September 2016 Goals

I hope everyone had a fantastic Labor Day weekend! We had Emma Kate’s birthday party on Saturday, but more on that later this week. Today I wanted to talk about my September goals, and how I did in August. First, let’s look back at last month:

1.) Finish that darn upstairs closet: A- I still have a couple of shelves to clean out but the bulk of it is done!

2.) Stick to my training schedule: C- I was on the struggle bus with this one in August. I have been doing really well with my bootcamp workouts and even did a 7 mile long run last weekend, but I have only been running one other time during the week, and it’s very short mileage or sprints. I may not do the October half I had planned on doing because I just don’t feel ready, and we have a LOT going on right now.

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September goals:

1.) Stick to what I have been doing: By this I mean going to bootcamp and watching what I eat. I am finally seeing results on the scale and how my clothes fit, and I just want to stay focused and not fall back into my old ways.

2.) Make cupcakes for Emma Kate’s birthday: I know this seems small, but yall I’m not baker, and I want to bring a treat to her school for her birthday. I‘m putting it here to hold me accountable.

3.) Start walking Bella again: It’s been way too hot to walk the dog here, even early in the morning. I’m hoping now that we are into September we will have cooler morning or evenings and I can get in some walks with her. Thankfully she is tiny so running around the house is exercise for her, and she loves to sit in the backyard, too.

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If you would like a way to help you stay accountable to your monthly goals, you can get a set of my free fitness and goal tracking printables here. Good luck!

QOTD: Do you have any September goals? Is it hot where you live?

Running With Kids

Jeff Galloway is back sharing his running wisdom, and I am passing it on to you today. I was excited to read this article since I now have a toddler to LOVES to run (in particular… away from me.) She is even entered to run in her very first runDisney kids race next April, and currently loves when we go for walks around the block—she runs a lot of the way! Check out this research Jeff shares about kids and running, and his tips for making it an enjoyable experience for everyone.

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Kids think and learn better when they exercise regularly, according to research.  Whether you run with your child, a  niece/nephew/grandchild, or a neighborhood kid, you can make a positive impact  on a young life.
Why  is running with kids such a great thing to do? Most kids like to do things with an adult.  By running comfortably with a child you can positively imprint exercise as a natural and expected part of the daily routine, that is fun.
What does  running do for kids–better than other sports? Kids who run tend to have better self esteem, better grades, and are happier.  Unlike other sports, that require specific skills, any kid can run and walk.  When running, you have one of the best opportunity for quality time.  The most powerful reward for most kids is the special attention an adult gives to a child during and after a run.

How do I know  when a child is ready to run?  Running is a natural activity.  Unfortunately, many kids have have had bad experiences because they have run until they were exhaused.  Tell the child that you really want to go on a walk/run with him or her.  Offer a simple reward (a special snack such as juice, a toy).  Insert walk breaks every minute, before the child huffs and puffs, and stop before the child is tired.

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For kids ages 6 and under:
How long should I let a  kid this age run? Usually between 10 and 20 seconds at first.
How much of our ‘run’ should be spent  walking? Walk for a minute or two between run segments.
What should I be careful of?  Most kids can run farther and faster than they should at this age.  Make sure the segments are short so that there is no huffing and puffing.  Make each session playful and stop before the child is really tired.
Ages 7 to 9:
How long should I  let a kid run?  Start with about a quarter of a mile(one lap around a track).  Increase by 1-2 tenths of a mile each run until you reach one mile.  For kids that really enjoy running, you could gradually increase the distance to 3.5 miles (one day a week) and enter a 5K.  Be sure to keep the pace slow during the first mile of the first race, with walk breaks every 1-2 minutes.
What is a good run/walk ratio for a kid this  age? Jog for 10-20 seconds/walk for 40-50 seconds.  After two weeks, if this seems “too easy”, increase the amount of running each week by 5 seconds and decrease the walking by 5 seconds until you are using 30 seconds/30 seconds.  For the kids that want more, gradually increase to one min/one min, then 2 min run while inserting 1 min walk.  As kids want to run more, you can increase the running but walk when the child starts to huff and puff.
What should I be careful of (are they prone to going to hard and  crashing and burning?) If you sense that the kid is struggling, walk more.  This usually improves attitude and conserves energy for a strong finish.  It’s OK to run a little faster at the end but don’t run all-out.  It is OK to let the child “win” each run.
Ages 10 to 12:
How long? Beginner kids that are out of shape should follow the suggestion for ages 7-9 at first.  For moderately active 10-12 year olds (soccer players, etc.) start with about half a mile.  Increase by about a quarter of a mile on each run until you reach 1.5 to 2 miles—or whatever distance seems to feel comfortable but satisfying.
What’s a good run/walk ratio for this age  group?  Kids that are just starting, should follow the suggestion for  ages 7-9.  Kids that have been running (soccer, etc) can jog for 10-20 seconds each minute during a 10 minute warmup and find the ratio that avoids huffing and puffing: 1-1, 2 min  run/1min walk, then 3-1, and only 4-1 if a kid has no problem with this.
What should I be aware of (are they actually likely to kick my  butt?)  Many 10 to 12 year olds can run very fast at the beginning, and burn out later.  Keep the pace slow for the first third of the run.
Is this age child old enough to run a 10-K?  Most kids who gradually build mileage to 6.5 miles, once a week, will have no problem with a 10K if you help them start slowly, with walk breaks every2- 3 minutes or so.
How is  it possible to get a real workout in when running with a  kid? Don’t worry about your workout, try to make the child’s experience a good one.  Many adult mentors run their workouts before or after running with the child athlete.
What’s the best way to  bring a child along on my runs—even if she can’t keep up on her own  two feet?  Slow down and walk more.  Playing games allows for the distance to go by quickly.  If the child is laughing and running you have been a successful coach.

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Hurry up and SAVE! Jeff Galloway 13.1 race registration price increases on September 2nd! Join the 3rd Annual Jeff Galloway 13.1 Race Weekend! December 9-11, 2016
Register now –www.jeffgalloway131.com

QOTD: Do your kids like to run? have they ever done a race before?

5 Tips for Working Out Without Breaking the Bank

When you think of getting fit and healthy, you don’t have to also see lots of dollar signs. There are ways to be healthy, get fit, and reach your goals without breaking the bank. Check out my 5 tips below:
5 tips for working out without breaking the bank

1.) Really do some thinking about your gym membership.

If you go to your gym 4 times a week and use multiple pieces of equipment, the pool, the childcare, etc. then you should probably stick with it. But, if you go to the gym 3 times a month, or only use it for the treadmill, then maybe you should consider alternative means of exercise. If you only go to the gym for a treadmill, consider buying one for your home. You can find used ones on craigslist, or at a second hand fitness equipment store. If  you lift lighter hand weights, maybe buy a set or two of lighter and heavier weights and a resistance band. If you love yoga but cringe at the thought of forking over a high amount for a month at a studio, maybe buy a mat and download some free yoga videos from the internet.

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2.) Set a budget for races and make finding good/cheaper ones a game.

Let’s face it, racing, especially destination racing, can be pricey! One option is to set a yearly or quarterly racing budget that includes not just entry fees but also what you would spend at a hotel or on transportation, food etc. as well. A lot of times, you can find fun races that aren’t publicized on the big race websites if you do a little digging (hello Google!)  Trying to fit races into your budget is like putting together a puzzle, and can be fun if you are a planner like me. Also, try to find things to help your budget, like run a destination race close to where your aunt lives, and ask if you can spend the night at her house to save money on a hotel. Yes, you may end up sleeping on her couch with a cat on your face, but better than forking out 150+ dollars for a hotel room. Maybe you can find a friend online running the same race as you and share a hotel, or a cab from the airport. Every little bit helps!

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3.) Think of things around your house that could be considered cross training

Look around you, there are plenty of things you could probably do or that NEED to be done that would work up a sweat and be considered cross training. Some things to do are work in the flowerbeds pulling weeds, scrubbing wood floors on your hands and knees, raking leaves, wiping down baseboards, painting your dining room, scrubbing the shelves in your refrigerator (no…I am not listing all the things I need to do…yeah…of course not). Not only will you work up a sweat, but your house will look awesome! Put on some music and maybe add in some lunges or squats as you go.

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Painting a fence counts, too!

4.) Be Social and know your city.

If you did a little research, you may find a hiking trail you didn’t know about, or a walking club for moms that meets every Tuesday morning. Being in the know will help you to make decisions that are right for you and your family. Do you know an elderly lady with a big dog that needs some exercise? Volunteer your time to get to know her and her dog and then take it (the dog, not the old lady) for a run. Introduce yourself to the neighbor who just moved in and ask if they want to go on a walk around downtown with you and you can point out things like the best stores, restaurants, etc. as you go to help them learn their new town. Getting exercise but also helping out someone else makes you feel good. Bonus points!

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I found a trail!

5.) Don’t spend a fortune on fitness gear.

This one is hard for me because I love cute running gear! Wait for sales, or free shipping for online products. Sometimes you can find affiliates who are offering discounts on products you love online. Buy the model that is not in production anymore and they are usually cheaper (for shoes). I also take good care of my fitness gear. I wash it every time I sweat in it (totally can’t imagine re wearing sweaty workout gear. ew.) I hang dry everything, and it lasts a long time. Also, when people ask what to get me for Christmas/Birthday, I tell them running gear,  or a running store gift card.

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QOTD: What is your best fitness on a budget tip?

runDisney Star Wars Runners!

Guess what? Yesterday, I registered myself, Bobby AND Emma Kate for the runDisney Star Wars races! Yes, we haven’t even taken Emma Kate yet to Disney (she is going in October) and we are already planning a trip back in April for Star Wars!

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Bobby and I decided to just run the half marathon (my parents will be there to watch EK) and then she will do the kids race on Saturday. We have had our fill of challenges from Goofy to Dopey and me doing Glass Slipper, that we are fine just doing one race this time so we have more time (an sleep! and money!) on this trip.

I will say, I had quite the scare yesterday when I was trying to register the family. I registered myself just fine, but when I went to register EK and Bobby, it said they were already registered! I panicked, but after being reassured by some folks on Facebook, was told to wait a few minutes and try again in a different browser. I did, and was finally able to get all three conformations.

I have done many, many runDisney races, and offer lots of advice in my runDisney section, but the kids races will be a FIRST for me. So, I need all your best tips to make this the best possible experience for Emma Kate. Fire away, I need your help!

QOTD: Are you doing Star Wars? Any kids races advice for me?

Fall/Winter Race Schedule 2016

Hey friends! As you probably know, I live in the south where it is currently in triple digits weather wise. Running is more like swimming, and I lose about 4 pounds every time I go for a run. Unfortunately I gain it all back later that day, but I digress. It seems odd to start planning for fall races when it’s so dang hot! But, I have to start training to be ready for said races, so I came up with a plan that I can hopefully (loosely) stick to doing. The problem is, I don’t want to give up boot camp, but I can’t run 5 days a week and do boot camp, so I am planning to run 3 days a week.

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I know it will be difficult to get faster this way, but at this point in my life I would much rather be strong than fast, so we will see what happens. This is a very tentative schedule. The only thing I am actually registered for is the runDisney Princess half in February, but I plan on signing up for some others very soon! I’m going to start with a couple 5k’s because it’s still dreadfully hot here in September. Our half season doesn’t start until October, and sometimes that is even a little early, but hopefully it will cool off earlier this year!

September 17th: Run, Rock and Roll 5k (Mississippi)

October 1st: A Day in the Country 5k (Mississippi)

October 16th: Mandeville Half (Louisiana)

February 5th: RnR New Orleans half marathon (Louisiana) (Use code LOOKINGGLASS16 for $15 off registration)

February 26th: runDisney Princess half marathon (Orlando)

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My plan is to do one easy run, one long run, and one tempo run each week, plus 4 days of boot camp. I will probably run Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. We do legs on Tuesday at boot camp, so Wednesday will probably be my easy run day because I usually can’t walk well after leg day. I’m excited to get going again but nervous about how it will all fit together. I don’t want to get burnt out. Again. It happens, but fingers crossed I can make it all work!

