I've come a long way since my old journal (http://forums.johnstonefitness.com/showthread.php?t=53152) so I'm starting a new one to help keep track of my fitness progress this year. I'm not a fan of new years resolutions since I think it's silly to wait for an arbitrary date to start making life changes. However, I've found that I like setting a broad theme, so to speak, for the year in terms of goals and things I'd like to accomplish. I think it helps keep me focused and moving forward throughout the year. Here are some themes from the past few years: 2012: Fitness. I came back from living overseas in November, 2011, and I was a fat, unhealthy mess of a human being. I can remember sitting on the flight home thinking about how I had to make a change in my fitness: start going to the gym, eating better, and being more active overall. It took some doing, but as 2011 ended and 2012 progressed, I kept the overall goal of fitness in mind and I managed to get into the best shape of my life (up to that point) by the end of the year. 2013: Organize My Life. I had a lot of credit card debt, a low-paying job I hated, and I lived with my parents. The one bright spot was that I was in pretty great shape. At the beginning of 2013 I had been back from living overseas for about a year, and other than fitness I had been kind of floating aimlessly since coming back to the States. So at the beginning of 2013 I told myself I was going to use the year to get things in order, especially in terms of my career and living situation. I started the journal linked above and throughout 2013 I was largely successful in organizing my life and addressing a lot of the big issues. 2014: Improvement. I didnt update my journal much in 2014 because, well, there wasn't much to say. Since I had already remedied most of my perceived "problems" in 2013, I set the goal of simply improving as much as I could in as many ways as I could during 2014. I managed to get great strength increases in the gym, cut down on body fat a bit more, and overall maintained a pretty healthy lifestyle. I ran my first real race, an 8k through the Baltimore Zoo, and rode my first century, the Seagull Century around Maryland's eastern shore. In addition to improving fitness-wise, I improved my career by nearly doubling my salary with a new job as well as finishing my master's degree. So here is the theme I've set for myself this year: 2015: Back To Basics. I've made huge progress in all areas of my life over the last few years, so this year I want to take a step back and make sure I'm maintaining a strong foundation. To that effect, some of the goals I have for this year are: 1. Take a step back from some of the various exercise split routines I've been doing in the gym and go back to a simple-but-effective 5x5 barbell training program. I've already been doing this for several weeks, and I'm looking forward to continuing with it. 2. Stop worrying about calorie counts and macros and try to eat more based on feeling. With all the carb-loaded holiday meals finally out of the way, I started eating 80% paleo at the end of December and I feel amazing. I'm going to continue this as much as possible throughout the year. No counting calories, no worrying about macros, no weighing myself, no measurements. Just eating quality, wholesome, unprocessed foods. 3. Get back to my linguistics roots and refocus on my Spanish and Russian. I haven't had much opportunity to use either language since my current full-time job isn't in a field conducive to them, but I want to make sure I don't forget what I already know of them and keep improving on them. I'm going to keep this journal primarily about fitness, so I have a separate journal/blog on a language site I frequent to track this goal: http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=39821&PN=2 4. Although it's not really "back to basics", this year I am planning to ride in at least 2 centuries (Seagull Century again, plus one other I have yet to determine) and run at least one 10k race. Even though running sucks. Yuck. Lol, I guess one thing that never changes year-to-year is how longwinded I am. I enjoy writing!