What a fantastic title, a play on words, like, does he mean the beach like a lovely sun and sand adventure, or a play on the word b!^&#. Maybe you will ever know, maybe it is both, but one thing is for sure, a beach will be involved in this post. 

So, on the top of my blog, there is my “leveling up my future” post, which is where I put my goals for, whenever. Some I have achieved, some I know I will not for a long time (sorry, Sweden), but they are things I want to make happen in my life, and having goals is the ONLY solid piece of advice that I can give that will help someone. I know the advice seems small and overplayed, “Make small, achievable goals, or you may fail”, well, it’s overused because it is true. I saw a post today on Chris Powell’s Facebook asking about 2013 goals, and 90% of them just said “lose x lbs.” (well, actually most of them said “loose”, which pinched my spelling nerve). I just sighed and though about how those are the “tried and true failures of fitness”, and I don’t mean that in a mean and condescending way, but if someone says, “I want to lose weight”, well yeah, you and every other person on the Earth with a body that doesn’t match what they thing perfect is. Whether you are 200 lbs. or 10 lbs. overweight, both of those people have the same goal, losing weight. I mean failures of fitness because they are the ones who go to the gym for 2 weeks, eat their carb-filled bagels with “light cream cheese”, and never truly change their mindsets about their health. I know this because I used to be one of those people. I don’t know how many times I said, “I want to lose weight”, or looked in the mirror, rolling around my fat, wishing it were gone, but these wishes don’t come true without some motivation and hard work. Out of all the things you can do, running, CrossFit, Insanity, treadmills, weight lifting, whatever, two things are true : what you eat will impact your fitness and health and if you live a sedentary life, it will be more difficult to achieve your goals. On a basic level, you can start with the philosophy of calories in, calories out – counting calories helped me a ton, but for 2013, I know I will go to the gym, and see people there that will not be there in February, March, or April – that is fine, it is none of my business what their journey, their story, their goals, or their health is, but if you are one of those people, saying you want to lose weight doesn’t mean a damn thing in the world. I know that sounds harsh, but, I wish someone had said that to me, told me that unless I get off my ass, hit the gym, dump the soda down the drain, and eat cake only on holidays that I wouldn’t make the changes that I inevitably did. Everyone is different though, and I am no one to dictate how someone will lose their weight, but I do know that if your only goal is “to get in shape”, it will be extremely difficult to do so, so make a goal that is both achievable, tangible, and likely. Maybe it is “walk for 20 minutes every day”, or maybe it is “deadlift 200 lbs. by July by increasing 5 lbs. of weight a week”, whatever it is, be specific. 

That is the end of my rant that has nothing to do with the original post intention, so here we go!

The reason I am passionate about the goal-setting is because I know it has worked for me and a lot of people’s story that I have read online, and people that I know. For example, in January of 2011, I had a goal of running a 5k. I did my weight loss gym program for 3 months, then my trainer and I started doing some individual running in March, and in April I ran my first 5k. I knew which 5k I wanted to run, and I worked at that in mind when I went running or went to the gym. The goals transformed how I viewed life and where I went next. 

Soon, the goals were not just about weight, “lose 50 lbs.” etc. they became about fitness that would lead me there naturally, then expanded to a great life spectrum (learn to skate). So much of my personal inhibition to do new things came from my weight, so it was only natural that I needed goals that were about conquering fears to give myself the motivation and drive to continue with other aspects of fitness and life. Ziplining? Not exactly a fit activity, but something that scared the crap out of me. I had a great experience and loved it, something I would never have done a year ago. Having these goals has enchaned my life, and recently, while talking with a friend, I said, “I really need to make some of my 2013 goals (despite always adding to my list), for things I want to achieve). So this is a starting list that will transfer over to “Leveling up my future” in a few days when I have flushed out even more of them, but here we go. 

Weight related : I feel like I have really reached all of my weight goals. Today, when I weighed myself I was at 104 lbs. lost, which feels incredible, but my goal is actually to go past the 100 again because I want to become more lean and just a LITTLE bulk (not much whatsoever, but just to give a little volume to my muscles).

So, MY GOAL is to gain 10 lbs. of muscle by May. 

Part of this goal is also about not caring what the scale says. I already know when it hits higher numbers, I am going to feel weird about it, because the scale is related to fatness to me, which, I know on a logical level, is malarki. 

So, MY GOAL is to alter my perception of what my weight means 

I’ve already done this a bit, but I know I could still use some transition, and I know when my body composition changes a bit, that will come.

Body Composition Related : The one annoying thing about losing 100 lbs. is the skin, and i’ve read every post about it. I’ve heard from “they are battle scars” to “I want this cut off of me right now”. Although I am all for changing my perception about my body, the skin is something that needs to be taken care of. I know some of it will do its own work, but I need to really work on getting leaner and a little bulk to fill in those spaces, burn up the rest of the fat, and tighten the skin.

