Happy new year, friends!

I hope you had a wonderful time doing whatever you did to ring in the new year last night. This is one of my favourite times of year for numerous reasons – a fresh start, a clean slate, and unlimited possibilities for the next 12 months. If you’ve been reading Eat Spin Run Repeat for a while now, you’ll know that I like to start each year with a new vision board that displays my goals in collage form. Here are two from previous years:

On the weekend, my blog buddy Jessica and I sat down with our scissors, glue, bristol board, and a huge stack of magazines and had a grand chat while we cut and pasted away. We’d scheduled this ages ago and it was one of the only things that had me excited about coming home after my holiday in sunny California! For the past couple of weeks I’ve been writing a ton in my journal about what I want to do this year (while following this system). In addition to the goals I’m about to list, I also came up with plans that will help get to each result. I’m a firm believer that you need a road map to follow in order to get to where you want to go, and just stating an intention isn’t quite enough. If, by December 2014 I haven’t hit all my targets, even just completing some of the smaller goals in my plan will have helped me grow as a person. Sounds like a win-win, right?

2014 vision board - Eat Spin Run Repeat

Here we go…

14 for 2014

1. Run strong at SeaWheeze on August 23rd.

Yep, this race is on my calendar for the third year in a row and I’m just as pumped about it as I was the first two times. I thought about setting another “I’d like to PR goal” but then realized that it wasn’t as important to me as running the race strong and in good health. In 2012, I went into it having just experienced severe Achilles tendinitis, and I sprained my SI joint half way in (yet still finished with a pretty darn great time – it was magic.) Then in 2013, I struggled (and continue to struggle) with anemia. In 2014, I’m going to sort it out, train smart, fuel properly, and make it my best SeaWheeze yet. I’ve also got some of my blog besties to run the race with, and I know it’ll be an awesome time.

2014 vision board - Eat Spin Run Repeat

2. Challenge my body in new ways, including my first duathlon on June 22nd.

I am SO excited about this one! Last year I crossed stand up paddleboarding off my list, and there are still lots of new things I want to try. I’ve taught spin for years in a cycling studio, but I’ve never done any races on the bike that actually goes somewhere. The chosen race for this goal is the Subaru Sprint Duathlon on June 22nd at Guelph Lake. It consists of a 2K run, 20K cycle, and 5K run. My first steps will be to get measured for a bike, purchase one, then get outside and train, train, train!

2014 vision board - Eat Spin Run Repeat

3. Get my iron levels restored.

I’ve been on an iron supplement since May with moderate results, but the issue is far from fixed. I’ve got a number of things lined up to help fix this over the coming months, including 2 specialist appointments in February. If you’re an athlete or active person with low iron, you’ll know how much this sucks and I’ve written about it on several occasions, including here. I decided to start eating red meat again last year and am going to continue this in 2014, as well as do whatever I can to get my iron stores back up. More to come on this one!

2014 vision board - Eat Spin Run Repeat

4. Connect more often with nature.

A week in California reinforced how much happier I am when I’m able to spend time outside. Winters are brutal because of the cold and lack of sunlight, but as soon as spring comes, you’ll find me outside much more often. There will be dining al fresco, walks with no purposeful destination, hikes, running, cycling, and an attempt to achieve my next goal, which is…

2014 vision board - Eat Spin Run Repeat

5. Grow a veggie garden.

And by this I mean one in which vegetables are actually grown and leaves do not die within 1 week. In the past I’ve been terrible about keeping my plants alive (basil and I do not get along) but I intend to try growing some kale (which is supposed to be easy), lettuce, other herbs, and maybe even some tomatoes in pots on my patio.

6. Manage daily stress more effectively.

I feel it. You feel it. We all feel stressed out (or at least interpret our environments as stressful) at some point. I’m not very much fun to be around in these times – I feel irritable, rushed, on edge, impatient, and anxious. If there’s a project that needs to be done, my concentration can suffer. If there’s a meal that needs to be eaten, I might eat it too fast and then face the consequences of indigestion after. Rather than letting these things happen, there will be more meditating, relaxing, yoga, being outside, and enjoying the company of friends and family – all of which make for a much happier Angela.

