Related: My 6 tips for successful goalmaking
1. Go to Glacier National Park
This is a leftover from 2010. I don't know why I'm fixated on Glacier, but it probably has something to do with the fact that there will be no more glaciers ever anywhere in the world in approximately two days. I've started researching ways to take this trip, and one option that is popping up is doing it via a volunteer work trip, repairing trails, etc. Sierra Club offers a great one, but it might require more days than I have vacation for, so I'll also consider this shorter one to a glacier-filled area of Wyoming, my ANCESTRAL LAND (sort of, in that my grandparents were born there, lived there, and have now retired there). 2012, the Year of Glaciers!
2. Attempt to recreate Bar Pilar's Pork Trencher
How to convey the amazingness that is this dish? It's savory; it's sweet; it's moist; it's rich; it's earthly; it's heavenly. Etc etc. I've never seen a recipe for it anywhere, but I know it's roasted "all day" and definitely has some maple in it. Help a blogger out if you know how this fabulous piece of food is made.
3. Qualify for the Boston Marathon
In my heart of hearts, this goal is probably my most-desired one. I think I'm on the right path. I feel like I have the motivation to do the training necessary for this. I have to run a marathon in under (preferably comfortably under, as the Boston Marathon takes applicants who run well under their qualifying time first) 3 hours and 35 minutes. My Marine Corps Marathon time in Oct. 2011 was 3:50. Ideally, I'd cut off 20 minutes from that time. And ideally, my pace for my qualifying marathon will be 7:50/a mile. This isn't out of the realm of possibility, but it does mean I have to cut my pace per mile down by about a minute in the next 9 or so months. I think I can, I think I can... I've already signed up for a spring "tune up" marathon that will hopefully predict whether or not this is reasonable for me. Then I plan to run a fall marathon, Philly or Chicago, probably, to officially qualify (if it doesn't happen in the spring).
4. Beat my brother in a half-marathon
Hoping this can happen, though he's one fast mofo.
5. Go one-month booze-free
Sadly, I think this will be the most difficult goal of all on this list. The key, I believe, may be picking a month out now well in advance and just sticking to it. I think February could be a good bet. Uh, because it's the shortest month of the year. But it also doesn't include my birthday, any holiday celebrations (except silly Valentine's Day which I never really celebrate), and it'll maybe be really cold then, so I'll never want to leave home to go to a bar (even more than currently).
6. Go hiking once a month
Even without a car, this should be relatively doable. There's actually plenty of hiking within DC, and if I can get my hands on a zipcar once in a while, I think this should be easy enough. To get me started, here are a few possible day hike locations:
1. Key Chain Loop
2. Potomac Heritage Trail
3. The National Arboretum - this counts!
Anybody else have any good nearby hiking recommendations?
7. Go to the dentist in 2012
This may seem lame, but it's a big deal for me, because I'm terrified of the dentist and haven't been in *mumblemumble* years. But, this is on like donkey kong. January 5 being the date. Shudder. This goal was accelerated by the fact that I cracked a filling while eating a Lara Bar the other day. Yikes. What's up with that? Lara Bars are made of squishy dates and stuff. My teeth can't be in great shape if they're falling off while chewing one of those.
8. Go on a yoga retreat
Ideally I'd love to do this is some tropical locale like Mexico or Costa Rica, but looking at my money, vacation days, and overall 2012 plans, I'm not so sure that's realistic. I know there are local retreats on the east coast, so I'll be looking into that. Yogaville.org is one I'm considering; this winter retreat looks especially nice.
9. Put away 15% of every paycheck
I didn't know that was the recommended amount until I read this post by Megan, via Becks. 2011 has been a year I've been generally much better about my finances and savings (PS, no more debt, woo!) but I really need to kickstart my retirement savings. Becks, my own personal Suze Orman, also let me know a couple years ago about ING direct, which I find a great way to do savings. I've now set it to start taking out 15% automatically from my paycheck at the beginning of the month.
10. Listen to two new albums a month
I realize this is a relatively pathetic goal, but when you've hit rock-bottom in a particular arena, as I have in music-listening, you've got to start clawing your way back with small steps. Man, I used to be a MUSIC EXPERT. Well, not really, but at least I knew of new bands and my friends often turned to me for music recommendations. I was the original DCist.com music editor, for chrissakes! (really!) What happened? Seriously, the #1 cause of this downfall is that woxy.com went off the air. #2? I got old and stopped caring about music. I wouldn't mind caring about music again, though, and with services like Spotify essentially making this free, I think I can stand to find 2 new good albums a month to listen to.
11. Eat 5 servings of veggies and fruits a day
In just a few short weeks, I'll be 32 - a more-than-bonafide adult - and it's time I start eating like one. 2011 has been a great year for me in terms of starting to care about my health, fitness and diet. I'm not sure what the motivation has been, but I've started looking at food as actual fuel and nourishment, and not just as something to stuff down my gullet to suppress hunger or leftover childhood emotions or whatever. Specifically, I've become disgusted by process food, refined wheat, and white sugar. Gross. Like, I can't look at something like a bagel or a pastry or a slice of wonderbroad without thinking it's nasty now. I mean, it's not ACTUAL FOOD. It didn't come out of the earth, you know? It WAS MADE BY A MACHINE. Ergh. (Though yes I understand that many fruits and meats and veggies are also processed by machines, so I try to eat as many of those as whole/organic as possible). I made a promise to myself the past few months to try to eat as much whole foods as possible - lean meat, fruits and veggies - and I've done pretty good on that front. I've also become more interested in prevention of chronic diseases, especially as somebody with a family history of breast cancer. Most money for cancer goes to researching a cure, but I'm starting to feel like much of that money might be better spent on encouraging people to eat healthier and exercise... anyways. Didn't mean to turn this into a rant. BUT OOPS I DID.
So yeah, the original goal: 5 fruits and veggies a day. The easiest way to do this, I think? Make a smoothie every morning. In it, put: spinach, banana, frozen berries, plus milk or yogurt. Change it up every once in a while with frozen peaches or pineapple, maybe kale or other leafy greens replacing the spinach, or in addition to it. Then, take to work one apple and one baggie of baby carrots or other raw veggies to snack on. Any other veggies and fruit you eat at lunch or dinner by that time are just icing on the proverbial cake.
12. Try one new restaurant or bar a month
And finally, running completely counter to my healthier eating and booze-free goals, I'd like to try out one new establishment in DC at least once a month. We live in the U Street/Logan area, so stuff is convenient to us, and we're super-lazy, and we end up eating out at/drinking at the same spots over and over again. Not that I don't love Churchkey or Bar Pilar or DC Noodles, but I know there's more to DC dining and drinking than that.