2013: Getting Out Of The Box Sooner

I have seen some interesting prompts for 2013 goal setting and visioning.

I have seen several suggestions that we create a “word for the year” such as this post and any number of boards on Pinterest, such as this one from Mary Nelson-Huffman, whose word is “grow.”

The image most representative to me of my 2012 is my square wreath:

cropped wreath

It’s square because it sat in the box (the wreaths are sent to us every year on behalf of my in laws) for three weeks before anyone liberated it and hung it.  A three weeks where I thought hubs was going to do it because he said, on a day when he was industriously doing yard work, “get out the hook so the wreath can be hung” (said hook was dutifully gotten out). A three weeks where my teenager who was dying to have the house Christmas-y was “doing homework” and didn’t want to hang the wreath (not that homework isn’t important). A three weeks where hubs (about a week into the three) said, “seems like if you wanted it Christmas-y you would have hung the wreath.” Eventually he hung it and said, “the wreath is square.” Indeed.

It has been a year where I did not achieve my only written-down goal of running a 5K in less than 30 minutes, but adopted a new goal in February of running a half marathon for Autism Speaks. The half marathon has been run (in September). The 5K goal is getting transferred to 2013 (not the first transfer of this goal) and the wreath is square.

I don’t regret the delay in reaching the 5K goal that resulted from the training change-up involved in working toward the half marathon goal. I do regret the square edges on the wreath and the multitude of other things that I have let go over the year. The cluttered house; the cluttered office; the Executive Director who kept poking his head in, looking at the clutter (I moved offices right before vacation and came back to many fires to put out) with what I interpreted as “why can’t she get her sh*t together” disdain; the failure to delegate what could be delegated and to just handle what couldn’t as opposed to procrastinating.

If it’s true that “outer order brings inner calm,” then I have nowhere to go but up.

To digress a bit, the best “framing your 2013 resolutions” post I saw was (not surprisingly) from Leadership Freak. Entitled, “Beyond Typical S.M.A.R.T. Goals in 2013,” Dan Rockwell in his typically insightful way asked:

How do you want to think and feel about yourself when 2013 slips away?

– Does your behavior and attitude make you proud of yourself?

– How can you enhance your strengths and minimize your weaknesses?

– What can you do for you?

– How can you help others?

What contribution will you make to the way others think and feel about themselves?

– What can you do to make the future bright?

– How will you bolster self-confidence [for others]?

– How will you let others know they matter?

– How will you make others feel they belong?

– How will you help others work with others?

I can’t tackle all of these questions tonight in one post. But I’m going to let them simmer. I’m going to hope they give you some food for thought as your 2013 gets underway.

Honestly, if I had any guts at all I would share the “kayak” dream with all of you. It’s super-personal and airing it via my blog could hurt me professionally. (But I’m more than happy to share one on one/privately.) In brief, the “kayak” dream told me I’ve missed one particular boat in my life. And that leaves me the challenge of choosing the next boat, the next trip, the next destination.


And maybe that does leave me with a word of for 2013: direction.

A word, direction, and a plan to hang a round wreath for Christmas 2013.

Adjustments To Make

I have been working with Coach Jeff of PRS Fit since April. Through his coaching, I was able to run my first half marathon (September 16, 2012), feeling mostly in control the whole time. Even though my time was slower than many half marathoners, I felt steady and enthusiastic to do more distance running events in the future.

However, my primary running goal for the past three years has been to break 30 minutes for a 5K, and the first thing I told Jeff after the half marathon was that it was time for me to get seriously focused on that goal. After five months of coaching, Jeff sent me the request that I had known was going to eventually come: “take a quick video of your running so I can look at your form.”

I could spend the rest of this post sharing my angst about form. How I know my form isn’t classically elegant (and therefore not classically efficient), how an ongoing issue in my marriage is my spouse’s belittling comments about form (the word “waddle” has been used ….. and here’s a piece of advice if you are a non-running spouse who doesn’t get his or her butt off the couch and run ….. don’t use the word “waddle” ….. EVER …… even if it’s true. Coaches can use it. Spouses can’t. That’s the rule there.)

I can’t tell you how many blog posts I have read about form. Podcasts I have listened to (one of the best was the RunRunLive featuring Jessi Stensland of Movement U). How I injured myself doing a drill I read about in a blog. About the best advice given to me by Gary Droze, who runs the weekly Gulf Winds Track Club intervals sessions. Gary isn’t long on words but I think “stay tall” and “light feet” are pretty good pieces of advice if you’re only going to get two.

So that leads to the dreaded video. Since my life is pretty much an open book via my blog and social media presence, I am sharing it with you even though I hate it.

If you are a runner, have you ever tried to change your form? Any thoughts on the subject?

Happy running. Waddling even.

Brian Tracy, Yoda, and 3%

Here it is April 3 and I haven’t blogged about my 2011 goals yet.

When I learned today that Brian Tracy is following me on Twitter, that was the added little push I need to go ahead and get the “goals for the year” post out of the way. Why, you ask? Because I have a Brian Tracy quote on my bulletin board where I can see it every day. I am paraphrasing here, but basically the quote states: 3% of people have written goals; the other 97% work for them.

It’s not that I want to supervise legions of people. My career path of late has removed me from supervising rather than placing more people under my leadership. BUT I do want to achieve my goals, and if writing them down makes it more likely that I’ll meet them then write, I will.

As I sit here at the Georgia World Congress Center waiting for Tenley’s dance competition to end, all that is between me and the story below me is a piece of glass:

Why haven’t I moved to a more secure seat? A) It seems like the farther away I am from Tenley’s dressing room, the more likely it is she needs something only I can provide, and B) it provides the perfect illustration for my life right now – things don’t always feel very secure.

In deference to 2011 and with a plan to get it all done, here are the 2011 goals (drum roll please):

The goal to run a 5K in 30:00 or less has actually been around since late 2009. This is the first year it’s on the list, though. “Write about Camp Gordon Johnston” has been floating around my brain for a while. I started the process by participating in their annual reunion in March and writing this post, which was actually more about Vietnam than World War II but was a start. The last, increasing my “Big Green Pen” presence while preserving enough sleep time to maintain my health, is a tougher nut to crack. But having it written down (and carrying the slip of paper in my wallet) keeps it present with me constantly.

2010’s goals are still with me, though:

Guatemala was originally scheduled for December 2010, but when I sent in my deposit for Tenley and me, there was only one space available. We are scheduled to go July 16-23 of this year. Although I had secured a peer-to-peer loan to cover the expenses of the trip, Wayne’s job loss in August 2010 resulted in me holding on to those funds for more immediate needs. I would appreciate some prayers and good karma out there that this part of the Guatemala equation gets resolved. As for “Big Green Pen,” you’ll see it’s still on the 2011 list, but I have made substantial progress via editing clients queued up through the end of June and the success of my two “When Spell Check Won’t Cut It” workshops. And as for the “kids’ main driver” thing, ” I suppose fate did hand me that with Wayne’s job loss. I became Tenley’s main driver, needing to have her at high school at 7:20 every morning, a task that Wayne had done for the first two days of school before our lives changed. Ah, thanks fate!
Why do I share this with you readers? Partially because I am asking you to help me hold myself accountable. And partially because, as a therapist reminded me when she called me on my tendency to say “I will try…….” it is as that great philosopher Yoda said:
Do or do not … there is no try.