All the Seasons of Spring: Tea/coffee Date April 2021

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Thanks,  Coco and Deborah, getting us altogether virtually for a coffee date. It may be Spring, with all that applies — swinging back & forth between Spring & Winter — so I’m still drinking hot chocolate. 🙂

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If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you a couple of weeks ago I was having serious vaccine envy. It seemed as though everyone I know — aside from my sister & BIL — is vaccinated. I whined to everyone about it and I apologize! The next week they opened it up to 50+.

It says “Own Today”

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you the day I learned that I would be eligible to try to make a vaccine appointment the next day — (3/22) — was also the first day I was able to use the Yoga platform in 2021. I got a little goofy trying to take photos of my wrap after I wrapped that practice. It was a good day! My appointment is 5/29, although I’m hoping to move that closer.

ETA: the day after I made the 5/29 appointment (3/24), I made an appointment for 4/26. It was at a site a bit over an hour from me; the 5/29 appointment was much closer. Then I made one for 4/15 (same place, longer drive). This was all the morning of the 24th. Then Darlene told me there was a more local place that had a lot of appointments for that day (the 24th — are you following all this?).

Yup, I made an appointment for that afternoon and prayed I wouldn’t have a reaction so I could go visit my mom the next day as planned, which also happened to be my Dad’s birthday. My mom is pretty stoic, and rarely mentions those sort of anniversary dates. Still I thought it would help brighten her day to have a visit. I knew it would brighten her day to hear I’d had my first vaccine!

On top of all that, my brother is in the middle of getting his vaccinations, and planning a trip out to see my mom in June. He hasn’t seen her in over a year. Plus I also have to fill out a jury questionnaire by the beginning of April; I don’t know when/if I might be called, but the thought of jury duty was definitely freaking me out. As long as it’s not on the date for my second shot . . . 

 

This photo was less than a week before the photo above — Spring is nothing if not changeable!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I’ve been doing my best to dragtake Mr. Judy out for hikes. Any day that is even reasonably warm and dry (and by warm I’m including windy, cloudy, and about 50 sometimes). Bandit doesn’t need any prodding.

 

I really needed these brownies

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I have been jonesing for a cookie. I’ve also been busy and not baking. Then I spied a container in the freezer — lo and behold, it was brownies! I’m usually fairly good at mentally keeping track of what’s in there, but I had no clue they were there — and so happy they were!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
We started to watch Upload (Amazon Prime). The first episode was silly, but mildly entertaining, and it’s definitely light fare, but it got better after the first episode. Although I’m beginning to think we should consider an HBO subscription. You’d think Netflix and Amazon Prime would be enough, wouldn’t you?

Does your beverage of choice change with the seasons? 

Have you been able to put away Winter running clothes? At least I’ve fairly certain I won’t need the stuff for 20 and below anymore, but I don’t want to jinx it!

What are you watching these days? Always looking for recommendations.

Also linking up with:

bfitfivefriday

Signs of Spring: Tea/coffee Date March 2021

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Thanks,  Coco and Deborah, getting us altogether virtually for a coffee date. I may have to stop drinking hot chocolate as we move into Spring. Yeah, not happening, bwahaha!

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The long & winding road up. Yes, this day was 50F!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you the first time I stopped at Olana on the way to my mom since being sick, I had to pause to catch my breath multiple times on the very steep uphill back to the car. Normally I can make it without stopping at all.

Last week’s visit there was no stopping, although I did walk up the other side, which I think is less steep. My V02 MAX has continued to rise into a more normal level for me.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I wanted to get the Saucony Peregrine Ice shoes I heard about. But I couldn’t make up my mind. I couldn’t figure out what the right size was, and some reviews said they weren’t really that great on the slippery stuff anyway. Now we’re close enough to Spring, maybe I just have to make up my mind what I want for next year and see if we can get a deal.


Eagle? Turkey vulture? Just a very large hawk?

