January: And so it begins

Take it from me, it is a a big old bummer to start a new year with a cold.  My head is achy, my throat is achy, and my body is tired.  I had been planning on running today but since this cold was percolating for a while and finally knocked me down today, I decided I might be better off getting some rest (the past few days have been pretty tiring, after all).  I may attempt a yoga practice later, though, and the run will certainly get done tomorrow.  I’m hoping for about 18 miles this week, which means I have 5 to go.  Hopefully I can reach my goal.

Speaking of goals, happy New Year!  Welcome to 2011, everyone.  I hope it will be better than 2010.  This morning I was wondering whether the way you start off the year sets the tone for the rest of it.  Last year at this time I was finishing up my second stay in the hospital, which was followed by my starting an out-patient program.  This year, even though I’m not feeling great physically, I’m in my own home with my fiancé and in a much happier place overall.  I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that this bodes well.

I don’t usually make resolutions for myself, but I do try to set goals for the new year (last year, I didn’t really succeed in accomplishing any of them).  I know these could be considered the same thing, but to me they’re different: I think “resolutions” as a general term has a stigma attached to it and I want to avoid that, and I prefer to think of the small changes I’m making as being ways to build on something that’s already there and not start something entirely new (which is what I tend to associate with resolutions, anyway).  At any rate, to help structure my goals, I set some of them up through Social Workout:

As you can see, they’re a motley bunch, and this doesn’t include everything I hope to do.  Here’s the thing, though: I want to make improvements to different areas of my life, and I’m looking to arrange my goals according to those areas.  You might notice that a lot of these are repeats of or related to goals I already discussed in previous posts.  Well, that’s because I still think they are worthy of pursuit.  Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean I have to be doing all new things, right?

  • Food: Aim for 20 healthy meals in 28 days; maintain a food journal to get an accurate view of what I’m eating in order to combat my tendency to convince myself I’m overeating when I’m not.
  • Home: at least 10 minutes of tidying or work around my apartment every day.
  • Body: Aim for 20 yoga practices in 31 days; 8 glasses of water each day this month; establish a structured and consistent running schedule (I’ve been working on the plan for this for a while, it’s still “to come”); floss at least once a day (I’m so bad about this.  Gross, I know).
  • Mind: see above about yoga practice; expand the Yoga Project and apply its principles to daily life (also in the “to come” category); blog once a day.

At this point I’m not really interested in things like “PR a marathon”, “run X number of races”, etc., because in the past I think I’ve made the mistake of trying to convince myself I’m at that point when I haven’t been.  So this year, and this month especially, is going to initially be about establishing a firm foundation upon which there is plenty of room to build.  I want to revisit these goals each month in order to keep tabs on how things are going, reevaluate if needed, and acknowledge any progress I’ve made.  My hope is that in doing this, I’m setting myself up for success rather than failure.

Do you make resolutions or goals?  How do you structure them, if at all?  Are you successful in meeting your goals?



  1. I always feel a little embarrassed with myself for making resolutions. i don’t normally save them for the New Year; usually, I start off every week with something I am striving for. Lately, I haven’t been very successful at meeting my weekly challenge or resolution and that pretty much sums up how I feel about resolutions overall, which is this: Don’t try to attain something which might be unattainable. Weight loss, which is probably the number one resolution, has to be done at the right place and the right time with the right method. I have had success with weight loss plans but only at certain times. I find I can’t just say, “I’m going on a diet starting now;” the time has to be the right time for the commitment because it IS a big commitment to a very hard core and disciplined eating plan. I just use weight loss as an example because I think it is relevant to a lot of other New Year’s-type resolutions. Well, enough with boring platitudes, etc. just do the best you can do! That’s what it’s all about. Good luck!

  2. Hope you’re feeling better soon! I love, love, love the idea of using the first few months of the year to set a foundation instead of setting ridiculous (and possibly unattainable) goals that are more likely to lead to disappointment than anything else.

    I’m going to do my resolution/goal post tonight 🙂

  3. Hmm… I may have to check out Social Workout now. I like having the little scales for the goals and making the progress a little more tangible. Most of the goals I come up with are probably too broad as opposed to set within certain dates!

  4. Je crois que tout le monde a une relation étrange avec les résolutions. C’est la difficulté à les atteindre qui les rend si peu aimables. Mais se donner des objectifs, ou au moins “rêver” de faire quelque chose, d’avoir des meilleures habitudes, etc., c’est en quelque sorte indispensable. Évidemment, on est toujours trop dur avec soi lorsque vient le temps de se juger par rapport à elles.

    J’aime l’idée des mini-objectifs dans différents aspects de la vie. Ça me semble réaliste et surtout motivant. Bonne chance, chère Emilie. Je suivrai tous les pas de cette marche de 365 jours! Bonne année!

  5. I do goals also. I’d like to think they are things I can achieve in the year, pending huge changes of course like an illness/injury/moving…

    I should do the floss thing. I have always been horrible at that. The dentist loves me for keeping them in business :-/

    Oh and I don’t remember how I found that “new year workout” – probably just googling at work one day. Glad I could help you feel accomplished with a workout while sick! 🙂

  6. I’m going to have to check out that Social Workout site as well! Never heard of it! I really like your goal of just establishing a firm foundation with there is plenty of room to build. I think sometimes I get in that mindset of “I want to qualify for Boston tomorrow!” that I forget to think through what that will entail and how it might affect my physical and mental health. I throw around goals here and there every year but I don’t really call them resolutions. The only resolution I have this year is to somehow convince myself that I’m a worthy friend. Now how I get there… kinda unknown 🙂

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