Opportunities and Goals for 2012

It is the year 2012, and it has started off with a bang. On January 4th, my wife and son and I traveled to Orlando,Florida for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. The last time we visited the House of Mouse was in 2007, when we went during the Labor Day weekend. This time, we were going for a purpose: so that I could compete in my first Half Marathon!

The experience was truly inspiring! Being out there running with 27,000 others in the Half Marathon, and running the 5K race with my son and 8000 other runners, was an emotional event that I will never forget. The fact that I ran my first Half Marathon was a big part of it. But also, meeting new friends, running mates, and members of the W.I.S.H. Racing Team (We're Inspired to Stay Healthy) made the whole weekend that much more enjoyable for me and my family. Needless to say, I plan to return to Disney World in 2013 to compete in all three races -- the 5K, Half Marathon, and Full Marathon. If I can do that, I will come home with four Disney medals for the effort.

For a more detailed report of my Disney experience, visit my Healthy Living blog site and read the posting about it.

After returning to the 'real world' of Illinois, I have been thinking about the past year and what this year might bring. I have been thinking about what I would like to accomplish in 2012, and I have come up with several.

Lose another 50 pounds

In 2011, my weight loss efforts continued, bringing my total weight loss since May 2010 to over 110 pounds. This was very rewarding for me, seeing my shirt size go from a 4XL to just XL, my pants size go from a 58 to 44, and now being able to fit into clothes previously too small for me. I have given away tons of clothes to Good Will that are now way too big for me.

But, I am not done yet! My weight target is 190 pounds. I have 50 more pounds to lose and my goal is to lose them in 2012! The past few months have seen my weight loss stabilize -- no gaining but no losing either. I believe part of this is the result of my training for the Half Marathon, but another part of it is that I have become more lax in my tracking of what I eat.

So 2012, I re-dedicate myself to following my Weight Watchers PointsPLUS program more carefully, continue to eat healthy foods, and lose these last pounds.

Maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle

This will be the year of the Half Marathon! I ran my first on January 7th at Disney. My second will be on January 21st, when I run the Polar Dash down Lake Shore Drive in Chicago where it will be well below freezing and lots of fresh snow on the ground. After that, I have three other Half Marathons scheduled between April and September. I also have three 5Ks (one was completed on January 6th) and one 10 Mile race scheduled.

In June, I will be participating in the AVON Walk for Breast Cancer Research. This is a two-day event where the first day is a 26.2 mile walk, followed by a 13.1 mile walk the following day. I will be doing this to raise awareness and funds to help in the fight to find a cure for this terrible disease that affects both men and women alike. More on this soon. I hope I can count on your support to help me in this fight!

My biggest athletic challenge for 2012 will be my first Full Marathon: The Chicago Marathon in October! I am very excited and intimidated by this one. I am putting together my training plan for this race now, so that I will be prepared.

Other than running and walking, I will also be working out at my health club, doing some biking and swimming and strength training. Not only do I want to lose weight, I want to build more lean muscle mass, strengthen my core, and make sure that I am losing fat, not muscle. I want to be a lean mean fighting machine!

Read the entire Bible

I want to improve my Bible literacy this year by reading the entire Bible over the course of this calendar year. More importantly, I want to study the Bible more this year, finding out more about God's purpose for our lives and how His Word can both convict and encourage me to live a life worthy of the sacrifice that Jesus made for me on the Cross.

Learn a new skill

No one knows everything. I want to learn something new this year. Right now, I do not know what that might be. But I am going to keep my eyes open adn when the opportunity arises, I am going to grab on with both hands. He who stops learning, stops living!


So, I guess that is it. These are my goals for the new year. What goals are you shooting for? If you haven't thought about it, then now is the time. What do you want? What do you value? How can you improve yourself, your life

Here is hoping that you have a wonderful and prosperous 2012!