New Years. A time for reflecting on the outgoing year and looking toward fresh starts and new beginnings. I’m not usually a fan of making New Year’s resolutions – something about high expectations and disappointment, I suppose. This year, however, considering that I’m embarking on this long journey of changing my health-style, I suppose it’s fitting to make some resolutions, though I’m really trying to think of them, not as resolutions, but merely as plans for the things I’d like to accomplish.
Before looking forward, though, I’d like to take a minute to look back over the last year and reflect on some of the things that I accomplished. I’m not an inherently positive person (another thing I’m working to change), and sometimes I get bogged down in the negative thinking that comes so naturally to me. To stay motivated it’s good to take a moment to look at all the things I managed to accomplish in 2013.
- Running – Despite recurring ankle and back injuries, I still managed to ran a handful of races. Did I complete these races with my best times? No, but I was out there running.
- Cycling – I completed my first metric-century bike ride(~65 miles), participated in 30 Days of Cycling, began bike commuting to work, took my first bike camping trip, and in total, cycled about 800 miles in 2013.
- Hiking and Backpacking – I began hiking much more frequently and took a handful of backpacking trips this year.
- Stress reduction – For me, stress is the most damaging thing to leading a healthy lifestyle. I make poor decisions about what to eat and I exercise a lot less when I’m really stressed out. I didn’t realize it until I changed jobs recently, but I was stressed out all the time due to my last job. I’m now in a position that does not stress me out on a regular basis, and that facilitates, rather than hinders, my ability to make healthier lifestyle choices.
Looking back, I’m really proud of the things I accomplished in 2013. Though health and fitness were not really priorities for me in 2013, I’m happy to see that I actually did things on a daily basis that contributed to living a healthier lifestyle without actively trying. While I know that there is much room for improvement, I’m still proud of the things that I did accomplish.
So…what are my goals for 2014? There are quite a few! I’ve already committed to and embarked on a journey to increase my fitness and become the healthiest version of me that I can be. Remaining on this journey is really the focal point of what I want to accomplish in 2014. So, while I have never made New Year’s resolutions, I think that this year, the year of putting my health and fitness goals at the forefront, is a great opportunity to actually compose a list of resolutions or goals that I’d like to accomplish this year. Here we go…my 2014 health and fitness New Year’s Resolutions.
- Reach my goal weight – I know, I know. Everyone always resolves to lose weight in the new year. For me, however, this is just an extension of a goal I have already started working toward. I joined Weight Watchers in November 2013 and so far have been doing pretty well on the plan. While I got a bit derailed by holiday celebrations, I’m still committed to following the plan. I will continue with Weight Watchers in 2014 and I will reach my goal weight.
- Run 14 races in 2014 – a few months ago, my friend challenged me to complete the California Half Series with her. After accepting the challenge I began thinking about all of the other smaller races I’d like to do again this year and realized that I wanted to push myself even further. I plan to run 14 races this year; everything from 5ks to half-marathons. I’m both excited and a bit scared.
- Participate in another metric-century bike ride.
- Bike commute to work at least 3x per week from April-September. I plan to ride my bike the 21 miles to and from my job during the nice long months of the year.
- Complete 30 Days of Biking this April.
- Hike to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. In 2012, I completed the 14 mile round trip day hike to Half Dome but didn’t make it to the top of the rock because I got scared. I will attempt the climb again this year and know that I will do it!
- Backpack in the Yosemite backcountry. I’ve been camping in Yosemite in the last couple of years, but never backpacking. 2014 is the year I finally get out into the backcountry.
- Hike at least once a week in 2014. There is a wide range of hiking options near me in the SF Bay Area and I want to take full advantage of these resources.
So there we have it. It’s a little daunting seeing these goals in list form, but I know I can do it! I’m excited about the challenge of sticking to these resolutions, and I’m especially excited about the journey that reaching my goals will take me on. Here’s to a New Year filled with good health, fun and challenging activities, and most of all laughter, love, and happiness!