Even with all my good intentions, I did not manage to write as much as I thought I would. To maintain this commitment to myself I’ve decided to write each month during my Navy Drill Weekends. During those weekends I am almost always guaranteed some time to myself to write. Then I can think throughout the month about what I want to write. So January is month one of 2020 and month one of me writing during my drill weekends. I miss this outlet.
I want to quickly reflect on 2019. 2019 was a year of a lot of change for us and successes. 2019 was the year we welcomed Eugene and became a family of 6. I got my project management certification, was selected for Commander in the Navy, and in October I left a job I loved at Life Fitness for a better job at Trustmark which gives me the flexibility to be home more. I raced my first marathon since 2016 and qualified for the Boston Marathon by nine minutes (remember Eugene was only six months old). I also ran my first Ultra Marathon in December, a 50 kilometer race and took 3rd place female over all and finished in 4 hours and 34 minutes.
As I go into 2020 I really feel like I need to redirect and focus. I want to be more deliberate in everything I do. I needed to take a moment to pivot and do it with mindfulness. I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s Resolutions. I believe you should always be making an effort and thinking about what you can do to improve. Change doesn’t need to be tied to a certain day or time of year. This year however, I’ve really decided to commit to some New Year’s Resolutions. I started the process of vetting out my commitments for the new year in October. I was in pursuit of activities that didn’t involve eating and drinking. Think about how everything you do includes eating and drinking. I don’t think it’s a huge surprise to those close to me, but since I’ve been back from Afghanistan I have not had more than a handful of alcoholic beverages. And since Eugene was born I have had even less. I feel better, I sleep better, I weigh what I weighed in high school, and without alcohol I have to be more mindful. There is no going home after a long day and numbing yourself with a drink. You are required to really face life and you can’t live it numbed or replace what you need to be feeling with something else.
Mindfulness is my overall resolution for 2020. It is my word for the year. This started when TJ and I joined a good friend of mine and his wife at a Buddhist workshop about love and kindness meditation. This was something we could do that didn’t revolve around food and drinking. Now we did go out for an early dinner afterwards, but it wasn’t the focus of the event and I really enjoyed the food and company afterwards sharing our experience from the workshop.
My same friend also recommended we watch the NetFlix documentary The Game Changers about eating plant based. The documentary had a strong impact on us and how we want to eat at home. Since watching we transitioned to a primarily plant based diet. So far I love it and the kids have no problem eating lentils and lots of vegetables. I would cook this way anyway and now that everyone is eating it, dinner is much easier. We also gave up coffee and switched to matcha in the mornings. I’ve noticed a huge difference in how I feel without the coffee. A another friend of my mine stopped drinking coffee and she said now when she’s tired she knows it and takes the time to rest where as when she was drinking coffee she could hide being tired behind the coffee. This makes sense to me and supports why I don’t drink alcohol. This is just just another way to be more mindful in everything I do.
Following the workshop I started thinking more about how I could incorporate mindfulness into my daily life. For 2020 I used Tom Zigler’s Wheel of Life to make goals that focus on seven core areas of life (thank you Katie Vervoren for mentioning this to me). They are mental, spiritual, physical, family, financial, personal, and career. I listed out a few key things to focus on in each of those areas all with mindfulness as a focus. I also asked the kids and TJ to do the same. Taylyn, even though the youngest, was the most enthusiastic to write out her goals. She was so cute and drew little pictures about things she wants to focus on.
I’ve read and heard so often that sharing your goals makes you more likely to achieve them so here is what I’m focusing on in 2020. All of these were written through the lens of mindfulness.
- Mental –
- Let go of making my goals other people’s goals
- Give up being right
- Make a strong effort to listen – especially to the kids
- Spiritual –
- Do love and kindness meditation daily
- Go to Yoga once a month
- Attend a Reiki workshop or class
- Schedule rest days
- Bike the 28 weeks to the 70.3 in June (follow the plan)
- Understand if Ironman can be a 2021 goal
- Have everyone sett goals in the family and check in with them
- Go to Church every Sunday where it works
- Leave my cell phone at the door when I get home
- Create a zero based budget
- Pay off my car
- Make every purchase mindful
- Read / Listen to a book once a month outside my comfort zone and shows a difference perspective
- Eat vegetarian at home
- Be a “Go To” person at Trustmark,
- Research Agile Certification
Thank you for letting me share where I am planning to do in 2020. I’m hoping to be able to check in throughout the year give progress updates. I already feel strongly about writing about my goal where I am listening to / reading books outside my comfort zone. I really think this has already changed me and I will write more about it next time. I feel as if I’ve gone on long enough and I have a solid thousand more words to write on the subject.
I am committing to writing again in a few weeks. Until then I sincerely hope you take a minute to breath. Think about what you want, write it down, and get started. Always remember to say this to yourself (and I’m stealing this from my favorite yoga instructor, who I think stole it from Bhanti Sujatha the monk) I am happy. I am healthy. I am loved. BE KIND!