July 2019 Goals : The Year of 1% Better

books, catholicism, goals, reading, running, year of 1% better

If you’re new here, I declared 2019 the Year of 1% Better. Here’s a list of all previous goal posts.

January: Goals | Outcomes

February: Goals | Outcomes

March: Goals | Outcomes

April : Goals | Outcomes

May : Goals  | Outcomes

June : Goals | Outcomes 

I wanted to write this up yesterday, but Henry was not too keen on the idea of taking naps during the day. Nor was he too keen on sleeping this morning, but I guess that is to be expected from a one month old! So quickly — before he wakes up now, I’ll share my goals for July.

This month feels chaotic. We move next week Friday, so even though I’ve been working on class prep, I also have been packing and organizing. I donated a large amount of clothing and books. We do not want to bring a lot of furniture down, so we have someone taking our dining room table and couches so we can begin again. Even still, I have a few things I would like to work on for this month.

Begin to run again. I plan on easing into this. I’ve been consistent with my walks, but I’d like to slowly start adding some running to those walks. I started on Tuesday — I walked four minutes, ran a minute. I felt ok. It felt very clear to me that it had been a long time since I’ve run, but I also did not experience any pain during or after. It was just uncomfortable. Slowly, I plan on adding on to the minutes, but for now for three of my weekly walks I would like to add some running time. 

Read a chapter of a book non-work related daily. A lot of my reading lately has been in preparation for the fall, mainly American history. But I want to make sure I get in some fun reading too. Ideally, this year I would like to read one novel and one nonfiction every month, but that might be a little much for me to start on. For now – just a chapter a day. I’m currently reading Isabella: Warrior Queen right now. I don’t know much about the Spanish monarchs, but this has proved to be very interesting.

Daily Angelus. I’m pretty good at morning prayers (well, at least when Henry is napping). I have some coffee and that is usually the first part of the day. The rest of the day is usually iffy. I’ve tried to incorporate more throughout the day (like a daily rosary), but I can never keep up with it. Here’s to starting small — this month I’d like to say an Angelus later in the day either around noon or later in the afternoon.

Once again — just some small things. I think preparing for teach has provided me with a great deal of my goals and to-do’s for now. I’m really excited about teaching this fall, so that is fine. But as usual — I do want to make sure I have a few things to work on.

What are your goals for this month?

 

 

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May Goals Update & June 2019 Goals : The Year of 1% Better

goals, Harry Potter, motherhood, postpartum fitness, reading, running

If you’re new here, I declared 2019 the Year of 1% Better. Here’s a list of all previous goal posts.

January: Goals | Outcomes

February: Goals | Outcomes

March: Goals | Outcomes

April : Goals | Outcomes

May : Goals 

Henry is taking a nap, so I thought I would try to get in a quick post. Most of my May goals were about wrapping things up. I wanted to work on consistent academic writing/editing and getting my class notes scanned. I was more successful on the former than I was on the latter. By the end of the month, I was so uncomfortable the last thing I wanted to do was stand by a scanner and scan. I suspect that boxes of notes will be traveling with us to Texas.

Nor did I finish re-reading Harry Potter, but I will probably have the seventh book done by the end of this month of early July. I came close, but I think I became distracted by other reading. Plus, it has been nice reading Harry while Henry naps or I pump. As usual, I’ll be kind of sad when I finish the seventh book — having lived in the books again the past couple of months. 

As for June — well, I’m not sure you can blame me for not really having any goals on the to do list. I think being a mother makes me more than 1% better. I think focusing on Henry and figuring out a baby has been goals enough! That said, I did start walking a mile a day this week — which was the big postpartum goal I planned before I start running again. I look forward to having more focused plans and goals come July!

What were your June goals?

 

Postpartum Running Goals

crossfit, goals, postpartum fitness, races, running

Though I have been anxious to get back to running and CrossFit the last two weeks, I have not been anxious to jump the gun. I have no idea if I have pelvic floor problems or diastasis recti, but I do not really want to take the chance. I’m not sure what my return to CrossFit will look like yet, especially considering we are moving at the end of my fifth week postpartum. However, running I have a bit of an idea. I’m going to ease into it very, very, very slowly.

That said, that does not mean I have not been active. After we arrived home from the hospital, I started taking just five minute walks. And frankly, that was about all I could handle. I still waddled a bit, but within a few days I could tell I felt significantly physically better from labor. When Henry was a week old, I added another five minutes. I did a week of ten minute walks followed by RomWod stretching.

This week I’ll do fifteen minutes of walking, but I’ve added a few core movements to do before including just one set of ten bridges, clam shells, and pelvic tilts. At this point, I’m just trying to establish good habits. I’m getting closer to being able to walk a mile and I’m still following the walk up with some RomWod.

So far, this has been working for me and I’ll keep it up until six weeks — just adding five minutes of daily walking every week. After six weeks, I’ll start adding in some running. I’m not sure what that will look like yet, but I will continue to ease into it slowly and cautiously.

I do have a race goal. I would like to build up my running fitness enough to finish the Mosaic Trail half-marathon in Liberty Hill, Texas this year. Note I said finish, not race — so if I’m still run/walking so be it. The race is in December, so who knows where I will be fitness-wise. I don’t want to put any sort of time goal pressure on myself. I’m just ready to enjoy running outside and enjoy the trails. Plus, it will be my first Texas race as a Texas resident!

I’ll start posting Monday Miles again next week, especially considering I’m starting to accumulate a few!

 

Monday Miles (On a Tuesday!) : May 20 – 26 (38 Weeks Pregnant)

crossfit, goals, monday miles, running

Contains Amazon affiliate links. 

I feel drained. I still am not sleeping much at all. I thought I knew what heartburn was, but these last few weeks are showing me what heartburn really can be. It is more than an unpleasant annoyance. It rages. I get up at 3 in the morning, sit on the couch and pop tums, waiting for it to go away. Today was not one of those days.

I keep looking at half-marathon plans, dreaming of a post-partum running come back. My best half last year was a three times a week plan. I think that really worked for me and my body, so I’m thinking about getting Run Less, Run Faster and following one of those plans, after I’m all recovered of course.

I am less than a week until my due date. I did half Murph yesterday (will post about that soon — you can see last year’s here) and will keep working out, however modified, until this baby decides to make his or her appearance.

5 – 20 : CrossFit – Helen (modified) – 3x 400m row, 21 kettle-bell swings @ 15 lbs., and 12 ring rows. Even though I heavily modified Helen, I loved this work-out. Every time I would get back on the rower, I would feel another swing of energy and would try to sprint through it. I think it was just hard enough — I did not feel like I was overdoing it, but I also did not feel like the modifications made it too easy. 12 minutes 4 seconds. Walked – 1 mile, 20 minutes.

5 – 21 : CrossFit – for time – 4x 3 hang squat-cleans @ 50 lbs., 6 box step-ups @ 20 in.; 2x 6 hang squat-cleans @ 45 lbs., 12 box step-ups @ 20 in.; 1x 12 hang squat-cleans @ 35 lbs, 24 box step-ups @ 20 in. 12 minutes, 29 seconds. Another fun one. I think the hardest was the second set with the two rounds of six. It got just spicy enough.

5 – 22 : Rest.

5 – 23 : CrossFit – Row for 120 calories. 9 minutes 56 seconds. I did actually come in with a goal for this. I wanted to stay under ten minutes. I thought 60-100 calories was the hardest part, but after 100 calories I could muscle through it and just get it over with.

5 – 24 : Rest.

5 – 25 : Rest.

5 – 26 : Rest

Total : 3 hours, Crossfit. 20 minutes, 1 mile walk. 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Onward!

Thoughts on Laura Vanderkam’s 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

books, goals, motherhood, pregnancy, running

Contains Amazon affiliate links. 


