*\ Hogwarts Running Club /*

It’s that time of year again! New year starts and your fitness resolutions are going strong. You are hitting the gym, trails, or paths and getting in your workouts. Unfortunately, sooner or later you will most likely run low on motivation and most likely quit your new years resolution. Statistically speaking, only 8% of people will successfully follow through on their New Year Resolutions. So the question here is how do you make sure that you are part of that 8% of people who succeed? One way I’ve found success sticking to my fitness and running goals is by joining virtual running clubs. Our lives are always busy and it’s very easy to find excuses to skip workouts or meet ups. Virtual running clubs are a great way to be part of a motivational community while being able to do your workouts on your own time, when it fits your schedule. A few recommendations would be: Virtual Running Club, I Love To Run, Geek’d Out Running Club, Whovian Running Club, and Chilton Running club. All of these are great options, but my favorite one and the one I’m going to focus on is the Hogwarts Running Club!

Last year I joined the Hogwarts Running Club with the goal to run more consistently and it absolutely worked! I feel in love with running a few years back when I was in college and I found it increasingly difficult to consistently find time to run now that I had a fulltime job. I kept coming up with excuses like I’m too busy, too tired, the weather isn’t great, etc. Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. The Hogwarts Running club is amazing because it’s not something you are doing on your own. You have house teams for support and motivation while also competing against houses and earning money for charities. Here is how it works:

The Virtual Races:

The Hogwarts Running club has 6 virtual races throughout the year. They are all Harry Potter Themed, so you can get your nerd on while running! These are very simple. They open up registration throughout the year for each race. You simply sign up for a small registration fee and they will mail you the race medal. All you need to do is run/walk the miles for the race. They can be completed all at once or spread out over a few days if the distance is to far. The medals are all amazing and definitely worth adding to the collection, but the best part of this running club is the registration fees are donated to a different charity for each race. Some Charities that the Hogwarts Running Club worked with last year were To Write Love On Her Arms and Back On My Feet.

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Mad-Eye Moody Constant Vigilance 5K – 2017

The House Cup:

In addition to these virtual runs that go on throughout the year, the House Cup is really a great way to keep all the members motivated to run throughout the year and not just during the virtual races. How the house cup works is you download the App Charity Miles and join the house team (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Slytherin) that you will be competing with throughout the year. I’m a little biased but I’d say teamย HRC18HUFFLEPUFF is the best! We might not win every week, but we definitely have the most fun. The house cup is a weekly competition that compares the 4 Harry Potter House Teams on Charity Miles and points are awarded based on how many miles each team put in that week. This is a really cool feature that, if you follow along regularly, can help you stay competitive and motivated.

Hogwarts Express – Platform 9 3/4K – 2017

Facebook Community Rooms:

The other great feature of this virtual running club community is that each house has a dedicated closed Facebook group. These groups are meant to be community for those with like minds to help motivate each other, ask questions without being judged, share funny memes and photos, and basically anything that is related to Harry Potter and Running. One thing that is great is that you will most likely identify with a specific house group and when you join that group, you will have thousands of like-minded people to help motivate you. I’m a Hufflepuff and absolutely love the community page. It’s full of fun people who are all trying to help each other stay motived, share their struggles, and post recipes of their favorite cookies! Each House group is different and I would recommend checking out Pottermoreย to get sorted into your house.

The main reason I like this virtual running club so much (besides the fact I’m a huge Harry Potter fan) is that you can do one part of the running club are all of it. It’s up to you and what you feel is the best for you. If Harry Potter is not your thing…….that is totally fine. I would recommend searching for other virtual running clubs out there that fit more of your interests and can help you reach your New Year Resolutions.

If you have any virtual running clubs that you are a part of that I didn’t mention, I’d love to hear more about them! Feel free to leave a comment and tell me more!

Embracing Change and Fear

The New Year is here and you, me, and everyone else out there is busy setting New Year Resolutions and getting after it! Whether your resolution is about getting healthier, working out, reading, cooking, or socializing more, you are planning on doing something that will require a change in your life. The end of the year is a great time to reflect on where your life has been going and what you want to improve on in the future. Reflection and change are necessary for a happy and successful life, but they can be the hardest things to do.

Those New Years Resolutions that you’ve set are there because you’ve identified areas in your life that you want to make improvements on. These improvements may be areas that you are happy with but want to get more involved with, or they can be negative aspects you want to change. Either way, you need to make change and with change comes uncertainty and the need to leave your comfort zone.

Change and uncertainty can be scaring for a lot of different reasons, but stepping outside your comfort zone is necessary when making changes in your life. So here are a two helpful tips and ideas to help you face those fears, embrace change and make 2018 your best year yet!

  1. Breaking Habits and Setting Routines Takes 21 days

This is typically a rule you’ll see when you are looking up information about quitting smoking, better eating habits, or working out more. By the end of the three weeks you will see that your cravings for old habits are all but gone. You will still have some urge to go back to the previous habits, but you have the recent memory (Recency Bias) of the good habits and that will help carry you through the resolution for the following months and years. Key tip here: Dive head first and all in to that resolution!

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FEAR Has Two Meanings

2. FEAR Can Have Two Meanings

The biggest obstacles that people run into when trying to make change is being afraid. There are many reasons for someone to fear change, but all the reasons have one thing in common. They are based in our minds and halt us in our place. I am someone who battles anxiety everyday, so I am very familiar with this experience. One of the thoughts that really help me embrace my fears and not be controlled by my anxiety is the following: FEAR has two meanings. Forgot Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise. Our fears are often based on uncertainty and our mind trying to make excuses for us. Getting outside your comfort zone is key to change and success. Face those fears and embrace the change!