2017

 

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New Year’s Eve
2017…2017…oh dear goodness, this post has taken so many different forms over the past couple months of drafting and editing and thinking. This might be one of the most-anticipated new years I’ve ever had. Part of that is my overall less-than-enthused feeling toward 2016, but a bigger part is that I’m finally getting some of my energy back, feeling ready to move through life more assertively and get to work on some big goals again. And I suppose another part is that with two vacations and the Chicago Marathon on tap, I get to do some pretty cool stuff this year.

Oh, and did I mention I’m turning 30 this year? It’s odd – my 30th birthday is 10 weeks (!) away, and I keep waiting for some rush of introspection or motivation to hit me, but I can’t really feel anything about it. Isn’t that anti-climactic? Shouldn’t I be suddenly inspired to make over my life and scramble to check off bucket list items or something? Isn’t that how you’re supposed to feel when approaching a milestone birthday? But over the past year I’ve had some time to get used to the idea of being a 30-year-old, and now all I can think about is moving forward with life like it’s any other year. Maybe age really is just a number.

My plans and ideas for 2017 have gone through a lot of shape-shifting in the past few months. I still don’t know how this year will turn out or what’s in store for me (“I plan, God laughs”!), but I decided that I do want to have some new year’s resolutions and big goals for myself after all. The aforementioned return of energy has me feeling ready to get back into goal mode, and I think having things to work toward will keep me feeling positive when life inevitably hits a lull or two.

I thought I’d share my new year’s resolutions today. I  know how trite new year’s resolutions can become, and it was important to me to put a lot of thought into mine and make sure these are things that speak to my truth and I actually really want for myself.. They are:

  1. Grow in my minimalism practice. I know what they say about the likelihood of success with vague, non-measurable resolutions. But minimalism is not a numbers game, at least not to me. All I know is I want to continue to grow. I can say that a few things I will be focusing on in particular are: cutting down my spending, being less wasteful, and reducing my dependence on motor transportation by going more places on foot or bike. That last one is also borne of a desire to incorporate more activity into my daily life and feel more in touch with the world around me. And, of course – being a MINIMAL MARATHONER! It seems counter-intuitive to train minimally and have a big goal, but I have to say, I’m looking forward to the challenge.
  2. Reform my diet. Another vague cliche! Gosh, I sure am on my game! This is actually, however, an important resolution for me. I not only want to start saving money, I want to feel better. Is my diet the reason I often lack energy, feel like crap mid afternoon, struggle to get up in the morning, and get regular visits from ol’ indigestion and sour stomach? Maybe not entirely, but I’m sure it plays a huge role. My diet isn’t horrible (I’d give it a solid C), and I’m not looking to make drastic changes, just clean it up a bit. I’m particularly focused on eating more greens and veggies, cutting back on coffee and soda, eating (a healthy) breakfast every day, refueling better after workouts, and cutting back on fried, processed, and heavier foods. Kevin’s parents got us a new crock pot and a rice maker for Christmas (maybe a not-so-subtle hint?), and I’m already on the hunt for healthy and EASY slow cooker recipes.
  3. Read 36 books. THIS IS MY YEAR. I’ve made a 36 books goal for the last few years, usually halfheartedly, but this year I am DOING IT! I really want to become a regular reader again – it enriches my life so much – and making this goal will force me to do so, because when you’re an adult with a full time job and other crap to do, you can’t read 3 books a month without setting aside time for daily reading. You just can’t. At least 1/3 of these books (or one a month) will be nonfiction that explores social justice issues and illuminates the lives of people who see the world differently than I do. I want to be more educated and mindful of the experiences of people who don’t have the privileges I’ve enjoyed in my life, and I want to understand and empathize with people who view our world so differently than I do. I will definitely be sharing my reads as I discover and devour them. I’ve been digging around my library’s website and have already discovered several titles for my must-read list: Between the World and Me; Strangers in Their Own Land; Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City; and Hillbilly Elegy, to start.

In addition, I also set 3 big goals for this coming year. Like, big scary goals. One is marathon-related, the others aren’t related to running or fitness at all. I’ve told very few people what my goals are, and I’m not going to talk about them online. I’m not trying to be secretive, I just want to keep this part of my life personal. Sure, it takes a lot of pressure off me, but the real reason is that I don’t want to make a huge deal out of my goals and have them take over my life. Public accountability is nice, but I think I need to stick to the environment I thrive in: plugging away quietly and working diligently in the shadows, and otherwise getting on with my life without all the fuss.

I said earlier that I may be cutting back on my blogging in the first half of the new year. Until marathon training starts I’m not going to have much in the way of regular running content, nor am I even going to have much for my marathon spending log. I’m trying to have more of a life outside the internet these days, and I want my writing to focus on things that are interesting and meaningful to me. Of course, usually when I resolve to step away from writing is when I suddenly have much to write about, so maybe I’ll blog less, maybe I won’t. For once I’m just gonna go with the flow and see where it takes me.

Happy 2017! Now we’ve all got lives to lead, so let’s go live ’em!

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21 thoughts on “2017

  1. Happy New Year! Love all these goals for you. Before we got our dog, we used to walk everywhere. He usually tires out before we do so we don’t do it as much, but we usually walk most places since we live right in the city. My husband does a bike commute to work and, if things go my way this year, I should be able to start walking to work. I can’t speak for you, but I know my diet is 100% tied to how I feel. If I eat a lot if crap, I feel like crap. For me, the thing most tied to feeling like crap is dairy–I went off vegan and ate dairy a few times over the holiday season and got incredibly sick. I bet doing some trial and error will easily help you assess what’s working and not in your diet.

