Finding Peace Between Your Mind and Body


Have you ever been at the gym and wanted to keep working out because you were so exhilarated, but knew that your body just couldn’t take it anymore?  Or have you ever wanted to keep working out because you were so into it, but your back or knees just couldn’t take another step?  I know I have.

I find the key to a good workout is finding a balance between finding peace in both body and mind because a good workout needs both. I like to walk away from the gym feeling clear minded, sweaty and full of energy.

Here’s how to get the most out of your workout:

Get over any mental obstacles

A workout is just as much of a mental exercise as it is a physical one.  At least it is for me. Sometimes the hardest part of getting in a good workout is getting to the gym.  I would much rather be at home in my pyjamas watching Netflix or soaking my sore bones in a hot bath.  However neither one of those things helps keep my energy up, my heart healthy and my weight at a reasonable number.  Once we get over the mental obstacle of working out we can focus on the physical.

Another mental part of a good workout is self confidence.  Have you ever avoided something because you thought you couldn’t do it?  I know I have.  Earlier this year I overcame my fear and joined a yoga studio.  Now once a week I focus on my breathing, letting go of stress and stretch my body in positions I didn’t think was possible.  And you know what – it feels great.

Push your body just a little bit more

I used to work out on the treadmill for 30 minutes because I thought that was all I could take.  However as my obsession with exercise increases and I’m making more time in my schedule for me I have increased my time on the treadmill to 40 minutes twice a week.  By the end of the year I want to get up to 45 minutes three times a week.

I keep myself motivated by always mixing it up. I spend my work out on the treadmill with a mixture of running, walking at an incline and lifting three pound weights.  I never keep the workout the same so I don’t get bored.  The time I spend on each task really depends on my music playlist.  I find it’s easier to keep going with a good song as oppose to watching the clock.

Accomplish the goal you set

There is no better feeling in the world than accomplishing a goal, at least not for me.  I love setting personal goals and pushing myself to meet them.  It’s so much easier to just give up, but what fun would that be.  Writing about and reminding myself about my goals helps me stay on track and keep working towards them until I achieve it.  When I achieve something it keeps me motivated towards achieving more goals.

Photo from Pixabay

Why I Don’t Regret Declaring Bankruptcy


Not too long ago I found myself in the deepest, darkest place I have ever been.  The market had just crashed, I was unemployed and I had over $50k of debt.  In September of 2009 I found myself sitting in the waiting room of a bankruptcy office ready to sign the papers to wipe out all my debt.  Ah if life was only that easy.

As a financial planner I knew the long lasting effects of declaring bankruptcy, but at 29 years old and more debt than income I didn’t see another option. I was prepared to wipe everything clean and start over, but bankruptcy doesn’t exactly work like that.

After talking with the bankruptcy councilor I decided that declaring bankruptcy was not the right option for me.  I wasn’t ready to have such a long lasting mark on my credit report and decided that I got myself into this financial mess so I was going to get myself out of it.

Four reasons why bankruptcy was the best thing that ever happened to me:

Bankruptcy gave me options

If I didn’t hit rock bottom that sunny September day (oh yes I remember it like it happened yesterday) I wouldn’t have learned about the options I had to help get out of this financial distress.  I thought I had to go about it alone, but the truth is there are a lot of resources out there for people who are having financial troubles.

You can talk to your bank about interest relief programs, call credit card companies to explore debt forgiveness options and talk to a councillor about how filing bankruptcy will affect your financial life for years to come.  When you have all the information you can make an informed decision about what’s best for you.

I’m not sad about what happened

The day I visited the bankruptcy councillor was the day the tears stopped.  Even though I was still $50k in debt and in the exact same situation that I was in the morning before my appointment I felt relived.  It was nice to know that with a plan I could pay off my debt.

I thought I had no options, so to learn that today was the day I start making changes and the fact that I finally got help were a big relief.

Helped me get my financial life in order

I knew the next few years wouldn’t be easy.  I had to cut expenses, get rid of credit cards, find both full time and part time jobs (extra income equals more payments) and start being disciplined with money (something I had never done in the past), but it was all going to be O.K. because I was on my way.

Taking that first step towards becoming debt free helped me learn how to properly manage money.  I’ve learned how to say no because in life we can’t always get what we want, I’ve learned how savings can help you feel financially strong and I’ve learned that having multiple credit cards doesn’t make you responsible.

All this to say I learned my lesson – a $50,000 lesson – but nevertheless lesson learned.

