Thursday, 14 September 2017

My Goal for 2017 - September Review

“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” ― Diana Scharf

I'm already one month in with my Goal for 2017, which was to improve my mental and physical health. 

To me, setting out on the journey is often the hardest, once you get going, the steps gradually seem easier to take. I've definitely felt that this month. There has been a lot of starting and stopping and starting and stopping again, but I feel like I've made a little bit of progress this month. 

I'm not perfect, and I haven't gotten anywhere near my targets this month. Having this goal, and the habits I set within it, have meant that I have had a little reminder in the back of my head of what the habits are (and how I'm currently breaking them!). 

I decided on two separate sets of habits I wanted to form, habits to improve my mental health, and habits to improve my physical health

Here's how I have gotten on this month: 

Mental Health: 

To be in bed by 8pm on two nights per week (aiming for Sunday and one other night);

This was going pretty well, until I had my op on my toes and had to stop going to Crossfit. 

It seems the Crossfit has quite an impact on my ability to get to sleep. Without physical exercise, I'm finding that while my brain is exhausted, my body is struggling to wind down that early. 

So I've been going to bed a little later, about 9pm, and even then sleep has been a bit elusive. 

Hopefully next month will be more successful once I'm back at Crossfit. 

To wash and blow-dry my hair once per week (Friday?)

This one has been pretty successful. 

It wasn't initially, but I took the time to blow dry my hair before we went to a party at the end of August, and the feeling of having a hair style, rather than a mop of wavy ish hair was pretty great. 

I'd forgotten how polished I felt once my hair was dried properly! 

So I've made more of an effort to do it since then and so far I'm managing to stick to the once per week I set myself. 

Epsom Salt Baths twice a week

This is another habit which has fallen by the wayside due to my recovering feet! 

I can't get my feet wet, and it's not really easy to relax in the bath when your feet are sticking out of the end! 

I need to pick this up again once my toes are healed. 

Guided Meditation three times per week

This one was going really well. I was using guided meditation every night, to help me wind down for sleep, and then I was still meeting to goal of three additional times per week. 

Then my iPhone decided to stop working. I have a replacement but I haven't gotten round to installing my guided meditation app yet! 

Writing this post has prompted me to add it back onto my iPhone, and so hopefully I can pick up where I left off. 

Guided meditation has been having a real effect on my mood. When I take the time to do a relaxation meditation, I really do feel my mood lift. 

This is a habit which has been much more beneficial than I thought it would be. 

To use my iPhone for only an hour a day, and to put it away for the night at 8pm

Another abject fail. Such a huge fail that I had, in fact, forgotten that it was one of my habits. 

I've been a total phone junkie this month, and have definitely not been putting it away at 8pm. 

Must try harder. 

Take an evening walk with the kids whenever things are stressful

I haven't done this very much, if truth be told. Although, bedtimes recently haven't really been that stressful. 

Gary has been able to get home at an earlier time during the summer and so we've been able to tag team bedtimes. 

However, I have discovered that popping the kids in the bath whenever early evenings become a little stressful, has had a similar effect to the evening walk. 

If the weather is good, getting the picnic blanket out and sitting outside also seems to have a similar calming effect on us all. 

We've been having quite a few baths, because the kids seem to respond to just being in a different space for half an hour or so. 

This will be a big saviour now winter is coming and it's not going to be possible to always go for a walk whenever things are getting a little bit stressful. 

Gratitude Diary

My intention was to write in my gratitude diary 3-4 times a week. I have not met this goal. 

I did initially, but sometimes I'm just too mentally tired by the end of the day, and I just want to curl up in bed and turn the lights out. 

Although as I've not been sleeping well, I really should do this more often, as I'm awake anyway! 

Use the computer once per week

Another massive fail. 

I must use the computer several times a day. 

I have had a lot going on which requires the computer, and has required it during the day when the kids are around. 

I'm hoping that once our home improvements have been completed, and now that our re-mortgage has gone through, I can begin to step away from the screen. 

Keep every other weekend free for our family

Looking at our calendar for the next few months, it seems that we do have this in check. Save for November when I've had to rearrange a few things, which has meant three weekends back to back where we have visitors. 

There are parties for the kids creeping in there, but at least we will all be at home, and we can catch up a little bit on things in the house and homework. Plus hopefully we'll have time for some fun too! 

Physical Health:

Reduce Alcohol to 1 Day per Week:

August is a particularly hard month to be reducing my alcohol intake! It's my birthday, our wedding anniversary, Miss S's birthday and two of my closest friends have August birthdays too. 

That is a lot of celebrating to put into one month!

We also had a house warming party over the bank holiday weekend, which threw further spanners in the works. 

So while I have struggled to keep to only drinking alcohol one day per week, I have noticed that I'm more mindful about when I drink. 

I have considered having a glass of wine midweek, and then decided against it because we had friends coming to visit or we were due to go out and celebrate one of the many occasions above. 

I'm finding it's the Friday night glass or two of wine that is the hardest to break. It's the end of the week and it's lovely for Gary and I to sit down and feel like we get some quality time together, knowing that tomorrow is not a work or school day. 

There have been the occasional "sod it" moments during the week when I have succumbed to a glass of wine, but I feel like I'm getting a little bit better at managing that. 

Once or twice I even managed to bargain with myself that if I was going to have wine, I need to go to Crossfit first, and actually went! That feels like a little bit of progress to me!

5 Portions of Fruit and Vegetables a Day:

This habit I have had much more success with. I've been making sure I have at least one portion of vegetables with breakfast, and that seems to make bringing my tally up to five portions a day much easier. 

I have also bulked out the amount of veg I'm eating with my evening meal, making it at least two portions. 

I'm still not great with fruit, although I have picked up a pear once or twice when I've been nosing in the fridge! 

No sugar until midday:

This has been a moderately successful month for this habit. Save for when I'm nursing a hangover, I'm much less likely to reach for the chocolate stash until I've had lunch. 

It also helps that I've been keeping only 70% dark chocolate in the house, which seems to be less of a temptation than Cadburys buttons. 

Avoid Gluten:

This has been an out and out fail. I think because I'm giving up sweet stuff during the morning, by lunch time I'm desperate for some carbs. The sugar craving appears to include pasta and bread and I'm not doing very well at choosing something without gluten in. 

I'm ok at home if I am prepared and cook jacket potatoes in advance and leave them in the fridge, but if not, then a sandwich or some fresh pasta is just a quick and easy option. I need to make sure I'm planning in advance next month. 

Go to Crossfit 3x per Week (and no more):

This was going well, until I had a minor surgical procedure on my toes for ingrowing toenails at the end of August. 

I'm currently completely out of action, and likely to be for 3-4 weeks. Hopefully when I get back on track, this habit will be relatively easy to complete. 

So while it's not been the perfect start, I feel as though some of the habits have begun to stick, and I'm hoping that as they become more like second nature, the harder habits can take centre stage for me to work on. 

Hopefully it won't all fall apart by the time my October update rolls round!