On setting the bar low

IMG_5185December is almost over, and I’m just now writing an update on November… yep, sounds about right. Ha! Let’s be honest, the main reason January is full of resolutions and goal setting is because we let EVERYTHING go in December. It also helps us make great progress in January since we often set the bar so low the month before. Not that I’m suggesting one should do that, of course…

For November, my 40 x 40 goal was a gratitude journal, and it went as well as a gratitude journal can go. I definitely learned something about myself, which is that while I might have more to pull from at the end of the day, in terms of reflecting on things to be grateful for, I also FORGET TO DO IT ALL THE TIME. Once I switched it to be a part of my morning routine, I was far more consistent. I also decided it’s something I want to continue, so I’ve kept it going in December. However, it’s getting trickier to come up with original gratitudes every day, which I think is going to make it even more effective in terms of helping me dig deep to find joy, so I’m up for the challenge.

Originally, I had some ideas for the month of December that would be super fun, but I decided to keep it simple because a) some months of this year-long challenge have been quite pricey, and December is already an expensive month , and b) December is also a crazy busy month (some of if self-inflicted), and I didn’t think it was realistic or kind to myself to try to take on anything too time-consuming. Since this challenge is all about self-improvement, when I think about December, I think about FRAZZLED and sometimes distracted from the spiritual significance of Advent, so I chose something that would help me focus on spiritual growth.

Last year, Mike and I did the She (and He) Reads Truth Advent studies, and I really loved doing something that was not only Advent-focused, but also was solely Scripture for a change. I love a good devotional book as much as the next girl, but there’s something really powerful about honing in on the sacred text during this holy month. So I decided to pick the study back up again. One cool thing about doing the same one as last year was seeing my notes from last year. At this point last year, we were going through one of the hardest seasons ever as a family, and, wow, it’s really hard to read some of the processing I was doing at that time. But it’s also incredibly encouraging to see how far God has brought us. He was truly faithful to carry us through, and while I still have some hard soul work to go in terms of forgiveness and healing, it was gratifying to see the progress and transformation that  has already occurred.

So for the rest of this year, I’ll continue with my gratitude journal, spending time in the Bible, and also doing some reading up for January’s goal. Here’s a hint of what’s to come:

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“See you” in 2019!

 

Advent Activity Calendar (alternatively titled, the tradition your kids won’t let you quit)

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Once upon a time, I had a family blog. You know, the kind where you post daily pictures of your cute kids and chronicle their every move, even when they’re too little to do much of anything. It got overwhelming, and I got behind. Then add in a crazy woman in another country stalking my kids online, and I promptly pulled the plug.

But that also means that some of my favorite posts are no longer accessible, and one in particular that I get a lot of questions about is our family’s tradition of an Advent activity calendar. So I decided to do an updated post. Give the people (all five of them) what they want, right?

But first, a disclaimer. If you are the parent of littles, now is your chance to close your browser, back away slowly and pour another cup of coffee as you take deep breaths and give thanks that you dodged a bullet. Because here’s the truth: this is a lot of work. And once you start it, your kids will NEVER LET YOU QUIT. Why? Because it’s FUN. And it’s memories and traditions and LOTS of hot chocolate. Ha! Also, if you’re a parent of littles, PLEASE give yourself a break and just a pat on the back if you manage to even get up a tiny tree with all the ornaments on the top half, or wrap one present this year. Because littles.

In all seriousness though, I’m truly thankful I started this tradition for a lot of reasons. For one, I had kids 12 months apart. So much of their early years is a total blur for me. But I remember so much about the memories we created in December.  And I’m certain if I hadn’t started this tradition when they were young, there would be a lot this overly sentimental girl would look back on and regret that I didn’t do.

Also, I’m a do-er. I’m a check-the-list-off and THEN we can have fun kind of girl. So sometimes I need to put the fun ON the list. And let’s be honest, I’m happiest when there’s a plan.

