Back in January, I decided to have a new goal every month. As I wrote then:
I was out on a run December 30th when I decided to take on the Dry January goal I had read about a couple days earlier. As I ran, I decided that I would keep this monthly theme throughout the year. Each month I will take on a new challenge. By focusing on one thing at a time, I think I will have a better chance at success. Also, there is a built in ending point so I think it will be easier to wrap my head around the commitment.I didn't have the whole year plotted out at that point, just the first three months really. The monthly resolutions came into focus as the year went on. Some were things I wanted to improve, some were suggestions from friends, and others were challenges I wasn't sure I could complete. There is a list in the sidebar, but for review the resolutions were.
Jan - no alcohol
Feb - workout every day
Mar - write an hour every day
Apr - no fast food
May - no coffee
June - no tv
July - better food choices/lose 10#
Aug - meat only once a week
Sep - 30 minutes or less online
Oct - become a morning person
Nov - NaNoWriMo
Each month was challenging in its own way, but I was surprised to find that many were easier than I had built them up to be. Giving up coffee was not enjoyable, but there was little withdrawal and I wasn't a zombie without it. No tv and no fast food were more logistical challenges than anything else.
Eating meat only once a week was not a real sacrifice, and July's goal of making better food choices was a nice lead in. I did not lose the ten pounds that month, but I was ten pounds lighter when showed up at the marathon start line a couple months later.
The more difficult challenges were toward the end of the year. Spending less than thirty minutes online wasn't exactly a struggle, but it was enlightening. I waste more time than I use when connected to the internet, and the thirty minute limit really made me focus. October's goal of becoming a morning person was probably the hardest on me. The act of rolling out of bed by 5:30 wasn't that difficult, but as the month wore on, the missing hours of sleep took their toll. November's goal was the one that was clearly not accomplished, but I am still happy with the effort and the discipline it took to get as far as I did.
Of course, I was hoping to have some of these thirty day challenges carry over. I drink a little less alcohol, I definitely watch less tv, I spend less time online, I am making better choices with food, and this morning I weighed in twelve pounds lighter than I was at this time last year.
Having this rotating goal set up was an interesting experience. I haven't decided if I will do the monthly goal thing next year, but I would highly recommend it if it interests you at all. By attacking things in bite sized chunks, they were easier to take them all on. I certainly wouldn't have written down twelve goals for the year on January 1st, but now I can look back on a nice list of accomplishments,
December's goal was sort of a secret. I wasn't sure if I was going to accomplish it, but it looks like I will just make it in under the wire. More on that in the next post.