Category Archives: 2013 Goals Project
(Before I get into this post, just a quick reminder that I’m giving away a copy of Gather: The Art of Paleo Entertaining! Click here to find out how you can earn SIX chances to win!)
If you’ve been following me and this website at all for the last couple of years, then you know that running is my Moby Dick. I should say that running confidently and well (and fast) is what always seems to elude me. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I’m terrible at it, but that’s why I want to do it. It is uncomfortable, but I have to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. I am Ms. Slowpoke McGhee, but I have to challenge myself to keep going.
However, one of my goals for 2013 is to become a more confident runner. Still my expectation is low. I’m not talking about becoming one of these folks who casually rocks out 14 miles on a workday morning. I just want to be someone who feels good running 4 or 5 miles at a time without stress or fretting. I want to be able to feel good about going out for 45 minutes or so and running and feel great after I’m finished. That’s all. I have no desire to break records, nor am I under any illusion that I will ever win anything with my running skill. I just want to get out there and move and not have it be a major stressful event where I’m in agony before, during, and after.
Last year when I ran the half marathon portion of the Pittsburgh Marathon, I had some very difficult moments. I went into the race not really knowing what to expect, I didn’t train properly or enough for it, and although I had a good time with it, it wasn’t exactly a shining moment of fitness for me. I was proud of my (not-so-bragworthy) time of 2:46:33 because that was as well as I could do with what I had. I told myself that I wasn’t going to do it again, that once was plenty and I should probably stick to shorter distances.
My doctor and physical therapist told me that I would probably be able to run again, but it would be a very very L-O-N-G time before I was back to normal – IF I could even get back to normal. They were very candid about my ankle never being the same again.
So, here I am, NOT running, and all I can think about is how badly I want to run. I would have dreams about it. Just a month before I injured myself, I (kind of) swore off running. Isn’t that the way it always goes? You don’t want something, but the minute you are forbidden from having it, it becomes all you want. Oh, Jill. You’re so predictable!
September of last year rolls around and I’m finally back on my feet – running! I ran a few 5Ks and they were really really slow. But! I was doing it! YAY! Celebrate!
And then something happened. I got swept up in the excitement of my fellow Steel City Road Runners Club members and I impulsively registered for the half marathon portion of the Pittsburgh Marathon BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE WAS DOING IT! Is that the lamest thing you’ve ever heard? I got all excited about the pretty significant discount I got on registration for being a member of the club and just did it. I even posted a photo of my registration on Instagram labeling it an impulse buy. It totally was.
So, I was locked in to it. I had mixed emotions about it after the fog of peer pressure dissipated. Part of me was regretful. Part of me was excited. Part of me was dreading the training. Part of me was excited about the challenge. Part of me thought I acted too quickly and forgot about my ankle. Part of me knew that my ankle was stronger each day and I’d be fine.
I immediately started training. Casually at first, but then I kicked it up over the winter.
I don’t know about where you live, but here in Pittsburgh we had a really weird winter. It lingered. Temperatures were unusually frigid, there was a large amount of snow and rain, and it lasted much longer into the springtime months than normal. This made for some frustrating training runs. I got so sick and tired of running with 4 or 5 layers of clothing. I was sick of being cold all the time. I was starting to really second guess my judgement and kick myself for registering.
I was lucky to have a few different sources of support, however. My friend Kelly and I started running together and that was terrific for me. I had someone with whom I had to keep my running dates. A small group of Pittsburgh area CrossFitters started a half marathon training group and I ran with them a few times. They kept me accountable each week for long runs.
By this past Sunday, I was as ready as I was going to ever be. I had run the training miles. It wasn’t easy because of the weather, my ankle flared up a few times, and I am just painfully slow. But, the work was in the books.
(My pre-race selfie in my bathroom mirror. Check out that snazzy First Comes Health shirt!)
I was nervous. I knew what to expect, but I was afraid of the pain and the fatigue. I didn’t know how my ankle would react. Plus I was running it all alone. Last year Dude and I stuck together the whole time. This year, I was out there all by myself. Not really a big deal, but when you’re already nervous and anxious, the thought of doing something like this alone seemed quite daunting.
So! The race! Turns out, it was FANTASTIC! I enjoyed almost every single minute of it. There were times when I flagged a little bit, but I kept my thoughts focused on the goal of finishing. There were moments when I kind of lost myself a bit, but a few deep breaths and a figurative kick in my own behind was all it took.
Like last year, miles 8 through 10 were very tough. I just wanted it to be over. But breaking those miles down into little sections (Just get to the corner of Carson Street and Smithfield Street! or Run as fast as you can until you reach the block where Piper’s Pub is!) made them tick by like nothing. There were even moments when I was whizzing past people and felt like I was flying.
(Here I am at the halfway point high-fiving my cheer posse!)
By the end I felt really good. There were a few moments when I had to walk for 10 or 15 steps just to regain a bit of my composure and reaffirm myself, but I crossed the finish in 2:35:47. That’s a whole 10:45 faster than last year. That’s a whole 10:45 faster than my pre-injury time!!!
I had a super secret goal of 2:30:00 or less and I didn’t tell a single person about it. Obviously I didn’t make that, but I am really really excited and proud of how I did perform. It may not be the most brag-worthy half marathon time, but for me, it’s everything. I am really pumped up.