QOTD: What is on your fall racing calendar? Have you started training yet?

5 Things Friday XX

 

1.) I launched my eBook this week! I can’t believe I actually did it. It was always something I wanted to do “one day” but seemed too big and scary. So crazy to me that people are buying something I wrote. You can purchase your copy here.

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2.) On Wednesday night when I got to Bible Study, my tire pressure light was on, and sure enough I had a huge nail in my tire. I was able to put air in it at the gas station so I could get home, and thankfully a friend was able to come by yesterday morning and put air in it again so I could get EK to school and take my car in. Spending almost 2 hours at the tire place wasn’t want I had in mind for my day, but it happens. The weird thing is, this is the second time in 2 months I have had this happen!

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3.) Did you get tea at McAlister’s yesterday for free tea day? I missed my workout at the gym because I was at the tire place, so I did some pushups after getting my lunch at McAlisters. Double win!

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4.) My friend Melissa is hosting a Ballet body bootcamp. It’s a 6 week online bootcamp that combines ballet with traditional fitness. It’s a great way to do something different and mix up your workout routine, learn something you’ve probably never learned before, and increase your flexibility while building lean muscle. Ballet works very different muscles than most workouts, so by combining the two you’re going to hit every muscle in your body. The program also includes a suggested grocery list and free meal planning guide, and I will add clients to my online support and accountability group. Check it out, it sounds cool!

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5.) I completed my first run of the RnR virtual run series yesterday, it was the guitar solo. So much fun!

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Have a great weekend everyone, see ya on Monday!

QOTD: Have you done a virtual run? Ever had a nail in your tire? Have you checked out my eBook?

5 Tips for Starting a Blog

Good morning! I have been getting a ton of questions lately about starting a new blog or how to improve your current blog. One of the main questions I get is “can I even blog?” The answer is YES! That’s what is so great about it. Anyone can blog, it’s YOUR words, your stories, you make the rules. You may know my blog started out as a training journal for running and morphed into so much more. I am by no means an expert, but as a 6+ year blogger, I do have 5 tips for starting a blog I wanted to share with you.

5 tips for starting a blog

1.) Don’t pigeon hole yourself with your domain name. My blog started as running only, so the name “Running With Sass” completely fit. However, after three years I was itching to branch out and blog about other things, so I had to go through the painful process of switching everything over to Through Heather’s Looking Glass which was quite a pain! If you know for a fact all you will ever blog about is running, or crafting, or whatever it is that is getting you to start a blog, then that’s fine, however…six years ago I didn’t think I would want to blog about other things, so it *may* be a good idea to do a  semi-generic domain/blog name to give you more freedom.

2.) Pick a platform. I started out on wordpress.com (My blog was runningwithsass.wordpress.com) I soon paid the extra money to have the “wordpress” part taken off, and after a year of blogging I went self hosted on WordPress.org. This allows me to be a part of blog networks, get paid for posts, etc. Some people use and love Blogger, but I am definitely a WordPress gal and think it’s very user friendly, and it is not very expensive. I am NOT great with technical stuff, but was able to easily navigate WordPress.org, and use Bluehost for my web hosting, and WordPress through Bluehost is FREE, and they offer technical support.

Click the picture below to check out Bluehost.


3.) Get involved on social media So you didn’t realize that starting a blog also meant juggling social media accounts did you? Of course, you don’t HAVE to use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, but they will greatly help grow your blog. Not only do I suggest joining them, but be ACTIVE on them, and don’t just talk about yourself. Actually interact. Also, comment on other people’s blogs. No one likes “that girl” who gets tons of comments but never interacts with the audience. It makes you seem un-relatable and not a real person. (Note: I’m not saying you should have to respond to EVERY comment, but some interaction is nice!)

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4.) Don’t compare. This is a biggie. A lot of new bloggers will look at blogs that have been around for years and immediately want to be like them, with the same number of followers, pageviews, etc. Very few people became an overnight success, so put in the hard work and your blog will grow, evolve, and change. You are at a different part of your journey, and everyone has to start somewhere.

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5.) Use Live Writer. I am a PC gal, and this is not available for Mac, but I use Windows Live Writer to draft and upload all of my posts. I remember when I first started using it, I was so mad I had been wasting so much time actually composing posts in WordPress all that time! Picture placement and adding links is so much easier in live writer, and then you can publish or schedule a post to go straight to your blog. Super easy, and a great blogging tool.

Want more of a step by step guide to setting up your blog plus more tips? Enroll in my FREE e-course now! 

QOTD: New bloggers- did you find this helpful? Veteran bloggers: What would you add?

Congrats to the winners of my eBook giveaway! (Please email me at heather@heatherslookingglass.com) You can see who it is on the Rafflecoptor widget on my birthday blog post.  If you didn’t win, you can go pre order my eBook now! You will receive the eBook on Wednesday.

July 2016 Goals

Happy 4th of July! What a special day to celebrate our beautiful country and the freedoms it provides. Be safe with your fireworks!

Half of 2016 has officially come and gone, which means it is time to take a look back at any resolutions or goals you made back in January. How are you doing? In my experience if these are not in your face daily or at least weekly, they will be forgotten about. I hope the second half of 2016 is successful for you!

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Speaking of success, let’s see how successful I was with my goals from June:

1.) Clean up my work closet: D: I started on this one, but because it is tucked away upstairs where no one can see, it easily gets neglected. It’s going back on my list for July though!

2,) Cook one new recipe: A++: Why did I give myself 2 plusses? Because I cooked TWO new recipes! I tried out a box from Blue Apron, and cooked two of the recipes myself. I truly love the idea of food being delivered to your door that you just have to cook without buying all the ingredients yourself. However, I don’t truly love the price. Yikes.

3,) Workout 5 times a week: B+: Giving myself a B here because I had one week where I only worked out four times, but otherwise I have been sticking with boot camp very well.

4,) Run at least once a week: A+: Not only have I run once every week, but there were two weeks where I ran twice. Even in this heat and humidity! Super proud of myself.

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July Goals:

1.) Clean out my work closet: Carry over from last month.

2.) Finish boot camp strong with more muscle mass: At the beginning and end of each boot camp cycle, we do a body fat test. Last month my muscle mass % had gone down a tiny bit and my body fat had gone up so I want to correct that!

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3.) Get my eBook launched on time: In case you missed my post on Friday, I will be doing a pre sale for my eBook on my birthday, July 13, for one week before launching officially on the 20th. Hoping nothing gets pushed back and I get all the moving parts in place before launch!

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4.) Read my Bible every day: I was doing well with this at the beginning of the year, but last month things were really nuts around my house with lots of shifting schedules and it threw me out of whack. I need to find a new normal so I can get this important thing into the beginning of my day.

The only reason I have been having pretty good success with my monthly goals is because I put them in front of my face all month so I don’t forget about them. Having a print out each month of my overall goals with action steps as well as my fitness goals to post up on my mirror or refrigerator really helps keep me in check. If you would like a copy of the goal and fitness tracking printables that I created and use, you can sign up for them here. I hope you have lots of success!

QOTD: What is a goal you have for July?

Motivation to Run

Let’s face it, as much as we all love the idea of running, sometimes we need a little extra kick in the pants to get us out the door. Whether it be lack of motivation due to early runs, weather, or simply being burnt out, every run isn’t fun or easy. I don’t know about you, but I often lack motivation to run.

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There are some days when my alarm goes off, and all I want to do is hit the snooze, roll over, and get a few more minutes of sleep before I have to start my day. But, time keeps on ticking whether I get up or not. Sometimes we all just need a little motivation.

I wanted to share a few tips that have helped me when I have one of those days that I just don’t feel like running. I try to keep in mind that I have never once regretted a run once I get going.

Motivational tips for “getting out there” even when you don’t feel like it:

1.   Pick a running mantra: One of my favorites is “you are stronger than you think.” Every time I want to quit, or not get out at all, I try to remember it’s usually mental.  I am stronger than I think I am. Find a great mantra (or borrow mine!) and repeat it to yourself when the going gets tough.

