Morning Rituals are Underrated

As long as I can remember, I was organizing and making lists. From my to-do lists to my locker organization at school. No literally, I used to sketch locker designs before bed each night. I was obsessed.

Anyways. One thing I would write down since high school was my morning routine. I would time myself down to the minute and knew exactly how long it took me to get ready in the morning. Do I sound crazy yet? It’s funny because sometimes I’m just aggressively lazy.

It wasn’t until very recently that I realized how important a morning routine really was, and have since called it a morning ritual.

With my hectic schedule and a never ending to-do list, I need structure. During the day, my schedule is constantly changing. I could be sitting at my desk all day on Tuesday, then Wednesday I might be driving to antique shops looking for some new office furniture (no literally, this is what I do for work). Some days, I might have to drop everything I’m doing to meet a last minute deadline for a client. I’ve found that the best thing to keep me calm and centered on these hectic days is my morning ritual.

I wake up about 3 and a half hours before I need to be at work, and I go through this ritual. It includes working out, meditating, eating breakfast, getting ready for the day and even my drive to work. I can go into a little more detail with my ritual in another post, but today I want to focus on why a morning ritual is so important.

Doing the same thing every morning can seem boring and even tedious to some people, but the trick is scheduling in time for things that will get you off to the right start. When I wake up and do all the things that make me feel good, even if they seem daunting at 6AM, by the time I get to work I feel as if I’ve accomplished so much for the day already!

A morning ritual sets your day up for success. When you get up and do things that make you feel and look good, your attitude changes. You’re engaging with people because you put together a baller outfit. You keep your desk clean because you made your bed. You have salad and Kombucha for lunch because you had a smoothie and lemon water for breakfast. You kill it with new clients because you killed it in the gym. See the pattern here?

It’s the little things in life people. Don’t take your mornings for granted!

I would love to hear some of your favorite things to do in the morning, so leave a comment!

My 2018 Resolutions

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As we start to settle back into our routines, some of our resolutions may begin to slip through the cracks a bit. I can feel myself veering away and wanted to remind myself as well as motivate some of you to remember and revisit some of the things you are wanting to accomplish this year. I’ve created my resolutions in a way that I can grow and add onto them all this year. There is a general goal, but endless ways I could go about achieving it. I recommend you do this for continual growth. Enjoy!

Develop My Personal Brand
If I’m being honest, I’m not TOTALLY sure what this entails, but one of my bigger goals is to figure out what I’m passionate about and put it out into the world! I have been toying with many different things, all surrounding the idea of creating my own brand. This year I hope to gain more insight and direction!

Focus On My Health
I’ve learned so much about nutrition and nourishing my body this past year. My view on what ‘healthy’ means and looks like has changed greatly. Throughout this year I want to focus more on feeding my body what it needs and not always what it wants (*cough cough* ice cream *cough*). Along with my nutrition, I want to find a workout schedule and routine that works for me.

Build Meaningful Friendships
Since graduating from college in 2015, I’ve realized it’s a bit tougher meeting people in the real world. While I have made friends and strengthened my current relationships in 2017, I hope to meet and collaborate with other female bloggers and leave 2018 with even stronger friendships than I started.

Constantly Learn More
One big thing that I want to focus on this year is expanding my knowledge and continue to learn. This includes reading before bed, listening to podcasts, going to events, etc.. I recently started a list of books that I want to read and I’d love to start checking some of those off my list and sharing my knowledge with all of you!

Thank you for reading! Let me know what your new years goals are
and what you are doing now to reach them!

xx, Sioban

Create Your Fitness Schedule

If you are trying to get more into fitness but still figuring out what types of workouts you like to do, this is the article for you!

Step 1: Determine Your Goals

Whether you want to become more flexible, lose weight, gain muscle, increase your endurance, etc… you need to come up with your overall general goal. Unfortunately, you won’t see as much progress if you focus on too many things at once, but you’re more than welcome to do that. If you really focus your workout schedule towards one goal, you will not only see progress faster, but it will be easier to remember and put your energy towards that goal

Step 2: Be Realistic

If you don’t have time to hit the gym 5 days a week, then don’t schedule the gym 5 days per week. In order to be successful, you need to be honest and realistic with yourself. If you schedule the gym 5 days out of the week and only make it for 3, you will automatically feel defeated. Schedule and set aside gym time that you know is realistic, even if it is only 20 minutes per day. If you realize later you can work out for 30 minutes, you’re going to feel better than if you have to cut back on gym time.

Step 3: Do Your Research and Devise a Plan

Now that you have your goal and the amount of time you’ll be able to devote to your goal, do some research. Look up different ways you can achieve your goal and what important factors need to be considered. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, I would look into how much weight I could realistically lose each week, what foods I should consider eating more or less of, and what types of exercise I should focus on.

Step 4: Set Up Your Schedule

With your allotted times of the week, plan out 4 weeks of exercising. Why 4 weeks? Because 4 weeks is the best time to review your progress. If you haven’t made much progress, you’ll want to tweak something, if you have made progress but are now bored with your workouts, this is the time to change it up. You also want to keep your body thinking. Once you get into a routine, your body can get used to it and start to plateau. Changing it up keeps your body on track!

Not Sure Where to Start?

Look into some of the group exercise classes at your gym! Other workout programs I have tried and approve of are:

Kayla Itsine’s BBG Guide: this guide is circuit training based with quick workouts lasting no more than 30 minutes. The BBG Guide comes with a nutrition plan to follow and 12 weeks of exercises

Tone It Up: most workouts are available free of charge on the web, what you are truly investing in is the nutrition plan. TIU is all about nutrition, high intensity cardio with a little bit of weights

Sami B Active: if you’re looking to jump full force into fitness, this plan is perfect! Sami writes her 8 week plans specifically to you with exact macro-nutrients for your height and weight. You get a full meal plan and workout plan that are readjusted after 4 weeks.

My girl Erin: Erin is a college friend of mine who has started personal training. This is a more relaxed version of Sami B Active, giving you 12 weeks of workouts and some nutrition guidance. Erin focuses on mind, body and soul with her program and it is a more affordable option compared to Sami.

How I’m Getting Back on Track

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(via: Tone It Up)

Hiya Lovelies!

One of my goals for 2017 is to really put my health first. I haven’t been happy with my body image and have developed a bad relationship with food since graduating college in 2015. I have been working out consistently for the past year and while I feel better about myself and do think I’ve made some progress in my physical appearance, I have plateaued and truly believe this is due to my nutrition (physical progress is 80% nutrition and only 20% exercise).

4 weeks ago my college friend/coworker wrote me a 12 week fitness program which I am so happy with (link to her Instagram is here). I’ve only missed one workout and am falling in love with my routine. In only 4 weeks I’m feeling better and getting stronger.

Going into week 5 of my fitness program, I will be starting the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan. A quick rundown: Tone It Up is designed for women with busy and crazy lives. Every meal and workout is designed to give you maximum results. Karena and Katrina have a great social media presence and have really created a community around their business. I bought their plan in November but holidays and life happened so I only got two weeks into it. (WebsiteInstagram here)

This time around, I bought their 8 week journal to really track my progress (I dragged my mom into doing the plan with me – accountability buddies are key!!) Now that I am comfortable enough with my new fitness schedule, I feel it is the perfect time to start tackling my nutrition.

 

 

How to Kick Start Your Fitness Journey

images via: KarenaKatrinaSam Ozkural, & Progress Pure

 

In high school I played sports so practice was mandatory. In college I didn’t do anything because well, fitness wasn’t mandatory. Getting into fitness is HARD when you don’t have to do it. When I graduated from college, I realized how beneficial fitness could be, plus the extra weight gain post grad didn’t help with my confidence. It isn’t an easy road, and I still struggle to get myself to the gym now. But fitness is part of my lifestyle today. Below are a few tips to help you kick start your own journey!

Look to Social Media for Support

YouTube exercise videos, create a fitness account on Instagram (mine is @siobankileyfit), and/or join a program (I recommend Kayla Itsines’ BBG or Tone It Up)! The idea is to surround yourself with like-minded and supportive people. Not many of my friends are into the gym as much as I am, so I look to social media to gather inspiration, support and ideas. A few of my fitness account favorites are: Progress Pure, Whitney Simmons, Sami Bossert, & Sam Ozkural. All four of these women have inspirational, motivational, and educational information to help you succeed in the fitness world!

Try New Things

If you don’t like the cardio machines, DON’T DO THE CARDIO MACHINES. There are so many different ways to workout your body. This is a lifestyle and it’s only going to work long term if you find something that you truly enjoy. There is something out there for everyone so don’t give up until you find it! My four favorite forms of exercise are kickboxing, yoga, weightlifting, and volleyball. Check out your local gym’s classes and see if any get you excited. If an opportunity comes up to try something new, say yes. If you don’t like it then you never have to do it again. If I didn’t say yes to weightlifting, I never would’ve realized how much I truly enjoy it.

Dress for Success

If I’m digging my outfit you bet your ass I’m killing it in the gym. I like to invest some extra time and money into my workout attire and gym appearance because not only will I be more successful in the gym but I will make more of an effort to care for my clothing. My current go-to athletic brand is Fabletics (use this link to get $10 off). With their VIP membership you can purchase cute clothes at an affordable price, and who doesn’t like a new gym outfit? H&M is another great option for fitness gear because it’s high quality but low price.

The Gym is Only Half of it.

Ever heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen”? Well, unfortunately for us all it’s very true. I love my Chickfila…and Chipotle….and Cook Out.. but I try to eat mindfully most of the time. Food is just like fitness, you have to find what works for you. Some people count macros, some cook everyday, some meal prep once a week, some eat intuitively. There are SO MANY different ways to eat who knew!? I’ve tried all of these methods, the one that works best for me is meal prepping and eating intuitively. And don’t be afraid of a cheat meal here or there, it’s good for your sanity.

Fight the Gymtimidation

If you’re just starting out and don’t know a lot about fitness, I recommend finding a buddy to go to the gym with or pick some exercises you want to try and go early in the morning. When I first started lifting, I would go to the gym at 5:30am everyday because no one was really there and I could play with machines I wasn’t comfortable with. If you’re more familiar with the machines and can get overwhelmed by the crowds, try wearing a ball cap to block out all the extra activity. Some weeks the gym crowds are way too much for me, so I will stick to group fitness classes or home workouts that week. The most important thing is to not let intimidation be the reason you don’t work out.