So, here are my final post-race reflections:
- Don’t underestimate yourself – I do this all the damned time and I really need to cut it out. Up until the moment the race started I doubted whether or not I could really do it. But then the next thing I knew I was 5 miles in to it and I felt great. Confidence, confidence, confidence. Believe in yourself and trust in your own hard work. This is what got me through the entire race.
- I’m a real runner now – I wholeheartedly believe that no matter if you’re running your first 5K or your 20th ultra-marathon, you’re a runner. However, I just didn’t believe that for myself for some reason. I don’t know what I thought I needed to accomplish before I could consider myself a true runner, but I just couldn’t allow myself to accept that title no matter how many races I’ve participated in. But after this race, I feel like I’ve earned the right to really call myself a runner.
- No more impulse buys – Sure, this one worked out for me, but I won’t get swept up in the madness again and register for any races without thinking about it first. I don’t ever want to back down from a challenge, but there were times when I felt like I painted myself in to a corner with this race by spending the money on it before really thinking about it.
- It is fantastic to have family and friends cheering you on – My Dude, my dad, my coaches from my CrossFit, and a whole gang of my friends were at the halfway point with signs and loud cheers for me. I loved that! It gave me something to look forward to and helped me shake off my nerves. It also helped to know that another friend of mine, Ashley, was waiting between mile 9 and 10. That’s where I really needed a high-five. Seeing friendly and encouraging faces along the course really made my day.
- Use visual cues to distract yourself when the going gets tough – You’ve heard it a million times (even from me!). Running is a mental sport as much as it is a physical one. In order to overcome any self-doubting thoughts, I did everything I could to distract myself. One of the tricks I picked up during my training was to plan to think of people or things each time you spot a predetermined object. So, each time I saw someone wearing a running skirt, I thought of my friend Diane. She wears them all the time! I would see a woman in a running skirt (and I even did this with the few guys I saw in kilts) and spend then next several minutes thinking of my friend, how she would be cheering me on and encouraging me to stay strong. I highly recommend this little technique.
So, there you have it. 2013 Pittsburgh (half) Marathon is in the books! I’m really proud of my achievement, but I know I still have much work to do in order to keep improving. My next running goal is to finish Pittsburgh’s Great Race 10K in late September at around 1 hour. We’ll see. I’m going to keep on running and I’ll keep you posted.
Hi! It is the last day of April, but that won’t stop me from reviewing this past month with my Goals Project folks. It is usually around this time of year New Year’s Resolutions are long forgotten and the first of the year determination has diminished greatly if not completely disappeared. However, we soldier on! Goals may be adjusted and tweaked and revisited as time passes and we get deeper into the year, but it is our determination to have changed by the start of the next year that counts. So, let’s get to the action and see what’s happened this month!
1. Remember to help out with the more disagreeable chores (cat litter/bathroom cleaning)
2. Go on a date at least once a month
Suze (my fiancee) and I have gone wine tasting a couple of times within the last month. Both times were overnight trips that were great as it allowed us to get away from the busyness of work and wedding planning, although we did use the opportunity to finish our wine purchasing for the wedding :). I have been much more consistent in remembering to take care of the litter box.
1. Complete 200 push ups a day
2. Complete 4 or more races of the 1/2 marathon, Olympic triathlon, long obstacle race, open water swim variety
3. Continue to workout in the A.M. before work at least 4 days a week
So far I have completed two 1/2 marathons and one open water swim. By the time this gets published I will have completed the 100 mile version of the Chico Wildflower Bike Ride. I have been doing significantly more cycling to prepare for the Black Butte Triathlon in early June. This will be an Olympic distance triathlon and depending on how this goes I am considering training for a 1/2 ironman in the fall. I am also looking at running the Tough Mudder in Tahoe in July. I will definitely exceed my goal of four races this year and am now just looking to do as many as make sense for training purposes and to become more competitive when participating.
I recently joined the “Chico Triathlon Team” and have started going to some of their workouts. I am hoping that participating with this group gets me more plugged into the sport, meet some new people with similar interests and helps me improve my performance in these future events. So far it has been fun and motivating.
My other fitness goals have been going very well other than a three or four day hiccup when I was traveling with my buddies for my bachelor party. I definitely didn’t workout like I am used to or do all of my pushups (although I did do a good amount of them). I have since gotten right back into my routine and have been adding extra pushups each day to make up for the days where I neglected them.
1. Sign up for CSA box (and utilize it)
2. Find at least 5 new healthy recipes that I enjoy and can cook easily
3. Continue using ‘myfitnesspal’ app to document diet and exercise
The myfitnesspal app continues to be the biggest help in maintaining a healthy diet. I had logged in for about 75 days in a row before going on my bachelor trip. While the trip certainly not good for me from a nutrition standpoint, I have since gotten back into my routine here as well and am back on track with about 15 days of logging in a row.
Since I started using this app I have lost about 25 pounds and am under 200 pounds for the first time since Jr. High School. It has really helped me reevaluate my ideas of what healthy eating looks like. For instance, I was very surprised to see how much more sugar I had been eating each day, even on days when I was well under my overall caloric goal. I have changed many of my habits without feeling like I am starving or depriving myself.
This reevaluation has helped me with my goal of finding 5 new healthy recipes, as I have had to seek out new recipes that are convenient, less processed, and nutritious. Lately I have been making a couple of egg/egg white frittatas with lean meat and veggies. Making two batches of these on Sundays lasts me all week and I can take them to eat after my morning workout instead of the more sugary protein bars I had been relying on.
I still haven’t signed up for the CSA box, and honestly probably will not until we are going to be in town more consistently. However we do shop at our local farmer’s market for fresh produce which was the basic idea behind this goal.
1. Obtain high scores on yearly reviews
2. Get superior ratings for my bands at festival
I just had my final yearly review and it went very well. My principal is clearly happy with the work I have done this year and has passed onto me the praise she has heard from community members. I am satisfied with the amount of progress the band has made this year and I am looking forward to being able to implement even more ideas and strategies next year to build off of our work thus far.
I truly appreciate the support structure that this group has provided. I feel like I have accomplished quite a bit so far this year in respect to my goals. As my wedding date and beginning of my married life gets closer, I feel that I am in a good position to continue working on these goals and to push some of them even further.
April has been a whirlwind — getting back from AZ, visiting PA and then NC!! I am holding my own on my goals — having trouble getting down below 235, but will push these last few weeks. My nails are better than they have been, so I am confident I will be ready for the wedding. I have cracked the flossing roadblock once and for all and am continuing to meet that goal. My wife (a dental hygienist) is happy about that one. We are walking almost every day, biking some, and playing golf — so my exercise goal is on track.
Get stronger! I’m back on the workout wagon, and I’m feeling stronger each week. I made a measurable improvement in one area (back squat), and I am optimistic about where things will go this year. I feel like I’m starting to see the benefits of planning, consistency, and getting good advice.
Finish things I write (and get them to a workshop or a publisher.) I’ve stalled a little bit this month with a book proposal I’m trying to get to a publisher, but this is because I’m trying to make sure it’s pretty well tuned before sending it on. I think I’ve come to the point where I need to remind myself that some things may never be ready, but they have to become finished.
Excel at my job. Still feeling very confident that the plans I made at the end of 2012 to address my frustrations are coming to fruition. I’m not receiving any more feedback, positive or negative, from my co-workers than I have in the past, but having a plan to follow through on helps keep me focused even without reinforcement.
Finish 36 books. I finished no books this month, so I have some catching up to do!
Complete the Pittsburgh half marathon on May 5 and beat my 2012 time – The race is in 5 days! EEEK! I didn’t get as much running in during April as I probably should have, but that’s just the way it has gone for me. I’m not going to beat myself up over it and I’m going to go into Sunday’s race determined to do my best. I’ll have a recap for you next week.
Confidently turn 40 on November 19 – 203 days left in my 30s, and I’m feeling really positive about it. I still haven’t decided where I want my birthday trip to be. I was considering Hawaii, but it seems a lot of people I know are going there this year. Hm. I’d rather blaze my own trail. Any suggestions?
Complete a home makeover – Our pantry makeover is humming right along. I mentioned last month that we are going to wallpaper two walls in the pantry. I got some estimates for some wallpaper pros to help us, but for the small area that will be mostly obscured, the cost seemed too high to make it worth it. We are going to attempt it ourselves, I think. We have done some painting and demolition work (I wielded a crowbar and took down a doorway!). Next big task is to spackle some holes and skim coat the walls in preparation for the wallpaper.
I also mentioned last month the thought of us painting our cabinets. Well, we might be back pedaling on that thought. I’ve been pinning a few ideas and nothing is concrete. I’ll keep you updated.
Become a more confident runner – The rubber will hit the road this Sunday when I tackle this half marathon. We’ll see if I gained any confidence. I’ve been building up to this race for so long that it’s all I’ve really thought about. And I’ve come to the conclusion that the half marathon distance is NOT my distance. I’m more of a 5k and 10k distance person. An hour’s run is enough for me and I believe this will be my last half marathon. I’m just not enjoying the training at all.
But! This doesn’t mean I’m finished with running. My new CrossFit box has started a runner’s group and my friend, Edith (an excellent runner!) is going to be offering some coaching and leading group runs. I’m sticking with it and hoping for a 60 minute 10k in Pittsburgh’s annual Great Race at the end of September.
Have more in-person interactions with those I love most – To make a short story long (ha), I am now going to a FABULOUS new CrossFit box (Industrial Athletics/CrossFit Alloy) and to start totally anew, I signed up to take the fundamentals course. It is designed for those who are completely new to CrossFit, and although I am not a total newb, I decided to take the class anyway because I wanted some detailed instruction on my technique. Turns out, I really needed it. I am so happy I took the month-long course. What the course also afforded me was the time to hang out with some of my friends who also took the class. Plus (BONUS!) I made some new friends too. The whole endeavor was very much worthwhile both fitness-wise and friend-wise.
Hi! It’s April now and I hope the weather has turned in your neck of the woods. I just came back from Austin, TX where I attended the PaleoFX conference. It was fantastic! I will post about it in the next couple of days. But first, there were some very fascinating developments and accomplishments this past month! I am so so excited for all that’s happened to the Goals Project folks in March! Let’s get right to the business:
Book 16 weddings during 2013 – Three weddings are booked with deposits. I had a verbal commitment on a fourth but they have since changed their minds. I hope to get more prospects in the pipeline soon.
Develop 30 new LF recipes and successfully implement them into 2013 events - No changes since February.
Update and publicize all LF menus by June 1. Update both online and print menus throughout 2013 as new recipes are developed (see above) - No changes since February.
Update the LF website each month with portfolio and/or recipe entries - No changes since February.
Consistently maintain the LF Facebook page to remain current and relevant. Increase viewership - Since I haven’t been working, I haven’t been posting. But during April, my goal is to develop a strategy for posting relevant content despite not working.
Re-commit to fitness using a method that will work on a consistent, life-style basis and keep a journal of progress and/or set-backs - After April 25, I will be able to put some weight on my foot. I will then re-start CrossFit by doing seated WODs and getting some targeted work with personal training. After attending the Open House of my new CrossFit box, I started a blog entitled “Back on Two Feet – A CrossFitters tale of foot (and mind) reconstruction“. I have three posts that can be viewed at https://
Increase vegetable garden production through improved efficiency - I am changing this goal to “Enlist volunteers to plant vegetable garden. Have garden planted by May 19.”
Increase charitable efforts both personally and professionally - I have volunteered my catering services for an upcoming fundraiser for a local historic society.
Shed all superfluous items - I will be unable to do a Spring garage sale but I am working on a date for a Summer sale. Selling will become a priority once I am mobile. I have also accumulated several boxes for the Veteran’s pick-up as well as for delivery to the local thrift store.
Overall, I’m feeling great about my stated goals. I just did two races in one day on Saturday; a half marathon and a mile open water swim. I’m looking forward to an Olympic distance triathlon in June. I feel like I’m in the best shape ever, and this is due to being able to consistently fit the gym in my schedule and continuing to log everything I eat. Still hitting my push-up goal each day as well.
Finish things I write (and get them to a workshop or a publisher.) My morning routine of getting up 30 minutes earlier than usual to write has now been extended to 60 minutes every morning. Even though I dread getting up even earlier than usual, this is now my favorite time of the day. I’m almost ready to wrap up a book proposal to send off to a publisher, and I have not felt this consistent about writing in my life.
Excel at my job. Things have gotten a lot less organized at work, but I remain committed to my plans for working smarter and staying organized. This month I put a lot of time into professional development, and I’m sure it will pay off. I can already start to feel myself getting frustrated because I just won’t ever get the feedback on my performance I would like to have, but I think I’m getting better at figuring things out for myself in this regard.
Finish 36 books. Four more books done (although one of them was really a novella, but I’m counting it.) That puts me 1/3 of the way through to the target.
What a great month!!! I continued to attend my workout classes at the YMCA and even signed up for my first 5K mud run! I’m running the Rebel Race on May 18 with three brothers in-law, my sister in-law and my sister. While I set a goal at the beginning of the year to run the Warrior Dash in August, this may have to suffice as the completed goal since the Warrior Dash itself is when our family goes on vacation.
Other exciting news from the month is that my wife and I sold our house, bought a new (and bigger!) house, and are preparing too move out of our current place. There will be a lot of stress management going on between now and May 10 when the moving van arrives.
The most exciting news, however, is that I achieved the main goal that got me involved in this project in the first place. On March 23, I refereed in the state championship game! It was an incredible experience and to have such a great game in an arena filled with about 9,000 people, being broadcast on statewide television with all of my friends and family sitting in the front row. It was more than I could have imagined. I can honestly say that the confidence I have gained from being more comfortable with myself after being more fit has helped me this year. I may not be bigger, but I know who I am and I know that I can achieve big things.
Well — March has definitely been a “one step back” month in the old adage “two steps forward, one step back”! No excuses though!! I just need to refocus myself down the stretch to June !!
Complete the Pittsburgh half marathon on May 5 and beat my 2012 time – I really stepped up my running in March and did some long (for me!) runs that really made me feel great. I have just about a month to go until the race! I’m starting to get a bit nervous, but the more I run this month, the better I’ll feel about it all on race day.
Confidently turn 40 on November 19 – 230 days left in my 30s, and I’m feeling good. Dude and I are planning to take a trip somewhere over my birthday to celebrate the milestone, and to celebrate the book. The destination has yet to be decided. I’m torn between somewhere adventurous, a fabulous city we’ve never visited before, or a tropical getaway where we can chillax on the beach and not talk to anyone. It’s a rough choice.
Complete a home makeover – March got away from me on this front, but I did make some headway with planning. We are going to wallpaper a little section of our pantry and I’ve been contacting professional hangers for estimates. We are also considering new furniture or perhaps reupholstering a few pieces we currently own. Again, more estimates. And in a total change of course, Dude and I are cautiously toying with the idea of painting our kitchen cabinets. This would be an HUGE undertaking for us and we’re not natural-born DIY-ers, so we are proceeding with caution.
Become a more confident runner – The long runs I did in March with the Pittsburgh Area CrossFitters Half Marathon group were real accomplishments for me. I’ve been pretty candid about getting over the mental blocks of running and breaking through some mileage barriers has done wonders for my confidence. This weekend I have a seven mile run coming up. It is not my longest run or anything, so I’m feeling good about it.
Have more in-person interactions with those I love most – As mentioned above, I went to PaleoFX and had a ball. A big highlight was hanging out with Hayley, Bill, Diane, and Scott. I also got to hang with two new friends, Sean and Suzanne. I also got to spend some much needed time with family after the trip to Austin.
It is March already! Can you believe that? Here in Pittsburgh we’re not quite seeing much springtime weather. Right now there is still snow on the ground. I hope it is warming up wherever you are!
Here is what happened to the Goals Project participants in February!
Book 16 weddings during 2013 – Since sending custom menus to four wedding prospects, I have had two meetings and one food tasting. Deposits are pending.
Develop 30 new LadyFingers recipes and successfully implement them into 2013 events - Developed 15 new recipes and am actively proposing them to new customers.
Update and publicize all LadyFingers menus by June 1. Update both online and print menus throughout 2013 as new recipes are developed (see above) - A complete hors d’oeuvre menu overhaul is complete on paper. Will need to contact my web developer for an online update. Food station and buffet menus still require work.
Update the LadyFingers website each month with portfolio and/or recipe entries - No updates in January or February.
Consistently maintain the LadyFingers Facebook page to remain current and relevant. Increase viewership - Still posting but without a plan to ensure consistency.
(no change since January)
Re-commit to fitness using a method that will work on a consistent, life-style basis and keep a journal of progress and/or set-backs - Re-thinking this goal due to upcoming surgery
Increase vegetable garden production through improved efficiency - Re-thinking this goal due to upcoming surgery
Increase charitable efforts both personally and professionally - Am reviewing ways to donate my services to benefit the community, and also considering potential volunteer efforts in areas of literacy, neighborhood revitalization, and historic preservation.
Shed all superfluous items - Cleaning closets and sorting items (online sale, Spring garage sale, donation). Cleaning Facebook page and unsubscribing from those whose posts are a constant annoyance.
Remember to help out with the more disagreeable chores (cat litter/bathroom cleaning) - Doing better, especially with the litter.
Go on a date at least once a month - Suze, my fiancee, planned a nice sushi picnic a couple of weeks ago which was awesome.
Complete 200 push ups a day - Haven’t missed a day since the last update. I’ve calculated that I have done over 10,000 pushups since I started this goal (First day was Jan. 7th).
Sign up for CSA box (and utilize it) – Still haven’t done it.
Obtain high scores on yearly reviews – Had my second review for the school year. Everything went well. My administration is very happy with what I am doing with the music department.
Finish things I write (and get them to a workshop or a publisher.) Okay, so I haven’t finished anything this month, BUT I have started a new schedule for myself. I decided that because I hate the idea and because it goes against everything I am comfortable with I’m going to start getting up 30 minutes earlier every morning (to start) and get some writing done before the day starts. This has been tremendously successful in terms of my attitude about what I’m doing. This comes from the notion that if everything you’re comfortable with doing isn’t making a change then it’s time to do something hard. And it’s working.
Excel at my job. I really feel like I’m on top of things, and all of the ups and downs of 2012 are starting to pay off. By that I mean the fits and starts of trying different productivity tools and strategies have resulted in a few that are working to help me stay on top of what needs to be done and proactive about what I need to do in the future. An important result of this should be a better balance of work / personal life so that I’m no longer angry and frustrated about work while I’m home with my wife.
Finish 36 books. Three more books in February, although to be fair one of them I had a head start on. I’m branching off into some non-fiction here, too, to keep things balanced. This is really a blast, and I think it helps me keep my other goals in perspective. I had in mind that it would be a matter of supporting my interest in writing, but it has in itself helped keep me focused on the notion of forward progress and, to be frank, not wasting time on things that don’t move me forward on some goal or another.
Have perfect finger nails by June 1 – Eight of ten finger nails are looking good!! I will put the push on growing out the other two in March!!
Run a 5k by October 2013 – I have decided my 5K goal is going to wait until after Suzanne’s wedding on June 1.
Exercise at least 3 times per week – I have been using the workout facility here in AZ regularly — have been meeting my 3 times per week goal regularly.
Floss at least 5 times per week – I am flossing at least 5 times a week.
Health and fitness goals:
Complete the Pittsburgh 1/2 marathon: feel strong for the entire race and finish with a better time than my first attempt in 2011. (goal of 2:20:00?) – Continuing to train with Fleet Feet and am really loving the program. Longest run so far is 8 miles on one of the snowiest and coldest Sundays we’ve had this winter. I consider that one a character builder! Running several times mid-week with a friend who’s also in the program and continuing long runs with the group on Sundays. Also signed up to run the 8.1 mile Just a Short Run in North Park at the end of March as part of the training program. Looking forward to doing that as tempo run to see how it goes.
Drop 20-30 lbs – Lost 4 more pounds this month! Tough month, but a loss is a loss….I’ll take it.
In pursuit of something new….not sure what I’m looking for, but plan to actively network and investigate new options this year to see what career avenues might be available. – Didn’t actively accomplish a lot on this one in February because I was too busy with work (go figure!) I did register for an evening Networking event that will be held during the first week of March and have also identified a few areas where I could actually create an “opportunity” for myself. This coming month will see a renewed focus on this area.
Professional Development….take some courses and find some avenues to increase my skills and/or keep up with changing technology and systems. – Signed up for two free Open Course Content classes via Coursera. Both have start dates TBD…one is via Wharton School of Business: “The Global Business of Sports”. The second is via Nortwestern Universtiy: “Content Strategies for Professionals: Engaging Audiences for Your Organization. Also finding time to read the books I purchased in January on inbound marketing and social media.
Social and personal goals:
Make more time for regular connections w/friends. There are so many friends that I do not see or talk to regularly and I need to make time for that! – Reached out to a number of friends that I haven’t seen in awhile and everyone is eager to get together (thankfully!) Have set a few lunch and happy hour dates for March and looking forward to fitting more social time into my life in the coming weeks. Also took advantage of a last minute offer and free tickets to see Bon Jovi with a dear friend who I see often!
Expand my boundaries and add some”new”….new people, new experiences, new skills, new adventures! – I’m disappointed in myself — I think I was kind of boring in February! Though I did accept an invitation to attend an information meeting about a new adventure that would take place in June….does that count?!
Complete the Pittsburgh half marathon on May 5 and beat my 2012 time – Due to the pressures and schedule of book making, February was a rough month for this. I did run, but I faltered slightly from my three day per week training schedule. I may have lost a little ground, but I’m certainly not back to square one. I’m just going to keep moving and do my best.
Confidently turn 40 on November 19 – 257 days left in my 30s, and I’m feeling good.
Complete a home makeover – I feel like all the progress I made in January went right out the window in February. I am embarrassed to say that my house is currently a disaster of piles of things that need to be put away. I keep telling myself, “After the book is done……” During the brief amount of down time I have between turning the book in and starting to work on edits, I plan to power wash and purge the place.
Become a more confident runner – Last month I wanted to do more CrossFit to help with my running goals. Well, it didn’t happen. Again – the book! Soon I’ll be starting fresh at a new CrossFit box and I know that doing so will help my running. On other running confidence fronts, however, I got new running shoes and while I was at the shoe store I talked to a veteran runner, Gary, who let me know about a class they regularly hold on good running form. I plan to attend one of these in the near future.
Have more in-person interactions with those I love most – I feel like I did well with this one. I had lunch with my beautiful friend, Julie (who always looks like a model! I admire her style so much.) and I went to a birthday party my parents had for my brother. There, I got to catch up with a lot of his very good friends who are also people I’ve known for years. It was fun reminiscing about old times!
Book 16 weddings during 2013 - Custom menus have been created and sent to four wedding prospects. Meetings are pending.
Develop 30 new LadyFingers recipes and successfully implement them into 2013 events- Developed three new recipes for a January event and they were a hit. I have offered them to two new customers.
Update and publicize all LadyFingers menus by June 1. Update both online and print menus throughout 2013 as new recipes are developed (see above) - Am jotting notes for the first menu update.
Update the LadyFingers website each month with Portfolio and/or Recipe entries - No updates in January.
Consistently maintain the LadyFingers Facebook page to remain current and relevant. Increase viewership - Am posting but haven’t developed a method to ensure consistency.
Re-commit to fitness using a method that will work on a consistent, life-style basis and keep a journal of progress and/or set-backs - Re-thinking this goal due to upcoming surgery
Increase vegetable garden production through improved efficiency - Re-thinking this goal due to upcoming surgery
Increase charitable efforts both personally and professionally - Am reviewing ways to donate my services to benefit the community, and I am considering potential volunteer efforts in areas of literacy, neighborhood revitalization, and historic preservation.
Shed all superfluous items - Cleaning closets and sorting items (online sale, Spring garage sale, donation), also cleaning Facebook page and unsubscribing from those whose posts are a constant annoyance (14 so far).
Finish things I write – The writing has been hit or miss, although I have prepped four poems to submit to a journal, so I take that as good progress.
Excel at my job – This is hard for me to measure, but it’s the one item here I feel the most progress on. Every day I think critically about what I’m
doing and why I’m doing it, and this has made sure that I feel a sense of accomplishment each week.
Finish 36 books – three books finished in January. This has been a fun one, although it’s here in the spirit of supporting my writing goal above. I don’t know if it’s had any impact, but I’ll push forward with it for its sake.
Have perfect finger nails by June 1 – Bought a new nail file/emery board and my nails are coming along nicely.
Run a 5k by October 2013 – Doing a lot of walking and bike riding in prep for getting serious about 5k training.
Exercise at least 3 times per week – I have been using the workout facility here in AZ regularly — have been meeting my 3 times per week goal regularly.
Floss at least 5 times per week – Minor failure on the flossing goal — have been hitting 3 times a week, short of my 5 times goal.
Expand my boundaries and add some”new”….new people, new experiences, new skills, new adventures! – My “new” in January was becoming part of my new running group and meeting a bunch of really cool “South Hills” runners. February’s “new” will be a little more exciting!
Complete the Pittsburgh half marathon on May 5 and beat my 2012 time – I feel like I am doing very well with this. I have been running three days a week with a friend, plus I joined a casual training group of Pittsburgh area CrossFitters who are also training for the half. We meet once per week and run together. So far, so good!
Confidently turn 40 on November 19 – 286 days left in my 30s, and I’m feeling good.
Complete a home makeover – In January I did a total closet overhaul! Not only did I get rid of a ton of clothes and shoes that I no longer wear, or are too big, Dude and I actually removed some of the built-in shelves out of the closet to make it more easily organized. I bought some organizational bins and shelving to put in there that work more with what I have. Along with the closet, our kitchen pantry and storage area has seen a total overhaul. More purging of things that were going unused, and we are planning to wallpaper and paint this particular area of our kitchen. I currently have 7 wallpaper samples hanging there to decide what we like best. Many things were sold on Craigslist, and we made $75 last month doing it. I’m very pleased.
Become a more confident runner – As mentioned above, I’m running more often and for longer distances. Something I must work on in February, however, is doing more CrossFit. Strengthening my body with CrossFit does a LOT for my running confidence. It may not seem like it at the time, but those burpees and squats are good for me!
Have more in-person interactions with those I love most – I was just so-so on this one. I have plans in February already to see some people and I’m looking forward to it.
We are now well into 2013. How is it going for you so far?
Some of us have our goals established, written down, and we’re working on them. If the 2013 Goals Project isn’t your thing, no worries, but I do hope that you have something you’d like to see happen over the next 12 months.
One of my goals is to become a more confident runner. I’ve made no secret of this, and it was even on my 2012 list. So, why haven’t I accomplished it yet? I keep asking myself this same question.
During the last several months of 2012 I was very dedicated to running. I was out there chasing the pavement all the time, and it felt great. I mean, it was difficult for me still, but I could tell that I was improving. Then the holidays came and I lost my mojo.
Now, I’m back to running regularly – three days per week – and I’ve added a new element to my training. A running partner!
I used to hate running with other people. I avoided it like the plague. I joined the Steel City Road Runner’s Club and had every intention on going on their group runs, but I didn’t. Partially because shortly after I joined I hurt my ankle, but I get self conscious when I have to run with others. I am slow, I amble, and when I run with others, I feel like I’m holding them back. Dude and I ran the 2012 half marathon together. He is a much faster runner than I am, but we vowed to do it together. I felt bad throughout the whole race and even told him to just leave me behind. He didn’t, of course, but I felt weird.
So when my friend told me that she wanted to become a more confident runner too, I didn’t jump up right away and suggest we run together. I thought about it for a few days and then just decided to go for it. It turns out, we run at the same speed!
This makes me so happy! Let me type that again – THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY! (It deserves some caps action.)
So, we’ve been running together three days a week and I’m finding I’m getting back into my running groove. It feels great!
There is a downside, however. My own mental roadblock – lack of patience.
We are doing really well, and in the short time we’ve been doing this together, we have both regained some endurance we lost by slacking off over the holidays. However, we’re both saying to ourselves, “Why aren’t we awesome yet?”
I have to keep reminding myself of all those corny cliches like “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. It’s true. I believe that. I tell my clients this very thing! In fact, a large part of my practice is based on this exact principle. But it’s always more difficult to put it into practice than it is to say, right?
And then today started and my friend (and marathon runner) Shannon posted this article about patience on Facebook. It is about yoga (another place where I need to be more patient), but I think the message translates really well to just about anything, workout related or not.
Yeah, patience IS a bitch. I don’t have much of it. I want to be a really good runner, like, today. Or maybe even yesterday. But it isn’t going to happen. I have to be patient. I lost some momentum over the holidays, but I’m picking it back up now and I have to earn each and every step. I’m stronger than I was a week ago, and I’ll be stronger still a week from now. But I have to work hard throughout that week or I won’t gain anything.
So, here are some patience building strategies I’m using to help myself become a better, more confident runner:
I’m zooming in – When I wrote the post about zooming in I talked mostly about ticking things off of my enormous to-do list, but it works for running too. I’m not even thinking about the half marathon that’s coming up in May. All I’m thinking about is my next run (tomorrow morning). And when I’m in the midst of that run, all I’m thinking about it putting one foot in front of the other. Stressing about the big picture isn’t helping me. I’m zoomed in on what I’m doing NOW and that’s all.
Keep a log – I am actually keeping two logs these days. One for my food, and one for my workouts. It seems like a tedious exercise to keep a log of any kind, but it’s rewarding and motivating when you take a look back on a week or a month and look at all you’ve done. When I see what I’m doing now compared to what I was doing a month ago, it is concrete proof that hard work is paying off and that makes me feel less impatient.
Stay accountable to friends – My running partner and I are supporting each other. When I feel slow, she pushes me and I hope I do the same for her. We’re reminding each other of how far we’ve come already. Having someone to coach and motivate has been invaluable to me. We aren’t in competition. We’re just supporting each other.
Lighten up – Remind myself what you’re training for. Am I trying to WIN this half marathon? No. I’m not even trying to earn an entry to the race. I already signed up and paid. I’m in. Barring any kind of catastrophe, I’ll run the race. So, why am I putting all this pressure on myself to be fantastic? It’s unnecessary and I don’t need the stress. I remind myself all the time to put this in to perspective. Sure, I want to improve, but I don’t want to take the fun out of it and turn it into a chore by being impatient and cranky.
I don’t think I’m the only one who has set course on a goal accomplishing mission and is already asking myself “Why aren’t I awesome yet?”. Surely I am not the world’s most impatient person! It’s your turn to share with me how impatient you are and what you’re doing to turn it around. Leave me a comment here or on Facebook.
Around the new year there is so much poo-pooing of new year’s resolutions. You have some people who make a commitment to do or start something knowing full well they plan to give it up in a few weeks. There are others who say they don’t want to set themselves up for failure. Other say that it’s for saps who ought to be doing good things no matter if the calendar just flipped over or not.
To all, I say this: It doesn’t matter when you start, it matters that you started. Personally, I start new “resolutions” all the time – my life is ever changing and things are not static around the First Comes Health house. But I do like the fresh, clean slate feeling of a new year.
Last week we wrapped up the 2012 Goals Project, and I’m calling it a grand success. I also had some familiar names say they wanted to participate in 2013, so let’s get started.
- Book 16 weddings during 2013.
- Develop 30 new LadyFingers recipes and successfully implement them into 2013 events.
- Update and publicize all LadyFingers menus by June 1. Update both online and print menus throughout 2013 as new recipes are developed (see above).
- Update the LadyFingers website each month with Portfolio and/or Recipe entries.
- Consistently maintain the LadyFingers Facebook page to remain current and relevant. Increase viewership.
- Re-commit to fitness using a method that will work on a consistent, life-style basis and keep a journal of progress and/or set-backs.
- Increase vegetable garden production through improved efficiency.
- Increase charitable efforts both personally and professionally.
- Shed all superfluous items.
Between getting married, finishing my first year of my new job, and turning 30, I’m hitting a few big milestones this year.
With this in mind, it is important for me to continue to prioritize my (new) family life and personal health/well-being ahead of my job, while still putting forth high quality work.
- Remember to help out with the more disagreeable chores (cat litter/bathroom cleaning)
- Go on a date at least once a month
- Complete 200 pushups a day (on day 9 already!)
- Complete 4 or more races of the 1/2 marathon, olympic triathlon, long obstacle race, open water swim variety
- Continue to workout in the A.M. before work at least 4 days a week
- Sign up for CSA box (and utilize it)
- Find at least 5 new healthy recipes that I enjoy and can cook easily
- Obtain high scores on yearly reviews
- Get superior ratings for my bands at festival
- Get stronger!
- Finish things I write (and get them to a workshop or a publisher)
- Excel at my job.
- Finish 36 books (I’d love to make this a 52 book challenge like a writer I admire gave himself, but I have to be realistic here.)
- To continue to attend my exercise classes as I have been and to add some new ones as well.
- To eat better so all my hard work in class doesn’t go for nothing
- Run at least two 5Ks, which would be my first
- Compete in the Warrior Dash on August 24
- Weigh 230 or less by June 1.
- Have perfect finger nails by June 1.
- Run a 5k by October 2013.
- Exercise at least 3 times per week.
- Floss at least 5 times per week.
Jill C. (That’s me, yo!)
- Turn in my fermentation book to my publisher on March 13 without too many book-related freakouts.
- Complete the Pittsburgh half marathon on May 5 and beat my 2012 time.
- Confidently turn 40 on November 19.
- Complete a home makeover – Dude and I were seriously thinking about moving and almost bought a new home. The deal fell through, and we are staying put in our current digs. We love our condominium and now that we know we are here for the long haul, we want to do some home improvements (some will be DIY projects, some will require us to hire a professional) to upgrade things that are in need of upgrading, and to make the place more US.
- Home purging of unneeded and unwanted items.
- Become a more confident runner.
- Have more in-person interactions with those I love most – At least twice a month I want to visit with (lunch, dinner, spend afternoon with, etc.) someone in my life who I don’t regularly see.
So, there you have it. There is plenty of room for YOU to join us! All you need to do is come up with your own list. Here are some helpful hints and tricks to get you started. Send me an email containing your list and you’re good to go.
Tomorrow I plan to post a wrap up of how well the 2012 Goals Project participants did. I’m so excited for them! I can’t wait to share all the good news with you. Today, however, I am putting out a plea for 2013 Goals Project participants. Who is in?! Here are the details:
1. Compile a list of what you want to accomplish in 2013. These things need not all be health related, and you don’t even have to have a list. Having one goal that you plan to work on all year is fantastic.
2. Be sure that whatever you choose is a measurable goal. Here’s a good example of this: “By the end of 2013 I want to be able to deadlift 300 pounds. Right now my deadlift is 215 pounds.” Here is a bad example of this: “I want to be happy in 2013.” An honorable goal of course, but not easily measured.
3. Choose a few goals that can be worked on for a good portion of the year. Here is a good example: “I want to train for and run my first marathon by August 2013.” Here is a bad example: “I want to drop 2 pounds by my birthday on January 22, 2013.” I DO encourage short-term as well as year-long goals, so don’t think that accomplishing something by the end of the month is worthless. But if you are interested in participating all year long, make sure that you have something on your list that will require long-term commitment.
4. Each month I will email you requesting an update. Let me know how you are progressing, what is going well for you with regards to your goals, and what isn’t. Be honest! Perfection is not expected. If you stumble, fall, or fail, that’s life and we can all relate to it.
5. Don’t be afraid to edit throughout the year. If you accomplish something, change your mind, your circumstances change, or just feel like changing gears, I encourage you to stay with the 2013 Goals Project! Life is unpredictable and we’ve got to roll with the punches. Don’t be afraid to adapt the goals you set at the beginning of the year.
6. If you’re interested, you can be featured on this site in a Focus On post. Participation in this is entire voluntary.
That’s it! Now, get to thinking about what you want to make happen for yourself in 2013!!! Email me your goal(s) at Jill@FirstComesHealth.com and let’s get started!