Change Your Life in 2018

"If you're bored with life- you don't wake up every morning with a burning desire to do things- you don't have enough goals."     -Zig Ziglar

On Instagram the other week I posted a photo with a caption on how to achieve your goals and I PROMISED I'd write a post about it... welp, HERE IT IS!! 

Now, I'll be the FIRST to admit that I'm not the best at achieving my goals... or even setting them to begin with. I'm definitely not one of those people who naturally has spreadsheets or notebooks of goals, dates, plans, and upcoming goals (*cough* nick *cough*). BUT, 2017 really taught me that I CAN have notebooks (or blogs) of goals and that I really can achieve them! For example: 

Going into 2017 I was going into my last semester at BYU. I was really overweight and just wanted to graduate and lose the weight. Through MANY hours of HARD WORK not only did I graduate, but I also had lost 20 lbs even though I had had surgery on both of my calves! 

December 2016-April 2017

And if I can do that, YOU can do whatever you WANT TO! Hopefully, you have things you want to accomplish! I know I have some goals this year (I'm definitely sharing later) so let's accomplish them together! 

The MOST important thing you can do to meet your goals is to START! Time will pass whether you're working towards a goal or not. Just think, where do you want to be in a year from now? Do you want to be in the same place or even worse? Or do you want to make even a little PROGRESS? 

Do Not Wait.jpg

So let's talk about the 4 steps I gave on my post and hopefully help YOU achieve your 2018 goals! 

How to Change Your Life in 2018:

1:    Write down EVERYTHING you'd like to accomplish 

It's not enough just to think about what you want to accomplish. You need to write it all down, the FULL idea/goal, and start bringing it into reality!. Writing often develops the idea more and it can also help change it in ways that make it BETTER and more REALISTIC for you to achieve! 

2: Pick 4-5 of those goals that are REALISTIC to achieve within the first 4 months

Especially when working towards something big (like losing a lot of weight) it's SUPER important to break your goals into smaller, more manageable steps! When you accomplish a goal, no matter how small, it is SOO motivating!! So make it easier for yourself and pick 4-5 smaller goals to swallow that lead towards the BIG goal. 

3: Write out a DETAILED plan of how you will achieve those goals & set specific DATES & DEADLINES. 

Isn't it so much easier to have step-by-step directions to the new restaurant you want to go to than just driving around until you happen to find it? Why not make it easier and give YOURSELF step-by-step instructions to achieve your goals? And if what if you want to take it to the next level? The answer is simple: ask someone you TRUST and who will be 10000% honest & upfront with you to HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE to the plan you set! 

4: AFTER achieving 1-2 goals, pick 1-2 NEW goals from your list & repeat steps 1-3

If you follow this, you're ALWAYS going to have multiple things to be working on. This one is SUPER important for me because I can't JUST work on one at a time! There are SOO many things I want to accomplish that doing one at a time would just take WAYY too long! AND sometimes I have to wait for something to happen (outside of my control) before I can move forward with that goal so I need something else to work on, OR I get a little bored and need to change it up a bit to keep things a little spicy

In the end, there's only one thing that really matters, DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU!! If you don't know where to even start, try my method. If it doesn't work for you, figure out WHY it isn't working and change it until it DOES work for you! 

But what do those steps ACTUALLY look like? Take a peak at a few of my goals that I'm kickin off the year with:

  • Lose 26 lbs of FAT by the end of the year (that's 2.17 lbs per month) 
    • To achieve that I will exercise 6 times a week. From January to May I will do a full body lifting workout on Mondays and Thursdays and run Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, & Saturdays. I will exercise at the SAME time EVERY DAY (5am is best for me--sleep cycles) and I will track and adhere to my macros. I will also drink 2.7 liters of water (without caffeine) a day. From May through December I will focus on 3 different 12 week lifting programs while maintaining my cardio fitness. 
  • Read at least ONE book per month that broadens my intellectual, cultural, spiritual, or emotional horizons. 
    • Create and curate a list of books to pull from

So there are 2 of my goals that I'm going to be working on throughout the year! I hope its helpful to see mine and I WANT & NEED ya'll to keep me accountable! Don't be afraid to reach out and ask me what I'm reading or how my running/training is going to check up on me! 

I'd love to hear what you're working on this year! Drop a comment below!


XOXO meli 

Remember, remember, the month of November... that's how it goes, right??

Hey ya’ll! (I use ya’ll too much! #sorrynotsorry)

Here’s my catch up for November since I know y’all are DYING to know what happened (I CANNOT keep up with allllll the emails overflowing my inbox asking where I’ve been alll month... geeze people, calmaté! #sarcasm). 

