Open Thread: What’s Your Resolution?

New Year Sunrise, originally uploaded to Flickr by joka2000New Year’s Resolutions:  love ’em or hate ’em, everyone kind of makes them.  You take stock of your life, you resolve to “be better”… what are your goals for 2012?  What do you want to do better? (Pictured: New Year Sunrise, originally uploaded to Flickr by joka2000.)

For me the answer to that question is to “get fit.”  I’m unfortunately at my highest weight ever after the baby, but what really bugs me is how much my muscles deteriorated — due to some pregnancy aches and pains I couldn’t do much more than swim during the last 5 weeks of the pregnancy for cardio, and you’re not supposed to exercise before 6 weeks postpartum… which took me more like 12 weeks because every time I started to exercise I felt so off I thought, “this can’t possibly be right,” and would make another doctor’s appointment.  Having now been cleared by my OB/gyn, my primary, and my podiatrist, I have no excuses left… so I’ve started Couch to 5K again.

And oh: it hurts.  But I love, love, love this program.  The first time I did it, in 2006 or so, I was pretty fit from DVD workouts, but was under the impression that I could never, ever run because my lungs just couldn’t handle it.  Someone suggested Couch to 5K, and I remember eyeing the program warily — it’s basically just a 9-week schedule that tells you how much to run and how much to walk during 3 30-minute workouts a week.  There is no way it could possibly be true, I thought.  I will never run.  But I did it — my lungs burned, and I remember coughing for hours after some of my runs, but I finally figured out how to breathe and run at the same time.

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This time around, my lungs are fine — but it’s my leg muscles that are killing me.  After the first very mild workout, I tried to do 15 minutes of leg exercises in addition to the run — and the next day I could barely walk.  Ouch.  OK, lesson learned.  But still: starting the program as someone who literally has been on the couch for far too long, I’m here to tell you: everything that the Plan asks of me, I’ve been able to do.  I love the challenge of each workout… and I love the built-in impetus with the program, the mild fear that if I skip a few days or even a week that I’ll be losing ground and have to repeat a week or two.  I also love that it’s only 30 minutes — perfect for busy women with no time.

Readers, what are your resolutions? Has anyone else done Couch to 5K, or do you have any other fitness goals?

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  1. hellskitchen :

    I started the C25K but I often stayed at one level for several weeks instead of one week. I ended up getting to 3.5 K but gave up after that. I still haven’t figured out how to breathe and run but my biggest problem is that I get incredibly bored running on a treadmill and can’t get in the zone, no matter how hard I try. Someone suggested I should run outside but I am worried about how I am going to keep time and do the run/walk switches as directed by c25k. Any advice?

    • The “Get Running” App is great for C25K. I used it on my iphone and it was easy to navigate and still listen to music. Too bad an old injury sidelined me because I really liked the program and looked forward to my runs by the 5th week.

      Resolution this year is to be completely in the moment whenever possible (no checking work email while playing with my son, usually work can wait) and to be more protective of my time. If reading makes me happy, then I can’t complain I don’t have time to do it when I wasted an hour watching bad tv that I didn’t really even like.

      • I have also resolved to be more protective of my time. I’ve fallen into what I’ve decided is really just a bad habit of spending an inordinate amount of my personal time doing things that I feel obligated to do, but don’t really enjoy (like entertaining or going to cocktail parties when I don’t really feel like it, or making food for every single potluck event at my kids’ school), and not giving myself permission to do the things that recharge my batteries (like spending a whole Sunday morning reading the paper or talking on the phone with an old friend). This must change.

        • This x1000. I started this resolution a few months ago and vow to keep it going into the new year.

    • You can download free C25K podcasts from itunes that time the intervals for you. You have to listen to the guy’s music rather than your own, but it’s fine. I actually use it on the treadmill too, bc it allows me to just zone out or watch tv rather than worry about timing everything.

      • I downloaded a Couch to 5K app that lets you listen to your own music, and then it interrupts your music with a voice cue when it’s time to switch from running to walking (or vice versa). You can get a free trial version for the first few weeks of runs, and the full version is only 2 bucks or so.

        • I wear an old Timex that has a chronograph on it (you can set the timer running at 00:00:00) — and then when I see it hit 5 minutes I say, “ok now run until 8 minutes,” and then when it hits 8 minutes I say “now walk until 9:30″… really dumb but I can only keep the next number in my head at any given moment! :) When it gets tricky (week 4 onwards) I run with a little post-it that tells me how much to walk/jog.

        • I use Interval Trainer for iPhone for the same purpose. It lets you set up your warmup, intervals (run, walk) and cool down, and you can choose from an array of alarm tones to signal when it’s time to change. It plays in the background of whatever playlist you like.

          I also like RunCoach, a free app that lets you set a goal (say, a 5k race on a particular date) and gives you runs and cross-training advice to get you there. It can interface with your calendar so that a reminder of the day’s workout shows up at the time you specify.

        • Yes, this is the app I have used before, and it’s great! I am also re-starting Couch to 5K–with one of my goals being to do a 5K every month this year. Now, granted, I did one on Jan 1st but I WALKED 95% of it! (I figure that time will be easy to beat next time?)

          I’ve also decided I want to take at least one photo per day.

        • I’ve used this app too, and like it so much that I am going to use its sister app for Bridge to 10K. It worked really well for me and I liked being able to listen to my own music while having the prompts come through as well.

        • hellskitchen :

          thank you everyone! I have an iphone so downloading apps should be easy. I’ll try the Interval Trainer that Anonny suggests. N, is that the one you used as well? Or are there other c25k apps that let you listen to your playlist?

          • Looks like the one I have is called 5K runner — I see the 10k runner version that Nonny mentioned on there as well. Perhaps if I can resolve my knee issues I can try out the 10K program in the spring!

          • The one that I use is called “Ease Into 5K”, by Bluefin Apps, if that helps.

    • I used a cheap (< $15) sports watch. It had two countdown timers on it which ran consecutively. That is, I would set the first timer to 90 sec. and the second to 60 sec. and it would countdown 90 sec. and then 60 sec. continuously. I don't know the precise model I used, but I got it on Amazon and believe it was a Timex.

    • I get really bored running too and the two things that help me most (like 1000% percent improvement) are running outside and using a heart rate monitor (distracts me from noticing I feel like I’m dying I think).

    • Definitely use a Couch to 5k app if you have an iPhone or even an iPod touch. It tells you when to walk and to run, although you’ll only get speed, pace and distance if you use an iPhone.

      Alternatively/in addition to the app, get a running watch (I prefer the footpod versions over GPS so that I can use it on the treadmill as well) to time your intervals.

      I’d say take your time, even if it takes you longer to get to the next level. I went the other way and tried to finish faster by running 4x a week. Ended up with shin splints (now resolved). But sticking with it and eventually being able to finish a 5, 10, and later a 15k felt fantastic.

  2. One of my goals is to workout for 10000 minutes this year! Last year, my goal was 8000 and I got pretty close! I also want to graduate to a full push up and work on my upper body strength

    • Lawyer Bird :

      Try the Hundred Pushups program (google it). Same concept as couch to 5K but for pushups. It works!

    • Start doing pushups with your legs up, as in resting on a bench, step or similar. Start with the support around your knees and gradually over the weeks work out to support at ankles. Then drop to the floor level again. Do as many full pushups as you can and when you feel your form going do the rest of the set on your knees. Once you can do your full sets you can start looking at fancy versions (one handed etc). Id also keep one set of raised feet pressups. It works you in a slightly different way.

  3. If you are having issues breathing and painful legs with C25k, it is quite likely that you are running too fast. Run slower. No, slower than that. I was also one of those people who thought they would never be able to run. This year I did 4 half marathons.

    • This is great advice!! Running too fast is one of the biggest mistakes beginning runners make. You will get faster with practice, but in order to build your aerobic capacity, you keep it nice and slow. For a long time – like, months. It can be frustrating; I absolutely didn’t believe that running slower was the way to get faster, but for me it totally worked. I think in large part this was because it allowed me to keep running, without getting frustrated or, more importantly, injured.

    • I agree – running slower is the key. Also, joining a running group helps. I had never run more than 3 miles and 5 years ago was inspired to run a half marathon. I joined a running group, met some wonderful people who motivated me, understood all the running-lingo, and kept me from getting bored (plus if I couldn’t talk while I was running, I was going too fast (at least for me)). Running a 5k, half marathon, or even a full is exhilarating (and addicting), and I’m not sure I would have been able to do it without the group.

  4. I have successfully followed a C25K program and a C210K program. Whenever I couldn’t complete a workout (and had to walk when I was supposed to run), I would repeat the entire week. I never had to repeat a week twice. Often, if this isn’t working, it’s because you’re running too fast. And BTW, I never experienced “the zone” until I was running 6+ miles. It doesn’t get easier, really, but you can just go longer and for some crazy reason start to enjoy it. But I never enjoyed the first 3 or so miles. Never. Neither did my husband, back when he was a marathoner. So try to have reasonable expectations. You may have to run longer to get to the good stuff. If you do, it’s worth it.

    My resolution is to take better care of myself. I have extreme physical reactions to stress, even when I don’t really think that I’m all that stressed out. Currently that means not being able to wear antiperspirant (since starting a new job in early November) and heartburn. The only “fixes” to these symptoms have been antidepressants, which I am not interested in taking at this point in my life. I plan on making my preventative maintenance Dr’s appointments (including dentist – eek), get started on a skincare plan with my derm (including skin check), continuing to work out 3-4x a week (which I started 12/1), eating better and practicing the Navy Seals 4x4x4 breathing technique to manage “emotional excitement.”

  5. I just started the Couch to 5K too — usually I do spinning in the winter, but I thought I would try something different this year. I’m really enjoying the program so far, but my knee is not — after only two weeks of running I’m having some knee pain (not while running, but while climbing stairs, etc, later on in the day). Experienced Corporette runners, any thoughts? I bought a new pair of running shoes (the ones I was using were probably 10+ years old), but past that I’m not sure what to try. I’d like to keep running!

    • As said above, try running slower. Also, squats. Lots of squats. ;)

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I was a competitive runner in HS and started getting knee pain so bad I could barely walk. I apparently was running w/ one foot turned to the side too much causing me to gain too much muscle on one side of my knee. Having more muscle on one side of the knee than the other caused the knee cap to be pulled out of line. The solution was physical therapy to build muscle on the weak side and to work on running with proper form.

      Fast forward15 years or so and I started getting really bad ankle pain with Couch to 5k. I saw a fancy running shoe store fitter guy who watched me run and again noticed my foot turned too far to one side. He fitted me with running shoes that have a heavier weight on one side to keep my foot straight.

      There are names for both the foot thing and the knee thing but I can’t think of them. The foot one might be over pronation or something.

    • It may be that your IT bands are too tight. I get a lot of knee pain, but it actually stems from having tight IT bands! I’m a spinner also, so maybe you have a the same issue. I’d suggest you look up some stretches or try using a foam roller if you think that might be your issue.

