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New Year…New Planner

One of my favorite parts of starting a new year is reorganizing and setting a plan.

I started a little late this year and I’m kicking myself a little bit because I feel slightly behind because I haven’t quite found a system that works for me. I did find a planner that I absolutely love; I bought the ‘create365 The Happy Planner’ from my local Hobby Lobby.image1-1

I like it because it is completely customizable. I’ve had a planner every year for as long as I remember but what usually happens is I end up not really utilizing it because I lose interest mainly due to it not really fitting my needs. Or I end up with 2-3 planners/journals and then get overwhelmed by it all.

After purchasing this planner I went on youtube, instagram, and google searched The Happy Planner and came across hundreds, maybe even thousands of ways people organize and decorate this planner. While majority are beautifully decorated I just can’t find myself to sit down each week and do that. Kind of seems like a waste of time to me personally. Most of the layouts and organization people use follows along with how it is originally set up, particularly the fitness extension kit (I’ll elaborate more on this down below). I still haven’t figured out completely how I want to organize this planner but I’m narrowing down with a little trial and error. I know I  want to track three main things:

1) Important events/appointments for the family

My husband has a busy schedule so knowing his weekly/monthly calendar is essential. Also with a baby making an arrival sometime early April I know I will have dr appointments and milestones/developmental events that I will want to keep track of.

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Here is the monthly view-I have always used this as a month at a glance and to help organize each week

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Here is the weekly view. It is broken down into three categories Morning/Afternoon/Evening. Since I don’t work at the present time or really plan this way I plan to use the top box for that day’s appointments for the family, the middle box will be for my To Do list that I need to get done and the bottom box as of right now is more for notes/goals I’d like to complete or accomplish for the day

2) Meal Planning/Grocery Shopping Lists

One thing I have started that I really have found helpful is planning ahead dinners and having 2-3 options available for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. Not only does this save time but also less stressful. I would also argue it saves money because I go grocery shopping about once a week or so and just get what I need. I have been using this planner to help create lists and plan the upcoming weeks dinners. I like that I can add a pocket folder to this planner to hold the coupons/gift cards/etc. I plan to use for that particular shopping trip.

3) Health and Fitness Tracking

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This is the extension pack I purchased to snap into the planner so that I can use one planner for everything. It comes in 4 month packs and includes all the labels and stickers needed to set up the months (This is for February that I haven’t set up yet).

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Here is the weekly view of the fitness pages. This is the page I struggle with finding a way to utilize in a way that makes sense to me.

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I really like at the end of each month there is a reflection page that allows you to review the past month and help plan for the next. I will not add pictures to this planner like the top suggest because I don’t want the planner to get so bulky but I will use this for measurements and additional information like my workout split, etc.

This is probably the part that is taking the longest to organize because this fitness extension kit that this planner offers allows for tracking daily food intake/exercise/and water intake. While I know many like to use the food tracker I just can’t seem to do that or find a benefit for it. I have used myfitnesspal for maybe a year or so and I find that this works best for me. Tracking on the app and the planner just seems excessive and I know I won’t keep it up long term.

I don’t know what to use the space dedicated to food intake in the planner for just yet. I have considered tracking my macros so I can see in a weekly snapshot what I’m consuming and what I’m doing well/poor with. I’ve thought about using it for more of a journal/reflection area to write how I feel on a daily basis.

I know I want to jot down my weekly goals regarding my physical, emotional, and mental health. I feel what would work best is using this fitness pages more of a reflection and give me a chance to see how each week went at the end of the week and try to improve in the weeks ahead. Finding a way to organize that is just going to take some practice with things. Unfortunately, with most things I don’t really have much patience. I just want to find a method that works and then settle into a system that I can maintain and utilize effectively.

As I figure out how I want to organize this planner I’m excited to get things going and feel organized because that is when I feel I am most productive. While some of the sections I won’t utilize as much now (as I’m not trying to lose weight because I’m pregnant I know later on this year I will definitely utilize!

To everyone else out there who likes to plan…. Happy Planning!

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believing hard work will pay off-May 2015 update

So I have been working on getting healthier… losing weight for about 6 months now; and seriously for about 2. I am trying to do things a little differently in order to hold myself accountable.

1. I’ve been using instagram as a tool to follow fitness pages and individuals which has really helped keep me motivated on days that are a little hectic, tiring, etc. I’ve also been posting on there my workouts that I’ve been doing. I’ve received a lot of feedback in terms of likes to my posts so that is also motivating.  If you are on instagram feel free to follow me @tnm_514

2. I’m also using myfitnesspal to track what I’ve been eating (my account is set to private as I don’t use it to follow or connect with anyone… it’s just for me). I’ve been following a more flexible dieting approach and using IIFYM. I love the research behind it and the fact that I’m not limited to certain foods or restricted from others. I am eating healthier options but it’s important to still track the amount. I won’t go into my macros specifically but I determined my macros by doing a lot of research and through trial and error. I’m not an expert in the area and I’ll never claim to be but I am feeling some results.

3. I am also starting to take progress photos in addition to taking measurements. This is something I’ve never done before when trying to make changes because honestly I’ve always found it more discouraging than helpful. But this time around I do want to see when I start seeing changes in my photos. Especially now having my daughter I want to feel comfortable in photographs with her so maybe if I get used to seeing myself in photos I will feel more comfortable taking some with her.

4. Lastly, I’m gonna start incorporating more of this aspect of my life in my blog. I hope it is helpful to me to get some of my thoughts, accomplishments, set backs and frustrations out and work things out through my writing.

On Thursday morning I weighed myself and I was down 1.6 lbs in about 9 days. I was ecstatic about that movement; mainly because I had been hitting my macros and really working out with some good sessions. I decided to take my measurements that day as well since I was on a high from losing over a lb. Unfortunately, didn’t see a whole lot of movement in the measurements. One thing about me is that I’m very results oriented. I have to see some kind of result in order to stay motivated; so I’m glad I saw the change in my weight, but I would have liked to see in my measurements as well. You know have my cake and eat it too (probably not a good analogy when talking about weight loss, because now I’m craving something sweet).

I am starting to notice my clothes are feeling different on me so I’m very happy about that. Overall, from April to May I feel stronger. I know Rome wasn’t built in a day so I’m believe in the process and hoping that in the upcoming months (especially with summer around the corner) I start seeing the results as well as feeling them.

My workouts are getting more intense and I’ll add some of my favorites some time in case there is anyone reading this who is in a similar situation. I’m very tradition when I work out. I like running or doing some sprint HIIT for my cardio and I like lifting weights. I’m not a big fan of doing a lot of plyometrics, mainly because I’m not comfortable doing them right now. I incorporate some from time to time and I don’t despise them anymore so maybe one day my preferences will change. I’m working on a 4 day split for weight training (day1: legs; day2: back/bi day3: shoulders/abs day4: chest/tri) there are times on days 1,2,4 that I will also train some abs as well. I’m also consistently doing cardio 3x’s a week. I’m so glad that it is nice outside because my daughter and I can go running in the morning and then I can go to the gym after she goes to bed at night. It’s been working out well for the last couple weeks. Key now is to stick with it.

My gym time is the most challenging because I have to work it around my husbands schedule and his schedule hasn’t been the same in over 2 years. So I just have to plan to go and then make up for it later if I can’t make it that night. I’m getting better about doing at home workouts if I can’t make it to the gym.

I’m hoping that for my June update that I see at least 2-3 lbs gone and 1-2 inches from my chest, waist, and hips.

I’m really big on reading quotes and if you google workout quotes there is a plethora of motivation quotes. These two stand out to me right now!

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If you decide to stay up to date on my progress then I look forward to updating everyone on 31 days! Train hard!