13th Annual Groundhog Resolutions Day!

It’s that time of year again! This is my 13th attempt at creating life-long habits for myself for the whole year. I realize that after the end-of-year holidays I am not mentally or physically capable of sticking with resolutions for the upcoming new year. No new year day resolutions for me. I need a break so I will take off November through January and enjoy.

My resolutions, goals, best intentions, and life-changing habits are listed below. I will check in every month and then review my progress next on March 3 (3/3). After that will be 4/4, 5/5 and so on. Here we go!

Physical

The immediate goal is to drop 25 pounds quick. Last year I had a brief flirtation with the keto diet and was pleased with the results. But this was costly during a pandemic due to meat processing factories shutting down. I’m leaning toward this again and again, only for the quick results and then maybe switch it up to a low carb, more protein diet.

In addition to being more deliberate with my nutrition (I’m no longer calling it a diet) I will combine this with training (no longer calling it “working out”.) The phrase “Eat clean, train mean, get lean” comes to mind. I’ve registered in two obstacle course races this year. The Rugged Maniac course is in June followed by my third Tough Mudder course which is in November.

I’ve been on a 2 month perfect streak with my daily fitness goals using my Apple Watch. Combined with the Apple Fitness service, I think I’ll have my indoor cardio training set. Rounding out the training-from-home goals will be free weights and resistance bands with yoga. I’m eager to get back into the gym for some strength training and considering the risks/benefits thanks to the pandemic.

Throw in some fun activities like hiking, trail running, photo walks, geocaching and disc golf, I’d say this is going to be a great year.

Creative

Music

My fat fingers plucking tiny plastic strings on the ukulele at awkward angles? Stay tuned.

Photography

Sorting and organizing thirty years worth of photography has been a major pain in the ass, but worth it and about 95% complete.

I’ve been enjoying film photography lately and probably need to set up it’s own budget because film and development is a costly but rewarding endeavor to me. In addition, I want to finally frame some prints and be surrounded by my images. A few photo books will be on order too.

Writing

More short stories, micro fiction, One hundred word stories.

Work on that novel. Its been ten plus years and I still can’t get all of this out of my head.

Journaling my thoughts and experiences in addition with collages and white-out poetry.

Finally

Maybe I’ll throw in more fun stuff I’ve been thinking about like short podcasts, and exploring ham radio. Just because.

Knowing myself all too well, I could end up adding or subtracting this or that. Either way, I’ll check back in here on 3/3 for the first review of how I do!

62*

I just wrapped up another month of closing the Move, Exercise and Stand goals. Perfect score since December 1st and I am motivated to do the same for February.

Why the asterisk in the post title? Well, Apple thinks I stood only 11 hrs that day instead of the targeted 12. #fakenews

3/3 Check In

Last month on 2/2 I began my year long journey to create life long habits for myself and throw in some fun intentions as well. The plan is to check in every month to monitor my progress.

Nutrition & Training

Still no concentrated effort to change my diet and this breaks my heart (literally?). I am, however, seeing the scale go towards the right direction. I’ve lost five pounds these past four weeks. Thirty-five pounds more to go.

Walking and yoga have been my focus when it comes to training my body. How much better would it be if I added gym time? Coming soon, cycling, thanks to a recently acquired bicycle.

Yoga & Meditation

Hard to believe but I am actually looking forward to practicing both of these. The discipline to being consistent is still elusive but the desire is still there.
Smile. Breathe. Focus.

Photography & Writing

Slow progress in organizing the decades worth of photos in the archives. The Vault is setup and the images now need to be culled. After that, I can begin the process of further organizing and printing.

On writing, the saying goes: if you want to be a writer, you have to be a reader. So let’s chalk this past up to a lot of reading and zero writing.

4/4

This is a year long journey and I feel like I am off to a slow start. When I check in next month I want to detail better results.

11 Month Journey

It’s that time of year again! The 12th annual intent at creating life-long habits for myself (formerly known as Ground Hog Resolution Day). I’ve discovered that because of the after the end-of-year holidays I am not mentally or physically capable of sticking with resolutions for the upcoming new year. (Truth be told, I was failing at this for the rest of the year too.) The idea was to take January as a break so I could reflect and plan. And I have given a lot of consideration to dropping the Groundhog Resolutions altogether to come up with a more do-able plan.

