January 2, 2014

New Year’s Resolutions

by pyrad
Categories: General Running and/or Fitness, Non-Running
Comments: 2 Comments

Happy New Year to all my lovely readers! And welcome to 2014! A chance to start all over again!

Apparently there are a lot of you lovely readers: My site stats say that 68 people viewed my website yesterday? WOAH!

Everyone does New Year’s Resolutions and promptly breaks them. Who am I to ruin tradition? :p

So true… (source)


But, I do seriously plan to list SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Sensitive) goals. Some of these goals are running-related, but some are not. As for time-sensitive, I plan to accomplish all of these in 2014!



I want to beat my current half-marathon personal best of 2:03:22. Specific enough? My first shot will be the Chilly Half-Marathon on March 2. Even if that doesn’t work out, there will be lots more opportunities in 2014.



This one will be much harder than the half-marathon goal. I want to beat my current personal best of 4:34:44. Full marathons are much more taxing than half-marathons, and I can only make 1 or 2 real attempts in 2014. Disney doesn’t count as an attempt because my target is closer to 6 hours. But a spring full-marathon, and/or a fall full are definite targets.

(I struck out that above goal for a complicated reason. I’ll explain in a future post, but I think I will focus on other goals and leave this for the future)



Everyone says they want to lose weight in New Year’s Resolutions, but I’m going to be very specific and declare I want to lose 20 pounds of fat. I’m quite used to being over 200 pounds, and I’m used to being a ‘big guy’. But of all my measurable, quantifiable health stats, my body fat % is the only really concerning one.

I’ve read estimates that running speed improves about 2 seconds per mile per pound of weight loss. So, 20 pounds of weight loss should shave 8 minutes and 45 seconds off of my half-marathon time. Obviously that would get me to a new PB, but other health changes along the way would improve my half-marathon time too.

This goal will probably be supported by continuing to eat cleaner and healthier. I haven’t touched caffeine in years, and I seldom touch alcohol anymore. I’m tempted to by the Runner’s World Cookbook for more good, healthy food ideas.

My last weigh-in said I was 205.8 pounds and 26.6% body fat. That means my body has about 54 pounds of fat. If I reduced to 34 pounds of fat, my new body fat % would be about 18%. I’d be very happy with that!

This goal will take a lot of work, but at a rate of 1-2 pounds a week I think it’s very doable.



I like this resolution because I’ve been test-driving it since I started Dopey Training. I was inspired by Peter Broadley who said he slept 9 hours a night. And Nicole and others in the #5amRunClub get lots of sleep despite work, family and workouts. In fact, I hope to become a regular member of the #5amRunClub!

I must say that even though I’m not quite consistent with 8 hours a night, I feel the benefits already. More than anything, I realized how much time I was simply wasting by staying up so late. With better sleep I feel healthier, happier and better overall. There was a thing I saw on Facebook a few weeks ago about things you learn in your 20’s, and one of them was that going to sleep early is cool.

It certainly won’t be easy to do this, but I think it will be worth it.



This started as a resolution to work a certain number of times each week, but I was inspired by Andrea’s post here about doing 155 workouts a year. This is much easier to measure.

A workout could be anything from a run, strength training, stretching, exercise bike, Yoga, Tai Chi, swim, or even long walks. Maybe even long walks at lunch at work throughout the year.

I fully appreciate that rest days are necessary, but I’ll try to make them into at least active rest days.



I mentioned in a previous post a long wishlist of things I want to do. This is the year I plan to start learning Tai Chi. I see it as meditative and a practice that can improve my balance and flexibility. Maybe I can even get to a point where I practice every day, which would really help with the workout every day resolution!

In terms of being measurable, I’d like to be able to do a whole sequence from memory by the end of the year.


I say I’m going to read the whole Bible every year, and I think I may be able to succeed in 2014. I got about a 3rd of the year through a couple years ago. It was pretty enlightening to read the “source material” rather than the biased interpretation. I’ve found a plan online that breaks each daily section into very, very small parts, like 3 verses a day or something. And since the sections are so small it should be easy to catch up if I miss a day or two. I’ll use my Kobo eReader to read through the NRSV version of the Bible.



I’ve mentioned several times that I’m taking French classes with Alliance Française. Their courses are structured to prepare students to write the internationally recognized DELF (diplôme d’études en langue française) tests. I expect to finish my third course (A1.3) some time this year then I’ll write AND pass the DELF A1 exam.

It’s one tiny step in a long-term plan. There’s DELF A2, B1, B2 then the DALF before I can officially call myself bilingual. And that’s about 20 courses to go! But not all in 2014…



In a move for my career, I will be taking courses and testing to become an accredited, Project Management Professional. I don’t need it for my current job, but I expect I will need it future positions and moving up. I don’t like that I have to take 60 hours of training every three years to maintain it, but if it’s the price I have to pay, I’ll deal with it.





I’m starting a little category here of would-be-nice. I may achieve some of the above really early, and I don’t want to make these as stringent.


My new phone has a rear-facing camera, so selfies should be easy now! I think it would be pretty cool to make an animated GIF of all 365 days at the end of the year.


Completing my first triathlon would be nice, but I don’t want to push myself if I’m not ready. But there is the Milton Tri-A-Tri in June which would be a nice start.



I started doing this earlier in the fall and I find it’s a nice little practice. Most of my expenses are on credit card anyways, so this just means sitting down at the each month, categorizing and figuring out where I overspent.



This has been on my list for years, but I think this will be the year. My family is tentatively planning a trip to the Philippines on spring 2015, so I want to be at least conversational by then.



So, this is definitely not quantifiable, but since I’m wasting less time, I hope I have time to read through Runner’s World and other books more often.



I commented on this post how I feel like I’m missing some shows and allowing my “geek credit” to slip. I imagine the best way to do this without sacrificing sleep or exercise is to multi-task by spinning on an exercise bike while watching these shows. Let’s see how that goes…



I have all the gear, so hopefully I’ll have the organization to do more fishing when summer comes.


Do you have any resolutions for 2014?

Comments closed


  1. Thanks for the mention Paul and I’m super happy to hear that I’ve motivated you. Getting lots of quality z’s is now a major part of my training plans. It made such a huge difference for me last year

  2. […] an opportunity to make New Year’s Resolutions. They went so well last year (not), but hope always springs eternal in January. As I did with the half-year resolutions, they […]