2009 year-end blitz continues: grading my efforts

December 20, 2009

holiday tunes
as i write this post, i have a great mix of seasonal classics going! taking a cue from my sister, i just typed ‘christmas’ ‘snow’ and ‘winter’ into my iTunes library, and . . . instant playlist.

here’s a little sample:

perfect music to accompany absolute FAVORITE december activity, i say. no, it’s not playing in the snow (brr, not my scene) or brewing up some hot chocolate and baking cookies (although that sounds pretty tempting and may make today’s agenda).

it’s not even diving under the covers to watch movies & TV shows with josh — actually, i lied. that one probably is #1. especially if the movie is an ’80s classic and the weather is really gross outside.

but right after that is the yearly tradition of making new years resolutions!

what can i say: it just appeals so much to the list-happy side of me, and of course a healthy desire for self-improvement — or these days, more like a desire to get the most out of life. but before i start to work on the new year’s set, i think it’s important to take a look at the old.

in addition to announcing my goals to the world via an annual post, i also like to start each year with a cute notebook where i write down goals and resolutions (i know: HUGE SHOCKER).

in it, i’ll keep track of things i want to do: movies i want to see, trips i want to take, books i want to read, and the like. . . and of course, i can check them off if they happen! i’ll also keep tabs on mini-goals, like trying to get in some reading for work each day, and i’ll list bigger future projects that i want to tackle (organize my photos & music . . . we’ll just roll that task over to 2010).

my little 2009 orla notebook was very helpful in writing yesterday’s recap post, and it’s also almost full. time to break out the sleek 2010 version (i’ve been hoarding this clairefontaine cutie for way too long now).

i love clairefontaine paper
look, multicolored graph paper AND dividers!
the resolutions: yearly report card
me, distracted by paper? hmm. let’s get back to task here! here they are, 14 from 2009.

1. floss. “i swear, this time IT IS FOR REAL. IT IS ON,” i boldly declared 1 year ago. sigh: my record this year certainly was not 100%. but i think i probably lasted longer than ever before, and i am still doing it at least SOMETIMES. this is not perfect, but it is better than my track records from the 7 (probably) years prior that i have resolved to do this.

grade: C+

2. continue to explore new music, books, and movies. books? yes! i think i read more this year than i have previously, and i enjoyed it a lot. music and movies? i may not know most of the paste magazine top 25 albums of the year, but i did love the concerts that i went to. josh and i have been more into watching (good) TV shows than movies lately, and that’s okay too.

grade: B . . . but i’m at peace with it.

3. plan fun trips. CHECK!!! i can’t believe how much we traveled over the past year, considering that we are still residents.

grade: A+!

4. dress better. you know, i think that i have improved my wardrobe and overall look over the past 12 months. i am less likely to be spotted wearing 7-year-old jeans and a hoodie around town (cute asymmetrical anthro hoodie excluded, of course). i wear earrings!! i got over my fear of skinny jeans, and invested in some cute outfits that i have enjoyed sporting. i did less ‘just because it’s on sale’-style impulse buying, and as a result i have pieces that i really LOOOVE.

2009 anthro dress count, for anyone curious: 4. based on what i post, not TOOOO bad, right?

grade: A- (minus because i didn’t buy a SINGLE PAIR OF SHOES THIS YEAR other than for running. the horror!)

5. continue working on mindfulness. i clarified this vague goal accordingly: “and by this, i mean focusing on each moment, slowing down to enjoy life, and recognizing/acknowledging unhelpful thought processes as they arise.” hmmm. i’m not even sure how to rate my efforts here. probably just okay. i’d like to do better, especially on stressful call months.

grade: B- i guess?

6. train smart. i mention making it to the new jersey marathon in may — i forgot i had even considered that! even so, i’m happy to say in 2009 i finally GOT it through my head that more is not always better, and made it through with just one brush with hip pain. i still think i have room to improve with respect to strength training and flexibility.

grade: B+

7. eat healthier. i clarified with:
a) increase the number and variety of vegetables i eat daily check, i think! in part thanks to great martha leftovers.
b) learn how to enjoy a meal out without leaving feeling like i am going to die from a stomach perf yeah, i think i did a bit better with this goal this year. i haven’t experienced much ‘restaurant regret’ lately!
c) eat slower! fail. it’s residency’s fault!
d) quit drinking diet sodas. for the most part, yes. i’ll still drink an occasional diet sunkist while in miami, but that’s about it.

grade: A-

8. try more restaurants. it was a great year for restaurant exploration! i made a list last year of places i wanted to try and places to go back to, and we hit all of them with the exception of rue cler . . . but hey, there’s still time left in the year for that!

