The Secret of Success: Celebrate Your Victories

Back in my Celebrate Your Victories blog post a few weeks ago, I made a point that we should really take the time to celebrate all of our victories whether they are big or small. If you are trying to lose weight, you may think “Well, I’ll reward myself when I lose X pounds.” Yeah, do that! However, you should also celebrate the non-weight related goals… and maybe put even more emphasis on these!

Did you eat 5 fruits and vegetables today? Celebrate that! It’s a huge accomplishment and takes amazing willpower. I for one don’t accomplish that as often as I would like to so I admire anyone who does it even for one day!

Did you make it through a hard workout without quitting? Workouts are hard, period. An intense one is even tougher to make it through because there may be multiple moments where you would absolutely love to quit! If you pushed through a hard workout without quitting, give yourself a big pat on the back!

Have you eaten within your calorie range for the first time, or have you eaten within your calorie range for a certain amount of days in a row? This is another feat! Go crazy, do a little dance for your accomplishment!

Are you starting a new exercise routine? Starting a new exercise routine is sometimes a hard thing to get motivated for, it’s new and it’s scary. Reward yourself for motivating yourself to start a new one and change things up!

Have you tried a new healthy food recently? Another new and scary experience is trying a new healthy food. What if you don’t like it? You’re spending money on something you don’t even know if you like. But how will you know if you don’t take a risk? Whether you end up liking this new food or not, give yourself a figurative high-five for putting your taste buds out there!

Did you push through and do your workout even if you weren’t “feeling it?” Good for you. Celebrate! Your a rockstar for pushing through and just doing it!

Did you push harder during a workout you’ve been doing for a while and just cruising along with? Another good reason to celebrate because that is not easy, to raise yourself up a level and give your workout your all!

One day you notice you feel stronger and healthier… Woohoo! Yeah, that is a great result! Celebrate it and tell the world or have a mini party! Those are the kinds of results you are working so hard to achieve.

Really, the list of non-weight related accomplishments are endless. You decide what you feel is a victory in your journey. It’s you who is living it and you who you need to keep motivated!


Your next question might be… How should I celebrate?

Here are a few ways that I have used or seen others use:

  • Let loose and just dance! Turn Some upbeat music on and dance your heart away.
  • Get your hair or nails done, pamper yourself!
  • Window shop for a bigger goal reward.
  • Spend some extra time alone or putting yourself first, and don’t let yourself feel guilty about it.
  • Buy something you have been eyeing for a while.
  • Watch your favorite TV show and just relax.
  • Go check a book out from the library that you’ve been meaning to read, and make time to read it. You deserve it!
  • Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. This is so good for the soul!
  • Go for a drive with some new scenery if possible.
  • Dress up and go out, even if it’s not somewhere fancy.

Again, the list for rewards and ways to celebrate is endless. What do you like to do that you rarely make time for? Make time for it now to reward yourself or simply celebrate a job well done. You deserve to pamper yourself in some way, big or small, for your hard work.

What are some of your recent non-weight related accomplishments? And what do you like to do to celebrate those accomplishments?

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How to Set Effective Goals

Goal setting can be one of the best tools at your disposal, but also one of the hardest to accomplish:

Where do you start? How do you know you’re making goals that are right for you? How can you follow through and keep moving forward when the going gets tough?

My first tip: Think about what is realistic for you!

What someone else is doing won’t necessarily work for you. Your goal has to be something you want and something you can realistically do if you push yourself just past your comfort zone. So first, think about what you CAN do and what you can accomplish and then raise the bar just ever so slightly.

My second tip: Make a plan and stick to it as best you can.

Will you be perfect? No. However, setting a plan that will enable you to reach your goal is essential. If you stray or lose motivation, you can use the plan as a reference point to get back on track. Realize that you are just doing your best and you won’t be completely on your game all the time. It also helps in making things seem doable instead of overwhelming. So break down what you need to do in smaller timeframes, such as by weeks or days.

