Resolutions- is there always room for improvement?

Day 2 of Janathon. 7.9 km on the indoor rower.

In years gone by I’ve been a big fan of resolutions.  From late teens onwards I’ve found that setting goals and achieving them has been a great source of comfort to me. Sometimes it’s personal, that feeling of smug satisfaction of having achieved more than someone who you suspect looks down upon you, sometimes it’s more existential, about making your life meaningful by doing something to make the world a better place.

When I took up running,it was a different kind of achievement. I wasn’t in a position to be competition for anyone else: The achievement was purely about learning to like something that I never ever thought that I would want to do, never mind like.

Thinking about resolutions for this year I have struggled to come up with meaningful goals. The problem is that to set any goals over and above what I’m achieving now will require a lot of Time and energy and I think that I’m already giving 100%!! At work I just want to do what I’m already doing as well as I can. Outside work I want to be a good wife and mother. I’d like to spend a bit more time with extended family and friends.

If resolutions were actually wishes that came true instead of ambitions that required effort to achieve there are a few things that I’d like to do. I think that I’d like to run a marathon, oh and I have started to jot down a few ideas for the novel which has been dwelling in my head for a couple of years. And I’d like to lose 10lb. I’m actually quite pleased to have stayed pretty steady all year with ‘eating sensibly’ so I think it would require quite a bit of effort to lose weight. So I’m not going to pressure myself to do that.

I have a tendency towards enthusiasm and optimism,  I often have great ideas and often I pursue goals at 120%. That’s great, but then I get tired and burn out. When I burn out I over compensate by ‘protecting myself’ and becoming selfish and unhelpful. I don’t want to do that any more. 

My resolution for 2015 is to be balanced.

I’m going to do the best I can to do all the things that I want to do, but aim for steady consistency rather than flashes of high energy.

So I may, or may not run a marathon this year. If I do, it will be my aim to finish and accept that I won’t be fast. If I don’t, I may do a couple of half marathons, and truthfully that might be a better way to go for long term consistency.

I may write a novel but I probably won’t. Chances are that I will get a couple of chapters down. It may be that I find spending an hour on my novel every night more fulfilling than watching TV, in which case I might do a lot more!

I dare say that I won’t lose 10lb, but if I manage some consistent exercise I might.

So no pressure, which is good because I can do without it!

how about you? Can you be happy with who you are already?

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About mawil1

Hi my name is julie and I took up running at the age of 46! Hence 'mawil' Middle Aged Woman In Lycra. I did it at first because someone asked me to do a charity run with them. I couldn't run at all, but pride wouldn't let me be seen to be unable to run so I started a walk run programme. I stuck with it and to my surprise I found that I liked it- after a couple of weeks of progress I was hooked! My blog is about my progress in running and how I fit it in with the rest of my life.
This entry was posted in blogging, change, fitness, half marathon, impulsive decisions. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Resolutions- is there always room for improvement?

  1. txa1265 says:

    Balance … Definitely a major goal of mine, and an admirable goal for everyone! 🙂

  2. fit4365 says:

    Balance is a good goal. I’ll settle for no drama and more running this year, maybe the Manchester 10k again and a half marathon later in the year if all goes well, if 🙂

    • mawil1 says:

      No drama. Definately. Yes I’d like to do Manchester 10k again, it’s the only race I did last year. This year I would like to have done more 10k runs before then. No pressure though! Let’s get kana thin done first!

  3. Shaz says:

    My advice always be run a marathon with the aim to finish rather than with a time in mind! (Unfortunately I have failed to do that four times!)

  4. Sounds good to me Julie 🙂 I like the idea of balance, sounds calm but with progress too.

    • mawil1 says:

      Thanks- easier said than done I expect! I liked it in your post where you said that last year you aimed to do a couple of half marathons ( and you did) before deciding on a marathon for this year. I thought that sounded like a good plan for me too! I’m ok with 10k now, I realise that I’m more comfortable with endurance than speed, so I think that trying to get comfortable with half marathon distance is probably a good next step. Thanks again, I do find your blog inspiring!!

      • Thank you Julie 🙂 we were going to do a marathon in January 2014 but our Coach said we’d enjoy it more if we waited a year and became more experienced with the half. He’s a wise man! It’s been a slow process but it seems to be working. All the best for your balanced year.

  5. bitzy-ku says:

    Good luck Julie, the main thing is to be happy in yourself and your decisions – I’ve decided life is easier for me to let go of things and take the pressure off 🙂 All the best to you x

  6. oscardiamond says:

    It sounds like you’ve got a lot of balance already and you shouldn’t feel you need to stretch yourself even more. Having ideas and taking something up enthusiastically is good even if you don’t continue with them in the long run. Don’t berate yourself.
    Concerning writing a novel, I think it’s a great idea. How to fit it in? You supplied your own answer. Cut down on TV time (unless this is invaluable relaxation time). I wrote a 70,000 children’s novel which I subsequently didn’t revise and started a crime novel which I haven’t touched for 3 months. Lack of consistency or what? But it was great fun, creative and gives you an entrée into other worlds.

    • mawil1 says:

      I appreciate that the fun in th novel is in the writing, being in another world and enjoying the flow of creativity as you put it all down.
      There’s also the thrill of others enjoying what you read- did you read your children’s book to your children? Did they like it? Aren’t you tempted to try to publish?

  7. oscardiamond says:

    My offspring are sadly much too old to be read to. I did try to attract an agent but the uptake rate is around 1-2% and you tend not to get any feedback. I did get some comments but these had a demoralising effect although in hindsight they were accurate. Despite reading about,and doing a lot of research on, writing and presenting to an agent, I still made the most elementary mistakes. It was a bit like doing the lottery in a syndicate at work when the national lottery first started. I really had a strong hunch we would win big first time. Of course we didn’t.
    Nevertheless it was great fun all round. I still have the option of pursuing it again. I have the basic novel written which I think is good. I suggest you get the Writers and Artists’ Yearbook for advice and a peek into the writing world and/or the magazines Writers’ Forum and Writing Magazine.
    What genre would you be interested in?

    • mawil1 says:

      I’ve had a brief look at some writers magazines etc. I know it isn’t easy- rumour had it JKRowling submitted to 40 (publishers or agents?) before getting Harry potter accepted.
      Like you I suffer from lottery syndrome! Maybe it’s part of being an optimist!
      I thought that I should try to get something written down before doing more research, as I don’t want my writing to be influenced too much by trying to fit with textbook ideas of what makes a good novel.
      At the moment choosing a category is difficult, it’s a bit sci-fi /dystopian, there’s some romance, and philosophical theme about beauty. I ‘m hoping that it would be a ‘proper novel’ and not just chick lit, though chick lit sells well and is probably easier to publish! Another way in is to enter a competition. What motivated me to get moving with this was that good housekeeping magazine do an annual competition! Last year had 3500 entrants but all the shortlisted people got feedback. Admittedly the odds are still less than 1% of getting any feedback.
      So there’s still a lot of work to do on it! Being a science graduate and not an arty person I know that my writing may be severely criticised (I’ve listened to radio 4, I know what they think of us!) In terms of reading I tend to prefer the Richard and Judy bookclub to the Booker prize shortlist! And in the end there’s always on line publishing! I think there’s a long way to go until the end though!
      Thanks for sharing your experience. Would you consider giving it another go? After a break, coming back with fresh eyes may be the motivation you need to progress?

  8. oscardiamond says:

    The chief thing to accept, we are advised, is to actually write and practise writing rather than endlessly search for tips, techniques and particular skills. I found it very tempting to research and do loads of reading rather than knock out the words and revise them. Perhaps write what you want to and decide what category it falls into later rather than conform to the genre you’ve chosen.Unless you are determined to write a “literary” novel, go for a good story which will entertain you as you write it. A lot of literary novels are very pretentious and sell in surprisingly small numbers.
    I think doing competitions a good way of practising writing and finding your writing “voice”.
    Self publishing on line is now much, much easier to do and is an excellent option. There are a lot of stages but you are in control. The key is letting people know what you’ve written through social media otherwise it gets lost in the internet wilderness. Have you come across Joanna Penn and the Creative Penn podcast on iTunes?
    I will give it another go and having this chat is getting me thinking again. But for the foreseeable future my focus will be on getting my gardening project off the ground. Nevertheless I do think about writing most days. I may pick up on my crime ideas again.

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