Some believe that resolutions are trite, especially New Year’s resolutions. And with the prodigious rate that New Year’s Resolutions are dropped and forgotten those holding that opinion are completely justified.
A resolution without conviction and a back-up plan is destined to fail.
You know the saying that “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Well, if you say you are going to lose weight in the New Year and make only vague plans to join a gym then you have just planned to fail.
This year my plan is to be successful. Success being defined here as a healthier and happier Lu.
Lu’s New Year’s Resolutions.
1. Walk three to five miles a day.
Plan: As soon as I wake up take Luke for a walk around the block if not further. When I get home take Luke for another walk which helps him stretch his legs after napping much of the day and helps me detox. Yes, it is time consuming, but after mapping and timing the walk for the last two week it only takes at most ten minutes. Around eight o’clock, I will take Luke for the big walk of the night.
Following this plan, I have walked nearly twenty miles in the last two weeks. It does involve me making sure that I get up on time and working at least an hour of exercise time into my day, but results so far have been great. I am sleeping better and generally feel better.
How I will measure this goal: I use two apps for this. The first is Habit List by Scott Dunlap. I have had this one for the last six months or so and use it to both track my progress and help keep me on track with other tasks that need to be completed on a regular basis. My longest streak of walking Luke in the morning is 194 walks in a row which was only broken by a migraine. I also use the app to remind me to change the house’s air filter and when it is time to take Luke to the groomer.
The second app is Map My Run. This is what I used to figure out that walking around my block is .40 miles and takes less than ten minutes even with stops. I have also used it to pre-plan walks so that I know which routes will take me to my goal.
Anywhere between 21 to 35 miles a week, I will have achieved this goal. I am also giving myself another month to work my way up to it. The wiggle room is necessary because my schedule with three jobs can vary and at least twice a week I don’t get home until nearly nine o’clock at night.
*Both Apps are available in the I-tunes store.
2. Move my diet closer to the Mediterranean diet that my cardiologist recommended while eating out less.
Plan: Use the Amazon gift card a friend gave me to purchase a new cookbook. Adapt at least one new recipe every week and make a shopping list to stay on target. Replace butter with Olive Oil and east more fish. Eat less processed foods and making more use out of my garden space.
As a Celiac, I find that a lot of the traditional foods I grew up eating are heavily processed and high in sodium. Plus, as gluten free because more popular there are a lot of companies offering “gluten free” options that aren’t safe for people like me thanks to cross contamination. Shopping for safe products can be a headache even with my Shopwise app. (Yep, there is an app for that.) So I try and cook most of my meals.
Following this plan is relatively easy because I have gotten used to cooking for myself more and more over the last year and my diet is pretty close to it as it is right now. Red Curry with fish or chicken and veggies is easy for me to prepare in advance for lunch so is fish with pineapple salsa. I made cooked my lunch this morning while I was in the shower.
The hard part is going through all of the materials on what a Mediterranean diet is and incorporating more nuts into my diet. I am not a big fan of nuts since I am allergic to walnuts and get a bit tired of almonds. And forgiving myself for emergency gluten free burritos.
How I will measure this goal: This is going to be tough since the reason I am not going on the diet to lose weight but to help out my heart. My weight has actually never coming into the conversation with my cardiologist. He suggested the diet because it has been shown to reduce heart related symptoms. It won’t make my floppy heart (see The Heart of the Matter) go away, but anything to keep the bouncy heart beat down time to a minimum is worth trying.
I will share new recipes that work on Twitter and monitor how I am feeling in my journal. This week’s recipe is Pesto Glazed Chicken. (Follow me on Twitter to see how it turns out)
3. Cook more for friends.
Plan: Cook for my parents at least twice a month and friends at least once a month. Why? Well, my folks have been feeding me all my life and it is time I paid them back. Plus, cooking is one of the things that relaxes me. In addition, it giving me the opportunity to try out new recipes.
Following this plan involves a lot of the same things as goal #2 because I will be planning out what I eat and using a shopping list more often. Building in social time is good for my mental and physical health and keeps me from becoming a complete hermit.
How I will measure this goal: Well, more than a few of my friend read this blog so they will be expecting invitations and can feel free to harass me about this. (That includes you, Momma) I will keep track with my calendar and again journal.
4. Finish Formatting and Publish Blood Child.
Plan: Spend the rest of my Kickstarter budget plus some of my own money and have the book professional formatted. Read up more on the rest of the steps involved in self-publishing and marketing.
How I will measure this goal: This is the easiest goal because the outcome is so tangible.
5. Transform my dining room into an office.
Plan: Replace my current dining room table with something smaller (still allowing me to have guests) and purchase a larger desk and chair. A rug is also a needed addition as well as some sort of filling system. It is just too hard to write in the living room all the time and not get seduced into napping or the wiles of the internet. All of this can be done slowly over the course of the next couple of months with the money that I will be saving by not eating out and watching Craigslist.
The hardest part will be remaining patience and not trying to do everything at once which would blow my carefully planned budget.
How I will measure this goal: By sitting in my new office space and writing up next year’s resolution blog.
Resolutions not on my list.
Losing Weight. – It comes back and no matter how many times I set this goal, something always happens. I have been the same weight for about three years now. Saying that I am going to reach such and such weight by x-date hasn’t worked out. I don’t drink soda except once a blue moon and fast food has been off the menu for a while which is why instead of a weight goal I have two this year to help me be a better me. Since adopting this policy, I have been told that I am loosing weight at least once a week. The scale hasn’t changed much, but my body has.
Get out of debt – It took years to get my finances where they are and it is going to take years to get them in to shape. Besides, my debt load is pretty bearable and what I really mean by that statement is I want money to do the things I enjoy like going to conventions, buying books and shoes and traveling. All of which I have been able to do this past year as well as pay off two of my outstanding bills.
This next year, I plan to do much the same by taking at least half the money my roommate gives me and saving it. This way, I have bill money for the summer and cushion for the next time my car breaks down. It also means that I will be able to work less and save more.
Finishing my next novel – It took nearly two years to write and edit Blood Child finishing my next novel make take even longer. Yes, I have a daily writing goal but the ups and downs of writing part time with multiple jobs has taught me that make such promises to myself is setting myself up for failure.
Getting a new tattoo – This will happen, but maybe not in the next year. Money and trust have to coincide; the money for the tattoo and an artist that I trust. So far it hasn’t happened and I refuse to frustrate myself. Rushing into something that I am going to have for the rest of my life doesn’t seem like a good plan.