My third tip: Focus on WHY you want to accomplish this goal.

Never lose sight of the reason why you want to pursue this goal, why you are trying so hard to achieve it. If you remind yourself each day of the why, you will find it a lot easier to feel motivated when things get hard.

My fourth tip: Believe in your ability to reach (or even surpass) your goal.

You sow what you reap, as the saying goes. So a simple belief in yourself to make this happen will actually help you make it happen! Sounds pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Whenever you feel doubt sinking in, say to yourself, “I am strong, I am capable, and I CAN do this!” Trust me, it really does help!

My fifth and final tip: Don’t give up.

While you may need to adjust your goals here and there if you begin to realize they are unrealistic for you right now, you must not give up. Adjust the goal and proceed. Change it entirely if you must, but keep moving forward no matter what! Always having a goal to move forward will help give you structure.

This obviously isn’t the whole picture but will definitely help you get off to a good start with your goals. These are some of the ones I have found to be the most important in setting goals myself.

If you would like more help setting goals that work for you, check out my Goals to Become the Best You $30 e-course here: https://coursecraft.net/courses/z9Qbd. You will get a workbook + guide to lead you through a step-by-step formula for setting and pursuing your goals, and also a community forum for individualized help and guidance from me personally. You will work through it at your own pace, completing it as you go along. If you have a hard time sticking to your goals or get discouraged easily, this is the course for you! For a limited time, there is a 30% off sale by using the code BESTYOU30. This code is only valid until Sunday so grab the e-course at this discounted price before it ends!

Or you could also checkout the workbook + guide by itself here: https://my.digitalgoodsstore.com/product/fcvu8. If you use the same code mentioned above (BESTYOU30), you will receive 30% off of the $15 original price of the workbook + guide!

~Bonnie~

Announcing Online Weight Loss Support Group First Meeting

On Monday, November 16th from 7-8pm US Central Time, Be the Best You will be having it’s first weight loss support group: BTBY Friends for Healthy Living.

All of November’s meetings will be completely free. We will be having Get Togethers on the following dates and times:

  • Monday, November 16th from 7-8pm Central (as mentioned)
  • Thursday, November 19th from 7-8pm Central
  • Monday, November 23rd from 7-8pm Central
  • Saturday, November 26th from 12-1pm Central
  • Monday, November 30th from 7-8pm Central

(If you live on the West Coast, it will be 2 hours earlier than the time posted. If you live in Mountain Time it will be 1 hour earlier. Finally, if you live on the East Coast, it will be 1 hour later than the time posted.)

You are welcome to attend any or all of those meetings for free. In December we will start low cost, paid monthly memberships so now is your chance to try these meetings out without any financial obligation.

We will be focusing on providing advice, support, and accountability for each other. Some things that are optional include reporting weigh-ins, food/water intake, or exercise. This month we will be figuring out what we all need in terms of accountability and tools, but what won’t change is the advice and support aspect.

Check out the landing page via the link mentioned above as well as here: BTBY Friends for Healthy Living. There is more information there and you can sign up on there now if you’re interested in order to save time later.

(Note: After doing a ton of research on close to ten different sites, I decided to stick to the “course” website that I already use. I set it up so we have one place to post for each meeting. You can leave comments for everyone to see in one place and you can also post pictures there as well.
All other meeting places either didn’t allow the features I needed or they required at least one person to be on video. Since I don’t have the equipment to do that, I opted not to do our weight loss support group meetings that way. However, I hope to have what I need to do so in January. Don’t worry though, you won’t be required to be on video unless you choose to be!)

~Bonnie~

P.S. If you’re interested in my Goals to Become the Best You e-course, visit this link: Goals to Become the Best You. If you’re just interested in my workbook + guide for the course and not ready to shell out the money for the whole course and the course support provided there, you can visit this link instead: Goals to Become the Best You workbook + guide to take a peak at the workbook by itself. Both of these will allow you to work at your own pace to set and pursue your goals. If you have a hard time achieving your goals or get discouraged easily, both are great choices to get you up and running!

