Simply Switches for 2011

Aaahhh, goals. I love setting them. I’m a very scatter-brained person by nature, so setting out specific goals help keep me focused.

For close to two years now, I’ve been setting a small list of goals to achieve at the start of every month. Sometimes I’m a success, like with increasing my healthy fat consumption, or reading more books for pleasure.

Other times, I’m a colossal failure and don’t achieve any. That never sways me though, because goal-setting is always necessary in my life to maintain that focus. And not achieving goals helps me realize what things are really important in my life.

For the month of December I set what I called The Most Important Goal of All. To put an end to my inner fat talk voice. That voice in my head where I say terrible, hurtful things to myself about my appearance.

I’m proud to say that I worked consistently at this all month. I started doing things on the outside, like dressing nicely, or eating well, that helped me feel better about my appearance. I feel like I’m walking around with a little more confidence. However, one month is definitely not long enough to fix this problem (if it can ever be fully fixed!). And that’s why it’s important to set some long-term goals as well.

First, a recap. On top of my usual monthly goals, last January I set a list of goals for 2010. I get a kick out of looking at these goals because I had no clue what was in store for 2010. If I did, I think I would have re-considered some of these!

1. Run a half marathon.

Did not do this. I was travelling/moving during my peak training months.

2. Complete a duathlon.

Did not do this. I moved away from the city I was planning on doing the duathlon in.

3. Complete a metric century.

Did not do this. I stopped riding my road bike because it’s just too dangerous in Toronto.

4. Get my first client as a personal trainer.

How about dozens? Accomplished!

5. LIVE life.

I spent 17 years “waiting” to finish school to get on with my life. Instead, I chose to stay in the same city, same job, did all the same things. It felt like a total waste when I finally had the whole world at my fingertips. I made some major life changes in 2010 – new job, new city, new outlook, new adventures. This may have seemed like a strange and vague goal when I set it 12 months ago, but I feel like this is the one that I really worked on every single day. It’s by far the best goal I ever set for myself and achieving it is one of my proudest accomplishments.

It’s so funny to look back and see how fitness focused I was one year ago. It taught me that as much as I make fitness that one “non-negotiable” in my life, it is also subject to change based on where I am and what I’m doing. I know I’m always going to be a runner, so I don’t need to set a half marathon goal to keep me running. And when certain life commitments come up, races just don’t seem all that important. Especially when you have to pay money for them!

For 2011 I am doing something a little different. And I encourage you to do it with me!

Instead of setting outright goals, I’ll be making simple switches.

I didn’t come up with this idea on my own. Cathy from Simply Bar told me about their Simply Switches program for the new year and I immediately jumped on board. Here’s how they describe it:

Simply Switches is our “get real” resolution – a campaign to make
health a habit, one switch at a time.

What are Simply Switches? They’re small, achievable shifts in
eating, exercise and lifestyle habits – simple changes that don’t
require a lot of effort, but really go the distance for your health. A
Simply Switch can be choosing a green tea instead of a sugary latte
in the afternoon, or going to a yoga class after work instead of going
home to watch TV.

By making 2 or 3 Simply Switches each day, we’re inspiring positive
changes that actually last. Join us!

I love this because instead of some big lofty goal, it encourages me to set goals that are doable and achievable.

After a lot of thought, here are the switches I’ve come up with:

1. Switch out sugary desserts with natural sweets.

img_4250 img_0683

I am a sugar addict. Rather than cut back on sweets altogether, I’ll trade out some of those refined sugars with more natural ones like fruit.

2. Switch out 5 minutes of internet time for meditation time.

img_2680 meditation

I tried to set a 20 minute meditation goal back in the spring and failed miserably. This time I am starting much smaller and hopefully increase as it gets easier.

3. Switch out one workout a week with yoga.

IMG_0112 img_3302_thumb

I already do yoga once a week, but I would ideally increase it to at least two. I think taking exercise out of the gym (and my workplace) and into the studio will help infuse a little more passion into my personal fitness again.

