Wow, have I missed Toastmasters! I haven’t been able to make a meeting for several months due to my change in schedule. Luckily, I was able to go to the meeting today, since the college is still on break. I heard 2 really great speeches & had a great time.
- The word of the day today was cogitate, meaning to think hard, ponder, meditate. The word was bit new to me, but I recognized it from its Latin root. I was able to work it into my remarks, which is always a triumph.
My role at the meeting was Table Topics master. My duty was to lead a session of impromptu speaking by posing questions to the members. I’ve always really enjoyed Table Topics, even though I don’t always like being put on the spot. I think Table Topics has helped me a great deal, maybe even the most helpful segment of Toastmasters. I don’t actually give many prepared speeches in my line of work, but I think Table Topics has prepared me well for speaking with other people & given me the ability to be more confident when doing so. The meeting today happened to be the first meeting of the year, so I asked a somewhat predictable question of “Did you make any resolutions & what are they.” Member Kristy answered, saying that she did not make resolutions, because she likes to live day to day but she does have some areas in her life she would like to do more with. Next, I talked about recent attention our city has been getting because the Cake Boss came to our area, as well as the show American Pickers. My prompt to the speaker was, “Tell us about a celebrity encounter you experienced.” Visitor Rhonda looked excited to speak, so I called upon her. She told a story about a time she met a famous physicist who she was one of her idols. My next prompt followed the same theme & asked, “What do you love about Binghamton or where would you rather live?” Club President Elizabeth spoke about all the different & interesting birds she gets in her yard.
Overall, I had a really enjoyable Toastmasters meeting. I learned about the word cogitate & hope to use in conversation in the future.
My biggest goal & focus for this year is getting healthier & more fit. Running has always been my exercise of choice, even though haven’t always been regular at it. This year I have plans that I will be able to stick which will help me become a better runner. They are as follows:
- Team Confluence– In November of last year (just a few months ago) I applied to be a member of my local running store’s promotional team, Team Confluence. I didn’t really think I would get selected to be on it, but I thought I’d try anyway. I did actually get selected to be a part of the team, which I’m really excited about. We had our first meeting on Sunday & I’m super excited about this team. We have such cool plans for running support in our community.
- Binghamton Bridge Run– My local half marathon, my main running goal for this year. This will be the 3rd year the city has had the half marathon. I was never able to run it before due to work & overall not being ready to commit to it. This year I am really excited to be able to run it. I’m even participating in a training plan with Confluence Running. The support will be a big help to me with the training. This is the biggest race that I’ve committed to so far this year & it is in May.
I’m slightly concerned about hitting a running wall after the Bridge Run because that is what happened after I ran my marathon in 2009. This time will be different, though because I will schedule more big races after that (I just haven’t decided what they are yet). In the meantime, I have 2 more year long goals that I’ve committed to:
- 14 in 14– I found this nifty little challenge via twitter. The goal is as simple as it looks, run 14 races in 2014. This should be an easy one, there is pretty much at least a 5k every week in my area.
- Run this year– I found this challenge on twitter, also. To complete this one, you can run the year in miles (2014 miles) or kilometers (2014 km = 1251.4 miles). I was a little daunted by the miles challenge, so I am pledging to run the year in kms. It looks like it will end up being around 24 miles a week.
With these 2 extra challenges, I feel like am in going to be in a good position to keep my running goals for the year.
After I made my list of things I wanted to do this year, I looked it over & was noted that all of the goals fell into 3 different categories: health, accountability & financial fitness.
My biggest area of focus was health. Here are my goals & methods to get healthier in 2014:
- Running Challenges
- Drink at least 6 glasses of water a day
- Go to Exercise classes 1-2 times a week
- Track meals & exercise (I use the myfitnesspal app)
- Cook meals for Mike & I at least twice a week
- Bring & eat breakfast on the way to work at least 3 times a week
- Drink at least 1 cup of green tea daily
- Try to cut out carbonated beverages/drink sparingly
My next resolution is to be more accountable. To do this, I pledge to:
- reply to snail mail within 2 weeks
- blog at least 2 times a week
- finish 4 fmsphotoaday or other challenges
- keep up better on the household chores
- be more punctual
My other resolution, to be more financially fit, is one that I’ve been working toward for a few years now. I might be a little bit too optimistic, but I think this could be the year that I become debt-free. I also have virtually no savings. To remedy this:
- I plan on using the snowball approach, where I take out the bills one at a time. With my new position, I get paid the same amount every week, so I can plan accordingly.
- I also plan on following the 52 week money savings challenge, but in reverse.
A big welcome & hello to 2014! I, for one, am sure glad you’re here! 2013 was ok & certainly interesting for me. It held a lot of sadness, but that sadness turned into a big change & set up for the future. All in all, I am excited for a new fresh start with 2014, however, & I’m excited to see what’s next.