Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Overall resolutions’ Category

52 New Things

Last year seemed to go by in a blur – and few things stick out in my mind as spectacularly fun or interesting; it felt that there was mostly stress and routine.

It felt like I lost the year because I wasn’t paying attention.

This year I intend to try to make pass more slowly, with more landmarks for interesting things. The way that I intend to do this is to try to do at least 52 new things this year (averaging one a week), and to write at least a little something about each one.

There are some general rules:

1. Not all big things. I haven’t the time or energy (or the budget) to make them all “skydiving”
2. I’m going to limit those that are cooking-related. I think that I’d find that too easy. On the other hand, I need some easy things, so particular projects will be ok, but not simply trying a new recipe.
3. Try to do them once a week. Obviously sticking to this would be hard, and I don’t want to take the fun out of it by making it too structured … but I also don’t want to find myself giving up mid-way through the year because I’ve let myself get too far behind.
4. The write ups can be brief.

Here is a current brainstorm of possibilities:

hot-air ballooning
roast a goose
marbeling
skydiving
see a show in NYC
Go on a date
Hatha Yoga
wine-tasting
See all Academy Award Nominees (for best picture 2013)
Mud Run
Horseback Riding
whitewater rafting
making beer/wine/cider
buy a lottery ticket
cook >1/2 recipes in Whitewater Cafe Cookbook
take a photo with shaped flares
take 5 portrait photos
wear makeup to work >5 days
watch the full extended LOTR
Re-read 5 childhood favorites
Make a Terranium
Supermoon photo
Make myself a queen-sized quilt
Cook a recipe from The French Laundry
Go to The Philly Pen Show and take a Calligraphy class
Write “After I’m Dead” letters
Lucky 13 Party (6/13/14)
Cure egg yolks
Make preserved Lemon
Punkin Chunkin (10/24-26 in DE)
Long Arm Quilting
See >12 movies in the theater
make Fortune cookies
Go to another country
Make Borscht
naturally dye eggs
take a writing class

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

As yet unfiltered, un-abandoned – and unachievable in it’s entirety …

 

Resolutions 2011

Read Full Post »

Overall Resolution: To feel more engaged in life and living.

I think that I achieved 50/50 success on this one: I did beautifully in the first part of the year, before Dad died, and I’ve been making steps back in that direction in the latter part of the year. The middle portion of the year, not-so-much. But I’m cutting myself a good chunk of justified slack on this.

Of the individual resolutions here is a summary:

Work towards being as fit as I’ve ever been by:
Successfully completing the Peak Condition Project
• Continuing to follow diet and training for another 90 days FAIL – but Dad died two weeks after, so that I’m going to blame on bad timing
• Weigh 125 before the end of the year FAIL – pass on to 2011
• Run another marathon (Philadelphia marathon) – more comfortably and in less than 5 hours POSTPONEDalthough I’m not sure I could have managed anyway, I got achilles tendonitis from (I believe) running in beat down shoes and had to take 3 months off running.
Get on top of my health maintenance – dr. appointments, preventative care, etc.
To track my Resolution progress by:
• Weekly PCP blog entries
• Monthly Failure=Success essay FAIL – but have been making (smaller) steps towards being a more regular blogger
• Keeping a food journal PARTIAL SUCCESS – I did well during PCP, terribly thereafter. Pass on to 2011
• Keeping a training journal FAIL – to be honest, forgot this was a resolution. Did well during PCP, nothing afterwards
Tracking weight, blood pressure, and $ spent

Find a better way to balance work, me, and trips up to Boston.

I have been improving – but have, perhaps, reached the limits of what can be achieved. It’s not possible to adequately balance bi-weekly trips. I’m going to need to start cutting back on the frequency. January will be the start, as I’ve already booked every weekend except my birthday.
Slow down and simplify my life.

Baby steps. No wild success, but I can’t claim abject failure either. Perhaps my expectations were not realistic.
• Writing down one (or more) things that I do or accomplish each day on my calendar. So I can look over the year and have a decent sense of what I’m doing – or what I’ve been wasting my time on. FAIL I did this well for the first month or two and then gave up. This year I’ll try something similar, but different.
• Experiment with daily meditation.
Light candles more often
• Bring more flowers into my life

Continue to work on having better time management.
• Making reasonable estimates on what I can accomplish in a day PARTIAL FAIL – in this case, I think my expectations were too high. I have been making baby steps forward
• Taking a measure of how much putter/me time I need and make certain that I get it FAIL but making progress
• Not biting off more than I can chew … and to carry the metaphor further, spit out what’s going to choke me
• Planning time for me, for fun, and for vacation. Keeping in mind that I’d like a “big” vacation in a year or two. FAIL – due to family events
• Be more attentive to how I am actually spending my time. This would be helped if I can find a way to get myself to track my time and analyze what I find. I will try again. FAIL

Work on actually working to become a writer.
• Regular journal writing FAIL
• Blog entries
• Failure=Success essays FAIL
• Think through and research long-term dreams FAIL

Work on pursuing my happiness, not what other’s think it should be, or what I think it should be, but what it actually is.

Baby steps forward.
Pay more attention to long term goals.


• Plan a big trip. When. Where. What. Budget & Save
FAIL
Start building a recipe binder. PARTIAL FAIL
Be more aware of my finances. PARTIAL FAIL
• Track my spending FAIL
• Research and monitor my big-project spending FAIL
• Identify areas where I can save money simply by not being stupid and weak. (I’m thinking food, book, and craft project spending are obvious areas for improvement)

Spend more time keeping in touch with long-distance friends.

