying laughing*

5. Rhythm Nation, what a great dance sequence. Talk about an iconic video.

6. Scream, not enough credit for this sister/brother duo. The words still speak to me today. Full of complete emotion. And her hair cut in the video, awesome and edgy.

7. Got Til It’s Gone with Q-Tip (remember when he played her boyfriend in Poetic Justice before she met Tupac?) He has such a unique voice. This album was underrated. There was such an underground and groovy sound to it. Possibly a favorite of mine.

8. Love Will Never Do Without You, the deepness of her voice was so surprising to me when I heard this the first time.

9. Again.

10. All Night, possibly my last favorite of hers to come out.

Stepping IT up a Notch

I have shared a few times that I have been a Tracy Anderson Method fan when it comes to exercising. I learned about her so many years ago. At least 10 years ago I imagine. I follow her on Instagram to remain motivated to work out and when I visited LA for a work conference a year ago, I made it a point to attend one of the classes at her studio there. It was amazing. Hearing the loud music, walking on her bounce floor and going through the exercises with her trainers that were like second nature to me, it was a high I can not explain.

Even with all of this love I have for her and her program, I found myself in an exercise rut. I needed to try something new. I ran into Mom’s Into Fitness when I was pregnant with Stella, our first child. This was prior to Tracy Anderson coming out with her 9 months of pregnancy videos. I was following MIF on Instagram too; I need all of the motivation I can get. I decided to order her 8 week program, Pretty Fierce. I remained dedicated and completed the program. I tried to not step on the scale too often throughout the 8 weeks. I wanted to see how I felt rather than what the numbers said. I didn’t change my eating habits much, but tried to be more mindful. After the 8 weeks I weighed a couple of pounds less, lost a couple of inches between my thighs and waist and could see more definition of muscle forming with my arms, abs and legs. A win for me.

I read some reviews of the MIF fitness program, Pretty Fierce Lean Out, and found that women had stronger results with this program. I took a week off from working out and jumped back on the bandwagon tonight. My arms are shaking while I type this post. Here we go again! May God help me stay motivated as I throughly enjoy the workout shakes! This makes me happy, just one more thing I am strengthening. *smile*

Friday Favorites: Fighting through It

Last night all I wanted to do was go to bed. Things had to be done though. Preparing for the next day, for the weekend events and THE workout. The kids went to bed, speaking of fighting…they fought that one, but down they finally went. Once the clothes were folded this mama put on her workout gear. Glutes, quads and hamstrings were conquered. The sweat always feels good, but what’s even better? That stretch and breath when it is finished. I have 1.25 weeks of this Pretty Fierce Workout, I will win this fight! Get those workout clothes on and get your sweat on!

Friday Fun Fact: this shirt was given to me in Kindergarten when I lived in Bismarck to celebrate 100 years. Talk about True Vintage!

Mid week motivation: Commitment

“Motivation is what gets you started, Commitment is what keeps you going.”

It is very easy for me to fall off of the workout train, even though I thoroughly enjoy working out. Once I take more than a day off from a workout regimen I have a hard time staying on track. This poster has been taped to my workout mirror since January. I have ebbed and flowed with working out since the first of the year. Mom’s Into Fitness’ Pretty Fierce Workout program is 8 weeks long. I am 4.5 weeks in and this is the first week I am feeling blah. Thankfully it is more of a “rest” week. I had to alter the week from her recommendation due to missing two workouts last week. I am committed to completing each workout that she has scheduled. Looking ahead to the next few weeks I should be able to stay on track for the most part. Thankfully most of the workouts are less than 30 minutes. This makes it hard to say “no” to.

My take-always from this so far:

Keep a motivational quote in plain sight. I see it when I get ready in the morning and when I come home from work. It is a constant reminder that it is commitment on my part.

30 minutes is better than none. Tracy Anderson’s workouts can be dwindled down some, but for her full effectiveness she recommends an hour, this is not easily attainable with my current lifestyle which is why I am trying something new.

Look ahead to each week and determine when the workouts will be best fit in.

If I need a rest day, be mindful of this and honor it. I was getting headaches multiple times a day in February and part of March. Since beginning this program I have hardly had one. It is amazing.

I can’t wait to complete this session and see where my measurements are. My eating habits have not been superb, but I will continue to work on that as well.

Here is to finishing strong!