Category Archives: Running

Setting Goals and Making Plans

This is probably the most exciting two weeks of my life!

No, George Clooney hasn’t turned up asking me to forgive him for marrying Amal, nor have I have won the lottery.

But, exactly a week ago, Dean and I both closed down to the outside world and began working on our new business – a quality, bathroom and wetroom installation company.

And that’s about as exciting as anything could be! Sorry George!

After being a general building company, specialising is a HUGE relief. At last we can get really really good, we can hire people specifically, we can do the same thing over and over which means we can get really, REALLY good.

Best of all, we can now see some really exciting ways to market the business, so we can get even bigger and even better.

We are both SOOOO excited!

And we’re doing what we desperately needed to do – preparing the business before it begins, setting goals for the business and for us to achieve.

The new van is signwritten (it looks amazing!), the website is being built (we hired a professional photographer to take photos of a few of the bathrooms we’ve done over the past year) and I picked our new business cards up on Friday.

Tomorrow we are fixing our price list. Our systems will also be confirmed down in the next 24 hours. Then we will do 10 – yes, 10! – price ups using our new systems so that when clients come to the new business we will have set ways to handle each query.

So this was the scene on our kitchen table last Monday morning:

List of tasks to accomplish, things to organise, learn, prepare… Setting goals and building a business

I’m pleased to say that some of those tasks are now ticked ‘done’ and others have morphed as conversations have evolved, but we are still working our way through them.

When the Planets Align…

Have you ever felt like the universe shifted to help you?

I had one of those wonderful moments a week or two ago. I was lucky enough to see a post on a Facebook builders group in which someone recommended this book:

Markup & Profit by Michael C Stone – a great read and a real boost to our business

The post was about pricing up and how people decided on what to charge. The person who posted warned that this book isn’t cheap (it isn’t – I paid over £40!) but said the information is gives will be invaluable.

O. M. Geeeeeeepers he was right!

We’re a third of the way in and already Mark Up and Profit is changing how we think and feel. If only we had known of this book years ago! But anyway, we have it now.

Reading Mark Up and Profit is literally like having the author, Michael C Stone, turn up at your home and go through your business with you. He really knows his stuff and even though it is an American book, it works pretty much 100% for a UK business (just a few pieces of US-jargon re taxes, banking etc).

This book is specifically aimed at the world of construction but really there is useful information in there for any business, especially a business that creates things – houses, bathrooms, websites, clothing, whatever. I will definitely use the formula for mark up on jobs when I come to grow my website/video business, Little Red Horse.

If you have ever wondered about how to work out pricing or when to know if your price is too high or too low, I really recommend getting your hands on a copy. It really has changed everything for us.

If you don’t mind me collecting a very small percentage of the cost of the book, you can buy it through this link here.

I cannot describe how grateful I am that as I scrolled along my Facebook timeline on that day, I decided to click on that post and see that comment. Sooo grateful!

New Energy – Setting Goals

As often happens, once energy starts flowing freely in one part of your life, it soon spreads to other areas.

My YouTube channel has been a bit stuck recently, I haven’t uploaded any videos for a while, not quite knowing what to say.

Today I found my diaries for 2014 anbd 2015 and looked back to July 30th on both years. It was interesting to think about what I was doing then, and how much has now changed. (I haven’t kept a diary properly for almost two years and I know I’ll regret it – this blog is partly an attempt to diarise how the journey goes).

Then on tonight’s dog walk I had the idea of posting regular, monthly goal videos – I read constantly that setting goals is one sure way to help yourself towards success, measuring your progress along the way. Also I wrote about it here.

So I grabbed Dean when he got back from golf and pinned him down to some goals for August. Here they are (for both of us):

  • Go running with the dogs at least 8 times – so twice a week
  • Complete two bathrooms as part of our bathroom business
  • Get three subcontractors signed up and part of our team
  • Go to bed by 10.30 pm three times a week (yeah right!)
  • Finish fire safety improvement works to all our rental properties
  • Get our dog recall up to 99.9999%
  • Do three Youtube videos – ‘how to’ sharing tips I’ve learned along the way
  • Do two Tony Horton golf workouts every week (Dean)
  • Eat some fruit and vegetables every day (Dean)
  • Get our new bathroom business completely set up

And here they are in glorious technicolour! (Trust me, there’s nothing like posting your secrets on YouTube for creating some accountability!)

 

 

The 20 lbs milestone

I’m feeling quite pleased with myself. Down 1 lb at my weigh in today, bringing my total weight loss since January to… 20 lbs!!

So my weight today is 12 stone 2 (170 lbs) down from 13 stone 8 (190 lbs) at that first weigh in – and ONCE AGAIN I have found myself feeling eternally grateful that I discovered the Exante Diet!

Thanks Exante Diet!