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I spied a really large bird in the trees across the street last week. I often see hawks there in spring/summer/fall but I haven’t seen them recently. This bird seemed much larger. Mr. Judy got this photo but even with his big digital camera it was pretty out of focus. I think it was a young male bald eagle! So that was our excitement last week.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you we are really hoping that things will have settled down enough by the Fall so that we feel safe to travel again. We already have a loose plan for our anniversary in October. By that point in time it will be close to three years since I’ve had an actual vacation; of any length. 

It will also have been almost a year and a half since Mr. Judy has seen his mother. She’s significantly younger than my mother, but she’s still no spring chicken!


I wonder if he’ll stop the snuggling when it’s warmer? Apparently yes, he’s already mostly stopped

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you Bandit likes Outlander. I will sometimes watch an episode right before making his dinner. He’s taken to laying next to me and snuggling during it. I’m sure he’s just waiting for his dinner, but he lays quietly next to me so it’s all good.

Are your furkids snuggly — or only when they want something, like Bandit? 

Do you have special running shoes for Winter? 

Are you ready to plan something — anything?

Also linking up with:

bfitfivefriday

Last year in the 50s: Tea/coffee Date February 2021

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Thanks,  Coco and Deborah, for inviting me and all the other bloggers to get together with the warm beverage of our choice and get caught up in what’s going on in our worlds.

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If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you the last couple of years have changed my relationship with running. I don’t know if it will change back when things are finally more normal. I never lived to race. Do I miss it? Sometimes. Sometimes not. I haven’t even really missed running much — not running opened up a lot of time to work on my passion projects and I got so much done — while still staying fit with other fitness pursuits.

Winter running can be peaceful. It can also test your limits. Some embrace the cold; some “run” from it.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you part of the reason I probably don’t miss running so much right now is it’s Winter. A relatively mild Winter in these parts (until this month, of course), but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been some bone-chilling cold days and snow. Usually for me Winter is a time for maintaining my base.

Although I have been known to train through Winter, most of the time when I’ve done it I swear never again! I’m a sucker for a race around my birthday, though, which is next week. That means travel. Because who wants to run a half marathon in Winter in upstate NY even when times are normal? Well, some people do, but not this girl!

Mason jars make me happy. Mason jars with healthy food even happier.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you these brightly colored mason jars filled with healthy food: parsley — used to make pesto, not pictured but it’s also in a mason jar!, home made chocolate cashew milk,  greens soup, vegetarian chili, cauliflower (which has been transformed into cauliflower leek soup), home made chicken bone broth — they make my heart sing every time I open the refrigerator door.

I’d also tell you somehow I got 2 things of parsley into my grocery order, and because every time you go back to adjust an order with that company, you have to enter your substitutions all over again, I just let it be. Then when it came, there were three things of parsley! One was used for the greens soup, another for the pesto, and I guess I’ll just have to make more of my greens soup!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I hurt my shoulder doing Yoga last month; the first time I was able to resolve it pretty quickly with self myofascial release (SMR), even though it was so painful I could barely lift my arm past shoulder height.

The second time also resolved pretty quickly, for the same reason. Although I had one night, after it was almost all better, when oddly I had a terrible time sleeping because I couldn’t get comfortable — despite the fact that during the day it was feeling pretty good. Weird! Luckily it was fine by the time it snowed and shoveling didn’t bother it.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I turn 59 next week. Of course I can’t tell you how I’ll feel when I turn 60 in 2022, but right now it doesn’t bother me. I think that’s because I’m the baby of my family — both my immediate and my extended family. Also there’s the fact my sister is 7 years older, so obviously she turned 60 long ago, although sometimes I swear I feel like the older sister!

How do you feel about big birthdays? 

Oldest, youngest, middle child or only child? 

What would you do with #alltheparsley?

Also linking up with:

bfitfivefriday

5 Reasons to Love Nuun

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I am so happy to be back as a Legacy Nuun Ambassador! Legacy means that I’ve been representing Nuun for 4 years (or more). I have actually been using Nuun for running for much longer than that. When you find something that works for your running, you don’t often stray from that product: today I’m sharing five reasons I love using Nuun.

