Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

Remember when we were younger and the years seemed to drag on forever?

When did time speed up?  It feels like just yesterday we were ringing in 2013, but somewhere in there, 365 days flew by.


I haven't blogged since Thanksgiving (when I posted the obligatory what I'm thankful for post), but a new year is a time for new beginnings and rejuvenation.  So, I thought this would be the perfect time to restart the blog (with, of course, the requisite here are my New Year's resolutions post).

Like last year, I created my Pinspiration for the upcoming year, a board that serves as a reminder of things I want to accomplish, the attitude I want to maintain, the kind of person I want to be, etc.

So, here we go!

Goal #1: Eat (Mostly) Healthfully

In 2014 I plan to get back into the swing of things with healthy living.  I know that I feel better both physically and emotionally when I eat well and exercise regularly, but for some reason, I only stick to that plan for short bursts of time and then fall off the wagon in the most ridiculous of ways.  (What can I say?  I love me some Kraft Mac & Cheese.)

So, instead of saying "I will never eat Sour Patch Kids again" or "I am sticking to the South Beach Diet 100%" or "I will never have another glass of wine on a weekday," I am going to adopt Michelle Obama's advice:

If I can eat well 90% of the time, the other 10% will work itself out.  I can have ice cream, but a pint a day probably will not create the results I would like.

Goal #2: Exercise Regularly

Again, I feel crazy-good when I workout almost every day.  So, why I haven't worked out in nearly a month is baffling to me.

My first goal is to attend Farrell's classes more regularly.  I paid for a year membership, so I have about six more months of kickboxing and resistance training already covered.  I will attend at least three Farrell's classes each week.

I also need to run more regularly.  (And by "run more regularly," I really mean "get back to running, period.")  I never feel as good as I do when I have a consistent running schedule, and I lose the most weight (especially in my core) when I run.

Again, why I've taken such a hiatus from the sport is mind-boggling.

My goal is to run at least three days per week: two short runs during the week and then a longer run on Saturday or Sunday.

I know myself: I am more likely to actually make all of that running happen if I have a goal.  So, I am going to sign up for a number of races:
  • February 8: Red Flannel Run (5k)
  • March 15: Leprechaun Chase (10k)
  • April 27: Drake Road Races (10k)
  • May 4: Lincoln Half Marathon
  • May 10: Market to Market Relay
  • May 31: Dam to Dam Half Marathon
I may or may not have registered for the Lincoln Half at 1:00 this morning -- you know, the time when all good decision-making happens.

Essentially, I have four months to train for this season's first half marathon.  Given that I have run several half marathons as well as a full marathon, this should be a relatively easy undertaking.  However, given that I have not run at all lately, this is going to be quite challenging, I believe.  Even looking at the mileage (as I just created the training plan) has me a bit nervous.

But, I know I can do it.  And, having those races on the calendar will make me actually get out there and hit the pavement.

Goal #2.5: Stay Committed 

I love making goals.  Lists (such as this one) are my favorite things.

However, I need to work on my follow-through.  I have completely good intentions when I make lists like this, but I tend to fall apart after a month or so of good, quality work.  That needs to change.

I have big goals for myself, and the only way those goals will be achievable is if I stick to the plan -- and, if that plan is actually realistic (hence the healthy-living 90% of the time).

Goal #3: Be Grateful

Too often I find myself thinking things like, "If only I ____________," things that I feel like I "should" be doing right now because all of my friends are (buying a house, getting married, having babies, traveling the world, etc.).  Instead, I need to focus on the amazing things I do have, as those "should" thoughts only result in negativity.

At the beginning of December, I started a "gratitude journal."  Each night I write down three things for which I am grateful.  I have tried so hard to not simply write things like, "I am grateful for my mom" but have tried to write very specific things like, "I am grateful that my mom listened to me talk endlessly about my student and that she made me feel like I am doing the right thing by helping her."  My goal is to continue this every single day in 2014, as it is such an easy thing that helps me live in the present and appreciate the life that I have.

Goal #4: Focus on Emily

I have spent the last few months really working on myself -- through a journey of "self-discovery," if you will.  In 2014, I plan to delve even more deeply into that journey, working to continuously improve myself in several ways.

Included in this fourth goal is the understanding that I am in control of my feelings -- and that almost everything in this world can be improved with a positive, happy attitude.

Goal #5: Do More Things That I Enjoy -- More Often

I will read more.  I absolutely love my book club and the intellectual discussions that we have.  My goal is to read at least the book we choose each month, but I hope to read even more.  The piles of unread books on my shelf are getting ridiculous.

I plan to write even more as well.  I absolutely love writing, whether it is on my blog, in the aforementioned gratitude journal, for previous employment, etc.  I need to up my writing frequency in 2014.  (Who knows?  Maybe 2014 will be the year of The Book.)

A goal in 2014 is to travel more.  I hope to go to Key West (my favorite place on earth) with The Boy and our friend group, I hope to go to Southern California on an epic road trip to visit The Boy's family and friends, I hope to go to Atlanta to present at yet another conference, I hope to take long-weekend trips to Minneapolis, the Dakotas, Grand Rapids, Omaha, and more.

Miscellaneous Goals:

Grow spiritually


Make a difference
Be a positive influence

Here's to 2014 -- sure to be the best year yet!