Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Smell that?

It is the new year smell! It smells of hope, possibility, wonder and so much more!

If it is the new year then it must be time for all those New Year Resolutions to start. I know resolutions get a bad rap. I mean how many of us have set them only to fail before February. In fact, in my youth, the only person I knew that could keep a resolution was my little brother, who often resolved to never eat strawberry ice cream (for the record, he HATED strawberry ice cream).

For many years, I scoffed at the idea of resolutions but lately I have actually set a few and always seem to fail at keeping them.

This year, however, I am taking a fresh look at how I set resolutions. I am going to think of them more as goals than resolutions. I am going to follow principles we do when setting objectives at work. Namely, the goal must be a) written, b) challenging, c) believable, d) specific, e) measureable, and f) have a specific deadline. I am adding to this list that it should be g) communicated to friends and h) have a plan for accountability.

So, what are my goals for 2012 and how will they differ from prior goals? First, I have always set that "lose ## pounds by the end of the year" resolution. This year, I am not doing that. My goal regarding weight loss is to NOT be wearing the same jeans I have on today at the end of the year, that the jeans will be too big to wear before the end of the year.

Rather than setting up a goal to "exercise x times a week", I have a couple of things I would like to be able to do before the end of the year -- 1. 10 full push ups without stopping and with good form (not girl push ups but full push ups), 2. be able to one-hand press a 45-pound kettlebell at least five times with each arm ( I can currently press a 35-pound kettlebell), 3. attempt burpees by the end of year (for some reason, this exercise intimidates me but I want to get over it and attempt to do them by the end of the year). Also, I want to find an event and train for it each quarter. My first quarter event will be the Republic Plaza stair climb. I will find a second quarter event in the next couple of weeks so that I am ready to train.

Of course, next up would be my diet and how that should be improve. My first goal is this 10 day detox that I will be starting January 2nd. After that, I will be focusing on clean eating. Now, what would be good goals to set here? 1. Log food so I can review periodically what I am eating, 2. Menu plan with Tim for the week so we can minimize the quick fixes for dinner...these goals will need a bit more work. I will revisit them during my 10 day detox to establish better goals.

Now for ideas on things I can do to help alleviate stress and such. First, I am going to stop stressing over the fact that I really do not like yoga. I always think I should try it gain and get into a routine of yoga but honestly I don't like it. I will however plan on using swimming as a method of relaxation. I love to swim but lately have not done enough of it. I am going to strive to swim once a week, even if it is only for 20 minutes just for the stress relief.

I am going to read less fluff this year. I have started to read more but unfortunately more brain candy and not very challenging. I keep saying that I am going to get back to reading some of the classics but never get around to it. This year, I am going to resolve to read two classic novels, one that I have read in the past and one that I have not yet read. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know. I will let you all know what books I pick at some point during the year.

I also know it is important to surround yourself with people that help you be a better you. To that end, I would like to keep in touch with those people that are important to me. For this, my goals is to write actual physical letters (you know, the kind that costs you 44 cents to mail), at least one a month. I will somewhat randomly pick someone to write this letter to and do it.

The last area I would like to touch is creativity. In the past, I have resolved to create art throughout the year. I always have a lot of pressure on myself to get in touch with that part of my brain. This year I am going to relax about it all. I am going to spend more time viewing art, more visits to the art museums and such but other than that I do not think I am going to set a goal for this area of my life. I am going to let it be more organic and create when I want to create.

I do intend on blogging this year. Yes, I know I tried that in the past and was not very successful but I think I am ready to do it this year. This blog is my method of communicating my goals with my friends and acquaintances. It is my way to remain accountable. I encourage you to find people that can help you and keep you accountable. I also ask that if you are reading this that you help me. Feel free to comment, email, etc. to keep me on task. I am also going to be asking a few of you out there to encourage me along the way and I will encourage you as well. If you would like to communicate your goals to me as well, I am willing to hold you accountable to the best of my ability.

Here wishing a Happy New Year and a wonderful 2012 to you all.

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