(Just in case you’re catching up, there was no weight loss going on from around January 26 through March 12, so all the loss has happened in just 7 weeks, 2 in January and 5 just gone).

I COULD have lost lots more. Although I am finding the Exante Diet to be excellent, I am only managing a few days when I am completely sticking to just three products a day, the Exante optimum weight loss plan. I’m not even sticking to the Exante-products-plus-a-little-bit-of-food plan, because I haven’t read the instructions.

I’m just bumbling along, doing the best I can and eating when I feel I need to, plus occasionally when I don’t, generally making good food choices and sometimes making really bad ones.

I reckon I could lose 3 lbs a day on Exante if I was strict, but I just don’t seem to have it in me. But, a loss of 20 lbs is taking me close to my target weight loss of 44 lbs so I’m pretty pleased. There’s no way I would have got this far if it wasn’t for Exante.

EXERCISE

So today I spotted the cutest little spring dress in a shop window. On May 3rd – just two and a half weeks away – a friend has asked me to speak at an event he is organising. Terrifying – or at least it will be once I let myself think about it!

But what will make it slightly less terrifying will be if I don’t have to be worrying about my weight when I am standing in front of a roomful of people.

So I’ve decided, if I am not going to be able to fully limit my eating, I need to crank up the exercise.

This evening I replaced the dog walk with a run. Ok, let me rephrase that – a run/walk/breathless stagger kind of run.

Running was tough today. I got my period this morning so I’m stocked up with painkillers and I got so cold sitting upstairs working, I was half-tempted to cut the run short after the first 10 minutes. But the dogs need the exercise, and so I stuck it out, and sure enough managed to finish strong.

When we got back I had Dean take these photos. They’re not exactly flattering, but they should serve as useful for when I reach my goal another 24 lbs down the line. I didn’t take many photos back in January but looking at these it’s probably a good job I didn’t! At least Foxy and Frankie look completely gorgeous!!

I’ve been feeling quite skinny recently but looking at these will help remind me I still have a long way to go – I shall keep them to refer to for inspiration whenever I have a weak moment!

I never realised quite how fantastic running with dogs would be. We’ve only been a few times but we all love it (at least I do when I can breathe!) and I would say it has brought us closer together. I really hope I keep it up.

Here’s today’s video:

Keep on keeping on, folks!

xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Exante Diet update

The vlcd Exante Diet is going well – almost too well in fact. As in, when it feels this easy, surely that’s the danger zone?

I feel amazing – so much energy, flat(ish) stomach and already waking up earlier and, um, livelier, if that is even a thing.

I am probably in low ketosis (where my body is burning fat, not just carbs) and the difference to living in a high-carb state is phenomenal.

I’m still hitching a ride on the raised energy levels of these beautiful early spring days – but hey, whatever works!

Last night I even took Foxy and Frankie for a run using my new double lead which I bought on Amazon which attaches, rather cleverly, around my waist. I expected them to run ahead of me, pulling me all over but they did brilliantly, as though we had been doing it for years! (Which of course means I now have no excuse not to run with them!)* (silent groan)

I had a few issues with the double lead, but on the whole it worked well, and it was great having my hands and arms free while running. Very liberating!

Running for Weight Loss

If you are considering taking up running, I really, really recommend it. It’s cheap, pretty easy-ish and it can give a major boost to your fitness and confidence.

I have no running physique – big boobs, short legs – seriously if I can do it I reckon most other people can too.

Years ago when I first started running I could barely last 100 yards. But then I found a great programme which advised starting out by running 1 minute, walking 1 minute, then repeat 10 times. I did this, running very, very slowly at first, gradually building up the length of running time and decreasing walking time.

I was so embarrassed I ran at night time for the first few months, wearing black. It was more important that I was not seen by anyone than it was not to be hit by a car!

The really good news is that it actually doesn’t take long to get to a point where you can run for 25 minutes-ish. THAT is so empowering it will boost you in every way imaginable!

And, best news of all, once you reach a certain level of fitness, it seems that stays with you. I haven’t run in months, and yet last night I ran probably just under a mile and a half.

Before I started running there was no way I could have run that distance, but yesterday it was no issue at all. I could have run much more, if I’m honest, but I didn’t want to give my body and legs too much of a shock on the first go!

Going public…

So last night I took the terrifying step of posting my vlog about Day One of Exante on the Exante Facebook page.

Even though I am not anonymous I haven’t exactly shouted about what I’m up to, so it was seriously scary! But, there’s nothing like exposing your secrets to the world to keep you accountable – and I really hope by posting here and on my YouTube channel that will keep me accountable in those weak moments!

I’ve been overweight for over a decade and it is time to reclaim my life – and if that means drastic measures then so be it.

Anyway, here’s how days 2 and 3 went…

xx

 

Project: Life Success

Changing career aged 40+, learning about and building my own business, losing weight, building passive income & finally making a success of my life!