One more disclaimer: If you’re like me and you like a plan, you also have to recognize that when it comes to KIDS and DECEMBER, you have to be flexible with that plan. Sickness, bad weather, even the bah humbugs, can all intervene and throw off the plan. A couple of pro tips for building flexibility in your activities:

  • Make a spreadsheet. I suggest Google Sheets, that way you can share your spreadsheet with your partner. Save each year’s list as a separate sheet so you can see what you did in previous years and not always reinvent the wheel.
  • Write the activities on sticky notes that you insert inside your calendar. That way you can easily edit the plan when life happens. Because, it will.

And one last pro tip: When you’re creating your list of activities, pull out your family calendar and include anything you were already going to do. Adding “while sipping hot chocolate” to ANY activity makes it an Advent activity.  Addressing Christmas cards sounds like a chore? Add in hot chocolate (or listening to Christmas music if you’re afraid of spills on those lovely envelopes that you most definitely spelled your loved ones’ names WITHOUT using apostrophes). Buying gifts for charity? Get your kids involved and put it on the list! Your kids will love getting to pick out toys for other kids, even if they also use it as an opportunity to try to sneak in last minute additions to their own Santa list.

Okay, without further ado, here is a list of things we’re either doing this year or have done in previous years (with pictures from the somewhat recent past):

Town tree lighting
Make treats for Christmas party
Volunteer as a family (for us, this is with our favorite nonprofit)
Record a Christmas single (for the musically inclined)
Read all the Christmas books we own (We add a new one to the collection every year. This is becoming an epic night of reading – ha!)

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Open one Christmas present (we do family Christmas PJs)
Send Christmas cards to all our friends while sipping hot chocolate
Jingle Jam (church activity)
Make Christmas ornaments (we love these cinnamon ones)
Eat a red and green dinner (older kids can get in on the planning and cooking!)
Make Christmas cards for our community helpers (we attach candy canes!)

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They say this is one of their favorite Advent traditions, and I would think they were trying to sound pious, except they embrace it with such gusto. My favorites this year (2015) were Lily’s little fireman casually putting out a fire while someone is trapped upstairs and saying, “I love this job.”  😳😁😂 Second favorite: “Dear grocer, thanks for letting us buy food.”

Go buy presents for Advent Giving Tree
Do a Christmas craft with grandma (or babysitter)
Evening in Bethlehem (church activity)
Have a family dance party with Christmas music

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Christmas caroling with the neighbors
Drive around and look at Christmas lights with peppermint shakes
Make a winter wonderland window
Go take Christmas picture in your Christmas dresses (the collection of these photos is my FAVORITE Christmas decoration)

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Watch a Christmas movie (either as a family, or on the ipad in their rooms – bonus: Mom and Dad date night in!)
Make a gingerbread house
Attend a Living Nativity

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Read the Christmas story and make a video acting it out with the nativity set
Roast marshmallows in the fireplace
Make Christmas cookies for the neighbors

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Deliver Christmas cookies
Surprise family sleepover by the tree (I don’t put this one on the calendar, but we put the girls to bed, and then bust into their room… It’s always a hit!)

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Make cookies for Santa
Make a Happy Birthday Jesus cake

If you’ve got any ideas to add, I’d love to hear them! Happy Advent activity-ing!

P.S. Feeling overwhelmed by Christmas anyway and thinking there’s no way you could do this? Here’s something to remember.

Words

IMG_4590“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall.” – Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

It’s not always the TV,  but it is often a screen of sorts, whether my laptop or phone, that keeps me from reading like I want to, and like, as a writer — and heck, a person — I know I should. So I really loved my October 40×40 challenge of reading twice a day. Each morning I read from a few different devotional books and Scripture. And each evening, I read from one of several books I’m reading. I finished a few, and got a lot further in a few more, and I have high hopes of finishing the massive stack by my bed before the end of the year… If I do, it will be the most books I’ve read as an adult in such a short amount of time, and I can’t think of a better way to begin the wrap-up of my last decade in my thirties.

A few things I’ve learned about myself: I enjoy reading more than one book at a time, but only one per genre, and no more than two or three at one time. So I enjoy having a non-fiction book on life or parenting, a captivating fictional book, and a devotional or theological book all going at the same time. I also discovered, thanks to my girls and their reading bowl assignments, a love for middle grade books!

