At the beginning of 2011, I made three resolutions for the year: (1) becoming fitter, faster, and stronger; (2) doing five things from my “101 things in 1001 days” list each month; and (3) leave my work at the office. I kicked #3’s butt… seriously, even though things were CRAZY for so much of this year, I did a really great job of leaving my worries about work behind as soon as I left the office. The impact this has had on my stress and anxiety levels is amazing. I don’t know what it was about just saying that I wasn’t going to fret about work outside of the office that made it happen, but I’m so glad it did.
As for #1, I definitely became faster, setting a PR in each race distance except the 10K, but I’m not fitter (in fact, I’ve probably gained about 3-5 pounds over the course of the year) and probably not any stronger.
And #2? HAHAHAHA! Um, yeah… it is going to be VERY unlikely that I finish all 101 things by March of next year, but I did probably accomplish more things on that list this year than I would have without this goal.
By this point in the year, I usually have not only completely given up on my resolutions, but I figure I’ll just wait until January, then come up with a few more yearly resolutions for the next year… which I’ll probably abandon halfway through the year, and then not set any real goals for myself until the following January, and so on and so on.
I’m changing it up this time around. I’ve decided that I’m going to set monthly goals in 2012. I’ll probably aim for four goals a month, but maybe some months it’ll be three. Or five. Who knows?! It’s all in the spirit of realizing that the things I thought I wanted to change/accomplish in January might not matter as much in December and I need to roll with the punches, rather than roll over and give up and feel like a failure if I end up not actually caring about accomplishing a goal I randomly set 10 months ago. (Example: I was really beating myself up for not setting a PR in the 10K distance and even signed up to run one the day after our anniversary, which would have meant not really enjoying our anniversary dinner, until I snapped out of it and was like, Hey lady! You set FOUR other PRs this year, including kicking serious ass in the half marathon! GET OVER IT.)
And in that same spirit, why wait around until January? I’m going to set four December goals right now.
1. Work out 4 times a week. I have totally fallen off the workout-wagon these past few months. The biggest motivator right now? The commute home from work is TERRIBLE, so heading to the gym right after work gives me a way to miss the worst of rush hour. Might as well spend that hour in the gym rather than sitting in traffic, right? (Of course, that didn’t apply to tonight, when I had to do actual work until 6:30, and therefore missed the 5:30 class I planned to attend.)
2. Bake three types of Christmas cookies. I love, love, love baking, but this is the only time of year where I really let myself bake just for fun (and not just for a party or birthday). All the more reason to keep up with goal #1. (Related – would anyone be interested in doing some sort of “virtual cookie swap” if I were to come up with something? No actual treats mailed swapped, more like a link exchange with recipes and ideas? Let me know!)
3. Be in bed by 10pm on “school nights.” This might not mean falling asleep by 10pm (I rarely fall asleep soon after hitting the pillow), but I’m hoping that getting to bed earlier will lead to falling asleep earlier will lead to getting up earlier, which may, at some point, lead to me being a morning workout person.
4. Do LAPS – 10 lunges, 10 abs (crunches), 10 push-ups, 10 squats – every day. Small steps add up, right? Even if I get in no other exercise all day, this is SO easy to do before bed. I’ve been doing this for almost two weeks now and only missed one day (just did double the next day). Shout out to Caitlin for this idea!
See? Four small goals. Seems pretty doable. And if I don’t meet any of them, I get a do-over in just 31 short days.