MOTIVATION MONDAY | GET ORGANIZED

Organized calendar and notebook

Pardon me if I am the bearer of bad news, but it’s Monday! I doubt I am the only one waking up with the Monday blues this morning. BUT, I do know that I can make today a great day. And step one to doing that is getting organized.

Exactly that is what I am here to talk to you about today! Whether you are headed back to school for the fall term, in need of overcoming the pile of work on your desk or just feeling lost within the day to day to-dos… I have your back!

There are 3 steps to getting organized. Yes, just 3. Follow them and you will be on the path to being the most organized person on the block!

STEP 1: Find your method.

Are you a lover of the digital age? Or do you love the feeling of a pen rolling over paper? Or do you prefer a mix of both? Whatever you like, choose it and stick with your method!

In today’s highly digital world, there are SO many great organizational tools at your fingers tips, literally. Whether it’s Apple or Google’s version of Calendars, they are both intuitive and sync among devices. The same goes for apps such as Evernote. You can create notes, checklists, vision boards, and much more that you can sync and easily have access to on your computer or phone.

We also are in the midst of the era of bullet journaling and creating the perfect planner. Whether you purchase the classic Leuchtturm 1917 notebook to create your own bullet journal or configure your own Erin Condren planner, get a pen that you love and use it!

Or, do a combination of digital and paper. I personally fit into this category myself! For events and appointments, I use my Calendar app on my iPhone. It is just easier for me than carrying a notebook around everywhere, let alone writing every event in it! But, when it comes to my to-dos, a notebook and nice pen need to be at my disposal.

Point is, pick a method and stick to it. If you notice that you might be better off with another method, then switch it! But don’t waste your time pimping out your new bullet journal if you will never touch it again.

STEP 2: Brain dump.

Ok, you have your method chosen, right? Now it is time to dump the contents of your brain. Chances are you are are either running around like a chicken with its head cut off, or you are close to it. All of the things you have to remember are driving your crazy!

This is the perfect time to sit down with your notebook, laptop, or both and start jotting everything down. I find this the most relaxing exercise ever! Slowly, my mind clears up, but at the same time, I still have all of those thoughts captured. 

Figure out a way to categorize your thoughts. How do they belong together? For me, I categorize my to-do’s into school, work, coaching, blogging, and life! Several little categories help me not get overwhelmed! This is about finding what’s right for you. So, maybe one big list is all you need!

STEP 3: Make it a habit. 

Ok, step 1 and 2 have been fairly simple, right? Well here comes the doozy. Making this a habit… This is your make it or break it moment. There are plenty of studies of how long it takes to make something a habit, but here is my advice to you. Use that phone to your advantage and set a reminder! Every day, take 5-10 minutes and have a mini brain dump! And over the weekend, take a bit longer to brain dump, set some goals for the week, and plan ahead!

So there you have it. 3 steps to being organized. Sounds easy, but it’s far from it. It takes hard work, just like everything else in life. And really, this is just getting your thoughts, priorities, and to-dos organized, this doesn’t involve actually doing them!

But this is the start. The start of being motivated to tackle your tasks. The start of completing those tasks and gaining more motivation to keep working hard from them!

What are your go-to organizational tools?

With love,

Lena Marie 💕

“Clutter smothers. Simplicity breathes.” – Terry Guillmets

*This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing from these links you will not be charged more or less, I simply receive a small commission. For more information, please see my disclaimer

I’M 22 | 22 FACTS ABOUT ME

On Tuesday, I turned 22! 🎉
It was like any other day, just a little bit more special! I worked for a couple of hours. My coworkers sang to me and we had cake! Afterward, my mom and I went to get some sushi to bring home for my birthday dinner. And then my parents and I finished the evening with a family sushi feast, a bottle of wine and opening gifts! Jonathan also surprised me with a bouquet of THIRTY roses! What a lovely surprise that was! Obviously, he’s a keeper! 😘
I figured that this would be a great opportunity to share some facts about me, that you may not know! So let’s get to it!
  1. I am half American, half German! I speak both languages fluently, have lived in Germany 9 years of my life and the US 13 years of my life! My mom is German and my dad is American. 🇩🇪🇺🇸
  2. My parents and I are really close as I am an only child! 👨‍👩‍👧
  3. I was born in Hamburg, Germany. So, that means I am a Hamburger. Please don’t eat me! 🍔
  4. I have a knack for really cheesy jokes… 👆🏼
  5. My boyfriend, Jonathan, and I have been together for 4 and a half years. 💑
  6. Tobi is my dog! He is a miniature schnauzer and I got him as a teeny little puppy for my 8th birthday. 🐶
  7. My main hobby, that I have always had, is reading! I love reading. My favorite books are Harry Potter (duh!) 🤓
  8. I don’t like going to the movies! I prefer cuddling up on the couch, not having to smuggle in snacks and being able to go to the bathroom without missing the best part! 🎥
  9. I may be 5’10”, but I did not play basketball, and volleyball only for 3 years. My favorite sport is Tennis. I started playing at age 11 and played competitively throughout high school. 🎾
  10. The saying “sometimes when I open my mouth, my mother comes out” definitely applies to me 😅
  11. Trendy reality TV shows, like the Bachelor, America’s/Germany’s Next Top Model or any others are not my thing at all. I will give you a blank stare if you ever start talking to me about them 😂
  12. 99.9% of the time I sleep through thunderstorms or anything else loud and exciting.😴
  13. I’ve never been to the emergency room… until 2 weeks ago (be careful on the stairs!) 💊
  14. Chocolate, ice cream, and cake are the way to my heart over gummy bears, lollipops and anything savory. 🍫
  15. I love having my nails painted, so I have a large collection of Essie polishes to get me through any occasion and every season of the year. 💅🏼
  16. My first ever concert was The Rolling Stones with my aunt and cousin. You could say that set the bar high! 🎼
  17. I love working out and being healthy and fit. I even became a virtual health and fitness coach to spread my passion for it! 💪🏼
  18. I’ve always been the outsider or the loner. 🤷🏼‍♀️
  19. Apple over PC, any day. 🍎
  20. My dad and I used to communicate with walkie talkies and I did not get my first smartphone until I was 16… Now I major in Online-Media-Management at the Stuttgart Media University, love social media, and always have my phone near me! 👩🏼‍💻
  21. You can scare me SO easily but, I still love reading mysteries and crime novels and watching crime TV! 👻
  22. Every health problem that I have ever had, which thankfully has only been minor things, I have inherited from my mom’s mom! But she’s 87… so I guess that is a good thing! 👵🏼😂

I hope you enjoyed this little “get to know me” session and learned something new about me! So far, 22 is treating me well and I hope that this year will be a year of health, happiness and great experiences.

With love,

Lena Marie 💕

MOTIVATION MONDAY | FIND YOUR CHEERLEADERS

Hello and happy Monday to you all! Today marks the first full week of the month of August, so let’s get motivated to crush this week!

Today I wanted to dig a little deeper into the point I mentioned in my first Motivation Monday post about staying motivated and that is “find your cheerleaders”.

I listen to Darren Daily. Darren is an author, public speaker, mentor, among lots of other things. But most of all, he is a coach. One of his daily mentoring videos struck a chord with me last week. He said, “you don’t find yourself, you create yourself”.

This lesson holds incredibly true for motivation as well. We all want to “find” motivation, but actually, we have to intrinsically create it. External stimuli will only support the motivation that you have created.

And one of these external stimuli that I find extremely crucial to staying motivated is having your own personal cheer squad. Ironically, I say you should “find” your own personal cheer squad, but really, you create it!

But what does this mean?

This means that you create a group of supporters who:

You trust. ❤️

Through thick and thin, you need to know that these people will be there for you. You need to know that they want to see you happy, successful, and always striving for your goals.

Have your best interests at heart. ❤️

They are honest, critical and compassionate. They want the best for you and will voice their opinions. If you need a push, they will give you one, if you get lost, they will reel you in, if you achieve a goal, they will celebrate it with you.

Treat you the way they want to be treated. ❤️

They give you what they know you will give them. You cannot expect to have a group of cheerleaders when they cannot be sure that you are cheering them on too. Using is abusing. Never use anyone to your advantage or allow others to use you.

Are not afraid to be honest. ❤️

You need to know whether you are doing the right thing. And these are the people who can reassure you or be brutally honest and tell you how it really is. Do they think you are taking the wrong path? Do they think you have more potential than you believe you do? Your cheerleaders are not scared of being honest with you, even if your reaction may be anger or tears.

Love you. ❤️

Your cheerleaders love you. And for that reason, they want the very best for you and will support you in any way they can, forever and always.

All of our cheerleading squads look different. Some are big, some are little. Some are composed of family, some are composed of friends. What matters is that you are confident that they have each of the qualities I have listed above.

My personal cheer squad is made up of family and some close family friends. But, there are 3 core people who I trust, who I know have my best interests at heart, who treat me right, who are not afraid, to be honest, and who love me. That would be my mom, my dad, and my boyfriend. These 3 individuals are people who mean the world to me.

I am incredibly lucky to have such wonderful people so close to my heart, but we don’t all have that! You can find your cheer squad all over the place though. Through accountability groups, like the ones I run for my coaching business, bible study groups or just going out and mingling with people, you can quickly meet people who will be in your life forever.

And there is nothing more special than having a personal cheer squad to share your journey with.

With love,

Lena Marie 💕

“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”

LENA MARIE LOVES | JULY 2017

Rainbow

31 days of July later and here I am again to talk about all of the things I loved throughout the month of July! It was a busy month full hot days, stormy days, and a whole lot of rainbows! To see all of the things I have been loving throughout this month, just keep on reading! 🤗

Lately, I have been loving…

TO WEAR…

My Fossil Emerson Medium Satchel! 👜 After a semester of carrying around at least my laptop, if not more, I am happy to just be able to wear my favorite satchel! I have had this bag since Christmas and really love it. I would say it is a smaller medium, I do wish it had a little more space. But it does comfortably fit my wallet, my “emergency pouch” (lotion, band-aids, kleenex, wipes, etc.), and a glasses case. I typically throw in some sort of snacks too and my lip color for the day!

