In this first week of 2015, I’ve been thinking about what I’d like the year to look like. As part of that, I’ve been thinking about 2014, too: what went wrong? What went right? In what areas did I or did I not get closer to my life goals? What will I do differently this year? (This post has more great questions for looking back on your year.)
On the whole, I have to say that 2014 was not my best year. Frankly, I’m really glad it’s over.
The biggest change: at the beginning of the year, I packed up my life and drove from my old North Carolina home to my new one in northern Arizona. Real talk: the transition has sucked. It’s not so much because there’s something wrong with my new geography per se, but more because of how the move has disrupted really important stuff like my career and finances. That can easily be enough to stress anyone out on the daily. Basically, it’s been a giant cluster.
On the positive side of my move, I’ve been able to do lots of exploring. I’ve visited some awesome famous destinations include the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and Zion National Park. I’ve also visited tons of other national monuments and trails in the Flagstaff and Sedona area. Even after all that, there’s still plenty I haven’t seen or done.
My fitness gains are another bright spot. I started crossfitting in June of 2013, but my new gym here has really taken things to the next level since I joined up in January. I added 10# to my back squat, 18# to my power clean, 15# to my jerk, 15# to my snatch, made massive gains on pull-ups and ring dips, PRed numerous benchmark WODs, and cut a full minute off my mile time. All at 7000 ft above sea level!
In the process, I’ve successfully gained a couple pounds of muscle mass–hey quads! The photo on the left is from April ’13, and the right is October ’14. Society beats into our head that any and all weight gain (for women) is OMG THE WORST, so truthfully I have occasionally found it difficult to accept my gains, but on the whole I’m proud of my progress. Plus, it helps me look more like a grown-@$$ woman (literally) instead of a pre-teen. ;)
Lastly, in 2014 I created Agent Athletica. I set up shop a little less than 9 months ago, and have successfully driven it from obscurity to an established presence in a relatively short time (I mean, you’re reading this, aren’t you? ;) ). In the process, I’ve learned a ton about all aspects of blogging: hosting services, WordPress, affiliate networks, SEO, and everything in between. It’s hard to overstate how gratifying my work on this blog has been. I love being able to constantly strive for improvement, experiment relentlessly, and see real results and data from all of my hard work. And of course, I love the little community of fellow addicts it’s facilitated.
Overall, I’m hoping that all the turmoil, hard work, and stress of 2014 will finally start to blossom into things that bring me closer to where I want my life to be in 2015.
Here are some of my goals for the year and what I’ll be up to:
1. Add weight to my lifts. By the end of the year, I want to add another 20# to my back squat (up to 160#) and another 15# each to my clean (to 118#), jerk (to 110#), and snatch (to 75#). If I improve my strength in these lifts, other PRs will follow.
2. Get a muscle-up. Theoretically, I should be strong enough to do this, it’s just a matter of technique. I want this box checked off in the next 2-4 months .
3. Get a Cindy score worthy of the leaderboard. I’ll need to do about 17-19 rounds to get on my gym’s leaderboard. A big part of this will be improving my push-up strength. Sometime in the next couple months, I will do a month-long challenge: I’ll assign myself a certain number of push-ups to do each day, and increase that number each week.
4. Hike the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim. This is about a 24 mile hike, and will happen sometime in late spring/early summer when the weather is appropriate. I’m really looking forward to this bucket-list-worthy experience.
Getting sh*t done:
1. Make more improvements to the blog. Most of this will be behind-the-scenes work that will improve things like site function and organization. I’ll also be experimenting with incorporating more reviews, posts about other brands, and general activewear-related topics. Your feedback is always welcome!
2. Double my blog traffic over the next 6 months. Based on previous trends and the work I’m planning to do, this should be within reach. And like I alluded to above, I love the challenge!
3. Be better organized with my work. First, I’ll track my time to see how much time I actually spend on regular tasks, which will help inform how I should structure my days as well as give me realistic expectations of productivity. I’ll be more diligent about using a planner to lay out my days and stay on top of tasks instead of my current “method” of letting my desk pile up with random scrap paper. :)
1. Read at least 20 books. (Stretch goal: 24 books.) I love reading dystopian/fantasy young adult fiction, and I’m really excited to read Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy, which I just picked up at the library. To get through this many books, I’ll be setting aside 1 evening per week specifically for reading. This time will also help me unwind and stay balanced.
2. Pay off another chunk of my student debt. This will be no small feat, but I hate it looming over my head. I will most likely be doing a month-long spending ban to funnel money toward this cause instead, which you can imagine will be rough given the content of this blog. :)
3. Explore even more of the southwest/west. Currently, I’m planning some weekend trips to Las Vegas and San Diego. For bigger trips, I’m trying to narrow down options like Colorado, Utah, Mexico, Portland, or Washington state. I also want to hike at least 8 new local trails.
4. Round out my speed short collection by the time warm weather hits. Ok, this goal post wouldn’t be complete without a little lulu levity. ;) My speeds collection is the one I curate the most seriously and carefully (and obsessively?!). I need to track down seaside dot, chevron or which way sway, a size up in ray, a size down in flash jacquard, plus solid menthol and menthol/pow stained glass love (whenever they come to the US–hopefully Tuesday!). There are others that would be nice to have, but those are definitely the biggest priorities. Then I will be officially ready for summer. ;)
If you’re so inclined, feel free to share your 2015 goals and 2014 successes/reflections in the comments!