The Changes I Made in 2009

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I am not one to make New Year's resolutions, however that does not mean I don't like to set goals for myself. In fact, when you read Chris Downie's book, "The Spark", you will gain a deeper understanding as to the importance goal-setting has in our lives--not just in losing weight and getting fit, but changing how we live and who we are meant to be. In other words, when we accomplish success in one area of our lives, many times it pervades in other areas of our lives, he calls this The Crisscross Effect. How cool is that?

But before I look ahead to the challenges I plan to take on in the new year, I would like to tell you a few of the goals I accomplished in 2009.

On January 1st I decided it was time for me to give up one of my last vices-- to quit my Diet Coke habit--a habit I had had for over 25 years. It was always something I wanted to do, but never quite had the courage to do until then. I am proud to report as of today I have been Diet Coke Free for a whole year.

Fitness-wise, the year began with my focus on building a solid running base. Having spent the better part of 2 years racing many 5Ks, 10Ks, and a few 1/2 marathons, I decided to use this year to really work on my endurance. Thinking I would spend the year bettering my 1/2 marathon distance time, that all changed in February. Coach Jen sent me an email and asked if I would be interested in running the 2009 Chicago Marathon with her in October. Well, it took me all of a couple hours to decide, so on the second Sunday in February I took the plunge and registered.

Not every goal I met in 2009 had to do with nutrition or fitness. In fact two of my biggest achievements had me presenting my personal journey at the SparkPeople Conventions in San Diego in May and Cincinnati in September. To think a formerly overweight woman from Texas, who could not bend over to tie her shoes 5 years earlier, was now talking about her own journey to healthy living. It was truly one of the highlights in my life. The reason? I had to face my fears head on and you know what? I DID IT!

In June I took on my next fitness goal. I have always been fascinated with Pilates. Having failed at other group classes, I found Pilates to be a nice combination of group camaraderie and challenge. It looks so much easier than it is, but what a fantastic workout. It will be back on my goal list of 2010, that's for sure.

In July, I fulfilled my goal of becoming a certified running coach via the Road Runners Club of America. What a thrill it was for me to go from non-runner, to runner, to now a certified running coach in less than 4 years after I started running. This is the crisscross effect Chris speaks of quite often in the book.

October had me fulfill a life-long dream of running my first marathon, while December gave me the wonderful opportunity to run the Dallas White Rock Marathon Relay with my high school classmates from 30 years ago. Inspiring others to live their dreams is something everyone of us can do.

As I say good-bye to 2009 and hello to 2010, I have learned to appreciate unforeseen challenges and goals that seemed impossible at the time. Once our goals are met, they are what makes us who we are today. Every victory, no matter how big or how small, is a step in the right direction to living our dreams.

Have you taken time to look back and reflect how far you have come since you started your own journey to a healthier you?