February in Review, March Goals

It’s March! While yes, we have had an unseasonably light winter (and there is always the possibility of more snow) I am so excited to be getting closer to spring! I am not a fan of winter and have been feeling a bit down from it for the past few weeks. Anyone else struggle with winter as time goes on?

Anyways, March is here and I have a lot I’m looking forward to. Not really so much for this month specifically, but there will be plenty of prep going on now for those future events! But before we get to that, a quick review on how February went!

February Review:

Highlights:

  • I turned 30! I wrote more about it here, but I’ve decided to view 30 as an exciting and new adventure. Plus I had a great birthday, so it definitely comes in as a highlight!
  • I got to see a Broadway production of Chicago! It was wonderful. A couple girlfriends and I decided to go as a late birthday celebration. We got very dressed up for the show, followed by a delicious dinner! It was a perfect night and so much fun!
  • This might have been my best month so far for sales for my jewelry!goals

Low Points:

  • Well, I did a full weekend market this month selling my jewelry. But it did not go at all how I had hoped it would. It was very discouraging and exhausting at the time. I’m feeling a bit better about it now, but it left me feeling quite down for a little while afterwards.goals
  • I did not hit anywhere near what I would have liked to for my workouts.

February Goals:

Personal

  1. Yoga once a week! This was the goal that I was the most disappointed about not being able to do last month, so that is being carried over. – I did manage to do this one and I’m so glad. Definitely something I’m going to try to carry over in the future!

Blog

  1. Contact 2-3 people about the big project I have in mind about design and implementation – Nope. I did talk to some people and get a few leads about who I can talk to about it, but I didn’t actually get in touch with the people I really needed to.

Business

  1. Finish up 10+ new pieces before market on the 10th – Yes! Plus more finished up at the market itself. It was a good month for creating!goals
  2. Get studio cleaned out for remodel – Nope. I do really need to get a move on with this one.

So, now for March! I really want this month to be productive and get me set up for the coming months!

March Goals:

Personal

  1. Keep up with fitness challenge! I just started a 10-week fitness challenge and can’t wait to see how it goes. Since it’s a new program and experience for me, so I’m not going to get specific with my goal. I just want to keep up with it!fitness-challenge-goals

Blog

  1. Finish online course I started at the beginning of this month. I got a little off-track through February, but this course seemed really good and helpful. So this month I’m going to finish it!
  2. Make appointment with someone qualified to help me with that big project I have in mind. Since I didn’t actually talk to anyone about it in February, I’m going to actually make sure to make an appointment for this month!

Business

  1. Make 20 new pendants. I have 2 live markets coming up in April, so now is my time to get ready!

That’s it for this month! How did February go for you? What are your goals for March? I would love to hear about them, so please leave a comment below!

Burpee & Squat Pyramid – Sarah from Creating a Better Tomorrow

Hey everyone!  I am super excited to bring you this week’s post! Today we are welcoming back Sarah from Creating a Better Tomorrow. If you missed my interview with her a couple of week’s ago, I encourage you to check that out as well! Her story is amazing! And today she is going to push us to push ourselves with this awesome pyramid workout!

Enjoy! (Also, let’s take a second to celebrate that this is the first ever video on the blog!! But hopefully not the last 🙂 )

Every week (or almost every) over in my blog world at CreatingBetterTomorrow I share an at home workout.  As a busy mom of toddlers I know how precious every minute of your day and workout can be.  Forget wasting time and money driving to a gym you can get in an amazing workout at home with little equipment and space.  All of my online programming and personal training is designed to be 30 minutes or less and only ever require minimal equipment (if any!).  Today I wanted to put together a special workout just for you all Nymph in the Woods folks.  It’s a burner…and it has two of my favorite moves featured in it…squats and burpees!

You’ll notice it is a pyramid style so you’ll go down in one move and up in the other move.  It’s a twist on the traditional counting of repetitions or timing your moves.  I like changing up the style of my workouts.  By simply changing up the format (like pyramid vs. rep counting), it keeps me from getting bored and tends to make the workout seem to go faster!

