Goals for the Next Year…Updated

My birthday just passed and I forgot that I wrote this post last year. Let’s see how I’m doing…


I had a Happy Birthday call yesterday from my daughter in Japan. She surprised me and asked what my goals were for the next year. Huh? She said that I always taught her that we should be improving in some area of our life and keep goals to track our progress. I was surprised that these things stick. It’s good advice. Goals help us stay on track, keep us engaged in our own life, and remind us of a desired outcome. It’s common advice for anyone wanting to be happy and healthy. The goals don’t have to be big. They don’t have to be grand. But they should be specific and measurable.

Here’s a few of mine off the top of my head:

I want to ride in the Mt. Washington Hill Climb the summer of my sixtieth birthday. It’s considered the most difficult bicycle hill climb in the world and will remind me that sixty doesn’t have to mean decrepit. I’ll need a bike first. And bigger thighs. Not sure if I will make it. It’s still a goal…but not my wife’s goal. In her world “New Hampshire + cold +bike race + time off from work” does not equal “vacation.” And the time is a tough one. 

I want to pass my Certified Health Physicist exam next summer and would like to join Sigma Xi and The Society for the Study of Evolution. Am taking the CHP test next summer. Joined the Society for the Study of Evolution. Yet to pay up with sigma Xi.

Mal and I had our first date-night in about two years last Friday night. We played a little tennis and had a nice time just being together. I think we should definitely ramp up the romance to at least once per year. See? I like to set a low bar. Then I can pat myself of the back for achieving another goal. We’ve had a few more dates but not enough.

I have two papers I’m working of for publication, two longer projects that I want to have roughed out by next summer, and one other side writing projected to complete. LOL. I have no clue what this is.

There’s talk of going to Disney World this year. Have motel and tickets for November. Ugh.

I might need a new car if my New York Rust Bucket finally snaps in half. Purchased a 1990 Saab 900 Turbo. I don’t know if it’s true love or if I’ve just fallen for a cult but I never want to drive another car.

I am planning on running a couple of 5ks this fall and would like to break 25 min for a 5k next spring. I would like to break the famous (at least for Mittons) seven minute mile barrier this fall. Ran another 5K and will do another this Fall. 26:42 is still my best.

There’s a start. Thanks for the reminder,  Rebe!

There are all kinds of sites to learn more about goal setting. I like Brian Tracy quite a bit. Don’t get too bogged down in the planning but focus on the doing. And have some fun.


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Can you stand on one foot? With eyes closed?

Can you stand on one foot? Easy, right?

Now try it with your eyes closed. You’ll probably tip over. Why?

Because you have no way to focus. When we need to balance, we instinctively focus in on something. A tree or a coffee table. It’s the same thing that dancers and ice skaters do in a spin. Focus on one spot, spin around, and come back to center.

Having a focal point gives an immediate response when we teeter.

Interesting thought for exercise and for life.

Exercise? Some is Better than None

New Year’s Goals?

It’s April now, and it’s very likely that your New Year’s resolution to become the Most Fantastically Healthy and Best-Looking person on the planet has been dashed by a thousand pieces of chocolate, by croissants dripping with butter, and by voluminous glasses of ‘healthy’ red wine. If you are especially resolute, you made it through January on track with your workout routine. If you are one-in-ten-thousand, you actually signed up for a French class rather than just looking through the catalog. Oh well. It’s called being a human being and it’s not such a bad thing. We change in tiny increments that all add up to who we are today. It’s the very same way that we become who we want to be tomorrow.

There is a pervasive idea – a lazy excuse? – that if you don’t get outside and run for at least half an hour then you are wasting your time. Or that you need to visit the squat rack five days a week to crush your thighs into submission. Whatever you do, the myth is that you must do lots and lots of it to see results. Exercise science, though, tells a different story. We now understand that adding up ‘little virtues’ through the day totals up to a real and healthy exercise experience.

Real Value Adding Up Smaller Effort

What does this mean? It means that there is real value in parking your car in the next lot over and walking an extra two minutes to your office. It means that there is real value in taking the stairs. It means that you should turn off your instant messenger at work and actually walk over to talk to someone. Who knows? You might find the added benefit of having a nice relationship with another human being? It means that there is value in work. Mow the lawn. Take the dog for a walk. Good gawd – go have sex rather than watch other people do it. There’s a crazy idea! Find ways to let your body do work rather than machines.

Aside from the earlier onset of disease, our Great Grandads and their moms were typically in much better physical condition than we are yet they didn’t exercise. How? Their lives were filled with physical activities that added up through the day. Do you want a good night’s sleep? Go bail hay for a day. Imagine your great-grandmother dragging her carpets outside to hang them on the line to beat the dirt and dust out of them. And then dragging them back. Most folks today would need a glass of wine and an hour watching home remodeling on television after this kind of workout.

Let’s be clear: carrying your groceries to the car won’t build biceps that will get you on the cover of Muscle and Fitness. For that, you will have to live at the gym and inject steroids. But as a general boost to your health, adding up daily chores and using your body as a tool can reap real rewards.


