Goals

The Real Reasons Why

For a good part of the last year or so, I’ve been wanting to focus on getting healthier and losing weight, but with so many changes and health issues along the way, I just haven’t made progress in the ways I was hoping to by now. And somehow, it’s already November and 2017 is almost behind us (thank GOD for that though), which is really hard to believe. Since I feel like I’ve stepped out of the fog hanging over the last several months, rather than letting a few more slip away with no progress, this week, I decided to rejoin Weight Watchers. And while I’ve joined a few times over the last couple years here and there, this time it feels different. I think I’m just ready to commit to making my health a priority again, and have the bandwidth to focus on it for the first time in a while.

One of the things I love about the Beyond the Scale Weight Watchers program is the whole “beyond the scale” part. At the beginning when you sign up and weigh in for the first time, they have you to take a few minutes to write why you want to lose weight. The receptionist actually had me write something down right then, which I think is good because it forces you to think about it. They say the more specific and detailed you can be the better because then you can start to visualize it, which can be pretty powerful, especially in moments of weakness.

After leaving the meeting, I’ve been thinking more about all the whys – why do I want to lose weight in general, why Weight Watchers again, why right now – and thought I’d share what I came up with. It’s really easy to list off surface level reasons, so I forced myself to dig a bit deeper with each.

  1. I don’t want to be back to the “before” and I’m terrified that’s the direction I’m heading if I don’t make some changes.
  2. Weight loss is mostly related to what I put into my body, which is something that’s totally within my control. Lately, so many things have felt outside my control, especially related to my back issues, so I’m looking forward to focusing on something where the outcome is completely up to me.
  3. I want to get excited when I see someone has tagged a picture of me on social media, rather than be filled with dread for how bad I might look in the picture.
  4. I’m currently a size 12, which is towards the top end of the range of sizes regular clothing stores carry. I want to be able to shop at regular stores, not have to go to the back of the rack to pick the biggest size they carry, and to feel good when I try on the clothes.
  5. I want to feel proud of my body again. I worked so hard to lose all the weight last time, and I’m ashamed I’ve gained some of it back, especially after undergoing plastic surgery to memorialize my hard work.
  6. I want to wear a bikini with confidence again. I vividly remember the first time I ever wore a bikini in my entire life by myself at a public pool in DC, and how liberating it felt. I truly believe that people should wear whatever they’re comfortable in, and I’m at the point where I don’t feel comfortable bearing my stomach.
  7. I want to be comfortable changing in a locker room or in front of friends again, instead of turning towards a wall and doing it quickly in a panic or going into a private bathroom stall.
  8. My parents have a long list of health issues related to being overweight, and I’m at the age where those things aren’t too far off if I don’t get it under control. My dad had a heart attack at age 40 (!) and both my parents have struggled with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and being prediabetic/Type II diabetes. I don’t want the same fate.
  9. Holidays are a really tough time to lose or maintain weight, so rather than let myself spiral out of control these next few months, I want to focus on taking care of myself and get a head start. Time goes by so fast, especially as we get older (it’s science!) so rather than let a few more weeks turn into a few more months, I’m starting now.

2013 Intentions

New Years Resolutions are such a touchy topic. A lot of people hate them because there’s always so much hype surrounding January 1st, and most resolutions do die down after the first few weeks of the year. That said, I think that setting goals can definitely be a good thing, especially when you really put some thought into them and pick achievable goals based on where you are right now.  Time goes so fast as an adult, and I think it’s fun to look back over your year when a new one comes and set some intentions for what you hope to accomplish in the new year.

This year, I put a lot of thought into my goals and decided to divide them up into different areas. I have a lot I want to accomplish this year, and I know if I stay focused throughout the year, I can achieve them all.

First, health related goals.

1.) Keep an exercise log for the whole year.

Sometimes when I skip a run or go a couple days without exercising, I really beat myself up about it. When I keep a log of my workouts, it helps me keep the big picture in mind, and I LOVE being able to look back and see what I’ve accomplished. I just created this document yesterday, and plan to keep it up to date throughout the year.

2.) Cross train at least once a week.

I know I will keep up with running because I’m scheduled to run another half marathon as well as the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler (for the fourth year in a row!), but I need to be more consistent with things other than running. I want to take classes, do yoga, strength train, ride my bike, or just do anything other than running at least once a week, and hopefully more.

3.) Find my happy weight.

I plan to do a thorough weight update later this week, but I really want to find my happy weight in 2013. I feel like I’ve been bouncing back and forth between 15 and 20 pounds since zoning in on my goal weight for the first time, and I want to use this year to really find a weight that is maintainable for me for the long term. I want to be able to have fun and not deprive myself, but also stay focused on my health and get to a place where my weight is not shifting from week to week or month to month.

Second, blog related goals.

1.) I want to be more consistent with posting.

My goal for the year is to post a minimum of once a week, every week. Ideally I’d like to post more than that, but I don’t want to commit to doing too much because I really only like to blog when I actually have something to say, rather than just blog to say I did. If you have any topics you’d like me to touch on, please send me an email (bethsjourneyblog at gmail dot com) or leave a note in the comments section with ideas/questions.

2.) Post one new recipe a month.

My recipes are still one of my most popular parts of this site, and I want to bring them back. Again, I’d ideally like to post more than one a month but we’ll start with 1 because I know that much I can do.

3.) Get back to setting monthly goals, starting in February.

This goes hand in hand with achieving my goals for this year, and I really love being able to see what I’ve accomplished for the last month and decide what to focus in on for the next month. I’ll start this one in February since it’s already the second week of January, and I’d love it if you guys wanted to go along with this and share your own goals with me, and then we can check in with each other at the start of the next month. I love the community that I get from this blog and feeling like I’m not alone in my goals, my struggles, and my accomplishments!

Third, personal and professional goals.

1.) Be more careful about spending.

2012 was a big year for me because I got out of debt and made a lot of progress on my emergency fund, but I continued to spend a little more frivolously than I would have liked. I’m still trying to figure out the best system for this, but I might go back to a cash only spending policy until I get this back in check. I know I should be saving more than I am, and I really want the freedom that comes with savings!

2.) Read at least 1 book per month.

One of my goals last year – to watch less TV and read more – was too vague. One book a month seems very doable, especially since I’m almost finished with Room, which will be my first for 2013. I have Gretchen’s book Terra in the queue next (which will be the first book I read on my new iPad)… any other suggestions?

3.) Have a plan in place to take some health/wellness training.

Health and wellness and weight loss are my true passions in life. I feel like I have the power to really help people in this area, and I want to take steps this year to make it more a part of my profession. I’m considering getting one step closer to this by becoming a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and/or taking classes to become a health coach. This, coupled with writing my blog consistently and continuing as a leader for weight watchers, will really make me feel like I’m on the right path.

Looking over this list makes me realize what big goals I have set for myself this year! I truly am confident I can achieve them all though, because I think they are doable based on where I am at the moment. I know I will be in a great place in my life if I make progress on all of these things this year, and that is what I plan to do.

Do you set New Years Resolutions/goals for the year? Why or why not? If so, what would you say your biggest one or two goals for the year are? If not, what do you do to hold yourself accountable for sticking with making sure you’re heading where you want to go?

Year 27 Highlights and Year 28 Hopes

27 was a great year for me. I went through a lot of big life changes, but despite all the ups and downs, I truly think I am in a better place now on so many levels. Last year on my birthday I posted some hopes for my 27th year, and here’s how I did with them.

Run a FULL marathon – Scheduled for October 30, 2011!

This one did NOT happen. I announced my decision to drop out of the marathon pretty far into training (I already had 16 miles under my belt), but I am very confident that I made the right decision, even now. Though it wasn’t a goal, I did go on to run two more half marathons while I was 27, and PRed in one of them, with a time of 2:08:52.

HalfMarathonFinish

Select a triathlon for 2012.

This also did not happen… I am sensing a trend here with fitness goals! Maybe this year.

Become a Leader for WW.

This is one I am proud to say I accomplished with flying colors! I went to Basic Leader Skills training in Chicago this past October, and started leading meetings in early 2012. Though I was really bad at it at the beginning, I’ve truly hit my stride and am loving it. When I first took over my Tuesday morning meeting, it had 15 members. As of this past Tuesday, I had 41 members, almost TRIPLING the number I started with. Yay!

Maintain my weight (or lose a few lbs!) throughout my 27th year.

