2014Don’t you just love making personal goal lists for the New Year? No? Kinda nerdy, you say? Well, I kind of can’t help myself.

As far as 2013 goes, I’ll go ahead and deem it a successful year in running.

This is in spite of the list of resolutions I posted in January, which I didn’t quite master.

Let’s give them a once-over, shall we?

  • Don’t get injured. Nailed it.
  • Love mornings. I hate mornings. But the spirit of this goal was to get me waking up early to work out, which I did many times this year but not as consistently as I’d like. I give myself a B-.
  • Eat breakfast. I hate breakfast. Food just does not appeal to me before 10:30 most days. Actually, the only thing I love about mornings is coffee, and I should probably resolve to drink less of it. Luckily my body does agree with a quick chug of Shakeology in the early hours– I’m addicted to the stuff.
  • Bring my lunch. Rarely happened.
  • Drink less soda and alcohol. Dear Megan of 11 months ago: in what world did you think this would happen?
  • Be present. I’ve been much better on this front. I think getting older facilitates it. A-
  • Run more. Blog more. Good job on the first, not so much on the second.

Notable: achieving a sub 2-hour half marathon time (something I’ve wanted to do for years), adapting to long runs in the Texas summer heat, getting consistent with 8-minute miles on runs (during training — as of today, not so much…), getting outside more instead of running on the ‘mill, doing more races with less pressure on myself to perform well and more just-for-the-fun-of-it.

I am happy with how this year has shaken out. But moving forward, I have an important aim in mind for 2014.

Most of my resolutions revolve around SIMPLICITY and GRATEFULNESS whilst detoxing complication and negativity.

For example:

  • Be appreciative. This is another byproduct of getting older: it becomes clear that you’ve been insufferably whiny for most of your life and it’s time to appreciate everything. Your imperfect yet perfectly functioning body that wakes up every day and carries you through life in spite of your daggers, critiques, abuse; the roof over your head; your family and all the complications that embodies – these are people who love you no matter what and there is nothing more valuable in life than that; my environment: I often wish I lived in an area with more natural beauty, when actually if I opened up my definition of natural beauty I’d stop missing what’s interesting around me; this moment. . . just, *this moment*, because it is your life and it is beautiful.
  • Resist the want. Do I really need that pair of shoes? Will life go on if I don’t buy this adorable White House Black Market top that’s on sale by the way? I don’t go on big spending sprees, I’m more of a slow bleeder that justifies nabbing a little something here and there like it’s no biggie. But here and there adds up. This doesn’t mean don’t ever buy anything frivolous, it means make a point to stop and think: do I really need this? Won’t my home look just fine without those curtains? Yes they’re adorable but does Jake really need five more shirts he’ll outgrow in six months?

    But there’s another component to this, too. I want to be more organized/less crazy/better at mommy-ing/to prepare amazing home-cooked meals every single night/to stay up late and have quality t.v. watching hang out time with my husband/but to wake up early and workout every day/to have a body that looks more {insert cliché here}.

    All these complicated thoughts on wants…how much time and effort and sanity could I save if I just stop wanting and enjoy being? And be grateful for what is?

  • Eat simply. There’s more than one version of these What the World Eats” visual comparisons floating around  – and some of the photos will make you feel terrible. At least they do for me. The excess in what we buy/what we eat/what we waste in the U.S. is really sad. And the amount of non-food food we consume to make our bodies overweight and undernourished while so many families around the world are lucky to get a bowl of grain for dinner makes me feel ungrateful and ignorant.

    I love this quote form Michael Pollen: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” That’s all the advice you really need, the foundation for a healthy, non-wasteful diet. What don’t I need? Coffee, wine, soda, chocolate, cookies, bread, meat at every meal, processed anything? Should I scold myself every time I have one of these things? No. All-or-nothing leads you down a rabbit hole of complication. Just being mindful is what’s important. I find Mark Bittman’s vegan until 6 p.m. idea intriguing because it’s simple, sustainable, based on whole foods and cheap if you do it right. Maybe I’ll try this in 2014.

  • More variety, less prescribed “training.” I have a habit of setting a running goal, picking a training plan and pigeonholing myself into moving just at those prescribed times in those predetermined ways. I’d like to enhance my running by throwing that out the window and bringing in variety based on whatever feels right at the moment– yoga, walking the dog/baby, and some Focus T25 workouts, especially when I’m limited on time.
  • Race once a month, for fun. I got into the habit of this during the latter months of 2013, and not only did I have a blast but I took my running to the next level. I think I might skip January and do two in February – Too Cold to Hold 5mile again and the Cowtown 10k. Maybe there will be more half marathons in the next 12 months. Or maybe not. I’m just going to keep it simple and go by how I feel.

Here’s to living simply in 2014, and simply loving life.