4. Switch out unreplied e-mails for replied ones!


I am awful for reading e-mails on my phone and forgetting about them. This leads to probably hundreds of e-mails I should have responded to but never did. If you are one of those senders, I’m so sorry! 2011 is the year I get on top of my inbox. As soon as an e-mail comes in, it doesn’t get marked as read until a proper response has been sent out.

2011 is going to be another life-changing year for me. These are four switches that I can do anywhere, any time, and will help keep me grounded throughout any craziness that lies ahead. I’ll be checking in once a week for the month of January, then monthly for the remainder of the year. This way these goals won’t go by the wayside. I’ll be featuring a brand new Simply Switch anyone can do on the check-in days!

Simply Bar has also offered to give away an amazing prize at the end of the month for all of our hard work. So I ask you… what Simply Switch are you going to make this year?? Resolutions are so 2008 :P

Posted on January 1, 2011, in Goals. Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. I really like that concept. Especially the switch sugary treats with fruit on. I love fruit so much and could easily eat yogurt and strawberries for dessert and be happy–yet I usually choose ice cream or chocolate…

  2. I miss you susan! I absolutely l0ve that photo of the three of us, and am so proud of you and all of the living you did this year! Much love, sista sara.

  3. I really like the simple switches concept. Since resolutions have such negative connotations, I set goals — ones that are attainable. Most of them start with “Continue to…”

    I should jump on board with the meditation and fruit.

  4. Susan. What an amazing post and summary of the year! Wish I could take those sorts of pictures and Write so eloquently! Love the switches particularly swapping internet for meditation! So glad to have met you this year. Cathy

  5. “look back and see how fitness focused I was one year ago”–
    funny you said that right after i thought it, based on goals 1,2,3–that didnt materialize. GOOD!

    B/c you were out living life! If there’s ever a person i say oh that girl is way too busy to comment on ppl’s blogs or update her own blog (yet you do both!) b/c she is out living her life and being young single and fabulous, it would be you! you seem like such a jetsetter susan, moving and grooving and just doing your thing…that is fab and i have seen/felt/watched it unfold even more in 2010 and cant wait to see you in 2011!

  6. I like the simple switches. It’s all about making good choices, not overhauling your life all together. You really did have a great year, and its probably for the best that all of those races did not happen. You were able to use all of that excess energy for other things. I am taking a new twist on resolutions this year, too. They really are so 2008.

  7. LOVE the switch thing! Makes life easier!!! And sounds so chilled out!!

  8. I like this idea very much! One major switch I’d like to make is swapping maybe 30 min of computer/mindless television time for creative activity – sketching, making collages, playing piano, etc.

    Sounds like you had a wonderful year full of lots of travelling and trying new things, which is always good!

  9. greensandjeans

    Susan, you’re such a rockstar. And I think we should anti train for a metric century together.

  10. Very cool idea Susan! I’ve been procrastinating on resolution-making this year… but I’m liking the simple switches concept! I’m completely in the same boat when it comes to e-mail… my inbox is a nightmare…

  11. What a great idea!!! I love the simple switch idea rather than lofty big goals :) Thanks for the inspiration. Good luck to you in 2011, may you prosper!

  12. I know they may seem “simple” but whenever I try to do them…they lose their simplicity. I guess i’m gonna try to swtich out some of my cardio days with more weight lifting. And maybe switching up my blog surfing time with some real life human interaction ;)

  13. Those goals sound perfect, Susan! I love the one about 5 minutes of internet for 5 minutes of meditation.

  14. I am doing a ‘to-do’ list instead of resolutions or goals for the new year. Less pressure and no time frame!

  15. Great switches, I have set myself some yearly and monthly goals too. I feel its time to get on top of things! x x

  16. i LOVE this idea!

    i think i am going to have to second the “trade 5 minutes of Internet time for meditation time” as well as add one of my own “trade 30 minutes of sleep to get up 30 minutes earlier and have time in the morning, instead of feeling rushed.”

    we’ll see how this goes…

  17. i loooooooove your switches. i am working on mine!

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