Monday, May 1, 2017

Healthier Living Challenge: Week 17


Week 17 of my healthier living journey was a rough one for me.  While on our trip to Montana, I got a call that my dad had a heart attack and was in the hospital.  He ended up have a stint put in to his clogged aorta last Monday.

In the process we found out that he has a 6 cm aneurysm in his abdomen.  So needless to say it was a very hard week. 

Plus, the trip to Montana brought back a lot of the bad feelings that I thought I had started to get over.  Feelings of resentment, anger, loneliness, frustration...

I spent much of week dealing with those feelings and my therapy session last Friday helped quite a bit.

Despite all of the upheaval going on in my life, I managed to accomplish all of my goals for week 17, except my water in take goal.  I missed that just one day, which isn't too bad.

For week 18, I am sticking to similar goals as week 17.  I think if I can make these goals daily routine, I can start making varied goals because these ones will just automatically be a part of my daily life!  And wouldn't that be fantastic!

So until next time, Onward and Upward!

Goals for Week 18: 4/30-5/7/2017
1) Leg Side Lunges daily
2) Drink 60 oz of water daily
3) Read 30 mins. min. daily
4) Plug May Specials and hold a successful Ericson Family fundraiser this weekend

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Healthier Living Challenge: Weeks 14-16


It has been a long time since I last posted about my healthier living journey.

I was tired, exhausted, spent.  I had no energy and didn't want to sit and blog about my goals for week 14,15 and 16.

A lot happened during those weeks; the end of Lent, Holy Week, a weeklong trip to Montana.  It was just so overwhelming that I just couldn't add one more thing to my plate.

I am finally sitting down in our book room to type this blog post because I am feeling a bit more energetic today and was able to set aside some time this morning to do it. 

Week 14 was a rough one and I only ended up accomplishing 2 of my 4 goals.  During that week I decided to start my own Thirty-One Gifts business and become an Independent Consultant.  Best decision ever!!!

Week 15 was Holy Week, which was a blur of chaos.  Somehow though I ended up accomplishing all 4 of my goals.  They were:
1) Book 2 Thirty-One parties by the of April
2) Leg side lunges daily
3) Figure out how much cash to take with us on our trip to Montana
4) Relax during slow times during Holy Week
Week 15 was chaotic but good!

Week 16 was vacation week!  We spent two days driving to my in-laws house in Montana and made side trips the first two days there.  It was a good trip.  I set 5 goals for myself to allow myself to relax, exercise and work my new Thirty-One business.  I accomplished all but 1 goal.  For being on vacation and spending so many hours in a vehicle, I was surprised with myself for being so dedicated and getting done what I wanted to get done for myself everyday.

Now for week 17.  My goals for week 17 include physical health, mental/emotional health and working on my Thirty-One business to reach financial goals.

I will leave you now because I am going to go spend some time with my boys!

Until next time, Onward and Upward!!!

Goals for Week 17: 4/23-4/30/2017
1) Leg Side Lunges daily
2) Read at least 30 minutes a day
3) Plug, plug, plug Thirty-One Outlet Sale
4) Drink at least 48 oz water daily

Friday, April 14, 2017

My "Why"...


As I lay on my bed soaking up my few minutes of alone time I will get for the day, I keep thinking about the question "Why?"

I recently, within the last week, signed up to be an Independent Consultant with Thirty-One Gifts.  I own my own business and for the first time in all of my direct selling experience I am super excited and want to truly succeed with this company.

One of the things that I found that I have been constantly asked in the last week is, "Why?"

Why did I decide to get into direct selling and own my own business and why did I choose Thirty-One Gifts?

Truth time folks:
I was terrified to get back into direct selling because of all the failed experiences I had in the past.  But since last September my family has accrued alot of medical debt because of a surgery, an emergency room visit, biannual check ups for my youngest's one kidney (which is functioning at 100%), occupational therapy and a precautionary ultrasound.  Needless to say, we scrap the bottom of the barrel every month because of all this extra debt and only having one full-time income.  We needed another source of income and I still want to stay home with my sons until they are both in school full time.

So my options were to get a work from home job that required me to sit in front of my laptop for hours a day, ignoring my kids so I could meet deadlines, etc... or get back into direct selling.  I choose to take a leap of faith and get back into direct selling.

I went to work researching companies and Thirty-One Gifts had everything I wanted!  I love the products!  I love the message of the company, "To empower women".  I love their Thirty-One Gives Foundation and all of the work. 

It was a no brainer for me and after discussing it with my husband, I signed up. 

I now own my own Thirty-One Gifts business and am ready to work my butt of to make it a success for me and my family! 

I can now make money to help pay down our debts and be debt free! 

I can stay home with my boys and work on my time! 

I am my own boss! 

I have a great team of other women supporting me! 

And I get to get out of the house and party with fabulous women during hosted parties! 

Now that sounds fabulous to me!

I am so excited to use and share the wonderful products with all of my family and friends!  The chance to help make their days a little simpler with great organizational tools is just so fulfilling for me.  The fact that I can help them in this way is such a blessing! 

So there you have it.  This is my "Why"!

And I can't wait to work hard and make my business success a reality!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Healthier Living Week 13: 3/26 - 4/2/2017


Week 13 of my healthier living journey was a banner week.  I am slowly but consistently losing weight in a healthy way and am feeling stronger and more focused than I have in a long time. 

Though I am still struggling to get a decent night of sleep because of my kids', I can tell the difference in my how my clothes are fitting and my energy level.

During week 13, I gave a presentation at our church on my book and it was pretty well attended.  I am consistently selling books every time I have them displayed and hope to be done selling them all by the time Sunday school ends in May.  Then I can really start promoting my book on Amazon.

The thing I am most excited about accomplishing during week 13 is that my husband and I sat down and came up with a plan to complete Baby Step #2 of Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover in 14-15 months.  Once we complete this step, we will be completely out of debt except for my student loan, which is basically the same as a mortgage payment every month.  Then we can move onto Baby Step #3, which is so freaking exciting to me.  It is going to take a lot of focus and perseverance, but I know that my husband and I can do it because we are on this becoming debt-free journey together.

There was on goal I did not accomplish for week 13.  Yesterday, the last day of week 13, I did not drink 60oz of water. 

I am now a quarter way through my healthier living challenge for 2017.  I thought about quitting a few times and I definitely have had good weeks and bad, but I have kept going.  I am continuously rediscovering my grit factor and it is empowering.

For week 14, I am continuing with working daily exercise into my routine as well as embarking on intellectual persuits for the next book I want to get published through Augsburg Fortress or self-publish on Amazon KDP.

Until next time, onward and upward!

Goals for Week 14: 4/2 - 4/9/2017
1) 100 crunches daily
2) Do leg side lunges daily
3) Start getting research materials and researching for my next book
4) Read at least 30 minutes daily

Monday, March 27, 2017

Healthier Living Challenge: Week 12


I'm posting late again.  Week 13 of my healthier living challenge has been so full that I am just now getting a chance to post about week 12.

Week 12 was a great week.  I accomplished all of the goals I set for myself and then some. 

Since I am behind on posting, I'll write about the highlights.

I decided to order the Dave Ramsey book, The Total Money Makeover.  I have been frustrated for a while about how we have been tackling our debt.  We are not really making any progress and are barely scraping by every month money wise.

So I took action and ordered the book.  I am absolutely committed to following the plan in the book.  Now to get my husband to be totally committed too.  We already have Baby Step #1 done so now we are starting Baby Step #2 which is the Debt Snowball.  I am so excited and feel like for the first time in a long time that we can truly be debt free in a short time with total commitment and focus.

I am continuing to work on leg exercises and am beginning to feel and see the difference.  My pants are starting to fit better too, which is awesome!

I accomplished my other goals as well, but I will discuss one of them in my detail in my week 13 post.  The other, I will post about on its own soon, when I am ready to reveal it in more detail.

My goals for week 13 are more physical in nature.  I am working on incorporating more movement back into my day after getting lazy for a few weeks.  I need to write them down so I have to hold myself accountable each day.

For now, onward and upward dear friends!

Goals for Week 13: 3/26 - 4/2/2017
1) 100 crunches daily
2) leg side lunges daily
3) Drink at least 60 oz of water daily
4) Make notes and do presentation on my book at the church on Tuesday evening
5) Start Baby Step #2 of Total Money Makeover

Monday, March 20, 2017

Healthier Living Challenge: Week 11


I'm having a hard time getting to sleep tonight so I am catching up on my weekly post for my year long healthier living journey.

Nothing too exciting happened during week 11 of this crazy journey I am embarking on.  I worked on my presentation of my book that I will be giving at my church next Tuesday.  I made six wooden postcards that did not turn out as well as I wanted them to but there is still hope to make them sellable.

My daily exercise has been doing side lunges 4 sets of 6 side lunges on each leg.  I'm slowly working up to 4 sets of 12 side lunges on each leg.  Feel the burn!

I was able to spend some much needed quality time with a very good friend on Friday.  It did my heart good to see her and catch up.  It was also nice to get out of the house without the guys.  Don't get me wrong, I love my family more than I can say, but sometimes a momma needs to get away for a few hours.

Overall week 11 was a good week.  I working in some more creative pursuits for week 12.  In fact tonight I accomplished one of my goals.  Unfortunately the formatting turned out terribly for the part that most people will see which is going to be a bit embarrassing for me, but hopefully, more people will be steered towards the better formatted version of my manuscript.  But I digress from my week 11 post.

Where was I... ah yes.... creative pursuits.  I enjoyed my time getting to be creative and intellectual this past week.  It was also very tiring.  Clearly I need to get back to using my creative, intellectual side more often so it is not such a taxing endeavor on the rare occasion, I have the chance these days.

So week 12 will be filled with more intellectual and creative goals in mind, as well as physical goals too.

So until next time, onward and upward!

Goals for Week 12: 3/19-3/26/2017
1) Side lunges daily
2) Finish slides for presentation
3) Work on financial planning strategies to pay off debt faster and start saving more money each month.
4) Publish my book on Amazon KDP, both ebook and paperback.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Healthier Living Challenge: Week 10


I had a really great week 10 considering how busy it felt.  I did not accomplish all of my goals for the week, but I did get out of the house more.  My 4 year old and I called it the weekend of friends because we both saw friends outside of our house each day. 

I should really call it the week of friends because I had a visit from one of my oldest and dearest friends last Tuesday in the afternoon.  It was a very good week indeed.

As for my goals, one day I did not drink at least 60 oz of water and on that same day I did not do 100 crunches. 

Although both of these things are still daily goals of mine, I have decided to forego putting them down as goals for week 11. 

For week 11 of my healthier living challenge, I am going to focus on more creative, intellectual goals with a sprinkling of some social time and physical exercise that fits better into my daily life.

So, until next time, onward and upward!

Goals for Week 11: 3/12 - 3/19/2017
1) 4 reps on each leg of side lunges daily
2) Create a revised power point for presentation at the church
3) Make 6 more wooden postcards
4) Have some time with friends without my kids or husband

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Healthier Living Challenge: Week 9


Week 9 of my year long healthier living challenge was full of more sickness.  I purposely did not give myself any physical goals and stuck to more low key, goals. 

I stayed off Facebook for a day and think I may do it more often.  I really didn't miss anything and was able to wish people who had birthdays that day a happy belated birthday.  I didn't get stressed out over the latest awfulness coming out of our nation's capital.  I was able to focus on my family, my Etsy shop business and advertising, and looking up gardening ideas on Pinterest for the coming gardening season.

I read for at least 30 minutes every day, drank at least 60 oz of water and journaled twice during the week.  Despite being sick again, I accomplished all of my goals for week 9.

Now that I am physically feeling better, I am going to incorporate more physical goals this week.  I need to get in better shape so I can keep up with my very active boys this spring and summer.

Until next week, onward and upward!

Goals for Week 10: 3/5 - 3/12/2017
1) 100 crunches and 3 reps per leg of side lunges daily (see Pinterest for lunges routine)
2) Drink at least 60 oz water daily
3) Read 30 minutes or more daily (books and magazines, not Facebook and Pinterest articles)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Healthier Living Challenge: Week 8


Monthly weigh in weight: 162.4lbs.

I utterly failed in accomplishing most of my goals for week 8.  I did not drink at least 60 oz of water a day.  I did not do 100 crunches each day with intermittent exercise on and off throughout the day.  I did not read for at least 30 minutes each day.  The only thing I managed to do was to buy the materials for making my own wooden postcards and I made one that I plan to post on my Etsy shop once I have made a couple more.

The thing that I realized yesterday when I was looking at my list of goals for this past week and seeing that I only accomplished one of the four, was that I have been putting too much pressure on myself.

The point of doing this healthier living challenge is to start living a life style that is healthier in all aspects of life; mentally, emotionally, physically, intellectually, creatively, etc...

I have become anxious to make sure that I try to accomplish all of the goals I set for myself each week and have ended up resenting them and getting down on myself when I don't.

This does not mean that I am not going to keep striving to do things that will put me on the path to a healthier existence.  It means that I need to be more realistic with my goal setting each week.

There are going to be weeks when I feel drained from the previous week, so getting more physical exercise may take a back seat to taking a nap when I get a chance or to finding other ways to decompress.  Those weeks I probably won't have an exercise goal but will work on getting some each day if I am up for it.

I am not putting my physical health on the back burner.  I am still making goals of drinking plenty of water daily and on days after not getting much sleep the night before, taking naps and getting rest when I can.  I am treating my physical body well in a different manner.  And even though I don't have it as a goal for week 9, I managed to get in 100 crunches today and basically move most of the morning with not too much sitting down because I had both boys with me and my oldest is finally potty trained but needs an assist occasionally still.

My purpose for not making crunches and exercise a goal for this week is that I feel when I get it in off the cuff, I will feel good about doing it instead of feeling anxious about making sure it happens each day.  It is very freeing for me to just be able to do it and not feel like I have to do it.  My mental, emotional, and physical health will hopefully thank me this week as I will be weighing in after a month to see if my efforts have produced some weight lose.

As for the one goal I did manage to accomplish for week 8, it was very fun to do and I am looking forward to making more wooden postcards this week.  Once I have a couple made, I am going to post them on my Etsy shop to sell. 

I am going to be gracious to myself this week and not go overboard in my goals.  My youngest son hasn't been sleeping well due to teething so I am more tired and need more rest when I can get it than usual.  Most of my goals for week 9 are ways to relax but also keep from getting so bored that I get antsy which leads to anxiety over things I can not control.  I don't want that to happen and it usually does when I am tired from lack of sleep.

So without further ado, onward and upward!

Goals for Week 9:
1) Drink at least 60 oz of water daily
2) Write in my journal 2x this week
3) Read for 30 minutes a day (Facebook articles do not count)
4) Do not log into Facebook one day this week

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Healthier Living Challenge: Week 7


This last week was again an exercise in patience with a lot of ups and downs.  I remained sick for part of the week and my oldest son who is 4, ended up getting sick as well.  We are both on the mend and spent a few hours outside on Saturday, which wiped us out most of Sunday.  But we are both finally feeling better.

My recovery from the flu took a week and a half.  I spent most of that time sleeping when I could and sitting since I did not have much energy.  But since I am no longer sick, I am ready to reintroduce more physical activities into my weekly healthier living challenge goals. 

I am also ready to start a new hobby I discovered last last year, wooden postcards.  I am going to buy the materials at JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts this afternoon and hopefully start working on making a prototype or two in the next couple of days. 

I am just so happy to not be sick anymore.  The nice weather and getting out of the house the last three days has helped in so many ways.

My goals for week 8 of my healthier living challenge will help me physically and creatively.  Working with my hands and making the wooden postcards will be a fun and creative endeavor.  I am also going to start doing crunches everyday again and work on getting sporadic 5-10 minute intervals of exercise everyday.

It feels so good to finally have some energy again.  Now if only I could get a full night of sleep every night.  I would feel like a million bucks.

For now though, onward and upward!

Goals for Week 8:
1) 100 crunches as well as 5-10 minute intervals of exercise daily
2) Finally buy the materials to make my own wooden postcards and make two prototypes this week
3) Drink at least 60 oz water daily
4) Read at least 30 minutes a day

Monday, February 13, 2017

Healthier Living Challenge: Week 6


What a week!  I ended up getting the flu from my husband and then passing it onto my 4 year old.  I am just starting to really feel better today after going to bed at 8:30 last night a sleeping with minimal disruption until a little after 7 this morning.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday were the worst of it for me.  Therefore, I did not accomplish all of my goals for week 6.  I did not get my 100 crunches in everyday or read for at least 30 minutes a day.  I did really good at the beginning of the week with these two goals but once I got sick, I chose recovery and rest over completing these goals.

I did manage to accomplish my other two goals though.  I drank at least 60 oz of water a day and I wrote in my journal twice during week 6, both times in a helpful manner.

My goals for this week, week 7 are recovery from sickness focused so not too much physical activity as far as crunches, push ups, other more strenuous exercise until I am fully recovered. 

Until next week, onward and upward!

Goals for Week 7:
1) Recover from sickness (take it easy and nap when I can)
2) Drink at least 60 oz of water daily
3) Journal 2x this week
4) Read at least 30 minutes a day

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Healthier Living Challenge: Week 5


This past week was a rough one for me.  One of my good friends, Kari Bostrom, died from complications from chemo she was doing for ovarian cancer.  She was my church historian in arms.  There are not many of us out there.  We understood each other's love of church history and supported each other in our endeavors. 

It was a rough week to lose such a friend.  Who am I going to geek out about church history in the way we did together now?!

Despite this tragedy, I managed to achieve all of my goals for week 5.  I know, I'm shocked too!  I was motivated by getting healthier for my family.  I was motivated because I needed something else to focus on besides my grief.  I did it for me.

I did not weigh myself because I forgot to.  I will remember to weigh myself this week and report back.

Onward and upward my friends!

Goals for week 6: 2/5 - 2/12/2017
1) 100 crunches daily
2) Drink at least 60 oz water daily
3) Read at least 30 minutes a day
4) Journal 2x this week

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Healthier Living Challenge: Weeks 3 and 4


I did not blog about my completion of my week 3 goals because I ended up giving myself a day off, therefore not fulfilling my goals each day of the week.  I did not complete all of my goals for week four either.

The last two weeks were filled with sickness and stresses beyond my control.  But I have started to feel better recently and am getting back on track with my aim to live a healthier life and be a healthier person in every way I can be. 

I will fall down at times, like the last two weeks, but I will get back up again and move forward because I need to for myself and for my family and friends.

I finally weighed myself today after doing 4 weeks of this challenge.  So far I have lost 3 pounds in a healthy manor and am on target to be under 160 lbs by mid-February.  This is exciting for me.  Today I weighed in according to my scale at home at 162.8.  The last time I weighed myself I was 166.  So really I have lost over 3 lbs.  Not much for month but it is progress in the right direction.

My goals for week 5 deal with finding ways to destress, continue to exercise in creative ways during my chaotic day, and paying more attention to what I am putting in my body drink and food wise.

Onward and upward my friends!

Goals for Week 5: 1/29 - 2/5/2017
1) Drink 60 oz water daily minimum
2) 100 crunches and various exercise throughout the day
3) Fill half my plate with fruits and/or vegetables at each meal
4) Read at least 30 minutes a day

Monday, January 16, 2017

Healthier Living Challenge: Week 2


This healthier living challenge is different than before.  I have less time to myself so I have to get really creative about movement and exercise each day as well as finding time to relax while taking care to my two very active boys.

My weekly goals that I set for myself are much different than the last time I did this.  I find myself writing down more goals that focus on mental and emotional health than physical.  But I have not forgotten about my physical health.  I am just realizing that for myself, I need to get into a healthier frame of mind before I can focus on my physical health. 

I am taking steps to do so.  I recently started on anti-anxiety medication and will in the near future be starting on the pill to get my female physiology back in order.  Good stuff happening here folks.

As for my goals for the week of 1/8 - 1/15, I completed two out of three.  I drank at least 60 oz of water a day and read for at least 30 minutes a day.  I did 100 crunches 5 out of 7 days last week and found various ways to get some form of exercise each day as well.

My goals for this week are more mental and emotional health focused again.  I am going to continue to work on getting into a routine of doing 100 crunches everyday and some form of other exercise throughout the day as well as time allows.

So onward and upward!

Goals for Week 3: 1/15 - 1/22
1) Drink 60 oz of water daily
2) 100 crunches daily and 5-10 minute intervals of exercise throughout the day
3) Log off Facebook every day by 7pm
4) Read for at least 30 minutes a day

Monday, January 9, 2017

Healthier Living Challenge 2017: Week 1

I gave myself 4 goals for week one of my 2017 healthier living challenge.  I accomplished 2 of the 4.  Getting back into this challenge I am giving myself has been harder this time around. 

For starters, I now have two kids to look after and take care of.  The first time I did this challenge I had one kid and therefore a bit more time to myself each day.

Juggling the needs of two kids is tough and adding more to my pile of things to do each day is exhausting.  But nonetheless, I am continuing forward with my healthier living challenge for this year.

For week 2, I am being more realistic with my goal to time ratio and have given myself 3 goals to accomplish each day.  They are not too strenuous, but will help me with my physical, mental and emotional needs.  Onward and upward I go!

Goals for Week 2: 1/8 - 1/15/2017
1) Drink at least 60 oz of water daily
2) 100 crunches a day and 5 - 10 minutes of various exercise throughout the day.
3) Read at least 30 minutes a day

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Healthier Living Challenge 2017

Two years ago, I put myself through a healthier living challenge for an entire year.  Each week I would give myself some goals to work on, some to complete and then blog about my progress or problem spots the following week. 

I have decided to do the healthier living challenge again this year.  I will be working on my physical, mental and emotional health throughout this year with the goal of making permanent, healthy lifestyle changes by the end of 2017.

So here I go!

Goals for 1/1 - 1/8/2017
1) Read devotion and journal at least 3 times during the week
2) Read at least 30 minutes each day
3) Do 100 crunches and 5-10 minute increments of various forms of exercise movements throughout the day all week
4) Be in contact with friends I haven't seen in a while.