2014 goals

Over the years, I’ve sometimes set out “beginning of the year” goals for myself. I’ve always been reluctant to call them “resolutions,” because “resolving” to do something sounds so final. What if I don’t complete a resolution, due to circumstances beyond my control? Does that mean I failed? Instead, I like to call them “goals.” Semantics, maybe, but hey, it’s my blog so I’ll call them goals.

Anyway, the thing about goals or resolutions is that you need to be able to measure them. “Get in shape” isn’t quantifiable, so how do you know if you succeeded? Plus, it’s awfully vague. So, I’ve done my best to set out quantifiable goals.

  1. Qualify for the Boston Marathon. Honestly, this is my biggest goal right now, and it’s why I removed my “run another ultra and hopefully a 50-miler” goals for this year. This requires me to run a 3:39:59 marathon by September. I’m currently 7 minutes, 23 seconds from that goal, and I have a leg that’s preventing me from doing much running. In fact, I need to call the doctor… So, we’ll see how that goes.
  2. Set a personal record (PR) in the marathon. This is the “plan b” to No. 1 above. So, run a 3:47:21 or faster. I’d really like to do this at the New Jersey Marathon in late April, if my leg will cooperate.
  3. Run sub-1:45 in a half-marathon. I only need to get faster by 21 seconds in order to meet this goal, but again, I have the grumpy leg. (I’m running a half-marathon in a few weeks, but the PR won’t happen there. Maybe in August?)
  4. Do a century bike ride. A few years ago, I bicycled 45 boring miles. So it’s no small task to more than double that distance, especially since it would be a lot easier on a road bike than on my hybrid bike. Doable? Yes. Will I actually do it? Hmmm. I need cycling companions for this one, I think. Any takers?
  5. Run a total of 1,500 miles. I ran 1,401.91 miles in 2013, so it’s doable IF my body will cooperate.
  6. Bike a total of at LEAST 700 miles (spin classes count). I biked 668.65 miles in 2013, with only 38 of them outside. Both numbers need to improve.
  7. Go to the gym at least 150 times during the year. This would be about three times a week, while I averaged closer to twice a week in 2013, so this will require some vigilance. I need a better way to track this, but at least I can manually count in my training logs.
  8. Read at least one book a month. That’s pathetic when considering that I used to read more than 50 books a year. The Internet is to blame for this. And maybe the TV.
  9. Cook dinner more often. Grapefruit and popcorn (not simultaneously) are not really dinner. I can usually follow a recipe, but the challenge is to plan ahead so I have the ingredients and can try to do some prep on the weekend. I need a way to quantify this one, because “cook more” breaks my own goal-setting guidelines. Any ideas?
  10. Go to bed at 10 p.m. Ideally, go to bed at 9:30 p.m. and read until 10. My phone goes into “do not disturb” mode at 10 p.m., to prevent me from seeing texts and notices after that point — unless I’m still on my phone. That happens all too often, thanks to social media. (I love all of you.)
  11. Get down to [undisclosed number because I’m self-conscious] pounds. It’s about 10 pounds less than what I weigh now. That’s a whole bag of potatoes I wouldn’t have to carry with me when running! No, I don’t have a weight problem or an eating disorder. No, losing about 10 pounds will not harm me.
  12. Blog an average of twice a week. Honestly, the Tuesday Time-Wasters (which I revived last month) are fun and easy. So I really only need to come up with other content once a week in order to meet this goal. That said, this is my blog and I’m not paid for it, so I’m not going to cry if I don’t actually log 104 blog posts this year.
  13. Find a cheaper place to live.

OK, that’s a baker’s dozen list of goals. It will either be a lot of success or a lot of failure. Here goes 2014!

7 Responses to 2014 goals

  1. I have an email thread to myself going right now called “Centuries 2014″ so … you know, let me know which rides you’re looking at! Also, for cooking, you could quantify it as “cook twice a week” or maybe even “twice a week, once during the week and once on weekends.” For what it’s worth, I find that as long as I cook more than a single portion each time I cook, I only need to cook 3 times per week to get a full week of homemade meals. (This strategy requires being OK with leftovers.)

  2. I highly recommend “The Most Beautiful Ride” in Tahoe (June) for your century. Great vistas and top notch aid stations.

    Cooking: instead of cook more at home, what about create a food budget goal (which typically translates into more meals at home). OR, get a cookbook/recipe blog you love and create one recipe per week from it.

  3. I also have a goal to cook more, but the quantifiable version is to cook 2 new recipes a month. I think that works for me because part of the reason I don’t cook as much as I should is due to boredom. For inspiration, I’ve got a new cookbook for Christmas (Isa Chandra’s “Isa Does It”) and an old crockpot cookbook that I’ve ever made 2 recipes from.

    Also, I totally agree with you re: goals versus resolutions! Good luck – hope your IT band starts cooperating soon!

  4. Love it!!!

    I am really itching to set running goals, but since my leg is (also) still busted, I’m afraid I’ll jinx it. 😛

    Also, totally agree about the quantifying things. At yoga this week our teacher was pushing the idea of NOT quantifying goals & instead just having “themes” like “Eat better Monday through Friday,” because if you quantify your goals, you’re more likely to fail. To which I was kind of like….Well, YEAH, because you can’t objectively fail at something that is vague & not quantifiable. I am definitely sticking with numbers / measurable things.

  5. I will rent a bike and ride a century with you! Just let me know where and when. Or maybe I will learn to take Muppet apart and reassemble her and rent a bike box. (Goal?)

    As for the cooking goal, how about cooking at home once a week? A dinner with leftovers that you can remake into lunches and more dinners. The roasted chicken recipe is super easy!!

  6. Good luck with your goals! I know running is out for you right now (I’m in the same frustrating boat) but don’t throw in the towel on your plans, just rest and keep a positive attitude that once you are healed, you’ll be back to business. I especially like the non-running goals: I have ones related to bedtime, cooking, reading, and weight-loss too!

  7. I have considered doing a century. I’m just terrified of road biking. And yet I have a road bike. Quite a few cyclist go through my area and have wondered what they’d say if I hopped in with them :)

    Cooking at home can be stressful but very good. I *try* to meal plan and have ingredients on hand for what I’d like for dinner during the week. I know a few people who cook and prep on Sunday’s to have their meals ready to reheat during the week.

    Hope your leg heals up :(