Fairytales and Fitness

Run cramp free
I had some terrible problems with cramping in my toes while running a few years back. I also often had problems with cramping in my hamstrings after a run. I had started out using Nuun, but had gotten away from it. When I went back to using Nuun, the cramping mostly disappeared.

Clean ingredients
I am that health nut that pretty much always reads the labels. I try to get my family to read labels, too! Ingredients are important to me, and I like what Nuun puts in its electrolytes (you can buy Nuun Sport here):

Nuun drink tablets are made with plant-based ingredients. They are gluten free, dairy free & soy free.

They are also sweetened with stevia, so no sugar highs and crashes. Some versions of Nuun Sport also include caffeine from green tea — I love to use that before a race!

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Making sure I stay hydrated before a humid Savannah race

Convenience
Plop. plop, fizz, fizz — I probably just really dated myself there. Just drop a tablet into water (or your beverage of choice) and wait a few minutes for it to completely dissolve. Recyclable plastic tubes make Nuun easy to travel with — and I have traveled all over the country with Nuun!

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It’s not just for sports
Those Nuun tubes? My husband is always commenting on how often they appear empty on the table. I give them to him, he usually finds some uses for them, although they are recyclable (except for the tops).

You would think after 4+ years he’d have gotten used to the fact that I use Nuun most days. On the days I’m not running — especially in 2020 and this year — I’m drinking Nuun Immunity (buy Nuun Immunity here). Nuun Immunity includes things like zinc, vitamin c, elderberry — and a lot of other ingredients to help you stay healthy.

Nuun Immunity has been a staple for me for years. I take it before, during, and after a racecation — when I was able to to race and travel — I look forward to getting back to that!

It’s about more than just electrolytes
Nuun is about more than just hydration. It’s about getting out there and muuving, as the CEO likes to say. They offer free plans for strength and Yoga — running is coming. You can sign up here.

What are your favorite running products?

Have you ever tried Nuun? If yes, what’s your favorite flavor?

My favorite tends to change but right now it’s Strawberry Lemonade!

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I’m also linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday

5 Reasons Clear is . . .

 

. . . My Word for 2021

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Clear: 

                1. Remove an unwanted item
                2. Pure & Intense
                3. Away from
                4. Get over something safely

Synonyms: wholly, strip, remove, crystal clear, straightforward

I struggled with picking a word for 2021. I came this close to going with Aware, aka mindfulness. Sometimes I’m a very mindful person — and sometimes I’m really not. I get caught up in the “I’m so busy” trap, which never ends well. Somehow I knew it Aware wasn’t quite right.

One morning, as I was doing some Yoga, I was thinking about the Yamas & Niyamas (which I actually am writing a post about for the Website/blog I’ve been mightily resisting creating for my Yoga, and finally realized I really need to do). Clean actually popped into my mind suddenly, and then Clear just popped in. 

In some ways it still doesn’t feel like “the one”, and yet my gut says it is.

Fairytales and Fitness

Clear away what is not serving me
We all have things that aren’t serving us. Sometimes they’re just habits. Sometimes they’re inertia: much easier to keep a status quo than do something about it.. 

Clear away more clutter
I worked really hard on this in 2020, and made a lot of progress. I’ve been on a hiatus from it because the end of the year just always does a real job on my energy — and that’s in a good year.

There is more work to be done, though, and I want to clear out my Yoga room more. I already feel a sense of peace when I step in there, but there’s also still some clutter that needs to be cleared. That’s not the only space in my house where more clutter needs to go.

Be clear on my goals
Yes, I’ve started to use my Simple Elephant planner — even though we all know what happened to planning in 2020 (I can no longer find this planner on Amazon, but this one is similar — Amazon Affiliate link here).! The planner lives up to its name: it is, indeed, quite simple.

This makes it a lot smaller than my Clever Fox planner from 2020 (see my review here) — which I never did completely fill, so I’m using it for note taking right now, LOL.

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Clear my mind regularly
Ok, I already do this. When I first started to meditate, it was an on again off again thing, but it’s been a daily practice for several years now. It can make such a difference in your day to start it off with some meditation. You don’t have to sit for 20 minutes! Even just 5 minutes of calm can make all the difference in how you face  — and embrace — your day.

