My New Year’s Resolution is to Keep My New Year’s Resolution

Happy 2013, everyone! Are you ready to kick off the new year with a big bang? Or do you find yourself starting this January sleepily dragging your behind back to work? Let’s wake up and get excited for bigger and better things, people!

So truth be told, I actually haven’t made a New Year’s resolution. I can’t remember the last year that I did. There’s two reasons why I’ve bowed out for 2013. The first is that I feel like I’ve gained enough motivation and momentum from 2012 to continue bettering myself in the new year without any pre-defined goals.

And secondly — as the title implies — I don’t have the greatest track record for keeping the NYRs that I have made. I don’t think most of us do.

Canadians New Years Resolutions 2011 Toronto Star

Of the friends I’ve asked, almost all don’t believe in making New Year’s resolutions. To them, NYRs merely represent “empty promises”. But there are a couple who have set some lofty goals, including the second top NYR of last year: to quit smoking. And I actually believe that they have a good chance of sticking to it.

New Year’s resolutions aren’t typically goals that we can attain with the snap of our fingers. Inspired by the “fresh new start” that apparently comes delivered on January 1st, many of us pump our fists in the air with newfound purpose and declare: “Yes, I can!” At least for the time being it seems like anything is truly possible.

But somewhere along the way — a week later, two, three months into the grind — our resolve wilts like flowers in the harsh, winter snow. The NYR that was becomes no more.


So how is it that some people are able to achieve what they’ve set out to do for an entire year? Are they a special breed? Do the ones who make it to the end choose resolutions that were just easier to resolve?

I can’t give you the answers. I’m not one of these people. Doesn’t mean that I’m not inspired or want to improve myself this year. I’m just not ready to set anything in stone right now ;)

Calvin and Hobbes New years resolution comic

What’s your New Year’s Resolution? And what does it take to see one’s NYR through to the end of the year?

– Cafe <3

Credits: Canadians’ NYRs statsJanuary list comicCalvin and Hobbes comic

Time or Money?

time or money question_marcandangel blog

Lately, life’s been hectic, I’ve grown quite un-fond of computer screens, and … well, I’ve had a bit of blogger’s block to top it all off.

But I feel like it’s during these times when the days just seem to be passing by in a tired blur that we have to refocus and re-spark our love for life! So as I was scrolling through some inspirational questions for this post, my eye landed on this one: Time or money?

I feel like most people’s gut reaction would be to say: “Time!”

I know that for me, it is. That’s because I have spent much of my life without time — and when I say “time”, I mean time outside of work and school. It was only a few months ago that my life finally consisted of having just one full-time job. That’s it. No school. No second or third part-time job. Free evenings. Free weekends.

I just didn’t know what to do with myself.

Well, I quickly figured it out. After the first Saturday of sitting on the couch staring at the TV and asking myself if there was some work that I should be doing, I smacked myself across the face and yelled: “There is no work to do! Enjoy your free time!” (I think this conversation was happening in my head).

Once it had sunk in, I started going all out. I could pick up some hobbies! Singing! Playing guitar! Writing! I had time for it all! I could visit my friends and family more often! I could sit on the couch on Sunday and watch football for the entire day! 

I could also just *gasp* do nothing!I

My God, this was what I had been missing out on all these years. This was how other people were living.

Now, that may sound like the conclusion of the story, but alas, it is not. During this time of activity and exuberance, I had still thought about getting a part-time job to be able to pay off my student loan faster and save more for the future. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it after having gotten a taste of the good life.

But while I by no means consider myself to be a greedy, materialistic person, I do recognize that there are certain things that could add to the quality of my life right now that do require money over time.

So, I don’t know. Maybe the question isn’t so easy to answer. Maybe now is (still) the time to put in that extra work in order for me to feel more settled and secure a little ways down the road. And to also be able to continue going on trips around the world and drinking fine scotch guilt-free! Those things make me happy too ;)

Take a few minutes to ask yourself: Time or money? 

Write a post about it, share it in the comment box below, or just keep it to yourself ;)

– Cafe <3

Photo Credit: Question 15

“I Am a Half-Marathon Runner”

Okay, fine, I’m not. But I read somewhere that if I told myself that enough times, it would come true.

So for everyone who noticed my new Milestone Widget on the homepage, you’ve probably been twittering in anticipation of what I could possibly be scheming for next year. Or maybe you haven’t.

Well, the last time I said I was going to do something that I said I’d never do, I jumped out of a plane to ring in my 30th birthday. And after having done that, as well as a number of other things I once never dreamed of doing, I decided to quash one of the biggest I’ll-never-do-that’s in Janice history.

Run a half marathon.

