Looking Back on My 2021 Goals

It’s here, the last day of 2021! This year was honestly such a mix of good and bad. But, I hope to look back and just remember the good things. We were able to get vaccinated against Covid and reunite with loved ones, and to slowly start traveling and doing more “normal” things. We went to a concert, and to a few hockey games!

I’m cautiously optimistic about 2022 and have some goals for myself that I’ll write about next year (haha). But for today I wanted to look back on the goals I set for myself in 2021 and see how I did.

Set monthly goals. I wasn’t 100% perfect with this goal, but I did do it for most months of 2021! I did really like the monthly goal-setting though.

Continue my good fitness habits. Eh, this one isn’t my shining star. I continued to work out in the mornings until around September, when I hit a wall and was just so exhausted that I decided to take a week off. A week turned into two, and so on and so forth….I did get back on track somewhat when I rejoined the gym in late October, but with the holidays and a lot of snowfall this last week I definitely haven’t gotten the walks or workouts I’d hoped for. This is an area of my life I plan to really focus on in 2022 because I know I feel so much better when I get regular exercise.

Make better eating habits. Again…eh. Truthfully my nutrition is still all over the place, but that’s why I’m working with a nutritionist now! I have a lot of hope for improving my eating habits now that I’ve taken that step.

Make daily entries in my gratitude journal. I wasn’t totally perfect with this (every now and then I’d miss a day and have to go back and make entries for a couple of days at once), but I did complete 365 entries of gratitude in 2021! I love this practice and I plan to continue. At some point I changed the entries from “Things I’m Grateful For” to “Fucking Hoorays” which feels like it suits me more.

Read two books each month. I completed this goal a few weeks ago and I am so proud of myself! I have definitely rediscovered my love for reading and books are a very welcome positive part of my daily life now.

Be kind to myself. Still working on this one. I am my own worst critic and I am still learning how to show myself the grace that I give others.

Overall I’m happy with how I did on my 2021 goals. The ones I achieved inspire me to keep going with them, and the ones that still need work can be a focus in 2022.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Setting Myself Up for a Happy 2022

It feels so strange to say this, but there are only 10 days left in 2021! Personally I’m quite ready to bid goodbye to this year. In a lot of ways it felt even more difficult to endure than 2020, and although I know that the changing of the calendar to a new year won’t solve the world’s problems it does feel like a way to close the door on the things that happened in 2021 and to offer a fresh start.

I’ll do a recap of my 2021 goals next week, but I wanted to write a little update on the work I’m doing to set myself up for better results on my health and fitness journey in 2022 because I’ve made some changes in my life recently that I’m really excited about!

After going to Dance Church with my friend Kate back in October, I realized that I was pretty comfortable with working out in a mask (a requirement where I live, and also just a good rule right now while Covid continues to surge – I would not go to work out indoors at a place that didn’t require masks). Since I felt both comfortable and safe at Dance Church, I began to wonder if I would feel okay returning to my gym. I reached out to my friends at the gym who teach Red Hot Dance and asked to be a guest in their classes, which they very kindly agreed to. After going for a couple of weeks to see how I felt, I decided I was ready to re-join the gym. And I am loving it! I’ve been consistently going 3-4 times per week (except for the first week after our Hawaii trip when we quarantined ourselves). Because I weigh a little less now, I am happy to find that my performance in those classes has actually improved from when I was going pre-Covid. And being able to be back at dance has been such a good thing for me both physically and mentally. The holidays can be both a really happy and a really stressful time of year, but being able to go and spend an hour thinking of nothing but dancing is like meditation for me.

I’m also taking steps to hopefully get my nutrition figured out, after starting and stalling all year in that area. What I know about myself is that I do better at living a healthy lifestyle when I’m among likeminded people, which is why in my late twenties I was able to reach and maintain a goal weight while spending a lot of time in my Zumba community. Recognizing that made me decide that in order to be successful I needed someone to be accountable to. I don’t want to make that someone Bill or my friends – it isn’t their job to keep me in line! So I reached out to my gym’s nutritionist, Trisha, and set up a consultation with her.

I met with Trisha two weeks ago for the first time and talking with her was like cracking open the dark crevices of my food brain that I’d been drowning in and allowing me to finally come up for air. I left that first meeting full of hope that I’ve found someone who can help me do the work of changing my mindset around eating and my body so that I can finally find some peace. Although I do want to lose weight, I also want to stop the cycle of overeating and then feeling bad about myself over it. By learning to change my approach to myself from critical to curious, I’m hoping to get my behavior with food to align a little more closely with my beliefs about how I should be eating. It should be quite the journey!

I feel like I’m taking some solid steps to making 2022 a great year of personal growth!

Friendsgiving in Paradise

Over the last several years, Bill and I have had a tradition of spending our Thanksgiving holidays with our good friends Ben and Jamie. We’ve dubbed it “Friendsgiving”, and we would alternate hosting each other from year to year (they’ve lived in both Texas and Colorado over the years that we’ve been doing it). After missing out on our get-together last year, we decided we wanted to make our Friendsgiving 2021 extra-special by planning to have it in Hawaii.

When we booked the trip last June, we decided on sharing a two-bedroom condo in Kihei, Maui. Bill and I have been to Maui before, Ben had been to Hawaii but never to Maui, and it was Jamie’s first time going to Hawaii. We picked Maui because we feel like it has a good combination of great beaches and plenty of local shopping and restaurants without feeling super touristy.

By August, Covid cases had spiked and the governor of Hawaii issued a message discouraging tourism through October. We were a little unsure that we’d be able to take our trip after all, but thankfully things got much better and by mid-November the guidance had been lifted and tourists were no longer discouraged from going. All four of us were also able to get our Covid booster shots in enough advance to be fully effective in time for our trip.

We flew to Maui the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and met up with our friends at the airport. After two years apart, we were so excited to see each other! The weather was gorgeous and a much-needed break from the gloom of Seattle in November.

On Wednesday evening we drove to Lahaina to attend the Feast at Lele Luau. It was really fun! We were greeted with fresh leis before being led to our table, where we were able to sip cocktails while we watched the beginnings of the sunset. Then we were treated to a five-course meal that we enjoyed while we watched the dances that accompanied each course. It was a tour of the islands for both our eyes and palates!

At the luau

We got incredibly fortunate to be able to find a condo through Airbnb that was right across the street from Kamaole Beach Park II. We went there every day to relax and swim. One of my favorite things was seeing sea turtles! The turtles love to play in the surf and we spotted quite a few of them every day. One actually brushed against Bill as it swam by us!

Kamaole Beach Park II

Bill’s favorite beach in Maui is at Makena State Park, so we made sure to spend plenty of time there. The beaches are breathtaking and the surf is usually good. Our Airbnb host provided us with an assortment of beach toys and equipment, including two boogie boards, and we had a blast taking turns catching waves.

Sunset at Makena

We ate way too much amazing food while we were there. Our favorite spot was the Kihei Caffe, where we began most of our mornings in Hawaii. Their breakfasts are beyond delicious and the portions are generous. We liked to eat there and then head to the beach, knowing we wouldn’t be truly hungry again until dinner time. Although there was always a line in the mornings, it goes fast and the food is well worth the wait!

While everything about being in Maui was amazing, hands-down my favorite part of the trip was enjoying such a beautiful place with friends we love and had missed so very much over the last two years. Hopefully this will be the first of many vacations we can all take together!