This one is something I’ve really been struggling with lately. I came clean about it a few times on the blog, but have sort of backburned weight loss with all the big life changes going on. That said, I really want to move it front and center for year 28.

Get fully out of debt and have a hefty emergency fund of 6 months of living expenses saved before turning 28!

I am proud to say that I am completely debt free and have even made significant progress on saving money, too. Right now, I have about 2 months of an emergency fund saved up, and my hope is to have the full six months saved by the end of this year. This one was a HUGE accomplishment for me because I had been swimming in debt since college!

Plan an international trip for 2012 – I haven’t been out of the country since I was a kid!

I did go to St. Maarten in April with my sister and her family, and technically that is half French, half Dutch, and I am going again in less than two weeks for a friends wedding.

SXM

That said, I really want to have something on the books abroad abroad (aka not the Caribbean) by the end of the year.

Redesign Beth’s Journey and move to a self hosted domain.

Check! I have been self hosted/redesigned for almost a year now, and it’s so much better than it was before!

So though I only accomplished about half of those that I hoped to, I did a lot of great things this past year and am feeling good about where I am.

Year 28 Hopes

Now that I am officially 28, I feel like I’m actually an adult. Even though technically I may have been one for a while and I still sometimes don’t act like it, I really want to focus on my career this year and achieving balance and moderation as best I can. Outside of my career, I also want to focus on getting back to my goal weight in a healthy way, and trying my best to live in the moment and not let life get away from me too quickly.

Here’s what I want to do this year:

    1. Get back to my goal weight and maintain it. Duh.
    2. Workout 3-4 times a week, including strength training, through this year.
    3. Run at least one half marathon (I’m signed up for the DC Rock ‘n Roll Half again in 2013) and a few other races.
    4. Limit drinking to 2ish times a week, which means doing things with friends more that don’t revolve around alcohol.
    5. Try my best to be present and enjoy where I am, not constantly looking forward to the next thing, which is my tendency.
    6. Really focus on my new job, because I feel like position is truly the start of my career. They are very into work/life balance, so I have plenty of time outside of work to focus on other things.

28 is going to be a great year. I can feel it!

Starting The Week Off Right

Happy Monday! I had a really awesome weekend because two of my best friends from Connecticut came to visit me that I hadn’t seen in a loooong time! Even though I grew up in CT, my parents moved away when I graduated from college, so I never go back there during holidays or anything and it was SO great to see them. My other best friend from Connecticut, Erika, lives here in the area, but lives out in Arlington, so we ended up doing Friday night in Arlington and Saturday night in DC.

Here’s me and Allison on Friday night:

beth and allison

And Jaci and Erika on Saturday night:

Jaci and Erika We had two awesome dinners – one at Boulevard Woodgrill on Friday night, and one at Zatinya on Saturday evening. Both dinners evolved into nights out on the town, but you have to go big when friends are visiting, right?

After they get on the road yesterday morning, I had the most productive day Sunday ever. I did laundry, cleaned my entire apartment top to bottom, went through my closet and got rid of a bunch of clothes, did a new-to-me workout DVD, and cooked up a storm. I went grocery shopping on Friday night before they got here to pick up a few things, and decided to try to make it through the week without another trip. I need to work through everything in my fridge before I leave Friday morning for San Antonio and I think I can make it through the week with what I have, so I’m going to try!

Yesterday’s cooking involved whipping up a batch of veggie soup, brown rice, and un-pictured steel cut oats:

Sunday Prep

I made the simple soup by cooking onion, garlic, celery, and carrots over low heat for 10-15 minutes, then adding spices and water and letting it simmer for 45 minutes. When it was done, I stirred in a few handfuls of fresh spinach and that was it. I had a bowl last night and ended up adding some brown rice to bulk it up a bit and it was delicious! I plan to use the brown rice throughout the week for the taco salads, to add to the soup, and to make veggie fried brown rice later in the week.

Here’s what I came up with for a menu plan:

Breakfast Lunch Snack Dinner
Monday Savory Oats, banana Sardines w/Wasa Crackers, 1 cup veggie soup, plus Veggies w/ Black Bean Dip Greek Yogurt w/leftover fruit salad Tempeh Taco Salad
Tuesday English Muffin w/canadian bacon + cheese, banana Leftover Tempeh Taco Salad, veggie soup Veggies w/ Black Bean Dip Veggie Fried Brown Rice
Wednesday Savory Oats Leftover veggie fried rice Greek Yogurt w/mashed banana + brown sugar Out to Dinner – TBD
Thursday WW Waffles w/PB+Banana Leftover Tempeh Taco Salad, veggie soup Greek Yogurt w/frozen pineapple Omelet w/veggies + cheese plus toast

 

And here’s the plan for workouts, aiming for 5 days of working out and 2 days of rest:

    • Sunday: No More Trouble Zones (check!)
    • Monday: 4 miles
    • Tuesday: Rest
    • Wednesday: Speed Work – 7x400s
    • Thursday: Cross-Training
    • Friday: 8 miles in San Antonio
    • Saturday: Rest

This week, I want to really focus on sticking with the plan so I can work my way through everything in my fridge and make some progress on the scale. I have a lot to do before I leave for San Antonio on Friday, so I’m aiming to get most of my workouts done in the morning before work, which is my main goal for the week – get to the gym first thing!

Do you ever do workout DVDs at home? What is your favorite one?

I “love” Jillian Michael’s workout DVDs – they are built on a circuit system and really make me sweat! I have The Shred which is 3 20-minute workouts, and just got No More Trouble Zones on Friday, which is a 40 minute circuit plus warm-up and cool down, and it is INTENSE. It’s a total body workout and the equivalent of doing two levels of the Shred at once in my opinion, but I’m looking for more suggestions!

Can’t Ignore It Anymore

I’ve alluded to it many times on here, but I am officially back up several pounds over my goal weight and am not happy about it. I am extremely gifted at coming up with excuses and blaming the stresses in my life as reasons for why I’m struggling, but I can feel myself slipping back into my old habits and to be honest, I feel like I’m finally waking up. I knew that maintenance was going to be hard, but I didn’t realize just how easy it was going to be to slip into the old mentality of using food for comfort and finding ways to justifying overeating.

Besides wanting to get back to my goal weight for personal reasons, I have to be there in order to work for Weight Watchers, and for good reason. I am supposed to be a role model to the members who come to my meeting and be a “real life success story” to show that the plan works, so it makes sense to me that it’s a requirement. While I still weigh drastically less than I did when I first started Weight Watchers, my weight has been slowly creeping up over the last few months and I’ve been back burner-ing and ignoring the issue, as if that is going to help.

One of the things you have to do as a WW employee is weigh in monthly to show that you’re within 2 lbs of your goal weight, and I’ve been barely been squeezing along with a few extra pounds for the last several weigh ins. This month, I couldn’t squeeze by anymore. I’m honestly not sure exactly where I am and will be weighing in later today and then weekly going forward, but I need to get back to my goal weight to stay in good standing for Weight Watchers in addition to the fact that I just want to be back there. I’m guessing it’s somewhere in the 10 pound range, but I am not certain.

I can blame it on the fact that my grandmother just passed away, that I’m single and have been struggling with being social and keeping my drinking/eating under control when I’m out, or that the holidays just passed and everyone overdoes it during the holidays. But those are just excuses undermining the real problem: my eating has been out of control.

The one good thing I’ve been doing is consistently exercising. I’ve continued to workout 3-5 times a week and have been doing a great job sticking with my half marathon training plan, so for that I am proud and know that I’m still in good shape athletically.

Outside of that, though, I’ve been eating like crap, and I know that weight loss and weight maintenance is much more about what I’m eating than how much I’m moving, so working out 3-5 times a week isn’t going to cut it.

In order to get my weight back in control, I am going to be doing weekly employee weigh ins starting today. I know exactly what I need to do – track EVERYTHING I eat even if it’s not pretty, take advantage of the accountability that weighing in once a week gives me, up my water intake, and drink less alcohol. For my own sake, I’m going to be doing weekly menu plans every week until I am back at goal, and will report on my progress each week on here as well.

While I am pretty disappointed that I let myself gain back some weight, I also feel pretty relieved that it’s finally out there and that I feel ready to do something about it. I do have a lot of things coming up in the next several weeks that are going to make it a struggle, including friends visiting from out of town and a work trip to San Antonio, but I am 100% committed to making it happen.

Who’s with me?