      • (Started running at 11, still going strong 20 years later.)
        It’s good that you have new shoes, but they must also be the *correct* new shoes.
        Bring your new pair of running shoes to the closest specialty running store. The store must specialize in running shoes, meaning no general chain sports stores (Dicks, etc.). Fleet Feet and similar chain specialty running stores are okay, though, as long as their primary focus is on running shoes. The people who staff the specialty stores are runners themselves and can evaluate the shoes you bought. The shoes you bought might be completely inappropriate for you. The staff can evaluate your stride, gait, and other important things that are likely bothering your knee. They probably can help you figure out the reason for your pain or at least give you some ideas to try out.
        Never underestimate the knowledge and expertise of your locally-owned, running-specific store. Plus, they know about other beginning running groups in the area and we all know it’s more fun to run in a group than alone on a treadmill!

      • a suggestion for any new runners – go to your local running store and get your gait analyzed! making sure you are in the right kind of shoes is crucial! (i work at a running store, so yeah, i’m biased…) Running stores usually have a collection of all types of runners, from beginning to professional, working there, so you will find someone who has had your same injury or concern.

      • Hm, from a brief googling around that actually sounds quite plausible. Thanks! I’ll try some IT stretches and see if that helps. The person I saw at the running store initially suggested that it might be “runner’s knee” caused by weak thigh muscles, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the case — after years of cycling I have pretty monstrous thighs!

        • Do you get knee pain/tightness when you cycle, too? I have occasional IT band and knee issues (due to ACL surgery) and suggest that in addition to doing IT band stretches, warm up your legs before running/cycling with a quick set of walking bodyweight lunges. In general, I manage my knee and IT band by doing a pretty comprehensive set of weighted leg exercises every week or so (squats, lunges, calf raises, and the abductor and adductor machines, plus unweighted box jumps). However, doing the walking bodyweight lunges every time I go running has been so, so helpful for staving off IT band problems, especially when I’m pressed for time and don’t have the ability to do a full set of leg exercises that week.

          • I did have knee pain when I first started doing longer rides (oddly the other knee, though). When it was acting up I tried to be more careful about pedaling at a higher cadence and not just grinding up hills, and I haven’t had problems with it in years. I’m not sure if these are all IT band issues or not, but I figure it certainly can’t hurt to try some stretches and such. I’ll give the walking lunges a try as well (although I can imagine I’m going to look like a real goof at the gym!).

          • I also dealt with IT pain by cycling at a higher cadence, so you might be right. If you’re running at the gym, you can always just do regular lunges with handweights or whatever – the walking bodyweight lunge was just a suggestion for when you’re just looking for a quick warm-up before you run out the door. But I don’t think it’s goofy to do walking lunges at the gym at all.

          • I read this quickly and thought it said do you get IT band irritation during your cycle! No one ever believes me on this, but my IT band only bothers me when I’m on birth control. I never had IT band problems until i went on bc, and so far I’ve conducted two experiments by going off. It helps to strengthen your hip abductors, but I can only increase my distance pain free when I’m not on birth control. I can also significantly improve my times without extra training by going off bc.

            I’ve read a couple articles that say serious long distance runners (doesn’t describe me!) and college athletes should not be on bc because it affects your muscle composition and stuff.

    • I love Couch to 5K! I tried it over the summer and stalled out around week 6 – but I’m doing it again now, beginning at week 5. I started Bikram Yoga in mid-November and swear by it. It’s done wonders for my body and has really helped my back and joints. I was afraid my legs wouldn’t be able to handle starting the running program again after about 6 months off but there was absolutely no pain where there was a lot formerly. I credit that to the yoga. Bikram is very restorative. If you have the time to take a few classes, I suggest you try it out!

    • I second going to a running store to have your gait analyzed. If you’re in a city with a Fleet Feet chain, they have free weekly seminars on gait modification also.

      If your form is OK, you may have patellar tendonitis (aka jumper’s knee). A chopat strap might provide the support you need, and Advil and ice can help reduce inflammation. But be careful not to run when you are really hurting – you may end up doing more harm than good by increasing inflammation.

    • Thanks, all — I actually did buy the new shoes at a running store (the Running Room, I think?). They had me walk back and forth across the store a few times to check my gait, and apparently there was nothing too unusual there. I’m not sure what my running form looks like — my gym does offer video analysis, but I’d rather see whether or not I stick with running before shelling out a hundred bucks or so for video analysis.

    • Lawyer Bird :

      I’d suggest barefoot running or minimalist shoes. I don’t want to get in an ideological debate with other runners here, but basically the concept is that running shoes cause you to heel strike, which increases impact, which increases stress on the joints.

      Links for further info to follow in a reply to avoid moderation.

      Be aware that if you do make the switch you need to pay attention to your form. If you run in minimalist shoes with the same form you use wearing sneakers, you’ll hurt yourself. Also, there’s some adjustment required for minimalist shoes, because you’ll be using muscles that you aren’t used to using (it took me about a week, but I have heard that women who wear high heels regularly have a harder time adjusting).

      • Lawyer Bird :

        For further info, I suggest:

      • Lawyer Bird :


        • Not trying to start something, Lawyer Bird, as I myself do agree that there are benefits to the minimilist idea – but I want to piggyback off of what you said – barefoot/minimal running is a transition, and a change – it goes beyond just being aware of your running form, it really involves listining to your body and starting slow – like, 5 minutes at a time slow. It’s a giant change. Many people discuss how tribes in Mexico and our human predecessors used to run barefoot with no problem. True, but our culture and generation(s) were raised in shoes. I’m not saying don’t try minimalism, but I’m also saying, take it SLOW. There are options of shoes that are NOT as severe as say, the vibrams – some companies, such as Saucony, are offering 8 millimeter “drop” shoes rather than a traditional 12 mm drop. I only write because this is something i’m passionate about (running) and as an employee of a speciality running store, I see farrrr too many injuries from people who jumped in, “feet first” (haha i’m a loser) to minimalism.

          • Lawyer Bird :

            I completely agree. My physical therapist (for a shoulder injury not related to my running) told me she sees a lot of injuries from people wearing Vibrams. She was surprised that I like them so much, but she conceded that of course she only sees the people who have problems.

          • This. I attempted vibrams, but then realized that this was too much (too little?) too soon when my ankles started to hurt from impact. I didn’t manage to move to forefoot striking, even when I consciously tried to. Now I run in Nike frees and heel strike much less than in my super-cushioned Asics.

    • I used to have knee pain and shin splints when I ran. I heard something about barefoot running and looked it up. The form that you have when barefoot is the proper form — you land on the balls of your feet rather then the heal or whole foot. It absorbs the shock soooo much better! So I tried running barefoot and didn’t like it. I wasn’t about to run barefoot outside but couldn’t stand the treadmill. So I just put my shoes on and forced myself to run correctly – landing on the balls of my feet. It took a little while to get used to it. My ankle and calf muscles were sore at first. But soreness is better than pain! My knees and shins quit hurting!

      • guess Lawyer Bird and KC posted while I was typing! I agre that it is a transition. I would basically run (w/ new technique) a block, walk a block. Took a week or so to build up the new muscles. Definitely worth it!

        • I’ve been a competitive runner since I was about 12. Do half marathons all the time. Never had an injury until I switched to the vibrams. First I got a stress fracture in my foot and then I got a bone marrow bruise in my knee. I walked in them only for about 3 weeks then very slowly built up and had only made it to ten minutes of running when I was first sidelined. Most of the people working at my local running store three months later still are not even up to more than five minutes of running in them. Some people can adjust fast but if you select these shoes you must be very careful as you can really hurt yourself.

  6. Woman of Color :

    I am starting the Insanity program next Monday. I too am a new mom (“new” – baby is a little over a year), and

    • I’m restarting Insanity as well. Last cycle, I didn’t lose any weight but went down a full size and felt so much stronger.

    • I LOVED Insanity. I lost a ton of weight pre-wedding with it. Love. Have so much fun with Shawn-T!!

    • Pink on Black :

      I’m considering doing Insanity as well. But got somewhat concerned after reading how some people have injured their knees and back from doing it. Anyone with views on this? Also, how much space do you find you need and is there a lot of jumping that might disturb neighbours? And would like to confirm that there isn’t much equipment needed?

      • There is no equipment needed at all and you don’t need much space. I did it in my small living room. There is a LOT of jumping involved. My knees can’t take high jumps so I replaced the jumps with squats.

  7. Three things – To run (not jog) the October Sugan G. Kolman 5k. I’m staring up the C25k program again, at a faster pace, because I honestly can’t believe it worked. (I’m an ex-athlete and an asthmatic, and *never* ran log distances.) Also, to find work as an attorney, as I am currently underemployed in order to support my family. And lastly, to finish my novel, despite having no apparent time/space to do so.

  8. Anne Shirley :

    Read more Shakespeare! Yes, I want to be fitter, but I’m always working on that. I like to use the new years push to tackle something I think I’ll enjoy that I haven’t made time for in the past.

  9. My goal is one (1) yoga class a week – if I get another…great. I manage to get my workouts in, but never take the time to stretch. As such, I know that I will do some minimal effort, necessary task (like picking up my teenagers’ wet towels off the floor) and throw out my back, or hip or something.

    I also made a goal, over much protest, to make my daughters do one load of laundry each a week. Really, I figure they are going to need it sooner (my Senior) or later (my freshman)! In their eyes, I need to be reported to DCS! Wish me luck with this one.

    • My mom had me ironing shirts (while watching tv) when I was in middle school. :) Laundry is a life skill! They should totally be responsible for operating the machinery AND folding their clothes. Then they can teach the cute boys at college how to do laundry.

    • My 11 year old does her own laundry and folds it. She is allowed to watch TV while folding, so it’s not too bad. I will throw a load of her stuff in if she is not home and I am doing laundry though.

    • totally with you on this one! I had my kids doing their own laundry in high school over much protest, and it did make the transition to college easier. Also should be on your list: how to write a check, how to balance a checkbook, how to check the oil/check the tire pressure/change a flat on a car, and how to cook at least one meal.

      • Lawyer Bird :

        YES on how to balance a checkbook. You’ll be bailing them out constantly if they don’t learn this. My mom just remembered this the very hard way as my much-younger (still at home) brother somehow overdrew his account by $400.

    • My three year old loves to help with laundry! The washer and dryer and at his height; the only thing he has trouble with is the soap. I’m planning to keep him doing this until it turns into his independent chore.

      • Your son is 3??? I remember you posting about a 1-year-old. Man, does time fly.

      • My mom told me that separating laundry was a colors game when I was about 3 or so. By the time I was old enough to be hip to her game, I was in the habit of doing not only my laundry, but a lot of the household laundry as well. I still don’t mind washing/drying/folding. It’s the putting it away at which I fail.

        Other good my mom tricks include: calling raisins “raisin candy” and referring to the play pen as the “toy box,” as in “if you’re good, I’ll let you play in the toy box this afternoon.” She was a pretty tricky mom.

        • Bursting out :

          Fantastic! Storing these away for future reference…

        • Love these. I grew up (well, for a while) thinking that plain yoghurt with a bit of jam mixed in it was “pudding” and that digestive biscuits were “cookies”. Oh, the tricksiness of moms.

    • Doing laundry is such an useful life skills! I was amazed at how many in college didn’t know how to do it. The key is TV during that time.

    • I started doing my own laundry junior after my mom ruined one of my favorite shirts by somehow splashing bleach on it. After that, I wouldn’t let her touch any of my stuff. You should try that tactic! ;o)

    • You are not alone (and don’t need to be reported to DCS!), but I don’t know how to help you.