Cue Yoga classes clearly
Clear cueing is not my strong point. It’s something I’m continually working on. I also tend to trip over my words when I’m just doing vlogs, too — which I’m pretty sure is always going to happen. I intend to audit another teacher training that I’ve heard really helps with cueing.

Do you pick a word for each year?

What is your word for 2021?

Even if you don’t pick a word, what would you like to see more of in 2021?

Do you believe?: Tea/coffee Date January 2021

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Pull up a chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me and a bunch of bloggers for the first ultimate coffee tea date in 2021. I know we’re all crossing our fingers that 2021 will be a much, much better year. I definitely feel I’m overdue for a good year.

What else has been going on in my world?

Pull up some hot chocolate (because that’s my favorite hot beverage in the Winter) and I’ll listen to what’s going on in your world, then tell you what’s going on in mine.

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If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you Mr. Judy never seems to believe me, like the time I told him some states you can register to vote on election day — 19, in fact, and the District of Columbia — or the time I told him my Tracfone app said I have 40,000 minutes left on my plan. He was so sure I meant 4000, but nope, 40,000 is what the app said.

Out of curiosity I asked Alexa how many hours 40,000 minutes is: 666. We almost died laughing when we heard that! Yes, it’s a glitch in the app, I don’t have quite that much time.

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The story behind the scarf

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you the story behind the scarf in the photo above, since I got a lot of admiring comments on it. Many years ago, while we were still living in TX, I tagged along on a business trip to Paris with Mr. Judy. A week in Paris? Yes please!

I had a lot of fun traipsing all over Paris, mostly on my own, since Mr. Judy was working. One day I took a walking tour of Montmarte, which turned out great, because it ended at Sacre Coeur Cathedral in such a way that you don’t have to climb up all the steps (if you’ve been, you know what I’m talking about).

There just happened to be a craft fair around the outside of the cathedral that day, and that’s where I bought the scarf. I don’t wear it often because it’s not very long, but I was so glad I wore it in the photo above because it was in the 30s that morning and quite cold hiking around Olana!

Doesn’t seem that long ago we were eating outside but now it’s my fireplace (we don’t have one)

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that the infrared patio heater I bought for Mr. Judy for his birthday back in September, the one that Lola enjoyed so much in her last few weeks . . . I’m enjoying it right now. I’ve got it next to the recliner I usually sit in at night when we watch tv, and you better believe I’ve been basking in its glow! Supposedly there are a lot of health benefits to infrared heat, such as:

  • Improve blood circulation and skin complexion.
  • Strengthens cardiovascular system.
  • Improve detoxification.
  • Wound healing.
  • Relaxation and pain/aches management.
  • Immunity boosting.
  • Cancer support.

I’m not sure this heater does all that, but it does feel nice.

It helps me sleep better

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you when I got the humidifier from Doterra I’d ordered (which you can put essential oils in), I immediately showed it to Mr. Judy, although it wasn’t yet Hannukah. He’d been talking about buying a humidifier for years. He promptly showed me the humidifier he’d bought.

It’s always thirsty

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you don’t worry, the house is more than big enough for two humidifiers. Mr. Judy has his running 24/7 and he’s having to fill it every day. I only run the one in the bedroom for a couple of hours before bed, so it lasts a few days. I use lavender essential oil in there and have definitely noticed I sleep better when I run it.

Have you ever bought the same present for a loved one they bought for you? 

Ended up using a gift you bought for your significant other? 

Is there something you look for when you travel? For me it’s usually scarves, mugs, and earrings.

I am also linking up with the  Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness from Fairytales & Fitness.

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Finally Coming Clean: Runfessions December 2020

I come clean about something that’s been bothering me a long time. Then there’s tech issues (because when isn’t there?). Then finally there’s some animal shenanigans — because isn’t there always when you live with furkids?

I runfess . . .
I’ll open with a whopper: my achilles tendon started acting up about mid Summer. It went back and forth for a while — sometimes it would painful enough that I would limp after a run (it would be fine after just a few hours), other times I’d feel nothing wrong with it at all.

