In Blog, Jesus, Lifestyle on
October 23, 2017

Keep Your Sense of Urgency


Keep your Urgency

1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. —2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NKJV)

Today I felt like I got knocked off my feet and fell flat on my face. Honestly, I needed it. Would you change your behavior if you felt like each day bled into another? Why do something today when it could just be done tomorrow?

If you read the verse above, 2 Timothy 4:1-5, you see in verse 2 it says be ready in and out of season. Read below what that verse reads in the Amplified Version:

preach the word [as an official messenger]; be ready when the time is right and even when it is not [keep your sense of urgency, whether the opportunity seems favorable or unfavorable, whether convenient or inconvenient, whether welcome or unwelcome]; correct [those who err in doctrine or behavior], warn [those who sin], exhort and encourage [those who are growing toward spiritual maturity], with inexhaustible patience and [faithful] teaching.

Repeat after me, “Keep your sense of urgency,” and “whether convenient or inconvenient, whether welcome or unwelcome.” Now let me explain what knocked me off my feet.

Last Sunday

I’m not sure how your church does church, or even if you go to church, but typically our church does worship and music, then preaching. I love worship. It’s in worship that I feel free, like I could take off dancing in praise and not look back. The Holy Spirit touches me while I worship with His sweet, sweet Presence. God is good, folks.

As I’m in worship my mind pictures *Stacey (name changed), a friend of a patient from my healthcare job. My patient has expressed her frustration with her friend Stacey because she sits at home and lets negative talk ruin her life. Stacey’s son just died months ago and she blames herself for it. Stacey is stuck in a cycle full of lies and can hardly leave the house because of her depression and grief.

I feel a nudge from the Holy Spirit to invite her and the patient to my church. Because I’ve been healed by Jesus and I know He can heal her hurt too. I want her to feel the freedom I do in worship. I want her to dance and sing and experience joy again. Lasting joy.


Maybe you see this coming. I don’t have a direct connection to Stacey, but I see the patient a few times that week. I don’t mention one time about inviting her and her friend to my church. Self doubt, fear of rejection– whatever it is, I can’t bring myself to talk to the patient about her friend.


Our pastor preaches on urgency, using the above verses. I fight back tears as I think of all the opportunities I’ve let pass. The Bible is so clear, if you don’t believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, eternity in Hell awaits you. Sharing about Jesus is literally a life or death matter.


The patients walks in with her head low. Someone asks how she is, and she says,”I’ve been better.” I go over to help her get started and after setting up, she tells me what’s up.

“Stacey died last Thursday.”

My mind immediately goes back to the last Sunday and I gasp in unbelief. The patient doesn’t know how she passed away or who found her or much information. I tell the patient that I felt like I was supposed to invite her to church last week, but I never did.

Before you know it, I’m sobbing at my job, tears running down my face as pure grief and regret grips my heart. I was supposed to share with Stacey the healing I’ve found, and how she can dance in joy and healing. But now…


I share this because it’s important. You don’t need to be a pastor to preach the Word. The Lord doesn’t make mistakes, He’s placed you where He wants you. You are meant to be a light-bearer where you, sharing the Word with your friends and family.

May the Lord place a sense of urgency in your heart. May the Lord give you opportunity to share the amazing story of grace and love that is Jesus Christ. And if you don’t know Jesus, may you know that He came to this earth and died a terrible death on a cross so you and I could experience true life and freedom. That only through Him can you experience life, hope, peace, joy, healing, restoration, and love.

Amen and Amen. You are loved.

Written by Katrina Prater, read more about her here

In Blog, Jesus on
July 5, 2017

How are Catholics different than Christians?


Catholicism vs. Christianity

Let’s say we’re going for a run (or walk, if you don’t like running). Maybe we know each other well, or maybe we just met. In a moment of boldness, I tell you that I’m praying for you. You might have just told me that you were nervous about a job/test/life situation or that your family member is sick.

