2014 Resolution Final Update

As 2014 is drawing to a close, I wanted to take one more look at my 2014 Resolutions.  Some I gave up on or “adjusted” as the year went on, but let’ see how I fared.  I’ve crossed off the ones I have accomplished:

  • Learn the basics of coding and learn to build a website either through an on-line tutorial or through a physical class — NOPE
  • Post at least twice a month on my professional blog, Grace’s Rantings  — Didn’t quite make this one, on 7 posts ALL YEAR!! 
  • Update my website DONE!
  • Train my new puppy — Who knew this was going to be so hard, we are sooo close!!!
  • Paint my downstairs bathroom DONE!
  • Paint my basement steps DONE!
  • Visit with my (grown) children at least every 6 weeks — not quite this frequently, but I did see them a lot during the year
  • Take Kelsey to NYC over the holidays –– adjusted this resolution to schedule a ski trip once I realized how EXPENSIVE the NYC trip would be!
  • Get together with at least 2 friends each month I love completing this one!
  • Write 52 letters in 52 weeks.Well I sent way more than 52 letters/cards, but not necessarily one a week!
  • Exercise a minimum of 3 times a week, preferably more!  HA!
  • Move my dumbbell weights up  from the basement and do at least 4 sets one exercise them daily! I got them upstairs….
  • Participate in the annual Yoga Mala
  • Run a 5k in under 24 minutes and/or a 10k in under 50 minutes Ran 2 5K’s in under an 8 minute mile which is what I really meant!
  • Run a 10 miler or half marathon in 2014  Ran a 10 miler!
  • Bench Press 4 reps at 75 lbs Going to the gym would help with this one!
  • Continue to eat a vegan diet, be more diligent about processed foods and restaurant food DONE
  • Continue to cut out (or at least cut down on) use of plastic DONE
  • Floss my teeth daily DAILY??? What was I thinking?  I did floss a lot but not quite daily
  • Don’t fret over or complain about issues; either act to change it or accept it Yeah, good idea…maybe next year
  • Be grateful every day, keep a gratitude journal! I am very grateful for so many things in my life, but journaling just isn’t my thing.
  • Study more about the Law of Attraction and other philosophies Working on it.
  • Meditate daily Yeah, another good one to carry over
  • See all the movies nominated for the Academy Awards Best Picture — I saw quite a few, but not all — Wolf of Wall Street, Monuments Men, Nebraska, Osage County 
  • Consistently blog 2-3 times per week on personal blog. I did a lot of blogging, but then I got very, very busy with work and sort of fell off, but I will keep blogging on!
  • Finish Kelsey’s High School scrapbook (she graduated in 2007!) OK, next year!
  • Organize my vegan recipe book Done
  • Clean out unused items around the house (electronics, food, kitchen gadgets, make-up) DONE

Hmmm, not great, but not bad!  Here’s to 2015

One Last Chance to meet those 2014 Goals and Resolutions

I’m not so sure that I will make New Year’s Resolutions next year.  I think perhaps I am a little bit OCD when it comes to making lists, categorizing things and tracking myself.  But, since I did make them this year I figured I would continue checking on my progress toward my goals.  I have met a lot of these, and I have adjusted some as the year has gone along.  So as we move into the final quarter of 2014, I thought it would be time to check in and see what has been accomplished and what I still want to get done this year!

Career Goals:

I planned to learn the basics of coding and learn to build a website — While I did complete a short online tutorial on basic HTML coding, I have not done anything further.  However, as my work has led me more and more into on-line advertising with AdWords and Facebook, and so I have shifted this goal from learning to build a website to learning all about digital advertising and I am working on becoming AdWords certified.

  • My goal is to complete (and pass) the Adwords Fundamentals and Display Advertising exams to become certified.

I also set a goal to update my professional website, and I am on my way to having that completed this year.  I have gotten mew photos taken, updated the copy and I am having it updated to be mobile friendly.  Hopefully once the new site is up and running I will also meet another resolution which was to:

  • Write at least 2 blog posts a month on my professional blog.

Home and Family:

working dogTraining my puppy has been a year long goal.  I think she is pretty much trained, but accidents happen!

I did do some work on the inside of my house this year.  I painted a bathroom and pained my basement steps.  Both projects came out great.

  • Now I have to sand the paint off of my outside steps and re-stain them before the winter

I always set a goal to visit with my (grown) children at least every 6 weeks — unfortunately, I haven’t seen them since June although we talk on the phone, e-mail and text often.  I do have a trip planned to their area in two weeks for a family wedding so that will be a fun visit, and I have made plans to spend Thanksgiving with them at my son’s house.

And I have planned (and almost paid for) a great ski trip with my kids for early next year.  I have booked the condo and the airline tickets and everyone is ready to go!


One resolution that I make and love completing is to get together with  at least 2 friends each month.  So far so good!  Since my last update at the beginning of July, I have gotten together with Jen, June and Diane, Cheryl, Colleen, Carolyn, Deb and Julie at that was just July.  August started out great as I spent a weekend with my old college roommates: Lynne and Cindy, with Rhonda, Jen and Caryl.  So far in September, I have gotten together with Trudy, and  AZ Reunion

I went to a reunion with 28 of my sorority sisters, most of whom I haven’t seen in a very, very long time!

