324. Goals, Goals, Goals: November 2011

I’m not really sure how it happened, but November is here.  Someone please slow things down.  However, since it’s a new month that means it’s time for new goals.  Let’s review October’s goals and set some goals for November shall we?

October Goals

Print cruise pictures: I didn’t get the pictures printed yet, but I did get them uploaded on to Shutterfly, and I’ve kind of started sorting through them picking and choosing which ones I want to use.  I did make the executive decision that instead of trying to put together a scrapbook in time for the holidays, I’m just going to make a photobook.  I enjoy scrapbooking, but it’s not something I love doing.  One day I’ll put together an actual scrapbook, but today is not that day.

Continue strength training minimum twice a week: This was a huge epic fail.  I did strength training like maybe twice the whole month – three times if you count dancing at a wedding this past weekend which was some serious core work.  I’m beginning to think it’s in my best interest to never mention strength training on my blog again.  It seems like as soon as I do I’m setting myself up to fail.

Closet clean out: I’m 99.9% done with the great closet clean out.  I currently have 3 bags, and a pile.  I just need to bag up that last pile and drop off the bags.  I’m planning to do this tonight.  I’ll also be posting about it in the near future.

Clean House: laundry once a week with clothes put away – Hahahaha!  I did laundry once the entire month.  I did put the clothes away right away though.  Dishes get washed before going to bed – I did better on this one.  I didn’t always do them before bed, but I didn’t let them soak for days or, worse, get crusty.

Run Dallas 13.1 A++ on this one.  I am so proud of my performance at Dallas 13.1.  You can read all about that here.

So October went okay.  I’m disappointed that strength training fell by the wayside, but I’m planning to bring it back starting tonight.  I’m not actually making it a formal goal (or even mentioning what I’m doing on the blog here because clearly that just jinxes me.)  On to November’s goals.

Journal.  Journaling is something I’ve always wanted to do (It’s even one of my Mission 101 goals!), but I never really “got” the how to.  For me it always ended up being a junior high style “dear dairy” compilation of the day’s events or whatever – not really compelling stuff.  Somewhere in the middle of October I had a bit of a revelation about the how-to of journaling, and I’ve been journaling sporadically since then.  My goal for November is to journal at least three times per week.  If I need to us prompts, that’s fine.  Sometimes you just need something to get you started.

Recipe Index One of the areas of my blog that is definitely lacking is a recipe index.  It’s lacking because it doesn’t even exist.  I recently signed up for the new free account through Recipage, and my goal is to have it up and running with the majority of my recipes inputted by the end of November.  I’m also in the process of organizing and setting up a recipe book at home too.  I have a falling apart recipe binder and a ton of recipes torn from magazines in a disorganized pile on my kitchen bookshelf.   I want my recipes more easily accessible for you and me!  I don’t know that I’ll be 100% done by the end of November, but I’d like to make a solid dent in both.  My goal is a minimum 50% completion.

Weekly Goals, Planning and Organization  For the month of November, I want to try my hand at setting weekly goals, planning and organizing my weeks.  Things are going to potentially get very busy for me at the start of the new year so I want to get myself in organized mode now.  Plus, with the business of the holidays coming up, being extra organized certainly can’t hurt.  I don’t know how much of this I’ll post on the blog, but I’ve started a notebook to keep with me at all times.

So that’s it for now.  I’ll obviously be setting goals throughout the month as part of my weekly goal setting and Weight Watchers Wednesday, but these are the three major things I want to work on this month.


314. Goals, Goals, Goals: October 2011

Sometimes I’m just not in the mood to write even when I have things to say.  As Heather might say, “It goes in seasons.”   Last week was and off-season.  So I took an impromptu blogcation which turned out pretty awesome.  I attended not one, but two, Chicago Blackhawks games which is more Blackhawks games than I’ve attended in my entire life.  I don’t care if it was preseason; I still got to watch the Hawks beat the Wings while chanting “Detroit Sucks.” (No offense to any of my Michigan blogs friends of course!)

But I’m back in the mood to write and back to blogging.  I’m also back to setting some goals.  So here are my October goals…a few days late.

Print cruise pictures: I have over 400 pictures from my NYC trip/ cruise back in August.  They’re on my computer, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.  My plan is to create a scrapbook, and I’d like to get that done before the end of the year.  (I think it would be nice to be able to bring to the various family holiday gatherings.)  Step one is printing the pictures.

Continue strength training minimum twice a week: You might remember my various failed strength training challenges.  You might even remember my most recent challenge.  I haven’t mentioned it on the blog out of fear of jinxing myself, but I’ve actually been doing really well this time around.  I might even actually be developing some upper body strength! I want to keep this up.

Closet clean out: Since deciding that a mess of new clothes would be my reward for I hitting my goal weight, and making more of an effort to dress myself like an adult, I’ve decided that it’s also time to get rid of  all those clothes I continue to wear despite being a size or two too big.  I many have mentioned this once or twice, but I absolutely hate doing laundry.  It is my least favorite chore ever.  Getting rid of clothing means having fewer options.  Fewer options mean doing laundry more often.  Laundry more often means, well, it’s just plain torture.  However, I’ve finally realized that wearing these too big clothes just looks sloppy and completely contradicts my goal of dressing like I know how to dress myself.  So the time had come for the clothes to go.

On a related note: Heather is hosting a giveaway for a $50 drugstore.com gift card.  $50 worth of new make-up certainly wouldn’t hurt my looking my best cause.

Clean House: Along with my closet clean out, I want to make an effort to keep my house cleaner.  Like strength training, this is a goal I often set, do well on for a short time, and then completely give up on.  I’m a terrible housekeeper.  I hate cleaning (though not as much as I hate laundry.)  I would hire a cleaning service if I could afford it, but I can’t.  So I need to stop being such a slob.  I’m going to start small with the two biggest problem areas: laundry and dishes.  (Doing dishes is on a close second to laundry on my list of least favorite chores ever.)  The sub-goals here are laundry once a week with clothes put away – no leaving the basket of clean clothes on the floor to be put away later – and dishes get washed before going to bed.

Run Dallas 13.1 This will be my third half marathon, but I’ve never run the entire distance without walking.  My first half I was undertrained.  My second half, I trained, and run, doing 5:1 run/walk intervals.  This time around my plan is to run the whole thing.  My training has been really strong, and I’m feeling confident.  I’m really just putting this out there as a goal to push myself through these last couple weeks of training.

Those are my five big goals for the month of October.  I still plan to set weekly, weight loss specific goals one Weight Watchers Wednesday.  So tell me, what are your goals this month?

274. Another New Fitness Challenge?

I’ve been lacking in the blog-spiration department lately – hence the lack of posting up in here.   I’m all about quality over quantity when it comes to my blog content so sorry, I’m not sorry.  However, today I do have some quality content for you in the form of a new and improved fitness challenge!  (I’ve been doing pretty well on my Smart Girls Do Dumbbells challenge.  I haven’t totally stuck to the schedule, and I’ve altered it a little, but I’m doing it.  It will be integrated it into this new challenge. )

I’ve talked about my weight loss journey a little more frequently in the last 6 months or so: my weight-loss rest stop, my fear of success and reaching my goal weight, the importance of setting small goals to build into larger successes.  Since April, I’ve done really well.  I’m down 4.5 pounds.  This isn’t a huge amount of weight in 2 months, but it’s a good start.  It has me feeling like I’m back on the road and headed in the right direction.  However, I also know I need to make some changes in order to keep losing.  The major change is I need to increase the amount of exercise I’m doing.

For me, food has never really been the issue.  I’ve got that part of the weight loss equation down.  As long as I’m focused on my efforts and conscious of what I’m eating, I do pretty well.  I can indulge without going overboard.  I can keep myself in check.  I make pretty good choices over all.  It’s moving my ass that causes me problems.  When it comes to working out, my excuses have excuses.  I was talking to Laura about this today, and she decided the best way to handle this would be to go all drill sergeant on my ass.

Laura: True but working out at home doesn’t work for you all the time
 me: I’ve been doing better lately.  I did my ST last night at like 10pm while watching a movie.  And I even did extra abs!
Laura: Okay I have a deal for you
 me: Okay… (terror in my eyes…)
 Laura: Make an exercise plan for home and stick to it and prove to me you can follow it
Or I’m buying you a gym membership
And making you go girlfriend
You won’t get to your goal weight without consistent exercise!
me: Hahaha, I know! And I know how important it is!

And thus my current fitness challenge was born…

So here’s how it’s going down.   

  1. I’m continuing my Smart Girls Do Dumbbells Challenge; however, I’m going to do it daily rather than every other day.  I’ve actually found that doing it every other day is detrimental because I allow myself to “make it up the next day.”  If I’m doing it daily, there is no “next day” to make it up. 
  2. I’m training for a 10K on July 17th.  My training plan will be posted on my training page.  It actually includes cross training!
  3. I will walk at least 1 mile a day with my dog.  I usually do this anyway unless I’m feeling exceptionally lazy.

Now, we all know that every good challenge has a prize she here are my prizes.

  1. If I meet my strength training goal at least 75% of the time, I’m going to buy a new swim suit from Athleta.  I need a new swim suit either way, but I’ve been on the fence about dropping that much money on a suit – even if it is better quality than a swim suit from Target.  If I meeting my strength training goal, it’s mine.
  2. If I meet my training goal at least 75% of the time, I’m going to (finally) buy myself a velcro strap for my Garmin.
  3. And as an added bonus, if I complete everything at least 75% of the time, Laura is sending me a prize, and according to her, it will be epic.

The challenge starts today and will end on July 17th.  I’m going to make a concerted effort to post weekly progress reports here.

269. Goals, Goals, Goals: May

I can’t believe it’s May already, but you know what that means…it’s time to review April’s goals and set some goals for the coping month.

April was a really fantastic month for me.  I didn’t meet my goals 100%, but I’m really proud of how well I did.  I’ve definitely started getting back on the road toward weightloss.  I actually lost 1.5lbs this month.  It’s not a huge amount of weight, but it’s a huge step forward in terms of progress.

I journaled 23 complete days of food and fitness as well as 3 partial days leaving only 4 days where I didn’t journal anything.  I also started actively using SparkPeople again as a means of tracking my calories.

Since I didn’t meet all of the goal, I don’t get my juicer; however, since I still had a really great month I decided to reward myself with new running socks and a running skirt.

Honestly, my only goal for May is to keep up my current momentum.  So my first two goals for May focus on the things that I feel have been really helpful lately.  The third goal is something I hope will help build my momentum further.

  1. Continue food and fitness journaling.  My goal is a minimum of 27 out of 31 days.  (This allows me to miss one day a week.)
  2. Continue setting a single daily goal.  The daily goals have been really helpful.  My daily goals are pretty simple – usually just something I want to accomplish that day.  Most of the time they’re food or fitness related, but sometimes they’re simply an errand I need to get done or something I’d like to do.  In any case, they help keep me focused from day-to-day.
  3. I want to complete the Spring Shape-Up Bootcamp on SparkPeople with an 80% completion rate.  The bootcamp is 4 weeks and consists of a daily workout video from the SparkPeople site as well as 5 cardio sessions per week.  My goal is to complete at least 16 out of 20 cardio sessions and 24 out of 28 videos. 

I haven’t actually decided on a reward yet, but I’ll let you know when I come up with something.

268. A Fear of Success?

When I blog, I tend to steer clear of post in which I do a lot of self-reflection.  It’s not that I don’t spend time reflecting on myself; in fact, I spend a great deal of time thinking about myself.  Lately, I’ve spent so much time reflecting – primarily my struggles with losing weight and reaching goals, that it’s overshadowed a lot of my blogging inspiration – hence the lack of posting lately.  I’ve considered posting some of these things, but to be perfectly honest, I think in such a random and fragmented sense that my thoughts usually don’t make much sense to anyone other than me (I spent three days composing this post going back over it to see if it would make sense to an outsider.)  However, I’m sure there are plenty of people who can identify.  Plus, at the end of the day, this is my blog and I’ll self-reflect if I want to.  So here’s what’s been consuming my mind lately…

I’ve talked before about how I’m not very good at seeing things through when I set goals.  Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about why this is.  I’ve examined my reasons before and come to valid conclusions – I overwhelm myself by trying to do too much.  I don’t keep them in the front of my mind so I forget.  And I’ve done things to try and solve my issues based on these conclusions – I go for small starts.  I set just few goals.  I create mini vision boards and stick post-it notes all over the place.  I’ve been creating daily goals to try and boost my confidence in sticking to goals.  Despite this all, I still come up short in sticking to so many of my goals. 

Recently something has occurred to me though: a sort of break-through if you will.  It’s occurred to me that my problem is actually making the commitment to my goals.  I set goals yes, but the truth is I never really commit to them.  I don’t really dedicate myself.  This begs the question why.  Why would I not commit to things I really want?  Why do I not commit to things I know I can achieve?  Why do I settle instead of going for things?  I’ve only come up with one answer, and that is fear.  I’m afraid.  It’s not necessarily that I’m afraid to commit, but I’m afraid of what will happen once I commit.  Part of me is afraid that I’ll fail, but even worse, a larger part of me is afraid I’ll succeed.

On the surface, I present a cool-as-a-cucumber, laid back attitude, and for the most part that’s an accurate depiction of my personality.  However, lurking beneath the surface there’s a tiny perfectionist, type-a control freak.  This is the part of me that’s afraid to fail.  The fear of failure isn’t what really bothers me.  I get it.  I understand being afraid to fail.  It’s the fear of success that bothers me.  It just seems so irrational to me.

That’s why I’ve spent so much time thinking about it.  It just doesn’t make sense.  I guess maybe it’s rooted in a fear of the unknown.  Perhaps I’m not scared of being successful so much as I am what will happen if/ when I do succeed.  That my life would somehow be changed for the worse?  Still seems silly, but…

As I’ve been thinking about this I’ve looked back on myself a lot.  I’m used to be good at stuff, but it’s rare that I ever letter myself be much better than average.  In high school, I was a good swimmer, but I wasn’t great.  And when I got a chance to be great, I quit.  Yes, there was more to it than that – I didn’t get along with the coach.  I was taking multiple AP classes.  There wasn’t enough time in the day to balance school and swimming and friends. – but ultimately, I quit when I got to the point where I was being pushed into going from good to great.  That was part of the reason I didn’t like the coach.  He pushed for more than just good enough.  I can find repeated instances of me basically calling it quits and settling for good enough: my grades in college, my decision not to teach, my staying with Chris for as long as I did.

Truth be told, it was Rachel’s post on how to handle praise that really triggered this entire post.  At the heart of my personality, I’m an introvert.  I don’t like to be the center of attention.  I don’t like people paying attention to my achievements.  I don’t like praise, and I don’t handle it well.    Her post got me thinking about how I handle praise and take compliments.  I don’t.  Receiving praise makes me really uncomfortable.    I down play everything.  When I first lost weight, I hated it when people would call attention to it.  I could handle about one comment before I started getting anxious.  If people started gushing about how good I looked, I immediately downplayed it.  “Oh, it’s nothing…”  When my friend Sarah would give me props on running calling me “the little marathoner,” I immediately emphasized that a 5K is only 3 miles.  Even when I cook or bake, I’m constantly nit picking the dish.  It could be this… It should be that…

Maybe I’m not so much afraid of being successful, of being great, as I am uncomfortable with the attention it will bring on me. 

But how do I fix it?  Do I just face the fear?  That seems much easier said than done.  Do I slowly learn to take praise better?  I guess that’s as good a place as any to start.  So here I go.  I’m going to do my best to learn to take praise.  If you compliment me on anything and I downplay it, feel free to slap me upside the head…or something.

260. Goals, Goals, Goals: April

First things first – don’t forget sign up for the Veggie Challenge ends tomorrow at 11:59pm.  Please comment on the challenge post if you want to participate.

Since March is almost over, it’s time to review my  goals for March and set some goals for April. 

March: a month in review

My main goal was to get back into a regular run schedule.  I did pretty damn good at this.  I revised my training plan and took on a run-walk-run method.  I’m behind on my long runs, but I’ve gotten in most of my other runs.  I even did an extra-long week day run last week because I was feeling so good

I seriously failed at my goal to do CoreFusion three times a week.  I did it a grand total of 0 times.  I’m not sure why.  I just didn’t bother with it.

My final goal of keeping my house clean was kind of a mixed bag.  I did okay when it came to keeping it clean on a day-to-day basis.  What I did do though, with the help of my amazing boyfriend, is to get a really good deep cleaning taken care of.  We vacuumed every nook and cranky in the living room and dining room, cleaned off the balcony (now I don’t look like the building white-trash anymore!), scrubbed down the kitchen, and I even Swiffered all the ceilings and walls!  Last night I scrubbed down my main bathroom.

April: a month to improve

I really only have one goal for April focusing on the realizations I had about getting back on track with weight-loss.  However, I realize it’s an incredibly broad and over-arching goal so I’m breaking it down to more specific sub-goals. 

My goal is to re-create a solid base of nutrition and fitness to re-focus and re-start my weight loss.  I’ve got three sub-goals (and a few sub-sub-goals):

  1. Food and Fitness Journaling: I started a (old school pen and paper) nutrition and fitness journal this week.  It’s more than just logging the foods I’m eating and my work-outs.  I’m actually doing some journaling as well.  Generally I’m tracking the time I eat, what I eat, how I’m feeling/ why I’m eating (e.g. hungry, boredom, no reason at all).  I’m also tracking my work-outs and my thoughts on those as well.  My goal for April is to journal 5 complete days a week including 1 weekend day.
  2. April Veggie Challenge:  I’m setting a minimum goal of 2 cups of veggies per day.  I’m also setting the goal to try at least 4 new veggies.
  3. Well rounded fitness:   I got my cardio back on track in March, and obviously I need to stick with that and commit to my long runs for the half marathon training, but I realized during one of my runs last week that I really need to recommit to strength training and yoga.  My runs felt so much strong when I was regularly doing CoreFusion.  I am making a goal to do CoreFusion at least 2 days a week, including yoga one day.

So here’s the less convoluted list of April goals.  I’ve also decided on a reward for April.  If I meet all of the following in April I’m going to buy the juicer I’ve been debating buying for the last month.  It’s something I want but I don’t really need.  I’ve lived this long without one, but I think it would be cool to have and I would use it pretty regularly.

a)      Journal all food and fitness 5 days a week, including 1 weekend day.

b)      Minimum 2 cups of veggies per day

c)       Try 4 new veggies

d)      Do CoreFusion 2 days a week, including 1 yoga day

e)      Do all 4 long runs in April

I’m really hoping to re-focus myself in April.  After all, spring is all about new beginnings…right?

259. Get Your Veggie On in the Great Veggie-Of

Two days ago Laura and I were g-chatting about how we both need to seriously ramp up our veggie intake.  For me fruit is no issue.  I love fruit.  I can find fruit I love in every season.  Veggies on the other hand are a struggle for me – especially in the winter.  There’s a lot of veggies I don’t like (mushrooms, tomatoes, and celery to name a few), and I’m not particularly adventurous when it comes to trying new veggies.  So while discussing our pitiful veggie intake, I half-joking suggested her and I have a Veggie-Off in the month of April.  She whole-heartedly agreed, and the Great Veggie-Off was born.

Anyone is welcome to participate in the Veggie-Off next month, but for those of us with a bit of a competitive spirit, there’s going to be a more formal competition, if you will.  We thought it would be a good idea to add the elements of accountability and reward to the Veggie-Off.  Here’s the deets.

You’re Invited to The Great Veggie-Off!


Where: The Interwebs
When: April 1st – April 30th
What: Maximize your veggie in-take (without sacrificing other important food group and nutrients of course!).  Juice counts, but if it’s if a combo juice only the veggie portion counts.  Veggie pills and shots do not count.  It’s gotta be the real deal folks. 
How: She (or he) with the highest veggie intake wins.

There are the basics.  Like I said, anyone is welcome to participate, but if you want to be involved in the competition and have a chance at the prize you’ll need to know a little bit more so keep reading.

There will be a $5 entry fee which will go into a PayPal pool that will be managed by a non-participating third party – namely Laura’s dear friend Rachel from Boston No Common.  You will need to track your veggie consumption and report back on a weekly basis.  Here’s how you play the game:

  1. Leave a comment here letting me know you want to participate in the Veggie-Off Competition.  You must sign up and submit the entry fee by 11:59 CST on March 31st.  (Once you comment I will email you the PayPal info you need.)
  2. Every Friday (starting April 8th) I will post a “check-in,” and you will need to post your veggie consumption for the week.  You can do this by creating a blog post (or a tracking page) and linking it on the “check-in” post or if you don’t have a blog, you can email me your veggie log for the week.
  3. Since the USDA now does their recommendations in terms of cups of veggies, that is how we will measure.  I will be posting more about this, including examples, next week.
  4. At the end of the month, I will post the tally of everyone’s veggie consumption and announce the winner(s).  (Depending on the number of participants we might have a winner, a winner and runner-up, or a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.  I’ll update about that once I know how many people are interested.)

Obviously this is on the honor system.  I like to think all my wonderful blogger friends out there are good, honest people; so please don’t shatter my hopes and dreams. 🙂