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107 Ways to Maximize Your Budget

107 Ways to Maximize Your Budget

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According to the 80/20 rule, 80% of your spending is coming from one area of your budget. Of course most people spend the largest part of their income on their rent or mortgage. Then their car payment, utilities, groceries, entertainment, clothing, and the illustrious ‘Other‘ category.

You either fall into one of two categories:

Budgeter Category 1: You know exactly where you’re overspending and you want to figure out how to bring that down. (in which case, scroll down to Step 2, below)

Budgeter Category 2: ….OR you have NO IDEA where your money is going, just that you need to get your spending under control

If you’re in the Category 2 with  “NO IDEA” then you need to do….

Step 1 – Create a Budget, Figure Out Where the Money is Going

  1. Compile all of your receipts, credit card bills, pay stubs, etc and create your budget. Figure out exactly how much is coming in, how much is going out (and for which category), and then figure out where you’re overspending (aka ‘finding your money leaks’).
  2. Use a tool like Mint or LearnVest to compile all of your account balances in one place and give you a high-level view of your entire financial situation
  3. Create a budget that allows you to meet your financial goals AND enjoy your life.

This last step is deceivingly difficult. Maybe you’ve done this before…. Picture it: You create a strict budget with the idea of paying off a huge amount of debt very quickly. No dinners out. No haircuts. No Starbucks. It’s great for a little while, you’re proud of all those dollars that you’re NOT spending.The Budget looks great. Savings are up! Spending is down! You and The Budget make a great team!

But then you have to start turning down invitations because of The Budget. No more happy hours. No vacations. No fun. All because The Budget won’t let you.

Soon you start to resent The Budget. Your family is also feeling it. But they are mad at YOU for creating The Budget. Soon, you’re all so miserable that you feel like the savings are not really worth the sacrifice.

You let The Budget take the joy right out of your life.

What happens next? You revolt on The Budget, go all BALLER, and overspend out of protest. You purposely ruin The Budget.

While I admire your ambition, a strict budget is hard to maintain long term without some lifestyle changes that the entire family needs to be on board with. Otherwise, what happens is that the spending is cut so severely and suddenly it causes an abrupt change that you and your family just were not prepared for.

You’re a Feast or Famine Budgeter.

My friend recently said to me: “I swear I bounce between Frugal Fran and then the kids get angry because they think I act like we are poor. Then the next month I am all ‘We work HARD! We deserve to do/have all the nice things!!!..’ I need to be more realistic, I suppose.  A happy medium where we don’t feel like we are poor and we are still saving considerably.”
 
My friend has experienced the Crash Diets of budgets. And just like actual crash diets, budget crash diets won’t last long. You’re better off creating a liveable budget that makes you feel like you’re still enjoying life but still making progress paying down debt. Cutting down on the extras that really don’t make that much of a difference in your life can have a huge impact.
 

Once you’ve examined your income and your current spending, then created a budget you believe you can live with, it’s time for:

Step 2 – The Great Purge

This is where you do a whole-house purge and have a huge garage sale. Everyone cleans out their closets, even the top shelf. You decide which items you really don’t want or need anymore and could go to a home where they’d be used. Every dollar made in the garage sale goes to paying down your debt. Or into a savings account. (Your choice depending on your situation.)

The Great Purge is great for a few reasons:

  • It clears out the house clutter that’s been accumulating, and has been physically and mentally weighing you down. You can finally stop tripping over those toys that never get used, that sports equipment in the garage, and those clothes in your closet that you never wear.

  • It gives you a financial jump start on your debt payments

  • It provides a psychological boost to your debt pay down motivation. Just a small action creates the momentum needed to keep going
What about selling items locally on Craigslist or Nextdoor?
It depends on how much time and energy you have on your hands. Selling individual items locally means they go one at a time and you spend time listing and coordinating handoffs with buyers. (Unless you have a highly specialized item that someone might not pick up randomly at a yard sale, like a set of Jeep tires, then I’d find a FB group for locals that are interested in those types of items and try to sell them there.
What about listing items on an online sale site like Ebay or Amazon?
Again, this depends on how much time and energy you can spend listing individual items, creating descriptions, pricing them, tracking payments, printing out labels, packing items, and shipping them. The only time I would do this is if I had a lot of higher value items and then I’d go with Fulfillment by Amazon. (This is where you ship all the stuff to Amazon, they store it and ship it when it sells – but it only makes sense if you have at least 40 items!)
 
Otherwise, I would just do a one and done in person garage sale and get on with your life.

A few more ideas to make some extra cash:

  • Download and use the app Survey Mini to earn gift cards for completing surveys for stores you visit. I use this and have earned several gift cards to Kroger, PF Chang’s, and Victoria’s Secret. It also offers discount coupons to places like Michael’s and Earth Fare as a reward for filling out surveys.
  • Sign up for Secret Shopper assignments. This is a good way to earn an extra $10 or $20 for shopping in a store you would go to anyway. (The Penny Hoarder has a list of reputable Secret Shopper companies here.)
  • Clean out your closets and sell gently loved but hardly ever worn clothing on Poshmark or Thredup
  • Sell used electronics on Gazelle or Amazon’s Trade In site for cash

Once that’s done you can get down to the business of cutting down on your spending.

Here are some suggestions for budget cuts that you’ll be able to make without ruining all your fun:

better-faster-workout-
better faster workout
faster workout
better faster workout

Save on Groceries

Save on Shopping

  • Buy discounted gift cards online ahead of time if you know you are shopping at certain stores
  • Buy themed items for next year the day after it happens this year – Halloween costumes, Valentine’s Day cards, Christmas cards
  • Use ebates.com or mrrebates.com and get money back on your online purchases
  • Stop spending too much! Use the Krazy Koupon Lady’s stock up price list!
  • Go on a cash diet – take your credit and debit cards out of your wallet and replace it with cash – you’ll be less tempted o spend money
  • Use Earny to get cash back (it scans your email to find receipts and gets your cash back if it finds a cheaper price elsewhere)
  • Use Snipsnap app to find coupons for in-store and online shopping
  • Look at Groupon Goods
  • Watch Amazon’s Lightning Deals feed to snap up big discounts that are only available for a limited time

Save on Entertainment

  • Subscribe to Kindle Unlimited for ebooks
  • Subscribe to Book Bub for deals on ebooks
  • Buy an Entertainment book and find coupons for local attractions
  • Find deals for local events on Groupon
  • Use Redbox to rent movies and video games
  • Cancel cable and stream your entertainment with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon using a Firestick, Apple TV, or a Playstation console
  • Get active and find a local ‘Get Started in Sports’ program near you
  • Use your local library to check out books instead of buying them at a bookstore or ordering from Amazon
  • While you’re at the library check out movies instead of seeing them in the theater
  • Host a Moms’ Night In instead of going out. Play Bunco, host a book club, or a craft night! Need more ideas? Check here.
  • Buy pre-owned games and game systems at GameStop
  • Take a Staycation – explore your own town or county and find some hidden gems

Save on Clothing

  • Use Rent the Runway for formal dressing occasions – outfits you’ll only wear once
  • Create a capsule wardrobe and stop buying clothes you won’t wear (Don’t know what a capsule wardrobe is or how to create one? Click HERE)
  • Use an app to manage your closet, like Cladwell
  • Buy brand name preloved clothes on Poshmark and thredup
  • Buy higher quality items in classic styles and wear them for several seasons instead of buying cheaper, trendier, disposable clothing every season

Save on Kids’ Stuff

Save on Transportation

  • Shop around for travel deals using Expedia or Trivago
  • Use the Gas Buddy app to find the cheapest gas in your area
  • Order car parts online (Did you know you can buy replacement side mirrors on Amazon??)
  • Maintain your car to keep it running longer! Make sure to regularly check your air pressure, change your oil, and change your air filters! (Get your air filters on amazon and change them yourself instead of paying the dealership an arm and a leg to do it!)
  • Shop at stores (like Kroger and Costco) that offer gas discounts

Save on Fees

  • Stop paying late fees on credit cards, set up reminders or notifications through your credit cards to let you know when the payment is due
  • Cancel your gym membership and workout at home 
  • Refinance your home if your mortgage interest rate is high
  • Evaluate your car insurance to avoid overpaying
  • Use credit cards with membership rewards programs like American Express

Save Time

(Because time IS money, when you don’t waste time looking for things, you can be more productive!)

The secret here is BALANCE. Find a way to cut out the expenditures that aren’t adding value to your life and make substitutions where you can. You are allowed to indulge, to have fun, to enjoy yourself.

As long as it fits in your budget, meet your friends for drinks, take that weekend trip to the beach, make memories! Be responsible but don’t let it make you miserable.

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5 Must-Haves for Your Home Gym Space

5 Must-Haves for Your Home Gym Space

*This post contains affiliate links. This means I may make a commission if you purchase an item through one of my links. This does not increase the price of the item for you. You can read more on my site's Policy and Disclosure page.

80/20 your kitchen Instant Pot

If you’ve recently decided you want to get into better shape and improve your health, you may have considered joining a gym. For many people, gyms can be a great choice because they provide all the things you need for getting in shape – the weights, the cardio equipment, the loud music, and the personal trainers.

But you know what can be not-so-great about gyms? They aren’t always open when you want to work out. Or they are but the time you want to work out happens to be when everyone else wants to work out, too so you end up waiting for equipment, or slap-fighting another mom for the last spin bike. Or the gym you belong to is far enough away from your house that you have to muster quite a bit of motivation to get there as often as you’d like.

If you find yourself in these scenarios, here are some great reasons to create your own home gym space:

– Convenience

Do your workout on your schedule, not the gym’s! Want to workout at 3 am? 11 pm? Whenever you feel like getting it done, your home gym is available. No driving, no packing a bag, no worrying about how you look. Just slap on whatever you’re comfortable in and get to it! This is great for people who work late shifts or early mornings, parents who fit workouts in around nap time and car line, or just don’t want to deal with driving all the way to a gym for the same results they can get at home!

– Privacy

Maybe you really don’t like working out in front of other people? If you’re new to working out or self-conscious about doing exercises with an audience, a home gym can be the perfect solution. If you’re feeling a little unconfident because you think people will be looking at you then do it at home where you can grunt and groan and curse your heart out as you push out that last rep!

– Affordability

While you will have some upfront costs for a few pieces of equipment, there aren’t any monthly payments to consider. Aside from upgrading equipment as you get stronger, or adding items to vary your workouts, you can create a home gym on a pretty slim budget and save yourself those monthly gym fees!

Setting Up Your Home Gym

As you are setting up your home space thing about where you should put it inside your home. You’ll want to have enough room to move around without kicking over a lamp or punching a wall. You’ll want it to be out of the way of normal household traffic. A spare bedroom or basement is a good place because you won’t be tripping over your equipment or have to worry that the kids will get into it.

The other consideration for your home gym space is cost. I understand wanting to cheap out on equipment if your thought right now is “What if I set it up and don’t use it?”. Sure, you don’t want to spend a ton and then find it collecting dust in a couple of months because you just don’t get around to using it like you thought you would. But then you also don’t want to cheap out and have things break on you within your first few workouts.

I recommend going with mid-priced equipment. Start with mid-priced options and then upgrade in a few months if you find you’re getting a lot of use out of this space.

Here are the basic items you’ll need to set up your home gym:

 

1.  A Supportive Floor Mat

A good home workout is probably going to involve a lot of bodyweight exercises that will require you to get on the floor. A good mat protects your joints when you’re doing floor work. They’re not too cushiony – you don’t want to sink in when you’re doing push ups but you want there to be something soft between you and the floor.

2. A Set of Adjustable Dumbbells

Before you run out to buy a set of pink dumbbells, read this carefully – to build strength and drop fat, you need to be lifting weights. You need real resistance. If you want to do a fast, effective workout, you need to be lifting a weight that fatigues the muscle in 8 reps or less. So unless you are brand spanking new to lifting, you’re going to need a weight set that will challenge you AND grow with you. Before you run out and buy a set of individual weights, consider a set of adjustable weights. These are great because they save space AND money!

2 (still). Resistance Bands

While weights are great, I realize these aren’t the best option for everyone. Resistance bands can also be very effective in building muscle AND they’re great for travel! So if you’re on the road a lot and you find yourself somewhere without a gym – your hotel, the airport, wherever….you can toss a set of bands in your suitcase and still be able to stick to your workout program.

 3. A Bosu or balance ball

As your fitness advances, you’ll need to progress your workouts. A balance or a Bosu ball is a great way to increase the difficulty of so many exercises without having to add more weight or increase the risk of injury. Working to maintain your balance during an exercise engages all those little stabilizer muscles and takes your workout up a notch! They’re also great for core workouts!

4. A Targeted Workout Program

Here’s another place people are faced with overwhelming options and sometimes make the right choice, but sometimes not.

Free workout plans are a dime a dozen. You can find them on Pinterest, in magazines, online – really there is no shortage of workout plans. The problem with this is that how do you know you’re doing the right workout for you? One that is geared specifically towards YOUR goals?

As an ACE-certified personal trainer, I tailor workouts specifically to my clients’ goals, taking into consideration their preferences, medical history, and current fitness level. Instead of cookie-cutter workouts that don’t take your individual needs into account, a custom workout focuses on your specific goal, whatever that may be (fat loss, increased endurance, greater strength).

I have an online fitness coaching program, which is significantly less expensive than an in-person trainer would be (you can read about it here).

5. Fitness Tracker/Heart Rate Monitor

I don’t think you can throw a rock these days and not hit someone wearing a Fitbit or other fitness tracker. Because we tend to overestimate how active we are, fitness trackers are a great way to get a good idea of your overall activity level. They come in all styles, colors, and price points. Features range from counting your steps, track your workouts, to tell you how active you are throughout the day. You can sync them to your phone using Bluetooth and upload your data regularly to see trends and monitor your progress.

You may want one with a heart rate monitor for your HIIT workouts or something simpler that just tracks your steps and motivates you to move a little more than you do now.

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The 80/20 of Weight Loss

The 80/20 of Weight Loss

This post contains affiliate links.

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Did you realize that there is one simple thing that impacts your weight loss success above all else? 

Is it limiting processed foods?
Working out more?
Drinking plain water instead of sugary soda?
Eating more vegetables?

These are all healthy habits I’d encourage you to slowly adopt into your lifestyle if you haven’t already, but they aren’t the ONE SINGLE  thing that you can do that will most affect your weight loss.

So what is it?  

Adjusting your mindset.

What is your mindset?

Your mindset is the belief that you will be successful in your efforts, combined with the appropriate motivation to do it. You believe that you can achieve your fitness goals, no matter how many times you’ve tried before, and you are intrinsically motivated to make it happen.

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. - Henry Ford Click To Tweet

What is Intrinsic Motivation? 

Intrinsic motivation is a reason you have for wanting to lose weight and/or get in shape that comes from inside of you, not an external source. This means you are not being pressured by someone or someTHING – not your spouse, your doctor, a class reunion, or your friends. The motivation comes from within you.

So whatever it is that’s driving you to want to get in shape, lose fat, and have more energy, is something inside of YOU. It’s a desire to be healthy, to want to be in better shape, to feel better about yourself.  It could be your desire to be a better role model for your kids. It could be that you want to live a long, healthy life and you know that acting NOW will payoff later.

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I can hear you right now.

I’m REALLY motivated to get into shape but I just CAN’T DO IT! I’ve tried so many times and it just doesn’t happen.

Ok, so you have the motivation – but maybe after a few failed attempts, you start believing you just can’t do it.

You believe it’s just not something that you can do no matter how much you want to.

You aren’t able to turn off that nagging voice that tells you you’re not meant to lose weight, you’ll never be fit, and to quit trying.

THAT VOICE is holding you back.

How many professional athletes do you think to take the field, not sure if they can play the game?
I’m going to guess none. Athletes don’t think that way. They don’t hope for the best when it’s time for kick off, or tee off or whatever-off. They literally visualize their success. They see themselves at the finish line, scoring goals, landing their dismount. In their minds, success has already happened.

Be like them.

Starting a fitness program with the belief that you can reach your goals increases your chances of making it happen.  The greatest workout and diet plan will be short-lived in its success if you don’t have the mindset that you CAN AND WILL achieve it.  Otherwise, the first obstacle will have you giving up, throwing up your hands in defeat, and downing a pint of ice cream on the sofa. The first temptation you give into will have you feeling guilty and defeated.

(Hint: I have tools to help you overcome obstacles and working whatever tempts you into your diet. No more failure and no more guilt!)

How do you know if you have the right mindset to succeed?

You know that you’re in the right mindset when your motivation for wanting to be successful is tied directly to your values. You’re doing it for a reason that is important to you, and it will encourage you to find physical activities you enjoy and find recipes for healthy foods that you maybe haven’t tried before. These are things you’re willing to do because being active and healthy is important to you.

The right mindset brings out your creativity and you’ll see a direct link between eating healthier and improvements in the other areas of your life.  You know that taking care of yourself will make you feel better and look better. You’ll be a better spouse, a better parent, and a better employee.

Other ways you know you’re in the right mindset: 

  • You see getting in shape as a challenge that you want to conquer
  • You’re ready to start respecting your body, being grateful for the gifts it has given you
  • Eating healthy and getting fit is a gift that you’re giving yourself
  • You’re not doing it out of fear of someone’s disapproval or out of shame
  • Working towards a better you feels like a reward, not a punishment
  • That critical inner voice is causing more harm than good and you are ready to replace it with a respectful and encouraging one
  • You’re ready to commit to making some changes in your lifestyle. You know there will be adjustments, you may be a little uncomfortable for a while as you adjust to new foods, new activities, and a new routine but you’re willing to give it a try.

How do you change your mindset RIGHT NOW?

  • Stop criticizing yourself for where you are and give yourself some grace
  • Stop shaming yourself for what your thighs look like Understand that living your life means enjoying the sweet things in moderation
  • Throw your blooper reel in the trash. Stop replaying in your mind all the times you’ve tried and failed. Get rid of all the reminders of the programs you’ve started and quit. All the diet books you’ve bought but never read. All the crazy fads you that misguided you and left you worse off than you had been before. Those days are over.
  • Start believing in yourself and know that you can do this. Visualize a stronger,  healthier you. See your future success happening. You can close your eyes and see yourself running that 5k or lifting free weights.  You’re looking in the mirror and you like what you see.
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Decoding Confusing Fitness Terms

Decoding Confusing Fitness Terms

Fitness Terms Explained

Fitness, just like anything else,  has its own vocabulary, with acronyms and abbreviations. Learning these terms will be helpful as you move forward in your fitness journey.

80/20 your kitchen Instant Pot

AMRAP – stands for “As many reps as possible” and indicates that the movement should be repeated until it can no longer be safely completed.

Anaerobic and Aerobic Exercise – Aerobic exercise, requiring oxygen, such as cardiovascular activities. Anaerobic exercise is any activity that involves explosive, short, powerful movements that you cannot perform for an extended length of time.

