year two: keep on keepin’ on

I am way overdue in sharing my 2014 goals.

Other than confirming that My Year of Sweat would live on [as a blog] into 2014, and that new goals would be set in the early part of the year, I didn’t get specific.

I’m coy that way. Well, no, not really.

True, I am a cheeky monkey, but that is not the reason I haven’t shared my goals for 2014 yet.

At first I seriously needed to catch my breath and take stock of everything the experiences of 2013 had taught me. After that, I simply wanted to avoid the whole New Year’s Resolution thing.

It felt wrong to trivialize my continuing journey by wrapping it in the cliché of a resolution. For me this went from I-did-my-workout-today-therefore-I-get-to-put-an-X-in-the-ticky-box-situation to a truly transformative life experience a long time ago.

And because this is bigger than just the completion of a thing or even a list of things, I found myself struggling how to define what my 2014 personal goals would, or should, be.

How would I do this?



I knew I wanted to do “big things”, but I couldn’t say what those big things were; or even what would merit the title of big.

The truth is, I was stuck.

So I did what I knew how to do; I kept working out. In fact, I worked out January 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. My first day off was after my 369th consecutive day of sweat, on Jan 5th.

On the 6th of January, feeling lethargic and bloated from too much holiday indulging, I started a 5 day hard-core cleanse.

That felt like kind of a “big thing” to me.

And then the wheels in my head began turning… I started to crystallize on what my 2014 plans might look like.

What if it wasn’t about defining goals at the outset of the year, rather simply about moving forward.

Evolution, not revolution.


Instead of forcing myself to define a set of specific goals, I’m leaving myself open to an umbrella goal of Nancy, just keep moving forward.

Just continue to Challenge Yourself!

My definition of challenging myself includes, but is not limited to, the following:

      • trying new things
      • doing things that scares me
      • visiting new places
      • pushing myself harder / further
      • running faster / longer
      • slowing down, quieting my mind (meditation)
      • eating cleaner

I imagine I’ll be adding to the list of qualifying challenges because…challenges are everywhere, if we’re willing to embrace them.

419987_10151061749276234_1770013872_nMy plan is to take on at least one challenge each month of 2014; preferably 2-3.

I’ll then post a summary of the completed challenges early the following month, along with what I’ve learned. Assuming I learned something, that is.

Given that we’re already at the end of January (yikes! when did that happen??!!), you can expect to see the summary of January challenges early next week.

And since I am surrounded by so many inspirational people here, I will also include links to the crazy challenges my friends took on the previous month, too. Sharing is caring!

Challenge yourself!

Keep moving!

xoxo nancy

72 thoughts on “year two: keep on keepin’ on

  1. this is an awesome idea 🙂

    I love the monthly challenge idea, it encourages you to try new things but doesn’t force you to do them for too long! This means you can step further out of your comfort zone sometimes, but not always 😀

    I want to add some of these into my over all challenge…so I might generally steal your idea before too long 🙂

    • Steal away girlfriend! So far I’m thinking of just doing the things as I go (no pre-planning), like with the detox, but then on other stuff — things I know I’d like to definitely try – I’m thinking I should make a bucket list of sorts that I can pull from. Hmm… the possibilities are endless. It may be a combination of ad-hoc stuff that comes up and a list of items that I’d really like to be able to do this year.

      The monthly summary posts will be almost like my former weekly workout summaries — wherein it’ll be a look back at the stuff I did to challenge myself the previous month. ie. Less “I’m gonna” and more “I did”. 🙂

    • Thanks Jhanis! It’s a great excuse to take on some of the things I’ve been talking about wanting to do for a while. And some of them could make for some very funny reading. 🙂

  2. Great idea! I hate new year’s resolutions – this seems like a much better way of not pigeonholing yourself yet still leaving yourself open to new experiences. Seeing Sean on a wrecking ball could be one? 😉

    • This may end up being anti-climactic, because my thinking is that I’ll spend the month doing the challenges (and writing about them in real-time) – and then the monthly summary post would be a recap of the challenges I took on the previous month. Kind of like my weekly workout summaries were a recap of workouts I had already completed.

      My thought is that I’d rather write about what I’ve done than “here’s what I plan to do”. I have a feeling I’ll be doing some tweaking along the way… the wheels are still turning in my head.

