Tuesday, January 30, 2018

5 Lessons Learned Going Part-Time at Corporate to Pursue my Passions

A month ago I made the decision to go part-time at my corporate marketing job in order to make more room to pursue my fitness business, blog and freelance writing goals. I was (am) a little terrified about cutting my regular paycheck in half but somewhere deep inside it felt like the right thing to do. I was in a rut. A four year rut. I have been feeling creatively stifled and it was about time I did something about it. Something. Anything. Shake things up, baby.

This was a relatively safe move because we worked hard to pay off debt and we keep our expenses low. I know that even if I don't make one extra dollar on my side hustles that I would still be able to pay my bills without stress. That part was important to me because this whole process taught me that I am risk averse. Yes, I wanted to pursue my passions more seriously, no I didn't want to go broke or introduce money stress into my life to do it. This choice seemed the perfect balance of risk.

Some people thought I was crazy. Why would I leave money on the table from my corporate job? My answer was that I make enough money, I wanted more freedom and I was willing to pay for it. I could keep spending my precious energy or I could downgrade my lifestyle, which honestly doesn't mean much more than cutting down on my Lorna Jane and Amazon prime habit. It seemed like a reasonable trade off.

It's only been a month and I am stretching and growing already. I am already learning some lessons and am discovering some interesting things about myself.


I HAD TO GIVE UP THE GOOD TO MAKE ROOM FOR THE GREAT


The honest truth is that I didn't quit half my job because I had clients lined up around the block and I needed more time to serve them. I quit half my job to make space on my calendar and more importantly, in my head. You know what happened? I picked up a new personal training client and new nutrition coaching client that first month. I made room for it. I didn't have the mental capacity for another client while working full time, writing two blogs, being a wife, working out and keeping my house spotless at all times (just kidding about that last one).

I like the idea of giving up the good to make room for the great. A well paying corporate job is good, no doubt about that. If I really want to make room for the things I want out of life, I have to be willing to give up good and comfortable to pursue the great.


I HAD TO GET COMFORTABLE WITH BEING UNCOMFORTABLE


Four weeks in and I am loving the freedom, however, there is a lot of uncertainty on those non-corporate days when I am free to pursue whatever I want. There is pressure to make sure I am spending my time wisely, because if I sit on the computer and stare at Facebook all day, then I'm not doing anything to move myself forward and quite literally losing money. It's one thing to not make money despite your best efforts, it's a whole 'nother thing to waste the chance to try.

I started working at a local running store on Mondays. It gives me the great opportunity to meet local runners in my community while helping them in a real way. It also may open up contact and networking opportunities with running industry manufacturers. I spend my time doing something that I truly enjoy, while still having the freedom to blog or work on my own business on those days between customers.

While working at a running shoe store is not a difficult job, it is full of uncertainty. People come in or call with questions that I don't know the answers to all the time. People have an expectation that the person working at the store is a running shoe expert, and while I learn more and more everyday, I just simply do not know the history and technical details of every running shoe ever made (like the owner of this store does).



It's a lesson in not letting negative thoughts or ideas take over. I am not perfect, but I'm good enough. The uncertainty of my fitness business, the future of my blogs and freelance writing is the scary unknown. I just have to learn to get real cozy comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.

I strive to learn and improve every day, but when something new brings up those "not good enough" feelings of uncertainty I have to remind myself that learning or doing anything new and making newbie mistakes only stretches me to become a better person. The more uncomfortable I feel, the more opportunity there is for me to grow.

I'M LEARNING AN ABUNDANT MINDSET


When you cut your regular paycheck in half it's really easy to start to calculate what you don't have, what you can't afford or what you have to give up. It's true that in the beginning while I get things off the ground I won't have as much disposable income as I've grown accustomed. At first, I worried that I might not be able to afford my annual BlogFest and personal trainer conference trip or to sign up for as many races. I made a conscious decision to put those thoughts out of my head. I didn't go part-time so I could give up the experiences that light my soul on fire, that would be counter intuitive. I want to get more out of life and going to conferences, races and concerts is a big part of living my life to the fullest. 



