2018 Goals


Now that we are almost halfway through January, I thought it was the perfect time to share my goals for the year that I have already been working on. It is important for me when setting goals and maintaining steady progress to break them up into smaller steps so that what I want to accomplish is realistic and attainable. You aren't likely to keep up with things if they seem too far out of your reach at first. If you start small, it gets easier to work up to where you want to be. I also believe that if a goal is truly important to you, instead of saying "I might try to..." or "I'm going to try to...", say to yourself, "This year I will..." I have learned that this takes the uncertainty out of your expectations for yourself and pushes you to not give up on what is really matters to you. 

I touched on this a little in my last post, but my word for the year is confidence. In the past, I have spent a lot of time putting responsibilities, expectations from others, and other people before myself. Finding confidence to me is not just about my body or appearance, but about putting myself first, constantly making decisions to better myself, being able to speak up for myself and what I believe in, and being able to say no to what doesn't bring positive energy into my life.

In no particular order, here are my focuses for the year and what I am manifesting and putting into action for 2018:

Start each day with a positive mind and a grateful heart: My goal is to start each morning by writing or just taking a moment to say to myself what I am thankful for. When we have a lot on our plate, it is easy to forget how many good things we have going for us. My hope is to find joy in even the smallest things because a positive mindset is so important in manifesting our goals. 

Invest: A big focus for me this year is to really invest in my life. Whether this be investing in quality clothes and shoes, putting aside more money for the future, or investing in quality relationships. My time is as precious to me as my money. Sometimes I find myself wasting time on people that aren't contributing anything positive to my life just because I feel obligated. This year it is a priority to me to invest in the people that truly matter and that are sources of positivity and happiness for me. 

Put the phone down: I touched on this a little bit in this post but I am going to continue working towards not reaching for my phone out of habit first thing in the morning, before bed, and when I am bored. I think a realistic expectation for myself is to spend two to three hours at a time each day with my phone turned off and put away. 

When I start to feel overwhelmed and anxious, stop what I am doing and take four deep breaths. I have already started doing this and it really does help me to center myself and feel better.

Continue to prioritize my health + wellness and get stronger mentally and physically. I didn't make this super specific because it's important for me to remove the pressure on myself to workout 4-5 times per week or eat a certain number of calories and just listen to my body and what I'm feeling that day and week. I'm in a 6 week challenge right now at a local gym that I'm going to post about soon!

Post on the blog once per week. 

Read one book a month.

Finalize my study abroad plans.

I hope that through my posts you find inspiration to achieve your goals and really find that faith in yourself to make your dreams happen.

Follow along on Instagram. xx

Finding Confidence


In a time where our iPhones are like an extension of our bodies and everything we want or need to know is at our fingertips, comparison and self doubt are always in the back of our minds. I feel like somewhere along the way we started making perfection what we strive for as opposed to progress. Why do we set unattainable goals and expectations for ourselves? I struggle with having confidence in myself every day whether it be about the work that I'm doing at school, my body, my appearance, my future career path, or just balancing everything I have on my plate. I am a control freak. I like to know what is coming next and I want to have a say in a lot of things that are out of my control.

I feel like finding confidence in ourselves comes when we put our best self forward. You can only give so much each day, so instead of striving for perfection, let's strive for a life that we are proud of. I think life is about working hard and doing what you can each day to get closer to where you want to be. There is a lot of pressure to do everything and be busy all the time. Allowing yourself to lift that weight off your shoulders and live with the intention of doing what you can every day is how we can become more confident in ourselves and the work that we do. We should not feel obligated to live a perfect life or obtain perfect results in work, fitness, or relationships, but I think we should feel obligated to give our best effort. In life, sometimes we feel like we are owed success or the results we want, but the truth is, what you put into a project, goal, or your life, is what you will get back. This past semester, I failed one of my accounting exams and I was really disappointed in myself. Disappointed not because of the grade that I got or because I didn't know the material, but because I knew I could have done a lot better if I would have put in the effort. I am a firm believer that what you put into your life, is what you get back. If you study a little more for a test, you will do a little better than you thought. If you show kindness and positivity to others even when you're having a bad day, you will get kindness and positivity back.

It doesn't have to be the start of a new year to be confident and satisfied with who you are and to find joy and happiness in your life. It is easier said than done, but most everything we want out of life is out there for us, we just have to be willing to work for it. Put aside the expectation to be five places at once, to have a certain body, or to not make any mistakes in a project. Accept where you are, decide where it is you want to be, and commit to pushing yourself just a little bit more to get there. I truly believe that you if you wake up every day with a positive mindset and really believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything.

xx

Follow along on Instagram.

Accomplishing Goals

(This photo was too good not to share ;) )

I have always been a journal-er and I love going back to read what I wrote. It is so interesting how well we know ourselves. At the end of 2016, I wrote that it had been an incredible year (which was true), but that I could feel that 2017 was going to be a year of transition, reflection, and discovery and it was going to be a huge growth period for me...it could not have been more spot on. I believe that reflecting on the past and using that to get better, grow stronger, and make positive changes in your life is so important in setting and accomplishing goals. So, today I am going to be sharing and reflecting on a few of the goals I set for myself in 2017 and evaluating my progress.

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1 / Stop biting your nails and get more manicures - It might be funny that this was my #1 goal, but as someone that is incredibly anxious, biting and chewing my nails was one of my worst habits (and so gross!). While getting manicures is an expensive habit, it is worth it for me. I'm really proud of myself for this one- I love the SNS dip powder.

2 / Go to yoga class once a week - Another kind of funny one as I succeeded at this for a while and then realized I don't really like yoga! I kind of got back into hot yoga over the summer when I was in Los Angeles and I do really like that, but when I'm at home, I prefer higher intensity workout classes, running, and spin classes.

3 / Spend less time on social media in the morning and before bed - Some days are better than others, but there's definitely room for improvement here and it's on my list for 2018. I hate obsessively checking social media, but I'm so guilty of it.

4 / Make a better relationship with food - I could and might make a separate post about this one as it is a complicated, ongoing process, but I have really made improvements this year when it comes to obsessing over when to eat, how much to eat, feeling guilty about eating certain foods, etc. I used to give myself a hard time about eating anything remotely "unhealthy" and it's really freeing to just take a deep breathe and enjoy your life. 

5 / Make and save money - I made a lot of progress with this one in 2017 and it is still a big goal as I will be in Paris at the beginning of the summer and studying abroad for a least a portion of next school year. I hope to be a little easier on myself about this though because I put unnecessary pressure on myself to work two jobs almost the entire year and that was way too much on me.

Aaand those were my top 5 goals for 2017! I am still working on finishing and adding to my reading list and changing up my style and I think I'm going to hold off on trying acupuncture as I don't have much room in my budget to add more expensive habits haha. I think I am going to make my "goals" for 2018 a separate post as they are a little different this year. 

If you have any ideas or posts you might want to see this year, send me a message on Instagram

xx

2018


Friends!! Things are looking a lot different around here on the blog and it has been a hot minute since I have posted last... It has been on my heart and mind to do a revamp of sorts on this site for a long time and it wasn't until I started my new Instagram that my fire for blogging and posting really sparked again. When I started Class in the Bluegrass my junior year of high school, I genuinely thought I would be a "good blogger" because of my preppy closet and naturally fast metabolism and stick thin figure. Since then, I've gone through a lot of personal struggles, a little bit of inevitable teenage weight gain, and started a new journey that is college life. I can honestly say I am nowhere close to the person I was in high school and that is 100% for the better.

Since I started @balanced_baig on Instagram this fall, I post because I genuinely love health and fitness, figuring out what I like and what I don't, and being able to connect with people about real life stuff. I love to try new workouts and foods and document my progress and growth. As I am getting older, my body is always changing and responding differently to food and exercise and, because of that, I sometimes lack motivation or confidence in myself and my body. Posting on Instagram keeps me inspired and holds me accountable, as silly as it sounds.

