The “Required” Resolution Post – Part 1

I am generally not a fan of making resolutions when an arbitrary thing like the changing of a year happens, but it is primarily because I ultimately fail at all my resolutions eventually. I figured a few years back that it was easy not to fail if you didn’t set concrete goals for yourself, so I have typically avoided them for that reason.

A couple of years ago, my goal was to focus on me and try to be happier. That, unfortunately, is still a work in progress. January 2009 started off with a bang, with the ever present lose weight, grad school, pay off debt, run a marathon, and “focus on me” again. Before that, who knows, but I’m sure they were all very similar, though they might have revolved more around being/staying married and whatnot. Long story short, had I actually accomplished any of these things, I would be a thin, rich, educated fool that would have little to complain about. Since I have failed at this, I am stuck in my current position. Hooray!

So I’m back on the making goals wagon* and I’ll be breaking them down into at least two parts this week. Part 1 will be about the physical changes I want to accomplish this year and Part 2 will focus on professional-type goals. If I think of stuff that doesn’t fit in elsewhere, I’ll include them in a Part 3, but we’ll cross that bridge when I get there. On with the “resolutions!”

*It just occurred to me that I formally write these things down in odd years. Some strange coincidence or is something subconsciously making me focus on odd-numbered years? 

1) Lose 80 Pounds This Year
I once read somewhere that goals should be specific, so instead of the general “lose weight” goal that has been carried forward the last decade, I want to assign a number to it. Why 80 pounds? It’s a nice number that divides into four easily, which will make sense in a minute.

When deciding exactly how much weight I wanted to lose this year, I didn’t start with an end weight in mind, but instead a small incremental goal that would seem — on the surface — to be easier to accomplish. The number I came up with was one-and-a-half, as in the amount of weight I want to lose each week. Seems pretty attainable, no? That’s what I thought. Multiply that by 50 weeks (I gave myself a vacation at the beginning and end of the year) and you get 75 pounds, which I rounded up to 80. Seems simple enough.

Now back to the “why 80 pounds?” question posed earlier. You see, I am incentivizing myself on a quarterly basis to meet this goal. At the end of each quarter, if I haven’t lost at least 20 pounds during the three month period, I will be making donations to various health related charities. As an example, if I do not weigh 20 pounds less on April 1, I will be donating $25 per pound to the American Heart Association. So if I decide to not do anything and stick around my current weight, they get $500 from me. I’ll figure out the other charities as those quarters approach, but that’s my goal. We’ll see if it works.

2) Run the Utah Valley Half-Marathon in Under 2 Hours and 30 Minutes
It’s going to take some work, but training for the half-marathon should help me accomplish #1. The time stated above would require about an 11:30 per mile, which seems doable to me in about six five months. I once ran the Army Ten-Miler in just under two hours and didn’t die, and I really feel like I could reach that point again. Doesn’t hurt to try.

Again, as means of incentive, if I fail this goal, I will find some fitness-based charity to give some money to, like $1 a minute that I miss the goal by. I’ll figure it out and make an announcement before the race on June 6th. Going to be doing a lot of running on the road in March if my road trip comes to fruition. That should be fun!

3) Maintain My Sobriety Through October and Beyond
I don’t know if I’ve really mentioned this before, but there came a time this past October when I just decided to stop drinking. It was after a trip to DC for the Fool Writing Conference when I realized that I am a binge drinker. I’ve never done anything terrible while drunk, and I don’t drink that often, but when I do, it tends to be to excess and it just isn’t that healthy. Plus, having inappropriate conversations about people you genuinely care about while drunk should be enough to indicate that you have a problem. I decided upon my return after that trip that I wouldn’t drink anymore, something that has been pretty easy to accomplish thus far. Will it continue to be this easy? Who knows. If not, however, Mothers Against Drunk Driving or another similar organization will get some money from me this year.

4) Pass an Army Physical Fitness Test by the End of the Year
Now that I’ve been out of the Army for almost two years, I am often faced with regret of what would have been had I maintained my physical fitness and been able to stick around and advance like I wanted to. I could have left my miserable job at any time, but being forced out still kind of sucked, and I really do miss the camaraderie with the folks that I deployed with.

All that said, I don’t want to go back in the Army. I’m not 100% sure that I could at this point as I might be too old, and it really doesn’t fit in that well with the plans I have for my life going forward.* But the fact that the last APFT I passed was in November 2001, the month after I got out of AIT frustrates me. I came closest after that while in Iraq, and I just want to do it again to prove to myself that I can. I’ll even try to do it at the youngest age bracket — 42 pushups, 53 situps, and 16:36 2-mile run. It’s possible.

*Though I am a sucker for Army girls, so that’s one option to find The Next Mrs. Eberhard.

Ultimately, all these things work well with each other, and accomplishing each, or at least doing the things that need to be done for each, will make others easier to do. I also have the generic goal of “getting in shape,” but again, that is something that will come as I work on the other things on the list. All will help me work towards my ultimate goal:

“Scientists believe that the first human being who will live 150 years has already been born. I believe I am that human being.”

Oh, Chris Traeger. You are literally my favorite character on television.

Until next time…

9 thoughts on “The “Required” Resolution Post – Part 1

  1. A story on NPR last week said that your goals need to be even more than specific. The researcher suggested behavioral changes as your goal. So if you want to lose weight, set the goal to eat 5 celery sticks every time you feel hungry, or do jumping jacks every commercial break. That way you immediately achieve your goals – Since we are all about instant gratification now a days.

  2. If other methods don’t work, I may resort to that. I can delay gratification if need be; just need to not eat my sadness away when I don’t see 1.5 pounds less each week

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