Last Year’s Resolutions

02. January 2016 Uncategorized 0

Trying to do something productive on this one-handed staycation.

A photo posted by @raisaveuc on

Last year, I set some pretty solid goals for myself in 2015 (while stuck at home on sick leave). Overall, I’ve done pretty well with these resolutions, and have looked back at them to chase even bigger aspirations for the next year. My 2015 has seen its fair share of successes and failures, but I’ve learned the most from all the little challenges along the way. Last year was all about being fearless and ready to adapt to big changes at a major turning point in my life. This year, I’ll be building more upon that theme, as I expect many more changes to come.

If it’s not too late for me to hop on the 2015 reflection bandwagon, here’s a recap of my year according to my written resolutions.

“Re-vamp that portfolio website, finally”

Under construction… forever (www.raisacuevas.com)

In 2015: This goal has always been in the back of my mind, but I realized it shouldn’t be such a big priority for me at the moment. I’m not looking for a new job, nor do I feel the need to prove myself through my work just yet. The projects I’ve been working on this past year have been more exciting than ever, so I’ve been dedicating my energy to perfecting those works rather than gathering artifacts from the past.

In 2016: I’m not planning to re-launch my portfolio site this year, but I’ll continue to keep a personal record of my work so I can be ready for a refresh when the time comes. This year, I want to focus on creating, both in and out of work. My first personal project of 2016 is already in the works–I’ll be launching a “wedsite” at the end of the month for my friends’ November wedding!

“Run another half marathon [in less than two hours]”

Golden Gate Bridge at the San Francisco Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon

In 2015: Completing my very first half marathon in October 2014 with a time of 2:01:32 was already a victory for a newbie runner like me. When I found out how close I was to the two-hour mark, I wanted to push myself further. I ran my first sub-two-hour half marathon in March, in the San Francisco Rock ‘n’ Roll Half. I then ran Liverpool and Lisbon in June and October, and have stayed below two hours since.

In 2016: Obviously, the London Marathon is my biggest running goal this year (and ever). I wish I could predict my pace by simply doubling my half marathon time, but a sub-four-hour marathon is no easy feat. I’ve never run more than a half marathon distance, so I’m not sure how my endurance will hold up over 26.2 miles. If training goes well (starting Monday!) I’ll shoot for a goal of four hours, but my main priority is putting in my best effort and finishing the marathon happily and injury-free.

“Travel to one new country and two new states”

Stockholm, Sweden–my favorite city of 2015

In 2015: Illinois, New York, United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Prague, Portugal–you could say I was a bit modest with my initial goal. I had an inspiring year of travel, learning new things about myself and the world each time. Some trips I’ve conquered fearlessly on my own, and other times I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy with some awesome friends, new and old.

In 2016: I plan to travel to (at the very least) five new countries. Trips to France, Jordan, Greece, and Canada are in the works, and it’ll be easy to fill in that last gap (and beyond). I’m also looking forward to visits from friends back home 🙂

“Strengthen bones and muscles [and break none]”

Surreal waterside yoga with NTC in Riddarholmen, a small islet in Stockholm

In 2015: I reached the peak of my fitness, probably in June. I had just moved to London and I eagerly joined Nike Run Club near my office, where I ran with dozens of others in breathtaking routes along the River Thames. In that month, I ran a half marathon, a 5K, and two 10Ks, and participated in an all-day NTC Tour event. Then, I got so distracted exploring new places and working on demanding projects that I slacked off in my exercise routine. But I don’t regret taking the time to travel and embrace the beauty and culture of Europe.

In 2016: Now that I’ve settled down a bit, I’m ready to get back into a healthy routine. I’ll be loosely following the Nike+ app’s marathon training program through April, and then easing into a tamer routine for the rest of the year. I also want to focus on eating well to support my energy levels in my training (i.e., stop eating dessert every damn day).

Less coffee, more sleep

Flat whites have been my new addiction in London

In 2015: I still drink coffee almost daily, but I’ve cut back a good amount. I don’t feel as dependent on it as before, and I’m definitely no longer falling asleep mid-latte. I haven’t been very good about my sleeping habits, because I get distracted by endless mental to-do lists and–more often–electronic devices.

In 2016: Instead of cutting back on coffee, I want to cut back on sugar. My problem is that I always instantly crave a sugary treat with my sugarless-coffee. As for sleep, I’m aiming to hit the sheets by 11 and not use any mobile devices while in bed. I’ll need to wake up early to make time for a regular running schedule, especially on weekdays when time is limited.

“Invest more time in people who matter”

British tea party send-off with my beautiful cousins and sister (photo creds to her!)

In 2015: I shrunk my circle to focus on building stronger relationships with fewer people. It’s honestly a chore trying to keep up with everyone, and I’ve found that friendships start to lose their value that way. This past year I’ve become less interested in hanging out in big groups where interactions lean toward small talk and lack authenticity. Parties are fun and all, but it’s important to pick and choose your events if you want to strike a balance in your social life and actually develop meaningful relationships. My fondest memories of 2015 are those in which I had unique experiences and breakthrough conversations with people I genuinely love.

In 2016: I still want to expand my network and make new friends in London, but I’ll continue to be selective about who I keep close. I’ve learned a lot about what qualities are important to me in a lifelong friend. More importantly, I’ve learned about what qualities I want to improve in myself in order to be someone that others want to spend time with.

Cheers to 2016

I have other goals that remain unwritten for now, and perhaps I’ll make another fun illustration to keep myself motivated. I’m looking forward to the challenges that await in the upcoming year. Here’s to a joyous, prosperous, and active 2016!


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