The Last 12 Months

It’s typical this time of year to look back and reflect on everything that happened over the last 12 months.  Often when you start to do this, it doesn’t feel like much has happened.  But once you get going you realize that you accomplished quite a few things.  And even if you didn’t have a crazy productive year, I doubt any of you just sat in a room for 12 months staring at a wall.

The Last 12 Months | Life Healthfully Lived

Lot’s of sweaty runs down the Lake Shore Trail

You woke up every morning for 365 days.  That’s something.  You put on clothes (hopefully) and went about your routine for 365 days.  That’s something.  You fed yourself (mostly), moved around, were HUMAN for 365 days.  That is definitely something.

The Last 12 Months | Life Healthfully Lived

Lot’s of sweaty runs down the Lake Shore Trail

I am a person who constantly downplays everything I do.  If it isn’t huge or momentous, then it doesn’t really matter.  I walk around telling myself that I am just an average person, nothing special, nothing horrible, just me.

The Last 12 Months | Life Healthfully Lived

I bet I made him run.

I don’t know if it’s my deep need to please other people or my aversion to bragging, but I have a hard time seeing all the great things I have done over a period of a year.

The Last 12 Months | Life Healthfully Lived

I kind of love this city

 

But not this year.

Remember way back at the beginning of the year when I chose a word to define 2015?  I chose passion.  While every single day of 2015 might not have been lived with passion, I did attack my goals with a new passion.  It was tough at first to put myself out there and try new things.  What if I failed?  I hate failing and often have the mindset of if I can’t do it perfectly, I’m not going to do it at all.  It took some work to get over that frame of mind, but towards the end of the year I started taking risks and doing new things because, why not?

The Last 12 Months | Life Healthfully Lived

Look at me being a mermaid!

 

What’s the worst that could happen?

People could say no or not like it but it wasn’t going to kill me.  Clearly, I’m still here and I’m glad that I made the leaps of faith that I did because I have had some awesome opportunities this past year.  I have really expanded my writing, tried new things with my fitness, and worked even more on choosing to accept my body as it is in this moment.

The Last 12 Months | Life Healthfully Lived

All fancy at Jodie’s wedding

 

And I did it all with a passion that I don’t think I’ve used before.  Nothing is going to be handed to me and instead of sitting around and whining or saying that I’m nothing special, I chose to get up and make new paths for myself.

The Last 12 Months | Life Healthfully Lived

I make a good bed

 

I hope that as you look back on your 2015 you are able to see all of the amazing things that you accomplished.  Even if you didn’t scale a mountain, solve world hunger, or star in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you still did things that changed your life and brought you to this moment.

The Last 12 Months | Life Healthfully Lived

Apple Picking in October in like 60 degree weather.

I haven’t chosen a word for 2016 yet, but I will soon and I hope you’ll join me.  Enjoy the last few days of 2015 and get ready for another awesome 12 months!

The Last 12 Months | Life Healthfully Lived

Happy New Year from us weirdos!

6 Months Later…

Can you believe that it has already been 6 months since the beginning of the year?  We are already done with half of 2015!  That’s crazy!

Raise your hand if you are still working on any of the goals you made in January.  Don’t worry if you didn’t raise your hand, I’ve had a few struggles of my own with my 2015 goals.  The beginning of the year is always so new and fresh.  You just got to spend time with your family over the holidays, maybe you’ve rested a little, and you feel like you can take on anything.  This year is going to be your year.

Then life comes along and laughs at your goals and pretty much says, “Nope!”

Life Happens

We can’t always avoid all the problems that come our way.  We can’t plan everything out and know for sure that it’s going to happen that way.  Things come up, events happen, and many times we find ourselves far away from where we wanted to be when we started the year.

When I looked back at the goals I had made for the year, it seemed like I was barely doing anything that I had set out to do.  Then I stepped back and really looked at where life had taken me the first part of this year and I realized I’ve done more than I thought.

New Day

I’ve been doing better with balancing the things on my plate and not letting one little crinkle in the routine throw me for a loop.  I’ve even started to come to terms with not having such a set routine and letting the day lead me where it needs to go.  It’s been a little bit of a struggle to adjust to things, but I haven’t completely lost it and I have to say I like having a little wiggle room.  It’s nice to not know every single detail sometimes.

I’ve also expanded my blog, maybe not in the way I thought I would but it’s slowly growing.  I’ve been consistent with my posts and improving the quality of my pictures.  I’ve tried to have a bigger presence on Instagram and grow my following there and I finally started a Facebook page and found another way to reach out to my readers.  I might not have thousands of readers like other blogs, but I do have loyal followers and that is all I could ask for.

As for my other goals, I’ve made different progress in those areas.  I thought I would accomplish those in a different way than I am now, but that isn’t a bad thing!  I’m actually learning a lot about myself and I like what I’m finding out.

Success

I can say one thing with absolute certainty though and that is I have pursued everything with passion.  That was my word for the year, the word that I chose to help focus all of my goals.  It I start something or think about starting something and I find that I have no passion to put behind it, then I know that isn’t what I should be doing.  I don’t want to half-ass anything anymore.  I don’t want or need to waste my time.  I want passion to be a part of everything I do because then I can really enjoy the outcome.

How about you guys?  Have your goals been met, changed, or forgotten?  Are you still using your word for the year to help guide you?  What could you work on?

June is a great time to re-focus and get a fresh burst of motivation.  You aren’t a failure if you haven’t made any progress yet!  Time to get back up and start working towards what you want.

