Saturday, January 2, 2016

2016 Wellness Goals

I don't typically set New Year's resolutions because it feels like a cultural practice of setting one's self up for failure. I set a few race goals each year but don't really keep track of them. However, this year I am inspired by a friend's "habit cultivation" framework for setting and tracking goals and am going to do that. The key is setting goals that focus on creating healthy habits rather than focusing on outcomes.

In keeping with my usual goal-setting, I decided last year that I wanted to try for an Olympic-distance triathlon this year, and more specifically determined in November to run a 10k by the end of January. Needing accountability, I registered for a January 31 10k event and am well on my way training for that. Last week I went ahead and registered early for a late-May Oly tri to make sure I do it. The weather will probably be terrible, but I'm trying to view the silver linings as having more time to train and not needing to invest in a wetsuit for cold water.

As far as cultivating habits, I'm setting quantifiable goals for developing regular meditation and yoga practices, things I tried but did not follow through on doing in 2015. Although I ought to stretch daily, any amount is better than the almost none that I do now, so I'm aiming for a dedicated stretching or yoga session 100 times this year, approximately twice a week. I told myself over and over this fall to practice meditating again because I was so constantly stressed out, but I only did it once. And though I ought to meditate daily, I know that is an unreasonable "all or nothing" goal that I'd definitely fail, so my plan is to meditate for a minimum of 5 minutes (I usually like 10 or 15) 250 times in 2016.

I'm using a rainbow spreadsheet similar to my friend Bethany's to set and track these goals. These may sound like a lot, but I'm basing them on my current habits and performance and believe them reasonable.

My fitness goals include hitting my weekly step goal every week, barring injury or illness, since I can't do it every day with a desk job but have no excuse not to hit it weekly; running and walking a total 1,000 miles, since I managed more than 700 this year and only started consistently  wearing a Fitbit tracker in July; trying 10 new fitness classes; and getting to the gym for an assessment soon so I can set any weight-lifting goals. I ought to set some swimming and cycling goals but don't yet know what is sustainable for me.

I also set a few brain goals for myself such as reading academic articles and other pieces on oppression and social justice issues (I have lists of nearly 200 articles that I keep meaning to read) and completing one online course, since I frequently start them but do not finish. I'm not ready to set any nutrition goals because I dislike cooking, have picky tastes, am limited for time, and do not do well with restriction, but I may later in the year. I will try to cook 10 new recipes this year. That's a lot for me, but once a month seems a modest goal. I want to add a goal for blog writing but worry about how I usually tend to stop writing for several weeks at a time. I'll think about it and revisit that one.

What are your goals and techniques that help you achieve them?

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