July 2017 Printable Calendar + Tech Pretties (Plus a Recap of my June Walking Challenge)
Well... we are officially half-way through 2017. Is that seem crazy to anyone else? There are so many things I still want to do this year: goals to accomplish, places to visit, books to read. I'm taking some time this weekend to write it all out. If the second half of the year is anything like the first half has been, I'm going to need a road map to keep me on track.
Before we get to the tech pretties, I want to share with you my most recent attempt at checking some of those goals off my 2017 list. Finding time for fitness when you work from home can be a challenge, but I finally figured out something that works for me.
RECAP: JUNE'S 100 MILE WALKING CHALLENGE
As you may have seen, especially if you follow me on instagram, I challenged myself to walk 100 miles throughout June (and a few days in May). At the time this is published I will have just 5.5 miles remaining on this challenge and 2 days to complete it. I can't tell you how excited I am to have completed a challenge that I set for myself, especially one related to fitness (one of my least favorite activities).
As I look back on my challenge and how I've gone from being a couch potato to wanting to walk 5 or 6 miles a day, I have found a few things that helped ensure my success:
LISTEN TO SOMETHING
I chose podcasts to listen to, but you could choose audiobooks or music or anything else can can be consumed auditorily. I initially chose podcasts because I was behind on my friend Annette Stepanian's podcast, Office Talk, and wanted to catch up. But then I branched out and found others I love and wouldn't you know it, I'm addicted to them! I know, I'm a little late to the game on this one, but there is still so much good content out there. Currently my favorite podcasts include Bosses & Booze with Meghan Maydel, She Creates Business with Kensey Roberts, Office Talk with Annette Stepanian, and Productivity Paradox with Tonya Dalton. These ladies are freaking amazing! I love hearing their insights and nuggets of wisdom on so many topics. Productivity Paradox has me rethinking some of my longest-held beliefs about how to be productive (any other serial multi-taskers out there?!) and the other three have me analyzing and evaluating everything about my business. They all have me literally laughing out loud (yes, while I'm walking down the street, by myself) at least once every episode. If you haven't checked them out yet, I highly recommend them, especially if you are in the wedding or creative industry.
SET AN ATTAINABLE GOAL
When I was deciding what my challenge would be I knew it needed to be simple and it needed to be something I hadn't tried yet. I've tried so many fitness challenges and I fail at them all because I don't enjoy them and eventually lose interest. No reward is good enough to get me excited about running or lifting weights or doing burpees! One thing I had never tried was simply walking. So I decided to give it a whirl. I also knew I wanted to walk at least 3 miles per day on at least 6 days per week for the 6 weeks of the challenge. That came out to about 100 total miles (with rounding). If I walked my normal walking pace, I could do that in roughly an hour a day. That, I thought, was a good starting place and something I could commit to.
SET A ROUTINE
The second best thing I did at the beginning of the challenge was rearrange my schedule to allow for it. I had previously been struggling a lot with balance - finding time to work, exercise, do housework, and still have a life. I was putting on weight that I had worked so hard to lose in 2015 & 2016 and felt really bad all the time. On top of that, I really wasn't happy and felt unfocused and distracted all the time. After sharing some of my concerns with my biz coach, she suggested that I start blocking out time in the mornings to do check my personal tasks off first thing. This would allow me to make sure they got done and be able to focus on work when it was time to work. Plus, I am more productive and creative in the evenings than first thing in the morning. So I decided to walk first thing in the morning. I didn't think I would like it as much as I do, but now I love it and hate mornings when I have to skip my walk. So now I allow myself all morning for any personal tasks that need to be accomplished (walking, laundry, groceries, cleaning, etc.). I get to work between 11:00am and noon each day and work until 7:00-8:00pm (sometimes later). This schedule is working for me now and I feel so must more productive than I did a month ago! (PS - I still struggle with balance, but I feel like I'm doing a better job on most days now.)
TELL EVERYONE ABOUT IT
The absolute best thing I did at the beginning of the challenge was tell everyone about it. I told my hubby, my mom, my dad, my grandparents, my friends, even acquaintances. I also put out there on my Insta-stories - posting updates every day that I walked. This motivated me to get up every morning, lace up my shoes, and get moving. People would check in with me on my progress - sending me text messages, DMs on social media, even sending me emails. It was amazing and just the right amount of accountability I needed to continue making progress.
I'm not the type of person that is motivated by extrinsic rewards. In general, I have to want to do something for anything to happen. This challenge was no different. While I did set a reward for myself (new shoes!) and I intend on giving myself the reward, it wasn't a motivating factor at all. The biggest reward is knowing that I walked 100 miles in just over a month. I went from barely getting 4,000 steps a day to getting over 15,000 on a regular basis. I'm so proud of myself for that! Now that I know this about myself, well... relearned it about myself, I can create better incentives for myself by setting goals that are fun and are big enough (for me) that I feel like I really accomplished something.
Now that I've finished this challenge, I'm ready to do another! For July I'll be continuing my morning walks, but shortening them most days (5-6 miles every day is just too much for my shins!), and adding on a strength component. I haven't quite decided what it'll be, but I'll announce it on my Insta-stories once I decide. I'm leaning toward something related to either yoga or a rest-in-plank circuit. Are you creating a challenge for yourself in July? Let me know in the comments or DM me on social media so I can cheer you on.
GRAB YOUR JULY 2017 CALENDAR & TECH PRETTIES
And now... what you (probably) actually came here for: the pretty, pretty tech pretties for July. Since July is often one of the hottest months of the year and since I'd rather be on a warm beach right now (really that's every day, though), I made this tropical graphic so I could at least pretend to be close to a beach. Click the links below the image to download your July printable calendar & tech pretties for all your devices. As always, all downloads are for personal use only. Thanks!
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Before you go, I'd love to hear from you in the comments! Are you creating a challenge for yourself in July? Let me know in the comments.