On my nails, I wore Essie’s Bikini So Teeny and Island Hopping! Bikini So Teeny is a beautiful vibrant summer blue and Island Hopping is a deep dusky pink tone. Both of these are perfect summer hues, just that Island Hopping is a little tamer and professionally appropriate.

TO EXERCISE…

By doing Shift Shop, walking, and swimming! Shift Shop is an incredible brand new program by Beachbody that I LOVE. It is a 21-day program. 3 agility days per week, 3 strength days per week. The workouts in week one are 25 minutes long, week two 35, and week 3 45. I love the intense cardio days, but I also love getting my hands on some weights on the strength days. There is also an awesome core workout that you can add on that really burns!

I also have been making it a priority to get my steps in every day. I do this by either walking all over throughout the day or by going for a walk with my mom in the evenings once it cools down a little bit.

And lastly, my mom got me to go swimming with her! We have a public pool 10 minutes away from us that is, unfortunately, the only body of water ideal to swim in nearby. It has been SO hot though that getting into the water was necessary. I am not a great swimmer though. I am actually scared of deep water! Right now I can swim about 600-800m without feeling completely winded or like my arms will fall off. I absolutely love it though and hope to get better so that I can be more confident swimming in open waters.

TO USE…

Plants! I don’t really “use” plants, I more so enjoy them. But I do use them to make my room prettier! ☺️ I could not tell you the names of them or anything really, besides the fact that they are tiny and cute. I believe that 2 of them fall into the succulent category, which is oh so trendy right now. I just find it nice to have some live plants as decor, rather than continuously having to care for fresh flowers. They are small and easy to care for which is great for someone like me who has no green thumb.

TO READ…

No Excuses! By Brian Tracey. I still am not 100% done with this book, but should be either today or tomorrow. It is a great read for someone looking for motivation to get out of their comfort zone and into the zone of success. It has tons of helpful tips for how to confront your fears and improve yourself. I also love that each chapter has a little assignment at the end that you can apply to your own life. It is definitely not the most entertaining book. It can be rather dry in between, but I do still recommend it to those who need a little push.

You are a Badass at Making Money, by Jen Sincero. After reading Jen Sincero’s first You are a Badass book and falling in love with her writing style, I knew I could not pass up this book. The gist of it is how to make more money with the help of the law of attraction. This too is a great motivational read that pushes you to just get to work. But the coolest thing is how Sincero tries to help you change your mindset about money. Money is a very sensitive topic for many people because they have negative emotions tied to it. But Sincero encourages a positive mindset towards money, which I personally really benefitted from.

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. The skinny on this book is basically that Brown is trying to teach you to accept who you are, imperfections and all. She does this well thanks to her background in qualitative research and the countless stories and interviews she has collected over the years. She also had a nice way of summarizing the information within each chapter in a way that you could then apply it to your own life. I particularly liked when she addressed shame, guilt, and fear and it even inspired me to write my own post on shame, insecurities, and judgement.

TO BE GRATEFUL FOR…

Successfully finishing my first semester at the Stuttgart Media University! While I don’t have my grades back yet, I still feel good enough to say that it was a successful semester. I was really weary going into things because of my prior college experience. Thankfully, the people I have met and the professors I have are all wonderful people who try to help you, not hinder you. I am so thankful to have found a spot that I believe I can excel in and build my future in!

THESE 5 MOMENTS…
  1. July 5 & 6. In the midst of exam stress, I really needed to get away from my desk and study elsewhere. One day I went to a lovely little coffee shop called Mission Coffee in Stuttgart and studied together with a delicious iced latte. And the following day I met up with a friend to study at the library. It was great having an accountability partner! Anf, of course, we rewarded ourselves with a lunch out afterward.
  2. July 10. All of the studying paid off and I wrote my last exam! It was on the programming language PHP, web-technology, and databases. Personally, not my favorite courses! But it felt great to finish the exam and I am confident enough that I passed as well!
  3. July 11. I looked frazzled after all of my studying, so today I went and had my hair done! It felt so good to have it styled again and bonus, it smelled amazing. Pampering yourself is always a good way to reward yourself for hard work.
  4. July 24. After my last exam, I still had 3 projects that I needed to complete. Luckily I had most of that time off from work, so I was able to get it all done without being all too stressed. Today marked the due date of the last project and my official freedom until October! AND! I went for a walk with my mom this evening and we were graced with the most beautiful rainbow ever. This was at least my 5th rainbow within 3 days.
  5. July 30 & 31. I definitely did not love these moments, but I wanted this to serve as a reminder that stairs are dangerous! So on Saturday, I had a nice day! We ran several errands and went to a local festival. But I ended the evening by falling down the stairs. Thankfully, my mom was right behind me and was able to help me get back up to our apartment. I iced my ankle for the rest of the night. Upon waking up on Sunday, it was blown up like a balloon and I could barely put any weight on it. My mom saw no other option than to go to the emergency room. Mind you, this was my first time ever going to the ER. I was scared that I had broken or torn something, but thankfully, I did not. It is just a really hefty sprain. I am out of commission for the week as it heals, but am so grateful that it is not anything worse!

