Happy Friday!

My Friday began with another bowl of eggnog overnight oats, topped with a sliced banana, slivered almonds and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

eggnog overnight oats

It was a festive way to start the day!

eggnog oatmeal

I also ate about three small handfuls of dried mulberries as I was assembling my breakfast.

dried mulberries

I can’t get enough of them!

The Workout That Wasn’t

After another late night at work, I opted to sleep in again today and skip my morning workout. Our LiveSTRONG group meeting went really well and I arrived home yesterday evening feeling so proud of our participants’ accomplishments. Before we started the program, one man couldn’t bike for more than 90 seconds and now he’s up to 26 minutes! He’s coming to the gym on his own to work out five days a week and is a big fan of our Silver Sneakers workout classes. I am so impressed with the amazing progress we see every week.

After I crawled into bed last night, Sadie hopped in beside me and as Ryan came to join us, he laughed when he saw Sadie’s lovely (and very unladylike) pose on the bed.


(Her legs were actually way more spread eagle but she got a little camera shy. And yes, I am wearing a Blue Barracudas t-shirt to bed. Olmec better watch out.)

For a medium-size dog, Sadie sure knows how to take up a lot of space in our bed. At some point in the night, she always seems to raise her front paws above her head and stretch out her back paws as far as they can go. I swear she becomes eight feet tall at 2 a.m. 


Once we were all snuggled up in bed, with Sadie wedged between us since she always has to be in the middle, Ryan asked me about my LiveSTRONG group. During every LiveSTRONG meeting, we begin by going around the circle and sharing our latest journal entry. The LiveSTRONG program provides members with journals and each page has and entry prompt, such as “When I found out I was diagnosed with cancer I…” or “I feel happiest when I’m…”

Yesterday’s prompt encouraged everyone to share their strengths.

“My biggest strengths are…”

We went around the circle and took turns sharing. Some of our participants answers:

  • I have a very strong faith
  • I always look on the bright side of things
  • I persevere through anything
  • I am a good nurturer
  • I am very honest
  • I’m very determined
  • I’m a good mother
  • I have a thirst for knowledge

After I told Ryan about our journal topic, we started talking about our strengths. Yes, it can feel awkward to talk about yourself like this, but I also think it’s very important to recognize your positive qualities. It was actually easier for me and Ryan to list each other’s strengths than our own, but we came up with a few things.

Ryan said he thinks his biggest strength is a “can do” attitude. If a difficult situation arises at work, he always thinks there’s a way to work through it and improve the situation. I agree with this even on a personal level and told him that dedication is also one of his biggest strengths. If he starts something, he has razor-sharp focus and will finish it.

I said I think my biggest strength is my optimism and my belief that things will always work out for the best. I also think that I am a fairly motivated person, so I said that my internal motivation is a strength. Ryan agreed with me, but he said that he thinks my biggest strength is my energy.

I thought this might make a fun topic for a Friday, so now I ask you…

Question of the Morning

  • What are your biggest strengths?
  • What strengths do you think your loved ones would say you have?


  1. says

    This is a good question! My biggest strength is probably my positive attitude. Of course, i have the occasional bad day, but generally I’ve gotten good at always being able to see the happy side of things and keep people upbeat when they’re down.

    And I totally know what you mean about a dog in the bed – my 20 pound pug manages to triple in size when it’s bedtime :-p


  2. says

    Love this!!What a great way to make people look at themselves differently. I would have to say that my strength would be that I’m very determined. When I want something to happen, I won’t stop until it does, and will have Plan A -Z to make sure it does happen.
    I think my family would agree with me. Or they might say that my OCD-ness is a strength haha, it does help me to go all out.


  3. says

    What a great post. It is very important to stop and reflect on our strengths and weaknesses from time to time. I am very self-motivating and I try to use that positive energy to motivate others. I would say that is my biggest strength. I think it’s easy to focus on our weaknesses more than our strengths but maybe if we all acknowledge the many things we are good at we can change our perspective about the few things we may not be the best at.
    I hope you have a happy Friday!


  4. says

    Hi Julie,

    Happy Friday!

    I completely agree with u that it is easier to list someone else’s strengths than it is to list your own. This is also a question I hate answering in interviews because I feel like I am ‘blowing my own horn’!

    I would say my greatest strength is my compassion.

    Have a wonderful weekend!


  5. says

    Ohh I love this! And I also love that you’re able to see people make progress in the gym–what amazing positivity that must be. Hmmm my biggest strength might be that I’m driven and a go-getter and a good listening/advice giver…though sometimes I feel strange giving advice since I’m not an “expert” at anything.

    Have a great weekend!


  6. says

    🙂 Love this.

    My biggest strengths (I really hope the people I love agree with this statement :)) are that I am very compassionate, loving, and I’m a good mother to my 11 month old baby girl.

    PS My dog Molly is 45 pounds and does the same thing. I woke up this morning and her head and front paws were sprawled across my chest and stomach. 🙂


  7. says

    This post is great! At my day job we work with families that are in difficult situations due to poverty and their children’s behavior. Our families usually come to us at their toughest times and we force them to tell us their strengths so they can look at things positively rather then so negatively. I have found it is extremely difficult for the parents to tell me their strengths but whenever I point out their strengths they always say “oh yeah I guess you’re right I never thought of it that way.” It is definitely easier to list others strengths then your own.


