Resolutions: 2016 Recap & 2017

2016 is officially in the books! Are you glad to see the year over? Was it one of the best years for you? Overall the year was pretty good to me. The first half I achieved some great running goals (at this race & this one) while the second half I had to work through an injury, I started juggling more swim coaching hours, trying a new fitness program, and just getting through a day at a time vs feeling like I am enjoying my life. Looking back on the last few months has made me realize what I really want my priorities to be and it is reflected in my 2017 resolutions (see below).

But first I need to finish up with my 2016 resolutions, and even though these are one of the least popular types of posts I write, I couldn’t go through the whole year and not write an update for December. So for those who are interested, here is how 2016 finished up for me.

to train for a marathon– At this point most of you know this didn’t happen in 2016, but it WILL happen in 2017 as I am officially registered for the 2017 Wineglass Marathon.

to find my true purpose in my career- Throughout the year I have alluded to how heavy this resolution actually is. A year ago when I made it I had hoped that through a course I could discover what kind of job was ‘meant for me’ by becoming more aware of my strengths. I have altered what I talked about in this section for the last few months, feeling like this goal would take me longer than a year to figure out. So I talked about how I decided to become an online fitness coach back in September and about a local leadership program I have been participating in.

But I actually have some news to share, an unexpected opportunity was presented to me a few weeks ago and I have accepted a new job(!!), one I hope will challenge me, where I will continue to learn, and potentially make an impact in my community. It was a really tough decision for me, for so many reasons that I could take up a whole blog post about, but I won’t get that detailed! I lost sleep over the decision realizing how much my life would change. I wrote pro/con lists, I had conversations with my closest friends and my parents and what it came down to was an amazing opportunity was being presented to me now. It means I will cut my commute from 50 minutes to 15, I can buy a house and finally feel settled where I live. It’s going to be a big change, and I am nervous because I don’t fully know what to expect, but I am taking a leap. My first day will be Jan 9th, needless to say 2017 has the potential to be a great year for me.

On another note, to continue sharing about my Leadership program. The first session of the month was on Diversity & Human Services- which focuses on educating us about food insecurity and the local food bank. This was a very enlightening day as I have been lucky enough to never experience food insecurity, but there are so many people in my community that are impacted by it. My group was so touched by some first hand stories of how a community center impacted them, how they all support each other to get to the store to shop, that we want our community service project to support the growth of the center.

The second session was on Business & Industry, we toured a local forklift manufacturing company. They produce 90 forklifts a day via assembly lines, lean business practices and it was really interesting to see how it all comes together. During the second half of the day, we had the opportunity to tour a museum of an International corporation that was founded in my area, and heard from current employees about their various jobs. It got a little technical so I found the museum more interesting. This program is more than halfway over now and will end in March. So only a few more months of these updates 😉

A quick update on my online coaching, I am slowly growing it, I am trying to be consistent but I know there are still room for improvement in order for me reach the goals I’d like. I am excited to work with the small group that is taking steps to a healthier new year.

to treat others better and think before I speak– Overall this resolution was challenging because it didn’t follow SMART goal guidelines, but overall I have tried to be better about this, especially holding my tongue, but I feel it’s had more to do with me just getting older and wiser.

to do things outside my comfort zone– see the above on taking a new job! I can’t think of anything else in December that tops that!

Read 25 books in 2016– This did not happen, this goal turns out was a little too ambitious. I only made it to 16, and have made little progress in 2 months in the current book I am reading. This WILL change in 2017.

to reduce clutter in my life– As I mentioned last month overall I feel I have been successful in this goal, but made no specific steps forward in December. With a new job closer to home I hope to ‘catch up’ on ‘clutter projects’ I have let fall into the ‘someday’ category.

to eliminate excuses and procrastination– Over the last week specifically I have tried to be productive in the 10 days I had off from work, I had a list of things I wanted to get done, and when I was feeling overwhelmed that I wouldn’t get it all done, I just took the time to schedule tasks out on the days and I feel good that after this break I balanced being productive with some R&R.

Overall, reading through these resolutions, I realize I actually fall into the category of most people- that I was very successful with my resolutions but I feel I made a good effort. Some were better than others. Some were easier to track than others. This is the first time I have reviewed my resolutions every month, so it’s been a learning experience that has impacted my resolutions for 2017.

So what did I decide? I wrote up a post a few days ago regarding my running resolutions- which are so easy to track, check those out here. I am very excited to pursue those. Besides those, I also WILL (not want, not hope to, WILL)

  1. Write in my journal at least once a week
  2. Attend church 2 or more times a month
  3. Read 18 books throughout the year
  4. Write a blog post at least once a week, I was doing good on this through July of 2016 but started slacking when I got injured with my running.
  5. Don’t over commit myself, and not feel the need to say yes to everything and everyone and leave room for time for myself.

I want to keep my resolution list short so I can be successful. Did you make resolutions for 2017? How will you stay accountable to stick with it longer than 4 weeks?