2014 vision board - Eat Spin Run Repeat

7. Holiday in Vancouver this summer.

In addition to running SeaWheeze in August, I plan to take a few extra days to visit some family and see the sights there. The blog/social media community has also led to ‘meeting’ a number of friends out west, and I’d love to actually meet them in person.

2014 vision board - Eat Spin Run Repeat

8. Date.

Barrghhhh there, I said it! This almost got left off my public list of goals, but I figured I’d throw it on to keep myself accountable. A lot of my friends are either married or very close to it, and I’m very much a single lady. Don’t get me wrong – this is my own doing and I’ve kept it this way for a reason! I enjoy my independence and like to keep a very busy schedule, so often I feel like it wouldn’t be fair to demand the time of another person when I can’t give it back. In the past I haven’t paid much attention to this area of life at all because athletics, school, and my career have taken precedence. We’ll see what happens on this one!

9. See my friends more often.

Certainly not the most quantifiable goal but nevertheless an important one. Being around my friends makes me so happy and gives me heaps of energy, and I like to think that energy flows both ways. There are some awesome people in my life and I want to be in their company more, rather than just being friends via text message.

2014 vision board - Eat Spin Run Repeat

10. Set aside $300/month in addition to my existing savings for a few anticipated purchases.

I’ve been making monthly contributions to my TFSA and RRSP for several years now, but since there are some larger expenses coming up (a a new Macbook to replace my slowly dying one, the bike I’ll be riding in my duathlon in June, and my trip to Vancouver), it’s time to go into super save mode. My budget spreadsheet is all ready, and am going to make a big effort track, review, and stick to it each month.

11. Make a profit in my business.

This isn’t a topic that gets talked about much on the blog and it’s certainly not the primary motivator for what I do. I blog and coach clients because I absolutely love it, but as we all know, businesses need money to run and Eat Spin Run Repeat is not without its expenses!

2014 vision board - Eat Spin Run Repeat

12. Grow the Gorgeous Guide Community with more resources and members.

Yet another thing that I’m excited about is creating a community for you guys that enables you to make new friends, find support, collaborate, and become the best version of yourself. The Gorgeous Guide to Goal Conquering is the first step in this project, but it’s not the only guide you’ll see this year. I’ll be an active participant in the private Facebook group that goes alongside it, and can’t wait to start working together to achieve great things.

13. Get to know my readers better.

Without my readers (yes, that’s YOU!) blogging wouldn’t be nearly as fun. You keep me on my toes as far as health and fitness knowledge goes, and I love hearing your feedback on recipes and workouts. Once in a while I like to send out a survey to find out what I can be doing to serve you better, and you can look forward to more of these, among a few other surprises later this year.

14. Become highly proficient and confident in my full time job.

I keep chat on the blog about my full time job very brief for privacy reasons, so here’s the summary: Recently an amazing co-worker of mine decided to take on a new job opportunity, which means I’ve got to step things up a notch in terms of my technical skills (very fast). Rather than being overwhelmed and stressed about it, I’m choosing to view this as an opportunity to grow and take on more responsibility. It will be tough because there is a lot of work to come, but confidence from previous successes are helping to reassure me that I can do it.

2014 vision board - Eat Spin Run Repeat

Phew. Looks like it’s going to be a busy year, hey? But I’m pumped about it, and I can’t wait to get cracking on all of these things! Speaking of new things, today is normally my Try Something New Tuesday recap and I didn’t want to leave you hanging without a new healthy recipe. This Banana Walnut Cranberry Granola is a seemingly decadent but deliciously healthy breakfast or snack. It’s really simple to make, and very low in sugar, just like my Cinnamon Raisin Granola and Pecan & Pumpkin Pie Spiced GranolaIf you’re committing to cleaning up your diet this year, this recipe will make it super easy!

Low-Sugar Banana Walnut Cranberry Granola - Eat Spin Run Repeat

Click here to get your granola on!

Low-Sugar Banana Walnut Cranberry Granola - Eat Spin Run Repeat

And with that, let’s go and enjoy this beautiful holiday! Before you go, I’ve got a great big burning question:

What amazing things are YOU going to achieve in 2014?