Cardio – Any type of physical activity that engages the cardiovascular system. Examples of cardio exercise are running, swimming, rowing, and using the elliptical machine.

Circuit – A type of workout where you move quickly from one exercise to another with minimal rest. The goal is to keep the heart rate elevated during the entire workout.

DOMS – stands for “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness”, that sore, achy feeling you get a day or two after lifting weights.

EMOM – stands for “Every Minute on the Minute” and refers to a workout where a movement is performed starting at the top of every minute and then the remainder of that minute is used to rest.

HIIT – stands for “High intensity Interval training”. This type of workout alternates periods of high intensity activity with periods of minimal activity or rest.

Macro(short for ‘Macronutrients’) – this term refers to the 3 main components of the human diet. They are protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

Major Muscle Groups – The largest muscle groups in the body, referring to Chest, Legs, and Back

Metabolism – The rate at which your body burns energy to maintain itself

MIC – abbreviation for ‘medium intensity cardio’, the level of exertion gets your heart rate elevated but you can still carry on a conversation. Most longer cardio sessions are done at medium intensity.

Plyometrics – a type of workout based on explosive movements like jumping. Plyometric workouts are a great complement to regular cardio and strength training workouts.

Progression – The act of making an exercise more difficult in order to gain strength, mobility, flexibility, muscle size. Progression of an exercise can be accomplished by increasing the weight used, the number of reps performed, the total set volume, and increasing difficulty of the movement.

Recovery/ Active Recovery – The time between your workouts when you allow your muscles to rest. Active recovery refers to the act of resting but still engaging in activities that do not strain the muscles that were previously worked

RPE – Rate of perceived exertion, on a scale of 1 – 10, how difficult you perceive your physical activity to be at any point in time.

Reps – the number of times an exercises is performed in a row

Resistance Training – Exercise that focuses on engaging your muscles and increasing strength such as lifting weights and  bodyweight exercises

Rest – How long of a break to take between sets

Sets – The number of reps performed of an exercise at one time

Tempo – the speed at which an exercise is performed, composed of 4 pieces – concentric motion, pause, eccentric motion, rest

Toning – another word for ‘building muscle’, generally used by those who are afraid lifting muscles will make them bulky

 

Do you have a favorite that I didn’t mention?

Let me know!

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How to Set and Achieve Fitness Goals

How to Set and Achieve Fitness Goals

Let’s talk about setting goals. We have lots of goals in life, don’t we? financial goals. work goals. #squadgoals (whatever this means, I have no idea). But unless you’re a competitive athlete, you probably don’t think much of setting health or fitness goals unless they involve fitting into a special dress in two weeks for your high school reunion or losing your pregnancy weight by the time the baby’s birthday rolls around. 

Lots of people set half-goals like ‘They’d like to lose some weight.” or they want to “tone up”, “I want to lose the mummy tummy” but nothing solid and while it’s something they’d like to have happen, they don’t have any great expectation of it actually happening.

Here’s why: They aren’t SMART. (I’m talking about the goals here, not the people!)  

You’ve probably heard about SMART goals before, but in case you haven’t, we’re talking about setting health and fitness-related goals that are:

Specific – the goal says exactly what you’re trying to accomplish. There is no confusion or ambiguity. 

Measurable – there is an objective way to measure the goal. Whether it’s in inches, pounds, or percentage of body fat, you should be able to verify the difference between your starting and ending points.

Attainable – The goal must be something you can realistically achieve, without being too easy or require drastic measures. 

Resultbased – The goal is related to results, not activities

TimeBound – the goal has a deadline of when you’d like to meet it. On that date, because it’s measurable and specific, you’ll be able to confirm whether or not this goal was met. 

Here is a good SMART goal:

“I want to lose 5 pounds in the next 3 weeks.”
 
 This goal is specific, measurable, achievable, results-based, and time-based. There’s an end date (in 3 weeks!), a specific amount of weight to lose (5pounds), it’s measurable (by stepping on the scale), it’s realistic as it can be accomplished without having to resort to drastic measures during that time

And just for reference, here are some examples of non-SMART goals:

I want to lose a few pounds by my wedding day.   

 Ok, but how much weight? This is too vague. By knowing the specific number of pounds that you want to lose, we can safely calculate how long it should take, and what measures need to be taken to accomplish the goal by that date. 

I want to lose 30 pounds by next week.

With the exception of having surgery, a severe illness, or a tapeworm, that’s not attainable and it’s definitely not safe! YIKES! By keeping goals realistic, we give ourselves the chance to attain them without resorting to crash diet techniques that we can’t keep up long term. Remember, what you do to lose the weight has to be something that you can keep up for the long haul or else the weight you lose comes right back, plus some.

I want to lose 10 pounds.

By when? Without an end date it’s not a goal, it’s an idea. By setting an end date we can create a weight loss plan that allows for a safe rate of weight loss per week. 

Is it enough just to set the goal?

Unfortunately, no.

Is it enough just to write it down? Still no.  This study at Dominican University of California recruited 149 participants from all over the world demonstrated that to be successful with our goals we need to take it a couple of steps beyond setting it and jotting it down. (But don’t worry, it’s nothing you can’t handle!)

In the study, the participants were divided into 5 separate groups:

  • Group 1 just had to come up with a goal. Then they had to rate it on difficulty, importance, the extent to which they had the skill and resources to accomplish it, how committed and motivated they were to meet the goal, and whether or not they had previously tried to reach this goal, and if so, how successful had they been?
  • Group 2 took it a little further by coming up with the goal and rating it (just like Group 1) and also writing their goals down.
  • Group 3  had to write down their goal and then write down the actions they would commit to in order to accomplish the goal.
  • Group 4 wrote down their goals, the actions they were committed to taking, and then sent the goals and action list to a friend. (Now they’ve got some accountability. Someone knows what they plan to do, so this might keep them on track.)
  • Group 5 took it the furthest. They wrote out their goals and actions, and not only did they tell the friend about their plans, but they also had to send them regular progress reports.
    Well, that’s serious business.

So what happened?

  • Groups 3 – 5 saw the most success in reaching their goals. Those who wrote down their goals were more successful than those who did not. The study concluded that the accountability effect improved the likelihood of achieving the goal.
  • Group 5 had the most success because they created an action plan, had an accountability partner, and then monitored their progress regularly to make sure they were on the right track.

How does this translate this to setting health and fitness goals?

