Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Making 2016 More Analog, Less Digital

I've pretty much coasted for the remainder of 2015 when it comes to my health goals.  Sometimes you just need a break, and while I don't recommend that "f**k it" should be a life strategy for anyone, that kind of had to be mine for the remainder of 2015 just for my mental health.  I just didn't want to become obsessed with weight loss and feel pressure and disappointment, so I took a little break.  There was too much chaos and instability going on for me to get into the routine I needed to be in, but now things have calmed and I have plenty of time to plan and get back to losing weight and creating a better life for myself.

I don't have super specific health goals for 2016, it's really more of an overall feeling of wanting to jump back in 100% and wholeheartedly into what I know works for me.

Overall Health Goals for 2016
  • Consistent daily tracking in MFP
  • Daily activity
  • Not having treats unless they are earned or fit into the daily plan
  • Create small monthly fitness and nutrition goals
  • Lose 20-30 more pounds by December of 2016
  • Determine a goal weight range by the end of March
This very humble list is the tone and focus for this year, it's really all about rebuilding healthy habits and focusing again on losing weight.  Running or specific races really are not the priority for me, although running will always be part of my life and will surely factor into a monthly goal at some point, and I'm sure I'll do races at some point.  I'd love to have a speed goal at some point, despite being the least speedy person ever.  ;)

The not having treats unless they are earned is one of the bigger goals for me and will be challenging.  There was so much more pomp and circumstance around treats/wine/beer when I'd done a workout and felt good about fitting them into my daily plan earlier in 2015.  Once I let things go and quit tracking, I just started having whatever whenever and now these things aren't special anymore or an incentive for me to do a harder/longer workout, and mentally that makes me feel guilty.  It's time to go back to earning treats and not feeling in the least guilty about it!

And once I'm back into my routine and losing weight, I do want to finally settle on a goal weight.  Whether I reach that weight by the end of 2016 is debatable, but I think setting a number finally would be a healthy thing to do.  I have not stepped on the scale in awhile, but I suspect I'm back over 200 pounds again.  Not great, but it is what it is.  I figure if I'm in the 180s by March, I'll have a better sense if my goal looks like 160s or 140s.  We'll see.

So on to the monthly goals!  I have actually missed doing this and looking back, I had much better success with setting small monthly goals to keep things fresh and exciting.  I tend to get bored very easily, so having an expiration date on specific goals works really well for me.  Depending on the goal, some of these even end up being daily habits

January Goals

  • 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day
  • 15-30 minutes on stair stepper every day

Nothing too crazy at all there, it's all about a nutrition goal and a fitness goal that are easily attainable and contribute to my overall yearly goals.  One of my favorite challenges in our Lovely Ladies group was the fruit and vegetable challenge, mainly because I love those things and fitting them into my diet is easy for me!  I think it will be a great way to ease back into tracking food and making things a habit.  It also challenges me to cook more and try different recipes.  On that fitness goal, I haven't written much about my stair stepper yet, but I got a very nifty little portable stair stepper that weighs about 15 pounds.  The weather this winter has been crappy AF, and without any running goals I've been kind of waving in the wind, so I figured it would be a good option.  I haven't used it a ton so far, so I didn't feel right about writing a review about it, but I will once I get some more experience with it!

When I think of personal goals for 2016, the main thing that comes to mind is that I need less in my life.  Less commitments, less social media, less staring at a screen, less brain drain.  I feel a little consumed and out of control when it comes to technology, and maybe that's just me getting older and freaking out or something, but I'm tired of looking down at a smart phone and not paying attention to what's around me.  I'm also tired of being so busy all of the time, and I really want to dial back my life in the sense of doing things that center more around home and getting quiet enjoyment out of stuff around the house.  I just want to simplify my life, go back to indulging in small pleasures and have life feel less chaotic.

