Tag Archives: schedule

Top Tips For Getting Started With Exercise

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Top Tips For Getting Started With Exercise

Physical activity will not only help you to lose weight, but it can also improve your mental health, sleep, and energy levels while decreasing the risk of developing chronic health conditions. Getting started with exercise is the hardest part. Once you are in the game, however, it is a life-changer. Here are five top tips to help you get over the hardest hurdle and get started with your new exercise routine today:

1 – Set a goal:

Setting goals can be a useful tool when you are getting started with your fitness journey. Goals enable you to stay on track and keep focused and motivated. Start by identifying what your overall aim is. This should be unique to you and not relevant to anyone else. Do you want to run 5k? Do you want to lose weight? Build muscle? Achieve a chin-up? There are countless goals to choose from. Take some time to find out what you want to do and write it down. Next, you need to identify what it will take to get there. While mapping this out, make sure that you are realistic, define a time frame and attach smaller steps to get there. This will make it much more manageable.

2 – Find a program:

Once you have identified your goals, then the next best way to get started and reach them is to find a program that will help you get there. If you are new to fitness, going in blind will only leave you feeling lost and stuck. There are many programs to choose from, and this article explains a popular push/pull/legs (PPL) routine used by many bodybuilders.

3 – Equipment:

You shouldn’t just buy any equipment. Your equipment should match your goals and your program. Some of the most commonly used exercise equipment are adjustable dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, TRX cables, punching bags, jump rope, and a mirror. There are many body weight exercises, but to achieve bigger goals, you may need to invest in equipment to help get you there. When investing in new equipment, make sure you learn how to use it properly and safely.

4 – Schedule:

Consistency is key when it comes to working out. Creating a realistic workout schedule will help you to stick to your exercises and reach your goals much quicker. Use a calendar, diary, or even an app on your phone and take your workout schedule as seriously as you would a doctor’s appointment. The more you stick to your schedule, the easier it is to stick to your new routine.

5 – Monitor your progress:

Monitoring your progress (on a weekly, not daily basis) allows you to stay motivated as you see yourself improve in certain areas. By checking in regularly, you can see what is working and what is not, and adjust your schedule accordingly.

Getting started with exercise is the hardest part. Incorporate these tips to help you get over the biggest hurdle and create a sustainable new routine!

Featured Image By: Pexels

A Force Of Habit

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A Force Of Habit

Hello! In case you haven’t realized by now, I am the type of gal who loves organizing, planning, check lists, and schedules. I thrive on structure. Meanwhile, Johnny is definitely more spontaneous so the combination balances out nicely! I run two businesses, which means that my days need to run like a fine tuned machine so that I can get everything done with time to relax in the evening.

While it takes an average of sixty-six days for a person to form a new habit, it probably takes me a week or less because I take a lot of pleasure in penciling things into my schedule. There is also nothing better than a super long streak of doing something daily! There are a handful of habits that I have formed that I truly don’t think I could live without now. In fact, it pains me to think of not doing the following every day:

Skin Care Routine:

My days start and end with a skin care routine that I have customized to best fit my skin type. With the stresses that sometimes come with being self employed, self care is extremely important to me. Sometimes, this takes form in trying out a new face mask but it mostly means using products on my face and body that make me feel good. This includes using a delicious smelling body wash from Bath & Body Works, a refreshing gel moisturizer, Vitamin C serum, and body lotion every day.

Writing:

Once I have completed my morning hygiene routine, it is time to write! My fast approaching 1,000 post streak of daily writing would probably not be possible if I didn’t get up extra early every day to complete this task before I need to leave for work. While I always enjoy adding new things to my schedule, I like checking them off of my mental to do list even more! I feel amazing every time I finish a new blog post and my countdown gets one day closer to 1,000.

Practice Learning Languages:

Other than reading, learning new languages is one of my favorite hobbies. I am currently on a three hundred day streak on Duolingo for practicing French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech every day. Whenever I get asked what I would want my super power to be if I had one, I always reply with being fluent in every language in the world. Unfortunately, I am not going to get bit by a super learned spider for this to happen automatically so I try to do it myself. It makes me proud to learn new words and phrases every day and I have made an insane amount of progress from practicing these five different languages daily.

Push Ups:

When Johnny and I first started dating almost two years ago, we were hit head on by a car. It was so scary and I actually ended up being hospitalized for injuries to my cervical spine. I was left with a lot of nerve damage in my upper body from the accident, which resulted in my arms and torso becoming weaker than it already was!

To help ease the nerve pain that I was experiencing at the end of every day, I began to do push ups to tone and strengthen my upper body several months ago. I started out with only doing twenty-five, which was really hard. However, I graduated to now doing fifty! If I’m feeling saucy, I sometimes do fifty more. These daily mini workouts have made a noticeable improvement in the upper body pain that I have to deal with and I am excited to continue increasing how many push ups I do. 🙂

All of the above have become a true force of habit for me and my day would not feel complete without doing them. Here’s to continuing to check all of them off my mental to do list every day!

What is something your day wouldn’t be complete without? How long does it take for something to become a habit for you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Whirlwind Weeks

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Whirlwind Weeks

Hello! I don’t know about you guys, but this summer has been flying by for me because it has been so busy. I got married, my husband and I celebrated our birthdays, and I started a new job. Not to mention that over the weekends, Johnny’s band, The Outside Voices, is usually performing. While these are all incredibly exciting things, it can also be incredibly exhausting!

Busy? Yes – but I am LOVING my new schedule thanks to the job I accepted and never get home any later than four o’clock Monday through Friday… It is beautiful and I feel much more well rested. And, although my weekends haven’t been the most relaxing this summer, it is so nice to see all of our friends again as Johnny and I have been fully vaccinated since May.

My favorite hang out to date this summer was when our dear friend, Shannon, stayed with us for a weekend. He is a wonderful photographer and he took pictures of The Outside Voices playing at a gig. Shannon also was kind enough to take some pictures of yours truly too – some of which are taken on a Polaroid camera which was really cool. Tune in tomorrow for an OOTD with some of the sneak peek photos he has sent me!

^^^ This was the first picture Shannon took with his new Polaroid camera and it is one of my favorites of me and Johnny. ❤

What has your summer been like so far? How do you relax after whirlwind days? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

3 Things To Remember When You Start Exercising Later In Life

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3 Things To Remember When You Start Exercising Later In Life

Not everyone likes to exercise and that’s okay. But even if you don’t like running or you are now at the point where you think you may have to do a little exercise, it could be hard to get into it if you’re a bit older. But whatever your stage of life, physical fitness can make you feel better and have a positive impact on a number of health conditions. But where do we begin?

The Importance of Starting Small:

One of the biggest temptations is to make up for lost time. So we think that we have to run 10k, but learning to run before you can walk, almost literally, can make you run the risk of a whole host of injuries. We can get injuries, not just because we are overreaching, but it is also due to poor form. Common podiatrist clients are the people who run too much. Starting to exercise is about making sure you get the form right before you do anything else. Whether you are lifting weights or running, you must focus on doing the move correctly. People are so impatient and want to get into the heavier, more difficult things, but the reality is that you need to slow down and start small.

Finding the Right Exercises for Your Lifestyle:

Another common misconception is that if we are to get fit, we need to hit the gym five or six days a week. This is not the case. When we think back to our ancestors, the hunter-gatherers, they only expelled energy when they needed to and we can learn from that. There are people who believe that you don’t need to exercise much in order to be healthy. And this is a very popular approach, especially for those who need to exercise quickly. This is why there are products like the X3 Bar that prove very popular because they provide the stimulus to grow muscle and cardiovascular health while doing it in a short space of time. But if you like the idea of running long distances, it’s entirely your prerogative. Whatever fits around your lifestyle will be enough to keep you fit.

Keeping At It:

This is the biggest thing we all need to overcome. When we find the right routines for our lives and perform them correctly, we have to stick to a schedule in order to achieve results. This is why many people give up at the gym at the end of January having just set up a membership only four weeks before! The best thing for you to do is to go to the calendar and mark the days where you can exercise and for how long. But in addition, you must remember that you will only make significant impacts on your life if you stick to a healthy diet. Exercising is the best way to begin, but if you want to make big changes, you’ll also need to change your eating habits.

It’s never too late to start exercising! Start small, keep it gradual, and make sure that you are doing your exercises correctly to prevent injuries.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

A Day In The Life Of Lil Red

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A Day In The Life Of Lil Red

Hello! I told you that I would be using some of the writing prompts that I suggested for all of you yesterday and here I am – surprise! Yours truly knows a thing or two about writer’s block and, honestly, the best way for me to combat it is to think of a ton of different post topics and go from there. So, as per my own recommendation, I am going to take all of you through a normal day for Lil Red, pandemic style. Here we go:

Morning:

I typically wake up to start getting ready for work around seven. It’s a bit of a mad dash for me because I need to shower, write, and do any other last minute preparations with the hope of leaving for a client’s house at eight fifteen. This may seem like a lot to cram into an hour and a quarter but I have been dedicated to this morning routine for years and it would be weird to change it up now. I also find that I am less likely to keep hitting the snooze button when I have a few things to accomplish before I even leave for work! 

