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Reflection? Who has time for that?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Assessment and reflection are two key components of any successful program. They help us set realistic and challenging goals, and then help evaluate our successes and shortcomings. While turning the calendar page often offers us a cue to assess progress and set new goals, it is incumbent upon us to take the time to reflect and capture those thoughts. The end of 2013 was a blur, going from finishing the fall semester to a fun but packed family ski vacation, to the start of the next semester (with two different classes and additional admin overhead), and moving our house over the next two weeks. I was able to get a good lunchtime run in yesterday and think about 2013 and the upcoming 2014.

I had many successes during 2013. Professionally, I was able to finish my PhD in civil engineering on time and make the transition from student to assistant professor at West Point. Personally, I had a few long term goals that I accomplished, including 1,000 running miles over the course of the year, competing in 5 or so running races from 5k to 10 milers, and generally staying within a maintenance range of 180-185. I say generally, I think my low was 178 and I hit a high of about 190 after my Achilles injury and when we were moving and it was harder to eat well during the move related chaos.

We are now two weeks into the new year. I am back down to my maintenance range after vacation, I am back to healthier eating, and I have resumed running (I ended up taking a 2 week break while skiing).

I have put some thought into my 2014 goals, but have not set any yet. I don't think that I will set the 1,000 mile goal again, at least this year. I have a few races for this year, including a trail marathon relay in May. I want also want to lose about ten lbs and establish a new maintenance range of 170-175. To that end, I am going to work better at tracking and mindful eating. I am going to continue running but will mix in more cross training with IM volleyball, skiing, and road biking and not be quite as relentless at getting in the miles.

Best wishes as you reevaluate your past performance and plan for future success!


(My DD2 starting her new dance class)
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