You know those parents who hold off on naming a new baby until they meet him in the hospital? Typically, they have a few favorite names in mind, but they just need to see that little face to determine whether he’s a Jack or a Henry.

That’s how I felt about 2014 and my goals for her. I needed to MEET 2014, get all the well-intended resolutions (and subsequent breakage) out of the way, and decide what 2014 will truly mean for me.

A few of my blogging friends focused their goal-and-resolution-setting efforts on a single word. Simplify. True. And even No. I think I like it. And my word: balance. I have goals and dreams for 2014, but above all I will stay focused on striking a balance. Even when it’s easier said than done.

[hr] [typography font=”Copse” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#8c0510″]Goals and Things to Balance in 2014[/typography]


1. Running. My running was all over the place in 2013. Even with 5 half marathons and 1 full, I ran fewer miles in 2013 than in 2012 — by a lot. Which means I ran most of 2013

Fayetteville Half with my friend David. It was 40 degrees and RAINING, but Half Marathon #10 for me!
Fayetteville Half with my friend David. 40° and RAINING, but half #10 for me!

without much discipline — jumping from race to race, weekend to weekend. I let my less-than-perfect marathon back in February and a false start of a triathlon summer set the tone for my whole year and I lost strength and any speed I once had.

But 2014 is already different. Before the first of the year, I had a great time running a half with my Dad in San Antonio and an unexpectedly good time during a freezing, rainy, rescheduled, somewhat controversial Fayetteville Half Marathon — and I let a moment of running-induced craziness make me click “register” on Marathon #4. Here we go again, 5 hours, I’ll see you in Little Rock. I’ve been training with more consistency and more discipline than ever. I’m actually doing my mid-week maintenance runs, some speed drills, some hills, and even a little cross-training — who knew that stuff would actually help?? And I’ve taken running geekiness to a whole new level with a few new toys from Santa.

New Garmin with a fancy pants touchscreen! And a Fit Bit -- which allows me to compulsively count every single step I take each day. LOVE.
New Garmin with a fancy pants touchscreen! And a Fitbit — which allows me to compulsively count every single step I take each day. LOVE.

I already couldn’t finish a run at any distance other than a round number (i.e. MUST run to an even 5 miles — no stopping at 4.97), but now it’s my whole day! I set an arbitrary goal for myself of 10,000 steps each day — how can I possibly go to bed each night without reaching that??

So. Running. Still a priority. Still fun. Just needed a reality check and a little focus. Balance.

2. Writing. Only a few days ago I was thinking aloud to a friend about blogging versus writing and the infrequency of both for me lately. Ultimately what I articulated to him, and what I need to keep in mind, is my respect for writing and storytelling (and the running and sleeping and running and sleeping required by marathon training) is what has kept me from spitting out posts for the sake of blogging consistency and my own expectation of acceptable frequency. Quality – not quantity, right? I believe that. I’d rather wait until I have time to sit and focus on a story than to throw something together, hit Publish, and hope for the best.

In 2014, I’d like to submit writing to a running or travel magazine. I have ideas and I even have a few drafts – but nothing complete. In 2014, I’d like to comb back through some of the early posts on this blog and take another stab at some of the stories — before the details are lost to my hopelessly bad memory.

My writing is special to me. And it’s worth carving out time to focus on it. Balance.

3. Family. As I flipped the family calendar to 2014 and started layering on out-of-town conferences, basketball practices, snow make-up days, play dates, and marathon training

Basketball Practice
Family basketball practice at the HPER after supper this week

runs — it got crowded quickly. I’ve taken the simplicity of our lives for granted and when I wasn’t looking we turned into the stereotypical, young, slightly-overscheduled family. Colt has been in full-time school and we’ve both worked since the beginning, but somehow this year feels different — with kindergarten and all of the ‘big kid’ attitude that comes with it.

I am fiercely committed to regaining some of our simplicity in 2014. We eat dinner together every night, but would it kill us to NOT watch reruns of The Big Bang Theory while we do? I feel like I don’t tell as many stories about Colt these days, since he’s fully capable of telling his own stories — but I’m still his Mama and I’m still in awe of him as a little guy. I’d like to commit those stories to writing — and to memory — this year. Balance.

4. Work. No discussion about balancing priorities would be complete without this topic, right? But the good news is my job is kinda awesome. It’s a work hard, play hard place and I just celebrated my 8th anniversary as an Xer. I am surrounded by crazy-smart teammates, develop strategy for crazy-smart clients, and I’m a lucky girl to get to be part of the crazy-kooky agency culture of Saatchi & Saatchi X every day. In 2014, I will continue learning to balance a growing role there with everything else on this list. Balance.

Photo Booth_comp
SSX holiday party — rescheduled to January because of crazy winter weather in December.

5. #30DayChallenge. My friend Jackie introduced me to this simple, bite-sized approach to goal setting, and I’m hooked! The idea is to take a specific task or goal, and commit to it for 30 days. Simple? Yes! Easy? Maybe… My first 30 day challenge was to select/iron/prep/accessorize my clothes for work each day — the night before. I am HORRIBLE at doing this and usually run around like crazy each morning trying to find something to wear — and end up wearing something black + black + mmm, dark denim? Not anymore! I’m on the #30DayChallenge train, and my morning routine will never be the same. More #30DayChallenge possibilities for the year: 30 days of no snooze button, 30 days of planking, 30 days of taking the clothes out of the dryer when it’s done — the first time. No fluffing! We’ll see on that last one. Balance.

6. Friends. I have some incredible, supportive, fun, selfless friends. The trouble is — I tend to maintain mostly low-maintenance friendships, the kind that don’t require a lot of investment, of time or otherwise. My strongest friendships are strong because they just – are. I have been lucky enough to find friends who either share my busy lifestyle and juggling of priorities or, at the very least, understand it. But even the easy, low-maintenance friendships deserve time and focus and fun. I want to be a better friend in 2014. Balance.

How’s 2014 treatin’ you so far?

2 thoughts on “2014: off to a running start

  1. You are a dedicated runner, amazing writer, wonderful wife and mom, brilliant co-worker and best friend anyone could ask for so I’d say, 2014…. Yea you got this

  2. I totally agree! It’s hard to decide these things all at once and before you’ve had a chance to get past the holidays and everything that comes with them! I’m liking fresher and newer takes on resolutions more and more as I’m reading about others’. :) Happy 2014!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *