Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Intentions 2019

I haven't been great, these last two or three years, about setting intentions, but this year, I'm determined to get back to it.

The new year, of course, is merely a convenient time to make resolutions...which inevitably go by the wayside by February or March. I prefer setting intentions--tangible, reachable goals that I can continue working towards throughout the year.

2018 was a year on hold in some ways--I had two deaths (a work friend in February, and my dear mom in June), and while I did some great things, like going to Amsterdam and joining the kickboxing gym, I also stalled in some areas. Navigating through grief is like walking through a vat of molasses--progress is slow, and sometimes very, very frustrating. And I'll never entirely be "finished" with grieving for Mom. All I know is that it gets a little easier to function as time goes by.

At any rate, it seems like a good time to set some intentions for 2019, so...here goes.

1. Return to running, and complete a few 5K races.

Here's the thing about my running--it's harder to get out in my current neighborhood because traffic is heavier, I won't run alone when it's dark, etc. But those are excuses--I can certainly stay within my condo complex and still get a full mile run in, and I've even done that at 5:30 in the morning many times.

I don't plan to do anything much longer than 5Ks at this point; training for half marathons takes a lot of time, and with a full-time job, my kickboxing, and my other hobbies and needs, I don't want to devote hours and hours each week to running. It's also very hard on my back--when I did my previous half marathons, I spent most days limping around with mild sciatica, no matter how much I stretched and foam-rolled. Shorter distances are fine, however, and I enjoy running 5K races.

2. Body Stuff

In the last year or two, I've gained back some of the fat and lost some of the muscle mass. And I'm not going to lie, I don't love that.

Here's the deal: I'm not setting out to "lose weight." I don't know how much I weigh right now, and I don't particularly care. What I care about is that I've lost some of the strength I had a few years ago at my peak fitness level, and I want that back. So the goal is not to lose weight--the number on the scale is completely arbitrary and silly. I'm not even looking to get to a certain clothing size. Goodness knows that varies from one brand to the next. What I'm looking for is to rebuild the strength and muscle I had when I was at my best fitness level. That will involve burning fat off, because building muscle burns fat. I just want to return to the strength I had before Mom got sick, before I bought a home, etc. So my intention this year is to re-focus on weights a couple of days a week, in between kickboxing workouts.

3. Learn six (6) new piano pieces

I'm setting a goal to learn at least six new piano pieces this year. In 2018, my daily piano "practice" mostly consisted of just sitting down to play songs I already know. I want to expand my repertoire now, and tackle some harder pieces.

4. Read one hundred (100) books

I almost made it in 2018--I read 95. My reading slowed after Mom died, and I spent more time staring at the TV instead. I'm determined to make my goal this year, and will be tracking it on Goodreads, as usual.

As ever, I want to read fewer white male writers, and try to diversify my reading so I'm learning about other cultures.