Thursday, January 23, 2014

New Product Review: Hydration Mask

I generally try to be as positive as possible about winter because it’s nothing new to me.  It’s long, it’s harsh and it happens every year.  However, the consistency of our sub-zero temperatures this year is particularly brutal.  It’s having a terrible effect on my skin!  So, I’ve been looking for a good hydrating mask.

I typically don’t buy products without a friend’s recommendation.  I need to know they are fabulous before buying!  Otherwise, you end up with a drawer(s) of unused beauty products that looks like this:

However, I was desperate and I took a chance on Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Mask.  (You can purchase 4 oz. here for $18.00).  I don't have a fancy review about it, other than I loved it because it worked!  It was more of a lotion than a mask and my face looks and feels so much better!  No more dry skin!

For more of my product reviews, see here and here.

Friday, January 17, 2014

2014 Goal-Setting and Vision Board

This week I committed to working on two small goals:  1) set my goals for 2014 and 2) carry water with me where ever I go.

I was successful with the water, in part because I usually do this anyway.  I just needed a post-holiday boost to get me back in the swing of the habit.  I added things like cucumber and lemon to my water to make it more flavorful.

For my goals, I did a couple of things.  I updated my vision board and made a list of things I want to do more of in the coming year.  If you aren't sure what a vision board (or dream board) is, they are easy to create.  I try to look at mine often, particularly in low moments, so I can keep my goals top-of -mind.  Go here to create your own.

Here's my 2014 vision board:

It's similar to last year's, but I updated a few things.  I'll be attending a course at the Mayo Clinic about Wellness Coaching this year, so I incorporated that.  Also, one of the things I accomplished from last year's board is moving to a larger city/urban area.  At the time, I envisioned Phoenix or Chicago.  But, I ended up staying in Minnesota - just moving from the suburbs to the city.  So, I incorporated photos taken near my home such as trails and the Mississippi River that I plan to take advantage of this summer.  And, that is a picture of my actual pool/hot tub at my new home, so I need to be bathing suit ready to take advantage of that as well! 

I'm still focused on eating healthy, so I incorporated a picture of the farmer's market near my home and demonstrated my focus on WATER!  And, I'd like to continue working on lifting heavy, practicing piano and creative writing in my free time.  Lastly, I always like to travel, especially finding a warm sanction during the long winter.  This year I'll be traveling to Fort Myers, FL and I've never been.  Here's my 2013 board for comparison:

Happy 2014!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Small habit changes over time - 12-week challenge

I spent a lot of time/energy/money trying to follow strict diet plans in the past - really for the majority of my 20's.  I failed every time.  The problem was that I tried to change everything in one day (which is obvious to me now).  Looking back, I really don't know why I thought I could just change all of my bad habits overnight.  Like that.  BOOM!  A brand new person.

And, even worse, why was I so damn hard on myself when I failed each time?

What was I thinking?

I finally realized that I really needed to change my unhealthy ways, but it was so overwhelming.  My weight was at an all-time high.  I was about to move up into the next clothing size.  I was horrified when I saw photos of myself.  I needed to do something.  So, I started out slowly by giving up soda.  That was all I focused on for a whole month - just don't drink soda!  I didn't change anything else.  The next month I started doing Pilates.  My first workout I only made it 10 minutes and then I worked my way up from there.

When I would get one new habit down comfortably, I added on another.  Soon, I was eating better, tracking food, working out almost every day and I gave up soda and fast food.  I didn't get down on myself for a bad moment or bad day - or even a bad week.  I just shook it off and tried to re-focus on the new habits I wanted to create.  It wasn't a diet anymore - it was a lifestyle.

I know it can be difficult to start and re-start over and over.  I've created a spreadsheet for a 12-week challenge to creating new habits slowly and successfully.  Choose from a list of habit changes and make that your focus.  I've created the template to allow for two new habit changes each week, but you can dial it back or bump it up - whatever works for you.  If you decide to do this exercise, please keep me posted on  your progress!

You can find the spreadsheet here so you can get started (maybe tomorrow!?).  I'm going to start tomorrow.  I've picked out my 24 habits, but I'm not quite sure of the order yet.  Some are new for me and some are ones I just need to brush up on.  The ones I didn't choose, I've either conquered already or I'm saving them for after the first 12-weeks!  Here's my start: