Happy New Year!!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season.  The time has come for my obligatory New Year’s Resolution post.  I have to confess that I normally don’t set resolutions, but if I’m seeking to inspire others with my writing, then I feel it’s the right thing to do.  I also feel that after a wildly successful 2012, I owe it to myself to stay on track with my health and fitness goals.

I had a quiet evening at home last night, still recovering from my head cold.  I spent some time reflecting upon 2012 and journaling about my successes.  Once that was done, my thoughts inevitably turned towards 2013.  That’s when the stat-junkie and project manager in my head began to run amok, crafting all kinds of lofty goals for me to achieve.  “How many miles would I Trikke?  Bike?  How many Kettlebell workouts would I do?  How often would I walk?  How far?  How fast?”
“ENOUGH!!” shouted the voice of reason.  “You’ve got to keep it simple or you’ll be overwhelmed and discouraged.”
So I back-pedaled, dug to the core of my ambitions, and came up with just three simple resolutions:
  1. Exercise a minimum of three times a week
  2. Count calories and stick with my high-protein diet
  3. Have fun and be Kid-Like

Why these three?  Because if I do these specific things, I will achieve my more elusive goals of losing weight, having more energy, and being happier.  For the sake of clarity, here is how I will achieve each of these goals.
Each exercise session will be one of the following:
  • Trikke 1 hour minimum (approximately 7 miles)
  • Bike 1 hour minimum (approximately 11 miles)
  • Walk 1 hour minimum (approximately 3.5)
  • Kettlebell workout (25 minutes including warm-up and cool-down)

The stat-junkie in me will track and report my progress as always, but allowing myself this flexibility can better accommodate the unpredictability of the weather and my otherwise jam-packed schedule.  It also allows me the freedom to do what excites me most on that day.
I had previously used the free Lose-It! app (http://www.loseit.com/) for counting calories with great success.  A few months ago, I simply got lazy and stopped inputting my data.  It was little coincidence that my weight loss plateaued around the same time, and I’ve gradually let junk food creep back into my diet.  So today I’m going to recommit to using this app.  I’m going to set it to guide me towards losing one pound a week.  That is a very achievable goal, and if I lose 52 pounds this year, I will be very close to my ideal weight.  For reference, I lost about 40 pounds last year, but didn’t start working on that until late February.
My final resolution of having fun and being kid-like is aimed at restoring some happiness and balance to my life.  I may have achieved a lot in 2012, but it came at the cost of becoming a borderline workaholic who feels guilty about doing anything that doesn’t have the word “work” in it . . . work, school work, house work, yard work, workout . . . can you see the problem here?!  Over the holidays, I rediscovered the joy of my sedentary hobbies.  For better or worse, they have always brought me joy and helped me to relax.  Yet in 2012, I struggled with the guilt of knowing they had led me to become an overweight and out of shape sloth.  So I avoided them completely, despite the emptiness that left in my heart.  For 2013, I am giving myself permission to enjoy these things in moderation, maintaining a balanced approach to the other aspects of my life.
To tie up one final loose end, last week I had set a goal of doing a 6-week kettlebell workout program.  My plan was derailed after just one workout due to catching a bad cold.  I had said I would publish my new schedule for it, but in light of my new resolutions I’m not going to.  Why?  To allow myself the flexibility to pick an outdoor exercise should mother-nature gift the Lehigh Valley with some pleasant winter weather.  Odds are that most of my upcoming exercise sessions will have to be indoors, thus meeting the original kettlebell goal anyway, but I’d rather stay flexible should a Trikke-able day present itself.
I intend to hold myself accountable to my resolutions by posting about them weekly.  I think most of us have grown cynical of resolutions, because the vast majority of them are abandoned within weeks.  So every Monday evening, I will share my progress here.  Why Monday evening?  Simply because my “weekend” is Saturday through Monday, and that’s when I have the most time to exercise and write.  Just knowing I have to keep this public should keep me on course.  More so, I hope by sticking with my resolutions I can prove that it can be done, and can inspire you to stick with yours too.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions?  And how do you plan to stick with them?  We’re all in this together, so let us all know your plans so we can encourage each other.  And by all means, please hold my feet to the fire should I fail to do what I’ve said I would.
Here’s to wishing you a safe, successful, and prosperous 2013, no matter what your resolutions are!!
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