So I'm a bit cliche because I always love when it's about to be New Years and you sit down and dream about what the next year holds, and think what you want to accomplish. Our Lovely Ladies group has been having this great discussion around goals and what we want out of 2017, and we decided to go for the My One Word technique. I honestly think it's a fantastic way to boil down a list of goals to one core concept, and it can be like a mantra throughout the year.
The word I chose is "effort", because ultimately I feel like effort is something I really need to work on in many areas in my life, and not just fitness. There are times when I feel like I'm complacent and just coasting through and letting the winds of life just blow me around wherever, rather than really approaching things with intent and giving something my best. There are so many times when I think "I should do XYZ, but screw it, I'll just do it later when I have time." Or there's times when I'm thinking about a friend and something nice/bad they're going through in life and say something to myself like, "I should probably send a card to so and so when I have time." Then I never do. I have a wonderful pen pal in England who sends me the nicest letters, but I've been horrible about writing her back. It truly is not a conscious or malicious thing, I am just that scatterbrained and forgetful. Sometimes it's a depression thing, and I'm so wrapped up in my own dumb shit that things pass over me. At the end of the day though, there are ways for me to change these bad habits, and it comes down to me actually making the effort to do it. There are so many missed opportunities for me to be a better friend, wife, family member and yes, improve myself. It's time to start actually making the effort to utilize these opportunities instead of squandering them.
I need to actually make an effort every single day with my health and fitness goals. Effort at calorie counting, planning/cooking healthy meals, getting in my work outs...you get the drift. None of that stuff is rocket science, it's just making the effort to get my shit together and prioritize it. I've already started making changes and shifting back to the head space where I was a few months ago, because there's no sense in waiting until January 1. It's paid off because I already feel better physically and mentally, and even my pants feel more comfortable!
These are just a few of the things that I have in mind when it comes to making more effort in my life.
Create Weekly Menus and Plan Ahead
This is probably the biggest area that I need to put some effort into. I'm a good cook and love making healthy recipes, but I often get into a trap of not shopping adequately, then as a result eat something crappy or go out to eat and usually that involves queso and margaritas! There's really no excuse to not sit down once a week, plan out a week of meals, then shop according to that menu!
Simplify Food and Reduce Meat Intake
Despite how drastically my diet has improved over the years, I'll likely never be one of those people who strictly "eats clean". BUT, I really do need to make an effort to gravitate towards eating simple, nutritious food like salads, noodle bowls with tons of vegetables, fruits and veggies as snacks, smoothies, etc. Honestly some of the best lunches I've made lately are throwing together whatever random vegetables and/or grains and making simple salads. As far as the meat, it's not that I want to be vegetarian per say, but I find that as I get older meat is less appealing. I do love a good chicken dish, and if there are cocktail shrimp at a party you best get out of my way, but really beyond that I'm just as happy not having meat. I want to explore eating grains, legumes and increasing vegetables as opposed to always relying on meat as the main star of my meals.
Get to Goal
For God's sake, this needs to be the year. I need to get off my ass and do the work to get in my goal weight range. I need to lose about 50 pounds to get to my goal weight of 140, but I really just mentally need to put the active weight loss part of my life to rest once and for all and get to a new chapter of a happy woman in maintenance, just living her life. It works out to about 4 pounds a month, which is doable.
Focus on Finances
I thankfully don't have a ton of debt, but I want this to be the year that I get very close to paying off my credit card, and I also want to make more of an effort to budget, track expenses and save more.
Get My Passport
This has been a goal for like two years that I put off because it's not SUPER vital, but it's at the totally ridiculous point now. I swear I'm going to do it this year!!
Reach Out To People
I'm so bad about this! I went over this at the beginning of the post, but basically I want to make more of an effort to stay in touch with friends and acknowledge events in their life since most of my friends live all over the country. Birthday cards, sympathy cards, thank you cards, just because notes, I want to be a good friend and send those things! I am so lucky and have a lot of wonderful people in my life, and I want to make sure everyone knows how much I love them!
Those are honestly just a handful of things that come to mind when it comes to making effort in my life. "Effort" is going to apply to just about everything I set out to do.
Here's to a wonderful 2017 for all of us!