      My SD (16) announced last month that from now on she will do her own laundry (up til then, I did all the laundry in the house) “because in two years when I go away to college, I will have enough new stuff to learn without also learning laundry for the first time.” Unclear who does her laundry the other half of the time, when she is with her mom.

      By contrast, her brother (21 and still living with his mother full time) shows zero interest in learning any life skills and absolutely, positively cannot be pushed to do so. His parents and I have tried everything for the last 3-4 years to no avail.

      Not sure why one is self-motivated and the other cannot be forced. The entire issue is bizarre to me because I was doing my own laundry by 13 at boarding school. Big deal. Move on.

      • I started doing my own laundry when I was in first grade. I don’t understand how moms have the patience or the time to keep doing this for their kids past the age ten. It’s totally unnecessary. It’s not difficult or complicated for kids to do on their own. Kids should learn how to pitch in and take care of their own stuff.

      • Lawyer Bird :

        Not everyone’s self motivated. I tell this to my mom a lot, as she’s dealing with my much younger bro who barely manages Ds and Cs (he’s still in high school). She’s baffled because I was always a straight-A, college-bound student with a part time job from age 15. I knew what I wanted in the big picture and what I needed to do to get it, whereas he only sees what he wants in the short run (female attention, mostly, and a nice truck). Not sure how to help you with this, other than to let you know that it’s totally normal.

    • Seattleite :

      I made my DD start doing her own laundry at around age 12, when I found one-too-many folded shirts in her laundry hamper. The stinker had tossed them in there rather than put them in her drawer! She griped about it until she left for college….

      …then, when she became an RA soph/jun years, I could look forward to the September phone calls: “Mom, thank you so much for teaching me how to do laundry! You would not believe how many freshman I had to teach to run a washing machine today! OMG! What were their parents thinking????”

      Karma isn’t *always* a b1tch. :)

    • Lawyer Bird :

      I guess my mom needed to be reported to DCFS when I was about 9, then.

      Seriously, by high school I was so picky about my clothing that I wouldn’t allow anyone else to touch my laundry – a quirk that remains today. Maybe if you accidentally ruin a favorite item they’ll take a greater interest in doing their own wash?

    • My mom had me and each of my 4 siblings doing our own laundry by the time we were 12. To this day, laundry is my favorite “chore”.

  10. Go Kat! I dislike running, so I’ve stopped trying to like it. But I love to do floor aerobics, step, and dancing. Did the xBox Just Dance 3 video with the kids — “Apache, jam on it, jam on it.” Kick my butt!! (Tonto, jump on it, jump on it!)

  11. My resolution is to be more gracious, even when others are not (or don’t appear to deserve it). I can control only my own actions, and I would like to do that without allowing someone else’s bad behavior to cause me to forget my own manners. This will definitely stretch my patience, and I realize will be easier said than done!

    As far as fitness, I thought I would never be able to run either, but joined a beginners’ running group through a local running store. They really brought us along slowly, and by the end of three months I was able to comfortably run 5 miles at about a 9-9:30 minute mile pace – without all the burning lungs, etc.

    • How nice to be more gracious! I have always liked this quote (though sometimes I don’t seem to remember it): Be kind for everyone is fighting a hard battle.

  12. A local pilates/yoga studio did an open house where you could take up to 5 classes for free. I tried out their version of the barre workout – and holy crap. That is a work out. I went twice – and I think I’m going back. The class times aren’t the greatest for my schedule, but I only really need to go 2 or 3 times a week.

  13. ohmydarlin :

    The 100 Push Up Challenge is also a good program for those of us who are goal-oriented.

    In my (neverending) quest to eat better, I’m doing Paleo for 30 days. If I like it, I’ll stick with it, but 30 is a good start, right?
    Y’all have any thoughts on Paleo meals at work? Bringing in lunches?

    • Check out Pinterest for Paleo meal ideas!

    • phillygirlruns :

      i’ve been eating paleo for about 5 months or so and have never felt better. i blog irregularly about it. recommended reading: fitbomb dot com (for a comprehensive and plain english guide on the “why” of paleo) and his wife, nomnompaleo dot com (for great recipes and a view of what she takes to work). also like balanced bites, marksdailyapple and primal palate.

      i bring both breakfast and lunch every day and eat at my desk. i am a very habitual eater (same thing day in and out for months at a time until i get sick of it). breakfast is almost always one chicken sausage link (read ingredients lists very carefully, as almost everything has added sugar) with two over-easy eggs and a handful of raw spinach. sometimes i do smoked salmon and soft-boiled eggs with spinach instead. lunch is usually a spinach salad (raw spinach, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, crumbled bacon) with some form of meat (today was leftover pork loin, other favorites are pork chops, ground beef patties, or crockpotted chicken thighs) and a little plain brown mustard. i have a stash of buffalo jerky in my drawer for snacks. if i don’t bring lunch, i generally go out and grab half a rotisserie chicken (there are 2 or 3 places within a few blocks of my office that have these) or a salad. on half-chicken days, i am grateful i have an office door to close.

      i usually throw together my salad while my eggs are cooking in the morning, though sometimes i’m industrious and i pack it the night before. i was worried about the greater time commitment of eggs vs. my previous go-to breakfast (yogurt, fruit and granola), but it’s nothing – start to finish, including time to wash the pan and spatula, eggs & sausage take me 7 minutes. i live close enough to work that they’re still hot when i get in.

      • ohmydarlin :

        I’m very habitual as well, so I don’t mind (and actually prefer) having only a handful of good, easy recipes :)
        Thanks a bunch for the websites, I will be checking those out!

      • Cats Ahoy! :

        Hmm… I’ll have to check this out. I have been eating low-carb since October when I found out I have diabetes. My goal for the next few months is to get my A1c under 6.

      • Hah! I just tried to go to nomnompaleo dot com, and can’t get through– servers are overloaded! Wonder whether that’s a result of a Corporette link? And, if so, whether the the author is wondering, “Where did this traffic come from all of a sudden??”

    • karenpadi :

      ugh. Paleo. I am the heaviest I’ve ever been because I tried to do Paleo for a year. For some it works but for me, it didn’t. If you start gaining weight, please don’t keep trying to stay Paleo. Please just start eating carbs again.

      • ohmydarlin :

        Interesting! I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks for the different perspective :)

        • Foodee Project. They have a website and blog – collects paleo recipes from around the internet. And yet another perspective: I thought I was gaining weight on it, but it turns out I wasn’t really doing it right. I was not fully in (I’d have a splash of 1/2 and 1/2 in each of my 5 cups of coffee or one teeny bite of [fill in the blank]). If you are committing to 30 days, go all in. Eliminate not only grains and sugar but dairy and sweeteners, too. Try not to cheat (and I’m sitting here staring at chocolate covered espresso beans – but I … will … not … NO!) :) I imagine it doesn’t work for everyone (like karenpadi), but I had to really give it a FULL go to understand it. (And I upped my workouts — I don’t believe the “and you don’t even have to exercise!” mantra that sometimes accompanies it!)

          • the whole30 (on the whole9lifedotcom) is 30 days of strict paleo – just like you are advocating. Lots of good tips and details on there. I started it a couple weeks before Christmas — got derailed by all the traveling and family gatherings. But for 13 days it was great! I felt awesome and lost some weight (not sure how much b/c they don’t want you to weigh yourself until the end). But I will be trying to eat that way in general now.

    • Wish I had seen this post earlier. An additional blog that I follow is Everyday Paleo which is about a woman who creates paleo meals for her family.

      Not sure what your training will be like but I do high intensity/endurance/power lifting training, and while paleo, I had to eat almost twice as much food to keep me satiated. That, however, was a huge issue because I couldn’t exactly eat in the middle of my meetings at work.

      Other pieces of advice, be ready to crave sugars/carbs especially in the first week or two. However, those cravings do subside if you don’t cheat. While I am not sticking to the paleo diet (for multiple reasons I don’t need to describe here), it has helped me tremendously to add more vegetables into my diet. I am very happy with that!

      Lastly, look around your city to see if any restaurants cater to paleo eaters. One in Atlanta, Urban Pl8 comes to mind. There also is RSB Catering (also in Atlanta) which will provide paleo meals for you. Good if you’re on the go!

  14. Anon for this :

    Threadjack. I’m a midlevel associate in a midsize firm. I’ve had great reviews this year (better than previous years) and exceeded my billable hour quota by more than any other year but for the first time, didn’t get a year-end bonus. The firm had a good year! I’m at a loss to figure out what happened. I’m disapponted and a little worried. ‘Rettes, what would you do? Time to dust off my resume?

    • Have you asked why? That seems like the first step.

    • karenpadi :

      Time to talk to a partner. Bring along your past bonus amounts, review, and billable hours.

      Act a little peeved (not unprofessionally so but make it clear you aren’t happy). Some women will preface the conversation with “I know this is an uncomfortable topic” or “I don’t really know why I’m asking about this but”. This is the kind of situation where I pretend that I picture myself as a man. Just go in and say “I want to know where my bonus is.”

      Have a dollar amount ready. Do you want $5k? $20k?

  15. I have also resolved to be more protective of my time. I’ve fallen into what I’ve decided is really just a bad habit of spending an inordinate amount of my personal time doing things that I feel obligated to do, but don’t really enjoy (like entertaining or going to parties when I don’t really feel like it, or making food for every single potluck event at my kids’ school), and not giving myself permission to do the things that recharge my batteries (like spending a whole Sunday morning reading the paper or talking on the phone with an old friend). Lately, I just feel so drained. This must change.

  16. I like to think of goals rather than resolutions. IDK why; seems more likely to succeed I guess?

    1) We limit our son to 1 hour of screen time a day. My resolution is that if he’s not doing screen time, I’m not doing screen time. I spend too much time on FB, blogs, etc and am trying to cut back.

    2) 2 Running goals: run 366 miles this year and train for and run a 10K. I run 4 miles a couple of times a week, so I should be able to hit my total mileage goal if I stay consistent. The 10K seems a bit scary; I can easily do a 5K, but a 10K will take a plan. I’m using bridge to 10K App on my phone since I had so much success with couch to 5K last summer.

    • I didn’t realize there was a 10K app. Which one do you use?

      • If you don’t mind somewhat bland trance-y music, try the Podrunner interval series at djsteveboy dot com slash intervals.

      • It’s called bridge to 10K. It starts where the couch to 5K left off.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I think of mine as goals as well and I’ve broken them all down into a checklist of items to achieve.

  17. Fun thread! I just posted on the last one, but I’ll repeat it:

    My resolution is to work harder and make more money. My salary is mostly based on what I bring into the firm, so I’ve set a very lofty goal to try to make enough to bring myself an average of $2,000 per week that I work in 2012 (I started with a goal of $100K, but then revised when I thought of the fact that I might need to take time off later in the year, depending on what happens.) This would be a huge leap for me (haven’t done the math yet, but I think I made a little over 70 last year), and I’m going to try to get as close as I can.

    Must limit my Corporette time, though!

  18. SV in House :

    Goal 1: de-clutter. I filled up 4 bags of clothes, shoes and bags on NY Day, so at least I am in good shape on that one!
    Goal 2: journal my food intake, which hopefully will result in losing weight
    Goal 3: get back to my 2008 marathon pace
    Goal 4: act mindfully

    • 1. Definitely get rid of excess clothes, books and paperwork.
      2. Alter my clothes. They’ve been sitting there, waiting to be altered. I know how to work a sewing machine, I just have to actually *do* it.
      3. Pick up after myself.
      4. Track food intake.