2.   Prepare ahead of time: One of the main reasons why people find themselves unmotivated to run is because they have to get up really early, or run after a long day at work. My advice for this is to be prepared. If it’s a morning run, lay everything out ahead of time, or even sleep in your running clothes. This makes it easy to get out the door in the morning (and you may get to sleep an extra few minutes with less prep time). If you have to run after work, go ahead and bring your running clothes and change immediately after you finish your job so you have no excuse. Leave a pair of running shoes in the trunk of your car. Have dinner ready ahead of time so you don’t have to spend a lot of fuss to get in some food before going on your run. You could even have a healthy snack in the car waiting for you. Plan, plan, and plan some more!

3.   Buy new clothes: If weather is causing your lack of motivation, make sure you have the proper gear to help combat the conditions. Layer well if it’s cold, or buy a fun new running jacket that you have been wanting. If it’s hot, maybe a cute new visor or moisture wicking top is what you need.

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4.   Take a break: Feeling burnt out after a long training cycle? It may just be time to take a break. Usually after a week or two of no running, I am itching to go again. A week or two won’t make you lose all your fitness, but may be just what you need to get your running mojo back. It can also help to prevent injury, as your body could be telling you it NEEDS a break!

5.   Find accountability partners: Start a blog to keep you accountable, or run with some friends who are counting on you to show up and run with them. This way, you will be less likely to bail. Or, simply ask a friend to give you a little push and check up on you to make sure you are sticking to your plan.

No matter what method you use, be sure to pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you are feeling extra sore or injured, take a day or two off just to be safe. Try to remember how lucky you are to have a healthy body that allows you to get you out the door, and keep on running!

QOTD: What is your best tip for having motivation to run?

June 2016 Goals

I know I am a couple days late, but happy June! I am going to tell yall right now this is going to be a CRAZY MONTH for me because of some family things I’m not at liberty to discuss now, but I am still committed to reaching my mini goals. But first, let’s see how I did in May.

1.) Sell items in the garage: A- I’m pretty proud of this one! I got rid of 90% of the stuff in the garage. I sold a few things, and the rest I donate to Vietnam veterans. It felt “cleansing” to get rid of that stuff and not have it clutter up my garage!

2.) Clean up my closet: A- I put all of my winter clothes in bins on the top shelf of my closet, and even went through my things and pulled out items to donate with the stuff in the garage. I still have way more clothes than I need, but it’s a start and I am proud of my progress.

3.) Boot camp 4 times a week: A- I had one week where things were a bit crazy and I only went twice, but other than that I have gone four times every week, and we just started a new two months session. I am getting so much stronger, and have been able to add more weight to the bar when I squat which is so rewarding.

4.) Keep a running base of 6 miles: A+ Done! I ran six miles two weekends ago, and the other weekends were 5 milers and 4.5 milers, so I would call that a win! (By keeping a running base of 6 miles, I had no intention of running 6 miles every weekend, just at least once a month.)

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June goals:

1.) Clean up my work closet: We have a large closet in our bonus room that I have filled with all things related to Disney travel. I have papers, brochures, trinkets, books, etc. and it’s kind of turned into a hot mess up there. Time to clean it out and organize!

2,) Cook one new recipe: I’m going to be realistic here. As I said, June is going to be crazy busy so one new recipe will be a big step for me!

3,) Workout 5 times a week: Again with the busyness about to unfold, I need to stay strong with my workouts and not make excuses.

4,) Run at least once a week: If I’m going to slack on a workouts, it’s going to be on the weekend when I am supposed to run. I just need to stay focused and put action steps in place to set myself up for success in this department.

Free fitness and goal tracking printables

Last month I was really successful with my goals, largely in part because I printed out my fitness and goal trackers to help keep me accountable. Being able to see them every day helped me to remember to get things done. It also made me feel really good about myself and confident when I was able to achieve something!

If you have not signed up to receive my free printables, now is a great time to start! It’s the beginning of the month so there is plenty of time to set a couple of goal for June. Let’s get moving!

QOTD: What is a goal you have for June? Any good healthy recipes I should try? (Preferably chicken related).