7 Goals for 2016

Can you believe its almost 2016? Yes, Twenty Sixteen! Have you made any new year’s resolutions yet? Here are 7 of mine:

7 goals for 2016 New Year Resolutions Talking About Family

  1. Pray Pray Pray

Spend time every day with God. Read Scripture. Read my Magnificat. Do a bible study. Pray as a family / couple every day. Continue to journal.

2. Find a place for everything

I’m really trying to declutter, downsize and get organised. I made a big effort to donate items and clear out during Advent, and I have no plans to stop. Its too easy to get attached to things of this world and accumulate stuff. My goal is to find a place for everything, or throw it out!

3. Health and Fitness

I lost quite a few pounds in 2015, through a combination of diet and exercise. As I have somewhat abandoned the diet, the weigh loss has plateaued, so I intend to get back on track in 2016 and lose the last stone!

I also aim to run at last 15k a week (3 x 5k), and complete a 10k in the first half of the year. I took up running after having my daughter, and did my first 10k last year- hopefully I will complete it in a faster time this year!

4. Find a place for technology

My number one resolution for 2015 was to read more on paper than on screen, which I think I achieved. As a mother of a growing girl, I am increasingly aware of the impact of my tech use on her life. I am also currently reading Reclaiming Conversation by psychologist Sherry Turkle. This podcast is well worth a listen.

 

So, 2016 will involve a digital detox, and hopefully I will find a happy, practical balance.

5. Read Read Read

In 2016, I hope to rediscover my inner bookworm, which I lost while doing my BA, about 15 years ago.

Reading list to follow!

One Thousand Gifts Ann Voskamp6. Be Grateful

I am (also) currently reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Voskamp’s perspective and life is transformed when she starts counting her gifts and graces, even amid the pain that life throws up.

In 2016, I am going to start counting my own gifts, the things I am grateful for.

7. Learn 1000 words in Irish

My husband is fluent in Irish and speaks as Gaeilge to our daughter. I don’t want to miss anything!

Also, I hope to learn several prayers and parts of the Mass including:

  • Hail Mary
  • Lamb of God
  • the second part of the ‘Our Father’
  • Holy Holy

This will come in handy when the priest slips into Irish, as occasionally happens here in Ireland!

Do you have any goals for 2016? I would love to hear from you 🙂 Happy new year!

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7 tips for running your first 10k

7 tips for running your first 10kI took up running this year as a way to exercise with a baby. It has its benefits- its free, baby can come with you and, in the time you would spend driving to the gym, getting changed and showered and coming home, your workout is done! And it burns LOADS of calories! Since becoming a runner (I guess I can call myself a runner now, eh?!) I feel fitter, my body has changed shape (in a good way!) and I have more energy.

I started using a Couch 2 5k programme, running and walking, and gradually increasing the running each week. When I completed it, I did not want my hard work to go to waste so I set myself a challenge to ensure I kept running- I signed up for a 10k race!

As there are couch 2 5k programmes, so there are couch to 10k programmes, and bridge 2 10k programmes available on apps and podcasts etc. I spent so long umming and ahhing as to which one to use, I just kept running and made my own programme up along the way. So, here are my top 7 bridge 2 10k tips

  1. Firstly, congratulate yourself on becoming a runner. Let’s face it, going from couch potato to a regular runner takes a lot of hard work and discipline. You have built running into your routine and it is important to keep running three times a week.
  2. Continuing on the theme of celebrations- treat yourself to a new piece of kit! Did you do the couch 2 5k in your old trainers? New properly fitted trainers are a worthwhile investment. I did my whole couch 2 5k clutching my phone in my palm, so I got myself a phone arm-band… which went a little way to making me feel like a proper runner!
  3. Sign up for a race. This will keep your eye on the prize and keep you motivated! http://www.runireland.com is a great website for Irish runners.
  4. Back to the actual training… I did three runs a week; one fast half hour run, a 5k run and a long run. I had about 8 weeks before my race, so every week, I increased the distance of my long run by half a kilometre.
  5. Doing the longer runs mixes things up a bit- I ran new routes (using http://www.mapmyrun.com to plan them first) and started running in the evening, so I wasn’t under pressure for time. Changing the route and time of day keeps your running routine fresh and prevents you from getting bored!
  6. Think about your posture and form. How are your feet hitting the ground? Are is your back straight or hunched? Where are your shoulders? That was the thing I had to keep reminding myself about- they were oftentimes up round my ears. Lowering them made me feel instantly more relaxed and I enjoyed a better run.
  7. Remember, there is no such thing as a bad run. Don’t be disheartened if you had a slow run, or you feel you are not improving. You have done so well coming this far. Getting out and having an off run is far better than sitting on the sofa!

