Every year I “unofficially” make New Year’s resolutions and try to stick to them as best I can. I don’t really like that people use January 1st as an excuse to make changes, but I can’t argue that it naturally does feel like a clean slate. I used to make nebulous, impossible-to-achieve goals like, “lose weight” or “get back in the dating world,” but now I know that “goals” like that just set me up for failure and disappointment, so I’m trying to stick to more tangible, realistic ones. The bigger, overarching goals are in bold and the smaller objectives are in italics. I wrote most of this a couple days ago and have gone back and chopped it to bits and spliced it back together. Hopefully it’s somewhat coherent still…
- Last year I made one resolution that I stuck to very diligently for awhile, then kept revisiting sporadically throughout the year: Improve my posture. I tend to slouch when sitting and bow my back when standing. Not only does poor posture set me up for problems later in life, but it makes you look fatter (to be completely shallow yet truthful). So when I’m sitting or standing, I just need to mentally check my alignment and adjust accordingly. I do it every so often anyway, but it needs to be done more frequently. Along with poor posture comes my next goal…
- Improve my core strength. I recently sustained an injury while coughing – don’t laugh. I’m worried it’s the beginning of a hernia, and I NEEEEED to work out my abs to prevent it from turning into one. I had hernia surgery when I was 2 or 3, and I’m paranoid it could happen again. Since my violent coughing fit, every so often I’ll get this wicked twinge of pain in the same spot that makes me double over. Not good. I’m going to ask my lady-doctor to make sure it’s nothing seriously reproductively wrong, but I’m fairly certain it’s muscular. Also, my lower back KILLS me after standing for too long. I have such a weak back, I’m surprised I haven’t sustained a bad injury thus far. I need to strengthen my abs and back to not only support my body itself, but to allow me to do fun active things. I’m generally leery of joining bloggers’ challenges because 1) I hate doing something just because everyone else is, and 2) I hate setting myself up for embarrassment when I can’t keep up with a public challenge (it’s a vicious cycle), but maybe I’ll look into Angela’s Whittle My Middle challenge. Bottom line is, I need to get a routine down. In college, my boyfriend and I would do 100 crunches on our dorm floor before bed every night, and even that one limited activity made a big difference at the time.
- One goal that’s slightly nebulous and definitely gets me down on an hourly basis is get a damn job. I’ve slacked off lately on looking due to holiday busy-ness, but I have to get back to it for my sanity and overall health. Oh, and there’s that whole thing about having security and a place of my own and a bright future and maybe attracting a mate and being able to have friends over and do social things and…all these things that are making me depressed right now because I can’t do them. I’m just so scared that because I haven’t had a job in a year, I’m shooting myself in the foot. Nobody wants to hire someone who’s been a professional “housedaughter,” no matter how many productive things I’ve done while in that role. I’ll need to look beyond what I’m comfortable looking for. If this means looking at jobs I might not be happy doing or moving a bit farther than I wanted to originally, I’ll have to suck it up and try it.
- My next goal is to strengthen my lower legs so I can have a shot in hell at running again, and subsequently run a 5K. I could aim for a higher distance, but I’d like to be realistic and safe for now. My shin splints got the best of me in 2009, but I’m so proud to have made it through 2/3 of the C25K running program before I absolutely could go no further. I can tell my lower legs need some more oompf because 1) those pesky shin splints, and 2) I feel shaky in heels. I want to wear high-heeled shoes more because I really like how my lower legs look, and heels are more feminine (y’all might recall I have issues with feeling I appear masculine). I’ve had several rolled ankle injuries while wearing heels, and building muscle in those areas should help, right? I hope. For this goal and the next two, I need to get back to the gym and work on the machines, and when I don’t make it there, I need to bust out my fitness DVDs and Wii programs. At some point I need to start C25K again, but I’m not sure when I’ll know it’s safe to start. The last time I had to stop, I said I’d try again when I lost 50lbs. I’ve got about 25 more to go according to that plan, so we’ll see.
- Following legs, I need to strengthen my upper arms. This has always been one of my flabbiest parts, and I hate feeling weak there. I want to rock strapless dresses along with sleeveless tops and cap sleeves – all things I avoid like the plague now. With all these strength goals, I should just say “strengthen all over.” Weight loss is great, but if you’re not toned, you’re just a walking bag of skin. I’m really looking forward to being lighter on the scale and looking better in clothes, but I want to look FIT and not be “skinny fat.” Last time I lost a bunch of weight, I definitely classified as “skinny fat.” I was on the high school dance team and would get so winded after one number, that I almost hurled once during a competition after pushing myself too hard. I’m not saying I’m going to join any dance troupes, but I’d like to be able to hold my own in a fitness class or go for a run with a friend without having to stop and dry heave in the bushes. To help strengthen my arms, I can do DVDs and Wii games, work with free weights and machines at the Y, my medicine ball, my resistance bands…I’ve got tons of things at my fingertips; I just need to use them!
