Tag Archives: exercise

Happy New Year!

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New Year

January 1st is an arbitrary time to start any project, but it is hard to avoid being sucked into the cultural zeitgeist that is resolution-making, no matter how bad my personal track record is with keeping resolution is. I am not alone in this, as the 39.8 million results Google found me in .22 seconds on “keeping resolutions” attests.

I had planned to do what I normally do at the beginning of the new year–continue what I am already doing, maybe just pausing today to do a quick review of where I am. See, I am not a big fan of resolutions, but I am a fan of taking stock of where I am and making plans. (That means I get to make lists! Oh, how I love lists!) To some extent that is exactly what I am going to do–I am already in the middle of a big fitness challenge through work, and I am at a point where I am evaluating progress right now, since my goal is broken up into monthly sub-goals.

My employer, like many these days, is trying to promote wellness, and they put together a Chairman’s challenge for people to set some goals and hold themselves accountable. I chose to focus on exercise, because I think it is the most important aspect of health, in that it is a bit of a cornerstone activity–there are health benefits to the exercise itself, obviously, but it also helps me in other ways:

  • I eat better when I exercise regularly
  • I sit less, or at least break up my sitting time more, which has important benefits
  • I drive less, which benefits both my budget and the environment
  • My house is cleaner, because I have to do something to get steps in!

My goal was to increase my average daily steps each month until I got to an average of 10,000 per day. I started in October with a goal of 6,000 steps/day, and I made that, but I backslid in November and actually averaged around 5500 steps per day instead of the 7,000/day I was aiming for. I re-evaluated and moved everything out a month, trying for 7,000 again in December, and this time I made it! I am not too concerned about the blip in November, because this is a long term goal, and the important thing is to do it right, not quickly. This month I am aiming for 8,000/day (again, on average) and I am cautiously optimistic.

I am actually starting a new project today, though. The fact that I am starting today is more a coincidence than a plan. I have been doing a lot of crafting lately, and when I got a gift card to Barnes & Noble from my brother, I went right to the crafting books in the Nook store. I am not even sure how I came across Noah Scalin’s book 365: A Daily Creativity Journal, but I was intrigued by the idea.

I can’t think of a specific theme that I can commit to for a full year at this point, but I love the idea of making something every day. So, I am tweaking the idea a bit. I plan to spend this year making *something* everyday, exploring what DIY, handmade, crafting and all of that means to me. I have no rules for this, I could make anything–and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a complete something. I do a lot of longer term projects, with my crocheting for instance. But I do think making things is important, and I want to look at how I incorporate that into my life.

I am not actually committing to posting what I make here everyday, because I know some days are busy, and posting each day may push me over the edge. I do plan to share my projects, they just may get bunched up into summary posts sometimes. This is supposed to be a boost to my creativity, not another stressor. I am looking forward to it!

Happy new year to all! Do you have any project plans or resolutions for the new year?

After a small blip…

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In keeping with the theme of this month’s NaBloPoMo, Jump, when a friend asked if I wanted to try playing racquetball with her, I jumped right in. I had never played before, and despite my months with the fitbit, I wasn’t sure I was really fit enough for the game. There is only one way to get better, though, so I met her at the Y and started learning the game.

Jump fits here both figuratively–jumping into a sport I had never attempted–and literally. There is a lot of jumping to try to hit that ball! This is where the new activity came to conflict with the daily blog posting–all that jumping and running and hitting is exhausting. I did write every day this week, but I didn’t get something here each day. Tuesday, I worked on my book review for GamingAngels, worked a full day, then went off to play racquetball. Then, I came home, took a shower and died. Well, obviously not literally died, but it sure felt like it.

Yesterday I finished my book review and then wallowed in the self-pity of breaking a goal–I am a failure, there is no way I can post every day in June when I already missed a day, etc. etc. Today I am picking myself up and diving back in anyway. I am doing it early, too, since I am scheduled to play racquetball again tonight.

This will get easier, right?

Summer Goals

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Today is the first day of summer vacation for my children. I still have to work, of course, but they have lots of free time on the horizon. Today I left them asleep while I headed off to work, and I didn’t give them any directions for the day. It is the first day of their vacation, they should decompress, relax and enjoy it. Especially since things will be changing soon.

Last summer, my kids spent so much time watching television, I had to prompt them to reply to anything I said.
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“I am really here in the room, not on TV entertaining you! Answer me! Have a conversation.” This year, I have vowed that things will be different. The TV will not be the primary form of passing the time. They will use their brains and their bodies for more than holding the couch down and watching other people far away do interesting things.

This is not the first time I have tried to get them to watch less tv. I work at home two days per week, but I am in the office the other three, and in the past, this has translated to at least three days per week of almost constant TV watching. To counteract that to some extent, I have decided that this year there will be goals in 4 areas:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Physical fitness
  • Science

The girl also needs to start thinking about a service project. She is entering high school in the fall, and she needs to start thinking about building her record for college applications. Plus, we need to do something to show her that the fact that I don’t buy her everything she wants as soon as she wants it does not mean she is disadvantaged, ;).

I broke the news to the kids over brunch this past Sunday. They were not impressed. They became a little more enthusiastic when I said that they could choose their own goals (although I have to approve–they must be an actual stretch). So far, the girl has decided to learn to play golf with my dad, and the boy has decided to finish a story about dragons who live in the sewer system he is writing with his best friend. They are still thinking about the remaining goals.

For the science goal, I have decided we will do one science experiment per week as a family, so they don’t need to come up with a separate goal for that. They can find something they would like to do, or I can come up with one, but ev

eryone has to participate. Also, to make this whole thing slightly more fun for them and less heartless, I bought the family pool passes. If they are at the pool, they are doing at least some moving around, and they won’t be watching TV.

As for me, I am making a few goals as well.

  • Writing: Establish a daily writing habit. I need to post more regularly here and at Gaming Angels. I am also working with a friend to start a crocheting blog for her new business. And I keep saying I write fiction, or at least I want to write fiction, but not doing any writing. It is time to change that. Oh, and here of course.
  • Physical fitness: Since I got the FitBit, I definitely exercise more. I take more steps, and I am less sedentary. I could do better, though. For the past 30 days, my average number of steps is 5,612–not terrible, but I can definitely improve. I want to be consistently at 7,500 per day by the end of the summer. I know 10,000 is the usual goal, but I want to try to get there a bit more gradually; once I have mastered 7,500 consistently, I will raise the goal again. I also want to make sure my total active time for each day (lightly active, fairly active, very active) totals at least 4 hours every day, with at least 1 ½ hours in fairly or very active.
  • Crafting: I am substituting this for science, since that is covered in the family goal, and I have a ton of crafting projects I want to do. For now, I will be relatively modest in my goals: 5 crochet projects and 5 non-crochet projectscompleted before school starts for the kids on 8/14. 

You may have noticed I didn’t put a reading goal in there; I am not sure what to do. I already read a lot, and I don’t have a lot of spare time to devote to reading more. All those goals up there will take a lot of my time spent not working, eating or sleeping! I am still thinking about this one. I haven’t made the kids finalize their goals yet, after all, why should I be done with mine?

Do you do summer goals? Or is it all loose and easy at your house?