Now that Mardi Gras is officially over it’s time to start thinking about how to stay healthy and make new goals and strategies for yourself. I can admit I really indulged more this year than years past (thanks, king cake). I mean how could I not, we live in Louisiana and I run a t-shirt company with a shirt that says “King Cake Calories Don’t Count’. Not to mention we do a King Cake Challenge each year, so of course, I have to indulge! Now that the season has passed, it’s time for me to start eating better, exercising more, and making my goals simplified!

One thing that was drilled into my head and passed down as a little girl was to always set goals for myself. One of those goals is to run a half marathon again post surgery. I’ve run 4 in the past prior to my surgery. Can I run a half marathon right now? NO! Since my surgery in August, I’m starting completely over. Like way at the beginning. So I’m going to create multiple goals for myself and work my way back up to running that half marathon.  So goal setting brings me to my first talking point!

Goal setting by starting small: When you start, set goals that are simple and attainable. Don’t try to do too much too fast, because those goals may not work out for you. What works for me is writing goals down and saying them out loud to others and putting those goals in front of me so I see them on a daily basis. Blake shared a great app with me, if you don’t like to write them down and you want something sent to your phone, try out the Done App.  It’s really easy to use to keep track of your goals and by sending you daily notifications for that goal.

Let me share with you my goals and what I’ve been doing since I wrote my first introduction post. I didn’t get to run the Louisiana Marathon, to be very honest with you — it was really too soon for me to run. I had to listen to my body and know that I wasn’t prepared to go out and run a three-mile run. You know where I went wrong? I didn’t make an attainable goal. I honestly thought I could just put on running shoes and go run a three-mile run even though I haven’t run since my last half marathon in 2016. I wanted to be hard-headed, I think I was coming off of the excitement of my mantra for 2018 to ‘Don’t Stop Just Geaux’, but it takes time and training to go out and run three miles. After realizing I wasn’t ready, that is when I decided to really start with a goal and start taking measures to get there. I’ve been running 2-3 times a week just running 1.5 miles to work up my speed and endurance and if I can, I run a third or fourth time with an extension to my miles to push myself.

My goal: To run without walking for as long as I can. I’m currently at two miles where I know I can run and not walk. That is huge for me! My husband Bart and I run together on the weekends, he really is pushing me to run faster and do my very best. I kind of get mad at him during those 15 minutes but afterward, I’m pretty proud of myself. I will be running my first 5K this weekend with the Blake and my friends over at Cold Coffee Hot Mess and my goal will be to run 2 miles non stop and if I have to walk afterward, I’m ok with that. My longer-term goal is to continue to run some 5Ks until I can run the whole time, and then focus and find some 10K races. If I can stay healthy — I would love to run a half late in the fall before work really gets busy with the holidays. You know I’ll keep you posted. So for now, I’m running some fun 5K’s in March and we shall see where that goes.

Small changes in your diet: So I’m pretty good when it comes to food choice, but when it comes to yummy foods and living in Louisiana it can be hard to pick and choose what to cut out. So first things first, cut out the junk food. Start small with your changes. Example; if you drink soft drinks every day, start small give up one a day for a week. Repeat this each week taking away some or all of those junk food or drinks and replace with a fruit or veggie, and within a couple of weeks, you’ll start to see you don’t want the soft drinks or junk food. You’ll naturally start replacing those things with the good stuff. We do live in Louisiana, so enjoy the things you want to enjoy in — just do it in moderation now and then.

Alleviate the stress in your life: I can contest personally to how stress can play a negative role in your life. Since my surgery, I have seen stress really start changing me and playing a big role in my life that I’m not proud of and changing almost my character of who I am. Stress is a nasty thing. Sister, we have to find a way to walk away and leave everything so we can destress. Running a company has a lot of moving parts each day and month, set that aside and being a wife and a mom — the stress of school for your kids (am I right) — alone is enough to push you over. I really saw stress come out after my surgery and pinpointed it because I couldn’t run or work out. Y’all — I’m proud of myself for seeing that about myself and knowing that I HAD to find a way to fix that problem. I can’t go through life so stressed out that I could yell or cry and any given moment. That isn’t healthy. So –I started getting back into a fitness routine by going to yoga at Yoglates 2 South a few times a week, doing some at home workouts through Beachbody, and running again. I can say that I’m on the recovery to being more and more like my old self. Some other ways that help reduce stress in your life are to meditate, writing exercises; keeping a daily journal, treating yourself to a facial or massage, reading a great book, eating well, and of course getting enough sleep. Hopefully, reducing your stress will overall help you in meeting your goals.

Drink your body weight, divided by two: Yep you heard that correct, I came across a great read which I will share and link here found on Beachbody.  Here is an example if you weigh 150 pounds — that would be 150 divided by 2, which equals 75. That’s 75 ounces of water you should be drinking every day. I personally love drinking water, I drink it all day — for me, I personally love Dasani or I will fill up my BRLA tumbler with ice and water multiple times a day. If you think about it, you’re drinking on an average about 4 16.9 fluid ounces of water (broken down from a Dasani bottle) a day. Drinking that much throughout the day will help any kind of bad snacking and keeping you on track on your small changes to your diet.

Simplified life: I’m sharing with you a book that changed me. If you haven’t read it — go buy it! A Simplified Life by Emily Ley. Have you asked yourself these questions?? I know I did? Do you long to simplify the demands on your time, energy, and resources? Have complicated responsibilities, overwhelming to-do lists, and endless clutter left you feeling overwhelmed? Umm,  yes sister that’s me! This book will teach strategies, systems, and methods for permanently clearing the clutter, organizing your priorities, and living intentionally in 10 key areas—from your home and meal planning to style and finances, parenting, faith life, and more. Emily will show you how to truly make the most of your days with realistic, achievable, and tactical tools. I personally try and dedicate specific days in my life for a certain task where it works, fitness, or home task and work by batch working. I meal plan on Sundays to paint the picture for the whole week — I slip up some weekends but when I do — I know I’m setting myself up for success that week and the weeks really do go so much smoother. I think if you have a more simplified life it will help elevate some of the things we stress out about will push us to stay on top of your goals and food choices too.

Thank you so much for letting me share with you my 5 NEW GOALS & Strategies. I hope you find this resourceful.  If you find yourself falling back into your old habits, it’s okay. You did great by catching it and start fresh the next day. Thes are basic and simple goals that I think will be very attainable and each strategy and goal all build on each other. These are all things you can change and do each day. Start slow and JUST GEAUX with it! Starting a NEW healthier lifestyle for yourself for the long-term, so keep it SIMPLE, fun,  and something that you can be proud of and Don’t Stop Just Geaux till you get there, and when you do — start with a new goal!