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6 Ways To Stay Motivated With Your Fitness Goals

On the 1st January, I wanted to make it my mission to make January colourful. What I mean by that is I wanted to do a variety of different workouts and colour the squares in my new planner. Ever since I lost 4 stone back in 2010, I have been keen to keep fitness a regular part of my life. Although sometimes, it can be difficult to find the motivation to workout, especially on dark January mornings. So here are 6 Ways To Stay Motivated With Your Fitness Goals.

Heidi Swapp Memory Planner and mini inspirational card from Treatbox

Keep A Record

I am a bit of a planner geek and love keeping records of everything and anything. I find there is nothing more satisfying than writing down your completed workout in your planner and colouring it in all pretty. Sometimes the thought of colouring a new square in is enough to get you motivated. On Sunday, it was a dark and cold morning but I knew I wanted to go swimming just so I could colour my square in blue. Silly but hey, it worked!

Make A Date

At my gym, you can book classes up to two weeks in advance – so the other day I sat down and organised my fitness schedule. I am now booked onto Body Conditioning, Legs Bums Tums & Body Balance this week. I find that if you make a date in your dairy, you are less likely to cancel and more likely to plan your life around your workouts. I don’t need to think too much about what I am doing if it’s planned in advance, I just put my trainers on and go!

Mix It Up

I know from experience that if you do the same workout over and over again, it gets boring and bordem leads to demotivation. To keep things interesting, I try to add a variety of workouts into my week. Choose a handful of activities you find enjoyable and make time for them all. I go to the gym twice a week but on those days I feel energized and keen to have a good workout as I feel refreshed and looking forward to do something a little different.

Set Yourself Challenges

At the moment I am doing a 30 Day Yoga series called True on the Yoga With Adriene YouTube Channel. I really enjoy yoga workouts at home but sometimes motivation to roll out the mat can be difficult. This month I want to get back into a regular yoga routine starting with a 30 Day Challenge. Setting yourself a goal or challenge is a great way to stay motivated. Step out of your comfort zone, make new healthy habits and surprise yourself.

Be Kind To Yourself

Although a fitness challenge is all good fun, it isn’t healthy to obsess over it and beat yourself up if things don’t go according to plan. On Friday, life got in the way and I didn’t have a chance to do Day 4 of Yoga. Instead of feeling like I failed, I thought okay never mind just carry on and do Day 4 tomorrow. One off day doesn’t have to result in a complete disaster. Just get back on track when you can and do your best.

Have Fun

The most important thing about fitness is having fun! Maybe fun isn’t the first thing you think of when you hear the word fitness, but I think it definitely can be. Shaun and I have started playing badminton at the weekends and it is such an enjoyable way to stay fit and active. Also, having a good workout playlist at the gym can make all the difference. Music is a fantastic motivator – today it didn’t feel like exercise, it felt like I was having a dance party all by myself on the stationary bike. Brilliant!

What motivates you towards your fitness goals? I’ve love to hear your ideas and suggestions. Are you keeping a colourful fitness planner? Join in with me and share your photos on social media using the tag #makejanuarycolourful

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New Years Eve 2017 in Bath

Shaun and I have been a couple for over 18 months but have not yet had a proper New Years Eve together. Last year, I was working in the Travelodge up until late, so this year, we thought we would do something special. We booked ourselves into the Abbey Hotel in Bath and had a lovely time exploring the city and indulging in 2 and a half hours of spa bliss in The Thermae Bath Spa. Here are some snapshots from our visit. If you are looking for a short break in the UK, Bath could be the place for you!

We arrived in Bath three hours before our hotel was ready for us – so took the opportunity to wander around the city.

Bath is such a beautiful place. Everywhere you look is a new photo opportunity.

We decided to go for lunch at The Roman Bath Kitchens which is located in the Abbey Square right in the centre of Bath.

This is the RBK Club on a sourdough bap with grilled chicken, streaky bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, cranberry mayo and skinny fries. Delicious!

Pretty happy that the food has arrived.

Feeling well fed and ready for more exploring.

The Pulteney Bridge has actual shops built into it all the way along.

This is the Parade Gardens in Bath which overlook the River Avon. Stunning and only a short walk from the hotel.

Abbey Hotel, North Parade, Bath, Somerset, BA1 1LF

The hotel and all its festivities.

Our room was huuuge! It had a bed, sofa, walk in wardrobe area and a bathroom with some posh looking freebies.

Tea, coffee and biscuits. What more could you possibly need.

The highlight of the trip was our visit to Thermae Bath Spa. You cannot book in advance so you just queue for as long as it takes. On New Years Eve at 3pm-ish we waited for about an hour which I didn’t think was too bad. It was worth the wait though. Once inside, we had access to a minerva bath, the wellness suite (infrared sauna, ice chamber, aroma stream rooms and a relaxation room) and an open-air rooftop pool. It was incredible chilling out in a heated swimming pool under the stars looking across at the city lit up by night. We paid £38 each for two hours and it was definitely an experience to remember.

Feeling relaxed and very clean, we got ready for our evening meal.

We then set off to Turtle Bay for some Caribbean foods!

COCONUT & PINEAPPLE PUNCH – Coconut, pineapple, condensed milk & fresh cream

SPINACH, AUBERGINE & SWEET POTATO CURRY – Spinach, aubergine & sweet potato in a fragrant light curry sauce. Green beans & kidney beans cooked with Jamaican spice. Served with steamed rice & roti flatbread.

A walk around Bath at night.

Bath Abbey and Christmas Tree on NYE.

Our hotel looking very festive.

After our busy day of walking, eating and relaxing we both fell asleep at 11:30pm and missed midnight. Oops!

Our hotel breakfast the next day: Full English #foodporn

After breakfast, we took a walk along the River Avon before catching our train home.