I re-read Laura Vanderkam’s 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think this week. I read it a few years ago, liked it, and of course, never implemented anything from the book. I never kept a time log, but I did like her approach to time management. Sometimes I just like to read these books for the inspiration and motivation.

This time around I think it was better for me. I’m not keeping a time log because I know life is about to be drastically different in the next few weeks or so, but because it was a good reminder that I can still have personal goals and ambition post-baby. Women do it all the time – she has the time logs (ha!) to prove it.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as I move toward the end of my 36th week of pregnancy. As someone put it, “Baby can come any day now.” Yet – I frequently have people tell me all I can say good-bye to sleep, eating, working-out, reading, any sort of leisure time at all, and lastly my sanity. I’m sure that I am about to achieve a real shock to my system, but are these things true?

I appreciate Vanderkam’s answer to that question: no. I’ll admit, I’m very excited to be a mother, but not at the expense of giving up my entire self. One of my big post-baby goals is to train for a trail 50k. I suspect training for that will not happen until 2020, but I’m thinking about it, planning for it. Is this naive because I have no idea how motherhood will take up my time? Is this a completely selfish goal? Or, with a lot of planning, self-disciplining, and my new Bob stroller is this goal doable? I think the answer is yes to the latter. I hope it is.

Anyway — these are questions I’m thinking about right now. I suspect I will return to Vanderkam’s book again as I recover post-pregnancy and begin the new job. I hope to pick up I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time and have been scanning through her blog archives all week, happy to have hope that having a family and personal goals (or even work) goals do not have to be separate or even contradictory. As Jennifer Fulwiler puts it, it really can be One Beautiful Dream.

May 2019 Goals : Year of 1% Better

books, goals, Harry Potter, pregnancy

If you’re new here, I declared 2019 the Year of 1% Better. Here’s a list of all previous goal posts.

January: Goals | Outcomes

February: Goals | Outcomes

March: Goals | Outcomes

April : Goals | Outcomes

May will be my last month as a non-parent. I mean — I guess technically I am a mom, but rumor has it taking care of babies is a lot harder when they are on the outside. I’m inclined to believe it! Hah!

So it feels weird to make goals for this month. I mainly feel like I am holding my breath. This is the last month of the old normal, before the new normal arrives. I do not feel too stressed, thankfully. At the same time, however, I wonder, “Am I doing enough? Am I prepared enough?” This goes for baby, moving in July, and beginning to teach in August. Frankly, if I think about it too much I become mentally overwhelmed by newness.

Part of me wants to rush head-long into it. Let’s just get started already. I’m sincerely and truly excited for everything to come. I’m grateful that the baby will be here soon, to be moving somewhere exciting, and to teach subjects I love to smart students. But I have enjoyed my life with Bruno for the past nearly two years of marriage with just the two of us. I love living in Michigan (a bold statement for this Ohio girl!). I have had an exceedingly flexible schedule the last few years. Writing your dissertation does not require that you get dressed in regular clothes. All of these things are big changes.

I’ll admit another part of me questions, “What is the point?” Everything is about to be disrupted anyways — why start new habits? Why not wait – post-pone – until baby is here, we’ve moved, and I see what life looks like teaching in Texas?

But that just is not me. I have never been the type of person who says when “x” happens, I’ll do “y.” I just make “y” happen, whether that be run a marathon during an exceedingly difficult four class semester, get pregnant while finishing up my dissertation, or working-out while pregnant. Though I’ll admit circumstances do matter, for the most part we can do more than we think.

So – here are some of my goals for this month. Yes, the big goal is to just breathe, enjoy the calm before the baby, but nine months pregnant or not, I’m still capable of moving forward, of being 1% better. They are small, but that is the point.