This post is long enough, if you have read this far, THANK YOU!! I hope you enjoy following my journey of striving for more in life and the opportunity to grow.

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year.

2016 Racing Reflections & 2017 Goals

It’s that time of year again, a time for reflection and setting new goals. An opportunity to start fresh and make changes.

Within the next few days I will write up my final entry regarding my 2016 resolutions (I have a big announcement to share so stay tuned for that) and share my “life” resolutions for 2017. In the meantime I wanted to write a recap on my 2016 Running Races and share with you my running goals for 2017.

I had hoped 2016 would be the year I became a marathoner, but as many of you know I suffered an injury in August and couldn’t run for 3 weeks, putting that goal on hold. While it would be easy to dwell on the things that didn’t happen or didn’t go right, it’s much more productive to focus on what did go right.

This includes:

1) Completing my 3rd half marathon in a new personal best of 1:55:22. Bettering my previous time from 2 years prior by nearly 2 1/2 minutes. This was my first race of 2016, and I changed my training to be more speed focused than the previous 5 years I have been running. I still ran 3 days of a week, but instead of just ‘getting the miles in’, I spent 1 day completing a tempo or hill run, 1 day completing intervals and 1 day was my long run. The change in pace paid off.

2) Running a sub-25 5K, a 6 year goal. This was an “unofficial time” on a training run about a week after I ran my half marathon. I was feeling good, and decided to see if I could do it. I never thought I would achieve this goal, even changing it to something more realistic. Read more about it here

3) Completing my first 20K. This was a long standing local race that was really cheap to run, so I figured it was a great excuses to have some company on my long run for the week.

4) Finishing my 5th Boilermaker 15K under my goal time of sub-80, 1:19:30. This turned in a very memorable race as I landed in the medical tent post race.I can truly say I gave it my all during this race, Read more here.

5) I Participated in my first Cross Country series and made some new friends along the way. This was a step out of my comfort zone since I haven’t run cross country since I was in middle school. But it helped ensure I ran once a week, and I really looked forward to seeing everyone every week and mixing up my running.

Some these races seem so long ago, especially because I haven’t been running as much as I should and would like. It’s so easy to forget what my body is capable of, but the pictures, my scrapbook and this blog help to remind me I can do hard things. I just have to believe in myself and stick to a schedule.

With that in mind, and after a lot  of thought, I have (mostly) decided on what my  race schedule will be for 2017 (subject to change ;)) along with my overall running goals.

My races will be:

2 15ks: 1 new one in March, the other my usual Boilermaker in July

My 4th Half Marathon on May 7th: Goal is 1:52:30 or better.

My FIRST Marathon (take 2): Wineglass Marathon Oct 1st with the goal of finishing with a smile on my face 🙂 A Sub 4 hour would be nice too!

I also enjoyed the Cross Country Series, so I will most likely participate in that again.

Mileage Goal: 1,000 miles. This seems a little unreachable, especially because 2016 I am finishing up around 475, but considering the last 4 months I have only ran 1-3 times per week, I think this goal will help keep me motivated even when I am not training for a race.

What are your goals for 2017?

“If we write our dreams and goals down, we dramatically increase our odds of realization. If we share them with other they become potent and alive”-Kristen Armstrong

Resolution Check-in: Month 10

It has been over 1 month since I last posted to this blog. The longest I have ever gone since I started this page. I have a reminder that goes off every weekend nudging me to write but the days have just gotten away from me juggling multiple obligations and trying to stay sane. 4 days into the new month and I am able to write now because I have been off of work the last 2 days and have been away from other obligations. The last few days have been a nice break for me to ‘catch up on life’ and I would love to have a few more days like this but for now I will provide an update on my resolutions. I have written for 9 months, I can’t stop now so here goes:

to train for a marathon: Nothing has changed with this since last month, I will not run a marathon this year, but I have my sights set on registering for the Wineglass Marathon for Fall 2017.

to find my true purpose in my career: For the remainder of the year, I will utilize this section to provide a brief update on my fitness coaching, which I started in September, and my Leadership Program.

First, fitness coaching. I am starting to not feel nearly as overwhelmed as I did 1 month in. I had a little break through a few weeks ago, realizing I don’t have to spent every free minute of my time working on this, but rather quality time than be done with it for the day. I am struggling trying to find the right market and be myself vs doing what others do. I continue to work on daily personal development and am seeing it carry over to various aspects of my life. I really want to help others reach their fitness goals, as I believe in the programs. In fact I just finished a 60 day program, and lost 2.5 lbs and 7 inches – pictures and full recap of the program will be another blog post.

I had 2 leadership days this month, the first day was focused on Arts (theater, music, arts council, mosaic, etc). It has been my favorite day so far. “The Arts” is so much more than arts and crafts, and there are many skills that can be transferred to a career. Plus it reminded me how much I enjoy being around the Arts. I was in band from 4th-12th grade, and enjoy watching Dancing with the Stars now and I just didn’t ever make the connection that because I enjoy those things, means I appreciate the arts. So I would like to attend more arts events in the upcoming year, and am starting now because in a few weeks I will be attending a play with a friend.

