Setting Goals for the New Year Looks a Bit Different

by - Monday, January 11, 2021

I had this post all ready to publish last week, but then domestic terrorists attacked the Capitol building, and it just didn't seem right to publish then. Like many others, I'm still trying to process the atrocity of what happened basically in my backyard, but since my main goal for 2021 is to maintain my sanity publishing this seems relevant. 

This is usually one of my favorite times of the year to sit down and write a blog post about my goals for the year and the races I'm hoping to run. 

But well ::gestures at everything::


So I only really have one goal this year, and it's to maintain my sanity and health until I can get vaccinated. 

Since I'm basically going to be the last person to get a vaccine, I'm hoping by the time I get mine, that some things will have returned to some level of normalcy. Maybe in-person races will be a thing again, and if that happens I can come up with some new goals then. 

But in the meantime --sanity and health. 

And over the past year, I've found a few things help with that while living the pandemic life. 

Daily Movement

First on the list is daily movement. I'm defining movement here as anything that gets me up and away from my computer. That could be a walk around the block, a run, a strength workout. Just something that makes me feel less like a blob.

I've really come to enjoy strength workouts during the pandemic. I've been doing it fairly consistently since April, and it's been cool to see my strength increase as I lift heavier weights. 

I've also really come to appreciate walking as an an alternative, gentler form of movement when compared to running. For some reason lately running has just felt mentally challenging and stressful to me. Physically the couple of runs I've gone on have been enjoyable, but mentally, I'm struggling when it comes to running. 

And with no races on the horizon, I've just decided to be OK with not running a lot right now. Sure all my endurance from marathon training is gone, but I don't have the energy to care if we're being honest. At some point, my excitement for running will come back and I can work on rebuilding a base. In the meantime, I'll find other ways to move my body. There's enough stress and pressure in the world right now, I don't need to force myself to do things that add extra stress. 

Fresh Air and Sunshine

The other thing that will help me stick to the goal of maintaining my sanity is getting outside for some fresh air and sunshine basically whenever the weather allows it. I'm a wimp about the cold weather, but I'm just going to make sure I have some good cold weather gear and bundle up for the next few months. 

The only time I'll give myself a pass on the fresh air is if it's raining or sleeting. I can handle being outside in the snow, I can't handle cold rain or sleet. Those will be hunker down under the covers kind of days. 

I've already been on some hikes at the end of last year where I got to practice my bundling up. And I've found the cold air is tolerable if I'm moving. 


I've also really come to appreciate a short walk at lunch time while the sun is still out. It's become a habit over the past several months, and it's also just a good mental break from sitting at my computer all day. I always come back a bit more refreshed. 

I've also enjoyed finding new places to explore on the weekends, and I hope to keep that up through the winter. That's given me something to at least look forward to on the weekends.

So yes, right now the bar for 2021 is pretty low. But with the state of the world right now, it doesn't make any sense to set a bunch of lofty goals. I definitely don't need that kind of stress in my life.  

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