January Goals

I said in my New Year’s post that rather than making a list of resolutions I was going to make short-term mini goals every month… then my google reader (understandably) exploded with blog post about goals, and I didn’t want to bore y’all with another list.

But now it’s January fifth and I still haven’t written anything and that makes for a crappy start to 2013. Now that I’ve written that completely unnecessary introduction, here is what I plan to do this month: Photo on 1-4-13 at 3.07 AM #5

  • Read every single word of this book: Run Less Run Faster. I’ve pretty much hit the meat and potatoes of it, and I plan to use the training plan from it to train for the Knoxville Marathon.
  • Create an Excel Spreadsheet to track my workouts.
  • Actually use the aforementioned spread sheet.
  • Get my rear in gear and start this training cycle so that I don’t have to be carried off the course on a stretcher (talk about embarrassing).
  • Write two blog posts a week.
  • Give my blog a makeover (I can actually already check this one off- check it out. Cute, right?)

I’m actually really really reallllllly into all these goals. Can’t wait to talk about them again on February first!

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Thoughts on the Upcoming Year

I’m having a hard time getting into the New Year’s spirit this year. Every time I’ve tried to write a post about the upcoming year I feel stressed, overwhelmed, and unmotivated. Normally I’m a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, but right now I just feel grumpy.

I think part of my issue is that 2012 was such a great year for me that I am sad to see it go. Also, I know that 2013 is going to be busy and filled with stress. This time next year I will have submitted PhD applications and I will be anxiously awaiting replies. I will have more responsibility with my research project, I will have proposed my thesis, and be preparing to defend it. In many ways, my career is dependent on my performance in this upcoming year.

In order to avoid sending myself into a panic, rather than making a huge list of resolutions for the entire year. I just want to take things month by month. I’ll make a list of mini goals every month and evaluate them as the year goes on- no pressure.

And now that I’ve written this post, I’ve actually come up with a resolution: Take care of myself. I don’t handle stress as well as I would like. I know that I am a much happier, friendlier, and productive person when I allow myself to relax and not get worked up and upset. I need to keep things in perspective, decide what is most important to me, and not ruminate over whether or not I’ve made the correct decisions.

I know that’s not a S.M.A.R.T. goal at all, but it’s what is in my heart right now. I don’t want for the things that I am passionate about to become stressful burdens; if I don’t put my own well-being first, then I know that is where I’m headed.

Good-Bye 2012! You were great.

Hello 2013! I’m as ready as I will ever be, so you can Bring. It. On.

This picture isn't really from last night, but I am holding a drink, so PRETEND!

This picture isn’t really from last night, but I am holding a drink, so PRETEND!

An Evaluation of 2012 Resolutions

I made a ton of resolutions last December!

  • Run 6 races (that is double the amount that I did last year)-Check
  • Run an entire half marathon without any walk breaks- Negative, I only did one half marathon, and it was with my BFF/ Roomsizzle Kim.
  • Complete a marathon in 5:22:30 or faster (beat my last time by 1 hour)- Did not even attempt another marathon, but I am registered to do one this spring. I hope to accomplish this one in 2013.
  • Run a 5K in less than 30 minutes- Sadly, this is another flop. But I did set a new 5K PR! Run a mile in less than 9 minutes- Did not even attempt it.
  • Complete a 25 day running streak- Running streaks aren’t really my thing.
  • Meet my goal weight and stay there- Y’all know how excited I am to say that I managed to achieve this one.
  • Buy a group fitness class pass and use it- I went a little overboard on the GroupFit. Now I’m actually an INSTRUCTOR!!!
  • Try a hot yoga class- Tried it and loved it.
  • Try a Pilates and spin class- There is not a reason why I can’t check this one off, but I can’t. I just never got around to trying these classes.
  • Swim 450 yards in 10 min. (This is the time requirement for NAUI Dive Master certification)-I think I swam like five times this whole year, so it’s a big NO.
  • Use a system to track my workouts- Nope.
  • Complete a half marathon with my roommate- She was pissy and miserable the entire time, but we finished (barely).
  • Donate a medal to Medals for Mettle- Not yet.
  • Add 10 more reviews to my Book Worm section- Yep
  • Try out and post 12 new recipes- I’m pretty sure I posted ZERO recipes and I think it’s to everyone’s advantage that my blog remains recipe free.
  • Graduate- YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
  • Find a grown up job- I decided to kick it in school a little longer, but I am teaching college classes, so we’re going to count that as a yes.

Some of my goals I crushed. Some of them I failed miserably. The next question becomes, “Was 2012 a successful year?”. My answer would be, “ABSO-freaking-LUTELY!”. The goals that I did not meet don’t even bother me, because they were not that important. I became interested in other things. Failure Schmailure. A lot of super cool stuff went down in 2012. Would I change any of the experiences that I did have in order to say that I posted x number of crappy recipes to my blog? Hmmmmmmm NO. I’m proud of what I did achieve, and I am able to go into 2013 with a clearer vision of who I am, and what I want out of life.

Goal Setting: Creating Quality New Year’s Resolutions

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Goal-setting is a subject that I feel I have become intimate with while studying sport and exercise psychology. I not only learned about it in class, I actually taught strategies for effective goal-setting to my college students and the teenagers participating in the research study that I will be using for my thesis.

With New Year’s Eve quickly approaching I’m sure that many of you will be (or already have been) brainstorming your resolutions for 2013. I know I sure am. Last year, I came up with a laundry list of goals (some I met, some I didn’t). This year, I want to be certain when I publish my 2013 goal list, that I have put plenty of thought into my goals.

Most of us are familiar with the acronym S.M.A.R.T. I do want to mention it because it  is a great starting point when evaluating your goals, but I’ll try not to insult your intelligence.

S-Is your goal SPECIFIC? Goals that are very vague and general are difficult to work towards.

M– Is your goal MEASURABLE? A quality goal is one where you are able to track your progress.

A– What ACTIONS are you going to take to achieve your goal?

R– Is your goal REALISTIC for long term maintenance? We can all make dramatic changes for a limited period of time, but if your goal is long term you want be sure that you will be able to maintain those changes for an extended period.

T- Does your goal have a short-term and long-term TIME FRAME?

In my opinion, one of the most important aspects of a quality goal is not included in the S.M.A.R.T. acronym… How IMPORTANT is your goal to you? An analogy that my mentor uses every time he talks about goal-setting (and I mean Every. Single. Time.) is, “Think about when you were in high school and you were almost ready to get your driver’s license. Remember how excited you were? When you thought about being able to drive yourself, didn’t the hair on the back of your neck stand up?” A goal should have the same effect. Ask yourself, “On a scale from 1-10, how important is your goal to you?” If you did not answer at least an 8, then chances are it’s not all that important. Why waste your time trying to achieve something that doesn’t excite you? Chances are you won’t.

The same 1-10 scale can be used to evaluate how confident you are that you will be able to achieve your goal. Eight is the magic number here too. Remember, if you find that your goal is either too difficult, or too easy, then you always have the option to reevaluate it.

I know that people are in a goal-setting frenzy, and it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement. I hope that these tips can help you to set meaningful, quality goals for yourself that lead to a successful 2013.

Resolution Crunch Time

At the end of 2011 I naively constructed a list of goals that were important to me at the time. Eleven months later they can all be placed into three categories: achieved (such as buy a group fitness pass and use it), not-achievable (such as run a marathon in 5:22:30), and get to work. There are a few goals on my list that I have managed to procrastinate on, but are still do-able. They include:

  • Try a pilates class
  • Try a Spin class
  • Complete a 25 day running streak
  • Run a 5K in less than 30 minutes
  • Run a mile in less than 9 minutes

So we’ll see what happens 🙂

New Month! New Goals!

Holy November!

I feel like the days just get away from me. Grad school is kicking my butt. I’m doing well in all of my classes, but I am having to work REALLY REALLY hard, spend every weekend in the library hard. I feel like I never have enough time get everything accomplished.  I’m pumped about this month. I have several humongous assignments due, but once they are completed and turned in I will feel so much better.

Anyways, It may be a few days late, but lets check in with the goal setting and see how things panned out.

  • Run more often! Twice a week. Ummmm, I did run some, but not as much I would have liked. See above paragraph about how I have been struggling to manage my time.
  • Pack lunch or snacks every single day. This is probably my most important goal. There may have been a couple of days where I forgot to bring food, but overall I am going to call this one a success. I’ve been prepping my lunches every weekend and then all I have to do is grab it in the morning.

  • Eat breakfast– I did a much better job with eating breakfast at the beginning of the month, but this last week was a huge fail. I don’t think I ate it once. I suck. I know.
  • Actually run in some stinking races- I ran in ONE race, and it left me feeling pretty successful, and excited to do some more.
  • Make an appointment with my boss, so that he can give me feedback on the fitness classes I am teaching. Hahaha nope.
  • Do my homework well in advance. This means sooner than the night before it’s due, and definitely not while I’m on my lunch break the day of an assignment’s due date. Overall, I’m going to say that I have done a better job of finishing up my work ahead of time, but there is still room for improvement.
  • Register for another half marathon (or maybe even full marathon) in the upcoming months. Wellllllllllllllllllllllllllll….. This morning I actually registered for (drum roll please) THE KNOXVILLE MARATHON. I have been toying with the idea for a long time (like since the day after I ran the Chicago Marathon in October of 2011) and I am ALL ABOUT IT. I have twenty two weeks to get myself prepared. GAME ON!

November Goals

  • Finish up my mock-thesis and give a baller presentation.
  • Eat breakfast for crying out loud!
  • Continue with lunch packing. Limit going out to eat/ take-out to three times a week. Three times a week is still a lot, but considering I ate sushi pretty much everyday last week, I think I need to start small.
  • Run at least twice a week (That marathon is going to be here before I know it.)
  • Lose the last seven pounds (this would put me at my goal weight!!!!)
  • Get tested for body fat percentage-just out of curiosity.
  • Make an effort to spend more time with friends.

Overall, I’m going to say that October was a success and I am looking forward to all kinds of good stuff in November

October Goals

Happy October!

I haven’t done the whole “Oh it’s a new month! Let’s set some goals and then see which ones I forget about.” thing in a while, but I’m feeling adventurous today. Let’s spice things up and make some freaking goals for the first time in a long time for crying out loud.

  • Run more often! I have been all about some groupfit lately, and that’s awesome! My workouts have been killer! But groupfit does not afford me the same mental rejuvenation that running does, and if there is one thing that I need more of in my life it is mental rejuvenation. Group fitness feels like another obligation- there are people counting on me. While, running is something I do by myself for myself. Oh what’s that you say? That is not a very S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Action Oriented, Realistic and Timely) goal… Well how about run twice a week? Does that work better for ya?
  • Pack lunch or snacks every single day. This is probably my most important goal. It’s even more important than running. I am the queen of not packing anything, ending up starving, and then dropping three bucks in the vending machine halfway through my night class because my growling stomach is a distraction to myself and those surrounding me. It’s a waste of calories, and money. I need to just start carrying healthy food with me at all times.
  • Eat breakfast- uggggghhhh I am an adult. I should know better by now. No. More. Skipping. Breakfast. Coffee does not count as a meal, no matter how much soy milk I put into it.
  • Actually run in some stinking races.
  • Make an appointment with my boss, so that he can give me feedback on the fitness classes I am teaching.
  • Do my homework well in advance. This means sooner than the night before it’s due, and definitely not while I’m on my lunch break the day of an assignment’s due date.
  • Register for another half marathon (or maybe even full marathon) in the upcoming months.

That’s all for now. They seem kind of lame. None of those goals is going to change the order of the universe, but they are all important to me, and hopefully will pave the way for some bigger more exciting goals.