febYOUary: an 18 day guide connecting YOU with your health

** This is not a “live” series going on in 2014. This was done last year as a community on the site but will not be for 2014. You are more than welcome to do it on your own!**

Many of you know that I took January off and didn’t do much with the blog but it’s time to ramp it back up! I’m easing us into things though with this month’s focus. It’s called, “febYOUary: an 18 day guide connecting YOU with your health”

I am convinced that there are loads of people going about their health blindly. Sure, they are starting great programs created by successful trainers and nutritionists but somewhere along the way, something doesn’t work. The exact plan isn’t going…..as planned. We find ourselves in that never ending crazy cycle of excitement —> reality —> disappointment.

So in an effort to prevent you (or lessen) from entering that crazy cycle, I want to help you out. I want to take you through a process of finding out where you are to get you where you need to be, after all, how can we change what we don’t know? We will take into consideration your current status, what motivates you, blocks you and much more! So get ready for your  “state of the union”–or “state of the YOUnion”, if you will . :)

febYOUary: an 18 day guide to connecting YOU with your health: www.claresmith.me


Week 1: Physical Assessment

We are going to be journaling! This will be the hardest week, so get ready.I want us to journal not only what we are eating,drinking, and how much you are moving but also other physical factors such as sleep, cravings, and stress. I want you to commit for 1 week, but if you can, I’d prefer that you do this as best as you can, for the 18 days as 7 days in a month may not be a good reflection of how we are doing.

Week 2: Personality Assessment

 This is perhaps the most overlooked factor in finding a fitness plan that works for you. I’m going to be asking you a few questions about your motivators , roadblocks, resources,history etc to help you sort out what types of things keep you going and make you stop.

Week 3: Spiritual Assessment

You know I can’t get away with a challenge without this aspect! I see very strong connections with physical and spiritual health. I’m going to take you through some questions to see if you can find any relationship to them.

As we move into March, you should have better insight as to what works for YOU. I am a big believer that there is no one boxed plan that works for every person or every family. We are all each so unique with different histories, hangups, and highs. If you are looking to have a quick fix, then I am not the fitness site for you. I want you to find a workout plan that is SUSTAINABLE for your life. And looking further into each of these will help!

(If you already have a good plan going in regards to eating and moving, then I’d still love to have you join! I think it’s always good to evaluate what we are doing and see if there are any ways we can improve or change!)

WARNING: This won’t be glamourous. It isn’t going to give you results in 3 weeks. It’s a bit tedious and it may be painful. But I promise that you’ll walk away with some great insight and a strong foundation for your best health plan!

So here’s what you need to do for our start, Monday, February 11th:

1.) Figure out which food journaling program you are going to use. I will be using MyFitnessPal (which you can do online or with a phone app) or you can go old school and write it down in a journal! (I will also be supplementing one additional printable for you that I will have next week)

2.) If you have an activity tracker that you can wear, such as a FitBit, Nike Fuelband, or Jawbone Up (to name a few), then get it out! And if you’ve always been wanting one, now is your chance to get one! (If you don’t own one and don’t plan on purchasing one, no problem. You can guesstimate!)

3.) Ask a friend to join! It’s always better to walk through a journey with someone than alone!

*Keep your workout/eating plan normal for this month. You can veer as you normally might, but for the most part, no drastic changes.

Are you in? If so, leave me a comment below! See you back here next week!


  1. Ellison says

    I’m in! Can’t wait to start. I am at a roadblock and getting burnt out as I have been on this journey for over a yr now.

  2. ann gardner says

    oh i’m totally in!! can’t wait to see what this reveals to me–probably some things i don’t want to admit……but then again, isn’t that when growth can occur?! sooooo excited! :)

  3. Karen says

    Count me in! I have been tracking my food but I had not added in my emotions, stress, and sleep! I am excited for the challenge.

  4. Kathy says

    I’m in. I’ll do old school. Paper and pen. I am thinking about treating myself to one of those fitbit things. We’ll see.

  5. Pepper Edwards says

    I’m in! Thank you, I will take all the help I can get. I’m excited about starting the Made to Crave bible study at my church tomorrow.

  6. AlyssaZ says

    I’m in!! I have managed to keep up a good exercise schedule in January, but I need to start making some real improvements!

  7. Meghan says

    This sounds like a great plan…fitness/health is definitely more then just a physical journey-so much of it is mental and spiritual. Count me in :-)!

  8. Tasha says

    I’m in! I’ve been wanting to start a program but haven’t made the commitment for whatever reason. I just seem to wander aimlessly. I have good intentions, which doesn’t count for much until they are put into action. But because the intelligence is lacking or limited (as you put it “going about our health blindly”) I may not (and have not) been able to achieve the action (or results) that I intended to accomplish in the first place. So, as you can see, I desperately need to complete this month’s challenge and ( so far 😉 I’m excited about doing it!!

  9. Rachel says

    I’m in! This challenge sounds great. I’m on SparkPeople. I am part of the Peak313 Team there. Glad to do some introspective work! Thanks for posting this!!

  10. Kelly C says

    Fitbit? Jawbone Up? These are new to me…I just Googled the names. What do you suggest? I really like the idea of this technology, just not sure what to look for.
    Thanks Clare!

  11. leanna says

    Count me in! I am already on My fitness pal and meet with a trainer once a week while working out on my own. Looking forward to digging deeper into myself. Perfect timing. :)

  12. LuVena says

    I’m in! 😀
    I’m going to look into buying an activity tracker, too. I think hat will definitely help me keep focused.

  13. Cathy says

    I’m in ! Veered way off track after an injury. Think it will be a good way to get back into things.
    Thank you and may God bless us all through this journey!

  14. Jenny says

    I’m in….I just wrote “I’m in” and it told me it wasn’t a long enough comment so…Yay, I’m in, I’m so excited, I can’t wait, I’m in, I’m in, I’m in! YAY!!! Is this long enough?

  15. Yaritza says

    I’m in I need motivation I wish I have a close friend to do it but that is not the case so…. I will do it for me!!!!

  16. Jennifer says

    I am also on My Fitness pal and would love to add some new friends! I’m in! My username on MFP is jwithrow4. Thanks!

  17. says

    This is awesome, Clare! I actually made myself a printable food journal and workout log to use this week. So, I will just continue on next week as well.

  18. Jane says

    I’d already jumped in, so glad I’m not alone.

    Exercising: Charlean Extreme on “Push” Month

    Food plan: 17 Day Diet w/ Dr Mike Moreno to jump start my eating

    Spiritual: 3rd week of Beth Moore’s David study and loving it!

    It’s so much easier when you have someone to hold your hand. Thanks for that!

  19. Megan says

    My postpartum body is beyond ready for accountability and a challenge. Thanks for providing the opportunity and support!

  20. Becky says

    I’m definitely in! And I posted a link to your blog for myfitnesspal friends. One of them was just saying how she was stuck and needed some help. I can’t wait!

  21. Amy Talbott says

    I want to tag along just for the learning aspect of this challenge. I am not sure how much I can exercise but I can track and learn along the way. Looking forward to lots of important lessons.

  22. Ramona says

    Just decided last night that my health and condition of my body need to be a priority for the sake of me and my family… so I’m in! God’s timing is ALWAYS perfect!!

  23. Daphne says

    Hi Im from Dominican Republic, I really want to do it for me and my family. One questions can I do this challenge even I don´t do any kind of exercises?

  24. Collette says

    You will never understand how timely this post was for me. At the risk of too much information, I’m going to share where i’m at and see if i can’t find me a couple of friends to start this jounrney with. Been dieting on and off since I was 15. Now 36 and not massively overweight but a stubborn 30 pounds which just won’t disappear! Tried oh so many diets oh so many times, lose a stone, crave bread and chocolate, then inevitably back to square one! This post arrived just as I caved in to temptation on my latest attempt. To be honest I’m just boring myself talking about food 24/7. I’ve made the spiritual/body connection but so far still no progress. Thank you in advance for this challenge!! x

  25. Shawn says

    I accept your challenge! I find myself so easily discouraged that this is just the right thing at just the right time! Thank you!

  26. says

    Hooray! I love this!!! I’ve been consistently exercising on the eliptical…but I can’t seem to out “run” what I eat…the scale only moved 2 pounds in January…I hope to lose at least 2 in February…4 would be ideal. We’ll see! I’ll be following along – I can use all the inspiration I can get :)
    Love ya,

  27. Dawn says

    I am in…I have had a few stubborn pounds that I’m trying to rid. Being 42 and busy (and occasionally lazy), I just can’t seem to get the motivation to get where I want to be…I’m ready now, I’m ready for the new me :)

  28. Shasta says

    I am in for sure! I could use all the support and ideas I can get right now. I have a goal of 57 lbs lost by November. I am focused and determined now I have to work through the obstetrical.

  29. Rebecca (aka fit4sure) says

    I have a fairly good plan and love myfitnesspal and sparkpeople but am liking LoseIt better so I will be logging there and on paper. Maybe need to find me some pages to print out for that since I like that sort of thing. Hubby wants to buy me a fitness tool and am thinking about fitbit as I have only used a stopwatch and a pedometer in the past. I guess that would do it all?

    I’ve been maintaining my goal weight for 7 years this month and this challenge starts on my birthday…so this will be a way cool way to celebrate and shake off some boredom and discover how to make the fitness side of things fit my life a bit better. I may be half the woman (literally) that I once was but still feel there is much to learn both physically and spiritually!

  30. Maria says

    For any other Canadians out there, the dietitians of Canada also has a website you can use for tracking your food and activities – eatracker.ca .

  31. Amanda G says

    This is a great time to do this for me. We just started the Made to Crave study and I am working on also being consistent on journaling my food. This is a great motivator.

  32. Anna C. says

    I am in!! I have just begun a journey ( 5 workouts in) to a new life and this is perfect timing as I am still struggling with eating clean. So excited to start!

  33. Leah M says

    I’m in. I’ve never been able to lose weight. Always just gaining. I’m excited to go after this from both directions. Let’s get started! :)

  34. Julie says

    I’m in. I have been trying to get back on track with Weight Watchers and exercise, but STRESS has been a major roadblock right now! My former, sloppy habits are starting to sneak back in. I need to strengthen my resistance muscle again!

  35. Katja B. says

    I’m in. I’ve decided to take the time to write everything down that I will eat. Maybe writing it will make a difference. Looking forward to this Clare.

  36. Lindsay says

    I’m in!! This actually sounds like exactly what I need right now. And, it is such a God thing too because I was just praying about the health struggles I am having this morning.

  37. Hope says

    Count me in! I love being held accountable and always seem to focus more when I have a challenge before me. Thanks!

  38. Mandy says

    I’m in! Going to ask a friend to join with me!! I’m very frustrated with not seeing the results I’m wanting!

  39. says

    All in – already been using MyFitnessPal and love seeing the nutrients I need to focus on with my remaining calories. Training for a June triathalon – my first!

  40. says

    I’m in! Your challenge last fall really helped me to focus and kept me going with my exercise routine when I normally wouldn’t have. I need to get back into a routine since the holidays, a move, and starting grad school has thrown me completely off! Thank you for this!!

  41. Stephanie McC says

    I’m in! So excited. I deemed February as “Get Fit Feb” in my house! Not just for myself, but for my kiddos. I tossed all junk and replaced with healthy snacks, so if they decide they want something, I’m no longer fussing at them for what is in the cabinet. I personally started working out again. I have three kids (7,5,2) and a deployed husband. We have been sick alot this year (flu, strep, rsv) and I decided I cannot let those roadblocks keep me from fitness. Maybe they keep me out of the gym, but not from working out. :) Looking forward to your assessment and insight in the next few weeks!

  42. says

    I’m in! your timing is near perfect for my mindset. Its time to get moving and I always do better/am inspired by challenges….so as they say ‘challenge accepted’!!!!

  43. Kristin Hines says

    I am in! I have started journaling my food and activity. Trying to decide on the best website to use as I don’t have a smart phone. I also want to get an activity tracker, but I don’t know which one is best. Any suggestions?

  44. Nicole says

    I’m in. I just had a baby in October and forgot how hard it is to get workouts in with a baby. I need the extra motivation to not give in.

  45. Meg says

    I am late to the game – but count me in! I have a marathon in two months and need to get my eating back on track majorly. The whole “I’ll burn all these calories off on my next long run” isn’t cutting it in regards to long-term health!

  46. Diana C says

    I am definitely in. I cannot wait to start this journey. I want to learn to be more spiritual and what God says about our health and to be healthier and more physical.

  47. says

    I’m in!

    I’ve been on this journey towards health for about a year now. I started slowly; exercising a couple days a week, then worked on water intake. Now I’m working on sleep and eating habits as well as additional cardio.

    I recently got a Fitbit and started using My Fitness Pal last month. Both have been eye opening (especially for sleep!). They have also been a great motivation to press on towards goals in each area (Food, water, exercise and sleep).

    I truly love your heart towards fitness and your approach in coaching others. Thank you for sharing your gift with us so that we can all join in on the progress!


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