Anna Maria Locke

January 2015

life in January

Personal, January 2015AnnaComment

Do you ever let yourself look back at where you've been and how far you've come?

It's funny to revisit this time last year. Literally one year ago to this day, January 28th, we were deep in the middle of the Polar Vortex and I was dealing with the same mid-winter "what am I doing with my LIFE!?" introspection.

So much has happened since then, so much has changed, and yet so much is still the same.

This time last year I was struggling to balance my full time job with my dreams of turning my Etsy shop into a thriving handmade business. I had no idea that Beachbody was about to drop into my lap and completely change the trajectory of my life. Over the past year I've grown into myself, I have a clear and exciting vision for my future, but my Etsy shop is still always on the poor backburner, haha! But in the meantime I've learned so much about running and marketing a small business, and this year I promise I'm going to make good on my intentions! Although I think I'm still going to view the shop as a passion project on the side instead of pressuring myself to turn it into something too huge to handle.

Anyway, this January has been a month of huge and transformative personal growth.

I've struggled and battled to gain clarity on exactly what I want to accomplish this year, and even though most of the time I feel like I'm running as hard as I can just to stay in place, I know I'm also making huge strides and progress in my confidence and vision for my life and career.

When I look back on January 2015, here is what I will remember.

Endless bowls of fancy oats to warm up chilly mornings.

Pushing myself past my mental, emotional, and physical limits every single day with Shaun T's Insanity Max 30 (although I must admit I actually miss my early morning gym adventures! Working out from home while you work from home is awesome, but my hermit tendencies are starting to get to me).

Fueling and nourishing my body with enormous salads and allllllll the veggies.

Finding balance and rewarding myself with my favorite treats! Wine, milk stouts and chocolate porters, mugcakes. I'm happy Ben and I finally checked out the Map Room, it's adorable and brings me back to my grad school days as a geographer!

We joined a church! I started to make pillows, a sewing project I've been putting off for way too long. Ben bought a new car and I discovered the amazing and wonderful Andrea Owen whose blog, podcast, and book are helping me joyfully accept myself for who I am and lay off the internal pressure! 

During the first half of the month I was obsessed with planning, reflecting, goal setting, and organizing. I developed and hosted my first ever coach training workshop for the new members of my  team, I started to create a new vision for my monthly accountability Bootcamps, and I blogged more thanks to this amazing editorial planner from By Regina. I've slowly started to develop monthly and quarterly goals that align with my core desired feelings. This is a hard process and I'm balancing my inner overachiever with my determination to live more intentionally and find joy in life instead of being constantly overwhelmed. I feel like I'm literally bursting with energy and inspiration and I have a desperate desire to write more, share more, and embrace my journey in all its messy glory. 2015 is the year I will grow into myself, and I'm so excited for what's in store!

I've always struggled with insecurity, fear, perfectionism, and feeling like I'll never be "enough," and this was the month I started to recognize and confront all those little voices holding me back.

Every day I'm practicing self compassion and I'm slowly accepting myself for who I am, right now. I'm taking action on things that I've been thinking and journaling about for years, instead of letting my perfectionism overwhelm and paralyze me.

I really love how I've been blogging for almost six years now because it's fun to remember where I've come from and recognize what has always been important to me.

In January 2011 I said "I am trying to project self-confidence, optimism, and excitement towards all the unknowns coming up in my life this year, and not stress out too much."

Yup, I'm still me :)

chicken and white bean chipotle chili

Recipes, January 2015AnnaComment

Ben and I have a habit of picking up dinner at Chipotle when we're feeling lazy, but it probably takes just as much time to throw together a healthy homemade meal as it does to get in the car, drive, order, come home, etc. Weeknight recipes like this require little more effort than opening cans and dumping ingredients together, but the end result tastes amazing, almost restaurant quality :)

I love making a big pot of chili or soup to last through the week. This chili is different than any other kind I've ever tried. It's kind of a cross between white chili and traditional chili, and it has an addicting smoky flavor that's balanced by the creaminess of the Greek yogurt. It's like the sassy and spicy cousin to my regular chicken and white bean chili. Healthy comfort food at its finest!

Chicken and White Bean Chipotle Chili

Inspired by Better Homes and Gardens

serves 4-6


  • 2 large chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 T chipotles in adobo sauce* 
  • 2 cups (or 1 can) cooked white beans
  • 2 cups (1 can) broth
  • 1 T chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • plain Greek yogurt
  • cilantro

*I freeze the leftovers flattened in a plastic bag and then break off bits to use in future recipes! I do the same with tomato paste--a tip I learned from Iowa Girl Eats.


Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook in a large pot coated in cooking spray until browned. Add the onion, saute for 1-2 minutes, then add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, chipotles, beans, broth and chili powder. Simmer for 10-30 minutes, top with Greek yogurt and cilantro, and enjoy! 

[21 Day Fix: 1 green, 1 red, 1/2 yellow]

3 amazing podcasts that will inspire you to take on your goals

January 2015AnnaComment

I'm way late to the podcast party and just discovered the amazingness of these free audio life changing tools last fall. I know a lot of people who listen to podcasts for entertainment and yes I know that Serial is addicting and so good, but I prefer to listen to them to either learn something useful, or to stay motivated and boost my confidence while I'm doing a mindless task like walking, driving, cutting/ironing fabric, or sewing.

When I discover something new and exciting I immediately go into obsessive accumulation mode and I've "discovered" and burned through soooo many podcast subscriptions.

In the spirit of making 2015 THE BEST YEAR EVER, here are my top three favorite podcasts that will inspire you to lead a more fulfilling and positive life.

Listen, be inspired, and go forth to set some goals and take action towards your dreams!

1.The Lively Show

I don't remember when or how I first discovered Jess Lively, but I immediately clicked with her blog and personality. A former creative small business owner and Chicagoan, she now lives in Austin, TX and has made it her mission to uplift and inspire other women to live intentional, values-based lives. Her podcast is hands down my number one favorite and I never miss an episode! She interviews other successful female business owners and creatives and their conversations are always so deep and inspiring. I almost always feel a click or "omg YES" moment while listening to them talk about their struggles, successes, and the resistance they've faced along the way. I love that Jess ends each interview by asking "what advice would you give someone who's just starting out on this journey?" because oh heyyy that's me! I've also picked up a gazillion little nuggets of useful business advice and learned about resources like Creative Live and Nicole's Classes through her guests!

Great for 
Creatives, new mothers, anyone who is considering starting a small business/Etsy shop/blog, women who want to live more intentionally in regards to their personal habits, relationships, home, career.

Listen to
Redefining Pretty with Elizabeth Piper

+Increasing Our Joy with Rachel MacDonald

+Three Tips for When You Feel Overwhelmed

2.The Chalene Show

Oh Chalene Johnson. Joyful influencer. I discovered Chalene when I became involved with Beachbody last year. I worked through her goal setting book PUSH and instantly became obsessed with her energetic, tough love, positive attitude. She's a self made businesswoman, celebrity fitness trainer, social media marketing expert, life/business coach and an all around genuinely awesome lady, wife, and mother. I've had the honor of hearing her speak at The Platinum Edge conference last fall and also attended two live workouts with her that literally changed my life. She is very clear that no matter how busy or successful she might be, she always puts her husband and children first, and she's taught me how to align my life and goals based on my own true priorities (family, faith, friends). And also how to MAKE SHIT HAPPEN! I'm obsessed with her workout PiYo and one of my 2015 goals is to become a certified instructor, eek! Chalene's podcast is focused on motivation, leadership, and life coaching and will help you boost your self confidence and look at your life with a bigger sense of possibility.

Great for
Introverts! Small business owners, and anyone really, if you click with her strong personality. You must be willing and ready to turbo-charge your life ;)

Notes: The Chalene Show is best listened to while power-walking outside or at the gym.

Listen to

+Motivation and Energy On Demand

+Introvert or Extrovert? How to Overcome Shyness

+Too Scared to Try? How to Break Free From Perfectionism

3.Raise Your Hand Say Yes

I discovered Tiffany Han fairly recently, and immediately connected with her podcast and mission: to pull back the curtain on what it means to be highly creative and share your talents with others. Her focus is on interviewing creative female entrepreneurs about what it means to live an authentic and courageous life. The background behind the title is that when life hands you an opportunity, you should immediately raise your hand, say yes, and then figure it out later! It's encouraging to hear from established and successful creative professionals that it's ok to feel insecure, it's ok to dive in and learn from failure, and that you can't live your dream until you embrace the abyss and just go for it!

Great for
Creative entrepreneurs, women who feel like they "should" do something scary, anyone who wants to take a leap of faith/add value/start a blog/share their art but needs an extra boost of encouragement.

Listen to
+Erin Loechner on Saying Yes

+Lisa Congdon on Creative Evolution

+aaaand basically all of them

I hope that you connect with one of these podcasts too! Life is really short, and I encourage you to find pockets of "wasted time" while you drive, commute, or do mindless busy-work and fill your mind with uplifting stories.

No matter what you're dreaming about, I'm on your side. Let's make this our year :)

xo Anna