Forward21 – 21 Days of Health, Happiness & Commitment

Keep Moving Forward

It’s only days into the New Year and I’ve been balancing between over-indulgence and wellness. There’s been quite a few brewery visits, rich meals eaten out, and more beers. On the other hand, I’ve spent time out in nature, hiking, and have been to a wellness retreat at my local Yoga Studio which has revived my wellness spirit and helped to inspire my new 21 day challenge.

#Forward21

I’m not much of a new year’s resolution person, although I do like to set goals for myself. Having small, attainable goals on a daily basis has really worked well for me and has helped me feel and be, productive.  Setting my mind on positive intentions on a daily basis goes hand in hand with this productivity and goes straight to the core of my well-being. If I’m focused on a few things I know will propel me forward (no matter how big or small) I’m already having a good day. That’s why I wanted to construct a 21 day challenge that invites others to join me!

Starting January 11th, I’m kicking off #Forward21, a 21 day challenge to keep my goals in check, keep me moving forward, and keep my mind and body healthy and happy.

Each day will have a theme – something specific, yet attainable to focus on – that incorporates a positive, healthy goal. To be the best version of yourself (shout out to Rick Roll for giving me that message) don’t discount the work you need to put into getting where you want to be. It starts with a small step forward, so join me to become healthier, more focused and more dedicated to Your Happy! By inviting a community, there’s support, accountability, a network of like-minded individuals all moving towards a healthier, more fulfilling way of life.

Here’s how the first week of #Forward21 breaks down:

Monday, January 11th – Meatless Monday. Try a new meatless dish packed with veggies. Incorporating more whole, fresh, meatless foods has incredible health and environmental benefits. Your body will thrive with less processed food.

Tuesday, January 12th – Treat Yourself Tuesday. Today is about pursuing something that you may feel you don’t have time for, for putting yourself first, for investing in yourself. Go get a pedicure, so you can stand strong for yourself and your family. Head to the lake for a leisurely walk by yourself and spend time with an amazing person. Grab a good book you’ve been meaning to make time for.

Wednesday, January 13th – Workout Wednesday. Today, get your endorphins raging! Head to the gym, get on your Yoga mat, grab your sneakers and hit the pavement. Appreciate your body in motion!

Thursday, January 14th – Thoughtful Thursday. Living by forward motion for me means thinking beyond myself. Reach out to someone in need, open a door for someone who’s struggling, write your grandma a letter. By thinking of others, your world opens up and you invite grateful.

Friday, January 15th – Fit Friday. Whip yourself into shape today! That could mean upping your miles on the treadmill, trying that boot camp, or eating really clean all day. Be fit, mindful of your body and push yourself!

Saturday, January 16th – Soak up the Sun Saturday. Get outside today! Yes, it’s winter, yes it’s cold (or maybe it’s warm where you live!) but making time for nature, for fresh air, unplugging from technology has true benefit. Make sure you make time for it.

Sunday, January 17th – Sunday Funday. I usually have my meal-prep planned for Sunday’s so I crank up the tunes or put on a movie and spend my day in the kitchen, cooking healthy meals to set me up for the week. Make time for your health and healthy eating!

Whether it’s a Meatless Monday, a Workout Wednesday, or a Fit Friday….join me on this 21 day journey! I’ll post the breakdown for the week of January 18th in the next few days.

Follow me on Instagram for daily updates & use the hashtag #Forward21 to share your posts with the community. Or request to join the Facebook group.

Will you join me!?

Happy Forward21!

Thankful for Movement

Happy post-Thanksgiving! My holiday was spent in Moab, Utah with Mike, my mom, sister, brother-in law, niece, nephew, cousin and cousin in law. There was a whole crew of us! We spent our days hiking in Arches National Park, seeing gorgeous natural wonders, magnificent arches, babbling creeks, and huge boulders and jagged rocks. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life and feel so incredibly blessed to have gone to experience it with almost my entire family. There’s nothing like fresh air, family and natural wonders to make a holiday glorious. Our traditional annual Thanksgiving hike landed us at the Delicate Arch – talk about being thankful!

