One of the great things about having a blog is the accountability, both public and to myself. It’s a nice written reminder I can use to make sure I’m focusing on what I want to do and where I want my life to go. With that in mind I thought I’d revisit my New Year’s Resolutions to see if they’re really guiding the choices I make on a day-to-day basis or if they’re going to go the way of my “install tile in the upstairs bathroom” resolution of 2013. (Hey, that could still happen, just not in 2013.)
- Read 20 Books
I had visions of getting a lot of reading done early in the year, since it’s been cold and miserable, but it turns out sleeping and playing Candy Crush for hours on end have taken priority. I have completed one book, however.
“The Leftovers” was just ok. It started slow for me but I did get more invested in the characters as it went along, which made reading it go much more quickly.
And I’ve read some part of three other books.
I haven’t picked up Tony La Russa’s book since sometime last summer and I haven’t read the psychic book since the beginning of last year, but I’m pretty close to the end of those, should I choose to resume them. Daring Greatly is what I’m actually reading now, and it is wonderful and has me saying “yes! this is me!” so many times, but I tend to read nonfiction slowly because I want to reflect on everything and really let the information soak in.
- Floss Daily
My dental hygienist is going to be so proud of me because I’m really kicking ass on this one. It appears this resolution will be as successful as ending my nail biting habit permanently. My resolution goal was flossing once a day minimum but ideally twice a day. I’m actually flossing twice a day nearly every day; there have only been a couple days where I only did the minimum I set of once a day. My gums don’t bleed when I floss anymore, so I know I’ve improved my gum health.
- Learn to Cook by Taste and Sight, Not Just Blindly Follow Recipes
A month into the year and I’ve had a few successes making this way of thinking part of my cooking process. I made a chicken cordon blue recipe and ended up adapting it to work with ingredients we already had on hand, plus I didn’t really measure anything. That’s basically what I was going for with this resolution–don’t get so caught up in making my food match perfectly to a recipe that I’m not thinking about what I’m actually doing. Instead, I want to pay attention to what looks and tastes good to me. If I want to add more of something or leave it out entirely, I’m doing it. Today’s attempt is this Spinach Artichoke Chicken recipe, which I made a little heavy on the spinach and artichokes and lighter on the chicken.
See you in a few hours!
- Be More Vulnerable
I got this idea from the book I mentioned I’m reading, Daring Greatly. My thinking behind this one was wanting to be a more authentic person and get away from striving toward perfectionism. This requires me to be open about things I’m not good at, things that scare me, things that make me sad, etc. This is a challenging resolution because it’s something I have to think about every day, not just a box I can check off and say I’m done. It’s also challenging because most of my life I’ve tried to make everything I do be “perfect”, which is unattainable because perfection is such a vague concept. I’d find myself in situations where I either did my best possible and felt satisfied (I’m not sure that’s the same as being happy) or I didn’t measure up (in my own estimation) and felt disappointed in myself. This way of thinking leads to more situations than not where I’m not happy with myself, and that’s no way to live. I think being vulnerable in order to let more people in is a good way to learn that no one is perfect and I don’t have to be either. I am enough. (That’s a quote from the book.)
I think I am embracing vulnerability more this year. I’m talking more openly about my stress fracture now, both here and with people I encounter at the gym, and I have shifted my way of thinking about it. In the beginning I viewed my injury as a fault, something I did wrong, and now I’m viewing it as something that just is. Being more open about it has led to some nice connections. A couple women in my PiYo class were very sympathetic to me; one immediately asked if it was from running since I previously discussed my training with her. I loved that she remembered that about me. And people I’ve interacted with through blogging who are also going through injuries (hi Whole Heath Dork!) have been helpful to me in that I don’t feel so alone. And that’s the whole point of being more vulnerable–making it easier to connect to the people around you.
- Learn the Dance to “Love on Top”
I’ve gotta be honest, I have not made much progress here. I have certainly listened to Beyoncé a lot, especially since I discovered the Beyoncé channel on the Spotify mobile app, which is great.
And I’ve watched several YouTube videos but at this point the moves are still a bit fast for me. I need to find a YouTube video breaking down the moves into 10 second chunks. Good thing I have all year to work on this. 🙂
- Work Out in the Morning 1-2 Times Per Week
I came up with this resolution when I fully intended to be in half marathon training right now. Since then, I’ve decided not to race at all until my leg is strong enough that I don’t have to evaluate how it’s feeling with every step. For that reason, I don’t have as much desire to find a way to workout early, because I don’t need to work out as much as I would if I was training. My change of heart about this resolution reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry bets Kramer he won’t make his apartment into levels.
Obviously I can go to the gym in the morning, I’m just not sure it’s something I want anymore. I have gone to the gym a couple mornings on the weekend, and I plan to go tomorrow morning (public accountability!), so that counts. Realistically though, going before work isn’t likely to happen, at least while it’s this cold in the morning.
- Strength Train Once a Week
I set a goal of doing 20 push ups per day plus a more structured weight routine at the gym once per week. This is going very well. I’ve done 20 push ups or more nearly every day. The times I’ve skipped them have been the days after going to PiYo, which just destroys my arms. So that’s a conscious decision to rest that I’m fine with. I’ve used the weight machines at the gym at least once a week, sometimes twice. I’m able to lift more now than I was able to a month ago and lifting something really heavy gives me the same instant stress relief that running really fast used to. Lifting weights has allowed me to reinvent how I view exercise (previously exercise = running) and I like it.
- Run a 5k in Under 25 Minutes
This resolution is barely existing in my mind right now. It seems pretty unrealistic for 2014 at this point, but a year is a long time so I’m keeping an open mind. Maybe once I am running the weight training I’ve done while not running will make my legs propel me forward faster than they ever did before. We’ll see!
I think 6 of my 8 resolutions are things I can stick with for the year, and time will tell if the other 2 are things I can make happen.
How are your resolutions going?