Picking up a book instead of my phone at bedtime did wonders for my mental health as well, so I’m really trying to continue this habit… It’s amazing the allure that social media or even catching up on the news can have for me, but it’s also amazing how much my brain, heart and soul come alive when I allow carefully chosen and edited words to enter my psyche instead of the often hastily chosen or painfully rendered words and stories du jour.

As I continue to pour words into my world with books, my November challenge flips that with a goal to also daily pour out words — words of gratitude. I’ve started a gratitude journal with the goal of not repeating, or resorting to the obvious. October was hard for me, emotionally and spiritually, as I reflected back on the events of October 2017 that sent me spiraling, so I’m once again doing the hard work of digging in to find the beauty among the ashes.

While part of me is terrified that this challenge may end without me hitting my ultimate goal of 40 lbs gone, I am beyond thankful for the work that God has done in my heart and mind as I have embraced challenges that I pray are making me a better reflection of Him and a truer version of who He made me to be. Now excuse me while I go write that last sentence down in my gratitude journal…

With a dreamy far-off look, and her nose stuck in a book…

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When I started the 40 x 40 challenge back in April, I had two main goals: make the last year in my 30s really count by taking on some self-improvement goals and fulfilling some bucket list wishes, and get to my goal weight (40 lbs from where I was in April).

I wish I could report back that I’m making progress on that second goal, but since I’ve pledged to be open on this journey, I have to share that I have not made nearly the progress I had hoped at this point. I have not given up on the end goal, and never will, but I just have to be honest about where I am right now. I’ve got a great plan and wonderful support, but at the end of the day, I’m at the mercy of my own decisions each and every day.

However, I am plugging away at my monthly goals and really enjoying the unique challenges I’ve given myself each month. And now that October is finally upon us (although still no sign of the actual fall weather I’ve been told is supposed to accompany the month), it’s time for a new challenge! Every day in October, I’m committing to reading both the Bible/a devotional and also reading at least one chapter a day in a just-for-pleasure book. Ideally, I’m reading the Bible in the morning, and a book in the evening, but I’m not being legalistic on the timing. You wouldn’t think these two tasks would be very hard for someone whose ACTUAL PAID JOB is to WRITE SPIRITUAL THINGS, but alas, physician, heal thyself.

I’m a week into this challenge, and this is probably the one monthly goal that I will attempt to continue long-term. Reading my Bible and/or a devotional is something I do try to prioritize, but in all honesty, my consistency ebbs and wanes with each phase and season of life. Committing to every single day for a month I hope will help me carve out the space for that in my current phase of life. Currently I’m reading three different devotionals — all with a different theme — in the morning. They’re all very short, but each of them starts with a Scripture and ends with a prayer, and it’s so cool how every day, at least one of them hits me between the eyes.

But reading for pleasure is a hobby that I often fail to do, save vacations. Not only do I thoroughly love reading, it is also something that can better both my person and my career, so making it a regular part of my daily rhythm is something I’m aiming to continue as I roll into the next decade.

I just finished Crazy Rich Asians this weekend (really fun!), and I’ve started Matylda Bright and Tender, one of my daughters’ book team books. I’m hoping to read a few of their book team books pretty quickly so I can talk about them with my girls, and then move back in to the massive pile of books beside my bed (pictured above). They’re a mix of fiction, spiritual, parenting and self-improvement, so I’m planning to rotate between fiction and non-fiction. The best part about that picture is that I’ve purchased most of these during the last year, while I had supposedly put myself on a book-buying hiatus. Apparently I’m a book hoarder, not a book reader. Aiming to change that.

I’ll report back in November with all the books I’ve read… if you’ve got any “must reads” let me know. Actually, don’t. I’m on a book-buying hiatus, you see.

On flexibility, kindness, secret goals and scary ones

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I tracked each act of kindness during the month, but only took one picture — the first day, of course. Ha! I sent in these fun little clipboard note pads and Sharpie pens for the girls’ teachers on their first day of class.