PARTIAL SUCCESS needs improvement
Cut down on TV FAIL
Make cultural activities a more regular part of my life. FAIL
Clean, organize, and streamline home. Except the laundry room, which needs to be done. I also need to cycle through the process a few more times.
Consciously work on my photography.
• Taking one or more classes FAIL
Putting myself through a number of exercises to get a better familiarity and a better gut-level understanding of the main technical aspects of photography (ISO; aperture; shutter speed)
Setting aside time to practice.

Host more social events.
• Brunch: The Great Eggsperiment
• Game Night (or more than one) FAIL
• Christmas in July FAIL
Wine and Cheese
• Halloween: poker/gambler theme FAIL
• A picnic trip to Longwood Gardens FAIL
A trip to the shore
• A trip to the Mann Center FAIL

I also hosted at least two crafting parties

Read 50/50 for fun and for thinking. PARTIAL SUCCESS
Write. Daily. FAIL
Try on-line dating again. FAIL
Take stock of where I am now, so as to see what I can achieve in 2010. .
Every day write down what I’ve accomplished. PARTIAL SUCCESS
Eat out of the Freezer and Pantry. Needs to be done again
Create a List of 40 Things to do before I am 40 – and start doing them. Although I’m likely not going to complete them all ….

Read Full Post »

And I continue to be consistent with how frequently I review my resolutions.  I remain disappointed in myself. I’ve made hesitant steps to regaining my forward momentum with my resolutions, but keep allowing myself to be knocked down. I had two great weeks of going back to PCP – and then started being bothered by tight muscles and a tender Achilles tendon. On doctor’s advice (which I didn’t wholly agree with, but figured it wouldn’t hurt to give her the benefit of the doubt) I rested my ankle for two weeks, taking anti-inflammatorie twice daily (mostly).
There has been no improvement, so I’m more than ready to return to the doctor to press for a referral to a Physical Therapist. Anxious, really, because while I didn’t have to, I gave up pretty much all exercise in an effort to spare my ankle. Now I’m hurting from the lack. Tuesday I’m going to the gym and bicycling.
On the plus side, I’m getting antsy about getting back into the fray. I’ve finished my 40B440 list, and plan to spend at least an hour today planning how I’m going to pack it all in over the next 5 months, or a little less.

Work towards being as fit as I’ve ever been.

Over the past two months I have not held steady and I’ve made backward progress. Which is disappointing and frustrating. And now, with an injury, is making me really nervous. I need to find an commit to an alternative plan – and, if aerobic exercise is going to be limited, I’m going to need to be more restrictive with my diet. Which I’m hoping will not be as hard as I’m afraid it will be – I’ve noticed, although have been unsuccessful at stopping, that nearly all of my diet failures come from eating emotionally, or allowing myself to get too tired. Further, I’ve been  aware that I have not always really enjoyed my indulgences and have managed to stop on occasion. So perhaps a rule of thumb to adopt and be hyper-vigilant about keeping is to be sure that I’m enjoying my indulgence. If I’m not, I should stop immediately.

So for the rest of September my goal is to get back on a more strict diet, recover from my injury, and keep up strength training and daily workouts as I can around the injury. In October, I hope my injury will be a thing of the past and I’ll ramp it up a bit. And getting fit will be wrapped up in working to cross things off my 40B440 list:

  • get down to pre-grad school weight
  • Run another marathon (this may need either an extension or a replacement – currently injured and may not have a marathon in trainable time between now and 40 unless I’m willing to fly)
  • Run 200 miles
  • Take at least one yoga class

So a diet including lots of raw/semi-raw veg, cutting down/out sugars and salt, and mindful indulgences, tracking my running, and exercising regularly are in my immediate future. If running is out – I’m going to focus on biking/swimming, ab workouts, and strength training. But I’m really going to miss aerobic exercise.

Tracking will be important – and my goal to blog at least once a week should help. I hope to blog more.

Find a better way to balance work, me, and trips up to Boston.

I am slowly nudging my way back to making some progress in this arena. It helps that this weekend is my first weekend back in 3 weeks, and it’s a long weekend. But I am still nervous about how refreshed I’ll feel on Tuesday, as it’s a pretty packed week …

I suppose that I need to be sure to take enough serious journal and thinking time. Which means tomorrow.

Slow down and simplify my life.

I don’t feel as though I’ve made enough progress in this arena – although I do think that I’ve been making a fairly good effort: I just haven’t made as much headway as I would have liked. Which is frustrating, but it’s not fair to beat myself up over trying and failing. Although a part of me wonders if I should be trying harder or trying different things if what I’ve been doing isn’t working. But I’m a little short on new ideas, and suspect that growing slowly more aware of how and when I’m putting myself in the wrong mental space is of greater value than it may appear.

I do think that I will try to take more conscious «time outs» to try to get myself out of the mental perspective rut I’ve trapped myself in. This coming week is likely to be very busy and stressful at work, so I suspect that I may want to plan to make some allowences and not expect too much of myself outside of work – but I think that I’ll try to take 15 minutes every day after I get home from work to just relax and decompress. Hopefully without distractions. Let’s see if I can remember. And I should start today, after I get home from Boston.

