2012 Reflections Part 1: Goals & Accomplishments

I feel like every other blogger on the planet had his or her “2012 recap” posts up the second the clocks struck midnight on New Year’s.  I am typically all about these types of things, but this year I just wasn’t feeling it at the start of January.  I was trying to relax after a very busy December, and I wanted to wait a bit before reflecting on 2012.  I was feeling a little pressured into doing the looking back thing and making new goals thing and mapping out every single thing I want to do in 2013 thing.  Doing that just because “everyone else was” certainly wouldn’t be doing it for the right reasons!  That being said, now that I’m back into my groove, I am ready to reflect on 2012 – it was quite the big year for me in terms of my achievements.

2012 Major Accomplishments

I accomplished a lot last year, but these are what stand out as the biggies:

Passing my ASCM exam and becoming an ASCM Certified Personal Trainer…

ACSM Personal Trainer Certificate

Figuring out what I want to do with my life…

do what you love

Quitting my marketing job and starting my new full-time position

career and passion

Becoming the Group Exercise Coordinator at the Y…

Oak Scare 5k

And last but not least, moving in with Tim!

Steph & Brett's Wedding:  Me & Tim

2012 Goals In Review

In 2012, I set SO many goals for myself.  I wrote a huge post on setting S.M.A.R.T. goals instead of New Year’s Resolutions, and apparently I tried to apply the S.M.A.R.T. goal philosophy to every aspect of my life!

In terms of my personal goals (besides the career stuff)…

I wanted to get in a better place financially.

  • I said I would save money at the grocery store by evaluating what I have in my apartment ahead of time, comparing prices between grocery stores, planning meals ahead of time, cutting coupons, and making grocery shopping a weekly event.  With the exception of comparing prices regularly between grocery stores, I do all these things now.
  • I said I would open an IRA account, and I didn’t.  Wah wuhhh.
  • I said I would consider buying stock in my company, which I did.
  • And I said I would realize it’s okay to say no to social events and pick and choose which things meant the most to me.  I am definitely better at this now.

grocery shopping

I wanted to de-clutter.
I said that I would pick on “space” or “area” to clean at least every other week.  I would say that I definitely didn’t do this every other week, but more like once a month.  Also, I somehow managed to turn into a crazy OCD person when it comes to having a clean space.  I pretty much have to clean/organize SOMETHING the second I get home.  And I just went through a massive “out with the old” de-cluttering spree over New Year’s weekend.  Maybe that’s what I was doing instead of recapping 2012.

Organized Closet

I wanted to improve on my mental health.
Not sure if there is a real cut and dry on this one, but I think I did.  While I didn’t go to church more or use all those spa gift certificates that have piled up over the years, I took some necessary steps to distance myself from people who bring stress to my life and continue to work on not feeling so anxious all the time.



In terms of my health & wellness goals…

I wanted to drink more water.  I still have my one cup of coffee in the morning, but bringing my large water bottle to work definitely helped me drink more water this year.  I also have pretty much completely cut out soda.  I used to drink diet coke at least a couple of afternoons a week, but no more!

I wanted to consume less cheese.  Was that a sick joke?  Why would I ever tell myself I wanted to do that?

I wanted to take (and pass) the ACSM Personal Trainer Certification Exam by Spring 2012.   The second part of that goal was to train my first real personal training client.  Done and done!!

Personal Training Outfit

I wanted to successfully complete the Wellcoaches Coach Training Program.  I completed the class, but have yet to go through my exam process.  My time is running out, so that will be what’s up for the next couple of months!

I wanted to take ballet classes.  Fail.

I wanted to try at least one new type of group exercise class or group fitness program.  Dynamax!


And in terms of blogging goals…

I wanted to increase my blog readership.  I wanted to double all my stats, which I pretty much did!

  • My goal was to reach 47,000 total F&F page views, and I’m at 189,474 hits.  Boo ya.
  • I wanted to get up to 950 total followers, and I’m at 1,009.
  • I wanted to reach 186 email / WordPress followers, and I’m at 263.
    Note, you can see do this by subscribing to get my posts to your inbox.  Just click the “Sign Me Up” button on the right hand side of my page!
  • The goal was to hit 542 Facebook followers, which I came close to!  I’m at 511.
    Note you can do this by clicking here for my Facebook page, and clicking the Like button!
  • And finally, I wanted 170 Twitter followers and I did hit 239.
    You can do this too by clicking here for my Twitter account, and clicking the Follow button!

