I spent a quiet one in with my better half, watching DVDs and drinking champagne. That's right, rock and roll...
I started the morning with a good old 5k and then tried out a new waffle maker I got my boyfriend for Christmas. I started off with his waffles which were a big flop, and by the time I actually made something edible for him I was not in the mood to make any wheat free ones for me!
What was more of a success was my roasted almonds (170c for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with salt). I made them to go with my leftover Christmas chocolate which I bashed up and created a nutty almond mix. So good, and it means I'll be getting some protein every time I reach for a chocolate fix :)
So yesterday I talked about how my goal this year was to maintain balance. I'm quite often an all or nothing person in what I do and one aspect of my life, whether it be running, work, or eating, completely takes over.
For the last few months I've been setting monthly goals under different topics. The topics cover all areas of my life and help me make sure each area gets some attention. And so I get some balance! The areas I set goals in are:
Pleasure - all the things we forget about as we're too busy cleaning, exercising, and working!
Health - at the moment these are often eating related for me, but could be around mental health, getting a medical check up or simply paying more attention to how your body is feeling at regular intervals.
Fitness - whether it's a new personal distance or time record, just exercising 3 times a week, or trying a new sport - anything counts!
Fear - when I turned 26 I was feeling pretty crippled by anxiety (hurrah, don't we love anxiety). I was fed up with feeling out of control of my emotions, so I decided I would do more things to push my comfort zone. On my birthday I went up Tower Bridge to take on the glass walkway, and in December I took on a whole project at work which was beyond where I felt capable. This area of goals is important to me to make sure I don't just sit in my comfort zone for the rest of my life.
Work - (Yeah I wish my work desk looked like that!). For me work is normally the thing that takes over my life. I want to improve in my role and further my career, and giving myself one or two goals can help me feel less overwhelmed.
Note: there are NO calorie or weight loss related goals. This was a big thing for me as these used to be my only goals. I'm slowly shifting my thought patterns away from this being the be all and end all of life.
When setting goals, they should be:
- Achievable in a month.
- Few. It's silly to set a heap of goals as we just can't keep up.
- Not designed to last longer than a month. Sure, I want to take what I've learned and carry it with me, but they're about setting good habits, not ruling my life with an iron fist.
- Based on where I am now. I know how I'm feeling at the beginning of the month and what I'm realistically likely to achieve.
- Revisited throughout the month. It's amazing how quickly we can forget what our goals were, and it gives us the opportunity to try a new tactic if we realise we're not getting anywhere with one.
- Never repeats from the month before. If I achieved it that month, great. Let's learn from that and take our new skills on with us. If I didn't achieve it last month, why not? If I don't change anything I'm not likely to achieve it this month, so let's break it down and create a goal that will help me overcome where I missed out.
- Always reflected on at month end. We should give ourselves a pat on the back where we did well, and learn from where we didn't.
Sure, I rarely tick of all of my goals at the end of the month but I never feel like I've failed as there are always some I'm achieved! And, in the aim of maintaining balance, at the end of the month it's a great visible way of seeing how you've progressed in all areas!
My January goals are:
- Book theatre tickets. My boyfriend and I got vouchers last Christmas (yikes!) and have never got round to booking anything. We know we want to go and see Wicked, we just need to book it!
- Make the most of our week off at the start of January. It's already flying by, and I've spent an embarrassing amount of it sleeping, so need to get on with this one!
- Make sure my boyfriend has a wonderful birthday at the end of the month
- Write an email to a friend I've lost contact with
- Write all the online recipes I use frequently into a recipe folder...it's such a pain having to boot my laptop up every time I want to cook!
(I always tend to have a few more pleasure goals, as they tend to be more one off to dos, rather than ongoing challenges).
- Focus on stabilising my blood sugar. My meal plan is reminding me what it's like to eat well rounded meals and not be darting between sugar highs and sugar lows. I really want to focus on keeping a stable blood sugar to keep on with the great feeling I have from eating this way
- Keep as close to the meal plan when I'm back at work. When I'm back at work in a week I'm working away from home again without a kitchen. I can't follow my meal plan and am always tempted to go back to my routine of fewer calories and more snacking. I want to try and eat as normally as possible!
- Run a 7k. This month I've been at the 6k level so want to step it up.
- Do 10 proper push ups. For ages I've been doing push ups on my knees, and it's about time I manned up!
- Throw away the scales. I haven't weighed myself for a very long time and the thought of weighing myself terrifies me as I know the number will over rule any logical thoughts about my weight. Still, I've been putting off throwing my scales away, you know, just in case... Well stuff that. Scales are not needed in my life right now, so I need to get rid.
- Maintain a positive attitude. I'm going back to work on a project I'm not a fan of. It has unrealistic time pressures, not the best working team ever, and is just generally difficult. I finished my last project feeling stronger in my role and enjoying work...I want to keep that optimism!
Anyway, I hope those tips help you get balance in your life just like it's helped me :)
What are your goals this month or year?