Hello and happy December! It is finally my favorite time of year. (I say finally, but really the time has just been flying by). The fresh start that comes with the beginning of every month is my absolute favorite. I use this time to plan, evaluate my goals, and prepare for upcoming events. This month is the busiest of the year, but I feel that I am ready for it! December will be a great transition month for me as I add more miles after the NYC Marathon and prepare for winter fitness. Before we get any further in the month, I want to reevaluate my progress this past month and set some new December goals.
November was a successful month for me in terms of marathon recovery. I often jump back in to running too quickly after a marathon, but this time I have held off pretty well. Before the craziness of the holidays begins, lets take a look back at the goals I set in November.
- Complete the New York City Marathon!
- Start and finish my November Fitness Challenge by completing 1,000 minutes of exercise this month.
- Completed, as of yesterday. I thought I would have a lot more minutes to spare from the marathon, but at the end I completed 1,020 minutes. Just barely passing my goal! I am happy with how this challenge went and am glad that I didn’t overdo anything too quickly after the marathon.
- Take a full week off from running after the marathon and continue stretching even on the days I don’t run.
- Half complete. Full week off – check! But continue stretching when I don’t run? Oops. I definitely haven’t even been stretching on the few days that I do run. This will really need to be a goal for December.
- Shift my focus from running to cross training and strength training all of my body.
- Volunteer for a race! (We’ll move this goal to November since I failed in October;).
- I think I should win the record for procrastinating a goal here.. This goal is still not completed.. I will make it a December goal and see if I can squeeze it in around the holidays, and if not it will become a New Year’s Resolution!
- Start and finish one new book, and find a Christmas book to read.
- Complete! This month I finished three books. I finished Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica which was EXCELLENT. After completing this book, I read Winter Stroll and Winter Storms, both by Elin Hilderbrand. I didn’t realize they were part of a trilogy when I started reading the first one (which was actually the second of the trilogy), so of course I had to read the final one! They were both books set at Christmas too, which completes the second part of my goal.
- Get at least half of my Christmas shopping done (hello, online shopping).
- Success! My Christmas shopping is about 85% complete at this point, and I am hoping to finish it up this week. I am really looking forward to having it done and out of the way before the craziness begins.
- Wake up half an hour earlier in the mornings.
- This has been working really well for me. There are a few days that I’ve missed, or woken up later, but overall I’d consider it a success. That extra half an hour feels like it gives me so much more time to get moving in the morning. I plan to continue this through December!
- Avoid snacking on desserts as the holiday treats begin to arrive.
- My success here has been pretty mediocre. Some days I do really well, while others fail miserably. I have been trying to choose healthier snacks when I am home during the day, and have been doing pretty well these past few weeks.
- Plan some seasonal date nights.
After reflecting on my accomplishments (and failures;) of the past month, I am setting these new goals for myself in December.
- Complete the 30 Day Plank Challenge.
- Continue running shorter distances at least 2 times a week.
- Complete all of my holiday errands at the beginning of the month and focus on being present and less stressed holidays.
- Plan some seasonal date nights.
- Plan a spring goal race.
- Read at least one Christmas book.
- Find some ways to give back to others on a weekly basis.
- Not get overly obsessive about holiday foods; find a healthy balance between treats and smart choices.
- Spend time thinking through the past year to evaluate progress and set goals for the new year.
- Choose water over pop unless it is a Sunday or holiday.
And with that, I am ready for the new month! December is my favorite month of the year and I’ve spent the past 11 months looking forward to it. This month is all about time with family, celebrations, happiness and giving. I can’t wait!