Saturday, January 1, 2011

Reflections and Goals

"A new year, a new you" - eh? Personally, I'm not much for new year's resolutions. I have life goals that start in wacky months at strange times, and they tend to be part of a long-term plan. With that plan, and those long range goals, I usually have to be very patient and take the ups with the downs. 

That said, I've had a rough year. I was trying to reflect back on all of the most interesting things happened this year, and I always want to be positive for the blog. The reality is, this has been a busy, tough, trying year. And I need to make some changes in how I'm living my life to improve it. I've been reading other blogger's recaps and goals for the year, seeking inspiration. I wish I was crafty and talented like Gina @ The Fitnessista with her inspiration boards. New one is going up Monday, I hear! But I have trouble visualizing my goals into collages. My attitude is more like Angela's @ Oh She Glows! with her yearlong goals...but she's doing 11 and I think that's outside of my comfort zone for sure! Instead, I think I'm going to try for a few broadly interpreted goals with the overall goal of having a happier, healthier life (isn't that most people's overall goal anyway?)

Here she goes:

Goal 1: Improve my blog and internet presence.

This is my first blog, and my first year of blogging. I've been a little all over the place. I have also neglected my place in the blogging community, which is sad because the community is exactly why I wanted to be involved in blogging in the first place.Those of you who have read my helter-skelter blog despite these obvious flaws, THANK YOU. I really appreciate you and look forward to hearing from you. 

I need to be more consistent and find my voice, while cheering along all of my fellow bloggers as they also lay their lives out there to the public.

The sub-goals for this are as follows:

a) Blog more consistently: Twice a week + one weekend post. I have a plan for accomplishing this, and I'll reveal it next week after I've tested it a little.

b) Find my voice: I plan to change the format a little bit as I move to a more consistent blogging style. I hope to have 75% healthy lifestyle and food blogging with 25% science blogging. This will take a little more planning on my part, but it's do-able. Plus, sometimes science is about food, so that will be an extra bonus!

c) Be a better member of the blogging community. I haven't been participating much, but I did vote for several ladies during the Project Food Blog competition. However, I was largely silent about this, and I really should've been letting them know how amazing they really are. I think we really need to support each other, and I need to do my part. I currently subscribe to 14 blogs in my google reader, and I plan to leave helpful comments and cheerful feedback on their posts about 3x per week.

Goal 2: Be a priority in my own life. 

If you haven't caught on, work takes over my life. All the time. And sometimes it throws out wonderfully powerful blows to my self-worth and optimism. I've endured, though my confidence and happiness have suffered this year. I thought I could just keep going and everything would be ok...despite months of the worst insomnia I've ever had and feeling generally crappy all the time. It took getting sick with a virus that my body couldn't fight off. I was out for nearly two weeks, working half-days and even taking sick days, just trying to survive. Then I realized that I need to draw the line, and I can't expect other people to know where the line is if I don't tell them.

a) Say 'No'. I'm a yes person. I am also in a very difficult and important place in my life, but sometimes the requests are not worth the burden they put on me. I will say no to things that are unneccesary or could be done by another party.

b) Honor my own time. Currently I have trouble making it down the hallway to the bathroom and back without being swarmed by people who want my help or insight. This makes me crabby, and has also driven off some of the people I really want to be helping (Emily! Let me help you out. I care about you and your project!). I will request people make appointments with me and keep them. This includes my boss, though I imagine he'll try to break this rule almost daily. 

c) Prioritize the things that are important to me and take responsibility for doing them. I love hanging out with my fiance and friends. I also really need to exercise almost daily. Unfortunately, these two things really aren't getting along right now. Plus, the gym is a mess from Jan-March while other people are working on their new year's goals. Exercise has to go back to the morning. Plus, the one good thing that insomnia taught me is how little sleep I can function on and how much I can accomplish at odd hours, so I can still see my friends and fiance at night if I plan well. I got a jump start on this goal this week and so far, I like it.

Goal 3: Keep a positive outlook on life:

Negative people, negative gossip, and negative behaviours have a terrible effect on me. They ruin my mood and they cause me to act out. I need to remove these stressors from my life and associate myself with more positive people and thoughts.

a) Get out of my department sometimes. My job at the university is great, but my department is full of snobby, gossipy people who talk about eachother and even me in open offices or out in the hallway. I can't change them, but I can get out. I will go visit other departments and attend seminars with positive influences this semester. I've been playing with this idea a little bit (Thanks Andrew! You've let me crash your office more than once and got me involved in the post-doc association) and it really works.

b) Remove negative people from my life. If you have a bad day once in a while and vent about it on facebook or when you come to see me, I'll always help you. But if you are constantly negative, gossipy, or angry, you have to go. I still love you, but I don't have the emotional energy to listen to that at this point in my life.

Goal 4: Teach again.

This one was going to be 'get a new job', but the state of the economy right now is out of my control. I'm on the job market, but I am also thankful and lucky to have a stable job with another year on my contract. However, this job does not allow me to teach. I've tried to broach this subject with my boss, but it was a bad time. If none of my applications pan out, I will approach this again when I renew my contract. I miss the classroom and I miss students. 

Goal 5: Make this my best race year ever!

This is my frivolous goal. I love racing. This will happen if I take better care of myself and train properly. I have big plans in 2011: At least three half-marathons and a series of triathlons growing up to a half-iron distance race. This is dependent on me taking care of myself, training well, and enjoying the activities.

Enough about me! Do you have goals for 2011? Can you share them?

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