Anna Maria Locke

Life Lately

February 2016, 2016Anna LockeComment

Oh hiiii! How's it going? Can you believe it's already MARCH? This year is flying by.

February was a whirlwind month for me, and I've been missing blogging a lot so I'm popping in today to update you on what's going on in my life these days!

I'm writing this post during commercial breaks as I binge watch The Bachelor online to catch up on episodes! I had to get up at 4:30 this morning to take my sister to the airport, it is now 3:00pm, and I have literally been here on the couch all day. It's been a super busy month so I am taking advantage of some downtime! This is such a ridiculous show, but I can't stop watching... 

There's currently a layer of snow outside my windows and I'm snuggled with a fuzzy blanket, but there's also a pot of blooming hyacinths sitting next to me that are making our apartment smell like SPRING and I know warmer days are finally on the horizon! Winter is always a struggle for me. My energy dips, my anxiety spikes, and it's just not fun...can you relate? Sometimes I'm ready to pack my bags and move to southern California, but then spring arrives and Chicago wakes up and the energy reminds me why I love this city so much.

On the business front...the end of February marked my second year as a Beachbody coach, and I am supersuper happy I've made it this far! Year Two definitely felt like a sophomore year. You know when you're a freshman, your excitement and energy is at an all time high because you're starting something new, but you don't know what you're doing yet...and then sophomore year hits and you start to realize how much you don't know and just want to be an upperclassman and it's super awkward. Yup that's kind of what it's like to build a business. I can see how far I've come but I can also see how far I still want to go, and I'm learning how to have patience and be at peace with where I'm at.

Not gonna lie, the past few months have been kind of rough for me and I've been battling a lot of self doubt, but in February I officially broke through some major ceilings and am making big things happen for my business and my coaching team! I updated our new coach training program, presented a webinar to my bigger team on attraction marketing, and have been welcoming so many incredible new coaches to Inspire Joy! If you're curious about what I do and want to learn more, check out my team page HERE and don't hesitate to shoot me a message, I love to answer questions about Beachbody coaching!

Something SUPER EXCITING is that I've officially enrolled in a life coach certification program through the Beautiful You Coaching Academy!!! Our six month online course started this month and it's already changing my life. I just feel this really deep and positive shift in energy deep inside of me, like I'm finally locking into alignment with my potential and purpose in life. WAAAAAA. 

I've been paired with a fellow trainee to be my "coaching buddy" and we're practicing doing a full coaching series on each other as we go through the course. Having someone to hold me accountable to my big scary stretch goals is amazing, and I can't WAIT to see where the rest of this year goes.

I'm definitely going to continue hosting monthly health and fitness challenges, but I also want to start going deeper and coaching women one on one to help them break through their inner barriers and discover their full potential. 

These pictures basically sum up my thoughts about February. Trying to bring as much spring as possible (find my spring scarves here!) and also trying to not let winter hold me back.

One of my goals this year is to get out and explore the city a little more. We're going into our fourth year in Chicago and it's easy to take the city for granted when you live here. For Valentine's Day Ben and I braved a snowstorm and visited the Chicago Cultural Center for the first time, then grabbed drinks at one of my favorite bars, Three Dots and a Dash! It's a hidden underground tiki bar with a mid-century South Pacific vibe, perfect little mini-retreat in the middle of winter.

Aaaand then there were the weekends where the sun came out and melted the snow! We also got out to visit my happy place, Nature Boardwalk and the Lincoln Park Zoo. This is my favorite view in Chicago! And being around all the old trees in Lincoln Park makes me so happy. The park has existed since the very beginning of the city so the trees are over 150 years old and make my inner tree-nerd happy.

As much as I like Chicago, it can definitely get draining to be around the hustle and grind, so I took a few days the other week to drive back down to central Illinois to visit my family! All three of my siblings are living at home right now, which might suck for them but is great for me because I can see everyone all at once :)

Just driving out of the city back into the open skies and cornfields feels like an EXHALE. It was great to unplug a little and spend time hanging out with my fam and their crazy schedules.

I went to my littlest sister's jazz band concert, visited Peoria Brewing Company with my dad and brother, and grabbed lunch and froyo with my best friend! 

On the fitness front, February was the month I committed 100% to my lifting program Hammer and Chisel! I am FINALLY ON THE LAST WEEK of this 8 week adventure! I can't wait to write my official review next week and share my before and after pics. I definitely haven't lost weight (and wasn't trying to), but I've gained SO much muscle and feel amazing. You can follow along my day to day journey over on my Instagram!

I also snuck in a couple jogs when the weather was nice, and am looking forward to getting back into running this month.

I was also SO excited about the launch of Shakeology's newest flavor, Cafe Latte in February! It tastes like a frappucino but without caffeine since it's flavored with sustainably sourced coffee fruit, not the bean. This was extra exciting for me because I cut caffeine out of my diet last fall to help me manage my anxiety (it's helped a ton!), and oh my gahhhhh do I miss coffee!

I've been drinking Shakeo daily for two years now and it's a no-matter-what staple for me. Superfoods, probiotics, vitamins, protein, and it just makes me feel goooooood. You can read my review here, and let me know if you want to order some!

Speaking of delicious, I also ate lots of yummy food in February. My book club had a fancy tea at The Guesthouse Hotel and oh myyyyy gosh. Macarons, scones, croissants, cupcakes...we gorged ourselves and the setting was adorable! 

Ben and I love trying out new restaurants, and discovered an amazing Cuban place in our old neighborhood called Cuba 312. It's BYOB and I highly recommend! The restaurant is small and cozy, and the service was amazing. We started with the avocado salad with a delicious chimichurri dressing. I got a chicken dish with rice, beans, and fried plaintains, and Ben got a pork dish that was literally the best pork I've ever had. We'll definitely be going back.

On one of the freakishly warm Saturdays I met up with some girlfriends for brunch at Frasca, another fave restaurant. Their breakfast pizza is to die for, but I chose the breakfast sandwich this time around, also an amazing choice.

February was a month full of growth, adventures, friends, and family. I guess it doesn't really get any better than that :)

Bring it on, March!

xo Anna