Are you a new runner? Or a seasoned one? I would love to hear your comments, questions or tips!

This post is part of Kelly’s 7 quick takes link up, hosted at This Aint the Lyceum. Head on over there for more quick takes!

7QT: Encounters, Books and Prayer

encounters books and prayer
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1. A blessed meeting
– Have you heard of the Blessed is She community? It’s a community of women online, who connect via blog and Instagram. Every day the Mass readings for the day and a short reflection by a member of the community arrive in my inbox. It sets me up for the day. Through this online community, I connected with a Blessed is She sister who also lives in Ireland, and we met for the first time at the weekend! A happy encounter and the first of many, I hope!

2. Park life– the sun has been shining this week so we have replaced indoor play with outdoor play and trips to the park. Sometimes twice a day! Little T loves the swings and the toddler slide. And watching the other kids, the dogs, and the man cutting the grass… happy days!

3. Longer runs– I’ve mentioned before I recently completed a couch to 5k programme, and I am hoping to run a 10k at the end of the month. Well, I have no official training plan, other than do a couple of 5k runs and one long run per week. The few weeks, I have started doing those longer runs (6k, 7.5k and 8k) and I love them! Changing my route really distracts me from the fact that the run is longer and running up hills I thought I could only roll down has made me appreciate how much my fitness has improved.

4. #UNIRL– #UNIRL, UN Ireland, was trending on Twitter this week. Why? Because a UN committee have said that Ireland must have a referendum on abortion to ensure women and girls in Ireland can fully realise their economic, social and cultural rights. The Committee said that the Irish Constitution appeared to “elevate the unborn to the status of a citizen” and said there was a “contradiction between” the Irish Constitutional right afforded to the unborn and the rights guaranteed by the Covenant “to a woman’s right to life and to health”.

This is being pushed further by so-called human rights organisation, Amnesty International, who fight for human rights while simultaneously denying a person’s first right- the right to life. It’s sad and disheartening to see UN agenda being played out in our small country.

walk softly5. Walk Softly and Carry a Great Bag– Teresa Tomeo, host of EWTN’s Catholic Connection, published this devotional book at the end of last year. I have been dying to get it and it finally arrived through my letterbox this week! Yey! I have only read a few of the reflections, but lets just say, I won’t be putting this book on the bookshelf, I will be carrying it round with me in my bag so I have it to hand when I have a few free minutes for some reading

6. Dawn Eden– speaker and author came to Ireland this week and I managed to catch her on her tour. She is a faith-filled, inspirational woman who has overcome a difficult start in life and is now a convert to the Catholic Church, and writes and speaks about chastity and healing wounds. She shared her testimony on EWTN’s The Journey Home. I’m looking forward to reading her new book- the Thrill of the Chaste- Catholic Edition!

7. The Sacred Heart Novena- The novena for this great feast began last Thursday, so I should have been praying the novena all week. Well, I thought about praying it every day, and desperately wanted to do it, but it didn’t quite work out… until Thursday, one week later. I did all the readings, prayers and reflections for every day in one go. I know, its not an ideal way to pray a novena, but I am learning that, as a mum, prayer time and Mass time are different!

How was your week? Post me a comment in the box, I would love to hear from you 🙂

Head over to This Aint the Lyceum for more quick takes!