Month: December 2016

FREE New Year’s Goals Coaching Session

Happy New Year’s Eve everyone!

I hope you have a fun and safe celebration as you bring in the New Year, whether you’re going out or staying in this year!

“There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there is so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.”
-Zayn Malik

As part of bringing in a new year, I would like to offer a FREE 30-minute New Year’s Goals Coaching Session to you all! Set up your appointment here: Inspire the Best You Calendar.

We can discuss what your goals are for weight loss, healthy living, or self-improvement this coming year or for the month of January, if you prefer. I am only holding this specific free coaching session from Monday, January 2nd until Friday, January 6th, so go snatch up a session now!

I look forward to hearing from you and helping you figure out your goals and how you can go about accomplishing them!

“There are far better things ahead than any we may leave behind.”
-C.S. Lewis

For my views on New Year’s goals, check out these posts:

“So I close my eyes to old ends, and open my heart to new beginnings.”
-Nick Frederickson

Are you ready for new beginnings in 2017? Whether you are or not, take advantage of the coaching session this coming week! We can figure it out more together!

 

~Bonnie~

How to Have a Winter of Healthy Living

Winter can be a hard season to get through when focusing on a healthy living journey. I know, because I spent the first two winters of my journey in a snowy and very cold (to me) area in Indiana. Even when you live in a warmer winter climate, the short days, abundant illnesses sweeping through, and other factors can eat at your motivation and resolve to live a healthy life. Based on my experiences the past few winters, I’ve put together a list of tips on how to focus on healthy living and maintain a more upbeat mindset through the colder months.

img_5136

First of all, find alternatives that are appealing for your plan:

  • Exercise- if you’re unable to get outside for exercise, plan some energizing indoor workouts such as videos, yoga, walking in place, and dancing! If it’s snowy but you can get out, go play in the snow. Build a snowman, go sledding, make a snow angel, or build a snow fort. Other ideas might include going to an indoor family gym or a fitness center that allows you to join for a few months at a time.
  • Eating and nutrition- Most of us crave warm comfort foods during this time of the year. There are ways to do this while still practicing healthy habits, like making homemade soups or having low-sodium premade soups. Here are a couple articles about healthier soups: Healthy Soup Recipes from Eating Well and Healthiest Canned Soups from Livestrong for some ideas! Making healthier versions of other dishes like veggie noodles for pasta dishes and grilled cheese sandwiches with whole wheat bread and less butter. As far as hot drinks goes, there are quite a few we can enjoy this time of year as well: hot coco, coffee with minimal flavorings, and tea.

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.
Edith Sitwell

Second, focus on your goals.

Just because the weather changed, doesn’t mean that your goals have disappeared. It’s still important to pursue your goals throughout the colder months. My suggestion is to make weekly goals that will help you reach your long-term goals in a smaller, more manageable, manner.  Then you should review them and your progress at the end of each week to see how you’re doing and where you need to go from there. It’s a method that keeps you more focused because you’re able to create a smaller vision with smaller steps to get you where you need to go.

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.
-John Steinbeck

Thirdly, do your best to stay motivated through these months.

I wrote a blog post a couple weeks ago about motivation, called How to Stay Motivated to Lose Weight, and a lot of the tips in there can help you in regards to winter as well. Another tactic is to picture spring and summer, and how you want things to be then as far as your accomplishments and progress go. You can also look ahead to upcoming events, holidays, outings, and anything else you are looking forward to that will help you stay on track and looking to the future!

Not only that, but staying positive can help your motivation and mindset immensely. Think about the things in your day that are pleasant or bring you joy. Even in the darker, colder months, there is always something to be positive about! Celebrate those moments to make the days much more enjoyable and the winter seem less dreary.

When things seem dark and gray… Remember that you must keep pushing forward… focus on the small, little things in your day that can bring you joy!
-Heather Stillufsen

Lastly, be creative and make some visual incentives and encouragement for yourself.

  • A motivation board- A collection of graphics, quotes, pictures, and whatever else that represents your goals and your reason for moving forward each day. Some ideas for a winter-specific motivation board are:
    • What you’re looking forward to in the summer.
    • The goals you’re working on in the next 3-4 months.
    • What you would like to have accomplished by summer.
    • Any other ideas that will keep you motivated and inspired throughout the cold months.
  • Weight loss journal- Start or continue a weight loss journal in notebook or binder form. You can use it to track your progress throughout your journey. It’s never too late to put one together either! Some things I have included in mine:
    • Inspirational quotes.
    • Progress pictures.
    • A list of non-scale victories.
    • Accomplishments.
    • Races or other fitness events.
    • Essays and blog posts from my personal blog that I was particularly proud of or showed how far I had come.
    • A list of rewards I wanted or planned to get.
    • Fitness and nutrition pictures that were motivating.
    • A letter to myself about why I started my journey and what I wanted to achieve.

