New Year, New You? How About Improved You?

Happy New Year!

And with the new year brings new resolutions, new aspirations, and new beginnings. And like most people, I view the new year a a chance to reset. The new year is a time to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. For me, that means getting back on track toward a healthy life.

I’ve hit a few health speed bumps lately – but I’m no longer going to let that completely derail my progress. Instead, I’m going to use it as a springboard toward a better, more informed and improved me.

By now, you all know how much I love setting goals. And sometimes I reach those goals and sometimes I don’t. But even an unmet goal is valuable. Goals give you vision. They are something concrete to focus your energy on. Without goals, sometimes I just meander aimlessly without a real purpose.

Like at the gym. We all know that the hardest part of going to the gym is usually going to the gym. But once I’m there, I still need direction in what to do. Is today a cardio day or strength training? Am I going to be working my back, legs, arms, abs? There are SO many things that can be done at the gym that without focus, you might spend 2 hours there without really doing anything. 

I feel like the new year is a great time to set some new goals. It’s a time to reflect on what went well over the last 365 days and what maybe could have gone better.

One goal I set last year was to run 400+ miles. I knew that I had been able to run 365 miles in a year once before, plus I was running longer distances than I ever had. With a goal of 400+ miles, it meant that I had to run about 1.10 miles a day (or catch up on another day if I had missed a few days).

My goal was measurable, obtainable, and realistic. (Three qualities that make up some of the best goals, by the way!)

And I crushed! I ran 455 miles this year. (Equalling about 1.25 miles a day.) And I certainly didn’t run everyday. My November and December mileage is WAY less than the rest of the year (thanks to that health “speed bumps” I talked about earlier. Don’t worry – I’m all good and I plan to share what I’ve been going through lately soon.)

After my running goal, I realized that I didn’t have too many other goals made for last year. So for this new year, I plan to step up my goal game and set a few larger goals for the year. Both running based and non-running based.

New Year Goals 2018

My first new year goal would be to set another miles goal. I want to run over 550 miles this upcoming year. That’s an additional 100 miles compared to last year, however, Michelle and I are going to start training for our marathon (training actually begins tomorrow!!) So, if I want to run 26.2 miles continuously, I know that I will need to be putting in the miles to get there.

550 miles should be easily accomplished during marathon training. And even though I could go even higher, I don’t plan to make that a goal because I don’t want to risk injury just to get more miles for the year.

My next goal is to incorporate more cross-training into my routine. I want to incorporate at least 2 cross-training days every week.  Those cross-training days would include a “leg day” and an “arm day”, with core work being rotated weekly and on “recovery run” days.

Cross-training is SO important, but like a lot of people, I don’t always see the value in it. I just want to run longer and faster, not get any “bulkier”. By improving my overall fitness (both upper and lower body muscle groups) my endurance and stamina will increase. All of these factors help running, even if it doesn’t seem like it will at that moment.

To make me even more successful this year, I purchased a Wellness Log. I plan to keep track of my workouts, my step count, water intake, and what I eat. Therefore, if I happen to have a brain fart and can’t figure out what I did at the gym last, I have it all in one place. It’s the first time that I have used something like this, so I’m excited to see what possibilities it brings!

I also purchased a yearly planner — from the same company because they are the cutest! And customizable. I knew that I wanted the new year to be my “Best Year Yet” so I customized my planner to say it!

I bought the planner with another resolution in mind – I want to be more organized this year. (This is a little trickier of a “goal” because it would require me to measure how organized I am compared to where I want to be. That is not something I can do — at least something that I’m not organized enough to do…

But for starters, I want to get back to people in a timely fashion. I’m going to RSVP to events as soon as I can (or at least by the requested date). I’m going to plan ahead (hence the planner) and know what’s happening in my life when people ask if I can attend some major function. I’ve tried to keep everything in my brain but I just can’t. I have learned to accept that and move on – to planners!

As I mentioned last post, I plan to run a full marathon with Michelle this year. And while that excites me, it also scares me. What if I’m putting in all this work and fail? In order to combat that mindset, I have set up the goal to just finish the marathon. Time does not matter. Just completing the whole distance would be a huge accomplishment and something to be proud of. I have already started a training plan in order to reach this goal and with my other fitness goals, it should be reachable.

In order to make running a full marathon easier (if that is even possible!) I also want to lose some weight. Getting down to a better “running weight” is something that not only will increase my stamina but it will also help reduce the impact on my joints and body during the long training runs.

I know that everyone’s New Years Resolutions are about weight loss but instead of having a “goal weight” in mind, I will be focused on putting nutrient dense food into my body. Out with the empty calories of soda, cookies, and chips – hello to fresh fruits and vegetables, quality lean meats, and satisfying fats. This is a major reason why I decided to do another round of Whole 30.

The Whole 30 is a program that helps bring people toward “total health and food freedom”. Sugar, gluten, dairy, and other common dietary intolerances are out the door for 30 (or more) days in order to help people truly identify side effects that the food they have been consuming may have on their body.

I am using it as a way to get back on track to healthy eating. The last few months I have allowed myself to stray from how I normally eat.

Honestly, I think I’ve eaten more donuts in the last 2 months than I probably had in the last two years…

So, Whole 30 it is for the next month at least. I am excited about the possibilities. Food freedom, feeling better, and maybe even losing a few pounds would definitely a bonus. Ultimately, I want to get back to craving fruits and vegetables instead of chips and cheese.

I will definitely be posting how everything is going during my Whole 30, including recipes, tips, and how-tos.

And I think that pretty much is about it for now — the best part about resolutions and goals is that you can keep adjusting them. You can always tweak them slightly if needed to fit where you are in your life. One of the most enjoyable posts I do are my monthly goals posts (I usually try to have them out at the beginning of the month – this year I plan to have them out on the first of EVERY month — it all leads back to better organization! It all comes full circle!)

So – Here’s to a healthy, happy new year everyone!

  1. What are your new year resolutions? (I know you’ve got them, I want to hear them!!)
  2. Have you ever done a round of Whole 30?
  3. Was there something that you overindulged in this holiday season?

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2 thoughts on “New Year, New You? How About Improved You?

  1. 1. I am going to run an entire 5K this year. I’ve never done it and it’s just a weird mental obstacle I have at this point.

    2. YES! And I’ve just finished Day 1 of this round.

    3. I can’t think of something I didn’t overindulge on. Maybe cheese?

    Additionally. When you know what marathon you’re doing I fully expect you to tell me so I can come cheer you on because you are crazy and I love you.

    1. Katie!! I miss you and love you like crazy!

      And running an entire 5k is an awesome goal! We could even do one together!! Correction: We will do one together! You just let me know if there is one that you want to run in particular.

      How’s your Whole 30 going now that it’s Day 2? I feel like I was more prepared this time around compared to last time but I still don’t feel prepared! I made out a meal list for the week but I plan left-over for lunches and we don’t always have enough left-over… so that’s something that I am going to try to do better the rest of the time.

      I plan on doing the Wausau Full Marathon on August 25th — I actually signed up for it last night after I got a message from Michelle telling me she had signed up! It’s scary, exciting, and crazy all at the same time!