April 2022: Greenlights + Build Back Better (Habits)

April 2022: Greenlights + Build Back Better (Habits)

Here’s hoping your Monday went well and that your May is off to a great start! April 2022 was far too cold, but I still shivered my way through a full month to recap for you: 

Best Book I Read This Month 

I read my first celebrity memoir, and I think it’ll probably be my last celebrity memoir. Matthew McCounaughey’s Greenlights was a wild ride. Beautiful quotes and wise advice were interspersed with stories so crazy they must be true (partially because a good number of them reflected very poorly on him, his family, and other loved ones). It was an entertaining and bewildering read, and you can get the book here. 

Best Article I Read This Month

I swear I read journalism from other outlets and not just from the magazine I work for, but Reason has so many good takes it would be a crime to not share. Enjoy this longform read from our May 2022 issue talking about the pandemic, social networks, and old-time saloons. 

Tip + Trick of the Month

Do you want to cut back on mindless social media scrolling? Set time limits on your phone, but let someone you live with set the password. And DO NOT let them tell you what it is. I share a house with my sister, and since having her set my phone’s time limits, I am far more exacting in my social media use. I’m not exaggerating when I say it has reduced my phone use by hours every week. 

Quote of the Month

“If you are part of Christ’s own body, your sins evoke his deepest heart, his compassion and pity. He ‘takes part with you’—that is, he’s on your side. He sides with you against your sin, not against you because of your sin. He hates sin. But he loves you.” 

-Dane Ortlund, Gentle and Lowly

Kelvey’s Thought for the Month

I was in great shape when I was in college, but by the time 2021 rolled around, I couldn’t say the same. Between gym closures, reduced outings, and food delivery, the pandemic took the same toll on me that it did on everyone else. Couple that with a newly diagnosed thyroid disorder, and I lost a lot of muscle mass while putting on inches and generally losing a lot of my former healthy habits. 

2022 has been my rebuilding year, and I’ve rebuilt with wellness (not just muscles or hard workouts) in mind. Here are some of the simple habits that have had me feeling better, building more muscle, and leading a healthier life than I have in years. Steal if they work for you! 

  • Prioritizing Enough Quality Sleep
  • Getting 150 Grams of Daily Protein
  • Maintaining Average Calorie and Macro Consumption
  • Averaging 70,000 Weekly Steps
  • Building An Adjustable Workout Schedule

That’s all for now, folks. Have a great May – I’ll catch you next month.

My Top 5 Wellness Hacks

It’s not a secret that an overwhelming amount of Americans have health-related resolutions. Whether that be weight loss, gym time, drinking water – whatever it is, someone has committed to it (and probably already broken down by now). 

You’re not going to see me writing for goop or Well + Good anytime soon, but for several years I’ve tried to lead a pretty healthy lifestyle. Here are 5 hacks you can steal that help me get there: 

1. Don’t Force Yourself To Do Exercise You Hate

Don’t read what I’m not saying – I’m NOT saying that you should always avoid a hard workout. What I am saying is that if you’re continually forcing yourself to do a type of exercise that you despise, you’re going to have a hard time maintaining it in the long-run. I have hard power yoga workouts, hard lifting sessions, and hard boxing rounds just like I used to have hard runs. The difference? I love the first three and that motivates me to power through – I HATE running. 

2. Write Down What You’re Eating

This is harder than it sounds to keep up, but it’s one of the best mindfulness and accountability tools I rely on. Whether you’re using a program like Noom, tracking your macros, or simply keeping a food journal (I’ve done it all and turn toward different things in different seasons), it will keep you honest. And, it will help you identify gaps. Need more water? Vegetables? Fruits? Eating out a lot more than you thought or picking up junk food frequently? Now you’ll know. 

3. Have A Backup Plan

On an ideal day, I would be hitting the gym at 5:15 am for a workout class or at 6:45 am for a lifting session. In reality, if I’m not signed up for a class that will ding me if I miss, it’s a toss-up whether I get that early workout session in. And that’s okay – I’m working to prioritize sleep as a key part of my health and well-being. Instead of stressing, I always have an alternative plan. Maybe that means I’m working out at home; maybe that means reserving both a morning class and an evening class and knowing I’ll make it to one of them. Whatever it is, don’t let a missed alarm derail you – have a plan B. 

4. Keep A Cute Waterbottle Around 

This is so cliche it hurts, but so effective it can’t be left out. If you have a water bottle you like looking at (for me it’s my sticker-covered Hydroflask), you’ll be more likely to lug it around with you and drink enough water during the day. That, and you’ll be less likely to leave it places. 

5. Decide Your Food “Musts” and “Passes” 

This varies by season, but it’s helpful to create food indulgence rules. For example, I know that I am never going to go to a party or celebrate a birthday where there is great dessert and not eat some – doing so would feel like deprivation and these are uncommon enough events that it is totally worth it to me. On the other hand, I will always pass on soda and drinking my calories, and rarely bring home cheap desserts. I know what my indulgence musts are, and I know what I can pass on, and while I don’t always stick to these rules, they’re very helpful in the long-run. 

Are you going to try one of these in 2021? Or do you have tips of your own? Tell us in the comments!

We need a functional life, not just one dedicated to achieving goals.

Let’s Work Toward Functionality, Not Just Goals

I remember a time in my life where I would regularly get up at 4:45 a.m. and be at the gym by 5:15 a.m. to grind out a hard workout. 

Oh, the ambition of younger me. (Yes, four years qualifies as ‘younger.’)  Continue reading “Let’s Work Toward Functionality, Not Just Goals”