  8. says

    Oh I like this. I think it’s always important to have a good grasp on where our strengths lie. I really love being able to focus on things that I’m good at, but then also having an idea on things I can improve on. My greatest strengths are my compassion and positive energy.


  9. says

    I’m going to copy you and say my biggest strength is my optimism and ability to never take things too seriously. I don’t get super stressed out about things like tests. I’m easy-going and know things will work out for the best. I think my family would say my biggest strength is my get things done attitude. I had my first child while still in high school, but still finished high school and went on to get my masters degree. On another note….. I need to try those dried mulberries…. they look fabulous!


  10. says

    This is a great journal topic and something that I’ve struggled with while in my job search and interviewing recently. I think my biggest strength is my encouraging nature towards others and wanting to do something special or memorable for people through my work or smile.


  11. says

    My biggest strength is my optimism. I always (okay, ALMOST always 😉 ) see things positively rather than negatively. I choose to focus on the positive parts of my life and although I don’t neglect the rest, I don’t sweat the little things 🙂 I literally laughed out loud at that picture of Sadie. Such a goober.


  12. De says

    Great question and one I have recently thought about in my own life. I’m a great supporter and listener. I have recently noticed several of my friends who are going though tough times are coming to me for advice and an ear to listen, and they all specifically mention I’ve had a rough year and came out glowing on the other side and they want to know how to get similar results in their own life.


  13. says

    I LOVE it!! I think one of my big strengths is my passion – for everything! Passion for those that I care about, passion for my health and fitness, passion for my job, passion to constantly be the best version of myself, and passion for life!


  14. says

    I love this post. It’s so rewarding to see all these accomplishments at work I’m sure. I think my biggest strength is perseverance, loyalty and I’m approachable and a good listener.


  15. says

    I absolutely love this blog post! It is so much easier to list all the positive things of another person than our own! My biggest strength is finding the bright side in every situation. Something positive has to come out of our struggles, so I always try to think of what that is!


  16. says

    Zach would say the same thing about me in bed. I’m only 5′ tall, but by 2 AM I can somehow manage to take up 9/10 of a queen bed. Really I think it’s just impressive, but he doesn’t so much.

    I think my biggest strength is my ability to self-motivate. Specifically where my health and wellness come into play. I am definitely my own biggest advocate for prioritizing it in my own life, and trying to help others do the same in theirs!


  17. says

    Awesome question! One of my friends once told me my strong sense of loyalty is both my biggest strength and greatest weakness, and I think that’s totally true (but we’ll just focus on the biggest strength part for this 😉 ). I don’t like to give up on things, even when they’re tough, and a lot of times that’s a really useful quality to have (boring work project, relationship going through a rough patch, etc.).


  18. says

    I teach about strengths in my Positive Psychology class and it is always a topic that sparks high interest in everyone. I highly recommend the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 to learn more about how these strengths can be used to their potential. My biggest strengths are vitality and open-mindedness. I am always full of energy and get excited about even the littlest things in life. My family and friends would probably say I am very resilient and can bounce back from difficult times.


  19. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie says

    What a great conversation to have!

    This is going to sound super strange but my biggest strength is my hustle. Like the song, “every day I’m hustling!” Haha When I have a goal or a dream I won’t stop working towards that goal until I achieve it. Everything is possible when you put your mind to it!

    Josh’s biggest strength is his heart. He is seriously the most giving, kind, loving person in the world!


  20. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie says

    I got Juliet too! That’s my friend Rachel’s character, I’m Natalie. We love that movie and watch it every year. We all have our own characters.

    I am also on the search for a new mbmj bag for Christmas. I’m just having problems deciding which one I like the most.


    • Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie says

      Umm I totally thought I was commenting on fitnessistas blog right now! Haha sorry! Do you know how I delete this?


  21. says

    I can problem solve really well and come up with solutions-whether in work or life. I am also really good at separating out issues and not becoming stressed in situations where others may be stressed. I figure you can’t always change things and if something happens, while it may suck, you can’t change it so why stress! And I’m really good with dogs (training, working with abused animals, etc.)


  22. Nicole says

    That is awesome. Very motivating you are Julie! I think my biggest strength is how passionate I am about everything whether it be a certain hobby, project at work, person in my life, or feelings in general. I care a lot about what I love so I think that’s good.


  23. says

    That’s a really awesome thing that you all did, it’s so hard to compliment ourselves sometimes but it’s always a good thing!

    I am very optimistic
    I find the good in everything and everyone
    I’m a very loyal friend
    I’m a good listener
    I’m creative
    I’m thoughtful
    I pay attention to details


  24. says

    Thank you for writing this post! At first I was going to skip commenting because I didn’t have an answer… but I made myself stop and think of something 🙂

    I think one of my biggest strengths is confidence in my own decisions. I recently quit my job to start my own business. It’s taken a LOT of confidence to be able to ignore what everyone else thinks (basically they think I’m crazy) and remain positive that my decision was absolutely right for me!


  25. Michelle says

    I really enjoyed this post. You are so positive. That is why I constantly find myself back on your Blog. My husband and I were driving home last night and this is the exact conversation we had about each other. We said a few things but my husband said that I have a gift of empathy for other people.


  26. Libby Harmon says

    This is a really interesting question…gets you to think hard about yourself- which isn’t something many of us do often!

    I’d say my biggest strength is my ability to listen. Sometimes this can be a weakness as well, because some people think I’m being shy or stand-offish. But when someone needs to vent or wants an outside view on a situation, I find it really easy to listen and give people my full attention. Everyone appreciates being truly heard 🙂



  27. says

    I always feel so weird saying positive things about myself – it’s definitely awkward!

    I think my strength is that I always see the positive side of things. I’m not an ‘everything happens for a reason’ person but I do always try to look on the bright side of life.


  28. says

    Just wanted to say that I think it’s awesome that you can allow yourself to sleep in and miss a workout and not write a post venting about how you feel bad about it, like I find myself having to do. I really hope I can have a relationship with food/exercise at some point that is closer to yours! I really admire you as someone who owns her beauty and allows herself to eat what she feels she deserves and enjoy life and just sleep instead of always having to work out.
    Sorry haha that just really spoke to me. Also, I love your Hidden Temple reference.


  29. says

    I have to say that picture of Sadie in your bed just makes me melt a little bit 🙂 There is nothing like a warm, cuddly dog in the bed. I miss my lab – I’ve been away from him for awhile now and hope to get back soon…

    It is very hard to elaborate on your own strengths. This isn’t necessarily the best time period for me, so I’m having a harder time remembering what my strengths really are. I would have to say my energy, as well, is a very big strength of mine. When I’m behind something and passionate about it, I can achieve pretty amazing things.

    I think nearly all of my friends and family would site my empathetic and thoughtful personality as my biggest strength 🙂


  30. says

    They’d say my determination! So great to hear about that man! My gym has a lot of retired members..they’re all there at 7am working out three mornings of the week…they’ve got a gang going! Now I just need to get my mum and dad start going!


  31. says

    Love this one! I think my biggest strength is my ability to just keep going or pushing through when things get tough. Loved hearing yours and other people’s strength too.

    I especially loved hearing about that guy who has increased his exercise to 26 minutes I just think that is awesome!!

    Sadie is just way too funny and cute! Love that photo of her 🙂


  32. says

    I love this so much! I am TERRIBLE at recognizing my own strengths…which may be because I’m still/constantly working to build confidence in myself. I’ve had some very critical people in my life influence me into believing that my personal strengths are the “wrong” strengths to have…which I realize is silly. For example, I’m very empathetic (which I know is a good thing!), but at times/often I see (and have been told) that the empathy within myself is a weakness. Clearly I need to work on this exercise a little 🙂


  33. Mary Beth says

    I know it’s small, but I think one of my biggest strengths is the ability to smile EVERY day. I battled a year of depression and learned through that year that I needed people in my life that would reassure me that I have an amazing life worth smiling for … even when I’m upset, there is a reason to smile. 🙂


  34. says

    I think my biggest strength is I have the courage to chase my dreams/happiness. I’ve made some big decisions on my own in the last few years, even though they weren’t easy or the normal way and I’m so happy I’ve been able to seek my own dreams rather than be complacent and accept what life hands me.


  35. Lauren @ sassy molassy says

    I love this topic. This post inspired a little convo between the manfriend and I about our strengths, which was fun. I think my biggest strength is my dedication… To my friends, to my family, to my fitness and health, to marathon training, to my job, etc.


  36. says

    Great article! I am always defining my strengths and weaknesses and about two years ago realized it was OK to reach out for help on the skills you are not strong in, I always felt I had to be good at everything but its actually better to improve your strengths and find help for your weaknesses. So far this motto has been working well for me and I am SO much more productive! Love your way C


  37. Amy @ Run with Perseverance says

    What a good thing to reflect on! I think one of my strengths is encouraging others and seeing the good in them (as well as seeing the good in every situation).


  38. Elizabeth says

    You are so talented. What a great post and great food for thought! Challenging question Julie-very challenging.,,,oh and I ordered the purse too!


  39. says

    My biggest strength is my ability to not dwell on the negative. I allow myself a minute to feel bad, then realize that life is all about how I respond to situations and choose to change and/or accept whatever negatives are occuring.


  40. says

    Loving the Sadie photo! My vizsla is the same way in the bed – has to be in between my husband & me & touching us both at all times. Although, now that our baby is here we’ve messed her all up. We put him in our bed in the mornings & our Vizsla doesn’t know what to do because she can’t touch all 3 of us. She cries like the drama queen she is & usually picks to lay on the baby’s feet.


  41. says

    I am just like you, and my husband is just like Ryan! I always look on the brighter side of things, no matter what. even if there’s a slight chance that something might not work out or whatever situation is.. its always great to put in on a positive spectrum.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *