Creating a Working Plan for Keeping My Resolutions

I wrote down a few of my resolutions for 2012 here a couple of days ago, and have been thinking about them ever since. The problem is not coming up with things I want to achieve – the problem has always been (as it is for may people, I’d assume) creating a workable plan to achieve those goals.

For instance, when it comes to learning to swim, I know that I’ve already taken 6 lessons, and that when I get paid next week I’ll call up the swim school and sign up for another round. Easy. I like going to lessons. It’s fun, feels like I’m getting somewhere, and it’s exercise that doesn’t feel so effortful when I’m actually in the pool. If I had my own pool I’d be in it every morning.

What about training to run and then actually signing up for 5K races? The first step will be to get back on a daily running schedule. I can easily do 2 miles, so I don’t want to start with a couch to 5K running program. Instead I’ll start with running 2 miles a day until I get bored, then move it up slightly from there. That should have me running 3 miles by late January, meaning that my first 5K can be in February. But are there any races around here in February? According to RunningintheUSA.com, there’s a 5K race nearby on January 29th. So the first stop on my route is a race in late January, after which I should set up a goal race to accomplish once a month. If I get bored of running 5K races, I’ll let myself revisit the idea of running longer distances in early summer. I’m pretty sure I won’t care to once it starts getting horribly hot around here, but who knows?

When it comes to budgeting food expenditures, I’m setting myself at $80 every two weeks. This means no more ordering take out or going to restaurants, no more buying expensive snacks, and it will also entail cutting back on social eating and drinking. I’ll also be cooking cheap foods in bulk (beans and grains) and putting them up in the freezer, including making massive batches of oatmeal, vegan burritos, soups and stews, rice, and other things that cost little and stretch far. It’ll be good training for later in life when I have a family to feed. The massive plus side to this is that there’s no way not to lose weight on this plan, which is not a goal for the New Year, but something I’ve been working on, anyway.

Putting more money in my savings account will also be a positive effect of spending less money on groceries. I also spent a few hours on my budget and realized that if I quit the gym, cancel my membership at Planet Beach (I was only going for the sauna – I don’t believe in tanning, I rather like being pale), get on a much cheaper prescription medicine, and put all of my spare money into savings and my credit cards, that I can have all of my credit cards paid off by June and my savings account will be in OK shape by the time I go to Croatia to my friend’s wedding around the same time. I’m hoping that this will mean a vacation that doesn’t incur credit card debt – my first.

Basically everything on my list boils down to two major goals: becoming physically and financially fit. The reason I want to be both of these things is because I want to be a better, trimmer person, in every way. I don’t want to be a disastrous slob. I want to be someone that people admire and desire to emulate in some way (not like a superstar, but rather a good example of a person in decent working order). I want to fall into bed at night feeling proud of my accomplishments, not stressed that I’m losing out in every arena. It’s going to be very tough to accomplish these goals, even though they’re simple, and the only way I can fight through this and start being happy with myself is to make my last resolution my greatest priority: Create a schedule and stick to it!

So can I?

Right now the two things that really screw me up are loving to sleep and loving to eat. I sleep too late. I eat when I’m bored, happy, sad, excited, working, lazing about, you name it. If I can make myself wake up and work, and try replacing my need to eat with a need to achieve goals, I can accomplish so very much. I’m still not completely sure how to do this, but I’m going to spend the rest of today figuring it out. Obviously I haven’t done it yet, despite this ridiculously rambling post. Maybe a calendar might help? Excel is good for budgeting, but not good for me when it comes to budgeting time. Which reminds me, I’m going to need a few more alarm clocks…

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