My 2017 Goals: Check-In #2

Some people are motivated by rewards. Some people are motivated by fear. Others are internally motivated. Me? I’m motivated by public shame. I do not want to be embarrassed, and that’s what typically gives me the push I need complete things.

It helped keep me focused when I trained for two marathons in my younger years. I joined Team in Training, which, in exchange for participants raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, provides coaching, support, and organized, group training runs. Those group runs were critical for me – in particular the weekly “long runs.” Knowing that I would be running 16 miles with a group on Saturday, helped keep me motivated to train on my own throughout the week. I knew I’d never be the first, but I really did not want to be the last person to finish the long runs.

What does this have to do with my 2017 goals? I’m going to use this motivation to help keep me on track with my goals. I’ll be sharing monthly check-ins on my progress to keep me focused, and as a form of accountability.

2017 Check-In #2

(You can read more detailed descriptions of each of my goals here.)

Goal #1: Read at least 24 books that I truly want to read.

In February, I finished reading The House of The Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsars, and read The Case Against Sugar. Neither one of them was exactly a page-turner, so I’m looking forward to reading some fiction in March. This brings my total number of books read in 2017 to four. You can see all of my 2017 reads – current, past, and future – here.

Goal #2: Try at least three new (to me) activities, preferably active ones.

In February, I tried something I’ve been really looking forward to trying – and it was a big disappointment. On an unseasonably warm Sunday, I brought dragged my husband and daughter to Spa State Park to try snowshoeing. We rented snowshoes, strapped them on, and returned them ten minutes later. It was almost 60 degrees out, and the snow was more like thick slush. I’m guessing these are not ideal conditions for snowshoeing, and we certainly felt it. I also just didn’t get the point; I didn’t feel like I was doing anything that I couldn’t do in just my snow boots. My husband thinks snowshoeing is better for walking on thick snow, without sinking in. That sounds plausible to me, but I don’t have a burning desire to try again. (Please enlighten me if you’re more of a snowshoeing aficionado than I am.)

Goal #3: Run at least three 5K races.

No progress here.

Goal #4: Find a way to dread meal planning/cooking less.

I’m trying something new here this week. I had a $40 credit from Blue Apron, and I decided to give it a shot. I still have to do the cooking, but the this eliminates my search for recipes and some of my grocery shopping. I believe my trial recipes are cod and tomato stew, and some sort of pork chop thing.

How are you doing with your 2017 goals/resolution?

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My 2017 Goals: Check-In #1

Some people are motivated by rewards. Some people are motivated by fear. Others are internally motivated. Me? I’m motivated by public shame. I do not want to be embarrassed, and that’s what typically gives me the push I need complete things.

It helped keep me focused when I trained for two marathons in my younger years. I joined Team in Training, which, in exchange for participants raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, provides coaching, support, and organized, group training runs. Those group runs were critical for me – in particular the weekly “long runs.” Knowing that I would be running 16 miles with a group on Saturday, helped keep me motivated to train on my own throughout the week. I knew I’d never be the first, but I really did not want to be the last person to finish the long runs.

What does this have to do with my 2017 goals? I’m going to use it to help keep me on track with my goals. I’ll be sharing monthly check-ins on my progress to keep me focused, and as a form of accountability.

Check-In #1

(You can read more detailed descriptions of each of my goals here.)

Read at least 24 books that I truly want to read. In January, I read 2.75 books. I completed Lilac Girls, and I Am Not Myself These Days, and nearly finished The House of The Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsars. I also created this page to track my 2017 reads – current, past, and future.

Try at least three new (to me) activities, preferably active ones. I didn’t actually try any new activities in January, but I looked at the group fitness class offerings at my local YMCA, and got some great ideas. I’m particularly interested in spinning, “Strength Train Together”, and “Zen Sculpt.” I’m currently very out-of-shape, so I need some time to get into better shape, before subjecting myself to the public humiliation of a group fitness class!

Run at least three 5K races. No progress here.

Find a way to dread meal planning/cooking less. I’ve been working more days per week than usual this winter, which means meal planning has been particularly important. My clear reliance on it helped me dread it a bit less in January, but I can’t say the same about cooking. I never enjoy cooking, and I’m even less enthusiastic about it after having spent the day at work.

How are you doing with your 2017 goals/resolution?