You appreciate the kind gesture and mention you’re Catholic. I smile back at you and tell you that I’m a Christian.

“What’s the difference between Catholics and Christians,” you ask, cocking your head to the side. “Aren’t we all the same?”

Related Post: What does it mean to be a Christian?

The Issue of Authority

To explain my point in it’s entirety, I want to start at the beginning. A true Christian believes that God’s Word, the Bible, is absolute truth. A Catholic believes that the Bible is God’s Word, but they have added to it. There is quite a bit of danger in adding to God’s holy words. The Bible says:

“Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.” Proverbs 30:6

Catholics do not believe that we should believe just the Bible, but that as God has given inspiration we should believe what those before us have said and written. So the Bible is the holy words of God, but theological teachings which may be helpful are not words of God.

All of the recited prayers that Catholics say are just traditions of man. When these are given just as much importance as the word of God, Catholics are giving authority to everyday, normal, sinful people.

God created the Bible for our learning and God is all-knowing. There is nothing that He does not know! When He inspired the Bible, he knew the whole timeline of Earth itself and the challenges we face! When Catholics willingly add to the Bible or what they preach, they deny God’s true authority.

The Beginning

Friend, I want this to be very clear to you. I speak because I desire you to know God instead of knowing of God. Come with me, and hear me out on this.

When God created Adam and Eve, He desired for them to have community with one another and Him. In Genesis 3:8a it says,” And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” (NKJV) God literally walked with them in the garden.

He had this access to Adam and Eve; a pure relationship with His creation. That was His intended desire! He desired to know and love us, and in return for us to know and love Him.

So what happened? Eve listened to a lie from the Father of Lies, Satan. In the perfect garden, Adam and Eve were told to not eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Maybe you know the rest of the story (Genesis 3), for the cunning serpent deceived Eve and both Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit.

Sin put a wedge between God and his beloved humans. The relationship that God designed for us was strained, the community severed. But thank God Jesus came, died on the cross, and split the divide between God and humans.

Relationship vs. Religion

Has anyone told you? Have they told you that God loves you, and desires for you to know Him! You don’t get closer to God reciting a chant or confessing to a priest. You don’t get closer to God going to church or “doing good.” There is not a formula to follow.

Invite Jesus into your life, proclaim His ways higher than yours, and believe Him to do big things. God will transform your life and it doesn’t matter what you’ve done or who you are! Just like God desired community with Adam and Eve in the garden, He desires your love and a relationship with you.

Religion is empty; it’s words and sounds that fall away. A relationship with God is abundance, fullness, and true satisfaction. Nothing else will satisfy you except a close walk with Jesus.

God is all we need

God moves in mystery; He’s in the loud thunder crack and He’s in the smallest whisper. He is always faithful and shows mercy. God is love, the very definition and the one who should us love in the first place. God knows everything, nothing catches Him by surprise.

And friend, as we run or walk along this path this is how Catholics differ from Christians. Catholics believe a form of Christianity, but not the real thing. They’ve been deceived to believe a shadow of what God speaks in His Holy Word.

I challenge you to read your Bible and see for yourself. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak the truth into your mind, soul and spirit. May you know God, and not just know of God. May Jesus be your closest friend, comforter, savior.


Leave a comment below or email me at to discuss this matter more! I’d love to talk to you. Read more about me here.

In Jesus on
July 4, 2017

What does it mean to be a Christian?

What is a Christian?

Chances are that you’ve heard of a “Christian.” Maybe you knew a classmate, coworker, family member, or are one! Even with that said, I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t actually know what a Christian is.

Because here’s the problem: people who call themselves Christian might not actually be Christians.

Seriously! So when you recall your friend/classmate/coworker/etc, you might have a few adjectives that come to mind. A Christian’s character *should* line up to what Jesus instructs in the Bible. And if it doesn’t… well, let’s read below to get the basics of what a Christian is first.

So, what is a Christian?

