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Does a resolution "stick" better if you call it a goal? I hope so, because I'm setting a few goals for the coming days, months and year that I hope will be achievable.
First, though, everyone pop over to Elora's place and wish her a happy birthday! She was the inspiration for my bookmark today. The design of it is very "happy birthday"-ish, and the quote – especially the first part – describes my friend perfectly. She effortlessly finds the best in everyone around her. Elora, I hope your special day is the best one yet, and may the coming year bring you many blessings.
Okay, back to the goals.
Our tax dollars have paid for this project, and I'm going to begin my year by taking advantage of the research that's been put into it. All of us in the U.S. learned about the four food groups and/or the food pyramid when we were schoolchildren, but I daresay we've only used that information to pass a test in health class. Applying this knowledge should lead to slow, steady weight loss that I can maintain. I've done weight loss before. I'm not so good at maintaining.
So the first daily goal is to eat from the pyramid, using the personalized plan available here.
The second is to get at least 60 minutes of intentional activity, which means a walk – either outdoors or on the new elliptical (it should be here in five more days!) – or strength training or yoga or the rowing machine (if I ever get it fixed) or something that isn't housework, yard work or gardening. It will be much more challenging to accomplish this goal in April than it is now in January, as the outdoor chores take up a lot of time and energy. My hope is that by starting now, when I have no other tasks pulling me away from it, the daily hour of exercise will become sacred.
Theoretically, if I eat the number of calories prescribed at mypyramid.gov and do an hour of physical activity every day, weight loss – the ultimate goal – will happen. But is weight loss really the ultimate goal? Well, yes and no.
I will turn 60 in May (the 25th, don't you forget it!). I've run three half-marathons and a 10-mile race, but never a marathon. So the ultimate goal for 2011 is to run a full marathon before the end of the year. In order to do that, I need to lose some – okay, a lot of – weight. I think if I keep the marathon goal out there, the weight loss will happen. It's a given that I can't run 26.2 miles at my current level of, ahem, fitness.
So there are two ultimate goals, and they work hand-in-hand.
What about the interim? It feels like I should set monthly or quarterly goals, but that's never worked for me. I set what I think are reasonable weight-loss goals for a month, I don't make it and I give up. Instead, I think I'll set monthly mileage goals, to be updated on the first day of each month.
Therefore, my goal for January is to walk/run 120 miles. That's a reasonable number, considering the disaster December's been. I can't control the weather, but with the addition of the elliptical to my arsenal I should be able to control the mileage. My preference will always be to work out outdoors, but sometimes it's just not possible.
The other fitness goal for January is to strength train twice a week – just two days of lifting tiny dumbbells or doing squats or lunges or a couple sets of girly-girl push-ups. I'm hoping that by making this goal on the light side, I will gradually learn to like it. Or at least tolerate it.
And lest you think I'm all about food and fitness and calories, oh my, I have one other non-health-related goal for the coming year. Unless you count art as health. Yes, it's time to resurrect Project 365. I probably won't upload the photos every day, but I plan to take a photo with the good camera every day. I use the BlackBerry camera to post a photo to FaceBook every day I walk, and I've just about abandoned the Rebel. So it's time to get creative again. No theme or plan for the project this year, just a picture a day from my world.
Maybe this year I'll make it all the way to next New Year's Eve.
Thank you for sticking with me this year. I hope 2011 is your best year ever. I hope it's my best year ever, as well.
Happy New Year!