My 2016 New Year’s Resolutions

We’re one week in to the new year already! It’s felt like a funny time to try to make any changes. First, starting the year with a three day weekend is definitely not the time to do a juice fast or anything. Jack and I enjoyed the time off together and with our families, and there was absolutely no cleansing going on 😉 In fact, there was one night that we had pizza and linguine for dinner (along with giant martinis) and then went to a bar, where we had tequila shots and soft pretzels and Oreo cheesecake. I am still a little bit in shock at our gluttony.

So then we headed back to work, but we had Christmas #6 with my stepdaughter, which consisted of more linguine and wine and exciting news that she is moving to California. Now, we’re trying to settle in and behave ourselves, but we’re going to Mexico in a week so I’m kind of like, what’s the point???

The good news is that I’m sticking with my diet (in spite of the previously mentioned carb-a-thon) and am now officially down 10 pounds from my summer chubster-ism. Woo hoo! In my dreams I will lose another 8, but no pressure right now.

In terms of my goals for the year, I’m going to start off by focusing on the first half of 2016. And I’m not going to have as many lofty goals as I did last year; this time, they are more specific.

Fitness/Health

  1. Continue my diet for as long as I can stand it.
  2. Eat primarily vegan meals, but not freak out when I have a cheeseburger or some ice cream.
  3. Learn to use the kickass Garmin I got for Christmas.
  4. Run a sub-25 minute 5k by July.

Organization

  1. Clean out the linen closet.
  2. Clean up, organize, and decorate our home office.
  3. Follow a schedule with my volunteering.
  4. Focus our donations on one nonprofit, rather than giving small amounts to a lot of groups.
  5. Make new passwords for all our accounts (and keep track of them!).
  6. Replant all my sad houseplants that have outgrown their pots.
  7. Unsubscribe to a LOT of email lists.

Reading

  1. Stop buying Kindle books. Reserve books at the library.
  2. Read: On the Move, H is for Hawk, M Train.

Finances

  1. Start using Personal Capital (or something like that) to track our expenses.
  2. Pay off my $8700 private student loan.
  3. Limit our weekly going-out budget to $100. Related: learn the weekly specials at restaurants in our area 🙂
  4. Cancel our credit cards that we never use.

I feel like none of these are overwhelming. I’ll probably do something like take on one of these each Saturday, so that I stay on top of everything over the first half of the year. The second half of the year will see me examining my job and what I want my future career to look like, but for now, I want to keep learning and see how I feel after a full year in this role.

Did you make any resolutions? Do you think it’s more important to make lofty, dreamy goals, or (kind of boring) check-off-the-list goals that are more easily attainable?

 

It’s Fall, Y’all!

Like most people, I always get excited as a season transitions into the next one. Then, of course, I get tired of the cold/heat/humidity/rain/darkness/sunniness/etc, and start looking forward to the end of that season. That said, this has been a long, hot, stressful, not-much-fun summer, and fall is for sure my favorite time of the year, so this transition feels extra-special to me. This weekend there is a chance that the temps will be as low as 50°, so that pretty much demands we be outside. Here’s hoping we actually make it to the mountains for some hiking, since every time we plan something like that, Jack ends up with a work emergency and we cancel our plans. The only bad news is we have all our cooler weather clothes in storage, still being homeless and all, so we might need to hit up Old Navy for some warmer clothes. Oh, the humanity 😉

The seasonal transition also helps me with motivation for making good changes. I’ve been reading a lot of posts about people still getting that back-to-school urge to get organized/get focused/get new outfits. After more than a decade and a half out of this routine (grad school was year-round, lucky me!), I can finally say I don’t get this feeling anymore, at least not just with fall. Each time the weather changes, I feel like totally overhauling my home and my routine. In general, I just love a clean slate 🙂

I was excited to see this post from the Crunchy Radish (who you should definitely be following!) yesterday. She helped me to really organize my thoughts on the changes I’m making as we roll into this lovely weather. My goals, based on her recommendations:

  1. Try a new workout: I’m excited to incorporate weight training back into my schedule. I’ve been doing a lot of running this summer, to take advantage of the early morning light and the good sweat. Being in this hotel with a gym right downstairs, I’ve been getting back into my weight lifting routine. I’ll also be doing my best to fit in some hiking on the weekends, and I’ve already started going back to hot yoga once a week. It’s the best in the colder months.
  2. Unplug: This is a tough one! Now that I mostly work remotely, I’m online more than ever, with less actual human interaction. I also have to be available for more hours of the day, which means I can’t really cut the cord with my laptop until after 8pm. All my reading is done online. I must make it a priority to hit up the good ol’ library for some actual books. I’m going to head there this weekend; it’s a good time to make a date with my mom 🙂
  3. Be a veghead: So, I usually eat a plant-heavy diet, but this summer, with the stress of moving, living out of boxes, and the carbs I’ve scarfed down before my runs, my diet has gotten horrible. Let’s not forget the stress eating I’ve done as a result of my new job, plus all the life-is-really-hard-right-now -I-should-reward-myself thinking that has lead to waaay too many desserts. I’m up 8 pounds since the early spring. I tried to motivate myself to lose weight by posting about it here, but it was a total failure. Jack and I started a low-carb diet on Tuesday. It’s the best way we’ve found to keep ourselves on track. The bad part about it is that it can easily become very meat-centric, so I’m trying to find ways to keep it healthier and more veggie-focused. Sure, it’s harder, with this tiny hotel kitchen and no oven, but we’re eating lots of eggs and salads and stir-fry, with some shrimp and turkey for leaner protein. I’m hoping to spend some time this weekend at my parents’ house, so I can take advantage of their full-sized kitchen to prep a bunch of food for next week.
  4. Sleep deep: This is something I’m always mindful of, and I really get 8 hours of sleep most nights. It’s not always the most restful (hello three dogs and a snoring husband!), but at least I’m in bed. I’ve gotten off-schedule a bit in the hotel, but I’m still a pretty dedicated sleeper 🙂 (Edit: Check out these wonderful tips from Deliciously Ella. I think it’s time for me to start a new ritual of reading an actual book in bed before I fall asleep.)
  5. Focus on you: Again, I think I’m already mindful of this. As I’ve gotten older, I think I compare myself less to what others have/don’t have. I do try to focus on self-improvement, and I’m lucky that I am happy with the work I’ve put in to getting my life to where it is at this point. I get really down on myself, however, about gaining weight and not having enough willpower. I know there is room for more structure and less laziness in my days, and I know I have to set restrictions in my routine to keep myself healthy. If I am on-track with the other items in this list, that will help to keep my head clear and my self-confidence up.
  6. Baby goals: Love this! I know it’s important to have stretch goals, to work towards doing something crazy, but it’s also necessary to have lots of smaller, very realistic goals along the way to feel like I’m accomplishing something. As an example, with our low-carb diet, we cut waaay back on the drinking. But rather than say, no drinks til we lose 10 pounds, we said, no drinks til Friday night this week. For our finances, instead of saying we can’t go out at all, we’re limiting ourselves to $50 a week, so we can make it more meaningful and have a night out to look forward to.

What are your goals for this fall? Do you find yourself more motivated with a new season?