Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Kelly's 8 New Year's Resolutions

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.


  1. I share a lot of those goals.

    I'm not sure how much you're running these days. But have you been following the interwebz meme that too much running is detrimental to health and longevity? A certain cardiologist is promoting that idea. Offhand, I don't remember how much is too much. Over 20 miles a week?

    Over the last year, I've been very happy with less running and more resistance training.

    Hope 2013 is a great one for you!


  2. I recall reading where former marathoner Mark Sisson recommended to his personal training clients not to run more than 40 miles per week, or an equivalent time basis. I've also read Kurt Harris's blog on the dangers of long distance running. And then there's Jim Fixx, a dedicated long distance runner who died at 52, but had a family history of heart disease and was reported to eat a poor quality diet. Basically, I do what I believe works for me, as I think we all try to do. On average I run 30 miles per week. If I start to hurt, then I rest until I feel better. I don't follow a strict plan. I've done resistance training at various times in my life, but don't find it as rewarding for me as cardio. My last injury was from body resistance training a few years ago, a pulled ab muscle. I kept trying to go back to resistance training after a 3-4 month rest, but the ab kept bothering me so I have given it up for now.

  3. I also share a lot of these goals with you, particularly with procrastinating less; although I would like to bring home a point with your last goal: putting a roof over your family’s head -- though I mean this in a more literal sense rather than metaphorical, if I read your post right. Our roof’s been in a bad way for the longest time now, and it badly needs replacing. Kelly, if your roof ever needs to be replaced, try going for a metal roof. Would you believe that I’ve been saving almost 20% in energy costs since I got one?

  4. I’m with you on everything, Kelly. How’s it going by the way? How have you been with regards to saving up for a new roof? I know it can be quite expensive to have to repair your roof, even more so to have to spend for a replacement, but believe me, it is a worthy investment once you start to look back. If I may, I’d like to suggest that you go with a metal roof. Not only is it versatile in material and design, but also, depending on where you are, you can really rack up some mean energy savings!