Time Management Tips

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by Erica Johnson

Short on time? Always running late? Or feeling like you’re pulled in about 20 directions at the same time? Think that many of us feel at least one of these attributes at one point or another…so what’s the solution? Time Management! To some those two words may sound impossible, to others it’s part of their every day life. For me, I’d like to think I fall under the uber organized “planner” with my calendars and to do lists that keep things in order and place.

Although I’m far from perfect on time management, I’d like to think some of my tid-bits may be helpful to jump starting a time management gameplan:

• Keep a calendar (or two). My calendar…it literally holds my life in it. I have two that I keep; one on my phone (that keeps all MAJOR daily time blocks which directly impact my personal availability) and a physical spiral bound calendar that keeps daily assignments, due dates, other team member’s events, etc. I can’t live without my calendars. And for anyone trying to work on time management, it’s a must.

• Invest in Post It Notes. If only I owned stock in the Post-It Note company for how many I go through…large sizes, small sizes, square sizes…Post It Notes are my second key thing to time management. I always have a “hot list” going on my desk for the week…but then use small post it notes to flag KEY things that are a must do for the day or will post a small one on the back of my phone to remember things I need to do at home that night. It keeps a key reminder in front of me and is a huge reward when you get to throw it away because the task is complete!

• Block Out Time. This is one area I need to work on more, but it completely works if you make it a priority…if you’re an on the go gal like I am, you’re constantly being asked for your opinion here or there; to approve or sign this or that; pop into a strategic meeting or follow up with a donor/patient/partner and the next thing you know the day is gone. However, when I do take the time to block out my day (close my door to focus on one project until it’s done) it’s amazing how much gets accomplished. Vs. when I’m freely available to anyone/everyone 24/7, my time gets pulled and my Post It Notes don’t get accomplished. So block out time, focus on a project, accomplish it and move on.

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Time management truly is a choice. We all have friends that are in constant chaos or never seem to get tasks accomplished and yet they’ll complain that they don’t have time…however they sure are busy talking/texting on their phones or getting their nails done, etc. When handled properly, time management is something that will become easy and part of daily living allowing for free time to go get your nails done and still have checked off your to do list! It’s very possible and will make your chaos, seem much more organized and easy to manage. (Now back to my to-do list…still have some Post it Notes to complete before I can call it a day!)

 



Three Easy Workouts

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The Lazy Girl Workout Tips

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by Alix Angelelli

I have grown to become the go-to blogger for exercise and healthy eating tips here at iGoPink. And I love living a healthy lifestyle BUT I can also be extremely “lazy”. There is nothing wrong with taking some YOU time to relax and completely veg or spend time with your girlfriends. On those days when you just can’t seem to get up and active I have some tips for you.

1. Grab a Buddy
Working out with a friend makes working out seem less painful. You and your bestie can go for a bike ride around the local park and chit-chat or go to a fun hip-hop class. When you workout with a friend you can have someone to talk to and pass the time while at the same time keeping your own personal motivator by your side.

2. Exercise During Commercial Breaks
Are you vegging on the couch and catching up on your favorite shows you DVR’d? Instead of fast-forwarding through the commercial breaks, use them as an opportunity to get some activity in. You can march in place for the commercial break, do some sit-ups or push-ups, or make laps around the house. By the end of the hour long show you recorded you clocked approximately 10 minutes of exercise time!

3. Try a HIIT Workout
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts are amazing because they get your heart pumping and muscles working in a short amount of time. You can find bookoos of HIIT or Tabata (which is similar quick strong movements for a short period of time) on Pinterest. These workouts usually mix up heart-racing plyometric moves with body weight exercises.



Stress Relief Tactics

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10 Ways to De-Stress

by Tristan Cablay

 

Are you stressed out? Your body can tell! Stress is unhealthy. Like a double burger with fries and a milkshake, it packs on “emotional pounds” faster than a late night stop to the local fast food restaurant!   So, we have compiled several easy ways to de-stress…

Breathe! Deep breathing provides the body with extra oxygen. It slows the heart rate down and it allows you to STOP and take a moment.

Laugh! Laughter is truly the best medicine! Connect with someone you love, watch a funny movie, Google funny animals.   Create time for fun!

Write! Scribble out your thoughts. Note your stressors and make a conscious effort to also log ways that you can solve that problem or reframe the issue.

Go outside! Change your surroundings and step outside. Take a moment to change your environment. Sometimes this simple act brings everything into new light.

