Four Keys to a Successful Workout


Is it just me, or are there certain times of the year when it’s harder to work out than others? I find it easy to get in a routine during the spring or fall, when the weather’s nice and life is fairly predictable. But when the winter holidays come, I fall apart. I’m so busy traveling or shopping or catching up with family and stuffing myself with delicious delicacies, like my mom’s famous pecan pie, that working out becomes pretty much non-existent. That’s why I give thanks for oversized sweaters on Thanksgiving!

Summer can be the same way though! With parties and cookouts and vacations to look forward to, who has time to work out?! (My family celebrates five birthdays in June alone, including mine!) If you’re like me and struggling to stick to a workout routine this summer, check out some simple things I’ve come up with to help stay motivated.

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2016 Goals in Review

It’s the first week of February and the perfect time to check-in with our goals for 2016! A full month has passed since we last reflected on what we’d like to accomplish this year and we still have a long way to go. January wasn’t perfect, but we’re proud to say that progress is being made!

How are you doing? Are you still plugging away at those resolutions or have you lost your enthusiasm? We hope that our honesty and imperfections encourage you to keep trying. After all, we’ve still got eleven months to get it right! Here’s how we did in January.

2016 Goals in Review

Sarah’s Goals:


  • Eat healthier. So far, so good! I’ve cut down my consumption of red meat to only about twice a week and now, I’m focusing on lowering my daily sugar intake!
  • Read more. Last month, I started reading The Body Book by Cameron Diaz—it’s a lot to digest, so I’m about halfway through it. I also read Rules for a Knight by Ethan Hawke as my January pick for our 2016 reading list. This month, I’m going to read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and one more book for the reading list, TBD.
  • Have a weekly date night. It’s been so nice to connect with each other each week, free from any other distractions! We’ve gone out for dinner, taken walks, and even had a movie night.


  • Start exercising 30 minutes a day. While I’m not doing this daily yet, I am exercising a lot more than I was. In January, I averaged 30 minutes of exercise, 3 days a week. Not near where I need to be, so I’ll definitely be focusing on this in February.
  • Do a daily devotional with my husband. Not even close! We only made this happen a few times in January! Ryan has a new work schedule this month so hopefully we’ll finally get on the same page in this department.
  • Get on a cleaning schedule. Closer. I only made it one week following Clean Mama’s schedule. It definitely helped but I found it difficult to stick to. I’m in the process of tailoring it to fit my preferences, so I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

Deborah’s Goals:


  • Read more. I’m already working on book number 4 for this year! I read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson for January’s reading list pick. Now, I’m finishing the final book of the Ally Condie’s Matched trilogy. I’d wanted to read it for a while, and the library had the first one when I checked out Speak, so I went for it!
  • Unplug more often. This one isn’t going as well as it could, but, thanks to reading more, I’m not on my phone as much! I also haven’t been turning on the TV as soon as I get home after work either. Still, I think this one could get even better.
  • Pray with my husband. We’ve been doing pretty good with this, I’m glad to say. Right now, after we’re in bed with the lights off, one of us says a short prayer. No more than a couple minutes, and we take turns each day. We’re both also careful to not let it turn into a wish list by starting out with thanking God, even if it’s just for the little things of the day.


  • Exercise 3 times a week. Ugh. We have gone to play tennis exactly one time this year! In my defense, it’s been pretty chilly here in Charleston, so it hasn’t exactly been tennis-friendly. But, I think, instead of using the weather as an excuse, I should try to come up with some alternate forms of exercise.
  • Try new recipes and eat healthier. Let’s face it. I still am not a fan of cooking. Plus, with a change in our diet for 3 weeks in January, we weren’t doing our usual. I’m trying to branch out some though, by attempting some of those simple video recipes I keep posting on Facebook (like the Cheeseburger Cups and S’mores Pinwheels). I figure if I keep trying little things, I can work up to full meals. I hope!
  • Work on my time management skills. This one will be a toughie because it’s something I’ve always struggled with. Luckily, my husband is a stickler for punctuality, so he’s happy to guide me on this path!


As you can see, we’ve already succeeded and failed! But, as we said before, it’s still early. If you’re struggling with some of your goals too, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Keep working on it. A lot of our goals are things that are accomplished by forming new habits, and those don’t happen overnight.

How about you? Tell us how your goals are going so far, and let us know if you have any tips for how we can do better on ours!