How did it get to be March already? We’re two months into 2021, so how am I progressing against the goals I set myself for the year?
Personally, it’s been really helpful to have definite targets to aim for. The current lockdown has been hard on everyone. Having something to focus on has stopped me from drifting through a particularly grey and tedious winter.
February was a good month from a health point of view, despite a few too many days where I over-indulged on the food front.
Maintaining a high level of activity every day is the bedrock of my approach. When exercise is routine, it’s much less of an effort for me. I surpassed 20,000 steps on 26 out of 28 days and while I didn’t have any particularly big efforts – I haven’t had a 30,000-step day yet in 2021 – consistency is the key for me.
Having a bigger goal to aim for definitely helps keep me on track too. I started a Conqueror Virtual Challenge at the start of the year with the aim of walking (virtually) from Land’s End to John O’Groats. That’s 1,744km, which I’m looking to complete in 17 weeks (or 119 days). The end of February marked the halfway point in terms of time. I’m just over 80km ahead of schedule and currently in the Yorkshire Dales. As long as I avoid injury or illness, I’m on track to finish two whole weeks early.
All this activity has helped offset our regular roasts and takeaways. (And, full disclosure: I’m definitely eating more chocolate again these days.) I dropped another couple of pounds last month and tipped the scales at 12 stone nine. I might just squeeze under 12½ stone by the end of March: three pounds to go. Either way, I’ll have made good progress since Christmas.
Having finally got our new treadmill operating properly, I now have no excuses even when the weather’s poor. I just started running again at the weekend. And while I’m a long way from achieving a sub-30 minute 5km again, I’m feeling positive. Once Parkrun returns, I’ll be more motivated to start pushing harder on this front.
Yeah, not much happening here yet.
I got distracted in February by other things. But no excuses. It’s the top item on my to-do list on my whiteboard in the study. Time to get started.
I’m quite pleased with my progress on this set of goals, although it is taking some effort to keep remembering to do all of these.
I tailed off a bit towards the end of the month, but I did finish Jon Sopel’s Unpresidented (which was very good) and the new Bill Bailey book (a bit hit-and-miss) during February. Reading before bed is proving to be quite difficult, as I’m usually too tired to pick up a book. But I’m making time at weekends, and it’s a good excuse to rope in the kids.
I managed to cook meals from scratch at least twice each week. All the kids have helped out at various times, either with food prep or even with cooking. Toby learned how to make fajitas. And Kara is now a dab hand at scrambling eggs; she’s taken to making these for herself for lunch. I do need to push myself to expand my repertoire, having slipped back into familiar meals after an adventurous January. But it’s no great hardship, really. I’ve always enjoyed cooking, and it’s definitely easier when the kids are engaged too.
I’ve been working in our study full-time for nearly a whole year now. It’s finally starting to feel like a welcoming, comfortable workspace. Our new blinds are up, which has lifted the feel of the room. We’ve sorted through most of the boxes of filing and junk clogging up the floor, which has made things less cramped. There’s still a little more to do, though. The cupboards need sorting out. And I could do with investing in proper monitor stands, rather than making do with reams of A4 paper.
The one goal in this section where I’m not quite on track is in carving out regular activities with each of the kids. They’ve been a bit bored in lockdown and haven’t been as amenable to doing simple things like regular walks. So we haven’t had as much one-to-one time as I’d have liked. But we have managed a few here and there. And cooking has provided us with more bonding opportunities. But I still don’t have that one special ‘thing’ that I do regularly with each of the three of them.
It’s not something I want to force for the sake of it. But I’m hoping that returning to school next week and seeing their classmates will re-energise them. Which, in turn, will hopefully lift some of the dreariness that seems to have clouded their moods in recent weeks. And maybe then we can focus on doing a bit more together than family games, watching TV and eating.
Overall, though, I’m pleased with my progress over these first couple of months. I’m looking forward to ticking off some of my shorter-term goals soon and coming up with new ones to keep things fresh as spring approaches.
Previous ‘2021 goals’ updates