Scholarly writing/editing – 30 minutes – 5x week : I found out at the end of last month my revise and resubmit for an article was accepted with minor style revisions. I’ll admit I’m still too burnt out (ok, I’m babying myself here) to just sit down and go through the revisions in one day and turn it in. Instead — I’m taking it little by little, thirty minutes a day of going back through and re-reading everything. I’m about half-way done and should have it re-submitted by the end of this week, but I’ve been thinking ahead. I think with baby and teaching full-time, thirty minutes will continue to be doable for me. I want to start the baseline for that habit now. I think people underestimate what they can accomplish in a focused 30-60 minutes and overestimate what they can get done in a day. I also plan on continuing with my April goal of fifteen minutes a day notebook writing.

Scan all class notes. I know it is tedious. I know sometimes the scanner refuses to cooperate, so I spend on hour scanning to find nothing was sent to my e-mail. Just get it done. I’ll be happier knowing that I do not have boxes of files sitting around my desk anymore. I’ll be happier knowing I can find what I need in DropBox and Evernote. I’ll be very happy to recycle everything and know I do not have to pack all these loose papers for Texas and find a place in a small apartment to store them. JUST DO IT.

Keep television to weekends. I do not even really watch much tv, but sometimes it can be easy to watch something I do not care about at all on Netflix or HBO or what have you. This is the last month Bruno and I have as just the two of us, I don’t want to waste it by staring at the tv for the last few hours a day.

Finish re-reading Harry Potter. Here is my fun one. I’m reading Order of Phoenix right now, so I should be able to get done by the end of this month. I want to be done before baby arrives when I plan on listening to them read by Stephen Fry (which I have never done before!). It is always the season for Harry.

I’m keeping it simple this month. Just four! Of course, I plan on continuing to CrossFit for as long as I can until baby comes and watch my social media (holdovers from previous months).

What are your goals for May?

 

 

 

 

April 2019 Goals : How Did It Go?

crossfit, goals, Harry Potter, reading, year of 1% better

If you’re new here, I declared 2019 the Year of 1% Better. Here’s a list of all previous goal posts.

January: Goals | Outcomes

February: Goals | Outcomes

March: Goals | Outcomes

April : Goals

I cannot believe April is over already. This is the first month where I mostly accomplished everything I wanted. Plus, I feel almost fully recovered from finishing up my dissertation. I think I finally actually relaxed and if you couldn’t tell from yesterday’s post, did plenty of reading.

I managed to be fairly consistent in non-dissertation writing — both on the blog, but also in my goal to keep a notebook a la Natalie Goldberg-style. I found an old one-subject seventy sheet notebook, figuring there was no need for anything special. After my usual morning routine, before I write the day’s blog post, I set the timer at ten minutes and write. I was not able to finish a notebook this way, but I was able to get some thoughts down. I think I only missed a handful of days, so I was pretty happy with the success of this goal. I’m planning on continuing it into May.

Not only did I manage to do a great deal of downsizing in the kitchen, but we have around five or six boxes of books ready to donate in the dining room. The house is looking a little more chaotic with all these to-go boxes lying around, but it is great to know that as we get closer to moving (another two and a half months — but at least a month and a half of that will feature a new baby) things will be done. The last time we moved — only a few blocks away, not cross-country — it felt like nothing was done, nothing was organized. I really do not want that to happen this time around with an infant and further to travel.

On average I ended up doing more than 2x CrossFit every week. I typically managed around three times a week, even PRing a few times. Not bad for a woman in her eighth month of pregnancy, I think! I’m hoping this is a sign of things to come for May. I may have to take it easy, but it is nice to keep showing up. I rowed almost every week and managed to finally get some walking in last week. Consistency, man.

My social media use is better, but still not what I would like it to be. I suppose this is going to be a goal I’ll keep renewing in the months (really weeks and days) to come. Some days are better than others. Some days I hardly think about it. Then the next day I find myself in a scrolling frenzy. I think reading more has helped — I reward tasks with another chapter of Harry Potter as opposed to checking instagram or facebook. It certainly is much more rewarding.

Overall, I would say things are definitely 1% better this month. I’m happy that I’ve added a new habit, gave myself some peace of mind with moving, and managed to stay consistent with my work-outs.

How did your April goals turn out?

 

 

April 2019 Goals : The Year of 1% Better

crossfit, goals, year of 1% better

Contains Amazon affiliate links. 

Coming up with 1% goals was hard this month (you can see my 2019 goals here). I think it is because I feel like I am in some sort of life limbo. I just ended a huge several year chapter. I finished my dissertation and after graduation will officially have my Ph.D. diploma in hand. But the next thing has yet to start. In June comes baby and in August comes the new job. The normal goals I would have – running, racing, improving CrossFit things (like double-unders!) have proven exceedingly difficult for me to do. So, I have that feeling of “now what?”

At the same time, I don’t want to just wait my life away. These next two months are real life, even if things (and myself!) have slowed down. I don’t have to wait until post-baby or post-move or post-starting the new job to figure out goals and plans for the future. But I think this is easier said than done. I keep counting down the days until the due date which means the countdown to the move can begin.

Write ten minutes a day. I recently finished reading Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. She recommends just setting a timer and writing for ten minutes, trying to fill a notebook a month. I have a seventy-sheet Mead notebook and the plan is to make Goldberg’s suggestions part of my morning routine. I used to love to write, but I think sometimes academic writing can be kind of a drag. I want to do something else, just for myself, just for fun. I’m four days into the month and have been so far four days consistent.

Downsize kitchen. I mentioned last month that because we were moving, I needed to start downsizing — especially before the baby arrived. Last month, I focused on my clothes. This month I will be spending some time in the kitchen. I have a few appliances I thought would be great ideas when I registered for them for our wedding almost two years ago, but have never been used. We have an excessive amount of coffee mugs and have more wine glasses that two people who don’t even really like wine need. We barely have enough room for all our stuff now and we live in a house, so I suspect that it would be all over the place if we had an apartment. Bye, bye clutter.

CrossFit WOD 2x week. I have been feeling wiped out. For most of 2019, I have been able to WOD 3-4 times a week, but I think that is starting to be too much for me. I know the difference between being tired and feeling like I just got done running a marathon and need several days to recover. I am feeling more of the latter lately post-workout. This may not be a go-getter improvement, but it is an improvement on listening to myself and what I need for now. I’d like to be able to keep 2x a week until the very end, but right now the best I can do is listen to my body. I plan on replacing at least one of the WODs with some quality time on the rower, which is less boring than a bike trainer. When will I be able to run again?

Things to work on from previous months: I checked instagram and facebook several times while writing this post. My January goal of keeping social media to Saturdays has completely collapsed this month. I did ok in February, then it got a little worse in March, and then at some point this morning I realized I lost an hour and a half to scrolling. I am renewing the focus on my January goal and will hopefully do much better this month.

What are your goals for this month?

 

 

March 2019 Goals : How did it go?

dissertation, goals, graduate school, year of 1% better

Contains Amazon affiliate links. 

If you’re new here, I declared 2019 the Year of 1% Better. You can see January goals here and outcomes here, February goals here, and February outcomes and March goals here.

I started last month feeling burnt out post-dissertation. I’m happy to say I feel much better now. I’m not ready to go get it yet, but March featured some big changes. We know we’ve moving. We know we have jobs for next year (a big relief). I still feel tired, but this is more physically because of being in the third trimester, not from stress and mental exhaustion. Of course — I’m still stressed. Who am I kidding? But at least the stress is about different things and not well, the big D-word (dissertation).

I did begin to downsize. I donated two trash bags of clothing to my little sisters, packed a fair amount of clothes I knew I probably would not be able to fit into for awhile yet, and am starting another trash bag of clothes now. We started bringing up boxes of books from the basement to go through and determine what to donate. All primary texts are safe, classics we thought we would read have to go. I actually expected to be more attached to my books, like “oooo, I totally want to read that” but I guess my self-expectations have become more reasonable, because when Bruno held up Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, I responded, “Yeah, get rid of it.” Sorry, Waugh. This moving vehicle will have no room for good intentions.

Although it is a day late for my March goals, I did resubmit my “revise and resubmit” for an academic journal yesterday. I really struggled with procrastination on this one. I probably could have had everything done much earlier, late February or early March, but I dreaded working on it. I would set a half hour timer and persuade myself, “Ok, just a half hour. You can do a half hour.” And I would go from there. This was sort of the last big thing hanging over my head, so now it is done I can say I feel free. Until, the next thing of course. I’m considering getting another article ready to send out before baby comes, but given that my future career decision kind of means leaving the academic rat race, I’m not sure.

Did I relax? Define “relax.” Ok, ok, it is true, I feel much better than I did at the start of the month. I spent a lot of time reading, which was great. I began thinking about post-graduate school goals. Also, great. When I was tired, I slept. I start trading out rowing for wods. So yes, I would say I relaxed, but I still think it is something I need to work on. A lot of my relaxing time, I found myself scanning through facebook or instagram. Still, less than I used to, but more than I want to be on those websites. I’ll just keep working.

How did your March goals go? We’re a fourth of the way through the year, is 2019 going strong?

 

 

 

March 2019 Goals : The Year of 1% Better

goals, graduate school, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, pregnancy, reading, year of 1% better

We are already almost at the end of March (hello, spring!) and I have yet to post my 1% goals for the month. I have also failed to say how the goals for February went. All you need to know is that everything went by the way-side, but I did submit and successfully defend my dissertation. Still a huge win.

If you’re new here, I declared 2019 the year of 1% better. You can see January goals here and outcomes here and February goals here.

I’ll admit that I began this month kind of unfocused and burnt out. What is the saying they used to say about March weather? It comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb (where does this actually happen?). I came into March like a slug, a very tired slug. I’m not exactly at “let’s get after it” levels yet. In fact, by the afternoon I am so worn out that I find myself catatonicly sitting on the couch, wishing for ice-cream, trying not to scroll through social media (still a 1% goal).

Part of this I suspect is the post-dissertation “what do I do with myself?” feeling. The other part is pregnancy. I’ve been sleeping terribly. I’m trying to take this time to relax, but as I told Bruno, “I don’t know how!” I also told him, after a few days of traveling, that “the best vacation one can give oneself is a consistent routine.” I am trying to give myself the latter as best I can.

So what am I trying to accomplish for March?

Down-sizing. Baby is actually not the only big change to happen this summer. I’ll share more when it is all official, but we are starting to downsize to prepare to move. I joke that I’m going full Marie Kondo, except I assure you I am not thanking my clothes as I put them into trash bags to give to my sisters as hand-me-downs. The two big areas I’m focusing on this month are my closet as I can’t wear most of my clothes right now anyways and several boxes of class notes. Taking advantage of my mental burn-out, I’m spending some quality time at the scanner so I can send boxes of paper to the recycling bin. I suspect the paper overload will take me all the way up to the big day, but it is nice to see the amount dwindle now.

Finish a revise and resubmit for an academic journal article. This is the one goal I can already tell you I am struggling. At this point, it is a monkey on my back I just want to get off. I’m very happy (and grateful) to have received a very positive and helpful revise and resubmit, but I need a Rousseau break. If I can be done with this, no Rousseau for April. Those are the rules. Also, I still very much love Rousseau.

Relax. I’m trying to take some more time for reading. If I want to take a nap in the afternoon, I do not try to push through. Usually I’ve been calling it a day at around noon before I go to CrossFit. Whatever I have gotten done at that point is good enough. Little steps are fine right now. I am lucky that at this point, I can take the time to just do nothing if I need to. I’m not sure how to enjoy doing nothing, but that is a problem for another time.

And that is it! There are a few repeats from previous months. I’m still working through my #CathLit2019 books and trying to avoid social media during the week. Both need a bit of revitalization, so hopefully if I came into March like a slug, I can refocus and leave like a lion? Or pick some sort of fierce, but relaxed animal.

What are your goals for March? How have they been going?