July Goals

I am still amazed at how fast this year is flying by. Can you believe that it is July already? My feelings of disbelief of how quickly this year is passing by has really helped me to appreciate the little moments throughout my day… more than before.

I have vowed to be more present over the last few months which has encouraged me to dump social media. Since making this commitment I have had so much more time to do the things I love such as studying my bible and enjoying nature. It’s true that we make time for the things we want to make time for. And with a little more constructive focus on the important things in life, it can truly bring you more joy.

For the month of July here are my goals:

Continue No Social Media & Plan Less

The stress of managing social media is beyond real. The bad thing is that we honestly do not realize how consumed we are with reporting our life and staying up to date on the life of others. It’s so sad how social media can take away so much from our little moments and joys of life. Since eliminating social media I feel that I have been living in the moment and enjoying more of life.

A few weeks ago, my husband I and I planned a spur of the moment trip to the beach. Random unplanned trips is something we always would do before kids and it’s simply something we are passing down to them. These moments are worth every moment and memory. What makes it even better is that that we went to the beach in the middle of chasing a storm. Watching a storm roll through on a hot summer afternoon is an amazing thing to witness and watch.

Family Bible Study

Family bible study has become a important aspect of our family life. Reading the bible to learn and apply life principles are crucial for your spiritual life. It becomes even more real and important when you begin to see how Jehovah can change situations and simply bless you for following his instruction. Having witnessed and seen the power Jehovah working in my life has made it so important to make our family bible study a priority. As parents, it is even more fulfilling to watch how our children observe our practices and behaviors. As we conduct bible study, our children who are like sponges absorb everything that we discuss and watch. It’s a true blessing to see them so eagerly wanting to learn more about Jehovah.

Keep on asking, and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you.”

Matthew 7:7

Enjoy Nature

I absolutely love nature and it is very therapeutic. Making more time to be present in my life has allowed me to enjoy nature. Stopping to look at the flowers and greenery is a great way to slow the pace of life down around you.

Garden for the Fall Season

For my zone I am looking forward to gardening for the upcoming fall season. Fall season gardening includes: beets, carrots, kale, lettuce, and peas. I have challenged my husband to make me a raised garden bed this month. He is looking forward to this task.

Currently, I am working on a few sprouted seedlings: beans, tomato, and peppers. Not pictured includes: cilantro, mint, thyme, and basil. I do plan on re-potting these very soon. I am looking for a nice herb planter for all of my herbs. Something to keep them right outside of our kitchen for the remainder or the year. If you have any recommendations please leave a comment with a link.

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Monthly planning will encourage you to celebrate even the “smallest” wins. What are your goals for the month of July? Share with me in the comments below; no matter how big or small. I am encouraging you to set some goals to smash this month.

I wish you nothing but success and prosperity for the month of July.

❤ Erica

June Goals: Balance

Vanessa Hicks Photography

I truly enjoy writing down my goals on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis. I am thrilled by the feeling of accomplishment I feel once I accomplish a task on my goals list. Even if I am not as successful at accomplishing my set goals for the month, week, or day; having my goals written down are great reminders. Reminders of what I am doing well and reminders of areas in which I need to do a little better.

I’m honestly my biggest critic. I prefer to blame it on the stars. As a Capricorn, I am a real working bee and (unintentional) overachiever. I am ambitious, yet practical, organized, and goal oriented. You can talk my language if you are talking: money, business work, and/or achievement. As tough and stubborn as I am, I am all about celebrating my wins. And when I am done with one goal– I am always ready for the next.

For this month I found it challenging to pick out a new goal for the month. But, nonetheless no matter how big or small the goal I had to pick something.

Monthly Goal: Find Balance

Fitness Journey

With nothing else to do due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have had nothing but time to focus on me and my fitness journey. I have grown to love home workout routines and I have developed a love for daily walks. I have committed myself to walking 2-3 miles daily during the week. I also incorporate my home body workouts for at least 3 days out of the week.

However, I honestly have been struggling with finding a balance to my daily walking and home workouts. This past week I literally walked for about 8 days straight with no rest days; averaging 2-4 miles per day. On top of over extending myself with my home workouts 4-5 days per week.

It’s so easy to become addicted to working out, especially once you start noticing results. And I feel that I was becoming addicted. While, it’s great to commit to a solid schedule when working out, you must have rest days. Rest days just as important as exercise. Rest days is what helps the process of building strength, endurance, and muscle. For me, my workouts consist primarily on resistance training, which breaks down the body tissues. Rest days are crucial and are needed to allow my bones, nerves, and tissues to rebuild/ recover.