Moab

Unfortunately, a horrible tooth infection kept me down for the count for a good 30+ hours following the hike…coming to the Thanksgiving table for only a brief moment to gingerly nibble on some sweet potatoes, homemade cranberry and cauliflower before heading back to bed. After a trip to the ER the next morning, a dose of antibiotics, and some kombucha to combat the antibiotics screwing with my gut flora, I was on the mend. Our last day, yesterday, arrived and I was feeling so much better, ready to step outside and get a bit of dirt under my feet. My mom and I headed out and ended up hiking two glorious trails, each quite different from the next, both full of incredible sights.

So Day 14 of the Mindful 21 Day challenge has arrived and we are on our way home. An early start to the day hasn’t left time for meditation yet, but I have reflected on the past few days. Being with family is wonderful, but can be challenging if you share different viewpoints on things, have different habits or styles of doing things. That is where mindfulness becomes so crucial. Being mindful of how your actions, words, and behaviors effect those around you becomes so apparent when you’re in close quarters. It’s during these times when taking pause and breathing deeply can make a huge difference. And getting out into the great outdoors, turning off the ipods, video games, tv, means quality time spent in nature.

Family

Tomorrow, Day 15 of the Mindful 21 Day challenge, adds onto the 5 minutes of meditation and meatless meal with movement. Being mindful of our internal state, taking time to calm and center yourself is, I believe, vital for your happy. Taking a proactive approach to what you’re eating and being mindful of how it’s fueling your body is vital to your health. Incorporating movement into your life, feeling the fluidity of your body, adds vitality, energy, longevity to your life. Being mindful of moving your body each day should be a priority – and what better what to move than yoga!

sun salutation

Tomorrow, find time for meditation, a meatless meal, plus movement. Try a 5-10 minute yoga flow or, 10 sun salutations or even splurge and head to the studio. I recently joined Yogaglo, something my girlfriend and cohost Sarah introduced me to, and I am in love! Pick the duration, the teacher, the focus, the body part, the level and do it in the comfort of your own home.

I have some short Yoga videos on my YouTube channel, but there are also a million great FREE Yoga videos out there that will get you moving. Here’s one describing how to do a Sun Salutation. Try something that speaks to you and will work with your practice.

How will you move? Let me know what gets you up and flowing.

Happy movement!

Be Grateful

Gratitude

“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

-Joni Mitchell

Day 2 of the Minful 21 challenge and my gratitude cup runneth over. Seriously. Stop to think about all that is good in your life. All of the wonderful things you have going on. The gorgeous place you live. The home you can call your own. Your loving friends and family that surround you. The life ebbing through your veins, pulsating in your chest. The mere fact you woke up and were able to take a breathe.

Ok, this wonderful Norman Rockwell painting of life may not be an everyday occurrence. Life can be messy, and stressful, and chaotic, and we don’t get all of things accomplished we wanted to, and that shouldn’t be what we focus on, yet sometimes can be the only thing glaring us in the face. But try to put it aside, whatever is getting in the way of you seeing all you have. Be grateful. For everything on your plate.

I wanted to start the Mindful 21 challenge to bring awareness to how I am living, how I’m spending my time and energy. Being mindful starts with being present so once we can be in the now, out attention can be tuned in to all we have, right now.

Today, I challenge you to sit quietly in meditation for at least 5 minutes and focus on what you are grateful for. Sit somewhere you feel grounded and calm. Come to a comfortable seated position, perhaps taking your hands to your heart, pulling the loving energy in. Be still with your breathe, without distraction, and be grateful for the air filling your body.

With the holidays fast approaching, the timing couldn’t be more fitting, although this act of being grateful should be a daily practice. We are all given 24 hours. What we choose to do with them, how we choose to focus our energy, our thoughts, our behavior, is up to us.

Go into this day, or perhaps you are ending it, with a full, grateful heart. Cultivating abundance within will lead to good things. And being grateful will allow your heart to go out to others.

What are you grateful for?

Happy gratitude!