Another way I like to keep in touch has been to set a goal 52 letters in 52 weeks.  I was going along great with this, but I didn’t send many cards or letters this summer, just two in early July.  But I did buy a pack of Halloween cards so I will be sending out at least 8 notes next month.

Health and Fitness:

I have done great with my fitness goals this year.  I have done a lot of running and road races this summer and I have been very please with my times.  I even met my goal of running a 5K at better than an 8:00 minute mile (just once, but I did it).  I always set a goal to finish in the top 10% in my age group and for the most part I achieve that! I even place in the top 3 (in my age group) at two races this year.

As I have been doing a lot of running, my yoga practice has fallen off this summer (as it typically does), but I will get back to it.  I have also started weight training again in preparation for the Seacoast Half Marathon in early November.

Hobbies, Leisure:

I like to set a goal to see all the movies nominated for the Academy Awards Best Picture.  I must say that I wasn’t too excited about this year’s picks, but so far this year, I have seen:  America Hustle, Nebraska, Captain Phillips, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Osage County.  (I watched Last Vegas not that it was Academy Award material!)   I also re-watched Midnight in Paris and Dead Poets’ Society.  Really out of last year’s winners, the only others that interest me at all are Philomena, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, and Blue Jasmine

Two goals I have met are to organize my vegan recipe book (both on-line and in paper), as well as cleaning out unused things.  I have been good about getting rid of old make-up, miscellaneous electronics, kitchen gadgets and clothes.  As a new season is approaching, I will be clearing out more unworn clothes soon!

  • One goal that I haven’t gotten to yet is finishing my daughter’s High School scrapbook (she graduated in 2007).  I had set a goal to finish it by June, but maybe by December?  And, now that he has a house with some space, I will bring my son’s scrapbook(s) to him for him to keep!  (Thereby also meeting the previous goal of getting rid of things!)

Mental and Spiritual Health:

Well I really haven’t made any progress of these goals.  I still fret and complain about issues.  And while I am very, very grateful for everything in my life, I haven’t had any luck meditating or keeping a gratitude journal.  (I’ve never had any luck keeping any sort of journal.  It just seems silly to write this stuff down, and I wouldn’t want anyone to read it if I were to “depart”!).

everything in my life, I haven’t had any luck meditating or keeping a gratitude journal (I’ve never had any luck keeping any sort of journal.  It just seems silly to write this stuff down, and I wouldn’t want anyone to read it if I were to depart!).

Image by Tiverylack, courtesy of freedigitalphoto.com

Image by Tiverylack, courtesy of freedigitalphoto.com

  • However, it is never too late to start.  I should be able to simply spend 5-10 minutes a day in stillness and being grateful.


And lastly, I had also set a goal to ready and study more about philosophy, and I must admit, in preparation for writing this post, I purchased an audio lecture series on the philosophers and their teaching throughout history.  So far I have listened to the first 3 of the 60 lectures. These lectures series are great, they have them on a ton of topics ranging from fine arts to history to cooking to mathematics.  If you want to check them out here is the link.

Wellness Is For All

The other day I read a great inspirational quote that really made me think:

The only person who should ever have to live by your standards, is you.  Let everyone else off the hook.

 Ouch, that hit home.

I want to reiterate for you (and for me) that the purpose of this blog is to share my experiences with exercise and wellness, educate, and hopefully entertain you, my readers.  I try not to be preachy, but rather to inform.

I tend to set high standards for myself, but I should not expect others to follow them.

Although I have a lot to say on the subject of healthy eating and exercise, I do not judge people for eating meat, dairy, high sugar snacks, diet soda, or being couch potatoes!  We are all different and have all come to this place with different life experiences and goals for the future.

All I ask of you are two things:

1) Educate yourself about nutrition (not diet!) and its direct affect on our health.  There are tons of books written on the subject, but a few that I have found to be very interesting and easy to read are:

2) Move every day.  You don’t have to run miles, join an exercise class or a gym.  Even a 10 minute walk, two or three times a day can make a big difference in your health!

  • Here is a short video from ABC News on some of the risks of inactivity.
  • NASA scientist Joan Vernikos, PhD studied the effects of inactivity and poor health and aging.  She has many short videos on the subject that are worth your time (maybe you could stand while you watch them!)  As well as a book, Sitting Kills, Movement Heals

I’d love to hear your opinion on any of these books or videos, or even any others you have found that motivated you.






Friends Forever!

I haven’t been blogging much this month as I was on vacation and I’ve been busy getting together with friends.  I can’t think of a better use of my time!

I  make it a point to get together with friends on a regular basis.  (If you’ve been reading this blog you know that I aim for getting together with friends at least twice a month).  But that wasn’t always the case.  For a long time in my life, when I was busy with boyfriends, and then a husband and children, I let my relationships with my girlfriends slide. Oh we sent Christmas and birthday cards, and made the occasional phone call, but I was busy with my family and they were busy with theirs, and the years slipped by.