There may only be two moves in this workout, but don't be deceived! This workout will leave you sweating and burning in the best way!

Only two moves but this workout will leave you sweating and your heart beating!

But I can’t Do Burpees!

I know what some of you are saying…”but I can’t do burpees.”  I beg to differ.  In my bootcamps I provide video demonstrations for each and every workout.  I just finished putting together all new videos for my 30 Day Total Body Bootcamp programs.  And here is one of the old videos.  I show you how you can modify a burpee to be low/no impact!

The only limitations you have in life are those you set in your mind.  You may have to MODIFY but MODIFICATIONS are not limits they are just stepping blocks to help you reach the next level.

The full program includes many workouts just like this for the 30 days.   I’ll provide you 5 workouts a week.  You then pick the 6th workout for the week to ensure you get some true movement you LOVE in and one rest day.  Only equipment needed is one set of light dumbbells and one set of medium to heavy dumbbells.  The workouts range in length from 25-40 minutes. Almost every workout will come with a video demo sent directly to you each week. THE BEST PART? You get a daily email message motivation and support from me!  ARE YOU IN?!?!?

I have a special coupon JUST for you Nymph fans.  Enter code nymph15 to save $15 off the total body bootcamp program or the total body and nutrition bootcamp program!  This is only good through the end of March 15, 2017.

I just want to say thank you to Sarah for that awesome workout! Want to see more from her? I definitely encourage you to head over to her blog and check out her programs and information!

finding fitness Sarah Creating a Better TomorrowSarah is a full time stay at home mom who blogs at Creating Better Tomorrow.  Her twin, 2 year old boys keep her active and fit no matter the day but she also enjoys teaching group fitness and training clients one on one.  She has a love for the garden and dirt…and eating all the things from the garden.  Her and her husband live on 7 acres out in the country where she can get her hands dirty and the boys can chase their chickens.
Sarah suffered from anorexia in college and through that experience has grown stronger in her relationship with her Lord, her body, and her family.  She know shares through her blog and fitness work a balanced approach to loving your body and moving in ways that make your body and mind stronger than ever.

Where to find Sarah:

On her blog at CreatingBetterTomorrow.com

Twitter: @CreatingBetter

Instagram: @CreatingBetter

Facebook: Creating Better Tomorrow

Pinterest: Sarah @creatingbetter

Reflections on My 20s & My Thoughts on 30

So today I turn 30 years old! I’ll be honest, this birthday comes with some mixed emotions and I’ve struggled to write this post because of that. So I apologize in advance if this post is kinda like a word jumble and I hope you can get some insight out of it!

30 has always seemed like a milestone birthday to me….like by this point I should have accomplished certain things, should have the whole “adult” thing figured out. I think about what I thought 30 would be like when I turned 20 and in truth, what I thought couldn’t be further from the truth! I definitely don’t have this whole thing figured out. In fact, I’m starting to believe that every year I’m just going to realize HOW MUCH I have yet to figure out!

30th-birthday

And yet, with all of those mixed emotions, I find myself excited and hopeful. Both for what this year may bring and for what my 30s may bring! It’s only in the past 3 or so years that I have started to really get to know myself and to figure out what I truly want out of life. It’s taken even longer than that to start to really pursue those things!

A lot of my 20s was spent lost….I made a lot of poor choices and ended up in situations that I could have avoided had I been more thoughtful about things. My 20s included a lot of highlights and low points and they all taught me things about life and about myself.

before-fitness-journey

  • Married at 20
  • Suffered a miscarriage
  • Gained a lot of weight, ending up at around 240-250 lbs
  • Traveled to Peru (one of my most life-changing experiences)
  • Divorced
  • Started smoking again
  • Struggled with depression multiple times
  • Graduated college
  • Started losing weight
  • Got a job somewhat using my degree, only to lose it
  • Found the job I’m currently at, expecting it to be “temporary” and that I would move on to grad school
  • Started my relationship with Draz <3
  • QUIT smoking again (over 2 years now!)
  • Found a passion for fitness
  • Started this blog and my jewelry business
  • Started teaching group fitness at the YMCA

YMCA-Des-Moines

As you can see just from this, my 20s, especially my early 20s, were kind of a mess. But that honestly makes me even more excited for my 30s! I’m entering my 30s with a wonderful and supportive boyfriend and family, a good job, in the best shape of my life and with a passion for the things I am trying to build!

fitness-journey-30s

I’m not going to make predictions, since one major lesson I learned in my 20s is you can’t really prediction how life is going to go. But I do want to share some of my hopes and dreams for my 30s with you!

  • Get married and start a family
  • My jewelry business will grow and become more successful
  • The blog will grow and inspire others
  • Draz and I will go on at least a few trips together, one being to Japan
  • Continue to grow and learn in my fitness education and build a career that includes fitness
  • Be able to quit my current job and earn a full-time income from what I am building right now

I can’t say that any of these things will happen, but these are what I hope will be the highlights of my 30s. That said, I honestly believe that 30 and the entirety of my 30s will be amazing and life-changing and I can’t wait to see what happens!

To those of you in your 20s: Are your 20s like what you thought they would be? What do you think about your 30s?
To those of you who are 30s or older: Any advice? What were your thoughts as you entered your 30s?

I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!!

January in Review, February Goals

Wow, what a start to the new year!! January was full of ups and downs, but I’m feeling pretty positive about what is to come! I promise that this coming week we will be back to normal here on the blog, with meal prep posts and everything.

January Review

Highlights:

vegetable-food-prep-process

  • I did a full meal prep photo session! I can’t wait to show you all what I have planned for a lot of the pictures. They turned out great.
  • My jewelry shop is now set up to sell at 5 upcoming markets! It’s just a start, but a great one!
  • I launched a new series on here that I am super excited about. Sharing Sabrina’s story with you was wonderful and I think you are going to love the ones that are coming up!

Low Points:

  • I got sick with the flu and two ear infections for around half of the month. Needless to say, this made a lot of things I had planned pretty difficult. I’m getting better now, but my regular routine is still really off and I’m having a hard time getting back into things.
  • I strive to be honest on here, so I will share this with you all….I’ve been having a hard time this month with feeling pretty down about my jewelry business and the blog. I love them both, but neither are where I would like them to be. I’m not quitting, not by any means! But it’s been a rough month. Some of that is probably from being sick, but regardless, I’m having a difficult time feeling upbeat about my work lately.

January Goals:

Personal

  1. Spend a day taking down old decorations and putting up new. Put on some music and make it a fun and relaxing day!
  2. Have one “date day” with Draz
  3. Have one day where I spend at least 3 hours on self-care
  4. Go to yoga class once a week

I really did none of these, although up to getting sick I was doing great with the yoga class. And I suppose I spent a lot of time on self-care, but it wasn’t really by choice, so I don’t think that counts.

Blog

  1. Shoot new photos for a planned meal prep project
  2. Shoot photos for an upcoming fitness project

The photos for the meal prep project are done! The fitness shoot ones…nope. These aren’t even set yet, though I am hoping to do them this month.

Business

nymph-in-the-woods-jewelry

  1. Contact 2 bloggers about possible collaborations
  2. Make 10 new pieces of jewelry – This one is only if physically possible. My fingers are still healing from some lingering symptoms from when I was sick back in September.

I’m going to call this one a win! I did make 7 new pieces of jewelry and contacted 4 bloggers. 7 isn’t 10, but considering I was sick half of the month, I say it counts!

Overall, January didn’t go how I hoped it would, but all things considered, it didn’t go to bad. I have high hopes for February though! I have a lot of exciting events coming up this month, so I think it’s going to be great! Due to all of the stuff going on this month, I’m going to try to be a little more reserved in how many goals I set.

February Goals:

Personal

  1. Yoga once a week! This was the goal that I was the most disappointed about not being able to do last month, so that is being carried over.