I’m learning a lot about myself, and also about goal setting and flexibility, during this personal challenge of mine.

1.) If I’m setting a goal to do something every day, I will likely not hit it. However, I will for sure do the thing more often than if I had never set the goal in the first place. I saw this most on my Acts of Kindness challenge in August.

2.) If I’m setting a goal to do something ONE day, I’m setting myself up for potential failure, i.e., planning to swim with the dolphins on the very last day we were in Florida in July and having the weather intervene in my plan.

3.) I’m okay with both scenarios, even if it’s disappointing to not hit my goal, as long as my intention is there and best efforts have been made. That might mean I’m not quite as much of a perfectionist as I used to be, which I personally consider growth.

But, yes, August’s Acts of Kindness challenge was much harder than I anticipated. I probably only succeeded about 75% of the time. And about a third of the time that I was actually successful, I had to resort to sending encouragement to friends via text, because I work from home and sometimes don’t see people, other than my own kids, during the week! Those kids were the recipients of some of the acts of kindness too, but I’m sure they didn’t mind being part of this particular project. Ha!

Even though I didn’t hit every single day, and some days I felt like I cheated the system a bit, I did love how intentional it made me with finding someone to encourage most days. While I can’t regularly afford some of the acts of kindness that required money, I can for sure embrace that intentionality of texting/calling/sending notes to friends more often “just because.”

Now it’s officially September, and with it comes a new goal! This one I’m gonna have to keep to myself, because as much as I like to be an open book, I have certain areas I like to keep a little closer to the vest. 😉 Let’s just say it has to do with my marriage, and we’ll leave it at that. 🙂

However, since I can’t reveal September’s challenge, I CAN give you a sneak peek into February’s challenge, because it’s something I’ll have to start working toward in just a few weeks… It’s by far the scariest and most intimidating of all the monthly challenges I’ve taken on. I knew it was going to be on my list the minute I started making that list beach-side in March, but I haven’t wanted to say it out loud because, well, then YOU HAVE TO ACTUALLY DO IT. But, then I signed up for it, and when you spend that much money on something, YOU HAVE TO ACTUALLY DO IT, so I figure I’m already committed.

<Drum roll>

I’m going to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon!

Eeeeeek!

I realize for many people, this is not a big deal, but it sure is for me. I’ve been a casual runner for a few years, but that is with all the emphasis on CASUAL, and very little on runner. Of course, I work out 5-6 days a week, but running… well, it’s safe to say I’m not gonna win any medals for that ever. But I do believe I can run it, and I’m excited to have the goal to work toward. Wait, let’s try that again with more honesty. I’m excited to reach the end of the goal, aka, the finish line. Ha!

I’ve got an incredibly supportive husband, who not only participated in my “dry May” month, but has also signed up to run the half with me. So it will be great to have a partner in crime for the long runs especially.

However, brace yourself for a lot of red-faced #sweatyselfies in which I curse myself for this dang challenge.

Is it March 2019 yet?!

When life hands you lemons instead of dolphins

I seem to be getting later and later with these monthly updates. Ha! The delay on this one in particular might have something to do with the fact that it was a bit of a fail.

One of my lifelong dreams has been to swim with the dolphins. They’ve been my favorite animal since I was a kid, and to experience them in the wild sounds so dreamy. I specifically was looking for a business with a good reputation of not disturbing the dolphins or enticing them with food, and I found one in Panama City. It was going to be perfect, as we were down in Destin, just an hour away, to serve at a Lighthouse Family Retreat in July.

However, when we arrived for our four-hour excursion, we found out that the wind was rough, and small water craft were not permitted on the open water. Boooooo. It looked like we were doomed to drive back home with sad faces, until they offered a second option. We could boat over to a nearby deserted island and explore, find sea shells and creatures, etc. When they agreed to reimbursing us half our money and just taking us on a two-hour ride instead of the four, we decided to take the plunge.

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The masks made their faces look so funny — like a blobfish, which happens to be one of Lily’s favorite animals!

