Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2014: A year to "tune in"

Last year, I embarked on 12 fun challenges in the name of monthly resolutions. It was a great way to make New Year’s resolutions more attainable and less crazy difficult (e.g. never snack after 9pm!). This year I am doing something similar, but they are more personal, (a little) less kooky, and hopefully more beneficial to my overall health/happiness.  I want this year to be a ‘tune in’ year. Tune in to what is important, tune in to my health (running and otherwise), tune in to my relationships (with myself and others).  

The importance to tuning in has been especially obvious for me lately. During the last two weeks of training for the Shamrock half marathon, I skipped both of my rest days…the result? Thankfully not an injury, but signs of overtraining definitely surfaced. Irritable. Like REALLY irritable, not just ‘I’m-a-bit-grouchy-today’. Unmotivated. Very strong and specific food cravings. Restless sleep. Elevated heart rate in the morning. I took a much needed rest day yesterday, and I’m already feeling better. 

Anyway, here is what the year will look like:

January: Yep, this month already came and went. I worked on running form drills to improve my running form for the next year of training. These drills are now a part of my weekly routine (which was the intention), and will *fingers crossed* keep me injury free this year. It was a very chaotic month with traveling and work, so I didn’t want a goal that was too challenging or time consuming. 

February: Meditation. Yes, I tried this goal last May and it utterly flopped. I got serious about it this year and bought a sitting cushion and I’ve been plopping my rear on it every morning for 16 days so far. My hope is that meditation will improve my focus, help me deal with frustrations at work and in my relationships, keep negative thinking at a minimum, and manage general anxiety/stress. Being able to step back and acknowledge when I’m getting swept away by negative emotions is half the battle! And it takes practice. 

March: Choose one day each week, and go screen-free. This one will be very difficult, but also very important! Like all of us these days, I am very attached to my electronics as a source of diversion and entertainment. I often squander away valuable energy when I distract myself with my phone, and probably waste a huge amount of time. SO, one day each week, I will only use my computer for critical activities (i.e. work-related) and my phone only as a *gasp* phone. 

April: Personal date. As a neurotic highly motivated student, sometimes it’s hard to do "fun things" without feeling a pang of guilt for not working/studying/"being productive".  So, I am going to practice taking some time for myself by taking myself on a date once a week. It can be short (1 hour), but it has to be something fun and relaxing. I will write it into my schedule just like any other appointment, and I won’t worry about my to-do list during date time.

May: De-clutter. Okay, confession, I’m kind of a pack rat. Example: I found an envelope the other day that I’ve been holding onto since middle school. Why? Because it was pink with a cool pattern on the interior…yeah. Time to let go of unnecessary stuff.

June: Photo-a-day. Another repeat from last year, but it was so fun that I wanted to do it again! 

July: Do. More. Art. 

August:  Write at least 2 pages every day. The act of sitting down and writing (preferably with a morning cup of tea or coffee) is such a helpful way to tune in to your current state of affairs. The pages might be filled with venting, reflection, stories, hopes, dreams, whatever. Writing, especially in a hand-written journal, is therapeutic no matter what. For me, anyway. 

September: Watch 3 TED talks per week. These can be so motivational and even life-changing. This one by Brene Brown has been very inspirational for me during the last few months. 

October: Alternative commuting month. A few times a week try to hop on a bike, bus, or run commute into work. Just tryin’ to save the planet. 

November: Phone calls. Twice a week call someone who I haven't talk to for too long. I'm pretty bad about this type of thing, but it is so important to maintain relationships with friends.

December: TBD. I want to leave the last month unplanned, so I can re-evaluate as the year goes by and choose something that is needed/missing in my year so far. 

How are your resolutions going so far?

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