So circling back to why I am back on the blog... I love sharing my photos on Instagram and it has allowed me to dip my toes into taking photos, photo editing, etc. I want to use the blog to delve deeper into my fitness journey, balancing wellness with college life, and my struggle with body confidence. I am making some big life changes in 2018 and I want to document this journey for myself but also for other college students or anyone that is trying to stay healthy and motivated. When I am online reading blogs or watching YouTube videos, I am constantly searching for motivation or inspiration from others, but my goal for 2018 is to recognize that everything we need to reach our goals is inside of us. We just have to have the confidence in ourselves to take that leap of faith and start. I am always inspired by a new year and I feel like 2018 is going to be one of my best years yet. xx

Follow along on Instagram 

The Hardest Thing About College


Since my last blog post, I have joined a sorority and successfully completed my first semester of college! That feels like so long ago, but at the same time, the days are flying by. It has been an adventure, but lately I have been feeling like I have a lot to write and say. College is so much fun. I love being on my own and making my own choices, but I also love being able to go home when I want to... There is no doubt in my mind that I picked the right school!

When people ask me how I've adjusted to starting college, I say "Great!" with a smile because that really is the truth. I've had academic success (so far ;) ), I love being a part of my sorority, and the friendships I've made are the best I've had in my entire life. But with that being said, being in college is a lot different than I expected and sometimes it is really hard. While my classes are difficult and I am constantly busy, I'm very good at managing my time so that really wasn't a surprise to me. What really hit me hard that I didn't see coming is the constant pressure I feel to do and be everything. In high school, I had choices for what I wanted to do with my time, but every day and every week was pretty much the same: school was from 8-3, I cheered a game or had practice, did homework, and hung out with my friends on Saturday nights. In college, my schedule is different every single day and my longest day of class is 4 hours, so obviously I have a lot of downtime. With so much freedom and such a Type A control freak personality, I can't rest until I feel like I'm getting up early enough and checking off every single thing for the day, staying involved, being a good friend/daughter/sister, making money, having fun, working out... and the list goes on and on. If I go out with my friends, I get mad at myself for not staying in and studying, but when I stay in and study, I fear that I'm missing out on the most fun night of my life. When I take time to just chill out, my mind races about the things I could be doing to "make better use of my time."

It wasn't until the start of this semester that I realized how weighed down and exhausted I truly feel because I give myself such a hard time. As I was on the brink of a meltdown earlier today, I realized I am trying to do and be a thousand things at once and it's just not realistic and that is OKAY. I wanted to put my thoughts to words because I know I'm not the only person that feels this way. I think everyone needs a reminder that you don't have to do everything all at once to be enough and if you fall short, you don't have to give yourself a mental beating! In a world full of social media where we are constantly comparing our lives to what we see online, it is so so important to realize that we are all on different paths and just because you think someone has it all together on their Snapchat story, doesn't really mean that's what is going on behind the scenes. I have been guilty of this for way too long and am vowing to find balance between being productive and being crazy and to cut myself some slack every once in a while... stay tuned :)

New Beginnings



I found this post on my computer from last week and I thought it would be good to share especially during the craziness of my first week living in a new space and going through sorority recruitment. I am loving dorm life and can't wait to get into the swing of things at school :)

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First, I have not abandoned my blog!! I think about it all the time and still write in my journal almost every day, but when it comes to publishing my thoughts online, I find it hard to find exactly the words to say. With all the changes that are coming up in my life, I find it hard to concentrate on writing about silly, fun things when my mind is constantly filled with thoughts about bigger things in my life that are coming up. Since I haven’t written about it yet here, in just three days, I will be moving just 15 minutes down the road to the University of Kentucky. I am so beyond excited, but with any big life change, a lot of bittersweet feelings come along too. I ask myself almost everyday how I ever thought I was going to go 10 hours away!

Graduating high school and making the choice to take this next step is what I’ve basically worked for my whole life. Every thing has led me here to this point and I’m truly grateful because, so far, I can see how everything worked itself out like it was supposed to. With this big change, I am putting complete faith and trust in God that He guides me along this journey and helps me to accept that what I may think I want might not be what is in store for me. I’m scared, but I know that everything will work out according to His plan and somehow I find a lot of peace in that.