I’m not 100% sure what caused it, in the end, although I suspect it may just have been shoes with too many miles on them. There were those downhill races — but I’ve run down mountains and not been bothered it at all. There was one particular virtual race where it was very painful the next day and I was limping for a while. That’s when I decided to drop my mileage, and it’s taken me until now to feel almost normal again.

I’m also not quite sure what I did to fix it — like many aches/pains, I did a variety of things. Even now sometimes it’s a case of one thing is not like the other (it’s only on the left leg, which is the leg susceptible to all those sorts of thing) but most of the time it feels just fine. Hopefully this runfession is now firmly in the rearview mirror!

I runfess . . .
I’m okay with the treadmill — up to a certain point. I don’t want to do long runs on it (although I have). I don’t want to do every run on it, either. I’m very happy that it keeps ticking along. The Peloton app definitely helps me feel more comfortable on it, as you can see from my review of the Peloton Road to 5K Program here.

No treadmill for Bandit. He’ll just drive us crazy wanting to go out every 5 minutes. Don’t let that sweet face fool you!

I runfess . . .
Speaking of the treadmill, we got the idea to try to train Bandit on that. Let that sink in a minute. I started it on the slowest speed, with me also standing on it. I forgot, though, that because of its age and multiple repairs, it starts out way faster than what it’s set to and then slows down — so now imagine poor Bandit sliding off the back of the treadmill . . . yes, he’s just fine.

We actually tried it again with it already running, but although he got up on it again, we still didn’t have success. Okay, buddy, you can just suffer with cabin fever — and he is, because the cold + the Nor’easter means he wasn’t walked for days last week. We did spend more time playing with him & doing some training, which he loved. It didn’t make him any calmer in the “long run” though.

I runfess . . .
My Vivoactive 3 suddenly stopped syncing with the Garmin Connect app not too long ago. I updated the app. I deleted the app and then reinstalled the app. I checked to see if there was a software update for the watch but there wasn’t. Nothing seemed to be working. The watch isn’t that old.

Then I turned the watch off and back on — the standard fix — and voila! I never turn it off because it’s also my fitness tracker. The updated app now breaks down my sleep into light sleep, deep sleep, REM sleep, and awake. For some reason I find that kind of fascinating. Skimming through it, looks like my patterns seem relatively normal (now, wasn’t always the case). I found this interesting post on sleep, its stages, how much you should get in each stage here.

Then I had to turn it on and off to get it to sync again this week. I hope this doesn’t continue!

I would’ve never seen these muskrats(?) if I ran indoors, although right now I assume those paths are buried under snow & it’s hard to find places to run outside! ETA: with the warm weather and rain the past couple of days, most of the snow is gone. For now.

I runfess . . .
It felt good to run outside more after I finished up the Peloton 5k training program, but I also runfess I’m still perfectly happy to run on the treadmill on bad weather days (like today). And by bad weather I mean too cold, too hot, too windy, too wet, too slippery, or anytime I don’t have too much time, LOL!

Have you ever had your dog run on a treadmill? 

Any tech problems lately?

What do you have to runfess from December? Come join us

All kidding aside, despite the trials and tribulations of 2020, I have much to be grateful for, not the least is  a healthy family so far, knock on wood. I know for many, myself included, Thanksgiving wasn’t what we expected or wanted, but I hope you found it in your heart to be grateful for what you have. Ditto with Hannukah/Christmas/whatever you celebrate at this time of year.

GWY Sleep Course 3

ICYMI: my gift to you — the third short Yin Yoga flow + meditation (if you choose) to help you sleep better tonight. Give yourself the gift of relaxation! Practice with me here.

Runfessions

I am also linking up with:

5 Things I’m Loving/Not Loving

End of Year Edition

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It’s been a while since I’ve shared some things I love — and some things I don’t. 

Fairytales and Fitness

One: Loving
. . . My new Brooks sneakers. It was time!

Not exciting but my feet needed these

Not Loving
. . . the uninspired colors. Of course they were on sale — about half what I’d normally pay for running shoes — so I can’t really complain.

Two: Loving
. . . Finding the single sock that had disappeared months ago. I’ve no idea where it was, but it suddenly just appeared in some laundry. Actually, this is the second missing sock I’ve actually found this year.

Not Loving
. . . how dirty the sock was (just like that first one I finally found) — even after washing it. I’m not sure either will ever get clean enough to wear again! 

Finally a sale!

Three: Loving
. . . my new Smartwool socks. It seems like they never go on sale, but I finally got a discount! Yes, these aren’t running socks.

Not Loving
. . . I need to rearrange my (multiple) sock drawers/boxes.

So much easier with just Bandit, even if he didn’t quite understand walking a labyrinth

Four: Loving
. . . Walking one dog. It’s so much easier. I felt the same way after Chester passed and Lola was our only dog.

Not Loving
. . . the reason we’re only walking one dog.

Five: Loving
. . . that I can now go in my mom’s apartment. Having a bathroom to use . . . it’s priceless when you’ll be away from home pretty much all day!

Not Loving
. . . the big announcement: my sister sold her house and plans to move somewhere down south. I am happy for her, and in many ways she has done more than her fair share with my parents. However, she lived about 40 minutes away from my mom as opposed to my almost 2 hours away. Not only that, if my mom ends up in the hospital at some point — unless I can stay at my mom’s apartment (which obviously is about 40 minutes away from the hospital), I have nowhere to stay without having to get a hotel room.

I am happy for my sister. She is 65, and the time is right for her. Although they have sold their house & have no idea where they’re actually going to move/live.

Sucks for me and my mom, though.

What are you loving/not loving lately?

Review: Clever Fox Planner

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I am methodical and love to plan. Small wonder that I also love a planner. I’ve been searching for the right one. The Clever Fox Planner (Amazon Affiliate link here) checked a lot of boxes for me. But would I buy it again? Will it work for you?

I started this post in March. Well, we all know what happened back then & I basically abandoned the planner altogether (which is not like me). I have been focusing on marketing for the last few weeks, and I’ve started to use it again. It’s just amazing what a little planning can do for you!

I know this post is a stretch for a running linkup, but the reason I started to use this planner was to combine my running journal with a planner, because I didn’t really like using two journals.

You have to put in the dates — but if you skip month/s nothing wasted.

No dates
Clever Fox is an undated planner. Which means you will have to write in dates for every month, every week, every day. Not a deal breaker for me.

The monthly calendar has room for this month’s goals, this month’s wins, and how you’ll improve going forward. In addition, it has spots for:

  • Habits to Adopt
  • Skills to Learn
  • Things to Avoid
  • Places to Go
  • People to See

So far so good.

Prioritize your week

Weekly Plan
Before you get into the meat of your week, it’s time to set yourself up for success with:

  • This week’s main goal
  • This week’s priorities
  • Work to-do list
  • Personal to-do list
  • Habits/Skills list with a checkbox for each day of the week
  • Spaces to write out what you want to do in: healthy & sports, family & friends, romance & relationships, fun & recreation, personal development, and spiritual

I love being able to tick off the habits/skills I want to work on — and pretty much everything else, if I’m honest.

Now on to planning your day
Each day there is a place for:

  • Today’s main goal
  • Today’s priorities
  • Schedule (broken down hourly from 6-9)
  • To-do list
  • Rate your productivity
  • How I’ll improve

When I kept this with me, I found myself really focused on the things I needed to do. There is a page for each day of the week. You will need to write in the day and date.

Since going back to using this journal, I have discovered the schedule portion really isn’t necessary for me. I use it take notes, LOL! It takes up most of the page, though, which is a lot of space for something I don’t really need — you might need it, though.

What went right? What didn’t? What will you change next week?

Review your week
There is a blank page after all the days of the week for weekly notes. I used this for blog ideas, ideas for my YouTube channel, meal planning & meal prep.