Photo from Pixabay




The Added Benefits of Starting Yoga


Fitness experts have been boasting about the benefits – both mental and physical – for years.  I know some people haven’t bought into the idea because they feel if you aren’t pumping iron or running on a treadmill that you aren’t getting a good workout, but that’s just not true.

The physical benefits of toning your body and stretching out your muscles are evident, what you may not know is that yoga offers several other benefits as well.

As of right now I spend $33 a month on a gym membership and $75 a month on yoga classes.  If you would have told me a year ago that I would be spending $108 a year on exercise I would have called you crazy, but truth be told I can’t think of a better way to spend $1296 a year than on myself and my health.

The chance to make new friends

Yoga is really a way of life.  It’s a community that supports each other both on and off the mat – that’s what I’m learning from joining a yoga studio.  My yoga studio offers retreats and outings for all members.

Last week they offered an excursion to go apple picking and take a 1 hour yoga class outside on a farm.  Isn’t that cool?!  I thought that making new friends at 35 was going to be hard, but the truth is it’s easy to do when you share something in common.

Getting over the fear of trying something new

I have three yoga DVDs at home and I’ve taken a yoga class here and there at my gym, but the experience of taking a class from a true yogi who makes everything about yoga their way of life is such a different experience.  This is not to say that the fitness instructor at my gym who leads the Zumba class is not also a good yoga instructor.

However everything about a yoga studio is Zen from the decor to the ambiance.  The biggest difference is there are no mirrors or clocks in a yoga studio because yoga is about you and how  you feel – perfect posture is just an added bonus. Your body will move in ways you never knew it could and although that can be terrifying to think about, it’s extremely exhilarating when you’re doing it.

Increased self esteem and body image

To be honest I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about taking a yoga class with a bunch of skinny girls who have been practicing for years.  I was nervous about how I’d look and feel next to a room full of yoga-lifers.  To be honest my reaction has been exactly the opposite of what I thought it would be.

Trying something new and getting comfortable with it has helped me feel like I’m a part of something.  I wanted to try yoga because of the physical benefits and to be honest the mental and emotional benefits have become just as important in my life.

I take yoga every Monday night and it gives me something to look forward to all day long.  When I walk out of a yoga class I feel accomplished, relaxed and clear minded.  It has definitely help me rethink the way I feel about myself.

What’s your favorite thing about yoga?

Photo from Pixabay


How to Start a Blog


If you have a creative voice, passion or love to write you may want to start a blog.  I know what you’re thinking, you’re probably thinking that the internet is saturated with blogs and it’s too late to start one.  The truth is it’s never too late.

If you want to start a blog here’s how you can do it in just seven easy steps:

Pick subject

When people go online they’re usually searching for a specific subject.  That’s why it’s important to focus on a niche when starting a blog.  It helps people find your website through search engines and it also helps you become an expert in the chosen field.  In short find your passion and do what makes you happy.

The more concentrated you are on a specific topic such as travel budgets, wedding planning or couple’s finance the higher you will rank because Google will understand what you’re all about.

Buy your domain and pick your hosting

In order to get online you’ll need a website name and somewhere to host it a.k.a. keep it live on the internet.  I personally use Big Scoots for both my hosting and to buy domains.  However Go Daddy and Blue Host are also very popular.

Big Scoots has excellent support and are very helpful for first time users.  Blue Host has easy step by step directions and Go Daddy is easy to use.  Even if you’re not very tech savvy you’ll be able to set up your blog in about thirty minutes.

The average price of a domain is around $10, but depending on the popularity some can run into the $1,000s.

Get set up on WordPress

Getting your blog set up online is one thing, getting it functional and looking the way you want it to is a completely other step.  WordPress is a blog management and publishing platform that allows you to pick a theme (look and appearance) for your website.  Once you have a basic theme picked out you can always customize the look and change the colors.

Don’t get too hung up on your theme, my advice is to pick one and move on.  Otherwise you can spend countless hours trying to get your site to look exactly as you want.  The truth is it will never be perfect because when it comes to blogging there are always improvement to be made.

Start writing

Building a website properly takes time and you can also tweak your blog as you go.  The most important thing is to get up and running.  Start writing.  Create an about page and a contact page – those are the basics.

You want readers to get to know you as a person because blogging is only half about (maybe even less) about being a good writer, the other half is about building relationships with readers that make them want to keep coming back.

Share on social media

When you’re a new website it’s hard for people to find you, so you need to tell them.  Share your posts on social media.  Join online communities in your niche and talk to people about your blog.  You should be proud of what you’re doing and unless you yell about it from the mountain tops no one will ever read it.

Photo from Pixabay