As someone that is extremely independent, I am excited to be on my own and have my own space. I can’t wait to learn, grow, and start a new chapter of my life. I am going through sorority recruitment (starting Sunday!!!) and have already joined a few other groups that I feel really blessed to be apart of right off the bat. So down to why I decided to finally bite the bullet and write a new post… my mind is going a million different directions with so many different emotions. While I know that ultimately, change is so good, I am hesitant towards it. I’ve been in virtually the same routine for almost 18 years and now that is all coming to an end. What I have to remind myself is that this is NOT the end, but the beginning of a whole new world. Despite what I think about during my meltdowns while attempting to pack, my mom and dad are not going to forget about me and I will always have my childhood room to come home to.

The hardest thing to grasp is how fast time as flown by. It seemed like just yesterday I was going into my freshman year of high school. I can’t believe it’s over. My senior year was one of the best of my life and it hurts a little bit knowing we won’t share those same experiences again, but I’m thankful that I have the amazing memories and, even more importantly, lifelong friends that will be able to look back on that time with me. The best part of this is that we have so much to look forward to. The greatest thing about life is that no matter what happens, we can always look ahead to the amazing things God has in store for us and that is what gets me through the craziness of this big transition. 

xo

Weekly Workout Routine



 Since around December, I've been sticking to a pretty strict workout routine to get ready for my spring break trip to Sanibel (that is this week!!). I thought I would share my routine for a typical week. I like to mix it up each day because I get bored really easily. I made up my own routine in my Notes for abs and arms that I included in this post. I find a lot of my workouts on Pinterest, so I'm planning on doing a post in the near future rounding up my favorites.



Monday // HIIT
My sister and I share a personal trainer and we do a 30 minute HIIT session with him every Monday. Even though it's only 30 minutes, interval training is really challenging! I've learned a lot of different leg/ab workouts from him that I can carry over into my workouts on my own.

Tuesday // Legs + Abs
For my cardio on Tuesdays, I like to get on the treadmill. I'll usually jog at a high incline for a little while, then bring the incline down and sprint, and keep switching off for about 30 minutes. After this, I'll do abs. I find most of these workouts on Pinterest, but some of my go-to workouts are planks, V-ups, Russian twists, and toe touches with a med ball. For legs, I like the leg press and adductor machines and doing different kinds of squats and lunges with a kettlebell. 

Wednesday // Arms + Abs
If I've done the treadmill on Tuesday, I'll usually do a 30 minute interval workout on the arc trainer/elliptical. This is my favorite cardio to do at the gym. I'll do a different ab workout than the day before and then move on to arms. For arms, I usually do the reverse fly, shoulder press, and chest press machines, as well as some kind of workout with dumbbells. 

Thursday // Spin Class or Legs
I found a spin class at my gym that I love going to on Thursday mornings before school. I can't always get myself out of bed at 5AM for this, so if I don't go, I'll do cardio and a different leg workout than what I did on Tuesday after school. I try not to focus on abs everyday, but I like to at least do a few one minute planks and side planks also. 

Friday // Rest Day
Friday isn't always my rest day depending on my schedule for the week, but usually I'll take one or two rest days in between. I plan my workouts around whatever else I have going on and switch it up accordingly.

Saturday // Outdoor Run
Now that it's warmer and nicer outside, I try to do a 4 or 5 mile run outside one or two days a week. If it's extra nice outside during the week, I skip the gym and come home and run. My goal is to run a half marathon in October, so I'm making more of an effort to get on the road. I always tend to run more outside in the spring and summer. My favorite app to track my runs is Nike+ Running.

Sunday // Full Body
I try to get in a long, hard workout on Sundays. I do a few minutes of extra cardio and a little bit of everything. I mainly focus on abs and then do a little bit of legs and arms.

I don't do the same thing every week, but it's really important for me to stick to a routine and be accountable to working out 5-6 days a week. I also try to sit in the sauna and stretch before and after my workouts a couple days a week. Here is a link to my workout playlist on Spotify that keeps me motivated and is always changing! I love to sweat and working out almost every day is like therapy for me! Stay tuned for a post on all my favorite workouts from Pinterest in the near future.

xo