Road Map to Adventures.

I don’t believe in New Year, New You. I don’t believe in resolutions. I don’t believe that you should re-invent yourself, as if the current you isn’t good enough. I do, however, believe in loving yourself as you are. Right this very moment. Love yourself enough to know you are enough. Right now. And I do very much believe in setting goals, which are much different than resolutions.

Goals have many things that resolutions do not. They have a plan, a purpose, a timeline, an objective. Resolutions are like a wish cast, written down in a notebook, to be thought about for January 1-11 and then forgotten. I’m not about that. I’m about plans and objectives, accountability and sticky notes. I like order. I like step-by-step on how to get somewhere.

A goal is like a destination on a map, with the objectives being the turn by turn directions on how to get there. The last time I traveled abroad, I went to Central America. While in Nicaragua, I learned the hard way that there are no street names. There are only references to the distance of a place from a church or the town square. ‘Two blocks north of the church and one block west.’ I’m directionally challenged. So, I’d map out where I wanted to go on my maps app before leaving the hostel with sticky note instructions ‘seven blocks, turn left, three blocks, turn right, etc.’ Even then, I’d have to stop and ask for directions from a local. Suddenly, my 25 minute venture from the hostel to Cerro Apante turned into an hour, but I still made it to the trailhead and hiked to some gorgeous views (after circling blocks and wandering down the wrong streets a few times.)

The view of Matagalpa, Nica from Cerro Apante.

This is exactly how goals are. You set a goal (your destination) and you make a plan with objectives (your turn by turn directions) and you go for it. Sometimes those directions don’t work out as well and you circle the block a few times. Maybe even go down a wrong road. It’s okay. You get yourself re-centered, find new directions if needed, but that destination is not lost. And you will get there.

A couple of additional things I suppose I should add to this analogy. Unlike a destination on a map, goals need a timeline. And those directions need a few extra things too. Using the SMART acronym, your goals and their objectives need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based.

Let’s say you set a goal of running a sub-4 hour marathon (which is one of my current goals.) In order to get there, your road map might look like this:

Goal: Run Sub 4 hour marathon by September 2017


  • Run sub-1:50 half-marathon at Hollywood Half, April 8th

  • Run sub-50 minute 10k at Helvetia Half and 10k, June 10th

  • Run 4 days/week and cross train as outlined in a training PLAN

  • Log all workouts in training book

  • Foam roll 2-3x/week for 10 minutes

  • Consistency

  • Check-in daily with accountability group

Voila! A roadmap to, adventures and perhaps some misadventures! All that’s needed is some hard work and grit put in by you. Goals are a little less daunting if you have a plan on how to get there.

With that, I’m going to do something quite terrifying to me and put my goals up for all to see. I figure this will help keep me accountable in more ways than one. So, hopefully there will be less slacking (here's to fingers crossed!)

Jess Goals

  • Boston Qualify before September 2020 (when I turn 30)

    • Hollywood Half, Saturday April 8 (8:20/mile pace or less)

    • Summer Half (Seattle RNR or Half Flat)

    • Beat the Blerch at 9:30/mi pace or less (ideal is 9 min/mile)

  • Complete Run Coaching by 1/31/17

    • 3 modules per week

  • Complete NASM 7/31/17



  • At least 80 oz water daily


  • Run goals

    • Sub 4:00 marathon

    • Sub 1:50 half-marathon

    • Sub :50 10k

    • Sub 23:30 5k

  • Stick to plan outlined in another doc; run 4x/week, lift 3x/week, mobility 1x/week

  • Swim or yoga 1x/week

  • Believe training journal daily


  • Less processed, more whole (foods, that is)

  • Weekly meal prepping

  • Limit caffeine (4-5 cups of coffee/week max)

  • No alcohol January


  • 11 pm bedtime

  • Am workouts = 5 am wakeup M-Th


  • Morning Practice (3 minutes to set intentions and deep breathing, warm lemon water)

  • Daily DuoLingo French (15 minutes)

  • Blog 1x/week

  • 20 minutes ME time daily to write in journal, read, meditate, no distractions!

  • Read 2 books/month

  • Masters class on photography by August 1st

  • More hikes, more adventures, more social, less media

  • CONSISTENCY is the word of January

There you have it. My road map to more adventures. I know I’ll get lost a few times. I know the directions may need to be readjusted. But I also know that I am enough as I am right now and I have the grit and determination in me to get there.

Now let’s see your goals, your road map to more adventures! I’ll be using the hashtag #accountabilityproject as I continue into this rad new year. Can’t wait to see everyone’s goals!


PS. If you want help creating goals and objectives, I'm only an email away!

Jessica Parker8 Comments