Wherein I don’t bother to reflect or make resolutions because I am lazy and a little grouchy.

I spent 1999 with some pretty serious millenium fever.  I had the countdown clock, a ton of new millenium merchandise, and I read all kinds of crazy post-millennial apocalyptic books (note that I never actually thought the world was going to end, I just found it fascinating).  Needless to say, when the clock turned to midnight and absolutely nothing changed, I was seriously disappointed.  There wasn’t even a computer glitch.

I think that’s when New Year’s lost its sheen for me.  It’s not that I hate New Year’s, I just don’t see what the big deal is.  I much prefer to use my birthday to mark the passage of time (I love that there is a month week day all about me).  Also, I loathe the 800 million extra people at the gym and I can’t take most resolutions seriously because we all know they mostly fail.  I can’t remember the last time I had a New Year’s resolution.  I had goals last year, but they had nothing to do with January 1.

Might as well slap on a post-it around January 30 that says "end diet today because I'm over it".

My goals in 2011 were pretty simple: run a half marathon, get pregnant, finish PhD.  I started all of these long before 1/1/11 and I think that’s why I was mostly successful (I won’t finish the PhD until 2012, but that is a long sad story of divorcing my original advisor, so I’m at peace with the extra 6 months).  Also, besides getting pregnant, these goals are all very specific and I knew/know exactly what I have/had to accomplish to finish them, which makes all the difference.  Oh, and I did set a goal to lose weight this summer, which I stuck to until I got pregnant.  I can’t imagine how heavy and miserable I would be right now if I hadn’t started losing weight for a few months before pregnancy, so I’m glad I didn’t wait for New Year’s.

I guess my point is, if you must make New Year’s resolutions, make them small, concrete goals.  Instead of resolving to “get fit”, try resolving to “run a 5K/10K/half/full/ultra” or “swim x yards without stopping”.  Instead of “lose weight”, maybe try “lose 5 pounds a month”.  Realistic goal setting means you will be less frustrated and feel more accomplished.  And less frustration means you might stick with it.  But honestly, if you need to set a goal in February or November or whenever, don’t wait for some arbitrary day, just do it!

Oh, and for the love of all that is good and holy, fad diets as New Year’s resolutions (or any kind of goal) need to go.  I shudder when I read about some of the crazy diets out there (HCG diet anyone?) and the important thing to remember is you need to make a lifestyle change to have lasting weight loss (look, just cause I’m still fat doesn’t mean I don’t understand the physiology.  It just means I’m too stupid to not follow my own advice).  The cookie diet might be problematic once you hit maintenance (and don’t get all excited by the word cookie, Kara, I hear they taste like butt).  Any diet that involves excluding a whole food group (unless doctor prescribed or food allergies) or limiting calories under 1200/day is probably a fad diet.  Believe it or not, your body needs carbs, protein, and fat and you’ll feel like crap if you don’t get all 3 (and yes, I could tell you many roles for each in the body, but I assume you have other blogs to read today, just remember, even cholesterol does important stuff on a cellular level).  Oh, and drink some water.  You can thank me later.

Ok, enough with the soapboxing.  My goals for next year are TBD since it all depends on when I have this baby and how the delivery/c-section goes.  In a perfect world, I’ll be back up to a 5K or 10K by the end of the year and be under 200 pounds, but we’ll see what happens.  I will have my PhD (in biomedical science for those who asked) in June (no really, either I graduate or I quit with an MS because I don’t have childcare).  We are putting an offer on a conventional house sale today that looks promising, so we should be homeowners in February (the short sale got too expensive).  Even if this house falls through, we should be homeowners by March because we need to move out of our apartment.  Most importantly, we’ll be parents in April or May (better not be March, kid.  Keep your tiny butt in there).  Of course, none of this gets set in to motion tomorrow, I’ve been working on all of this stuff for a long time.

2012 will be a good year, resolutions or not.  Now if you’ll excuse me, my daily goal is to finish my graphs for this last paper.  We have tickets tonight to see the Blue Jackets lose to the Capital tonight (sigh, try to score a few times guys), which is to be followed by a fireworks show in the arena (husband is peeing himself in excitement, meanwhile I’ll just be peeing myself cause she’ll kick every time there is a loud noise).  Then we’ll come home and ring 2o12 with the puggles.  Yes, I am unhealthily obsessed with my mutts.

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?  What are your plans tonight?  Any big exciting changes coming next year?  For my readers with PhDs, did you feel utter panic in the last 4-5 months of your PhD because it feels like it just won’t all come together fast enough?

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About Sarah S @RunningOnWords

Married 20-something in flux and trying to cope by running and occasionally crafting.
This entry was posted in Grad School, Marriage, Training. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Wherein I don’t bother to reflect or make resolutions because I am lazy and a little grouchy.

