Things We Love: Making 2018 The Best Year Yet!

How did we get here already? Several times this month I’ve heard people state, “The days are long, but the years are short.” Never before has this seemed so true, and while there’s still a lot of livin to do in 2017, it’s never too early to start preparing for 2018. This month’s post will highlight some of the gems just might make 2018 the best year yet!


Run Loves:

For 2018, I have signed up for the She.Is.Beautiful Mileage Club.  In past years, I’ve started a journal and put forth a good effort until a day or two would pass, or there’d be a string of bad workouts that I wouldn’t want to write down.  Instead, I would just trust my trusty Garmin and let that be my record keeper.  This year will be different.  With the SIB Mileage Club, I’ve set the goal of not just running 1,500 miles, but I also have a goal of jotting a note about each run as well.  My coach has asked that I work on some positive self talk to decrease that whole “When the going gets tough, the tough… settle.”  Not in 2018.  NOT. IN. 2018.  There will be no settling.


As part of SIB Mileage Club, each runner receives the Believe Training Journal in the welcome packet.  Remember how I said I used to start journals and dump them?  I’ve had a few Believe journals in year’s past and these seem to be the ones that keep my attention the longest.  The journal, co-authored by the amazing Lauren Fleshman (#fangirlsohard), is an undated training log with room to not only track your running, but spell out goals, jot some training notes, and envision long term goals.  With Lauren’s running experience (along with co-author Roisin McGettigan-Dumas), the journal is jam packed with practical advice, secrets of the the run trade, and small tidbits to help crush goals all year long.  While my ultimate recommendation would be to join the Mileage Club since there’s power in numbers, if that’s not your jam, head on over to a bookstore before the year ends cause you need this journal in your runlife.

If you want to make it through 2018 injury free, might I suggest strength training?  Running is a cardiovascular activity so the heart gets stronger for sure, but what about all those other muscles?  Beginning runners may see some strength gains in the initial phases, but it doesn’t take long before those gains taper off and injuries can creep up.  Strength training will decrease injuries and improve performance.  This is great news and what’s even greater is that there are so many options for strength training.  Each week I teach two Bodypump classes, but now that I’ve been doing this for a while, my body is saying, “MIX IT UP.”  I’m listening and stumbled upon the Strong Workout Tracker Gym Log app.  This app has changed my life in the gym.  I used to go into the gym with a loose plan and would get sidetracked or miss exercises.  I would never show up at the track without a plan so why would the gym be any different? With Strong, you can add your own custom exercises, or choose from their lists of exercises to build a workout..  After building the workouts, simply follow along.  There are options to track weights and reps so it’s easy to see growth.  This app is free, but there is an option to subscribe to reep even more benefits of the app.  Oh… and it syncs right to an iWatch so you don’t have to carry your phone around the gym… unless you want to.



Lifestyle Loves:


I’m going to keep rolling with the journal theme here, but we’re going to one-up the journal and combine it with a planner.  Despite the fancy phones so readily available, there’s just something special about writing things down in a paper planner.  As we enter into 2018, let me introduce to you the Passion Planner.  Let this graphic break it all down for you:


With this planner you will find a spot for all your thoughts, dreams, goals and appointments with just enough positive energy to keep you going among the chaos of life.  Oh… it’s also beautifully made and comes in two sizes to fit your style.  Really, this is one tool that will make 2018 not just the best year ever, but also the most organized year ever.

By this point, you have tips for crushing running goals with the Believe Journal, an app to help you get Strong and a Passion Planner to organize this beautiful life.  What could possibly be missing?  Oh… yeah… food!  I come from a long line of women that know their way around a kitchen, but I still wonder… how in the heck did they do it?  Life is hectic and it seems like cooking is one of the first things that gets tossed aside when carry-out is so accessible.  I find that there is much more success for healthy meals when I “batch cook” or meal prep on a Sunday.  I wanted to introduce you to a few of the websites that bring the joy back to cooking.  Check these out:

  1.  RealPlans – This is a meal planning site that seriously fits EVERY need.  There are plans for vegetarians, Paleo, Whole30, AIP diets, Keto… everything really.  Oh… are there allergies in your home?  Just check that you only want recipes that exclude the allergens.  Once you choose a plan, you choose how many meals you want to cook during the week, and then… poof… the system has a meal plan, grocery list and tips for what you can prepare in advance for the week.  Another bonus?  You can also choose your level of expertise from “I’m learning to boil water” to “Just give me the Michelin star already.”  This is a paid service, but there are always deals for a one month trial.  Just go to the site and there will be a pop-up for the current deal.
  2. Skinnytaste – This website has endless meal plans and recipes to fit many different tastes.  The meals are healthy and take real life into considerations.  If you choose a meal plan a shopping list will be generated. I have a tendency to choose a few recipes at a time, and my favorites happen to be the Instant Pot and one pan meals… cause… cooking means clean-up and that means time… which means I may defer to carryout… and I don’t want to do that.  I’m sure you are thinking this all sounds pretty great, but let’s make it even better cause Skinnytaste is FREE! **Free is always good, but if you want to eliminate the allergens, Real Plans adds this step for you.  On Skinnytaste, you need to do some of your own research.
  3. DIY Smoothie Packs – :  I’ve been ordering from Daily Harvest so that we have smoothies on hand, but I gotta admit… these can get expensive and when I really look at the contents I have to think… I can do this.  After some research this weekend, this is exactly what I’m going to do.  Seriously… check out these 11 frozen, healthy smoothies from Self Magazine.


Reflecting on 2017, it’s been a pretty good year.  At the start of each year, I try to make a list of what I’ll do more of versus making a New Year’s Resolution that goes out the window by month’s end.  Soon, I’ll list those intentions on my blog… I’m still prioritizing these, but more DIY Smoothies and sunscreen will definitely make the list.  My hope is that some of the above favorites help you find ways to do more of what you love with a little less sacrifice.  May your holidays be bright and may 2018 be full of everything you love and more.  xo

Don’t forget to follow Leslie’s blog: lapslungesandleather (you won’t regret it!)

Categories Things We Love

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