They may change over time, but setting them always has a magical way of providing much needed direction — especially at times in life when you’re otherwise lost.
Knowing that I am writing this in the shadow of this post, I want to say at the outset that 2012 has otherwise been a wonderful year, and I am grateful for the many goals that I have achieved this year, including running my first half marathon and rekindling my passion for writing by starting this blog. Since running my first half marathon, I have completed a number of other road races, including another half marathon, two 10Ks, a 5 miler and a 1 miler. So, it should come as no surprise that several of my goals for the coming year are centered around running.
As I realized this afternoon – when my mother-in-law emailed me to find out what I am making for Thanksgiving – 2013 is nearly upon us. Now seems as good a time as any to set goals for 2013. I don’t do resolutions (vows). I do goals (targets). Resolutions are harder to stick to, and goals lead to plans, making it easier to follow through.
Complete my first marathon. I am in the process of completing my 9+1 requirements for guaranteed entry to the 2013 New York City Marathon. I am hopeful that the event will proceed next year as planned, and I look forward to particpating. Completing my 9+1 is a crucial step toward achieving this goal. My pre-marathon plan also includes running at least two more half marathons in 2013, and finding and following a training plan that will work well for me.
Participate in group runs. I typically run by myself, which has made me a very intuitive runner. I push myself harder when I feel that I can, and pull back when I feel I need to. I enjoy the peacefulness of a solitary run. However, in June, I started running a few times a month with a new running buddy. She runs shorter distances than me, but she’s pretty speedy, and I’ve seen my times improve since I started running with her. I think that participating in the occassional organized group run could challenge me in the same way, over longer distances.
Participate in a relay. I keep reading about these on run blogs and they sound so fun! As a solitary runner, I don’t have many running buddies (or buddies who run, either), so I am hoping to find a crew in the aforementioned group run scene. Since most relays seem to be in the fall or spring, I will have to put this one off until spring. I am not sure what type I would like to do or where I would like to do it (I’m thinking New England), so this should give me ample time to research and consider my options.
Run a cross-country style trail race. New York Road Runners offers a bunch of these each year, but I haven’t yet taken advantage. I love trail running, so I think I’m ready to try racing on trails.
Travel abroad. My husband and I usually take one “big trip” each year, but we didn’t travel internationally at all in 2012. We were overwhelmed by business and personal travel in the U.S. But we have already blocked out late May of 2013 as the ideal time for a trip and have a few possible destinations in mind.
Shop a little bit less. I did a lot of shopping this year. Most of it online, because I hate shopping in stores. I feel that salespeople have gotten so much more aggressive during this recession, and I just can’t shop with all of the pressure and having someone constantly check in on me. The downfall of shopping online is the success rate. While I’ve shopped a lot, I’ve returned about 80% of what I’ve bought overall — which means that at least 80% of my shopping has been irrelevant. I don’t know if I will be able to reduce my shopping in 2013 by 80%, but I would like to limit myself to items currently on my list (fleece, red running jacket, Lululemon Scuba Hoodie, skincare/cosmetics are always on the list), replacement items (watch, ballet flats, anything with holes or stains) and the occassional treat (the Fragonard perfume I’m running out of, a special gift when traveling or at a race expo, a splurge with birthday or Chanukah money). The rest of the time, I should shop in my own closet.
Start taking more pictures – and posting them on this site. I bought myself a great camera last year before traveling to China. It’s a bit bulky, so I don’t take it out as often as I should, but I need to get in the habit of spending more quality time with it. I love taking long walks on the weekends, so that is probably a good time to give it a workout. One of my goals for this site is to incorporate one really good photo in to each post.
Guest post on other blogs. I am just getting started and I don’t have an audience yet. I am hopeful that I will begin to gain support from fellow runner/writers in the coming year and have the opportunity to post on their sites for their readers.
Write gear reviews. I feel like I am constantly talking about this pair of run crops or those sneakers. I have a forum to share my thoughts on those things, so I plan to. I would like to make them a bit more substantive than what you would see on a store website, with descriptions of long term use (and abuse) and how the items have held up.
Review the work of others who write about running. I love reading books about running. So many runner/writers have been part of what has inspired me to start writing again. I think that this could also be a good forum for me to review their work.
ACSM, RRCA and/or USATF Certification. As I am taking my running, and this site, more seriously, I would like to learn more about the mechanics of running and how to train better. Researching and completing a certification program is something that I would like to attempt in 2013.