Do You Plan For This?

The new year brings resolutions to finally go to the gym regularly and to get your health in order.  It’s no surprise to you to hear that the vast majority of those resolutions are dropped by spring (or even late January, early February!) — but why?

I truly believe it is planning.  It’s the exact reason why my exercise routine goes dormant, and it’s probably why yours does too.  It’s tough to change our habits and routines, and most of all, it’s hard to fit one more thing into our schedule.  Don’t you agree?

That’s the thing.  If it’s not on your schedule, it’s not going to get done.  Do you have your exercise, whether it be walking, jogging, yoga, dance, a workout at the gym — is it on your schedule?  Is there a time for it, where you know that time is carved out?

If not, fit it into your schedule this week.  Make it achievable — if you’re slammed at work this week, write in a 15-minute walk on your lunch break.  Don’t give up altogether because you don’t have an hour and a half to hit the gym.  Good luck!

What Are Your Goals

What is your biggest goal for 2018?

Are you finally going to train for that 5k you’ve had your eye on?

Do you finally want to finish renovating your basement?

Do you hope to take a class to learn something new?

What is it?  What do you hope to achieve in 2018?

Leave a comment below and let me know.

I can’t wait to read each of your goals!

My top 3 goals for 2018 are:

  1.  Running my first marathon
  2.  Decluttering my home
  3.  Completing the Horrible Hundred bike ride

Remember, goals are inspiring and wonderful to have, but if you don’t have a plan to implement them – you may end up a statistic that sputters out by the end of January.  So not only do I want you to dream up your goals for 2018, be sure you think of ways to make these goals manageable and sustainable… so that you can achieve success and reach your goals this time around.  Best of luck!

Ways to Finally Create an Exercise Habit That Lasts

Our New Year’s Resolutions — we say them with the best of intentions. We may even begin delving into them, trying to better our lives. Then it happens. Somewhere around February or March, everything peters out, and you realize you’ve yet again fumbled your resolutions. So before your resolution to prioritize your health gets put on the back burner again, let’s talk about some ways to make your resolution to exercise more stick this year!

You need a ritual. It is said it takes three weeks to make or break a habit. So for the next three weeks, create a routine that is ritualistic around that exercise. Do it at the same time every single day. For example, maybe every day after you eat lunch, take a 10-minute walk around your office building. You can build from there but creating that good exercise habit is what’s going to make it stick. Also, who doesn’t want to get away from their desk for 10 minutes, right?

Start simple. If you focus on something smaller, chances are you’ll be more willing to take more significant steps toward your goal. So say you decide you’ll do 2 minutes of squats at your desk while you’re on hold. Guess what? You’ll be more likely to exceed 2 minutes. And you’ll be even more likely to keep doing it every day. Keep coming back. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest, and objects in motion tend to stay in motion. This is the law of kinetic energy. By this logic, if you keep yourself moving and driving yourself to stay active without missing your exercise, you will keep doing it.

Build your exercise habit. Once you make it as necessary in your mind as those other habits you have, you’ll find that you can’t miss it. Developing a lasting exercise habit is so vital for our health and well-being. If you take the time to nurture this ritual each day, you’ll find that you won’t want to miss your exercise.

What’s your favorite type of exercise? I love to run, walk, ride my bicycle, and do yoga.

Lessons Learned

What I learned after reflecting on an 11 mile bike ride yesterday

yoga for runnersOn Saturday I ran almost 5 miles in the morning and then about biked 10 miles in the afternoon.  On Sunday I did a 50 minute yoga workout before an 11 mile bike ride.  If you follow me on social media, you know that when I finish a workout I generally will post a picture with the details on social media websites including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.  After yesterday’s 11 mile bike ride I didn’t.  I felt awful.  I was moody, hungry, and achy.  I just wanted to eat, go home, and rest.   I wasn’t happy with my ride and didn’t want to share something that I was embarrassed about.  I learned a few very valuable lessons.

I should have known to eat more before biking.

I should have biked less or maybe later in the day.

Maybe I should have just rested.

Saying no is hard.

Pretending to be something I am not isn’t going to inspire anyone.

