The end of the first month of 2014 is near. How many of you have kept your New Year’s resolutions? How many of you even remember what they were? I find it is easy for these dreams and aspirations of better health, increased fitness, balanced personal life, etc. to fall by the way side. January is a hard month to make changes. The days are short, the temperatures are cool; who wants to go to the gym after work when it will be dark when they leave? And a warm plate of macaroni and cheese is so much more comforting on a chilly winter’s night than a salad and lean protein.
Still, I am a big believer in setting goals. And the hype and freshness of a new calendar year provides a good opportunity to take the time to identify what I want to focus on in the upcoming months. To start this process, I like to think back about the previous year. What goals got marked as “achieved” and which ones fell in to the “not quite there” category? It’s okay to not have met all your goals for the year. If you did achieve all you set out to accomplish, maybe you didn’t dream big enough?
Besides just marking “completed” or “not completed” on what you planned in 2013, think about what brought you happiness, stress, disappointment, fulfillment, etc. Maybe you didn’t get that marathon PR you were hoping for, but you made a good friend while training for it. Or maybe you did get the PR, but you were so stressed about the race, you failed to acknowledge your accomplishment. Remember, we can learn from both our successes and disappointments (maybe even more from our disappointments).
Did anything surprise you during the year, whether in sports, professionally, or personally? Perhaps the Sunday dinners at your in laws that you used to dread have become a treasured time to spend with family. Or maybe those extra running miles you logged didn’t lead to any improvements in your running times. Write both the positive and negatives down, as both can shape your plans for 2014.
Lastly, take time to acknowledge what you are grateful for. Whether it’s the Bubble at Myers Park, which allows us to swim when it’s cold enough to snow, or the spouse who runs the vacuum while you’re out riding your bike, be sure to show your appreciation.