Monday, January 6, 2014

WTF, Minnesota, WTF (and 2014 goals)

Happy (freezing) Monday, y’all.

Well it’s -23 degrees (feels like -44) here in St. Paul, and our blessed governor has canceled all schools in the state of Minnesota for the day. Which means this new teacher just got her first day pushed back another day. Mixed blessing, since now the anxiety for my new first day (tomorrow? Wednesday?) is heightened. Oh well. It means I get an extra day to work on start my personal statement for my grad school applications and do procrastinate my laundry from my Eurotrip. ‘Cuz that shit stanks.


I’ve never been big on New Years resolutions (write in my journal everyday, keep a journal, get a six-pack etc.) because let’s be honest, I can’t keep a “resolution” to save my life. I am a goal-oriented person (Type A, anyone???) so the idea of having some more tangible goals (and some intangible goals too) for the new year appeals to me.

Last year, I set some very specific goals and I actually achieved two of the four goals I had! And they were effing behemoths too.

2013 GOALS:

-Run a marathon (CHECKKKKKK)

-Donate my hair (CHECKKKKKK)

-Size 6 (…………)

-Read 24 books, averaging two per month (well, I probably did if you count the trashiest kind of romance smut that I can read in a day, but of course, I didn’t keep track after January so I’m gonna go with FAIL on this one)

I look back at these goals and feel pretty proud of the two I completed definitively. It’s because of this that I spent a lot of time (in LONDON BABY!) processing my goals and desires for the New Year. I actually ended up with over 10 things I would like to work on this year. I won’t share all of them, but I’ll share 6 here in the hopes that this space will hold me accountable (how many bloggers have typed that this week?!?! New drinking game?)

2014 GOALS:

1.     Establish a healthier relationship with iPhone and cut distractions

Like errbody with a smart phone, I spend waaaaay too much time on my phone, and even sit on it while I’m with friends and family. It’s embarrassing, but it really is kind of an addiction! Working towards this goal so far this has meant I deleted a bunch of apps that fuel my phone addiction, including two online dating apps that only stress me out and validate my realization that online dating is not really for me. I’m cutting the virtual clutter and will try to not even have my phone out when I am hanging out with friends.

2.     Work on saying NO!

I’m such a goddamn people pleaser AND a workaholic, so this one is a big goal for me in 2014. I cannot say no to babysitting, EVER. Like I’ll blow off friends I’ve had plans with for weeks for the opportunity to make $50. It’s bad. I also have a hard time saying no to said friends and family when they want my time or attention, especially if it cuts into time I had earmarked for myself to recharge or do something to take care of myself. I need to work on saying no to things I don’t want to do and sticking to my guns when people ask me to babysit. This will help me recommit to my most important relationships and cut down on time spent doing things I don’t want to do.

3.     Complete the Tough Mudder

My roommate and his buddies have done the Tough Mudder the last two years and Bryan is constantly raving about it. They are looking for more people for their team and I am looking for a new challenge. Although I know I will eventually run another marathon, I think my body (read: knee) needs a break from long distance running and the monotony of working out the same exact way everyday. The TM is a way for me to challenge my body and push it to the extreme (shock fields? Scaling 12 foot walls?) without running fifty thousand miles on my poor knee. So I've chosen a 12 mile obstacle run in which I will be shocked, drowned, and battered. BRING. IT. ON. I also think this will help with my next goal…

4.     Become fitter and happier with my body by setting specific goals and reaching them

Who DOESN’T have a weight loss-related goal for the New Year?! Well mine is a little different this year, since last year’s “size 6” goal didn’t work for me. I am at a pretty healthy weight and BMI for my height and as much as I’d love to throw out my 8/10s and pull out (read: buy new) 4/6s, I don’t think that’s a realistic goal in and of itself. I have never been a scale person and don’t particularly care about the number. I have usually gauged based on my pants size, but what I want to start training myself to focus on is how I FEEL. Realistically, this means slimming out a little and toning up (holiday jiggle, get off my tum-tum) since I will be scaling 12 foot walls in July. Furthermore, I think having a slightly less jiggly ass will make me a faster and better runner and put a little less pressure on my poor knees. I am running a half marathon with my friend Dana in June (her first, I’m so excited to train with her!!!!!) and the Mudder is in July. Right now, my goal is to get back into weight training. Running is great, but it doesn’t help me tone much at all, which is super unfair. I want to increase the number of times I feel accomplished and proud of my body, rather than focusing on any numbers (except the heaviness of my weights at the gym…sistah moved up to a 30 lbs. bar for bicep curls yesterday!!!!). I hope this goal will be more holistic and serve me better not only in 2014 but for the rest of my life too. You know, that whole FUTURE thing…

5.     Expand my cooking horizons

As I may or may not have mentioned here several times, I HATE cooking. Everything about it frustrates me and stresses me out. However, cooking healthy meals is not only better for that whole body-happiness thing but also for the 'ol pocketbook. Right now, I cook every Sunday night and pack myself tupperwares for lunches for the week. I know that this is a great step and could be a resolution on its own. But here’s my problem: I only have two or three healthy meals in the rotation and as much as I love me some quinoa, eating the same thing everyday gets boring and only makes me water to make some mac n’ cheese (or eat peanut butter straight from the jar) instead. So my goal for 2014 is to expand the horizons by trying at LEAST one new recipe every month. I’d love to say I would try a new one every week but I’m poor and can’t afford to keep trying new things and risk not liking them. So once a month, I will try a brand new recipe and post about it here. Hopefully some of them will make it into my rotation! Also, posting about it on the blog will hold me accountable to following through—accountability: TAKE A SHOT!

6.     Rely on driving my car less

This is an ironic goal to write about today as it has been classified as “dangerously cold” to spend more than five minutes outside, but it’s a 2014 goal nevertheless. Haha, literally as I type this, I received word that Minneapolis Public Schools will remain closed tomorrow as well due to extreme cold. One more day of vacation, holla!

Anyways. Our trip to Europe showed me that I can be self-sufficient without a car and get around just fine. Granted, London and Dublin have waaaay better public transportation than Minneapolis/St. Paul, but still. It wouldn’t kill me to use my bike and my legs more in the nicer months. One of my best friends lives exactly one mile from me, and I drive to her house at least four times per week. I could probably walk to her house in 15-20 minutes AND get some exercise in (helping with my other goals, WHAT UP!) instead of wasting the gas to drive over there and back. This goal, of course, means I will probably be buying a new bike since mine no longer brakes or switches gears but it will be a worthy investment and long overdue. Plus who knows, if I have a nice bike, I could maybe break into triathlons and duathlons. Also, it would save me money to buy a bus card and take the bus when we go out (and then nobody would have to DD) or maybe even to work (???). Seriously this goal is a win all around. Just not right now. Since it’s so cold out that my friend’s dog’s pee froze before it hit the ground this morning. No thank you, city bus.

So there you have it. I’m off to try to start my car (my beloved Kennedy) outside the Caribou Coffee that I have parked my butt at for the day. It’s been two whole hours since it was last started and who knows, Kennedy’s engine might have just froze right up.

Stay warm, friends.