31-Day Motivational Journal Review

I was hoping to publish a new blog post on Monday, but I found out that my grandmother passed away yesterday evening. I needed some space and time to myself to grieve. Nana, may you rest in peace, as memories of you live on. No matter what I do, I will always remember you. You always loved butterflies and even had a collection of beautiful butterfly figurines in your cabinet. Whenever I see a butterfly, I’ll know that you are saying Hi from up above. RIP Nana 🦋

“Butterflies are not only a symbol of transformation. They are heaven’s messengers, letting you know that your loved ones are by your side, always.” –Unknown

Speaking of transformations, I thought I would update you on my fitness journey. An interesting fact about my Nana is that she did yoga when she was my age. I did not know this until a couple months ago after I told her that I wanted to get fit. In memory of my grandmother, I will continue being healthy and live life to the fullest. She would have been 96 this year on November 5, 2019. Nana always seemed at peace and content with life. ♥️

31-Day Motivational Journal Review

As I begin to pick up the pieces from last night, I admit that I did not work out yesterday evening, but I plan to work out the rest of the week. Prior to working out, every day I ask myself the following questions: Why do I want to be fit and healthy? What is the point of working out 5-6 days per week? Is fitness simply for weight loss or am I doing this to keep depression at bay?

In August 2019, I met a kind soul named Benjamin Lee who runs a blog called I CAN DO. If you haven’t stumbled upon his blog yet, please go check out his blog! His blog is full of inspirational, relatable content about getting physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. Not only does he take the time to reply to his followers, but he also gave his readers a FREE copy of his 31-Day Motivational Journal. Thank you, Benjamin, for your kindness and generosity!


Photo credit: Benjamin Lee, author of Faith, Family, Fitness, and Food 31-Motivational Journal 

During the month of August, I printed off the journal, completed the pages, and worked out even when I was travelling. Because I was 100% honest with myself, I was able to see where I made poor food choices or ate one too many slices of cake. I admit I am a grazer by nature. Instead of eating 3 meals a day, I prefer to graze on whatever is easily available in my kitchen. Now that I am wearing Invisalign, which is an alternative to braces for adults, I do not have the luxury to graze as I please. As of last Friday, I now eat 2 large meals a day (no snacks) and stopped drinking caffeinated beverages. I was told that coffee and tea will stain my aligners so I quit coffee cold turkey. Over the past week, I experienced some wicked headaches due to caffeine withdrawal so sleeping gave me some relief.

Sadly, I didn’t end up losing any weight during the month of August or September. However, I am gaining muscle and my physique is slowly improving. My body transformation has been slow so far, but I also think it is time to switch up my fitness routine again. Starting out, I did high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in the comfort of my home. All I bought was a $12.99 yoga mat and searched for free videos on YouTube. Ultimately, YOU choose how much $$$ you want to spend on health and fitness. Working out at a gym is optional. Lululemon is optional. So is that expensive Swell bottle you purchased from Costco. But exercise is FREE.

Let’s be real with ourselves for a minute. If you claim that you don’t have enough time to exercise because of x, y, and z excuses, you are wrong. You have plenty of time to work out. You simply choose not to work out because it takes effort and long-term commitment. You’re too comfortable being a lounge lizard and change is scary. It’s OK if you feel this way; we are human after all. Benjamin addresses the common struggles we face when we are first starting out and he challenges our limiting beliefs. I like that he gives a little pep talk each morning as if he’s standing right in front of me saying,

Yeah, I’m talking to you!!! Get up!!! –Benjamin Lee

No subscriptions. No fancy supplements. No BS.

Benjamin’s motivational mantras are very effective in my opinion, especially when you are first starting out. By Day 8 I wanted to quit but he kept telling me to push through the pain. Best of all, he gave me a rationale each day as to why quitting was not an option. I noticed I had more energy after a workout and wanted to share my progress with the world so I posted daily Instagram stories regarding my progress. IG stories helped keep me accountable and I helped motivate others along the way. IG gave me a sense of connection.

I like listening to Britney Spears when I work out! #Stronger

As much as I want to continue posting IG stories after completing the 31-Day Motivational Journal, I decided to take another hiatus from IG because my mental health is still delicate. At this time, I need to focus on my top priorities if I hope to crush my bigger goals. These days, I still work out 5-6 days a week but I don’t share my progress online. Instead, I keep track of my progress on a giant fridge calendar and reward myself with stickers. Because why not? It’s not nearly as fun as sharing IG stories but at the same time, I don’t need the distractions or the emotionally triggering content. 🙅‍♀️

Lemme tell you that my fridge calendar is not nearly as motivating as Benjamin’s daily words of wisdom. In the end, you’ll have to find a method that works for you. Remember, getting and staying fit is now part of your identity. Eventually, you’ll need to spread your wings and fly on your own. Even if that means rewarding yourself with stickers.

Remember, physical and mental health are interconnected, and one cannot function very well without the other. What good is it if you have an attractive body but your mind is a mental mess? You need to feed your body AND your mind with diet and exercise. His journal will help you do just that. 🧘‍♀️🌱

I am curious to know if you work out on a daily basis. If you do, what is your favorite type of physical activity? Please leave a comment by joining the conversation below ↓

Thanks for stopping by!

great-vibes.regular (1)


31 thoughts on “31-Day Motivational Journal Review

  1. V says:

    I’m so proud of you and the progress you’ve been making and the steps you’ve been taking to better yourself and your life. It’s really inspirational and reminds me to not give up.

    I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother. May she rest in peace ❤

    Liked by 5 people

    • Hilary Tan says:

      This past month I’ve gotten lazy and stopped working out. I plan to start working out again because I miss the “high” I get from a workout. I also miss the euphoric feeling I get from eating low carb, and lately I’ve been eating a lot of junk food/high carb delicious things. We all fall down sometimes, and it’s a matter of getting back up again.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ceponatia says:

    Sorry to hear about your grandmother. It sounds like you took a lot of positives from her life and it’s awesome to see you so motivated for change! I used smile direct club once so I know allll about no snacks or coffee. Haha

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Stiina says:

    Working out and doing yoga and meditation has greatly helped my blood sugar AND my anxiety and depression. I really love doing yoga. The blog you posted seems awesome sauce! I will totally follow it! I am also sorry about your grandmother.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Dr. Thomas Maples says:

    My condolences about your grandmother. I loved how you introduced your piece with the ever transformative butterfly. These psychopomps symbolize the deep capacity any of us have to undergo deeply transformative soul journeys.

    I exercise daily. Weights 4 to 5 days a week, running and steam room 7 days a week. Running provides the emotional/ endorphin boost my soul needs as a foundation for optimal emotional health. Weights motivate me to PUSH myself to unknown heights through the power of visualization through strength. The steam room, a great debrief and regathering of energy through meditative reflection. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ciccolady says:

    I m so sorry for your grandmother💚
    I think that working out, helps not only to get fit, but also helps to avoid such a injuries like back pain if you carry something, or knew, because the muscles will hold it not the bones💙
    Being healthy feels good, so why would should try to be unhealthy instead with bunch of problems? Glad, that you are focusing on good life style💙
    I pay my gym 49 euro per month with yoga included and food about 80 euro per month, including protein bars, but i dont spend on anything else, unless os b-day or x mas, i feel like investing in my health, will even help me to save money in the future on some health problems💜i asked ones personal trainer at the gym, i said, why my weight is 5kg more? I dont see any fat, he was like, did you knew, that muscles are more heavy? i was like umm okay😂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Michelle says:

    When I worked out, I enjoyed yoga and dancing. It was relaxing and fun. Because of how I was eating and focused on losing weight, I didn’t gain any muscle from it. This is why I stopped and have been afraid to go back to it.

    I am sorry about your grandmother.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hilary Tan says:

      I’ve lost no weight so far from working out, but I did gain some muscle. I try to eat healthy (for the most part) but my diet us not perfect. Don’t be afraid to try it again. Body transformations are slow and take time. I highly suggest downloading Benjamin’s 31-Day Motivational Journal (the PDF still seems to be available for downloading).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thank you for your sympathy, Pooja. It means a lot to me. I’m taking things one day at a time, trying not to neglect my health during this time. Exercise is a natural remedy that helps keep depression at bay, and I never worked out previously. I wish I had started working out sooner because it really helps with mental health. 🦋

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jenny in Neverland says:

    So sorry to hear about your Nan, sending you lots of love. I do Yoga almost daily but it varies in intensity depending on how I feel. I’m not looking to lose weight but I want to tone up and generally get fitter and healthier x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thank you, Jenny. Your sympathy means a lot to me at this time. I tend to do the same thing by switching up the routine a bit, depending on how I feel that day. Since starting yoga and pilates in August, I haven’t lost any weight but my clothes are fitting better, and I feel physically and mentally stronger. 🦋

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thank you for your sympathy, Lauren. It really means a lot to me during this difficult time. Hiking was very scary indeed, and both hiking adventures were spontaneous. That is a good point, Lauren. Facing our fears makes us uncomfortable, which allows for personal growth. 🦋


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