New Year. New Moi.

2015

image courtesy of specialevents.com

On the off-chance that anyone will bother reading this (or, find it remotely interesting, for that matter)…behold, my Resolutions for 2015:

  1. I will integrate a 30-minute yoga practice into my regular routine, starting with once per week, then gradually increasing to every day.
  2. I will divorce my tendency to restrict calories and, instead, eat balanced portions of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.
  3. I will put a small sum of money aside each month in order to afford an adventure abroad by the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016.
  4. I will learn how to play a musical instrument or explore a potential new hobby that I’ve wanted to try but have never made time for.
  5. I will curb my sarcastic tongue, compulsive need for control, superiority complex and judgmental attitude in my dealings with others.
  6. I will root excessive anxiety, stress or fear of the future out of my life, and focus on counting my blessings instead of uncertainties.
  7. I will make a conscious effort to form new friendships in my area, as well as reconnect with old friends, with whom I’ve lost touch.
  8. I will pursue professional writing opportunities, learn how to become marketable in this industry and, of course, network my ass off.
  9. I will participate in the Whole-30 nutrition program at least once, which will be an extraordinary feat, considering my love for wine.
  10. I will get back into the habit of regularly posting on this [sniff…sniff…all-too-often neglected] blog, at a minimum of twice per week.
  11. I will become more sensitive and respectful toward my significant other’s needs, and flex my “romantic muscles” more frequently.
  12. I will practice open communication with loved ones, demonstrate vulnerability and accept help, instead of  relying solely on myself.
  13. I will read 5-10 classic novels from Time Magazine’s¬†100 All-Time Best Literary Works¬†list, even if this makes me sound pretentious.
  14. I will continue my current exercise regimen of 5 days per week–1 hour per day, focusing on a balance of cardio and strength training.
  15. I will regularly attend a local Bible study and set aside between 10-15 minutes on a daily basis for spiritual “quiet time” and meditation.

Got any Resolutions of your own? Discuss…

Habit-Forming Fitness in Just 5 Easy Steps

I could spend hours building a case for why you should make fitness an integral part of your daily routine. But I’m also under no illusions: working out on the reg is a downright pain in the ass when you’re not in the habit of doing so.

So, what’s the most straightforward way to change your view of exercise from a torture tool to a physical necessity you’ll¬†actually¬†begin to crave? It all starts with developing a game plan. And once you determine how to proceed, you may just surprise yourself by putting that plan into action.

I oughtta know. It’s been almost 6 years since yours truly decided getting in shape would become a lifestyle staple.

And that’s one decision I’ve yet to regret!


1. Commit to exercise during a specific time of day.¬†Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, chances are your body knows when it feels the most energetic. So, set aside at least 30 minutes to work out during this prime period. It could be immediately after waking up or right before going to bed, but choosing a consistent time will remind you to make fitness both a priority and regularity.

2. Associate exercise with another routine activity.¬†If you habitually watch TV every evening after dinner, do crunches, push-ups or other strength training work outs while catching the latest episode of your favorite show. That’s up to 1 hour of physical activity (depending on the program’s length), and you probably won’t even notice those burning muscles with the TV as a distraction.

3. Sneak exercise into errands or office/housework.¬†Instead of taking the elevator at work, opt for the stairs. Avoid parking right by the store entrance when you’re out shopping, park further away and walk across the lot. If you live in a relatively urban area, bike around rather than drive. Turn chores – like cooking, vacuuming, or washing the car – into a work out by doing them vigorously.

4. Assign a different type of exercise to each day. A work out schedule will keep you both organized and on-task.¬†For example: Monday is “leg day,” Tuesday is “core day,” Wednesday is “arm day,” Thursday is “cardio day” (i.e. running, biking, zumba, etc.), Friday is “yoga day,” Saturday is “interval day” (i.e. tabata – cardio and strength training circuits), and Sunday is “recovery day.”

5. Vary your exercise regimen on a frequent basis. The¬†most common culprit of a fizzled out fit ambition is boredom. You start strong, going to the gym every day, then gradually scale back until it’s no longer built into your muscle memory. Monotony often prevents you from moving forward, which is why you should switch up your work outs at least monthly for a fresh jolt of invigoration.


These strategies were highly effective for me, and I hope you’ll find them equally useful in your own pursuit of a habitual healthy lifestyle!

Take the “10,000 Steps a Day” Challenge

Remember all those mornings you faintly mused, “I should get up and go for a run. Uh huh. I’ll do that. Definitely.” (before rolling over and falling right back to sleep)?

Don’t lie…it’s happened. But, hey, no judgment! Running isn’t exactly everybody’s first – or second or third…or fourth – choice. And admitting that doesn’t mean you just committed a fitness felony. After all, exercise should be a feel-good activity, not an instrument of torture. So, even if you don’t have the makings of an Olympic sprinter, you’re not S.O.L. There is, in fact, another (and, I’m sure you’ll agree, less grueling) way to meet your daily cardio quota. And here’s the kicker: you already do it. Constantly. Without much effort.

I mean…you walk, right?

Thought so. Well, then how ’bout walking for a workout?

Yes, it’s a thing. You really can stay in shape by simply putting 1 foot in front of the other. We’re not talking a leisurely meander though. Nope, sorry (you still gotta MOVE, girl!). I’m referring to a purposeful, powerful, pump-those-legs-and-swing-those-arms kinda walk. Put some pep in that step,¬†okay?!

Alright. So, brisk pace. Now, let’s go even further. Allow me to introduce ¬†the – drumroll please! – “10,000 Steps a Day” challenge. Developed by the National Health Service, this incentive offers a virtually painless solution for those, who struggle with fitting exercise into their schedules. Simply lace up those sneakers and start walking from Point A to Point B.

But, just in case you’re skeptical that such a seemingly mundane activity counts toward a legit workout, let’s crunch some numbers. According to NHS, the average person takes 1,000 steps in 10 minutes…so, you do the math: walk for approximately 1-hour-40-minutes and viola! You’ve reached 10,000 steps. Make this a habitual routine and reap the rewards of increased stamina, heart health, limber joints, and energy to burn.

STILL not sold? Taking more steps throughout the day can be as minimal as following these suggestions:

1. Opt for the stairs instead of an elevator.

2. Park further away from the mall entrance than you typically would.

3. Forego driving and pound the pavement to work (if you live close enough).

4. Stroll through the park with a friend or significant other.

5. Leash up your dog and actually let him drag you, for a change.

6. Join a cause like the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk.

7. Grab your IPod and bebop along to some favorite tunes.

8. Feel the sand between your toes along the beach.

7. Invest in a pedometer, Apple Fitbit, or Nike FuelBand and make a game out of setting (then beating) personal walking records.

Challenge. Accepted.