Personal Goals

1)  Prioritize shows/events and start being more choosy about commitments.  We go to a shit ton of stuff, all of the time, and frankly it's become exhausting.  I didn't even write about half of the stuff we did in 2015 because I couldn't even keep up with it, and December was especially nuts.  There comes a point where if all you're thinking is "Okay I just have to endure these things and then I'll have a free day", then there's no point in spending the money on those events.  We are definitely taking a hard look at things and seeing what we can cut out and making sure the things we go to are "We'll feel really hardcore bummed for the rest of our lives if we miss this" type stuff.  Eric has one such concert for next year (Bruce Springsteen) that we're going to, and I have earmarked Brian Wilson's potential Pet Sounds tour as a non-negotiable "I gotta go" for me.  Other than that, we're scaling way back.

2)  Make reading a priority.  In my younger years I was a voracious reader and would consume books at an insane rate that served me very well in school and into college.  I majored in English in college, and my love of books and ability to speed read really served me well in school.  For some reason though in the last 5-6 years I've really kind of stopped reading, and I totally equate it to getting smart phones and being more involved in social media.  I used to read 12-20 books a year, now I'm lucky if I read 2 a year.  I really want to make it a goal to read a little every single day, even if it's a magazine, and just get back into the habit.  I feel a lot more relaxed and mentally balanced when I am upstairs in bed reading, and obviously it's better for my brain and eyes.

3)  Less screen time.  This kind of goes hand in hand with the reading goal, but I honestly am disgusted with myself by how much time I spend on the computer and staring at my phone or the TV.  And when I think about it, I'm not getting anything out of it really.  I mean yeah, I have TV shows I enjoy but for the most part we're watching Seinfeld or Family Guy reruns 90% of the time.  As far as social media, I just don't feel quality engagement with people beyond a handful of friends and my LLL FB group.  I mean, why am I constantly checking my social media stuff, specifically Facebook?  It's no longer cool vacation photos or what's going on in my friend's lives, it's all political memes and that "Copy and paste this status or you hate the troops and kids with Down Syndrome" kind of bullshit.  I also feel like the social media tide has turned to where people don't interact or engage with each other on life type stuff that's posted, it's like people just creep your shit, and I hate that.  I'm not exactly missing out on thrilling stuff here, so I'm going to dial it back and prioritize reading and listening to music at least 2 nights a week.  I feel like reading and music will enrich my life a whole lot more than knowing what so and so thinks of the social issue du jour.

4)  Get my passport!  So I am a bit ashamed of this fact but...I have never been out of the country, not even to Canada or Mexico.  I do not currently have a passport and as dramatic as it may sound I am very ashamed about this.  It just kind of makes me feel like a bumpkin or something, it's hard to explain.  There is so much of the world to see and so much culture to be exposed to, so I am very determined to get my passport now that my life has calmed down and start making travel a priority.  We are hoping to perhaps take a short trip to Canada to get my feet wet on the "international" travel thing, and then plan to do a nice trip for our 10th anniversary in 2017.  

5)  Get the house in shape.  I did better with this when I was unemployed because I had the time obviously, but I really want to get back into decluttering our house and making things more streamlined for 2016.  I think picking a room a month and slowly clearing it out and organizing is a pretty manageable goal.  I am not a huge clean freak, but living with Eric has rubbed off on me enough to where I'm getting the heebie jeebies about how much stuff we have and how the house could really use a deep clean.  I'm not as attached to "stuff" anymore, so I am definitely ready to clear out our house a bit.

I am feeling so relieved and optimistic about 2016.  I am looking forward to slowing down and appreciating the little things.  What do you guys want from 2016?  What are your goals?


  1. Those are some awesome and doable goals. I like being more unplugged. I need to do that!

  2. Those are great goals. I need more reading and less digital in my life, for sure. I so rarely read for pleasure anymore! I built a list of books over on Goodreads that I WILL read this year that aren't about running or weight loss or parenting (well, maybe one parenting one got on the list) just to get my mind in a broader scope again