So, MY GOAL is to lose the satchel of skin on my belly

Body Related : Here comes the beach! So, related to composition, weight, leanness, and all of the above is basically IMAGE. I’d be lying if I said that image has nothing to do with weight loss, and that where I am now, I feel good about the progress I am making, but I have never been able to be shirtless at a beach. Even this past year, I wore a tank top, which was huge progress for me, so this year (6 months from now), my GOAL is to be shirtless at a beach. This one is highly psychological  and if I achieve it, will probably be one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. I know I will probably feel insecure, unhappy, and want to throw my shirt on as soon as it comes off, which is why these next six months count. To get leaner and fit, to feel like I look good enough to take off my shirt (not that it is about that, but I have been so self-conscious my whole life, that I just never take off my shirt, even though people plenty larger than me do so) at the beach (or pool, or anywhere). Just this year, I would change shirts in the locker room and not the bathroom stall, so that was a big accomplishment. I know it seems vain, and like “oh that guy has a lot of psychological issues”, and yeah, it stems from low self-esteem, and although I know I am starting to look pretty fantastic, the shirtlessness has always been a crux for me. I think if I can get over that, then the sky is the limit, honestly. 

Fitness Related : Here it is, the meat of this whole journey, what crazy shit will I think to do next, well, there are some doozies here, and we’ll see how it goes.

Run for Your Lives 5k – In Boston, most likely in July, which will be tricky with work, but I want to run from zombies in the forest and fields, badly! 

Tough Mudder – This one is a maybe, it’s hard to commit to something that scares the living daylights out of me, and literally strikes me with fear, but what better reason to do it?

Run 400 miles – This will be about double what I ran this year. I would say 500, but I have a lot of other fitness goals, so I want to spread the love. 

Run a marathon – I did a half-marathon just 6 months after I started running for the first time in my life, if I start early, then I think I can do it. I don’t have a specific race in mind right now, but it’s a goal!

Run 15 races – This is how many I did this year. I want to run MORE this year, but it can be expensive, so matching it sounds good to me. 

Weight Train at least 2 x a week – This one will be hard, I have been saying I will do this for awhile, and I don’t. I started last week, and only did it once so far, so I need to learn proper technique and DO IT. No way around it, if I want to get lean, I need to life heavy things. Deadlift, front and back squats, push presses, bench presses, all of it, start small, whatever. Need to come up with some routines, which I want to do in week 1 and then go from there. 

CrossFit at least 3 x a week – There will be 4 classes per week, I get one strike per week. I love CF, so this shouldn’t be an issue. 

Be able to do 10 strict pull-ups in a row – By March 1st 

Be able to do a muscle-up – By July 19th

Work on double-unders – Although this is kind of a flaky-general kind of goal I hate “work on this thing”. I suppose it would be – do 10 double unders in a row by April 1st.

Work on handstand pushups – Same cop-out, but something I just need to build muscle and aptitude for. I want to be able to do 1 pushup with proper kick handstand by February 14th. 

Move to the 40 lb. kettlebell – We use them, a lot, for CF, and I need to upgrade. I just upgraded to the 35 lb. one so it might be a bit, so we’ll say April 1st. 

Enter the CrossFit Open Competition – I will do this. I don’t expect to even make regionals, maybe ever in my life, but you can pay, be part of the global attempts and whiteboards, and I think that is pretty sweet. Registration is end of January and the WODs begin in March! 

Life Related : We all need goals outside of fitness, it is what keeps us all balanced, plus what are you doing all that hard work for, to live longer, be happier, and live life. 

See 3 bands I love : I have see 10 bands I have never seen before (that I love) on my level up list, so this year the goal is three. I would LOVE to see Tegan and Sara (always so far away!), since they are the artists I have liked the longest and have yet to see. 

Visit my brother : I haven’t seen him in 2 years, which is uncommon, as he has been out to sea, so I want to take a trip out to Seattle to see him this year. 

Take more photos : As someone who owns a media / photography business, I need to get my butt in gear. 

Volunteer more : I have tradtionally done a lot of extra volunteering for my workplace, but now that I work there year-round, I feel as if I should be doing some volunteer work outside. I know the roller derby team that I know does a lot of volunteer work, so I can hop on that bandwagon hopefully. The goal is at least 50 hours for the year. 

Get 2,000 PS Trophies : Seems like a pretty lame goal, but I am a gamer, I have just over 1,000 right now, so the goal is to double that in one year. That’s on average of 3 per day, so if I spend just an hour (after homework or whatever) working hard at some of them, hopefully it can be done. 

Snowboard : I have a few more months, I hate the cold, but I still want to try it. 

OKAY – that is it for now. I will update the “Leveling up my life” with these goals soon, and will add more as time goes on. Wish me luck, and let’s make this the best year ever!