The 2nd Day was Education and Recreation. We spent half the day touring a local BOCES and learn about the various programs that run through the school- ranging from Adult Education to Alternative Education to Career & Technical education. It was really interesting to learn about the different program available to mainly middle school and high school student to help them be successful in an education environment. Some kids don’t do well in a traditional classroom, but thrive in an alternative environment. It was interesting to learn about and made me wonder how my life would be different if I participated in something other than the traditional schooling and made me open to supporting it.

For the Recreation portion we spend time with the owners of the local Double A Baseball and AHL Hockey teams then got a tour of the hockey facility. Both teams has or will have changes so we learned about what that means for their future and how it impacts their marketing.  It was a very informative day.

to treat others better and think before I speak– It is depending on who I am around, but I feel like this was a better month for me then previous months. It’s a continued work in progress.

to do things outside my comfort zone– I did 2 Facebook lives on my Facebook page; one introducing myself and sharing a short version of my fitness journey and another about Running tips. Check them both out here

This was a big deal because I was trying something new to connect with others and challenging myself to provide value every time I turn on the camera.

Read 25 books in 2016- I finished “The Ramblers”, so I am up to 16 books. I started “Go Pro” which is a pretty short book I bought to help with the development of my fitness coaching. I anticipate finishing that book in November and then starting “It Takes Two” the newest Nicholas Sparks book.

to reduce clutter in my life– When I transitioned from my spring/summer to fall/winter clothes. I ended deciding to donation or toss out a lot of clothes that I had for YEARS, and are no longer in style. It feels really good to decrease the amount of clothes even if it means I have to go shopping to replace them.

I also wanted to share this article that references how clearing your mind (what you can’t see) is equally if not more important than physical decluttering. Clearing the Clutter you Can’t see

to eliminate excuses and procrastination– Unfortunately I did poorly with the procrastination as I signed up to give a presentation about ‘Lean In’ and Women in Leadership, in 3 days and although I have the outline done, I need to still work through the powerpoint and practice, so I had a bunch of work to do in the new few days, not my normal style.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading! Look for a Piyo recap and my before/after pictures within the next few days (hopefully).

Have a great weekend!

 

Resolution Check-in: Month 9

Officially three quarters of the way through the year, and it’s that time of month for my resolution check in. As I review these I am not connecting with most of these as much as I was at the beginning of the year. I don’t know if it is because September seemed to fly by, or because what seemed important at the beginning at the year just isn’t anymore. How time changes things.

But either way, here is an update on how everything stands.

to train for a marathon:  As most of you know, this didn’t happen this year, due to  an injury, but I plan to complete one in 2017 with my eye on the Wineglass Marathon or Empire State Marathon- Has anyone run either on of those? I have those in mind because they are close by and they are in the fall. Plus I want to run a bigger race, and risk the chance of getting closed out of registration, in order to have good crowds and race support through the whole course.

to find my true purpose in my career– As I mentioned last month, I am currently exploring what it means to be a fitness coach. It may not be the true purpose of my career, but it’s a least a step closer to maybe finding out what I do or don’t want to do. I am not as overwhelmed as I was at the beginning of September, but I am giving it at least a few months to figure out if this is something I will want to do long-term.

As I mentioned previously, I am also participating in a Professional Development Leadership program for the next 6 months, and I really enjoyed the team building retreat we had a few weeks ago. It reminded me that I have leadership skills that are maybe being suppressed a little, so it’s up to me to find a way to showcase them.

to treat others better and think before I speak– I had a bad moment a few weeks ago at a family event, and for personal reasons and with the person involved I don’t want to go into too much detail because it’s not something that should be shared with the world, but the jist of the situation was that I didn’t give something a chance when someone offered to help me. I was critical from the beginning, sharing my dissatisfaction, judgment and impatience along the way. What I didn’t think about was how the other person maybe was reminded of how they used to help me with the task when I was a child and helping me in the present day could have brought up those (hopefully) positive memories.  Of course once the task was complete I was more satisfied than I initially thought I would be, but if I had just kept my mouth shut and given them and it a chance, then it could have been a really enjoyable bonding experience, instead of an embarrassing, immature moment for me. Even though we all have these moments, it still doesn’t make it right, and yes, I did apologize.

to do things outside my comfort zone– I did a couple of things regarding this: 1) I did my first Facebook Live in my Fitness Challenge Group 2) I registered for a Cross Country Race Series that will last through October & November. Since I haven’t run Cross Country since middle school, and just run road races, this was good for me. But it ensures that I will run at least once and week and will provide me with an opportunity to test my hips in race conditions. 3) I applied for the Women’s Running Cover Runner Story, which I figured it was highly I would get selected, but the questionnaire was short, so I sent it in 4) At the leadership retreat, I tried to strike up more conversations vs just sitting in silence and waiting for someone to speak with me.