The first time I biked over the bridge was dreadful.  I couldn’t make it all the way and had to stop and walk the last part.  That really put me in a bad mood for nearly all of the bike ride.  I was disappointed in myself.  The worst part was that I know I’d have to go back over it to get back to our truck so we could go home.  UGH.  Well after biking some more on the Cross Seminole Trail I made it back to the bridge.  I was tired.  I was at the end of an 11 mile ride and this bridge was standing in the way of me getting to my truck and going home.  I started up the bridge and began praying Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

I can do everything

I repeated that verse many times as I went up that bridge.  I remember looking down on my bike computer to see my pace while going up the hill and it was showing about 3 mph.  My average pace is around 10 miles per hour.  I was still biking and I was almost at the top.  Well my dear friends I made it up the bridge without getting off my bike.  I rolled down the other side of the bridge and within a few minutes I was at my truck and had a snack and more water.  It wasn’t pretty at all and it was slow, but I biked up the bridge.  I begged God to help me finish the bike ride and He did.

bike stats

In hindsight I should have declined the invitation to go bike riding, or at least rescheduled it for a little later in the day.  It is hard for me to say no to things that I want to do.  It was a bad idea for me to bike without eating sufficiently – I only had a smoothie for breakfast and that was a few hours before the ride and after a 50 minute yoga workout.  I grabbed a very small snack right before we left but it was less than 100 calories and simply not enough.  I could have really hurt myself just because I wasn’t thinking about the whole picture.

That ride also taught me to trust God more.  He helped me finish that bike ride.  He helps me with  tasks every day.  I just need to ask and be more aware of His presence.  I also need to do my part when asking for His help.  I need to be aware of my choices and make decisions that support my goals.

I am posting my workout stats from yesterday’s bike ride in hopes that it will inspire someone.  Ironically my pace was just under 10 mph which is my average pace.  My perspective of my ride was negative because of my first experience with the bridge.  I let that one small part of the ride affect my feelings about how the ride went.  The ride was more than about the stats.  It was about the time spent with my husband & time spent in nature.   While the stats can help me see how I am trending from a training perspective they are not the only thing to look at.  This ride taught me a lot that simply wasn’t in the data.

Health & happiness,


Discover Movement You Enjoy

Daniel Plan Essentials Series Fitness Week 2

daniel plan essentials cover fitness

sittingThe topic for session 2 is Discover Movement You Enjoy.  This is very important because if you don’t like the exercise you are doing then you probably won’t continue to do it.  It should be part of your lifestyle, not just something to do to help you lose weight.   In the past people were more active and didn’t need to schedule exercise.  They moved a lot while working and caring for their families.  Now many are sedentary.  Sitting has become the new smoking.  For those that have sedentary jobs, myself included, we need to get up and move every hour or so.  Setting a reminder on your computer or phone can help you remember to get up and move for a few minutes.  You can stand up & stretch for a minute or 2 then sit back down.  Taking the stairs, not the elevator & parking further away and walking can help lessen the effects of sitting a lot during the day.  These steps will add up!  I also like to use my breaks and lunch do walk some and walk my dogs a few times a day.  That movement is in addition to my regular workout of running or dancing to CIZE in the morning.   I am trying to decide what workout to start in January.  I think I will get back to adding strength training with running–maybe ChaLEAN Extreme or a new program The Master’s Hammer & Chisel.  That program will be available next week…I might be buying an early Christmas gift for myself 🙂

Exercise can be fun!  It should be considered PLAY 🙂  Below is an acronym that was mentioned in the reading and video.

  • Isaiah 40_31Prayerful movements.  Ask for strength during your workout or to start a workout.  You can even reflect on a verse while walking, running, or doing another exercise.
  • Lengthening.  Hold different stretches for 30 seconds.
  • Aerobic Activity.  Do jumping jacks or another movement that raises your heart rate.
  • Youthful Strength Training.  Do a bodyweight exercise.  There are many that can be done in the workplace.  This is one I found on Pinterest that has several options.

Set a goals for yourself this week.  Make sure it is SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound.  We all have different abilities and interests.  What are your goals?

The food tip of the week was to make spa water by adding in fruit and ice to a pitcher of water.  I drink a lot of water plain but this can be helpful when you want something a little different.  What fruits do you add to your water?  Do you have any recipes to share?

The fitness move of the week was to use the stairs to get more fit.  A few examples of workouts included pumping arms while going up the stairs, going up the stairs laterally  and squatting at each step, and lunging up the stairs.  Think about how much stronger your legs will be by adding in a few of these recommendations each day.

The Bible verse I am memorizing this week is “You made my body, Lord; now gPsalm 119_73ive me sense to heed your laws.” – Psalm 119:73

Share the exercises you are doing this week and if you’ve tried anything new.

Health & happiness,



God’s Power, Not Willpower

Daniel Plan Essentials Series Faith Week 3

daniel plan essentials cover Faith

The topic for week 3 is God’s power, not willpower.  We learn from our mistakes and struggles.  The video was discussed our need to not just ask God for help with difficult tasks, but to also do the work.  I see this in my fitness journey.  While God has given me strength to run longer distances than I ever thought possible, I’ve had to make running part of my routine.  I cannot expect to get better at something that I don’t work on at all.  I go running to help improve my ability in this area.

The video also included 3 steps to harness God’s power:

  1. Ask for God’s help
  2. Believe He will meet your needs
  3. Make it an ongoing process

By asking God for help we are admitting that we cannot do it alone.  We must also have faith that he will provide for us.  By asking for his help frequently throughout the day we are building our relationship with Him.  This isn’t something to do once a day or once a week.  This should be done many times throughout the day.

week 3 dpThe Bible verse I am studying this week is “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3:17-19

The food tip of the week is something I feel is very important-rainbow eating.  We need to eat a variety of colors to get different nutrients.  The recipe that was shared was for a quinoa salad, something I have made a few times.  It is a dish that you can adjust to suit what vegetables are in season and is delicious.

The fitness move of the week was meant to help with an afternoon slump.  I cannot wait to try this stretching routine and see how much it perks me up.

I hope you all have an amazing week.  Be Daniel Strong!

Health and happiness,


Decluttering week 5 (or not)

Last week I didn’t do any of the declutter assignments.  There were many reasons, primarily illness and other priorities.  I was able to keep up with most of the progress I’ve made just didn’t work through any more. Sometimes things do come up in life and we must decide what is more important.  For me last week’s focus wasn’t decluttering.

Every day, really every hour and every minute, we must decide what is the best use of our time. It isn’t always easy to make that choice and we must live with the consequences. As I look back maybe I could have taken 15 minutes and work on a kitchen or bathroom cabinet.  I could have ventured into my closet again.  But I didn’t.  It will be okay.  I will live with my decision to do other things and get back to decluttering.

I did start doing ChaLEAN Extreme again and ran a 5k on 3/7.

I started setting up and advertising a new challenge group called Fit and Lean 30 Day Challenge and was busy adding new members to the Daniel Plan group.  I accomplished a lot even if I didn’t stick to my plan.

Amazing Results

ChaLEAN Extreme and Running

It’s been a while since I’ve written…I’ve been working on other pages but slacking when it comes to blogging. Trying to balance all of my responsibilities can be challenging. I am starting to develop a plan to better manage my time and to enjoy my life more fully. I don’t have to do everything. I can say no. I need to prioritize. It’s okay if the laundry doesn’t get put away today. They’ll be more laundry tomorrow:)

I wanted to share my progress with ChaLEAN Extreme-it’s been a month since I started it. I’ve been doing the workouts 3 days a week because I’m jogging 3 days a week too. The results I’ve gotten have been amazing

ChaLEAN Extreme progress
I’ve not lost any weight but I’ve gotten rid of several inches-1 inch from my waist and hips, 1/2 inch from each arm, and about 1 from each thigh. No wonder so many people are noticing my curves. I really am happy with my current size and am just focusing on toning now. This year has been amazing. I am in better shape now than I’ve been in decades. And the best part is how I feel. I am more confident and less achy. I am stronger and healthier. I’m a runner. I am a better version of me.

I’m working on my plans for 2015 and will be sharing them with you. Let’s encourage each other on our journeys. We will make 2015 a great year but don’t forget to finish 2014 strong!

Keep at it!

My couch to 5k progress

Just a few months ago I started a couch to 5k program and have made great strides. When I started the plan I ran for 1-2 minutes then walked some and repeated that several times. Now I can jog for 30 minutes straight. I don’t jog very fast yet but I’m going to keep at it and increase my distance too. I am walking a 5k next weekend – there isn’t a running option- and am looking for one to run in November or December. It hasn’t been easy to work up to this point but I kept at it.


I’ve also been doing ChaLEAN Extreme workouts 3 to 4 days a week and am really enjoying them. For me alternating the workouts is doable; I don’t have time to do both in one day. Find an exercise that you like to do and do it a few days a week. Find the time and add to it over time. Maybe start walking 15 minutes 3 days a week. In a few weeks maybe you could walk 20 or 25 minutes 3 to 4 days a week. Build up slowly and keep at it. Do it for you and your health. You can do it!