Thursday, December 29, 2011

Resolving Not To...

Each year end, for years now, I have set goals and/or made some resolutions.  I suppose the thought of starting January 1 with a clean slate of possibilities sucks me in.
I have never given much thought to that process until this year, and only very recently at that.  At the end of a recent  Muay Thai class the Sensei  in charge told us to turn to our partner and tell them one goal we had set for ourselves at the beginning of 2011 that we had accomplished.  This didn’t surprise me because they often say to us “Goals You Set Are Goals You Get” during the end of class wisdom section.  Mr. Helen immediately turned to me and said getting his Third Degree Black Belt was the goal he set and achieved.  He then looked at me and waited….and waited… and waited  - until I looked at him and said, “Honestly and shamefully, I have not accomplished one single thing I set out to do this year.”  The minute the words came out of my mouth, I knew something would change for 2012. Why spend time feeling bad about not meeting goals?  Especially when no one but me is putting pressure on me to do so.
Not long after that was when I was challenged to add up my running mileage for the year and did so, only to discover how little I ran in 2011 compared to past years.  My first thought was “another failed goal” because I used to always have a loose goal of running 100 miles a month, or 1200 miles a year.  But as I reflected and reviewed the notes in my running journal I realized that:
 1.  I had never actually set that as a goal this year.
 2.  I had run pretty decent mileage considering that I had a couple of months where my total mileage had been 15 miles or less because if the issues with my hip and SI joint that I started the year with and which ultimately took until August to heal.
3. I did no racing this year and it’s race training that usually pushes my mileage up, and
4.  It’s never too late to set a goal if you want to, and it doesn’t have to be January 1.
After a bit more reflection, I began my quest to run 800 miles by December 31st.  (I’ll let you know in early 2012 how this worked out.)  In the meantime, I  also noted that I accomplished many other things that I had not even thought about January 1, 2011.  Such as really rocking the Zero Excuses Challenge and finally seeing a weight loss trend that hopefully will find me in better health and smaller sizes in 2012!
Somewhere in the midst of all this I decided I would not set big resolutions or goals for 2012 but instead would let things that needed to be goal oriented come as they may and work on them as needed.  Then on December 23rd, I tested for my Muay Thai brown/green belt .  It turned out to be not only humbling but eye opening.

Showing pad striking skills - see my belt in motion?  That's a good thing because it'means
I was rotating my hips correctly.

I am not normally a person who is afraid of being in front of people but for some reason having to perform  my Muay Thai combos and/or weapons in front of others, really bothers me.  Really, really, really bothers me.  To make matters worse, I was the ranking belt testing that evening.  Don’t you know the Sensei asked me to do something that put me front and center.   Mr. Helen and Little Helen were standing right there with cameras pointed.  I knew the material backwards and forwards…. and  I lost it.  Ooooooh, it was bad, bad, bad.  I suuuuuuucked! It was so bad that if they were awarding the belt based solely on that night, I am fairly sure I would not have gotten it.  Fortunately, they also base it on what they see in class, and in class I don’t have performance anxiety.  To make matters even more stomach turning, when my name was called and I went forward, my Sensei said, "There are probably a lot of you who don't know this but this amazing woman is the one who keeps Sensei Mr. Helen going."  Which immediately made everyone scream and yell and clap because they love Sensei Mr. Helen and immediately made me feel bad because I'm sure he was embarrassed by my poor showing. In any case, I am officially one year away from getting my Black Belt – assuming I can get the material down and actually show that I know it.

Smiling in huge relief that it is being handed to me...

Now I find myself having decided that I was not going to set goals or make resolutions, needing to make one.  So here it is and as simple as it sounds it is going to take hard work and dedication, which ironically is my 2012 motto:
In 2012, I don’t want to suck.

That's it, and it's not just Muay Thai related either.  It's also my wish for all of you.  2012 the Year of Not Sucking.

Happy New Year!


  1. So funny, we are on a similar wavelength - I was thinking last night about what I wanted for 2012, and basically it was the same. Although I like how you worded it better. :)

  2. Interesting post and I think that is a great, simple, no nonsense goal. I think though that it is ok to suck occasionally, it is how we handled the suckiness that matters. If you do suck at something during 2012, get up, dust yourself down and kick it's ass :)

  3. I like your resolution Helen! And I think Hard Work, Dedication will be my mantra too!

    Congrats on getting your belt - I love the look on your face in the punching picture - you are taking names!


  4. Here's to not sucking in 2012 Helen! :-) I have a feeling that, rather than not sucking, you will be the the positive!

  5. Hear, Hear... no sucking in 2012 - It will be a better year for me too!!
    Congrats on the belt - that is a huge accomplishment!! Way to go.

  6. Well, it's not necessarily specific or measurable and it's stated in negative language so it pretty much breaks the "rules" of appropriate goal setting but I think it's AWESOME and I love it. :) I suspect that you don't suck as much as you think you do already anyway so you should have NO problem meeting that resolution in 2012.

  7. I agree, cheers to no sucking in 2012!!! (you put it beautifully Helen) Have a wonderful Thursday.

  8. I love THAT! Can I steal it? Best goal EVER! I know all about performance anxiety and belt tests. I am about 12-18 months from my black belt in TKD, depending on how fast I can master the VAST amount of material. It freaks me out sometimes, but HEY we're doing it and we do our best. That's all that matters, right? I am TOTALLY committed to not sucking in 2012.

  9. I'm with you too!!!
    ps you look great with your belt a-swinging!

  10. Congrats on getting the belt.... looking forward to a great 2012 here too.

  11. I think that your challenge was certainly a successful goal!

    I like doing monthly goals (as you know) since they keep things fresh. I forget about the yearly ones a lot of times.

    2012 will be the opposite of suck for all of us!

  12. I think it's a great goals for 2012 and I'm totally in. I love your post very much and I'm sure you will have a great 2012 and I will be happy following your blog about it.

    Thank you for being such a great blogger friend. I appreciate it very much.

    Here's to a great 2012 for you Helen.

  13. I'm all for the YEAR OF NOT SUCKING!!! :)

    Happy New Year, Helen and CONGRATS on all of your accomplishments this year!

  14. Love your goal. I also don't want to suck in 2012. 2011 was a rather "sucky" year for me in many respects, but there was also happiness and joy, as well. You are an honest and talented blogger with a lot to share, and I look forward to following you again in 2012. I appreciate all of your comments on my blog. Thanks for being a good blogger friend.

  15. A year of not sucking - I'll gladly sign up for that!

    I don't make New Years resolutions. I do try to set small goals through out the year and make positive changes along the way.

    Happy New Year to you Helen and may you not suck in 2012!

  16. me too me too!!!

    happy happy NYE, Helen.

  17. HA, I ended up with no goals either this year. But I also don't want to suck. LOL!!

    Go you on moving up the ranks on your Muay Thai. I confess, I don't know the differences in belts, etc, but I know determination and grit when I see it, and you have got that in spades, my friend.