The “D” Word… Discipline

Discipline.

It can be the ugliest of words, because you know the potential of beauty it holds, but the painful steps it takes to get there. People don’t necessarily like discipline, they like routine. And if you can adjust routine just a bit then change will happen. Those two words can often get confused or used to mean the same thing. My argument – routine is just part of discipline and yes changing some things about it can influence discipline in different (and important) areas of life, it isn’t everything.

It’s a complicated equation that adds up to discipline and that’s usually why in the busyness of today’s culture we miss developing it  – usually there is a quicker solution to  patch the problem. No longevity, no consistency, no chance to see the real beauty that it holds.  So let’s dig into the ugly and talk through some real life ways to trudge through to the beauty that discipline holds, specifically in the areas of fitness and nutrition.

Disclaimer: Discipline does not mean obsessive. I have fallen into this category in the past, and am still learning just as much as everyone else, and if you find yourself there – talk to someone! Message me, reach out to someone! 

Fitness:

  1. You aren’t the only one. Yes you, text that friend, research groups or gyms in your area, invite someone. In most of the community around me people are constantly looking for people and places to help them get started. But it takes that two or three google searches or texting those two or three friends to actually press START.
  2. Goal set – seriously get a pen and paper with this person or persons above and write it down, put it where you can see it. What you want to accomplish, but also how!
  3. Try things out – try one thing a week, put a calendar reminder on your phone on a certain time every week to try something out until it clicks !
  4. Then write it down some more. Log your workouts and your progress, and check in with your counterparts.
  5. Set a reasonable alarm, or actually work on making space. Maybe you don’t go from 8am wake up calls to 4am, but if you started by twice a week waking up at 6:30a or even 7a to do a quick walk or small body weight circuit then that is step, and ANY step is a great step

Nutrition:

  1. Make it colorful and nutritious: berries, and greens, and sweet potatoes, and avocado on everything! Mix in some almonds, and carrots, and throw in some protein whether thats beans – vegan style – or chicken / fish. If you breakfast is grabbing a bar, wake up 10 minutes earlier to scramble an egg, grab a piece of fruit, and pop that piece of bread in the toaster. I promise it’s worth it, you’ll enjoy your food more and it will leave you feeling fuller!
  2. Just because you have a coupon doesn’t mean you should use it. Just because Chick Fil a is giving a free large waffle fry with mobile order doesn’t mean you cash in – on occasion of course, not if you’ve had Chick Fil a 3 days in a row. Just say no.
  3. Don’t leave food out on the counter for extended periods of time. I know it’s totally our culture to have all the food everywhere, but that’s a sure fire way to not watch what you eat.
  4. If you know you have a particular food you struggle with don’t keep it in the house. One of my biggest struggles is peanut butter, I love the gooey goodness but I’ve set parameters around only buying it so often so if I run out before my next pick up then I am out of luck. No your limits and no that that treats are actually treats and should NOT be staples in our week (like cupcakes).
  5. COOK: you never truly know what all goes into your food if someone else makes it. The good, the bad, the ugly.. so get into a habit of cooking the majority of the time. Try recipes, invite people over to cook together, experiment with colors, flavors, and actually attempt those 300 Pinterest recipes you pinned 5 years ago.
  6. Or… go to Whole Foods – I mean, because it’s Whole Foods.
  7. Portion Control – while I, admittedly, read food labels too much, they do suggest serving sizes on the back for a reason. Don’t get obsessive but don’t hesitate to do a little look just to see if you are in line with them.

It’s a journey that lasts a lifetime so put in the work to develop those disciplines now. There is no convenient or quick fix. It takes time and effort, but we are all doing this thing called being human together, and even from behind screens we all have things in common and can relate to one another. Be bold, and leverage relationships!

The Art of Working Remotely & Finding the Right Coffee Shop

Trendy coffee shops have been around awhile, but this revolution of working remotely and the WiFi everywhere craze brings on a whole new meaning to the clientele that these coffee shops serve. Working from home is now a normal for me, and I find myself itching to check out more and more of these coffee shops I hear about from friends and the social media accounts that keep me up to date on the all things Atlanta.

But what makes a coffee shop suitable for work? Or just life in general? Why do some of these places make it and some do not? Here are just a few of the criteria I base when I head out and work:

  1. Friendliness – do the Baristas know the regulars? Do they engage and serve well.
  2. Environment – Is it a mix of chill & cheery? Do they have multiple seating options? And maybe even a standing bar option for people with back problems like me? And of course noise level is a big deal.
  3. Food & Drink offering – Obviously is the coffee good, but also in regards to sitting and working for hours, do they offer food that could be eaten throughout the day, do they offer snack foods (like a bar or piece of fruit)?

So let’s break down a few coffee shops around Atlanta, but remember, ultimately you have to prioritize what’s best for YOU.

Dancing Goats (Ponce City Market) –  TASTE WIN. Probably one of the first coffee shops I tried in Atlanta after moving back to the city in 2013. In regards to taste, this place is one of my favorites, their outside seating area is amazing, and the inside environment is a great mix of cozy and confident. The drawback: it’s always busy and the traffic around PCM is usually heavy so come at off times.

**There is also a Buckhead location of Dancing Goats I have yet to try – would love to hear your experience!

Taproom (Kirkwood) – NEIGHBORHOOD WIN. This is a newer experience for me, but I’m already in love with it. Kirkwood is Atlanta’s trendiest up and coming neighborhood (in my opinion). The environment says a lot as it represents Atlanta in a humble way. Big windows and lots of seating options give this one two thumbs up, plus their taste is an “A” so far.

Spiller Park Coffee (Toco Hills) – OFFERINGS WIN. Coffee taste is great, and the service is wonderful with the barista’s seeming to know the regulars and friendliness is at a high for new and normal alike. The environment is not my favorite for working remotely, with windows everywhere and the noise level at top volume, plus it’s not wonderful for those with back issues as all seats are low and wooden. However, their menu is extensive with all the yummy toast combos, and regular breakfast eats that can keep you fueled for quite awhile.

**There is also a Ponce City Market Location – if you have different notes about it let me know!

Mocha Moes (Flowery Branch) – ENVIRONMENT WIN. So this one is a haul from the city (my parents live close by), but it’s my favorite place to sit for several hours. The lighting and volume level are perfect, and they have every type of seating accommodation from tables and chairs, to couches and high tops. The taste and offerings are good as well. The drawback is the service, it could be a fluke in the times that I go, but they seem to always be different people scrambling in every direction.

East Pole (Lindbergh) – ALL AROUND WIN. Taste, friendliness + service, and environment, and location, this place (to me) has it all. Plus, they partner regularly with others for unique events in the city!

Other notables: Octane – Octane is a staple in Atlanta, and it’s great on all fronts, the biggest issue is proximity for me. Revelator – I’ve actually only been to a Revelator Coffee Co in Charleston, SC it’s great for a stop in and go, but not designed for a sit for hours and work day. Chattahoochee Coffee Company – has to be at the top for me but mostly for the life experiences I’ve had. Jon and I’s first kiss was on the lawn out back, so was our engagement, and Jon has numerous gigs with our friends, but again proximity for me is the challenge.

What would you add to the list? What is your favorite coffee shop in Atlanta?