Monday, February 22, 2016

My Spark Planner

I know it is already a month and a half into the new year, but it is never to late to get organized. So, today I would like to talk about my 2016 Planner.  I have used many planners throughout the year.  Not only do my needs change, but there are always new and improved planenrs hitting the market.

For a long time I was a big fan of Franklin Covey planners.  I still love them, but I don't quite need something that inolved anymore.  But, if you are looking for a great planner with lots of options, you should check it out.

Last year I used the Week Dominator.  I loved it, but it was really big, and didn't really fit in my purse.  Halfway through the year (the Week Dominator was only a 6 month planner), I switched to the Purposeful Planner.  Loved it, but it became to heavy and thick to carry around.

This year, I decided to try out the Spark Notebook.  So far, I love it.  Here are some of the key features:

The first few pages includes a place to figure out your 2016 theme and create some yearly goals.  This year I settled on the theme of Focus.  Whatever I am doing I want to devote my full attention to it.  I also want to focus on my goals and not only meet them, but exceed them.  I set 10 goals this year and they range across the different areas of my life.  The planner also includes a page to list your Achievements for the year.  I like that idea because it is important to recognize when you do something well, and having it in the planner provides an easy reference point, if your having a "down" day.

After those sections, the monthly and weekly sections begin. First there is a calendar for the month.

I like that it has some space on the side for notes.

Then, there is a space for Monthly goals, as well as space for notes or other items.  There is great benefit in taking your Yearly goals and breaking them down monthly and weekly.  It makes them more manageable.  There is also a monthly challenge.  I love this.  By setting a monthly challenge, it gives you something to focus on and really make a habit.  In January I focused on drinking 75oz of water a day.  In February I focused on taking a lunch break at work every day.  Such a great idea.
Each week has a journal prompt.  There are some really great prompts- "Give yourself a performance review,"  "Where do you want to be at this time next year?" "What is one thing you want to accomplish in your life."  Great stuff to really help you think about your life and where you are, and where you want to be.  There is also space to set weekly goals, as well as space to reflect and celebrate your week.
Lastly, for each week there is a weekly calender.  Yes, mine is color coded.  I have found the color coding has really helped me see at a glance what is going on.  Usually on Sundays, I sit down and fill it out for the next week- that is when I do the color coding.  During the week if stuff gets added, it usually gets added in black, because that is what I have.  I know by looking at it whether it is something I need to do (Light Blue), my husband (Red), both of us (black), a meal (dark blue), goal related/task related (normally purple, but the purple was MIA when I filled it out this past weekend, so its black in this picture), chores (green, none showing in this picture yet)). Seriously, the color coding has really helped.

I also recently discovered there is a few blank pages at the back for taking notes, or brainstorming.

This new planner really fits me.  Plenty of space to keep me on track, but not so much that I am planning a 1,000 to do items and then getting frustrated when they don't get done.  I can only write so many for the space I have.

You can get your own here.  Now, for what you have been waiting for... the giveaway of my extra Spark Notebook.

Congrats briety81, you are the winner.  Please email me your shipping information so I can get it out to you right away.

Now it's your turn.... Do you use a planner?  Which one and why?  What do you need/like in a planner?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Reading Challenge

Those that really know me, know that I am an avid reading.  I can't get enough of it.  The other day, at a class at my church we were asked the question, "If you had one day to do whatever you wanted, with no limitations, what would you do?"  My answer was simple.  Read.  All day.  The benefits of reading abound.  For me, no matter what I am reading, I get something out of it.  Whether it is a Star Trek book that pushes me to dream, or a personal development book where I learn more about myself, I can always find something to apply to my life.

Each year, I typically set a reading goal for myself.  This year, I want to read 50 books, 20 of which are personal development books.  Some would say its an unattainable goal, some would say I set the bar to low, either way, it's my goal.

I believe, strongly in being a lifelong learner.  "Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune," states Jim Rohn.  I believe that.  I have learned more about myself and my life from the books I read, than all the education classes I have taken (and remember, I have 2 B.A. and a Masters, so that's a lot of education!).

Jim Rohn, in his book Twelve Pillars, included a list of 20 books every person should read.  There are some great books on there.  Everything from The Bible to Atlas Shrugged to The Richest Man in Babylon. So far I have only read 4/20, but I have read more books than I count.

Besides learning new things about yourself and life reading allows you to relax.  To take a moment away from your life.  To take a break.  For me, it allows my subconscious time to process whatever is going on.

But if you are not already an avid reader, how can you become one?  Easy.  Read.  "Oh yeah, that sounds easy, but it's not."  I get that, so let me give you two recommendations.  Twelve Pillars by Jim Rohn and The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn.  Both are great books.  Both will push you, and I hope motivate you, to become a better you.

Then what?  Well, join me on my reading challenge this year.  I wanted to expand my reading, so I am trying to read a wide range of books.  You can see the list I am working off below.  I am not guaranteeing every book I read will match one of theses, but I am going to try to check off as many as I can.  If you want to join me, you can find a printable copy here. This list feel too intimidating to you?  Pick 5 to try, then next year pick 10 others. Etc.  Maybe you will find a book that will change your life.