  3. I love that you were reluctant to box yourself in to New Years resolutions – I think you put it really eloquently by saying it would trivialize how far you’ve come. The monthly challenge deal sounds great to me – I love keeping things fresh and discovering new things I enjoy. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

  4. I like that “going in the right direction”. I look forward to hearing about your challenges…..always inspiring 🙂 Hope you share your secret to ‘eating cleaner’ – my biggest struggle. I sure like my sweets 🙂

    • Ha! I’m not sure I’ve got any secrets as it relates to eating well. I just try to make better choices when I can. (Brown rice over white, black beans over pinto…you get the picture). And re: clean eating, I guess I’m *trying* to be more conscious of the processed foods I’m consuming and limiting those as much as I can. It’s HARD! What’s not processed these days. I’ve found eating at home helps a lot. At least that way you know what your ingredients are. We used to eat out a TON, and have been trying to do more home cooking this last little while. I find it is making a difference.

      • Agree. When I was working we ate out a lot and thus those extra pounds started creeping up. When we started eating at home mostly, we both started loosing weight. Now all I have to do is stop buying or baking snacks….but that has a foul effect on my mood…..”do not touch my sugar and no one will get hurt”.

      • I hear you! And it is so much worse just before that dreaded time of the month. Holy shit-balls Batman, I crave chocolate like nobody’s business when mother nature comes calling.

    • Exactly Guap. I didn’t want to just have a list of things like:
      -Hot yoga
      -Swim 50 laps
      -Run 5k 3X per week

      I can definitely try to do all those things — but I don’t need to ‘bucket list’ stuff like that.

      On the other hand, bucket listing specific places I want to go/hike, like:
      -Climb Mt. Whitney
      -Do the Rim to Rim hike at Grand Canyon
      -Visit Glacier National Park — hike as much as possible!

      These are things that I’d like to be more proactive on, because they take preparation and planning (and calendar management and money..). So my monthly challenges may be a mix of ad-hoc stuff I just did that month and also pulling from a bucket list I might throw up on the site as a list of wish-list items for 2014. Still deciding on how that’ll play out on the blog.

  5. Great list Nancy. I would recommend one more…Live In The Moment.

    Sounds like you also have a new name for your blog: Challenge Yourself!

    Hoping 2014 brings you continued health.


    • I love the “live in the moment”. Have been trying to do a lot more of that this past year, although it’s not always easy.

      A big challenge will be staying true to my new lifestyle and priorities in a changing environment (i.e. my re-entry into the workforce). I will need to continuously make an effort not to fall into old patterns. Now THAT is a challenge!

  6. I look forward to seeing how this pans out for you. I haven’t set any particular goals other than relates to my writing. Guess I’ll live vicariously through you. BTW, have you started your new job yet?

    • Day 3, Carrie! The on-ramp has been slow, mostly just immersing myself in a lot of reading to learn more about the company and their brand/messaging. It looks like I’ll be flying to LA/Irvine next week for some meetings with a vendor, so I think that’s when it’ll start to feel real. 😉

  7. Hey any post that includes the phrase “cheeky monkey” is off to a good start. 😉 I share your reluctance to rehash New Year’s resolutions but really like your plan to carry forward through 2014. New beginnings and challenges to look forward to sound like a great year for you and fun reading for the rest of us!

  8. I’m all about challenges! Of course I don’t always complete mine, or even make much progress toward them, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love them. I’m so excited to read about your new adventures, Nancy. 🙂

      • I think the January recap will be a bit anti-climactic, given I’ve already done deep-dives into the actual challenges so far (turtlehead revisited, coming full circle are two recent blog posts) and then multiple posts on the detox/cleanse that kicked the month off. 🙂

    • One of the first ones is going on as I type: trying to figure out how to fit the physical challenges in with a return to work. 🙂 I have a new-found respect for people who exercise regularly while maintaining a demanding career. Will let you know how I do. 🙂

  9. Pingback: Group Therapy: January « HACKER. NINJA. HOOKER. SPY.

  10. Pingback: monthly challenges recap: May edition | my year[s] of sweat!

  11. Pingback: monthly challenges recap: june edition | my year[s] of sweat!

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