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Archive for the ‘Goals and Productivity’ Category


Hello there! I know that it has been months since I have written here, but I have been a busy woman! Of course I launched the new site, Living the Balanced Life, back in November. That site has grown incredibly! I launched an ebook, Find Your Balance back in April, which did very well.

Now I am excited to announce that I have launched a new site. It is a resource center for women. To help them through the tough spots in their life, to provide tools and resources to live their lives the way they choose.

The Successful Woman’s Guide – Leading you to success in all areas of life

And, I am excited to announce that a new ebook will launch on Wednesday, August 17.

Purchase during our launch window of Wednesday, August 17, 7 am through Friday, August 19, midnight (EST) and receive FREE gifts and special offers!

Instant download ONLY $4.99

LAUNCH SPECIAL!

Combo package- Purchase The Successful Woman’s Guide to Working from Home, how to juggle business, kids, household and still have time for yourself AND Find Your Balance (a $14 value) for a special price of just $7.99. Two invaluable resources for the cost of 2 lattes!

ONLY $7.99 Must use this button to get the combo deal!


Free gifts with ANY purchase from the site!

  • Windows HotKey cheatsheet
  • HTML Cheatsheet
  • 30 day trial with Plan to Eat
  • One year FREE of About One service

All who purchase, write about, or tweet about will be entered into a drawing for a prize package. I want to make sure you are taking care of yourself, so the package includes several things to help you do so!

Prize Package for a Successful Woman includes:

  • a 30 minute life coaching session with myself
  • a $25 iTunes gift card
  • a $25 gift card to Olive Garden
  • a $5 Starbucks card AND
  • a free ebook of choosing from the site (up to $12 purchase price).

