I have never been much of a New Year’s Resolution person. In general, I feel that I’m leading a pretty decent life, and that any vices I have at this point are vices I have by choice. That’s not to say that I’m perfect, or that there’s not room for improvement – there is. Plenty. But, mostly, I’m too lazy to do anything about it.
My husband, however, is the opposite. Each year, he sets goals. And what’s more, he tracks them throughout the year and crosses them off as they’re accomplished. Basically, he gets shit done. In the past, I’ve managed to avoid being drawn into his over-achieving plans for self-betterment, or I’ve been able to slide by setting “goals” that I knew I could get done, or that wouldn’t require much effort.
This year, though, my husband’s inner Richard Simmons has emerged in full force and I’ve been tasked with setting no fewer that 5 goals that will “actually challenge me”. Keep in mind that, in the words of the Goal Nazi himself, they must be SMART goals (Specific, Meaningful, Action Oriented, Realistic, Timely), which is something we were taught in business school but that I promptly dismissed as irrelevant marketing jargon. I tried to wiggle my way out of actual goal setting by listing “be a better person”. That didn’t fly.
In return for his unbearable enthusiasm and encouragement, my husband has resolved to cut his sugar intake from 2+ sweets a day to 1 a month, and to increase his water intake from about 16 ounces a day to the recommended 100.
Although I’m not big on goal setting, I am quite the fan of making lists, so this whole thing might not be so bad after all.
In order of personal importance, here are my goals for the upcoming year:
- Run a half-marathon in a fun place. A half marathon is something I’ve been wanting to do, but putting off, since college. I’ve decided 2016 is going to be the year. And if I’m going to run 13.1 miles I sure as hell want it to be somewhere where I can eat and drink afterwards. Gotta replace those calories somehow, right? Current contenders are: Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon & Half Marathon in Anchorage, AK; Bridge of the Gods Half Marathon in Cascade Locks, OR; San Francisco Second Half Marathon; Missoula Half Marathon in Missoula, MT; and The Haunted Half in Salt Lake City, UT. I’m certainly open to recommendations!
- Delete Facebook app from phone (and keep it deleted). This basically translates to: do something more valuable with my time than creep on other people. Although my dear friends and family are on Facebook, my account is also full of people I haven’t spoken to or seen in years. I’ll keep my account active, but I don’t need the temptation of pulling up the app every time I’m waiting in line or am “bored”.
- Stick with snowboarding & get more comfortable going fast. Learning how to snowboard is easily the most frustrating/difficult thing I’ve done in my adult life. I am not patient, and I don’t like failing. Which is silly, I know, especially because virtually no one is good at snowboarding the first time. Or the second. Or the third. It takes practice (ugh, imagine that) and time. We’ve had 3 lessons and I can see dramatic improvement, but hot damn I just want to be good already.
- No cell phone use after 9pm or in bed. Like most people these days, my cell phone is the last thing I put down at night and the first thing I reach for in the morning. It’s my primary source of news, entertainment, and connection to the outside world. For years, I’ve seen articles popping up that tout the dangers of cell phone use before bed. And for years, I’ve ignored them, reasoning that I don’t have problems falling asleep. But now, I’m realizing that getting good sleep is not the same as falling asleep quickly. The older I get, the more sleep I seem to need, and putting down my phone and actually reading a book at night seems like a win all around.
- Learn Spanish in preparation for our Fall 2016 Europe trip. After much deliberation, and an afternoon on Google Flights, Adam and I decided that our 2016 trip will be to France and Spain (flying into Paris and out of Madrid). We contemplated buying Rosetta Stone for French, but then my mom told us about Duolingo, which is free. Since free is hard to beat, we gave it a shot and are totally sold. Adam learned French as a child and I studied Spanish in high school, so we agreed that he’d learn French and I’d brush up on Spanish. Duolingo isn’t perfect (some of the sentences are wacky, and occasionally you repeat exercises), but again it’s free and I think it’s actually a lot of fun. I downloaded the app to my phone which is really going to tax my above resolution regarding cell phone use at night.
Other minor goals include:
- Take a yoga class at least 2 times a month. Because sometimes I need to slow down and breathe. Also, I need to work on my flexibility.
- Eat a fully vegan meal dinner at least once a week (as a family). Adam was not thrilled when I announced this goal, but little does he know that some of his favorite meals – stir fries, Indian lentil stew – are already vegan or easily adaptable. Now that I have a killer cashew “cream” sauce in my wheelhouse, I’m pretty confident that this won’t be a significant challenge.
- Simplify weeknight meals – prep more on weekends and utilize the freezer. Truthfully, I love to cook. Even after a long day, cooking is my stress relief. I have no problem spending an hour each night making dinner, but sometimes that just isn’t feasible. Because of sports and my dad’s work schedule, I grew up eating dinner at 7:30 or later, so it’s not an issue for me to come home from the gym, spend an hour cooking, and sit down to dinner at 8:30. But my poor husband doesn’t enjoy that as much. This year, I’m going to work on building my repertoire of 30-minute meals and prepping ingredients ahead of time.
- Reduce food waste and find new ways to use leftovers. Did you know that the average American household throws away $2,000 of food a year? That equates to 35 million tons of wasted food in our country. Y’all. That. Is. DISGUSTING. Just yesterday, I thew away 4 perfectly good acorn squash because I had ignored them in the pantry for too long. Time to stop. It’s a waste of money and it’s a slap in the face to the 795 million people around the world who don’t get enough to eat. This year, I resolve to do better.
- Get back on Weight Watchers and lose 5 pounds. With Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays, suffice it to say I have not been tracking my food or alcohol properly (pretty sure I would have broken the app with all the cheese and wine I consumed). Starting tomorrow, I’m getting back on track. (Tonight, though, I’m making queso dip.)
Hrm, that was longer than I expected. I told you I had plenty of room for self-improvement! What about you – do you make New Years resolutions?