How to Establish a Morning Routine for a Successful Day

When you establish a morning routine, you set the tone for the rest of the day. Either you run the day, or the day runs you. Don’t let it be the latter!

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How to Establish a Morning Routine for a Successful Day

Today is my first day on duty for the 2017-2018 school year and I’m shocked at how quickly the summer flew by! I feel as if I blinked on June 2 and suddenly it was August. Despite how fast the pages leapt off the calendar, back-to-school season is here and it’s time to get back into a routine and headstrong mindset.

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Workouts to STOP Doing Immediately

Are you miserable throughout your entire workout and find yourself doing nothing more than going through motions? Or maybe you wake up in the morning and don’t feel motivated to even begin the workout you’ve planned. I’ve been there — more than once — throughout my health and fitness journey. In those moments I tell myself, “Ok, THIS is a workout to STOP doing!”

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Workouts to Stop Doing Immediately

I’m not an expert; I’m not a personal trainer. I’m not here to tell you the workout that is best for your body. What I can tell you is that you should immediately stop the workout you’re not enjoying. Ok, maybe you shouldn’t LITERALLY stop your workout immediately. Finish the workout you’re right in the middle of and then reevaluate your next steps. 🙂

Over the last five and a half years, I’ve done many, many workouts and my schedule has changed and evolved based on my seasons of life. When my lifestyle first changed, I was ALL about boutique studios and group fitness. I joined an early morning boot camp that was filled with women on similar journeys. Through boot camp, I received an all-access pass to every single group class the studio had to offer. Between the fantastic price point and the group atmosphere, it was exactly what I needed to kick my first 15 pounds out the door forever.

As the years went on, I was forced to adapt my fitness routine for whatever reason — cost, travel time, atmosphere. I completed Couch to 5K and did The Color Run with some great friends. I found Tone It Up and finally had the courage to pick up a dumbbell and do something on my own instead of always following an instructor (printables for the win!). A little over a year ago, my in-laws passed on their mostly unused treadmill and I cancelled my gym membership! Between that treadmill, my collection of dumbbells and resistance bands, and the array of DVDs I’ve cultivated, I’ve been able to create a home gym that gives me the same results I used to see in the gym.

Workouts to Stop Doing Immediately

As you can see, my fitness needs go through phases. Sometimes I want to write my own workouts. I love being creative that way! Other times, I just want a follow along printable that I can move through at my own pace, and even still, there are times when I just want to pop in a DVD because I want someone else to tell me what to do. (That’s the introvert in me!)

All this to say, do what is best for YOU in the season of life you’re in at the time. If you’re not feeling inspired by a particular workout or program, it’s ok to stop doing it. If you don’t like “lifting heavy” (I actually hated it), then don’t feel bad about NOT doing it. If you like running, then don’t let the Instagram fitness models shake their heads at you for being a “cardio bunny”. What’s most important is that you move your body and create a habit that promotes health, wellness, and fitness throughout all areas of your life. Get your yoga on in the comfort of your home, shake it in your Zumba class, or go to Crossfit if that’s your thing!

Workouts to Stop Doing Immediately

You do YOU and enjoy every minute of it. ♥ Your turn: What workouts have you given up on in the past?

Checking In: 2017 Goals & Word of the Year

Here we are! A full two months into the new year. Both January and February have now come and gone. I have just eight days until my spring break begins! Before we know it, summer will be here showing its pretty face. 🙂 Late, late last year and then early this year I talked about my word of the year as well as my goals. I’m so good at making goals and then never thinking about them again, so I want to take the time to reflect on the last nine weeks and see where I’m going from here!

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First up, my word of the year: B A L A N C E.


The year 2016 was an awful year for me when it comes to balance. In the latter part of the year, especially, I was stressed out, exhausted, and over-worked. This affected every part of my life in a negative way. Once Christmas break hit, I made a mental plan to practice balance moving forward (and maybe ordered some Clear Mood as well). I’m pretty proud of the way I’ve balanced things so far this year

In Fitness:

Although I’ve been feeling a little uninspired with my strength training lately, my balance efforts have been right on point! I’ve been running three times a week, doing two days of strength training, plus a day of yoga (or pilates or a combination of the two). I love yoga and all the benefits it brings to my other forms of training. I’m so glad I started practicing again! If I could just remind myself to foam roll more than once a year, I’d be in great shape! 😉

In Work:

As far as my work-life balance struggles, I’ve been doing much better. I’ve been working at home less and less and prioritizing things at school better. I started tutoring a couple of weeks ago, so I’m hoping the extra time doesn’t kill my motivation!

In Life:

I mentioned earlier this week that my husband has been traveling for work a lot. That SUCKS, womp womp. But we work very hard to make the most of the time we have together! We cook together and make sure we talk about our days. My husband LOVES The X-Files and goes through phases of bingeing on Netflix. We recently started watching an episode or two a night and it’s fun to giggle about the silliness of an episode, or at the terrible 90’s fashion that burns your eyes through every episode.

Next up, my G O A L S. At the beginning of this year, I set seven goals because I liked how “7 for 2017” sounded! Let’s look over them and see how I’ve done so far.


ONE // Complete the Tone It Up #LookForLove Challenge, start to finish (and follow the meal plan as closely as possible) 

This goal is complete! Well, mostly. I didn’t do a great job of following the schedules, but I sure did check in each day! I also didn’t do a great job with my nutrition through a lot of it, but I still lost a few pounds. Read my recaps here, here, and here! I’m now looking forward to the annual Tone It Up Bikini Series starting soon. 🙂

TWO // Blog at least two times a week

So far, so good! I have, in fact, blogged at least three times each week. We’ll see how well I can keep this up for the rest of the year.

THREE // Read 12 Books

I’m pretty behind on this goal. I started Red Queen and haven’t gotten more than four chapters in. I’m so zonked by the end of the day, I have no energy to read. One of my students is badgering me to read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, so maybe I can make it through a kid’s book. 😉

FOUR // Complete a runDisney race

This goal won’t be completed until November, but I’m already falling into the Disney rabbit hole! I have a race this month for which I’ll submit proof of time. My husband and I are finalizing our trip details so we can book by April. I’m pinning anything and everything runDisney/adult Disney trip. I just.can’t.wait.!!

FIVE // Close my old 401K

I’m making strides with this one. I’m just waiting on the paperwork from my old job so I can get the ball rolling.

SIX // Start running again

Done! I have been running three days each week since the beginning of the year. I’m doing my first race of the year this Saturday and have a 10K on the 25th. Since I’m running Wine & Dine in November, I anticipate I’ll be running regularly through all of 2017.

SEVEN // Finish putting our house together 

This is also done! I still have a few organizational projects I want to tackle, like cleaning out our closets, but our house is done. We have things hung on the walls and everything has its place now. I love making our house a home!

There’s something truly accountable about writing down your goals and putting them out into the world. I want to set a few G O A L S for the month of March and check back in at the beginning of April!

March Goals

ONE // Clean out our closet/send off a bag to thredUP

I’ve never done this before, but I’m sure to have at least as much luck as I have with Plato’s closet!

TWO // PR my 10K

Does it count that I’ve never run a 10K race before? 😉

THREE // See Beauty & the Beast!

I will be on Spring Break on the 17th when it comes out. I’ll go to the theater by myself if I must.

FOUR // Follow the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan (or at least the guidelines) more consistently

I’ll try. I need to get better about my nutrition and tracking my food, regardless. I need to stop munching on candy throughout the day, so that will be my main focus!

FIVE // Have a restful and relaxing Spring Break

No work! No lesson plans! No grading! Ok, I’ll probably have to bend on that last one, but I’m going to put my work-life balance efforts into practice and focus on self-care for the ten days I’m out!


I’m linking up with some of my favorites, Nicole, Annemarie, and Jen, for Wild Workout Wednesday!


Your turn. What goals are you setting for the month of March?


Work-Life Balance as a Teacher

I used to think that being a workaholic was the only way to do a job, and do it right. As my life morphs and changes, I’m realizing that work-life balance is just as important as the effort I put into my 9-5 (or my 7-4:30, as a teacher). By nature, teachers give (and give and give), but it’s important to remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Work-life balance as a teacher is something I’m always working to master. Since my guiding word for 2017 is balance, I’m making a concerted effort to focus on it from the get-go.

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work-life balance teacher

I thought when I started teaching I would be working shorter hours and have more free time. Ha! I couldn’t have been more wrong. I work more as a teacher than I ever did at my 8-5 desk job, even though my “office hours” are only 7:45-3:20. I am by no means an expert in anything. I figure life out as I go by trial and error. What follows are a few tips that help me balance and keep me living the healthiest life I can.

ONE // Make a list of your Must Do tasks each day

This probably seems like the most simple and obvious tip. Like, duh. But really, I am so much more productive when I have a list to follow and I can mark things off as I go. Everything goes on that list: Grade daily warm-ups, start lesson plans, make copies… The list goes on (literally). Even something as simple as “Update objectives and date before leaving” goes on my list or I may not do it. And if I don’t do it, then I come in stressed the next morning because I already feel behind and that stress affects other areas of my life. Following a list each day has done more for my work-life balance this year than anything else I’ve done.

TWO // Use your planning period for planning

This seems unheard of, am I right? Between staff meetings, 504s, parent conferences, restroom breaks, that 45-minute planning period can fly by faster than Christmas break! Take the first 5-10 minutes of your planning period for yourself. Check –> Facebook <– (shameless plug), eat a quick snack, go to the restroom without asking, “Hey, can you watch my class?” first. Whatever. Take those 10 minutes and then close your door and just bust it out. Grade if you need to grade. Lesson plan if you must. Doing as much as you can while still in the four walls of your classroom will keep you from working more at home.

THREE // Take some time for yourself every day

My “me time” consists of a workout and some Bible study time first thing in the morning. First of all, I’m so much more awake and alive for my students after a morning workout! Second of all, spending time with the Lord does wonders for me in all areas. The sense of calm and balance I feel after prayer and time in the Word changes my entire day. Find something that brings a sense of calm to your life and promotes the person you are all the time, not just in “teacher mode”.

FOUR // Say… NO!

I’m a “yes man” for sure. It’s hard for me to say no to anyone, but I’m beginning to realize there’s nothing wrong with saying no every now and again! I get very overwhelmed very easily, and when that happens, my husband always says, “Nothing is going to change if you don’t do something about it.” I finally had to buck up and gain the courage to stand up for myself and I think I’m respected because of that. All that to say, it’s ok to say no when you’re feeling overwhelmed. You can’t do everything or be on every committee and no one should expect you to!

FIVE // Set a time and shut it off

As I mentioned, I work more as a teacher than I ever have in any job. I work at school, I work at home, I work on the weekends. However, each day I try to set a time that I will no longer work on school things. Usually, that’s when my husband walks in the door from work. If you feel like you are constantly working at home, pick a time after which you’ll shut it down. Or pick an activity that won’t allow you to multitask. That could be cooking dinner with your significant other, fitting in a workout, or reading a book.

SIX // Get it done early

Each school year is different, but this one especially, I feel like I’m constantly behind. I try to complete my lesson planning by Wednesday so I have the end of the week to fine-tune and prep materials. Sometimes working ahead is impossible, but most of the time it will work to your advantage if you can get it done.

SEVEN // Do the work you hate the most at school

I read this tip once and it was like a lightbulb went off. I used to bring home stacks and stacks of grading each night, just to take them back to school the next morning. I don’t like grading at home and I’d rather not do it. I try to grade one assignment per day before I leave school to make it easier on myself by the end of the week. This also gives me more time at home for activities unrelated to school.

Ok, your turn. How do you balance work and life?