That big WHOOSH of air you heard? That was me breathing a huge sigh of relief that the holidays are officially over. FINALLY.
And, like I mentioned, I always welcome the new year for another reason: I’m a believer in the fresh start, the new resolutions, the renewed focus on improving myself.
So, without further ado, my …
I’m ready to step out of my shell, push my limits, leave my comfort zone.
— Anais Nin
- My first Big Hairy Audacious Goal: Continue to simplify and improve my life.This is intentionally vague and covers a lot of different ground. The main thrust of this, though, is that I’m happier when I’m true to myself, when I voice my opinions and feelings, when I don’t go through pains to try and be what people expect instead of just being me. Stop collecting emotional baggage. Quiet the voices in my head that sabotage my progress. Do all I can to eliminate blame and take responsibility for my own happiness. Remember that there’s no time like the present to start something new — situations are never exactly right for anything, I just need to plunge in. Keep in mind that the reality of hard things isn’t nearly as bad as my head likes to make them out to be.
- BHAG #2: Take first in my age group at my annual duathlon. I’ve looked at the results, and I think with a lot of work and focus, I can do this. My run has to become much faster (in the realm of being able to hold a 7:10m/m for 2 miles) and my bike has to be just a touch better. It’s a stretch goal, but I think I can do it as long as it’s what I’m training for. I’ve always been better at the shorter distances — I imagine if I actually trained for them, I could kick some butt.
- BHAG #3: Down 4% body fat by February and drop 10-15 pounds by the end of the year. I was body fat tested in October and have a return appointment in February — I need to be down 4% to win free body fat testing sessions (I know – only an endurance athlete would want this kind of prize, no?). To this end, I will meticulously track calories for the month of January; I do much better losing weight when I’m quantifying calories. Along with this, I’m going to shoot for 6-7 hours of cardio per week — between biking and running, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
- BHAG #4: 5k PR (Personal Record). With training for the duathlon, I’m going to be doing a lot of interval training, mostly shooting at getting faster at shorter distances. This should translate over to a 5k PR, so as long as the duathlon goes as I want it to, this should fall right into place. My current PR is 23:23 (which is right around a 7:30m/m pace) and I’d love to shave a minute off of that.
- My last Big Hairy Audacious Goal: I’m going to rent an apartment in the city. Yes, you heard me right. I’ve got a house in the southwestern ‘burbs, the townhouse where I live in the south ‘burbs and I’m planning on taking on monthly rent for an apartment in the city. I need to meet more people. Not even talking about necessarily meeting a significant other … just expand my social circle. And not just people: gay people. No slight to all of my really awesome straight friends, but if I intend to find a girl to be with, I probably need to start dipping into the LGBT community a little more. Frankly, while moving to this townhouse served a purpose (got me close to my family, closer to work, and a roommate), I need to to experience living in a community where going about my daily life — running, biking, going to a bookstore, sitting in a Starbucks working — gives me a chance of meeting someone, friend or otherwise. I’m going to wait until the Feb/Mar timeframe because I intend on only signing a 6-month lease (might as well time it so the bulk of the lease has decent weather), but I’m determined to go forward with this as long as my finances don’t change. The practical, money-saving part of me is screaming in terror at spending this much money — no, throwing this kind of money away — but in the end, it’s just money. This could be a potentially life-changing experience and if it doesn’t end up that way, I’ve lost nothing but money in my bank account. Which really isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things.
I have other things I’m going to work on: writing more, reading more, taking up new activities, being smart with my money, eating clean. But the 5 listed above are the ones that deserve my attention and focus — these are the “bang for the buck” goals.
And while all 5 goals are distinct, in one way or another, they all go towards the one thing that I know make me happy: creating a better me (physically and emotionally). I’ve known for awhile that my life needs to head in a different direction, and I think that by concentrating on these specific goals, I’ll be making that happen.
The physical goals will be tough and require a lot of work, but they don’t scare me — I’m looking forward to seeing how hard I can push myself (after a year of long-distance training, this should be a fun switch).
The emotional/life goals will be tough in a very different way, but like the quote says, I feel like the risk to remain tight inside is now more painful than the risk to blossom. I’ve never been one to actively seek out social situations, but that’s what I’ll need to do: hit the club scene, join LGBT groups, hang out where the gays are. Just the thought of it all makes me a little anxious, but it’s going to be worth it.
This is going to be a break-out year, I can just feel it. Frankly, it *has* to be. And it’s all within my power to make it so. Life is all what you make of it.