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My Goals for 2017

For many years, I didn’t make New Years’ resolutions, because, who keeps those things?? Most people – and I’m looking in the mirror here – have completely forgotten their resolutions by the time spring rolls around. But a couple of years ago, I came across a quote that was something like, “Without a plan for where you’re going, you guarantee that you won’t get anywhere.” It made me realize that while I might not achieve everything I set out to in a given year, if I don’t at least set some goals and track my progress, I probably won’t accomplish much, if anything.

Some people set an actual resolution, some people choose a word or a phrase to serve as a theme for the year, and others set some number of goals to strive toward. I’m going with the latter.

My Goals for 2017

Read at least 24 books that I truly want to read. I have a habit of sometimes choosing books I feel like I should read, or I should want to read, rather than ones that I really and truly want to read. Not this year. In 2017, I’m choosing only books that I’m excited to read! To add some fun and jumpstart book ideas, I’m participating in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2017 Reading Challenge. I chose the “put the oomph back in your reading life” option. (Read more about my reading style here, and track my progress toward this goal here.)

Try at least three new (to me) activities, preferably active ones. As someone who almost always chooses the familiar over the new, this one is a little anxiety-inducing. However, I recognize that it’s important both mentally and physically to challenge myself and develop new skills. I’ve been wanting to try snowshoeing for a couple of years now, so here’s my motivation. Also, group exercise classes terrify me, but there are lots of great options at my local YMCA. (And they would certainly help with my next goal…)

Run at least three 5K races. I pretty much took an exercise vacation in 2016 – with the exception of a late summer and early fall walking streak – and it shows. How? (1) At my annual physical in November, my doctor said I’m “not overweight”, but my weight has been increasing since 2012, a trend she called “concerning”, and (2) After I haul our trash and recycling cans up our driveway for the weekly pick-up, I find myself panting like I just ran a 10-yard dash. There are numberous 5K races in my area throughout the warmer months, and they’ll be a good source of motivation for me.

Find a way to dread meal planning/cooking less. If you’ve read any of my meal plan posts, (recent ones can be found here, here, and here), you know that I’m a fan of neither meal planning, nor cooking. However, I recognize both as necessary evils, and thus I carry on with them. Since assembling my weekly meal plan literally fills me with dread every Sunday, I need to find a way to make it more tolerable. This could mean following prescribed meal plans, or prepping more meals in advance and freezing them, or hitting the lottery and hiring a personal chef. I plan to try different strategies throughout the year, to hopefully take this task from a two to a seven on the dread-scale, by the end of the year.

Do you set resolutions or goals for the new year? What are you planning to achieve in 2017?

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My Winter Break Goals

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I have a very part-time job. I work a few months at a time, throughout the academic year, as a college career counselor. Since my only job is to meet individually with students, when the demand for student appointments goes down – think final exam weeks – I go on break. I’m off over summers and the college’s winter and spring breaks. While this is not a particularly lucrative work schedule, it comes with tremendous flexibility. I’m able to get my daughter on and off the school bus every day, and I can adjust my work days as needed to accommodate school holidays, half days, and sick days. (Read more about my job here.) For this stage of my life, it’s the perfect position.

In the lead-up to final exams, the demand for student appointments decreases, so my winter break inevitably begins before the students’. Mine started late last week, and I return to work on January 10th. What am I going to do with these two months? Well, there’s the holiday season and all of the school events, celebrations, and preparations that come with this time of year. But that still leaves plenty of unstructured time on my hands. As a person who craves structure, I find it helpful critical to give myself some goals for the next two months. So in addition to the standard holiday preparations, here’s what I plan to accomplish:

  1. Empty, clean, and organize the cabinet under the kitchen sink. This hasn’t been emptied since we moved into our house seven and a half years ago, and it’s jammed full of cleaning supplies, bags, and who-knows-what-else. Frankly, I’m afraid to see what’s back there.
  2. Clean the ovens. Please don’t judge me, but I haven’t thoroughly cleaned the ovens since we moved into the house. (Are you sensing a pattern here?) While we have two, one gets most of the use – and it shows.
  3. Finish my fall reading list. I have two books left – The Power of Habit, and The Mindful Child.
  4. Complete six, small-space organizing projects. There are countless cabinets that have not ben emptied and organized since – you guessed it – we moved into our house, or shortly thereafter. Occasionally I’ll reach into the back of one of them, and I’m surprised – sometimes pleasantly, sometimes not – by what I find.
  5. Try five new baking recipes. Although the holiday baking season is a time for traditions, I regularly come across hundreds of recipes that I would like to try. Now is the time to do it.

When was the last time you scrubbed your oven? Are there any cleaning/organizing projects that terrify you?

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