Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Year-in-Review

2008 was a year of ups and downs, like most - there were some positive things that I feel good about, some choices I wish I'd made differently, some sad times, some happy....and here they are...

Things to Celebrate
1) I finished my ESL endorsement (a 20 credit-hour program at my local university - Tennessee Tech) and became certified to teach ESL. AND I finished that program with straight A's.
2) I started my 2nd master's program, a program called Cultural Studies in Educational Foundations at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville - 4.0 GPA after my first 3 classes this fall.
3) I joined Weight Watchers in July and am down 13 pounds, but more importantly have made a committment to a healthy lifestyle change. After a relapse in November, I DIDN'T QUIT.
4) I started my blog to keep myself honest and accountable and to try to connect with others on similar journeys
5) I've started to deal with the anxiety/panic issues that I've been struggling with for a long time, but especially since my father died in June of 2007 - so far that means I've been talking to my doctor about it, taking meds for it, and have been trying to take and monitor risks by not avoiding all the situations my anxiety begs me to.
6) Ryan and I celebrated our 4-year anniversary (4 years together, not married)
7) Barack Obama's historic election
8) I've been doing better with some very basic good habits such as taking my meds everyday and close to the same time everyday; doing physical maintenance like taking care of my nails, skin, eyebrows, flossing, etc.,; keeping the house from becoming a total wreck, staying hydrated
9) I turned 30...I guess that's something to celebrate :)

The Not-So-Great
1) My cat, Linus died in December
2) I had a rough November diet-wise, and gained back 9 of the 18 pounds I lost between July and October
3) Even though I did well in my classes, I did not avoid procrastinating, and while my GPA is 4.0, I know I could've learned the material more effectively
4) I did not make any progress whatsoever on some goals I've had for at least the past decade, namely - to learn Spanish, to become more crafty, to learn to cook some basic recipes, to learn to play a musical instrument, to build new friendships, and to become more socially and politically informed through regular reading of various news and activist outlets
5) I did not put as much effort and planning as I could have into my lesson plans for my kids at school - I allowed myself to get unbalanced with my focus on my master's program over my teaching job

Goals for 2009
1) To focus on small, in-the-moment choices - to not let one regretable decision, splurge or treat become a free-for-all for the rest of the day, week, or until the next nice, round event (New Year, birthday, post-holiday, etc.); to realize that each moment is a chance to start anew - I don't need to wait for an excuse to 'start over'; that I am never 'off plan' - this is a lifestyle change for me and I am not giving up my goal of having a healthy lifestyle - a healthy lifestyle can and must accomodate imperfections.
2) Regardless of the number on the scale or the size of my jeans to keep working towards becoming thinner (until a healthy weight), healthier, more athletic, and more aware of and responsive to my bodies needs. I hope that this means I reach my goal of 115 pounds because I think this is what will be right for my frame, but it might not and I'm okay with that. It's more important to me to do something active every day - even if it's a 10 minute abs workout or a walk around the block - just to stay in the habit. And it's more important to make healthy food-related choices. For me this means trying to eat whole, unprocessed, organic foods when possible; eating plenty of fruits and veggies; staying hydrated; eating healthy oils; getting enough protein in the form of beans, legumes and soy; taking a multi-vitamin/mineral; and eating whole grains. I also hope to try some more raw recipes, start sprouting more, and maybe if I can justify the expense (it's listed as my reward for dropping 50 pounds), buying a good quality juicer to help me with these goals.
3) To stay accountable by journaling here, logging my food/points in my WW Online Food Tracker, and/or journaling in a paper journal. I won't beat myself up over less-than-ideal choices, but I won't pretend they didn't happen either.
4) To do my best in my master's program by keeping a regular schedule of classwork, and not procrastinating or cutting corners.
5) I do best when I'm following a routine, so I'd like to set up and stick to a routine for my personal maintenance/hygiene, house maintenance/cleaning, exercise, classwork-time, job/school planning, and me-time.
6) To connect with old friends and strengthen connections with friends I've been lucky enough not to lose touch with
7) I have a great relationship with Ryan - nothing's wrong - but I don't want to take that for granted. This year I want to be careful and mindful of carving out us-time and not letting connecting with and spending meaningful time with him fall to the bottom of the list of my priorities because we're both busy and it's easy to focus on other things that seem more pressing.
8) I want to be more crafty. I'm so busy with work and school that I never pursue this goal, but how hard would it be to carve out half an hour a couple times a week to knit a few rows or learn a beading pattern? Not that hard and I'd be so happy if this time next year I could say that I had a skill, that I had made some of my Christmas gifts, that I had made progress on learning one of the things I hope to be able to share with and pass down to my future children.
9) To read for myself, and not just for work and school. I have soooo many books piled up on my bookshelves that I haven't read, and I want to start to make a dent in that. Sometimes I have a bad habit of not starting on something (a book, a project, a phone call, whatever...) because I'm not sure I'll have enough time to finish it. But, so what? If I just make a little time here and there, that has to be better than nothing. Last night I pulled a book, The Seven Daughters of Eve from my shelf and started reading before bed. It didn't take that long, it was a great way to wind down from the day, and I got through the first chapter. Definitely a simple way to enrich my life.

Phew! I think that's all for now. I can't wait to get started!

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