New year, resolution time!

2014 Resolutions:  Be me, be happy.  Simple.

I’m looking forward to the new year — don’t I always? — but instead of a lot of new things to do, most of what I’m planning are continuations from last year, working on myself and writing my own personal Owner’s Manual.

Not a lot of rhetoric, just laying out some guidelines for the rest of the year (really:  the rest of my life).
  1. Focus on the last 6 months of Lean Eating.  I’m paying for it, I shouldn’t ignore it or skate by and not do the mental and physical work involved to make the program a success. It’s completely up to me — the program gives me the tools, but I still have to do the heavy lifting.
  2. Start posting on my blog daily again.  I don’t always feel like I’ve got a lot to say (or what I’m saying is at all interesting), but making it a daily habit keeps me focused on where I’m headed and what I’m trying to accomplish.  It’s another form of being held accountable.
  3. Attend at least two Lean Eating Google Hangouts a month.  I always have a small amount of dread before the video calls with my Lean Eating pals — I really don’t enjoy talking through that medium for so long — but like training, I never regret having done it. Creating a connection between friends who are going through the same thing will be a big factor in my success.
  4. Schedule at least one call with Coach Veronica.  Because she’s got about 300 clients to work with, there’s not a lot of individual attention from her unless you ask for it.  I have a tendency to think, “I don’t have any big issues, I shouldn’t bother her…”, but, of course, I’m paying to be allowed to bother her.  And from everyone I’ve talked to, she’s an amazing person one-on-one and it’s a resource that I should definitely be taking advantage of.  This also falls under the heading of “Asking for help even when I don’t think I should be bothering someone”.
  5. Read 20 books.  This shouldn’t be difficult — I really enjoy reading.  The only barrier to doing it is finding the time. And the time isn’t the issue as much as turning off the distractions.  I’m thinking of creating a reading nook in the house, where the TV and computer won’t be able to lure me in.
  6. Do more dog training.  I really want well-trained dogs who will always obey a recall and act cute on command (not that they aren’t always cute!).  Belle’s a bit of a bully, and that needs to be stopped in its tracks, and Clarke is just a weird dog with weird habits that need to be corralled as best as possible.  As much trouble as they can be, though, I wouldn’t give either of them up for the world. They’re both good dogs, just have some quirks that are going to drive me to drink.
  7. Journal, follow progress of goals and write just a little about each day.  I’ve been doing this since November and have found that it helps me to get things out of my brain before going to sleep.  The payback is more valuable than the few minutes a night I spend doing it. And looking at my goals every day will be good for me.  I don’t want to lose sight of what’s important to me.
  8. 5k steps on weekdays, 10k steps on weekend.  I have both a FitBit and Withings Pulse to keep my tech geek brain occupied for the next few months.  This isn’t “real” training, but being cognizant of how much I’ve moved over the course of the day seems to make me want to move more to hit specific goals. And – honestly – this will be a stretch goal for me during the winter.  In the summer I get out a lot with the pups, but when it’s bitter cold, windy and snowy, neither me or the dogs want to be out there.
  9. TV can go on no earlier than 6pm on weekdays.  There is nothing on before that time that needs to be watched.  Instead, read, listen to music or work on the computer (computer time must be reading or writing or working… not just browsing Facebook).  Frankly, cut down on TV time altogether as well.  There is very little on TV that’s going to change my life if I don’t watch it.
  10. Do a month of not falling asleep to the TV as an experiment.  I’ve always turned on the TV when going to bed, putting the timer on and letting it lull me to sleep. However, there is research out there that shows that even if you’re not watching the TV, the light emanating from it causes your sleep to be less restful. So – reading and music will become part of my bedtime ritual.  Can’t hurt to try.
  11. More music!  Because music is just the most awesome thing in the world. Just like I forget that working out makes me feel good, I forget that listening to music really lifts my mood. It really is amazing the effect it has on me:  I relax, can get lost in the beat and lyrics, let go of whatever was bothering me.  And singing along — LOUDLY! — is a great stress reliever (as much as it might cause stress for those who have to listen to me).
Really, this list is just another expression of “be me, be happy”.  Which, I think is going to be my motto for every year from now on.  I really can’t go wrong if that’s what I’m striving for, right?  Welcome, 2014. It’s gonna be a good one.