Monday, January 5, 2009

goals rather than resolutions

I'm not an advocate of making New Year's resolutions. The small things are easily accomplished by simply adding them to my to-do list (and what is the challenge in that?) and I consider my big desires ultimately out of my control. For example, I'd like to see a show at the Folger Theatre in 2009 considering this venue is located only eight blocks from where I live and I CAN'T BELIEVE I'VE LIVED HERE SO LONG AND HAVE NEVER DONE THAT, but I feel no urge to make this seemingly easy task a resolution. In January of 2007 I refused to resolve to finish my dissertation and graduate by the year's end because I knew that no matter how valiant my efforts (and believe me, I felt committed to do anything and everything in my power to make it happen), I knew that success was ultimately out of my control. I had witnessed too many hard-working doctoral students be strung along by their advisers and committees for years to believe that a student's work ethic alone could determine a timely and positive outcome.

So while I do harbor small and large dreams for 2009 (most of which will probably be documented on this blog, so stay tuned), I decided to focus on two goals related to my main hobbies: reading and running.

Reading: I hope to start and complete a minimum of 26 books by the year's end, an average of one book every two weeks. I exclude the books that I began in 2008 and am still reading now. Books that I finished in the past, but reread in their entirety in 2009 will count in my total. Of my 26 books, at least two must be considered classics and at least four must fall under the nonfiction classification.

Running: I ran a total of 550.7 miles in 2008. While to non-runners this total may sound impressive, let's take a closer look at the numbers. That total breaks down to 45.89 miles per month (hmm....) and even worse, only 10.59 miles per week, which from a runner's perspective, is abysmal. Running only 10.5 miles per week falls short of a person's minimal regular exercise needs and it in no way builds a strong enough base to run longer or more frequent races. Darn that trip to Europe! August's total of 12 miles really pulled down my average for the year. Don't the myriad miles I walked all over Italy and France count for anything?! Anyway, I strive to run a total of 720 miles in 2009, or an average of 60 miles per month. While this additional 170 miles over 2008's total may seem like a big jump, I know that with just a little more dedication and effort, and barring any health complications, I can do it. I am itching to run another marathon in 2009, and if I do it, marathon training alone will significantly boost my total mileage for the year.

Cheers to goals! I promise to faithfully document all successes, failures, and revisions.

No comments: