January 29, 2014
As we hurtle towards the end of this month, the first of this new year I thought it about time for me to look back on January 2014. Not only in terms of my progress but reflect also the whole concept of resolutions and how useful they are. I mean many of us make them each year, and most of us have already broken them by now.
This year I didn’t make anything as firm as a New Years resolution, instead I talked about the things I generally wanted to achieve in 2014 and some new approaches to life that I was going to attempt, I know…very vague hey??
So hows it all going?
1. Dry Year – Lots of people were suggesting a “Dry Month” at the end of December, but I actually considered a whole dry 2014 instead. (See Why) I have done it before through pregnancy and most years I give up for January, but *Hands up* this one has already fallen by the wayside. The whole purpose was to address my excessive drinking. Not excessive in terms of how often or how many units per week, but more so on the rare occasions that I do drink I tend not to know my limits anymore (I still think I am 21). But actually I went out on Friday with some friends and despite the fact I still drunk a little more than I wanted, I didn’t go absolutely mad. In fact we commented the following day “No one was sick, no one cried (that ones usually me) and no one got in a fight”, a sign we are all growing up perhaps.
2. To Eat Better – This was always going to be the most difficult, as I have a long-term ongoing issue with food. It is improving though, particularly now I am a mum…I do still have my moments though. I don’t beat myself up any more though, and gone are the days where I say “Sod it” and binge until the start of the new week. If I make a bad food choice I accept it and then try to make a better choice from the very next thing I put in my mouth. I will keep you posted with this one, but the saying “you can’t out train a bad diet” is at the forefront of my mind as I approach my Spring Marathon, and I don’t want to undo all my good work.
3. Be more consistent in my running – For the last 10 years I have been so on/off with my running, training if it is only absolutely necessary, using any excuse to get out of a run and then wondering why I can’t see any improvement. Well this year I started as I meant to go on with a New Years Day parkrun, and since then I have clocked up a further 83 kilometres, thats like an average of kilometres per day this month. This is in part because of online challenges such as Janathon and Jantasticme, but also because I want to live a life that includes running as part of its routine. I feel great for it. My fitness is improving, my body shape is changing, my weight is creeping down and even my speed is increasing…did I mention I ran a 32.09 parkrun recently?
4. To Live Life on the Edge – This is a weird one really, but for 2014 I decided that I am no longer going to worry about what other people think, as some nutter I used to know once said “If you are not living life on the edge, then you are taking up to much space” So I am going to forge ahead with the plans I have for developing this blog and ask for what I want from people in terms of making it a viable enterprise. I never set out to be a blogger or to turn this into a business venture, but I don’t really want to do anything else with my life right now, and I must be doing something right because this month I have had close to 13,000 hits…and get this, my local newspaper who have just run a story on me have asked me to write a regular column. So things are looking up.
The great thing about rioting a blog is that you have a document of your progress, your thoughts, where your life was over a sustained period of time. But this is not new for me. As an avid diary writer I have always seen the value in putting your thoughts and dreams down on paper.
For a goal to be a goal I think you need to commit to it. The best way of committing to something is writing it down, and to take it one step further you have to show that plan, that commitment to others so that you have accountability. every year since I was about 13 I have sat down at the end of the year and reflected on what has gone on at school, with boyfriends, changes in family life, friends that have come and gone. But the most exciting part of all of that was writing my detailed list of things I wanted to achieve the following year.
But why only do this once a year?
Why only review progress and set goals every 12 months? Surely that only leaves room for disappointment, frustration and under achievement. For example, I can remember once setting the goal that I wanted to travel outside of England once that year, amongst other exciting things like reading a book every month, and being more organised I think it was in about 2007…and that year I ended up going to Dublin, Finland, Ibiza and Colombia….should I have stopped at Dublin?
Reviewing your goals and setting new ones frequently enable you to have more control over your destiny, and allows you to cut yourself some slack when life gets in the way. I never got round to being more organised by the way!!
So how you getting on with your resolutions?? Have you given up all together? Are you on a roll and achieving everything you set out to, or are you like me taking things day by day and reviewing things as you go along?
Answers on a postcard, or just below if that is easier 🙂
PS. The cover photo is the copyright of David Mirzoeff/Archant and taken as part of the publicity for my new column