FEBRUARY 2017

Running Journal Free Printable Download

If you've been following along you may have read that I had the flu. Cue internet sympathy. Wait? No one cares? Oh yeah. hah.

My eyes stared at the blank MacBook Air screen as I lied on the couch covered in my favorite leopard print blanket (aka Alison), but my foggy flu brain wasn't cooperating. I was easily distracted by Facebook, Netflix (Walking Dead marathon) and coughing fits. I just couldn't pull it together enough to write my usual blog posts for the week. Lucky for me I was working on another printable this week before I got sick, this time a run journal. We'll get back to 52 Healthy Habits next Monday (spoil alert: I was sick so no habits were established) so this week I want to share my new printable with you.

It can be beneficial to journal your runs, not only to track your miles (because most of us have watches and apps that do that) but to track how you feel and how you performed.

Since I am a blogger and a writer at heart it is very natural for me to journal my runs. I don't write a novel each time, but I take note of how many miles I ran, how I felt, what the weather was like, how I slept the night before and what I ate surrounding my run. It's amazing to see how those things can affect your run. Once you start to track these details certain trends may start to emerge.

I like to journal so I can look back and see how far I've come. I seem to forget every summer that the brutal Texas heat takes at least a minute off my pace and then I wonder why I am so slow. The weather can make a big difference! When I journal I can look at my runs from last summer to compare rather than runs during the cooler spring temperatures.

I made this weekly journal that you can print out and jot down notes after your run. 

Enter your email below to get the PDF version to print out.

Enter your email below to get the PDF version to print out.

WEEKLY GOAL

It's a good idea to establish a goal for the week. It may be to run three times or a certain number of miles or hit a certain pace, but writing in down and looking over it each day goes a long way on the road to achieving it.

PERSONAL RECORDS

This is a place to record your personal records (your fastest finishing time) for 5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon and full marathon. If you haven't ran these distances you could use this space to record your goal race dates.

DAILY MILES AND PACE

Jot down the number of miles you ran, your pace or how long it took you to complete. At the bottom of the weekly miles there is a space to record your month-to-date and year-to-date miles.

FEEL | WEATHER | FUEL | SLEEP

Just a quick word or two on how you felt during the run, what the weather was like, how you ate and how you slept the night before. 

WEEKLY NOTES

Make any notes here during the week or at the end at the week in reflection.

RUNNING SHOES

I like to rotate between two pairs of shoes which makes it harder to keep track of the miles on each pair. Most people need to replace their running shoes every 300-600 miles, depending on type of use (trail runners may need to replace sooner), your weight and other factors. You usually can tell when you need to replace your shoes by the cushioning and the tread, but it's a good idea to have some awareness of how many miles on your shoes. Use this space to keep a running total of the miles on your shoes. 

REFLECTION

Take a minute and reflect on your best, your longes, your fastest and your hardest run of the week. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back for another successful week. 

Ready? Set? Get it. 

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10 Lessons Learned from Weight Loss Applied to Small Business Success

You may think I am biased (and maybe I am) but I believe fitness is the foundation of a happy and successful life. I am not suggesting that fitness has to be your whole life, but if you make health and movement a priority then the benefits and rewards make your whole life better. 

When you make health a priority you look, feel and perform your best. Exercise is good for your heart, your body and your brain. When I start my day with exercise I have a clearer head, a happier disposition, better stress management and feel more equipped to tackle the day.

I am a full-time marketing director in the corporate world trying to get this fitness business off the ground. Some days I feel full of hope and inspiration and other days I feel defeated and overwhelmed. Time and time again I find that a lot of the struggles and triumphs of starting a new business relate directly to the struggles and triumphs when losing 40 pounds and making fitness a priority in my life.

These days fitness comes easy for me. Of course I am not always hyper-motivated but I always find a way to make health, movement and nutrition a priority in my life...but it wasn't always that way. I went through a physical and (more importantly) mental transformation. I can relate to my weight loss clients because I have been there. I remember what it feels like. But there are days I see people struggling with the exact same things I struggled with and I want to wave my magic wand so they get it. Then I remember I am struggling too, but in a different realm with a new business. The themes are exactly the same. I can take the lessons I learned from my weight loss journey and apply them to my new business journey and expect to see the same successes.

OVERCOME FEAR AND SELF-DOUBT

When I was overweight I remember clearly sitting in traffic on my way home from work and feeling frustrated with my weight, my progress and started questioning my ability to reach my goals. I remember thinking, with tears rolling down my cheeks, "Do I just have to accept that I am an overweight person now?" I had tried and failed so many times that I started to believe I couldn't do it, that maybe I just had to accept my new larger body size as my new reality. 

Now I know that was just fear and self-doubt. Of course I could reach any goal I set out to reach as long as I worked hard, remaining consistent and had a positive mindset. 

The same things apply in my business. "Do I just have to accept that I will work my corporate job forever?" No! The same principles apply. I need to push past the fear and self-doubt and move an inch forward every day. 

GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you. As trainers we are always telling our clients to push outside their comfort zone. It can be scary to try new workouts, experiment with new recipes and make lifestyle changes. You know what? Fitness is my comfort zone. Even when I am working hard or feeling uncomfortable in fitness, I know it is a good place. I like it there.

You know what is uncomfortable for me? Selling myself. Success in business relies on getting out of your comfort zone as much as success in fitness. It would be hypocritical to ask my clients to get out of their comfort zone while I sit idly by in my own. Note to self: Putting yourself out there is scary. Do it anyway. 

REMAIN CONSISTENT

What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in awhile
— Gretchen Rubin

Consistency is key to success in fitness. Working out for an hour once every two weeks or eating a healthy diet every Monday won't get you anywhere, but finding 15 minutes a day to exercise and remaining consistent with your diet can be difference between success and failure. 

Same in business. I have to show up everyday, put out regular content and engage with my audience. I have to work on it even when I don't feel like it or when no one is paying attention. The more I put into it, the more I get out of it. Just like in fitness you can't expect overnight success. It is the small daily actions that snowball into big results over time. 

PUT IN HARD WORK

Almost nothing worth having comes easy. If getting in shape was easy we would all we walking around with six pack abs. As much as I believe in the power of positive thinking, you can't just sit around and hope for good things to happen. If you want success in fitness it is going to take some work and some uncomfortable changes. It's the actions that produce results. I worked really hard to achieve success in my fitness lifestyle. I exercised, I changed my diet and I changed my lifestyle. It wasn't easy at first, but it was worth it. 

I look at other successful business owners and they make it look so easy, but what I don't see is the years of work and struggle behind the scenes. Success requires hard work. There is always a learning curve. I have to be willing to put in the work even when there is not an immediate and apparent payoff. 

CELEBRATE SMALL WINS

You don't always see results on the scale, but there are other indicators that let you know you're on the right track: Your clothes fit better, you sleep better, you have more energy, you lost inches in your body measurements, you can climb the stairs without huffing and puffing. If you only measure success by one criteria it can be easy to get frustrated. Look for the small wins in fitness and celebrate them often. 

Same goes for business. If you only measure success by dollars in the bank it might feel like the process is slow and unrewarding. I have to remember that small wins include people sharing my blog posts, asking questions, showing up at my bootcamps, telling me that I helped them. I have to celebrate the small wins in business along the way to stay motivated as I work towards the big goals

TRACK PROGRESS

Tracking is everything. How are you supposed to know where you are going unless you know where you came from? You are what you measure. How can you celebrate small wins if you don't know that you lost 1" in your waist because you didn't measure it. 

Are my website's unique monthly pageviews growing? How about my social media channels? How are my shares or Pinterest saves compared to last month? How are my sales and sponsored blog posts? What about my expenses? If I don't track I simply don't know if I am improving or treading water. Just like in fitness, once I have the data, I can start to construct the action plans to make improvements where needed. 

EMBRACE THE SETBACKS

Anyone who has ever achieved anything knows that there is not a straight line to success. Some of the setbacks in my own fitness journey included injuries and work stress that derailed my focus. I have experienced temporary setbacks but I found a way to overcome them and they only made me smarter, stronger and better equipped to handle future problems. 

I know I can expect setbacks in business, it is part of the process. It's how I learn and grow. I won't be shocked or derailed by them, I will try to embrace them because they are the catalyst to growth. (Note to self: reread this when things go wrong.)

MAKE SACRIFICES

It's a given in fitness that if you want success you probably need to make some sacrifices. You may have to pass on the nightly tub of Ben & Jerry's or turn down a Friday night party because of your training run in the morning. It's not to say that you can never have fun or enjoy indulgent foods, of course you can. I am big proponent of moderation. But success in fitness largely depends on our ability to delay gratification. I can have a slice of pizza or three, I am just going to wait until my "indulgence day" (I don't like the term "cheat"meal, it's not a cheat if it is part of the plan). I sacrifice my short term desires for my long term goals because I know the long term payoff is bigger than the short term reward. 

