I kind of object to New Year’s Resolutions on principle–why delay improving yourself to some arbitrary date? You can make a commitment to change at any time. I do concede that it is nice to have an annual reflection on the year that is over and look forward to what you’d like to accomplish in the year ahead. I’ve been making a list of resolution ideas for a few weeks now. Now I’ve finally whittled it down to 8 I’m going to focus on. (Good thing not procrastinating isn’t on the list!)
- Read 20 Books
I love measurable goals, and this one is a carry over from 2013. I read 17 books in 2013, which I’m very happy with. My favorite was The Silver Linings Playbook, which I thought was so much better than the movie, and I thought that was wonderful.
- Floss Daily
My biggest resolution success in 2013 was ending my nail biting habit permanently. I think I can apply that daily focus to flossing. The last time I was at the dentist I had a new dental hygienist who went above and beyond the “you should floss” statements I’ve been hearing at the dentist (and ignoring) for years. As she cleaned my teeth she had me hold a mirror and showed me every location I had plaque and had me look at it once she removed it. She explained that if I didn’t remove it, I’d eventually have tooth damage. The fact that I had two very sensitive spots on my teeth that day made me more receptive to the idea that flossing could prevent the plaque all over my mouth from becoming painful spots all over my mouth. She said I should floss first then brush, and I did that almost daily for the last bit of 2013. I’ve kind of fallen out of the habit again so now I’m going to refocus and aim for a one a day minimum but ideally twice a day.
- Learn to Cook by Taste and Sight, Not Just Blindly Follow Recipes
Another successful resolution from 2013 was cooking something new every month. I love the creative outlet cooking gives me as well as the control over what I’m eating. I made new things weekly, not just monthly, and loved creating edible works of art.
Potato Skins/Pretzel Bites
Italian Chicken with Green Beans & Red Potatoes/Vegetarian Shepard’s Pie
My problem with cooking is because I want things to turn out perfectly, I’m a slave to the recipe. I consult it so many times it often takes me twice as long to finish as the recipe says it should take me. I’d prefer to cook on the fly more like I see on Top Chef. I don’t expect to morph into that type of cook overnight but I can learn more about how food should look and taste. A book I got for Christmas, Ruhlman’s Twenty, should help me understand basic cooking techniques so I’m more free in the kitchen.
- Be More Vulnerable
Ruhlman’s Twenty is on the back burner (haha–see what I did there?) until I finish the book I just started, Daring Greatly. I’ve only read a little bit and I already feel like the author, Dr. Brené Brown, is talking to me–she mentioned how people view vulnerability as strong and courageous in others but view it as a weakness in themselves. I have a lot of reservations about putting myself out there when I am not sure my thoughts will be well received. This is completely ridiculous because I find people who do that incredibly brave and interesting. And I think putting yourself out there so people know what makes you you is how you connect to people; by finding things in common and learning from each other. Something as simple as saying “I’m scared shitless that my stress fracture won’t heal correctly and I’ll never be the runner I was” rather than saying “my healing is on target (which I think it is) and everything is great (which is not entirely true because of my fear)” is a step towards becoming the more open, vulnerable person I want to be. I want to train myself to believe I’m good enough while being vulnerable.
- Learn the Dance to “Love on Top”
Goals don’t always have to be serious. Ever since we saw Beyonce in Concert I keep thinking about how her choreography to Love on Top is adorable and I love it so much I want to know how to do it.
I found this:
I could use something that breaks it down a little more, but it’s a start.
And no, I will not be performing this for anyone. I’m not prepared to be that vulnerable. 🙂
- Work Out in the Morning 1-2 Times Per Week
Right now, I’m only getting to the gym 1-2 per week, so doing it in the evenings isn’t a huge inconvenience, but once I start half marathon training on the 12th I’ll be working out 4 times a week, minimum. Doing that all at night cuts into the time after work I want to be relaxing. I do my long runs with a training team that meets at 7am on Sundays, so that’s one morning. In addition I’m going to attempt to go to the gym at 6am on Fridays. If I can get myself to bed early the night before, working out before work on Friday could be fantastic (not crowded), so I’m going to try, starting the 17th.
- Strength Train Once a Week
During my time off from running I’ve been lifting weights 1-2 times per week and/or doing push ups away from the gym. Turns out, I like it! When I started push ups I could only do 1-2 at a time and now I can do sets of 10. I’ve got a reminder set on my phone to do 20 push ups a day and I’ve done them daily since around Christmas. I’ve been doing them mostly at work in the women’s restroom. It’s an unconventional location for push ups but it’s proven to be a stress reliever on days that are hectic plus it’s a way to get my body out of stiff 8 hours at a desk mode. And so far no one has caught me doing it. 🙂 I’d like to continue the 20 push ups per day plus do a more structured weight routine at the gym once per week. Maybe get back to planking on a regular basis too–that takes almost no time but for whatever reason I don’t have a lot of patience to hold my body in one position for 30 seconds.
- Run a 5k in Under 25 Minutes
I hesitate to list a running goal for 2014 other than run healthy, but given my competitive nature at some point during 2014 I’m going to be feeling good enough to want to push myself to a level I’ve never reached before.
Even though I ended 2013 injured, first with shin splints that eventually went away, then with a stress fracture that is in the process of going away, looking back I now realize I had the best running year of my life, setting PRs in every distance:
1 Mile – 7:27 The Macklind Mile 6/29/13
3.1 Miles (5k) – 25:29 Go! All American 5k 6/16/13 (pre blog; no recap)
I actually finished the SIDS 5k 5/4/13 in 24:41 but my Nike+ app said the course was short so I’m not comfortable counting this as my PR. I want to break 25 minutes on an officially measured course. That said, I’m thrilled with this, short course or not.
4 Miles – 35:04 The Freedom 4 Miler 7/4/13
6.2 Miles (10k) – 53:33 The Great Go! St. Louis Halloween Race 10/13/13 (I’ll be running the half marathon version of this race in 2014)
13.1 Miles (half marathon) – 1:59:34 St. Louis Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon 10/27/13
Reflecting on all those races, I’m feeling pretty great about myself. If I PR in any of those distances in 2014 I’ll be thrilled, but I’ll stick with a sub 25 minute 5k as my official goal, likely going for it later in the year. In the meantime I have plenty of other goals/resolutions to focus on. 🙂