Friday, January 01, 2016

Intentions 2016

I didn't set any intentions at the beginning of 2015, and I've felt vaguely unsettled by that all year. I don't do resolutions, in that those are so easy to break, but instead set intentions--things I can work on, goals that are achievable and realistic. So you won't see me vowing to lose ten pounds, or vowing to give anything up (chocolate is here to stay).

Without further ado, I present my 2016 Intentions!

1. Be KIND to my body.

I take very good care of my body--I run, I lift weights, and I even do fun workouts like hula hooping and ladder drills. I eat a lot of veggies, fruits, good fats, and lean proteins. I allow for indulgences like chocolate. I brush my teeth twice a day and floss every night.

But I am not kind to my body. I take a picture and then immediately zoom in on the "problem" spots. Is my tummy too flabby? Does my back really look like that?

I'm tired of that.

So for 2016, I intend to work on how I talk about my body. Instead of, "My tummy needs some work," I will celebrate the work my abs can do (they're actually pretty strong). Instead of worrying that I have "back fat," I will celebrate the rows and the push-ups I can do--where six, seven, years ago, I could not.

I will run, lift, and move with joy, because I love the feelings these activities give me. And I will work on being kind to my body. It is not the body of a model. It is not the body of a body builder. It is a strong, healthy, able body, and it is mine.

2. Expand my knowledge of fitness training.

I got the certification...and then I started a new job. I've continued learning a lot from my twice-weekly workouts with Matt, but what I need to start doing is applying it. There are only so many hours in any given day, and with a full-time job in a career I love, my own work outs, and other things in my life, I don't have time to really take on clients. But Matt had a fantastic idea--why not look into teaching group fitness classes to adults or kids? The more I think about it, the more I want to do it on a volunteer basis, maybe a couple times a month. Some sort of "Making Fitness Fun" type of class would be ideal.

3. Be better to the planet

Of course I'm pretty good about recycling and reusing, but this year, I want to work on making a better effort.

I recently realized there's a cardboard recycling drop-off at our local library, about a mile-and-a-half from my house. It's so easy that I really have no excuse not to recycle the endless Amazon boxes (we have an Amazon problem in this house) and other cardboard that comes through here. With that in mind, I'm going to set up a spot in the garage where I can accumulate all the boxes and other cardboard detritus (toilet paper tubes, cereal boxes, you name it) of our lives and make an effort to take it to the drop-off every week or two.

4. Investing

Well, the kind of investing I want to undertake is not all that risky, but it does mean giving up some of my income each month to my financial future.

While my career helps me save towards retirement (the California State Teachers Retirement System), I am at a point where I feel it's wise to add something to that, and I've been in the very early stages of investigating opening an IRA account.

Over the last few years, I've learned how to save money, how to live on a decent budget, and how to survive on a small income. New car and London trip aside (I could argue that both were necessary expenses--one for commuting purposes, one for, you know, living and enjoying my life), I don't make a lot of huge purchases. I make things last, from my phone to my laptop to my car (hey, Ro was 12 years old). I'm not a huge shopper, so while I'm just as susceptible to buying more than I intended at Target, I also know how to practice restraint.

So with all this new-found financial wisdom, I'm ready to put some of my "fun" money away each month to ensure that I can live comfortably in the future. I'm also toying with the idea of learning more about mutual funds and investing. Why not, right?

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