2013: No pressure, just hope


 At the start of every new year, we all hope to make our lives better, to change things up, to have new experiences and see change within ourselves. Typical resolutions are to lose weight and shape up, save money and cut down on alcohol, chocolate, junk food, and anything else we find ‘sinful’. The running blogosphere is full of people resolving to get in even better shape, to tick many things of their bucket lists, to run 2013 miles in 2013 (that’s 5.5 miles a day), and to get new PR’s, but very few talk about more emotional or mental resolutions, the ones that make us feel better, (or make me feel better at least). However we choose to resolve is up to us, but I think what’s important is that we resolve to do something meaningful that will help make our lives better rather than put added pressure (and stress) on ourselves, thus creating disappointment when the resolution attempt was unsuccessful. I don’t know about everyone else, but I know this would definitely happen to some I know: Perfectionist Danielle. She would set herself some resolutions that she felt she should do, even though her heart wasn’t in it, and she wouldn’t be a very nice person to be around when this would ultimately lead to stress, pressure and disappointment. I have things in life I want to achieve, I want to do and I want to experience, but when that happens is totally up to me, my life at the time, my funds, and other contributing factors. I know if I were to set myself a list of straight forward resolutions, I probably wouldn’t get that far with them before I gave up, and the only reason I’d probably be doing it is for the blog, and to live life by the blog isn’t everything.

This year, my main focus is to find ways to take self-induced pressure off myself and to live in the moment. As mentioned above, I am a HUGE perfectionist, and a planner, and I get stressed when things don’t go according to plan, when things don’t happen in the sequence I feel they should, and basically, when people can’t read my mind. I don’t like not being in control, and sometimes, I don’t like surprises. I don’t like this. Interesting enough though, I’m quite level-headed at work, it’s only in my personal life I feel like this. I’ve been reading Christine and Lindsay’s blogs lately, and while they do speak about the focus of their blogs (surfing, working out/nutrition), there’s also much emphasis on nurturing the soul and taking care of yourself emotionally, which is totally ringing true with me right now.

Before I present you my list, can I just speak a bit about goal-setting in general? (Yes). To set a goal is a great thing, and to achieve one is even better, but sometimes I feel we set goals without thinking them through. We want to accomplish something, but we don’t actually know how we’re going to get there. When setting goals, we really should set one big one, with a few small ones to lead us to that big one, and to continually help us feel successful. Then reward that success with a delicious treat! Or is that just me?

In keeping with the soul-nurturing trend and small goals to big goals, here are my taking-care-of-Danielle goals for 2013. I’ve worded them as hope’s because I intend to continually work on these goals all year long, and in a year’s time, I hope to see some positive change.

Hope #1: Learn to be in the moment
How to get there:
1. Do activities that require my thinking to be here and now, like yoga and surfing. Both require your mind to be fully tuned in to the activity; letting your mind wander affects your practice.
2. Attend yoga classes every Monday night at the new fitness facility in Laurencekirk, with my husband in tow.
3. Once the warmer weather is here, get out on my stand-up and paddleboard as much as I can. This totally calmed my mind this summer in Tiree, and I just felt so relaxed afterward. The surfing bit will help ease my need to control things too: you can only surf when you’ve got good conditions, and who controls the good conditions? Mother Nature! I also won’t be a surf widow anymore, where my husband leaves me to my own devices while he catches some epic waves.

Not the most flattering of photos, but that’s me with my board

Hope #2: Reduce the pressure
How to get there:
1. When it comes to the blog, write about that topic immediately rather than procrastinating like crazy, yet continually pressurising myself to get it done.
2. Do a purge of all the posts accumulating in my draft box of my blog. This will be happening over the next few weeks.
3. Focusing on one task at a time because although multi-tasking is great, sometimes it’s a bitch.

4. Creating smaller, mental to-do lists and only allowing myself to move on to the next once an item has been crossed off.
5. Only allowing so much on my mental plate so rather than overloading it. Yes, it’s great to get that plate cleaned off, but at what cost? Is it worth it if I’m exhausted at the end of it?

Hope #3: Take care of my body
How to get there:
1. Holidays do not mean drink all the Pepsi you want (which is two cans a day). I can limit myself during my regular work routine, and need to transfer this to my holiday non-routine.
2. Do my physio exercises EVERYDAY, and not just on the days I run.
3. On days I run, after my cool down stretches, do 5 minutes of my daily ab app. It burns!
4. Attend the Monday night yoga sessions.

Hope #4: Try a tri 
How to get there:
1. Email my husband’s cousin’s wife Kirsty about that sprint triathlon she’s keen for me to do with her.
2. Get to the pool, either on the weekend or substitute a running night for a pool night. It is still cardio after all.
3. Look up the triathlon online and find a training programme.
4. Start on the road bike.
I won’t get started on this one until the spring. I’m still hesitant about it, and I think I’ll get to goal #3 before I make my final decision. I like my down time, what can I say!

Please note there is no mention of a half marathon any where; that aspiration was definitely just for the blog.

And, to keep me in line when I need it? My tattoo of course.

What are your hopes for 2013? 
How are you going to take that pressure off?
Next up: And so begins the purge of my draft posts waiting to be published.
Back to work tomorrow. I should actually be in bed by now. Good night!
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12 thoughts on “2013: No pressure, just hope

  1. I love this post Danielle. I love your approach and your perspective and it so rings true to me, especially #s 1-3. Can I just steal those from you?? And thank you for the kind words.

  2. Today DID hurt! I've had a migraine since we left school, and I've just finished dinner and am hoping it goes away so I can make it to that yoga class!

    Hope your first day back was good 🙂

  3. These are some very awesome aspirations for the year! It is hard to relax and reduce pressure (and I always feel guilty for not being productive), but I think you have some solid activities that will help you with both of those things that don't involve just vegging out in front of the TV! And good for you for not committing to a half marathon.

    I've also tried to veer away from actual goals and focus more on experiences.

  4. Thanks! I find we are so accustomed to feeling guilty for not getting a million things done, but how much of those things do we actually enjoy? What should bring us happiness sometimes just leads to stress, anger, frustration or exhaustion. Not fun.

    Good luck with your experiences!

  5. Yay! I'm glad I got to see a pic of the tattoo – love it! I haven't been so great (or so bad) with my 2013 goals. They are always a work in progress. Meditation has been a big help in teaching me to be present in the moment. And at the same time, sometimes it is incredibly hard to just sit down, be quiet, and stop thinking so much. I've been trying to limit my computer and cell phone usage as well and that has helped me to stay focused. Oh the journey of life!

  6. No kidding! It seems many of us across the blogosphere are increasingly trying to turn off the technology, and opting to do rather than write about.

    Goals are always a work in progress, and we should be setting ourselves small goals to continue that progress. Good luck with yours!

  7. Pingback: 2013: The Year that Was | I Eat Therefore I Run

  8. Pingback: {Race recap} Grantown Try Tri | Eat Primal, Run Hard

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