Monetizing the blog and self-hosting didn’t happen, but taking a space upgrade did.  I think that’s okay, considering the career changes that distracted me from achieving these.

While I didn’t do everything I set for myself (I am human after all), I think I accomplished a lot and am proud of myself.  I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store!  Stay tuned for my 2012 goals and reflections part 2 – all the fun trips, adventures, and events to remember!

What was your biggest accomplishment in 2012?  Did you reach the goals you set for yourself?

It’s Friday!  I am trying to get myself to the gym (don’t forget today’s Ab Challenge!!) and then Tim and I are having a date night tonight.  Have a great weekend everyone… it’s a three day one for me!

Guest Post: How to Make Healthy Fun and Affordable

As promised, I’m bringing you guys some great posts from some amazing friends and bloggers while I’m away on vacation.  I actually got home last night, and am playing catch up so I’ll be back tomorrow.  This last guest post is brought to you by Abby, a fellow healthy living blogger.  Thanks, Abby, for writing a guest blog in my absence!

How to Make Healthy Fun and Affordable

Hello all!

I’m Abby from BackAtSquareZero.  A while ago I decided to change my life and get in shape.  I went from barely being able to run to the mailbox to training for my second marathon.

Throughout this process I found that if I want to go from fat to fit and healthy my entire lifestyle needed to change.  I discovered that I was going out all the time, eating junk, and just generally not living well.  I’ve made many changes and seen wonderful results.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect I do still go out and demolish some tasty junk food occasionally, but these are the top changes I’ve made.

P.S. – As I am a teacher they are all budget friendly too.!

Healthy Alternatives:

Replace Out to Eat with Cooking In
You save a ton of calories and a ton of money this way.  Plus there are lots of websites out there with healthier alternatives.  I suggest SkinnyTaste & Pinterest for recipe searching.  Just tonight my friends and I had a healthier version of breakfast for dinner:  Whole wheat french toast bake with fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt and berries on top plus baked eggs (super easy to make in muffin tins) with onion, tomato, and green peppers (plus a bit of hot sauce on mine).

Switch Happy Hours for Workout Dates
Instead of scheduling a happy hour with the girls schedule a workout hour.  Meet up some place fun that you might not normal workout (i.e. – not your gym or neighborhood) and change it up a bit with a walk, run, or bike ride.  Instead of consuming hundreds of empty booze calories you burn them, save a ton of money, and it’s easier to actually talk to your girlfriends without all the loud bar noise.  My favorite local spots to meet are the Cooper River Bridge (gorgeous) or a pretty trail near my house.

Skip the Theater & Redbox It
Instead of spending $20 on two tickets you spend a buck.  Plus that movie theater popcorn and all those treats are healthy eating killers.  Grab a good movie, a box of Smart Pop popcorn, and relax.  You’ll wake feeling refreshed and happy instead of full and bloated from butter covered salt smothered movie theater popcorn.

Ditch Shopping & DIY
One part of a healthy lifestyle is reducing stress.  I found that when I was stressed I ate more and ate horribly.  A main cause of my stress – my teacher salary.  While I can’t change what I make, I CAN change what I spend and so can you.  I cut down on shopping and instead used fun ideas I found on Pinterest to do it myself for cheaper.  DIY activities can also be a great to do with friends, a fabulous stress reliever, and a big money saver.  (Cheap canvas, scrap-book letters, spray paint = a fun and inexpensive girls night with an awesome decorating result!)

Swap the Fro-yo for the Farmer’s Market
I am a frozen yogurt addict.  I really should have some 12 step program or attend meeting or something.  With all these amazing frozen yogurt places popping up it is hard to stay away.  I love being able to get my own fro-yo and cover it in any amazing toppings I want.  However, without fail I end up getting more than I should and spending like $6 on a cup of fro-yo when you can get an entire container at the store for much less.  Instead of burning my calories and money I found a great alternative.   The farmers’ market!  Wait – You’re wondering how those relate? When I go to the farmers’ market I can still get some sweet treats like I do at fro-yo, but this time they are fresh fruits and I don’t have to feel at all guilty about demolishing them.  Hello berries!