Sure, it is responsible to cut out unnecessary spending and live a more conservative lifestyle given my reduced income, but I'll strive to cut the things that aren't providing value to my life. I don't need more stuff (not even more leggings-gasp-even though I think I do.) I always need more connections, more experiences and more travel. I won't let a scarcity mindset get between me and the abundant full life of my dreams. 


I LEARNED STRESS IS RELATIVE


I am at my corporate job three days a week now and I quickly learned that stress is relative. When my identity became more than my marketing job, the stress of that job instantly became less important. I am not saying the job itself is less important to me. I am so grateful my company allows me this privilege to work part-time. I realize it is a gift. I will always strive to do the best job possible, but suddenly and instantly I lost the stress surrounding the things I could not control. It's a strange feeling for a worry-wart like me.

I work hard to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible, but when things go wrong that are out of my control I am now able to work to correct the problem to the best of my ability without any of the stress attached to it. "It is what it is" has become my new motto. My head space doesn't have the room anymore to worry or stress about work-related issues outside of my control mainly because it became apparently clear that it is pointless.

Now if this lesson can carry over to the rest of the things I stress about in my life that are out of my control, that would be great.

I FOUND COMFORT IN THE CHAOS OF FAMILIARITY


Hubby worried that only going to the marketing office three days a week would make it worse for me, like returning back to work from a long weekend, every weekend. You know how you feel when you've been off work for a vacation and you dread the return to reality?

So far I have had the opposite experience. I have four long full days every single week to pursue my passions, stretch my knowledge, try new things, learn new things, meet new people and take new risks. Frankly, it can be mentally exhausting. In returning to the office I have found great comfort in the chaos of familiarity.

I've been working with my company for nearly a decade. It's not a hard job, but it is a fast-paced, often demanding, detailed-oriented job. After a long weekend of stretching and growing, I slip back comfortably into the chaos I know. It helps a lot with the self-doubt that tries to creep in when I do all these new things.

I could imagine that if someone quit their full-time job to pursue their personal goals that the feelings of uncertainty could quickly become overwhelming. I get a three-day-a-week reminder that I am a smart, capable human-being who can do challenging things well. It's quite a privilege to have the opportunity to earn a paycheck by serving my company while also have to time to pursue my own dreams.


I want to thank you for reading. It is hard work to maintain two blogs consistently and I've often wondered if it was maybe time to give up Running with Ollie to focus solely on Lea Genders Fitness strength & running blog.

This blog has been my baby since 2009 and even though Ollie doesn't run much anymore, I realized I am not ready to let it go because I will always need a personal blog as a creative outlet. Lea Genders Fitness strength & running blog has more article-based blog posts to help people with their running, strength training and nutrition. This blog is my heart and my personal outlet.

The ideas in this post have been swirling around in my head for a couple of weeks now and while I thank you for reading, I write it for me. It helps me process how I am feeling. It's a big part of how I untangle the thoughts wrapped in knots in my head. I want to document my journey here. I'm afraid if I don't write it down, in a year from now when all of this feels easy, I'll forget all about the lessons I learned to get there.


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Keep Running,

Lea

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

I Tried AIRROSTI Fort Worth and This is What Happened...

I thought that maybe I just had to live with my shoulder pain. I tried everything. I went to a sports medicine doctor who gave me injections, prescribed medications and referred me to a physical therapist. The physical therapist gave me a print out of "shoulder exercises" to do at home that I could tell had been photocopied 5000 times. (How's that for personalized service?) I got a MRI. I went to a Chiropractor who performed several sessions of laser light therapy. I tried Cryotherapy sessions (which I loved, but did not correct the root problem).

Here I am, maybe a thousand dollars out of pocket and my shoulder pain has only improved slightly over a year and a half, no thanks to any of these treatments. I stopped running long distances for a year (emoji sad face). I stopped lifting heavy things over my head. I quit all exercises that require shoulder stability like push ups, planks and even Yoga downward dogs. My shoulder still hurts.


It all started about a year and a half ago when I decided it was lame that I was a personal trainer who couldn't do a solid set of push ups. I could squeeze out one or two, but then my form quickly deteriorated. I just didn't have the upper body strength yet. I decided to focus on rapidly improving, and in retrospect simply did too much too soon (you know, that thing I warn my clients about ALL-THE-TIME).

It was at its worst at the end of 2016. If I would run more than three miles, demonstrate a push up at one of my boot camps or even pose for side plank for three seconds in a picture for my blog, the next day I would experience intense burning pain on top of the regular tightness pain. There were days I would sit at my desk at work and the pain would be so intense that I would cry. (cue Internet sympathy)

I stopped running long distances for most of 2017 because the arm movement aggravated my injury. The time off helped a bit. After some extended rest I can now run over five miles without that additional burning pain. I still don't lift heavy things over my head. I have limited mobility and a constant pain of about 5 or 6 out of 10. Worst of all, I felt like I exhausted my resources. Is this my new normal? Because it sucks.

One of the trainers at my gym has a background in physical therapy and the first time we met she told me it was obvious that I was carrying a lot of pain in my shoulders. (Really? It's that obvious? I thought hiding my pain was my superpower.) She offered to call around to help find a doctor that could help me address the pain better than my previous attempts. The next time I went in she told me about the AIRROSTI rehab center in Fort Worth.

When I researched the facility online, I was blown away that they claim that once they determine if someone is a candidate for their treatment, 85% of their patients experience a total resolution of pain in an average of three visits. No long-term treatment plans, no medications or injections. I was intrigued. Could my pain really be resolved in three visits? At this point since I exhausted all other known resources I was willing to roll the dice to find out. Sign me up.



My insurance pitched in for about 20% of the bill. Better than nothing, I guess.

My first appointment was an hour long. In the exam room I explained my shoulder injury and pain issues and the doctor walked me through some range of motion/mobility tests to determine the source of the pain.

He explained a little about the AIRROSTI treatment. It stands for Applied Integration for the Rapid Recovery of Soft Tissue Injuries. Then he explained the manual therapy may hurt a bit. He described it as spicy. Hey, if temporary pain can lead to permanent pain-free results, I can breath through anything (and I am a wimp, for sure). I can handle spicy.

After determining the source of my pain I lied on the table as he started applying intense pressure on the inside of my arm and working up into my shoulder. It was painful but it wasn't unbearable.

Once we finished with the deep tissue manual therapy I met with the physical therapist for work with a lacrosse ball (more ouch) and stretching exercises. She walked me through the exercises and sent me an email with videos so I could do them at home twice a day in-between visits. At least I felt like the exercises she prescribed were addressing my individual needs and not a photocopy they give to everyone.

She finished the appointment by applying kinesiology tape to my shoulder. I never understood how taping something to my skin would do anything at all, but she said it decreases pressure around the pain receptors in the skin and helps stabilize the joints, among other things. She said if I hated it that it wasn't a deal breaker. I didn't hate it but most of it fell off after I ran three miles later that afternoon.

They sent me home with instructions to drink a lot of water, not to panic if my arm and shoulder are bruised the next day (totally normal reaction) and to complete my physical therapy exercises twice a day until my next appointment in four days. I was encouraged to keep performing my regular exercise routine.

How did I feel after my first appointment? Noticeably less pain! I still feel pain, but less than before. Crazy improved range of motion! I am in no-way healed at this point, but I've seen more progress in one appointment than I have from any of my other treatments. If I am 1/3 of the way through treatment to become pain free I will be thrilled. For now, I have high hopes this just may work out for me, but still wondering if it could be too good to be true. Only time and a couple more appointments will tell.

By the time of this post I should have completed my second appointment. I'll keep you posted after my third visit when I find out if I am one of the 85% of patients to have pain resolved in approximately three visits.

Have you heard of AIRROSTI? Have you tried it? Are you intrigued?




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Lea

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

5 REASONS TO JOIN ME AT IDEA WORLD FITNESS #BLOGFEST

I am going to IDEA World Fitness BlogFest this year for the fourth year in a row! It's always one of the highlights of my year. Blogfest is a blogging convention within the bigger IDEA world fitness convention, all rolled into one giant event. I always leave feeling exhausted, happy and motivated to aggressively pursue my dreams.

This year when the Fit Approach (#sweatpink team) put out the call for applications, I had a moment of doubt. I went part-time at my corporate marketing job this year in order to pursue my training, coaching, writing and blogging businesses. This means that I have more time to pursue the things that are meaningful to me, it also means that I cut my regular paycheck in half. Until I get things off the ground, I have less disposable income than in years past. I thought for a moment that maybe I wouldn't be able to afford to go.

My moment of weakness passed when I remembered that the whole reason that I left part of my income behind was to make room for the things that light my soul on fire and this convention fits that very definition. I didn't quit my job so I could worry more about money or live with a lack mindset. I quit half my job so I could live a more abundant life that aligns with my values.

That's when I realized that not going to the convention that I know is a positive, uplifting, learning experience because I was worried about money would be in opposition to my purpose, goals and desires. Maybe I have to save a little more up front than usual. Maybe I won't be able to go crazy at Lorna Jane booth (heart eye emoji) at the fitness expo like in years past. I'll grab a roomie or two. It's about making the time, energy and space for the things that are most important to me. Of course I can afford to go, honestly, with all that I'll learn and all the connections I will make I can't afford not to go.

Why is it so important to me?

Five reasons to join me at the IDEA World fitness BlogFest



1. THE PEOPLE


I say it every year, the biggest draw of BlogFest is the people. I love to spend quality time with my #sweatpink sisters. I love sitting in a room with a hundred other ladies who share my passions. People in my real life (IRL as the kids say) are all supportive (in theory) of the things I do, but no one gets me like the people who are out there doing the same things.

Every year I get to see my old blogging friends and make new ones. I am not even a social person. I'm not the kind of person who seeks out events or parties and thrives on social connections. But even I, the self-proclaimed introvert, can't help but feel connected to these people, because they are my people.

BlogFest 2015
BlogFest 2017

2. THE KNOWLEDGE


I've been blogging since 2009 and fitness blogging since 2011 and if there's one thing that stays the same is that blogging is always changing. As soon as you feel you mastered a platform there's an algorithm shift and it's time to reevaluate your strategy. The BlogFest event has seminars from leaders in our field on all the latest blogging, social media and photography topics. There is always something new to learn.

It's appropriate for all bloggers of all levels, so if you just started blogging or if you've been blogging for a decade, there are always at least a couple of actionable takeaways from every presentation.

3. THE CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS


After Fitness BlogFest we have access to two days of the biggest fitness convention of the year, IDEA World. I need to earn continuing education credits for my fitness certifications anyway and when I attend the IDEA sessions on Saturday and Sunday I am earning my credits towards recertification. Even if you are not a fitness professional, these sessions can provide valuable insight into the world of fitness, nutrition and social media. There's always something interesting to learn. In the past there were several opportunities to workout with celebrity trainers like Jillian Michaels, Cassey Ho, Gabrielle Reece and Tony Horton.

Me and Gabby Reece. I look petite! I'm 5'8"

4. THE VALUE


Did I mention it was free? Yes, free. Of course you pay for travel and accommodations but the Blogfest convention is free and you get two days of access to the IDEA world convention, which is an incredible value. If you would purchase even a one day registration pass for the IDEA convention alone it would cost $219.

For the price of travel and accommodations you get to attend two days of BlogFest and two days of IDEA World fitness convention for free.

You have to apply for a spot. As far as I can tell anyone who is genuinely interested and applies before the spots fill up is accepted. I haven't ever heard of a blogger who has been rejected. Once you accept your free spot and register for the convention you have to provide your credit card number. If you change your mind or something happens and you can't attend, you will be charged $50 to $100 for your spot depending on how much notice you give. I am sure this is just to protect against people from signing up because it is free then deciding at the last minute not to show. If you show up, there is no charge. The value can't be beat.

5. THE VACATION


Did I mention sunny San Diego? I plan to fly in a day early and spend it at the beach. The weather is gorgeous year-round in San Diego but especially lovely in July. I'm in Texas so I will welcome the cooler sunny temps. I can promise it will be a whirlwind of a weekend, so it will be nice to take a day and relax by the beach before the convention begins. It's always a good idea to vacation in San Diego.



If you want to learn more about what it is like a the IDEA World fitness BlogFest, check out my recaps from 2017, 2016 and 2015.

Are you convinced? Will I see you there? Let me know so we can plan to meet up!


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Keep Running,

Lea

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Tuesday Tails Furry Feature: Running with Ollie

Hi, friends! It's the first furry feature of 2018 and I didn't have any furry-faced four-legged runners to feature! I put out a couple of requests on social media but I didn't receive responses in time, so this month my Furry Feature is Ollie! All these years of furry features and I never featured my own favorite running partner, Ollie.



Tell us a little bit about your favorite running partner? 

Ollie is a seven-year-old English Pointer mix (we think). We adopted Ollie in 2013 from a friend of my husbands who was moving out of the country. He begged us to take him so he wouldn't have to go to the pound. We were reluctant because we had recently lost two dogs in quick succession and were still a little heart broken. We soon found he would steal and help heal our hearts. 

"hi, I'm Ollie."


Where is your favorite place to run with your pooch? 

Ollie is a street dog. He does best on a leash away from other dogs. We live outside of a big city (Dallas/Fort Worth) but our neighborhood is ripe with farm animals, like horses, chickens and donkeys (not to mention squirrels, rabbits and um, cats). Ollie has plenty of non-traditional friends behind fences. 


"That's a BIG dog!"



Have you ever raced with your dog?

I took him to a Turkey Trot one year and he dragged me off my feet and through the mud in pursuit of his frenemy, a Great Dane, before the race even started. I took him home because I was muddied, scuffed up and a little worse for wear. We learned a valuable lesson that day, Ollie is an A-hole. Hah. These days we stick to virtual races. 

"This is Thrilling."


Tell us about a running moment that made you proud.

Dude, I'm proud every day that I run. It's not always easy but it is always worth it. Running fundamentally changed who I am as a person, and I am better for it. Who would have thought that the young lady who was afraid to break a sweat would grow into a woman who regularly runs half marathons and coaches others to do the same? Certainly not me. 



What running (or life) lesson can we learn from our dogs? 

Ollie is sassy, so he would say don't take any $hit from anyone and do the things that make you happy. Not a bad way to live. 



Do you want to tell us anything else about you or running with your dog?

Because this blog is called Running with Ollie, people often assume that my name is Ollie or Hollie. It's an honest mistake, but let's clear up any confusion. Hi, I'm Lea and my dog is named Ollie.

Meet Ollie and Lea. Too weird? Yes? I know. 


One more thing...

Um...yeah...well...I know this blog is called Running with Ollie and I love running and dogs (and love to feature people on this blog that do just that) but the truth is Ollie doesn't run with me much anymore. He grew much too strong and strong-willed. Besides, he is a little older now and just can't handle the mileage he could when we were (both) younger. We go on short runs from time to time but we always go on walks, twice a day, every day. Ollie loves getting out on the leash and in the neighborhood. He has the same motto as the post office. "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night..."

You can follow all the updates and cute pictures of Ollie on Instagram at @runningwithollie 


Do you want to be featured on this blog with your dog? Fill out this form to be considered. For now, this is a monthly post (12 times a year) but with enough new interest, I am considering expanding it to once a week (52 times a year) so there is plenty of opportunity to get in your feature submission. We'd love to hear from you!

Way to go Ollie, you nailed this one!






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Lea

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

I Tried ARX (Adaptive Resistance Exercise) and This is What Happened...

As a personal trainer I'll be the first to remind you that there are no quick fixes on the path to health and fitness. There is no easy button. You have to do the work. There's no pill, shake or carb-blocking supplement that will get you results any faster than good old fashion exercise and eating right.

In fact, these distractions are largely a waste of your time, energy and money and can actually take you further away from your goals because they shift your focus away from the hard work you need to do.

There's no two ways about it, if you want results you have to do the work.

So when I first heard about ARX I was naturally a little skeptical. When I saw that they advertise that you can get results in as little as 10 minutes a week, red flags were going up all over the place. "You gotta do the work," my inner personal trainer screamed out.

I learned about ARX from a local gym owner over at Optimal Force Fitness is Fort Worth, TX who contacted me on Instagram and asked if I wanted to come in for a free demo of the equipment and meet for coffee. She seemed like a nice lady, I have an open mind and it is always good to make friends in the local fitness community. Let's see what this is all about.

ARX stands for Adaptive Resistance Exercise and it turns out it is very forward-thinking technology. At first glance the equipment looks like typical gym machines. There was one that resembled a leg press machine and another one like a pulley machine, but they aren't like typical gym machines at all.

Trying the ARX equipment at Optimal Force Fitness


This equipment doesn't use traditional weights or plates, instead it uses a computerized resistance system to match the exact resistance to the user's force, which means you get the perfect rep every single time.

If you start to get tired and your output declines, the resistance declines. If you are stronger for one rep than the next, the machine adapts the resistance by the second, perfectly every time. If you slept three hours last night and skipped breakfast your output is going to be less than if you ate a hearty meal and slept like a baby. The ARX technology matches the exact force you produce, never more, never less, giving you maximum benefit while reducing the chance of injury. It's as effective for athletes as it for the elderly.

Dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells are all effective resistance training tools and people have been using them to sculpt amazing, strong and fit bodies for centuries, but is there a better, more efficient way?

The muscle contracts during the lift (the concentric phase) and lengthens as the weight is lowered (the eccentric phase). The muscles can support more weight in the eccentric lowering motion, but due to the limitations of having to lift the weight first, we can usually only lower a weight as heavy as we can first lift it.

Since the ARX technology is not using physical weights, it matches your force with the ideal resistance every second for both the concentric and eccentric actions. So unlike most exercises with traditional weights, you can perform the eccentric action of the exercise with more resistance than the concentric. It's one way that the ARX technology maximizes the time and effort of your workout.

If you're worried about doing only machine-based exercises, you'll be glad to hear there is ARX equipment for squats and deadlifts too so you still can get the benefits of functional fitness, which is important to me.

It's not a quick fix but it may be a short cut, but only because you are getting the maximum benefit out of every muscle action. There's no wasted time or energy. It's working smarter and harder with every repetition. There's no such thing as a half ass workout with ARX technology, so there is no wasted time in the gym.

While I am not about quick fixes, I am all about maximizing my time and efficiency.

I put my money where my mouth is to see if this will work with my fitness lifestyle. This is not a sponsored post. I was was not paid or given a discount to write this post. I signed up with Optimal Force Fitness, paid for a three month membership with my own hard-earned money and scheduled 30 minute sessions with a trainer twice a week.

I am really excited to see my progress in strength over the next few months. I am training for a few half marathons in the spring and the ARX technology is a great supplement to my plan because it allows me to focus on running while efficiently working on strength training. I won't have to spend any energy on my own strength programming. I don't have to think about how much weight I should use, how many sets and reps and when I need to progress in order to meet my goals. I'll get my strength work done and be back out on the road.

Have you ever heard of ARX? There are big fitness names backing it, like Dave Asprey and my favorite Podcaster, Ben Greenfield...and now Lea Genders Fitness (wink).

I'm intrigued. I'll let you know how it goes as I progress through the next three months. Could this be a game changer for my strength training in 2018? Only time will tell...

The downside so far? No dogs allowed. Here's what Ollie thinks about that.







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Keep Running,

Lea

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018 IS GONNA KICK ASS: MY ANNUAL NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS POST

Hi, welcome to my annual new year resolution post. I'm glad you're here but this post is for me. I write a new year resolution blog post in order to bring some clarity to my goals and provide some accountability. If it is on the internet I have to do it, right? (Well, we joked that 2017 was the year of abs. At least that was good for a laugh.)

Last week I went over how my 2017 goals went and the exercise was really helpful. If you have not reflected on the past year yet, I suggest you do it before writing any new year resolutions.

My reflections helped me clear the clutter from my head and gave me a clearer vision of what I want in the future. It also helped me see what worked and what didn't work in 2017.