Back on Track Tuesday

I really, really, really need to get back on track. Having my best friends in town this past weekend for an engagement party was VERY fun…

Lindsay, Me, Lianne (Bride-to-Be), Rachel, and Leah

It also made for several days full of heavy drinking and eating crap. I did manage to get to the gym before anyone else woke up on Saturday and bust out a 5k on the treadmill in 27:43 (8:55 pace!!!!) plus some push ups and ab work, but other than that the weekend was not so good in the healthy living department. I feel bloated, lethargic, and gross… and am ready to get back to it.

I had to work yesterday unfortunately (boo!), and though I really tried to get myself out of bed to run in the morning, that just didn’t happen. Rather than skipping my run all together, I brought everything with me to run home from work and did a 3.5 mile loop that ended with me at Whole Foods. I  finished the 3.5 miles in 32:19 or a 9:14 pace, which is FAST for me! Woohoo. Ending at Whole Foods meant that not only was I able to get my run in, but I also got myself some groceries so that I could actually start cooking again and get some fruit and veggies back into my life.

I also have quite a busy week outside of my day job, involving the following:

    • Tuesday: Lead Weight Watchers meeting AM (!!!)/Weight Watchers Training PM
    • Wednesday: Blogger Get Together after work
    • Thursday: Work Weight Watchers meeting after work
    • Friday: Friends coming in from Connecticut

Because of all that, I wanted to cook just a little and have it go a long way, so I’m basically only cooking twice and it should last me through the week. Here’s what I came up with for a menu plan:

Breakfast Lunch Snack Dinner
Monday Cottage Cheese w/frozen mango Turkey Sandwich on Wheat, Pretzels, Banana, HUGE Brownie (…) Apple Tempeh Chili Verde (made 4 servings)
Tuesday Savory oats w/spinach + cheese Leftover Tempeh Chili Verde Greek Yogurt w/raspberries Egg Scramble in a Pita with Goat Cheese
Wednesday English Muffin w/PB + Banana Tempeh Chili Verde Babybel w/apple + carrots w/salsa Homemade Veggie Burgers
Thursday Savory oats w/spinach + cheese Leftover Veggie Burger over greens Cottage Cheese w/orange Tempeh Chili Verde
Friday Waffle Sandwich w/PB + Banana Leftover Veggie Burger over greens Babybel w/apple + carrots w/salsa TBD – Dinner with friends from CT!

And here is what I want to do workout wise so I can stay on track with half marathon training:

    • Monday: 3.5 mile run (check!)
    • Tuesday: rest (no time!)
    • Wednesday: Speedwork – 35 minute tempo run + strength training
    • Thursday: Rest or Cross Training
    • Friday: 7 mile run

Since I have friends coming into town again this coming weekend, my goal is to get my long run out of the way before work on Friday so that I don’t have to do it while they are visiting. We’ll see how that goes!

Because I really need to focus this week, here are my mini goals to get back on track:

    1. No drinking during the week. I had enough this weekend to last me at least through the week so this should not be a problem. At all.
    2. Drink 64 oz. of water each day at work (2 large bottles).
    3. Workout 2-3 times this week before work.
    4. Get in bed by 11pm every night this week.
    5. Stick to 26-29 PointsPlus per day through Friday.

What’s one mini goal you have for this week?

Top Tips for Making Your Resolutions Stick

I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it… =)

In all seriousness, it’s always a joke that New Years Resolutions are really just to-do lists for the first three weeks of January, but making real change is possible, and it’s in your hands. Success breeds success, so as soon as I started seeing the numbers on the scale go down, which was my version of success since I was trying to lose weight, I got more motivated to stick with the changes and make them long-term lifestyle changes rather than temporary quick-fixes.

stopwaiting

Here are my top tips for making this happen for you, too:

1.) Plan Ahead

plan_ahead_poster_in_love_en_amour

I cannot stress this one enough. You don’t have to be crazy like me and make a whole weekly meal plan for everything, but have a few healthy options on hand for each meal of the day. If you have super busy weeks, take an hour or two on Sunday to whip up a big batch of stew or chili, some oatmeal, and brown rice or quinoa that you can use throughout the week for meals. Always make sure to have a few key items on hand for quick meals during the week so you can have something on the table in under 10 minutes if need be.

If you go out for lunch during the week, look up a few key places that you go and browse the nutritional information on the website so you have some healthy options in your back pocket when the situation arises. Same thing goes for dinner if you know you’re going out – – look at the menu before you go and make a plan!

Outside of meals, plan when you can add in some activity as well. I always take a look at my week and figure out when I can squeeze my workouts in. Lately, that’s largely been before work because I’ve had my weeknights swamped with plans, and I know if I don’t go before work I won’t have the time to go at all. This hasn’t always been the case for me, so check out this post to see how I transformed myself into a mostly morning exerciser.

2.) Control Your Environment(s)

Think about all the places that you eat. The theory behind this one is that if you don’t have it, you can’t eat it. And this is NOT limited to your kitchen. Think about your desk at work, your car, or anywhere else that temptation arises. If you know you eat at your desk, fill a snack drawer with whole fruit and other portion controlled snacks that you have on hand for when hunger strikes. If you are a car eater – do the same thing so that you’re not tempted with a drive through. If you live with a significant other or kids and they have “their food” that you don’t want to touch, put it in a separate cabinet so that it’s not the first thing you see when you open the pantry.

3.) Set small, attainable goals

setting-goals

One thing that I love about Weight Watchers is how much of a good job the program does with breaking down big goals into smaller ones. When I first started to lose weight, if I thought about 88 pounds as one chunk, there is no way I would have been able to stick with it. Instead, focus on your first 5 pounds, 10 pounds, 5%, 10%, and celebrate each time you hit one of these goals. I know a lot of people roll their eyes at “just five pounds” but I challenge you to go pick up a 5-lb sack of potatoes next time you’re at the grocery store to realize just how much 5 lbs is. And, celebrate each time you meet a goal in a non-food related way. Maybe a manicure, a new book, a bubblebath, a massage, etc.

4.) Celebrate non-scale related goals or victories

There will be times when no matter what you do, the scale won’t do what you want it to. I heard one time that weight loss should be a side effect of treating your body right rather than the goal, and it is really true. Focus on what you CAN control, like working out X times a week, getting X servings of veggies in a day, or getting X hours of sleep per night. When you meet these non-scale related goals, reward yourself just like you would for success on the scale.

5.) Think of healthy living as a positive thing

It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to lose weight and focus on what you can’t have. No french fries, no M&Ms, no nachos, no drinking, etc. Change your mindset. Think about what you can ADD to your life rather than what you must take away. A serving of fruit, an extra glass of water, or a walk a day will go a long way in helping you on your healthiness journey!

So tell me.. do you agree with these tips? What would you say is your #1 tip for someone who is starting to change their life and really wants to make it happen?

Weight Watchers Roundup

I know I’m not alone is setting New Years Resolutions for 2012, and I’ve been getting tons of questions about Weight Watchers because I know this month is a big one for people to join! Some get annoyed that so many people start the year with high hopes of losing weight/changing their lives and hate the lines at the gym or the lines to weigh in, but I totally embrace people who start fresh in January. I was one of them!

Three years ago in January 2009, I set my resolution to “get healthy”. I had no idea where it would lead or exactly what it would entail, but I know that my life hasn’t been the same since. That January, I joined a gym and started working out, and then two months later joined Weight Watchers on March 3, 2009 and haven’t looked back.

With my niece Claire during the 2008 holidays:

with my niece claire

With my nephew Harper on New Years Day 2012:

2011 holidays

Well, that’s not exactly true, because I actually quit Weight Watchers for a while there, but with the roll out of PointsPlus and finding the scale creeping back up once again, I rejoined in December 2010, got to my goal weight in May 2011, became Lifetime in June 2011, and have been struggling to maintain ever since.

I thought it might be useful to do a post with links to past posts of Weight Watchers resources, but please don’t hesitate to ask any questions if you’re just joining Weight Watchers, are thinking about it, are a WW veteran and have a question, are thinking about wanting to work for them at some point, or just want to know anything about the program in general!

Weight Watchers General Info

Weight Watchers Meal Ideas

Working for Weight Watchers

Do you have any motivation quotes that you love and care to share?

I shared mine yesterday: If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.

Plans for the New Year

Happy New Year!! Can you BELIEVE that it’s 2012? I cannot…

I know a lot of people are against setting New Years Resolutions, but as you probably have guessed by now, I am all about making attainable goals to keep myself on track. I think as we get older, time passes so quickly that if I don’t have my eyes set on some goals in the future, it just goes by and I’m in the same place I once was.

