The theme I want to have for 2013 came to me just after I watched the ball drop last night.
I was a tad wistful because 12 is my favorite number and I realized that I hadn’t savored each day, that I’d lost sight of enjoying each day that I have. After a moment of reflection I decided that instead of regretting the past, I would change the future. That’s why this year I’ve determined to do things that matter.
Before I get to my goals for the coming year (hold on, this is going to be a long entry ), I want to briefly recap the goals I made for 2012.
1. Learn how to swim
I knew this might not happen. I did made steps in that direction by purchasing a good swimsuit, swim cap and goggles. I also practiced going underwater without plugging my nose. (Baby steps I’m telling you.) Unfortunately, when I was most ready to get a few swims in, the pool schedule at school (the only pool I have access to) had lousy summer hours. I’m recycling this goal.
2. Obtain all Nike Training Club Rewards
Until I read this just now, I forgot that this was a goal. Whoops. Around April I stopped using NTC (and doing a lot of strength training but that’s another story). I may pick this back up again but I’m not sure.
3. Run at least 1250 miles (reach goal of 1500)
As I’ve mentioned many times recently, I more than met this goal. I smashed it! Of course, this also might explain why I’ve had far more aches and niggles than last year. I think a nearly 700 mile increase year-to-year might play a part.
4. Run at least one 10+ mile race each month.
A rousing success. While technically I did not get a half marathon in August that wasn’t for lack of trying. A cancelled race isn’t something one can foresee. (Although after 2012 I should be an expert at it.)
5. Study Portuguese daily. (or at least as close as I can)
Thanks to my local library and the Pimsleur Language Learning System, this has been pretty easy. I missed only a few days, usually do to travel.
6. Continue working on Spanish.
I’m still working through my limited collection of books in Spanish. Right now I’m tackling the mammoth challenge of Don Quixote. It’s rough going but I know it’s helping me learn.
7. Spend quality time researching my thesis topic.
I thought for sure I would have more tangible evidence for my specific topic. However, I did spend at least half an hour almost every day working on my thesis topic and have it narrowed down almost to the exact one I want. Good thing since I start working on my thesis, officially, a week from Wednesday!
8. Research and start studying for the GRE.
While I may not be gifted in the area of math (48th percentile) the other two areas were rousing successes. (91st and 92nd percentile)
9. Take at least 1 picture every day.
This has been a hard habit to form but so worth it. I’ve taken my fair share of photos around the house but I’ve also started to pay attention to photo opportunities when I do go out.
10. Read for fun every day.
This didn’t happen every single day but it happened most days. The reading bug has hit and I can’t get enough.
11. Cook at least 2 full meals each month.
Oops, this is yet another forgotten goal. I definitely didn’t accomplish this.
12. Frequent at least 1 new restaurant per month.
Well, I didn’t forget but this also didn’t happen. I think we managed 8 out of 12. (It may be closer to 6.) Hopefully we’ll get a few more in before I leave for wherever I go to school in the fall.
2013: Do Stuff That Matters
After deciding to defer on Harbison (and possibly not run it in 2014) I realized that before I move up to ultra there’s something else that I want more. I want to run Boston. I’m declaring it here. 2013 is the year I start chasing Boston. (That’s not a 2013 goal since I have a ways to go before I’m able to qualify.)
1. Run 1800 miles (Reach: 2000)
I know there will come a point where adding more miles to my yearly mileage just won’t be possible. I don’t think I’m there yet. My first goal adds a little under 200 miles to this years total. I think that’s reasonable. The number I really want? 2000 of course. I think that’s very possible although I don’t know what my running situation will be in the fall when I, Lord willing, start my PhD work.
2. Race at least once a month.
I may not have a lot of money but I still love to race. I want to run 2 marathons again this year. The first I’m already registered for, San Francisco. The second I won’t be choosing until I find out where I will be living in the fall. Since my funds are limited I will definitely be choosing my races carefully.
3. Strength train twice a week
Obviously, I know that things such as travel, marathon tapering and other such stuff may get in the way. This is my challenge for myself. I know that this strength will help my running.
4. Start Swimming
I have no excuse. I have all the equipment. After Hilton Head I’ll be looking seriously at how I can adjust my schedule to start swimming fairly regularly.
5. Make thesis and PhD work a top priority.
It would be easy to get sidetracked by other appealing things such as running or reading or coffee. (Well, maybe not coffee. I can drink that while doing schoolwork.) To accomplish this goal I’m researching ways to help me manage my time better such as Chrome Nanny which will block certain sites during certain hours. This may also involve a change of location when it comes to getting work done. I’m just not that productive at home.
6. Take the blog in a new direction.
I’m not planning to stop writing about running. Rather, I plan to add to the focus. In fact, I’m contemplating a new blog altogether that would launch in the fall when I start my PhD work. I still love writing about running and races. I don’t plan on giving that up any time soon. I hope to add weekly (or at least bi-monthly) posts on various issues, usually historical or related to current events. These blog posts will be more like short, academic essays. As I venture deeper into the academic world I want to expand my writing horizons.
7. Read 150 books.
Like I mentioned earlier, the writing bug has bit with quite a strong bite. I’ve spent more time on goodreads.com lately than I can count. With a “to-read” list of over 1200 books, 150 will barely make a dent in it. I got tantalizingly close to 100 in 2012 (95) so I want to blow that number out of the water in 2013. (I’ll also get to practice my writing since I intend to give each book I read a full review.) Friend me on goodreads! I love to see what everyone is reading.
8. Take 1,000 pictures/Have 8,000 photos uploaded to flickr.
I’m stepping up the photography challenge this year. Turns out, it’s all about having the right equipment. When Instagram changed their terms of service, I happened to read somewhere that Flickr had updated their iPhone app. Intrigued I downloaded it. Love at first sight, seriously. Why bother with Instagram when I can take, edit, tweet and upload photos in less than a minute with Flickr? Since downloading the app a couple weeks ago I’ve taken almost 200 hundred photos. Adding 800 more to that should be no problem.
That’s all the goals for this year. I’ve learned my lesson. No more stretch goals. All the ones I have chosen are important and just slightly out of reach but reasonable.
Thanks for reading the whole thing! Here’s to a fantastic 2013 full of doing things that matter!