The Happy Challenge 1

So you want to be an optimist…

Happy Tuesday!

I am currently taking a Positive Psychology class, and it has been amazing so far.  I keep telling everyone it’s more like group therapy than a class.  We don’t just sit there and learn facts and theories.  We talk about life and how we can apply these strategies we learn to our own lives.

Anywho…this has inspired me to do a “Happiness Challenge.”

The Happy Challenge

Every Tuesday, I will post a new challenge to increase happiness.  And these will most likely be little things, but guess what?  Research shows these little things can make a big difference.  And why Tuesdays?  I don’t know about you, but to me…Tuesdays suuuuuck.  Almost worse than Mondays, so I figured I’d bring a little happy into our Tuesdays!

One of the things we constantly bring up in the class is how we have to make a conscious effort to increase our happiness.  It’s true, we have to work at it!  If we don’t try, if we don’t change our thoughts, if we don’t change our behaviors, our level of happiness will not change either.

Our environment has a strong influence on our beliefs.  There was a study done in 1979 by Ellen Langer where men above the age of 75 were placed in a 1959 themed resort for a week.  The entire environment was set up to represent the time period of 1959 – newspapers, music, ID badges, etc.  Essentially this was supposed to make the men feel young again.

Results showed that these men had greater concentration, attention and memory skills, better posture, eyesight, hearing and flexibility, and after going back home they were more self-reliant and self-sufficient.  Overall they acted younger.  Why?  Because our environment shapes who we are.

So what can we do to create a more positive environment for ourselves?

  • Create an organized, clean work space for ourselves – I always feel better after I clean off my desk!
  • Put fresh flowers in the house
  • Play music
  • Put up inspirational quotes
  • Allow more natural light into the room
  • Buy and light a nice smelling candle for yourself

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I put fresh flowers in my room this week, and cleaned up the little sitting area in my room.  Usually that white chaise ends up being used for clothes, wash baskets, purses, bags, etc.  I’ve been making an effort to keep that spot clear from now on.  I love that little corner of my room :)

What you will do this week to make a more positive environment for yourself?

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#WIAW

Happy hump day!  I, for one, am happy this week is a short one!  I am dragging!  I don’t know if it’s my half marathon “training,” or what.  Even though I’m only up to 6 miles and I have about 6 weeks left until the race…Eeek. Let’s not talk about it.

Yesterday morning, I got up early, so it was an overnight oats kind of day before heading to the gym.  In the mix was oats, almond milk, chia seeds, vanilla extract, 1/4 banana for sweetness, and topped with fresh blueberries.
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At the gym, I did abs and shoulders, plus a 30 minute run at a 6.7 min/mile pace.

Abs

  • Weighted V-ups
  • Stability Ball Scorpions
  • Stability Ball Pikes
  • Planks
  • Side Planks

Shoulder Circuit

  • Military Press
  • Alternating Front Raises
  • Bent Over Dumbbell Reverse Flyes
  • Finished off the whole circuit with dumbbell snatches

Below are my stat from my Armour39 Heart Rate monitor app.

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From the gym, I went right to class, stopping at Starbucks on the way.  Come on, you should know by now that’s a given.  An iced coffee complemented my Quest Bar.  I forgot to snap a pic so I’m going to have to pull out an old photo from the archives.

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Lunch…some mixed lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, and chicken dressed with balsamic vinegar and a piece of Ezekiel bread with mashed avocado.  Protein, fats, carbohydrates…check, check, and check.

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And after a short post-lunch nap I was still sleepy, so I made some Yogi Vanilla Spice Energy tea in hopes of waking up a bit before heading off to class number 2.  I also had an apple and some celery w/ hummus which was not captured. photo 4We have a ton of leftover southwest turkey burgers from our Labor Day picnic, so I got creative and cooked one and crumbled it into a sweet potato, and added tomatoes, a little bit of red onion, and avocado.  Yummers.

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Don’t forget to sign up for the Spartan Race entry code giveaway and the Spartan cruise giveaway!  Head over to yesterday’s post for the deets!

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SpartanCruise1

Spartan Cruise Contest! {plus a free race entry giveaway}

Hey, welcome back from a nice, long Labor Day weekend!  Hopefully you all got some R&R and are ready for the work week.  Sadly, I don’t have many pictures from this weekend, which means that I must have been too caught up in the moments to remember.  That’s a good thing, right?

Anyway, today I have some updates from my good friends at Spartan!!  You know I’m a huge proponent of these races, and I know many of you are as well, so whenever I’m asked to spread some Spartan news and offer a giveaway for you guys, I leap at the chance!

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For the first time ever, Spartan is doing a Spartan cruise to the Bahamas!  A Spartan Sprint will then take place on this private island in the Bahamas.  Umm…sun, sand, and fitness?  Can it get any better?  Being surrounded by like-minded, crazy people who like to put their bodies through complete torture and dirt, for 3 days? Where can I sign up?

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I also have a link for you guys to sign up for this Spartan cruise!!  By clicking on the picture below, you will be taken to the website where you can sign up for the giveaway.

Spartan Race Giveaway

Second piece of news from Spartan…They are holding their World Championship in Killington, Vermont on September 20th, 2014.  If you think you can handle it, I strongly encourage you to sign up, especially if you live near by!  It’s sounding like it’s going to be a great event, super fun, inspirational, and unforgettable.

World-Championship-A-FrameDon’t think you’re quite ready for that yet?  Need some practice?  Because I have another giveaway for a free race entry code to any one Spartan Race in the continental US.  And this one is just for Blondes Have More Run readers, so get your entries in! Your chances are high!  Enter in the Rafflecopter below…The giveaway ends Friday, September 5th at 12am.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a great Tuesday lovelies!

 

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