Let’s get right to the point. A Christian is a person who follows Jesus Christ and accepts Him as Lord [def: someone or something having power, authority, or influence; a master or ruler]. That’s it in a nutshell. Paul writes very clearly in Romans, as you’ll read below:

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:9-13 (NKJV)

It’s in the believing and speaking

In the above verses, you’ll notice that Paul specifies that our confession of faith is audible and it’s internal in our heart. You don’t just speak it, but you believe it as you say it. It’s like telling your friend you trust them to bring snacks to a party, but then bringing snacks anyways. If you truly trusted your friend to remember, you wouldn’t need to bring snacks yourself.

In the same manner when you profess Jesus Christ as Lord and believe on Him, you fully accept His role in your life. It is absolutely a decision you make. Maybe you’ve been around church before and remember the old song, I have decided to follow Jesus. There is a time when you decide for yourself that Jesus Christ is the real deal, and you want Him to reign in your life.

So who is Jesus?

I’m glad you asked. If you read John’s Gospel, it speaks of the Word (Jesus!) who was with God in the very beginning. God created the Earth and all that is in it. He created humans to live in community with Him, but if you read Genesis 3 you find out that Eve took a bite of the forbidden fruit. Thus, the first sin was committed.

It broke God’s heart that we sin, but God is all-knowing and He made a way to save humanity. The way to save humanity was accomplished through His Son, Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (NKJV)

Jesus came to Earth as a baby, humbled Himself, and when He became of age started His public ministry. He went everywhere healing the sick and performing miracles. He fed 5,000 people with five loaves or bread and two fish (Mark 6:30-44), walked on water (Mark 6:45-51), and healed people by just speaking healing over them (John 4:49-53)!

Jesus is the real deal

I think it’s important to note that Jesus is an actual historical figure. Jesus actually walked this earth, whether you agree with His claims of divinity or not. In many sources outside of the Bible, Jesus is mentioned even by authors who didn’t like Christians.

That’s a lot to digest for those who think Christians believe in a fairy tale. Click here to read an article that mentions Jesus in ancient writings, which further explains the sources of each writing.

Jesus is our model

Jesus is real and Jesus’ sayings are written in the Bible for our learning. This is unfortunately where a lot people go to the wayside. For example, we have:

A) A person believes that the Bible is a nice-to-have, but not need-to-have.

B) A person has actually never read the Bible, thus makes up their belief by their own judgement and feelings.

C) A person believes that the Bible might have been culturally relevant 2000 years ago, but certainly is not now.

D) All of the above

But I get it. The Bible is a large book, and can take someone months, even years to read it in it’s entirety. What’s important is that God never changes, and God knows all things. If you believe in Jesus, and make Him Lord over your life, you stand in agreement with those two statements.

A Christian has a helper

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:26

A Christian knows they have help, and their help is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will help intercede when life gets hard, or you just don’t know. God will speak to you through the Holy Spirit! I can’t say it’ll be like an instant text message, but God is faithful and will never let you down.

The thing is God loves you more than you can ever imagine. He sent His only Son to take away the sins of the whole world. He desires an intimate relationship with you, He wants you to truly know Him and not just know of Him. It’s the difference between a friend and an acquaintance. You know your friends, but you only know of your acquaintances.

A Christian loves God most

^That heading up there can be hard to comprehend. This reality, that so many people don’t know God, so they don’t know how much they are loved by God, burdens me greatly.

If you don’t know how much you are worth you might not understand Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. I’m telling you- once you understand- you get that overwhelming picture of love. And when you understand that Jesus died on a cross for you, you begin to love God more.

When God becomes the object of your love, satisfaction, and purpose, God will bless you beyond anything you can possibly imagine. God works miracles. It’s not about the blessings or the miracles, but it’s about giving God what He desires and deserves.

God created you for Himself. When you understand your purpose in the light of your Creator, you don’t need anything else. I don’t need fame or riches, but give me Jesus.