Read 25 books in 2016– No progress with this, I am still in the middle of the book I started in August (The Ramblers) but it is an intention of mine to finish it this month. With only 3 months left, and only 15 soon to be 16 books complete, it seems unlikely that I will reach my 25 book goal. Next year, if I make/share resolutions, it will be something a little more realistic like 1 book a month vs 2.

to reduce clutter in my life- This progress has slowed some, but I do have to admit that I am not missing anything that I reduce earlier in the year (cancelling magazine subscriptions, donating clothes, etc). The one ‘thing’ I did this month was clean off the top of my bedside table that was PILED with books I wanted to read, or books half started, but had yet to finish. Instead of 6-8 books, I have 1 book (my current read), plus 2 journals that I track weekly quotes I share, and the other one is a notebook where I write special memories I have with my nieces and nephews. Clearing off that space is MUCH nicer to look at and I am not reminded daily of all the books I need to get to.

to reduce excuses and procrastination– Well the fact that I am writing this 2 days after the end of September just goes to show that I haven’t been doing well with this. When I actually just took the time to write this it took me less than a half hour, I just needed to focus on it. So although the reduction of procrastination as been going well, I have been reducing excuses when it comes to working out, as I am getting up early to do so because I have my swim coaching commitment after work.

That wraps up September. Thanks for reading!

What can you do for the next 3 months to end 2016 on a good note?

Resolution Check-in: Month 8

Another month, down and even though I am writing this a few days into September, I wanted to stay accountable to provide an update.

So I’ll get right to an update on my resolutions.

to train for a marathon– If you have been following me for the last few weeks, you know that unfortunately I have made the decision to not run the marathon I registered for. I am still recovering from an injury, little by little and even though I was able to run pain free for the first time in 7 weeks last weekend, I don’t want to rush into long distance running. So no marathon this year.So this resolution will be moved until 2017. In replacement of running in the marathon, I will volunteer for the race instead.

to find my true purpose in my career- I took some good steps toward this during August. 1) I was accepted into a local Leadership Program, it will consist of 14 full days over the next 6 months and I am looking forward to this professional development opportunity. 2) I decided to become a BeachBody coach; a health and fitness coach. It took me a few days to being sharing this with others because I don’t want to ever come across as a sales person, but rather be seen as someone to support and encourage others in their fitness goals. I am nervous because I don’t know where it will lead, and its a little overwhelming to learn everything, but I am excited to pursue this opportunity. It may turn out to be one of the best decisions I make, or not, but at least I gave it a try 🙂

to treat others better and think before I speak– I know this didn’t go very well at the beginning of August, and I know it was a result of not being able to run for 3 weeks. I was grumpy and short with some family members. The improvement is that I am more aware of these actions and try to apologize.

to do things outside my comfort zone-I also made some good progress on this in August. In addition to deciding to pursue the coaching opportunity I mentioned above, I also went out on a blind date. It didn’t turn into a 2nd date, but at least I tried 🙂

Read 25 books in 2016- I am now up to 15 books after finishing the latest Harry Potter bookAs a Harry Potter nerd I was intrigued to read this, it was ok, but not as good as the original 7 books. It jumped around a lot, and it seemed like the story line was a little forced, plus it was in the form of a play so it was all dialogue. Which I didn’t mind the format but the series should have just ended with the last book. I have now started The Ramblers a book a good friend gifted to me a few months ago.

to reduce clutter in my life- I didn’t make as much progress as in previous months, but I did get a weekend away to clear my mind and sometimes that is just as valuable as clearing out items out of my home.

to eliminate reduce excuses and procrastination- I decided to change the wording of this (finally) because let’s be honest everyone has times when they just aren’t in the mood to do something. So I feel it is more realistic to try to get better at it vs eliminating excuses and procrastination completely. This is still my most vague goal, because how can I tell if I am progress in it? My only examples of supporting this are making “To-do” lists for weekends and staying focused enough to cross everything off. One weekend this included buying some new dressy dresses for some weddings I have coming up!

Ok I think that’s about everything. I hope everyone has a nice and relaxing Labor Day Weekend.

 

Resolutions Check-in: Halfway Mark

We are officially halfway through 2016. Are you still keeping up with your resolutions? Or do you need to reevaluate your goals for the year? One of my favorite bloggers & podcast host Nicole Antoinette created a Mid-Year-Review which poses questions looking back at the last 6 months and what should be committed to for the next 6 months. I highly recommend you check it out for some self-reflection.