And that is everything I was loving throughout the month of July! I look forward to August and all of the experiences it will bring… Including my birthday 🤓

With love,

Lena Marie 💕

*This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing from these links you will not be charged more or less, I simply receive a small commission. For more information, please see my disclaimer

MOTIVATION MONDAY | KNOW YOUR DREAMS

Sitting on the balcony

Happy Monday friends here is your dose of motivation to get your week started on the right foot! Surely, I am not alone in being in awe that it is July 31st, right?! This is the perfect time to set your August goals! 

Last week, in my first Motivation Monday post I talked about how I stay motivated. Point one on my list was “know your dreams”. This is a doozy, so I wanted to hone in on this point a little bit more. Today, I will share a how I have learned to keep my eyes on my dreams!

The most important thing, in my opinion, to make your dreams a reality is to keep believing. My pride is a little bruised at the moment. For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you saw that I took a tumble down the stairs this weekend and went to the ER for the first time in my life. Thankfully, I got away with a bad sprain. For how hard I fell, the swelling and the pain, I was expecting worse. But now, I am stuck at home for the week keeping my foot elevated and hobbling around. Why am I telling you this? Because I feel demotivated and setback from reaching my goals.

Working is how I earn my money. Money is how I reach my dreams. Right? Not really. Sure, money helps! But it is not the answer to everything. Knowing your dreams and eventually achieving your dreams has to do with the belief and perseverance that you can do it! So keep believing!

Another huge component is your mindset. I talked about this last week in another post, where I mentioned that I used to let all of the negativity reel me in. Not only did this not help me in believing that I could reach my dreams, but it also set me up with a negative mindset of my own. After several subtle hints from people around me alluding to my negative attitude, I realized I needed to make a change. I am stubborn though and could not just flip the switch from a negative attitude to a positive attitude.

I had to work for it. After reading a lot of personal development books, I believe I can say with confidence that my mindset, for the most part, has really bettered itself! Sure, a weekend like this past one knocked a few points off of my pride. I could give you a whole list of the negative aspects, but gosh am I thankful that my injury is nothing worse!

Being thankful is another component to “knowing your dreams”. The one thing I have learned a lot about through my reading is the Law of Attraction. Books like “The Secret”, “You are a Badass”, “No Excuses!”, “The Gifts of Imperfection”, “#Girlboss”, among several others all refer to or solely focus on the magic of the Law of Attraction. It is simply a law of the universe that states “like attracts like.”

The Law of Attraction thus encourages using tools such as gratitude, affirmations, and visualization to help you know, believe and achieve your goals and dreams. I have incorporated this into my daily routine. First, I read some sort of motivational book for about 15 minutes every morning and then I go on to list out my gratitude and affirmations for the day either on a piece of paper or in my 5 Minute Journal app. Lastly, I have a vision board that I either look at or spend a few minutes thinking about!

Initially, this sounds somewhat insane, but once you do your research and see how many people actively use the tools of the Law of Attraction and what they have achieved, there has to be something to it! And just these people keep me pushing for my dreams too.

And lastly, I ask myself a simple question when I am feeling unmotivated or lazy: what would successful people do? This too sounds silly, but it really does get me going quick and my to-dos are taken care of quicker than I thought possible.

Throughout this entire journey to my dreams, I obviously could not get anywhere without my personal cheerleading squad or the belief that God has an awesome plan for me and my life. But when it comes down to it, these are your dreams. It is up to you to make them happen. No one else can do it for you.

I hope that this insight on how I “know my dreams” and keep reaching for them was helpful. Happy dreaming and an even happier Monday! 🤗

With love,

Lena Marie 💕

“Don’t be afraid of being different, be afraid of being the same as everyone else.”

*This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing from these links you will not be charged more or less, I simply receive a small commission. For more information, please see my disclaimer

LETS TALK SHAME, INSECURITY & JUDGEMENT

Sitting by a river.

Recently I have felt the need to talk about those three big words above: shame, insecurity, and judgment.

Slowly but surely I feel as if I am shaking the chains of those very feelings off of me and I wanted to empower you to start doing the same thing.

It is hard. Especially in a world where we are consistently measuring ourselves up against others or simply societal standards. How am I supposed to let go of all of that? It takes a lot of work, self-love, and positivity.

See, just over a year ago, I had a pretty big wake-up call in my life. I failed out of college. This is such an utterly dramatic thing to say, especially when there is a huge story behind it, but it is the short and sweet version of what happened. I felt incredibly lost and did not have a clue of what was next in my life. At that time I was spending an incredible summer in Michigan with Jonathan and we were having SO much fun. But of course, there were always these nagging thoughts at the back of my head; “What is next?”, “I am not good enough”, “I am not worthy”, “People are judging me”, “I suck!”… etc.

Here I am a year later and I can proudly say that I have accomplished a lot. I am officially done with my first semester at my new university, I started a new job last week, I am pursuing my passion for health and fitness coaching, I risked starting a blog and sharing my life, I am discovering passions and hobbies I never expected were “for me” and throughout this all I have had my parents and Jonathan support me, no questions asked, along with many others giving me words of encouragement along the way.

Throughout the past year, the feelings of shame, insecurity, and judgment were at an all time high. So much so that they made me doubt who I was and what I was meant to do with my life. I thought I knew all about these feelings from the various experiences I had throughout high school. Being looked at like I was a piece of meat just because I had the “best butt” in school. Thinking something must be wrong with me when I figured out through social media that I had yet again, not been invited to a sleepover or party. Believing I was inferior for not being the best athlete on the team. Feeling hurt for not having my morals and beliefs respected.

But then I felt these feelings…

I was ashamed for failing out of college. 😭

I felt insecure about not knowing what my next steps were. 😩

I felt judged for being a “failure” and having to start all over again. 😔

You can tell me that none of these things are true, but in those moments, that is how it felt. And it felt terrible.

Since this time a year ago, I have grown and changed a lot. As someone continuously focusing on the negatives, I learned how to find something positive in any situation. People-pleasing was my specialty, and also why it hurt so much that I had to admit my flaws. I have learned to put my foot down and stand up for what I believe. And I found my dreams. I took charge through goal setting, gratitude, and affirmations. I will make my dreams reality.

This all sounds so heavy and dramatic, which it was at the time, but my point is that you alone decide whether to feel ashamed, insecure or judged.

Take social media for example. As a health and fitness coach, I see hundreds of nutrition or body image related posts a day. Recently I saw an image in which the caption was talking about hip dimples. I thought to myself, what the heck are hip dimples?! Apparently, they are the little dimples that some of us have on our hips (including me I learned). And apparently, there is a large number of women trying to “get rid” of said hip dimples. Well, you can’t because there is no muscle to build up in that spot.

Now upon learning about hip dimples, I could have felt insecure, but I didn’t. The same goes for when I observed that my body will never sport a thigh gap. Or that I have some hardcore stretch marks. You can choose whether to be insecure or not. But please, tell me how being insecure gives you an advantage?

Take my college experience for example. I let the shame, insecurity, and judgment take a hold of me. For months, I did not experience any feelings of success. I hit a plateau. The moment I decided to start peeling away these layers of ugly feelings, accomplishments and opportunities started falling into my lap. Looking back, this experience taught me strength, resilience, and hope. 😌

Moving forward, I know that I have the choice of whether to feel these feelings. I know how to overcome them and how to move on. You think my posts about being a health and fitness coach are dumb and annoying? Ok, but I love coaching. You think my photos in a sports bra and bikini are provocative or that I am not in “good enough shape” to be posting something like that? Ok, but I love the body that God gave me and I am treating it how it is supposed to be treated. You think my blog is stupid? Fine, but I love writing. You think I am incapable of being successful because I had a bad college experience. Great, watch me be successful. 💁🏼

All of these feelings, whether shame, insecurity, judgment, among many other inferior feelings, are just chains holding you back from greatness. As I quoted in my Motivation Monday post yesterday, “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t take a step forward, you’re always in the same place.” 💪🏼

I challenge you to take those steps forward and loosen the shackles of inferiority. You are destined for your own personal greatness, but you also need to take the steps to get there. Letting shame, insecurity, and judgment rule your life will not get you there, take it from someone who experienced it first hand.

I believe in you, but do you believe in yourself?

With love,

Lena Marie 💕

MOTIVATION MONDAY | STAYING MOTIVATED

My desk

Motivation. It is something that we all want, but not something that we really know how to achieve. Some days it’s there, some days it isn’t.

To be 100% honest, I definitely lack motivation a lot of the time. I get discouraged easily and don’t manage my time well. And even if I know that I have a spectacular opportunity that I need to work for, the mountain to that opportunity just seems so stinking big!

For this reason, I have decided to start a new series on the blog called “Motivation Monday”. Personally, I need some tough love to get my act together and getting fired up and writing a post like this will push me to do just that! And if I am being real, a lot of these posts are going to be exactly what I, the person writing these posts, need to hear! I will be benefitting just as much, if not more than you!

So today, I wanted to talk about a few of the things that keep me motivated on a daily basis! They are small things, but can most definitely have a big impact on your day.

KNOW YOUR DREAMS 💭

What do you want to achieve in your life? This does not mean graduating or traveling to a specific spot. This means, in your wildest dreams what will life look like for you? This is a lofty aspiration, seems so hard to make happen, but I promise that it will make you smile. And when you are smiling and thinking happy thoughts, it sure is not as hard to hit the ground running and get sh*t done (pardon my language).

FIND YOUR CHEERLEADERS 🎊 🎉

Reach out to your family, friends, and coworkers and tell them what you need. Be real, be honest! It is so helpful to have a group of people to hold you up and keep pushing you forward, even when think nothing is happening the way that it should be. I truly would not be where I am today if I did not have my squad of cheerleaders cheering me on.

HAVE A ROUTINE ⏰

Create a process of how you get into the day. Not only will this become a habit, which makes it easier and easier to do at time goes on, but you are able to create a routine that sets you up for success. This can be as nitty gritty or loose as you desire, but I have learned that it is 10 times easier to get out of bed in the morning knowing exactly how the start of my day will flow. I also bundle certain tasks together. No matter what time it is, if I start with task 1, I bundle task 2, 3, and 4 together with it. This is a highly individual thing, but it really has made a difference in my life.

MAKE LISTS 📝 

Whether you just have a notepad or an organized planner, write things down! For me, there is nothing more motivating than being able to cross things off of my list. A pet peeve of mine is when you tell someone something and they don’t write it down. How can you be sure that they will remember? Don’t be that person. Nothing is more demotivating than being caught forgetting something important because you thought you would just be able to remember.

CLEAN UP YOUR LIFE 🙅🏼

I talked about this in my Spring Clean Your Life post a while back, but honestly, throw away all of the stinky things! This can be clothes, pictures, or even people. And what I find even more important, is cleaning up your digital space. If something upsets you, makes you feel poorly about yourself or reminds you of something negative – unfriend, unfollow, unlink and say goodbye. You don’t need that kind of energy in your life. On the other hand, fill up your digital life with positive role models and people/things that make you feel happy and empowered.

These are just some of the core things that keep me motivated every day. Every Monday I will be sharing things that not only keep me motivated, but that will hopefully motivate you too. Every little push helps and I promise, one day those goals will all be yours!

With love,

Lena Marie 💕

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”

MY TOP 10 TRAVEL GOALS

A beautiful field

If I could pack my bags right now and travel the world, I would 🌎 Sadly the responsible adult in me consistently reminds me that I have other things on my plate that I need to take care of first. But as the semester winds down and I have this summer break ahead of me, I cannot help but dream about the traveling I could do if I didn’t have those adult commitments holding me back.

So here are my top 10 places that it is my goal to travel to, by let’s say… 30? 🤔 That may be pushing it, but a girl can dream, right? Let’s dream together and get on with the list!

Map of the top 10 places I want to travel too!

1. GREECE

Greece has been at the top of my list for years! I cannot wait to get there one day. Ideally, I would have time to travel to places like Athens, Delphi, Santorini, Crete, Thessaloniki, among many of the stunning places Greece has to offer. The history of these places is so incredibly rich. And to be honest, I would love to relive some Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants moments! Oh and the food… I cannot wait to have authentic Greek food! 😍

2. UNITED KINGDOM

The UK has also been on my list for a while! London holds the first position in the list of all I would like to see while there. I would obviously have to try and get a peek at the Queen and her family! 👑 I was one of those girls who got up at 4 a.m. to see the royal wedding a few years ago, just to give you an impression of how much I enjoy royalty. I also have dreamt of getting a pair of Hunter Boots, straight from the source. Then I would meander through the English countryside wearing them to see some true English estates! And of course, I would be on the hunt for the best fish and chips! I would finish up my UK trip with a tour of Scotland with all of the insider tips from my lovely Scottish aunt!

3. IRELAND

A Guinness, an authentic Claddagh ring and seeing the Cliffs of Moher would make for a great trip to Ireland. Here too, ideally would be able to travel around the country and explore the countryside, experience true Irish pubs and read some books in a cozy B&B. Luckily, it looks like seeing the Cliffs of Moher and maybe getting an authentic Claddagh ring are not too far away as I have a dear friend studying abroad in Galway this fall! As a weekend trip will not suffice, I will most likely have to drag Jonathan back to come explore more with me! 🤗

4. NEW ZEALAND

The distance alone makes New Zealand so far away, but also the wildlife and nature make it seem even farther away because it is something I have never ever seen before. And for just those reasons, I cannot wait to travel to New Zealand. This trip is actually happening in February, together with Jonathan for a conference that he is attending and I am SO excited to see this part of the world. I have seen many documentaries about the country and look forward to experiencing both the North and South Island!

5. ALASKA

I love experiencing nature around the world. Yes, big cities are stunning too, but I cannot get over the beauty Mother Nature created for us. Each and every one of these places I crave to travel too is a stunning masterpiece of  Mother Natures creation, but I think Alaska could take the cake.

A friend of mine, Frank (check out his Instagram his pictures are amazing!) is currently spending his second summer in Alaska and I blame his stunning photos for my desire to go explore this beautiful state! I envision this trip All-American style – a big pick-up truck, loaded with camping supplies, a map and all the time in the world to appreciate the beauty in front of me 😌

6. ITALY

A glass of wine, a plate full of pasta and gelato for everyone! With all of the history, Italy has to offer, it is hard to imagine that I could cover Rome, Vatican City, Pisa, Venice, Florence, the Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, among all of the other stunning places in one trip. Plus my pants would probably combust if I were there so long eating so many delicious things 😂 I see a few different trips in my future, covering various regions of Italy. At the top of my list at the moment is the Lake Como region. In the future, I would work my way through the boot and you bet your bottom dollar I will ride a Vespa through the streets of Rome and make a wish at the Trevi Fountain (Lizzie Mcguire anyone?!) 😍

7. FRANCE

Since moving to Europe, it has been my dream to spend New Year’s Eve in Paris, and Jonathan and I agreed to make that a goal for 2017-2018! The fireworks and the Eifel Tower together seem like one majestic combination. I also want to experience the art, the history and a croissant or 20. I have never been somewhere as chic as Paris and would love to explore the city. And one day when I am in need of a glamorous vacation to relax and recharge, Southern France will be calling my name 😘

8. HAWAII

Ask Jonathan where he wants to travel too and he will say Hawaii, and I agree. Sitting on a beach somewhere sipping a fruity cocktail and hearing the waves crash against the shore… That would be so lovely! But, Jonathan and I are not ones to just waste an entire day away. We would quickly find ourselves hiking to a volcano or taking surfing lessons. And exploring the Hawaiin countryside while driving around in a convertible would be pretty dang amazing too 😃

9. SOUTH AFRICA

After coincidentally making friends with 2 wonderful ladies from South Africa, Carla, and Nadia, I have been even more curious to explore this seemingly beautiful country! At the top of my list is Cape Town. But, from my understanding, South Africa also has an incredible wine country! And you know I want to test that out. I will also be sure to make a list of all of the insider tips Carla and Nadia give me! 😉

10. ICELAND

A day relaxing at the Blue Lagoon, seeing Icelandic ponies running in the wild, finding the perfect Icelandic sweater, and hiking through the wonders of Iceland’s nature… That would make this the perfect trip. This too would be a trip with a simple list of sights I want to see, but no schedule, because I just don’t want rush from place to place, but instead see as much as I can!

Traveling is something I want and need to take advantage of throughout my life. I love getting to see new sights and interact with new cultures. This world has so many incredible hidden corners and I cannot wait to explore some of them!🤗 And you know that as soon as I explore somewhere new, I will take you along!

If you could travel anywhere right now, where would it be?

With love,

Lena Marie 💕

LENA MARIE LOVES | JUNE 2017

Eating watermelon!

June flew by for me. So quickly that blogging took a seat on the back burner 😅 I won’t lie, I was lacking creativity, inspiration, and motivation. But I am SO close to being done with my semester and have tons of ideas floating around in my head for you, so just wait…

Lately, I have been loving…

TO WEAR…

Dresses, skirts, sandals galore! June was a hot one here in southern Germany and the only way to attempt to combat the heat was avoiding clothes that were tight or uncomfortable. My all time favorite outfit of the month definitely has to be this dress from Espirit with these sandals from Paul Green.

I also could not be bothered painting my nails this month, so I rocked the Au Naturale look!

TO EXERCISE…

By participating in Shaun Week and following his hybrid calendar for the month! Kicking off on June 12th, Beachbody released a new workout every day for a week that Shaun T recently created. I hosted a free group and we did the workouts together every day and had so much fun! Shaun T then created a calendar to follow for 3 more weeks mixing and matching workouts from all of his previous programs 💪🏼

TO USE…

My Contigo water bottle! With such hot weather, water was a must 💦 I have the Cortland 24 ounce/720 milliliter bottle and LOVE it. One, it does not leak! Two, it is the perfect size – the portion of water is ideal, but it also fits into cup holders. Three, it is dishwasher safe! Four (and my favorite part), is the lid! It has an automatic seal to prevent spillage, but you can also lock it so that in transport you won’t have any accidents. The lid also has a handy carabiner that enables me to clip it onto any bag.

I have never had a water bottle last me this long (mine is 2 years old in the meantime). They have always ended up leaking or becoming nasty and uncleanable.

TO READ…

Still No Excuses! by Brian Tracy! I also added You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero into the mix and am on the hunt for a third book to read throughout July! School definitely took over my life a bit and I pushed my reading to the side, BUT I will be reading lots as soon as my last assignment is handed in 🤗

TO BE GRATEFUL FOR…

New opportunities. As summer approaches I am excited to take advantage of all of the opportunities that it has to offer. I have a lot of ideas that I would like to bring to fruition, but I also am starting a new job in a little bit and am looking forward to seeing what kind of things I will experience! I feel like I repeat myself constantly, but I just am grateful to have found a spot in life where I am excited to start every day and chase things that I am passionate about!