In a nutshell, no matter how much I feel like I can push through and just keep going in my routine; I still need to rest. Walking is low impact and for this month I will continue walking daily during the week. On the weekends I will not push walking, outside of my normal everyday activities. I am primarily still active on the weekends so that’s perfectly fine. During the week I will balance working out no more than 3 days a week with resistance training, allowing myself rest days in between.

BALANCE.

Erica ❤

May Goals: Carpe Diem

A friend once told me that time is something you can never get back. So that means we must make every second and moment in our life count. Spend your life doing all of the things you want and enjoy. We cannot get back time missed. We will have enough time to rest and sleep when we die.

Carpe Diem (Translation: Seize the Day!)

Poet Horace

This Latin aphorism is used to expressed the urge to make the most of the present time and give little thought to the future. For we do not know what the future holds. My plans for this month is to fully seize each day. This means being intentional with my time. I will not over consume myself with busyness or daunting tasks. I will focus on 5 things that I would like to incorporate into my daily schedule, in order to bring joy to my daily routine.

Daily Walks

Walking is one of my favorite ways to distress. It’s something about being outside breathing in fresh air, feeling the wind up against your face that is so refreshing. Walking immediately boosts my mood. Particularly, I really enjoy early morning walks when the dew is still in the air. Daily walking is also a great way to maintain a healthy and balanced weight.

Here are some ways to stay motivated when committing to walking daily:

  • Set yourself up for success by setting simple goals. For example, committing to walking 10-30 minutes on your lunch break is a great start.
  • Make walking enjoyable. Listen to music or an audio book to past the time.
  • Vary your routine. Walk outdoors and switch up your routes. Find a local park or trail to walk with different scenery. Invite friends or family to join you on your walk.
  • Don’t stress over missed days. If you miss your daily walk- try again the next day. Remind yourself how much better you feel after walking. This reminder will be sure to motivate you to stay on track.

Commit to Self-Reflection

Self-reflection allows us to gain a better understanding of our emotions, strengths, weaknesses and driving factors. For this month I want to dive a little deeper into myself and I plan on doing this by keeping a gratitude journal for 30 days.

Writing down daily all of the things I am grateful for is important in order to focus my energy on appreciating and giving thanks to others. This is a great way for me to focus daily on the positive things in my life no matter how big or small.

Study a New Language

I really would love to learn French. I am inspired to learn this language as traveling to France is on my bucket list under places to travel. Studying a new language can be a daunting tasks but with practice I believe that it can be a fun new learning experience.

I am not a big fan of learning through reading. So, when I learn about a app called Duolingo I decided that I would set some time aside to focus on learning a new language. For this month I plan to withdraw some of my time from scrolling social media and instead open Duolingo to practice my French.

 I have heard so many good things about Duolingo, which is a fun and interactive way to learn a new language. With Duolingo you have access to personalized learning and receive immediate grading. One thing that I really like about the Duolingo app is how you earn rewards. You earn virtual coins that unlock new levels as you master new words, phrases, and grammar. I am all about making learning fun and this is a great way for me to work on studying a new language for this month.

Pay It Forward

Have you ever had someone pay for your coffee or morning breakfast? This has happened to me on more than one occasion and it’s a great feeling. Paying it forward is when the recipient of an act of kindness does something kind for someone else rather than simply accepting the good deed.

Something as small as paying it forward for the next person in line a great way to brighten someone’s day. To freely give to someone without any expectation of it being repaid back. You never know how your good deed can change or impact someone’s circumstance for the better. This month I am planning to pay it forward for someone else whenever I am in the drive thru during the month of May. I am challenging YOU to do the same!

Morning Meditation

Meditation should be performed on an empty stomach. It is recommended that meditation is performed at least four hours after eating, making morning meditation the best time to practice since you are still fasting. Each day during the month of May I will wake up 10 minutes earlier to stretch and meditate for 10-15 minutes.

My morning meditation will begin with stretching for 2-5 minutes before getting out of bed. Maybe a cup of tea to get me settled and comfortable. I will observe my breath and speak words of affirmation. Acknowledging all thoughts that cross my mind and releasing all negative thinking back into the universe. Ending my mediation with prayer before I step out into the world.

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I hope reading my May goals have inspired you to work towards accomplishing something great and positive this month. Focus on you, so you can give back to yourself and others through kindness and gratitude.

What are you goals for the month of May? What strategies are you using to help accomplish your goals? Comment below 🙂

Erica ❤

Focus on Your Mindset | Monday Morning Motivational

@Courtney_Shields

This is your Monday morning reminder that you will only get done what you have prioritized and set your mind to accomplish. Open that planner and map out this week if you have not already done so. Items of top priority each day- set out to complete those items first.

I like to manage my to do list from both my Happy Planner and Google calendar. I set reminders each day and I am constantly reviewing my to do list throughout my day as I work from the top item to the bottom.

It’s all about your “mindset”. And your mindset starts from when you wake up to when you rest your head at night. Your success is fully up to you and what you put your mind to. Emotions, thoughts, perceptions, and reactions whether positive or negative is what will shape not only your mindset, but will shape your success for this week.

If you talk about it, it’s a dream. If you envision it, it’s possible. But if you schedule it, it’s real.

Tony Robbins

For this week, let’s focus on being intentional. Intentional in your goals, planning and routines. This morning I woke up a few minutes earlier and did a 15 minute morning yoga session. After getting ready for my day I made a cup of decaf iced coffee complimented with a mix of sugar free vanilla and hazelnut creamer.

As I enjoyed some of my morning coffee I made sure I opened my bible to read before I touched my phone to open any apps. When I did get in the car this morning the first thing I turned on was Charles Stanley In Touch radio. I enjoyed listening to today’s daily devotion, Snared by the Schemer [2 Corinthians 2:1-11] and today on radio, Living the Life that Never Dies by Charles Stanley.

Despite the rain and slippery commute this morning I feel good about this Monday morning. My morning routine was needed in order to get my mind right not only physically, but most importantly spiritually. I am feeling motivated about this week. I know that a negative mind will never give me a positive life. So, each day I live positively with good intentions. As I pour myself and goodness out into the universe, I get each blessing back twofold.

What are your goals for this week? Where is your mindset? How are you starting off your week this morning? Please share with me in the comments.

Erica ❤

Monthly Planning With Erica | April Goals

Upcoming Plans for the Month of April

April showers bring May’s flowers. But, will we ever be able to enjoy our Spring or Summer this year? With the majority of States in America encouraging all citizens to quarantine at home it’s hard to imagine what the month of April will bring.

As I sit here and plan out my goals for the month of April, I am trying to be optimistic. Hoping that this pandemic will disappear and fade out as quickly as it swept across the nation. With the majority of businesses closed as a result of local shutdowns, I will be taking this time at home to re-focus on some area in my health and lifestyle that I want to improve.

For the month of April– I will be focusing on:

  • Eating fresh
  • Be more intentional in reading food labels
  • Core strength training

Eat Fresh

I have made a change in how I shop over the past few weeks. My focus is on buying fresh fruits and veggies. Not only is this more cost efficient but eating fresh has a lot of benefits.

10 Reasons to Eat Real Food:

  1. Loaded with important nutrients
  2. Provides vitamins and minerals to support your health
  3. Low in sugar
  4. High in fiber
  5. Improve skin
  6. High in healthy fats
  7. Contrains antioxidants
  8. Supports gut health
  9. Improves dental hygiene
  10. Reduce sugar cravings

On Monday I prepared a zucchini spaghetti, substituting noodles for zucchinis. This is a great low carb dish. And did you know that zucchini has a lot of nutritional value? Zucchini has the following vitamins: vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folic acid. Zucchini also contacts antioxidants. Compared to your basic refined pasta noodles, which are higher in calories carbs, lower in fiber, and most other micro-nutrients. Zucchini is a great replacement and a good source for incorporating more vegetable servings in your meals.

Read Food Labels

How many of you actually read the ingredient labels before tossing an item in your cart? Food labels provide imporant information. By reading food labels it can help you make better and more controlled decisions regarding your diet and intake of high sugary foods. It is also imporant to understand what the recommended serving size is for that particular food.

Ingredients are also important to pay attention to when reading food labels. Take a look below and compare the ingredient list for a jar of peanut butter and almond butter.

Since when did peanut butter need all of those additives? This Wegman’s brand of peanut butter is simply NOT peanut butter. It contains: Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Contains Less than 2% of Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (Rapeseed, Cottonseed, Soybean), Salt, Molasses. My goal is to eliminate additional sugar, hydrogenated oils, and soy out of my diet.

While, Targets Good & Gather Creamy Almond Butter contains just almonds. This is definitely a healthier option if you are looking for a nut butter. Almond butter is a great source for vitamin E, magnesium, copper, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and phosphorous. Also, it is a excellent source of monounsaturated fat, protein, and fiber which supports heart health.