Dump Your Weekend Brunch & Volunteer
Instead of gobbling up all those calories on Saturday and Sunday mornings go do something good.  Not only will your diet thank you, but you’ll feel better about yourself.  Contact Habitat for Humanity and help on a build, walk dogs at the SPCA, or find a local branch or Girls on the Run and see what you can do to help motivate children to be healthy.

I’d love to hear it – What changes have you made in your life to be healthier?  Any questions?  Please comment and let me know!

Want to keep the conversation going?  Feel free to talk to me any time, I love to chat about healthy living and working out.  You can find me at the following places:


Colorado Recap Part 1: A Day on Pearl Street


Last week at this time I was hiking up a mountain in Colorado.  I wish I were still there!  I guess if I can’t be there in person, recapping the trip here will have to do.

So!  Tim travels a lot for work, and when we found out he was presenting at an event in Vail we were super pumped to look into personal travel.  The company we work for (yes we work for the same company if you haven’t figured that out yet) is pretty flexible about letting you tag on personal travel to work trips if you want.  We spent a while looking over different places in Colorado to stay.  Vail was too pricy for us, and after some research we decided to spend two nights in Boulder and one night in Denver.  I had been to Boulder for work before and knew that I just had to go back there for fun, so that was a no brainer.  Plus, Tim and I had racked up enough Marriott points over the past year that we got all three of our stays for free!  Aka, only needed to pay for my flight (his was expensed), our food and activities, and a rental car.

Last Friday Tim and his team headed back to Denver Airport from Vail, and I flew out of Logan.  Met Tim in the airport (landed around 11am Colorado time), and our first stop?  The grocery store.

We wanted to keep our food and booze spending to a minimum, so we loaded up on some snacks and lunches to have on hand throughout the week.  In our stash:

  • 4 Oikos yogurts
  • 2 Clif bars
  • 2 Kind bars
  • 1/2 pound honey roasted turkey breast
  • 1/4 pound American cheese
  • 4 nectarines
  • Box of Triscuits
  • Box of Chipins
  • Huge case of H20
  • Plastic baggies
  • Sunscreen

Sweet.  We were staying at a Marriott Residence Inn, which has suite style rooms including a full kitchen, so we didn’t have to worry about perishables.  After we got to the hotel, and unpacked our things, we headed right to Pearl Street!

Pearl Street is considered downtown Boulder and is basically a huge street of shops, restaurants, bars, and more. It’s a pretty big street, with an East and West end, so there’s LOTS to do!

Our first priority?  Lunch!  After being on a plane ALL morning, I was STARVING.  Yes, I know I said we bought deli meats and such just a second ago, but we were saving those for Sunday and Monday’s outdoor activities.  After checking out a few menus, we decided to eat at a place called Riff’s.  Pretty much every restaurant on Pearl Street has an outdoor patio or roof deck, but this one in particular caught my eye because of their comfy looking sidewalk seating.

Oh, and just this view of the mountains from their patio too:

We celebrated the start to our long weekend with a “cheers!”

Prosecco for me, a beer for Tim!

We’re so classy.

Lunch was DELICIOUS!  What made it even more delicious was that we just happened to be there during happy hour (aka cheaper) prices.

We each got a salad – mixed greens with pickled vegetables and vinaigrette powder for me, and the arugula salad with preserved lemon, slivered apricot, pistachios, pancetta, and tarragon dressing for Tim.

We also each ordered a bowl of mussel “chowder” with gold potato, leek, thyme, wine, and cream.  So good!

After lunch, we strolled around Pearl Street and went into a bunch of shops.  So many stores have to do with healthy lifestyles or food — I love it!!

Peppercorn was seriously THE coolest (and biggest!) kitchen store I’ve ever been to.

Some more “touristy” pictures of our day on Pearl Street:

Eventually we got pretty thirsty from walking around so much in the sun, so we stopped for some Maiberry.  Strawberry kiwi lemonade for me, mango lemonade for Tim.  So refreshing!

I could NOT decide which I liked better, as you can see:

On our way back to our rental car, we saw some square dancing in the middle of the street.  They had tons of street performers just out and about, of all kinds.

Was a fun first day!

What’s your favorite “touristy” street with shops, restaurants, bars, etc?

More Colorado vacation recaps coming soon!  Stay tuned! 🙂