Goals and Resolutions, 2016

I’ve mastered the art of non-committal and generally general goals and resolutions for 2016.


imageI read a short and sweet article the other day about the difference between goals and resolutions for the new year. Essentially, goals are finite while resolutions represent more of a lifestyle change. “Lose 20 pounds” is a goal; “exercise five times a week” is a resolution.

For 2016 I have a few goals and resolutions. I would like to lose some weight, but daily exercise continues to be a challenge. So I have a goal and a related resolution. (I also have some new outside gear for the MUCH colder weather in our new city.)

We would like to adopt this year. There are a lot of “finite” things we have to accomplish to see the big goal, but a major one is money. So I have a resolution related to regular savings, as well as some sub-goals related to financing.

As ever, reading/writing and creativity are part of my brain space. I’d like to write more (a resolution), and work on getting something published (that’d be a goal). I’ve been going strong on the handlettering, so I have a resolution related to doing that regularly. And I discovered a reading challenge that appealed to me greatly. I’ve already knocked one book off the list.

(I’ll probably post more fully about that reading challenge, along with my personal list, over on RaeReads.com at some point in the near future.)

Finally, I discovered this thing called “bullet journaling” which is a catch-all term for a simple planner and/or a long-term to-do list. The name “bullet journal” can be attributed to a specific guy, as well as one way to “do” bullet journaling. It’s a flexible system, though, and useful for getting and staying organized with tasks. I started trying it out in early December and have actually simplified how I “do” bullet journaling over the last few weeks. It’s handy.

I’m curious about your own goals and resolutions. Please share in the comments, or link to a post about what you look forward to in this new year.

Feliz año nuevo. (Improving my Spanish is a resolution!)

More Moving: Winning Things!

It’s totally a first world problem, and I’m okay with it.
motivate movement with prizes! | a post from sundriedtomatoe.wordpress.com
Last post I talked about putting some money in a jar every time I did something that promoted building healthy habits. That’s a good, attainable, daily thing to motivate me.

But I also want some “big” things to use as goals, to motivate me.

Enter DOOR PRIZES: This actually took me some serious time. I had to come up with things that are novel or delightful enough to be motivating and FEEL like a reward, but that were not going to break our personal bank.

Like I mentioned earlier, time isn’t a commodity/luxury for me to the level that I would view it as a reward. Similarly, just buying things that I want is also not really a reward because I can already pretty much do that. It’d have to be a big ticket item (something we don’t buy for ourselves) to motivate me.

I thought of a few. They’re in there. 🙂

Mostly, though, I went with experiences. These are basically quality times (with my hon, if possible) that require more planning (and money) than an afternoon off or a night with the gals. MOST of the motivator/reward experiences are things that can be done in one day (or less) but involve some planning and/or travel (because we live far away from all of it).

I’m distributing these kinds of things at certain weight loss “goal posts” – using them as carrots to keep me going, basically.

The thing I like about my list (if I do say so myself) is that it can be high or low budget depending on where you’re at. A real massage could be free (from someone supporting your effort) or it could be from the fanciest-schmanceist masseuse this side of the Atlantic Ocean. Whatever works for you.

Just use what works and trash what doesn’t.

  • a real, honest to goodness massage
    Low End – hunny bun for free
    High End – Chez Fancy NYC salon
  • hair cut and nails did
    Low End – trim at the $10 place and a new bottle of polish in a cute color
    High End – 4 hours with Bettina and a full-set of diamond-studded tips
  • water park
    Low End – sprinkler and water balloons in the backyard
    High End – Area 47 in Austria
  • wine tasting
    Low End – bargain bottles from the local
    High End – Napa Valley adventure
  • day spa – cucumbers on the face and whatnot
    Low End – DIY sugar scrub and face mask
    High End – head back to Chez Fancy’s day spa
  • horseback riding
    Low End – visit a regional horse-rescue to say “hi”
    High End – buy one and keep it at a swanky stable
  • concert
    Low End – high school band or local freebie
    High End – Italian Opera. In Italy.
  • lessons
    Low End – YouTube lessons
    High End – buy every piece of gear under the sun, best trainer in world
  • accessory
    Low End – cute purse from Wally World or shoes from Payless
    High End: Bottega Veneta and Manolo Blahnik
  • weekend vacay (I’m using this as a biggie – halfway or goal mark)
    Low End – be a “tourist” in your own town for a weekend
    High End – go to Dublin

So first, have you ever tried this before and second, do you think it will work?

motivation for more moving part 2 - prizes | a post from sundriedtomatoe.wordpress.com

More Moving: Cash Motivation

My last post involved some info on a scary scale number. I’m not new to physical activity, we just had a pretty serious falling out a few years ago. My current goal is to start up moving again and get some sweat pouring and some pounds dropping off.


I function best with walking/running. I do poorly with groups or regular time commitments. No way to change that so I just avoid classes or gym stuff. The whole “someone waiting for you is a great motivator…”?

No it’s not. It’s pressure. It makes me never want to exercise again – that way I’ll never disappoint anyone. I’m an oldest child – I take the “D” word very seriously.

But I also have an issue staying motivated over a long term. Once I get out the door I’m okay but actually overcoming the incredible lizard-brain screaming “NO” at me is terribly difficult. So this time around I have (at the suggestion of my amazing life partner) established an elaborate system of external motivators.

The tricky bit was coming up with things that are motivators that I wouldn’t just go out and get for myself. MUCH of the stuff I saw online in terms of motivation was geared toward moms with multiple kids – rewards and motivators were often things like “an afternoon to yourself” or “a night out with the girls” or some relatively low-cost splurge that would be a stretch for a one-income household (with multiple kids).

Those posts started me down the right track but had little by way of actually usable motivators for me because BOOYAA I get afternoons to myself all the time and I can go out with the girls whenever I want and we’re not on a tight budget. So I had to think pretty hard about motivators that would work to get ME out the door.

I share it with you, to be used as you like.

CASH PRIZE: This is a forever-growing pot of money that I will ONLY get when I have hit my final goal. The money that goes in will be “mad money” for a new wardrobe. I have enough clothes to see me to my goal so I don’t need to “treat myself” to clothes until I’m THERE.

This effort is not just about losing weight, it’s more about getting healthy. I’m overweight and the best, most direct way to address that is to me mindful about what I’m putting in my mouth and moving more. So I’m putting away dollars both for movement, for good food tracking, and then for pounds lost.

I have two amounts. A small amount and a little-more-than-that amount. Keep in mind I expect this effort to go on for quite some time and the point is not to make a ton of money or go broke over it – just to have coins filling up a bucket as a visual (and $$$) motivation.

Small amount:

  • for every day I move (purposefully) for 30 or more minutes
  • for every day I stick to my (healthy, non-starvy) caloric intake

Little-More-Than-Small amount:

  • for every pound lost

It all goes in a Mason jar. Until there’s too much and the Mason jar cannot hold the awesomeness of my ongoing effort.

I’m trying to motivate AND reward myself two ways here. First, I expect to be at this for many, many, many days before I hit anything meaningful in terms of weight loss. I want my movement and mouth-filling gains to be meaningful and rewarding in monetary terms because a  jar stuffed with cash is an easier (and more motivating) thing for me to focus on than my questionable waistline.

Also, I don’t have a lot of free time and I am jealous of it. So paying myself back for it, even a small amount, somehow appeases my sense of injustice that exercise takes any time out of my day.

The thing I like about the cash bit, especially the $/day deal, is that there’s at least one thing that motivates that is not contingent on LOSS – it’s all about EFFORT.

I’m really smart. I’m good at tricking myself into doing things.

What do you think? Have you ever done something like this before and did it work?!

Next post: Prizes!! Winning things!!

motivation for more moving part 1 - cash | a post from sundriedtomatoe.wordpress.com


I ran. I rocked. I rolled.

AFTER the art show, Zizi and Prose and I participated in a half-marathon. It was a poor decision on the part of me and Zi, who didn’t train at all. But hopefully that can become a lesson for other lazy people – if we can finish a half-marathon with zero training so can you.

Hot tip: Gatorade, Gu, water, and salt packets are magically amazing. I’m not kidding. I never believed people when they talked about how amazing that stuff is. But it IS.

You may have deduced from this that Prose DID train, and it showed. Her time was excellent, and she managed to avoid the entire-body-pain that Zizi and I complained about for the next two days. It was her first half and she did awesome.

me, prose, zizi waiting very, very far back in the super-giant line
me and zizi remember the alamo. prose was long-gone by the time we took this.
finishers! prose’s first half-marathon and she ROCKED it.