I’m a sucker for a new year. Despite it officially being one of my least favorite times of the year — in terms of weather, sunlight, my level of busy-ness — there’s something about the symbolism of the new year that gets me motivated to get my life together, and I’ve come to love sitting down and making plans for the year ahead.
It’s a relatively new development. I don’t think I’ve ever actually made New Year’s Resolutions, but I’ve recently begun to find value in setting goals for the coming year. Last year was my first real shot at this, and I couldn’t have been happier with how 2017 shaped up (on a personal level) as a result.
When I sat down to think of the coming year, I had a few ideas about what I wanted to accomplish, but my list began to balloon as soon as I started writing. So much that I’ve actually decided to split this post into three parts because my list became much too long to read (and write!) in one sitting. Today, I’m sharing my personal goals for 2018, and I’ll be sharing my financial and professional goals in later posts.
I’m hoping that by putting these out there, I’ll hold myself accountable to the things I want to achieve. Looking at this list is a bit overwhelming, but I’m also excited to go after each goal — even the ones that seem impossible. Maybe even especially those ones.
I mean, it’s all about being brave, right?
My 2018 Goals — Personal
- Run a sub-30 5K — Last year was about distance. This year is about speed. I never realized how difficult it would be for me to run 3.1 miles in less than 30 minutes when I first started running five years ago. I’ve never been fast, but there had been a steady progression from my first 5K (I think in the 36 minute range) to my fastest (30:23). Over the last few years, though, my paces haven’t been great, and I know it’s because I don’t really train for speed and usually run by feel. BUT this is the year I get that sub-30, and the training starts now. It just so happens that I’ve got a free year of premium membership on MapMyRun, which also gives me access to customizable training plans. After entering in some information, I’ve put together a plan that is targeting a 28:38 5K by April 21. My target race is actually going to be the Cinco de Miles 5K on May 5 just because of the lack of local races I’ve found so far. (I ran Cinco de Miles for the first time last year and wrote about it here.)
- Run my second half marathon — OK, this year is going to be about speed AND distance. Last year, I completed my first half marathon. Now I want to complete one and do it without feeling like I’m going to die. A few ways I plan to accomplish this?
- Follow a 12-week training plan (rather that the monster 16-week plan that ran me into the ground prior to Chicago 2017)
- Work on hip and glute strength throughout the year
- Schedule a race for October or November to mitigate the risk of running in 90-degree heat like I did on Sept. 24 in Chicago (there is a half marathon in Indianapolis in November that I’m looking at)
I’m not quite ready to jump back into long distance training, which is a big reason why I’m tackling my 5K goal to start the year before turning my sights back to the half marathon. My hope is that crushing the 5K will help me as I rebuild my relationship with running.
- Read 50 Books — Nothing new here. My TBR list never gets shorter, but it will be up to me to make sure I stay on task and take some time out to relax with a book every day.
- Write in this blog four times per week — Last year, my goal was simply to “write more,” and I started this blog in March. Mission more or less accomplished, though I petered off toward the end of the year. This goal is a little more measurable and not something I’m likely to hit each and every week, but I like that it gives me a number to strive for. I want to find the enjoyment in writing again, and the only way to do that is… write.
- Learn how to knit — I’ve like the idea of learning how to knit and sew — how to make things for myself — for a while now, but I’ve never really known how to get started. Then I saw a $10 “Learn to Knit” kit at Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago and bought it on a whim. I taught myself three stitches that night and used up the whole introductory skein practicing. I really enjoyed it and liked knowing I was capable of doing something like that, so I’d like to continue my knitting education. Hopefully I’ll be able to add a few wearable pieces to my collection by the end of the year!
- Keep in better touch with friends — Most of my best friends live elsewhere, while I somehow ended up back near where I grew up (funny — I was always the one who wanted out). Though we’ve naturally grown apart as we’ve gotten older and moved away, started careers and relationships and families, I still count certain people as my closest companions, and I want to put more effort into those relationships. Smart phones and social media have kind of screwed us up because I can’t remember the last time I called a friend just to chat. I’m going to make a point to do this more in the coming year — even scheduling it into my calendar so I don’t forget!
- Complete second round of Whole30 — I’m targeting February 1st to tackle my second round of Whole30. Despite my love of cheese, I really enjoyed it the first time I did it, and it’s time for me to reexamine my relationship with food after a rather indulgent few months. February will be a perfect time because I will have begun to get into my groove of the year, I won’t have any major travel to do, and my birthday will be past (when I will eat all the pizza and drink all the wine).
- Take at least two real vacations — I can usually count on one vacation a year with my immediate family (always to northern Michigan), but I’d like to take at least one more trip that would be out of my ordinary. In addition to my week at the lake, I’d like to get out to California or Canada or Europe… something a bit more adventurous. Kyle and I have talked about camping up in the Boundary Waters in Minnesota, and I floated the idea of renting a camper and driving up and down the Pacific coast for a week. A lot will depend on where and when he’s deployed this year, but I want to have these ideas at the ready so we can take the opportunity when it arises.
Whew! That's going to be a lot to tackle in a year — and I'm not even done yet! Even if I don't hit each and every goal, there's something nice about even thinking about these things and setting these intentions at all. I love having something to strive for, something to look forward to as the year goes on. There's a hope to it, that sheds a positive light on the year to come.
Questions for you!
What are your goals for 2018?
Do you like New Year's resolutions, or do you prefer another term/approach (goal, intention, etc...)?
If you could achieve one thing this year, what would it be?