Next to the Notes page is the Weekly Review, which includes fields for:

  • A checkbox for this week’s main goal
  • This week’s wins

Then there’s a series of questions for you to answer:

  • What didn’t get done & why?
  • What habits were not completed & why?
  • What did you learn this week?
  • How do you feel about your progress this week?
  • How will you improve next week?

There is actually a lot more in the planner, including spaces for a vision board, a mind map, goals in various areas of your life, and even more.

Final Thoughts
Would I buy this planner again? No. It is too darn thick, and it’s only for 6 months! The 6 month thing wasn’t a deal breaker for me. The thickness is. I like to travel with my planner. I will take notes on what we did, where we ate, etc. I’ll track my runs and write notes on my race (because travel is almost always for a race for me!).

ETA: Yes, I wrote the above in March. I haven’t changed my mind; The Clever Fox is an awesome planner, but it’s not the right planner for me. The thickness is a big reason. The wasted space on an hourly schedule is another. I wish there was just blank space for actual journaling in the daily pages — I could use that for tracking runs (which I’m not doing anyway right now as we all know) or just journaling in general. I’ve been looking at the Simple Elephant Planner (Amazon Affiliate link here) and the Panda Planner (Amazon Affiliate link here)– not sure why I’m drawn to animal journals but of course I do love animals.

Writing down priorities keeps me focused, but I didn’t need the schedule space — you can see I used that space for notes on runs.

I found I didn’t really need all that daily space devoted broken down by time. A blank space, probably smaller, would have served me just fine.

I did learn that picking a main priority for each day, then several other (but not too many) to-dos was a real game changer for me. Of course I didn’t always do everything on my list, and some days I did other things that were just as important.

In the end choosing a priority and the other things that were truly important to me each day kept me much more focused and productive, and that is a great takeaway for me and something I’ll continue to do no matter what planner I decide on next.

ETA: Now that I’m back to using the planner, the above is still very true! I actually get more done if I think about the next day’s priorities the night before.

Do you need to be more organized?

Do you use a planner? Electronic or Digital or both?

Any recommendations for me?

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Celebrate Life

My title is the actual name of a race not too far away that celebrates and raises funds for those going through cancer, as well as the survivors. I did it as part of a relay several years ago.

Fairytales and Fitness

Why do the good die?
With the loss of Mr. Judy’s aunt not long ago, I found myself pondering this question. I know so many good people who have died so young. It seems so unfair. I believe in God, but it’s always a struggle to understand why a benevolent God would do such a thing.

Of course we need hardships in life to grow. Why make good people suffer? What’s the point? Why take people from their loved ones far too young? Children, even infants?

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I don’t know why
It’s probably something I will never understand. I’ve been lucky in my life for the most part. All the grandparents I knew had long lives. Several of my uncles died around my current age, but we knew why: smoking. Obviously my parents have/had long lives, far longer than they ever thought they would live. I’m lucky to have my siblings, knock on wood.

I don’t think anyone can really come to grips with why people die before their time, especially when they suffer a great deal.

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I do think we must celebrate the lives of the ones we have lost, especially the ones taken from us too soon. Celebrating their lives is a way to say they were here. They made a difference. The difference they made, by my celebration, will live on.

I believe that things happen for a reason. Often we don’t know until much later why such a hard thing happened to us; sometimes we never know. Believing in life, in purpose — and celebrating it; that’s what helps me through the hard times. — Chocolaterunsjudy

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Final Thoughts
People suffering, people dying young . . . it seems so senseless. It is so senseless. Oddly it makes me believe in God, that there must be some sort of plan, but we’re never going to know what that plan is. I know for many people it’s proof that there is no God, because why would a benevolent God make children suffer? I always say which thought do you find most comforting?

I am celebrating my Dad’s life — his love of family, theater, dance, music, learning. I am celebrating Lola’s life — her boundless energy, her love of zoomies, her love of snuggling up between her humans at night, her “performances” for treats. I didn’t know Linda, Mr. Judy’s aunt well, but I am celebrating her life, too — she loved Mr. Judy’s uncle and cousins well, she was creative, and she was always happy to see us and welcoming.

Who are you celebrating?