Blog

  1. Contact 2-3 people about the big project I have in mind about design and implementation

Business

  1. Finish up 10+ new pieces before market on the 10th
  2. Get studio cleaned out for remodel

That’s it for this month! Hopefully this month goes better, with no horrible flu or anything!

How did January go for you? What are some of your goals for February? I would love to hear about them!

january goals

Hey everyone! With the new year and all the new projects I am working towards, I thought it would be the perfect time to bring back an old blog series: My monthly goals! Annual goals are great, but you don’t achieve them without setting smaller goals to work on throughout the year. And to do that, I’m going to take that first step and share them all with you each month. In future months, I will also share with you how I did on my goals for the previous month, both the successes and the failures!

New year and a new focus! I can't wait to get started with my January goals!

January Goals

Personal

  1. Spend a day taking down old decorations and putting up new. Put on some music and make it a fun and relaxing day!
  2. Have one “date day” with Draz
  3. Have one day where I spend at least 3 hours on self-care
  4. Go to yoga class once a week

Blog

  1. Shoot new photos for a planned meal prep project
  2. Shoot photos for an upcoming fitness project

Business

  1. Contact 2 bloggers about possible collaborations
  2. Make 10 new pieces of jewelry – This one is only if physically possible. My fingers are still healing from some lingering symptoms from when I was sick back in September.

So that is it for this month! What are your goals for the month? I would love to hear about them!

getting fit in 2017

2016 is almost over! Just a couple more days and then it will be the new year! A fresh start and all of the exciting energy that goes along with that! Have you set your goals for 2017 yet?

Every year, many people make the New Years resolution to “get fit!” which is great. Sadly, many of them won’t still be working on them one month later. Most resolutions get abandoned pretty quickly after the high from the increased motivation fades. So what can you do to make 2017 an even better year for you and your fitness?

Want to set and actually achieve your goals for 2017?! I use these 5 steps when setting all of my goals and it helps so much! Want to join me in making 2017 the year for improving your fitness!?

Getting Fit in 2017

Get Specific

The last thing you want to do is make a resolution to “get fit.” Goals like that are impossible to tell if you have achieved them and it’s hard to stay motivated when you are working towards something so vague. Instead, think about what you really want to get out of your goals and your “why.”

Do you want to lose 50 lbs? Be able to do a pull-up? Run 5 miles? These are all goals that you can specify and actually say “yes, I achieved that!” It’s also much easier to determine the steps that you need to take to reach that goal when you have a clear goal in mind.

Your “Why”

As I said above, your “why” is so important to achieving your fitness goals. It can be simple or complex, and it doesn’t have to be just one reason. What it does need to be is true to you. My why? To be able to be physically active with my future kids! That is my biggest one, but I do have others too 🙂 So really dig in and think about why you want to get fit and what exactly getting fit means to you!

Set Smaller Milestones

Let’s say that you want to be able to run 5 miles by the end of the year. Smaller milestones would be the stepping stones to get you to that goal. Maybe you could set one to complete a 5k training program by July. Another to compete in a 5k. And another to hit 4 miles. These give you things to celebrate and achieve along the way. A year can seem like a long time and your focus can shift away from your annual goal pretty easily during that time period.

Be Realistic

Pushing yourself on your goals is great. You should push yourself! But you want to set goals that are reasonable too. You probably would not want to be 70 lbs overweight and not having worked out recently and setting a goal to complete an Ironman in 2017. Push yourself, but don’t set yourself up for failure.

Check in Regularly

Set dates throughout the year that you can check in with your goal progress. These can be anything from weekly to every couple of months, though I wouldn’t make them any less than that. Have your goals written out somewhere that is easy to see or access to make it even simpler! The key is that you want to keep your goals fresh in your mind and regularly being evaluating how well you are doing working towards them.

Will you be joining me in getting fit for in 2017?! I have already set my fitness goal for the year: to be able to do a full body-weight chin-up! What is your goal going to be? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

2016 in review and my goals for 2017

I can’t believe that 2016 is almost over. In many ways, this year has just flown past. In others, I look back and can’t believe how much has changed in just one year!

How I did on my goals for 2016 and what I plan to achieve for 2017! Push yourself and set S.M.A.R.T. goals!

My 2016 has been a whirlwind of changes. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Launched my Etsy store!
  • Blogged (mostly) consistently for the whole year.
  • Got a job at the YMCA as a group fitness instructor! (I definitely didn’t see that one coming at the beginning of the year!)
  • Along with that, I really embraced my passion for fitness, turning it from something I try to do to something I love doing!
  • Draz and I got 3 pet rats and they are adorable. So we now have 2 dogs and 3 rats 🙂

Before I get into my goals and plans for 2017, here is how I did on my goals for this year:

Personal

  1. Keep my workouts at an average of 5-6 days a week.DONE! Excluding when I was injured or ill, most weeks I worked out at least 5 days a week, especially over the last half of the year!
  2. Take 1 exercise classDONE! As I said above, loving my classes at my gym!
  3. Take 1 class for building a new skill, like metalworking, painting, or wire wrapping. – Nope. I wish I had, but that just didn’t work out the way I hoped.
  4. Start and/or complete 1/3 of my Day Zero project – Nope. I did make progress and have a lot that are in the planning stage, but I did not finish 1/3 of my project. I am close 1/4 either started or completed though!

Blog and Business

  1. Average 3 posts a week on the blog – Nope. And I’m actually pretty happy about this. I decided that quality wins over quantity in this case and am happily blogging twice a week right now.
  2. Learn how to use 1 new platform or social media site –  DONE – Check out my Pinterest here and I’ve been stepping up my Twitter game too!
  3. Have at least one guest post on the blogDONE
  4. Launch my jewelry business and make first sale – DONE! I have launched and made 24 sales now! It’s a slow start, but I have high hopes for next year!

So that is a brief overview of how my 2016 went. I wish that I could convey just how much I have changed and grown this year….there are so many things happening that I never imagined or hoped for! This year has really helped me discover some of what I hope the rest of my life will include 🙂

Now, on to 2017!!!

I love setting annual goals, but there are some things to keep in mind. For goals to really work for you, they must be S.M.A.R.T! Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Timely.

This is one of my favorite acronyms. It is so true! If you design your goals with this in mind, you will be so much more likely to succeed!

Personal Goals:

  1. Get certified in at least 3 different fitness classes.
  2. Complete a chin-up

Business Goals:

  1. Sell 240+ pieces
  2. Sell at 6+ craft markets (along with 2 weekly farmers’ markets)
  3. Buy my own kiln.

Blog Goals:

  1. Have at least 5 guest posts on my blog.
  2. Write at least 5 guest posts for others.
  3. Finish and release my Meal Prep E-book!
  4. Collaborate with one company for a post, giveaway or in some other way.

So those are my goals for this coming year! I will be checking in on how I’m doing on these on a regular basis! I will probably also post a few updates this year so you can see how I’m doing and be reminded to check in on your own goals too!

Have you set your goals for 2017? I would love to hear about them, so please share a few in the comments below!

turning fitness into a habit

Can you believe it’s November already!? The year seems to have flown by! And as the year is coming to close, many people will start thinking about how 2016 went and how they want 2017 to go. For many, this process usually includes declarations of “I’m going to eat healthier, work out more!” and so on. Fitness is one of the most common things that people think of when setting their annual goals. But sadly many of those same people won’t make it past the one month mark. Why is that?

Well, a lot of it comes down to habit. Too many people depend on motivation to get them to their goals, which is simply not enough. Motivation is great for the first week or even the first month! But eventually motivation dissipates and the goals that seemed so important suddenly don’t rank so high on the to-do list. So how do we change this and go from depending on motivation to creating a habit? This is a question I have struggled with myself.

I’ve had many starts and stops when it comes to my fitness journey. I can look back 10+ years and see different points where I tried to include fitness into my life more, but it never lasted. I would lose motivation or hit a roadblock and I would give up. I tried obsessive calorie-counting, programs at gyms that made big promises, and many other things. And most of them probably would have worked! Except the obsessive calorie-counting…that one was terrible. The problem was I didn’t know how to turn fitness into a habit and so I was never able to keep it up.

Fast forward to 3 years ago. I had lost a decent amount of weight already through some lifestyle changes and a highly physical job and was feeling pretty good! But I knew I wanted to make a bigger change and put more focus on my health and my fitness. So I started trying to work out more. There were some more start and stops, but there was less time between them.

And finally to last year. I started getting more consistent and even started a great program! If you were with me back then, you know that my attempts at Kayla Itsines’ BBG didn’t go smoothly and there were a lot of obstacles! But I did finally complete it and the community around BBG really helped me to make fitness into a habit!

And now? I am at the gym 5-6 days a week, I am active outside of the gym and I do a few workouts at home too! Are there are days I don’t really want to work out? Of course! But most of them I do anyways and I always feel better afterwards!

Working out has become a habit in my life and I know it can in yours too! These 5 methods helped me make the transition from depending on motivation for my workouts to having a steady fitness habit!

To succeed in your fitness journey you need more than motivation...fitness needs to be a habit! These 5 tips can help you build that habit and succeed at your fitness goals!

5 Things that Can Help You Turn Fitness Into a Habit

Schedule your workouts

Just like any other appointment, you need to make appointments with yourself. Write down when you are going to exercise and what you are going to do. At the beginning of each week I sit down and write out my schedule for the week, including my workouts!

Find something you enjoy

Don’t like walking on the treadmill? So don’t! Especially at the beginning of your fitness journey, finding things you enjoy is so important. There are so many activities out there that will improve your fitness, so try some out! Take a kickboxing class, go hiking, try out a climbing wall! There are even groups in many cities that you can join that are centered around fitness. If you aren’t sure what you want to try (and you have the budget for it) you can join a gym that has a variety of classes and try them out! I recently joined the YMCA and have been loving the classes available, especially kickboxing!

Find your “why”

Now, I understand that finding your “why” might sound a little silly, but it works! Knowing your reason or reasons for wanting to work out. Really give this one some thought and preferably find a “why” that is long term. If you goal is to look great in that dress for an upcoming event, you may have a hard time keeping your focus after the event is over!

Find other like-minded individuals

This can either be on-line or in person (I do both!) but having a community is so helpful. There are many challenges that can come with changing your lifestyle and making fitness a priority. Having others to turn to and find support from can be the difference between pushing through them and giving up, especially at the beginning! Also, it’s just a lot of fun!

Look for the small victories

It can be disappointing when you are starting to work out and you don’t see a huge change right away. It can feel like all your hard work isn’t paying off and can really kill that motivation that got you started. Instead, look for the small victories! Did 5 push-ups last week? Maybe this week you can do a few more! Maybe you can lift something that last month you wouldn’t have been able to. Or you are sleeping better and having more energy. Paying attention to those smaller things can really help you push through the difficult moments and be reminders as to why you keep going!

Have you turned your fitness practice into a habit? What techniques have helped you do it? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

2016 goals check-in: 3 months to go!

I can’t believe that we are mid-way through October already! One of the things that I find really important this time of year is to check back in with my annual goals and see how they are going. It can be easy to write down your goals for the year and be super excited about them for a month or two. Then you can start to forget what was even on that list of goals! So I like to check in every 3 months or so. Have you checked in on your annual goals lately?

So here are how my goals are doing so far!

Checking in on your goals is one of the most important things that help you accomplish them!Read More

101 things in 1,001 days – 1 year update!

Yay! I’m so excited to be sharing my one year progress on my Day Zero project! 101 things in 1,001 days seems like a lot…even more so when I have one year gone! But I’m excited with what I am getting done and what I hope to accomplish over the next year. Before I get into the list, I want to talk about a few of things I learned in this first year of the project!

Get your download to help you make your own project a success!Read More