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Are your clothes feeling a little too snug? Have the holidays derailed your healthy habits? Do you want to make 2016 the year you achieve your health and fitness goals? Do you need some motivation and encouragement to help you get moving?

If the answer is YES to any of those questions, please join me for a FREE 5-Day SUCCESS STARTER Fit Camp! I’ll provide you with a simple menu and grocery list, recipes, daily motivation and much more! We’re BETTER when we do this journey TOGETHER!

The challenge will run all next week, January 4-8. Deadline to sign up: this Friday, New Year’s Day, at noon ET. If you want to join me and start your new year strong, leave a comment below and I’ll connect you to the next step. Share this post and invite a friend to join us!
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I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. I have found New Year’s Resolutions just set me up for failure and disappointment. A few years ago, I set out in January with a monthly goal. I committed to working out three times a week. That’s it. I didn’t say I wanted to lose a set amount of weight or even set a deadline on my weight loss. That month, each time I worked out, I marked it on my calendar. It was manageable and easy to track. As the weeks went by and working out became a regular habit, I added a new goal. That was January 2012, what became the turning point in my weight loss journey. Fast forward four years. I am still setting monthly goals and have learned a lot about goal setting over the last few years.

Take a look at these typical New Year’s Resolutions in the photo. They are all good things to strive for…but I think they could be better. Here are some ideas…

Improve Self – Commit to reading a personal development book, like Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect or Sally Clarkson’s Own Your Life, two of my favorites!

Manage Debt – I have heard great things about Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. I know our church is offering this course starting in January. Perhaps you can find one near you and learn strategies to help you reduce your debt and save money?

Get Fit – Yep. This is a typical one. How is this year going to be different than last year or the year before? Let me help you figure out specific actions you can take to get on the road to becoming strong and healthy. My January Jumpstart group may be just what you need to get started! Leave a comment and let’s connect.

Enjoy Life MoreWhat do you enjoy? Take a look at your calendar. Are you making the things you enjoy a priority? Do you need to eliminate some things from your calendar to make more time for the things you enjoy? What can you remove from your calendar in January to enjoy life more?

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Here’s my challenge for you: Determine one or two goals for yourself for January. 

  • Your goal should be specific, trackable and realistic.
  • Your goal should be within your control. Instead of saying, I want to lose 10 pounds by a certain date, figure out the actions you need to take to achieve that goal and set that as your goal instead.
  • Look at your habits that are derailing you from your goals and choose one (ONLY ONE) to focus on right now. You can focus on something different in February. The key is to keep it simple and set yourself up for SUCCESS!
  • Here are some examples of healthy habits you may consider focusing on in January: less fast food, drinking more water and less soda, exercising, eating breakfast, eliminating daily desserts. If you need to brainstorm, I’m available! Let’s set up a time to chat.
  • Use my “GOAL”diggers January chart to track your progress!

 
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Do you like to see progress? Are you a visual person like me?

I created this January “GOAL”diggers calendar to help me keep up the momentum with my fitness goals, and I want to share it with you, too. I found in December my children helped me stay on track because they couldn’t wait to put a sticker on my calendar when I finished my workout. (You can use this calendar for non-fitness goals, too! Just print, post it where you will see it everyday and get some stickers.)

First, determine your goal – the BEST goals are specific and measurable. For me, I intend to use this calendar for my workouts. Each day I workout, I will put a sticker on my calendar. (There are scheduled rest days in my program, so if I am following my schedule, I will permit myself a sticker on those days. Rest days are very important.)

Maybe your goal is to clean or organize your home? Use this to help motivate you to do something specific everyday that will move you closer to your goal – spend a certain amount of time cleaning, bagging up donations, for instance. Then put a sticker on your calendar when you finish. I love the visual reminder and seeing my progress throughout the month!

Happy “GOAL”digging! I would love to hear your January goal, too – share it with me in the comments!

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Give the gift of health and fitness this year! Here are a few of my favorite things when it comes to health and fitness – from DVDs and gear to cookbooks and devotionals that will help you focus on what’s most important. I would love to hear YOUR favorite fitness gifts in the comments, too!

FITNESS 

Sagi Kalev, one of the trainers of the new Master's Hammer & Chisel program, with me at Coach Summit in July 2015

Join me and let’s do Master’s Hammer & Chisel! Pictured here with Sagi Kalev, one of the trainers of this brand new program, at Coach Summit

Hammer & Chisel: This is a brand new fitness program, from trainers Autumn Calabrese (21 Day Fix) and Sagi Kalev (Body Beast). The base kit comes with 12 workouts on six DVDs; a nutrition guide with three different eating plans – choose your plan based on your goals. The challenge pack is on sale throughout the month of December 2015. If you give the gift of a challenge pack to a loved one and order it through me, you will receive a bonus workout DVD as a extra gift, and your recipient will also be invited to my next challenge group. Treat yourself. . .or grab a friend and let’s all do the program together in January!

Race Entry Fee: Has a friend or loved one mentioned wanting to do a race? Give them the gift of the entry fee. Bonus Gift: Join them in the race! If you live near one another, you can train together, too.

Bluetooth/Wireless Headphones: I’ve been using Yurbuds for the last couple of years, but the little cover on the earpieces keep coming off and they don’t stay put in my ears, either. I just saw these from Soundwhiz on Amazon – they would make a great gift under the tree this year…and wouldn’t it be nice, too, to have wireless headphones and not have to deal with a dangling cord?

Socks! Good socks are expensive! Maybe it’s not the most glamorous of gifts, but having socks that don’t slip down when you are running is a MUST! For running, I love Thorlo and the reviews for Balega socks look really good, too. Do you have a favorite brand of sock you wear for running or working out?

iTunes or Google Play Gift Card: Great gift for someone who may want to update their playlist! (Check with the gift recipient to see what type of device they use.)

Athleta or Title Nine Gift Card: Love these two stores/catalogs! Great activewear and everyday wear for women!

 

MY CURRENT FAVORITE HEALTHY COOKBOOKS. . .
These are three of my favorite cookbooks from this year! I find a lot of recipes online now but it’s still nice to be able to pull out a cookbook and look for ideas.

Fixate: This cookbook goes along with the 21 Day Fix program. Simple and delicious recipes!
SkinnyTaste: Great recipes! Check out her recipes on her blog, too!
Dashing Dish: I subscribe to Katie Farrell’s member portal on her blog. This is her cookbook that came out earlier this year. Katie has taken our favorite comfort foods and made them healthy!

Cookbook Collage

HEALTHY DEVOTIONALS. . .

A great way to start the New Year, focusing both on physical and spiritual health! Here are three of my favorite books/devotionals:

Devotions for a Healthier You by Katie Farrell, Author of Dashing Dish (mentioned above)
Cross Training Devos (only available in Kindle edition) by Michelle Myers
Made To Crave by Lysa TerKeurst

AND A FEW OTHER FAVORITES. . .

Life Factory Glass Water Bottle: I think water tastes better from a glass bottle rather than a plastic one. I love my LifeFactory bottle.

Magazine Subscriptions: Eating Well, Clean Eating, Cooking Light… to name a few of my personal favorites (Check on Amazon for discounted subscription rates.)

LL Bean Slipper/Scuffs: Okay, I know this isn’t related to health and fitness, but I love these and need a new pair!

Cleaning service! Personally, I prefer working out to cleaning. The perfect gift for me: the gift of cleaning! Professional cleaning services do offer gift certificates. 
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Gift of FitnessThe best way to spread Christmas Cheer is to give the gift of fitness this year! Well, maybe. Sometimes the gift of fitness can be taken the wrong way, if the gift recipient hasn’t been successful this year with his/her fitness goals or doesn’t want you to point out the size of their waistline. Here are three ways you can gift fitness to a friend or family member without hurting their feelings:

Tech-Savvy

A fitness tracker is a great gift but may go unused if the recipient thinks you just want him/her to lose weight. If you decide to gift a fitness tracker, focus on the technology of the gadget and not just weight loss. For instance, a Fitbit doesn’t just count steps, stairs climbed and active minutes, but also monitors sleep, works as a watch and displays caller ID when your phone is nearby.

Buy Yourself the Same Gift

Whether it’s a fitness tracker or a fitness program, get one for yourself too and tell the gift recipient you need him/her to join you on your journey. Think positive peer pressure. The extra motivation and accountability may give you both the push you need to succeed. Team up with your friend or family member to get fit together!

Listen

Has your friend or family member mentioned something health-related? Perhaps a race they want to run or walk? Or maybe they have commented they need new workout clothes (I don’t recommend buying clothes for someone else, but gift cards are GREAT!) Perhaps they need a new gym bag? Or a new workout playlist…an iTunes gift card would be great and not insulting at all!

Up next. . .a few of my favorite gift ideas, and what’s on my list this year!

 
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