Our captain was named Amelia, not to be confused with our daughter Amelia, who also fancies herself a captain at times. Captain Amelia was great—totally chill and friendly, and I think she enjoyed our girls’ enthusiasm. Lily in particular was thrilled to find all manner of sea creatures, including sea urchins, whelks, crabs and sting rays. And the best part was that two dolphins must have heard about our disappointment, and as we motored over to the island, they approached our boat! We stopped and they stayed and greeted us, even popping up out of the water once to say hi. It. was. so. cool. I can only imagine how magical it will be one day to actually get to swim with them, but for now, it was enough.

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We will have to find another option sometime before April for me to fully check this goal off the list, but I am thankful for the fun adventure we had as a family that we never would have experienced were it not for my 40 x 40 challenge. I’m thankful for the fun things it has already brought to my life this year!

Which brings me to August… this month is different, in that unlike my goals so far, it’s not about me. This is my Random Act of Kindness month, where I attempt a RAK every day. It’s been harder than I anticipated, mostly because as a work-from-home mom, I don’t always SEE people to do nice things. Ha! Sometimes I find myself at 10:30 p.m. wondering what I’m going to do, and either texting a friend to see how they’re doing, or reflecting back on my day to see if I did anything randomly nice that could count. Haha! Thankfully, there’s usually something, which kind of feels like cheating, but also makes me realize I’m not a terrible person. 😉

Regarding my weight loss goals, this summer was a wash. Which, on one hand, is frustrating, since I still have so much to lose. On the other hand, every summer in the past, I’ve always gained a lot. We travel so much, and it’s the season of birthdays in our family, so there’s a lot of indulging. Honestly, just to have maintained this summer is a pretty big victory. But now, to turn it around and get into weight loss mode again… Girl’s got GOALS, y’all!

What I learned about myself while surrounded by 20,000 people

June. That was a month.

I have several reasons for my 40×40 challenge, but one of the main purposes is to finally get to my goal weight after years of improving my health through nutrition and fitness. After seeing lots of progress in late April and May, sadly in June, I took a few steps back. All the travel and a good deal of stress took its toll—I didn’t always make the best choices, but also I saw the effect that stress has on my weight loss. I definitely hold on to the weight when I’m holding on to anxiety. Duly noted.

So I’ve spent the last few days getting back to some good mental health practices as well as tightening up my nutrition again, and I’m back to my lowest since starting the 2B Mindset in February. There is more travel to come this month, and #becauselife, I know there’s more stress to come, but I’m hoping to take what I learned in June and apply it to July so I can make some progress toward that big number!

My monthly challenge in June was to attend Summit, the annual conference Beachbody hosts for all the coaches, where you can learn more about how to help others with fitness and nutrition, grow your business and build your team, and also have fun working out with the super trainers.

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Getting ready for our workout with Joel Freeman — a new program coming out soon that combines lifting and HIIT training. LOVED. IT.

I had a great time connecting with my coach and fellow teammates and exploring a new city (well, at least several blocks of the city), and I did learn a lot about coaching and business building.  I didn’t have any crazy major breakthroughs business-wise, but I did learn a few things about myself.

  • I am actually currently happy with where my business is. I would love to bring some more friends into the business with me over time because I do believe in what we’re doing, and I want to help more people help more people, but I don’t have any aspirations to become a career coach. For a while, I felt bad about that for some reason, but after Summit, I’m more readily able to admit that I like my status as a part-time coach, because I really do love my “day job.” But I love the great things that part-time coaching has brought to my life: new friends, reconnecting with old friends, extra health accountability, and of course, extra income.
  • I enjoyed the group workouts way more than I thought I would. I still prefer working out in the comfort of my living room by myself, but I definitely could see how working out with others pushed me to be even better, to go one rep further, to not stop.
  • I actually enjoy traveling alone. Sure, I still most prefer having #TeamTiemann along for the ride, but there was something cool about the independence of traveling alone. I had to pay much closer attention to my surroundings, and I engaged with my surroundings since I didn’t have the cushion of “my people.” I met more people and noticed more of what was happening around me. Of course, it helped that I had friends meeting me on one end of the trip, and family on the other, but it was still a rare experience to just be responsible for me. I may have to explore that side of me in the future.
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Up at dark:thirty to work out with 20,000 other people and 7 super trainers. It was the hardest leg workout I’ve ever done, and it was about an hour and a half long! 

