One question a lot of people ask at the beginning of each year is what are your New Year's Resolutions? I have always been very hesitant to say or even make resolutions in the past because I wasn't sure what that meant exactly, or how to measure them. Resolutions are commitments that we make to ourselves or others and I guess that isn't something I have taken too seriously in the past. There really aren't any good ways to measure commitments or any plans to follow. I mean you commit to marriage but how do you measure that? What kind of plan do you make to get there? It is very ambiguous and hard to make that a measurable thing. So, I guess I have always been more prone to making goals. These I understand and I know how to measure. I can make a plan to get to an end result. I need that measurement or objectivity in my life.
One of the definitions of commitment is: the act of binding yourself (intellectually or emotionally) to a course of action. To me, this implies something ongoing, long-term, something that you have made a promise to see through. After reflecting a bit on this, I do have a few of these already: I have committed to the life of a triathlete, I have committed to being a physical therapist, I have committed to being a good daughter/family member, I have committed to being a good friend and I have commited to being the President of the Central Ohio Triathlon Club. I have not, as of yet, committed to being married or being a parent. Both scare the shit out of me,to be honest, and those are both commitments I am not ready to make yet. I think the biggest commitment I need to make this year is to myself. I need to work on finding balance in myself both physically and mentally. And to do that, I need to commit to myself, because if I don't learn to find that balance, it is going to be difficult to continue to uphold those other commitments I have already made. I think too many times I put everything else first before my own needs and I have fallen into some bad habbits... not enough sleep, poor diet, not managing my stress very well, poor financial management, disappointment in myself, and guilt for not doing the right things. I haven't quite figured out how do this yet, but am definitely open to suggestions. I do think this is a pretty good summary though, of some things I need to do more of in the coming year (I also think these are common for many people):
In order to make these more of a reality, I have developed a few goals for these (and am still working on goals for the others). I think that is one of the problems with many people's resolutions is that they don't make them measurable or set up a way to be accountable to their resolutions. My hope is that by establishing some goals, that it will help me to be more accountable and thereby actually stay on course with these resolutions.
1) Drink Less - drink less what? This really could mean anything. Most probably mean alcohol. But I think this could also apply to artificial, sugar laden drinks as well. In my case, there are two I need to consume less of...alcohol and mocha's. Both are full of extra "empty" calories and are probably both contributing to the weight gain I have had since IMMT (at the start of January I topped the scale at 152 lbs, which is the heaviest I have ever been). My long term goal would be to eliminate mocha's entirely from my diet, or at the very least have only a very occasional one. And alcohol I would like to decrease to minimal to moderate consumption (for women this means 1-2 servings of a beverage on a daily basis). So here is what my plan would look like:
- Decrease mocha's:
- LTG: in the next year, decrease consumption to 1-2 per month
- STG: in the next 10 weeks, decrease to 1 mocha per week
- Decrease alcohol:
- LTG: in the next year decrease consumption to less than 2-3 drinks per week.
- STG: in the next 10 weeks decrease consumption to less than 3 drinks per week.
2) Exercise: This one is easy for me, as I actually like to exercise. It is rare for me to miss a workout. But, I think in my case I need to include strength training in the exercise regime.
- Incorporate strength training into exercise:
- LTG: 1-2 strength training workouts each week for the entire year (this will ebb and flow depending on where I am in Ironman training - during the peak phase of this training I would ideally shoot for at least 1 per week, during all other phases 1-2 x week).
- STG: incorporate 2 strength training sessions per week over the next 10 weeks
- Train for and complete the following races:
- Key West Half Marathon (1/18/2015)
- OSU Indoor Tri (2/1/2015 - possible)
- Flying Pig Half Marathon (5/3/2015)
- Olympic Triathlon (Deer Creek - 1/7/2015 - tentative)
- Garrett County Gran Fondo (6/27/2015 - tentative)
- Half Ironman/70.3 distance (Muncie 7/11/2015 tentative)
- Ironman Chattanooga (9/27/2015)
3) Be more organized - this is a work in progress, I have no idea how to even start writing a goal for this one...will have to come back to it.
4) Lose weight - this can be a tough one as I think a heavier weight is ok as long as the mix of fat/muscle is a good ratio. I am unsure exactly what this best mix is for me, but I am meeting with my strength/nutrition coach this week to determine that more for me. But I do know at the end of last year, my fat was at 30% body weight, ideally I would like to reduce this by 10%. Muscle mass/bone mass I would like to increase, but no idea what is good for me....so this goal will be a work in progress as well.
5) Be more positive - This can be a challenging one, but I know I need to do something about this. Although everything may seem like my life is perfect and really happy on FB and other public sites, it isn't. I am definitely one that internalizes my negative thoughts (and I have a lot of them) rather than shout them out to the world. Self confidence has been a challenge for me, most of my life. And over time this wears me down for sure. I have already made some steps in trying to be more positive in my life. I don't have these broken down into short and long term goals, but with the help of a friend, I have come up with 3 things I need to write down and/or identify on a daily basis:
- List out at least one good thing that has happened that day.
- List out one thing that I am looking forward to the next day.
- Identify any negative self talk/negative thoughts and share them with a friend/family member so that I don't continue to internalize these (mostly) irrational thoughts.
Right now, I have a few people that will help me to be accountable to these statements. And vice versa, I think this is something we can all do for each other. I believe most people have their own "self demons" and being able to talk about these with at least one other trusted person to help rationalize things is likely more helpful than internalizing and letting the thoughts grow and become self destructive. Also, looking for more good/positive things in life can help to balance the more negative ones.
6) Spend Less Money - this is another one that will be a work in progress. But I do have a large amount of debt that I need to get rid of this year. First step will be meeting with my financial advisor to come up with a plan. So no short term/long term goals yet....right now my goal is to set up a meeting, ASAP. But I know I can start with some small things, which will also help out with my weight and drink less goals as well... eat out less (right now goal is no more than 1 x week unless I am traveling), limit mocha/coffee drinks, limit alcohol. I also know that I only have about 6 car payments left, so that should help as well.
I think this year I have my work cut out for me. But I feel good that I am starting to get some planning into place. Overall, I hope that by the end of the year I can feel more balanced in my life overall. In doing so, I hope that I will feel healthier in both mind and body. Only time will tell if I am on the right track this year...