It was such a brilliant trip! Bath is a beautiful place with so much to offer. If you are looking for a short getaway, a spa break or just a walk around a historic city, Bath is for you. Grab your camera, jump on a train and go make some special memories!

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How To Set Realistic And Achievable Goals

After the final pig in blanket has been eaten and the last of the Quality Streets have been finished off, we may turn our attention to the exciting prospect of goal setting for the new year. A brand new year offers 365 days worth of opportunity and the chance to live life to the fullest. Magazines promote a healthier version of you and new gym memberships are at an all time high. We feel positive and inspired and promise that 2018 will be our year.

However, despite the best of intentions, the reality is (according to one commonly cited statistic) that only 8% of people actually keep there New Years Resolutions. So, why not be part of the minority and actually set some long term healthy habits. Here are my six tips on how to set realistic and achievable goals for the New Year. (All images are from my Heidi Swapp Memory planner)

Be Reflective

Before you set yourself impulsive goals, take a look back at the year gone by. Identify your strengths and what achievements you are most proud of. We should work with what we already have and build on that instead of picking on our weaknesses and flaws. Making goals which involve drastic and dramatic changes will only be setting yourself up to fail. Focus on your interests, passions and things you enjoy doing to stand a good chance of making your goal a habit.

For example, I know I already enjoy walking so I am going to make this a daily activity. I love reading, so am going to write a list of books I would like to read in 2018.

Be Specific

A goal needs to be specific so you know exactly what you need to do in order to achieve it. Specific resolutions can be measured so we can see how we are getting on as the months go by. Avoid vague goals such as I want to be healthier and replace it with something like I am going to exercise three times a week and eat balanced nutritious meals. This way you can assess how you are doing at the end of each week and feel motivated that you are on track with your resolution.

Be Realistic

Your goals should challenge you but they shouldn’t be a daily struggle. Know your limitations and what would be practically impossible to achieve. A realistic goal should be something you know you are capable of, however you just need to stay focused and motivated in order to succeed. For example, don’t say you are going to run a marathon if you have never ran a mile. Instead, push yourself gently, one step at a time and see where it takes you.

Be Kind

Once we are ready to rock with our new goals, we need to remember that we are only human too. There will be days where we are not at our best for whatever reason and this is totally normal and expected. The trick is not to let one bad day knock you off track completely to the point you give up on your goal. Appreciate how far we have come and look at the bigger picture. Why did you set yourself this goal in the first place? A little progress each day adds up, so just do what you can and start each day a fresh.

Be Flexible

Life is ever changing and your goal is no different. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – change can open up brand new opportunities and exciting experiences. We may need to slightly adjust our goals or perhaps make them bigger as time goes on. For example, you may resolve to go the gym three times a week, however, for some variety, you decide to try out a new fitness class and find you absolutely love it. Your new goal may now be go to the gym twice a week and go to say yoga on Fridays. Who knows where your goal may take you. Be open to the possibilities.

Be Positive

Keeping a positive attitude is so important when it comes to staying on track with your goal. By rewarding your milestones and achievements, no matter how small, we stay motivated and focused. We can look back at how far we have come and appreciate our hard work and effort. Whether your goal is fitness, blogging related or personal development every small step in the right direction takes us closer to our goal. Keep moving forward and celebrating your successes.

Have you set any goals for 2018? I would love to hear them! Whatever your New Years Resolutions are just remember – be reflective, specific, realistic, kind, flexible and positive. You can do this!

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How To Make A Gingerbread House

Let me start this post by saying I have very little experience when it comes to baking, so even I surprised myself when I picked up a Gingerbread House Kit from Waitrose the other day. I was feeling inspired after reading Alys Homemade Vegan Gingerbread House Blogmas post so thought I would give my own a go. How hard could it be? Answer: harder than it looks but lots of fun too! Here is a my 10 step guide if you want to have a go yourself.

I brought all these ingredients as I pretty much wanted to put everything onto this gingerbread house.

Inside the gingerbread house kit you get:

2 x 60g of syrup

white chocolate buttons

gingerbread mix

icing

red chocolate buttons

Step 1: Make sure you have some butter as this is not included.

Step 2: Empty gingerbread mix into a bowl. So far so good. At this point I am thinking I may take up baking as a hobby.

Step 3: Add 80g of butter into a bowl with the 120g of syrup. If you don’t have scales like me, it’s all good. I just guesstimated what an eighth would look like out of the 500g butter tub. Yeah, I’m winning at this. Next, microwave the butter and syrup for 30 seconds.

Step 4: Mix together the warm butter and syrup into the gingerbread mix. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Step 5: Add a pinch of flour and roll out until gingerbread is 5 mm thick.

Step 6: In the kit there were templates to cut around to create 2 roofs and 2 sides plus a little door. Pop these onto grease proof paper read to bake.

Now go to the Co-Op because you realise you have never owned grease proof paper in your life.

Step 7: Pre-heat your oven to 180 and let your house cook for 10-15 minutes. Oops, I think I burnt my front door.

Step 8: Now, Waitrose tell you to heat up white chocolate milk buttons and use this as glue to stick your house together. Let me tell you now, white chocolate milk buttons (no matter how heated) do not stick houses together. I tried and failed and ran out of patience. Instead I just smothered my house in icing to create that snowy effect, hah.

Step 9: Now put in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes to set but not too long as you want to stick your sweeties to it.

Also, this house should have had a door, but my dad came round and ate it.

Step 10: This is the fun part – the sweet eating and decorating! I think I brought too many treats, I couldn’t fit everything on. My poor little house was crumbling under the pressure of it all and nearly fell apart.

Now leave to set and enjoy! Have you made a gingerbread house this year? I’d love to see your creations! If you have a go, have fun and get creative!

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