Drink tea! Amino acids in many green teas have calming agents. They lower anxiety levels. Grab a nice glass of tea and feel the stress melt away.

Try calming scents! Scents like lavender, vanilla, pumpkin, peppermint, and eucalyptus have been linked to creating feelings of serenity.

Slow your mind! Focus on a calm thought, maybe a happy place or memory. Close your eyes and count. Try to slow your mind from frantic paces.

Exercise! Endorphins surge during any exercise, light and moderate to a hardcore marathon, any amount of physical effort helps release ‘happy hormones”.

Eat Chocolate! Grab a small piece of dark chocolate. A moderate amount of dark chocolate has been proven to lower levels of the stress hormones, cortisol and catecholamine’s.

Get Colorful! Colors can evoke feelings! Green is soothing. Blue is peaceful. Purple shades are calming.   Try bringing some peaceful colors into your surroundings.

Try to add one or two of these tactics a day into your routine to chill out and de-stress!



Daily Gratitude

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“When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.” -Buddha 


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Recently my roommate, Emilie, went out of town for the week, and while she didn’t bring me back any souvenirs from El Paso, TX, she did bring back some great ideas. One of my favorite things about Em is that she is a wealth of information and inspiration. Our talks can go from last night’s episode of The Bachelor to how grateful we are for our families and the opportunities we’ve been given. Em brought back a new daily habit that has thankfully rubbed off on me, and I wanted to share it!

Every night before I go to sleep, I reflect on my day. There’s a great app called Notes to Self that gives you a layout and checklist of what to look back on, but I’m old school and like to journal. The goal is to write 3 things you’re grateful for, one reflection of good in your day, and one act of kindness you performed.

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These things don’t have to be life changing. The goal is to realize that there’s always something to be grateful for…we just often overlook it. Whether you spilled coffee all over your dress (speaking from personal experience), sat in bumper to bumper traffic, or just had a really bad day, make a point to find the good.

As an example, I’m sharing my reflection from yesterday. I hope this gives you some inspiration and a starting point! To really commit to this, pick an app or buy a new journal and dedicate a specific time every day for reflection. Spending just a few minutes focusing on the positive will remind you what makes you happy and help you develop patterns to repeat those actions every day.


My reflection: “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25

My random act of kindness: Texting Sam, my (not-so-little) little brother, and wishing him a happy first day back to school

Three things I’m grateful for: 1) late night decorating with my roommate, 2) people who feel close even when they’re far away, 3) coworkers who make me laugh

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Staying Active At Your Desk

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by Erica Johnson

If you’re like our team here, many days we find ourselves glued to our desk chairs (and for me, at 6 ½ months pregnant, sitting/standing or doing anything in the same manor for hours at a time can literally be a pain in the back!)
So this week I’m sharing some of my top tips that I’ve started to use to incorporate into my 9-5 routine to keep active while working an 8 hour work day.

1) Start Your Activities Before Work

Knowing that I’m going to be sitting a good part of my day, I always make it top priority to get moving before I even arrive to work. Could be a walk with the dog, doing yoga or weights, as long as you get your body jump started (and your metabolism working) before you even plop into the office. You’ll be amazed how much it wakes you up too!

2) Give Me a Break- From your desk that is.

Get creative. Keep an extra pair of sneakers under your desk and take 30 minutes of your lunch break to go on a walk. Or, simply walk around the office the long way to your next meeting. A few simple minutes up and moving will not only keep you active, but make you more alert, too!

3) Stretch it Real Good

Something as simple as doing some arm stretches and leg/ankle rotations can help you keep mobile. Know how you’ll see those stretches suggested in the airlines booklets for long flights…those aren’t bad to implement at your own desk.

4) Take the Stairs or Grab the Mail

If you work in a building where there are multi-floors, take the stairs in lieu of the elevator to your next meeting and feel that extra burn. Don’t have a multi-floor building? Offer to take the mail out to the mailbox or even run a quick office errand to help your blood flow.

5) Switch Up Your Position

Do you sit all day long? Try changing out chairs, or standing for a bit of a time while you review papers or reports. Even bring a yoga ball to sit on instead of your chair. The change of something so simple as your position will amaze you!

There are so many ways to incorporate some basic exercises and stretches into your daily routine at your desk. What are your favorite ways to stay active at work? Share them here…(we’d love to try implementing them too!)



Heart Half-Empty or Half-Full?

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How to keep your heart half-full

by Tristan Cablay

I continue to pour myself into the things I love: being a mom and a partner in my marriage, being successful at a career that I adore, and making a positive difference in people’s lives! Are all of these things easy? Some more so than others, but they all need a considerable amount of effort and work, so I continue to try everyday. I pour a bit of myself into each capacity that I love. What’s amazing is that my cup never runs empty.

Half empty? Certainly.
Half full? Most of the time.
Dry? Never!

If you love the things in your life that you spend your time and effort on, go ahead, pour yourself into them. Give of yourself, nurture that relationship or capacity and put in extra effort! Sometimes, you may not be at your best, but you pick yourself up and try again. Some days it is easy. Some days it is hard.

What has been the most amazing experience for me is that when I am at the lowest point and I think the cup will never reach full again, some thing unexpected always happens; someone pours into my cup. That is the beauty of giving of yourself, when you least expect it others give support to you.

So today, I encourage you to fill someone else’s cup; to pour yourself with extra intention into someone else’s cup- children, partner, work, really anyone you come across. Look at your glass half full and with the mindset of making everything you touch overflow!



At Home Workout: Boxing

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Boxing At Home

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by Alix Angelelli

A few months ago my fiancé and I each bought a pair of boxing gloves and punching mitts at our local sporting goods store. I was determined to be the next Ronda Rousey within a month. Ripped and strong and superhero-like. Well… that did not happen, but I did learn how to incorporate some great moves into workouts. Boxing moves tone, tighten, and get your heart pumping.

I enjoy having the gloves and punching mitts. It allows for a bit more resistance and a LOT of stress relief (punching something really hard without physically hurting another person is quite pleasant). However, these moves and workout can be done without any equipment. You can incorporate the moves into your normal workout routine or use for a quick sweat-sesh.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a professional, so don’t completely rely on me for form advice.
This is the 30-30-30 workout. Basically you do 30 of each boxing move then incorporate another exercise in a set of 30. Some quick tips for boxing moves: keep your middle tight, make your punches quick and strong (think striking like a snake), and keep your opposite, non-punching hand, up in front of your face.

Warm-Up
10 Jumping Jacks
10 Alternating High Kicks
10 Alternating Butt Kicks
Jog in Place 30 seconds

Round 1
30 Jabs Right – 30 Jabs Left – 30 Jumping Jacks
Jabs are short little punches that focus on hitting higher up.

Round 2
30 Upper Cuts Right – 30 Upper Cuts Left – 30 Squats
With upper cuts you are coming up from your hip and punching up.

Round 3
30 Hook Right – 30 Hook Left – 30 Push-ups
Hooks you are literally hooking your arm around to punch, focus on hooking around and hitting the midsection.

Round 4
30 Right Kicks – 30 Left Kicks -30 Duck-Unders
When doing a duck-under get low and squat down like you are going under a fence or hurdle.

There are TONS of examples of boxing workouts on Pinterest and even more fun boxing workouts are popping up everywhere, like 9Round 30 Minute Kickbox Fitness (which Tori and I will be doing for September!) Take your time, listen to your body, and be proud of your strength and accomplishments!



Bring The Spa Home

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Treat Yo Self

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by Alix Angelelli

We all have busy days, weeks, months, what-have-you. Between working, working out, wedding planning, house hunting, breathing… it is hard to find time to treat myself, to unwind and to relax. Trust me, I know I am not the only one who lives a busy life, but I have followed a few tips and tricks to give myself some time to refocus and bring the spa to me.

I love spas. The music, the smells, the sense of just knowing you have nothing to worry about. To treat myself I like to bring some of those elements home and utilize in free spare moments. Here are some simple things you can do at home to incorporate spa time into at home you time.

Hot Towels: This is so simple. You can use cheap hand towels or washrags and soak them in various scents like lavender, vanilla, mint. After they soak, wring them out and heat in the microwave (about 30 seconds) then air out. Once they have cooled some, you can set them on your face and take a 5 minute breather, get your thoughts together and get going again.

Foam Roll: Going to get a professional massage is always a treat, but pesky knots in your back and body can become a greater problem when you go too long. I’ve invested in a foam roller and make sure to foam roll everyday. There are great tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest for foam rolling certain areas of the body. I have found my knots are not as big of an annoyance anymore. BONUS it feels like a quick little mini massage.

Candles, Lighting and Music: Take some time in a dim room to light you favorite candle or heat essential oils and bring relaxing fragrances to the forefront. Turn off your lights. Lay on a pillow and play some nature sounds or a yoga playlist from Pandora in the background. All you need is 5-10 minutes of this time. Use it to be thankful for something or someone, or to acknowledge all your accomplishments.

I love my busy life and would not trade it for the world, but I know it is important to take a few moments out of my week to give back to myself. Enjoy your me time and Treat Yo Self!

 



Why can’t I lose weight?!

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By Jen Langlois of TruFit Training

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I’ve Tried EVERYTHING!! Why can’t I lose weight?!

I seem to hear these cries for help a lot lately. Trust me! I’ve been there too!

We cut calories. We start exercising more. We do our research on the latest fad diets and supplements. And search our Facebook feed for the newest workout moves! When really, we just need to stop making weight loss harder than it needs to be.

Needless to say. There are a slew of reasons that you might be having trouble losing those pesky LBs. But here are my top 3.

There isn’t a simple one size fits all for diet and training. You’re unique. And so should be your diet and training program. I wish it were just as easy as a math equation of less calories in than calories out. Fad diets aren’t sustainable. And you need ALL your macros. (Protein, Fat and Carbs). Focus on portion control instead. And make sure you have the right ratio of cardio vs. strength training.

Stop sabotaging your gains with excessive exercise. More isn’t always better. What’s better is being more efficient in your training. Not giving our body time to rest and recover can also be detrimental to our goals. Its when we rest that our muscle grows. And the more muscle we have – the faster we burn calories while we train and rest. It comes full circle. On the flip side – you need to question… Am I exercising hard enough?? Is that 3 hours a week sufficient in comparison to my sedentary lifestyle?? HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is one of my favorite forms of training for efficient weight loss.

Remember…this is a marathon. Not a sprint! Don’t expect to see changes in your body after a couple of weeks of training. Especially if it’s taken you years to gain the weight. I know we love that immediate gratification. But stop beating yourself up so much. You might not SEE your results straight away. But you’ll FEEL them straight away! Bench markers don’t always need to be weight loss. I prefer to focus on quality of life. And weight loss is a bonus side product of bettering our life by becoming more healthy!

But above all…MOVE!



We Survived: Yoga Edition

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By Tori Carruth and Alix Angelelli

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This past month, Tori and Alix spent a month going to Yoga Pod (The Woodlands), for a new type of workout!
 

Huge thanks to Yoga Pod for welcoming us into their studio!
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Oh my goodness, I am truly addicted to yoga. I never understood what all the hype was about, and I honestly associated yoga with my hippy friends up in Austin, TX. However, I am a converted woman. After my first hot yoga class with Tayler (pictured helping us with our partner poses) at Yoga Pod, I was hooked. There’s something about a workout that challenges you both mentally and physically. I’ve never loved classes where trainers yell. That works for some people, but I do better when I’m encouraged! I cannot say enough how much I loved my instructors. They took the time to learn my name, what poses I was good at, what I wanted to work at, and even what music I wanted to hear in class. They never push you to do something you’re uncomfortable with, but they DO push you to be your best. I tried multiple classes from PodBarre, PodFlow, and PodHot to name a few. As I mentioned (and can’t stop mentioning to literally anyone who will listen), PodHot is my absolute favorite. I’ve never sweat so much in my life, but I left every class feeling centered and rejuvenated. Added bonus: my skin has never looked better in my life. This experience was amazing, and I urge everyone to give yoga a shot at least once. The ladies (and gentlemen!) over at Yoga Pod are a great starting place. Namaste, Tori
 

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I did it! I completed a month of yoga at Yoga Pod. At first I was hesitant (and not very confident in myself). I’ve tried yoga before, but like I said it’s just never stuck. This has honestly been one of my greatest fitness months and I whole heartedly credit that to incorporating yoga. Yoga Pod offers a variety of different yoga classes, but I was instantly addicted (LITERALLY addicted) to hot yoga. It changed my life; I have better posture and core strength. I am more flexible which has increased my running (I am actually killing my runs TBH). Lastly, I have this amazing glow in my skin as well as a body that feels completely free of toxins. I could honestly write for hours how Yoga Pod and hot yoga has changed my physical health. I loved being a yogi with Tori, we were able to see each other get better with each class and help each other out. Just know if it is something that you’ve maybe thought of trying… GO FOR IT! You can do it! Namaste, Alix
 

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In partnership with Yoga Pod: The Woodlands.
 

All opinions are our own.