  1. Alyssa says:

    WTF, you totally ruined my new year’s resolution to break up with carbs, and now I feel stupid for not having a PHD because I can’t help you with your question. Now I need a whole new resolution.

    Congrats on the house, I hope it works out!

  2. TriGirl says:

    I totally agree: tangible goals make so much more sense than those vague resolutions. We’ve been invited to a party at a fancy downtown condo with a view of the fireworks. Which will surely be way cooler than we are qualified to attend (and I don’t have the kind of wardrobe to support that lifestyle). Plus we’d have to find parking. I give us a 50/50 chance of getting there.

  3. Laura says:

    Definitely small, measurable goals are the way to go! I don’t like resolutions either, but am working on some 2012 goals. We’re having friends (with kids) over for dinner tonight, I’m sure we won’t all make it to midnight. I look forward to reading about your year with a new baby!

  4. aprilvak says:

    Good job soapboxing. I went to too many management meetings to not have heard all of that. I have resolutions, they just conveniently needed making right now.

    You know what big exciting change better come for us this year.

    And my sister took an extra two years to get her PhD because of a BOY. Ugh. Thank goodness he’s long gone now.

  5. Army Amy says:

    Your caption on that picture had me cracking up! Can I join you on the anti-fad diet train? One of my coworkers did the HCG diet. I really bite my tongue when she talks about how great it is. I guess she can do what she wants, but it doesn’t seem healthy, or fun, or sane.*

  6. Nita says:

    I have nothing new to add, but just wanted to thank you for the reminder to set specific goals. These are the only things that have ever worked for me as well.

  7. Specific goals are what I usually do too – resolutions never really have worked for me. This was a great post and I think I’ll refer to it in my post. LOL

    2011 was a great year for me! Glad I met you and got to know you better!

  8. Terzah says:

    I love your soap-boxing. If I remember correctly, it’s what brought me to your blog in the first place! No PhD here, but I have a husband who is working on one (physics) and has been since before our twins made their debut. Sigh. Long process……

    My 2012 resolution is no different from my 2011 one, and also not tied to any calendar but my birthday (BQ by 40–one year and three weeks to go!).

    You are going to be a great parent. Common sense rules!!

  9. Abby says:

    Pretty sure my cousin was at that Blue Jackets game, too 🙂

    As for the Ph.D. front, my biggest anxiety came at the end because all of a sudden it wasn’t in my hands anymore. So it was less the final few months of writing (though I know that’s totally daunting), and more after I put it in the hands of my awesome-but-tough-as-nails committee members.

  10. Raquelita says:

    Haha! That’s a lot of peeing to ring in the new year!
    I do set goals at the beginning of each year, but I don’t really view them in terms of resolutions. I know that many of them will be ongoing – carry-overs from the year before, things I’m building on from the year before, etc. They never have to do with weight loss and it is a good time for me to set them because the new year always falls right before the beginning of a new academic term.

  11. Kim (Book Worm Runs) says:

    Eh, I am not big on resolutions either. I didn’t make any this year. You are going to have an amazing 2012 with that little baby girl on the way 🙂

  12. Sara says:

    2012 has got to be better than 2011. You are right about that!

    Great goal-setting and weight-loss advice. I would like to lose 1 lb a week in 2012 if I can – after the Goofy that is. Hell, even a half a pound would work!

    NICE WORK on completing your goals in 2011 – you are one of the few who made them, stuck to them, and excelled! Again, I am thankful to know you and call you my friend.

    Happy New Year!

  13. Yes, small goals are a huge help. I set a goal to relax more. I want to be calm and relaxed going into this cycle. My psyc and I have both been pleasantly surprised at how laid back I am right now.

    2012 is going to be an amazing year for you! So happy for you!

  14. Kara says:

    COOKIE DIET??? If I could use whatever cookie I wanted, I’d totally try that…for probably a day. 🙂

    I don’t have a phd, but in the last month of writing my master’s thesis, I had the same feelings.

  15. Sam says:

    totally with you on the crazy fad diets. come on people, if it were that easy everyone would be fit and skinny!

    hope your 2012 is fabulous…a lot to look forward to.

    no resolutions for me. i never keep them and they always sound silly in the big picture of life.

  16. Mandy says:

    Make room for me on that soapbox.

    My new year’s resolutions are simple: climb a mountain. Er. No, literally, CLIMB A MOUNTAIN. 🙂

  17. I make easy resolutions. For 2011 it was MOVE. So I ran. A lot.
    This year…it will be control.

  18. Kim says:

    I like to call them “goals” vs. resolutions. I hope that the house works out – I can’t wait to see pictures!!

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