December 22, 2007

What's Next?

This season naturally brings folks to consider the year that has passed and to reflect upon their successes and failures. Though I've never been shy about examining my failures, many of them are either already recorded on this blog or were intentionally left out, and so instead I'll focus instead on what's next.

Work continues to go very well. While I never mention specifics, many of you know where I work and what I do, and it's been an exciting year and a very exciting December. I recently spent the day at the New Jersey facility of a company we've just acquired, and met with a number of folks with whom I'll be working with on the assimilation of their people and corporate culture into our own. Radical redefinitions of both their organization and ours on the horizon, as we grow by about 6,000 new employees in the NYC metro area. I've also been working closely with many of the vendors I deal with, and they keep asking me to join panels and advisory groups for their products - which certainly might merely be flattery, but I'm not opposed to flattery... My company is contemplating extraordinary changes of direction and focus in the next few years, and I'm very excited about where I am and what's to come.

In the health and fitness realm 2007 has seen major changes. I began the year taking daily high blood pressure medicine, weighing 251 pounds, with my new doctor telling me I can "eat as if you have diabetes now, or wait until you get diabetes in a few years." I began taking my health seriously, with the result that last summer I hit my eight year low of 197 lbs. I've plateaued a bit since then, hovering around 200, but after the holidays I plan to get back on track toward my ultimate goal of reaching 175.

For those of you who asked how I did it, three particular things stand out: drink water instead of everything else you're drinking (especially caffeinated drinks), weigh yourself every day, and don't eat food that won't spoil. For that last one, what I mean is eat the stuff along the outside of the supermarket, food that requires refrigeration and will go bad someday, and avoid all the food in the middle that won't. If it has a shelf-life, it doesn't belong in your body. By avoiding high-processed foods and eating more simply, you make digestion much easier on your body which frees up energy for other things, not the least of which are activities that help you further lose weight.

And for the record, I no longer take high blood pressure meds...

Romantically, one of the benefits of my new fitter body and healthier state has been a significant impact on my dating life, yet my focus has always been on the quantity and not the quality of relationships. While that has been exciting, I'm done with that for 2008 and intend to remain single for a while. Nothing inspires less desire for a new relationship than the ending of the last one, and I'm clearly not ready to make room for someone in my life just yet.

I've been delving into the realm of faith this fall. I've not given the faith of my fathers much of a chance as an adult, and yet I can't help but consider that my untethered adult life is at least partially attributed to not believing all that strongly in anything in particular. Having recently met an extraordinarily faithful person, I'm in awe of what her beliefs provide her and wonder if I might find me some of that too if I were to actually start looking for it. I'm such a fan of being Jewish, yet I've spent very little time studying the accumulated wisdom of the culture of which I'm so proud. Taking recommendations if you have them.

One of the cults/educational institutions I've been a part of always made a big deal of public declarations of intent and specific measurable results. They encourage "enrolling others in what you want" to support you in getting it, and ensuring you're on the hook for the results you've committed to achieving. So, without further ado, public declarations of intent for 2008:
  • Health: 175 lbs, 10 pull ups, 50 push ups, 7:30 minute mile. Presently I can do 8 pull ups and 30 push ups and run a mile in 8:45, so I've got some work ahead there.

  • Finances: Budgets... oh, it's painful even to type... I never do budgets. Yet I lost weight by being intentional and deliberate, so I'll try applying rigor to my finances and see if it has a similar result. Weekly budgets, knowing where my money is and what it's doing, clarity around the material things I want instead of impulse-purchasing...

  • Romance: Off-line only. Despite 11+ years of online dating, I'm so done with that. From now on, I get to know them first and then date them and not the other other way around. My focus will be on getting out and meeting folks, doing things, interacting in person, rather than hiding behind the computer. Clarity around what I'm looking for in this realm too, instead of impulse-dating.

  • Work: More of the same for 2008 - continuing to keep an eye open for new possibilities and opportunities with my company. I'd love to see a new position or new location become available in 2008. Had a good talk with my boss last week, so we're both on the same page about what's next for me.

  • Judaism: 2008 will be a year of studying faith and my lack thereof. Visiting some temples in Manhattan, and deepening my involvement with B'nai B'rith.
Couple more posts coming over the next two weeks, some things in the news and some observations to be made. I've had less to post about these past few months because I've been hibernating more and more; while earlier in the year I was doing a lot, creating stories to write about, this fall has been quiet.

We'll see what 2008 brings in terms of blog-worthy moments...

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