Last year for News Years I gave up coffee. But I feel like I might have been cheating a little because it actually started back in October 2015. I decided to give up coffee for the 2 weeks leading up to the Columbus Marathon. The struggle was really in 2015, and I simply kept the habit through 2016. I’ll admit that I did slip up and drink coffee a few times in 2016, however, in total I drank less coffee in 2016 than I used to drink in a single day. I’d call that a successful year. My body thanks me for no more caffeine jitters and migraines that coffee would occasionally trigger for me.
I don’t think that coffee is BAD. But I also think you should listen to the signals your body is sending you. After 2 weeks without coffee, my body began to normalize and I stopped craving it. I found myself relying on a stable sleep schedule rather than trying to play catch up with caffeine.
Last year was too easy. I hit my goal of seriously cutting back on my caffeine consumption and with it found a new appreciation for my sleep schedule. Now I’m setting the mark significantly higher, with the knowledge that I might not succeed at them all.
This year my goals will include:
1. Drinking more water – I used to be on top of my water consumption when I lived in Arizona. Probably because there are serious consequences when you don’t! Especially for runners! I moved to Ohio and found myself letting it slip because I’m not in fear of passing out on the side of an empty street from dehydration during a run.
2. Drink less alcohol – It recently hit me that I’ve been doing more casual drinking in social settings. Not that this is a terrible thing, but the frequency is hurting my wallet and potentially also my training schedule. I’d like to switch out the beer for a water more often. (Hint!: This relates to my goal of drinking more water)
3. Read more – I used to read at least a book a month during my Master’s program. Then I entered the real world and “got busy.” Or, I no longer had projects and reports that I wanted to avoid starting. Something like that.
4. Complete my first 100 – Last year I DNF’ed at Burning River 100, which was my first 100 attempt. Race day I made all the rookie mistakes in the book. Lesson learned. The good news is that my training went well, and I expect to make minor improvements to my training this time around as well. Look out 2017!
5. Exercise everyday – You’re sick? That sucks. You had a long day of travel? Ok. Well it looks like you’re about to go lay in bed and watch TV or browse the internet. You are capable of exercising for 20 minutes no matter the excuse.
6. Run to work – I am moving jobs and my new building has a gym. I also got a new place within running distance of work. When I’m not traveling I’d like to run to work. It might take a while to work out the finer details. (Hint!: This should also help with #5! You’ll have to spend time commuting each day anyways. Might as well get two things done at once.)
7. Refine my budget – I entered the real work with a pretty rough outline for my budget. I did a good job and sticking to my budget and saving enough to pay off all of my student loans before they even begin to collect interest. Now that I have several months of data I can easily refine my budget to cut out excess spending to allow for more saving or spending in other areas.
8. Get rid of more junk – By 2017 I will have moved 8 times in the past 4.5 years. It’s hard to be a hoarder with that type of lifestyle. But it also doesn’t excuse me from having junk. I got rid of 4.5 years worth of race bibs a few months back. I have a bunch of other “sentimental items” that need to go. I’d like to cut back to owning only items that serve a specific purpose. No, my wine flask made from a cow hoof purchased in Uruguay does not count as an item that serves a specific purpose. It has never accomplished anything greater than miraculously making it through international customs.
9. Give up dairy – For a few years now I’ve struggled with some embarrassing stomach pains and digestion issues. A few months ago I found out the root cause. I am lactose intolerant. It is not uncommon for this to appear later in life, so I guess it was just my time. Although I used to always say I could never go vegan because I loved cheese, I am managing fine without it. It’s a been steep learning curve, (Who knew lactose was in salad dressings!) but I’m making major strides.
Anything I missed? What are your resolutions for 2017?