Wednesday, January 09, 2013

This Girl Is On Fire

Thirteen has long been my lucky number.

It started way back when I was, appropriately, 13-years-old. I was at a school carnival at the Edwin H. Greene Intermediate School with friends and trying my luck at the middle school, high-stakes gambling game of Cake Walk.

For those of you not familiar, a cake walk is a simple game that gives rise to that old expression, "It's a cake walk," because it's easy.

A cake walk involves taping numbered placards on the floor in a circle and inviting participants to walk from number to number while a song is playing. During this era, I'm sure the tape player cranked out the stylings of Salt 'N Pepa or NKOTB.

Like I said, this was a long time ago.

Anyway. Cake walk. There I am, gingerly stepping from one piece of construction paper to the next, when the music halted. The number 13 was called, and I found myself the winner of a cake (donated by one of the PTA moms, but made by Kroger).

On that hallowed day, I went home with not one but two amazing, store-made cakes. Both thanks to the number 13. I thought I was a champion, a hero, a celebrity.

Ah, the simple joys of being an admittedly nerdy/dorky 13-year-old girl.

So, it is with pause and anticipation that I welcome the arrival of 2013. This year is the first of my life to bear my lucky number - the first year to offer so much promise and opportunity.

And I'm already welcoming those hopeful moments.

Some friends and I have started reading The Happiness Project. It is a great book that helps you set your intentions as opposed to making half-hearted resolutions. The book compliments some work I'm doing as a participant in the Cincinnati Chamber's WE Lead program, which is a fantastic, year-long program that focuses on female leadership development.

Both efforts involve setting personal goals and keeping track with measurable results and accountability. The accountability is what keeps me focused on sticking with my goals.

To that end, I've developed three goals for the month of January: Purging, Exercise & Running, and Meaningful Moments.

  • Purging: As an innate pack rat (it's a trait I inherited from both parents), I hold on to items that are sentimental or possibly useful in the future. My 1996 era, Kentucky Wildcat-branded Coca Cola bottles are sentimental, but do they deserve a place among my possessions? That's a decision I'll have to make in the year ahead. I'm working to purge one thing everyday.
  • Exercise & Running: A year ago I ran three half-marathons and was in the best shape of my life. I loved the focus and structure running brought to my life, and I also enjoyed the healthy benefits. It's time to revive the habit of regular exercise and running. I'm striving to run every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, and will schedule other moments of exercise on the off days. My two-mile round trip walk to work doesn't count.
  • Meaningful Moments: Living alone, it's easy to cast off my coat and bags and make way for the couch when I arrive home after work. This pattern of behavior (and some other recent trends of withdrawal) has made me feel very isolated and lazy. I'm forcing myself to engage in a meaningful moment everyday, whether that be a phone call with a family member, time to read a book, or dinner with a friend. I need to eschew the easy pattern of lazing around and watching television at night.
These are my three goals for January, and so far I've done a good job of sticking with my objectives (87 percent success rate according to my inner nerd). 

Every day is a fight, and so far I feel like I'm throwing left hooks like Rocky.

Bring it, 2013.

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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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