#MotivationMonday: Let’s Talk New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year’s Eve All!

I was very fortunate this past year not only academically,  but I was also able to travel outside the United States, land a scribe position, and step outside my comfort zone to start a blog!

With 2019 approaching quickly, I can’t help but think what I want to achieve in 2019.  At the same time, I don’t want to say I am going to do something and not do it either!   In the past, I have failed to commit and achieve to my prior New Year’s Resolutions–can you relate? However, I decided this year is going to be different! In fact, I wanted to share some of my strategies I am going to use to hold myself accountable.

Plan/Write It Out

I am a stickler for organizing and planning my days. In fact, one of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was my brand new 2019 planner! Because I have experienced success by making checklists and setting weekly goals, I decided to use this strategy to help me achieve my resolutions. Last week, I actually sat down with a notebook and wrote a list describing my “ideal” 2019 in terms of graduating, applying to postgraduate programs, traveling, and fitness. At first, it was hard to think about what I want my life to look like in a year from now, but it really helped me physically see what I want my 2019 to look like!

Set Deadlines

I know what you are thinking– how can you write deadlines months in advance if you don’t know where you are going to be or what you are going to do. Hear me out: while I did not give an exact date for each of my goals, I did give myself a time window. For example, for graduation, I am planning of leaning out. Therefore, starting January 1st to the second week of May (about 20 weeks), I want to hit a specific weight. New Year’s Resolutions are usually long term, or they require you to form new lifestyle habits! Both of these ideas are hard to stick to! Dieting is discouraging when you can’t see the end in sight or you hit a plateau. Similarly, it’s hard to say you are giving up soda or certain processed foods cold turkey. Therefore, by giving yourself a timeline to achieve a goal, you won’t feel so discouraged if you “break” that resolution in the first few weeks!

Don’t be too Ambitious

Because New Year’s Resolutions tend to include difficult lifestyle changes, it is easy to get ahead of yourself. Unfortunately, you probably are not going to lose 50 pounds by February. So, when you are giving yourself deadlines for your overall goals, remember that you are human, you have to have balance, and healthy is a lifestyle! It takes time and continuous effort to maintain, lose, or gain weight!

Break It Down

Finally, to help keep motivation up and prevent yourself from setting unrealistic goals, break your goals down into smaller ones. For example, if you have 20 weeks to lose 20 pounds, set a goal to lose 1 pound per week, and track your progress in the same notebook you wrote down all your New Year’s Resolutions. This will prevent you from feeling as if your goal is unattainable!

And, that is it! After writing down my goals, I am super excited to see what 2019 entails!

What are your 2019 New Year’s Resolutions?

Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 10.52.50 PM

 

#MotivationMonday: Don’t Be a Health Grinch!

Happy Monday All!

With the holidays quickly approaching, I wanted to address lack of motivation and how to combat it! Sometimes, it’s hard to get a gym session in when family is around and doing holiday festivities. However, I usually follow these five tips to help ensure I am moving everyday and eating healthy food in addition to the occasional Christmas treat. Check them out below!

Get an early start.

Personally, I know the likelihood that I will complete a workout during the holidays increases exponentially if I get my workout done first thing in the morning. It limits the amount of time you have to talk yourself out of going to the gym, and if you want to indulge in some treats at night, you won’t worry about feeling “gross” during your workout. 

2 On Track Meals/Day.

My mom is a great cook! However, eating pie for breakfast and crackers and cheese for lunch does not make me feel 100%. Therefore, I aim to eat my same typical breakfast and lunch foods every day to limit my intake of all the Christmas goods! 

Plan it out. 

Being a planner, there is nothing more satisfying than crossing something of my to-do list. I always write in or schedule my workouts and treat them more like an appointment. It’s just an extra way to keep me accountable and prevent me from pushing my workout times back because of other holiday festivities!

Increase Intensity, Decrease Time. 

Working out is great, but spending time with your family and friends is even better, especially around the holidays! So, switch your workouts up! Rather than spending an hour or hour-and-a-half in the gym, opt for circuit training and limit rest time to keep your heart rate elevated and minimize your time spent at the gym!

Don’t dwell on imperfection. 

My most important rule: even if you don’t follow all of my above rules every single day, don’t stress! A couple off-track days won’t keep you from achieving your goals, and they will likely entail making memories! The holidays only come once a year, so enjoy them! 

It’s the 6th day of Christmas all, are you doing the 12 Days of Fitmas Challenge? It’s never to late to join!

Talk soon!

Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 10.52.50 PM

 

#MotivationMonday: How to Write a Workout Split

Happy Monday All!

This past weekend, I sat down and decided it was time to change my workout split! I recently picked up a few activities and wanted to adjust my schedule to ensure I am making it to the gym consistently. Anyway, I want to share my thought process in creating a workout split!

  1. Goals
    1. By setting  a goal, you will be able to take your workout split and personalize it! For example, I am trying to grow my shoulders, so I make sure to hit shoulders twice a week. On the other hand, I do not want to add any more mass to my legs, so I am only going to hit them once a week.
  2. Frequency
    1. Time to figure out your commitment to the gym. How many times can you actually make it to the gym? Anywhere from three to six days should suffice! I personally go to the gym six days a week to help with stress. Rest days are important, too! A planned rest day will give your body time to recover and prevent gym burnout.
  3. Muscle Groups
    1. Now, schedule specific muscles on specific days. The list of muscle groups include: back, shoulders, triceps, biceps, chest, and legs. You want to hit every muscle group at least once, and you can combine muscle groups based on the days you are going to be in the gym. For example, for a three day split, you may want to go pull, push, and legs. Pull typically includes back and biceps. Push includes chest, triceps, and shoulders, and you can tailor legs to posterior or anterior chain (gluten and hamstring vs. quad dominant). As far as abs go, I usually throw a small circuit in after shoulders or back.
  4. When
    1. While some people say the order you hit each muscle group doesn’t matter, I try to make sure my back day and leg day are at least a day apart because compound movements like squats and deadlifts fatigue your back. Likewise, keep the amount of time you have for a workout each day in mind. Leg day tends to be one of my longest days, so I try to schedule it on a morning I have a later start!
  5. Cardio
    1. Cardio is a great supplement to help lean out. I rotate between running and stairs. I tend to favor cardio more during the spring and summer months vs. fall and winter months. However, if weight loss is your goal, you are most likely going to do cardio a few times a week on top of your other exercises to ensure you are in a calorie deficit. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you are bulking, cardio is most likely not necessary!
  6. Putting it all together
    1. Now that you have thought about what you want out of your workouts and how you can make that happen, write your split down. This helps me stay accountable, and I know exactly what to expect each day! You can use a template similar to the one below to plan your week!

Screen Shot 2018-10-08 at 6.20.12 PM.png

Now…

Screen Shot 2018-10-08 at 6.46.18 PM.png

Talk soon!

Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 10.52.50 PM

#MotivationMonday — Tracking

Hello to another week!

Today marks the first round of midterms for me, and while studying this weekend, my stress rose by a ten-fold. How can I manage to stay on track in the midst of studying for exams?

I have found that utilizing Sundays for planning and organizing is a great way to meet all of your obligations while being accountable for your fitness goals. Here are some of the tools I use throughout the week to ensure I am sticking to my plan.

Sunday Fun-Day

img_2442.jpg

Every Sunday, I sit down at my desk and tackle the what, when, and how questions regarding food and lifting. What muscle group am I working and when? What meals am I making, and how am I packing them for class? What cardio am I doing and when?

Every. Sunday. Of. My. Life.

Is it tedious? Of course. However, it relieves my stress because I know exactly what I am eating and working out each day. In a sense, it makes me treat my workouts like appointments. In doing so, I can be confident I won’t skip the gym. Likewise, my meals become simplified, and I don’t have to think twice about grabbing a snack or trying to decide what to make for  dinner at eight o’ clock at night.

MyFitness Pal

Screen Shot 2018-09-04 at 9.30.42 AM.pngScreen Shot 2018-09-04 at 9.30.57 AM.png

This app is a lifesaver. I actually plan my grocery list based on MyFitness Pal. I enter the foods I want and see how my calorie intake and macros look each day.  Once I finalize my list, I copy the meals to each day. I use this as a tentative meal plan, so I know exactly what to pack and prep the night before each day.

Body Analyzer

I weigh myself every morning and record my weight just to see how I am doing in terms of maintaining. While I do not have a specific goal right now, I think it is helpful to weigh everyday because I can put a concrete number with how I feel each day. I can then use this number to judge where my metabolism is and whether I need to adjust my calories.

I use Vanity Planet’s Digital Scale and Body Analyzer. You can view it here! https://www.vanityplanet.com/products/body-analyzer1

How do you keep yourself accountable to meet your goals?

Talk soon!

Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 10.52.50 PM.png