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Day Two of the New Year- Frazzled Yet? Reset Your Goals

Goals Gone Awry Already?

So it’s day two of your new workout, diet, romance, debt payoff plan, career building plan, be-the-most-fantastic-damned-person-on-the-planet plan…and you’re already feeling the weight of your former sins? It’s okay. Remember that it took you a long time for you to get where you are today. It’s okay that you aren’t model-thin in a weekend. (In fact, it’s always okay that you’re not model-thin!) It’s okay that People Magazine hasn’t called yet asking for a photo shoot. It’s okay that The Food Channel hasn’t bumped Giada in favor of your down home cooking.

It might be that your plans weren’t entirely doable. Maybe you bit off too big of a bite?

Goal Setting
It’s okay. Slow down. Enjoy the changes.

Revisit And Hone Your Goals

So rewrite your plans in tiny steps that you can accomplish easily. This is the only way habits are formed. One tiny little step at a time.  Tony Robbins calls this ‘chunking’ and it can make what looms enormous sound much more doable.

Call it the Cigarette Plan. I used to do research into the biochemistry of addiction. Mostly with alcohol but all additions work generally the same: your brain gets a bit of feel-good hormone when you do something. You like that feeling so you do it again. Do it enough and your brain starts to see this feel-good bump as normal. Now you are addicted. Now you need that bump to feel normal. The insidiousness of cigarettes is that each drag reinforces the feel-good feeling. Over the course of a day, then, a smoker trains their brain to enjoy cigarettes, what, four-hundred times a day sucking twenty times on twenty cigarettes? It’s no wonder that addiction experts consider smoking to be one of the hardest habits to break.

Use this to your advantage. Develop healthy or happy habits in little bits. You don’t have to run a marathon in a month. If you want to, that’s great. If you don’t then commit to walking for five minutes a day. Five minutes! Read a classic for five minutes at bedtime. Learn one German word a day on your drive to work. Commit to eating a one piece of fresh fruit every day. This is exactly how habits are formed. One tiny piece at a time. So, for whatever it is, start today, right where you are, and do one thing. Commit to doing it again tomorrow. This is how you change your life.

Cheers!


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The Way of Life App – for those who want to track progress
From Business.com – 11 Best Tools for Setting and Tracking Goals

Personally, I use Wunderlist for my goal tracking and list making. And let me tell you, I like lists!

 

Goals For The Next Year – What Are You Working Toward?

My birthday just passed and I forgot that I wrote this post last year. Let’s see how I’m doing…


I had a Happy Birthday call yesterday from my daughter in Japan. She surprised me and asked what my goals were for the next year. Huh? She said that I always taught her that we should be improving in some area of our life and keep goals to track our progress. I was surprised that these things stick. It’s good advice. Goals help us stay on track, keep us engaged in our own life, and remind us of a desired outcome. It’s common advice for anyone wanting to be happy and healthy. The goals don’t have to be big. They don’t have to be grand. But they should be specific and measurable.

Here’s a few of mine off the top of my head:

I want to ride in the Mt. Washington Hill Climb the summer of my sixtieth birthday. It’s considered the most difficult bicycle hill climb in the world and will remind me that sixty doesn’t have to mean decrepit. I’ll need a bike first. And bigger thighs. Not sure if I will make it. It’s still a goal…but not my wife’s goal. In her world “New Hampshire + cold +bike race + time off from work” does not equal “vacation.” And the time is a tough one. 

I want to pass my Certified Health Physicist exam next summer and would like to join Sigma Xi and The Society for the Study of Evolution. Am taking the CHP test next summer. Joined the Society for the Study of Evolution. Yet to pay up with sigma Xi.

Mal and I had our first date-night in about two years last Friday night. We played a little tennis and had a nice time just being together. I think we should definitely ramp up the romance to at least once per year. See? I like to set a low bar. Then I can pat myself of the back for achieving another goal. We’ve had a few more dates but not enough.

I have two papers I’m working of for publication, two longer projects that I want to have roughed out by next summer, and one other side writing projected to complete. LOL. I have no clue what this is.

There’s talk of going to Disney World this year. Have motel and tickets for November. Ugh.

I might need a new car if my New York Rust Bucket finally snaps in half. Purchased a 1990 Saab 900 Turbo. I don’t know if it’s true love or if I’ve just fallen for a cult but I never want to drive another car.

I am planning on running a couple of 5ks this fall and would like to break 25 min for a 5k next spring. I would like to break the famous (at least for Mittons) seven minute mile barrier this fall. Ran another 5K and will do another this Fall. 26:42 is still my best.

There’s a start. Thanks for the reminder,  Rebe!

There are all kinds of sites to learn more about goal setting. I like Brian Tracy quite a bit. Don’t get too bogged down in the planning but focus on the doing. And have some fun.


As always, thanks so much for reading. Be sure to add your email above to receive notification of more posts. Please do leave comments and if you like the post please pass it on by using one of the share buttons.