Afternoon:

My afternoons are dedicated to my clients and trying to find fun ways to keep them occupied at home during the pandemic. I love my job so much and have been an Independent Provider for people with special needs for over three years now. The pandemic has definitely put a damper in a normal day at work as community integration is my specialty but I think that I am better at my job for it because I have had to get so creative with endless days at home. No matter what we do, I am always thankful for time with my clients and get home anywhere between three thirty and five during my work week.

Evening:

Once I get home from work, I still have a bit of paper and computer work to take care of before I can settle in with Johnny for dinner and an episode of whatever show we’re watching. Right now, we are working on three different ones: Castlevania, the Ken Burns Vietnam documentary, and King Of The Hill as our comedic palette cleanser. Johnny and I will sometimes play a few video games, as well. I am currently still working on Mario Galaxy and it is so much fun! I also like to incorporate some time into all of my evenings to read and practice the five languages I am learning on Duolingo for a mental work out.

My days have felt rather blah lately but after writing out a typical day in my life, I have realized that I actually do a lot even during the pandemic. I feel proud of myself for sticking with all of my routines and still trying to make every day a great one despite not feeling my best. Here’s to safer and happier times to come!

What is a day in your life like? Which shows are you currently watching? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Making Time For Me

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Making Time For Me

Hello! Ever since I began my self employment journey five years and change back, I have been dedicated to running both of my businesses the best that I can. Of course, it is exhausting but it is also so rewarding that it makes putting one foot in front of the other each day that little bit easier. The only bad thing about self employment? No paid time off. -_-

I have always had a hard time taking days off because needing “me time” during the week means I won’t be getting paid! However, having a boyfriend who gets holidays off has turned my mindset a total one eighty. Believe you me, I love my job but having to go to work on a day that Johnny has off is for the birds.

So, I began to do something different when Johnny and I got more serious. I began being much more lenient with myself about taking a day off. Sleeping in during the weekend rocks but there’s something about sleeping in on a day you should be at work that just hits different.

Since I have become better about taking a day off every once in a while, it has given me something to look forward to. Johnny and I now coordinate our time off as best as we can and I cannot wait for Labor Day Monday so I can have a three day weekend with my MAN. It’s a bit of a way off, yes. But can you blame a girl for being excited about the little things during the coronavirus pandemic?!

Making more time for me has turned me into a much more relaxed individual because I’m literally giving myself permission to chill out. That really has never happened before since I began being my own boss. A day off with my boyfriend is always what the doctor ordered, though, so bring on Labor Day! 😀

What are you looking forward to? How do you make time for yourself? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Self-Isolation Recommendations

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Self-Isolation Recommendations

Hello! With self-isolation still going strong and cabin fever officially setting in, I thought I would post about my recommendations to keep your day running as normally as possible – especially if you are working from home or not working right now. I am so thankful that I can still work but it is pretty boring because it’s not like I can take my clients anywhere!

I definitely have been feeling antsy lately because I just want to DO something. But, these little tricks have helped me keep some ounce of sanity during this lock down:

Get ready in the morning:

Towards the beginning of the stay at home order, I pretty much gave up on my morning hair and makeup routine and that was a big mistake. Wearing comfy clothes and a fresh face all day gave me zero motivation and it almost felt like an excuse to have a “lazy” day. So now, even if I am just staying home or hanging at a client’s house for the day, I get myself ready – even if it’s not my full routine. I still feel put together, a lot better, and it adds a renewed pep to my step.

Follow a routine:

Things feel so chaotic right now and when you have ample free time to fill with nothing to do it can be quite overwhelming. Routines always make me feel more at ease and it keeps my day running smoothly without the awkward pause of figuring out what to do next. Plan out what you intend to do for the day every morning while you’re getting yourself ready and see your day improve.

Set up a place to work:

If you are working from home right now, set up a place to work that isn’t the couch! We all know how easy it is to set the laptop aside and turn the TV on and that shouldn’t be a constant mental battle while you’re doing your job. Clean off a cluttered desk or work at your kitchen table and try to follow your normal work schedule as closely as you can – lunch and coffee breaks too!

Cook your meals:

I have had takeout a few times in self-isolation but I have been doing my best to cook the meals that I eat at my apartment. It feels good to see and taste something that you made and that can be a real high point of the day – not to mention all of the money you’ll save! Get creative with new recipes or make old favorites. And, no matter how your meal turns out, at least you killed some time. 😉

Don’t be a night owl:

I notice that it’s been harder for me to go to bed at night because I have so much extra energy that I haven’t done anything with all day. I understand completely how difficult it is to not give into the night owl temptation but I promise it won’t be worth it when you go back to work with a totally thrown off schedule.