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    1. Thank you, you too! I really have no excuse not to bike to work, it’s only 4 miles away. I started to get into it this summer but then it just got too hot and humid (oh, how nice it’d be to have showers at work!) and I never picked it back up this fall. Once the snow and ice melt for the hopefully last time this spring, I’m going to start that up again. I also want to do some longer rides as cross training once it gets warmer and the days get longer.

      Yeah, I’m pretty sure my diet is the cause of my lethargy. I used to be able to ignore it but as I get older it’s getting a lot harder to recover from bad food.

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  2. Happy New Year! I was underwhelmed as I approached 30 too. 29 was more stressful for me, the last year of my 20’s seemed more significant to me than 30 did. 30 was just another number by then. My diet is an ever constant source of stress, I would love to figure things out in 2017.

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    1. It’s funny, I felt the same way last year when I turned 29, like OMG I only have one year left of my 20s, time to take stock of my life! Maybe it also has to do with our generation – people stay younger longer these days. For our parents, 30 was old. It was pretty common in past generations to have a house, a few kids, and a job you planned to stay at til retirement at this age.

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  3. Happy New Year! Cute dress!
    Don’t even get me started on the stress about getting older! I try and remind myself that I don’t want to go back!

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    1. Thank you! That’s a good point, I really don’t want to go back to my topsy turvy younger days! But the feeling of having more time (and less responsibility…) would be nice!

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  4. Happy New Year!

    It is hard (for me) to follow through on goals that aren’t easily defined, such as your diet clean up goal (which is one of my goals as well). However as I have gotten older I feel less concerned with short term diet changes like “lose X pounds” and much more concerned with generic goals like “am I taking care of myself enough now that I won’t have health issues in the long term?” Much harder to define, but hopefully able to create some lasting benefits in my life. Still not sure exactly how I’ll go about this so…good luck to us both!

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    1. I think if I find myself struggling with this one I may set up measurable mini goals within, such as “eat a smoothie or salad each day”, “limit myself to one cup of coffee per day”, etc. But I also think that goal success depends on how much the person making the goal really values it. As you alluded to, it sounds like the two of us are in a place now where health goals have a deeper significance to us so here’s hoping that can work in our favor in the absence of measurement.

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      1. I think I’m going to be all about the mini goals, but I’m really trying to frame it more as habit building. Like I already am really good at meal planning and prepping. But sometimes my weekly lunches consist of mac&cheese and a granola bar. So I’ll be trying for things like “always include a fruit at lunch.” And, hopefully, once that feels normal “always include a fruit and veg at lunch.”

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  5. I dislike the notion of cliche goals. It’s all dependent on who is going after the goal and how they apply to their life. Yes “minimal lifestyle” is vague but you know which areas you want to focus on and that is not vague. So i think your goals are spot on and definitely obtainable.

    I hope you blog regularly, I really hope to see more about your minimal habits and changes.

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    1. Very good point that it’s all dependent on who is going after a goal and their motivation. I just think that wellness resolutions have gotten a bad rap – it’s a running joke in our culture that people make these same resolutions each year and don’t follow through, so diet/exercise/reading/decluttering/volunterring goals tend to get snarked on a bit. But you’re right, I should not let that get to me!

      I will blog as regularly as I can without it taking away from my goals. I want my self improvement to take priority this year!

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  6. If you’re looking to get into crockpot cooking, I definitely recommend starting with soups and chilis, especially this time of year. It’s SO easy, so perfect for cold weather, and since it’s super customization, you can make it as healthy as you want. Plus, you can’t overcook soup, which is the issue I run into with other crockpot recipes, when they want you to cook it for like four or even eight hours. That’s a tall order when you’re at work all day and want dinner ready when you get home! But soup/chili is much simpler 🙂

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    1. Thanks! I love the idea of using it for soups, but Kevin isn’t much of a soup or chili person so there will have to be a few concessions made. I used to have the same problem with overcooking things, which is why we never used our old crockpot. But our new one has a timing feature on it so hopefully we can get more use out of it for regular meals.

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  7. Good luck with your goals this year! I sometimes like to keep my goals secretive too- I hate having too much pressure put on myself especially with running goals!

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  8. Happy New Year!
    I didn’t mind turning 30 – 29 and 31 seemed much older to me, something about odd vs. even numbers. Now at the ripe old age of {nearly} 37, and thus approaching 40, 30 seems downright youthful to me! I have quite a few friends who are already 40 and the all seem so young to me. It’s funny how as I keep getting older, each age group up continues to feel younger to me 🙂

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  9. My husband turned 30 last year and I turn 30 later this year and I just keeping waiting for things to be like…OH, okay, this is what it feels like to be 30! I will probably have a mild freak-out over it but for the most part I’m looking forward to it!
    I think as long as you understand that your goals are kind of vague and immeasurable, but that you know in essence what you’re striving for and why they’re vague, that’s what’s important. It’s one thing to lie to yourself with a purposely vague goal so that you won’t feel bad about not hitting it, but it sounds like you know what your goals are and that only you will know if you are achieving them or not.

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  10. OK, I gotta ask…you mentioned your birthday is 10 weeks away…and so is mine 😉 March 14 is my day, how about you? And, your 36 books goal is very ambitious! I wish I had the discipline to make the time to do that.

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  11. I love the slow cooker for easy roasted meat and veggie dishes (you can even make whole chickens in there) and meals like curries. Good luck with your goals this year – your reading goal is awesome!

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