Then I had a bit of a personal crisis and it was my girlfriends who rallied to me and got me through it!  Yes, those same friends who I never quite had time for, were there for me when I needed them.  (Thank you Janet, Cindy, Brenda, Diane, Wendy and Barb).   After that I promised myself that I would put my relationship with my friends high on my list of priorities.  And so now, I get together with local friends on a regular basis and make sure that I send cards and letters to my friends who are further away.  I must admit that Facebook has helped me stay in touch.

Facebook has also been a great way to reconnect with old friends.  A few years ago I reconnected with my first friend from college, Nancy who I hadn’t seen since before we graduated in 1981.  Just this summer I have reconnected with a friend who I haven’t seen in over 13 years (Deb that’s you!), and I am looking forward to seeing my 2 college roommates (Cindy and Lynne) in a few weeks –It is hard to believe that it has been over 30 years since we’ve seen each other!

So to my girlfriends, old and new, I love you all, and I wouldn’t be where I am without you!

Click to play this Smilebox collage

Mid-Year Resolution Update

Happy 4th of July!!  It is a rainy day (thanks to Hurricane Arthur headed up the coast) and halfway through the year so I figured it was a good time to check in on my progress on my 2014 goals and maybe even set some new ones for the second half of the year.

One of my goals for the year has been to update my website,  While I haven’t done this yet, I am making progress.  I have set up an appointment with a photographer to take new photos, and I going to set a definitive resolution for July to:

  • Go through the copy and rewrite sections of the site that need updating
  • Update the photos on the site (once I get the new ones taken)
  • Have the site made mobile-friendly (or set up a mobile site)
  • And post much more frequently on my media blog


A related (and unfinished) goal was to learn HTML, CSS and perhaps even learn how to build a website.  I would really like to achieve this one.

  • If I don’t get to the online tutorials this summer I should look into will sign up for an actual class.


Shakira in her life jacket!

Shakira in her life jacket!

A big goal for this year has been to train my puppy!  We are almost there.

Actually if I wrote this last week I would have said she is all trained, but then she went in the house.  BUT she seemed remorseful afterwards so I think she now realizes that she isn’t supposed to go in the house — that is progress!


Paint my downstairs bathroom, and paint my basement steps — DONE and DONE!  And it looks great!

Oh and here is a resolution that I love completing, to get together with  at least 2 friends each month.  I’m met or exceeded this goal every month.  In the past 2 months I’ve had dinner with Jen (twice), Trudy, Barbara, Deb and her friend Julie.

Another fun resolution has been to write 52 letters in 52 weeks.  I haven’t necessarily written a letter each week, but I’ve certainly sent 26 over the past 6 months.  This year, I’ve saved all the Christmas cards I received and put them in a big envelope.  Then when I sit down to write a letter I pull out a card and write to that person.  Recently I’ve written to Ellen, Carolyn, Shirley, Kelsey, Taylor, Diane and graduation cards to Michael and Kaleigh.

  • For the rest of the year, I’m going to get back on track and write a letter each week, starting today!

Market Square 10k

My exercise goals are going great.  I’ve been running a lot and running in a lot of races and getting faster.  I’ve even met my goal of breaking an 8 minute mile for a 5K!

I’ve also been going to yoga fairly regularly.  I haven’t been to the gym in quite a while though…  A goal for 2014 that I will achieve in the fall is to

          • Run the Seacoast Half Marathon

I resolved to see all the movies that were nominated for Academy Awards in 2014.  Movies aren’t a big draw for me, so this resolution is actually hard.  But I have seen:  America Hustle, Nebraska, Captain Phillips, and The Wolf of Wall Street.

  • That leaves Philomena, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, Gravity,12 Years a Slave, and two movies that weren’t nominated for best movies, but for best Actress and best Supporting Actress: Osage County and Blue Jasmine

Organize my vegan recipe book — DONE!

Clean out unused items around the house (electronics, food, kitchen gadgets, make-up) — I made a lot of progress on this when I tried to get rid of at least one thing a day for 30 days, so while this is an ongoing resolution, I am going to count it as ACCOMPLISHED (for now).

 Visit with my (grown) children at least every 6 weeks — It is time to make some plans to get myself down to their area or get them up here!  It has been longer than 6 weeks.  And even though the holidays are quite a few months away, I need to start figuring out who is going where this year!

And a related resolutionTake Kelsey to NYC over the holidays — Well I started looking into this, and it might get a bit expensive, and so I really need to rethink either NYC or a ski trip in early 2015… So before the holidays I need to:

  • Determine where everyone is going for Thanksgiving and Christmas and plan a ski trip for early 2015

Oh here’s a resolution that has gotten ignored all year (and for the past several years too it appears.  I will have to add it to my end of the year goals:

  • Finish Kelsey’s High School scrapbook (she graduated in 2007!) — I have all the papers and pictures.  I just need some time to organize everything and put it in the book.  I know, old school, but I have physical scrap books for her up through 8th grade so I am going to finish this one the old fashioned way.  Then what?  Who knows, it will most likely sit in my basement (along with my son’s scrapbooks) until I give the books them and let them figure out what to do with them!