2016 Reading Challenge (you can see the books I read so far this year, that fit the categorize in the parenthesis)
1. A book that intimidates you
2. A book you previously abandoned
3. A book based on a fairy tale
4. A National Book Award Winner
5. A Young Adult bestseller
6. A book you haven't read since high school
7. A book you should of read in high school
8. A book set in your home state
9. A book translated into English
10. A romance set in the future
11. A book set in Europe
12. A book that's under 150 pages (Twelve Pillars by Jim Rohn)
13. A New York Times bestseller (At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks)
14. A book that's become a movie this year
15. A book recommended by someone you just met
16. A self-improvement book
17. A book you can finish in a day
18. A book written by a celebrity.
19. A political memoir
20. A book at least 100 years older than you
21. A book that's more than 600 pages.
22. A book from Oprah's Book Club
23. A science-fiction book (Star Trek #35 The Romulan Way by Diane Duane)
24. A book recommended by a family member
25. A graphic novel
26. A book that is published in 2016
27. A book with a protagonist who has your occupation
28. A book that takes place during Summer
29. A book with a prequel.
30. A book that is the prequel to #29
31. A murder mystery
32. A book written by a comedian
33. A dystopian novel
34. A book with a blue cover (The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney)
35. A book of poetry
36. The first book you see in a bookstore
37. A classic from the 20th century
38. A book recommended by a librarian.
39. An autobiography
40. A book about a road trip
41. A book about a culture you are unfamiliar with
42. A satirical book
43. A book that takes place on an island
44. A book that's guaranteed to bring you joy.
45. A book banned at some point
46. A book recommended by your supervisor/boss (The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn)
47.A book about a topic that is important to your spouse/significant other/best friend.
48.A popular author's first book.
49. A book with the name of a color in the title.
50. A Pulitzer Prize winner.

If you want to join, you can print the picture version.

Now I want to hear from you...

What category do you like the most?  Which seems the most challenge?  Will you be participating?  How many books are you trying to read this year?  What book do you recommend for me (bonus if it fits a category!)

Monday, February 08, 2016

P31 Wellness

Wow, it's been along time.  Isn't it crazy how sometimes life can just get ahead of you?  My last post was back in May of 2013.  That seems like such a long time ago, but also seems like just yesterday.  A lot has changed... including this blog.  I am hoping to re-jump this blog, but with a little different focus.  Well maybe not different, just broader.  In the weeks to come I will maybe explain that a little more, but for now let me answer the 7 Key Questions about what P31 Wellness will hopefully become.

Who: Most of the posts will be written by me, though I would love to feature some guest posters every once in awhile (if your interested, send me an email!).  Who am I?  My name is Kristina.  I am 32.  My husband and I have been married for a little over 5 years.  We have no children yet, but we do have 4 cats who are as spoiled as children can be.  My husband is an Orthopedic Surgery R.N. and he is amazing at his job.  He really does have a servants heart.  Sometimes I envy how much he truly cares for people and I feel blessed that he chose to spend his life with me.  I am currently a Management Trainee at a company that hires medical professionals to work at military facilities.  What is a Management Trainee?  Basically, I do whatever they ask me to.  I love it.  I get to work with and experience every aspect of the company.  I have only been in this position for a month, but I have learned so much.  Educational wise- I have a B.A in Psychology, a B.A. in Sociology, and a Masters of Education.  I had planned to be a teacher, but it just wasn't the right fit for me.  Strangely, the corporate world seems to be.  Let's see.  I love cats (four is just not enough!), love to read, love learning and experiencing new stuff.  I am working on my health, nutrition, as well as deepening my faith.  My husband and I are currently house hunting and are looking forward to owning our own home.  That seems to be the main parts of my life.

What: What will you find here at P31 Wellness.  Honestly, a little bit of everything.  To me, wellness is just not about one thing, it is about everything.  To really live a life of wellness, you need to find the balance in all areas of your life.  Health, Finances, Relationships, Faith, Career. Etc.  So that is exactly the kind of posts you will find here.  I will post about everything from health and nutrition to organizational to managing your finances to broadening your horizons.  I hope you will find something that appeals to you.  What do you want to learn more about?  Let me know in the comments.

Why: Why am I creating a blog?  Because I need to hear it.  Almost everything I write about, will be something I have or am struggling with.  They are topics I want to learn more about or need to work on.  And generally, I tend to do better when there is accountability out there.

When: When will I post?  That varies.  I currently have a pretty busy life, and for me to continue with the blog for more than a few weeks, it needs to fit my lifestyle.  My goal is to post at least once during the beginning of the week and once toward the end.  We will see how that goes.

Where: Where do I get my information from?  Everywhere.  I will try to include links to where I located the information for, or provide additional resources if you seek to explore a topic further.

How: How will I write my posts?  Typically they will be written during my lunch breaks at work.  I hope to be a few posts ahead, so that I can stick to the posting schedule.

How Much: My goal right now is at least two posts a week.  But again, I am writing them during my lunch breaks, so it will depend on what else I have going on.  Also, I want the posts to be well thought out and not just a jumble of information.  With that in mind, it might take me more time on certain topics than others.

One last question.... do you like giveaways?  If so...then I hope you participate in my first every giveaway.  I am a big proponent about setting goals and creating to-do lists.  I think they help keep us on track and help push you to accomplish more.  This year I have chosen the Spark Planner.  You can find out more about the SparkPlanner here.  I love that it has space for yearly goals, as well as monthly and weekly goals.  Plus plenty of space for your to do lists and any other information you need to keep track of.  I will do a more in depth post about the SparkPlanner sometime soon.  For now, to be entered in the drawing for your own 2016 Spark Planner, please complete the following two items:
1) Like P31 on facebook.
2) Comment below with one topic you are struggling with, or would like to see a post about.

I will randomly draw a name from all the people who enter.  The winner will be announced next week, when I blog about my SparkPlanner and how I use it.

I am really glad you are here.

Friday, May 17, 2013


I have started back to school and am gone M-F from 6 am to 9 pm so my days are pretty full right now.  Because of that... I will not be posting regularly for the summer.  I will post when I can, and try and do some weight loss updates since I am taking 2 PE classes this summer.  Hope everyone has a great summer!

Friday, May 03, 2013

Fitness Fridays- Mood lifters

  1. Eat often and eat light. When you eat at regular intervals throughout the day you will prevent dips in your blood sugar that can negatively affect your mood. Plan your meals and snacks to prevent yourself from getting overly hungry, aiming for three to six eating episodes (total meals plus snacks) each day.
  2. Limit refined carbohydrates such as soda, candy, cookies, and white flour, which are concentrated sources of sugar. These foods may give you an immediate rush of energy, but they will cause you to crash and fatigue soon after.
  3. Include a small amount of lean protein at every meal and snack. Protein will leave you feeling alert and productive for hours.
  4. Eat foods rich in omega-3 fats. These foods have been shown to lift moods and can possibly alleviate depression. Omega-3 fats are found in oily fish like salmon or sardines, canola and olive oils, as well as flaxseeds and walnuts.
  5. Ramp up your B-12 and folate (folic acid). Scientists believe these nutrients help the body produce a neurotransmitter called serotonin—a known mood stabilizer. Shellfish, fortified cereal, oatmeal, wheat germ, and vegetables are some of the many foods rich in these nutrients.
  6. Get your daily dose of exercise. Whether it’s a formal session at the gym, a walk with the dog, engaging in a sport or just playing with your kids, getting up and moving will boost your mood and energy level.
  7. Stick to a regular sleep schedule—even on the weekends. Although most adults require between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night, you might need slightly more or less to function optimally. The important thing is that you consistently get the sleep you need.
  8. Go outside and breathe in the fresh air. Take a break from your home or office to get some air and sunshine. Even stepping out into cold weather will wake you up and refresh your mind.
  9. Listen to music you love. When your mood is spiraling downhill and the little voice in your head is anything but positive, turn on your favorite tunes and sing along. Soon, sweet music will fill your mind instead of negative thoughts.
  10. Indulge your senses. Sights, smells, sounds, tastes and tactile sensations can quickly change your mood. Light a scented candle that evokes memories of the holidays, bake cookies to remind you of happy times at your grandmother’s, buy your favorite flowers and revel in the smell (and sight) of them, or soak in a scented bubble bath while listening to soothing music.
  11. Do something that brings you joy. Whether it’s going to a movie, reading a novel or having lunch with your best friend, take a well-deserved break from work or stressful situations and do something you love. The change in mood will lead to better concentration and efficiency once you return to the task at hand.
  12. Play or cuddle up with your furry friend. Just petting your dog or cat has been shown to lower blood pressure and evoke a sense of calmness, happiness and well-being. If you don’t own a pet, visit a pet store or volunteer at an animal shelter to get your furry fix.
  13. Volunteer. There is nothing like the act of giving to those in need to make you feel appreciative of the life you lead. Walk dogs at an animal shelter, feed the homeless at a food shelter, teach English at a literacy program, or assist in programs for special needs children. Do your research and you will surely find a group that can use your talents and skills. If time is an issue for you, contribute through donations and you could evoke the same feelings of happiness.
  14. Fake it till you make it. Researchers have found that the simple act of smiling seems to activate happiness centers in the brain. Keep smiling and in time, your mood will match your facial expression.
  15. Create a list of natural mood enhancers that will work for you. Feeling angry? Write in your journal. Stressed? Try a yoga class. If you're exhausted, take a 20-minute nap. And if you’re feeling down, rent a funny movie. Remember, you have a choice and the ability to change your mood. With some trial and error, you will figure out the best strategies that work for you.
Read full article here.