I did not manage to track my forward progress as I had planned. In fact, I think I only managed about two days of incomplete tracking. Sigh. I suppose I should re-think my plans to track everything in my 40B440 project, but I find the idea very appealing – perhaps I just haven’t acknowledged how much work it will be. If I can manage to do it, however, I think that it will be immeasurably helpful – both for keeping me on track and motivated, and for lifting my mental spirits and outlook.

I will try.

Continue to work on having better time management.

I’m not sure what to say about this. It has not been a primary focus, except in that in trying to simplify my life and trying to get back to enjoying living, I’ve been making an effort to reduce the number of unrealistic expectations I set myself. It is also an area, I begin to suspect, in which progress is likely to be incremental and barely perceptable. Maybe I’m being pessimistic – but without external pressure really bearing down for the need for change, I don’t think I have it in me to apply the level of pressure on my self to bring about faster change. I have been keeping my expected to-do list at work shorter – I’m less disciplined about my home projects, probably because I so often forget that I should be using the same processes. I ham happier when I have looked at and thought through my calender well ahead of time, although I don’t always do so.

Perhaps that should be a habit I aim to cultivate?

One idea that’s been floating in my head is to track how I’m feeling in an effort to get a better understanding of what sorts of things negatively and positively impact my energy levels and moods. It doesn’t really link with all the other things I fantasize about tracking for my 40B440 project, but would none-the-less be helpful. I think. Maybe I’ll experiment. We’ll see if I can figure out a good way to track what I’m already thinking of tracking.

Work on actually working to become a writer.

Getting closer. Or so I tell myself. I should really set myself a deadline. Screw post-poning this. I will move this to the head of the line. Starting next week. Screw that. Starting tomorrow.
Work on pursuing my happiness, not what other’s think it should be, or what I think it should be, but what it actually is.

I’ve still done squat all towards this. But I think that this continued attention to trying to change the way that I live and be more engaged is helping – especially noticing where I’m mucking things up. This is something to keep my eye on during this 40B440 experiment.

Pay more attention to long-term goals.

I have not been doing so very well at this – except to become more and more aware of how little experience I have at making long term goals (at least at a consious level) and more and more aware that I think I might benefit by doing so. Yet I put it off again and again. Sigh. Well, if I’m going to actually complete my 40B440, I’ll need to make at least some medium-term plans – and some long-term plans. That will be practice. But I still want to remember the other places where I want to make long term plans:

  • Career path
  • Finances
  • Writing career
  • Training
  • The way I live my life
  • Certain projects
  • Big Vacations

Start building a recipe binder

I’ve made little to no further progress on this. This is still a to-work-on-later project – mainly for after I’ve reached my weight goal and feel more at liberty to spend time cooking. But I’m also wondering if I don’t need to think about what I would like the final product to look like and be – because the current state is utterly uninspiring and uninteresting.

Be more aware of my finances.

I’ve made squat all progress. But I will make more progress this month. I think I’ve reached the necessary level of frustration. Sigh

Spend more time keeping in touch with long-distance friends.

Again, this is something that I need to keep reminding myself about. In general, I’m improved, but only a little. But I am still not GOOD, and I mean to be better.

Cut down on TV

I expected to do better with this over the summer – but instead have been a bit worse. I think because I’ve been searching for ways to escape more this summer than I did earlier in the year. But I am happier when I’m not watching too much television. So I will try again. More to the point – I’m going to try to be more aware and if I’m not enjoying something, or I recongize that I’m not watching for any particular reason, I’ll bail.

Make cultural activities a more regular part of my life

Again, I’ve made squat all progress. I think the only thing I’ve done in this vein (besides Black Grace) has been to visit the art galleries when I went to Vermont and go on a historical photo walk of Boston. This is a resolution for a different year.

Clean, organize, and streamline home.

I haven’t made any recent progress in this arena – but I’ve been feeling the pressure to tackle the remaining three rooms: the kitchen, the laundry room, and the den. Perhaps in a weekend or two. The areas where I have been successful, at least on a first pass, give me so much pleasure that I’m eager to repeat the experience.

Consciously work on my photography

I’ve made a little progress – but it isn’t really something I’ve focused my attention on. At some point I’d like to pay attention to taking photos by manually choosing the settings. But I’m beginning to suspect that may not happen until next year.

Host more social events

I’ve continued to make small progress here: I’ve organized a mini-golf evening and a movie night for the book-club folks. I think that I’ll be hosting another crafting party and have committed myself to hosting another party at my house as part of my 40B4040 project. I need to commit and send invitations.

Read 50/50 for fun and for thinking.

I’ve not done quite as well here in the past two months. But perhaps it’s all in the natural swing of things. Now I’m jonesing for some more thinking reading.

Write. Daily.

No progress here. Yet. I’m going to be making a more concerted effort with the 40B440 project. It’s likely to be mainly blathering, but I hope to guide it more towards essays ☺

Try on-line dating again.

I think this may happen either this month or next month. Time to take another leap.

Take stock of where I am now, so as to see what I can achieve in 2010.

Wow am I behind the times with this. What do I hope intend to achieve in 2010?

Every day write down what I’ve accomplished
I suck at this. Time to try again.

Eat out of the Freezer and Pantry.

I had been doing pretty well. But have recently re-filled the freezer and the pantry needs to be cleared out. Now I’m beginning to lean towards just throwing crap out.