And bonus: I got to meet Ilana Muhlstein—the creator of the nutrition program I’ve been following since February. If I’m being honest, meeting her was probably my number one goal of going to Summit. Her program has changed my life, and I respect her so much. She was very kind and positive in real life—just as she came across on all our calls. And she remembered me from the test group! Or she was just kind enough to pretend she did, which is good enough for me. Ha!

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Love sweet and tough-love Ilana!

Overall, I’m really glad I went! I pushed past some fears and learned some new things along the way – which is really what I hope for each month of this personal challenge!

Now we are five days into July (say what?!), and there’s a new challenge on the horizon. I don’t want to share what it is quite yet, but I’m excited to share it when the time comes—it’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was a child! So be sure and follow me on Instagram, because I’ll be posting lots of pictures and stories when the time comes!

Dry May is over (yay!), so what’s next?

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Oregon and me.

When I turned 39 in April, I wanted things to be different this year. Knowing it was my last year in my 30s, I wanted to make things count by taking on a new adventure or challenge every month for the next year. I also want to finally get to a healthy weight again, something I’ve been working toward since, well, the girls were born, and that means losing at least 40 more pounds. To that end, I came up with the idea of 40 by 40. Forty pounds gone by the time I’m 40, but more importantly, I’m working to enter the next decade of life as a more adventurous, confident, loving and patient person.

You can read about my April and May goals, and I’m stoked to report that I hit May 100 percent. It was a good month, even though — I won’t lie — it’s hard to not drink in social situations when everyone else is. It certainly gave me a new perspective, and I’m glad I took the break. I’m also glad the break is over. Haha! The good news is that I’m also down 7.6 lbs since starting my 40×40 challenge (64 lbs since my highest), so I’m making some great progress toward those 40 lbs.

But now it’s a new month (well, technically it has been for 11 days now, but I was on vacation in Oregon), and it’s time for a new goal. This month’s challenge may be a little “inside,” but it is something that I’ve wanted to do since I became a Beachbody coach to help other women on their fitness and health journeys too, and that’s to attend Beachbody Summit. Every summer, tens of thousands of coaches descend upon a city and come together for group workouts, motivational speakers, and helpful breakouts. It’s always seemed intimidating to me – especially since I’m not a typical business builder. But I know I can learn a lot that will help me help others more, and I also know that every time I do something out of my comfort zone, I’m glad I did it — either because I can add it to my “tried it, but don’t feel the need to do it again” list, or because I discover a new favorite thing!

I’m sure I’ll be posting some from Summit, so be sure and follow me on Instagram. There’s even a group workout, where ALL the coaches take over the city streets, so I can only imagine all the Insta stories that will be flowing. . . stay tuned!

40 x 40 update: April, and what’s next for May

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That’ll preach, right?! I shared this quote on social media today, from the creator of the 2B Mindset, the brand new nutrition program I was super blessed to get a jumpstart with a few months ago when I was invited to be a part of the coach test group. That fresh start with my nutrition combined with reading Rachel Hollis’ Girl, Wash Your Face inspired my 40X40 challenge. By my 40thbirthday, I want to have shed the last 40 lbs I have to lose, but it’s more than that. Each month (I started on my 39th birthday on April 15) until I turn 40 next year, I’m taking on a challenge for myself. Some of them are health-related, a few are just fun bucket-list items, but all are ultimately about making me a better and more joyful person, wife, mother and friend.

