I thought about doing a “year in review” post for 2014, like many other bloggers have done. However, I decided against it because 2014 was less than great (for lack of a better description). I didn’t want to spend the last few days of 2014 or the first few days of 2015 recalling and dwelling on all the negative and crappy things that happened in 2014. Instead, I will make a quick, point form summary of the positive things that happened in 2014 and then I will quickly move onto my plan to have a better year in 2015.
Good things about 2014:
~ I graduated from Medical School.
~ I made a goal to run my first “official” 10K and I accomplished that… plus I ran 2 additional races after that, bettering my time with each one.
~ I made some important, albeit difficult discoveries about myself with regards to anxiety, stress, coping, and how I relate to other people.
My plan for 2015:
~ To gracefully put the troubles of 2014 behind me
~ To work on shifting my perspective on life as a whole
~ To take better care of myself: mentally, physically, and emotionally
~ To continue with new and more challenging fitness goals
I know that all these plans sound rather vague, but I do have some more tangible and measurable goals that will help me to accomplish everything in my plan for 2015. I’ve tried to organize the goals into the areas of fitness, general/mental health, family, and personal goals. Some of these will be more challenging than others to accomplish, but I think that together, they will offer a more balanced and healthy approach to my life.
1. It is my goal to train for, and run, a half marathon in 2015. I have made tentative plans with a good friend of mine to run a race with her at the end of May. I figure that 5 months is plenty of time from now to prepare myself for this new running milestone. I have been working with a sports medicine chiropractor to help with the foot pain I’ve been having with running and he suggested some custom orthotics and a pair of running shoes with a little more support. So, to start off my 2015 running goal on the right foot (pun kind of intended), I invested in a new pair of running shoes: the Asics GT-1000 V2 pictured here.
2. It is my goal to run at least 1000KM in 2015. In 2014, my Nike+ app recorded about 550Km of running, and that only includes the running that I did outdoors. I suspect that if I add in all the treadmill running I did during the winter months, I could add at least another 100-150 Km to that. I was inspired by another blogger, Kelly from Excitement on the Side, who accomplished her goal of running 1000 miles in 2014. I realize that 1000 miles is about 1.6x the distance of 1000Km, and I thought about actually making my goal 1600Km. However, I decided that 1000Km was already an increase from my current yearly total, I didn’t want to set myself up for failure given my increasingly busy work schedule and my sore foot, and I want to have some time to accomplish some other goals I’m setting for myself. I’m just going to pretend that Lao Tzu was being extremely metaphorical with his saying: “A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.” He could have just as easily said kilometers instead of miles… same difference, right?
3. It is my goal to incorporate other means of physical activity into my weekly routine. One thing I will do to accomplish this goal will be to join the same Tae Kwon Do club that my son is part of. This is actually going to help meet two to three of my goals this year – the first being to have more varied physical activity. By doing TKD, I hope to be more active in other ways such as core strengthening and self defence activity. Husband and I recently invested in a free-weight set to put into our small workout room at home. We just have to install a big mirror and it will be the perfect set-up for lifting free weights to tone my upper body.
General and Mental Health Goals:
1. It is my goal to start and maintain healthier eating habits. With my anxiety better under control, I have noticed an increase in my appetite (as well as an increase in my weight). When I take the time to plan out meals and pack lunches, I am good at picking and packing the right stuff. As part of this goal:
~I will work harder on packing my own lunches and dinners, and only eating what I bring instead of buying other food. One plan I have already put into place is the Mason Jar Salad. Basically, you can pre-make some interesting and healthy salads in mason jars up to a week in advance, and if you do it right, they can last in the fridge all week. The best part is that this has become a trendy, highly “pinned” activity and there are tonnes of great mason jar salad ideas floating around the internet. The ones I made this week were just thrown together with some random ingredients I bought at Costco, and I loved them. I think this weekend I will make the Caprese Salad Jars…
~I will limit specialty coffee drinks (Starbucks, etc.) to special occasions once (maybe twice) a week.
~I will not completely eliminate sweets and treats from my diet, but I will limit them to one a day or less, and try to grab a healthier alternative to sweet snacks when I’m at work (like an apple or an orange I packed in my lunch).
2. It is my goal to make quiet, “me” time, at least once per week. When I first moved, I did a really great job of taking time a few times a week to take a bath, or meditate (daily), or other activities I found relaxing. Lately that hasn’t been happening. While I hope to have more “me” time than once per week, this is specifically referring to relaxing time – like a bath, massage, pedicure, etc. I will actually schedule this time into my calendar at the beginning of the week so that I know it will actually
3. It is my goal to work harder on putting myself first. I know that this will be the hardest goal to achieve, which is why I said “work harder.” I know this is kind of a vague goal, but I know it’s not something that can change overnight. The first challenge I am facing in maintaining this goal is allowing myself to take time off work for a “stress leave.” I feel guilty, weak, and kind of like a failure for not being able to just push through. And many people around me are struggling and pushing through, why can’t I? Anyhow, as part of this goal I have decided that I will:
~Ask for what I need (time off for appointments, my husband to take a greater role in things, favours from friends) instead of trying hard to make it all work.
~Put less effort into “being a great friend” and more effort into myself. I don’t want to sacrifice the relationships I do have, but I think I need to step back a little and let people show me whether they need/want me to be there for them. I can use that extra time and energy on my own personal goals.
1. It is my goal to spend more quality time with my kids. Right now I am usually so tired when I get home from work or wake up post-call that I just sit like a lump on the couch and watch my kids play. I feel bad about that often. Over the past few weeks I have had more time to “play” with the boys and it makes them so, so happy – and it makes me happier too. So, even when I am tired and grumpy, I am going to make more of an effort to get off the couch and “play” even if it is only for 30 min or an hour. Joining TKD, as mentioned in my fitness goals, will also be part of this goal because they have twice weekly family classes and I would like to try and go to one, if not both of them with A. each week. I know he will love that.
2. It is my goal to be more “present” for my Husband. Now that we have a live-in Nanny, there should be no excuse for us to not go out on more dates. Ideally, I would like to go for a date once per month, but I’ll settle for one every 6 weeks (give my call schedule). We have also decided to work together on our fitness goals and have devised a workout “circuit” we can do at home. This involves alternating between running on the treadmill, weights, and core exercise. With this, we can spend more time together, while working towards our fitness goals, and I can also be more supportive of his need to find other ways of managing his “body image issues.” Which brings me to the third part of this goal, which is to be more supportive and understanding of his struggles with ED. I hope I can open up more communication with him about it and encourage him to get the help he needs.
1. It is my goal to actively develop a new Social Circle. Again, this is going to be difficult, but with joining the TKD club and going to the adult classes, hopefully I can meet some new people. The same can be said for going to soccer games and other children’s activities – When I am there, I will put more of an effort into talking with other Moms instead of playing with my phone. I also have an old friend from University who lives in the same city (and not too far from me), so I would like to put more effort into spending time with her and her new baby :). I am also looking forward to starting a new year of residency, which will be completely on-service for the whole 12 months. This means I will be spending much more time with other residents and nurses in my program/units. That will provide the perfect opportunity for me to start “making new friends.”
2. It is my goal to be more gracious and positive about my life. I know I can sometimes dwell too much on the negative and I want that to change. I have read time and time again about the importance of a gratitude journal in changing our outlook on life- so I am going to start one here on my blog. I will aim for once weekly entries that I will work on throughout the week, instead of daily entries. I don’t want it to become something I rush through every day, but rather, something I can think about and reflect on. By doing this, I am hoping I can redirect my thoughts and feelings towards the wonderful things in my life that I often overlook.
3. It is my goal to read 12 new books in 2015 – one per month. I love to read, for many reasons: I find it relaxing, I feel like I am part of another world, it stimulates imagination and creativity, and I think it makes me a better writer. I used to read so much, especially when I was working towards my English Degree. There is so much to be gained from reading, and I want to get back into it. One book per month, I think, is a reasonable goal – seeing as how I can easily knock off a 400-500 page book in 2-3 days when I actually take the time to read. So, between all the other goals I have set for myself, there should be time for me to read a little bit each day or every few days. I also have at least 5 or 6 books that I want to read, or that I’ve bought and haven’t started to read, in the past few years. This year, they will get read!
After looking back and reading this post, it appears that I have set quite a few (maybe too many) goals for myself. However, I feel like most of these goals are just building on things that I already do, or know how to do. I realize there are a few that are not very specific and might lead to failure, but I’m hoping that by taking time to plan ahead and schedule them into my day/week, I will be more accountable. There is a huge emphasis on taking care of myself in all of these goals and my hope is that once I start feeling the positive effects of these goals, they will be easier to maintain. I’ve also come to realize that I expended a huge amount of energy and effort into developing and maintaining a part of my life that I have left behind in the old year. There is nw much more time and effort available for me to work on “me.” And, if all of that isn’t enough, I also have my wonderful blogging family to help me out.
Here’s to a 2015 all about becoming a better ME!