Here is an update on my resolutions. At the beginning of the year I shorten my resolutions to 5 words… “Don’t be afraid to try”….

to train for a marathon- I have OFFICIALLY started training for this, I am 4 weeks into the plan and have already modified it by running more mileage than the plan lists. This is because after training for a half marathon, I felt the plan started off a little too easy. I finished June running 80 miles, which is the most I have ever ran in 1 month since I started running 5 1/2 years ago. I am excited to see what the next 79 days of my training will bring. Stay tuned!

to find my true purpose in my career- I took some helpful steps in my career by requesting a meeting with the Vice President of my division to ask for career advice before he leaves for another position. I really enjoyed working with and for him and after our conversation he offered to be a career mentor for me. He is someone who has been in Higher Education for 15+ years and has a lot of connections, so it can only mean good things for me!

to do things outside my comfort zone- I did a couple of activities this month that fall under this category:

First, I volunteered at my church’s bazaar even though I don’t know many people at the church and have never volunteered at the bazaar before. I worked for 4 hours on the food line, which meant I had to take and fulfill orders. It turned out to be a lot of fun and made me want to do it again next year.

I also attended an informational session for a local leadership program I want to apply for. The uncomfortable part was that it included some mingling/networking time, which is something I am NOT good at. I am not good at just walking up to someone and striking up a conversation. But I tried to put my best foot forward and meet a few people.

Read 25 books in 2016- I finished 2 audio book “Why not me?” by Mindy Kaling, and “BossyPants” by Tina Fey, which were good.  I am still reading ‘How to be single’ and it is not what I thought it would be, I don’t easily give up on books, but this one is not keeping me hooked. I do have a vacation coming up in a few weeks and can’t wait to read the new Emily Giffin book, First Comes Love! My total for the year is 9 books plus 3 audio books, which means I am right on track.

to reduce clutter in my life- I canceled 2 fitness magazine subscriptions because i was getting so far behind on them. I would skip through all of the beauty sections, and just read articles. Plus I have realized that enjoy more running specific articles vs general health/fitness and I just read everything online. So now I won’t have magazines piling up on my kitchen table reminding me on how far behind I am on them.

to eliminate excuses and procrastination- Well, similar to last month, I am not sure how well I did on this. I feel like I have reduced excuses when it comes to making time to workout- I will work out during my lunch hour, or even wake up early once in a while. But when it comes to other things in life I could be considered procrastinating. For example, I have had my scrapbook material and a years worth of pictures on my coffee table for the few months with little progress. I hope to finally make some progress this long weekend (Happy 4th of July), but the “excuse” is that when I get home I just want to relax or have to be an adult and pay bills or clean.

to treat others better and think before I speak- I didn’t keep very good track of whether I did this well or not this month. I don’t know if that is a good or a bad thing?

I would love to hear what you are working on for July, or committing to for the rest of the year.

Thought for the next month: We do not remember days, we remember moments.  Too often we try to accomplish something big without realizing that the greatest part of life is made up of the little things.

 

Resolution Check-in: Month 5

5 Months down in 2016, are you still keeping up with your resolutions? As I review what my resolutions are I am reminded that it’s very helpful for me to have these monthly check-ins because depending on what is going on in my life I forget about these goals. The good thing is that throughout the month I make notes of what I have done so I don’t have to try to remember what happened 4 weeks ago!

Here’s how I am doing with my resolutions….

(January, February, March & April Updates)

To find my true purpose of career– Within a day of posting last month’s update I realized that it may not be realistic to find the true purpose of my career within a year. As Steve jobs once said you can only connect the dots looking backward. Who knows where my career will take me and all I can do is learn the best I can on whatever job I am in. When I wrote this resolution I was little frustrated with my job and had been looking into the Live Your Passion course which promises to help find your true path within 90 days. With this in mind I thought it was a realistic resolution, but it would require committing to going through the course but that is not a priority for me right now  it’s not that I don’t have time it’s just not a priority at this moment. Training for my marathon is and that is time-consuming mentally and physically.

To do things outside my comfort zone– I did a couple of things this month 1) I applied as a ” ‘fitness bloggers and influencers’ interested in working on a campaign for a major fitness shoe brand who is launching a new workout shoe!”, which lead me to 2) I created an Instagram Account to support this blog (follow me on @sarahchasinglife). It has been a learning curve to decide what and how much I want to share. I want to keep it real and not feel pressured to take many pictures out on my run to try to get ‘the perfect picture’. I like having another platform to share my story and connect with others, but I will be peer pressured to feel like I need to have pictures like everyone I follow. I have received some encouraging comments with sharing what I do, and I would rather gain followers that way.  3) I submitted a piece of writing to be a contributor on Salty Running, results TBA. 4) I embarrassed myself by ‘performing’ a song for my best friend at her wedding with some of her family members 🙂 it won’t be the next viral video but it was a lot of fun!

