Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2011 Goals

Let me just start by saying that it becomes apparent that I have problems when my goals for 2011 are organized into categories for "ease of use". Seriously. I need help. Really though, I kind of have an excuse, which is that I already set goals for myself specifically related to health, so it seems easy enough to keep those and then round out the list. Right? Yeah, not too convincing, I know.

* Become a mindless Clean Eater -- I've been a sort-of-Clean-Eater for a couple of years now, but in November I decided that it can't be a half & half thing. I'm been about 95% clean over the past 7 weeks, and that includes Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas and New Years. In 2011, I'm hoping that I can transition from eating clean because I carefully plan, consider, etc. to eating clean because it's what I am used to and I know my body likes it!

* Complete the workouts in The New Rules of Lifting for Women in their entirity.  The workouts are designed to span 6-8 months, so this is a long term commitment.  I'm about 6 weeks in now.  "Put down those Barbie weights!" Secondary goal here: complete at least 1 unassisted pull-up.

* Train for and survive the Ragnar Relay - Northwest Passage in July.  Hopefully our first team planning meeting will happen in the next few weeks! For me, this will mean completing 3 runs over a 24 hour period at any hour of the night on probably know sleep, with each run being between 3-6 miles. Considering the furthest I've ever run at one time at this point is 3.5 miles, I have a good amount of training to do this spring/summer!

* Run the 10K at Fall Fest this year. It will be my first 10K.  Also, improve my 5K time to break 30 minutes.


* Start to say no. Or, I could also call this: simplify my life.  Instead of having a job where I have a continuum of tasks or a handy "to do" list, which is what I prefer, I currently have my hand in many, MANY things at my daughter's school and our church. When you try to list all of the volunteer things you are responsible for and can't remember them all to list them, that means there are too many. And the problem is my fault because I don't say no. I think this might actually change this year because usually my reasoning is, "I should help with this because I have time and can do it." But now the reasoning is tipping towards, "I would like to help with this but don't have enough time or concentration to even remember that I am committing to it." Yikes.

* Be less hard on myself. Sometimes it's ok to not finish something or to do "just enough". I know this, but need to remember it and believe it.

* Read 52 books and finish my "10 to read in 2011" challenge! Right now I'm reading Anna Karenina and it is slowly grinding my reading life to a halt. Let's just say I'm going to have a lot of reading to do to make up lost time on the "52 books" goal.

* Get back to Chicago to see family. I haven't been "home" since 2004. It's been a long time. This goal may be unattainable because the primary problem has been financial and, as I learned with last year's goals, "goaling" for more money doesn't really cut it! =) But, it's something I'd like to do, so it's listed here.

* Family trips to 2 previously unexplored places. I'm not talking about shopping at Albertsons instead of Yokes. I mean "vacations" or day trips that will be real experiences for our family.

Happy New Year everybody!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Blessings & 2010

2010 was a rough year for a lot of people.  Even our Pastor, in his weekly newsletter, commented on how difficult 2010 was for many of the people in our church family.  With the economy struggling, there are so many people stuggling financially.  It seems like 2010 was a "bad year" for health as well. Eric and I both had family members diagnosed with and/or being treated for cancer in 2010, as well as friends stuggling with cancer or other long term illnesses.  Eric's sister struggled through a difficult, high risk pregnancy, resulting in the birth of her beautiful daughter, who spent about a month in the NICU before going home at the close of 2010.  Most people we know, ourselves included, are too busy, a little (or a lot) too stressed, tired, etc.

I am not a "New Years" fan. I am not big into resolutions, though I like reflecting back on the past year.  I don't like fireworks or the anti-climactic nature of "the ball dropping". I don't like waking up throughout the night because some idiots in my neighborhood decide to set off fireworks at times when any normal person should be sleeping (even on New Years Eve). 

I noticed on facebook in the past few days that many of my FB friends are sharing thoughts on their 2010. Quite a few view 2010 with "good riddance" in hopes of a better 2011. I guess I can't blame them if they've had the kind of year I described up above.

But I had a thought this morning about 2010 and looking ahead to 2011. I think it's perfectly natural to wish for "the best" for this upcoming year. To hope that it is an improvement over the previous year in a "I hope life just gets better and better" sort of way. But, I think it's also important to think about the blessings of our year.

God's blessings in 2010 were not just the "good" things that happened to us.  We can't thank God for joys and plenty, but get grumpy about things happening that we didn't want or don't understand.  If you are reading this post, you join me in the group of people who were blessed with an entire year of living in 2010. A year of relationships, growth, experience. Maybe not all of the details are what we would have chosen for ourselves, but they were all blessings just the same, whether we SEE the blessing right now or not. 

So, I thank God this morning for the blessing of 2010. I thank God that even though not everything that happened in the past year was easy or understandable, He blessed me and those I love in innumerable ways. I look forward to 2011 and the relationship, growth and experiences it holds for all of us.