grade: A

9. go on more dates. yes! i planned more get-togethers with friends and date nights with josh. next year i’d like to get more creative about places to go (pedicure date? museum? hike?) rather than just a lot of brunch. then again, i do love brunch. food + friends is such a nice combination . . .

grade: A-

10. read for work daily. i applaud my ambition, but i definitely have slacked on this goal. and considering that in 2010 i start endocrine fellowship AND take my general pediatrics boards, it is time to turn this train (you know, the train to being a dumb dcotor) around. i should give myself SOME credit because there were times when i was pretty good. but lately . . .

grade: C

11. appreciate each day. i’m getting better at this. i guess i’ve sort of ‘gotten it’ that every day, the number of days left in life becomes shorter. a simple but important realization.

grade: A-

12. take more pictures. oh yeah, i met this one! it was quantity over quality for sure, but that aspect will just have to be addressed this year.

grade: A

13. relax more. i’d say that i did. although my vision might be clouded by my research month lifestyle.

grade: A-

14. become a better teacher to students and interns. i really like this goal, but i don’t know if i did that well with it this year. july was a hard month to be on the wards, and sometimes i just get too anxious about the patient care aspects to think much about the medical students. i think i have a lot of room to improve here . . . and i’d like to next year!

grade: C+

so there you have it! a starting point to draft 2010 resolutions. anyone out there have any resolutions they’d care to share? indulge me in the comments!! i’d love to hear them, as i’m always looking for inspiration for my list.



workout: 45 minutes elliptical + weights. i totally felt the effects of slacking in the strength training department for the past ~6 weeks! i’m sore today from lifting yesterday and i even used lighter weights/lower reps than usual. oh well . . .hopefully i will improve quickly.

pushups, 2 x 10 (used to do 2 x 12 . . and it used to be easier!)

assisted pullups, 50 lbs assist for 5 x 2, 60 lbs assist for 5 x 2. (kath, i definitely confirmed that i CANNOT do an unassisted pullup. my arms and shoulders laughed at the attempt.)

walking double lunges, 8 lb weights, 2 x 10

squats with ball, 8 lb weights, 2 x 12

tricep push-downs, 10-15 lbs, 2 x 12

bicep curls 10 lb weights, 2 x 12

culinary corner: no picture, but i did go to local yogurt to try their homemade eggnog flavor — and it completely met my (high) expectations!! i definitely recommend.


  • Reply vickie March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    um, did you hear the Bright Eyes song on the playlist? it&#39s a wonderful song but more desperate and tragic rather than holiday spirit…

  • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    you&#39re right it definitely doesn&#39t match the rest. but it came up automatically and cuts the sugar a little, huh? 🙂

  • Reply vickie March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    also, you definitely get an A+ for item #4 (dress better) based on those amazing black Martin+Osa jeans!!

  • Reply Meredith (Pursuing Balance) March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    love it! Good job. You had a lot of great goals for the year 🙂

  • Reply atilla March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    sorry to be the bad influence with the diet sunkist

  • Reply Natasha March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    How did the skullcandy ear buds work out in your opinion? I am looking for an inexpensive but good quality option.

  • Reply Anonymous March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    oops, sony, not sopy 🙂

  • Reply Natasha March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    Thanks for your feedback!
    P.S. Can&#39t wait to hear about the new cooking project for next year!

  • Reply Denise March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    You MUST go to Rue Cler – one of our favorite restaurants in the triangle! I also had the eat slower resolution and didn&#39t do very well. Parenthood is not very conducive to eatly slowly either! I&#39ll try again in 2010.

  • Reply Anonymous March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    love this post. might even inspire me to actually write down resolutions and set some goals for myself!

  • Reply Chelsea March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    I&#39m definitely thinking about my goals as well. I&#39ll have to search back on my blog to see if I wrote anything about that this time last year. I make resolutions but I generally don&#39t remember what they are so I don&#39t know if I met them, which is not particularly helpful.

  • Reply Faith March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    Love your Christmas tune playlist, esp Ella&#39s Baby It&#39s Cold Outside! (And brr, it is cold outside!) I&#39m seriously list-happy too, but I honestly don&#39t remember the last time I made resolutions. I&#39m inspired though (thank you!), and the first thing I&#39m putting on my list is something I&#39ve been meaning to do for the past 3 years…learn a new language (namely, Arabic, so I can communicate with my mother-in-law, lol!).

  • Reply Selina March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    Love this post, Sarah! You are so organized (not like I didn&#39t know it, but wow!). You did have an amazing year, and here is to even a better one in 2010! 🙂

  • Reply Susan March 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    I like how your resolutions are a combo of fun and practical…2010 should hold big things! 🙂

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