Now, one of my favourite, yet most embarassing posts is buried deep within Your Daily Dose’s archives. It has a total of one like (this must change immediately). This post tells the painful story of how I, against all odds, became a 10k runner and how I would never become a half-marathon one.

But one day, a few weeks ago, I thought about that blasted half-marathon and I thought about how I said I’d never do it. And that just made me upset at myself. Why couldn’t I be a half-marathon runner like the KABILLION other half-marathon runners in the world? Did I also not have the drive? The physical capacity? The will of steel?

I sure as hell did … do.

And so, with new found excitement and direction, I declared last night that I would go for a run this morning. The training would begin PRONTO. Yes, the half-marathon was nine months away. Yes, I would need that long to prepare. Not a morning person? Pssht. Half-marathon runners shook the sleepiness from their eyes and braved the early morn alone, while everyone else was nestled in their blankets like cowards.

Well, the morning rolled around and … um … well, you know, I slept in a little later than expected. I had to get ready for work. I just didn’t have time. I’ll go running tomorrow …

I need help.

Questions! Questions!
To the kabillion half-marathon runners around the world: I would be most grateful for your advice, stories, and motivation on how to train well for my first half-marathon!

To those who have avoided the HM or FM like the plague: What would it take for you to gear up and just do it?

And to everyone!: If you were to raise money for a cause through your (hypothetical) run, what would be your cause?

– Cafe <3

Photo Credit: Runner at the finish line
This post was written on August 13, 2012
Um, and full disclosure: I did not run the half-marathon *hangs head in deep, deep shame*

Cafe, the Runner

The Story of How a Runner Was Born …
The first time I tried to take up running as my new sport of choice, I almost hyperventilated after sprinting down one block, broke out into a full-blown cold the next day, and declared myself a Non-Runner.

Yes, I concluded, there were specific individuals on this planet who were born physically incapable of moving at speeds greater than a brisk pace. I was one of the chosen few.

About ten years later, I forgot about this particular fact and decided that I was going to try running again. This time, I ran for 15 minutes before my lungs gave out. Then a couple of days later, I tried it again. By the following week, I was running for 30 minutes and still vertical at the end of it.

It was at that moment I knew. A runner was born …

The First Race
Awestruck at my new abilities (Non-Runners could clearly adapt under favourable conditions), I took the obvious next step: signing up for a 10k race!

Needing the encouragement and threat of public humiliation from others, I created a blog to track my progress, fight with Jake (whose time of 53:36 I had vowed to beat), and request that people kick me in the ass if I was slacking off.

A snapshot of my 10k run blog homepage!

Updating the interested public in my training progress and offering my fellow runners out there some invaluable secrets to success.

Exposing Jake’s plan to sabotage my training.

The big day finally arrived. I was ready to roll — I mean, run. It was an unexpectedly hot, sunny day and as I reached the 8k mark, my mental faculties were as sharp as a butter knife.

As per my caffeine addiction, I had made the rookie error of downing a cup of coffee in the morning. I was dehydrated. I had to pee. I couldn’t drink anything.

As I neared the end of the race, I was no longer running in a straight line. I was delirious and a Marshall was running after me to stop a fatality from occurring on his shift.

The aftermath.

My (very tall) hero!

Well, despite the events that transpired that fateful day, it wasn’t time for me to throw in the towel. Oh no. Quite the opposite, my friends …

5k in the Snow? Bring It.
Eager to continue furthering my running career, I decided to enroll myself in another race. This time it would be in Ottawa in the cold month of February. Factoring in the hostile conditions in which I would be running, I decided that doing the 5k race would be the correct strategic move to make.

My punishment from the 10k race had been decided. Despite finishing with a time of 55:22 and coming face to face with near death, I was to be subjected to the cruel tyranny of Coach Jake’s whims. I didn’t know what was worse: Jake as my sworn enemy or Jake as my coach.

Well, the run was freezingly fantastic. The coldest weather I’ve ever ran in, but it felt so good to finish strong and healthy at the end! Then I went to snowboard in Mont Tremblant the next day and got run over by a skiier …

Victorious for a day!

Some people now believe I am cursed. Run a race = Paramedics will be looming on the horizon. I should think that is hardly the attitude to take. I absolutely love running now. It’s not always pretty when it’s happening, but the sense of accomplishment you always have when you finish a run is priceless. This is hardly the end …

Future Career Plans
So how do I plan to further my running career? Is there a marathon that I see in the distant future? A half, even? Let’s get real, people. It ain’t happening. And I’m perfectly fine with the fact that I am a Runner, but a 10k-Max-Runner at that. There is a place for us in this world too.

So what are you waiting for? If a Non-Runner can overcome their predisposition to fail in life, so can you! Like the blog says … Just Do It ;)

– Cafe <3