Category Archives: Goals

Simply Switches for 2011

Aaahhh, goals. I love setting them. I’m a very scatter-brained person by nature, so setting out specific goals help keep me focused.

For close to two years now, I’ve been setting a small list of goals to achieve at the start of every month. Sometimes I’m a success, like with increasing my healthy fat consumption, or reading more books for pleasure.

Other times, I’m a colossal failure and don’t achieve any. That never sways me though, because goal-setting is always necessary in my life to maintain that focus. And not achieving goals helps me realize what things are really important in my life.

For the month of December I set what I called The Most Important Goal of All. To put an end to my inner fat talk voice. That voice in my head where I say terrible, hurtful things to myself about my appearance.

I’m proud to say that I worked consistently at this all month. I started doing things on the outside, like dressing nicely, or eating well, that helped me feel better about my appearance. I feel like I’m walking around with a little more confidence. However, one month is definitely not long enough to fix this problem (if it can ever be fully fixed!). And that’s why it’s important to set some long-term goals as well.

First, a recap. On top of my usual monthly goals, last January I set a list of goals for 2010. I get a kick out of looking at these goals because I had no clue what was in store for 2010. If I did, I think I would have re-considered some of these!

1. Run a half marathon.

Did not do this. I was travelling/moving during my peak training months.

2. Complete a duathlon.

Did not do this. I moved away from the city I was planning on doing the duathlon in.

3. Complete a metric century.

Did not do this. I stopped riding my road bike because it’s just too dangerous in Toronto.

4. Get my first client as a personal trainer.

How about dozens? Accomplished!

5. LIVE life.

I spent 17 years “waiting” to finish school to get on with my life. Instead, I chose to stay in the same city, same job, did all the same things. It felt like a total waste when I finally had the whole world at my fingertips. I made some major life changes in 2010 – new job, new city, new outlook, new adventures. This may have seemed like a strange and vague goal when I set it 12 months ago, but I feel like this is the one that I really worked on every single day. It’s by far the best goal I ever set for myself and achieving it is one of my proudest accomplishments.

It’s so funny to look back and see how fitness focused I was one year ago. It taught me that as much as I make fitness that one “non-negotiable” in my life, it is also subject to change based on where I am and what I’m doing. I know I’m always going to be a runner, so I don’t need to set a half marathon goal to keep me running. And when certain life commitments come up, races just don’t seem all that important. Especially when you have to pay money for them!

For 2011 I am doing something a little different. And I encourage you to do it with me!

Instead of setting outright goals, I’ll be making simple switches.

I didn’t come up with this idea on my own. Cathy from Simply Bar told me about their Simply Switches program for the new year and I immediately jumped on board. Here’s how they describe it:

Simply Switches is our “get real” resolution – a campaign to make
health a habit, one switch at a time.

What are Simply Switches? They’re small, achievable shifts in
eating, exercise and lifestyle habits – simple changes that don’t
require a lot of effort, but really go the distance for your health. A
Simply Switch can be choosing a green tea instead of a sugary latte
in the afternoon, or going to a yoga class after work instead of going
home to watch TV.

By making 2 or 3 Simply Switches each day, we’re inspiring positive
changes that actually last. Join us!

I love this because instead of some big lofty goal, it encourages me to set goals that are doable and achievable.

After a lot of thought, here are the switches I’ve come up with:

1. Switch out sugary desserts with natural sweets.

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I am a sugar addict. Rather than cut back on sweets altogether, I’ll trade out some of those refined sugars with more natural ones like fruit.

2. Switch out 5 minutes of internet time for meditation time.

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I tried to set a 20 minute meditation goal back in the spring and failed miserably. This time I am starting much smaller and hopefully increase as it gets easier.

3. Switch out one workout a week with yoga.

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I already do yoga once a week, but I would ideally increase it to at least two. I think taking exercise out of the gym (and my workplace) and into the studio will help infuse a little more passion into my personal fitness again.

4. Switch out unreplied e-mails for replied ones!


I am awful for reading e-mails on my phone and forgetting about them. This leads to probably hundreds of e-mails I should have responded to but never did. If you are one of those senders, I’m so sorry! 2011 is the year I get on top of my inbox. As soon as an e-mail comes in, it doesn’t get marked as read until a proper response has been sent out.

2011 is going to be another life-changing year for me. These are four switches that I can do anywhere, any time, and will help keep me grounded throughout any craziness that lies ahead. I’ll be checking in once a week for the month of January, then monthly for the remainder of the year. This way these goals won’t go by the wayside. I’ll be featuring a brand new Simply Switch anyone can do on the check-in days!

Simply Bar has also offered to give away an amazing prize at the end of the month for all of our hard work. So I ask you… what Simply Switch are you going to make this year?? Resolutions are so 2008 :P


A December Goal Check-In

Hello and happy Waffle Wednesday friends!


I have a non-protein version to share with you today. Whipping up waffle/pancake batters are easy peasy. All you need is a flour-like substance, baking powder to fluff it up, egg to hold it together and a liquid to get the right consistency!

A Whole-Wheat Waffle For One:

  • 6 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 stevia packet (if you like it sweet)
  • 3 tbsp egg whites (double the recipe and use a whole egg)
  • 1/3 cup almond milk


One waffle is 255 calories, 2g fat, 42g carbs, 4g fibre and 13g protein. Not bad for a decadent breakfast, no?

I topped mine with smoked salmon cream cheese, scrambled eggs and a drizzle of maple syrup.