Weight Loss May be Hard

Weight loss is hard. I think we can all agree that on some level, or at some point, weight loss is quite difficult. Not only does it take a lot of hard work and determination, but it can also be trying at times. So trying that we may feel like giving up many times in our journeys.

So let me tell you a secret… a secret that this quote states so eloquently:

Your dream of weight loss and a healthier life does not become a reality by magic, or a wish. It takes hard work and discipline, sweat (and sometimes even tears), as well as determination to make it happen.

Don’t let that stop you though, because you have all of those things within you. Sometimes you have to dig deep to find them but they are there. Remember that you are strong and powerful! Your dreams are within your reach if you only put in the work to achieve them! Weight loss may be hard but it’s not impossible and you will always hold the power to make it happen.

You are worth the hard work it takes. You are worth living a life that is healthier and higher quality. Just think of all the things you can do in the future that you aren’t able to now. The opportunities are endless. All you have to do is make healthier living a priority and never give up!

One way to do this is to simply believe in yourself. Believing in yourself is not to be underestimated in your weight loss journey. Believe the power is within you, believe that you will achieve your goals, believe that it’s possible! It will power you forward more than you can possibly understand until you are actually doing it!

If for some reason all of this isn’t within you, or you can’t tap into it at any given moment, a good support system can help boost you up. Whether it be family, friends, a group of some sort, or even online… they can support you through hard times. Your support system can act as a bridge to get you over the hurdles and keep you strong when you’re feeling weak. We all have times of weakness so lean on them when you need to, but also realize that you have what you need within yourself as well.

What do you feel is the hardest part of weight loss? For me personally it has always been the food. I love food. I love exercise and staying active once I start but food will always be my weakness. So that has been the toughest part for me and sometimes continues to be, but I push to overcome it every day and I will not quit. Some of it becomes more habit and natural over time and that is so rewarding!

~Bonnie~

A Letter to YOU… Yes You

To the Strong and Powerful You,

Yes, I’m talking to you. You are strong and powerful. I believe in you. Even if you don’t believe in yourself right now, I believe you can do anything you set your mind to. You have untapped potential just waiting to bubble up and make itself known. All you need to do is step aside and let it do just that. Is it scary? Well, yeah. Most of the best things in life are scary, but it is also so refreshing and empowering.

Don’t you want to tap into that potential… that power? Don’t you want to see what you’re capable of? I do. I want to see you set out and follow your dreams. Weight loss, no problem. Healthier eating, like I said no problem! Exercise consistently, you got this! Just don’t let your doubts and fears stand in your way anymore. They don’t want to see you succeed.

However, I know you can succeed! You have within you now, everything you need to keep yourself moving forward. That’s not to say that you don’t need to arm yourself with knowledge, or have a good support system as backup, but you have it within you. Do you know why? It’s because only you are responsible for you and your own actions. That allows you so much power to wield each day to keep yourself moving forward.

Each step you take in the right direction adds up: each healthy food you eat, each time you exercise (even if it’s not perfect), each time you drink your water, it all adds up! Sometimes it might seem like you’re taking two steps forward and one step backward, like the saying goes, but that’s actually a good thing because you’re still consistently making progress and moving forward.

So don’t give up… don’t give into those fears and doubts that plague you. You will get where you want to go. Just know it may take time. So have patience, be you, do your best, and work hard!

Sincerely,

~Bonnie~

15 Simple Ways to Set Aside Time for Yourself

This time of year is rife with stress, so we need to take the time to treat ourselves right. It helps us be our best the rest of the time, as well as to enjoy the holidays and time with loved ones!

Simple Ways to Set Aside Time for Yourself

  1. Whenever possible, take your time in the shower. Hot showers are especially relaxing and soothing. It may be one of life’s necessities but the shower itself can give you time to think through things that are bothering you, hopefully without interruption.
  2. Take a walk. If you can, take a walk by yourself to just think and revel in the beauty around you. If you take a walk with a friend, talking can be therapeutic too. Sometimes we need or want to take the children in our lives on a walk too. It’s still a good way to set aside time for yourself. Take advantage of the quiet moments while also striking a balance with teaching them. I find it relaxing to just point out things and talk to my nephews while walking. Sometimes it’s not relaxing when they ask the same question five times in a row but it’s still usually fun.
  3. Workout. Just in general, spend time getting your workout. Put yourself first for the time being and get that workout in. You can release frustrations, uncertainties, and even celebrate life’s victories. Plus you get the added benefit of knowing you’re doing something wonderful for your body which gives you some peace of mind.
  4. Write in a journal or notebook. Take the time to write out how you feel, discuss your day, figure things out, or even make plans. I find writing out my day and discussing how I feel is so beneficial!
  5. Cuddle with your favorite person/pet. The time spent cuddling your children or other loved ones, or simply cuddling with or petting your dog or cat can be good for your mental wellbeing.
  6. Sit and breathe. Quiet your mind, maybe even close your eyes. If you believe in God, talk to Him. Either way, take time to reflect on your day and all of your blessings, all of the positives in your life. It truly sets the tone for the rest of the day. I’ve been trying to do this more often myself and know I feel better about life just relying on God and reflecting on any good things in my life.
  7. Do something for someone else. You may ask, how is doing something for someone else setting aside time for me? I’ll tell you… doing something for someone else makes them feel good, which in turn makes you feel good to help them. I love helping others and do so not to get something in return, but it still makes me feel good to do so!
  8. Go shopping for something fun! This is hard for some of us, as money is tight or we may face temptation to spend to much… but if you can, a little retail therapy can go a long way. Even stopping in the Dollar Tree or somewhere else that has low price items and browsing the aisles to pick out a few things can boost your sense of wellbeing.
  9. Read (books, magazines, articles, etc.). Read something that you enjoy! Getting lost in a story or something pleasant can be such a nice way to put yourself first because it’s FUN!
  10. Self-care: Hair, skin, nails, etc. Spend some time on self-care. It makes you feel refreshed and ready to take on the world when you have certain self-care things in order! Take a manicure or a pedicure (or both), having nice nails is so rewarding!
  11. Haircut/coloring. Going to get your hair cut or get a color can be a mostly relaxing experience. My last haircut, I got a quiet beautician and I just let myself go, zoning out and just being. It was so enjoyable. I never experienced something like that. You could also find joy in having a conversation with the beautician as well! Either way is nice!
  12. Organizing or cleaning. Such a weird, but therapeutic thing to do once you get into it. Organizing is fun because you’re getting things in order, cleaning is fun because after you’re done, something is clean! Sure it’s a pain to do sometimes but the results are refreshing!
  13. Writing out cards or notes/letters to loved ones. Writing out your thoughts and making loved ones feel cherished and valued is time well spent! You will feel better when it’s done because a lot of us go through our days without much opportunity to say how we feel some of the time. So setting aside some time to do that will lighten your heart!
  14. Art. If you like to draw or paint, that is another way to set aside time for yourself. Lose yourself in your work and make something beautiful.
  15. Sit down to enjoy a sweet treat you really want. Life is too short not to enjoy something you really want once in a while. Treat yourself. Just make sure you enjoy it so it’s worth it!

These are some of my favorite ways to set aside time for myself. Those things really give me a sense of peace, or accomplishment, or both. Sometimes it’s hard to get started on the organizing and cleaning one, but once I do it is such a rewarding experience. I also am not a big on drawing or painting anymore but from time to time it is fun!