Recommended Read: Here is a GREAT article that relates to both the directly above and below resolutions. The article is entitled”When you struggle with Imposter Syndrome and Self-Doubt”; It’s not who you are that holds you back but who you think you aren’t

To treat others better and think before I speak- The first half of the month I felt I was doing better with this and was trying to be more aware of my tone, and was proud of myself for it. But the accumulation of not getting a restful night of sleep I got frustrated over a side volunteer project at work and I didn’t think the meeting was going productively and felt like the committees time wasn’t being efficiently spent. But instead of just keeping my thoughts to myself or just writing it in a notebook, I expressed my discontent. I felt bad afterward and did have a discussion with the person spearheading the meeting, and instead of getting bummed for the rest of the day, I thought “Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress, which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.” ~Unknown

Earlier this month, it was pointed out to me that I need to stop being so critical and negative toward myself. We are our own worst critics, and I know I need to try to not be so self-critical. So this month I also worked on treating myself better and considered “If this were my best friend, would I speak to them that way?”….days were better than others.

To train for a marathon- I also made good progress with this. First, I met with a exercise science student to develop a cross training plan to supplement my marathon training and though the first week left me sore, within 2 weeks I was already able to see some changes.  I also decided on my training plan for this marathon (courtesy of Kara Gouchers ‘Women in Running’ book), and with some advice/tips from my Dad (former runner), I feel confident moving forward with it. I officially start my training on Sunday!! 15 1/2 weeks until the big day! Since it’s my first marathon I just want to be able to complete it and finish strong, but in the midst of my training plan I am also trying for a personal best in a 15K and have a week vacation so there is some flexibility in the plan to account for this.

Read 25 books in 2016-I Started reading ‘How to be Single’ because the recent movie looked funny and I thought it might be an entertaining read.  I also listened to ‘Me Before you’ as an audio book… so that counts right? Which mean I am up to 9 completed books, since I didn’t finish 2 books this month I am falling a little behind, but I still have time to get on track.

To reduce clutter in my life-I was also pretty successful on this. I cut back on coaching and that has allowed me some ‘me-time’ and I have been able to catch up on some projects and things that are important to me (scrapbooking, blog, running). Here’s an article related to this that I found helpful. 5 steps to minimising a overcommitted social schedule

I continue to remove items (clothes, household items) in my apartment that are taking up space and I haven’t used. Sometimes it’s 2-3 items in 1 day, other times I go a week or two without boxing something up, but I feel like I am getting much better at letting something goes. If a shirt doesn’t look good on me, whether it was a hand me down or I’ve had for a while, I don’t keep it hoping I’ll change my mind, I just put it in a bag to be donated. Out of sight, out of mind, and one more empty hanger in my closet. Even if I don’t narrow down my clothes to a capsule wardrobe, I am trying to keep in mind that if I just have the clothes I LOVE and makes me “look or feel like a million bucks” then that will make me feel a lot better.

To reduce excuses and procrastination- I did good with this regarding getting workouts in this month. There were a few times that I worked out during my lunch hour if I had something going on after work vs having to wake up early or squeeze in a workout after work before I have to coach.

How you are doing with your resolutions?

Have a great June, and I’d love if you followed me on Instagram

 

 

 

Resolution Check-in: Month 4

Seeing your progress is one of the most powerful ways to sustain motivation

Although I prefer writing and sharing stories about my running, sharing my progress of resolutions continues to keep me accountable, and if my story connects with someone struggling with the same things, than I am still achieving my goal of this blog.

Now 1/3 of the way through 2016, and here’s the update of my resolutions

  • to train for a marathon: With the success of completing my 3rd half marathon, I will officially be starting my marathon training at the end of May. I have been researching various training plans and have also met with a personal trainer at the wellness clinic at work to provide me with a personalized cross-training plan. I am looking forward to challenging my fitness levels, and hope that I will stay injury free.
  • to find my true purpose in my career- I didn’t find my true purpose this month, haha, but I did have some perspective provided from a good friend on not overstepping my boundaries at work just because I am anxious to have work assigned. I have tried to improved my attitude, and the last 2 weeks of the month were MUCH better than the first 2, so I hope it will continue in this direction.
  • to treat others better and think before I speak-This month has been tough on me regarding this because I am trying to be better, and then when I slip up I beat myself up over it… recognizing it is an improvement, but I still need work on stopping it before it’s happening. Some days I feel  it’s a good thing I live alone because I don’t have to interact with someone and say something offensive/rude/sarcastic. But at the same time, how will I practice getting better at this skill if I am not around other people? So when I was at my parents recently I tried to just really watch my tone and helped out with outdoors chores as an ‘actions speak louder than words’ type of thing, I may not always say the right thing, but I do try to do the right thing.      Another example is that I had written up a blog post, but as I read through it I realized that it may come across as offensive to others, even though it made me realize how grateful I was in my ability to do something, the story/lesson wasn’t worth the potential of it coming across as hurtful when I don’t really know the other person’s story. So I deleted the post.
  • to do things outside my comfort zone- I don’t have anything to report on regarding this. So this serves as a reminder for me try to find something in May- maybe it will be more fitness based with trying new exercises.
  • Read 25 books in 2016- I finished 2 more books in April (Lean In & Running for Women), so I am up to 8 books read this year. I have a vacation booked in July, so I hope to get an extra book read during that time.
  • to reduce clutter in my life– I was VERY successful in making progress in this goal this month. I did a lot of reflecting on if I were to hit the refresh button on commitments I’m involved with, what would I still choose to do.  I made a list of all the things going on in my life ranging from my full-time job, commuting hours, coaching to spending time with friends and family to time for myself doing things I enjoy (running, scrapbooking, reading), etc and I had nearly 20 items..20! I was surprised, but it made total sense that I felt like I was juggling too much, and feel guilty when I can’t do it all. Looking at all those things helped me to think about the priority of the item. From that list I started making changes to stop feeling so obligated to different tasks… I removed myself from a local emerging leaders committee because I have not been able to attend any meetings because of where I work and I always feel bad I can’t contribute a full effort. Another council I’m on I almost discontinued with after 5 years but when I realized why I have been involved for as long as I have I decided to give it another year (again) with hopes that by being able to attend meetings in person my attitude about the group will improve.

Breaking busy is about more than identifying the things in our life that suck the life out of us. We must also identify what gives us life, what recharges us and restores our capacity 

I also reorganized a tall bookshelf I have in my living room that I see everyday. It started off full of DVDs (who watches those now anyways with Netflix?) board games (which hardly get used because I don’t have friends over as often as I’d like), and picture frames. It was a lot of clutter to look at. So after seeing a few pictures on Pinterest and getting some inspiration from my youngest sister in law- I reorganized the shelf to only have books on it of some of my favorite authors/series; Sisterhood of the traveling pants, Nicholas Sparks, Sarah Dessen, Emily Giffin, Running books and then some framed pictures. I’ve read that removing clutter from areas I see everyday reduces the clutter I feel in your mind and it has done just that. By physically touching all the old items on the shelf and moving new ones into it I also decided what items I still enjoyed and what items were just taking up space in my apartment.

I also did some spring cleaning of my closets…. over the course of the last few months I have removed 2 garbage bags worth of clothes and just a few days ago donated them to a great cause United Nations Girls up. There was a collection box at work and it felt great knowing it was going to support a good cause.

Lastly I cut down on more tv shows, and officially cut the cable cord. Returning my cable box will not only save me money but also free up time I spent mindlessly watching tv. I am not home much anyway due to the previously mentioned list and after less than 2 weeks I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner!

  • to eliminate excuses and procrastination-Again I don’t have much to report here, which just means that I didn’t keep very good track of this throughout the month. But I did come across this: “Instead of thinking ‘I don’t have time’, try saying ‘it’s not a priority’ and see how that feels'”(Laura Vanderkam). I think getting into the habit of saying that sentence could really have an impact on achieving this goal.

Thanks for reading. Are you still sticking with your resolutions?

Resolutions: Month 3

Another month passed and 1/4 of the way through 2016!

I am keeping up with this monthly resolution check in (even if it’s a few days late) as a way to hold myself accountable and share my progress.

To start my recap, at the beginning of March I was having a conversation with a friend talking about my resolutions, and throughout the discussion I was reminded these resolutions or goals aren’t S.M.A.R.T goals. They may not be specific or measurable, but at the time I wrote them, these were the items that were on my mind.

As I process where I stand with everything now, I am realizing that life can get change quickly and now some of these resolutions don’t seem as needed or important as they did 3 months ago. However, instead of removing them I will alter them to better fit my thoughts now.

  • to train for a marathon– With only 4 weeks left until my 3rd half marathon (Read about my week 8 of training here), I have been looking into marathon training plans. I am planning on a 16 week plan which means my training will officially begin Memorial Day weekend.
  • to find my true purpose in my career- I attended a workshop and listened to an audio book about how to find value in my workday. What do I enjoy doing and how can I do more of that in order to add value to my department and organization without feeling like I need to find another job? Since then, I have been trying to keep that thought, it is helping me to challenge myself to think outside the box and take more initiative.
  • to treat others better and think before I speak-Some days I feel like I am doing better at this, but there are still times when I just say what’s on my mind regardless of who is around, so then I feel self-conscious of saying anything at all. I really wish I was better at this one, maybe next month… any one have any tips?
  • to do things outside my comfort zone-I was successful in this goal this month. It started off with holding 2 discussion with some female colleagues as we started reading “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. These discussions are outside my comfort zone because I do not have a lot of experience facilitating a meeting or discussion. So far I have done well keeping everyone on track, but I sometimes struggle speaking up and redirecting those who are older than me to not spend the whole time venting about work politics but rather keep on topic of the book.
  • to make time to read more books- I am altering this resolution to be “read 25 books in 2016”. I finished 2 more books in March; The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry & The Seven Steps to Closure, both fiction books and ‘fun reads’, so my total is up to 6, and in the middle of 3 more.
  • to reduce clutter in my life– I have made some steps to declutter my DVR- this serves a dual purpose of getting me more time to read books, but also gives me less shows to try to keep up with. My sister in law is helping me stay accountable on weaning myself off of my DVR and eventually cutting the cable cord. Her advice was if I get weeks behind on a tv show, then I must not be that interested in watching it. I also have plans to completely cancel cable this month. I also have been working on cleaning up my social media. Here is a helpful article if you are interested in doing the same. I also liked this article on reducing clutter or this one about how to define minimalist.
  • to eliminate excuses and procrastination– This is probably my least ‘SMART’ goal, which means I haven’t made much progress. But it does cause me to think about what am I trying to stop procrastinating? Why do I feel like I need to procrastinate in the first place? I heard once that if you aren’t completing something on your ‘To-Do’ list then it must not be a priority, so possibly I have too many things I am trying to juggle, which ties into my ‘reducing clutter’ goal.

Are you still keeping and working on your resolutions? 

 

Resolutions: Month 2 Check-in

Another month gone by, which means another update on my New Years Resolutions! How are you doing with your resolutions? Studies show that by now over 80% of people have already given up on their resolutions.As a way to keep myself out of the 80% I will be keeping up with these monthly check-ins since they help to keep me accountable.

Read about how I was doing at the end of January.

The main theme of my 2016 resolutions was “Don’t be afraid to Try”….

  • to train for a marathon: I haven’t started officially training for this, as I am currently 3 weeks into training for my 3rd half marathon on May 1st. But once that is complete, then my focus will shift to marathon training.
  • to find my true purpose in my career– This will continue to be a work in progress, but I have downloaded a book The Quit Alternative:The Blueprint for Creating the Job you love WITHOUT quitting By Ben Fanning (currently $.99 on Kindle download) which I plan to read in March or April. Also during a 1:1 meeting with my boss, I admitted that some day I would like to be a Director or Administrator. My boss’s response was “if you want to be, you will be”. I do enjoy WHERE I am working now but know I am not in my ‘forever’ position. I know there is a lot still to learn and I am anxious to learn it, but it’s evident that I enjoy teaching others, which is one of the reasons I coach, so I’d like to find a way to incorporate that may into my full time job. 
  • to treat others better and think before I speak when sharing my opinions on things I been myself catching myself and wondering how it will come across to someone based on their life experiences, especially at work. Its still a work in progress, but just taking a moment to stop and think, especially when I am venting has hopefully helped me to try not to offend the person I am talking to or say some I’d regret.
  • to do things outside my comfort zone I took some steps in this category this month. I reached out to someone I went to high school but didn’t really know to see if they wanted to carpool to work with me. Although the carpooling didn’t work out, I did step outside my comfort zone to also ask to meet up at a Happy Hour in the city we work in, it went well, and now I have a new friend. (Yes, only a friend K.S 😉 ) But I was proud of myself for not chickening out.  Something else I did, was ask my boss whether my recently completed MBA had any impact on my compensation, she did answer no, since it was considered when I was hired; but I had been waiting to ask for months, and finally ripped off the band-aid. Never know unless you ask right?
  • to make time to read more booksAfter nearly 8 weeks off from tv shows due to their mid-season breaks, I realized I wasn’t as interested in a few more shows anymore, so  canceled the recordings on my DVR without second guessing, and you know what’s, I haven’t missed them! That step has also helped me with reducing clutter in my life (see below). Besides less tv opening up time, I am currently reading 4 different books- 1 (soon to be 2) for a work related discussion, 2 that I read during lunch rotating depending on my mood & 1 at bedtime. I know if I read one it would go faster but having a book at work, at home and in my phone (kindle) allows me to read whenever I want and not have to remember to bring a book with me.
  • to reduce clutter in my life: Earlier this month, I took some time and cleaned out emails that have been sitting in my inbox for months, and some even years. I left emails in an inbox thinking that if they were there I would eventually make the recipes, complete the workouts, share the quotes, etc. But if I haven’t gotten to them now, I figured I didn’t need to keep looking at them, so I archived or deleted emails. With fewer emails cluttering my inbox I don’t feel like there is always something I should be doing or reading, I already have enough to try to fit into my schedule! Plus if I need a recipe I can go to the folder I sorted it in and if I wanted to mix up my workouts I can just goggle a new one! As I heard in a recent podcast, that’s what search functions are for whether it’s in your email or the Internet. After I finished this purging of about 10-15 emails in each inbox I have,school, work, home, I felt much better, lighter, and it inspired me to keep going with other items in my life. With that in mind, my bag of ‘clothes to donate’ has continued to grow. If it doesn’t “bring me joy”, and if I wouldn’t buy it if I saw it in the store now, it has been taken out of my closet and dressers!
  • to eliminate excuses and procrastinationAlthough last month I felt like I was doing pretty well with this, this month it was more of struggle. There are still some days, that are better than others and it depends on the task. Though I suppose some of the above could be considered progressing in this category. But it is something I am more aware of, but no specific examples on my success in achieving this goal this month. I hope to be able to have a better report next month.

What do you find is your biggest struggle with it comes to sticking with your resolutions? Have you changed them since January 1st?