August 2015 Goals and Plans

by Andy Hough on August 10, 2015

It has been a while since I’ve done a post reviewing my monthly and yearly goals. I made some goals for June and never got around to reviewing how I did on those goals. The fact that I pretty much forgot what those goals were gives you a pretty idea how I did.  I didn’t even bother making any goals for July since I knew I wouldn’t meet them. When I’m working full-time I don’t accomplish anything outside of the job. There has been a lack of progress on my yearly goals as well.

My yearly goals are are to keep my expenses under $1k a month, run a 5k in under 23:59, and be able to do one pull-up. If you don’t count medical expenses I’ve been doing pretty well at keeping my expenses under $1k a month. I’m doing okay on that goal.

I’m doing terrible on my other two goals. If I had to run a 5k today I would probably be slower than I would have been at the beginning of the year. I need to get into a routine or running regularly. It has been too hot to run outside. That isn’t much of an excuse though since we do have a treadmill in the basement. I do find running on the treadmill boring, but I need to do it anyway if I’m going to make any progress on my 5k goal. Although I doubt it is possible for me to make this goal by the end of the year I’d still consider this goal a partial success if I could considerably improve my 5k time. A new goal of running a 5k under 30 minutes is probably more realistic.

My arms might be slightly stronger, but I’m a long way from being able to do a pull-up.  I did buy some dumbbells back in June and have been using them semi-regularly. I need to buy some new weights since I’ve maxed out on the weights that came with the dumbbell set. I seriously doubt I’ll be able to do a pull-up by the end of the year. I’m not sure what I could set as a new goal in place of this goal.

I’m only setting one goal for this month since it is a big goal for me. This month I intend to give up drinking soda. I already tried to do this a couple of times last month, but gave up when the caffeine withdrawal headaches and other symptoms hit. I just started a new attempt at quitting soda this weekend and woke up with a terrible headache and body aches this morning. I drank some tea to get some caffeine which has lessened my aches although it hasn’t cured them. My plan for quitting this time is rather than quitting cold turkey I’ll cut down to one 12 oz soda a day for a week or two in order to hopefully reduce the withdrawal symptoms when I quit the soda completely. I’ve been having sleep, fatigue, and digestive problems which I’m thinking are probably caused at least in part from my large intake of soda.

I have a tentative plan to start a roughly one-month hike on the Appalachian Trail on August 25th. If my health and finances permit me to hike than I will hike. The hike should allow me to lose weight which will be helpful in making progress towards my 5k and pull-up goals. Being in the woods without regular access to convenience stores and fast-food should also make it easier to give up soda.

If you have any tips on how I could make better progress on my goals I’d love to hear them.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kim August 10, 2015 at 3:41 pm

The 5k goal seems pretty tough. I would break it into mini goals. Take 30 seconds, or 1 minute, or whatever is reasonable off your baseline time each week, or every two weeks. I admire how you are always willing to put yourself out there and state your goals in public. That is supposed to be a key to success. I need to be much better at that. If you do the AT hike and keep a journal please post a link. I am always interested in reading those.

2 Ashley August 10, 2015 at 5:26 pm

If you can suffer through the caffeine headaches they do go away in about 4-5 days. My boyfriend and I quit soda earlier this year and it was tough, but we would just take Tylenol or take a nap and it would help take the headaches away for a little bit. We did try to cut down to less caffeine before we quit, but it doesn’t really help with the headaches. Unfortunately there’s not much that can be done but to suffer through it. Good luck. I’m sure you can get through it.

3 Jon August 10, 2015 at 7:16 pm

Hope you get out to the AT. My brother lost about 40 pounds in the first two months. He has less than 200 miles to go and the photos he is posting look like he’s in better shape than I ever remember him being in. Good luck Andy!

4 Isabella August 11, 2015 at 12:21 pm

I did just 3 things that are helping a LOT. I gave up refined sugar of all kind (still eat fresh fruit), do just 2.2 miles each day on my stationary bike (this takes a measly 10 minutes), and switched to iced tea from Diet Pepsi. It may seem like small steps, but because I am consistent, the pounds are coming off fast! I have found, in the past, when my goals are too lofty, I completely fail. And I am sleeping like a baby. Slow and steady wins the race.

5 Andy Hough August 11, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Kim – Making smaller goals along the way would be helpful. I just need to see that I’m making progress. Unfortunately, I won’t be hiking the AT because I just found out today that I definitely need to have the biopsy. Since that will cost me money and require some recovery time I’ll be putting off the AT hike until next year. When I do hike I will keep a journal. You can see some of my old journals at: http://trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=86415

6 Andy Hough August 11, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Ashley – Yeah, I guess I’ll just have to suffer through the headaches. I’ve bought some aspirin that also has a small amount of caffeine which I’m hoping will make the headaches more tolerable.

Jon – I’ve been reading your brother’s trail journal. The AT definitely gets you in shape. On my previous hikes I’ve lost about 10 pounds a month. Unfortunately, I won’t be hiking the AT this year since my blood test results were worse and I have to have the biopsy. I still plan to finish the AT next year.

Isabella – Giving up all refined sugar would be tough. I do have stevia sweetened drinks that I like that I plan to drink instead of the soda which should help. I do plan to start getting some exercise everyday even if it is just a little bit.

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