January gets all the shiny PR buzz about being the best month for resolutions, but if you ask me, November is a dark horse.
I usually have a big race in October, so there's an inevitable sense of "what's next?" lurking when the calendar flips to November. Without the major mileage that comes with marathon training, my hours outside of work are less structured. The days are a little darker and the weather is a little less conducive for impromptu picnics, bike rides and general outdoor lounging, so it's a perfect time of year to shake things up. I've heard that a good habit takes two weeks to form into a routine, so it's a good window of time between now and Thanksgiving, when the holiday rush begins. (I'm ignoring the consumer calendar, which seemed to give the green light on the holiday rush last week.)
Why not take a few good risks this month?
My goals fall into three categories, which I have conveniently manipulated to all begin with the letter C to make them more memorable (for me): Creative, Community and Classes.
Have you heard of National Novel Writing Month? Some people call it NaNoWriMo, which sounds cooler to me. It's a big crazy challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in November, and there is a large online community built around the project for support and cheer and advice. I am not quite ready for this year - maybe in 2012 - but I'm putting my own spin on it and blowing a whistle to kick off Miles And Laurel Write Every Day In November (or MALWEDIN, for short) Month. That acronym is not as catchy. Simply put: My goal is to have a new post pop up daily. Get ready!
Side goal: You've heard me mumbling recently about my camera and how I use it. I'm going to go to the library to get a photography book (or print out my camera's manual and actually read it). I will stop adding sidenotes about my camera because I will be busy actually learning instead of just talking about learning.
I've written before about Bolder Options, a year-long mentoring program in Minnesota. It's hard for me to emphasize enough how much I appreciate and admire this organization and its staff. My mentee and I graduated from the program last year and still meet regularly, and it's a priority for me to continue that relationship. But Bolder Options has a long list of kids waiting to be matched with a mentor, and I also really want that list to get shorter. This month, I'm starting the process of working with a new youth in the program. I'm excited and nervous to begin - just like how I felt before I started last time - but now I have the added benefit of already knowing how rewarding the challenge can be.
(P.S. See me if you want to learn more - or perhaps more accurately, if you want to be bombarded with information about how much I believe in this organization.)
I'll maintain my mileage base for running this fall and winter, but without a race looming on the horizon, it's a good time (physically and mentally) to mix up my fitness routine. Yesterday I signed up for a boot camp workout class at work which will meet twice per week over the lunch hour beginning next week. Yikes. I am nervous for this one already. I haven't lifted weights in way too long. I am also hoping to learn more about spinning - you know, the indoor cycling classes. There's a beginning spinning class every Wednesday evening at my YWCA, and I typed all that out not for your benefit but for mine (selfish!) so I actually go. Tonight. Wish me luck.
I think that's enough to keep me out of trouble this month. If you picked one goal for November, Reader, what would it be?