THESE 5 MOMENTS…
  1. June 6. It was an average Tuesday and my mom and I decided to go for a walk to hit our step goals for the day. Little did we know that the most beautiful rainbow would accompany us the whole way! 🌈
  2. June 14. After a seemingly successful job interview, the stars aligned and my parents and I were able to meet up in the midst of a busy day for ice cream! It was so random but fun! 🍦
  3. June 15. It was a German holiday and the local orchestra, that my dad plays in, uses it to put on a little event for the day. No German festival is complete without potato salad, french fries, brats, and beer! My dad and I joined forces and did what we can do best, eat! 😋
  4. June 21. My final presentation for the project that seemingly overshadowed everything this semester! It was great to get that out of the way and move onto more pressing things. 📚
  5. June 27. Not only was it Tobi, my dogs, 14th birthday, but I finally got a job offer! After a long and annoying search, I finally got an offer and look forward to starting later this month! 👩🏼‍💻

I hope that June treated you all as well as it did me! I look forward to the memories that I will make in July 😌

With love,

Lena Marie 💕

REVIEW | INSANITY MAX: 30

No gym membership? No equipment? No problem! Insanity Max: 30 is an absolutely killer workout program designed for those with little time, no equipment, but a strong desire to make a change.

I stream my workouts on my phone through Beachbody on Demand. It is essentially the Netflix of the fitness industry. Every single Beachbody program is on Beachbody on Demand, so you can easily switch it up, find an active rest workout, a quick ab workout, or something you can do with your kids! I could not recommend having Beachbody on Demand more!

I recently finished my first ever run through of Insanity Max: 30 and would love to share my opinion and experience with you today!

WHAT IS INSANITY MAX: 30?

Insanity Max: 30 is a 60-day program consisting of 2 different sets of workouts, Round 1 and Round 2. There are 5 workouts a week, an optional active rest day workout, and quick core workout. While each individual workout has a different focus – power, strength, cardio, intervals – one thing remains consistent throughout the program: you will SWEAT. I am not talking a barely there sweat, I am talking a soaked sports bra, sweat dripping off your nose, I need 5 towels kind of sweat.

The workouts have short 30-second breaks in between and operate on the principle of “maxing out”. Shaun T, the phenomenal creator of this program, encourages you to have a sheet of paper where you record your “max out” time. This means, the time into the workout where you cannot keep up with the pace anymore. This time is used to help you measure your progress as you work through the program.

This program not only demands physical fitness but it also pushes you mentally. You learn to push farther than you thought you could and feel incredibly accomplished when you reach the end.

DID I LIKE IT?

loved Insanity Max: 30. I had heard others rave about it, I loved the aspect of 30-minute workouts and no equipment, so I figured I would give it a shot. Initially, my body was shocked. I had never sweat this much in my life. I maxed out super early those first few weeks, but by week 4 of Round 1, I could do it! Then Round 2 got me back down off of my high horse very quickly, but by the end, those workouts had also become much more doable.

Also, Shaun T is an incredible trainer. Even though he was behind a screen, it felt like he was right there pushing me to go further. His energy made the workouts go by so quickly, that I would be surprised that I was already done!

WHAT KIND OF PROGRESS DID I MAKE?

To be honest, up until this program I never tracked my progress. I would always take a “before” photo, but would never follow through with an “after”. Scales are also not my thing, so I was not weighing myself. I just based my progress off of how I felt – which can change in a flash! But since I am sharing my journey publicly these days, I knew I needed to do a classic “transformation photo” and holy smokes, what a great surprise!

Progress Picture
*Low quality photo, high quality results – yay for iPhone photos!

I noticed all of the little things. My pants fit looser, I did not have to suck in anymore, I could tighten my belt a hole. But the photos put a whole new perspective to it for me. I also stepped on the scale for the first time in a while and have gone down about 10 pounds since starting with Beachbody programs. So while my change is in no way crazy dramatic, I am really happy with it!

HOW DO I GET MY HANDS ON THAT PROGRAM?!

That’s easy – get a hold of me! Comment below, email me, find me on Facebook or Instagram, head over to my “Get Healthy with Me” page! I am here to help get you set up!

BUT WAIT, THERE IS MORE! Next week is SHAUN WEEK! Shaun T, the creator of this very program is launching 7 brand new workouts on Monday! My dear coach and mentor, Nadia, and I are running a FREE group next week and we can all feel the burn that Shaun T will most definitely put us through. So get ahold of me! I will add you to the group and we can have a big Shaun T Week party 🙂

AND the Netflix of the fitness industry, Beachbody on Demand, is also on sale through August! It is such a steal right now, so be sure to get your hands on it by the end of August. I too can help you with that 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this different kind of post! As a coach, I am here to add value to your life. This program got me really far and I am sure it could get you far too! I cannot wait to continue my journey!

What are your favorite ways to stay fit and healthy?

With love,

Lena Marie

P.S. A post about my nutrition will be up soon!

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