The month started off with me discovering my LOVE for running! What’s the catch? Outside. It HAS to be outside. My friend Brooke and I went over to White Rock Lake (seriously the most gorgeous place ever!) and started running the trail. It’s a 10ish mile trail and my goal is to run that twice before my half marathon next year. ANOTHER HALF?? Yes. I figured since last time I didn’t “run” a half (I just DID it) I needed to actually “run” one this time... maaaaybe I’ve caught a little runner’s fever okay??  Anyway, back to running WRL- we ran 3 miles round trip AND discovered MOUNT VERNON is in DALLAS! I’M OBSESSED AND IT’S FOR SALE!! Here’s the link (SOMEONE PLEEEEEAAAAASSSEEE BUY IT FOR ME!!! IT’S A PHENOMENAL INVESTMENT!! ;) )-

Mount Vernon... DALLAS ed. 

Mount Vernon... DALLAS ed. 

That discovery was followed by the cutest baby shower for my dear friend Mary that was hosted by the amazing Liz! Mary is having a little girl, Georgia (HOW CUTE?!), and the colors were blush and gold #dead. It was so fun to be with so many friends! And to spoil a very deserving mama and her baby was the best!

Our amazing friends had a Friendsgiving that was INCREDIBLE and hosted by the very famous couple Rucas (or Luchel) (Lucas + Rachel). We had 11 couples + 2 toddlers AND 2 new borns there! Quite the crew AND somehow we were all able to fit COMFORTABLY in Luchel’s little apartment. Quite the miracle and soooo much fun! We ate a bajillion DELICIOUS things, watched football, and played Secret Hitler (if you don’t know what that is, you NEED to know). 

But the MAIN EVENT of the month was definitely The 6th Biennial Stoker Family Reunion: Hogwarts Ed. I kicked off the festivities by surprising the CRAP outta my mama!!! Haha it was sooooo funny (I recorded it-she won’t let me post it buuuuttt if you really wanna see it I can arrange that ;) ) Backstory: The first time I came home from college I scared the crap outta my mama because she didn’t know what time I was going to be there and she happened to be in her closet so I took advantage of the opportunity (who wouldn’t??) and yelled, “SURPRISE!” as she walked past... thank the heavens she has a good ticker cause she’d definitely be gone this time around.

Back to main story- Mama Barks had NO idea I was coming in early! My dad said he was at work (lies- he was picking me up from the airport), my brother and sister said they were running to the store (lies- they were ALSO picking me up from the airport). So when we got to the house, my dad and I hid just outside the garage door while my sister tried for 5 FREAKING MINUTES to get my mom into her closet to “help her find her passport for school documentation”. Okaaaaayy... she got suspicious. BUT she thought my siblings were trying to smuggle in a birthday present for her (it was only 2 days before her birthday). So when she came out of her room, BAM! “HAPPEEEEE BIIIRRRRFFFDAAAY MAMAMAMAMAMAMAMA!!!!” Pretty sure her ticker skipped 10 ticks that day! 

Back to the main, main story. So the Tuesday before Thanksgiving we loaded up 2 cars with all the crap they could hold (+ people) and headed down to St. George. Within 1.5 hrs the women folk transformed the vacation home into Hogwarts and within 2.5 hrs people started showing up! Then the real party began! 

It was filled with Football, QUIDDITCH (SOOO much fun and SOOO exhausting!), hiking to see petroglyphs, amazing FOOD, and a massive session of family pictures!! (photographing 44 people and making it look fun, easy, and making THEM look good ain’t easy--- maybe I’ll blog about that!) 

 Nick and I learned one massive thing. We will NOT travel without each other if at all possible. It just kinda sucks being apart when we could be together AND traveling is sooo much better when you’re not alone. 

A week after Thanksgiving we went to the Cowboys game! It was INCREDIBLE!! It was both mine and Nick’s first NFL game and it was soo much fun! We had nosebleed seats but it didn’t matter because you could still see EVERYTHING from the BIGGEST JUMBOTRON IN THE NFL!! That stadium is quite the feat of engineering and soo awe-inspiring. PLUS the Cowboys KILLED the Redskins so it was a great game!

And all through the month I had plugged away at continuing my education! I enrolled in a 19 week course by the INCREDIBLE Katelyn James and it has changed my photo-life! I’ve done several webinars and mini-courses. I started getting Blueprint Certified, AND I started working on documenting my learning and sharing it with all of you (this monthly check in is part of that!). It’s soo important to keep learning, no matter if it’s part of your career, hobbies, or something you’ve just found interest in! Keep going, keep changing! Because as you change you’ll change the world around you, and I don’t know bout you, but I hope my change is positive! 

Well, that’s all for now folks! 

XOXO meli