In Conclusion

A Christian has accepted Jesus’ sacrifice as a gift, and desires Jesus to be Lord of their life. They try to live as Jesus taught in the Word of God which is our absolute guidebook for life with the help of the Holy Spirit. Christians love God most, above any other relationship they have, because God first loved them and showed them love.

A Christian is commissioned:

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20

We have the best news out there, that there is HOPE. We have the gift of eternal life! This is a message to be shared with all people. One of my favorite Christian rappers, Andy Mineo says it this way in his song, “Superhuman”: I’m just another beggar pointin ya’ll to where the bread is, man.

We’re all needy, we all need a Savior. Jesus is standing with His arms wide, beckoning to the entire world.

Has the Christian message ever been shared to you like this? Are you a Christian?

In Jesus on
June 10, 2017

The One Thing Crucial To All Believers

The One Thing

Lets Think:

Whether you’ve been around church for a week or decades, what is the one thing that is crucial to all believers? What should you, if you indeed are a believer, be known by?

Is it by your ‘good’ life or ‘religious’ behavior? I should see you reading this and shaking your head NO, because the bible says that there is no one righteous, no one who does good (Romans 3:10-12, Psalm 14:1-3, Psalm 53:1-3, Ecclesiastes 7:20).

So what’s the one thing?

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35 (NKJV)

Christians are supposed to be known by their love, “unselfish concern” as the Amplified Bible Version describes. I think we all know what love means, but humor me for a moment. Love, as defined in the dictionary, is an intense feeling of deep affection. And Jesus says that we are supposed to have this type of love for one another; all people.

All people?

In Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus speaks to correct false teaching by the current religious leaders. These false teachers read Leviticus 19:9-18 and somehow reasoned that if God commanded us to love our neighbors, surely we hate our enemies.

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? Matthew 5:44-46 (NKJV)

See, it’s easy to love people who love you. It’s not so easy to love people who hate you, or resist you. Jesus calls us to pray for those who antagonize us!

Love should be the one thing

I know that some believers are not known by their love. Judgement, bias, bitterness, hypocrisy… the list goes on. I acknowledge that no one is perfect, but it doesn’t take away the hurt that happens. We are called to be like Christ, called to His likeness, and called to love unconditionally like He loves unconditionally.

How to make love your one thing

Here’s the thing: You are loved more than you can possibly imagine. God sent His Son Jesus to die on a cross to take away your sins, so He can enjoy your presence forever. You are precious; God would forsake 99 others to chase after you! (read here for the story)

When you even get a glimpse of the wide, wild love that the Savior has for us all- that’s when you’re changed. You see Jesus for who He is. His love overflows us, and overflows into our life. We can’t help but love others!

In Closing…

I pray that God reveals His unconditional love to you, and that it fills every broken place in your heart. That from His unbelievable overflow of love, you love others like never before. I pray He changes your life!

Questions? Let’s chat! Send me an email at Learn more about me here.

In Jesus, Lifestyle on
June 10, 2017

Why Push the Line?

I remember in high school all I wanted was someone to define where the line was.

What line, you ask?

*THE line*

I didn’t even date in high school, and I still wanted to know where the physical boundary should be. Some people held hands… and others, you know, went a little further.

My youth leader talked about when he was dating, he had a mentor. And the mentor would keep him accountable by whatever he did with his then girlfriend, he had to do with his mentor. Talk about embarrassing! It proved the point that there are certain things that are to be kept for only a husband and wife.

What does Jesus say about the line?

Good question. If you’ll happily turn to Matthew 5:27-30, we’ll jump right into the words of Jesus.

You have heard that is was said to those of old, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (NKJV)

Oh snap.

Let’s rewind. Jesus said that not just the actual act, but the thought can cause you to sin? But not just that, but that you should do whatever it takes to remove yourself from that temptation.

Off with your… hand?

In reality, cutting off a body part is not what Jesus was truly speaking of. He is emphasizing the importance of removing yourself from temptation. Honestly, removing a body part will not stop you from sinning. I’m a firm believer that the battle starts in your mind. Based on what Jesus says in this passage and others, Jesus recognizes that as well.