Create a List of 40 Things to do before I am 40 – and start doing them.

I finished the list in early September, and am newly resolved to throw myself at them with GUSTO.

Read Full Post »

Well, at least I’ve been consistent with how diligent I’ve been in reviewing my resolutions.  At the moment I’m a bit disappointed with myself – since April I’ve largely allowed my resolutions to go ignored. I’m sure I’m being too hard on myelf – I knew that May was going to be a difficult month, perhaps I should have also known that June wouldn’t see me ready to just leap to my feet and back into the fray again.

So I’m going to ignore the last two months and dive back in again. It’s time to stop reacting and to start being proactive.

Work towards being as fit as I’ve ever been.

Over the past two months, the best that I can say is that I’ve held steady and have maybe made a tiny bit of forward progress. With Dad’s death and the normal stresses of work and living, holding steady, not comfort eating too much, and doing some regular exercise is really doing pretty damn good. Yes, these things help me cope – but the temptation is there all the time to just-not-try, and it does me good on multiple levels to not give in to temptation.
However, I am finding it frustrating to not be able to commit as thoroughly to the KFB project as I did to PCP. While it is possible that this is the due to the nature of KFB, I am inclined to believe that it has much more to do with me than with the program: it may have been a bit too soon after completing PCP; it might be expecting too much of myself to dive into something like this so soon after Dad’s death and everything that goes along with that; and I don’t think I had clear, or realistic, goals for the project – for example, also expecting to train for a marathon and maybe keep up with some PCP exercises is certainly too much.
So I’ve followed the first half of KFB much less strictly than I had PCP. On the one hand, this makes me feel disappointed in myself and lazy. On the other hand, it allows me to not push myself too hard and has inadvertently let me practice a more balanced approach to diet and exercise that doesn’t involve full-bore committment and non-sustainable habits. But I think I’m ready for one final push to make a jump forward towards my goals.

So now is probably a good time to step back and think about what those goals are. To be as fit as I’ve ever been. Without a lifetime of benchmarking, that goal is a bit nebulous. In certain respects, I’m probably stronger than I’ve ever been. In some areas (core, arms) I’m not as strong as I was when I was diving at RPI. I’m not in as good running shape as I’ve been – as I was when I was training for the marathon or even for a half marathon, although I am confident I could get there without too much trouble. On the other hand, my resting heartbeat is better than I think it’s ever been and overall I may be better than I’ve ever been. I’m certainly close.  The problem with this particular goal, as framed, is that it’s a moveable feast: as I improve, my goals move forward as well. While I am willing, for a short spell, to throw myself into training, I am not willing to sustain a high level of effort (or, more accurately, a large portion of my free time) forever. I can commit to a lower level of exercise for the rest of my life – but not ~2 hrs/day 6 days/week.
I need to set more concrete goals where it will be very clear when I’ve reached them and when I should make the decision that I’ve done enough:
    Weight to 130 lbs. If possible. 135 might be more likely but I’ll shoot for 130
    Run 10 miles comfortably
    Be able to do at least one pull up without a counter balance
    Be able to do 50 elevated push ups
    Be able to do 5 x 2 minute planks
    Do the 8 minute ab work without breaking a sweat
Flexibility is something that I’d like to improve, but I’m not sure how to guage it. Being able to place my palms on the floor might be one way.

Now that I have goals well defined, I can make concrete plans.

For KFB I have been more delinquent about blogging. I am slightly chagrined at this, but it’s mitigated by the fact that I’m glad that I recognize that it just isn’t a priority – and to blog as I did for the PCP would consume more time than I’m willing to take away from other activities. But I would like to make an effort to make the blog entries that I do write more meaningful. I will try.

Find a better way to balance work, me, and trips up to Boston.

I had made some progress in this area – but since Dad’s death, I’ve backslid. I do still drive up Saturday mornings, but lately I’ve been delinquent about making certain that I get to bed early the Friday before, and have overlooked the critical mental step of strictly limiting my expectations to being there for Mom. I’ve reverted to my previous optimistic attitudes. So I’m disappointed.This particlar weekend is bad because there’s work that needs to be done, and I’m trying to balance the impossible task of being here fullly for Mom, get work done, and relax so I don’t implode in the next few days. Sigh.
It doubtless doesn’t help that a part of me wasn’t thinking and half expected that these frequent trips to Boston would subside now that Dad’s gone. Now Mom needs me, so the trips are likely to be just as frequent at least for the next 6 months to a year. So I really need to remember the tricks I’d already learned to make this less of a strain on myself.

Slow down and simplify my life.

I’ve not made any progress on this. With (at least perceived) extra pressure at work, a not particularly calm and sanguine outlook, chores related to Dad’s memorial and Vermont, and frequent visits to Boston, it feels like I’ve instead taken strides in the opposite direction. Which is frustrating and a real reminder of that I need to get back to trying to focus on this aspect of my resolutions. I have taken a break from pottery for the summer – but so far it feels that saving one late night a week is but a drop in the ocean.
I suppose that I have made tiny steps towards not doing more than I have to … or at least thinking about it. But I need to work on making myself more aware of where I can simplify my life, even if I cannot yet bring myself to do so. Like not watching TV or doing chores but reading on my deck instead. This resolution ties in closely with the next resolution: time management.
As an effort to live more in the present, and to be more aware of days or weeks where I’ve not been mindful about living my life more slowly, I want to try to write down one or two things that accomplish eachday towards this goal. Perhaps a phrase or two adjacent a goals tracking sheet. With KFB, I have been lighting candles more often, as I’ve been lighting them when I do my meditation in the mornings. But perhaps I should try some candle/meditation time just before bed as well?

Continue to work on having better time management.

This remains a work in progress, and I don’t think that I’ve made any progress in the past few months. I’ve been better about keeping my calender, but think that I am discouraged by it’s size. On the one hand it’s size is good for being able to view an entire month with boxes of decent size to write in, but on the other hand I put more details in the weekly views and would be willing to trade off the size of the monthly views for a smaller size. Previously, I had the idea to try to start every day with 5 minutes spent on my calender, to get me back into the habit, and to start the day thinking about what I want to do with the time. I’d still like to try to do that. I want to better manage my energy levels – which will mean paying closer attention to how much time I get to sleep and what sorts of things impact my energy levels.
I still need to make progress on making better estimates for how long to spend on things, or getting enough putter time. I need to conduct another experiment on where I’m spending my time – and this time analyze as I go, so that the useful part, the analysis, gets done. Next week might be a good opportunity.

Work on actually working to become a writer.

Sigh. Again – nothing. As this will be my next major focus after I’ve made more progress towards my fitness goals, I’ll give myself the month of July to do that and to plan how I mean to pursue my next big resolution.

Work on pursuing my happiness, not what other’s think it should be, or what I think it should be, but what it actually is.

I’ve still done squat all towards this. But making successfull efforts to achieve my resolutions, changing the way I think, writing in my journal, is helping – and starting to work on being a writer will be another step forward.

Pay more attention to long-term goals.

I’m noticing that more of my resolutions are less clearly defined than I’d thought. This one included. Just by revisiting these resolutions more than once a year, I’ve paid more attention to long-term goals. But I’m not satisfied with that. I have begun to identify places where I want long term goals – or even where I have them – but where I certainly need a thought out plan:
    Career path
    Finances
    Writing career
    Training
    The way I live my life
    Certain projects
    Big Vacations

I think that in August I’ll start brainstorming about these

Start building a recipe binder
I’ve started – and have even referred to it once, but have done little other than add papers to a pile. This is still a to-work-on-later project. Like when I’m doing more cooking. Like when it is cooler.

Be more aware of my finances.
I ‘ve back slid on this big time. I’ll try to get back to filing and tracking in August. Not this month. Way too much else on my plate.

Spend more time keeping in touch with long-distance friends.

Again, this is something that I need to keep reminding myself about. In general, I’m improved. But I am still not GOOD, and I mean to be better.

Cut down on TV
This looks like it’s going to be a continual back and forth issue. Over the summer I should be better, as there are fewer programs.

Make cultural activities a more regular part of my life

I’ve still not made much progress on this. Perhaps this is more of a «I’d like to be the kind of person who..» than something I really want to do. Although I do enjoy it. But right now my focus is more internal – do I need to balance that with something external, or not spread myself all over the place?

Clean, organize, and streamline home.

I’ve actually made some progress on this. I’m not DONE, but my closets and a few rooms are leaner. I can’t emphasize how much I love having cleared out my clothes closet. Now everything in there I’d actually wear, AND I can find it.

Consciously work on my photography

I’ve made little progress – something to work on now and later

Host more social events

I’ve actually made some progress here: I’ve hosted a crafting party and am thinking about hosting another. I still want to host another game night, but it’s not sensible to expect that I’ll do anything this month.

Read 50/50 for fun and for thinking.

I’m doing pretty well here – although I’ve probably swung too far the other way, I’m jonesing for some leisure reading.

Write. Daily.

No progress. Need to focus.

Try on-line dating again.
Not yet.

Take stock of where I am now, so as to see what I can achieve in 2010.
This is partly done – I still need to consider what I hope to achieve in 2010

Every day write down what I’ve accomplished
I’ve been slipping. Need to keep at it and perhaps build.

Eat out of the Freezer and Pantry.
Still pretty good. The freezer is about half-way to empty. The cupboards still need work, but most of that stuff was not PCP friendly, and with KFB coming up … I think I need to go through, organize, and dispose of what I’m simly not going to eat.

Create a List of 40 Things to do before I am 40 – and start doing them.
This will need to be a focus for July

Read Full Post »

Well, I’m not being as diligent as I’d hoped in reviewing my resolutions. I think I may have hope to review them once a week, and I’m still falling short of reviewing them once a month. But all is not lost, and so long as I maintain this pace or better I’m still ahead of what I’ve managed any other year. In a number of arenas I’m ahead of what I’ve managed in previous years – perhaps because somehow I’ve crossed a mental threshold and am ready to make 2010 the year of the new me.

Work towards being as fit as I’ve ever been.

This is going pretty well. I’ve lost more than 15 pounds – and without feeling as though I’m going to want to tear my hair out from the discipline. I feel stronger and better, my clothes are looser, and I feel stronger. Moreover, I feel that I’m making great strides in changing my eating habits: I’m much more aware than I used to be of when I’m eating for reasons other than hunger, my taste buds are adapting to the new diet and my cravings have not been nearly as strong as I expected them to be, and I think that my approach to treats is healthier (I think I’d be satisfied with less, and not gorging myself). I’m also more accepting of the slow but steady progress than I expected to be, which I think bodes well for continuing PCP after the 90 days – as I’m still reasonably certain that I won’t be where I want to be at the end of 90 days (just about two weeks left!). But I am more and more confident that I will be able to keep making progress and have even begun revising what my end goal will be. We’ll see, but I still plan to continue my own little PCP past April 15th because I want to go a little further and am nervous about returning to my old bad habits.

I suppose this means that I’m going to need to pay attention for a little while longer – which will mean not putting as much attention to other resolutions right away. I’m okay with that, for a little while longer.

I have not been able to manage much real running training while on the PCP, which is disappointing.  I did manage a lovely 5 mile run last weekend, but was then plagued with sore ankles for 3 days, so I think I’ll need to be careful how I push myself. I’ve been thinking of signing up for the Broad Street Run, despite my allergies, but yesterday someone at work told me it was full up – which is one way of making the decision (probably the right decision), but not the way I would have chosen. I’ll double check that information. It is correct. I will not be running the Broad Street Run. So I have a little longer to finish my PCP-type training until I need to balance strength training and running.

I’ve had my blood tested, my OB/GYN appointment, had my follow-up appointment with Dr. Reigel and made my appointment for my first mammogram (before discovering it isn’t covered until next year, so I’ll wait). So I’m very pleased with my follow-through on maintaining my health. Except I think I lost my inhaler. Sigh.
I’ve continued to be committed to doing daily PCP blog entries –they are not particularly exciting and I hope to try to put in more of my reflections and include more photos as I go on. I think that it is good practice for keeping up with other blogs – it has me in the habit of putting in a little time every day to blogging, and has given me a better idea of the time committment necessary. For the kinds of blog entries I’d like to write, I’ll either need to put in a little more time, or work a little every day but post every few days. I need to consider more how I’d like to handle that.

I STILL have not done a monthly essay for F=S, and I’d like to remedy that, but am beginning to realize that I may need to revise my expectations until I improve my use of time.

Find a better way to balance work, me, and trips up to Boston.
I’ve made progress on this since the holidays. Firstly, it is much less wearing on me to drive up Saturday morning and take Friday to relax and a good night’s rest beforehand. Secondly, it really helps that I embrace the expectation that I will not get anything I want done during my time up there or travelling, and make the conscious choice to give my weekend to Mom and Dad. And lastly, it helps to set my expectations for what I do once I returned home to NJ to a doable minimum – with time for relaxing.

Slow down and simplify my life.
Small steps. I think that either making good progress on one resolution is inspiring, or I am indeed mentally ready to make a change, but I’ve found myself making small but noticible strides in changing the way I think. I’ve been making more conscious decisions to not do or expect to do something because I’m more aware that either I really don’t have the time, or I will feel rushed and frustrated to make the attempt. I’ve also been more aware of trying to take things more slowly and enjoy the process.

For the most part, I’ve been good about writing down one or two things I did or accomplished each day, but I’ve been slipping a bit in the past month. It’s time to remind myself that is something I want to do. I’ve bought three bunches of flowers ( and was giving one for the brunch I hosted) and have lit candles maybe half a dozen times this year.  I need to remember to light candles more often. I need to make journal writing a more regular and honest part of each day.

Continue to work on having better time management.
This remains a work in progress. The calendar I bought at new years is very helpful for planning ahead and pacing work, but I’ve noticed that I’ve begun slipping about using it. I think I stopped using it so much when I kept it full of loose bits of paper and have not worked to get back in the habit now that I’ve cleared it out. I’ve also started to develop a habit of planning the next day’s work the day before. I’m working on really cementing that habit.

I’ve made barely discernable progress in making better estimates for how long to spend on things, or getting enough putter time. I’ve decided not to do things a handful of times because I’ve known it was simply wishful thinking that I could manage them in addition to other things I planned. With the exception of taking a mental health day (a hugely successful and good idea – at least this time around) I’ve not planned any time for me or for a vacation. I haven’t had a vacation day in a quarter and need to be sure that I break my bad habit of waiting until I’m really feeling burned out before planning a vacation. I expect May to be pretty busy – so if I want to take a long weekend or something, I should plan something for April. Which means that I need to get a move on.

I also still need to make better progress on exactly where I am spending my time. I intend to work on that this month.

Work on actually working to become a writer.
I’ve done little towards this except in writing more regular blog entries. A very small step. I intend to take a bigger step this month – if only to spend more time thinking about it. This will be my next major focus after I feel I’ve made sensible strides towards my resolution to be as fit as I’ve ever been.

Work on pursuing my happiness, not what other’s think it should be, or what I think it should be, but what it actually is.

I’ve still done squat all towards this. But making successfull efforts to achieve my resolutions, changing the way I think, and writing in my journal, is helping.

Pay more attention to long-term goals.

I’ve made little further progress here, and may have slid back some. I need to get back to mapping out a change of focus for each month, working towards pacing my work, and penciling in plans to train for and run another marathon. I need to redouble my efforts in this arena– work towards developing career goals, plan this year’s vacations, and so on. This may be a resolution better measured on an annual, not monthly basis. But I want to keep my eyes on the prize.

Start building a recipe binder

I’ve started – and have even referred to it once, but have done little other than add papers to a pile. Despite my PCP diet, there have been a few new recipes I’ve tried. I just need to have a better idea of what would be the best way to organize it for my own use, and put in a couple of hours to put it together. Not, I think, a project for April.

Be more aware of my finances.
I started tracking/balancing my TD account – and have been working to be more strict with keeping to my cash budget, but I’ve also let that lapse. For no good reason, either, just pulling a stupid ostrich trick. So I need to get back to it. My ancillary goal for February was to clean out my den. It’s taken a bit longer than that, but I am slowly making progress and it has and will include some organization of my financial paperwork. At the very least, I’m setting up an environment to work on my finances in. I’ve been not good about tracking my spending, but have been better than I expected to be at holding back from buying unnecessary things. Let’s keep up the good work.

Spend more time keeping in touch with long-distance friends.

I was pretty good with this early in the year, but have let this slip. This will be a (albeit secondary) focus for April.

Cut down on TV

I’ve made baby steps in this direction – a few steps forward and a few steps back. I’ve been watching TiVo/DVD during part of my PCP workouts, so that has blurred the line for me as far as watching TV during the week is concerned. I need to make more defined rules: no watching TV during the week except while doing my PCP.

Make cultural activities a more regular part of my life

I’ve not made much progress on this. I went to see Black Grace at the Kimmel Center, but haven’t done anything else. I obviously need to think about what sort of cultural activities I’m interested in.

Clean, organize, and streamline home.

I’ve made only a hairsbreath of progress on this – and mainly in the Den. But I have been marginally better at keeping the apartment relatively tidy and clean, and am more mentally receptive towards getting rid of things I don’t really need/want or use. I’ll continue to clear out the den – and I have been slowly eating my way out of the kitchen larder and expect to continue to make very slow progress.

Consciously work on my photography

I think that I’ve done this just a handful of times. To be fair, my focus is currently elsewhere, but as there are a number of camera-related treats I want to give myself (Aperture, camera bag, macro lens, flash), I need to make photography a bigger part of my life before buying any of these things makes any sense.

Host more social events

So I’ve made some progress – I hosted a brunch on the 14th (Valentines day and Chinese New Year) and have begun thinking about hosting another game night. I need to be sure to keep lining things up – and plan something for either the end of April or early May.

Read 50/50 for fun and for thinking.

Ummm. I’m not doing so well here. At all. Most of my reading has been for ‘hiding’ or pleasure. Well. I need to make a more consious effort when choosing what next to read. Although our current bookclub book is too boring and I want something more fun to read right now.

Write. Daily.

Sort of successful – but I’m not at all sure the blog posts, as written, count as writing. I will make a greater effort. In fact, I keep intending to.

Try on-line dating again.

Not yet.

Take stock of where I am now, so as to see what I can achieve in 2010.
This is partly done – I need to consider what I hope to achieve in 2010

Every day write down what I’ve accomplished

Mostly managed. Need to keep at it and perhaps build.

Eat out of the Freezer and Pantry.

So far, pretty good. The freezer is about half-way to empty. The cupboards … still need some work. But I am working on it.

Create a List of 40 Things to do before I am 40 – and start doing them.

I’ve started. But I need to finish the list, and start working on them.

Read Full Post »

And what do I have to show for it? Happily, not nothing!

Last year, my resolutions failed at about this time. Primarily because I was thrown off the rails with Dad’s health – but once his condition stabilized, I never got back on track. I’m not even sure I even tried – and that’s a serious failure on my part. But then, the path to success requires picking oneself up from failures and trying again. So here I am. And this year, to help keep me on track, I’m going to try to review my status monthly. We’ll see how successful I am – but I’m pleased that there will be at least one monthly update. This one.2010 Resolutions – February Status

Work towards being as fit as I’ve ever been.
This is going as well as might be expected. I’ve started the Peak Condition Project, but results are not yet strongly visible. However, I do feel stronger. I am happier now that I’m exercising daily. And I’ve not had any bad-for-me food (excepting a few bites of cake) in two weeks. Moreover, I have not been strongly tempted, though no doubt that will change. The last time I weighed myself, I was 3 lbs lighter – but am not persuaded that isn’t within normal fluctuations. It will be interesting to see where I am in another month.

I’ve sketched out a preliminary schedule for training for another marathon – and will look into registering for the marathon at the end of this month. I think that I need a little more time to sort the idea through in my head, and get a better idea of how I might adjust my training to make a second marathon a better experience than the first.

I’ve made appointments to get my blood work done and have a long-overdue OB/GYN examination. Once I have my blood work appointment, and have an idea of when the results will be available, I will make the follow up appointment with Dr. Reiger. I have also been very good about monitoring my blood pressure daily. So I am finally following through with health maintenance.

I’ve exceeded expectations by doing daily PCP blog entries – though they are getting a bit boring, so I’d like to spruce them up some.

I have not done a monthly essay for F=S, and I intend to remedy that.

I started well with tracking spending, but I think I have lapsed recently. I will renew my efforts. I’ve been tracking my training – but lack the energy and enthusiasm to be more organized about it. My PCP blog is serving as my food journal but next week I’m going to experiment with something more involved. Which I will very likely not maintain. Overall – I’m doing well with this resolution.

This is good news, as it’s my main resolution focus at the moment.

Find a better way to balance work, me, and trips up to Boston.
I’ve had one trip back to Boston since the holidays – and it was my best trip yet. Firstly, because I drove up Saturday morning and had Friday to relax and a good night’s rest beforehand. Secondly, because I embraced the expectation that I would not get anything I wanted done during my time up there or travelling, so what I did manage to do was simply gravy. And lastly, because I set my expectations for what I wanted to try to get myself to do once I returned home to NJ to a doable minimum – with time for relaxing. No doubt it also helped that I did my PCP workout when I got home, which helped to wake me up from the travel doldrums.

Slow down and simplify my life.
Small steps. For the most part, I’ve been good about writing down one or two things I did or accomplished each day, but I would like to be better about it. I’m tempted to get over ambitious and try a 1-2 sentence journal to do the same thing but capture more but .. I think that it’s the better part of valor to make certain I have the habit installed before I try to grow it. I’ve bought one bunch of flowers (for my birthday, but they are still giving me pleasure) and have lit candles I think 3 times this year. No experimentation with meditation, yet. Perhaps this month, as I try to manage my stress better – and by manage, I think I mean diffuse.

Continue to work on having better time management.
This remains a work in progress. The calendar I bought at new years is very helpful for planning ahead and pacing work. I’ve also started to develop a habit of planning the next day’s work the day before. That is also helping. But I’ve not made measureable progress in making better estimates for how long to spend on things, or getting enough putter time. With the exception of taking a mental health day (a hugely successful and good idea – at least this time around) I’ve not planned any time for me or for a vacation. I should do that, perhaps to take a day in March?

I also still need to make better progress on exactly where I am spending my time. I intend to work on that this month.

Work on actually working to become a writer.
I’ve done little to nothing towards this. Except that I have been writing more regular blog entries. A very small step. I do intend to take a bigger step this month – but expect that my main thrust of effort is still a month or two off.

Work on pursuing my happiness, not what other’s think it should be, or what I think it should be, but what it actually is.
So I’ve done squat all towards this. But efforts to achieve my resolutions (exercise and making progress), writing in my journal, and taking steps to reduce my stress should help.

Pay more attention to long-term goals.
I’ve made slight progress here, mapping out a change of focus for each month, working towards pacing my work, and penciling in plans to train for and run another marathon. I mean to continue to make small steps – work towards career goals, plan this year’s vacations, and so on. This may be a resolution better measured on an annual, not monthly basis. But I want to keep my eyes on the prize.

Start building a recipe binder
I’ve started – and have even referred to it once. But with my PCP diet, there has been little call for new recipes. On the other hand, I’m not sure the spinach pie recipe is in there, and it should be. Further, now might be a good time to build it, while I’m less distracted with cooking the recipes, I might slowly build. Not finish the project, goodness knows, but make progress.

Be more aware of my finances.
I’ve started tracking/balancing my TD account – and have been working to be more strict with keeping to my cash budget. But it’s been a bumpy return back, and this still requires work. My ancillary goal for February is to clean out my den. As a part of this, I expect there to be some organization of my financial paperwork. At the very least, I’m setting up an environment to work on my finances in. I’ve been semi-good about tracking my spending, and better than I expected to be at holding back from buying unnecessary things. Let’s keep up the good work.

Spend more time keeping in touch with long-distance friends.
I’ve been pretty good with this – but have to confess that it owes more to my friends reaching out to me than the other way around. I think that there has been only one weekend in which I did not speak to a long distance friend. This weekend – I’m going to be doing the dialing.

Cut down on TV
I’ve made baby steps in this direction. I was good for a couple of weeks, but lapsed last week and haven’t been all that good this week. I’ve decided to be a bit more strict about my season passes on TiVo, and am going to try once again to restrict my mid-week TV watching. It’s particularly hard after a weekend in Boston, so I might need to re-consider how I handle that.

Make cultural activities a more regular part of my life
I’ve not made any progress on this. Well, except to start the ball rolling for going to see Black Grace at the Kimmel Center. I don’t think going to see Avatar in 3D-IMAX counts. Still a work in progress.

Clean, organize, and streamline home.
I’ve not made any/much progress. I have been marginally better at keeping the apartment relatively tidy and clean, but have not cleared anything out yet. This month I’ll be clearing out the den – and I have been slowly eating my way out of the kitchen larder … but I still need to get back on track with this.

Consciously work on my photography
I think that I’ve done this twice. To be fair, my focus is currently elsewhere. But I do want to get back to this. Piecemeal.

Host more social events
So I’ve made a little progress – I’m hosting a brunch on the 14th (Valentines day and Chinese New Year). I just need to be sure to keep lining things up. But I’m giving myself until after the brunch before actually planning something else.

Read 50/50 for fun and for thinking.
Ummm. I don’t think that I’m doing so well here. Although two of the books have been for book club, which involves more thinking than much of my reading. And one was non-fiction so … Well. I guess it shows that I’d forgotten of this resolution. Well, here is a timely reminder.

Write. Daily.
Sort of successful – but I’m not at all sure the blog posts, as written, count as writing. I will make a greater effort. In fact, I keep intending to.

Try on-line dating again.
Not yet.

Take stock of where I am now, so as to see what I can achieve in 2010.
Finally done. Today. Hey – I can cross off a resolution!

Every day write down what I’ve accomplished
Mostly managed. Need to keep at it and perhaps build.

Eat out of the Freezer and Pantry.
So far, pretty good. The freezer is about half-way to empty. The cupboards … still need some work. But I am working on it.

Create a List of 40 Things to do before I am 40 – and start doing them.
I’ve started. But I need to finish the list, and start working on them.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »