Live Well: 2014 Resolutions Scorecard

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A few of you may remember that one year ago, I wrote a post about making specific New Year's resolutions. The best thing about specific resolutions, I argued at the time, was that you can measure your success or failure. Because how can someone know if they've truly succeeded in their resolutions to "work harder" "be happier" or "get in better shape"?

As a result, I think the only fair thing would be to actually go ahead and see how I did on my resolutions. Here's how:

Resolution #1: By the end of the year, be able to run up the Lyon Street stairs without stopping.

Result: Success!

This one was a bit of a surprise, even to me. I chose to make my resolution about the stairs because I have never, ever been able to run the entire length without stopping. (They are LONG. And steep. It's hard to describe - you'll just have to come visit me and I will show you!). I also chose the stairs because it's very measurable - you can either run them or you can't. However, I did not spend my year working out on the stairs. I spent my year going to Crossfit. And while that should have made me more fit, I wasn't sure if it would make me a better stair runner.

Last Friday, I decided to go test myself. And I made it, much to my own surprise. While I know I'm in better shape now than I was a year ago, I think at least 50% of my success came from a determination not to quit once I hit that final flight! Either way, I'm happy. (The photo above was my celebratory photo from the top.)

Resolution #2: Read 18 books by the end of the year.

Result: Success!

I have mixed feelings about the success of this resolution. While I made it to 18 books (19, actually) I purposely selected shorter books, and I didn't end up reading many books that I loved. So it ended up being 19 short, rather mediocre books. I'm happy I made reading more of a focus last year, but I think I can do even better. More to come when I talk 2015 resolutions tomorrow.

Resolution #3: Take an international trip (and no, our trip to BVI did not count).

Result: Fail

Yep - I failed at this one. We DID make it to Hawaii (which was amazing - I really need to recap that trip sometime soon), but we didn't end up going anywhere internationally. Just like with resolution #2, my main takeaway from my performance on this one is that there is room for improvement in 2015. Our trip to Hawaii made me realize how much I enjoy traveling, and how much more of the world I want to see. Expect to see this same resolution on my list for years to come!

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Well - we made it through Monday! All of us at work were laughing about how much yesterday morning felt like the first day of school. Most people had taken off at least one week for the holidays, a tiny timeframe compared to the average school winter vacation, but an eternity when you work a 9-to-5 (or 6 or 7...) job! Just like when I was going to school, I had trouble getting to sleep on Sunday, the night before my first day back. And just like school, the first day felt kind of long and kind of tiring, but at least I got to come home and celebrate with a delicious dinner + an episode of Gilmore Girls. Speaking of which...Gilmore Girls and Friends being on Netflix is simultaneously the best and worst thing that ever happened to me/my productivity.

Back tomorrow with 2015 resolutions!

Be Well: Shape Up

image via shape.com

I've had a rocky relationship with Shape magazine. When I was younger, it was the magazine I always reached for first - it comes as no surprise to you that I've always been interested in exercise and living a healthy life. Shape was obviously a perfect fit for me.

However, over the past few years I've become increasingly frustrated with the fact that they never feature workouts that highlight the importance of lifting heavy weights. I can only read the sentence "requires 2-3 lb. weights" so many times before the intensity of my eye rolls gives me a killer headache. For a magazine that's supposed to help women learn how to live a healthy life, I couldn't help but think that they were doing a spectacularly poor job providing truthful and useful information about exercise.

I haven't read an issue in a few months, but when I was in the nail salon this past weekend I decided to pick up the January/February issue. Were my complaints about their workout features resolved? Not really. But they did have a downright awesome spread on the average American diet that really restored my opinion of the magazine. Seriously, if you haven't read it yet, grab the January issue if you get a chance - the statistics on the foods many of us eat every day are astounding. But it's not all bad news - they also outline an awesome plan for eating healthy, focusing on meat and veggies. Overall, I thought the issue contained the most inspirational yet useful tips to help you keep your 2014 healthy eating resolutions that I've seen - you should definitely check it out.

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I just want to take a moment and celebrate how enjoyable my life has been over the last 24 hours. Yesterday, Wednesday, was a rare day where I was able to get to work a bit later than usual and leave work earlier than usual. I was in my car by 6:00 at the end of the day - a very enjoyable change of pace amid weeks where leaving at 7:00 felt like leaving early. I got to go home, hang out with my husband, catch up on Downton Abbey, read these awesome Vulture articles, listen to this amazing song from Her half a dozen times, and go to bed early enough to make it to the gym this morning. Maybe that sounds like an average night to you, but for me it was wonderful.

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Finally, don't forget to enter the giveaway hosted by The Distillery if you haven't already! (See yesterday's post for further details.) All you have to do is follow them on Facebook and/or Instagram - hop to it!

Have a great Thursday!