- These are all kind of running together, but I need to work out more, period. If that means going for a 20-minute walk or doing a 60-minute gym session, I need to move more and make it a daily habit. Right now it feels like a chore, and if I have any hope in keeping this weight off, I’ll learn to exercise more and
liketolerate it. As a matter of fact, this one goal is what I’m using for my Ten in 10 Challenge – I want to use the first 10 weeks of 2010 to build a habit of exercise. Like I said in #4, I can go to the Y, I can do a DVD or Wii game, I could go for a bike ride or walk or jog. I can do anything as long as I move with purpose.
- PRACTICE YOGA AGAIN. I could tell a difference with my stress level, my body consciousness, and my overall body and mind conditions when I was doing yoga regularly. I’ll start out by attempting 2 hours a week. It can be a podcast, a DVD, a CD, Wii, or even a series of sun salutations done in a quiet room. I just need to center myself and focus on my body and mind instead of always being so scatterbrained and feeling absent.
- Finish my current diet and return to normal eating. When I “graduate” the program, I want to keep eating more whole, clean foods. I know that a huge part of how I felt and my inability to lose weight were due to my intake of overprocessed foods.
- Moving away from fitness stuff, I’d like to stay in better touch with my friends and family. I make this resolution every year and have never been able to stick with it. As it is right now, I get an email, put it on the backburner, and forget about it. I see that a birthday is coming up, make a mental note to send a card, and lose that mental note. I attend a family or friend gathering, realize how blessed I am to have such amazing people in my life, vow to stay in better touch, and then fall off the wagon. A big part of why I’m nervous about applying for jobs is that I’ve lost touch with my old bosses and co-workers. I need to suck it up and drop an email just saying “hey, how’s it going?” before employers start contacting them as references. It will look pretty bad when they say “she was a good employee, but she’s dropped off the face of the earth.” I need to stop inadvertently burning bridges by ceasing to maintain them. So, measurable tasks I can perform to reach this goal are sending birthday cards to friends and family, New Year cards or something similar to former co-workers and bosses, and dropping more emails/Facebook correspondence.
- Similarly, I need to be a better blog commenter. I spread myself too thin, and every time I find someone interesting on Twitter or get a comment on my own blog, I add them to Google Reader. I need to learn that I just can’t keep up with everyone, no matter how much I might want to. I gloss over waaaay too many posts in favor of decreasing my “unread” number, so I need to go through and weed out those blogs that I don’t honestly value as much. There are several ladies who are very dear to me in the blogging world, and I need to make sure I maintain those relationships. These are the gals I’d first seek out if I ever made it to a blogging conference because of how they’ve supported me, and I value their opinions – and dare I say friendships? – very highly. I need to make sure I offer them my support in return. Over the next few days I’ll scrutinize my blogroll and drop people I really don’t need to be following, as well as whittle down my non-health blogs.
- I need to keep better records and organize my life. Gosh, that’s a doozie. When I have important receipts, medical records, etc., I need to keep them all in the same place. I was pretty good about doing this when I had my own place, but I’ve gotten out of the habit. I might’ve mentioned this before, but I’m OBSESSED with day planners, organizers, journals, and the like. I buy them compulsively thinking “this is the one I will keep up with! This is my fresh start!” Then after a short while, it falls by the wayside and I feel like a failure all over again. Right now I have an old-school paper planner, my Blackberry, and Google Calendars. I need to figure out a system to sync them all or just keep one. This is such a compulsive, deeply-ingrained habit, I’m not expecting it to improve over a few weeks. I just need to start practicing better skills so they’ll hopefully replace the bad ones. First off, I’m going to bring my file box back where I can see it and can access my records more easily. As far as keeping my schedule up to date, I’ll have to try on a few different strategies before I find the one that fits. The best I can hope for now is that I keep up the attempt to organize myself without just giving up.
- I’d like to say I will volunteer my time to a charity or community organization, but this one scares the crap out of me – I’m such a wuss and wouldn’t want to do this alone! I can look for bigger public volunteer events around town that I can help out in at first, but one day I’d like to be one of those people who volunteers one day a week somewhere, or at least on a semi-regular basis.
- Finish and launch my Etsy site. This seemingly easy task will take some research and some time. I need to develop a cohesive design scheme for business cards, labels, etc. before I can sell anything. I also want to check on business licenses in our state…I don’t know what the rules are about how much you can sell before you’re required to have one. All it will take is some time, but I need to spare it and commit it first. This will be easier when I organize my life (as seen in #11 )
That’s all I can think of for now (ha, as if I really need to pile more on my plate). I haven’t gotten a big wall calendar yet for 2010, but I think I’ve come up with a plan. I’ll go find one this weekend along with some of those old-school foil star stickers. For every X, Y, or Z I do in a day, I’ll get a certain colored star. After I’ve accumulated a number of stars, I can redeem a reward. It’s a very “get your child to do their chores” approach, but it might make me keep up with it. Especially if the calendar is suction-cupped to my bathroom mirror and there’s a list of goals right next to it. Hmm…stay tuned to see how this pans out.
What do you want to work on in 2010? Or do you think New Year’s Resolutions are just rubbish?