It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes of all time:

“If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.”

So true.

So, in light of the new year, I’d like to put some goals in writing so that at this time next year I can look back and see how far I’ve come (or not come). Here goes:

1.) PR in my third half marathon March 17th.

I already posted about my training plan and goals for the race this time around, and while I don’t want to set a specific time goal because then I’ll just set myself up to fail, I do want to finish faster than my second half, which I finished in 2:10:43. I have a good training plan in place, and if I stick with it, I really think I can accomplish this one!

2.) Get back to my goal weight and maintain it throughout the year.

I have been struggling with a few extra pounds since September, and it’s time to get back to goal once and for all and stay there. Ideally, I’d like to get around 160 (164 is my official WW goal weight, which is the highest for my height of 5’8) so that I have a little leeway in case a few of those pounds creep back on like happened this time around.

3.) Keep strength training a part of my exercise routine.

In the last several weeks I’ve been strength training at least once a week and have been loving the results and how strong it makes me feel. Before a few weeks ago, I could count on one hand the number of times I’d strength trained consistently, so I’d like to keep it up for all of 2012 and continue to strengthen and tone my body.

4.) Get completely out of debt.

I posted about my battle with credit card debt here, here, and here, and I was actually on schedule to be out of it by the end of 2011. Because I unexpectedly had to move and come up with a security deposit for my new apartment, that set me back a little bit, but my goal is to be out of it in the first half of 2012. I am down to about $2,500 in debt, from where I started at $11,000.

5.) SAVE MONEY.

This is a big one. I have an emergency fund set up already, but ideally I’d like to have 6 months of expenses in savings by the end of 2012.

6.) Plan a vacation abroad.

I’d love to actually take a vacation overseas in 2012, but I’d settle for having one on the books by the end of the year. I haven’t been on a real vacation since March 2010 (!!!) and I really need to get one on my radar.

I still want to continue to set monthly goals that will feed into these ones (and weekly as needed!) but these are the BIG things I hope to accomplish in 2012! I know that if I focus on dedicating myself to these goals, I can do it!!

7.) Read more and watch less TV.

I’ve already made a big improvement in this category since getting rid of cable when I moved into my new apartment, but I miss those days where I would come home from work and plop down on my couch excited to dive into a book, rather than get through the current series I’m watching on Netflix.

8.) Go to bed earlier.

I’ve found myself staying up way too late during the week for no particular reason. I’ll be poking around on the internet, watching a TV show I’m not that interested in, or just randomly doing something around my apartment instead of going to bed. I don’t mind going out a little during the week and staying up later if I’m doing something fun, but if I’m just putzing around, I’d prefer to just go to bed earlier! I want to aim to be in bed around 11pm or earlier most nights during the week when I have nothing else going on.

What is your biggest goal for 2012?

2011 Highlights

2011 was a BIG year for me. It’s crazy to look back and see how many great things happened for me this year, and that all my hard work actually started paying off! It’s also hard to believe that this will be the last post of 2011… the new year is so close!

Some highlights from 2011 include…

I hit my goal weight.

Two years, two months, and nine days after joining Weight Watchers on March 3, 2009.

I made Lifetime at Weight Watchers.

I started working as a receptionist for Weight Watchers and also trained to be a Leader.

I’ve led two meetings so far and should be up and running with my own meeting early next year!

I had my first speaking engagement at the Healthy Living Summit.

I got a promotion at my day job in August after two and a half years at my company. Woohoo!

I ran my second half marathon and shaved 5 minutes 32 seconds off my time from my first half.

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I appeared in two magazines, one big local magazine and a national one!

The Washingtonian in September 2011:

And Fitness Magazine in October 2011:

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My blog was also featured on several media sites in 2011, including:

I’d say 2011 was pretty good to me!! I feel so lucky to have had so many great things happen this year, and I want to say a HUGE thank you to each and every one of YOU for reading, commenting, emailing, and tweeting me while I change and evolve and go through this journey called life. I am so excited to have a platform to share my successes and struggles, and the fact that people actually come here to read about it still blows my mind! I am so grateful!

How was 2011 for you? What is the biggest highlight from your year?

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