When I look back on 2015, I will remember it with mixed emotions. It was absolutely one of the toughest years of my life, but it was also the year that taught me many invaluable lessons and brought me great growth. And, it brought me to the Twin Cities, a place I love more than words can say.
As I did in previous years, I created a Pinspiration board for 2016 and wanted to jot down some of my goals for this new year, this fresh start.
Really, I just have one goal for 2016:
LIVE HEALTHY & HAPPY
As with all plans, however, this needs to be broken down in order to be manageable and therefore achievable. So without further ado, here are my five smaller goals for the new year:
1. EAT CLEAN
Allergies aside, I never felt better than when I ate according to the Whole30. Starting January 10th, a group of friends and I are going to be delving back into the world of meats, veggies, healthy fats, and fruit. If you are interested in joining us, please let me know, and I will add you to our top-secret Facebook group.
Even after the Whole30, I plan to eat mostly clean. One of my most favorite friends does a Whole7 every month as a time to reset. I like that idea and think I may give it a go as well.
2. EXERCISE REGULARLY
I am already off to a good start with this one. On December 14th, I joined the gym that is basically right across the street from my new place. Despite being out of town from the 22nd through the 29th, I managed to get in eight trips to the gym -- and did a bodyweight workout while I was out of town (and prior to getting the stomach flu). In order to earn the insurance kickback, I have to go to the gym at least 12 times a month, and I know that I will handedly exceed this requirement.
The first thing I am doing at the gym is lifting. As I mentioned previously, I have really gotten into powerlifting lately -- specifically squat, deadlift, and bench. I definitely want to continue this trend and increase the weight on the barbells. I also want to add in accessory lifts, especially those that will strengthen my arms, upper back, and abs.
The second component to my exercise plan is running. I impulsively signed up for the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon (the 13.1 component to Grandma's Marathon in Duluth), which takes place on June 18th, 2016. I have 168 days -- 24 weeks -- six months to get in tip-top shape.
I would also like to run Dam to Dam, my favorite half marathon, a couple of weeks prior. I pretty much just like to overextend myself as much as possible.
My ultimate goal is to break 2:30. I strongly believe that this is more than achievable given my current fitness plan, the six-month time frame, and my strong motivation.
Finally, I want to continue my yoga practice. It has been spotty lately, but I would like to go at least once a week. It really is mind-clearing and centering, and nothing compares to how I feel afterward. Plus, I can tell a great difference in my flexibility and strength (especially in my lower back), and those benefits are going to become increasingly important in both my lifting and my running.
3. TAKE TIME FOR ME
Like most working adults, I get super busy (and exhausted) during the week. I leave for school before 7:00, and I head to the gym immediately after. I generally have a couple of hours in the evening to do whatever, but often those get filled with various commitments. Or, I zone out with Words With Friends or Facebook and realize the night is over.
I want that to change. There are a few things that I want to make sure I do nearly every day:
want need to read more. I have only read a couple of books in the recent past, which is far too few for this girl. I have piles upon piles upon piles of books (just ask my friends and family who helped me move) that are just waiting to be read. I would like to read at least 30 books in 2016, and I think that'll be super easy, especially since I'll have all the time in the world this summer.
Additionally, I have really gotten into calligraphy lately -- thanks to my mom, a beautiful calligrapher. (Seriously, check her out on Instagram: @cathyboll.) I have always been into hand-lettering and have created all of the posters in my classroom. I then started doing chalkboards in April for Maggie's wedding and even opened an Etsy shop (that currently doesn't have any listings). Recently, though, I have focused more on straight-up calligraphy. And I'm loving it.
Finally, I want to write more. I'm not going to say that I'm going to write every day or that I'm even going to update this blog every week. I know that I have said those things before and have failed miserably. I just know that I love writing and that it is such a great outlet for me, and I want to be sure to do more of it this year.
4. BUILD LASTING RELATIONSHIPS
I have always been blessed with amazing girlfriends, and I am indelibly grateful for that. In 2016, I want to not only maintain but continue to build and foster relationships with all of my girlfriends -- those in Minneapolis with me, my besties back in Des Moines, and my beautiful friends that are scattered across the country.
It is hard moving to a new city. First, it's so sad to leave behind such a wonderful family of friends. I miss The Sugar Donuts with every ounce of my being. Thank goodness for group texts and Facebook. But I wish we were closer so that I could invite them over for Hoppin' John tonight or join them for a movie this weekend. And second, making friends as an adult can be a difficult task, as many people already have close-knit circles. Thankfully, I have made some truly amazing friends up north and honestly believe we were all brought together for a purpose.
5. SPREAD POSITIVITY & HOPE
Relatedly, I want to treat everyone with kindness and compassion. I believe I do this 100% of the time when I am at school with my students, and I am really good about doing this in the "real world" as well. But there is always room for improvement, and I want everyone with whom I come into contact to feel listened to and valued.
And on that note, friends, I am going to sign off. I wish you all nothing but the greatest in 2016. Happy New Year. :)