Following Through

Every year, I see some sort of meme proclaiming that some large percentage of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by January 3. Or something like that. Honestly, it seems to vary every time I see one.

If you can’t trust Lincoln…

To be honest, though, they’re all probably right. Most New Year’s resolutions fail, because the excitement wears off and the reality of hard work sets in. And it’s hard to be enthusiastic about hard work for its own sake.

With that in mind, then, how do I plan to follow through on a bunch of goals that aren’t ‘New Year’s resolutions’ but which happen to have kicked off on New Year’s Day?

With a lot of work, that’s how.

More seriously, my wife and I spent the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve going through Michael Hyatt’s Five Days to Your Best Year Ever program, which was all about setting goals and then following through with them. Here’s a really quick version of the important things I learned from the class:

  1. Write your goals down.
  2. Make them big, big enough that you have to work hard to achieve them.
  3. Make them measurable, so you know what success looks like.
  4. Reread them daily, to remind yourself what they are.
  5. Review them weekly, to make sure the process you have for achieving them works.
  6. Review them quarterly, to see if you’ve succeeded and, if you haven’t, to see if they need to be revised or replaced.

There’s a whole lot more to it than just that, of course. But all my goals are written down, and the action steps are plotted out and scheduled, and I’m feeling really good about them. Kind of nervous, because they’re big goals, but excited.

And a touch sore. Right now, even five pushups is a lot of work.


Time To Get Started!

I weighed in yesterday at 328.8 pounds. That’s a one pound weight gain from the last time I weighed in, but since that was a month ago and then I embraced the calorie-dense Christmas holidays with wide-open arms, I think that’s pretty good. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today, except tangentially.

That’s right. I’m utterly fabulous.

See, today isn’t about weight. It’s about getting started. I just needed the weight to establish a baseline for myself, so that I have one of several metrics with which to gauge my progress. My head cold is cleared up (except for a touch of congestion) and, fun as they are, the holidays are over. Oh, and I don’t have the stress of studying for major professional certification exams hanging over my head. Once again, I am able to fully focus on my health!

And my family, of course. But I’ll be doing by a lot of this with them, since I’m the cook and we all want to go hiking (and play Pokémon Go) once the weather improves. Nothing says that getting healthy has to be tedious or lonely, after all. Right?

Although – and this just hit me – I’m going to ease back into the routine a little. I was going to jump in feet first and try and do everything, ignoring the fact that it’s been a while. I don’t think I’ll do that, because it seems like a revue for failure. So, instead, here’s my revised plan:

  1. Hit my calorie budget. I’ve been doing this successfully for the last four days, so I’m off to a good start.
  2. Meet my walking goals, starting today. This may be a little difficult, since it’s been a while, but I seem to average about 3.5 miles per day when I’m not actually trying. Adding 2 more miles is a little ambitious, but I know I can do it because I’ve done it before.
  3. Do my exercise cards 4 day’s a week, starting today.
  4. Do my Kung Flow warmups 5 day’s a week.
  5. Start the Flat Belly Workout next week.

That seems like a good strategy. I’ll let you all know how day one went in tomorrow’s post!

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2018! I rang in the new year by tucking my 7-year-old into bed (he managed to stay up to ring in the new year with me, but only barely), and then taking NyQuil and going to bed. Yay, me. I am a party machine.

Incidentally, that “NyQuil” explains why I’ve been so quiet again. And why I haven’t made much progress getting back on my goals. It’s really hard to manage that when your sinuses are filled with gunk and you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck.

But enough of that! This is a brand new year filled with opportunity! Or, at least, that’s the tradition. And in the spirit of that tradition, my resolution is to get back on track with my goals! But let’s be more specific than that. Here are the goals, with some specific “stretch goals” for the year:

1. Eat well within my 2,500 calorie budget. I specifically resolve to make the majority of my meals (like 13 days out of 14) at home, with at least one full serving of fruits or vegetables per meal.

2. Hit my step/distance goals. Right now, that’s 5.5 miles per day. This may be going up, though – see the next resolution.

3. Be able to run a 10 minute mile. That doesn’t sound Ike much, but right now I walk roughly a 18 minute mile. I think. I actually keep forgetting to time it. The point is, however, that I’d like to see my cardiovascular health improve further, and being able to run a mile in 10 minutes would demonstrate that Improvement. (Of course, once I manage this I’ll be adding at least a mile to my distance/step goals…)

4. Hit my exercise goals. Now that’s pretty nebulous, so let’s try and be more specific. By the end of 2018 I want to be able to do 100 jumping jacks, 100 crunches, 50 squats, 50 leg lifts, 25 push-ups, and 25 sit-ups. In a row. Yes, this is hella ambitious sounding right now.

5. I want to lose my weight. Although, since I don’t want to focus on weight (because I also hope to put at least some muscle on with this exercise program), let’s go with wanting to fit into a 40 waist. That’s cutting about 12 inches from my waist, so that feels like a good target.

That seems like a good set of resolutions. And I’ll get to work on all of them just as soon as I recover from my cold.