You can make these however you choose to make them. They are yours to create to work for you. Use them to keep you motivated. I know whenever I worked on either of these, I felt more motivated than I did in other moments because it was fun, exciting, and got the creative juices flowing!

What are your favorite ways or simply methods of staying motivated and on track through the winter months?

~Bonnie~

(Shared on the Welcome Home Wednesdays and Bloggy Brunch link ups, hop on over their pages and check out some of the other wonderful blogs!)

Let's Be Friends

31 Day Better You 2017 Challenge

I would love for you all to hop over and visit Tiffany from tamberdi.com‘s Better You 2017 Challenge. It will help you get off to a great start during the New Year and is full of ways for you to be able to build new habits and work towards your goals! So be sure to check it out and sign up if being a better you in 2017 is something you’re interested in!

“With many of the winter holidays over and the new year about to begin, what better way to start fresh than with a plan already made for you by me?? I’ve created a 31-day challenge to kick start your year off in the best way, leaving you prepared to create new habits and achieve your goals.”
-Tiffany

Her full post, complete with the link to join the challenge: Better You 2017: A Challenge to Be Your Best Self This January. You know this is one of your goals, so why not join and see how much progress you can make in a month!

 

~Bonnie~

 

3 Steps to Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet

The New Year is fast approaching, and 2017 will be here in less than a week now. This time of year tends to be full of reflection, planning, and hopes. Whether this past year has been great or horrible for you, I’m sure you’re hoping that the New Year has some wonderful things in store. I know I personally want it to be the year that I finally make a success with my new business and writing ventures. I also know that believing I can do these things will get me halfway there!

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
-Theodore Roosevelt

img_5058

Today I want to discuss with you a few steps that will help you make 2017 your best year yet:

Number one: Create a lifestyle around what you want, not just something that is temporary or that you’re simply wishing for. Think about what steps you need to take to get to your goal. Write them down, as well as the actions and things you need to accomplish in order to get there. Simply wanting or wishing for something to happen will not help you get there, you have to be willing to work at it too!

Number two: Make goals for yourself instead of resolutions. Some may argue that there isn’t much of a difference between these two terms, but I feel there is even if it is just all in our mindset. To me, the word “goal” elicits a meaning of planning and doing. You know that you have to do something in order to achieve it. While resolutions aren’t necessarily that different, the thoughts that come to mind when someone mentions the word are quite different. When I hear the word “resolution,” especially with New Year in front of them, I think of something that gets abandoned when things get too tough or the person loses interest. Therefore, I recommend a goals-type framework for whatever amazing things you want to accomplish this coming year. Here’s my process for the past few years: New Year, New You 2017. Making goals instead of resolutions has helped me immensely!

Number three: Make sure to plan and prepare for success. Like I mentioned in the first point, writing down what you want to accomplish and figuring out how you will get there can be very beneficial. You also should make sure you have any supplies or tools that you might need to get there. For example, if healthy eating is your goal, make a meal plan and a grocery list full of healthy foods that you can consume to help you succeed. If exercising three times a week is your goal, find some workout videos you can do, workout clothes and shoes to exercise in, or join a gym if that works for you. Whatever goal you have for the New Year, figure out what you need and either get it or make a plan for how you’re going to get it so that you can take that step when you get to it!

If you would like help with meeting your healthy living goals in the New Year, please check out my Inspire the Best You in 2017 Coaching PackageIt’s worth $179, but is on sale for $99 during the pre-order phase. It will go back up to it’s original price soon!

 

So tell me, what are your goals for the New Year and how do you plan on accomplishing them?

 

~Bonnie~

 

(This post is linked to the Coffee and Conversation Linkup and Bloggy Brunch Linkup, hop over and check out more posts on those blogs!)

Giveaway: Inspire the Best You in 2017 Coaching Package


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I hope you all enjoy the festivities and time with your families!


img_5023

I’m hosting a giveaway that runs until December 30th at midnight PST, for my Inspire the Best You in 2017 Coaching Package. There is more information about the package in the post: New Year’s Weight Loss Coaching.

