2012 Goals Project - January Review

Time is flying by in this new year! We’re in to February already which means those of us who made goals at the beginning of last month are already a month closer to achieving them. Go us!

This first post of the month for the remainder of the year is going to be a check in with everyone who has decided to participate in the Goals Project. And just a reminder, anyone can join in at any time. It doesn’t matter if you set a goal for yourself on January 1 or February 1 or whatever. If you’d like to take part and publicly declare your goals and check in each month, then just drop me an email and you’re in. The only requirement is that you let us know each month how you are progressing.

So, let’s get to it!

Kelly F.

  • Complete a 30-day Paleo challenge — This is going better than expected (due to some great friends and all their help). I have lost 9 1/2 lbs so far and feel great. I haven’t cheated (except to have a celebratory drink for a friend’s engagement). Only 11 more days to go. The most encouraging news about participating in this challenge for me has been realizing that I can do it and am planning on keeping it up long after the challenge is over (at least 80/20).
  • Un-banded pull-ups — UGH….still plucking away and trying not to get discouraged. I just don’t understand why I can’t get my chin over that bar. grrrrr.
  • Buy dream car –Just saving and going to wait til later in the calendar year to find best available deal.

Shannon H.

  • Run 1300 miles over the course of a year — January has been a pretty good start. I am now officially registered for the Columbus Marathon on October 21 (I registered the day registration opened!) I ran 95 miles in January (HUGE contrast to last January when I ran 5 miles the entire month!) That pus me at 1205 miles to go. I picked this particular goal because 2010 and most of 2011 I felit like I slacked off a lot and didn’t train enough for my races. Last summer while I was training for the Air Force half marathon, something clicked, and all of a sudden running wasn’t something I HAD to do, it was something that I wanted to do and I think about it all the time. This change in mindset was evidenced by the fact that I achieved a 12 minute PR (personal record) in the race! Since then, I am have managed to keep the momentum going, which is why I felt that 2012 was my year to tackle the marathon (not to mention I am turning 30 this year!)
    I have a pretty busy race schedule this spring, so that makes it easy to keep moving. Having a race (or races) schedule on your calendar is great motivation! I’m currently training for a 15 mile race on February 25, which will be my longest distance EVER, and then I have a 10 mile race on March 10, the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach on March 18. I’m looking for another half marathon PR there! Then of course Pittsburgh on May 6!
  • Complete first marathon — See above.

Ann M.

  • Graduate from nursing school with a great GPA and get a job and apartment in the Philadelphia area. — Expected in May
  • Exercise regularly – maybe incorporating spinning and/or running into routine. — I started a Couch to 5k program and I’m finishing up week 2! I know that I like to run – but I’m terrible at it. So, this program starts you out super slow and you feel good about yourself and you feel like you’re the best runner in the world, and therefore, you keep at it! It’s great. When I’m not running I’m at the gym. Time and budget are always my worst enemies. So, I stopped “half-assing” workouts. If I have the time to get one in, I’m going all out and making it worth while. I’ve been working out about 5 days a week, 3 of which are runs.
    Cycling classes have gone by the wayside – the gym doesn’t hold classes when I’m available. I have lots of plans (yoga, pilates, cycling) for my post-student life!
  • Keep cooking! Started cooking in 2011 and loves it. No more frozen meals, no more junk food! – I’ve been cooking up a storm. Thursday has become my cooking day. I find 1-2 new recipes a week (1 for dinners, 1 for lunches) and make them on Thursday and I typically have enough food to make it through the weekend without having to cook much more. I LOVE to cook – I can’t believe I didn’t start this sooner. I actually clogged my kitchen sink from all the veggies I peeled last week.. oops. This week I’m making honey mustard and garlic chicken and butternut squash/quinoa soup :). I don’t mind spending a little extra money on ingredients if they will feed me for 5 days! I’ve also been drinking less pop! Basically, only 1 or 2 a week (which is down from about 3 a day…)

Diane D.

  • Get LadyFingers listed as a “Preferred Caterer” at 5 or more Pittsburgh venues — I am working on my first venue, but it is harder than anticipated breaking into an established group of caterers with whom the venue is satisfied. The fact that I have a quality product seems to be irrelevant. I may need better strategy.
  • Provide catering to 15 new customers — I did a private dinner party for a new customer in January, have three new customers booked in February and hve three more booked through June. Good progress here.
  • Improve online exposure – improving search engine placement by 50%, doubling Facebook “likes”, and doubling Twitter followers — Google has once again changed SEO criteria and I don’t know how to improve my placement. I need professional advice but do have the budge for it. This may need to be shelved. Facebook likes were at 49 and are now at 60. My goal is 98. Twitter follwers were at 60 and are now at 64. My goal is 120.
  • Keep shoulder and knee healthy while increasing CrossFit work output– I’m doing really well on this so far. I am making a conscious effort at every workout to adjust my weight so that I can do maximum output with low risk of injury. This means that I am keeping my pride from interfering and am doing less weight than most of the crowd, but in the past 10 workouts I have finished with the best time or most reps 5 times (in my session). That means my intensity is high without sacrificing my broken-down body parts.
  • Return to running by Spring — Too soon to start (cold weather, darkness, and slippery streets are a recipe for disaster for my knee – not excuses – see above.)
  • Return to push-ups and burpees by April . — I can push up but can’t lower due to shoulder pain. I am practicing push-ups on my bed three times per week where I push up and then just flop down face-first. I will keep doing this until I can lower without pain.
  • One un-banded pull-up by July 1 — I did 1-1-1-1-1-1 reps with orange band and was close on several attempts (Jill’s note: the orange band is the lightest band that supports the least amount of one’s body weight when doing pull-ups. This means Diane is very close to an un-banded pull-up!) I am practicing the following each day during the 3-round CrossFit Confluence warm-up: green band 10 reps in first round, blue band 10 reps in second round, orange band attempt in third round.
  • 200+ pound deadlift –CrossFit Confluence has not programmed 1-rep maximum deadlift since I set this goal, but I am looking forward to it!
  • 100 pounds overhead — CrossFit Confluence has not programmed 1-rep maximum overhead since I set this goal, but I am looking forward to it!
  • Cut out ALL sugar that has crept back into diet — A struggle!! I have been providing bite-sized desserts to many customers recently and to not taste the product can be professional suicide. But once I taste something sweet, I have increased desire for sugar later.
  • Use sunscreen, especially in the garden and while driving convertible –I researched sunscreens online. The best are prohibitively expensive ($45 to $55). I may opt for light-weight long sleeves and sunscreen on face, ears, and neck only. Still considering. I already wear a hat in the garden and car 100% of the time.

Jaci Y.

  • Be more aware of moods and energy. Don’t let negativity bring good feelings down — Being aware of moods and energy has been, and will probably always be constant work. I have been trying to focus on more of what my body is trying to tell me. This has helped me a great deal with knowing when I need to take a break, rest, eat or just slow down and take things in.
  • Focus on positive side of life — This is primarily and issue at my office. The good thing is that I am extremely busy right now to even pay attention to any of, let any of it get to me and its allowed me to get things done and focus on my work. I have been able to block most of it out and am very glad for that. I have made a conscious effort to surround myself with positive reminders to make sure I stay focused on not letting anything get to me. One thing that has helped is that this year at Christmas I gave my sister, cousin and myself a box of blank cards so that we are forced to send each other notes instead of emails or texts. My sister sent the first one and it was a quote: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” –Eleanor Roosevelt, thus creating a chain of quotes being sent back and forth between the three of us. I have a couple hung up around my desk and get excited when I see a colorful envelope in the mail from one of them!
  • Fitness (a new addition to Jaci’s goals!) — Kipping pull ups without a band – I have done 2 so far!!! I achieved that one last Wednesday and one on Monday. This happened earlier that I expected…I think myself doubt had blocked me somewhat on thinking it would take me longer to get one. Other goals to work on in 2012: Climbing the rope, being able to do a real box jump not a stacked weighted one, getting a better time on some exercises that I have already done (gotta love the inter competition with myself), challenging myself with being able to up my weights during some exercises (I’d like to be able to deadlift 200lbs by the end of the year, just to name one.)

Megan G.

I’ve never lifted weights in my life, but it seems to be really effective. I’m only lifting once a week, but I think it makes the biggest difference to my body. In January, I missed one workout but other than that, I ran 4 days a week. I run about 9 1/2 minute miles, and I’m only running about 2 miles and then do the bike or the rowing machine. This doesn’t seem like a lot to me, so that’s why I think the weights are the most effective change I’ve made.
I’ve been mostly eating food out of my kitchen. I’m still working locally, and not having to travel more than 24 hours at a time for work, so that certainly helps. I’ve lost some weight, but I think I’ve lost volume even more.
Brian R.
  • Run the Pittsburgh Half-Marathon — I’ve gotten off to a slow start with running regularly, so I’m way behind on being prepared for this. It’s been tough to overcome the ‘I don’t wanna because it’s cold outside’ excuse that is so easy to make, plus there have been a lot of distractions. Starting in February I’m planning to simply make an appointment with myself. After all, I keep haircuts and meetings with my boss on my calendar. Why not running?
  • Reach a CrossFit Total of 800 (Translation right here) — I have no idea if I’m making progress towards this goal or not since I never came up with an effective way of either working towards the goal nor measuring progress. Now that I’ve figured out that this is a problem, the challenge for me is to come up with a plan.
  • Pack lunch for work everyday — My wife has done a great job of preparing lunches for me, but that isn’t going to cover every single meal. While it’s awesome to have help for a goal like this, this week I’m going to make some changes to ensure that I’m able to accomplish smart meal planning with or without help.
  • Write 45,000 words — 2700 words since the start of the year, although on three different projects. I can do better, but I’m off to a good start. The key here has been to eliminate distractions and to eliminate the ‘I need to plan for how I’m going to do this’ mentality. Some things I just have to shut up and do, and this is one of them.

Jill C. (that’s me!)

  • Un-banded pull-ups — After the holidays I wasn’t even sure if I could still do a pull-up WITH the band. Of course I could, but it was rough. I haven’t done enough pull-ups this past month to improve on this. After reading Diane’s strategy for working her way up to un-banded pull-ups, I am going to try that strategy starting this month.
  • Yoga — I met this goal and went to yoga twice this month with plans to go back many more times. It was more physically challenging than I remember it being and I love that! I’ve been going to hot (not Bikram) yoga and being in that room is fantastic! Being that warm and sweaty does wonders for my mood. Plus, the relaxing, mind-clearing meditation at the end of each class is sorely needed in my life. I love it.
  • Pittsburgh half marathon — I have not been running much at all. I’m calling January a running fail for me. But February is a new month and I have running plans for the rest of the week, which is a start. I think I need to take running a day at a time. Just plan on the very next run and quit letting the prospect of a zillion miles ahead intimidate me.
  • Add new dinners to our rotation by making 30 new recipes this year — I did very well with this one too. I made three new-to-me dinners from a cookbook I bought at the beginning of the month. Some were fantastic, some needed a bit of tweaking to suit my tastes.
  • More and better photos for the blog — I’m going to give myself a plus and a minus on this one. I have been using my camera more and adding more photos where appropriate, but I haven’t quite made it a habit yet. This post doesn’t have any photos in it, and it should. I need to push myself on this more.
  • More services for clients and potential clients — This is a somewhat behind the scenes goal, meaning I am the only one so far who knows that progress is being made. Nothing is ready to share quite yet, but I promise that things are in the works. How’s that for cryptic?

I have to say that I am so incredibly EXCITED for all of these participants! Look at all everyone has accomplished in ONE MONTH! We’ve got some momentum behind us and I cannot wait to see what February will bring.

Who is going to join us? Who wants to add their goals to this list? Leave me a list (or one thing!) in the comments of what you’d like added next month and you too can brag about your achievements on the Internet.


  1. Shannon H.
    February 2, 2012 8:40 am

    Clearly my update should say “I am NOW registered for the Columbus Marathon” Darn typos!!

  2. Megan
    February 2, 2012 11:56 am

    What is a Paleo Challenge? I need to get me some of that.

    • Jill
      February 2, 2012 12:09 pm

      This link will give you a great, although brief, overview of what the Paleo diet is.
      If someone is going to transition into eating this way, it is often recommended that they follow the guidelines of the diet very strictly for 30 days, thus giving the body ample time to adjust to the new way of eating and it is ample time to notice a change in body composition, weight loss, and generally “feeling good”.
      If a person is accustomed to eating a diet that is low in fat, high in carbohydrates, grains, and processed sugar then 30 days could really be considered a challenge as these things are not included in Paleo eating.
      Kelly, and a few others from my CrossFit gym are in the middle of a 30 day challenge. Here is another link that gives very clear guidelines for changing one’s diet in this way for 30 days:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>