“Back to School” Resolutions: 2017 Edition
You guys know I’m a huge fan of resolutions. I make them a couple times a year: New Years, birthdays occasionally, and always, always, always, for Back to School. My fondest summer memories involve floating in the ocean at the beach with my sister between body-surfing waves and dissecting our back to school plans, from goals around classes to what our sartorial style was going to be for the year. (Straight A’s, dominating the school newspaper, surfer chic with a punk rock edge, pretty much every year.)
Through college, I continued this pattern—and luckily, I started racing cyclocross before school was finished for me, so I was able to keep the pre-school-year excitement happening every time summer came to an end and September rolled around. It feels like, despite not being a student and despite not going into education (which was the plan at one point), I’ve stayed on the trajectory of a reset every September. Which I love.
Last year, I did a similar post—and looking back at it now, I actually hit most of those goals! (So, my report card was pretty solid. My parents would be so proud.) This year isn’t much different—I’m moving in a direction I want to be moving in, and while the next six months are pretty set in stone as far as what we’re doing, we’re having a blast starting to plan and scheme for next February and beyond, but all playing on the same themes that we’ve been excited about lately. So, what are my goals in the different areas of my life heading into the school year? Let’s talk.
Stay Posi / Enjoy THIS Moment
I am terrible for “in February…” when it’s July. The winter was “once spring is here,” then it became “after Ironman.” I definitely want to prioritize enjoying each and every minute of my time RIGHT NOW wherever I am. Because looking back, it’s all cool. Even those crazy times—driving in the first blizzard Rome has had in a decade, freaking out at Worlds, freezing at Nationals, riding in the rain in Girona, tackling Ironman, camping across the country in the van—those are the freaking best. It’s a bad habit that I give in to often, to look forward for ‘when things are going to calm down.’ I don’t want to do that this season, I want to enjoy every little moment… And that might also mean making sure that moments like that photo ^ happen more. Stuff like that is only an hour out of an otherwise busy work-heavy day, but can completely change perspective on an entire trip. Why bother doing all the on-the-road stuff if there isn’t time carved out for that?
Play with Video More
OK, more practically speaking… You might have caught the quick video that I did about Ironman fueling last week—that’s all part of my mini-master plan to get a little bit better and more experienced with creating video content. Obviously, writing will forever be my #1 priority, but in the current cultural climate, how we’re consuming media is changing so much and I want to make sure I’m staying on top of the best ways to bring info to you guys, whether it’s with our podcast, a video or an article—or all three covering similar but slightly different topics and issues!
Eat More Vegetables
Fall is the heavy travel season so this back to school resolution list somewhat hinges on what I’ll call a ‘semester abroad.’ But that often means food getting a little bit off-the-rails, despite best intentions. The older I get, though, the more I realize how freaking important good nutrition is to overall health and wellness. Just because I can get away with pastry for lunch doesn’t mean I should. I find that the easiest nutritional ‘hack’ to stick to is to make sure that every meal features a veggie (I’ll cheat occasionally by counting greens powder, but still). Even if the rest of the meal isn’t amazing, the one-veggie trick usually puts a bit of perspective back in and helps avoid the complete binge.
RELATED: 5 Easy Nutrition Strategies
Focus on Writing Fiction
Now that Rodale has picked up the Shred Girls series (!!!), I’m seriously hard at work on books two and three, plus adding a ton of content to the Shred-Girls.com website. I also have another more adult (not that adult) novel that I’m dabbling with as the spirit moves me. I love doing it—finding the time to get super creative when there’s so much other stuff to work on can be tough, but carving those blocks of time, i.e. on airplanes, is something I know I need to do more of. It makes me happier and makes me more productive overall, so why am I not doing it?
Make Home, Home
I have a ton of DIY projects going on around our new condo in Collingwood—we won’t be there a ton in the fall because of cyclocross season, but in the time I am there, I’m making it count! Expect a lot of content around that as I get back into super crafty mode… I tackled some smaller scale and medium scale projects in the last weekend (making bookends and also building a massive standing desk), but the big stuff is going to come when we do a bit of painting and figure out how to tear up carpet and replace it with laminate, and tackle kitchen cabinets and countertops. But that’s more “plan in the fall, start in the spring.” (I think. I’m also impatient enough that Peter may just come home to ripped up carpet.)
Of course, making home into our home also means building our community of people around us, and we’ve been slowly working on that. Expect a lot more from me on the terror that is making new friends as an adult…
RELATED: Easy-Peasy DIY Bookends
More Book Clubs, More Podcasts, More Experts
You know when you get off the phone after an interview, grin for a minute, and then start making a million notes, not even all related to your actual original interview intent? That’s been happening on the daily for me lately. I love a ton of the articles I’ve been writing lately because of the people they connect me with. But I’ve been even more stoked, I admit, with some of our recent podcast episode guests. (I <3 Jax Moriash.) And holy crap, have I been loving reading The Brave Athlete for the Athletic Bookworm Book Club that I started earlier this summer. It was off to a bit of a slow start, especially since the book was super dense and took everyone a while to get through, but how cool is it getting to read and discuss books related to our athletic endeavors? As a serious bookworm—before I was ever an athlete—this is the best thing ever to me. So, expect more interviews and book club posts in coming months, because that’s what’s making me so damn fulfilled and inspired.
This was my BIG WORD for New Years and 2017 overall: Collected. I love it because it implies a level of control and organization that I often let slip when I get stressed, but having it as a mini-mantra has helped a lot. And reminded me of the type of person I want to be and to portray. This is all levels: physical, mental and emotional. Physically, there’s the obvious looking reasonably put together, not having $hit falling out of my purse, no holes or stains or smeared makeup. (Still channeling Winona Ryder, my style icon.) It also means being collected in travel situations, so avoiding those overpacking tendencies—though not underpacking so much that I run out of clean underwear or am freezing because I skipped the sweater. You’d think by now I could dial in ‘just enough stuff.’ We’ll see. Mentally, it means keeping my various jobs, rolls, articles, projects, etc. all running as smoothly as possible—or, at least, making sure I don’t drop the really heavy balls! And emotionally… that’s the big one. I think it helps when mentally and physically collected is taken care of, but I know I have the tendency to quickly start feeling freaked out and scattered when anything starts going sideways. (I can fake it OK, but still. Internally I go “anxious mess” pretty quickly.) But I’ve taken a lot of time to practice and read up on techniques for staying calmer in stressful situations, and while it’s a work in progress, I know if I can keep my ‘collected’ levels at peak everywhere else, emotionally will follow.
OK, let’s all grab our new binders and composition books and cyclocross bikes and have a freaking kick-ass season! And let me know in the comments what your Back to School Resolutions are!
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