  19. Always a NYer :

    This year I want to push myself out of my comfort zone. Getting healthy is always a goal but I really want this to be the year. I’m starting Zumba, which is really out of my comfort zone (most of my exercise is done at home and by myself) so I’m looking forward to how that unfolds. Cooking more from scratch is another goal I want to fit into my hectic schedule. Moving to Europe over the summer is also on the agenda. I’ve wanted to live in London since I was 10 and figure it’s now or never. There’s nothing tying me here and if I can transfer with my company, why not?

  20. I have a ton of resolutions. The nice thing about being unemployed I suppose.

    – Eat healthier: Cook dinner at home 2-3x a week, eat more vegetables
    – Work out at least 100 mins/week (This is the amount that I think I might actually do)
    – Knit a pair of socks
    – Go to a fun convention (I’ve never been and I’d really like to at least once)
    – Do something social 1 night a week (we just moved to a new city where we don’t know anyone)
    – Spend at least 15 minutes a day on some form of professional development
    – Spend at least 15 minutes a day writing something
    – Read at least 15 nonfiction books (I normally read close to 100 books a year, so this isn’t as absurd as it sounds)
    – Read a poem a day

    If/when I finally get a job I expect some of these will fall by the wayside, but I’m ok with that.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I love yours, especially the convention one. Every year I swear I’m going to Comic Con but never follow through. This year I’m planning to go to the New York Comic Con but I wish there would be an awesome Dictor Who one somewhere nearby.

      • I really want to go to NorWesCon in Seattle since I have a lot of friends there that I can stay with. I’m not sure I can swing the traveling costs, though. There are a few here in Denver that are kind of small but might be good for getting my feet wet.

        I feel like there must be a Doctor Who one in New York somewhere. lists all of the fannish events in NYC every month, you might want to check there if you aren’t already aware of it.

    • Cats Ahoy! : I learned to knit socks using that tutorial. It’s great. I love knitting socks. Enjoy!

      • This is great, thanks! I’m a long time crocheter so I’m working on getting more comfortable with knitting in general in January, try a project in the round in February, learn how to knit on dpns in March, etc. There aren’t any stores near me for classes, so I’ve been looking for exactly this kind of tutorial.

        • Don’t think you’ve failed if you can’t get the hang of dpns. I’ve been knitting for years and I can’t stand dpns. I knit all my socks on circular needles and enjoy it so much more. If you want to eliminate the dratted dpns from your life, go circular.

          • Yeah I’m a pretty experienced knitter but have never gotten into socks. I bought some hand dyed sock yarn a couple years ago but it’s still sitting in my stash. dpns are a total pain. One Christmas I had decided to try knitting a new hat pattern for a friend (it’s a pattern that can be adapted to any size head and any gauge yarn) and I got so frustrated with the dpns that I threw the whole thing in the garbage. When you get to a place where circular is too big, you just go to two circulars.

    • for reading a poem a day, the website of academy of american poets has a link where you can subscribe to “poem a day.” I’ve found a lot of new poets I like this way!

  21. Anonymous :

    My resolutions this year are:
    1) to stop overanalyzing my relationships, from where i fit in at the firm, to my friends, to my romantic ones. I have enough stress in my life without stressing about the things and people that make me happy. I have no issues in any of my relationships right now, yet i still overanalyze and ruminate about them — it is such a waste of time and energy.
    2) to clean more regularly. I declutter on a daily basis but I have way too many dust bunnies as pets these days

  22. I don’t make new years resolutions – if I want to change something, I do it immediately :)

    • Equity's Darling :

      I made a New Years resolution a few years ago to never make another resolution. I’ve been pretty awesome at keeping that resolution.

      I generally make goal lists for the coming year on my birthday, and otherwise tend to do what you do- if I want to try something new, change my behavior in some way, or eat healthier, I just do it now.

      • I do the same thing, my birthday just happens to be in the beginning of the year (Jan 9) so it ends up being like a resolution.

        Still, my resolution for last year was to change jobs, I gave my notice in the beginning of December and started my new job this week.

        My resolution for this year is to lose the weight that law school and my first, very intense job packed on. My new job is less intense and should give me time to exercise, but I have about 85 pounds to lose. I’ll need the whole year and then some for that one!

        I’ve realized though that I hate gyms, I enjoy running but don’t really lose a lot of weight that way, and don’t feel comfortable running too much at this weight. I have p90x but haven’t done more than 2-3 videos. This month I’m focusing on diet and walking, and hopefully next month will continue the diet and start running a little bit. After that, I’m going to focus on fun things, I was an elite tennis player, and love to hike, rock climb, ski, etc… Once I lose enough weight to be able to do those things again, that’s what I’ll focus on! :-)

        • Good luck with this! Setting out to do it is the most important thing. I lost 90 lbs several years ago and it’s not easy, but it’s great to finally get to the point where you’re ready to tackle it.

          As far as exercise, I didn’t like gyms either. I feel like whatever will get you moving and with the fewest impediments is best for you. It you’re going to walk outside, I’d recommend either walking on a track that’s measured or plotting a track with your car that is a certain number of miles, then make goals as to how long it will take you. I like working out at home so I purchased a treadmill and I use it 6 days a week. I also have an exercise bike for post-surgical knees. The treadmill folds up nicely in a corner of my livingroom. I now have added weights to my workout and that requires a gym but I’ve come to enjoy it, too!

        • If it makes you feel any better, I’ve read that weight loss (or management) is like 90% diet / 10% exercise. Or 80% diet / 10% exercise / 10% sleep. I just like to say that you can’t outrun a bad diet. Not saying you don’t need to work out, get fit, etc., but if you revamp your eating, you’ll be over your biggest hurdle and will have positioned yourself for the greatest success exercise-wise.

          Good luck! Keep us posted!

          • So so true. I do 60 minutes of cardio 6 days a week and weights 3 days a week and it doesn’t keep weight off if my diet slips. But I keep doing it because I feel so much better!

    • Lawyer Bird :

      Agree. And also, I’m always really annoyed when the gym gets super crowded in January and I can’t wait until all the resolution people stop coming in mid-February and it goes back to normal.

      Not meant as snark to all of you resolution folks, but it’s something I’ve observed year after year and the crowds get on my nerves.

      • Ahhh, totally agree on the crowded gym! There’s always at least one day in Jan where I show up for spin class and all of the bikes are suddenly full of new years resolution people.

    • I’m sort of with you on this one. I thought about what resolutions I might make, but realized I just want to focus on working toward my already-pretty-well-defined goals.

      Right now, that’s dropping 9 pounds and becoming a runner (which has sub-goals of working up to jogging 30 minutes without stopping to walk, then 3 miles, then 5 miles).

  23. Miss Zarves :

    Need advice here … I am returning home from extended family time tomorrow and have been looking forward to it, especially because it means I can pick up where I left off with the great guy I just started seeing.

    Naturally, then, I woke up with a cold sore this morning. ($#!@!) I’ve taken my medication for it (Denavir and, for the first time, Valtrex) but I don’t get the feeling it’s going to be gone by tomorrow, or whenever I see this guy next. So what do I do? Make up some reason why I can’t see him for a week? See him but explain, I have this gross thing on my face so please, don’t kiss me? I hate these damn things.

    • If you’ve just started seeing him, put off another date until it goes away. I once had a second or third date with a guy who very nicely told he about his coldsore in advance of the date, and the date was a total bust… The initial sexy attraction was tweaked in bad way. A couple of months in with him, when I would have known him and been attracted to him as a more complex person, it wouldn’t have been a big deal.

    • Could you be honest about it, and tell him you have a cold sore? I’ve had 2 boyfriends in the past who have had occasional cold sores, even early on in both relationships. In both cases, they were up front about it and just very careful about not kissing me, not sharing drinks, etc. I didn’t mind it (it didn’t gross me out, cold sores are common, right?), and I was just careful too. I was actually grateful for their honesty, because as a result I never caught the virus.

  24. I want to start the Couch to 5k program so that I can run (or at least jog without walking at all) a 5k in May. Then I want to do a 10k in October–that might to too lofty, so maybe beat my May time and do another 5k in October. We’ll see.

    I also want to pay off all debt except my mortgage and student loans, which really isn’t that much, but needs to get done.

  25. CPA to be :

    Mine are to pass all four sections of the CPA exam by the end of the year, and to take better care of my appearance without feeling guilty about it.

    I’m starting off the second resolution by vowing to get haircuts every two months (and do it without sitting tensely in the chair thinking about how that money could be used for something better.) I have also started using Crest 3D whitening toothpaste, after reading good reviews about it.

    I used to make tons of difficult resolutions, but I found that if I picked one “hard” resolution and one “fun” resolution, I was more likely to succeed at accomplishing them.

    • Anonymous :

      A good, well-maintained haircut saves you plenty in time and unnecessary hair products! Totally worth the money for stress-free hair. Also, I think it’s the cheapest way to instantly look better. It’s cheaper than a new outfit!

  26. My resolution is to keep my time better. I’m hoping that’ll result in fewer 12 hour days at the office where I bill only 8 hrs.

    • me too! also hoping that this will result in fewer crazy time-closing days where I have to catch up on time entry (and then lose a bunch of billable time to that administrative task!)

      • Oooh, I hate those time-closing days. I got really bad about that last year and grew to hate the last day of the month. I need to do better this year.

  27. I am already a runner, so my fitness goals are all related to goal times for races:

    First up: qualify for Boston (sub 3:35 marathon) this month.

    But, fitness is not the area of my life where I need the most help. I workout a lot and enjoy it. What I really need to do better is be more organized and efficient at work. I am an awful time waster.

    I decided that I want to run more than 2012 miles in 2012 and I want to bill more than 2012 hours. I think both are do-able (one I’ll enjoy and one I won’t, but whatever…that’s life)

  28. I posted this in the wrong thread before!

    To seriously consider starting my own firm (and quitting my non legal job to due so). The problem is I’m just out of law school, but I’ve been on the industry side of the type of law I want to practice.

    So I’m going to take baby steps. What I want to accomplish this month is incorporate myself, start a blawg and email, and possibly get a business phone. I want to try to get in all my doctor appointments before I quit and don’t have benefits too.

    On that note, phone input. I used to have a blackberry and loved it for the email. It seems like RIM will be antiquated soon though. I currently have a droid phone (not a great one) and while it’s great with gmail, I dont’ like the non gmail email set up. How are the iphones with multiple emails? Is anyone staying loyal to blackberry?

    Also, I want to get used to living like a broke college student again so I can make this switch!

    • I love my iPhone. I have a hotmail account, gmail and microsoft exchange server email (for work) all synced up seamlessly. Hubby recently switched from Blackberry to iPhone and thinks it an improvement in every way.

      • Thanks! So aside from not having the full keyboard, would you say the iPhone email set up is as good as blackberrys? I def don’t like that 3 day saving default. Since I switched to droid, I got used to the whole not having an email on the device and in the account thing.

        • I never really got too involved in my husband’s email system on his Blackberry, so I’m not 100% sure what you’re talking about. If you can explain a little more I can ask him. I just know he thinks the iPhone is much more user friendly, especially when it comes to wireless/internet access.

          I do know though that you have a lot of options regarding how to set up email on the iPhone and you can decide how many emails to sync (last 50, all, last month, last 3 days, etc.).

    • I have two email accounts on my iPhone and it works, no problem. You just have to remember that if you want to send an email, you have a “default” email address, so unless you are specifically in the account from which you want to send an email, it will send it from the default address, which I didn’t know it was doing until some of my contacts were confused.

    • Lawyer Bird :

      I posted this on another thread – but I love my Android phone and the email setup is fine. I think it depends on what kind of email your work uses. Mine uses an exchange server (outlook).

  29. 1) Read 2 new books a month.
    2) Lose the 7 or so pounds of “happy weight” I gained when I started dating my boyfriend 9 months ago.
    3) Worry less and be kinder to myself.

  30. To stop wasting my time on blogs like this during work hours. Lord knows I love Corporette (and my other usual suspects), but I waste too much of my work days clicking “refresh.” On that note… I’ll get back to work.

    • Oh, DITTO.

    • No kidding – I was thinking just this as I kept scrolling and reading, scrolling and reading! I’ve got to come up with a rule or something. It’s a horrible habit – every time my mind wanders from my work (every 10 minutes or so), there is my web browser, ready to occupy my attention and eat up precious time.

      • whatever, we all need little diversions and this is better than gambling, spending money, etc. I learn and share a lot here despite ‘wasted’ scroll time. can’t be productive every minute of the day- not reasonable goal.

  31. I used Couch to 5k to help prepare me for my triathlon last year, and I loved it. I think I paid $5 for the app, and it would say, “Run now.” and then, “Walk now.” It would also tell me when I go to the halfway mark. I also downloaded the Runkeeper app that tracked my speed.

    My resolution this year is to not commit to anything new. I’ve got a lot on my plate, and I want to do all of those things well without adding anything new.

    • Anonymous :

      Here’s a good workout for treadmills. I like that it’s only 30 minutes since some places have time limits on the equipment:

    • What app would that be? I am trying to find one for Couch to 5K and checked out the apps recommended above by other posters, but the reviews are few and not too stellar…

  32. Two cents :

    1. Get pregnant

    2. Get involved in at least 1 activity/hobby/organization in my new city

    3. Start drinking vegetable/raw juices (I eat pretty healthy but very rarely eat raw foods.)

  33. I’m using this:×5/how-to-conduct-your-own-annual-review/

    to develop a list of goals and keep track of them. I got the hubby to get on the band wagon and join me so we can do couples goals (anything financial requires this).

    So far, my major categories are health, wealth, and family planning.

  34. DC Association :

    1. Count WeightWatcher points daily, regardless if I am actually watching the points or not.
    2. Do some form of exercise daily (even if just walking around the block at lunch).
    3. Cook 3 real meals per week (spaghetti doesn’t count as a real meal).
    4. Put away clothes and jewelry every night rather than letting it pile up.
    5. create a realistic budget and stick to it.
    6. Communicate!

    I love the one about limiting your child’s screen time. I am going to think about doing that one!

  35. I love reading these resolutions – they’re so inspiring.
    My one resolution is a tough one – I need to figure out what I want.

    I have so much to be thankful for (family, health, comfortable financial situation, non-toxic work environment) but I still feel unhappy a lot of days. I was talking with a good friend yesterday and she kept asking me “what do you want in life?” I don’t know the answer. I don’t know if it would make me happy to be the best mom in the universe or the fastest runner or the most fantastic (insert job title here) or have the cleanest, most organized house ever. I feel like because I don’t know what I’m aiming for, I’m not going to be happy, even if I get there.

    Do you know what you want in life, and how did you figure it out?

    On a related note, I’ve been disappointed in my lack of faith lately and was looking for some book recommendations. I went to Catholic school for elementary, college and grad school and was a pretty active Catholic growing up. The last three years, I have pretty much only gone to church when it was “required” (family member sacrament). I’m not 100% sure I want to be active in the Catholic church again, but I know I need to strengthen my faith. Can anyone recommend any books that can help me explore this? The possibility of living a faithful, but possibly not a religious life?

    Also, book recommendations about how to figure out what will make you happy would be appreciated, too! (I have three big trips coming up and expect to have lots of airplane/airport time to read.)

    • I was also raised Catholic, but have gotten away from it – in part because I moved and have yet to find a new church that I like and in part because I’m not really crazy about the new pope and his changes.

      My mom keeps recommending the book Redemptive Intimacy by Dick Westley – it’s out of print, but I believe you can get used copies on Amazon. I started it, but haven’t finished it – but it sounds like it might be up your alley.

    • Hmm – my comment is waiting for moderation.

      Redemptive Intim*cy – by D*ck Westley

    • I’d be really interested in the books on faith question, as well!

    • I suggest taking the focus of off yourself (what will make me happy?) as that’s a lot of pressure to deal with, and is very narrowly defined. I would instead think about little things you can do that incrementally increase the amount of positivity in your corner of the world. That might lead you to volunteer at a shelter, cook more healthful meals for your family, read aloud to your daughter, coach youth swim lessons, adopt a stray dog, learn spanish to speak to your neighbors .. etc. This may also tie in nicely with your spiritual search.

      Another school of thought says that happiness is best found as a side course, e.g. an added benefit of doing something with a completely separate goal in mind. An article I read talked about how a writer would lose himself in writing his novel. His goal was to write a novel, not to “seek happiness” per se … but the act of writing his novel was so utterly consuming, took such perfect concentration, that he realized the act of writing and losing himself in the writing was happiness itself.

      Maybe that makes sense to you, maybe not. :) Good luck!

    • I think your idea of [setting a goal and then reaching it = happiness] is dangerous. This morning on the subway, I saw an ad for the Andrew Weil spontaneous happiness book. Not sure it is great/don’t know anything about him, but the ad said something along the lines of, You need to be happy where you are, rather than pick an arbitrary thing that would *let you be* happy. I think that is absolutely true, and I would encourage you to look for thinking (books, websites, therapists, whatever) along those lines.

      Similarly, I think this search for “faith” is maybe off. Perhaps what you are searching for is a community? Because it sounds like you are flexible on the deity part of it. You may want to look into Humanism, Unitarianism, or just something like volunteer work or a book club or some sort of ethics/social justice/whatever you actually seek resource.

      You may also want to take a step back and ask, “Why am I dissatisfied?” Because it sounds to me like you think something is missing that could be supplied externally, when my impression is that actually, you need to (ful)fill yourself from within.

      I hope this doesn’t sound too preachy, self-righteous, psychobabbly, etc. Your post spoke to me, though; it sounds like you are lost, and looking to find signposts externally instead of yourself from within.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I don’t have time to read all the individual responses to this so I apologize if it is already posted. I was going through a similar issue where I was raised Catholic, felt it was an important part of my life but just not who I was anymore. As a very liberal democrat, I felt very unwelcome in my local parish that would have people signing petition cards that were picked up during the collection!

      After I moved, I did a bunch of research on the Episcopal religion and felt it fit me so much better. I have been going to a local Episcopal church and am considering joining. I really like it. Overall, my research found the Episcopal church believes the things I wanted to keep from my Catholic Faith but is liberal in the places I felt disconnected to the Catholic Church. A brief synopsis:
      -equality of women. The head priest in my parish is female.
      -Gay Rights. My Bishop is Gay.
      – Supports personal choice of birth control.
      – Confession before a priest is not required. Confession is done as a congregation silently during mass.
      – All faiths are welcome to participate and take communion.
      – Way less involved in politics
      – Not connected to the Vatican

      I mean no disrespect to any practicing Catholics. The above were personal issues and I’m sure they are very individual and may not be what the OP is looking for/to escape.

      • Cats Ahoy! :

        Blonde Lawyer, I was also Catholic and became an Episcopalian after working for an Episcopal diocesan center and loving it so much. I switched for the same reasons you gave. It was nice to find a faith that fit me so well and also has incense.

    • Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck helped me through my “quarter-life crisis” (a la John Mayer) to figure out what was important to me and what I wanted out of my life. I’m not partial to the self-help genre, and this is one of the only books I’ve read on the topic, but I kind of liked it.

      If you’ve never read anything by Karen Armstrong, you might give her a try. She left a convent, and has written several books on religion– Christianity as well as others — and also exploring the concept of faith and how it fits into her life. She’s thought-provoking, even if I don’t always quite like her conclusions.

    • girl in the stix :

      I heard a lot of looking for perfection, e.g., the best mom, fastest runner, most fantastic professional, cleanest house, etc. No wonder you aren’t happy–perfection doesn’t exist. Instead of trying to reach some impossibly high standard, just do one concrete thing. You could resolve to have a clean sink, or run one mile a day, or spend x amount of time with your kid, and you could actually accomplish it! Good luck.

      • re the cleanest house: my grandmother had this quote framed in her kitchen: “Dull women have immaculate homes.” When I think about that, it makes me want to do something interesting, like my grandmother would do. So get out there and learn something new and obscure. Do something fun. Just one something! If that puts a smile on your face, do it again, or do a new something fun.

        • Your grandma rocks. I’m going to remember that quote when I’m tempted to put off something fun or meaningful because I feel like I should clean the house. Within reason, of course! ;)

    • Lawyer Bird :

      Thomas Merton “The Seven Storey Mountain”
      Walter Ciszek “He Leadeth Me”

      and if you’re interested in learning more about Catholicism, “The Catholic Way” by Bishop Donald Wuerl. Very readable overview of the catechism.

      • Lawyer Bird :

        Also? Instead of trying to be the best ____, try to be the best you. God created you to be yourself, as you are. Being a good mom/lawyer/runner/housekeeper is secondary to being the best self you can be. Try to see Christ in everyone you meet, and on a more tangible level, try to say something kind to everyone you meet and say kind things to yourself, too.

        Remember, Christ said to love your neighbor as yourself. If you don’t love yourself, then you can’t love your neighbor properly. It took me a long time to understand this.

        Or if you’re more interested in yoga than Christianity, I love these quotes from Yogi Bhajan, which I repeat as a mantra every morning:
        “Love is a self-acknowledgment. When you love yourself, you will feel so rich that you can afford to love everyone.”
        “Your biggest enemy is your own insecurity about yourself.”

    • Re spiritual books:
      Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies; and Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith.

      She humorously thinks through reconciling with Christianity, and how to authentically live her faith. Two of my favorite books because they are profound and lighthearted at the same time.

      In a different but related vein: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.

      • To the source... :

        If you’re interested in books that will help you re-explore your faith, how about reading a portion of the Bible? Start with the Gospel of Mark or the Gospel of Luke to get a first-hand account of the life of Jesus (who he talked to, what he did).

      • I’d echo the thought re Anne Lamott. I go back to her books frequently when I need a little spiritual boost. You might enjoy “Leaving Church: A memoir of faith” by Barbara Brown Taylor, an Episcopal priest. Or find yourself a Jesuit parish (or university church) if you can :) I believe faith is both a gift and a journey and it wends its way in and around our lives in many strange ways. Be open-hearted.

    • I very much like:
      Julia Cameron, “The Artist’s Way.”
      Barbara Sher, “Wishcraft.”
      Richard Bolles’ essay on “How to Find Your Mission in Life” in “What Color Is Your Parachute” (it’s not in every edition, but it’s Chapter 12 in the 2007 edition).
      Gretchen Rubin, “The Happiness Project.” (She also has a blog with the same title, so you can check that out first, if you want — it’s available online and free.)
      Daniel Gilbert, “Stumbling on Happiness.”

    • I’ve found that what’s made me the most happy is spirituality – not necessarily aligned with a particular faith – I grew up Catholic, but it wasn’t necessarily leading me to a more “whole” place.

      I realized that I was setting all of these goals and resolutions thinking: “once I reach them, I’ll be happy.” I dabbled in meditations (I got some ones from Diana Winston at UCLA on iTunes) and eventually a friend guided me to Gabrielle Bernstein and I started doing guided meditations. I’ve read her books as well as a book called Mindfulness. I discovered that there was an enormous well of happiness and joy within me already – it was just a matter of reaching it!

      Another note is that I tried to make an active effort to stop focusing what else I could improve about myself, and started looking to how I could be of service to others – as a mentor, working for a charity event, raising money… reminds me of a quote “when you focus on giving you can stop focus on what you’re not getting.” GOOD LUCK with your journey!

  36. I have a question for the hive:

    A few months ago, I left a job I really enjoyed for one with better compensation and more flexibility. It was essentially a lateral move, not one that increased my responsibility. For a multitude of reasons, the new position/company just isn’t a good fit for me. At. all.

    I realize I’m still within the new job adjustment period, but I have reasons to believe it’s not going to get any better. My old position is still available, and I left on good terms. Should I stick it out, try to make things work at the new job and focus on how much better it makes my non-work life? Swallow my pride and try to get my old job back? Move on from both to somewhere completely new?

    Does anyone have similar experience? How did it work out for you? And how would the latter two options look to potential future employers when reflected on my resume? I spent several years with my previous company before leaving for my current position, so it wouldn’t be a pattern of short stints, just one.

    (And just so you don’t think I’m totally off-topic… my New Year’s resolution is to address things in my life that make me unhappy. #1 right now is my job.)

    • DC Association :

      You never know, you could go back and they’ll pay you more. This has happened to a couple people I know. It is unfortunate that many times, the only way they can pay you more is if you leave.

      Can’t hurt to reach out to the old place to see if they’d welcome you back.

      • Lawyer Bird :

        Agree. I know people who’ve done this too. You miss them; they may miss you and be willing to pay to get you back.

    • Anonymous :

      Hmmm. To me you owe them at least a year unless it’s unbearable and if it’s unbearable you have to let them know right away, tell them how to fix it, and give them a fair chance to fix it. Just food for thought.

    • Go back. I’m stuck in a job that is just a miserable fit but don’t have the ability to move back to old job (different state). I’ve stuck it out a year and the bad fit at 3 months is still a bad fit today. I’m completely stuck at what to do next. Seriously depressed.

    • Someone left my biglaw dep’t for a different firm and came back a few months later when he realized the fit was wrong. He was welcomed back and has no regrets about leaving job #2 to return to job #1.

    • Business, not Law :

      My husband was in a similar situation a few years ago and ultimately left job #2 for job #1 and it was *absolutely* the right decision for him…and he was welcomed back with open arms.

    • Go to the “career tools” podcast on itunes. Listen to a podcast called something like “what to do if you hate your job.” It addresses this exact situation and gives tons of frank advice from people who’ve been there.

    • Im in a somewhat similar situation. I closed my firm and took an in house job 1200 miles away. My job is actually mostly great, I really can’t complain. But I don’t love the area, and work isn’t super challenging. One of my old clients made me a great offer to be in house. If I take it, I’d be leaving new job after 6 months, which I hate. However, this opportunity wont be there in a year. I find new job’s work SO much more interesting, plus my good friends are there. So I think it would be crazy not to do it, and hope it’s not too much of a hit on my resume. And hope my boss takes it ok….

    • If you had reasons to leave your first job that will still exist if you go back, perhaps you should first look for something else so you don’t find yourself dissatisfied again in a short time with the things about the first job you wanted to change in the first place.

      • In search of Bunkster's Bark :

        This. It’s not necessarily true that you can’t go home again, but if you left for a reason that is unlikely to be different upon your return, think about a third option instead. This may require you to put in some time at the less-than-perfect present place, but if the alternative is the less-than- perfect -former place, it would be with figuring out what is really most impt to you.

        • Thanks, everyone, for the insight! It’s such a relief that everyone doesn’t think that going back is just Not Smart. I’m going to at least reach out to former management and see if job #1 an option, as well as casting the job search net wide. While I wouldn’t say my current job is “unbearable,” it certainly makes miserable every time I think about going to work… life’s too short for that.

    • I would say that you should contact the previous employer and inquire about the position. Have a few reasons prepared of why you’re missing that job and how you know you’ll stay this time, in case you’re asked.

      I’m all for giving something time if there are reasons but this sounds like you’re aware it’s not working, so why stay miserable? Plus, since you were there such a short time, you don’t even really have to include it on your resume, so no love lost!

      • Just another datapoint from my former (midsize) law firm — a fellow senior associate left the litigation dept. to go work for a public defender’s office in another state. (I believe she wanted more trial work.) She realized it was not right for her pretty early on, and returned to our firm within six months, where she was welcomed with open arms. . . .

  37. I have a shallow goal – to just look better every day. So, to eat more mindfully, lose a few extra pounds that my desk job has resulted in, to take better care of my skin so I don’t need to wear makeup as often, to wear makeup better when I do wear it, to finally figure out what to do with my hair so I don’t just put it up for work everyday, to only buy clothes I really love that make me feel fabulous, to throw away anything so-so in my closet, and to find lots of comfortable but super sexy shoes ;) … I am also extending this goal to my personal spaces – so my office and apartment have to become ever more enjoyable environments, too. Not sure why, but I am just on a serious aesthetic kick right now.

    I also have non-shallow goals I am not necessarily ready for immediately, but that I aim to work towards so that when I become ready they are easier to materialize: the first is to buy an apartment and the second is to seriously consider having a baby. The baby thing feels crazy and frightening just to write down, but I figure I can try to do those things now that will help that become a reality sometime in the not too distant future (i.e., not this year) (I hope. Obviously, you can only plan so much here).

    Oh, and of course I will try to be more productive at work … Though so far that goal is not doing so great.

    • That’s not shallow. If you feel better, you look better too. Although, no matter how good I feel, I cannot put on make-up unless I have to. Despite the fact it’s better for everyone else, I hate puting it on.

    • OK, I’m biased because I’m a style advice blogger, but looking better isn’t shallow! Taking care of your outward self is just another manifestation of taking care of your inward self–all of it is part of you.

      And I love that you say you will only buy clothes that make you feel fabulous. This is my #1 piece of advice! (A version of it is here on my Tumblr:

      Oh, and as a mom, the baby thing is frightening–but it’s also amazing. :)

      Good luck!

      • Haha, thanks you guys! I don’t really think it’s shallow either.
        I just notice that when I feel like I look great, I feel better, get more done, have more energy to go more places, etc. Maybe it’s just that at those times I want more people to see how cute I am, but, hey, whatever works ;)

        And as for the baby — I keep telling myself the same thing: frightening but amazing might be new mantra.

    • Google dcrainmaker – he does fantastic reviews on garmin and other devices. I settled on the fr60, which is fairly basic but works with a footpod as well as heart rate monitor. It seems fairly inexpensive these days as well.

  38. My resolution is to keep my apartment neater. I am relatively good about cleaning, but I just have the worst clutter problem with papers and clothes thrown everywhere.

    I also would like to get better about saving money. My retirement saving is in good shape, but I’m 25 so I need to get to the point where my emergency fund is such that I wouldn’t need to go to my parents in a real emergency. I’d also like to start saving for a house but can’t really imagine saving enough for a down payment in my high cost of living city.

    I hate to be negative among you highly motivated ladies, but I’m having trouble finding the energy to work toward either of these goals!

    • newyearanon :

      Don’t feel guilty. Those could be challenging goals for many people, but what matters is they’re challenging for you. Acknowledge the discomfort. Figure out a system of execution and support. Break it into small steps.

    • Flylady [dot] net has a great system to help you cut down on the clutter and keep your apt. more as you want it to be. I also highly recommend the book “Apartment Therapy” by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan.

      On saving for a down payment in an expensive city, I hear you! I’d recommend focusing on just one new primary financial goal at a time — don’t worry about the house down payment right now, just get your emergency fund started. Then, get your emergency fund to a six-months-of-expenses figure. Many people find the easiest way to do this is to automate it — have a fixed amount directly deposited from each paycheck to a savings account. Then you never see it, and don’t miss it — this is like the way your retirement fund probably got nicely built up! For help with motivation, I like the personal finance blogs “Get Rich Slowly” and “The Simple Dollar.”

  39. newyearanon :

    “After the first very mild workout, I tried to do 15 minutes of leg exercises in addition to the run…”

    You seem to be exceptionally weak right now, but even regular exercisers are instructed to perform strength training exercises (I assume that’s what you were doing), before their cardio workout.

    I hate to sound discouraging, but 30 minutes a day may not be enough for someone who has to drop a serious amount of weight, although diet is the most important factor.

    Someone gave me a fitbit, a device that tracks steps and has a site where you can log various kinds of info. It’s fun.

    • Yes, you are discouraging. She described the deconditioning that goes along with a period of inactivity, not “exceptional weakness.” I bet the
      “could barely walk” was hyperbole.

      Kat, you’ll feel like yourself again soon! You knew what to do to keep yourself together pre- baby and the same things will work again. Be patient with yourself.

    • Your reply was rude and discouraging. She had a baby not that long ago, for crying out loud. Not only is pregnancy physically demanding, the newborn stage is not conducive to spending hours exercising or focusing on self-care, period. I’m sure Kat is well aware that building up to her pre-baby fitness level will take time. And you know what? It is absolutely fine — and certainly more realistic — to start slow.

      I loathe the expectation that women should bounce right back after pregnancy and birth, or that they should be able to keep exercising rigorously during pregnancy. Some women can, but from what I can tell, they’re in the minority. Trust me, it’s not laziness that causes most of us to become less fit during pregnancy and our babies’ earliest days.

  40. AccountingNerd :

    Question for the moms: is there anything you wish you had done before having kids? I’m 23, and my husband is wanting me to have a kid by the time I’m 26. He’s 4 yrs older than me and ready to start a family. I’m a cpa and have been successful so far in my two-year career. We are financially secure, so logically we are ready for kids. But I can’t help feeling like I won’t be ready until I do ” something”..but I’m not sure what? Travel to Europe? What would you go back and tell your pre-kids self if you could?

    • Also in Academia :

      I hope this doesn’t sound snarky, but I truly hope your husband doesn’t want just you to have this baby — true, you do have to actually “have” it, but if the actual care and feeding of the baby is not a team effort, I’d work on that first.

      I didn’t have my son until I was almost 35, so I got to do a lot of the things that I wanted first — study abroad, PhD, get my career to a point where I’m comfortable having a child and staying at the same level in order to have some stability.

      That said, I do miss the opportunity to be selfish sometimes. There’s very little just spending the morning reading a book or going to the movies because I feel like it, on the spur of the moment. On the other hand, I have this great little guy now and the opportunity to watch him grow up is awesome. Don’t fall into the trap that everything is happy and shiny when you have a kid, though. It’s OK to miss your pre-child life and to see both the good and the bad side of parenthood.

      • Heh. I am 35 & preggers, did ‘everything’ before hand. Careful on that last trip… at age 31 we took a 6 week trip to southeast asia as a last ‘pre-settle down/baby’ trip. I got a neurotoxin and was ill for the next few years, seriously messing with my life, terrifying, gave me massive anxiety. Mostly better now. But anyway… to do it again, obviously would NOT have done the ‘last big trip’ especially to Thailand. Now I am pregnant and wasn’t able to enjoy the last few years much + old enough where it’s do/don’t time on kids. I pleasant vacation is probably good, but honestly there’s nothing you need to do.. you will be more tired when you are older and it might be harder, so if you are ready in the 20s I think it’s great.

    • I would tell myself to get started earlier having kids (I first tried at 28) because I didn’t realize I would end up wanting several and that I’d have fertility/pregnancy complications. But that’s the sort of thing you can only figure out in hindsight – it just doesn’t turn out to apply for some people.

      And go to Europe and Hawaii (or your dream destination) if you can but don’t put off a family just for that. If it doesn’t work out now you can fit it in later (we’ve taken several grownup vacations while kids stayed with grandparents).

    • Research, Not Law :

      Agree with Academia. Your wording sounds like you’re not on board… but I’m going to assume you are or expect to be in the next three years. Because you should be. Can’t stress that enough.

      To answer your question: Nothing in particular. We spent three weeks in Greece before starting our family, and I highly recommend it. I don’t think it affected our transition to parenthood – but it sure was a good vacation!

      There’s nothing that I wish I’d done before having kids (at 27), but I do wish that I’d appreciated the life I had. Savor sleeping in, going out without coordinating a babysitter, relaxing on the couch all day, being absorbed in whatever project you want, sitting in silence, using the bathroom in private, wandering in the grocery store, having sex whenever you want, and spending unlimited time at the gym and on your appearance.

      You’re ready, when you’re ready. You can’t live a lifetime without children and then live a lifetime with them. The important thing to keep in mind is that you aren’t stopping your life, just transitioning to a new one. You should feel ready for that transition, but there’s not some to-do list that will make you say “yep, I’m done with this and ready for kids” when you check everything off.

    • Lawyer Bird :

      Just as another perspective – having a kid only changes your lifestyle, goals, etc, as much as you let it. If you want to go to Europe, go to Europe with a baby. If you want to hang out with your girlfriends, bring the baby. If you want to have date night, your single baby-loving friends will be happy to babysit. I know some women who turned into total Mombies upon having their first baby, and others who stayed exactly the same as they always had been.

      Also, by having kids in your 20s, you’ll be so young when they get out of the house. Instead of financing college when you’re nearing retirement, you’ll be financing college in your early to mid 40s. Think of all the freedom you and your husband will have in 25 years, and more money, too. Life doesn’t end in your 20s! Having the freedom to travel and splurge on yourselves in your 50s and 60s will be amazing. And you will have so much more energy to care for young children in your 20s than most moms in their late 30s or early 40s do. There are a lot of advantages to being a young parent!

      Also? No one ever feels ready to have a kid. You’re normal.

    • another anon :

      I don’t have kids, but have traveled pretty extensively in Europe, and it’s pretty kid friendly and something that I would think could easily be done with kids. If you are looking to do a big vacation before having kids and have any interest in going to someplace that requires a lot of vaccinations (e.g., Africa, India), I would do that because it would be a while before your kids are old enough to get all the vaccines (and assuming you are in the US, it would be two long flights rather than just one as it would be to Europe).

    • How long have you been married? 23 is young these days to have a child for the demographic you describe , or at least aspire to based on your CPA (congratulations!). At your age, there is no reason to have a baby until YOU feel ready. (I’m not sure there is an age at which you should have a child despite misgivings, but that’s another post for an older woman who has had or of life that you have. It’s perfectly normal to want to do things first .)

      I don’t mean to sound condescending with the “at your age” but you don’t realize how much time you have at 23. I’m 48 , and know I don’t properly appreciate what still lies in front of me, but I know I didn’t appreciate what lay ahead at 23.

      • Well but time can fly by, things happen, health and fertility issues etc,
        . I am amazed at where the time went and to do it again would do kids younger.

  41. Fun!
    I would like to read 20 books this year and get an article published somewhere (anywhere). I used to write more in college and law school but have not done so since school. I always have ideas for articles then I just never get them down or out to the associations always asking for articles.

    My fitness goals are usually the only ones I ever meet because I have a dedicated workout buddy. They are to run a half marathon and do a sprint triathlon. Since my workout buddy cannot help with this, I would also like to eat better (instead of coming home and eating pizza everytime I workout as a reward for doing so.)

    Professionally, I would like to get our newest branch office to earn money without losing myself at the main office. And I have no idea where to start.

    I read How To Get Things Done by David Allen (Allan?) by recommendation of this blog over Christmas/New Years and would recommend it for anyone who is trying to become more efficient for their goal(s).

    • not sure this thread is even active now but if you want to co-author with someone, I’d be game for discussing it! send me an email to my personal account: munchkin1616 at juno dot com

  42. I want to get back to eating better (less sugar!). I started working out with weights this year and it’s been great and I do lots of cardio so this weight creep has to stop.

  43. I used the C25K app on my phone to get started w/running. It was so helpful to “get me going” to the point that I felt like, hey, this is something I can do, vs feeling like I was going to die and couldn’t breathe. My resolutions/goals are to maintain my exercising “schedule,” take my lunch to work at least 1x per week, clean up the junky room in my house, and though I haven’t written this one down anywhere–gossip less/don’t talk about people/don’t get caught up in drama. Too often I let people get me spun up on work drama!

  44. Anyone have a Garmin watch thingy?

    As I am running more and training more seriously, I am thinking about acquiring one, but I’m a little overwhelmed with the options. I definitely want one with a heart rate monitor (we’re toying with trying for a second kid this year so if I get pregnant, I’ll want one for workout). Anyone have the super fancy one and adore it? Or the more basic one and like that? Just trolling for ideas at this point.

    • Equity's Darling :

      I don’t have one, but the NY Times had an article recently:

    • Maddie Ross :

      No specific recs but I love my Garmin watch and I love my Polar heartrate monitor. I’m jealous that you’re picking one out yourself so you can get one that includes both together (I got one from my husband as a gift and one from my dad as a gift). I find the Garmin more useful than the Polar monitor myself and love that it tracks my pace consistently.

    • SV in House :

      I love my Garmin Forerunner 305. It is big, but easier to read than some of the newer models.

      • MissJackson :

        Yeah, I love the Forerunner 305, too. I picked it over the newer, sleeker models because I find that it’s easier to read.

    • I have a basic one. It really changed the way I trained because I was able to keep track of my exact mileage and pace. I used to estimate the miles and pace but I found that I was overestimating the amount of miles I was running. The heart rate monitor is also good for making sure you run your easy runs really easy (my problem). If you travel frequently, it is a good tool to have when you are running in new places to keep track of your miles.

      I don’t know about the super fancy ones, but if you don’t think you are going to use the fancy functions, a basic one is probably sufficient. If you do sports other than running, I believe there is a model that tracks both cycling and running.

    • I love my old Garmin Forerunner 305. I track my runs and other workouts at (highly recommended, regardless of whether you use a GPS device for your miles – it’s so fun to see the miles add up), and I can sync my Garmin directly there.

    • Accidentally posted this to the wrong thread, so reposting.

      Google dcrainmaker – he does fantastic reviews on garmin and other devices. I settled on the fr60, which is fairly basic but works with a footpod as well as heart rate monitor. It seems fairly inexpensive these days as well.

  45. My husband and I are committing to limiting how much we eat out (mornings at sbux, lunches out, takeout for dinner). I’m excited for our budget (first baby due in June) and our health. We got out a couple of the America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook and started planning meals. I was ridiculously proud of myself for making tea, eggs, and an english muffin at home this morning. And for my packed lunch!

  46. Goals, not resolutions :

    1) Pass industry exam (similar to CPA exam) in March.
    2) Declutter den, guest room and basement storage by June.
    3) Update budget by March and stick to it.
    4) Take and pass CMA exam Section 1 by November.

  47. 1) Lose 10-15 pounds
    2) Be more consistent in my running and workouts
    3) Run a sub 4:00 marathon
    4) Write — both fiction and law-related
    5) Focus more on my appearance. More confidence will help me conquer my goals
    6) Find a new job and move back to my favorite city (see #5)
    7) Save money and pay off larger chunk of my student loans (quit my etsy addiction!)

  48. 1) finish chemo. pray like hell that the dr doesn’t extend treatment. again.
    2) lose cancer weight. between water weight from one of the meds and the pity-party-foods when i am able to eat, i’m up 15 pounds and miserable.
    3) have a bonfire for all of my headscarves so i never have to look at them again.
    4) focus on business development to bring in new clients. managing partner thought it was appropriate to tell me that as a female (and the only female litigation partner), my real purpose as a partner was to “make the rainmaker partners look good.” so my new goal is to prove that being a female doesn’t prevent you from obtaining new business.

    • Wow! I love your goals. Lets have a virtual bonfire for you when it’s time. I’m rooting for you.

      And PS: your managing partner is a douche.

    • Good luck with chemo. Don’t be hard on yourself about the weight–you’re fighting for your health and extra weight can be a godsend sometimes.

    • thanks for the encouragement.

      and, yes, douche just begins to scratch the surface. the stories i could tell. i’m still working full-time and got called out in a partner meeting for missing too many thursday afternoons. when i said that was my chemo day, i was told to “stop making excuses.”

      • Oh my God! I’m sorry, I laughed out loud at that.

        I think there is a special place in H@ll for people like that. I really have no words, other than to be a voice of reason that you are totally the normal human being in this relationship.

        I hope five years from now you look back and laugh too, but right now Id be laugh/crying.

        • No, it’s so completely ridiculous that the only logical response is laughter and incredulity. while i was very happy to make partner, it’s becoming increasingly clear that it was only so that they could finally say they have a female litigation partner (over 125 lawyers, more than 50 partners, with 16 in litigation). i’m trying to just zen my way through it by reminding myself that he’s the problem, not me, but the success rate on that is usually better on day 2 (with day 1 ending with me crying as i drive home).

      • Lawyer Bird :

        What a d-ck. You should make it your goal to be the next managing partner.

  49. Anonymous :

    I ordered 3 months’ of CSA produce boxes for 2012! I’m very excited–first box comes next Thursday. This is part of my plan to eat more vegetables (no excuses!).

    • As a now-seasoned CSA member, my best advice for you is: olive oil, salt, pepper, roast. That and find a good pickle recipe. Enjoy! It’s an adventure to depend on the seasons.

      • there are lots of different ways to season and roast, too, that keeps me from getting bored. My favorite: throw a table spoon of mustard and a couple tablespoons of maple syrup in the pan and stir halfway thru roasting. Or coconut milk, or some whole garlic cloves. Or you can do different spice combinations with the olive oil and salt and pepper, like curry powder, or cinnamon and allspice. Oh, and I always cut up an onion into really big pieces and throw it in with my roasted veggies, it adds a little punch to the flavor. mmmm, roasted veggies…..

  50. 1) Find a job
    2) Edit my wardrobe, purge other unnecessaries (figure out how to use ebay)
    3) Cut back spending & build up emergency fund for the impending apocalypse
    4) Figure out how to be happier (however short-lived, see 3, above)

    • @Kady, I strongly recommend David Burns’ “Feeling Good,” to help you reach goal #4. It seems cheesy and self-helpy and was beyond embarrassing to read on public transportation but it made a huge difference for me.

  51. 1. Keep up with running 4-5 times/week and tracking with Weight Watchers to reach new goal weight — 5 lbs. away. And then maintain.
    2. Start doing yoga at home — with the DVD that Kat recommended pre-holidays! I bought it, but haven’t opened the package yet. :)
    3. Try a new healthy dinner recipe at least once per month. DH and I have succeeded in cooking dinners at home more (vs. relying on takeout so much) but we’re in a serious rut, with only 4-5 dinners in the regular repertoire. Slow-cooker pozole is first on the list!
    4. Buckle down at work and start bringing in income again.

    • Amy H.,
      I find a lot of inspiration in the recipes featured in the NY Times Health section: recipes for your health. They’re not strictly low fat/diet, but more focused on just eating well and being healthful. New recipes every week and great online archive. I highly recommend it –

      • Thank you! I will definitely check it out. Eating well/healthfully is my focus, rather than strictly low-fat. I’d rather have a smaller amount of really good cheese than a larger piece of what gets passed off as low-fat or no-fat “cheese.”

  52. MeliaraofTlanth :

    1) Actually finish Couch 2 5k (I made it to week 5 last time before work got to busy. I’m going to have to start all over)
    2) Enter my billing in a timely fashion so I’m not trying to catch up at the end of every month
    3) Cook more and eat better.

  53. SV in House :

    Last year’s resolution was to get more sleep. When I succeeded, it made everything else so much easier/better.

  54. Sydney Bristow :

    I posted mine in the other thread, but I’ll expand a bit.

    1- I want to read more books for pleasure and am aiming for 1 book a month. I have a giant list right now that I want to work through.

    2- start dating again. I posted my profile on OK Cupid last night and am planning to actively be on it at least a few days a week.

    3- I want to get the infrastructure of a solo practice set up so that I’m prepared in the case that people come to me for legal assistance. A few people I know have projects going that will likely need my input/help in the next year and I’d prefer to have everything ready to go ahead of time.

    4- My goal every year is to lose weight, and it is this year but I’m planning to keep my momentum going since I’ve lost 15 pounds so far.

    5- Pay off my remaining credit card. It will be tight, but it’s possible.

  55. I’d like to get a new job or find a way to stop fixating on how much I hate my current one. Lord knows I’ve been trying! Send a little help my way, universe.

  56. Usually I love resolution time! It’s kind of like the start of the school year – a time to think about larger themes and goals before you get lost in the minutiae. But this year, I’ve got so much to think about – dissertation to finish by Feb, first baby due in March, two recent deaths in the family and hubby looking for a job. I just want to make it through 2012 with mind and body relatively intact! I will say that I’m super-excited to get back into the normal workout routine after baby, and I have a secret goal to run a marathon in the next couple of years. I’ve never done one before, and I would like to try!

  57. Formerly Preggo Angie :

    1. Be consistent with Weight Watchers.
    2. Run my 5th half-marathon.
    3. Yoga, at least 1 every 2 weeks.
    4. Use 75% of windfalls to pay off debt.
    5. Be kinder and more patient to my husband.

  58. My only real goal for this year is to have a healthy baby. I’m 10 weeks pregnant now (yay!), and in the midst of morning sickness, so I’m thinking of nothing else but getting through a healthy pregnancy with a healthy baby — all else can come what may, it doesn’t really matter in comparison.

    That said, I guess subsidiary goals would be to clean out some closets and declutter the apartment to make room for the baby, and to find a job with a better work-life balance by the end of maternity leave.

    I feel very odd not having fitness and career-related goals, but I guess this is not the year for them.

    • Congratulations! And you’re absolutely right: a healthy pregnancy trumps all.

    • I literally was just sitting down to write this exact post. I am also 10 wks (congrats to you!!), and I just want to meet a happy, healthy baby in July/August. I have been strugging with morning sickness as well, and I’m trying to focus on the baby – not the sickness. I was so afraid to get “attached” to the pregnancy that I spent the last few weeks just feeling like I had the flu. I’m just now letting myself realize that a baby is actually coming at the end of all of this, and I need to start getting ready for his or her arrival!

      My subsidiary goals are: (1) to work hard and be focused at work over the next 7 months, (2) get organized around the house before my life gets turned upside down, and (3) not worry so much about the future and working once the baby gets here – just enjoy the time now. And, sleep! a lot!

      • Me too, was going to write similar! 19 weeks preg. My goals:

        1. Healthy baby.
        2. Me to not be overly miserable throughout this uncomfortable pregnancy + working (mostly has been unpleasant so far sadly).
        3. Same for after baby born. Keep some happiness/sanity in life somehow.
        4. Along those lines, delegate help with household etc. stuff wherever possible despite cost/loss of privacy. Cant’ do all.
        5. Exercise/eat right on the days that I can. ( I feel you Kat, it is tough when you can’t. I was put on no exercise first trimester due to complication and am a fitness person- has been awful.)
        6. Keep things okay with my dear husband. Easier said than done under strain.
        7. Keep up with my job well enough. I love it, it is just so hard to go right now.
        8. Be more gracious and laid back. I liked the post above about being gracious. I need to do this- I get snappy and such with strangers because bad drivers, corporate customer service, etc. drives me nuts. But I need to control myself better. And let go of some things.
        9. Get through the birth in one piece.

        I am fortunate (and worked hard) to have all the big stuff lined up: home, spouse, job, city, etc. all to my strong liking. This I am thankful for. So no goals on those fronts other than keep them!

  59. Research, Not Law :

    Our second child will arrive in a few weeks, so our resolution is just to survive the year with an infant and toddler. I’m typing it with a sense of sarcasm, but I’m actually dead serious.

    Some sub-resolutions:
    — Use the jogging stroller that only got out three times with the first kid. Oops!
    — Pump at work for at least months 3-6. Ugh. I hate that thing.
    — Sew at least one thing for each child. (I want to do more, but staying realistic).
    — Fill out a baby book for each child. That’s right, my 2 year old still doesn’t have one!
    — Landscape the backyard.

  60. Congratulations on your new baby Kat! I’m a new mom too (my baby is almost 6 months old now) and while exercise went by the wayside for a while, I was determined to get back to it. I used to work out almost every day but I the time constraints associated with a new baby have made that difficult. So I have resolved to put on 1,000 miles this year through a combination of whatever activities I enjoy. I love to walk and jog outside in the spring, summer and fall and I’ll use the rowing machine that I got for the holidays during the winter. If I ride my bike, then I will give myself credit for 1/2 of the distance. I have already started thinking about ways to add miles — such as getting off the train several stops before my normal stop — just to make sure that I get in the miles and some time for myself. I walked a ton while I was on maternity leave and it made me feel so much better….I just wish that I had started counting my distance then! And as note to those new moms out there — I have found that taking a little time for myself has really helped me be a better parent. I know that we all have to do what is right for us but I’m so glad that I listened to friends who told me to make sure I do a little bit for myself every day. Not only have I lost all of the baby weight but I feel great as well. Now if only I could sleep through the night!

  61. AnonInfinity :

    This is my first time to make a resolution. My parents have had some very bad health scares, so I’m trying to make my lifestyle healthier.

    I want to meditate for at least 5 minutes, at least 5 times per week.

    And eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies per day. I might already do this, but I guess I want to be more diligent about tracking and making absolutely sure that I get them all in.

  62. Accountress :

    1. Not purposely lose weight.

    2. Enjoy exercising again.

    3. Love my body exactly how it is.

    4. Cook more- enjoy the preparing of good, hearty meals again before working got in the way.

  63. My resolution is to give thanks. In addition to being mindful of giving thanks in my everday life, I plan to write notes to my high school English teacher, the author of a book that touched me, a mentor from my early career, etc.

    • I love this. I always thought about writing thank you notes to my high school teachers and college professors that meant the most, but never did it. I regret it, but reading your post made me realize it’s not too late.

  64. 1. Have a healthy baby (next month!)
    2. Enjoy every minute of maternity leave snuggling said baby.
    3. Complete an adventure race with my husband in July or August.
    4. Lose all baby weight by Thanksgiving.
    5. Take a swimming stroke clinic to improve technique so I can do a sprint triathalon in 2013 without fear of drowning.

  65. Ooh I’ll bite!

    1. Put 100% into my job search so when I do/do not (!) find a job, I can say with certainty that I did everything I could, and have no regrets.
    2. Run a 3:05 marathon. This is partly because I want to go sub 3 in my lifetime, but I don’t think it will happen this year.

  66. 1) Find a job;

    2) Reduce packaging that comes into the house (e.g., bring containers to the store and buy from bulk bins, make more food items, etc.);

    3) Do more karaoke, which I’ve recently discovered is really fun!

  67. (1) Call each and every catalog-sender as and when each and every catalog comes in the mail and get my name and address off their mailing list.
    (2) Run (and finish) my first full marathon.

    • i do this on catalogs. I hate it. but i hate catalogs more. i always ask them to register a complaint, and tell them where they bought my information from. they hate that. i tell them to note i hate waste in my name and it’s bad for the environment and it isn’t right to send unsolicited junk. my husband gets so many to, but won’t get off the lists.

      • i also really hate how, if you buy something on line, they re-add you to all the freaking lists. wish this was illlegal or less of a practice.

    • In search of Bunksters bark :

      Catalogchoice dot com will take your name off lists. I like that the interface was easy and have the hope that the systematic approach will tell Big Marketing that “we” don’t lle it.

  68. Resolutions – I set mine as goals as well, broken into personal and professional categories.

    As for Couch to 5K, that is what I used when I started running 3 summers ago. Then I moved on to running with a Galloway training group (run-walk program) as I trained for my first half marathon. I’ve gradually worked up to all running and run 3-4 halfs a year. Good luck to all the runners, and to everyone with their 2012 goals/resolutions!

  69. My fitness goal this year is to lift weights / complete the New Rules Of Lifting For Women programme (anyone else doing this as well?).

    I also have 5 pounds left to lose, but how i feel/look is much more important than the number on the scale.

  70. Just one resolution, but I thnk it will help out in all areas–take time on the weekends to plan menus, exercise, and work (I’m self-employed) time. I got that much done last weekend, but didn’t manage the next step, which is to do the grocery shopping and get a couple meals made in advance. Our weeknights are hectic–boy doesn’t get home from activities til 6 or 6:30, must be in bed by 8:30. Having supper ready to go, or at least not having to think about what to make, should be a big help.

  71. I’m doing C25K too. I have a lot of difficulty getting out for a run 3 times a week, so I’ve been doing Week 1 forever, but that’s OK. Try the C25K downloads from NHS ( and on iTunes) – the music is excellent!

  72. I hadn’t heard about the C25K app! I will certainly be downloading that. Thanks all for sharing your resolutions, I wish you all the very best with them. You can do it!

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