There is real danger in allowing temptations, those “lustful thoughts”, in your mind.

Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. –Author unknown

One thing often lends to another.

So where’s the line?

Now (a few years removed from high school) I know it’s not so much the line I’m concerned about, but removing myself as far away from temptation as possible. I’ve had to end friendships because the other person had the potential to be a temptation.

If your temptation is going too far with a significant other who is not your husband, don’t let yourself be alone with them. Plain and simple! Don’t even set up an occasion where something can get out of hand. If you’re truly committed to purity, your future spouse, and presenting your body as a living sacrifice for Jesus Christ, running away from the line will be very important to you.

What if it’s too late?

Girl… (or guy!) I feel you. We’re not perfect, we sin. But there is never a time where it is too late to start fresh! I had dated a few guys before I finally met my husband, and regrettably made mistakes in the past. But that didn’t mean I needed to continue making the same mistakes.

Drew and I often went out for coffee when we were dating (public coffee spot-good for keeping temptations at bay!), and after coffee we kept talking driving around. We eventually had stopped in a parking lot (parked car- not good for keeping temptations at bay!), and we both looked at each other and knew this was the first kiss moment. Then Drew interjected, saying,” What if I didn’t kiss you right now. What if we waited until after we got married… if this relationship ends that way.”

I was floored. From that night on, we stayed away from being alone with each other as much as we could. We were truly committed to purity, our future spouse, and presenting our body as a living sacrifice.

You can’t change your past, but you can surely make new choices today.

So what now?

Make a decision today to remove yourself from the line. Remember the words of Jesus of how He warned against flirting with temptation. Jesus only wants the best for you- His desires for you to live a full and abundant life in Him run deep.

Don’t know Jesus? Let’s chat at Learn more about me here.

In Fitness on
January 21, 2017

Finding Your Drive to Make Motivation to Exercise Easier!

finding your drive

Finding your DRIVE

I think one of the biggest undertakings you’ll need to wrestle with is finding your drive or your why. Why do you wake up in the morning? Why do you go to work or school most days of the week? What drives you to do you do the things that you do?

Why do you workout?

Of course, my focus today is what drives you to workout. There are many awesome and great reasons to workout, and yet, some maybe not so great reasons to work out. I only say this because some reasons can make you feel empty inside. Some reasons make it hard to continue working out. A good reason to workout will keep you consistent and content.

But really, why do you workout?

I think a good place to start is to look back at the beginning.

For me personally, I started to work out when it wasn’t called “working out.” My siblings and I rode our bikes around the block, played basketball in the driveway, and ran around in circles trying to catch falling leaves.

Honestly, it’s that sense of play and adventure that even now my adult self craves.

Because as a child, you’re free to run around and laugh and play. But as an adult, we stick to routines and abide by socially acceptable rules. Part of my reason to workout is to tap into that freedom to run hard and fast, jump up and down, and to discover the limits of what my body can take.

Write down the first times you remember being active as a child and recall the experiences. Were they positive or negative? Do these experiences give you an idea to why you workout?

Then ‘play’ turns to sport


If we’ll continue chronologically, my ‘play’ turned into sports, and all kinds of sports! Volleyball, basketball, track, cross country, softball, soccer, etc! For me, playing sports taught me the discipline it took to develop skills and challenge myself.

If you wanted to be better than you were yesterday, you needed to practice and work hard.

Maybe you didn’t play sports, but were involved in an activity that taught you that practice and hard work could and would get you to the next step. In order to find your drive to workout, I think this is an important realization to have.  It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

Write down the activities you did during school and recall the experiences. Do you feel like they were important to your skill development or discipline?


One day you wake up, and all of the sudden you’re an adult. It’s a lot harder finding your drive because you have the added responsibilities of being an adult. Mix in a family, and we’re talking about climbing an uphill battle.

This is also why finding your drive is very important. Without it, you get lost in the distractions and responsibilities of life.

