Tuesday, January 1, 2013
A New Way For New Year's Resolutions
It's probably no surprise that for the past few weeks my mind's been swirling with resolutions - or, as I prefer to think of them, my goals for the upcoming year.
For the past several years of my running-life, I've laid out specific, track-able goals for running and riding. Things like miles, paces and other black-and-white markers that would tell me whether I succeeded or failed.
For years, I did great at these. Success after success, reaching farther and pushing harder to do things I never thought I could (or would) do. I continued to raise the bar higher and higher.
But the higher the bar got, the less I tried to reach it. I simply stopped thinking about my goals. Somehow - and for a reason I haven't yet figured out - they didn't matter any more. Flat out, I failed.
Last year, I declared a do-over to 2011, as a way to redeem myself for not hitting my mileage goals. This year, I ended the year without even knowing how many miles I logged. I used to know that stuff inside and out. I don't need to tally things up to know that I missed it, again. By a long shot.
So what do I do now? A do-do-over? I certainly can't bear the thought of that.
I think the first thing I need to do is figure out why I'm not hitting the marks any more. Or, I should say, why I'm not trying to hit those marks.
What I do know is that I'm happier, life-wise, than I've ever been. And I love that. I love my life, my career, my wonderful sweetie, our lives together. I honestly have a strong sense of calm and satisfaction when I think about my life.
If I'm so happy with everything else - the important things in life, maybe those mileage goals just don't matter to me anymore? It's a strange thing for me, who's always been driven by goals, track-able things with charts and graphs, to face. I love coming up with a big goal or project and breaking it down into manageable, achievable parts.
So, here I am on New Year's Day, thinking about the upcoming year and the best way to line up my goals. Again. But this year I'm going to try it a little differently.
I'm not going to create my usual checklist of things to do this year. Instead, I'm going to focus on some things I'd like to improve - both for running/riding, but mostly in life.
And this year I'm going to forget about that whole year thing. I'm only focusing on one quarter at a time (I guess that corporate world is rubbing off on me). I'll get through the first quarter of the year, then assess how I've done and adjust, add, edit and delete from as necessary.
That said, here's what I can expect in the first few months of the year.
FITNESS & HEALTH. Instead of specific mileage or pace goals or races on the calendar, I've made a commitment to get fitter. At this point in my life, it means dropping some of the pounds that have added up over the past couple of years. (Hmmm, correlation between not hitting my running/riding goals and added pounds?) In my last post, I declared that I wanted to drop 26.2 pounds - because, hey, I like when I can tie numbers to things. This somehow seemed appropriate. I started this very, very slowly, cutting back on portion sizes and passing on the drinks with dinner. I dropped five pounds, but after a week or so of vacation (and dinners out at fantastic restaurants and, basically, too much holiday cheer), I definitely need to get back on it. I met with a personal trainer and talked about my goal(s). I have my first session on Friday. Yikes!?
BE IN THE MOMENT. I've often prided myself on my ability to multi-task. But even good things can go too far. I've noticed, more and more often, that I'm always trying to do two things (or more!) at once. And, with my attention divided, I often end up missing the moment I'm in. No, I don't need to answer emails while I'm on a conference call. No, I don't need to scroll through Facebook while watching television or check my phone while someone's talking to me. Maybe I'll even just drive during my commute, instead of always using it to return phone calls. It sounds simple enough, but this one with be a tough one for me.
DOLLARS & CENTS. I made good - no, great! - strides in the finances department in 2012. I hit my goal, and then some, to reduce my debt by half. I'm so close to being debt-free that I can taste it. I'll continue to consciously chip away at it and enjoy the light at the end of the tunnel. Along those lines, I think the first part of the year is a good time to focus on finances, in general. Saving a little here, a little there will go a long way to helping us with some of the big plans we have this year.
MISCELLANEOUS STUFF. Remember that morning workouts are a good thing. Keep up with weekly running dates with my running buddy. Be aware of my posture and sit up straight. Don't text and drive. See friends and family. Work hard. Do things outside. Write more. Just enjoy life. Oh, and do some thinking about why those goals for the past two years didn't work.