New Years Resolutions 2012

A nasty cold, planning a wedding, and perhaps a little bit of procrastination have all kept me from posting my new years resolution’s until almost the last day in January. Not the great start to the year I was hoping for, but hey, what are you gonna do, right?  I had a list of ideas but just couldn’t get it narrowed down until now.  Having said that, here they are:

Learn A Foreign Language

This is something that I have wanted to do since I graduated college, and have never really gotten too far, I started teaching myself German two years ago, but that only lasted about a month and never got very far.  This year, I am going to do it!  I don’t know what language, I might try German again or I might go for something completely different.

Visit One Foreign Country

Traveling intentionally is another thing that has been put off since graduating college. There are a ton of places I would like to visit, but all I really care about is getting out of the country at least once this year, not really where.

Lose 37lbs

My post-triathlon workout last year consisted of eating pizza and watching tv, so I have a little catching up to do in the weight department. Thirty-seven pounds will get me back to a good weight for me, but isn’t so much that it seems unreachable.

100 Push Ups, 20 Pull Ups

Speaking of triathlons, I really wanted some kind of fitness goal this year, and instead of a sport, I thought I would focus on two exercises that have frustrated me my entire life: push ups and pull ups.  Perhaps it is left over emotional baggage from being the “hefty” kid when I was younger, but push ups are never easy and pull ups are downright intimidating to me.  Even when I was in good shape I would max out at about 60 push up and maybe 7 pull ups. Well, this is the year to take them on!  Before the end of the year I want to complete 100 consecutive standard push ups, and 20 consecutive pull ups.

Launch three websites – at least one personal

I really have been enjoying website design lately, and want to continue to create new sites.  This year I want to create at least three new sites from scratch, with at least one being a personal project that I come up with myself.

Volunteer More (250 hrs.)

One thing I have really disappointed myself in lately is not volunteering more.  I want to fix that this year, and putting a hour total to it will be a good way to keep me motivated. I am hoping to get back in touch with Habitat for Humanity in Kent County, but if anyone else has good volunteering ideas in the Grand Rapids area, let me know!

Have the best wedding ever!

I’m getting married on June 30th, 2012, so obviously, making that the best it can be will be the most important thing I do this year!


Well that about sums it up, hope everybody has a great 2012!



My 2011 Resolution Review

December, a time of family, celebration, and oh yeah, realizing it’s time to own up for how you did with your New Year’s Resolutions. While I had a few rough spots, all in all, 2011 was a good year for me.

Complete a Triathlon (Olympic Distance)

This is probably the one I am the happiest about. I remember setting this as a goal last year and it seemed so far from realistic that I really didn’t think I could pull it off, but I did!  I completed the Olympic distance Grand Rapids Triathlon in June. It was a ton of fun, a lot of work, and if you are interested in one at all you should definitely do it!  If you want the details you can see them here.

No Ice Cream

This one was actually a little easier than I thought.  Sure, the occasional bowl of moose tracks was really tempting, but it was a lot easier than giving up pop was last year.  Surprisingly, it has helped me to change how I am going to set goals for myself in the future, who would have thought little old ice cream could be so philosophical.

Develop one new website/service

Another one I was able to complete, I actually set up quite a few sites this past year.  I think my favorite though was this site for my friend’s comics –

Become proficient at shooting a handgun

While I don’t think that I will be winning any USPSA contests any time soon, I have become a pretty good shot. I ended up buying a Browning Buckmark .22 and have had a blast shooting it.  I’ve also shot a few other .22’s, a couple of 9mm’s, a Glock .40 cal. and a .38 special revolver.  Given that I had never shot a pistol before this past year i would call this another win.

Blog once a week

Ah yes, blogging, the one I set every year and then fail to deliver.  Based on the total blog posts I have written (52) between,, and, I actually made it this year to the equivalent of one post a week, but I can’t really count this one as a success. I had wanted post weekly to and haven’t written there since August.  So I guess this is a sort of win, but since technically the goal was once a week, I’m going to have to classify this one as a failure.

Monthly Challenges

This was the first year I tried to complete a different challenge each month, and it was a fun and interesting test run. Here is how they broke down:

January: Lose 15 Pounds
February: Work Out 5 days a week
March: Read 10 books in a month
April: Clean/De clutter Entire Apartment
May: None
June: No TV
July: None
August: Write 5 blog posts a week
September: Find a new workout
October: Vegetarian
November: Decrapify for Christmas
December: None
As you can see I missed a few months entirely, and while I didn’t totally complete some of the challenges, I usually did make progress.  It was a fun learning experience and helped me to keep things interesting.  I’m going to do something similar next year, but want to take some time to think about how it went and what I can do to make it better.

Well that’s it!

The Official Count:

4/5 Resolutions Successful
4/9 Monthly challenges completely.

Onward to 2012!

Challenge Yourself

You probably are aware that I have been trying to challenge myself to do something different each month this year as a part of my new year’s resolutions. This, in addition to following through on my new year’s resolutions, is something that I get asked about a lot.  The first question I usually get: Why?

Usually, I just answer “Because.” A little less than thrilling, but it’s the truth.

So many people (including me) have let life just sort of pass them by.  We get in a  routine, and that is it, day in, day out. Eat-Sleep-Work, over and over and over again. What is really terrifying to me about this is that once it happens, time just seems to slip away. Days melt into weeks, then into months, and you look back and say, hey, what just happened? Where did my summer go? (Remember in school when summer seemed to last about ten times as long as it does now?) Life becomes a kind of blur, with nothing standing out against the background enough to make you stop and think. It’s all too easy to let it happen, and talking to other people, it’s a pretty widespread problem. So I said to myself, enough, I’m going to do something about it. That’s when I first started seriously setting and working towards my new years resolutions.

It has lead to a lot of interesting things I wouldn’t have guessed.  Since then, I’ve started a business, completed a triathlon,  gone a year without pop, helped my friend share his comics online, drank a ridiculous amount of tea, and generally had a good time. What’s ironic, is that despite all this, I’ve failed at as many goals as I have set.  I am by no means one of those super motivated, type-A, take the world by storm people who always seem to 12 steps ahead of everyone else. But what I have found is that in just trying to do something – anything – different, life is more fun. Things slow down, there are milestones in the everyday rush of life that actually mean something and make you take a step back and enjoy yourself.

That, at its core, is why I do this. I want to slow things down, I want to do something different. It doesn’t have to be some great thing, or even something most people understand, just something different. It’s really fun, and you should give it a try.

Why do I challenge myself?

Because – Why wouldn’t I?

Introducing – Jake Rohdy Comics

As part of my new year’s resolutions, I wanted to create at least one new website. Last night I launched Jake Rohdy’s Comics.  While technically I have created a few sites this year, this is definitely the biggest, and I have enjoyed working on it. It’s nice working with a “creative type” (he hates being called an “artist”, even though that is totally what he is…) because then they can come up with all of the images instead of me struggling with them. I also was able to learn a lot about WordPress, and I will probably share some of what I found that worked / didn’t work in a later post.

Anyways, I just wanted to announce the site, you should check it out….

My First Triathlon

Back in June I finished my first triathlon. It was the Olympic distance (1500M swim, 40K bike ride, 10K run) of the first Grand Rapids Triathlon, and I had a blast.  I ended up finishing with a better time than I thought I would: 3hrs 11min. It was really an interesting experience, and something that I think just about everybody could enjoy. I wanted to share some of the things I learned along the way.

1. Make a training plan:  This seems like a no brainier, but I found it really helpful to have every day planned out.  That way there was no, I’ll do it tomorrow, I don’t need to today. I started with one from and went from there.

2. Make it public: Tell people what you are doing. A triathlon is something that most people are curious about, and it really helps keep you motivated knowing that everyone you know is expecting you to finish it.

3. Have fun:  I’m not going to sugar coat it, the amount of time you need for training sucks, especially at the end.  Do whatever you can to mix it up.  Bike really early one day and watch a sunrise.  Run really late at night after the rest of the world has gone to sleep. Go swimming on a lunch break.  Anything you can do to break up the monotony.

4. Don’t be hard on yourself: If you miss a day, or a week, or even most of a month of training, don’t just give up.  Accept that you can’t go back in time and change it and just do your best to get back on track, starting today.

5. Get good shoes: I tried putting off getting new shoes even though my old ones were really worn out and it made me miss two weeks of training because I hurt my knee. As soon as I got the new shoes it stopped.

6. You don’t need a new bike: They are expensive and anything with tires will work.  What you should do at a minimum though is get non-mountain bike tires.  You could do it on them, but it would suck

7. Body Glide: Use it, enough said.

8. Enjoy the moment. During the race, don’t stress about finishing last, or not making it. A triathlon ins a really fun experience, one that the vast majority of the world will never experience. The buzz in the air, the wind in your hair, enjoy it. You’ve worked hard, now reap the reward.

Well, that’s just a few of the things I think would be helpful.  The one other thing I can say, if you are thinking about doing on, is just do it. It’s not that scary. You won’t die. You won’t drown. I talked to a lot of people who were in far better overall shape than I am who said they wanted to, but they were worried about one part or another. Finishing a triathlon (especially a sprint distance) is not some magical thing only super-athletes can do, it just takes a little dedication. If you want to do it, just go for it.