Striving to be Better

Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire – Arnold H. Glasow

With the exception of my birthday, which everyone else calls the 4th of July, New Years is my favorite holiday. There is something about the idea of fresh beginnings and starting over. There is no significant difference between December 31st and January 1st. I realize this. But it isn’t just another day, it’s the beginning of a new year. A time when everyone starts making resolutions.

I’m not a fan of resolutions in terms of the unattainable ones people set for themselves: the generic lose weight, become a better person, stop eating badly. Those will never be reached. I believe in the smaller goals. The ones that help you achieve something bigger. The ones that you stick to even after January 2nd rolls around.

I wake up every morning with a set of goals. To be honest, a lot of time’s it’s actually a “To-Do list”, but calling it one isn’t nearly as exciting.

Goals make me better. They make me push harder, work longer, and ultimately become better. Over the past few weeks, I’ve realized I never set goals for my fitness. Because of this, I set a weekend goal of writing a goals post. How cliche, right? Anyways, here are the goals I have come up with thus far:

1. As of this morning, I have lost 40 pounds. I want to lose at least 20 more pounds.

2. I will buy a bike.

3. If you read my post last week, you know I want to sign up for a fun race. I will run a 5k or a similar type of race. This will be done before 2015.

4. I will go vegetarian at least one day a week. Before I started losing weight, my cholesterol was high. Not high enough to need medication, but high enough for my doctor to warn me about what I eat. I am sure in the past few months, my cholesterol has lowered, but I want to make sure I am doing everything I can to not only be skinny, but healthy.

5. I will add variety to my workouts. Right now, the majority of my workouts are 30 minutes of cardio at the gym and then strength training. I want to keep my body guessing, as well as keep the workouts exciting. I will:

  • Go on a bike ride
  • Swim
  • Go for a run
  • Do a fitness class

6. I will be able to do a 2 minute plank. I have had some serious back problems for the past 3 years and my chiropractor has told me the way to strengthen my back is through certain exercises (planks included). Since I have started planking, I have seen a difference in my back. It feels stronger and I can do more than I could even a month ago. I can’t imagine how strong it will be by the time I able to do a 2 minute plank.

7. Make at least one new healthy recipe every two weeks (and blog about it). I have a tendency to eat the same things every week. Mixing it up will keep me eating healthy, as well as help me find some new favorites.

8. I will work out for 30 minutes at least five days a week. (I’m undecided whether or not walks on my lunch hour will count on my busy weeks.)

I have a dozen more goals in mind but they are all subjective. Until I find ways to accurately measure my progress, I won’t add them. Hopefully, having a list easily accessible will inspire me over the next few weeks. After all, it is easier to work towards something when you know exactly what you’re working toward.

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