I’ll be taking this year-long trek up until December 12th (12/12) and will stop and reflect on my progress each month until then. These will be known as monthly checkpoints.

On 2/2 I will start at the trailhead and will check-in on March 3rd (3/3) next. After that will be 4/4, 5/5 etc.

Since this will be a long trail of betterment I need to pack light. The previous years have been weighed down and overburdened with too many goals and habits and then failing at most of them. Time to lighten the load and focus on the essentials. I’ll go into details in the next few days.

Checklist

Nutrition & Training

This is priority one. I am at my heaviest and it shows. I feel it daily and I don’t like it. This means I have to focus on my nutrition first. Going out daily for lunch and then sitting at my desk during the work week is hurting me. I’ll need a lot of help with this one. There are too many temptations out there for me. But I want and need to eat cleaner.

Next up is training. There are a lot of activities I am interested in to help my goal of dropping those forty pounds. Foremost would be strength training to help burn off some fat and regain some muscle definition.

Yoga & Meditation

I have participated in a few group yoga practices and it was lacking. I find yoga to be a personal endeavor as I try to relax and concentrate on what I am doing. A guru just gets in the way instead of guiding. I’ve subscribed to a fitness app that provides guidance and can be silenced as I work out.
On meditation, I have realized it can be done anywhere at anytime there is even a free minute. This makes me happy and gives me zero excuses to not focus and relax.

Photography & Writing

Here we go again. The annual intention to enjoy my hobbies properly. Regarding my two decades worth of unorganized images: progress. I will get the archives organized this year. Only then can I advance in what I really want to do with them. I want to make memories by developing physical prints, books and even zines. I’ve also switched up my genres to focus on landscape and urban photography. A lot to learn here this year.

Regarding my writing? It seems I enjoy writing about my intentions rather than just writing the damn things themselves. No mas. I am hoping with a clear mind and a healing body this year will assist in putting words down.

Ready…Set…Go.

This year I am not adding or subtracting to these intentions. I am taking all of these on this year long journey and I am not leaving them behind.
I’m starting at the trail head on February 2nd and not stopping until December 12 with these goals accomplished.

Routine Maintenance

Let’s face it; I will never run a marathon or a triathlon. I will never climb a rock face any higher than 100’ again. I am not an extreme athlete and have no desire to be one. Once my child was born it stopped being about me and the risks I used to take (I still take risks but they’re more calculated now). None of this matters to me now.

I don’t consume energy/sport drinks and waste my days watching the XTREME SPORTZ channel on YouTube all day. I’m just Chris. Currently a mild-mannered, urban city-dweller and sedentary desk worker who is looking to improve his quality of life. Rarely do we see stories about Chris. “Chris is in his late forties, doesn’t wear the latest workout fashion but wears what is comfortable and has no idea what his personal best is.” There are a lot of Chris’s out there. In fact, I see them walking around the neighborhood in cold weather.

This doesn’t scream “active lifestyle.” It doesn’t inspire adventure or extreme risk. But what it should do is encourage me to move. To squeeze into my workout clothes and to get my lazy ass into the wilds, urban or actual. I’m working out a couple of times a week but I am setting no records so we’ll call it bare minimal maintenance. As I age I fall out of shape quickly and bad habits become too comfortable and easy.

So there are days I manage a thirty minute walk to work or a fifteen minute walk to the fast food place during the lunch hour. Sometimes I’ll walk around the indoor track at work. I wonder if I can add another walk before dinner time. I’m sure I could do the very least of this routine maintenance.

Walk It Out

Simply walk. The earth is a big place and there is plenty of walking to be done. I belong here. It is who I am. There are many different ways I try to incorporate walking.

I am walking to work more frequently. I would walk up and down the stairs but there is blocked access to most floors. So, I walk around my floor; a lot. I walk to the cubicles, to the beverage stations. Lately I’ve been walking around inside the skywalks to the adjacent buildings.

Mindful walking happens any time and any place I need to think, work out issues or meditate.

Walking with a companion. Talking, sharing, laughing.

Photo walking is huge for me. Combing two passions is to be taken advantage of.

Day hiking takes preparation and is a challenge but worth it.

Extended hiking could include overnight stay in the wild and appreciating the exhaustion of a great day. This also includes a bonus walk by returning.