2016 Motivation and 2015 Annual Review

Happy New Year and welcome to 2016!

Life has a way of getting away from us, we lose motivation, lose track of time and lose our minds… and that’s exactly what happened over the last month. Between being behind on Christmas gifts, rushing around at the last minute to finish them and knowing that the New Year was coming I slacked on a lot of things – updating my blog being one of them. I was also just a little depressed about the weather situation and not having any snow to ride my snowmobile around in and wear my new Divas SnowGear. This stress and craziness presented itself in the way of a lovely cold sore on my lip – happens every year and I’m always surprised and horrified. I need a change.

I used to be a dedicated reader of James Clear, but somewhere along the line in the last four years I’ve slacked on reading his email newsletter… in fact, I still have 84 unread emails in my “James Clear” folder from 2015 and thats before I unsubscribed in April due to my slacking on reading them. Yet my inbox is full of random sale emails and crazy nonsense. I’m going to try and reverse that – see below.

One awesome thing James does is he gives an Annual Review at the end of each year with three simple questions… not resolutions… questions and their answers. He says in his post “Each year, I conduct my Annual Review and share it publicly. I do this because I find it helpful to review the successes and failures of the previous 12 months, but also because I think it is important to hold myself publicly accountable.” I think holding yourself accountable – especially when you share that accountability with others – is particularly helpful in reaching your goals… and it is how I lost 50lbs over the course of two years.

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute 45% of people usually make resolutions and 17% infrequently make resolutions… only 46% of resolutions made make it past 6 months and only 8% of people that make resolutions actually succeed by the end of the year.

So instead of making resolutions… I’m going to do my own version of a James Clear Annual Review with three things in each category.

Here is my 2015 Annual Review:

1. What went well this year?
2. What didn’t go so well this year?
3. What am I working toward?

What went well?

  • I ran my first half marathon. On May 2, 2015 I ran my first half marathon in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It was the Wisconsin Half Marathon – Wisconsin’s cheesiest marathon! I came in at 2:31:44 and ran for most of the race. At about mile 9 I got pretty wiped out and had to run walk quite a bit, but I got a second wind around mile 11 and ran pretty much the rest of the race. When I crossed the finish line I wasn’t sure whether to cry or to sing at the top of my lungs.
  • Divas SnowGear picked me as a brand ambassador. I was also chosen as a FitApproach Sweat Pink ambassador and a NUUN Hydration ambassador. I feel blessed to be given all three opportunities and be a part of something bigger spreading the word about women in snowmobiling, fitness and being your best you.
  • I bought my first big girl car. Buying your first car can be pretty nerve-wracking. I went through the process, set a budget, looked up insurance, checked out reviews on vehicles I was interested in, gathered a list of cars I wanted to look at and ended up with the first car I looked at. It’s a 2011 Chevy Equinox LTZ – her name is Snowflake because she’s white – and I love her! It didn’t have a sunroof like I wanted but with the low miles and great condition (thanks to the little old lady that drove it really nicely) I couldn’t ask for anything more.

What didn’t go so well?

  • I gained back a little bit of the weight I worked off. My eating habits changed, I wasn’t as good about watching what I ate and I started justifying replacing the calories that I burnt off while running. When I stopped running as much that justification bit me in the butt. At the end of my half marathon training I was at 192lbs and I felt great. I gained back about 10lbs even though I stayed active 5 days out of the week. My eating habits were totally the cause and my brain needs a major reset.
  • I didn’t get promoted at work like I had hoped. Long story short, it was a big disappointment after three years but I’m happy that I have a job in my field that pays well and has good benefits… bonus that I highly enjoy the people I work closely with. I’m going to keep working as hard as I can toward my personal goals.
  • My running plans after my half marathon didn’t pan out. When you train for a half marathon you immediately have all these ideas of grandeur: I’m going to keep running halfs, I’m going to run a full, I’m going to make sure I continue my training so next time I want to run a long race I don’t have to stress about training as hard. I didn’t do any of that. After a short hiatus I decided to sign up for a 15k and I dreaded training for it until the very end. After the 15k I wanted to keep my training up so I could run a half in the spring, didn’t do that either… so now I’m back at square one.

What am I working toward in 2016?

  • My goal of being down to 180lbs and being healthy. Don’t focus so much on running and cardio all the time and do some real work instead. While I’d like to run another half marathon in 2016… I need to use HIIT training, running and eating right to focus on my bigger health goals and use those goals as a springboard to running another half. On the same line, use how my clothes fit to judge my progress, not the scale. I’m a naturally more muscular person, I’m never going to be itty bitty and I gain muscle pretty easily which can be pretty discouraging when it comes to the scale.
  • Be better with money. Pay down debt, budget better, save more. Use Quicken to organize and facilitate all these things and be better about saving receipts and putting them in Quicken as soon as I make a purchase – after all, that’s what the mobile app is for!
  • Get more organized. Purge things I don’t need, get rid of old papers and clutter. Decide whether I really need to keep magazine clippings, paperwork, etc. Have a better filing system than just throwing things in a file box.
  • Do something meaningful. I’m motivated to make a difference in the lives of others. I joined Beachbody for a whopping three weeks as a coach, thinking it was going to make huge ripples in people’s lives. Wrong. To be a successful coach you have to sell product. You can help people with free challenge groups until you’re blue in the face, but ultimately if you’re not selling them product, you’re not making money… you’re spending money on your coach fees, Shakeology subscriptions and other random crap. I don’t want to sell people things I want to help them lose weight and get fit by doing exactly what I did… sell them on what works – making lifestyle changes, working hard and watching what you eat. I want to motivate them to do something good for themselves and set an example to others.
  • Stop slacking on stuff until the last minute. I’ve been guilty of this since forever… college, high school and now my adult life. I think it’s time for a change. Time for less stress and time to slow down and smell the flowers. Sometimes I feel so busy all the time that when I have nothing to do on the weekends I find things to do to make myself busy and I immediately regret it. I should be doing things that NEED to get done or relaxing instead of filling my time with things that don’t really need to get done.

What is your motivation for 2016? What does your annual review look like?

Running On Snowflakes - With Love and Snowflakes

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