Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year

This post is an explanation of my 365 challenge for 2103.

For those of you who know me, you know that I have made some major life changes the past two years. Both 2011 and 2012 I did not have any specific "resolutions" other than to do better. Mainly to do better at taking care of myself. I feel that I have met and in some areas exceeded those goals. So it is with trepidation  and fear of failure that I consider specific goals for 2013.

So many people say that goals must be SMART...specific, measurable, attainable,realistic and timely. Specifics help us to focus our efforts and clearly define what we are going to do. I have given this a great deal of thought over the past few days. Do I want to be specific? If I set specific goals and I do not attain them, am I then failing?

After much thought I came to the realization that being safe never led to great achievements. I tell my students that Man's grasp should exceed his reach - that's what heaven is for and that if they reach for the moon, they will wind up among the stars. It is time to start listening to my teacher encouragement and go for it!

So, what are my goals. I came up with a few quickly without much thought. But as I said before, this whole exercise has been one of thought. My previous 6+ years of Jesuit education kept whispering, and at times, shouting in my brain, "Mind, body, and spirit!" St. Ignatius of Loyola placed strong emphasis on educating the mind, body and spirit  to better be able to contribute to society. In looking up these ideals I was taken to St. Louis University, Madrid, Spain where I studied for a year - the coincidence made me feel I was somehow on the right track.

Body or physical goals were the easiest of all for me. I have three smart goals for 2013:
  • ride a 100 miles on a bicycle. It doesn't matter where or how flat, or hilly. 
  • Complete an Olympic Triathlon - twice the distance of the Sprints I did last year
  • Complete a triathlon with an ocean swim    
I shared these goals with a wonderfully realistic and encouraging friend who suggested I add a marathon to my goals. In the spirit of pushing myself, why not?!

Mind and spirit resolutions are so much harder for me to think of. I decided to tackle mind first. I keep my mind challenged, but I have gotten lax about learning new things. I have been hyperfocused on the physical and need to remember my mind. I want to, no strike that, in 2013 I will:
  • write a little every day, here on my blog, or in my journal
  • read more literature, both old and new
  • find a way to discuss scholarly topics- reading, writing, history
Finally I was left with spirit. Not being a religious person, I not surprisingly found this difficult. I decided that spiritual can also mean taking care of my spirit as well as others' spirits. I want to bring more joy into my life and the lives of others. To that end, I really had to think about what gives me joy. I love hearing from friends near and far,  hearing a child laugh, being outside, being with my family. So, in 2013 I will:
  • purposefully find ways to contact friends and spend time with them
  • listen to children and hear them
  • spend time outside every day
Truly, this blog is a selfish endeavor. Some of you may have stopped reading a while ago, some may still be reading. I know that I write for myself. However, if my writing or activities inspire you to care for your mind, body, or spirit, so much the better.  If you care to encourage me on my journey this year, please know how much I appreciate each and every one your words. If I can help you on your journey, please do not ever hesitate to ask. For although we all must conclude this earthly journey on our own, we travel together until then.

 This is a picture of gorgeous butternut squash right before being roasted for soup. I chose this picture today to illustrate my goals for 2013 - doing new things, taking chances, appreciating this world. I had never chopped and roasted butternut squash. With a little help from Youtube, a semisharp knife, and a why not attitude I made some pretty good soup. Who wants some?

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