6 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

Let’s be honest: there are fewer people out there with six-packs than Pinterest would lead us to believe. And frankly, I’m not sure if that many of us want to be totally ripped anyway. I would just like to climb up a few flights of stairs without wheezing or fit into my favorite pair of slacks without sucking in my tummy.

But how to motivate ourselves? If you’re like me, then you know that body shaming yourself into it won’t work. You may succeed for a couple weeks, but you’ll eventually give up and feel worse than ever before. Believe me: I’ve been there more times than I can count.

Our culture doesn’t exactly help. I like shopping at Victoria Secret as much as the next girl, but those models have bodies that just aren’t achievable for the average woman. So, here is a list of some items that help me motivate myself to work out and to take better care of myself when I don’t feel like it:

1. Look to Your Role Model

Something that helps motivate me is to think of my health role models. For me, it’s my mom and aunt. They’re both built very similarly to me, and while there’s a good 30 years between us, they hover around the same weight as I do (despite having two kids apiece). When we all go swimming together, it’s not that they look like 25-year-olds in bikinis — they don’t need to. They’re healthy women who have treated their bodies right their whole lives, and it shows. When I see them, it reminds me that I’m capable of taking care of myself that well too.

This can be a slippery slope because we often fall into trying to make ourselves into someone else. That’s why it’s important to pick someone who already shares traits and body types with you. If you don’t have someone in your life like this, that’s okay. However, rather than going to standard fashion magazines where everyone is photoshopped, try to look for magazines centered around women’s health instead. One company’s magazine that I really like is called Title IX. They create athletic apparel, and what I love about looking through their clothing options is that all of the models look happy, trim, and healthy — and all at weights that feel achievable for my body type.Read More »

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10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Vacation

Recently, my husband Jon and I were able to take a trip to Scotland and Ireland for a couple weeks. We hiked, swam, toured castles, and ate lots of fish ‘n’ chips. While it’s never easy to go back to work, here are some of my methods to get the most out of your vacation so that you return to work energized:

1. Exercise

This does not mean you have to do laps in the hotel pool every day. Maybe it’s as simple as walking to your dinner reservation instead of taking an Uber. Or maybe plan a day to see an outdoor exhibit. One of my favorite parts of the trip was hiking in a national park and spending a few hours climbing around the boulders of a waterfall.

Waterfall

2. Try Something New

Yes, this is rather cliche, but like exercise, it doesn’t have to be something extraordinary. For example, I tried gin-flavored ice cream when we were in Ireland.  (I know it sounds weird, but it was amazing.) We also tried out surfing on a nearby beach. Most of the time was spent wiping out on the sand, but it was an incredible experience.

3. Talk to the Locals

As Rick Steves says, this can really “carbonate” a trip. We wound up sharing a restaurant table with some women from Edinburgh as we were on our way into the city. They were able to recommend some places for us to visit, but what made that conversation so memorable was that we were able to swap opinions on world news. It was so interesting hearing their thoughts on Brexit, President Trump, Scottish nationalism, etc. I felt very lucky that they were kind enough to chat with us for as long as they did; we learned a lot.

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9 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Today

If you’re like me, your everyday life is not perhaps the Disney fairytale you had hoped for. There are alarm clocks in the morning and bills at night. Some days at work energize you, but many days are simply drudgery from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. where you come home wanting only blankets, Buzzfeed, and junk food.

Some days, that’s okay. But most of the time, those sort of comfort rituals don’t revive us for the next day; they simply make us dread it all the more. The point of time outside of work is meant for rejuvenation, right? Here are some ways I come back to myself after a stressful day at work:

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Church Bulletin Do’s and Don’ts: Guest Post on Church Marketing Sucks

This week, I published a blog post for Church Marketing Sucks, where I wrote several pieces last summer. It’s always a treat writing for this nonprofit. Check out the article below!

Church Bulletin Do’s and Don’ts: A Visitor’s Perspective

It’s great to see the discussions on bulletins here on Church Marketing Sucks. But most of these articles are written by the creators of bulletins, not necessarily the users.

As a born-and-bred Lutheran with six years of attending an evangelical-free church and three-and-a-half years at a Bible college, I’ve seen my fair share of bulletins. As a parishioner, you can’t expect everything to be perfect.

But since a bulletin is the front door to a church, you expect that the bulletin will be helpful, especially on your first visit. While there are pros and cons to getting rid of the bulletin altogether, plenty of people prefer to keep the weekly print bulletin.

Here are some most common do’s and don’ts for church bulletins:

Read more at churchmarketingsucks.com.

5 Things I Wish I’d Done Differently in College

I have been at my first full-time, legit, salaried job outside of college for a few weeks now, and I absolutely love it! The small time away from school has already shown me what I regret a little about my college career. If you’re a recent grad like me, maybe some things on this list will resonate with you. And if you’re still slogging through college, take a peek through this list. Maybe my regrets don’t have to be yours.

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It’s hard to make time for what you love, but seriously, instead of vegging out on Facebook for 15 minutes as a “break,” why didn’t I read for fun? I read now during my lunch breaks, and it’s amazing how refreshed I feel after just 25 minutes. Not to mention, during my last semester in school, I discovered that I could read while power walking on the treadmill. It made exercising much more fun. I wish I’d made more time for that in school rather than allotting little pockets of time for social media.

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