I hope you all liked my list. What are your favorite ways to set aside time for yourself? It could be simple like most of these or it could be something more elaborate. I’d love to hear what you do! We could all use ways to improve our sense of wellbeing!

~Bonnie~

Now Open for Personalized Coaching

Officially announcing that I am open for Personalized Coaching!

Do you find it hard going it alone? Do you want personalized help from someone who’s been there, done that and is still moving forward with their own weight loss and healthy living goals?

I have been there, done that with a lot of things in my year and a half of healthier living. I don’t know all the answers and I am not afraid to admit that but I can help you achieve your goals and live a healthier life. Providing consistent support, encouragement, advice and tips, as well as feedback are my passions!


What can you expect?

What you can expect from me: I will be there to cheer you on, provide personalized advice and tips, give much needed support and encouragement, and even be there as a listening ear. Whatever you need!

It’s like having a coach and an accountability partner rolled into one! While we will have “live meetings,” you will also have the ability to contact me via email or text message any other time as well. So if you have one scheduled meeting with me per week you could use it to ask me for specific tips or tell me about your week ahead so I can help you find ways to prepare and/or cope with upcoming events. You can also tell me about the week leading up to the meeting, to report your food, exercise, or water intake to me as well to help you stay on track or anything you want.

Then the rest of the week you could send me an email or text message here and there, as needed to help you stay accountable or to ask for help in the moment. Knowing someone is there to answer questions or give advice as needed can be invaluable to you. I had someone in my house that I could do that with most of the time, or call my sister. However, sometimes our family and friends aren’t the most supportive of our goals even if they are well meaning or they are supportive but give in to your whims because they love you. It can be a great tool to have someone who is objective to help you along the way.

Personalized Coaching can be anything you need: video support, messaging by text or through an app, or email chatting. It could be a mixture or just one of those options. We can figure out what will work best for you after your initial consultation.

Please sign up for a free personalized coaching email consultation if you’re interested. You have nothing to lose as it’s FREE and there is no commitment until you’re ready. Click this link: Be the Best You Scheduling to set up your free consultation. You can set up a time frame that works for you for the consultation but I recommend at least 30 minutes to get the full benefit of the consultation.

Note: Prices on coaching packages vary, we will get into that once I know what you need and want. I will do my best to work with you for what you can afford. My hours can vary as well for live chats (whether it be video, text messaging, or email) but again, I will do my best to work with you to suit your needs. This is about making it work for you.

~Bonnie~

Truly Helpful Weight Loss Websites

Today I am sharing with you a roundup of the websites I have used in my weight loss journey so far:

Where I track my food and water, and exercise before I got a Fitbit:
SparkPeople
(There is also a ton of support to be had here)

Where I track my exercise, through the app:
Fitbit Website

Reliable calorie counts:
(Mostly reliable anyway)
MyFitnessPal
Calorie Counter

Accurate Articles:
SparkPeople Articles
Livestrong Hot Topics (Articles & Blogs)

Health information:
(use at your own discretion)
Mayo Clinic
WebMD

Recipes:
SparkPeople Recipes
Livestrong Recipes


A little about each website:

SparkPeople has a ton of amazing tools other than just food, exercise, and water trackers. There is a whole slew of community boards including a mobile one on their app. Plus you can’t beat the valuable support you can receive there. Like I mentioned above there are also articles and recipes, blog posts, and much more.

Fitbit is one of my favorite tools lately. I’m not super attached to it but I’m attached to it enough. It definitely motivates me to move more. I love seeing how many steps I have throughout the day to see if I’m on track with my daily goal. (If you haven’t already, check out the #BTBYfitnesschallenge on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where I have been posting my Fitbit screenshots to help me keep on track and that motivates me even further! So join in if you’d like!)

MyFitnessPal also has a community and much more on their website. I couldn’t find any recipes but they have an expansive database of foods with mainly reliable nutrition information. When I’m on the go, I sometimes use them to search how many calories are in certain foods.

Calorie Counter same could be said of this one for on the go calorie content viewing. I have found it is more or less reliable with its information as well.

Livestrong has proven to be an accurate and reliable site in my opinion. They have a lot of helpful resources there as well: you can track exercise and food, post to the community, read articles and blogs, search the recipes, etc.

Mayo Clinic is reportedly one of the more accurate websites with health information.

WebMD is good for basic things, although you still might freak out quite a bit if you’re googling symptoms or a specific illness. Either way it’s best to visit your own doctor if possible!

Check out some of these websites if you wish! They can be pretty helpful if you play around and explore a bit! They have been great resources for me at least on occasion.

~Bonnie~

Failure: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade


One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.

-Napoleon Hill


Failure

Failure, what a strong word. We all have a fear of failure on some level. Some of us push past it or do our best to overcome it. Then there’s the actual dealing with it part that can be difficult to handle.

The truth is that we will deal with failure on some level, on a regular basis when we are actively living as it is just another part of life. So how do we deal with it? As a tool we can use it to our advantage and as a lesson we can learn from it. We will be better for this new experience. We adjust, changing our method in order to try again. We can even approach it from a new angle altogether. If it’s important to us to succeed, we will do anything we can to make it happen.


Failure is simply an opportunity to begin again. This time, more intelligently.

-Henry Ford


Ford’s words are so accurate. With the knowledge we acquired from our “failure,” we can continue on in a better frame of mind and we also have more chance of success.

We can choose to let failure debilitate us or we can keep trying until we’re successful. It may be true that some times we may genuinely choose to let go of whatever dream or goal we were striving for because it just doesn’t suit us like we thought it did. However, if it means anything to us, we will find a way!


It’s when the discomfort strikes that one realizes a strong mind is the most powerful weapon of all.

-Christie Wellington


We can use this never give up approach in our weight loss and healthy lifestyle journeys as well. It is vital for us not to give up. Sometimes we may need a break but we should never let go of striving for a healthier us. So when we fail, we should view it as something that will actually help propel us forward in our quest.

None of us are afraid to admit it, weight loss is hard and we are afraid we might not succeed! It’s natural to take the hit of failure and want to curl up in a ball and never move again. It’s truly debilitating in its own right. We can’t let those feelings win. Grieve for that plan that just couldn’t work out, but then move on and use that knowledge to help you move forward. Your health is too important to let go of.

~Bonnie~

Mindfulness and Reflection

In our weight loss journeys, we often times put the main focus on our bodies. We really shouldn’t abandon our minds in this quest. Weight loss is truly about aligning our minds with our bodies. Many of us probably have experience with our minds giving up before our bodies do.

woman in woods
Sometimes weight loss may seem overwhelming and our first instinct is to shy away and maybe even give up. Stand strong and take baby steps!

Here I will tell you why being mindful and taking the time to reflect is important:

Practicing mindfulness allows us to be more aware of ourselves, our surroundings, and our actions. That in turn allows us to adjust as we need to. It is very powerful to be able to tell when our bodies or our minds have had enough, so that we can take a break before we reach a breaking point. When we are able to take a step back and just breathe, we can accomplish so much more. It allows us to think and might even bring some enlightenment. As long as you keep your goals fresh in your mind and your resolve strong, a break can be just what you need.

Reflection is an amazing tool, at regular intervals or even whenever we feel stuck or unsure. Stopping to take the time to reflect on what you have been doing, all you have accomplished, what isn’t working, and what you want to do going forward. This is especially helpful when you have a very specific goal in mind and need to make sure you’re on the right path. That specific goal could be weight loss in general or it could be a race coming up, a certain exercise goal you want to reach, or something to do with your nutrition. Set aside time to reflect at different intervals so that you can adjust if needed or reaffirm that what you’re doing is working for you.

How about you, do you find being mindful and taking time to reflect helps you with your weight loss or other goals?

~Bonnie~