(Apparently everyone else is waiting to post these until tomorrow, but how can you start the year right if you haven’t yet figured out your goals? I’m diving in!)
When trying to figure out my 2013 goals, I had a lot of thoughts swirling around my little peanut brain (so-called because BF and I actually measured my head circumference and found that it is in the 6th percentile for adult female head size). Every time I try to “shoot for the moon,” I am surprised to learn that what I thought was impossible is actually doable – and so I end up raising the bar. Had you asked me anything about running 10 years ago, I would have told you it was what my gym teacher made me do and that I “just couldn’t do it.” But five years ago, what began as a goal to run just one mile without stopping became a journey around the 50 states, running 26.2 miles in each! I am still so proud of myself for how far I have come… but it’s also kind of daunting to think how much more I can still accomplish.
This year, I’m not going to set out my usual litany of goals all aimed at improving various aspects of my life. Yes, I’ve had pretty good success with making multiple resolutions (I’ve found that it works as long as they span different parts of my life, since I only need to think about one at a time). But on the other hand, how can I achieve big things if I’m only setting little goals? It’s time to change it up, and this interesting article gave me a lot of inspiration to do so.
For 2013, I’ll be copying a few of the goals I made last year, but primarily focusing on something else: one month, one challenge. I did this a bit in 2012 with alcohol-free August and early rising October, and the idea of doing something for just one month makes it totally doable and not too permanent. If I get to pick a new goal every month, that means I can focus on what’s most important to me at that time, instead of sticking with some arbitrary goal I set on January 1st that no longer applies.
So here are the goals that are going to last me the full year:
1. Use my vacation days. I only took six days of vacation this year – not cool for my stress levels with how much I work! I also stupidly hit the max in my PTO account, and I actually stopped accruing new days until I finally took some darn time off. No more! My company gives us an awfully generous week off for Christmas, but the rest of the year we take just the standard ten holidays, so while I feel great in December/January, May usually finds me a complete stressball… at least without vacation. Time for me to start using it instead of losing it!
2. Get better control of my finances. I recently read a very interesting, if dated, book called The Millionaire Next Door. From it, I realized that while I may be doing well with what I’m making, I’m not 100% on top of being frugal and saving – and that’s going to have the most impact on my long-term financial health. I’m making 2013 the year I begin maxing out my 401K, and also the year I hit a certain number in my savings account.
3. Run 13 marathons. My goal last year was to run 12 marathons, but I ended up running 18 – so I think I can handle matching the year! I’m also joining Jill and Jen‘s 13 in 2013 challenge for extra motivation :)
4. Read 100 books. Even though I failed in 2012 (I’m finishing up the year with just 87 books read), I hit my goal of 100 books in 2011, so I know it’s possible. I just need to prioritize reading more! Getting to read more on my cruise reminded me how much I love it, so I’m starting 2013 with a fresh reminder of why this goal is important to me. I’m also cutting back on some TV shows that aren’t very fulfilling or entertaining anymore, which should help… out with the old, in with the new!
5. Keep a stable weight. I really like the way I phrased this last year. While it may sound negative to focus on “not gaining weight”, I think it’s a bit healthier/reasonable for me than trying to lose weight, especially since I know I’ll be continuing to travel to Dallas (and eat out a lot) until at least fall. Moderation and discipline will be my keys to achieving this one.
6. Grow my blog. In 2012, I managed to average a post every 2.5 days, and I was able to do that without feeling like I was writing just to write (instead of writing because I had something to say). This year, I want to write regularly (at least once a week), make sure that I write up all my race reports (no matter how late, no skipping!), and work on building community by continuing to organize events in New York City (and maybe Dallas – hey Texans, are you out there?). I really admire the discussions that go on at blogs like The Great Fitness Experiment, and I want to see if I can make my blog more of an open dialogue instead of just my ramblings. So tell me your thoughts, and let’s make it happen!
Finally, as I mentioned earlier, my biggest goal for 2013 is to make a new challenge every month. I am sensing big things in the New Year, and I want to be open and ready for all the exciting things coming up. Besides, one challenge a month lets me make twelve changes this year as I continue to refocus my goals. I’m so excited about the idea of looking forward to the new year not just as a chance to reset, but also as just one of a series of opportunities to keep redefining what’s important to me.
Tonight’s “getting it right”? A New Year’s party with NikeNYC that culminates in a midnight race through Central Park, followed by champagne and celebrations with my blogging friends. As I mentioned in my 2012 reflection post last week, I am so excited to have met so many wonderful friends who value having fun and being healthy, and I’m really looking forward to the balanced celebration we’ll have to welcome in 2013!
See you all next year :)