The biggest lesson I learned from my 2017 reflection is that the goals that I worked on with support had a much higher success rate! I also learned that working on too many goals (I had 10!) at once is a new year resolution fail waiting to happen.

We had a great year, but I am looking forward to taking all I learned in 2017 and making 2018 even better.



I broke my goals down into four categories: Income, training (my own), learning and saving.


My highest priority for 2018 is grow income streams from writing, blogging, coaching and personal training.

I've made a commitment to make more room for the things I love. I've given up something good to make room for something great. I've taken a big step in the direction of my dreams.

If you've been paying attention you know that I've been shouting it from the rooftops, I went part-time at my corporate marketing job to allow more time to pursue my training, writing and coaching goals. It's exciting and terrifying. I cut my paycheck almost in half, so if I don't hustle I'll just be home more often with less money. I am leaving money on the table by walking away from my regular paycheck for a few days a week and I'm using that to motivate myself to get proactive with my financial goals.

My goal for the first 90 days is $1000 a month in extra income. That's $250 a week or $35 a day. After 90 days I hope to be in a position to reevaluate this and increase it, but I wanted to start out with a realistic goal. In order to reach this goal, I'll need to be proactive with writing and blog projects, and marketing for training and nutrition clients. Last year, I just stated I wanted to earn more, I didn't identity how much and didn't take any consistent actions to get there.

I will apply for writing and blogging jobs on a weekly basis.
I will run ads and/or promotions for my nutrition and coaching programs monthly.
I will write a useful affiliate post at least once a month
I will get more involved in the local community to meet people (introvert nightmare, but not for me!)
I will proactively reach out to people locally to collaborate on business growth ideas.
I will actively search for people in my community with similar goals (remember what I said I learned about support?)

Training

Strength and running are both important to me, so I will continue to pursue both throughout the year. I am running three half marathons in the first three months of the year, so running with be the priority with strength as a secondary focus in the first quarter. I will continue my half marathon training and be more consistent with my long runs (which historically, I've been terribly inconsistent). My half marathon PR was in 2012 and I want to prove to myself that my running glory days aren't behind me. Can I run another half marathon in under two hours? Only if I put in the work. My goal race is for the Fort Worth Cowtown or the Rock n Roll half.

After we run Disney in April (our fun anniversary race) I will shift to a strength-focused workout program with running becoming secondary. I learned last year that trying to do it all, didn't work out for me. It's all important, I will just shift my main focus throughout the year between running and strength training. 2018, the year of abs? Nah. Ha ha.

Russ wants to continue the run streak (at least one mile a day every day) through 2018 (we started on Thanksgiving). Can we do it? As long as my body hold up, we can. I'll listen to my body first, but we are going to attempt this, wish us luck.


Learning

There is so much I want to learn. I keep skimming the surface of things I want to learn more about, but never taking a deep dive (because I am too busy scrolling my Facebook feed). My top education priorities for 2018 are SEO (search engine optimization for my websites), copywriting, photography (my DSLR that I barely know how to use) and photoshop. My plan is to focus on one thing at a time, take a course online (or in person) and deep dive until I have a level of proficiency. With four topics on my list, I can devote at least 90 days to each one. Where shall I start?

Last year I finished up my Precision nutrition certification in the beginning of the year by focusing on studying in the evenings. It was a heck of a lot more productive than social media scrolling. I have books stacked up to the ceiling that I want to read. My focus this year will be on learning by replacing a bad habit (scrolling) with a good one (focused learning).



Saving

We have a goal to pay off the house this year. It will be tight with my reduced income but possible, especially if I meet my other income goals. As long as hubs and I both curb our spending, we can accomplish this goal. When we work on things together we are usually successful. How amazing would it be to start 2019 with no house payment?


I feel good about my goals for 2018. They are big goals that are achievable. They are focused. There are a few that will require I step outside my comfort zone, which almost always pushes me to the next level.

Will I look back on this post at the end of 2018 and be proud of what I achieved? Stay tuned...

Here's to a happy, healthy, successful and prosperous 2018! Happy new year friends!





Keep Running,

Lea

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