  • Establish your fitness goal and then whittle it down to make it S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, results-based, time-based)
  • Write it down on a sticky note and keep this paper somewhere you will see it often as a visual reminder of what you’re setting out to accomplish.
  • Create an action plan with bite-sized steps of how you can safely get from where you are to where you want to be.
  • Share your goal and your plan of action with the 80/20 Online Fitness Challenge FB group. Many of the group’s members have been where you are and can relate to how you’re feeling. Many probably had (or have) the same goal that you do!

Share your weekly progress report with the group for accountability. Let us help you stay on track to smash that goal!

 

Not part of the free 14-day Online Fitness Challenge yet? Sign up here:

 

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Automating your Health with Good Habits

Automating your Health with Good Habits

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with the changes it takes to live a healthy lifestyle? Remembering to pack a healthy lunch, resisting the temptation of nightly ice cream after the kids go to bed, and hoping the spirit moves you to go to the gym instead of hit the snooze button every morning… 

How much energy and time do you have to devote to making sure you do all the ‘right’ things to lose weight and get in shape? Wouldn’t it be easier to just do these things without having to think about it?

What if doing all these things just came naturally? 

 

The best way to get and stay in good health is to create healthy habits.
Imagine this: you reach for junk food when you’re bored. You lounge on the sofa for hours after dinner.  You stay up way too late every night.

Do you see where this is headed?

You’re going to be tired, stressed out, out of shape, and heading for a lot of preventable health issues.

Now let’s imagine that you are in the habit of going to bed early, you limit junk food because you simply don’t want it, you eat lots of fruits and veggies because you enjoy them, and exercise is just a natural part of your day.

Think how healthy you’d be healthy you’d be if this just happened to you, each and every day.

You didn’t need to think about it. You didn’t need a health coach to tell you to do it. You didn’t need a phone app to remind you. You just DID it.

What if you could program yourself to reach for fruit instead of junk? To get more sleep instead of staying up late? To move more than you sit? How much better do you think you’d feel? How much more energy do you think you’d have?

It can take longer than 21 days to create a habit. But the good news is that you can reprogram yourself and replace bad habits with good ones.

Creating healthy habits is like putting your health on autopilot. Click To Tweet

How do we replace bad habits?

The first step is to decide what you want that new habit to be. Be as specific as possible. Don’t just tell yourself you want to exercise more. Instead, say something like “I will go for a 30-minute walk every morning. The hardest part is deciding what your new habit will be and committing to how and when you’re going to do it.

1. Create a Reminder 

The next few days should be easy. You’re motivated and excited to get this done. Sticking to your new habit isnít an issue. But a few days you will notice that it is easy to slip back into old habits. Maybe it’s raining and you don’t really want to go out and walk. Or maybe you decide to read your email first, and then you find you don’t have time for the walk before work.

These are times when it’s important to have a daily reminder.

2. Schedule It 

Sometimes we forget to do that new thing we were trying. Maybe we forget that we’re supposed to be having eggs for breakfast instead of a stack of pancakes, or that we need to do that daily walk. Schedule your new habits or make them part of your daily to-do list until they become something you do automatically.

3. Make It Part Of Your Routine Until It Becomes A Habit

This brings us to the last step. It takes some time before a new behavior becomes an actual habit. Until then, a routine will work to your best advantage. Even before the new behavior becomes automatic, a routine will help you get it done without having to spend a lot of willpower or relying on daily reminders.

Habits will form faster if you stick to the same time and environment each day. Instead of going for a walk whenever the mood strikes or hoping you’ll remember to do it sometime before you have to pick up the kids from school, keep your sneakers next to the door and schedule your walk every day at 7 pm, right after dinner. 

Make that daily walk part of your after-dinner routine and you’re much more likely to stick with it.

4. Piggyback On A Habit You Already Have

Whenever possible, add the new habit to a habit you already have. For example, if you drink a cup of tea every day at 3 pm, and you want to get in the habit of taking a daily walk, make the new ritual to go for your walk and then come back and enjoy your tea. 

It’s much easier to alter an existing habit than it is to create an entirely new one. Decide to create the new habit, practice the routine until it ís second nature and you will be well on your way to forming a new good habit.

 

Tips for Creating New Healthy Habits:

  • Drinking more water, – think about ways that you can make it easy for yourself. Treat yourself to a fancy water bottle that keeps your drink cold for a long time. 
  • Increase your intake of fruits and veggies –  Add an extra serving to one or two meals per day. Drop a handful of spinach into your morning smoothie. Buy a bag of baby carrots and keep it in your lunch bag. 
  • Going to bed earlier – Start by going to bed a little bit earlier each night until you reach your target bedtime. Start with 10 minutes earlier than usual. Once that’s comfortable, increase it to 20 until that’s your new normal. Increase the time gradually until you are finding yourself winding down at your target bedtime.

Tips on changing existing habits:

  • Go slow. Take it one habit at a time – a lifestyle change is a long-term solution. You didn’t develop all of your bad habits at once, so trying to change them all at once may be overwhelming and lead to frustration. 
  • Don’t try to make huge changes – small changes lead to big results over time. Start by increasing your exercise by 10 minutes per workout, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and going to bed a few minutes earlier 
  • Be patient– it may take a while for it to become second nature to you. 
  • Reward yourself – Find the reward that works for you and bribe yourself as long as you need to. 
  • Create a visible reminder of why you’re trying to change your behavior. Remind yourself every day that you’re exercising so your body stays strong and you can play with the kids. Keep your reason why you’re changing front and center and then be prepared to stick it out. It’s going take some time to make new habits and replace old ones. But it will be well worth it in the end.

Make sure to check in to the private Facebook group to let me know how the Challenge is going for you!

 

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Lose the Last 5 Pounds with These Simple Diet Hacks

Lose the Last 5 Pounds with These Simple Diet Hacks

 

We all know what ‘hacks’ are, right? They’re clever little workarounds you can use to solve a problem. They’re generally uncommon, creative solutions that require little to no extra effort. “Life hacks” like using a beer koozie to protect your external hard drive, or using a six pack carrier to make a cookout utensil holder – little things like that.

If you’ve been working hard to lose weight through a painfully strict diet and rigorous exercise program but still not seeing the results you were hoping for, I have some diet hacks that could help speed up your results.

80/20 your kitchen Instant Pot

Used sporadically, these hacks may not make much of a difference. Add these hacks to your daily routine and the cumulative results will be noticeable. They’re all pretty easy to implement and after a while they’ll seem like second nature.

