Last summer I read a book about a woman who was in a car crash and her passenger, a woman she barely knew, died. She found a list the woman had made of things she wanted to accomplish by her next birthday. The protagonist took over doing the items on this list and it changed her profoundly.

I actually hated the book, but I liked the idea of the list. I make to do lists all the time, but they’re never long term goals. They’re always about things to pick up at the grocery store or packing lunches for my kids to take to school. I complete the lists and nothing changes in my life, it goes on exactly as it did before. I’m a stay-at-home mom for our two sons, ages one and (almost) four, and my life is, by necessity, very routine. Sometimes I find that comforting and sometimes it drives me bat-shit insane. Kind of the norm with kids, I know.

I began to think that it would be helpful to have a list of long-term goals to work on. I have issues with quitting, but that’s another post. I turn 42 in early 2011, which would give me about 18 months (from when I originally created the list) and that seemed like a good amount of time. Here’s the list I settled on:

# Goal Progress
1. Lose 100 pounds (from pregnancy weight)
2. Run a 5k
3. Finish writing a novel
4. Read 20 books I already own
5. Learn to knit
6. Wear the purple dress

I’ll blog on each of them individually, but here’s the run-down on what they mean:

1. At the end of my second pregnancy, I weighed 260 pounds. My current weight is 225. That’s less than I weighed when I got pregnant, but nowhere near my goal, so I’m getting a little desperate. There’s a local program that includes medical supervision, dietician meetings, support groups, and a personal trainer three times per week. It’s super expensive, but our insurance pays 80% if you qualify. I definitely qualify. I’m going for intake appointments next week and start the program on March 8th. That’s what prompted me to start this blog. With the program, I think I can actually make it all the way to 140, hence the name of the blog.

2. I’ve always wanted to be a runner, but didn’t think it would ever happen. I worked up to running for 20 minutes straight last fall, but then stopped exercising for a few months. Again, I think the weight loss program will help me accomplish the goal of running a 5k.

3. I did National Novel Writing Month last november and actually finished a book of 50,600 words. It needs serious editing, but it has a beginning, middle, and end. I’m going to try to edit it this year, but I think I’m going to count it even if I don’t make it by the end of the year.

4. I have several thousand books. I’ve read about half of them. I never seem to make any headway because I’m forever buying new books. So, I promised myself I wouldn’t buy any more books until I have read 20 that I already owned when I made the list. I’ve already broken the rule, but I’m trying to stick to it for the most part.

5. I have taught myself to knit. I made a placemat that I will never use (it’s pure wool – what the hell was I thinking?) and am currently working on a scarf for my mother’s birthday. In February. I’m a little late…

6. Something like 10 years ago I bought this beautiful purple formal dress. It was on sale for $30. Yes, it’s a size 14 and at the time I bought it I think I was an 18, but I had hope. I’m going to wear that damn dress by the end of 2010.

So…that’s it. Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be posting my weights when I blog about the weight loss program, so that should be good for a laugh if nothing else.