Take a moment and think about what drives you to workout.

to be healthy?

to lose weight?

to gain strength?

to impress others?

to get a 6 pack?

to feel good about yourself?

to be able to keep up with your kids or grandkids?

to reduce stress?

A lot of those things up there are good, healthy reasons. However, a lot of the time reasons that are purely outward tend to fail. Look inward, get to the heart and soul of why you workout. When you’re working out because you feel healthy and strong and are managing stress in a healthy way, that’s good. That’s sustainable. If you’re working out to look like the girls in the magazine and hopefully get noticed, that’s hard to keep up.

Finding your drive…

Take a look at some of the examples above and write some of your own! Put them in a place where you’ll see them so you know when you wake up, you’re working out for your kids. Or you’re working out for the energy that will help you throughout the day!

In Fitness on
January 8, 2017

How to set Smart Goals [S.M.A.R.T.] in 2017

smart goals

How to actually set smart goals (S.M.A.R.T.) to achieve real progress in 2017!

Tis the season for setting smart goals, accomplishing the impossible, and tackling the New Year head on. The problem with most goal setting that takes place in the new year is that it doesn’t work. And we see it every year! The gyms are suddenly full of people the whole month of January, but numbers dwindle closer to February. The sidewalks are full of people running and walking, trying to put the best foot forward January 1st, but then you never see them again.

Even though ‘New Year Resolutionists’ are the butt of many jokes in January, it’s not like you wish them ill will. I know for myself, I genuinely hope everyone accomplishes what they hope to in the new year. So what’s the problem? If a goal is just a well wish, without specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely attributes, it won’t go far. Let’s take a look at my friend Karen* to see what I mean by setting smart goals.

*Karen does not exist, but it was the first name that popped into my head. As I was saying…

Typical Goal Setting

Karen is all about making 2017 the year she exercises more. So she sets this goal: in 2017, I will exercise more! Woo, great, she’s very excited. So on January 1, Karen grabs her athletic shoes, laces them up, and goes for a run. The run is hard, but it feels good to exercise and sweat a little bit. January 2, Karen wakes up a little sore, but is determined to exercise for the day. After a full day of work, Karen is wiped. Since she didn’t exercise much the last couple of months, she decides it’s okay to have one day off.

One day off becomes two. On the forth day, she finds a quick Pinterest exercise interval challenge and does that. But feeling way out of shape and unmotivated by how she performed in the interval workout, she goes to bed discouraged. By the time February rolls around, she’s back to bad habits and only exercises when she feels guilty.

What went wrong?

When Karen made her goal for 2017, she didn’t set smart goals, such as using S.M.A.R.T. goal setting! So what is S.M.A.R.T. goal setting?

S- Specific

M- Measurable

A- Attainable/Achievable

R- Relevant

T- Timely


Let’s take a look at how Karen could have been more specific in her goal. Her goal was to exercise more in 2017. What type of exercise? Why does Karen want to exercise? In order for Karen to know what type of exercise she should be doing, is to really think why she wants to work out in the first place. And it can be for an assortment of reasons!

Maybe she wants to gain strength or lose weight. Exercise has so many awesome benefits for the body including better sleep, more energy, decreased chance of certain diseases and conditions, and increased longevity (aka a longer, healthier life).

For the purpose of this example, let’s say that Karen is looking to gain overall body strength and run a 5k. We would also want to know how she plans on gaining strength such as at home body weight exercises, going to a gym, or joining a CrossFit gym. And when will she run a 5k? In March or October? Is there a running program she plans on following?

When you set goals, be as specific as possible. This way you know exactly what you plan on doing, how you plan on doing it, and why you’re doing what you’re doing. Finding out your why, is very important. Read more about finding your why here!


In Karen’s initial goal, she said she wanted to exercise more. How can we measure that? Let’s say in 2016, she ran or exercised about two days a week. So in 2017 she decides she wants to exercise at least 5 times a week.

Karen should also have a goal of pace for her 5k. Having a time goal that is able to measure your progress will help you see how far you’ve come. Maybe she can only run a mile in 12 minutes to start, but after three months of training, she’s running nine minute miles! That’s huge progress that’s measurable.

She also mentioned wanting to gain strength, so this is another way where she can measure her progress. Once she decides what avenue to take with strength training (powerlifting plans, CrossFit, Kayla Itsines BBG, bodybuilding guides, the list goes on!), she’ll be able to track progress with weights, repetitions or sets. I’m a big advocate of picking a plan and sticking with it, and there’s so much out there to pick from!


Are the goals Karen set reasonable for her to accomplish? A smart goal will be something that with consistency, Karen would be able to accomplish. If Karen decided she wanted to run a marathon in February after only running two miles at a time in December, that would be unreasonable. Karen deciding to run a 5k in April with 3-4 months of consistent training is possible.

If Karen decided that she wanted to work out everyday and twice a day, that would not be reasonable. Karen works full time, and still needs time with her friends and family. But her goal of five times a week is reasonable without making too many time sacrifices. She might need to sacrifice TV time or social media, but Karen recognizes that being healthy and fit is worth it.


Between Karen’s two goals, running a 5k and gaining overall body strength, are these relevant to each other? Yes! By incorporating strength training into her weekly exercise regimen, she is strengthening the muscles used to run. Stronger muscles equals faster running pace, less stress on her joints, and a decreased chance of injury during her training.

In addition, there have been many studies that show strength training done in intervals can increase aerobic scores! Seems like a win-win to me!


Timely smart goals put everything into it’s place. Karen should decide what running plan to follow, and what days the plan says she should run. So if she’s running every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday she can include weight training on Tuesdays/Thursdays. That way she plans to get in her 5 workouts per week. If she really wanted to seal the deal, she could even plan on what time works best for her runs and strength training each day.

Place your workouts on your calendar just like you would a hair appointment or other appointment. If it’s on the calendar, it has to happen. If you place workouts and goals on the calendar, it places a sense of urgency- you wrote it down, you’re going to do it.

Are you ready to get started?

For me, one of my smart goals is to consistently blog in 2017. Now it’s my turn to write S.M.A.R.T. ways to accomplish this goal!

Take some time and write a goal that you want to accomplish for 2017. Write S.M.A.R.T. in a line and specifically write how you’re going to accomplish that goal. You can do this!

What smart goals do you want to accomplish this year? Write your goals in the comments, I’d love to encourage you in your process!


In Fitness on
January 7, 2017

Top Ten Fitness Trends in 2017

Want to know what the top fitness trends in 2017 are?

You know that hairstyles and shoes have notable trends, but did you know that fitness trends too? Or maybe you’re “with it” and have noticed what all the people are talking about these days. You’ve noticed that your social media page has been taken over by everyone and their mom trying yoga, BeachBody, or CrossFit.

The good people over at American College of Sports Medicine, ACSM for short, have studied yearly trends in fitness since 2007. So on the eleventh year of fitness trends, I found a few surprising (yet not surprising) items on the list! Read below for what made the list.

1. Wearable Technology

It surprised me to see wearable technology as number one of the fitness trends list! On the other hand, here I am typing this post wearing a FitBit… You see it everywhere; FitBit, Apple Watch, Garmin, Samsung Gear, and even Fossil. There is something about being able to track mileage, heart rate, steps, calories, sleep– pretty much all the things– on one little device. I’ve been wearing a FitBit for a little more than a year, and I’ve loved it since day one.

2. Body Weight Training

Definitely not surprised by this one on the fitness trends list. You can’t go wrong with using gravity to your fitness advantage! It’s the perfect exercise for people who are busy, traveling, working, parenting, can’t make it to a gym, or are saving money. You can exercise wherever and whenever. Again, it’s perfect. I see body weight training being used in huge fitness trends such as CrossFit, Yoga, BeachBody, and so forth.

3. High-Intensity Interval Training (HITT)

Coupled nicely with #2 on our trending fitness list, is HIIT. The formal definition of High-Intensity Interval Training is intense anaerobic exercise (think sprinting, lifting, strength building) alternating with less intense recovery periods. Tabata is a very popular method of HIIT, where you exercise intensely for 20 seconds, rest for 10 and then repeat the cycle. This type of exercise has been researched against steady state moderate-intense exercise and has been proven over and over again that it increases both anaerobic and aerobic levels more so than the control group who just did moderate-intense exercise. That in itself, should make you a believer in the HIIT.

4. Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals

Number four on the fitness trends list is… fitness professionals. But not just that, it’s people who are accredited by prestigious committees and organizations. If you’re going to listen to someone for fitness advice, you should make sure they know what they’re talking about. Any joe-shmoe can open his mouth and tell you that the best way to get washboard abs is to beat your chest like a gorilla, but you probably wouldn’t believe him. Or I’d hope you wouldn’t believe him. Long story short, be sure to pay attention where you get your fitness advice from.

5. Strength Training

Another staple on the ACSM’s fitness trends list is strength training. I’m looking at you, Bodybuilders, Powerlifters, CrossFitters, Olympic Weightlifters, and many other normal people who realize that true fitness gains can be sped up with strength training. In fact, strength training has been studied across the board to be beneficial for people of all ages, genders, shapes and sizes. Strength training is essential for a well-rounded fitness routine, period.

6. Group Training

Misery loves company! This is something I find everywhere I look in my Midwestern city. Yoga studios, Kickboxing, CrossFit, BootCamp, Zumba, Aerobics, Pilates, OrangeTheory, Spin Class, and the list goes on and on! Group training adds a component that makes people want to keep coming back: community. When you’re not just suffering through an interval by yourself, but with your new best friend right beside you, it feels a little better. And then there’s the crazies that feed off the competition… the must-be-better-than-everyone-else-or-else. Whatever it is, I see this trend sticking around for a while.

7. Exercise is Medicine

Exercise is Medicine is an initiative to encourage primary care physicians and other health care providers to include exercise as part of a treatment plan and refer to a fitness professional if appropriate. I’m all about this. Do you have back pain? Instead of getting another round of steroids or other medication, why don’t you try exercise under the direction of a professional? I would much rather try to reduce my pain, even get rid of the pain, than settle for medication or surgery! In many cases, a consult with a physical therapist (or physio depending on where you’re reading this post!) can put you on the right path to less pain and a healthier outlook.

8. Yoga

Yoga is everywhere, I’m convinced. There’s many types of yoga, and while most people think soothing music and lavender wafting in the background- there’s a type of power yoga that’s done to the latest hip hop music. Maybe hip hop yoga isn’t your thing, but the adaptability and low impact on joints attracts many people to the practice.

9. Personal Training

With the growth of the field of kinesiology or exercise science in universities, many personal trainers have a degree instead of just a certification. Better educated personal trainers mean better individualized workouts. Knowledge is power, and that statement could be taken literally.

10. Exercise and Weight Loss

So you know you can’t outrun a bad diet, but exercise is essential for a successful weight loss journey. Typically, you need to burn 3500 calories in order to lose one pound. By incorporating exercise, you can increase the calorie deficit without restricting more food intake. Because let’s be real, cutting back can be hard!

What Didn’t Make Top Ten

These next ten items made top twenty out of forty items, but weren’t “trendy” enough for 2017 Top Ten Fitness Trends list.

11. Fitness Programs for older adults

12. Functional Fitness

13. Outdoor activities

14. Group personal training

15. Wellness coaching

16. Worksite health promotion

17. Smartphone exercise apps

18. Outcome measurements

19. Circuit Training

20. Flexibility and Mobility rollers

So there you have it! Do you want to know more? Visit here to see a condensed list from the ACSM, and if you’re real ambitious, visit here for the research article.

Was there anything that surprised you? Leave a comment with what you think!