2018 Real Resolutions

2017 was the year of so many “firsts” and “lasts” for me.

I finished my last semester of college, competed in my last pom competition, slept my last sleep in the college house I lived in with my best friends for three years, the list goes on…

I also had my first day at a new job, moved into my first big girl apartment with Scooter, posted my first blog post and taught my first class as an instructor.

2017 was no doubt the craziest, most fun, scary, amazing year yet. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t change a single second of this year. Every struggle forced me to learn and grow, and every success allowed me to appreciate this wonderful, LoveLeigh (I had to) life I live.

As we enter the final hours of 2017, I have reflected on my wins and loses for the year and set some realistic goals for myself moving forward.

I won’t lie, I don’t like the idea of “waiting for the new year” to set goals, because we should all be setting new goals every morning. But I do think the new year is a good time to check in on yourself and reflect on what’s important. So instead of trying to set giant, looming goals, let’s set some attainable ones that lead to progress and growth.

I want to make 2018 the year of listening. This one encompasses a lot. Listening to your friends, family and colleagues and hearing what they are saying, not just listening to respond. Having meaningful conversation and showing you care is becoming more and more rare. Let’s all try to listen more.

This also applies to yourself. Listen to your mind and body, and respond accordingly. On occasion I’ve been known to ignore everything my body tells me and go, go, go until I am so sick and tired I can’t get out of bed. I am going to consciously try to slow down when necessary. If you’re a 24/7 mover, you know this is so hard. Let’s hold each other accountable.

My next intention is to live presently. This goes hand in hand with being a crazy busy person. There were so many days this year where I would go through the motions of a 16 hour day and have no idea how that much time had passed. I hate the foggy feeling of not knowing how you got from A to B. I want to pull the focus I have throughout parts of my life into my entire day. No more going through the motions and more present intention. Let’s be aware and actionable in 2018.

My boring and practical resolution for the year is to set and abide by a budget. I am mentioning it here so that I actually do it. I can’t wait for the conversations where this specific paragraph is held against me by my parents and personal financial advisor (Scott). Good. I deserve it. If I don’t surpass my monthly spending for the whole year, come December 2018 I will treat myself at Lululemon. Does that defeat the point of a budget? Probably. Give me a break, I’m new to this.

Lastly, I resolve to spread joy. I love all the #feels of the holidays. Everybody is happy and full of cookies and excited to see each other. This feeling seems to fade by the middle of January when we are all windburned and packed into public transit like sardines.

Let’s try our best to revive that joy. This starts by waking up every day and making the decision to be kind to yourself and those around you. Smile at a stranger, take some time for yourself, and go out of the way to make a loved one feel special. The feeling of joy in our lives shouldn’t be limited to one month of the year. Oh, and the cookies probably don’t hurt, so let’s continue to bake and eat those, too.

None of my resolutions involve specific numbers or deadlines. I just want to spend this year having as much fun and learning as much as I did last year (and saving some money). I want to continue to create and spread kindness, tackle my goals head-on, and release negativity from my life.

Please share your favorite memories from 2017 and your goals for the new year in the comments. I want to hear what you guys are looking forward to and reflecting on. Here’s to making 2018 the best year yet. Who’s with me?

Love, Leigh

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Go for Your Goals

It feels like forever since my last post. So much has happened in the last few weeks and I am so excited to tell you all about it!

I also want to apologize for going MIA for a few weeks there, I was very busy and the last thing I want to do is treat this blog like a chore. I started it as a way to share my thoughts and finds with my friends. To have so many of you ask me when my next blog post was coming made me realize how many awesome people I’m surrounded by in my daily life and online. Thank you for reading and for bringing so much happiness into my life!

So without further ado, after weeks of training, practicing and prepping, I can finally say that I am an instructor at The Barre Code!

It’s no secret that I have loved TBC since I moved to Chicago, but going through this process has taught me so much about myself and The Barre Code community, that I felt inspired to share some learnings from my journey with you.

The first thing I have learned from all of this is that all of us can do anything we put our minds to. If you would have asked me a year ago if I would be working two jobs, one as a fitness instructor, I would have laughed. In early October, one of my favorite instructors asked me if I had ever thought about becoming an instructor and I laughed then, too. I am so thankful that I finally started believing in myself the way the people around me did. This leads me to my next point…

You are whatever you want to be. By that I mean, your mentality truly is your reality. The attitude I had towards myself and my goals was the determining factor of my success every single day of this training process.

If I had confidence, I did what I was supposed to, showed improvement and felt great about my work. If I went in as a Debby downer, you bet your booty I choked and felt awful about what I did that day. I cannot stress enough how much your mindset impacts your daily life. If you think you can, you’re halfway there. That’s probably written on a teabag somewhere, but it’s true and I love tea, so that’s fine.

Throughout training I have met countless strong, fabulous, fierce women that have shown me what being welcomed into a community feels like, and let me tell you, it feels pretty awesome.

The ladies I trained with, the absolute rock stars who trained us, the entire staff of The Barre Code and all of the amazing TBC clients have made me feel so loved. After months of living in a new city and trying to find “my thing” I couldn’t be happier to know that I have not only found it, but turned it into something I get to share with some of the coolest women I have ever met, every single day.

If you are feeling like you’re in a transitional period of your life, the advice I want to give you is to actively seek out something that makes you happy and commit to it. It doesn’t matter what other people think, because the people who care about you will think it’s just as awesome as you do. Shout out to my roomie boyfriend, Scott, for listening to me practice, trying his best to “tuck and squeeze”, and for having the ice cream and wine ready to go after a long day.

Real talk, things that might feel silly at first (like writing a blog), sometimes end up bringing you the most joy.

If you love to cook, take a class and see where it leads you. If you’re a runner, join a running club. All of these things sound simple, unless you let self-doubt kick in. You might think to yourself, “oh, I don’t know anyone here” or “I’m not that good” or “I’m too busy”. If you think that, then guess what? You’re right.

The moment you start believing in yourself is the moment you unleash your full potential. Start doing the things that make you feel uncomfortable, because growth happens outside of your comfort zone. Another teabag line – I don’t care. Still true.

I got dragged into a Barre Code class in the beginning of the summer by my (very talented) friend, Madalyn. I left with a hamstring cramp and a reality check. I found something I wasn’t great at, but knew I liked.

I felt silly in that studio, but I found something that gave me attainable goals to work towards. I took an hour a day for myself – an hour a day to challenge my mind and body. I entered a community of women that lift each other up, make each other laugh, and hold each other accountable. I gained new friends, discovered new confidence and even found some new muscles I don’t think I’d used before. I turned something I liked to do into something I love to help others excel at. I am so thankful for the people that led me to become an instructor. I can’t wait to continue learning and growing as a person as I begin my journey at The Barre Code.

If you’re in Chicago, I would love to have you in class! Send me a message for more info.

I hope you are all having an amazing holiday season and finding your own happiness, wherever that may be.

Love, Leigh