All you have to do to enter is visit my posts about the giveaway on my social media pages and leave a comment on the picture of the post with your number one reason you want or need to lose weight.

I will be drawing a random winner from all who have entered, when the entries end, and announcing via private message on New Year’s Eve!

Here are links to the social media posts where you can leave your comment to enter:

Please share this post wherever you care to do so, so that more people can enter the giveaway!

 

~Bonnie~

8 Ways to Relax in the Holiday Chaos

Holidays are chaotic, what with so many things going on and so much to be done in such a short amount of time! It’s important to take time for yourself to relax and reset. Self-care should never take a backseat to everything else. You need to take time for you, especially when things are crazy and busy! Here are some ideas:

#1: Pace yourself!

Number one on this list is to take your time and do not rush. Rushing only makes things more chaotic and stressful! So whenever you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take a deep breath and remember to slow down! One thing at a time! Also, when we are feeling overwhelmed and rushed, we often take longer to get done anyway because we end up making more mistakes. Pace yourself with all you have to get done. Whatever isn’t vitally important sometimes needs to be forgotten as well.

#2: Take time for morning self-care activities

In the mornings, especially on the busy days, take the time to do things that help you feel more focused and ready to tackle the day. It may help you to feel more relaxed throughout the rest of the day as well because you took the time to take care of yourself before taking care of everything else! Just a few weeks ago, I wrote this blog post on the topic: My Morning Self-Care Routine (That Sets Me Up for Success). I wrote about the top activities I do in the morning to practice self-care, which in turn helped me to have more successful and less overwhelming days!

#3: Plan ahead

When we plan ahead as much as we can, without going crazy of course, we also help set ourselves up for a successful day. Plan things out so that you have time set aside for each of the various tasks and projects you need to tackle that day, but especially the most important ones. It will help you feel more organized and less hectic!

#4: Do things that are fun and relaxing to you

Find things to do that are fun and relaxing for you each day. What things do you find fun, enjoyable, and relaxing that you could make time for in your days? Reading a book, listening to upbeat music and maybe even doing some dancing while you do so, watching a movie, going out as a family to do something fun, or whatever makes you feel good! This will help lower your stress levels and help you feel more content!

#5: Spend some time meditating

Whether you actually put to practice real meditation, or do your own version of it like I do, take the time to give your mind a break from all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays by meditating. Sit down somewhere, hopefully a quiet space, and meditate however works for you. Sometimes I focus on counting my breaths, breathing slowly and counting each inhale and exhale. Other times I may stare into space and let my mind wander over things that are of little significance to give my mind a break from all the big, important things.

#6: Take a long, refreshing shower

If you can, as I know this isn’t an option for everyone, take a long refreshing shower to help you reset. I have found that taking a long, hot shower helps me relax and clear my mind. It’s like a mini vacation right inside of my own home!

#7: Fit in some exercise!

Physical activity is a great way to give your mind a break from all of the holiday busyness as well. You also get a wonderful rush of endorphins and can feel oh so satisfied after pushing your body to its limits! So go for a walk, take a run, do a workout video if you can’t get outside, or make a visit to the gym. It’s all good for your body and mind!

#8: Run and hide!

When you really need to step away, when things are too crazy, go somewhere to hide from it all for a few minutes. Take a breather as needed and collect yourself. The bathroom can be a good place, most of the time. Although if your a human or pet-parent, they may follow you! Go outside for a second and breathe in some fresh air. If it’s cold air, sometimes that helps you wake up and refocus too so it has an added bonus! If there’s nowhere to go to get away, put some earphones in your ears and listen to a few minutes of relaxing music.

What are your favorite ways to relax, or take time for yourself during the holidays?

 

~Bonnie~

New Year, New You 2017

As 2016 comes to a close, many of us are thinking about the New Year and what it will bring. We usually want it to be much better than the previous years, especially if the past year was particularly rotten. So we wish for the year to be over and start planning for the New Year.

A lot of people choose to make New Year’s resolutions. That phrase has such a negative connotation to it. I know that I, for one, shy away from making any resolutions. Sure, it sounds like a great idea and we start out with such high expectations and we are so motivated at first. However, we know that it’s almost always temporary, because who has actually made it a whole 365 days of a year of being focused on the resolutions they made at the beginning of it? I would hope the number wouldn’t be zero, but I also know that it is a sad percentage of the people that have made resolutions.

So for the past few years, and maybe even longer than that, I have avoided making New Year’s resolutions. Since the end of 2014, I have made goals instead and that has worked out so much better for me! These last few years have mostly been centered around making healthy living or self-improvement related goals.

Check out my Inspire the Best You in 2017 Coaching Package, a six-week bundle of support and coaching sessions for the New Year!

Here are some examples of how my New Year’s goals have gone the past few years:

My goals for 2015:

1. Walk 1200 miles, indoor with videos or outdoors
2. Try at least 3 new workouts/exercises
3. Complete at least one 5K run
4. Start looking for a half marathon to do in 2016
5. Lose 75-80lbs

How I did:

1 & 3. Due to a foot issue that popped up in the middle of the year, I was not able to achieve the 1200 miles or the 5K run. However, I did sign up for a 5K run and did the 2-mile walk they were holding instead of backing out entirely.
2. For the new workouts, there was running and using a stationary bike. I obviously didn’t get to the third new exercise.
4. I found a half marathon and signed up for it for May 2016, thanks to the inspiration of a friend who did the race that year!
5. I lost 53lbs, so not quite the goal but this one I was least focused on the actual number. It was just nice to have something to shoot for.

_____

My goals for 2016:

1. Complete the Tinker Bell Half Marathon
2. Lose the last 45-50lbs
3. Start making a livable income from my business
4. Write and publish my first book
5. Work on a more steady and consistent strength training routine
6. Develop a closer relationship with God

How I did:

1. I completed the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. It was, by far, my biggest fitness accomplishment so far! It was so hard, but so amazing at the same time.
2. Gained weight back instead of losing it. It’s all a part of my journey though and I will still continue moving forward. I will get the weight gained back off and then some!
3. I made income from my business, just not “livable.”
4. I wrote, and am nearly finished writing, my first book. It should be released this spring!
5. I put together a strength training routine which I managed to stick with for a couple months and was the most conducive one for me.
6. I developed a closer relationship with God and with reading His Word.

_____

The end of 2015 was rough, considering that we lost my uncle and I ended up getting sick with a nasty infection. Then 2016 was full of chaos with a cross country move and what felt like a million other things going in all kinds of directions. So I may not have achieved all of my goals for either year, but I did achieve more than I would have if I hadn’t made the goals in the first place. They gave me something to aim for and thus provided me with more direction than just winging it.

My goals for 2017:

1. Lose 50-60lbs, which is 4-5lbs/mo and totally doable!
2. Complete the Tinker Bell Half Marathon for the second time this May, as well as a full marathon in November.
3. Start making a livable income off of my business- $1500 per month or more, ideally, by the end of the year.
4. Publish my current book that’s nearly finished and another book, whether it be a short eBook or a whole novel.

____

My suggestion to you is to focus on actual goals, instead of resolutions that you will probably give up on within a few weeks. Specific and measurable goals are always best because they allow you to track your progress and see where you’re going. Another piece of advice is to create a motivation/vision board for your goals to place somewhere where you will be consistently reminded of your goals. Here is an article about making one from the Huffington Post: The Reason Vision Boards Work and How to Make One.

Check out my list of 25 Top Gifts for Healthy Living for some ideas on what might be handy for reaching your weight loss and healthy living goals in the New Year. They don’t even have to be a Christmas gift, you could just get them for yourself!

You can also make a FREE 30-minute weight loss coaching session with me between December 26-31 about how you can make this coming year the best year yet with your healthy living goals. Check out my calendar and make an appointment here: Inspire the Best You Calendar. Be sure to set up your session before the slots are all booked up!

I also have a deal going on with my coaching package: Inspire the Best You in 2017 Coaching Package. It’s on pre-order for $99 right now, which means you won’t be charged until the package is released on January 1st. The package will be going up to full price after the New Year!

So tell me, what are YOUR goals for 2017? Are they healthy living related, career or education related, or just for life in general? I’d love to know what you’re aiming for in the New Year!

~Bonnie~

8 Healthy Living Journal Prompts

Journal prompts can be a ton of fun, and help us learn more about ourselves and our direction in our lives. I especially love the self-growth and healthy living topics when doing journal prompts myself so I came up with a few that might appeal to you. Some of these are perfect for the New Year as well! Do one, or do them all, it’s up to you!

#1: Write a letter to yourself a year from today and call yourself by a confidence-building name, such as “beautiful lady” or anything that means strong, powerful, beautiful, etc. Try to write a minimum of 3-5 paragraphs.

What do you want your future self to remember about you and what has been happening? What do you hope to have accomplished by next year? How do you think or hope your life will be then? What will you do to reach your goals between now and then?

#2: Think about what you want to be remembered for in your life. Make a list of at least 10 things you would like to be remembered for, whether you have done them yet or not.

Are these things you’ve done, how you treat others, your family, or something else? Is it something you have yet to do and how do you plan to accomplish that?

#3: Write down your three biggest dreams. Think about what you would do in the here and now that would get you closer to those dreams.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes to make those dreams a reality? If they are important to you, work on it one day at a time. You deserve to make your life the way you want it to be.

#4: Describe yourself as you are right now. Think about how that compares to how you would like to see yourself.

Can you change that for the better and work on it now? Brainstorm ways to improve yourself or your life that will get you there.

#5: Imagine how much better and more fun future events will be if you are living healthier. Keep looking to the future, there is always something to look forward to in the near future that will help you focus on your goals.

What is one thing you’re really looking forward to in the next three months? If you were to lose weight, get healthier, or gain muscle, would it make that event easier and more fun for you?

#6: Make a list of three things you’re good at. We all have strengths that we can draw on in our day-to-day life.

Why do you think you’re good at these things? Is it something in your personality, skills, talents, or something you have learned in life?

#7: Create a list of ten things you have learned in the past year, good or bad!

Why were these things important for you to learn and how will it carry to the future?

#8: Think about your biggest victory lately and write about what you accomplished and how it made you feel.

What did you do to achieve this? Do you feel all your work to achieve this victory was worth it? Will this give you the confidence and/or motivation to do more in the future?

If you liked these journal prompts, feel free to print them out: Healthy Living Journal Prompts.

 

~Bonnie~

New Year’s Weight Loss Coaching

Officially announcing that Inspire the Best You is open for weight loss coaching!

Do you have trouble going it alone in your weight loss journey? Would you like personalized help from someone who has been there, done that and is still moving forward with their own weight loss and healthy living goals?

Why should you choose me?

I have been there, done that with a lot of things in the over two years I have been living healthier. I have dealt with many different challenges during this time and empathize with so many more! Now, I don’t have all the answers and I’m not afraid to admit that, pointing you in the right direction to a resource or person who has more experience with whatever you’re struggling with. I will also always do my best to help you achieve your goals and live a healthier life.

My stats:
*80+ pounds lost
*2+ years in my own journey
*knowledge on many topics
*experience with different struggles
*resources at my fingertips

What is included:

Six weeks of email support.
Six weeks of weekly coaching appointments lasting 45 minutes to an hour.
Six weeks of resources, sent directly to your email.
Six weeks of encouragement and individualized help.

Just a few of the resources:img_5007

Check it out here:
Inspire the Best You in 2017 Coaching Package

What can you expect?

What you can expect from me: I will be there to cheer you on, provide personalized advice and tips, give much needed support and encouragement, and even be there as a listening ear. Whatever you need!

It’s like having a coach and an accountability partner rolled into one! While we will have “live meetings,” you will also have the ability to contact me via email or text message any other time as well. So if you have one scheduled meeting with me per week you could use it to ask me for specific tips or tell me about your week ahead so I can help you find ways to prepare and/or cope with upcoming events. You can also tell me about the week leading up to the meeting, to report your food, exercise, or water intake to me as well to help you stay on track or anything you want.

Then the rest of the week you could send me an email or text message here and there, as needed to help you stay accountable or to ask for help in the moment. Knowing someone is there to answer questions or give advice as needed can be invaluable to you. I had someone in my house that I could do that with most of the time, or call my sister. However, sometimes our family and friends aren’t the most supportive of our goals even if they are well meaning or they are supportive but give in to your whims because they love you. It can be a great tool to have someone who is objective to help you along the way.

Personalized Coaching can be anything you need: video support, messaging by text or through an app, or email chatting. It could be a mixture or just one of those options. We can figure out what will work best for you after your initial consultation.

The Inspire the Best You in 2017 Coaching Package starts as early as Sunday January 1st, 2017! It is the perfect way to start your new year on a healthy note that will get you moving in the right direction!

Check the package out here: Inspire the Best You in 2017 Coaching Package. This is a pre-order page. When the official date comes around you will get an email with instructions on how to set up an appointment and you will also receive your VIP Getting Started Weight Loss Workbook and 30 Day Best You Challenge!

 

~Bonnie~