The days are growing longer. Lockdown restrictions continue to ease. It’s finally starting to feel as if 2021 is emerging from its long hibernation. As we reach the one-third mark of the year, it’s time to start showing some tangible progress against my ‘health, wealth and self’ goals.
So, how are things going? Not perfectly, but on the whole pretty well.
April was another good month for me from a health standpoint.
I did have one or two too many instances where an evening off from calorie-counting veered into eat-everything-I-can-find. But I did still succeed in shifting another couple of pounds, so I have achieved my March weight target, albeit a few weeks late. For now, I’m happy not to set another weight goal. As long as I can keep it stable, I’ll be happy.
I didn’t run a full 5km last month, but I am still managing a couple of shorter training runs or some gentle interval training most weeks. Parkrun are hoping to start up again on 5th June. If that’s the case, hopefully that will give me the incentive I need to get back to a 30-minute time next month.
And April was my best ever month in terms of overall step count. I passed 20,000 daily steps on 29 out of 30 days in the month. This included almost 178k steps the week we were away in Dorset, an average of 25,421 per day. That same week, I completed my virtual challenge from Land’s End to John O’Groats: 1,744km in 105 days, a full two weeks ahead of schedule.
So now I’m straight in to my next challenge: to cover the length of the legendary Route 66 before the end of the year. I’m aiming to complete the journey from Chicago to Santa Monica – a mere 3,670km – by New Year’s Eve. Two weeks in, I’m already ahead of target and building a handy buffer against illness or other unforeseen obstacles I may encounter over the next eight months.
Nothing significant to report here on either front. Yeah, I know, I know. But April was a busy month, with a week’s holiday, lots happening at work and, well, y’know, life.
Back on it this month. We have a few details regarding our wills that need to be sorted out before we can proceed further, so that’s a job for a quiet evening soon.
The ‘doomsday document’ of financial details, passwords and so on hasn’t progressed either since my initial flurry at the end of March. So that’s another evening or two I need to block out.
Sometimes stuff like this happens and less critical activities slip a little. But it’s time to ensure a temporary blip doesn’t become a permanent excuse.
I made some decent progress on my ‘self’ goals this month.
I raced through the second half of Matthew Syed’s Rebel Ideas and polished off Julie Ma’s Happy Families in short order too. Having dipped briefly back into fiction, I’m back into my non-fiction again, having started on my second politics-focussed tome for the year, Failures of State, by the Sunday Times‘ Jonathan Calvert and George Arbuthnott. It’s a good read but not exactly a light one. But I’m enjoying working through books that make me think again.
I’m continuing to cook from scratch a lot more this year. For the last couple of months, I’ve been experimenting with Japanese food and learning how to cook some of the classic Chinese dishes that I’ve been enjoying my entire life. My next step is to explore Korean cuisine a bit more; I’ve just ordered a book from Amazon.
During this lockdown, cooking has been my go-to activity. I’ve enjoyed few things more than retreating into the kitchen on a weekend afternoon and preparing big meals for us all to enjoy. It’s coincided with the kids being keen to expand their food repertoires, and often one or more of them will come to help with a little of the preparation, which is lovely.
This also creates some of those little pockets of one-to-one time with each of them. Now that the world is opening up again and activities are restarting, we’re spending less time at weekends walking together. So being able to carve out time with them individually – whether it’s in the kitchen or in the car while travelling to various training sessions and matches – means that I’m having more opportunities to connect with them than ever before.
The one area I have been slacking on is sorting out the study. It’s hit a state of equilibrium – it’s tidy enough to represent a significant improvement over the start of the year, but not messy enough to compel me to get it finished. Oh well.
Overall, April has been a good month. I need to not allow any of the more mundane, admin-y goals get away from me any more than they already have, but it’s good to know that I’m still mostly heading in the right direction.
Previous ‘2021 goals’ updates