Today is a new beginning

Today is the perfect day to do just that!

What Makes You Light Up?

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Before you get all sassy on me, don’t say fire or light bulbs (looking at you mom).  Rather, what makes you the happiest?  What makes you get all excited to get going in the morning?  Are you making that your priority?

This is a question that I have been asking myself a lot lately.  I spent a lot of my time in college, a place where you should be finding and doing what you love, doing things because I felt that I had to.  I had to be a music major, I had to pass my music classes, I had to do well on auditions so that I could get into the ensemble that I had to be in, I had to do this or that or some other thing.  Looking back, I wasted time. That’s been a hard concept for me to admit and accept and say out loud.

No one wants to say they made the wrong choice.

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But those are the cold hard facts.  Life isn’t about always getting it right.  It’s about taking what you have and learning from it and making it better the next time.  I spent a lot of time bemoaning my situation after college.  Luckily I had Adam to help me from becoming a depressed shut in and I found a job I loved and allowed me to find other things that did light me up.

Food, health, and helping others.

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I love those things.  They make happy.  They get me excited to get up in the morning.  I’m trying to make those a priority career wise.  I can honestly say that I light up when I work on my blog or offer advice to a reader or come up with a new recipe.

Finding your passion is all part of having a healthy and balanced life.  Sure eating right and exercising are good things, but they aren’t the only things.  You can’t neglect your passions for too long before you start to feel like something is missing and your health can begin to suffer.

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That’s why I want to urge you to not only take care of your body but your mind and soul as well.  Today, sit down and think about what you love.  Things that make you smile or cheer you up when you’re down.  Find ways to incorporate those things into your day.  Whether that’s with your career, your hobbies, or a side project, make them happen.  No excuses, fit something you love into your day no matter what.

Now, what makes you light up?

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Unique Opportunity

Have you ever felt lost?  I’m not talking, “I turned down the wrong street and now I have no idea where I am”, lost.  Lost in life, wandering without a clue or perhaps a purpose.  I’m sure we have all felt a little lost at some point in our lives.  It’s totally normal to not know what to do or where to go at some juncture in your life.

I have been having that lost feeling since about my sophomore year of college.  Sure, there have been periods of time within that span that I have thought I knew exactly where I was headed and what I was going to do.  For the majority of that time though, I would have to say that I had no clue.  I started college so sure that I was destined to be a band director.  I loved music, I was good at it, I had always thrived in a band setting, and my own directors were amazing and influential figures in my life.  I wanted to give what they gave to me to other kids and share that passion with them.  I quickly realized that I was not totally cut out to be a band director.  I am not good at leading large groups of people or having all eyes on me.  After a short mini crisis/breakdown/cry on the phone to my parents, I decided to pursue music therapy.  My college didn’t offer that degree specifically, but I “customized” my own by getting a BA in music and a minor in psychology.  My intention was to then get a masters in music therapy.  That never happened.

Once I graduated, I got engaged, then married.  Adam went right from undergrad to graduate school and we decided it would be best for only one of to be in school at a time.  As the years went by, my passion and desire to become a music therapist dwindled.  I couldn’t see myself doing that day in and day out for the rest of my life.  I also REALLY enjoyed not being in school and out in the “real” world.

During this period, I really started to focus on my health.  I started a blog, not this one, which eventually turned into those one.  I got my hands on any and everything health related and started to learn as much as I possibly could.  I began to develop a passion for this and could begin to see a path for me to make this a career.

Lost-track

I’ve shared my goals with making health my job before on the blog, and those are still true.  So fast forward to today.  Adam is about to start his new job and we have moved to Chicago.  We both agreed that while Adam worked we would start saving up money for me to become a health coach and start my own business.  In the meantime, I would try to find a part time job to bring in a little extra cash.  I figured I could do some freelance writing to bring in some money, and even got accepted into a writing “bootcamp” program that would help me learn the ins and outs as well as get published.  This turned out to be an eye opener for me and caused me to panic (because I never overreact to anything….).  I wasn’t cut out for deadlines, strict writing rules, and limited freedom.  I started to feel lost again and like I was a failure like before with both music ed and music therapy.

Then Adam came to the rescue (I sure do love that man).  When I told him my frustrations and concerns, he said that I had a really unique opportunity here that not many people get.  I have the blessing of having someone who can support us financially (and mentally) while I pursue whatever I want.  He help me realize that I needed to use this time to my advantage.  That is exactly what I am going to do.

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I am going to take this time to grow and expand this blog.  Once Adam gave me his little pep talk, I immediately had ideas on how I wanted to spend my time.  I got excited to take steps forward and really work towards my goals.  I want to quick let you know about a few changes that will be happening here.  First, and probably biggest, will be a new name and look to this page.  I want to make this place inviting and user friendly, so a change is due.  There will be better pictures, more posts, advice/tutorials to help my readers, and more of a presence online.  Expect these changes to be rolling out soon, with an official “relaunch” of my blog coming this Friday.  I can’t wait!

I know what it’s like to wander around aimlessly, wondering what it is you should be doing with your life.  I have cried tears of failure, lack of purpose, and frustration.  I have watched others who seem to have it all together and felt like I was doomed to be a bum with no calling.  You might be going through that now, whether it’s with your health, life or something entirely different.  I know that isn’t fun.  Let me give you the courage and support Adam gave me.  Find your unique opportunity and use it to your advantage.  Take steps, even if they’re baby ones, towards your ultimate goals.  Search for your passion and ignite it.  Trust me, you will find your way and it will be all worth it.

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