Do One Thing Every Day

Blog, Sue Cloutier

So it looks like I haven’t updated in well over a year now. I guess my running podcast, Runner Girls, has been fulfilling my need to let the world know what I’ve been up to. Here’s a very quick summary of 2013: after running my first half marathon in the fall of 2012, I ran two more last spring. I also became pregnant as a surrogate mother for a wonderful couple from the Netherlands. I had the adorable baby in November, then resumed running again at the end of the year. I also began renting a space in Rollinsford, NH where I plan to open a bakery this year. That’s the gist of it. I’ve still been working, cleaning houses, and doing the podcast to document the running journey. I am very happy with what I’ve accomplished in 2013.

My two biggest plans for this year are to open the bakery in the spring, and run my first full marathon in the fall. I also have several smaller goals in the meantime – losing extra baby weight, getting fit and staying healthy, saving money. So I devised a plan to see my new year’s resolutions through: doing one thing every day. I believe I touched upon this subject in an earlier blog post, and it’s taken this long to actually put it into action. Here’s the plan. In each area that I want to accomplish a particular goal, I just have to do one thing every day.

For fitness, I started with something simple – doing planks. Planks are a simple exercise that I can do every day, no matter what, and will greatly benefit my running by strengthening my core. I started doing the daily planks on January 5th, and have done one every day since. Now, of course planking isn’t enough to develop fitness for running half and full marathons, or just for getting fit. I have to do more. But it IS one thing that I can do every day to keep my focus on my fitness goals. In addition, I have been running four times a week, gradually increasing the distance of my longer runs. I have also been going to the gym to lift weights 2-3 times each week, as well as doing a bodyweight fitness routine 2-3 times each week which includes push-ups, squats, incline rows, and a routine to strengthen the muscles that support my IT bands. I finally feel like I have established a consistent running and fitness routine, and that I am getting to be stronger. And now it’s time that I can finally start a running streak. So that it will be another one of my “Do One Thing Everyday”s – running at least a mile, every day of February. It’s a short month, we’ll see how it goes.

Another area that I thought needed some clear direction is my finances. When I first made this plan of doing one thing everyday, I wasn’t quite sure how I could implement that in the financial area. Until I saw the 365 day money saving challenge on Pinterest. Basically, it’s a chart with 365 boxes with varying change amounts, from 1 cent to $3.65, in each box. Every day you pick one box and deposit that amount into your savings, and by the end of the year you’ll have saved about $667. Since I have always been terrible at saving money (in that I don’t do it for very long), I thought that if I made that simple daily goal of saving a little extra change, it would be an easy enough way to get into the habit of saving every day. I began the money saving challenge on January 3rd and haven’t missed a day yet. I believe I have about $20 saved so far. Not much yet, but it will add up.

The last big area where I need to focus attention is opening the bakery. This was the biggest and scariest part for me, and I’m afraid to admit that I haven’t made a super concrete plan for doing one thing every day. I have been putting in a lot of work this month – painting, making some repairs, buying the fridge, setting up my website, securing a P.O. Box. But I do need to start a more specific plan and work toward it every day. I have to get inspected and licensed. I need to set an opening date. I need to get an oven, and display case, and tables and chairs. Those are the biggest things I need to do. Everything else is just filling in the gaps. But it is definitely time to work on the gaps!

So those are the three big areas I am focusing on in 2014. I also had plans to do one thing every day in another area: keeping the house clean! That I have been slacking on because I wanted to get all the Christmas stuff put away first. That’s right. It is January 31st, and we still have our tree up and all of our Christmas decorations out. This weekend, I will tackle getting all of that put away, and then make a “Do One Thing Every Day” cleaning plan. I’m sure I will find something helpful on Pinterest. Let’s hope I don’t spend the weekend falling down the Pinterest hole instead.


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