I don't really make New Year's resolutions - why wait until New Year's to make important changes - but this year we were away for the winter break and it gave me ample time to think about how to manage my stress level more effectively. Since my husband started his full time MBA program last September, I have been doing almost everything for the kids and the house on my own, plus working, plus my own training. It has been busy, to say the least! So I made two small decisions: the first is to make sure I read at least two pages of my book before bed, no matter how exhausted I am, so that I can stay hooked into whatever I am reading. I love to read and it has always been an extremely important part of my life. It is a gift my mother gave to me - I do not remember a time, ever, when she was/is not in the middle of a book. I actually stopped reading for pleasure last fall, which was the first time this has ever happened to me! So far, I have kept my word to myself.
The second resolution may seem crazy to most people, but not to me. As an athlete, I have a certain mentality that most people do not understand. The discipline and drive required to train at the level I do - with all the other demands of my life - is part of my personality. I have always had tremendous drive for, and commitment to, anything I loved, and running is no exception. However, the winter and its lack of light, plus the Seasonal Affective disorder symptoms I experience, makes it extremely difficult to continue with my normal training volume. I made a huge decision to (try to) stop thinking like an athlete until May 1st. Instead, I am focusing on working out every day with less structure than usual, and not think ahead too much - enjoying they psychological benefit of regular exercise. A "civilian" exerciser, so to speak. We will see how it goes!