Happy New Year!!!

After a holiday hiatus I am back!  These past couple months I had decided to spend all of my time with my family.  Other than catching a few sick bugs we had a great holiday and are ready for a new year!

So we all know the New Year is for resolutions.  Throughout the last year I made many resolutions that did happen, and ones that did not.  That is just how the story goes I suppose.  But there is something I was told once that I always think about and try to follow.

“Don’t wait for the beginning of a new year to make resolutions, but make your resolves continuously by planning ahead, by setting goals, and planning each day throughout your future.”

 

Why do we wait?  Every single day is a new day.  Why not “new day” resolutions instead?  A year is a very long time to plan for.  Sometimes that much time gets away from us if we don’t break it down into smaller goals.  So this year I plan on making goals every single day.  Small achievable goals will add up to an even bigger accomplishment than if we obsess over one large goal that seems so far away!  Who needs all that stress?! So make a goal today and at the end of the day you either get a giant high five from yourself, or you will get the chance to try again the next day.  I will still have those big goals I want to reach in the back of my mind….  My end game you could say.  But all end games can be broken down into baby steps.  Those baby steps should be your goals.  Less stress and more achievement.  No need to wait until you hit that end game to feel successful.  Every day can be successful.

Now, speaking of resolutions….. I have to say, I did not reach my end game last year for health.  It happens!  But it is ok.  This last year I studied, tried out new things, and also had a lot of fun along the way.  I met some smaller goals, but I did not find that one game plan that works for me.  Do you know why?  Because I am not like everyone else.  All these plans and programs were made by people who found out what worked for them.  But I am not them.  But what I did learn from them is that I can take bits and pieces from all of their successes and make my own.  That is the real key.  Try out new things!  So now that I have tried so many things I have learned to listen to my body closer.  It really does tell you what it needs if you let it.  So this year that is one my resolves.  I want to have less stress, more success, and more fun!  I am paving my own path!

But my biggest resolve this year….

To Be Happy Every Single Day!  No matter what we go through we can be optimistic and happy.  That is my biggest goal.  Find something that makes you smile and dwell on it.  Make it your center for the day.

On that note, todays Recipe is Fish!!!  Because they make you happy!  Yes, you heard it.  The omega-3 acids can actually relieve depression and level out your mood swings.  So here is a yummy protein rich fish recipe I found for you!  HAPPY New Year!

pecan crusted salmon allrecipes
This recipe comes from allrecipes.com

Pecan Crusted Salmon

Ingredients

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons butter, melted

5 teaspoons honey

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

3 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

6 (4 ounce) fillets salmon

salt and pepper to taste

6 lemon wedges

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, butter, and honey. In another bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, pecans, and parsley.
  2. Season each salmon fillet with salt and pepper. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush with mustard-honey mixture. Cover the top of each fillet with bread crumb mixture.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measured at thickest part, or until salmon just flakes when tested with a fork. Serve garnished with lemon wedges.

 

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Growing to Love Your Greens

One of the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle is eating your vegetables.  We are supposed to get four servings every single day!  As children our taste buds were stronger and more receptive than an adults.  That means those green florets of broccoli that were so bitter as a child aren’t so bitter anymore.  But after years of eating processed unhealthy foods and never going after that broccoli, your mind still doesn’t like it.  You aren’t used to it.  I have talked to many people who just don’t like the taste of vegetables, me included.  That is I used to be.  It is possible to reprogram yourself!  

How did I do it?  I actually didn’t even do it on purpose. Almost five years ago a good friend and I decided to be vegetarians for a month.  It was simply for fun and to experience that lifestyle.  So what did that consist of?  Obviously a lot of vegetables!  Honestly it was really hard at first.  I relied on other vegetarian foods like breads and pastas.  But eventually I broke into more of the vegetables.  After a couple of weeks it began to get easier.  I even started to like vegetables I hated before.  From that day on I have thoroughly enjoyed my veggies!  They have actually become a basis to each mean I plan. 

 So, am I telling you to be a vegetarian for a month?  No.. Unless you really want to experience that.  But I am ensuring you that how you feel about vegetables and other healthy foods can become positive.  You just have to stick it out and keep trying.  The more healthy foods you eat, the more your body will feel better because of the vitamins and minerals it is receiving.  When your body feels better it will associate those foods with feeling good.  It just takes consistency.  It can change! To start out you can mix your vegetables with foods you do like, for example cheese.  We obviously would love to get to a point where the cheese is not needed, and that day will come.  But for now, just throw those veggies in and make that commitment! Your body will thank you!

For some fun facts about your tastebuds check out this article!

Breaking Emotional Walls

emotional walls  Growing up I went through different stages of confidence.  There were hard years and good years.  I spent most of my youth trying to find who I was and what I wanted to do.  We all have times in our life like this.  They can be daunting and confusing.

But being young was still a ton of fun!

At the time, I never believed it and always complained about wanting to grow up.  But do you ever think back now and remind yourself of all the fun you had? I sure do!  So why don’t we have fun like that anymore?  Is it because you are too old for all of that?  Does life really have to be that serious?  The answer is a big fat no!

Meeting new people and trying to feel comfortable sometimes feels so tough and discouraging.  Anxiety kicks in and we worry about what we are going to say or how we look.  Yes, as a teen I still worried about those things.  But now as an adult it feels a little different than it used to.  What is different?  Something is missing now that wasn’t there before.

Each negative experience we face can do something to hide who we are.  Those experiences create giant heavy bricks that build and build until who we are isn’t there anymore.  We hide behind a wall.  Instead of fun and letting loose, we are scared and anxious.  These walls we are building slowly bury the real us under the weight of the world.  We turn to comforts like sugar, food, addictions, and sometimes literally hiding from the world.  Don’t you miss being able to see yourself in the mirror and knowing it’s the real you looking back?  Or maybe you started building those walls young and never got to know the real you.

Don’t you think it’s about time to let yourself be free?

Believe it or not, this is completely possible!  There may be walls inside you but that does not mean you are gone for good.  Gaining success and happiness in life will become so much easier once those walls come down, so let’s look at some ways to accomplish this.

1.  Make a list of things you enjoy

Nothing shows the real you than your passions.  Think about things you love about your life, experiences you cherish, and your talents.  We all have them!  Write them down! Even write down things that you haven’t done that you would love to try.  These are physical traits about the real you.  It’s a map to who is hiding deep in your brain.   It is your portrait in words.

2.  Creating your own happiness

Ok, so I have to be honest about this one.  It is a common saying that I have always shook my head at.  “Create my own happiness?  Easier said than done my friend.”  But the brain is a powerful tool.  We can learn to be optimistic and look at each day with gratitude and enjoyment.  Remembering things you are grateful for and trying to find the good in things will give you a better perspective.  It is possible but only if your tool is sharpened, which leads to my next point.

3.  Clean and repair your mind

There are many parts to this.  There is the physical aspect which includes diet, exercise, and learning.  The brain is a muscle and needs to be worked and nourished.  How can you pull down walls inside your mind if you, the contractor, are always on your lunch break?  Ok, kind of cheesy but it’s true!  We cannot be lazy and expect to feel happy and free.  Laziness is in reality a cage preventing you from progressing.  Everything you do affects your brain.  Every piece of food you eat, people you surround yourself with, and everything you say and do will affect your brain.  You are building you in there.  So make it a healthy you that is willing to break down those walls.

4. Remember you are unique

There are so many of us in the world, and not one of us perfectly alike.  So why try to be like someone else?  The real you is the ONLY YOU.  It is such an amazing thing!  Embrace it!  Stop trying to copy others or follow someone elses path.  What makes someone else feel confident and happy will not necessarily make you happy.  Stick to your own passions and interests.  What you are good at will compliment others and others will compliment yours.  We work together as a giant team!  Don’t try to change your part, because what you do is beautiful!  There will be people with similar interests that you can enjoy things with, but remember that you are different in other ways.  So just stick to being you and you can work in harmony with everyone around you.

5.  Follow your ambitions

It wasn’t until I overcame fear and began to pursue my passions that my walls started coming down.  For so long I was shut off from people and never wanted to try anything new.  I hid and felt miserable.  Friends I made never really stuck because I would push them away.  But something changed in me.  I took the first step towards my future and with my list in hand I found out what my passions were and attacked them!  I made goals I could reach that gave me a step in the right direction.  I conquered myself, and brick by brick my walls have started to come down.  When I was younger I just loved making people laugh, and for years that had gone away.   I was so serious because life had pushed me down. But just yesterday I caught myself making a joke!  It was a breakthrough and I made someone bust up laughing.  Boy have I missed that sound!

The real me is starting to come back.  You can and will do this too!  You are worth it!  Just be strong, courageous, and stop hiding.  Start caring about you and make that first step to get the ball rolling.  For an idea on how to start your journey check out my previous blog, Physical Goal Setting to Build Confidence. One of my biggest beliefs is that physical action is one of the greatest steps we need to take in any part of our life for success.

For health, fitness, and special events to help you find the better you, follow me on Facebook.  My mission and passion is to help everyone I can heal themselves and build a brighter future not hidden behind walls.

never to old to be young

Physical Goal Setting to Build Confidence

Goal setting can be empowering and discouraging all at the same time.   It’s takes a lot of mental power to raise yourself up when you fail.  Time and time again we set new years resolutions that may never be reached or make a pact with ourselves to overcome an addiction that we refuse to give up.  Sometimes we have great ideas for our future but never have enough strength to follow it through to the end.  Giving up is easy, settling is easy,  but it also is painful and discouraging.

So how do we condition ourselves to be stronger and more motivated in reaching our goals?

Throughout the years I have wondered time and time again how I can get myself fired up about reaching goals I have set.  My motivation levels were at an all time low and life decided to throw obstacles and excuses left and right pushing me further and further away from what I wanted to accomplish.  What did it come down to?  Fear.  That four letter word that just buries us and builds walls inside us.  So how do we overcome fear?

One day I decided I had had enough and made my own solution.  I set a goal that had nothing to do with my previous goals, but everything to do with fear.  I picked something easily reached in a timely manner and something that had a distinct finish line.  For me that was running a race.  It had a distinct day, a distinct mission, and it was something I have always been completely afraid of.  I didn’t pick the hardest run either.  I picked a fun run, because you might as well enjoy every second of it.  That’s the whole point right?

color run

As I wrote in my previous post, crossing that finish line gave me the confidence I needed to move on to harder goals.  Now that I conquered one of my fears I am able to move onto the next without the fear of failure.  Because I now know that I can accomplish things I never thought possible.  And I know that even if I fall I will have the strength to try again.

But there was more to this decision than just any easily obtainable goal.  It was a physical goal.  It was something outside of just my mind.  I physically had to move my body across that finish line.  When we are physically moving and exercising our bodies, we are creating endorphins.  We are associating finishing goals with the pleasure part of our brain.  The adrenaline and endorphins make us want to do it again.  So pick something physical to achieve.  Climb a mountain, run a race, go river rafting, go sky diving, or take a fitness class.  Just make sure it is something physical, and make it something new.   Make your goal something you would never have imagined doing, something you fear.  Physical Goals

Are you going to feel anxious and scared?  Yes!  And that is okay.  Feeling fear just means conquering it will be even more exciting.  Accomplishing physical obtainable goals will not only open a gateway to more accomplishments, but will give you more in your life to enjoy.  From each new experience can bloom a new passion or give you clarity in other aspects of your life.

The next biggest and most important step to take with goal setting is to not do it alone.  We are made to work together.  It should be our mission to support each other and to grow together.  When you have others beside you, you are more likely to follow through with your goal, and you will also enjoy it a lot more.  So find someone to go with you.  Make sure you keep each other strong in accomplishing your goal.  And most of all have a blast doing it!

together

Accomplishing goals can be exciting, empowering, and enjoyable if you make sure you are doing them right.  This is only a beginning to opening up those walls of fear you have put up inside you.  These blockades that are keeping you from progressing can come down and will.  But the only way this can be possible is if you take action.  So reach outside your comfort zone and have an adventure!  Goals are an amazing tool in life and should bring with them accomplishment and confidence.  After finishing your physical goal and conquering a fear, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your life.  You just have to take that first step.

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Crossed that Finish Line

I ran my first ever 5K, and crossing that finish line meant more than you’ll ever know.

All my life I have hated running.  I was knocked down so much as a kid, especially when it came to pounding my feet to the pavement.  Even my teachers were not supportive and terrorized me.  I grew really fast as a pre-teen.  I mean 6 inches in one year fast!  This created some physical difficulties for me including using crutches for a while.  My knees could barely handle the pressure and I never knew how to combat it.  But I was still forced to run, so I just kept pushing on while everyone tore me down.  So naturally I have always been afraid of running.

A couple months back I was presented with the opportunity to sign up with some friends for The Color Run, the happiest 5K on the planet.  Throughout this last year I have been trying to better myself and not cower to fear, so I immediately jumped at it.  It was at that moment I decided this fun silly run was going to be my starting point.  I was going to conquer my fear.  And I did it!  With flying colors I might add!  Literally!  Ok, bad joke… but it really did end up amazing!

Although every single one of us got a medal, I still felt like a winner.  I won one of my own battles!  This run got me going in the right direction, and even got me out of the house to run in the evenings to prepare for it.  I was someone who feared and hated running, and now I honestly enjoy it!  Who knew?

During the run we would jog in and out of people like a maze, and it felt invigorating for me.  It may sound silly, but sometimes the small things are the big things.  I ended that day accomplishing something very important for me.  It symbolized overcoming all my obstacles I put in front of myself.  No excuse is strong enough anymore, because I know I can win.  I can beat my fear.

So, with that I want to encourage others to do the same.  I want you to pick a battle and face it.  And to add onto that, pick a fun race to do with some friends and imagine that finish line is your trial.  You can cross it! Even if your run turns out to be a walk. There is a reason this page is called, Run to fight for Change.  It’s not just about physically running but embracing our strength and running with it.  We need to push forward and conquer our own fears. In a prior post I wrote,

“This is how we need to live our lives.  Although we should slow down and experience the world around us, we also need to run.  We need to run after those experiences and our passions.  We need to run for positive change in the world and our lives.”

But the only way to do this is with back up of course.  Get a group together.  We all have fears and trials to beat.  Go have some fun and cross that finish line together!  If that finish line includes being attacked with glitter and chalk like mine, even better!  Because life is supposed to be fun.

Join team #run2fight4change and show everyone you can beat your fears and trials.  If you feel inclined, please share a photo of your finish line on our facebook page and encourage others to fight as well.