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

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Finding Your Own Motivation

I spent Saturday with thousands of women striving to be the best versions of themselves, and it was inspiring to say the least. You already know my feelings on group fitness, but the Tone It Up Tour was another level of community.

For those of you who don’t know, Tone It Up is a website with daily workouts, healthy recipes, fitness challenges and nutrition plans run by trainers Karena and Katrina. They are currently touring the nation with Jillian Michaels and filming new fitness content for their website and app.

Hearing Jillian, Karena and Katrina speak to the group got me thinking about what motivates me and how I find that motivation within myself.

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For a long time, I came up with every excuse in the book to avoid doing the hard stuff. I don’t mean just workouts. I’m talking about assignments and chores I didn’t feel like doing, and even conversations with loved ones that I knew would be difficult to have.

Over a long period of trial and error, I have discovered some tools that help me to motivate from within.

Eat the frog

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” – Mark Twain.

I had a professor my first year of college who used to always advise us to “eat the frog”. For me, that means doing my hardest task first. If I have a lot on my plate, I always start with the thing I want to do the least. That way, once it’s done, I feel inspired to tackle the rest of my projects because I know it will only get easier. It takes away the dark cloud looming over your head right off the bat.

Set small goals

Like I have mentioned before, I like to plan. As my fellow planners know, it’s easy to get carried away by planning too far into the future…Setting goals that you know you can achieve is a surefire way to work towards your bigger goals down the line.

These can be as small as drinking a certain amount of water a day or getting a set number of hours of sleep per night. Conditioning yourself to be goal-oriented sets you up for success in other aspects of your life.

Track your progress

This one is a little more specific to fitness.

There is no better competition than yourself. Most of the time I get myself to push harder in a workout by trying to top what I’ve done before. I think to myself “last week I did 10 push-ups and I’m stronger now than I was then”. Every rep and step counts. Adding even one more crunch makes a difference in the long run. Always get better. Even if it’s one step further than last week. Ever forward.

Jam out

Music has so much power over mood. I use music to motivate myself to do all sorts of things. When I don’t feel like writing, I turn on a new playlist and wait for inspiration to strike. When swiffering the floor and doing the dishes sounds dreadful, a little throwback Britney Spears is sure to get me off the couch and cleaning. To run faster, push harder and jump higher, I have to have the right song on.

One of the biggest ways I utilize music as a motivator is to turn it into a break. If something isn’t going my way, I go for a walk and listen to something I know will cheer me up. Using music to clear my head and reset my mood allows me to get back to what’s important instead of giving up.

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Reward yourself

If food-based incentives are the first thing that came to mind, you’re my kind of gal (or guy). I have bribed myself into doing a lot of stuff that seemed impossible by promising myself a donut once it’s done. Don’t be above self-bribery – it’s effective.

Reflect

Writing down my thoughts at the end of the day allows me to reflect on what I accomplished and how I can improve.

If you don’t like to write, take a moment to have a thankful thought at least once a day. Thinking about what you appreciate allows you to work towards doing more of what you love and eliminate the actions or things that don’t add value to your daily life.

Taking the time to think about my interactions and behaviors has forced me to become more present. It also lets me think about how I can actively work towards my goals and not just go through the motions.

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I hope you can apply some of these tips to your life. You can’t depend on others to motivate you, and there is nothing more satisfying than reaching a goal you set for yourself.

I would love to hear the other ways you motivate yourself in the gym, at work and at home. Happy Monday, LoveLeighs. Get out there and tackle this week!

Love, Leigh