The Importance of Goals

  1. Set goals.
  2. Track progress.
  3. Celebrate.

Crossing the finish line of my first marathon and stepping in front of a classroom for the first time were two incredibly important moments of my life.  Neither could have happened without setting and monitoring my progress towards goals.

Whether it’s succeeding in academics or competing in athletics, setting goals and tracking progress are crucial.  Having taught for 4 years in Washington, D.C. I saw firsthand the importance of positive goal-setting in my students’ academic, emotional, and physical lives.  Although my primary role was a literacy teacher, I always worked to create a positive culture that celebrated purposeful progress, sharing my own experiences as a way to motivate ALL students to set and work towards ambitious goals.

I have also seen the importance of goal-setting in my personal life.  Early on in college, I knew that I wanted to become an educator through Teach for America.  Having that goal in mind, I worked hard to prepare myself emotionally and academically for the challenges that would inevitably surface.  Additionally, I have seen the power of goal-setting in my fitness pursuits. In fact, before I begin training for any race, I always set a stretch (almost impossible to reach) goal time among other smaller goals, tracking my progress along the way.  Although I do not always reach my stretch time, it motivates me throughout the long workouts and the race itself.  If I don’t have the goal in mind as I work, I will inevitably fall short.  

On Saturday I will be in Seattle putting myself through a fitness challenge as I run my fifth marathon.  A hilly course, I know that I have to overcome mental and physical obstacles as I hope for my stretch goal. I may reach it; I may not.  Either way, I am confident that my goal will motivate throughout the race and afterwards, I will celebrate. 

Healthy Doughnut Recipes!

Healthy Doughnut Recipes!

Today is National Doughnut Day! In order to “celebrate,” we made some healthy doughnuts that are dairy-free and gluten-free.

Without all the extra sugar and artificial ingredients, they are tasty, kid-friendly, and much healthier than their counterparts. Links to the recipes from a great healthy food blog, The Spunky Coconut, are below.

-Mini Boulder Creams: http://www.thespunkycoconut.com/2012/07/mini-boulder-cream-doughnuts.html

-Banana Cinnamon and Sugar Doughnuts: http://www.thespunkycoconut.com/2012/08/banana-cinnamon-sugar-doughnuts.html

Fitness Friday Challenge

This week’s Fitness Friday Challenge is to take one minute every hour and do something active!

Think: push-ups, jogging in place, squats, sit-ups, chair dips, anything!

By taking a minute of every hour and getting active, you will get your blood pumping which will not only help your overall physical health but will also stimulate your brain.

Challenge: 1 minute….every hour… physical activity…GO!

Why I Run

Yesterday was National Running Day. In order to extend the celebration today, I decided to post an essay that I have been composing, in one way or another, for nearly 20 years.

Whenever I am running, my thoughts run wild.  Sometimes I find that my best thinking comes during my runs.  I actually wish there was a way to write and run at the same time since I find myself, oddly, much more eloquent while running.  Throughout the years, I have composed countless blog posts, essays, and letters in my head while running.  Sadly, however, I rarely take the next step and actually put my thoughts to paper.  So here is my attempt…

I should start by mentioning that I LOVE to run.  Some might even call it an obsession. One of my best friends and marathon training partners and I used to say that we couldn’t wait for “I’m sorry…I can’t…I have to run…” season to begin.  I should also mention that running is really challenging for me. Whenever I start training for a race, I am always surprised at how slow I am—how long it takes to get back into the kind of shape where 10 miles is a “short” run.

No matter what, though, running is there for me. Ever since I can remember, running has been a time for me to decompress and figure things out.

Stressed out at school? Go for a run.

Having friend/relationship issues? Go for a run. 

Big decision looming? Go for a run.

In fact, I highly doubt that I would have made it through my Sophomore year of college—living with 8 of my closest friends (2 others in the same room) in a “quaint” dorm room—without running.  It is my “me” time that I believe everybody needs. I often joke that it is my therapy, but it really is a time to be alone with my thoughts and figure stuff out.

Running is also, as I mentioned, a huge physical and emotional challenge. It does not necessarily come naturally to me (see here) but I can literally see my progress as I continue to train.  Some runs are better than others but I always feel better after a run, even if the pace was much slower than intended or I did not reach the distance I set out to cover.  But it keeps me humble. And grounded.

To me, running is also about family.  My parents walk/run. My sisters run. My brother runs.  My husband runs.  My friends run.  We might all run at different paces and distances, but it is a thread that joins us all. Although running is usually a solo act for me, it is also a great way to catch up with friends or family and explore new (or old) areas.

Basically, I know that no matter where I go or what I do, running will always be a part of my life. So I guess, why I run is because I cannot imagine not running. 

Healthy Guacamole

At KidFit, we believe in eating healthy, nutritious, and GOOD food.  We know that what we put in our bodies is incredibly important and often the first step in living an active life filled with health and wellness.  Nutrition makes a big difference. 

With this in mind, we are posting the first of many healthy, delicious recipes!  Luckily there are many wonderful blogs that are filled with great recipes catering to wide audiences.  We will be posting original or adapted recipes (such as this one) as well as links to other fabulous recipes. Please keep us posted on your own experience with the recipes. 🙂 

All-Natural Guacamole

Whenever the weather becomes warmer, some foods just seem to taste better.  Avocados are one such food. Sometimes, there is nothing better than sitting outside and enjoying some good guacamole.  Sadly, however, not all guacamole is healthy, with many added ingredients and extra sugar.  Below is a healthy, all-natural recipe for delicious guacamole.  Even better, it is incredibly easy to make!  Feel free to experiment and add other ingredients, such as red peppers, chilies, or jalapeno.  Also, try fresh veggies (instead of chips) with it or use it on top of a taco salad.  Enjoy. 🙂 

Ingredients:

  • 4 avocados
  • One Lime
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes
  • One small onion
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Minced garlic

Directions:

  1. Chop tomatoes and onion
  2. Slice avocados & lime in half 
  3. Scoop out content of avocados into medium-sized bowl
  4. Mix with spoon
  5. Add tomatoes (about 3/4) , onion, & spices
  6. Squeeze lime juice (I used about half)
  7. Stir everything together
  8. Top with rest of tomatoes
  9. Enjoy! 🙂