 

Hack #1 – Use herbs and spices to boost your metabolism 

 

A sprinkle here, a dash there. Using herbs and spices such cinnamon, cayenne, cumin, turmeric, and ginger can boost your metabolism, reduce inflammation in your body, and improve your overall health. (Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4)

Cinnamon has been shown to control blood sugar if eaten with higher carbohydrate foods, preventing the spike that so many of us experience.

Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which has been shown to enhance weight loss, and specifically abdominal fat.  Add a little bit of both of these spices to your morning smoothie!

Cayenne, cumin, and ginger are metabolism boosters that can help burn a few extra calories at each meal. Add them to soups, stews, meat and tofu dishes, and curries!

 

Product Brand List Price Size
Simply Organic Ground Cinnamon, 2.08 Ounce Simply Organic N/A 2.08 Ounce
McCormick Gourmet Organic Cumin Ground, 1.5 oz McCormick $5.98 1.5-Ounce
Simply Organic Ginger Root Ground Certified Organic, 1.64-Ounce Container Simply Organic $3.95 1.64
McCormick Cayenne Pepper, 14 oz McCormick N/A 14 Ounce

Hack #2 – Add plain, unsweetened yogurt to your diet 

 

Several scientific studies have shown that the inclusion of fermented foods, specifically yogurt, can have a significant impact on weight loss for women (1, 2).

The problem with yogurt is that is can be full of sugar or artificial sweeteners! Not to mention it gets pretty dang expensive if you want to add it to your daily diet. This is a case where making it yourself is the best option, and it’s not that hard! While it is time-consuming, (the cultures in the yogurt have to incubate for a few hours before it can be refrigerated) I promise you that it’s not terribly labor intensive.

My husband makes plain, unsweetened dairy yogurt using the Instant Pot, which is an amazing addition to any kitchen! or you could just get a yogurt maker, which does just the yogurt part without taking up all that counter space. 

 

Euro Cuisine YM80 Yogurt Maker
List Price: $40.00
Price: $32.90
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Hack #3 – Create a Capsule Meal Plan

Meal Planner (Yellow)
List Price: $19.99
Price: $15.79
You Save: $4.20
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You guys know I love a good capsule anything. Anytime that I don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to make a decision out of endless options, I’m happy. Making decisions can be mentally exhausting and it’s totally the last thing you want to do when you get home from work after a long day. A capsule meal plan is a simple solution to that overwhelm that can come from trying to stick to a healthy meal plan. Sit down, plan it out, batch cook the items, and then pack up 3 days worth of lunches and dinner in individual containers for portion control.

Here’s what you do:

  •  Create a list of 4 lean proteins, 3 carbs, 8 vegetables, and 4 fats.
  •  Find 3 or 4 low-sugar recipes for sauces or flavorings. Good examples would be low-sugar teriyaki, peanut sauce, jerk seasoning)
  •  Create a list of meals by mix and matching the appropriate serving sizes of proteins (palm-sized), carbs (cupped hand-sized), vegetables (fist-sized), and fats (thumb-size) to eliminate boredom
  •  Batch cook your meals and store the leftovers in ready to go containers. Packing your meals ahead of time eliminates the mental overwhelm of having to make decisions 4 or 5 times per week on what to eat.Here’s a sample:
  • Protein: Tofu, chicken, tilapia, beef
  • Carbs: Sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice,
  • Vegetables: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, squash, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, kale
  • Fats: Olive oil, nut butter, coconut oil, avocados

Hack #4 – Bump up your protein 

One word – THERMOGENESIS. Are you familiar with the thermic effect of food? This is the calorie burn caused when you eat. Did you know that protein has the highest thermic effect of all the macronutrients? This study showed that protein had a thermic effect of burning 20 to 35% of the energy consumed, where carbohydrates and fat only had a thermic effect of 5-15% 

Add lean protein snacks (such as greek yogurt, unsweetened protein shakes, and hard boiled eggs) can help boost your daily calorie burn, adding to the caloric deficit that you’re accumulating during the week.

Hack #5 – Drink More Water 

RTIC 30 oz. Tumbler
List Price: $17.75
Price: $17.75
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Drinking water is a great hack for two reasons:

  1. It keeps you hydrated. Mild dehydration is often misinterpreted for hunger and it’s common to reach for a snack when what your body really needs is water. Staying ahead of the curve and drinking it before you need it will keep you from having to fight the temptation to snack.
  2. Thermogenesis. (I know, we just talked about this!) This study showed that drinking 500 ml of water increased metabolic rate by 30%. “The increase occurred within 10 min and reached a maximum after 30-40 min. The total thermogenic response was about 100 kJ. About 40% of the thermogenic effect originated from warming the water from 22 to 37 C.”

Go get yourself a big ole stainless steel cup that you can keep with you and sip ice cold water all day long!.

Final word: None of these things alone is going to make you drop 5 pounds overnight.

Sustainable weight loss comes from adopting a healthy diet and being active. These hacks, when combined with that healthy lifestyle, may give you a little boost to get you off of that weight loss plateau you find yourself in when you are close to your goal.

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Overcoming Mom Challenges

Overcoming Mom Challenges

As busy moms, we face unique challenges. Some of us work outside the home, some inside. Some of us stay home with the kids (the hardest job of all!) but one thing we all have in common is that we face: Mom Challenges.

 

As a busy mom, we have unique challenges. Some of us work outside the home, some inside. Some of us stay home with the kids (the hardest job of all!) but one thing we all have in common is that we face “Mom Challenges”.

What are Mom challenges?

As moms, our role is often undervalued. We work, we take care of our families, we recover from childbirth, we struggle with baby weight, we juggle losing weight with nursing. It’s tough to balance self-care with caring for our families. We work long hours, late nights, early mornings, and don’t forget those middle of the night  needs!- our jobs never end. While some of us are lucky enough to have partners that share the load, being a mom is a unique responsibility.

Why we need to focus on self-care

We need to care for ourselves so we can take care of our family. They depend on us and we owe it to them to be as strong and healthy as we can be.

How do we overcome Mom Challenges?

As a busy mom, we have unique challenges. Some of us work outside the home, some inside. Some of us stay home with the kids (the hardest job of all!) but one thing we all have in common is that we face “Mom Challenges”.

What are Mom challenges?

As moms, our role is often undervalued. We work, we take care of our families, we recover from childbirth, we struggle with baby weight, we juggle losing weight with nursing. It’s tough to balance self-care with caring for our families. We work long hours, late nights, early mornings, and don’t forget those middle of the night  needs!- our jobs never end. While some of us are lucky enough to have partners that share the load, being a mom is a unique responsibility.

Why we need to focus on self-care

We need to care for ourselves so we can take care of our family. They depend on us and we owe it to them to be as strong and healthy as we can be.

How do we overcome Mom Challenges?

As a busy mom, we have unique challenges. Some of us work outside the home, some inside. Some of us stay home with the kids (the hardest job of all!) but one thing we all have in common is that we face “Mom Challenges”.

What are Mom challenges?

As moms, our role is often undervalued. We work, we take care of our families, we recover from childbirth, we struggle with baby weight, we juggle losing weight with nursing. It’s tough to balance self-care with caring for our families. We work long hours, late nights, early mornings, and don’t forget those middle of the night  needs!- our jobs never end. While some of us are lucky enough to have partners that share the load, being a mom is a unique responsibility.

Why we need to focus on self-care

We need to care for ourselves so we can take care of our family. They depend on us and we owe it to them to be as strong and healthy as we can be.

How do we overcome Mom Challenges?

80/20 your kitchen Instant Pot

What are Mom challenges? 

Mom Challenge #1: We’re overworked

Whether you work inside or outside the home, you have a 24-hour job! (this goes for dads, too, but that’s a separate post!) We work long hours, late nights, early mornings, and don’t forget those middle of the night needs! Our jobs never end. While some of us are lucky enough to have partners that share the load, being a mom is a huge responsibility.

Mom Challenge #2: We don’t often feel appreciated

As moms it’s our nature to give. And give. And then give some more… After a while, it’s easy to feel like we’re being taken for granted. Kids, spouses, and bosses don’t realize how much they ask of us on a daily basis.

Mom Challenge #3: We feel like we’re trapped in someone else’s body.

And this someone has loose skin, stretch marks, saggy post-nursing boobs. Sure, you might lose the baby weight, but things just look different. More than two years after having my son I still didn’t see the body I remembered having prior to conceiving! This challenge is accepting that being a mom may change how you look and it also might make it a little harder to get back to the body you remember. There’s nothing wrong with m

Mom Challenge #4: We feel guilty taking time for ourselves

…and our well-being suffers as a result. We skip the gym so we can take kids to their activities. We eat on the go so we have more time to spend playing with our kids. We cancel our evening plans when the babysitter bails at the last minute. These are things moms just do. (and dads, too!)

Why is it important to address Mom Challenges?

Addressing Mom Challenges has a trickle-down effect. When we are confident and energetic, we can give more to our families without feeling so drained. It’s easier to do more when we have more to go around. Taking care of ourselves means we can take care of our family. They depend on us and we owe it to them to be as strong and healthy as we can be.

How do we overcome Mom Challenges?

1. Believe you’re worth it.

Sadly, this is the most difficult for a lot of women. You deserve to be healthy and happy. Think of how hard you work to make sure your family is well cared for and give yourself that same level of care. Showing that you value yourself and your health sets a good example for the little ones.

2. Focus on self-care

Eating well, drinking lots of water, and making time for exercise are great ways to give yourself a boost. Living a healthy lifestyle not only relieves stress but also increases your energy. When you feel better, you’re a better wife and mother. Give yourself permission to focus on yourself.

3. Reclaim your grown up time

Go spend some time kid-free! Go get a mani/pedi or a blow out. Go on a date with your spouse. Go shopping with a friend. Join a bookclub or bunco club and have some grown up conversation about something other than potty-training or your favorite brand of sippy cup

4. Anticipate obstacles.

Know that things won’t always go as planned. A sick baby or a flat tire may derail your plans for the day but have a backup plan! A home workout in case you can’t get to the gym, a backup babysitter for when your regular cancels at the last minute, or a freezer stash of your favorite candy that you do NOT have to share with anyone, I promise!

Are there any Mom Challenges that you face that I didn’t mention?

Let me know!

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The Backup Workout Plan

The Backup Workout Plan

80/20 your kitchen Instant PotIntro – what is the back up plan? How to be prepared for any obstacle –

If life has taught me anything so far, it’s that things do not always go as planned. In a perfect world, I get 8 hours of sleep every night, I never have car trouble, my son is never sick, and I never miss a workout. Alas, I live in the real world where crap happens. The best I can do is be prepared and work around the obstacles that come my way. 

When it comes to workouts, there are a number of external factors that can throw a monkey wrench into my plans and then cause me to fall off the workout wagon. Here’s where it helps to have a backup plan. The most important thing with a backup plan is to be flexible. It may not be the workout you wanted to do that day, but some exercise is better than none and here’s how to work around the obstacles life throws at you.

What a lot of people do is see one missed workout as an excuse to quit altogether. Or start again next week (which may or may not happen, if we’re honest. If we’re working on building a fitness foundation for life, this is not the last time your workout plans will be thwarted, and it’s ok. Do what you can and move on. I promise this one missed workout will not make or break you.  

Obstacle #1: You’re a Morning Exerciser But You Overslept

You normally do your workout in the morning but you overslept? Divide your workout into 2 15-minute or 3 10-minute segments to fit it into the rest of your day. The good news is that the effects of exercise are cumulative so if you can’t squeeze it all in at once you’ll still get all of the benefits if you spread it out throughout the day.

Obstacle #2:  You Can’t Make it to the Gym

Your car died/babysitter canceled/it’s a snow day and you can’t get to the place where they keep all the fitness equipment. This is when it comes in handy to have a home gym. This doesn’t need to be an entire room with cardio equipment or a fully stocked weight rack, just a corner with some mats, a chair, and some hand weights or resistance bands. (If you need ideas on how to set one up- go here).

Grab a free bodyweight workout printout

If you don’t have equipment then you can still get a workout using your bodyweight.  have a fat blasting, can-be-done anywhere workout that requires little or no equipment. Need ideas on how to do a ‘real’ workout at home?

Obstacle #3: You literally have NO TIME to workout. 

If you normally work out in the evening and you're running so behind that you literally can not take any time to exercise then swap today with your regularly scheduled rest day or double up on your workout tomorrow. Add a mini -cardio session after your weights or sneak in a yoga class before your group run. In the grand scheme of life, I guarantee missing one workout every so often is not going to affect your long term results.

Obstacle #4: You're Sick

If you can't work out due to illness and/or injury, I urge you simply to take this time to rest and recover.   If you ever needed a valid reason for skipping a workout, this is it! Working out when you're sick may only exacerbate your condition. Just rest. Expending energy that your body needs for recovering may only prolong your illness. Sit tight, take care of yourself, and focus on giving your body the nutrients it needs to get back to being healthy will have you back to your regularly scheduled workouts much faster.

No matter if it's a head cold or a stomach bug, please focus your energy on getting better, not sweating away toxins (which, btw, is not actually a thing.)

 

How do you deal when life throws a monkey wrench into your workout plans?

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Give Your Workout an Upgrade

Give Your Workout an Upgrade

If you’ve been working out for a while it may be time to spice up your workout gear. Retire the old, ratty gym shorts from college and upgrade to a pair of high performance, wicking capris that will make you look and feel like you can push yourself further.

Jazzing up the workout wardrobe helps us avoid getting bored and resenting our workout.

New workout gear puts a little bounce in our in our step, a little pep in our step. You’ll look forward to

Workout gear has an expiration date. Elastics lose their stretch, colors fade, and shoes wear out. Replacing your gear periodically not only invigorates your workouts but it enhances the safety and efficiency of your workout.

How much are you going to enjoy your Pump class if you have to keep hiking up your old, stretched out workout pants? Can’t go for a run because your sports bra’s old enough to be in high school?

As a busy mom, we have unique challenges. Some of us work outside the home, some inside. Some of us stay home with the kids (the hardest job of all!) but one thing we all have in common is that we face “Mom Challenges”.

What are Mom challenges?

As moms, our role is often undervalued. We work, we take care of our families, we recover from childbirth, we struggle with baby weight, we juggle losing weight with nursing. It’s tough to balance self-care with caring for our families. We work long hours, late nights, early mornings, and don’t forget those middle of the night  needs!- our jobs never end. While some of us are lucky enough to have partners that share the load, being a mom is a unique responsibility.

Why we need to focus on self-care

We need to care for ourselves so we can take care of our family. They depend on us and we owe it to them to be as strong and healthy as we can be.

How do we overcome Mom Challenges?

As a busy mom, we have unique challenges. Some of us work outside the home, some inside. Some of us stay home with the kids (the hardest job of all!) but one thing we all have in common is that we face “Mom Challenges”.

What are Mom challenges?

As moms, our role is often undervalued. We work, we take care of our families, we recover from childbirth, we struggle with baby weight, we juggle losing weight with nursing. It’s tough to balance self-care with caring for our families. We work long hours, late nights, early mornings, and don’t forget those middle of the night  needs!- our jobs never end. While some of us are lucky enough to have partners that share the load, being a mom is a unique responsibility.

Why we need to focus on self-care

We need to care for ourselves so we can take care of our family. They depend on us and we owe it to them to be as strong and healthy as we can be.

How do we overcome Mom Challenges?

As a busy mom, we have unique challenges. Some of us work outside the home, some inside. Some of us stay home with the kids (the hardest job of all!) but one thing we all have in common is that we face “Mom Challenges”.

What are Mom challenges?

As moms, our role is often undervalued. We work, we take care of our families, we recover from childbirth, we struggle with baby weight, we juggle losing weight with nursing. It’s tough to balance self-care with caring for our families. We work long hours, late nights, early mornings, and don’t forget those middle of the night  needs!- our jobs never end. While some of us are lucky enough to have partners that share the load, being a mom is a unique responsibility.

Why we need to focus on self-care

We need to care for ourselves so we can take care of our family. They depend on us and we owe it to them to be as strong and healthy as we can be.

How do we overcome Mom Challenges?

80/20 your kitchen Instant Pot

Workout Tops and Bottoms

Just like street clothes, a new outfit will make you walk taller and feel more confident. Sometimes when I don’t feel like hitting the gym I use the old “Just get dressed” trick. Usually, putting on the uniform for the job changes my mood and motivates me to get moving! These upgrades don’t have to be fancy or expensive, just something to jazz up your workout wardrobe and show off the progress you’ve been making!

  • Nike – Pro Long Sleeve Half Zip Women’s Clothing  • $45.75–60
  • Athleta High Rise Pixel Chaturanga to Town Capri • $39.99
  • Nike – Zonal Cooling Relay Dri-fit Stretch-mesh Tank • Cobalt blue  • $40
  • Calvin Klein Performance Capri Leggings • $34.98
  • Nike Dry Elastika Double Strap Back Training Tank Top • $30 

How old are your shoes?

Do I even want to know? As shoes age they lose cushion and flexibility. Working out (especially running!) in old shoes can result in injury, joint misalignment, or just overall pain. All things that can interfere with your workout plans, not to mention affect your overall health. It’s worth the splurge to keep your shoes updated and make sure you’re wearing the right shoes for the activity you’re doing. Running shoes shouldn’t be worn on the tennis court and cross-training shoes aren’t great for running! If you’re a runner, I highly advise you get yourself over to a specialty running store to get fitted for shoes that suit your gait and level of pronation (the degree to which your ankle rolls in during your footstrike).

  • Nike – Tanjun Women’s Running Shoes • Nike • $58.49–64.99

A better bra.

How often should a sports bra be replaced? It depends on the frequency and intensity of your workout because elastics don’t last forever. Eventually, it’s not going to provide the support you need and you won’t be comfortable during your workouts.

According to research conducted by Under Armour and Portsmouth University, the more you exercise, the more the elasticity in your sports bra stretches. 

  • Berlei Shift Underwired Gym Bra B-E Cups • Berlei • $33.50

Fitness Tracker

if you haven’t been using one, this is a good way to see how active you actually are. If you’ve been guessing about how many steps you’re taking, how far you’re running, or how hard you’re working it’s possible you’ve been overestimating your activity. This can affect how quickly you see results. If you don’t like wasting time or not knowing if you burned off that pizza you ate at lunch… get yourself a tracker and start measuring your activity!

  • Fitbit Classic Charge 2 Wristband • $149.95 

A New Gym Bag

Stay organized! With enough space to keep your workout clothes, shoes, and toiletries in their place, you’ll spend more time working out and less time looking for your headphones or your shampoo! Plus with a bag that’s packed the night before and ready to go, you’ll have fewer excuses to skip your wokrout!

  • Jenni Chan Aria Madison Soft Gym Duffle Bag in Blue • $89.99
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