Core Strength Training

For those that have been following my blog you know that I enjoy yoga and pilates. Well, I came across an article on the blog, Lorieb a few days ago titled, Planks Still the Best Exercise. The article highlights the benefits of incorporating planking into your exercise routine.

I read this article after being tagged by my husband on Instagram to participate in a push up challenge. My attempt to do a push up was a epic FAIL. It was at that point when I told myself that I am going to focus more on core strength training.

Forearm planking is definitely a good way to engage and strengthen my core. Planks have been proven to help with and alleviate lower back pain. Back pain is something I suffer from since I sit down at my desk the majority of the day. Aside from assisting with alleviating back pain, planking tones your abdominal muscles. This is something all of us women who have bore children can benefit from. This is a exercise that should be done routinely and often, if not daily.

Plank when you wake up. A few minutes while watching television. Plank before bed. For my morning meditation I am going to wake up and set a timer to plank for at least 5 minutes starting out. When mediating you are already focusing and quieting your mind to align with you body. I truly believe that planking will add great value to my meditation practice. Starting off my day with a good workout, and warming up my muscles for the day ahead.

What are your goals for this month? Please share in the comments and let’s hold each other accountable.

-Erica ❤

Monthly Goals: March 2020

I use the start of each new month as a opportunity to set new goals. With each day I work towards meeting each goal, taking a step even further towards the finish line (end of the month). Goals don’t have to be big and I’ve learned that you don’t have to make a long list of goals.

However, making a list is the best way to visualize your goals, while keeping track, monitoring your progress and success. Whether, you chose to write down your goals in a notebook or in the notes on your phone, write them down.

A lot of my goals listed for this month are revolving around spring cleaning as we spring forward in a few days. As we transition into a different season, be sure to realign yourself with your goals.

Here is a look inside my March Goals:

  1. Accountability: set phone reminders, create daily to-do lists, track my goals in my planner, and are my goals/ task with others (Hubby) for additional accountability.
  2. Use time blocking: set time blocks in my daily schedule in order to manage my time wisely and most effectively.
  3. Emails: check emails twice daily (am/pm), report spam, and clear junk mail.
  4. Organization: organize home and office space daily.
  5. Budgeting: save my daily coffee money- transfer to savings, meal prep lunch for the entire week
  6. Read more: read 2 new books this month.
  7. Tidying/Declutter: return items to their resting place at home and toss items that do not spark joy (daily).
  8. Workout: Yin Yoga (am/pm), set out yoga clothes each night before bed, and wake up earlier at 4 am for morning yoga.

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What are your goals for the month of March? Are there any strategies that you are putting into practice that will assist you in meeting your goals? Do you find that writing down your goals is a helpful tool?

I wish each of you happy planning and an abundance of goal setting success for the month of March.

❤ Erica

Change of Direction | Welcome to, Life With Erica

Good Morning Readers,

I am blogging to share with you that I have decided to change the direction of my blog.

I launched Fit Life With Erica in February 2019, as an inspirational blog catered to health and wellness. Most of my blog posts were based on my fit pregnancy lifestyle, meal prep, and informational health data.

Blogging is a true outlet for me. My perfect gem. As I step into this new direction, I am bringing all of my readers along.

I have always prided myself with being transparent to my followers and as I travel along in my journey, things change. Currently, my path is changing and there is so much more for me to share with each of you. As a wife and mother there is much more to my life other than working out and counting calories and I am using this season of life now to open up and share that with you.

Welcome to, Life With Erica.

It took me a while to make this decision but I am very confident that it is the best decision to make. I have so much that I want to share with my readers about my life and adventures. Deciding to change the direction and topics of my blog, will allow me to blog more often and explore more topics.

Some blog topics that you can expect to read here will include: baking, biblical perspectives, cooking, current events, family, history, inspiration, life updates, literature, and travel.

Over the next week or two I will work to create more scheduled posts. Look forward to Motivational Mondays. That is something I will still be continuing since it has been such a positive aspect of my blog which readers have shared that they enjoy it the most.

If there are any topics you would like for me to cover please share those topics with me. I want to thank each of my followers for their continued support, as I continue on my blogging journey.

Life With Erica ❤

12/31/19: Day 365. A few things I learned in 2019

  1. It’s ok to say “No”

I am that people pleaser type of person and often struggle with saying “no”. As a result, I take on a vast quantity of additional tasks all because I simply like things to be done a certain way and this can only be guaranteed if I pilot the plane. Basically, I am a Capricorn and that should sum everything up.

