Hello, 2013! I've discovered through this blog (really, an online diary as readers of this blog are few and far in between) that sharing bits and pieces of my life makes me more accountable, and helps me understand me better. So, I'll share my thoughts on how I would like to improve myseft throughout the next 12 months.
One - Let my loved ones know that I love them through my words and actions.
Maybe this is easy for some people, but my introverted personality has caused less joy than I care for over the years. I listed this as number one for good reason. It's important to me.
Two - Don't take things personally.
I am my biggest critic. So, when I get negative feedback from the outside, it gets amplified on the inside. I have to stop that. I'm not sure how successful I'll be, but I do have the beginnings of a plan. I will avoid known sources of negativity. For example, I will no longer visit and comment on blogs that I know which have opinions opposite of mine. It's a waste of time, every time. If the source of negativity is unavoidable, then I will pause and take a few moments to reflect on my strengths and the flaws of the outside source.
Three - Procrastinate less.
I'm really not sure about this one. Sometimes, a little procrastination is good. I can't think of any examples right now. It's a gut feel. Having said that, I do get a good feeling of accomplishment when I complete tasks, so it seems like a good thing to stay on task.
Four - Be more social.
This one is a minor reflection of number one, my introverted personality. It appears to be an accepted belief that friendships make life better. I've had lots of friendships over my life, but most of those relationships have a lifespan of 1-2 years. I don't have anything against people, I'm just more comfortable doing my own thing. So, I probably don't do a good job nourishing those relationships. And sometimes, I can be an a-hole. I realize this. We'll see.
Five - Eat better.
This one was a big improvment in 2012, but I want to stay on a forward path. I managed to lower my total blood cholesterol from about 230 mg/dL to about 160 mg/dL, and I credit this change to my diet change. I reduced if not eliminated sources of meat and dairy. I increased my intake of fruits and vegetables. It's been a transition and I am getting to the point where I consider myself a vegan. There were other factor improvements also. I dropped another 15 pounds on top of 2011 weight loss. My blood pressure decreased to below normal, usually in the 110s over 70s. 2013 goals include total cholesterol below 150 and LDL below 100. I would also like to lose another 5-10 pounds and see my diastolic blood pressure consistently in the 60s.
Six - Exercise better.
For me this means continuing to run without injury. I came back from injury in the middle of 2012, finally recovering from an 18 month abdominal pull. I have to run. It's my outlet. It's my meditation. It allows my mind to settle. I credit most of my health improvements to eating better, not running, but I will say that my resting pulse is decreasing probably due to consistent movement. I'm currently in the low to mid 50s. I'd like to see it get below 50 bpm.
Seven - Sleep better.
So far, I really have this one screwed up in 2013. Being on the holiday for the past week has been great. I've been super lazy, but i'm sleeping in so much that I'm having trouble going to sleep at night. Immediate correction is needed. Eight hours per night minimum is the goal. But then again, given my current restless state, perhaps 10 hours maximum is also appropriate.
Eight - Save more money
This one gets listed last because it's the hardest one to change. There are so many things to spend money on, things that seem pretty essential. Far and away, my biggest monthly expense is feeding a family of 5. I once read in a Ramsey book that food should be 5-10% of your monthly income. I don't know how he arrived at his figure, but I'm double to triple that number. Second is putting a roof over my families' head. Then there are things that are not essential, but nearly so, like braces and allergy shots. Anyhow, if I can get a COLA this year, part of it will pad my 401K.