When I was in the third grade, I was in a "gifted and talented" program that sent a small group of us to a different school once a week. At that school, we mostly played games and did creative projections. And while this program probably had many positive impacts on my life (my now-husband was in it with me), at the time I hated it. And do you know why I hated it?
There weren't any grades. That's right! Ten year old Natalie Ashcroft liked living in a world where even small children were rigorously assessed and stack-ranked versus their peers.
So please, keep the charming anecdote above in mind when I say this: all New Year's resolutions should be specific and measurable. I signed myself up for three quantifiable resolutions in 2015. Let's see how I did:
Resolution #1: Go to Crossfit 150 times
In order to assess myself on this one, I pulled a spreadsheet down off of MindBody, the software that both CrossFit gyms I attended in 2015 use. That spreadsheet had a record of every Crossfit class I signed up for and attended. (I'm really not kidding about this measurability thing.) While there were some inconsistencies in that data, it looks like I made it to the gym around 125 times. Close, but no cigar.
That being said, I honestly don't consider myself to have failed on the gym-going front last year. One year ago, I still found Crossfit intimidating. I had to force myself out of bed in the morning, and I often dreaded the class up until the moment it started. With another year of experience under my belt + switching to a new gym that's a better fit, I actually look forward to going each morning. I feel sad instead of relieved when I have to miss a class. And I'm in better shape as a result. So did I hit 150? No. But did I learn to enjoy Crossfit? Yes I did.
(Ignore how that conclusion goes against everything I just argued in favor of measurability.)
Resolution #2: Read 10,000 pages
Aren't you so glad you clicked into this super depressing post?
Okay yes, I failed, and failed big at this one. I only read 4,337 pages--nowhere close. As I wrote last year, I switched my reading goal to be pages-focused instead of number of books-focused so that I wouldn't have an excuse to skip long books. I knew I was missing out on great stuff, and I read some really great, really lengthy books in 2015 (more on those in a later post!). Unfortunately, those lengthy books were not enough. I spent most of the year deluding myself about how I was tracking versus my goal, and by the time I realized how far behind I was, it was way too late.
This goal also had a sub-goal: look at my phone less. I knew 10,000 pages was ambitious, and I figured if I worked hard at accomplishing that goal there just wouldn't be time in the day to mindlessly surf Instagram. But the call of my iPhone was too strong, and my spirit too weak. But there's always next (this) year...right?
Resolution #3: Travel internationally (pre-planned trip to the Caribbean doesn't count)
Status: SUCCESS! (given away by the photo at the top)
I'm glad we can close this out on a high note. Despite a few curveballs during the year--most significantly, my husband's vacation policy being changed for the (way) worse--we managed to plan and execute a trip to Japan. And man, am I glad we went. I'll give you a longer recap soon, but the food, the culture, and the scenery was all spectacular. I would go back in a heartbeat. It's definitely the piece of 2015 I will remember best.
Coming to a blog near you (this one) soon (like in the next couple days): my 2016 resolutions.
Now for everyone's favorite part of this blog (I'm sure): the daily minutiae of my life. Yesterday consisted of a workout (It had double-unders! I can do them now!), getting to catch up with an old friend and co-worker, a productive day of work, and closing it all out by ordering sushi for dinner. Tomorrow we're going to a weeknight dinner with friends (who are we?) and then hopefully slowly sliding into the weekend.
If I'm not back tomorrow (and I'm not sure I will be, due to that crazy Thursday night dinner out), have an excellent weekend. I'm looking forward to filling you guys in on 2016 resolutions, Japan, my favorite books of the year, and so much else.