Holy canoli, I actually finished a July challenge – bring on August!

Check out my crazy efficient fridge organization system in Five Ways to Avoid Food Waste!

So much like everyone else, I can’t believe July is already over!  This past month, I signed up for a 30 day squat challenge with some FB friends, where I start of with 50 squats a day and work my way up to 250 squats a day.  I’ve fully embraced that I’m at times awful with follow through, but I actually completed this one (and a day ahead)!  It affected my running since the tuckus was so sore once I started getting into the 200 range, but I loved it so much that I’m also joining their next August challenge – the 30 Day Plank Challenge, where on the last day I hold on for five minutes.  Wowser!

Speaking of challenge and goals, I need to get back on track with some goals for August.  In July, I managed to get my debt down by $1k so I have $5k left to go, but the kicker is that I had an extra pay period so I should have reduced it down even further.  I confess, I went a little cray-cray on wedding stuff, my mom’s birthday gift, and B’s birthday gift, as well as had a lot of friends over which meant going out a lot.  For my mom’s gift especially, I bought her something a bit over the budget I had set since it’s a milestone birthday for her, and when she reached her last milestone I was struggling too much financially and personally to give her something really special.  I wanted to make sure that I got her an extra special gift, not only as an expression of thanks for being a single mom throughout most of my growing up years, but also because she’s worth it and so much more.  Her reaction to the gift and my card was utterly priceless and, to be honest, setting my debt freedom back by a month or so by doing this for her now was well worth it. (let the throwing of PF-rocks commence! j/k)

However, for August I don’t want to lose traction with my debt payoff, and have set these goals for the month:

1) Complete 60 miles of running

2) Complete the 30 day Squat Challenge again, this time while using a 10-25 pound plate (reduce weight as I increase the number of squats), as well as the 30 Day Plank Challenge

3) Pay off $800 of my debt

4) Pay for the invites (materials) and second Pre-Cana class, start looking for a dress and photographer (tons of references, just need to buckle down and see which ones I like the most)

5) Spend 15 hours on Spanish

6) Write 5 “love letters” to loved ones – I’ve found myself unhappy lately at times, and to regroup I used to write “love letters” of gratitude and appreciation to loved ones that have impacted my life and/or made it more meaningful.  Though I know they probably know how much they mean to me, sometimes it’s just nice to convey and express it since it helps puts life in perspective, so I plan on writing at least 5 during the month.

I hope everyone has a strong July finish for any goals you may have set for yourself, and a kick-bum start to August!

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42 thoughts on “Holy canoli, I actually finished a July challenge – bring on August!

  1. Those are some serious workout goals! I re-injured my knee so instead of running I’m using the elliptical (while trying very hard to seem manly) or the exercise bike in the gym. But 60 miles in a month seems like a good, if challenging figure…roughly 15 miles a week. When I get back from the AT, maybe I’ll try for that.

    And I really like the love-letters, too. I think it sounds like a great way to get an attitude of gratitude. Kudos!

    • Ooh that would be awesome if you did the running challenge, too (though only if the knee is fully healed!). I originally was going to shoot for 50, but I did slightly more than that in July so figure I should go up, not down. 🙂 Thanks, it definitely helps lighten my spirits when I write them. 🙂

  2. Wow Anna, I am impressed with your workout goals! Planks and squats are no joke. Congrats on finishing the squat challenge!
    That was really sweet of you to go out of your way for your mom – I am definitely guilty of that, and often times it is worth it! Birthdays can definitely be goal killers as far as debt is concerned. Goal #6 is really cute. Good luck with everything!

    • Yeah, birthdays (especially with really close loved ones) are total budget killers, but I know this always happens around August/September. It’s just a matter of preparing for them in the future! Thanks for the well wishes, I think I’m more concerned with the planks than the squats. I hope you have a wonderful week, E.M.!

  3. Writing 5 love letters to loved ones sounds like a fab idea to help lift your spirits Anna 🙂 August has always been one of my favorite months (for obvious reasons lol) and I’m hoping this August will help lift my spirits as well. Good luck on your fitness goals you machine! 😛

    • Aww, thanks GMD! It definitely helps lighten my mood and really puts things in perspective about how fortunate I am to have all these good people in my life. SO excited to hang with you soon! xo

    • Aww, thanks Tonya – it’s definitely cathartic (in an uplifting way), so I thought I’d bring it back. Everyone seems to enjoy it, too, so win-win in my book 🙂

  4. I too love the idea of the love letters. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget to tell those around us how much they mean to us. Running more is one of my goals. I’ve just gotten back into jogging and I’m really enjoying it (well enjoying it and hating it all at the same time ;-))

    • Thank you, KK! I love it, and as much as letters for closure are healing, letters of gratitude are uplifting. Haha, yeah, to this day I still have a love-hate relationship with running, but thankfully most days I love more than hate. That’s awesome you’re getting back into it and enjoying it, keep up the awesome work! 🙂

  5. You are so close, can’t you taste the debt freedom! I’m in full marathon training mode, and I’m running about 20 miles/week. It’s really tiring me out. So I know that 60 mi/mo goal isn’t easy. good luck!

    • Thanks so much, CR! How exciting that you’re in marathon mode, though your fans (yes, I speak on behalf of all of them :)), want to hear more about it! 🙂

    • Haha, well it’s not like I’m biking across states like some people. 🙂 I mostly just use spreadsheets – I have it on Google Drive, though, and willing to share to keep things transparent. Maybe I’ll add that to this site, thanks for the idea!

    • Thanks so much, Pauline – I was getting burnt out with the squats, but once I completed them, it was pretty motivating. I hope running is going well for you. 🙂

      • meh. I’ve been making excuses for 4 days now that I need to deal with XYZ early in the morning and then it is unbearably hot to run. Now I’ve had wine for lunch, so can’t run, wine calls for siesta. How many more excuses!!?? Seriously I am proud of running 30min, just checked with the car it was not exactly 5k but I am starting 5k to 10k program and should be there in another 6 weeks. phew.

      • I definitely know what that’s like – it seems sometimes life hits you with so much to do! That is amazing about the 30 minutes, as well as jumping to 10k!! Go Team Pauline, you can do it and 6 weeks will be done with in no time 🙂

  6. Wow! 250 squats that is incredibly impressive. My tuckus would have been sore too. I may need to do this after my vacation. Cruises always have too much food!! I love your idea of writing love letters. Gratitude is so important to me and there is nothing like getting a handwritten note from someone you love. It’s a keepsake. Good luck on your August goals!

    • Haha, I don’t know, Shannon, you look incredibly fit in your vacation pic! 🙂 You have such a beautiful (and fiscally responsible!) family, I hope you had a blast on your well-deserved vacation. 🙂

  7. Great job on the goals for July and yes it really has flown by like the rest of the year. That squat challenge seems like its well – challenging! I need to get on the planks as well. Really enjoy doing that workout. We wasted more money than we should have with the extra check as well. Good luck on the 60 miles and I need to write some love letters.

    • Oh cool, so did you do the 30 Plank Challenge? I agree, it definitely helps with both core and back, though 5 minutes sounds pretty daunting! Oh funny, we must be on the same pay schedule – I hope August is as fiscally successful as I hope mine will be, Thomas!

  8. Congrats on July goals! And I think that’s awesome that you did that for your Mom. It sounds like it was so well worth it. I need to start booking some vendors this month. And get on figuring out those invitations. I love the love letters idea! What a good way to cheer yourself up!

    • Thanks so much, femmefrugality! I was cringing at the reaction to my mom’s gift, but glad it’s mostly been a positive one… I owe her so much, I just didn’t want to miss this moment of showing my love and gratitude towards her. When is your wedding? It’s nice to know I’m not the only one in the midst of planning madness! Hope you find some great vendors. 🙂

    • Thanks so much for your kind support, John, it means so much to me! I know, I want to kick the debt to the curb so bad – I know in due time, it will all be done with. 🙂

  9. Oh wow~ You’re a maching lady!!
    The love letter idea is great. It lifts your spirit and the recipients’ as well and all this happiness and good moods affect everyone around you guys. Paying it forward.

    • Yes, paying it forward is definitely the great theme word for it! I’ve written one already and it’s so great and cathartic. I hope you’re doing well, love! 🙂

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