Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

New Year, new goals

“New year, new goals,” is pretty much a cliché, but it’s the truth.

Last year I set some pretty high and lofty goals for myself — make a decision whether to return to school for a post-baccalaureate degree; sew, knit and crochet way too many gifts and articles of clothing; keep up with all the many blogs, news sites and tweets that interest me; make it to the gym three to four times a week; and run my first 5K.

I still haven’t made a decision about future educational goals, although I’m closer. I’ve decided when the time is right, things will fall into place and I’ll know what to do. Until then, I’m going to continue to soul search and concentrate on more immediate goals.

I still have four projects I planned to finish by the first of the year and didn’t. In various nooks and crannies I have patterns, fabric and yarn to complete a wool jacket, a wool shawl, socks and a quilt. Maybe they’ll take form by this year’s end. I’m not going to stress about it though. Only the shawl and socks are necessary to complete. They’re Christmas gifts . . . for last year.

I had also stopped visiting all the blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and other sites I got in the habit of visiting. And, although I met a lot of interesting people and learned a lot of cool things, I didn’t miss them all that much. It was causing way too much stress and anxiety. I felt like I’d missing something if I didn’t check those sites every single day.

I’ve started visiting sites again, but I’m keeping my time to a minimum. Although I may really like a blogger and love to read everything he or she writes, I’m only opening a post if it really interests me.

Now that Twitter has a lists feature, I can separate the people and organizations I follow into categories so I can quickly and easily check up on tweets when and how I want to. That’s helped some.

This year I vow not to get obsessed and anxious. Technology is supposed to be a tool. Not a way to live.

I didn’t do so hot on the exercise and 5K goals either. Asthma and back pain put me in time out. The asthma is now under control and I just finished a round of physical therapy for the back yesterday. I’ll still see the orthopedic doc in a few weeks for, possibly, a final check-up.

I received a little discouraging news this morning. The doctor said I probably shouldn’t plan on ever running in a 5K or even jogging as a form of exercise. I learned last fall, during my first visit to the orthopedic, that I have an anomaly of the spine, a birth defect, which makes my back weaker and more susceptible to injuries.

The doctor suggested walking, swimming, and biking or using an elliptical machine were good exercises that should not hurt my back. I was disappointed, but I reminded myself there are organized bike rides and walks I could participate in.

Twice a day, I may also need to continue the exercises the physical therapist gave me, maybe for the rest of my life. I don’t know.

Along with this, I started Pilates, which is similar to the therapy exercises. This will probably become my strengthening routine for the time being. Eventually I’ll introduce free weights, but right now I’ll stick with basic Pilates movements and get stronger before I advance forward. Maybe, one day, I’ll again be able to use stationary weights. But if Pilates gets the work done, I won’t worry about it too much.

To help save money and since I can’t do very much at the gym (it still hurts to walk at the speed I am used to, even on the treadmill), I’ve decided not to renew my gym membership when it comes due later this month. Maybe later in the year I will be able to take full advantage of the cardio machines and I can renew the membership, but only after all pain has ceased. Although I’m not in a lot of pain and I can once again walk and bend at the waist, I still ache.

Looking back, I sure made a whole lot of goals and promises to myself. None were ever that realistic considering the amount of time any one person is given each day. We’re only given 24 hours a day. That time doesn’t go very far.

This year, I just plan to manage my time better and take better care of myself.

I plan to split my chores over the week, not try to squeeze them in a whole day.

I plan to work on relaxing projects or read at least 30 minutes to an hour a day.

I plan to continue the physical therapy exercises and Pilates twice a day.

I plan to walk, once the temperatures are back in the 30s, at least three days a week, with the goal of walking most days of the week.

I plan to spend more time relaxing and enjoying life instead of obsessing and wasting time over activities that will not enrich my life, such as obsessively keeping up with blogs and sites.

I plan to keep in better touch with family, friends, all my loved ones.

Wish me luck in my new, revised goals. And I wish blessings and wellness to you in the new year!

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