Business takes sacrifices too. I sacrifice my free time. I sacrifice my spending money. Sometimes my sanity. Making sacrifices now is essential to success in the future. 

ENJOY THE JOURNEY/BE PATIENT

Fitness is a journey. There is no finish line. The sooner that you come to this realization, the more successful and less frustrated you will be. Sure you may have goals, but look at them like stepping stones along the way. I can tell you that meeting that goal weight, new pant size or PR will not automatically make you happier with a perfect life. There is no endgame in fitness. It is a lifestyle. Your goals should be changing, evolving and growing over the years. Learn to be patient and enjoy the journey because the journey is your life. Happiness doesn't come at the end, it happens now. 

This is so hard for me because in my business I fall into that future thinking that I warn my clients about in fitness. "If only I had (fill in the blank), then I'd be happy." The key is to remember to feel happy now. Feel grateful for the learning curve, the opportunities and the challenges because all these things are making me smarter, stronger and better equipped to run my business tomorrow. I'll get there but today I am here and it's a pretty good place. 

HAVE PASSION

If you don't like to exercise you probably are not going to wake up tomorrow with a burning desire to go to CrossFit. The key is to find something that you enjoy. There are so many ways to move your body there is surely one way that will resonate with you. It may take some experimenting. Try some new classes and activities, think outside the box when it comes to exercise. Walking, running, hiking, biking, weightlifting and playing sports are just a few ways you can move your body and clear your mind. There are countless other ways. It is harder to be successful if you force yourself to do things you hate. You may be able to power through for a few weeks or months, but eventually you'll you'll quit. You don't have to fall in love with exercise (like I did) you just have to find a way to not hate it. 

The thing that keeps me going in this business is my passion for fitness and writing. I can wake up every day and write blog articles and workout plans because I genuinely love it. It feeds my soul. It's my creative outlet. Even if no one was reading (thanks for reading) or showing up at my bootcamps, I keep going because I love it. If I were trying to pursue a business in something that I wasn't as passionate about, I may not have the drive to keep going when progress is slow. 

Did I miss anything? The lessons we learn in fitness translate to all facets of life. If you have found success in one area of your life, think about how you can apply those same lessons to your current struggles. 

This whole blog post is just a pep-talk to myself, so if I helped you in some small way, that is a bonus. In fitness I am guilty of saying, "If I can do it anyone can." because when I look back at what I achieved it never seems as hard as I made it out in my own head. But when I'm in the trenches of something new it can feel overwhelming or impossible. Someday I will be looking back at my successful business and say "If I can do it anyone can."

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HIIT TREADMILL WORKOUT

Welcome to the latest edition of Workout Wednesday! High intensity interval workouts are great for when you want an effective workout with little time. This treadmill HIIT workout can be completed in 20 minutes. It is great for both beginners and intermediate runners who want to improve speed, lose fat and gain fitness.

Always warm up before beginning any workout. This treadmill workout is eight rounds of 30 second sprints followed by 90 seconds of active recovery. I recommend HIIT workouts 1-3 times per week depending on your fitness level and experience with HIIT. If you are new to high intensity workouts, start with one time a week. Always allow 1-2 rest and recovery days in between high intensity days to allow your body to properly recover. Your body adapts (gets stronger, faster, etc.) during rest, not during the workout, so it's important to allow this recovery time to get the maximum results. 

Ready to get started? After three minutes of brisk walking to warm up, sprint for 30 seconds at Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) of 7-9 (breathing should be challenging) followed by 90 seconds of slow jogging or walking (RPE 4-6) to recover before going into your next interval. You will repeat this cycle until you complete 8 total sprint rounds. 

Cool down at the end of the workout by walking for as long as it takes to fully recover your breath.

Save to your favorite Pinterest workout board for later!

Save to your favorite Pinterest workout board for later!

After 4-8 weeks of this workout 1-3 times a week you can expect to see improvements in your running speed and efficiency, provided you are resting appropriately. 

In order to keep progressing you may find that your sprint speed intervals need to increase as you get stronger. Remember that we always want to challenge ourselves to keep improving. After several weeks If you find that the sprint intervals start to feel easier, that is a sign it is time to increase the speed. If you follow the RPE chart then you should be able to determine if you are working at the appropriate intensity. Everyone is different but you may find you need increase speed of your sprint intervals after about three weeks of regular interval work. Listen to your body. 

Do you do HIIT workouts? I love them for both cardio and strength training. Give this one a try and let me know what you think.

 

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52 Healthy Habits Week 5: Stop the Scrolling

We are five weeks into my new series, 52 healthy habits, where I attempt to tackle a new healthy habit each week. I believe that no matter where you are in your fitness journey there is always room for incremental improvements for a healthier, happier life. 

As I work on new habits I am sure some will stick and others will fall away. I'll have successes and failures along the way. I am just five weeks in and I have already had some struggles adopting and following through with some of these ideas. While I write this series for accountability for myself and to get you thinking about the small changes you can make, I don't use it to feel bad about myself. If I have a bad week, if I don't follow-through on some of my intentions, I try to examine what went wrong to see how I can do better in the future or reexamine if I need it in my life at all. I never feel bad about what I failed to do in the past. The past is over. I am looking to get better in the future. 

Last week my new habit was writing 'morning pages.' I did OK. Not perfect. I wrote a few days and missed a few days. The days I missed were all days that I forgot to do it until it was too late and I had to leave for work. This just tells me I have to do a better job of listing out my morning to-do's and then actually look at the list. (I am notorious for writing lists but never looking at them because they are sooo far away in my backpack in the other room. hah.) So next week as I tackle my new habit, I will continue to work on morning pages to improve over last week. 

Week 3 was tracking my macros and attempting to do a better job in hitting the targeted percentages. I planned ahead and did much better last week. I still wasn't exact, but I am finally getting into the groove of planning ahead, entering meals in advance and adjusting as needed. I am improving a lot over the previous weeks.

My most successful new habit despite a very rocky start is getting up at 5:30am every day (even on weekends) to work on my blog, business or to workout. It still feels hard, but getting slightly easier. We slept in to 8:30 on Saturday this week because my husband plays drums and he had a late show on Friday night and slept until 6:30 on Sunday because...well, because Sunday. Every other day we were up and at 'em at 5:30 and I am pretty proud of that especially considering how poorly we did the first week

WEEK 5: STOP THE SCROLLING

I have a problem. It's a real addiction. The scrolling. Even when I get up early some mornings I spend way too much time scrolling Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram and then I don't get anything productive done. That defeats the purpose of rising early. The point of getting up early is to have more hours in my day to be productive, not to waste those hours on social media that I could have been sleeping.

Then it doesn't end there. I get home from work in the evenings, eat dinner, do dishes, walk Ollie and then it's usually around 8 or 8:30. At this point, as long as I have my 10k steps, I sit my butt on the couch and scroll social media on my iPad until bedtime! This is a massive waste of time and I need to do better. I have so many dreams, plans and ideas that all require execution and execution requires time. I have the time. I just need to use my time more wisely.

I look at it as my unwinding time, but reading is a much more productive unwinding activity. This week my intention is to spend 15 minutes catching up on emails and social media in the morning after my walk and then put social media away for the rest of the day. I can spend another 15 minutes when I get home from work, that is still 30 minutes a day, but an improvement. I will unwind with a book in the evening instead of my iPad. I know with a little thought I can make massive improvements in this area. 

Often our bad habits sneak in and we don't even notice them until they they are out of control, but if we focus on them and strive for improvement we can make the changes necessary to restore a healthy balance. 

Stay tuned next week as I tackle a big one that I have been putting off since Thanksgiving. Yikes.

Can you relate? What healthy habits are you tackling this week? If you need some help tracking your new habits, I created a free tracker download

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Tracking Results: Healthy Planner and 4 Week Tracker Printable Downloads

Happy Friday, friends! This week I am excited to share my new printable trackers. Call me old-fashioned (or just old), but I really like paper planners and trackers. Sure, I use my iPhone for appointments, I log meals into MyFitnessPal and I use my FitBit to track my steps, but when I was looking for a daily tracker I couldn't find exactly what I needed, so I decided to make my own. (I knew all those years working in Excel spreadsheets for my corporate job would eventually pay off.) 

I created a Healthy Planner printable PDF that you can download which includes a daily food log, a daily gratitude journal, a water consumption checklist, healthy habits log and an exercise log all on one page!

HEALTHY PLANNER PRINTABLE

Healthy planner - Like this tracker? Save to your favorite Pinterest board!

Healthy planner - Like this tracker? Save to your favorite Pinterest board!

DAILY FOOD LOG

I love the daily food log because the key to success in weight loss and weight management is planning ahead! If I sit down the night before and plan out my food day, I am more likely to stick to healthy eating and less likely to run through the drive through in a state of hunger panic. I don't have to be super specific with measurements and ingredients like I might on MyFitnessPal, I will just jot down what I am planning for lunch: i.e. chicken salad and an orange. Then I fill in what I actually ate to see how well I stuck to my plan. If I didn't stick to my plan, I try to figure out what went wrong and how I can improve for next time. 

GRATITUDE JOURNAL

With everything else going on my life, I like the idea of quickly jotting down 3 things I am grateful for each day. It can be anything from a husband who makes dinner every night, the friend who listens to my (first world) problems or the great parking spot out front. It's a good reminder to practice daily gratitude for the little and big things alike.

HEALTHY HABITS

If you have been following along you know I am experimenting with new healthy habits each week. In this section I can write the habit that I am working on for that week and evaluate how I did. It might be journaling, walking 10K steps, tracking or getting up early. Having a written list of the habits I am trying to instill helps me remember and provides accountability. Daily consistent actions produce results.

WATER CONSUMPTION

Just a quick little check list to check off my 8 glasses of water of day. Everyone's water need are a little different, but this is a good starting point. You can adjust if you need more or less. 

EXERCISE LOG

Lastly we have a section to log exercise, whether it was a cardio session or weight lifting I have a place to jot down my stats so I remember for next time. With any exercise program you want to make sure you are always progressing as your body adapts so that you can see improvements. If you don't remember how heavy the weights were or how many reps/sets you did, it is harder to make sure you are progressing. Tracking is a great tool for success.

4 WEEK TRACKER PRINTABLE

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on my links and make a purchase I receive a percentage of the sale with no additional cost to you. No one is getting rich here, it just helps with the running (pun intended) of this blog. If I hated it, I'd tell you. 

I was on a roll and started thinking about all the trackers I wanted to create. I mentioned in a previous post that I just started Cori Lefkowith's six week macro cycling program again and this will be my 2nd time through the program. I wanted to track a little more closely this time. During the first 6 weeks I only paid attention to scale weight, but by own admission the scale is only one tiny piece of the puzzle. Although I lost 8 pounds in 6 weeks (mostly just a few vanity pounds that I gained over the holidays) I have no idea what other progress I may or may not have made. So I decided when I repeated the cycle I was going to track a little closer this time. 

4 week tracker printable - Like this tracker? Save to your favorite Pinterest board.

4 week tracker printable - Like this tracker? Save to your favorite Pinterest board.

STATS

The first section is for tracking scale weight, body fat percentage, waist, hips, thigh and biceps measurements for four weeks. Sometimes results don't show on the scale, but you see them in the measurements. If you are going to track your scale weight it is a good idea to get the whole picture by also taking measurements.

THREE THINGS I ROCKED 

At the end of each week look back on the week and write three things you did really well. Maybe it was that you exercised 3 times last week, you ate vegetables with most meals or walked your dog everyday after dinner. Whatever healthy steps you took to help reach your goals this is the place to pat yourself on the back. 

THREE THINGS TO IMPROVE

What went wrong? What could have you done better? Maybe you slept in and missed your workout. Maybe you were tired when you got home from work and hit the drive through instead of making dinner at home. Evaluate the things that didn't go as planned and try to figure out a better game plan for next time. This isn't about beating ourselves up for our shortcomings (it's life. we're human. move on.) It's about learning from our mistakes so we can improve next time. 

NON-SCALE VICTORIES

Think hard about your non-scale victories. No matter if the scale went up or down or stayed the same last week, what positive benefits have you been experiencing from your healthy lifestyle? It could be that you are sleeping better, you have more energy, your skinny jeans fit again, you ran faster than last week or lifted a new PR. Take pride in these victories (even the small ones) because they are the ones that matter the most. 

GOALS AND RESULTS

The boxes at the bottom are for planning your monthly goals and then recording your results. You don't know how far you've come unless you remember where you started. 

Do you want these planners and trackers? Sign up here!

healthy planner and 4 week tracker printables. Save to your favorite Pinterest board.

healthy planner and 4 week tracker printables. Save to your favorite Pinterest board.

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