Since I only had a couple of weeks in April to take on the challenge, I chose something that wouldn’t require a lot of time – I decided to try three new things that I’ve always been intimidated by:

  • Cupping therapy (an alternative therapy for pain management/muscle soreness – you’ve probably seen the weird circles on athletes during the summer Olympics
  • Insanity Max 30 – a workout program that always scared me. Haha!
  • Instagram adventures – I opened a public account (I’ve always kept my social media pretty locked down) based on my 40×40 goals, AND I’ve been figuring out Instagram stories, which for some reason always scared me. Another haha!

So where did I stand on my goals for the month?

IMG_8153Cupping therapy – HUGE win. The first week I thought I could tell a difference. But then my back went out (something I struggle with). Thankfully it was the same day I had my next cupping therapy scheduled. You guys, I walked in barely able to stand upright and came out nearly pain free! It was CRAZY. Within a couple of days, I was pretty much back to normal. I resumed my workouts yesterday, and so far, so good. I’m a believer.

It wasn’t painful, per se, but definitely not as fun as a massage. Bu man, if you’re in a lot of muscle pain, it’s worth investigating – it really did speed up my recovery big time.

IMG_8155Insanity Max 30… Well, I guess I’ll give myself a pass on this, because I did do it for two weeks. But I found out quickly it wasn’t the program for me. I mean, I could push through and make myself do it, but the truth is, I’m just NOT a cardio girl. I do love Shaun T and his personality as a coach, but his style of workout just isn’t my thing (except for CIZE, because that shiz is fun!). So I ultimately decided to switch to a hybrid of two programs that I love: I’m doing ChaLEAN Extreme (my soulmate program) for strength training, and Core de Force for cardio. Back to enjoying exercise again!

Lastly, I discovered Instagram stories is quite fun! So follow me over there to get more of the day to day as I reach for my 40×40 goals!

So what’s up for May? Well, this one isn’t so much fun. Haha! But I know it’s something I need to do. Up next is…

Sober May.

Yep, giving up the wine and margaritas this month. Thankfully, with 2B Mindset, NOTHING is off limits, so you totally can enjoy a glass of wine or whatever your beverage of choice is. But I had gotten in a bad habit late last year of nightly wine, plus margaritas on the weekends, etc.. When you’re trying to lose weight, you have to make SOME sacrifices, and I just wasn’t really wanting to make that one for a while. But I know it’s holding me back. I also know I need to break the habit. Last year when things got hard, I didn’t turn to food or drink for comfort necessarily, but I did develop a “who gives a crap” kind of attitude about it all – if I wanted something, I didn’t deprive myself. That led to some major weight regain.

I got the food back under control a few months ago, but the truth is, I know I can do even better. So for May, no adult beverages. I can’t wait to see what this will do for my metabolism and weight loss, and I’m excited to start fresh with better habits after this month-long fast is over.

Bring it, May! Just, hold my beer til June.

40 x 40

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“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

Today I turned, gulp, 39. If there’s one thing the last almost four decades of life have shown me, it’s that without direction, I flounder. No plan equals no progress. And I have some big goals for the last year of my thirties, so it’s time for a big plan.

The biggest goal is health-related. I’ve been working on my health all of my adult life, and while that will always be the case, it’s time to hit my goal this year and get to a healthy, sustainable weight. That means 40 more pounds need to vacate my body. I can absolutely do that in one year, so 40 lbs gone by the time I’m 40 is Goal #1.

Now the scarier part. For each month of the next year, I’ve chosen something that either 1) challenges me, 2) scares me, or 3) is on my “bucket list.” Many of them will support my overarching goal of 40 X 40, but all of them will support my quest to become a truer, kinder, braver and stronger human being. Some will hopefully help me become a better wife, mother and friend. And some will just be fun, because I think life SHOULD be fun.

I’m going to blog the next year, but I’ve also started a new Instagram account where I’ll be sharing as the year progresses (fortybyfortygoals). Some of these things may only be scary or challenging to me, and some are quite personal and will require some major vulnerability to share, but I’m going to do my best to be open with the good and the bad for anyone who wants to follow along. Because if there’s one OTHER thing the last almost four decades of life has shown me, it’s that the journey is infinitely more enjoyable and rewarding when I share it with friends.