If you’re having difficulty falling asleep, try going for a walk or working out an hour or so before you go to bed. You could also take a bath or read a book – whatever will help you relax and keep to your normal bed time as much as possible.

Although self-isolation is difficult, it is the best thing right now to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Use the tips above and keep your day running as normally as you can!

How have you been adjusting to self-isolation? What do you do to keep yourself from getting cabin fever? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Self Care & Me

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Self Care & Me

Helloooo everyone! Today, I thought that we would talk a little about my self care journey. And, believe me, it’s not an easy thing to do when you run two businesses and are constantly running around like a mad woman! At first, I used to consider “self care” as going shopping and having a spending spree… and, although that’s nice, it doesn’t get to the root of true self care, which I take to mean as doing something mentally or physically stimulating to help improve your mood.

I think the main thing that has helped me become more conscious of trying to incorporate self care into my life is my weekly skating practices. Being on the ice and riding that high of an invigorating work out and doing something that I’m good at always makes me feel my best. And, since I began weekly instead of biweekly practices, it has made me realize that I really don’t do enough for myself. So, I decided to change that.

When I began my career as a service provider for people with special needs, working evenings were just part of the deal. But, now that I’m more established, I thought that it was high time to treat myself to a normal schedule. And, come October, I will only be working one evening a week!

This is a change that I have been craving for a long time now and I’m looking forward to actually having time for myself when I get home from work. Whether that be practicing my languages, reading a book, binge watching a show, or taking a bath – I finally have that option now! And, maybe *just maybe*, I could start having a regular social life. Because, trust and believe, it’s hard fitting in hang outs, errands, and skating all in one weekend. This caused me to enter my work week feeling even more exhausted and it grew into a vicious cycle.

There are so many things that I plan on doing with my evenings off but, what I’m most looking forward to is finding an American Sign Language class to attend. Weirdly enough, there are no weekend classes at the centers for the deaf in my area but evening classes are available. So, that is definitely going to be on my agenda very soon! It feels good to do for me while still maintaining my caseload at work and lifewithlilred and I am ready for work free evenings to commence!

How do you practice self care? What do you do during your free time to relax? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Dream On! Advice To Send You To Sleep

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Dream On! Advice To Send You To Sleep

It is amazing the difference that a good night’s sleep can make to your physical and mental well-being. Unfortunately, in today’s fast paced world, this is something that is becoming more and more elusive for many of us. In between jobs, hobbies, time with friends, and family commitments, getting your eight hours a night is something that can easily seem like it is just out of reach. Getting yourself into good nightly habits can really make all of the difference when it comes to drifting off. Here are a few techniques that you can try out to help you get the sleep that your body and mind is craving:

Stay on a Sleep Schedule: Getting your body to adapt to a sleep schedule can make a huge difference when it comes to nodding off quickly. Try to keep to your schedule as much as possible on weekends, holidays, and days off as well. This consistency plays a big part in reinforcing a strong sleep-wake cycle. You should establish a nightly routine that helps your body become naturally ready for sleep. Whether this involves yoga, meditation, or reading a chapter of a book, find an activity that works well for you and stick to it.

Watch What You Eat and Drink: Going to bed when you are either hungry or full can make it much more difficult to fall asleep. Try to eat a good meal at least a couple of hours before you go to bed so that you are comfortable. Also, try and limit how much you drink so that you don’t disrupt your sleep by having to get up and use the restroom. You should also try to avoid nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol, which can all disrupt the quality of your sleep.

Create a Comfortable Sleeping Environment: For most people, a room that is cool, dark, and quiet is the best kind of sleeping environment. Light blankets and a couple of fans is the best way to keep cool during the summer months. If you find that too much light it seeping into your room at night, you could try a blackout blind. As for quiet, try sleeping with earplugs in to block out any background noise (like your partner’s obnoxious TV shows!). If you are looking for comfortable bedding, Plumeria Bay specializes in a range of items. Keeping your sheets fresh and clean can help you drift off into a perfectly comfortable la la land.

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La la la la la la la la SHEETS OF EGYPTIAN COTTON!!

Manage Your Stress Levels: If you find that you have too much on your mind, this can make it much more difficult to fall asleep at night. Try to set some time aside every day to reduce your stress levels. Focusing your mind on a hobby, physical activity, or breathing exercises can help to take your mind off of what is causing you anxiety. Another activity that has been found to have results is writing down what is on your mind before you go to bed. You will be able to deal with these things the next day rather than worrying about them at night when you can’t do anything about evil coworkers or the following day’s to do list.

Follow these tips, catch some Z’s, and dream on!

Featured Image By: Pexels