We will also have 2 secondary giveaways for $5 Starbucks cards!

~~~~~~~

To make sure you are entered in for the drawings, here is what you need to do:

  • Leave a comment if you make ANY purchase, tweet, or share on facebook. Maximum of 3 tweets per day!
  • A comment must be made on the blog to count as an entry!
  • Additional entry for subscribing to our site (over on the right-hand side!) Again, be sure to leave a comment!
  • Please NOTE- COMMENTS MUST BE MADE ON THIS POST over at The Resource Center!

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losing love handles

It has been 2 weeks since I started seriously working on a healthier me. I am happy to report I have lost 4 pounds. I am also happy to report that I have lost almost 3 inches, mainly from my love handles and hips (my hips are the biggest part of me, thanks to my heredity!)

Sidetracked by snow and ice

I did great with recording everything I ate for the first week, but the second week we had a snowstorm which turned into ice. Hubby went to work late and got home early every day, my older kids were hanging out here since they couldn’t drive all around, which means I had to cook meals they would eat too. I think I could’ve lost another pound or 2 this past week if not for that, but I digress.

I have actually increased my exercise, other than a few days last week (which caused me to get stiff and achy in my back again!)  I am doing what is called High Intensity Interval Training. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is about mixing high intensity bursts of exercise with moderate intensity recovery periods. It’s brutal but has incredible advantages. It’s the quickest way to get in fit, lose fat and build stamina.

High Intensity Interval Training

When we do aerobic or cardio exercise, we were always taught to stay within 60-80% of our target heart rate. When you utilize HIIT, you work at the lower heart rate for a specific period and then you do a short, high intensity burst, pushing your heart rate to close to its max.

I use a treadmill for now. When the weather gets nicer, I will go outside some, but for now, I like to be able to control the workout with the treadmill.

treadmill High intensity training intervals

I can tell a HUGE difference in my stamina. I can walk up a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing, and 2 weeks ago, we went to a local mountain for a hike. While I didn’t do fantastic, I could tell my body was in better shape than it had been. I am looking forward to climbing to the top of our little mountain very soon!

There is lots of info on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) online. I am going to show you how someone who was horribly out of shape put this to work.

A workout for an overweight, out-of-shape 40 something woman

A few notes- 30 minute workout, base speed is determined by you, mine has increased as I have gotten in better shape, I usually drag out the last slowdown and cooldown a few minutes. And this workout can be for anybody, lol*

*I am not a doctor or medically licensed individual. Please check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program!

Interval timer Intensity Speed Incline
1- warmup 0-4 min 4 base speed 0
1st hill 4-6 min 6 base speed 6
slowdown 6-8 4 base speed 0
1st speed burst 8-10 6 base +.4 0
slowdown 10-12 4 base speed 0
2nd hill 12-14 9 base speed 8
slowdown 14-16 4 base speed 0
2nd speed burst 16-18 9 base speed +.8 0
slowdown 18-20 4 base speed 0
3rd hill 20-22 9 base speed 8
slowdown 22-24 4 base speed 0
3rd speed burst 24-26 9 base speed +.8 8
slowdown 26-28 4 base speed 0
cool down 28-30 3 base speed -.2 0

This is basically 2 minute intervals of lower intensity and higher intensity. The better shape you are or move into, the higher the levels will need to go. I am actually in the process of moving my intervals to 3 minutes on, 1 minute slowdown, but not quite at it yet, more like 2.5 minutes high intensity and 1.5 slowdown. Download a printable copy of HIIT workout.

What progress can you expect?

FYI- when I began walking on the treadmill for 15 minutes a day in November, my base speed was 2.5. I could not do 2 minutes at an 8 incline. My base speed is currently 2.8, my max speed is 3.5. It is not quite a jog, but almost there! I also do one interval on elevation 6, the other 2 on elevation 8. I like to hike, so speed is not my only goal. I need to be able to climb hills, so using the elevation on the treadmill really helps with this.

For someone who is an athlete, this may not look like much, but it has made a huge difference to me. Whenever I exercised before, I never really felt a difference or saw something I could measure, but by using the HIIT and monitoring my heart rate (I just use what is on my treadmill, although I would like a fancy, schmancy one!) Because I can see the difference, I am motivated to stick with it, unlike ever before.

I believe that by continuing at this rate, I will be able to reach my goal of losing a total of 25 pounds by April!

My Journey to Balance

While working on the body, I am also working on my emotional and mental health over at my other blog. If you feel overwhelmed with your life, I encourage you to come on over and participate! It’s FREE!

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I’m all over the place!

This week, I was allowed to guest post at 40 Moms Club, a great new blog for moms in their 30s, 40s and 50s. My post is Are you a graceful swan or a sinking ship?

Also this week, my first post as contributor on Life Your Way was published. I will be writing for the Productivity Your Way category. My post this month is called Defining your priorties for the holidays.

Living the Balanced Life  I have also been writing on Living the Balanced Life. My latest posts there are:

   The Walking Wounded
   Waiting for Perfect
   I’d love to have you come visit me there!  You can also join me on Facebook and follow me  on Twitter!

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The Birth of a Blog

When I began my blog back in late May 2010, it was a trial run. I knew nothing about blogging, design, traffic, RSS, commenting, memes or carnivals. I didn’t know that there was such a thing as a mommy blogger.

I wanted to learn about blogging because I had an idea for a business and I had read that blogging would be a good way to promote it. Boy, did I jump into something so much bigger than I ever imagined! And I was headed into a very interesting period in my life, a period af enormous change.

Just Under the Surface

My life, at the time, was completely out of balance, although I had no idea JUST how unbalanced I was. You see, I was pretty good at hiding behind a mask and stuffing my emotions inside. My body was starting to rebel, but I wasn’t listening.

In July, I took a vacation hoping that would help me relax and move beyond my stress. About 5 days into my 7 day vacation I started to feel a little relief, however, within 2 days of returning home it hit me full force. As I was preparing to do a midyear review with my boss, I knew that I was in trouble. I had difficulty preparing my reports, I could not think clearly, and I was staying at home only when I did not have a very specific meeting scheduled.

get out of my box

The review was a disaster and it became apparent to me and to my boss that I could no longer do my job in my current state of mind. I took a personal leave and made an appointment to see my doctor. I have been on medical leave ever since. I am on medication, see a psychologist weekly, and have been doing much prayer and soul-searching during this time.

Our bodies are not meant to hold the kind of stress I was dealing with. I was overloaded beyond belief. I had work issues and personal issues I was dealing with. 

Part of it was external circumstances, however, part of it was due to how I handled and processed stressors in my life. I have had to learn with both sides of this issue.

As I began to write about my journey, I heard from more and more people about how they are dealing with the same thing on some level. They are stressed, overwhelmed and feel completely stuck in their lives. As I was working on my healing process, I realized I wanted to help those who were also feeling the same. This is where the change comes in!

The Balanced Life, Perfectly Imbalanced

I currently am working on another blog specifically geared towards helping women and men work out the balance in their lives. To put their stressors in perspective. To learn what to say yes to and when to say “No”.

My new blog is titled “Living the Balanced Life”. It will encompass 8 different areas of our lives:

Faith, Prayer and Worship
Connecting to Those Around You
Finding Joy in Life
Learning to Just BE
Live Healthy
Being Productive
Renew and Refresh
Manage Your Home and Time

Living the Balanced Life will have regular posts in each of these areas to help you in your quest for balance. I will also eventually be offering, for sale, resources to help you on your journey. 

My hope is to have Living the Balanced Life launch sometime early November, and to be in full swing by the time the New Year rolls around!  Please note that my plan is to continue to ramble my more emotional thoughts at THIS blog, while LTBL will be practical and action oriented (or NON-action!)
 

NEWS FLASH!newpaper-boy

To be sure you don’t miss out on when the new blog will be launching and when updates are made to THIS blog, be sure to subscribe via EMAIL by clicking HERE. I promise, I don’t share or sell your info, and I won’t hit you with spam!

Those who sign up via email will also receive for FREE the report “40 Ways to Live and Not Merely Exist!

In the meantime, for your education and encouragement…

As I am preparing to launch the new blog, my ramblings here will be on hold, unless I just can’t keep my mouth shut, lol!  I need to practice what I am preaching and balance my time and resources on what is priority at the moment, which is getting my other blog live.

So… if you are visiting during my hiatus, I have reorganized my ramblings (as much as one CAN organize ramblings!) for you to pick and choose the topics that might best help you where you are at. You can choose from my most popular posts below, or from the list of Posts by Category in the upper right-hand column.

I do enourage you to leave comments as I will still be reading those!

Some of my most popular posts:

So…Who IS This Rambling Woman?

10 Ways to Avoid a Mental Meltdown

Is Your Brain on Overload?

This is Your Brain, This is Your Brain on Overload

Someday is a Dangerous Word

Ahh, the American Dream

The Cure for the American Dream

If there are specific issues that you would like to see me address on my new blog, please feel free to send me an email to–

bernicemwood at gmail dot com! 

Also, if you believe a friend would benefit from my writings, please share by clicking the appropriate button below!

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Why do we not do the things we want to,

and do the things we don’t?

The apostle Paul even wrote about it in Romans 7:15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do.

Many times there are habits we want to stop, or habits we want to implement in our lives, yet we are consistently unsuccessful.  We tend to beat ourselves up that we are lazy, or maybe even sinful. Unfortunately, this is just part of human nature. The good news is, you can train yourself to implement change in your life.

I am going to use an example that I got from Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits. He is talking mainly about exercise, but the steps are good and can work for ANY habit.

eat_the_elephant

The Main Problems

 

In a nutshell, “It’s just too much to do, it’s overwhelming!”

So why do most people have trouble making exercise a regular habit? Well, there are probably a number of factors, but here are the main ones as I see it:

  1. Too difficult. People set out with a lot of ambition and enthusiasm, and start out with a big goal. “I’m going to go to the gym for an hour a day!” or “I’m going to run 30 minutes every day!” The problem is that the goal is too difficult to sustain for very long. You can do it for a few days, but you soon run out of energy, and it becomes a drag to do it.
  2. Too many goals. Often we set out to do too much. We want to run, and lift weights, and eat healthy, and quit sweets, and stop drinking soda. Well, those are multiple goals, and you cannot focus on the exercise habit if you’re trying to do all the others at the same time. Or we might start with one goal, but then get caught up in another goal (to stop procrastinating, for example), and lose our focus on the first one.
  3. Not enough motivation. It’s not a lack of discipline, it’s a lack of motivation. The most powerful motivators, in my experience, are logging your habit and public pressure. There are many others that help as well.

The 4 Simple Steps


So how do we solve those problems? Keep it simple. Here are the 4 simple steps to start the exercise habit (and keep it going). I should note that you can use these 4 steps to start any habit.

  1. Set one easy, specific, measurable goal. There are several keys to setting this crucial goal:
    • Written: Write this down. Post it up. If you don’t write it down, it’s not important.
    • Easy: Don’t — DO NOT — set a difficult goal. Set one that is super, super easy. Five minutes of exercise a day. You can do that. Work your way to 10 minutes after a month. Then go to 15 after 2 months. You can see what I mean: make it easy to start with, so you can build your habit, then gradually increase.
    • Specific: By specific, I mean what activity are you going to do, at what time of day, and where? Don’t just say “exercise” or “I’m going to walk”. You have to set a time and place. Make it an appointment you can’t miss.
    • Trigger: I recommend that you have a “trigger” right before you do your habit. For example, you might always brush your teeth right after you shower. The shower is the trigger for brushing your teeth, and because of that, you never forget to brush your teeth. Well, what will you do right before you exercise? Is it right after you wake up? Right after your coffee? Right when you get home? As soon as you take off for lunch? A trigger that you do every single day is important.
    • Measurable: By measurable, I mean that you should be able to say, definitely, whether you hit or miss your goal today. Examples: run for 10 minutes. Walk 1/2 a mile. Do 3 sets of 5 pushups. Each of those has a number that you can shoot for.
    • One goal: Stick to this one goal for at least a month. Two months if you can bear it. Don’t start up a second goal during that 30-day period. If you do, you are scrapping this goal.
  2. Log it daily. This is the key habit. If you can log your workout, you will start to see your progress, and it will motivate you to keep going. And you have to make it a habit to log it right away. Don’t put it off, and say you’ll do it before you go to bed. As soon as you’re done working out, log it. No exceptions. And don’t make the log complicated — that will only make you resist doing the log. Just the date, time, and what you did.
  3. Report to others. I think this is key. You can do it on your blog, on an online forum, with your spouse, or friends or family, or a workout partner, or a coach, or a group, or a class. However you set it up, make it part of the process that you have to report your daily workout to other people. It could be using an online log, or on a forum, or through email, or the phone, or just by telling your co-workers what you did this morning. But be sure that they know your goal, and that you are going to report to them, and be sure that they are expecting it every day.
  4. Add motivation as needed. The first three steps might be enough for you to get the habit going. But if not, don’t just give up. If you miss two consecutive workouts, you need to look at why, and add a new motivation. Rewards, more public pressure, inspiration, whatever it takes. Read this article for more on this. You can add one additional motivator, and then see if it works. If you miss two more consecutive workouts at any time, add another motivator. And so on, until the exercise habit sticks.

Again, while Leo is basically talking about exercise in general here, these steps will work for ANY HABIT. I encourage you, if there is something you are trying to stop doing or something you want to implement in your life, work through each of these steps to see how it would play out.

One of My Elephants

My regular readers know that I have been dealing with depression and anxiety since this summer. I actually have a difficult time leaving the house. I need to go to the Y to exercise, but have not been making it there. I tend to make it  a lot harder on myself than I should. I realized that I don’t want to go through the trouble of getting dressed and getting my shoes on, etc. So, my very first goal for me to work on really isn’t about exercise, but about me getting myself presentable and dressed AS IF I WERE gonna go to the gym. In my mind I feel that is half the battle. And I will probably use my Google calendar to track it. And my trigger? Have my workout clothes easily accessible, and instead of throwing on my old house grubbiesfirst thing in the morning, dress in gym clothes and put my shoes on.

To many of you, that may seem so simplistic, and say “I need to change something bigger than that, this won’t work for me! That is the issue with me and with many people. We take the whole leg of the elephant and try to carm it in our mouth and don’t see that it is possible. We just have to take that one little bite, and once we do that, it tastes SO GOOD, we take one more bite. It will take time, but eventually you can eat the elephant, one little bite at a time!

Eating The Elephant

What about you? What is your elephant in YOUR life that you would like to be eating right now?

My goal is to help as many people as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!

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There are always areas of our lives that we want to work on or improve. We all don’t necessarily have the same things to work on, but we all something we want to improve. And we usually complain about those areas in our lives quite a bit, but don’t end up doing much about it anyway.

As I am preparing for some major changes to my blog in near future, I came across some great 31 day programs! There are 8 different areas of focus, I encourage you to take a peak at each and see which ones reach deep in your heart and go for those! Do NOT try to read and implement these 8 blogs over the next 31 days! You cannot effectively change that much at one time. Good news is, they will be archived, and once you work through one or two areas, you can come back to a different one to work on next!

I appreciate the time and effort these talented women are putting into these projects!

31-Days-550x344

Emily is the hostess for 31 days of Grace :: Chatting at the Sky

Kendra is hostess for 31 Days to an Inspired Table :: My First Kitchen

The ‘Nester’ is hostess for 31 Days to a Less Messy Nest :: Nesting Place

Emily is hostess for 31 Days of Living Simply :: Remodeling This Life
31-Days-1

Melissa is the hostess for 31 Days of Autumn Bliss :: The Inspired Room

Jennifer is the hostess for 31 Days to More. . .With Less :: Beauty and Bedlam

Darcy is the hostess for the 31 Days to a Better Photo :: My 3 Boybarians

Sandy is the hostess for the 31 Days to Stress Free Entertaining :: Reluctant Entertainer
31-Days-2

Once you decide which programs you are going to follow this month, leave me a comment here so I know who I will see and where!

I have written quite a bit about several of these subjects as well. Feel free to check out my archives to read more about my journey!

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And where are you going?

road travelledAs we look back behind us, at our life, we can see the path that we have been down.

We see where we’ve been… what we’ve done.

We see the good times… and the not-so-good.

We are proud of the good choices we made… and would like to forget some of the poor ones.

We see where others we met and interacted with along the way have given us much joy… or brought us much grief.

Many times we would like to go back and change where our path took us

To avoid some of the negatives and the pain.

To end up in a different place than where we are.

These things are not possible.

All we can do with the past, positive or negative, is to embrace it, learn from it, and (this part many people don’t realize!)…

decide which way we want to go from here

Are we content with where our current path is leading? Or do we want to end up somewhere totally different?

The choice is yours. You get to decide what direction your life takes. You can make course adjustments. Did you know that pilots (and the autopilot) are constantly having to make minor course corrections? Being off by 1 degree can make a huge difference in where you end up. By the same token, making adjustments of 1 degree can totally alter your journey.
road less travelled

It doesn’t necessarily take a MAJOR life decision or change to get different results!

I met a wonderful lady this weekend, Laurie Smithwick, co-founder of Kirtsy.com who made a statement that inspired this post. She said…

“We are creating our future by deciding where to step.”

Awesome! You get to decide which direction you take your next step. A little to the right? A little to the left?

But, what about…

I know that we all have been dealt some tough stuff. There are some things out of your control. However, there are a lot of things YOU do have the ability to control, and you need to learn what those things are.

  1. Your thoughts
  2. Your Attitude
  3. How you take care of yourself (eat right, drink water, exercise)
  4. How you manage your time (saying No, turning off TV or PC, choosing family time over outside obligations)
  5. Learn to live in the moment

Even if you are at a place in your life where a lot of your time is committed to things that ARE important to you (children, family, career) determine even those small things that can make a shift toward the direction you want to head.

this way that way signFor example-

  1. Drink water instead of soda
  2. Go to bed instead of watching ‘just one more show’
  3. Take a 10 minute walk rather than vegging out. If you still want to veg when you return, go for it!
  4. Read a book on a subject you want to know more about, even if it is just 15 minutes on your lunch break
  5. Research that business idea floating in your head and start creating a plan, even if it is a 5 or 10 year plan
  6. Get a new haircut/style that better reflects you
  7. Go through your wardrobe and do your best to wear only the clothes that you feel good in, that make you feel confident
  8. Spend some time in reflection determining who “you” really are, and where you want your path to eventually lead.

What are some of the little (or BIG) changes you have made to point yourself in the direction you want to be going?

I will be expanding on some of these ideas over the next couple of weeks. Be sure to subscribe HERE so you don’t miss out on any of my posts!

If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!
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