 This year I’ve learned how to say “no” and feel ok about saying it without guilty of making others feel bad. For me this year it was about setting limits to how much I will take on without incurring any additional stressors.

2. It’s ok to take a break.

I took some time off from blogging and other projects I had going on in 2019 after the arrival of our son. I was hard on myself about making this decision but it was well worth it. I have embraced the fact that it is ok to take a break. Family comes first and will always remain first in my life. Motherhood has taught me so much and the early years are just as precious as any other year but even more especially since our kids do not stay small for long. The newborn and early years is my favorite stage. Once your babies start walking they often are too busy to stay still long enough to hold.

Therefore, this time around with our third child I made it a priority to take a break from the various projects I am working on. And it was great!

3. Quality over quantity of friendships.

There was a point in time when it felt good to have a long list of friends to call on and talk to. I am beyond that stage in my life. As the years pursue after high school and college, friendships dwindle away. Each of you may be going through different stages within your life and may even be on different paths.

What I have learned is that it’s not about the quantity of friends you have but the quality. You don’t have to hang out with a group of people every weekend or even see them that often to have a good quality friend. It’s about what that friend brings to your life; whether it’s support, motivation, or inspiration. I have those friends in my life and they each play a crucial role whether they are 5 minutes away, thousands of miles apart (Texas), or if they live right next door. I thank each of you (you know who you are) for what you bring to my life whether we hang out or speak every day or not. You are needed and appreciated.

4. Welcome criticism openly.  

I am my biggest critic. Having this trait has helped me in so many ways in being successful. I take criticism and dissect what I can take from it to turn negatives into positives. Welcoming criticism has improved my listening skills in order to actually hear what is being said. Critical thinking and problem solving has helped to better understand the perspective of others. I’ve learned not be defensive, as I refuse to make excuses.

 I do not self-proclaim that I am perfect. I make mistakes and I am constantly learning as a result. I have grown and will continue to grow.

5. Never give up; no matter how far behind you fall.

This year (2019) I committed to a few different things. First, reading through the Old Testament. Secondly, journaling daily before bed. Both are two important outlets in my life that I am very much passionate about. However, being a busy mom – my days can be very unpredictable. I struggled with continuing after falling behind schedule on these outlets. I would quickly become discouraged and would want to give up if I fell behind to the point of not being able to quickly catch up on missed days.

However, I have learned this year to NEVER give up on something that I am passionate about; no matter how far behind I may fall. Just simply committing a few minutes out of my day is better than no minutes at all. And if I don’t ever pick up my bible or journal “I” am the only thing standing in my own way. Now, I carry my bible and journal with me to the majority of places I go. Incorporating these two items makes it a part of my day and hard to fall short on.

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I want to wish everyone a happy and safe New Year’s Eve!

Bye-Bye 2019 … Hello 2020

P.S. on a side note one of my good friends blessed me today with a bowl of black eyed peas. Thank you Ameerah for keeping and introducing me to a new tradition. I am accepting all of that good prosperity into the new year.

FLWE ❤  

New Month, New Goals: May 2019

I am welcoming the month of May with lots of positivity and love. This is the month our son will be making his debut and as I prepare I have created a few goals for the month:

  1. Read More Books (downloaded the goodreads app and challenged myself to read 100 books before the end of the year- already 8 books in)
  2. Walk a minimum of 1-2 miles per day up until delivery and will walk daily as tolerated postpartum
  3. Begin logging my meals/calories again (slightly took a break during these past few months)
  4. Check in daily in my fitness apps to ensure my activity and progress is being logged (It’s about showing up daily)
  5. Blog more about my active fitness journey as I recover and prepare to run a 5k in the coming months
  6. Be more involved in my groups (It has been difficult for me to attend meetings and events as I prepare to delivery in the coming week)
  7. Transition to reduce my carb intake (Will return to low carb diet after delivery)
  8. Complete a trail run with Hubby
  9. Increase Water Intake
  10. Be more interactive with other WP blogs

Monthly goals will be a new category on my blog. With each month I will blog about my monthly goals. I encourage everyone to write down their goals for the month. This is a great exercise to motivate you to accomplish your goals. When you write out your goals you are writing them into existence. Reflect on your written goals daily. Check each completed task off your list. It feels great to accomplish your goals.

Share below in the comments one goal you have set for this month.

FLWE ❤