My first time buying the Philadelphia smoked salmon cream cheese flavour and I really like it! It’s a great way to add that smoky flavour to things. It was a fabulous pairing with the waffle, eggs and syrup. Definitely a winning combo :)


We are now officially halfway through the month of December. That means it’s time to check in on that December goal I set two weeks ago:

So instead, I am entering the month of December with one important goal. One that will take a lot concentrated effort to accomplish. Something I will have to nag myself about several times daily, but also help me end the month feeling like I’ve done a lot to better myself.

For me, December will be all about ending fat talk.

Ha. I can’t believe I just quoted myself :P

I wasn’t joking when I said this was a very important goal to me. That’s why I wanted to dedicate a whole post to it as a reminder to stick to it!

One thing I forgot to mention in the original post is that I don’t participate in fat talk vocally. For me, it’s all about the inner dialogue that is always going on in my brain.

I’ve never been one of those girls who turns to people and complains about my chubby tummy or most recent face breakout. But I am one of those girls who will look in the mirror and think to myself “Susan, you look awful today.”

These thoughts are not okay. I can exercise and eat as well as I want, but internally berating myself like this is probably the least healthy thing I could do.

After setting this goal two weeks ago, I made a concerted effort to tell myself I looked good every time I looked in the mirror. It wasn’t easy. It often felt contrived. But at least I was doing it and that was progress.

Towards the end of Week 1 I lost it. I forgot to consistently make the effort and I found myself looking down at my body and critiquing it.

In Week 2 I managed to snap out of it. I recognized that it would take more than just saying good things to myself. I had to do things that made me feel better too.

1. Wearing flattering clothing. My work uniforms are not flattering at all. This is a big contributing factor to my always thinking I look like poo. But I’m working on it! Wearing nice shirts underneath or cute jackets. My legs are my best quality, so showing them off in leggings or shorts at the gym.

2. Dressing up when I’m not at work. This is probably the opposite situation from most people. But I purposely have to dress down for my jobs. I essentially live in yoga pants. Mega comfy, but leaves me feeling like a shlump a lot. I don’t care if I’m overdressed on my days off – I wear my nice jeans, nice tops, do my hair and make-up. It leaves me feeling like a million bucks.

3. Eating fruits and veggies. Even when I’m chowing down on the world’s best pancake, surrounding it with snacks filled with fresh produce leave me feeling better about my indulgences. When I put good things in my body, I subsequently feel, well, good about my body!

4. Being active and not working out. Wearing a pedometer woke me up to the fact that while I may spend an hour working out 5 days a week, I don’t move my body much outside of those allotted 60 minutes. In the past two weeks I’ve been thinking more in terms of “what did I do to move my body today?” Sometimes it’s a sweaty cardio sesh, other times it’s a heavy lifting workout. But most of the time it’s walking, light elliptical, yoga. I feel better about my body when I move it consistency over the course of the day, rather than just killing it in one small chunk of time.

So that is where I’m at! Still a lot of work to do in the coming weeks. Especially seeing as I’m going home TOMORROW and will be facing a whole new set of challenges. I can already say I feel way better about myself than I did two weeks ago. This December goal couldn’t have come at a better time for me :)


Question of the Day:

1) How are you doing on your December goals?
2) What sort of things do you like to do to feel good about yourself?

The Most Important Goal of All

Oh goals. I set them every month. Sometimes I do fabulous. But lately? Errrm not so much. I set a handful at the beginning of the month. Here, 30 days later, I haven’t accomplished any of them.

  1. I didn’t do a very good job of “cleaning up my diet.” Whatever that means. But I did eat some of the best food of my life in California!
  2. I didn’t run outside four times. I did it three times. The last one was cold, windy and downright miserable. I’ve been on the treadmill ever since.
  3. My room is a disaster. Why I thought I could keep it clean for the first time in my life is beyond me.
  4. Days off? What are those? :P
  5. I did have tons of fun, but the work/life balance thing still needs, um, work.

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do for December. It will be a crazy month with half of it spent back home in the Maritimes. Not to mention the family, old friends, food, booze and shenanigans that come with the holidays!

It would be easy to set goals like “one sweet a day,” or “drink lots of water,” or “work out 5 times a week.” But those just don’t feel important to me anymore. Focusing on these little things no longer feel like the best thing for my well-being.

So instead, I am entering the month of December with one important goal. One that will take a lot concentrated effort to accomplish. Something I will have to nag myself about several times daily, but also help me end the month feeling like I’ve done a lot to better myself.

For me, December will be all about ending fat talk.

This is where the confession comes in. I’ve gotten really bad about fat talk lately. Ever since I fell victim to the Toronto Ten, I rarely look myself in the mirror and think good things. Thoughts cross my mind that I wouldn’t in a million years think of uttering to other people. And yet somehow, I think I can get away with saying them to myself. Insecurities about “looking the part” of a personal trainer, being single, and a healthy living blogger.

If there’s one thing I know, it’s that you get back what you put out into the world. I’ve been a Negative Nancy for too long now. I am living the exact life I carved out for myself when I first started daydreaming about moving to Toronto. I don’t want to let my hurtful thoughts get in the way of that.

December is an easy time to fall victim to fat talk. I’m sure we’ve all eaten one holiday cookie too many, then told ourselves we’re fat and useless after. I don’t want to spend my holidays doing that. I want to feel good about my body again and put some positive energy out there! I will look in the mirror and notice all the beautiful things about myself.

So this month, I am putting an end to all that fat talk. One goal that I am driven to achieve. One goal that will affect my life more than keeping my room clean (although my mother may beg to differ). One goal I hope you can join me in achieving :)

When you look in the mirror this month, say a few good things to yourself. Your spirit will thank you.


Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends!